So let me just get this started with letting you know SoFi Money isn’t a bank.
It’s a money-managing platform.
So we’re going to take a closer look at what that means in this SoFi Money review.
What is SoFi Money?
It’s a high-interest (1.60% APY), cash management account.
There are NO ATM fees, monthly fees, or overdraft fees.
They really hate fees over there.
Essentially, SoFi Money lets you make deposits, do electronic bill day, write checks, and earn higher interest rates on your deposits.
And signing up for SoFi is 100% free.
In fact, you could sign up for SoFi Money and get a FREE $50 after you make a deposit of at least $100!
I know you’re probably a little confused.
It sounds like a bank, kinda looks like a bank… But like I said before, SoFi Money isn’t a bank.
Instead of keeping your money in a bank, SoFi Money puts your deposits into one or more partner banks for the FDIC coverage.
This means SoFi isn’t directly providing FDIC insurance of your funds, which makes a lot of people uneasy.
From reading comments in forms, it seems like it takes about 2-4 business days for your funds to get to these partner banks.
So in that limbo period, those funds *technically* aren’t FDIC insured.
Like I said before, for some people that makes them very uneasy.
But maybe I’m
really naive trusting, but I don’t let it bother me any.
Plus, I’m also not depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars into SoFi; I basically just use it as a savings account.
How To Open a SoFi Money Account?
I see people online joke about SoFi Money being the checking account for Millennials; and I hate when people poke fun at us for being anti-social/wanting everything online… But it really convenient that you don’t have to go into an actual bank to open up this money management account.
You can sign up for SoFi Money here (and get that FREE $50); it should only take about 5-10 minutes to fill everything out.
There’s no minimum balance, so you literally need zero dollars to get started (unless you want that free $50, then you have to deposit $100 within two weeks of signing up.)
There is, however, a minimum age requirement. You have to be at least 18 years old, sorry to any kiddos reading this blog.
What Are SoFi Money’s Features?
No Account Fees
No-fee accounts are few and far between these days, unfortunately.
And this can make your life even more difficult, especially for those living paycheck-to-paycheck.
With SoFi, you aren’t paying any monthly/yearly account maintenance fees, insufficient funds fees, or overdraft fees.
Most bank-equivalents tend to make their money by finding any way to nickel and dime you with these kinds of fees. So having a cash management account that doesn’t make you pay to simply use your money can be a real game changer.
Basically, SoFi Money lets you keep your money; what a concept?!
And in that same vein, SoFi Money doesn’t charge you to use ATMs. That is probably one of my biggest pet peeves of other banks.
Plus, SoFi will reimburse you for any ATM fees you pay worldwide when you use your Visa Debit card at any ATM with the Visa, Plus or NYCE logos.
Weird Account Requirements
A lot of other alternatives require you to meet certain criteria in order to receive the high interest rate they’re advertising.
Sometimes it’s that you have to keep a certain dollar amount in the account at all times (and it’s usually not a small one).
Or maybe you have to make a certain number of transactions a month, or set up a direct deposit.
Or maybe it’s a combination of all of those!
But what I do know is that SoFi doesn’t treat you like a show pony, making you jump through hoops to get the
treat high interest rate.
This membership provides its members with unique services like career coaching, financial planning, local networking events and an entrepreneurship accelerator.
You’re also able to get referral benefits, which are those links that I’ve put in here. Whenever someone signs up for a SoFi Money account, a loan, or personal investing account, you can earn money for that!
So when you sign up under me, deposit $100 (and get your free $50), I’m also getting $50!
Now it’s your turn to do the same thing!
I still have the same checks I got when I opened my first bank account at Regions in 2012 (it’s now the end of 2019 at the time of this writing).
I don’t use checks often, but I do still use them sometimes.
To some people, this might be really important. But for me, it’s just a nice little bonus of being a SoFi Money account holder.
Should I Get a SoFi Money Account?
I think it’s really important to understand who SoFi Money is probably geared towards.
Obviously there is always going to be another account that gives you a better interest rate or some benefit that others don’t have.
However, the important thing to remember (or look out for) are those fine print qualifications.
In order to get a lot of these better benefits, you have to do a lot more work, check a lot more boxes, and cross several more Ts.
With SoFi, it’s a very low barrier of entry.
I think of it as a one-stop shop for the fiscally conscious (but kinda lazy) person.
This account gives you a lot of the perks of those high-yield savings accounts without all the work, which is the real reason I think of it being Millennial-friendly.
So if you’re ready to sign up for your SoFi Money account and get a free $50, then let’s get started!