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 0.50% APY and the savings side at 4.40% 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 0.50% APY. On the savings side, it’s 4.40% 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 federal deposit insurance, 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, 2023, you could qualify for an account opening bonus worth $250.
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-day qualifying period to earn a $100 bonus
- Receive cumulative direct deposits totaling $5,000 or more during the 25-day qualifying period to earn a $250 bonus
Account Fees & Minimums
There is no monthly maintenance fee on this account. There’s also no minimum opening deposit or ongoing balance requirement.
Balances held in the savings portion of this account yield 0.50% APY. Balances in the checking portion yield 4.40% APY. There’s no minimum balance to earn interest in either case.
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.
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.
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).
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.
This account comes with up to $2 million in deposit insurance. 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.
- No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balances
- Excellent savings yield
- Deposit insurance well above the standard limit
- Cash back on eligible purchases
- Many purchases don’t earn rewards
- Not a full-service bank
- Limited overdraft protection
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 4.40% APY on the savings side, on par with the best high-yield savings accounts on the market.
- Up to $2 million in 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 $250 as a bonus when you open your account by December 31, 2023 and receive qualifying direct deposits within the first 25 days.
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 & Savings
|Aspiration Spend & Save
|$0 to $7.99 per month
|Minimum to Open
|3.00% APY with Aspiration Plus
|Maximum Balance to Earn
|Up to 4.40% APY
|Up 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.
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.
SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.40% 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 4.40% APY for savings. Members without direct deposit will earn up to 1.20% annual percentage yield (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 7/11/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.