SoFi Review

Michael Dinich

In a Nutshell

SoFi Money is a cash management account that functions as a hybrid - with the emphasis on mobile accounts. It is fully optimized for use on any device, with support for Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and mobile-to-mobile payments. With SoFi Money, you get an interest rate comparable to a savings account and most of the functionality of a traditional bank but without the long lines and fees.

pros

  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Reimbursed ATM fees worldwide
  • Member rate discounts on SoFi loans

cons

  • No physical branches
  • Customer support isn’t 24/7
  • No cash deposits

SoFi Money SoFi Money Visit Site

SoFi Money at a Glance

Fees:

Personal loans available: No fees

Credit card available: No (debit only)

SMS/Mail alerts: No

24-hour customer service: No

Money transfers: Yes

Check scanning: Yes

Average APY: 0.25%

Minimum for APY: $500

Advantages Over Regular Bank

SoFi started out by simplifying student loan refinancing and other types of loans. Now its banking division SoFi Money is greatly simplifying banking. SoFi Money offers many advantages over regular banks, starting with zero fees and zero waiting times.

  • Elimination of almost all bank fees, including ATM withdrawals.

  • Customer service on mobile and desktop, with no need to go to a physical branch.

  • No minimum balance required on interest-bearing account.

  • Interest rate is 22.5 times higher than the national average (according tod S&P Global Market Intelligence’s RateWatch tool)

  • Higher FDIC insurance, up to $1.5 million

Cutting-Edge Banking Servicesd

One good thing about using SoFi Money is you get access to multiple features on desktop or mobile. Many regular banks let their customers do most things online, but SoFi Money goes one step further with many mobile features.

  • Real-time fund transfers from other SoFi Money members, compatible with Apple Pay or Samsung pay.

  • Deposit checks directly through your SoFi mobile app.

  • Set up bill payments directly from SoFi app or desktop.

  • Synchronize all your accounts and set and track goals with the new SoFi Relay feature.

  • Customer support online or directly through the SoFi app.

  • Access to complimentary SoFi member services, including one-on-one career coaching.

Traditional Banking Services

SoFi Money offers plenty of traditional banking services, many of them through parent company SoFi. SoFi Money account holders are eligible for member benefits across all SoFi products, including discounted rates on loans and Mortgage savings.

  • Cash management account with functions like hybrid checking and savings accounts
  • SoFi Mastercard

  • You can use your SoFi Money Debit Card in other countries for purchases and ATM withdrawals wherever Mastercard is accepted. The funds will be withdrawn in the currency of the country where you made the purchase or ATM withdrawal
  • Discounted rates on SoFi personal loans, student loans, student loan refinancing, mortgage fees and medical/dental student loans.

  • Option of investing in SoFi’s 2 exchange-traded funds, with no fees for first year.

Interest Rates and Fees

Currently, you can earn 5x the national average ( 0.25%) on your funds with $500 or more in recurring monthly deposits into your SoFi Money account. You earn 0.01% APY if you do not make these deposits. The interest rate earned on your deposits is a variable rate set by SoFi and is influenced by the Federal Funds Rate which may change at any time. We work hard to pay above average interest rates, but our interest rate is subject to change. But SoFi Money is more than a savings account because you also get a debit card to use for spending, ATM withdrawals, and free checks.

SoFi Money also cuts out most of the fees that customers have come to dread from traditional banking institutions. Each time you withdraw money from an ATM that accepts Mastercard, SoFi automatically refunds the charge back into your account. This way, ATM withdrawals are effectively free.

The way SoFi earns money is quite simple. Like other banks, it earns interest from money you hold in your account. But unlike the big traditional banks, it saves costs by doing business online, and passes on most of those savings to its customers in the form of high interest on deposit accounts.

SoFi Money Fees

Service
Fee
Overdraft
$0
Weekly or monthly fees
$0
Inactive or dormant account
$0
Foreign transactions
$0
Peer-to-peer transfer
$0
First replacement card
$0
Physical checks
$0
Bill payment
$0
Additional replacement card
$20
Replacement card quick delivery
$25
Stop payment order
$20
Processing of any court or administrative order (such as garnishment or tax levy)
$100
Third party ATM transactions (non-Visa)
Varies

Customer Service

To speak to a SoFi Money representative, just use the live chat function online or via the SoFi app. Parent company SoFi also offers assistance by telephone.

Phone: (855) 456-7634, during extended business hours

HQ: 234 1st Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Mobile Apps

SoFi Money’s service revolves around its mobile app. The app is compatible with most iOS and Android devices, as well as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. It is free to download, and contains the same level of functionality as SoFi Money’s desktop platform. The app can be accessed on all types of devices, from smartphones to tablets.

SoFi Money SoFi Money Visit Site

Security

SoFi has put several tools in place to protect its customers’ online and mobile security. For example, mobile users can set up 2-factor authentication via the SoFi app. Each debit card contains a chip with a unique transaction copy, reducing the likelihood of someone copying your card. If there is any suspicious activity on your card, a customer support rep will contact you and, if necessary, restrict your account until the issue is resolved.

In addition to the above, SoFi has measures in place to protect your money. All SoFi accounts are insured with the US Government’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for up to $1.5 million, higher than the standard FDIC coverage of $250,000.

Conclusion

SoFi made a name for itself in 2011 when it created a new model to compete with the traditional underwriting process for student loans and other loans. It has since progressed into other areas – to the benefit of anyone with a banking account.

With SoFi Money, you get all the advantages of a mobile banking app without losing most of the features of traditional banking. The main benefits to using SoFi are, in no particular order: zero fees on ATM withdrawals and transactions; higher than average APYs on deposit accounts, with no minimum balance required; and, of course, the greater flexibility offered by using a mobile banking app.

Michael has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, pay down debt and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, saving money, and all things geeky.

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14 Aug 2020

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