SoFi Money is a hybrid checking/savings account, but its checking features are what makes it stand out

SoFi Money is a hybrid checking/savings account, but its checking features are what makes it stand out
Summary List Placement  SoFi Money® (Member FDIC) is an online cash management account that can act as a hybrid checking/savings account. SoFi is best for people who can deposit $500 per month into the account to qualify for a higher APY and cash back on debit card purchases. Although SoFi Money is a hybrid account, its rate is lower than what competing high-yield accounts pay, so you might be better off just using it as a checking account. There’s no way to deposit cash into this account — if you need to deposit cash, then you may prefer a competitor such as  Chime Spending Account. See Business Insider’s picks for the best high-yield savings accounts » Table of Contents: Masthead StickyIs SoFi Money right for you? You might like SoFi Money if you… You might not like SoFi Money if you… Are comfortable banking digitally Want to keep your checking and savings balances in one account Qualify to earn cash back rewards and a higher APY Want to earn interest on your checking account balance Are looking for a cash back debit card Travel and use ATMs abroad frequently Aren’t comfortable banking digitally Want to keep your checking and savings balances in separate accounts Don’t qualify to earn cash back rewards or a higher APY Are looking for the highest savings APY Need to deposit cash The bottom line: SoFi Money could act as a good checking account if you can deposit $500 per month into your account to qualify for both cash back rewards and the highest APY. SoFi Money review SoFi Money®It’s affordable to keep your money with SoFi — there’s no minimum opening deposit, and there are no monthly service fees, overdraft fees, or out-of-network ATM fees. You’ll also have free access to Allpoint ATMs when you travel abroad. Keep in mind that SoFi doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee when you make a purchase abroad, but MasterCard may charge a 0.20% fee, and SoFi won’t reimburse you. SoFi doesn’t charge overdraft fees, but it also doesn’t offer overdraft protection. If your purchase would overdraw your account, then SoFi will simply deny the transaction.  If you deposit at least $500 per month into your SoFi Money account, then you qualify to earn cash back rewards when you use your debit card with certain companies. SoFi keeps a list of qualifying companies in its app, and participating businesses can change. By depositing at least $500 in your account each month, you can also earn the highest APY. Otherwise, your balance will earn just 0.01% for the month. Even SoFi’s higher APY is low compared to what some competitors pay on their high-yield savings accounts. You may be better off using SoFi Money as a checking account and opening a separate account for savings. SoFi features SoFi is a digital personal finance company that offers loans, student loan refinancing, investment accounts, and its SoFi Money account, which is a cash management account that works as a hybrid checking/savings account. SoFi isn’t a bank, but it’s backed by multiple banks, so your deposits are FDIC insured. To speak with a customer service agent, call Monday through Thursday from 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PT, or Friday through Sunday from 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. The SoFi app has received 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.2 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store. In the app, you can use a budgeting and money tracking feature called SoFi Relay. Input your information, and SoFi Relay keeps track of your account balances, investments, debts, credit score, and financial goals all in one place. SoFi Money vs. competitors We compared SoFi Money to two other online accounts that help you save: The Chime Savings Account (Member FDIC) and the Simple High-Yield Protected Goals Account (Member FDIC). APY 0.01% or 0.25% APY APY 1.00% APY APY 1.00% APY Out-of-network ATM fee None Out-of-network ATM fee $2.50 Out-of-network ATM fee None SoFi SoFi Money® Chime Chime Savings Account Simple Simple High-Yield Protected Goals Account SoFi Money vs. Chime SoFi Money and Chime have one main difference: With SoFi Money, you keep your checking and savings in one account, but Chime gives you separate checking and savings accounts.  This distinction has its pros and cons. With Chime, you won’t earn interest on your checking balance, but you’ll get a high rate of 1.00% APY on your savings balance. In contrast, you may qualify to earn 0.25% on your entire balance with SoFi, regardless of whether it’s spending money or savings. With Chime, you don’t need to do anything to qualify for a high APY. With SoFi Money, you must deposit $500 per month to earn the high rate. So your choice between the two companies could come down to the following: Whether you want one account for checking and savings, or two separate accounts. Whether you can qualify for the higher rate each month with SoFi. Your savings account balance. If you tend to keep most of your money in checking rather than savings, then you might prefer SoFi. Chime doesn’t pay any interest on your checking account. But if you make an effort to save, then you could seriously benefit from Chime’s 1.00% APY on your savings account. You may prefer Chime if you need to deposit cash. Unlike SoFi, Chime lets you deposit cash at Green Dot locations — but you’ll pay a $4.95 fee each time. SoFi Money vs. Simple Simple has both a regular checking account that pays 0.01% APY and a high-yield checking account that pays 1.00% APY, which you can use as a savings account. When choosing between SoFi and Simple, ask yourself the same questions you asked about choosing between SoFi and Chime: Do you want one account or two? Can you qualify for SoFi’s higher APY? Do you tend to keep more money in checking or in savings? SoFi and Simple both have budgeting features, but they work a little differently. Your choice between the two could come down to which budgeting tool you prefer.  SoFi tracks your balances, investments, debts, credit score, and financial goals all in one place. Simple focuses specifically on budgeting your money. It places recurring monthly payments into your “Expenses” section, sets up automatic savings for separate goals, and uses the Safe-to-Spend feature to tell you how much you can spend on non-essentials without going over budget each month. Related Content Module: More Savings CoverageJoin the conversation about this story »
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