SoFi Checking & Savings Review: 2.50% APY With Direct Deposit
In 2022, SoFi replaced its popular cash management account with SoFi Checking and Savings. This hybrid account combines the flexibility of a checking account with the interest-earning power of a high-yield savings account. And since you're in SoFi's ecosystem, you get access to a wide range of other perks and financial services once you open an account.
However, there is a direct deposit requirement to unlock SoFi Checking and Savings' best rates. That's why our review is covering how this account works, what the requirements are, and how to decide if it's the right banking solution for you.
SoFi Checking & Savings Review
Features - 9
Commission & Fees - 9
Customer Service - 8
Requirements - 6
Savings Tools - 7
Pros & Cons
What Does SoFi Checking & Saving Offer?
The SoFi Checking and Savings account is a fee-free, hybrid account that lets you earn interest on your cash while still giving you the flexibility of a checking account. It also has several other features to help you get paid faster, avoid fees, and earn rewards.
The main benefit of SoFi's Checking and Savings account is the fact that it currently pays 2.50% APY. This is competitive with many of the top high-yield savings accounts on the market.
However, you have to set up direct deposit to qualify for this APY. There's no minimum direct deposit amount, but without direct deposit, you only earn 1.20% APY.
Earning 1.20% APY is still better than many basic checking accounts. But know that direct deposit is a requirement for earning the most interest.
Another perk of setting up direct deposit is getting paid up to two days early. How soon you receive your money depends on when SoFi receives it, but this is typically two days before the scheduled payment date.
Deposits in your SoFi checking and savings account also get up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance.
If you have direct deposits of at least $1,000 per month, you qualify for no-fee overdraft coverage for up to $50. This can help you avoid bank fees from overspending, although it's one of the SoFi Checking and Savings features that has a direct deposit minimum requirement.
To help members save money, SoFi lets you create Vaults for different financial goals. For example, you can create SoFi Vaults for your emergency fund, saving up for a downpayment, or your next vacation fund. You still earn interest on money in each Vault, and you can currently create up to 20 different Vaults.
Categorizing your savings can help you budget and accomplish various financial goals. And SoFi also has a roundup feature that lets you roundup spare change from purchases with your SoFi debit card to automatically contribute to specific Vaults.
For example, if you enable roundups, the next time you spend $1.50 on a coffee, SoFi can roundup the purchase to $2 and move the extra $0.50 into a Vault of your choice. You're free to enable or disable roundups anytime, and you can also change the amount you want to roundup by.
Microsaving apps like Acorns use a similar method to help people start investing. And if you need a helping hand with putting money away, this SoFi feature is a selling point.
With SoFi's Checking and Savings account, you can earn up to 15% cash back at local merchants when you pay with your debit card. You can find available cash-back offers under the “Shop local” tab in the SoFi app. From there, you activate offers you want to shop for, transact with your SoFi debit card, and then earn cash back.
Just note that you have to swipe your card and run it as a credit transaction to earn cash back. Also note that cash back rates are subject to change, and many offers pay 1-2% cash back, not 15% every time.
At the time of writing, you can earn up to $300 for opening a new SoFi Checking and Savings account when you receive qualifying direct deposit amounts. There are three reward tiers:
Earning up to $300 for opening a checking and savings account is one of the higher offers you'll find from mobile banks and brokers. And you have 25 days to receive qualifying direct deposits to meet bonus requirements.
Easy Deposits & ATM Withdrawals
One downside of some online banks or cash management accounts is that they don't accept cash or check deposits. This isn't always a dealbreaker, but it's nice to have the flexibility to fund your account however you prefer.
With SoFi Checking and Savings, you can withdraw cash fee-free from 55,000+ AllPoint ATMs. You can also visit retailers with GreenDot services to make cash deposits for a $4.95 fee.
Is SoFi Checking & Savings Safe?
Your SoFi Checking and Savings account gets up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance. This is in-line with other mobile banks, and it means your cash is safe within your account. Features like two-factor authentication and data encryption also help protect your account and personal information.
What Else Does SoFi Offer?
One advantage of opening a SoFi Checking and Savings account is that you get to join the SoFi ecosystem. This includes a wide range of investing, banking, and loan services you can take advantage of, including:
- SoFi Automated Investing
- SoFi Active Investing
- Student loan refinancing
- Home improvement loans
- Mortgage loans and refinancing
- Renters and homeowners insurance
- A SoFi reward credit card
SoFi members can also set up a call with a financial planner, fee-free, to discuss personal finance and investing advice. This is another unique selling point for all of SoFi's products, and it can help you save money versus paying for advice from another financial planner.
How Do I Contact SoFi?
You can contact SoFi by using its 24/7 customer support widget on its website or mobile app. Checking and Savings support is also available by phone at 855-456-7634. Phone support is available Monday through Thursday from 5 am to 7 pm PT and Friday through Sunday from 5 am to 5 pm PT.
If you want a flexible bank account that pays a competitive interest rate and cash-back rewards, SoFi Checking and Savings is an excellent choice.
However, the direct deposit requirement to earn the maximum interest rate might be a deal-breaker for some. Additionally, there are plenty of other SoFi alternatives with excellent checking, savings, and hybrid accounts.
|Accounts||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs|
CIT Bank. Member FDIC.
Ally is one of the most robust alternatives, and it also has a direct investing (Ally Invest) and robo-advisor option like SoFi. Plus, you can open a high-yield savings account and money market account with very competitive rates.
Chime® is another excellent alternative, and it offers features similar to SoFi like early paychecks3, no-fee overdraft protection5, and even cash advances.
Finally, CIT has a wide range of excellent savings and checking accounts, a money market account, and fixed-income products like CDs that you can explore.
As a SoFi customer, you have access to an impressive number of financial services. And if you want a flexible account with competitive rewards, its checking and savings account is certainly worth opening.
A potential $300 sign-up bonus and access to SoFi's other perks only help sweeten the deal. However, a lack of direct deposits to this account makes it significantly less competitive, so keep this requirement in mind.
Chime Disclosure – Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
3 Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
5 Chime SpotMe® Disclosure – Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each month. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member's Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime's discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won't cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See terms and conditions.