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Updated: January 09, 2024

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

SoFi Bank review

SoFi Bank review 2024

Moneywise.com doggo / Moneywise.com

🗓️

Updated: January 09, 2024

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

4.5

Wise Reviews™

Commission and fees - 5

Ease of use - 4.7

Savings options - 4

Customer service - 4.7

Rates - 4

SoFi Bank is a dynamic player in today’s evolving digital-finance landscape, making waves with its innovative approach to banking and personal finance. With origins in student loan refinancing, SoFi has steadily expanded offerings to include a full suite of financial products aimed at digital-savvy customers.

About SoFi

Online banks are working harder than ever to create one-stop shopping for financial services. SoFi is no different, integrating various financial services – from personal loans and mortgage refinancing to investment products and savings accounts. This approach positions SoFi as a full-suite financial house, particularly appealing to millennials and Gen Z consumers who favor tech-driven, all-in-one solutions.

SoFi tries to differentiate with its focus on “membership” with customers gaining access to an array of traditional and non-traditional services ranging from checking and savings accounts to career counseling and financial planning services. SoFi's investment arm, SoFi Invest, allows users to trade stocks and ETFs, invest in cryptocurrency, and even partake in automated investing, catering to both seasoned and novice investors.

SoFi's recent acquisition of a national bank charter has bolstered its position and drives an even wider range of products and services while improving its interest rates and lending capabilities. The expansion positions SoFi as a formidable competitor in the world of digital banking, extending way past its student-loan refinancing roots when the company was founded in 2011.

Banking with SoFi

Created by a group of Stanford University business students, SoFi rose to prominence on its unique proposition to customers beset by expensive student loans. As those loans weighed down borrowers, SoFi capitalized by offering attractive refinancing rates.

But since 2019, SoFi has experienced a significant drop in loan origination volume. Eager to avoid the fate of one-note companies, SoFi has worked hard to diversify its portfolio to include traditional banking, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, and investment products. Student loan financing remains an important component, however, acting as both a revenue generator and a way of gaining and retaining customers for its expanding product set.

Indeed, a visit to SoFi’s main website will find student loan refinancing jostling for position with traditional banking offerings and things like career coaching, insurance products and other services.

SoFi Bank features

Feature
Available
Accounts
Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs
Access
Web Based, iPhone App, Android App
Amount of branches
0
ATM reimbursement
No
Online deposits
Yes
FDIC insurance
Yes
Customer service
Monday – Thursday 5A-7P Pacific time; Friday – Sunday 5A-5P PT. (Check website for customer service hours of different products)

Checking and savings accounts

SoFi online bank account rates
APY
National average APY*
Checking account
0.50%
0.07%
Savings account
4.60%
0.46%

Data as of December 18, 2023

SoFi fast facts

Feature
Offer
Monthly fee
$0
Overdraft fee
$0
Rewards
Up to 15% cash back at local establishments when you pay with your SoFi debit card.
Extras
As of late 2023, new SoFi members could receive a bonus of up to $300 for customers with qualifying direct deposits. Additionally, SoFi debit card users can earn up to 15% cash back on eligible local business purchases when using the card.

Checking accounts

SoFi’s traditional offerings focus on convenience and value. Their lack of fees and minimum balance requirements appeal to cost-conscious consumers, and SoFi's checking accounts often feature competitive interest rates, allowing customers to earn more on their deposits compared to traditional checking accounts.

SoFi's checking accounts integrate with the company’s comprehensive digital platform, offering easy online access and a user-friendly mobile app. Customers can easily manage their funds, get real-time notifications, mobile check deposits and free bill pay. SoFi also extends benefits like access to a network of fee-free ATMs, making cash withdrawals more convenient.

Savings accounts

SoFi's savings accounts are particularly appealing for those looking to maximize their savings with competitive interest rates and user-friendly online banking experiences.

At the forefront is SoFi's high-yield savings account, a standout product for savers looking to grow their funds beyond the lower rates typically found at local, brick-and-mortar banks. SoFi combines higher-than-average annual percentage yields (APY) with no monthly fees, making it attractive to those who want to save without getting nicked by charges.

One of SoFi’s savings advantages is ease of use and accessibility. With a strong emphasis on digital banking, SoFi allows customers to manage their savings on the go, either online or through a mobile app.

Inside the ‘Vault’

Got a target in mind for your money? SoFi offers account holders “Vaults” within their savings account. These vaults can be designated for specific saving goals, like a vacation fund or emergency savings, which helps customers organize and track their saving objectives more effectively.

SoFi integrates these savings accounts with their broader range of financial products, like personal loans and investment options, providing a comprehensive financial ecosystem for users. This integration can be particularly helpful for individuals looking to streamline their financial management across multiple platforms. And yes, SoFi checking and savings deposits are FDIC-protected up to $250,000.

Pros and cons of SoFi

Pros

Pros

  • Competitive interest rates: SoFi Bank offers high-yield savings accounts with competitive interest rates. This means your savings can potentially grow faster compared to traditional savings accounts with lower rates. Unique savings offerings – such as the bank’s “Vaults” feature – help customers lock in on savings goals.

  • No account fees: SoFi’s typically doesn't charge monthly account fees - great for savers who won’t have to worry about fees eating up their money.

  • All-in-one financial platform: SoFi provides a comprehensive range of financial products and services, including loans, investment options, insurance, and more. This integration allows for a seamless financial management experience, making it easier for customers to manage all their financial needs under one roof.

  • Non-traditional offerings: SoFi member perks include access to financial planning, estate planning, travel booking, even networking events and career coaching.

Cons

Cons

  • No physical branches: SoFi operates as an online bank. For customers who prefer in-person banking services or need regular access to physical branches, this could be a drawback.

  • No CDs: SoFi doesn’t offer certificates of deposit and opts for pitching its high-yield savings accounts as alternatives. Those rates may not be competitive with other banks’ CDs.

  • Limited ATM network: Although SoFi provides ATM access, its network may not be as extensive as those of larger, traditional banks. This could be inconvenient for those who frequently need cash.

  • Customer service limitations: While SoFi offers customer support, some users have reported challenges with getting timely or effective assistance. SoFi’s predominantly digital nature could be a factor, especially for those who prefer more direct, personal customer service interactions.

How to open a SoFi bank account

If you’re considering switching banks or just starting a new account, it’s important to understand your options and pick a bank that aligns with your financial goals and meets your convenience needs.

If that’s SoFi, start by navigating to SoFi's official website. Select the type of account you wish to open, such as a checking, savings, or investment account.

To create an account, click on the option to create a new account. You will be prompted to provide your email address and create a password.

Complete the application form by entering your personal details, usually your full name, address, Social Security number, and possibly information about your employment and income. To comply with banking regulations, SoFi will require you to verify your identity. This might involve uploading a government-issued ID and possibly additional documentation.

Next, carefully review the terms and conditions, privacy policy, and any other relevant agreements or disclosures. If you agree, accept the terms.

Once your account is live, you can link an external bank account to transfer funds into your new SoFi account. There might be an initial deposit requirement depending on the account type.

For easy account management, consider downloading SoFi's mobile banking app, available on both iOS and Android platforms.

After your account is active, you can set up additional features like direct deposit, automatic bill pay, or overdraft protection, depending on the account type.

Remember, the exact steps may vary slightly depending on the specific type of account you're opening and your personal circumstances. If you need assistance during the process, SoFi usually offers customer support through various channels, including phone, email, or chat.

Other SoFi financial products

As SoFi’s array of offerings extends well past traditional banking, it’s tempting to forget SoFi still offers the service that fueled its rise: student loan refinancing. Competitive rates and no fees position SoFi well in the hotly contested loan refinancing game it helped pioneer.

SoFi’s stable of products also includes personal loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, access to insurance plans, investing and more.

SoFi bank alternatives

Ally Bank

Ally Bank is renowned for its high-yield savings accounts with competitive interest rates and no monthly maintenance fees. It's also known for excellent customer service and a user-friendly online banking experience. Like SoFi, Ally operates primarily online, meaning there are no physical branches for in-person banking needs.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus offers high-interest savings accounts with no fees and a simple, easy-to-use online platform. It's backed by the financial expertise of Goldman Sachs, adding a level of credibility and security. Marcus doesn’t provide a checking account option, which can be a limitation for those seeking a full-suite banking experience.

Chime

Chime is a fintech company that offers fee-free checking and savings accounts, and it's known for features like early direct deposit and automatic savings tools. Its savings account interest rates might not be as high as some competitors, and like others, it operates mainly online with limited physical presence.

CIT Bank

CIT stands out with high interest rates on savings accounts and CDs. The absence of account maintenance fees across all its banking products helps, and CIT recently introduced an eChecking account that also earns interest. While the bank does not have its own ATM network, it compensates by offering reimbursements of up to $30 monthly for fees incurred at other banks' ATMs.

Quontic Bank

Quontic stands out for its high-yield savings accounts, competitive mortgage options, and innovative checking accounts. The bank even offers a Bitcoin Rewards checking account, which provides the cryptocurrency as rewards for debit card use. Quontic also wins raves for its customer service. Quontic is a strong choice for those seeking a modern banking experience with a tech-savvy twist.

SoFi Bank FAQs

  • Is SoFi a good bank?

    +

    SoFi generally receives high marks from users. But determining whether SoFi should be your bank depends on individual financial needs, preferences, and priorities, including fee structure, all-in-one platform, technology driven services, perks, customer support and range of products.

  • Does SoFi charge bank fees?

    +

    SoFi is known for its no-fee structure for its checking and savings accounts. SoFi skips monthly fees, minimum balance fees, and overdraft fees on its checking and savings accounts.

  • Is SoFi FDIC-insured?

    +

    SoFi Bank is FDIC insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures deposits at FDIC-member banks, like SoFi Bank, up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category. This means that the money you deposit into a SoFi bank account is protected up to that amount, providing a safety net against the loss of your deposits in the unlikely event of bank failure.

About our author

Chris Clark
Chris Clark, Freelance Contributor

Chris Clark is freelance contributor with MoneyWise, based in Kansas City, Mo. He has written for numerous publications and spent 18 years as a reporter and editor with The Associated Press.

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