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SoFi Checking & Savings Review — Interest, Cash Back & More


Sofi Logo

Our rating

4.4/5

SoFi Checking & Savings

    • Monthly Fee: $0
    • Minimum Deposit: $0
    • Minimum Ongoing Balance: $0
    • Rewards: Up to 15% cash back
    • Account Yield: Up to 4.60% APY
    • Deposit Insurance: Yes, up to $2M of additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks

The rise of online and mobile banking means that the lines between checking and savings accounts are blurrier than ever. Some digital financial platforms don’t even require you to open them separately anymore.

That’s the case for SoFi Checking & Savings, which is essentially a checking and savings account in one convenient package. If you’re not satisfied with your current checking and savings accounts, or you lack one or the other entirely, SoFi Checking & Savings is definitely worth a closer look.

What Is SoFi Checking & Savings?

SoFi Checking & Savings is a digital deposit account with separate subaccounts for checking and savings balances. Both subaccounts earn interest: the checking side at up to 0.50% APY and the savings side at up to 4.60% APY.

SoFi Checking & Savings has no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirements. Some debit card purchases earn cash back, though its rewards program isn’t as reliable as the best cash-back credit cards. Other notable features include an account opening bonus opportunity, early direct deposit with a qualifying payer, federal deposit insurance above the standard limit, and free coverage for smaller overdrafts.

What Sets SoFi Checking & Savings Apart?

SoFi Checking & Savings stands out from similar online deposit accounts in several ways:

  • Pays interest on all balances. SoFi Checking & Savings earns interest on all balances. On the checking side, the current interest rate is up to 0.50% APY. On the savings side, it’s up to 4.60% APY. That’s well above the national savings account average.
  • Potential for excellent cash-back returns. You can earn up to 15% cash back on eligible debit card purchases with SoFi Checking & Savings. 
  • No-fee overdraft protection on smaller overdrafts. You pay no overdraft fees on overdrafts up to $50 as long as you have a qualifying direct deposit set up. This is a relief if you’re known to occasionally overdraw your bank account.
  • Deposit insurance well above the standard federal limit. This account comes with up to $2 million in additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks, several times the standard limit of  $250,000. This is excellent news for users with sizable cash cushions.

Key Features of SoFi Checking & Savings

SoFi Checking & Savings has a generous account opening bonus, a two-tiered yield on balances, a debit card cash-back program, and some other notable features.

Account Opening Bonus

If you open your first SoFi Checking & Savings account by December 31, 2024, you could qualify for an account opening bonus worth up to $300.

To earn the bonus, do the following:

  • Set up direct deposit with a qualifying payer
  • Receive cumulative direct deposits totaling $1,000 to $4,999 during the 25 calendar day qualifying period to earn a $50 bonus
  • Receive cumulative direct deposits totaling $5,000 or more during the 25 calendar day qualifying period to earn a $300 bonus

Account Fees & Minimums

There is no monthly maintenance fee on this account. There’s also no minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirement.

Account Yield

Balances held in the savings portion of this account yield up to 4.60% APY. Balances in the checking portion yield up to 0.50% APY. There’s no minimum balance to earn interest in either case. To earn the 4.60% APY on savings balances you must have direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.

Cash-Back Rewards

Eligible debit card purchases earn up to 15% cash back. SoFi Checking & Savings ties cash-back rewards to specific retailers rather than spending categories, so not all purchases earn rewards. 

ATM Access

You can withdraw cash without incurring any fees at more than 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. Out-of-network ATM withdrawals may incur third-party charges that SoFi can’t control. 

Overdraft Protection

Overdrafts under $50 qualify for free overdraft protection as long as you have a qualifying direct deposit set up for your account. Larger overdrafts may incur fees or may be declined altogether at SoFi’s discretion.

Early Direct Deposit

If your employer or benefits payer qualifies, you can get your direct deposit up to two business days early (for example, Wednesday instead of the usual Friday payday).

Mobile Features

SoFi Checking & Savings is a mobile-first online bank account with excellent ratings (4.8 stars) from more than 250,000 verified iPhone users. The app itself is comprehensive and can handle basically any demands you place on the standard desktop interface, including remote check deposit, digital bill payments, peer-to-peer payments, and external funds transfers.

Deposit Insurance

This account comes with up to $2 million in additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks. You’re not guaranteed to get the maximum coverage amount, and the exact amount depends on SoFi’s arrangements with its partner banks. But it’s reasonable to expect a coverage amount significantly higher than the standard FDIC limit of $250,000.

Pros & Cons

SoFi Checking & Savings has a lot to recommend it, and a few downsides too.

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balances
  • Excellent savings yield
  • Up to $2M in additional FDIC insurance, well above the standard limit
  • Cash back on eligible purchases

Cons

  • Many purchases don't earn rewards
  • Not a full-service bank
  • Limited overdraft protection

Pros

SoFi Checking & Savings is extremely low-cost and offers excellent returns on your balances. It has some potentially valuable benefits too.

  • No monthly maintenance fee. This account has no monthly maintenance fee. It costs nothing to keep open, no matter how much you use it or what your account balance is.
  • No minimums. There’s no minimum balance to open or maintain this account, so it’s useful as a secondary account without much of a balance.
  • High yield on savings balances. This account yields up to 4.60% APY on the savings side, on par with the best high-yield savings accounts on the market.
  • Up to $2 million in additional deposit insurance. SoFi Checking & Savings offers up to $2 million in federal deposit insurance, far in excess of the standard coverage limit. If you’re fortunate enough to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, this is a notable benefit.
  • Potential for excellent cash-back rewards. You can earn up to 15% cash back on eligible debit card purchases, though most earn much less. Still, it’s nice to get back some of what you spend.
  • Above-average account opening bonus opportunity. SoFi Checking & Savings delivers up to $300 as a bonus when you open your account by December 31, 2024 and receive qualifying direct deposits within the first 25 calendar days. 

Cons

SoFi Checking & Savings lacks some important features found elsewhere in the online banking space and is somewhat isolated within the larger SoFi ecosystem.

  • No overdraft protection over $50. With SoFi Checking & Savings, you’re on the hook for overdrafts above $50. SoFi reserves the right to decline these transactions altogether. By contrast, many banks offer overdraft protection for overdrafts in any amount.
  • No higher-yielding accounts at SoFi. SoFi offers lots of other financial products, including a slew of consumer loans, but it’s not a full-service bank. If you’re looking for a one-stop shop to open a CD or money market account with even higher yields, keep looking.
  • Many purchases don’t earn rewards. SoFi Checking & Savings’ cash-back program rewards purchases with some retailers but excludes many others. It’s less reliable than traditional cash-back programs, which reward most or all purchases.

How SoFi Checking & Savings Stacks Up

SoFi Checking & Savings is a convenient money management package that blends the best features of online checking and savings accounts. It’s unusual — but not unique. Before opening an account, see how it compares to a similar package: the Aspiration Spend & Save account.

SoFi Checking & SavingsAspiration Spend & Save
Maintenance Fee$0$0 to $7.99 per month
Minimum to Open$0$10
Minimum Ongoing$0$10
Maximum YieldUp to 4.60% APY3.00% APY with Aspiration Plus
Qualifying ActivitiesYesYes
Maximum Balance to EarnUnlimitedUnlimited
Spending RewardsUp to 15% cash back at local businessesUp to 10% cash back

SoFi Checking & Savings is superior to Aspiration Spend & Save in most respects, from the maintenance fee (none) to the minimum balance requirements (also none) to the maximum balance to earn interest (unlimited). The biggest selling point of Aspiration is that it’s intentionally sustainable — your deposits and purchases never fund fossil fuel investments and may contribute to carbon-reduction initiatives like reforestation.

Final Word

It’s difficult to find much wrong with SoFi Checking & Savings. It’s true that the rewards program has some important limitations and the overdraft protection plan isn’t as generous as some competitors, but for most people, these are drawbacks and not deal-breakers. 

That said, if you’re in the market for a full-service bank that can handle all your financial needs, SoFi probably isn’t it. Fortunately, there are plenty of online banks that do fit the bill.

See full terms and disclosures at sofi.com/banking. Direct Deposit Promotion begins on 01/01/2023 and will be available through 12/31/23. SoFi members with Direct Deposit can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the 4.60% APY for savings (including Vaults). Members without Direct Deposit will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.

Earn up to 15% cash back on local retailers. List of retailers may vary. See our terms and conditions.

Early access to direct deposit funds is based on the timing in which we receive notice of impending payment from the Federal Reserve, which is typically up to two days before the scheduled payment date, but may vary.

Overdraft Coverage is limited to $50 on debit card purchases only and is an account benefit available to customers with direct deposits of $1,000 or more during the current 30-day Evaluation Period as determined by SoFi Bank, N.A.  The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Members with a prior history of non-repayment of negative balances are ineligible for Overdraft Coverage.

SoFi Bank is a member FDIC and does not provide more than $250,000 of FDIC insurance per legal category of account ownership, as described in the FDIC’s regulations. Any additional FDIC insurance is provided by the SoFi Insured Deposit Program. Deposits may be insured up to $2M through participation in the program. See full terms at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/terms See list of participating banks at SoFi.com/banking/fdic/receivingbanks

The Verdict

Sofi Logo

Our rating

4.4/5

SoFi Checking & Savings

SoFi Checking & Savings is a two-in-one deposit account for people who enjoy earning interest and hate paying fees. With a well-above-average yield, a generous account opening bonus, and cash back on eligible purchases, it’s a very rewarding product indeed. But it’s not a full-service bank, so don’t expect it to handle all your financial needs.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.