SoFi is a popular financial service provider that recently obtained bank status, launching with the SoFi Checking and Savings Account.
In this SoFi Checking and Savings review, we will be looking at everything SoFi Bank has to offer. We’ll cover its pros, cons, fees, security, support, and everything else there is to know.
What is SoFi Bank?
SoFi, which is short for Social Finance, was founded in August 2011 by students from Stanford business school. Since then, it has accumulated over two million members and funded loans worth over $50 billion.
In 2022, SoFi secured its bank charter and FDIC membership, replacing its SoFi Money cash management account with Checking and Savings.
The bank also offers several other products and services including credit cards, personal loans, student loans, and refinancing options.
SoFi Checking & Savings Features
The account comes with many features and perks, including a welcome bonus. Here are some of the top benefits of the account.
No Account Fees
SoFi Checking & Savings Account comes with no overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, or minimum balance fees. You also get access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs in the Allpoint® Network.
Earn up to 2.00% APY
When you set up direct deposit with your new account, you can up to 2.00% APY.
Early Direct Deposits
The account offers early direct deposits, which can hit your account up to 2 days earlier than anticipated. Here, it’s important to note that several factors can come into play, including when the payment instructions are sent.
Fee-Free Overdraft Coverage
Spend a little too much this weekend? No worries. SoFi will cover you up to $50 with no fees with qualifying direct deposits.
Local Cash Back Offers
You can earn up to 15% cash back at local establishments when you pay with your SoFi debit card.
SoFi Checking and Savings come with a Mastercard debit card which you can use to make payments and withdraw money. Withdrawals can be made from over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs – without incurring any charges or fees.
If you’d like to improve your money management skills and start saving, you’ll be glad to know that you can also set savings goals and then use RoundUps and Vaults to help you get there faster.
SoFi Banking Features
Banking with SoFi comes with many features. Having a clear understanding of these features can help you decide if this account is the right choice for you.
SoFi Checking and Savings accounts are also covered by FDIC insurance up to $250,000.
SoFi is an online bank and personal finance company, so you can manage your accounts easily from its mobile app. The app has high ratings on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, with current ratings sitting at 4.8/5 and 4.1/5, respectively.
Aside from banking, it also gives you access to SoFi Invest, SoFi Relay, and Loans. One important thing to note here is that any investments made through the app are not covered by FDIC insurance and may reduce value.
The SoFi app also has several valuable features, including mobile check deposits, bill pay, and an ATM locator.
Being a SoFi member comes with several additional benefits that are unique from other banks. One such benefit is career services.
Here, you get access to free one-on-one advice on transitioning your career and finding a new job.
Another such benefit is community experiences which promise access to experiences like financial webinars, professional networking, and social events.
Members also get a discount of 0.125% on SoFi loans.
SoFi works hard to offer an account with as few account fees as possible. However, like any bank, the fee structure is subject to change at any time.
Here’s a look into the current fees on SoFi’s Checking and Savings Account:
- Monthly Fees: At the moment, there are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance fees. As such, you get to keep more of your money, which you’ll want since this account offers interest. Do bear in mind that there’s a $20 stop payment fee that’ll apply if you wish to stop payment on a check.
- Interest: The account receives an APY (Annual Percentage Yield) interest rate of up to 2.00%. To qualify for this rate, you’ll need to sign up for direct deposits. With no deposits, your money will earn a much lower APY.
- Overdraft Fees: The account also comes with free overdraft coverage. To qualify, you need to receive qualifying direct deposits of $1,000 each month. The maximum coverage available currently stands at $50.
- ATM Fees: SoFi Checking and Savings offer free ATM withdrawals from all ATMs in Allpoint Network. There are currently over 55,000 ATMs available. There is also a hard limit on ATM cash withdrawals which presently stands at $1,000 per day. Withdrawing from an ATM that’s outside Allpoint’s network will incur ATM fees. There is no reimbursement of such fees.
Signing up and getting started with SoFi Checking and Savings is easy, with the entire process taking about one minute to complete.
US citizens who are either lawful permanent residents or non-residents are eligible for a SoFi Checking and Savings account. Applicants need to be at least 18 years of age, have a physical address in the United States, and have a valid SSN (Social Security Number).
By law, SoFi might also request some additional information, including a copy of a photo ID such as your driver’s license to open your account.
Here are some of the best SoFi promotions going on right now:
1. SoFi Checking and Savings - up to $250 bonus
Expires: March 31, 2023
Recently extended, but for a slightly lower amount, SoFi is offering new and existing SoFi Checking & Savings customers up to a $250 bonus. You'll need to set up direct deposit, but you'll have until the promo ends to complete one. This is still setup as a tiered bonus, the more you direct deposit, the more you'll earn.
How to earn the bonus
The SoFi Checking and Savings sign up offer requires you to set up direct deposits in order to earn the $250 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Open a new SoFi Checking and Savings account using the link below.
- Complete at least 1 direct deposit during the promotion period.
- During the next 30 days, complete direct deposits to reach your desired tier as follows: $1,000 - $4,999, earn $50; $5,000+, earn $250.
- Bonus will be credited within 7 days of the end of the Evaluation Period.
2. Sofi Invest - up to $100 bonus
Expires: December 31, 2023
Available nationwide, SoFi is offering up to a $100 welcome bonus when you open a new SoFi Crypto account and buy at least $50 in cryptocurrency. This is a tiered bonus, the bonus payout is determined by the amount of your first purchase of Crypto.
The tiers are as follows:
- Tier 1 | First Trade: $50 - $99.99: $10
- Tier 2 | First Trade: $100 - $499.99: $15
- Tier 3 | First Trade: $500 - $4,999.99: $50
- Tier 4 | First Trade: $5,000+: $100
How to earn the bonus
The Sofi Invest sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance in order to earn the $100 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Download the app using the link below.
- Open a new SoFi Invest Crypto account.
- Within 7 days, buy at least $50 in cryptocurrencies.
- Bonus will be credited to your account within 7 days of completing the requirements.
3. SoFi Checking and Savings - $50 bonus
Expires: Limited Time
Give $25 get $50 is the new SoFi Checking and Savings® referral bonus. Just share your link and you'll both be rewarded when they sign up for an account and make a $10 deposit. Claim your $25 today using the link below and start earning.
How to earn the bonus
The SoFi Checking and Savings sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance and use a referral link in order to earn the $50 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Download the app using the link below.
- Open your own SoFi Checking and Savings® account.
- Share your SoFi Checking and Savings referral link with friends who are new to SoFi.
- Ensure referred individuals deposit at least $10 within 5 days.
- Bonus will be deposited into your SoFi Checking and Savings account.
SoFi is very serious about security. Several controls are in place that ensures checks and balances are in place to protect you and your account. Some of these controls fall within your remit; others are taken care of by SoFi.
As a customer, you can freeze your card at the touch of a button, right from your SoFi app. You can then give them a call, and they will help you resolve any issues – whether you lose your card or see suspicious activity on your account.
Signing into your account requires two-factor authentication. This technology requires app users to sign in twice – with a passcode and then a separate security code or even a fingerprint if your phone supports this.
Using this technology, even if someone finds out your passcode, they will not be able to log in to your account unless they also have your fingers – so make sure you don’t lose them.
SoFi also monitors for suspicious activity from their end. While you should always remain vigilant, they will always contact you if they detect any illicit activity. Your account will also be temporarily frozen until they resolve the issue.
Getting in touch with SoFi customer support is relatively easy, with several options available at your disposal.
On their website, you’ll find a healthy selection of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) – answering some of the most fundamental questions across different areas. Should you not find the answer you’re looking for, you can always chat with their support team or give them a call.
Each department has different phone numbers and hours of availability. The support team of the Checking and Savings, in particular, is available from 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday to Thursday and 5:00 AM to 5:00 PM Friday to Sunday.
SoFi also has offices in three locations, including San Francisco, Healdsburg, and New York City.
Pros & Cons
While SoFi is an excellent financial product, isn’t the best pick for everyone. We all have different requirements and needs, and no account can cater to everyone’s needs.
Because of this, it’s essential to understand what the pros and cons are so that you can be in a better position to make the right choice for you.
- Interest-Bearing Account: The account offers a relatively high interest rate that clocks in at up to 2.00% APY. While this might not match what a high-yield savings account offers, the account has virtually no withdrawal restrictions, making it a more versatile option. There is no minimum balance requirement to earn interest.
- Welcome Bonus: The account currently features a welcome bonus that can see you earn an excellent $300. Like every other welcome bonus, there are qualifying criteria that you need to meet – which is perfectly acceptable.
- No Fees: This account is relatively cheap, with no maintenance fees, fee-free withdrawals, overdraft fees, or foreign transaction fees. SoFi reminds us that this may change through a disclaimer. However, in reality, that’s always the case. Unfortunately, there is no ATM fee reimbursement option. Still, with access to Allpoint Network’s ATM network, avoiding fees should be easy enough.
- Cashback Rewards: Paying with SoFi Checking and Savings can also earn you cashback rewards, up to 15%. We often don’t see this with accounts that work like a checking account, so it’s always great to have.
- No Branches: One of the most significant drawbacks that SoFi has is that it has no branches. While many are getting used to online banks and their favorable rates, face-to-face interactions remain essential to many.
- Deposit Requirements: To earn interest, you need to receive direct deposits every month. As such, if you would like to get the APY on offer, you cannot simply leave this account on the side for your emergency fund cash.
If you like SoFi, but want to consider some close alternatives, take a look at these financial institutions:
…all offer Cash Management Accounts with comparable APYs.
Many have a welcome bonus too, and none of them charge any monthly fees. Of course, none of these companies have physical branches. If this is what you’re after, a more traditional bank or credit union might be better.
Credit Unions tend to offer better rates than banks and still have physical branches. Keep in mind here – credit unions tend to be regional, so you will need to find one close to where you work or live.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is SoFi Checking and Savings good?
Yes, SoFi Checking and Savings is a good account overall with FDIC insurance, cashback, and early paychecks. Money in the account also earns a healthy interest rate, helping you maximize how you use your money.
What bank is SoFi Checking and Savings?
SoFi Checking and Savings (formerly SoFi Money) is a joint checking and savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A., Member FDIC.
Is SoFi Bank FDIC insured?
Yes, it is an FDIC member, meaning your deposits are insured up to $250,000.
How much can I withdraw from SoFi Money?
You can withdraw up to $1,000 per day from Allpoint ATMs or $6,000 through debit card use.
Is SoFi Checking and Savings Best for You?
If you’re looking for a hybrid checking and savings account with a sleek mobile app and perks like paycheck advances and overdraft protection, SoFi might be a good fit for you.
As the number of Neo, challenger, and online banks continues to grow, we must rethink what a bank account means. These institutions are often more responsive to the market’s needs as it matures and develops.
SoFi Checking and Savings also opens doors to other products offered by SoFi, including investment products and loans. SoFi manages to provide most if not all of the products and services that you would find at any high street bank, allowing you to build a stronger relationship with the institution – even if it’s virtual.