SoFi Checking and Savings Review 2022
- Managing all finances in one place
- Fee-free checking
- High-yield, accessible savings
SoFi is the brainchild of a few Stanford University business students who initially wanted to tackle the student loan debt issue in this country by making it easier for borrowers to refinance student loans.
Eventually, they expanded the company’s focus to include several financial products and services, including online banking through SoFi Money, which has recently transformed into SoFi Checking and Savings with the company’s approval for a bank charter in January 2022. Today, SoFi offers a lot of banking services with some great benefits. This SoFi Checking and Savings review gives you everything you need to know about those banking options.
Our review of SoFi Checking and Savings will look at the product’s cash management features, and how it compares with other online banking accounts to help you determine whether it’s right for you.
SoFI Checking Account Features
When you sign up for SoFi Checking and Savings, you get both a checking and a savings account, both FDIC-insured with access to the same benefits. SoFi doesn’t offer standalone checking or savings accounts. Here’s a look at the platform’s checking account features.
SoFi Checking Account
- 1.25% APY
- Up to 15% cash back from local businesses
- No-fee overdraft protection up to $50
More About SoFi Checking
You’ll earn up to 15% cash back at participating local retailers when you pay with your SoFi debit card, but SoFi doesn’t offer a general cash back option for all your purchases.
Unlike most checking accounts, SoFi accounts come with these transaction limits that could make it tough to use as your primary spending account:
- Withdrawal limits: $1,000 per day total, $150 over-the-counter cash withdrawal.
- Peer-to-peer transfers: $3,000 per month.
- Point-of-sale (cash register) transactions: 12 per day.
- Point-of-sale spend limit: $6,000 per day.
Still, your account gives you access to a debit card and gives you the option to order checks. Individual and joint accounts are available, which is rare among online banking accounts.
SoFi offers fee-free overdraft protection up to $50 as long as you receive at least $1,000 in direct deposits.
To open a SoFi Checking and Savings account:
- Become a SoFi member by creating an account online or through the app with your email address.
- Open a Checking and Savings account through your dashboard. You’ll need to enter your mailing address, phone number, birth date and Social Security number.
- You can open an account with no minimum opening deposit and pay no account maintenance fees.
- Set up direct deposit or a recurring transfer of at least $1,000 to qualify for overdraft protection.
SoFi Savings Account Features
When you sign up for SoFi Checking and Savings for your checking account, you’ll also get a free savings account. Here’s an overview of its savings features.
SoFi Savings Account
- 1.25% APY
- No fees
- No monthly withdrawal limits
More About SoFi Savings
Both of your accounts with SoFi Checking and Savings get the benefits, so you don’t have to worry about which bucket your money is in.
You’ll earn 1.25% APY on a total balance across accounts as long as you sign up for direct deposit (with no minimum deposit requirement). If you don’t use direct deposit, you’ll earn 0.07% APY on all balances.
The downside to having your checking and savings seamlessly connected is that your savings are easily accessible, which can make it easy to dip into that account instead of letting it sit and grow.
The upside: The account structure makes your money more accessible through SoFi than in a traditional savings account, so you can build your savings knowing you can get to the money anytime if you need it.
Cash in SoFi Checking and Savings is FDIC insured up to $250,000 through SoFi Bank, N.A.
Check out our current list of bank promotions for a chance to gain a monetary bonus when signing up for a new bank account.
Other SoFi Products
The biggest benefit to signing up for SoFi banking is becoming a member and gaining access to SoFi’s suite of products and services.
SoFi members (anyone who uses a SoFi product, like Checking and Savings), get exclusive benefits like member-only events and member rate discounts on SoFi loans.
- Personal Loans: Apply for a personal loan for things like student loan refinancing, credit card consolidation or home improvement. Interest rates range from 5.74% APR to 14.95% variableAPR when you sign up for auto-pay (as low as 1.74% variable rates for student loan refinancing). You can check rates you’d qualify for by creating a SoFi account and entering the amount you want to borrow. Checking your rate with SoFi won’t affect your credit score.
- Mortgages: Take out a home loan or refinance an existing mortgage through SoFi with as little as 3% down. You’ll save $500 on mortgage processing fees for being a SoFi member. SoFi also facilitates home equity lines of credit through home equity lender SpringEQ.
- Investing: SoFi Invest is a brokerage account that lets you invest in stocks, ETFs and cryptocurrency right through the app. You can set up automated investing and let SoFi experts choose your portfolio for you, or choose yourself what to invest in. SoFi also offers Roth and traditional IRAs to help you save for retirement. You can fund your SoFi investment account using a SoFi Checking and Savings account or external checking or savings account.
- Credit Card: The SoFi World Elite Mastercard is designed to help you achieve financial goals along with other SoFi products and accounts. You’ll earn 2% cash back if you redeem it to save into a SoFi savings account, invest through SoFi Invest or pay down a SoFi loan or mortgage. Or earn 1% cash back if you redeem the reward as a statement credit.
- Insurance: Through SoFi Protect, the company has teamed up with insurance providers to match you with affordable life, auto, homeowners and renters insurance. In most cases, you can apply and sign up online without speaking to an agent or facing a medical exam.
- Career Services: SoFi members get to work one-on-one with a career coach to pave a path toward career and financial success. Career coaches provide guidance on things like career transitions, networking, building your resume and LinkedIn profile, negotiating, personal branding and your personal questions.
- Financial Planning Resources: Members can make an appointment with SoFi financial planners for free to get professional financial advice on anything from basic money management to retirement planning. SoFi also provides resources to educate you on debt, lending, money management, investing and more, plus calculators to help you plan for borrowing and repaying debt.
SoFi Checking and Savings Fees
SoFi boasts no fees, and it’s serious about that.
- No third-party ATM fees
- No monthly fees, like an account maintenance fees or minimum balance fees
- No overdraft fees
- No foreign transaction fee
- No fee for a replacement card
- No bill pay fees
- SoFi covers any foreign conversion charged
Fee structures are subject to change and have over the years, but you can take some comfort knowing the lack of fees is one of the most attractive features of online-only banking.
SoFi Customer Experience
SoFi offers online-only services, so you won’t find a brick-and-mortar SoFi branch or even any SoFi ATMs.
Customers do all their cash management through the app or website, plus nationwide ATMs. SoFi Checking and Savings account holders have access to these basic checking account features:
- Deposits: Set up direct deposit from your paycheck or recurring transfers from another bank account to automate your savings and build the account balance. You can’t make cash deposits.
- Mobile check deposit: Still get a paper paycheck (or a birthday check from your aunt)? Deposit it from anywhere using the SoFi app on your smartphone or tablet with a camera.
- Cash withdrawal: Use any ATM to take out cash when you need it with your SoFi debit card. You’ll pay no fees at Allpoint ATMs nationwide, and SoFi reimburses out-of-network ATM fees.
- Digital payments: Link your SoFi checking account to PayPal or Venmo to receive payments.
- Bill pay: Pay bills up to $10,000 per transaction directly from your SoFichecking account.
As an online-only institution, SoFi’s suite of digital tools is optimized for user ease and stacked with features like easy account transfers, bill pay and even budgeting tools.
SoFi banking happens primarily through the SoFi app, which is free to download for smartphones and tablets. Customers give the app 4.8 out of five stars in the Apple App Store and 4.3 out of five stars on Google Play.
The app lets you sign up for and access all SoFi products, including Checking and Savings, and free budgeting and money tracking tools.
Through the app, you can:
- See your checking and savings account balances and transaction history.
- Deposit money with mobile check deposit.
- Transfer funds to and from a linked financial institution or between accounts.
- Freeze and unfreeze your debit card.
- Chat with customer support.
- Monitor your TransUnion VantageScore credit score.
- Connect other financial accounts to track your spending and savings in one place.
- Access SoFi’s other financial products and services.
SoFi customer support is available through email, Twitter or by phone with limited hours.
- Phone number: (855) 456-7634, available Monday through Thursday 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific.
- Chat: Log into your account online or through the app.
- Twitter: @SoFiSupport
Is SoFi Right for You?
SoFi Checking and Savings could be a perfect replacement for your primary checking or money market accounts, plus a good fit for short-term savings and managing money you want to invest through SoFi.
SoFi could be a fit for you if:
- You’d benefit from access to other products, including loans, investing, career advice and free financial planning.
- You have short-term savings goals, such as vacation savings, home down payment, buying a car or holiday shopping.
- You receive a regular paycheck via direct deposit.
- You prefer to do your banking online or through a mobile app.
SoFi might not be a fit for you if:
- You prefer in-person service from local bank tellers or loan agents.
- You’re frequently or primarily paid in cash.
- You have no need for additional products and services like mortgages, debt consolidation, student loan refinancing or financial planning.
- You have a high volume of daily transactions, like if you travel or shop a lot.
- You need small business banking.
- Your savings goals are mostly long term, like retirement or college savings.
Pros and Cons About Sofi Checking and Savings
Here are our answers to some common questions about using SoFi Checking and Savings.
- No minimum opening deposit
- No maintenance fees
- No overdraft fees
- Free ATM access in-network
- Slick app with a lot of features
- High-yield accounts offering 1.25% APY
- No cash deposits
- Restricting transaction limitations
- No business banking options
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About SoFi
Here are our answers to some common questions about using SoFi Money.
Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi for short) is based in San Francisco and has been operating in the personal finance space since 2011. It’s highly respected in the industry and loved by customers for its mobile-first and social approach to managing money.
The company maintains industry-standard security measures to protect users’ personal and financial information, including bank-level encryption and two-factor authentication.
The money in your SoFi accounts is FDIC insured up to $250,000 through SoFi Bank, N.A.
You’ll pay almost no fees with any SoFi products. SoFi takes its commitment to no fees seriously. With a SoFi Checking and Savings account, you’ll pay no ATM fees, monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees or foreign transaction fees. You won’t even pay to replace a stolen or lost debit card or to pay bills through the app, and SoFi covers any foreign conversion you’re charged.
When you sign up for direct deposit into your SoFi checking account, you’ll have access to your money up to two days before your normal payday. SoFi releases the funds into your account as soon as the payer initiates the deposit, rather than waiting for the scheduled payday.
Yes, as of January 2022, SoFi operates a nationally chartered bank, SoFi Bank, N.A., a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). SoFi Technologies, Inc. also operates Social Finance, Inc., a financial technology company that produces the SoFi platform and connects members with third-party financial services and other benefits. Members who use SoFi Money, the predecessor to SoFi Checking and Savings, may still have money held by partner banks until transitioning to the new account.
SoFi is not compatible with Zelle. However, it offers its own peer-to-peer payments option that lets you send money to anyone in your address book. Recipients who also use SoFi will get the money instantly, and others will get it in one to two business days.
Contributor Dana Miranda is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance®. She’s written about work and money for publications including Forbes, The New York Times, CNBC, Insider, NextAdvisor and a column for Inc. Magazine. She founded Healthy Rich to publish stories that illuminate the diversity of our relationships with work and money.