SoFi Money is an online-only bank, so it doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar banking locations. Sofi Money’s online banking platform allows it to diversify its lending offerings, including student loan refinancing, student loans, refinancing for medical residents, loans for grad school, loans for the parents of students to pay for their school, mortgages and more. SoFi also has an investing platform called SoFi Invest, budget tracking called SoFi Relay and different insurances — including life, renters, and auto — through SoFi Protect.
SoFi Money is a good fit for someone who wants simple online banking and the ability to earn interest without having a separate savings account. Fees are low, and annual percentage yields tend to be higher than average, even amongst online banks. People who keep a lower checking account balance or who don’t have enough extra cash available for a separate savings account may appreciate this combination of factors.
SoFi Money at a glance
|Minimum Savings Deposit||Maximum Savings APY||1-Year CD Rate||J.D. Power Survey Score||Key Benefit|
|SoFi Money||$0||1.60%||N/A||856/1000||High-yield interest rates|
What we like about it
SoFi Money pays a high-interest yield on its accounts when you compare it to traditional banks. It is roughly on par with other online banks. SoFi also has a significant benefit in that there are no overdraft fees. If you do not have enough money in your account to cover a debt, SoFi just cancels it. This could be an essential perk if you are living paycheck to paycheck. Likewise, SoFi Money doesn’t have account fees or require minimum balances. This could give you the flexibility you need to make ends meet. SoFi Money also offers a variety of member benefits, including a rate discount on SoFi loans, career services, unemployment protection, financial advisors and member experiences.
Things to consider
SoFi Money is online, so there are no brick-and-mortar locations. Keep this in mind if you prefer using a teller for your transactions. Also, the company is part of a massive network of ATMs and offers reimbursement for the fees that sometimes come with using specific machines. However, many ATMs are not part of this network, so make sure you have one near you before committing. SoFi also charges foreign transaction fees when converting foreign currency.
Finally, SoFi offers a ton of different products, but there isn’t much linking between them. SoFi Money is a standalone product. While you may be able to import your information to SoFi Relay, for instance, there may be extra steps involved that would not be there with some other banking solutions.
SoFi checking & savings accounts
SoFi Money is an all-in-one product that is a hybrid checking and savings account. There are no account fees or minimum balance requirements, so you can bank freely. Because SoFi Money is all online, you deposit checks from your phone and pay bills online. You can also use SoFi Money to transfer and receive money, like paying the babysitter or covering your share of dinner when the bill comes — but it is still not a checking account because you cannot write checks from the account. The most notable perk of SoFi Money is that all cash in your account earns 1.60% APY, which is quite high and even beats traditional banks’ high-yield savings accounts.
The combined checking and savings account solution doesn’t have any fees. People who live paycheck to paycheck — like many people with student loans or other debt — may appreciate the simple structure and the ability to earn interest. SoFi Money also includes an interest rate reduction for its members, so opening an account could be smart for that reason alone.
SoFi money market accounts
SoFi Money doesn’t offer money market accounts, so you’ll want to look elsewhere. Consider a bank like State Farm, which offers a Money Market Savings Account that pays a relatively high interest rate at 1.85%. This account also lets users write checks or withdraw funds via an ATM, and you just need a $1,000 deposit to get started.
SoFi Money doesn’t offer CDs either, so if you want a CD, you could choose another bank for this type of account. Some popular choices include Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Ally Bank and Barclays. You usually do not need to have another account at the issuing bank to open a CD. Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a high-yield CD at 2.00% APY for 12 months. The only requirement is a $500 deposit.
SoFi IRA accounts
SoFi Money does not offer IRA accounts, but many online banks do. Charles Schwab, E*TRADE, and Ally Invest are all options. Check out our Best IRA Accounts of 2019 for more ideas. SoFi also has an investment division called SoFi Invest.
SoFi credit cards
SoFi Money does not offer credit cards. Instead, they provide personal loans. SoFi personal loans can be used to pay for medical procedures or finance home improvements. Members can also use these small loans to consolidate credit cards, help pay for relocation, pay for a wedding, or finance another big purchase. SoFi Money lets you borrow amounts large and small. For people who like to use credit cards to finance large purchases, this may be a viable alternative to credit cards.
If you want to open a credit card, check out our list of the Best Credit Cards of 2019.
SoFi Money doesn’t offer investment options, but SoFi Invest does. Owned by the same company, SoFi Invest is just as simplified as SoFi Money. Customers can start investing as little as $1 and put it into anything from stocks to ETFs and cryptocurrency, all without paying any fees. SoFi Invest also has a feature called Stock Bits which allows its customers to invest in a company without buying a full share. Many people decide to use non-traditional banks to participate on the stock market, and some have seen decent returns. With automated investing, SoFi Invest will manage your money on the market for you, without you chasing down investor speculation or worrying about which stocks are performing the best.
The bottom line
SoFi built its reputation on offering low-interest and low-fee student loans for both parents and students. SoFi Money came later. It does not have many of the bells and whistles of other banks, but that doesn’t mean it may not work well for your needs. The interest rate that the bank pays is enough reason for a closer look.