Review of SoFi Checking and Savings Account and Its Market-Leading Rate

POSTED ON BY

Deal Summary: SoFi Checking and Savings account: 1.25% APY on all balances with direct deposit, 0.70% APY without direct deposit.

Availability: Nationwide

Earlier this year the financial technology (fintech) company SoFi Technologies (SoFi) acquired a bank charter, SoFi Bank, N.A. Before the bank charter, SoFi had been offering a checking-like account called SoFi Money via its partner bank, The Bancorp Bank. SoFi Money has been discontinued, and now SoFi Bank, N.A. is offering a product called “SoFi Checking and Savings.” This new account combo has two appealing features for savers:

  • 1.25% APY on all balances (with direct deposit) 0.70% APY on all balances (without direct deposit)
  • Direct deposit bonus of up to $300 (scheduled to expire 5/31/2022).

The main issue with this account and the SoFi Bank is that they’re new. You may want to view them as a work in progress. Those with large balances who are used to the well-established online banks like Ally, American Express and Marcus, may be disappointed. Unfortunately, that is often the price we pay for higher deposit rates. Currently, SoFi Bank is way ahead as the rate leader for liquid accounts without balance limitations. The combination of this and the bonus offer may be worth the hassles of dealing with a new online bank.

The first issue I experienced with SoFi Bank is their customer service. Their contact page provides two options to reach customer service for Checking and Savings. The first option is an online chat service, but when you click the link, you’re taken to a page that requires you to log in. The second option is to call. However, when you call the number, I was unable to reach a human. They just give you the option to have them text you a link for help. That link is useful, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of an actual customer service representative.

Due to the lack of customer service, the following account information is only based on SoFi’s online documentation and DA readers.

SoFi Checking and Savings Overview

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.25%--SoFi Bank, N.ASoFi Checking and Savings
Rates as of May 25, 2022.

This SoFi FAQ provides a good overview of the account features:

  • 1.25% APY with direct deposit (no minimum direct deposit amount required)
  • No account fees
  • Enjoy unlimited free ATM withdrawals at over 55,000 AllPoint In-Network ATMs
  • The SoFi Debit Card can be used worldwide
  • Automated bill pay
  • Easy P2P payments at no cost
  • Freeze debit card on-the-go in app
  • Versatile money management with SoFi Savings and Vaults
  • Mobile check deposits
  • Overdraft Coverage
  • Cash Deposits through Greendot

NOTE: Members without direct deposit will earn 0.70% APY on Checking and Savings deposits.

Qualifying Direct Deposit

Savers who don’t have an employer direct deposit or don’t want to change their direct deposit, may ask about SoFi’s definition of a qualifying direct deposit. The following SoFi FAQ answers this:

Direct deposits must be from an employer (including pension plans) or other government entity (like Social Security). ACH transfers from other institutions are not qualifying direct deposits. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required.

Joint Accounts

For some reason, many fintech banks choose not to offer joint accounts. I’m happy to see from this FAQ that SoFi Bank is not one of them:

Do you offer joint accounts with SoFi Checking and Savings?

Yes! You can invite your partner by navigating to the 'More' tab and clicking 'Joint account holder.'

Beneficiaries

There’s one SoFI FAQ regarding the question of adding a beneficiary to an account, but it’s a two-year old FAQ that refers to the old SoFi Money account. According to the FAQ, “you cannot add a beneficiary.” If you have a more up-to-date answer to this question, please leave a comment, and I will make an update.

Bank-to-Bank ACH Transfers

Online banks often don’t provide details about their ACH transfer capabilities and limits, and that is the case for SoFi Bank. These are important details for savers who want to transfer large amounts into the account to take advantage of the high rate. Often, online banks have small limits on transfers that are initiated from their platform. That appears to be the case for SoFi Bank. I was not able to find the details on these limits from their website. DA reader, unmesh, provided the following information in the DA forum:

- ACH transfers originated on their platform have a daily limit of 5K and a monthly limit of 10K; transfers initiated elsewhere have no limit

Sometimes a bank will offer different transfer limits to different customers. If you have different limits at SoFi Bank, please leave a comment.

Fortunately, customers can use the ACH transfer systems of another bank to transfer larger amounts in and out of their SoFi Bank account. This requires that you provide the other bank your SoFi Bank’s routing and account numbers. SoFi provides this FAQ on finding your routing and account number. According to this FAQ, the “routing number for SoFi Bank, N.A. is 031101334 - this is the same routing number you have today in SoFi Money.” Oddly, this routing number is one of three routing numbers that are listed for The Bancorp Bank.

Bonus Offer Review

In addition to the high rate, another benefit of the SoFi Checking and Savings account is a direct deposit bonus of up to $300. The current bonus offer is scheduled to last through May 31, 2022. This should be considered a direct deposit bonus rather than a new-account bonus since existing SoFi Checking and Savings customers qualify as long as they “have not previously set up Direct Deposit transactions (“Direct Deposit”) into their SoFi Checking and Savings account as of the beginning of the Promotion Period.”

The amount of the bonus depends on the total amount of the Qualifying Direct Deposits:

  • $50 for $1,000 to $1,999
  • $100 for $2,000 to $4,999
  • $300 for $5,000 or more

The definition of the Qualifying Direct Deposit is similar to the definition used to qualify for the APY. However, qualifying for the APY doesn’t have a minimum amount required for the direct deposits. Here’s the excerpt from the bonus offer small print on Qualifying Direct Deposits:

Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion.

The other important detail is the timing of the direct deposits. Your first direct deposit must be received by SoFi before the bonus offer expires. This is defined as the Promotion Period, and it’s defined as follows:

In order to qualify for eligibility for a bonus, SoFi must receive at least one Qualifying Direct Deposit from an Eligible Participant during the Promotion Period.

Promotion Period: The Program will be available from 4/5/22 12:01AM ET to 5/31/22 11:59PM ET.

If your first qualifying direct deposit is unable to reach $5k, you still have time to reach the $5k threshold with additional direct deposits. This period is called the “Evaluation Period,” and it’s defined as follows:

The bonus amount will vary based on the total amount of Qualifying Direct Deposits received during the Evaluation Period. The Evaluation Period is defined as 30 days from the date your first Qualifying Direct Deposit is received.

If your Qualifying Direct Deposit(s) reaches the thresholds within the Evaluation Period, the bonus payment is scheduled to be pretty fast. According to the bonus offer small print, “SoFi will credit members who meet qualification criteria within 14 days of the end of the Evaluation Period.”

Availability

The SoFi Checking and Savings account is available to any U.S. Citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or non-resident, 18 years or older with a physical US address (in the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia), and a valid Social Security Number. The “Sign Up” button at the upper right of the SoFi banking page will begin the application process.

Only individual and joint SoFi Checking and Savings accounts are available. Currently, trust and business accounts are not available.

According to this FAQ, only a soft pull is done when you apply for SoFi Checking and Savings. They do not require a hard credit pull. So there should be no ding to your credit score. As DA reader unmesh warned in his DA Forum post, “you have to thaw any credit freeze you may have put in with Experian.”

Bank Overview

In January, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve approved SoFi to become a Bank Holding Company and operate its bank subsidiary as SoFi Bank, National Association. This required the acquisition of the Bank Holding Company, Golden Pacific Bancorp, and its bank subsidiary, Golden Pacific Bank. The acquisition was completed in February.

SoFi has become a large and well-known fintech company. This Financial Brand article on the bank charter has a good overview of its history:

SoFi Technologies was initially created as a student loan refinancing business in 2011. Over the past ten years, it has become one of the top fintech players, offering a comprehensive array of digital financial services, including the ability to spend, save, invest and borrow money on its mobile banking platform. Unlike the majority of fintech players, the company has reported positive adjusted earnings (EBITDA) for the past five consecutive quarters.

The current financial numbers of SoFi Bank are based on Golden Pacific Bank that was acquired in February. SoFi Bank, N.A. has an overall health rating of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.34% (excellent), based on December 31, 2021 data. SoFi Bank has an excellent capitalization level (11.18% APY), the result of holding $174.7 million in assets with $19.5 million in equity. Please refer to our financial overview of SoFi Bank, N.A. (FDIC Certificate # 26881) for more details.

Golden Pacific Bank was small with assets of only $174.7 million and deposits of $155.6 million. Now that it is operating as SoFi Bank with national exposure, asset and deposit growth should be substantial in 2022.

How the SoFi Checking and Savings Compares

When compared to nationally available Savings Accounts, Money Market Accounts and Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, that are are not limited by a small balance cap, the SoFi Checking and Savings account’s APY ranks first.

APYAccount NameCredit Union/Bank
1.25%SoFi Checking and Savings w/dd (no min/no max)SoFi Bank, N.A.
1.00%M1 Spend Plus Checking (no min/no max)M1 Finance
1.00%Checking Account (no min/no max)T-Mobile MONEY
1.00%MAX-Yield MMA Special ($5k min/$250k max)Sun East FCU
0.85%Money Market Account ($1 min/no max)mph.bank via SaveBetter
0.80%Bo Savings (no min/no max)Bank Onward
0.80%Bask Interest Savings (no min/no max)Bask Bank
0.70%SoFi Checking and Savings w/o dd (no min/no max)SoFi Bank, N.A.

The above information and rates are accurate as of 4/30/2022.

To search for the best rates, either nationwide or state-specific, please refer to DA’s Savings Account Rates Table, Money Market Rates Table and Checking Account Rates Table.

Related Pages: savings accounts, checking accounts, nationwide deals, bank bonuses, Internet banks

Comments
tbc3
  |     |   Comment #1
Thanks for the review Ken.

My ACH limits are 100,000 per day, 200,000 per month. But this is after being with them for a long time (I had Sofi Money for years.) Speeds appear to be very fast (not Marcus-immediate, but if I transfer in the morning, the funds will post in the evening. Seems to be 1 business day for outgoing ACH transfers). Funds availability in the account (when the funds are no longer on hold) seems to depends on either my history or the other bank, and sometimes it is same day, and other times it is $500 same day, with full funds available by 5th business day.

I have spoken to CS agents live on the phone before, and via chat. As with many institutions, quality depends on who you get.

My biggest issue with Sofi is they run non-stop promos, and is it difficult to decipher Terms & Conditions and Qualifications for the promotions. They keep displaying things I am not eligible to receive, but you don't know that when you see it.

Also - after rate drops with Sofi Money... I question how long they will actually keep this account as a rate leader. Their previous excuse was they were using other banks, but they won't have that excuse this time around.
flankspeed
  |     |   Comment #2
I have recently consolidated my daily checking use from BofA and Chase to SoFi exclusively and am very satisfied. The APR can't be beat and the fee structure is pretty much non-existent as there are really no fees. My bonuses posted as expected with the exception of my first debit card purchase but chat fixed that. Overall I would say SoFi could be a number one bank for those who are comfortable transacting completly online.
garlen
  |     |   Comment #3
I called 1-855-456-7634 and spoke with a CSR about beneficiaries. Just like with my now-closed SoFi Money account, they do not support the ability to add beneficiaries to this new Checking & Savings.
milty
  |     |   Comment #13
FWIW: I was told by a CSR today that they are working on being able to add beneficiaries.
kaimen
  |     |   Comment #14
Could you please explain the ramification of not having beneficiary on an account? Is it a serious deal breaker? None of the other reviews mentions this. Thanks for your comments on this. I could not get any more info elsewhere online.
deplorable_1
  |     |   Comment #4
Thanks for the review Ken this account looks interesting. I still have 2 SoFi Money accounts open from a previous bonus offer and I was curious if these accounts could be converted to the new Checking and Savings account without having to close them out. .70% is a better rate and I may set up 2 small direct deposits and snag a bonus as well. I was planning on just closing them out but this seems like a better option if they allow it. If anyone knows if these accounts can be converted please post back.
GreenDream
  |     |   Comment #9
Yes, you should be able to convert your money accounts to Checking and savings.

https://support.sofi.com/hc/en-us/articles/4425282133005-How-do-I-upgrade-to-SoFi-Checking-and-Savings-

Your existing money account number becomes the account number for your checking account. The saving account will get a new account number.
deplorable_1
  |     |   Comment #10
Excellent info GD! Thank you so much. I will definitely be doing this now.
grr
  |     |   Comment #5
You cannot increase ATM limits for withdrawal temporarily (capped at 1010 a day) and cannot link accounts not supported by Plaid
deplorable_1
  |     |   Comment #6
Uggh I have been running into that issue of linking accounts on several platforms. If your account is not recognized by whatever 3rd party verification system they use their seems to be no workaround unless the offer a trial deposit verification option. This has been an ever increasing problem lately along with needing a cell phone number and second factor identification issues. I remember when banking used to be so simple.
RZ
  |     |   Comment #7
Thanks for clearing up the definition of a direct deposit. Earlier a poster claimed that Government DDs were excluded from qualifying for the higher interest rate but declined to cite a source when asked. I had no problem speaking to a csr who confirmed the routing number to use for a wire deposit. The incoming wire was also free of charge. So far I am quite satisfied with this bank despite missing out on the DD bonus due to the time it takes to redirect SS payments
MY2CENTSWORTH
  |     |   Comment #8
RZ and any others experiencing the typical long wait for SSA to make desired changes to direct deposits when using the online website, I got around the length of time it takes to set up FI changes by calling the SS office and the CSR took my information for the change and it will take place immediately. I ran into this in the past because many FI's have a typical requirement to obtain a bonus or a higher interest rate that the DD takes place in 60 or 90 days so placing a phone call is a quick and easy work around.
RZ
  |     |   Comment #12
Good to know! Although there was a 40 minute on hold wait time at SSA I was able to make the change which takes effect on the next business day,
yfh
  |     |   Comment #11
I opened my account a few weeks ago. The ACH limit was 50k/day, 100k/month. It seems that the limit is100k/day now. Sallie mae bank does not allow linking to Sofi.
Review of SoFi Money
Written by John Csiszar | Published on 8/19/2019

SoFi Money is a complete, all-in-one cash management solution for banking customers looking for a high-yield savings account combined with checking-account style access to their money. A slick mobile interface and numerous banking features, from bill pay and peer-to-peer transfer to mobile check deposits, provide a complete package for customers looking for a single solution to their checking and savings needs. Toss in a debit card, a high APY, and a fee-free ecosystem, and SoFi Money could be the right deposit account for...

Continue Reading


The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.