Have you heard of Sofi Money? It’s the most compelling “checking” account I’ve seen yet.

July 29, 2019

by — Posted in Brokerage, Finance

Sofi Money is my favorite new fintech product. It’s effectively a hybrid of the excellent Schwab Investor Checking account, which offers worldwide ATM fee rebates; no FTFs; and free checks, and a high-yield savings account paying 2.25% APY.

I’ve started using it as my primary bank account because, unlike other high-yield savings investment products I like (such as Wealthfront’s Cash Management Account), you get a real ACH number and debit card you can use with Apple Pay Cash or Venmo.

Another nice thing about Sofi Money is the referral program. You can get $50 for signing up (and $50 for referring friends) to a really compelling account. I’ve always wanted a checking account that earned a decent ROI and wasn’t limited to the 6 transaction per month rule that savings accounts have to respect. Well, I’ve got it now. It’s not perfect, but wow, it’s really good.

Pros:

  1. No fees, for the most part. They do charge a fee for the 3rd debit card replacement, legal research (if you’re sued or wages garnished), and they don’t reimburse the 1% visa forex charge (but every visa or MC basically pays this markup). No account fees or overdrafts or any of that crap though.
  2. Free checks. You can only order 25/time for whatever reason but hey, I’ll take it.
  3. ATM fees are rebated instantly. Schwab makes you wait for the statement close. Sofi is a bit better on that.
  4. 2.25% APY on what’s effectively a checking account is AWESOME.
  5. Quick sign up/approval. Online and mobile apps are good.
  6. Instant $ transfers to other Sofi members.
  7. Membership in Sofi = access to free events. In urban areas, this can include yoga, wine-tasting, and axe-throwing excursions for you and a friend. Sofi pays for the whole thing. It’s worth signing up for the events alone.
  8. Sofi offers good referral programs. It’s a service that could sell itself, but they’ll still pay you to talk about it *achem*. $50 is $50, after all.

Yeah… This is a bank. And it’s awesome!

Limitations:

  1. No branches. It’s hard to get cash money into the account.
  2. They can’t currently send or accept wire transfers. ACH for everything.
  3. The mobile deposit limit is 10k. It’s unclear what you do with checks larger than this amount.

So yeah. Why do you bank at Wells Fargo or Bank of America? Get this + a credit union account. Then you have branch access and wire capacity while benefiting from the high rates and features of Sofi Money.

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