I signed up to the SoFi Money waiting list soon after they opened it back in June of last year. I learned earlier this month that I was now off the list and ready to open an account. So I did (you can get started with $50 by opening an account through this affiliate link).
I have had a relationship with a top 10 bank for more than 26 years. Actually, that is not completely accurate. This large bank bought the mid-sized regional bank, where I had opened an account in 1993, about 20 years ago and hence I became a customer by default. They provide an adequate experience but nothing differentiates their offerings from the other large banks. If it was easy to switch banks I would have done so years ago, so they have maintained my business not out of loyalty but out of inertia. I know I am not alone in this.
Anyway, back to SoFi Money. It is not truly a SoFi bank account because SoFi is not a bank. They are able to offer bank-like services because of a partnership they have with WSFS Bank, a Delaware based bank with a history dating back to 1832. SoFi and WSFS Bank first announced their partnership in December 2017.
There are three main benefits that SoFi touts with the SoFi Money account:
- Pay zero account fees.
- Earn more interest.
- Free ATMs everywhere.
What appealed to me most was the interest. SoFi will pay (as of this writing) 2.25% on balances held in a SoFi Money account. Note about the small print: you will only earn this 2.25% for the first three months and then the interest rate drops to a (still respectable) 1.25% unless you do one of two things. Either setup a salary direct deposit of $3,000 or more a month or do $500 in debit card transactions each month. I am in the process of moving my salary deposit to my SoFi Money account.