SoFi Bank Review: Fee-Free High-Yield Savings

It used to be that online banks only specialized in one or two products — meaning you had to mix and match different banks for different needs, like having your checking account with one bank and your investments with another.

But some of them, like SoFi Bank, have expanded to offer a whole mix of products. SoFi started out as a student loan refinancing company, but it now offers pretty much every type of product or service you could need from a bank. 

The only catch is it’s still online-only, so you need to be comfortable with all-digital banking.

Quick Facts: SoFi Bank

  • Savings APY: Up to 4.60%
  • Fees: No monthly fees or overdraft fees
  • Minimum balance: None to open; $5,000 to earn the full APY

. . .

Overview of SoFi Bank

SoFi Bank is an online bank that offers high-yield savings accounts, with interest rates that are higher than traditional large banks and comparable to many other online-only banks. 

SoFi also offers a joint checking and savings account, but no certificates of deposit (CDs) or money market accounts. 

The savings and checking accounts have no minimum balances, no maintenance or overdraft fees, and a network of fee-free ATMs. However, there are fees for cash deposits and international ATMs. 

With SoFi, your money is FDIC-insured up to $2 million, which is higher than most banks.

SoFi is known for its student loan products and also offers commission-free trading and robo-advisory services with just a $1 minimum balance through SoFi Invest. 

Pros

  • High APY even for online banks
  • No minimum balances, monthly maintenance, or overdraft fees
  • Account vaults for dividing up your savings goals

Cons

  • No in-person branches 
  • Cash deposits at GreenDot locations are subject to a fee 
  • No CDs or money market products

SoFi Bank Checking and Savings Products

SoFi offers one checking account and one savings account that links to the checking account.

SoFi Online Checking Account

While most checking accounts offer low (or no) interest earning rates, SoFi’s checking account is a relatively high 0.50%. 

As an online bank, there are no branches; however, you can withdraw funds without fees within the Allpoint network of more than 55,000 ATMs. SoFi does not reimburse any fees at out-of-network ATMs and there is 0.2% foreign transaction fee at ATMs outside the U.S.

Cash deposits can be made at GreenDot locations but a $4.95 fee may be applied. 

With a SoFi checking account, there’s no minimum balance, no maintenance fees, and no overdraft charges. Overdraft protection will cover up to $50 if you opt for it — with it, SoFi will automatically transfer money from your savings account to your checking account for payments over your balance.

READ MORE: What Is Overdraft Protection?

SoFi High-Yield Savings Account

The SoFi Checking and Savings Account has a 4.60% annual percentage rate (APY), which is much higher than the national average — currently only 0.45%, according to the FDIC

But to get that rate, you’ll need a minimum of $5,000 in monthly qualified deposits. Otherwise, the interest rate falls to 1.2%, which is less than most online banks.

SoFi’s high-yield savings account allows unlimited transactions each month, which isn’t always offered with savings accounts. SoFi also offers “vaults” that allow you to separate your money into savings categories, such as for a vacation or a car. 

There’s also a welcome bonus of $50 to $300 for opening a new account and setting up direct deposit. To get the maximum, you need to deposit $1,000 to $5,000 during the 25-day bonus window. 

READ MORE: Checking vs. Savings Accounts: What’s the Difference?

What We Like About SoFi Bank

We appreciate how high the APY is on SoFi’s savings account — currently at 4.60%, which is high even for online banks. Plus, there are no monthly maintenance or overdraft fees.

We also like that SoFi makes it easy to save for specific goals. The account vaults let you divide your savings into different categories, so you can see exactly how close you are to a goal, such as a vacation or down payment on a home, without having to do any calculations.

What We Dislike About SoFi Bank

A big downside of SoFi is that to earn its highest APY, you need a minimum of $5,000 in monthly qualified deposits. Without that, you’ll only earn 1.2%, which is far less than most online banks.

Also, SoFi Bank has no in-person branches, and we don’t love that your cash deposits at GreenDot locations are subject to a fee. 

Finally, SoFi currently doesn’t offer other types of banking products, such as CDs and money market accounts. If you’re looking for those options, you’ll need to go elsewhere.

READ MORE: Money Market vs. Savings: Which Account Is Best for You?

Who Should Use SoFi Bank?

SoFi will appeal to people who want to keep their cash in a high-yield savings account but don’t want the withdrawal restrictions that are typically put on those types of accounts. With SoFi, you can earn a high APY while still also using your account for regular bill payments and other transactions.

However, you’ll need to be able to meet the minimum of $5,000 in qualified deposits each month — otherwise, you’re better off finding another high-yield account that doesn’t have such a high minimum.

Lastly, if you’re a fan of the envelope budgeting method, you’ll likely appreciate SoFi’s vault system for organizing your savings.

Who Shouldn’t Use SoFi Bank?

Most importantly, if you can’t make the $5,000 minimum in monthly qualified deposits, you won’t get the most out of SoFi. There are other high-yield savings accounts out there that offer high APYs without such strict criteria.

Also, if you prefer having access to an in-person branch, you likely won’t enjoy banking with SoFi. As an online bank, you’ll need to be comfortable doing everything digitally.

Lastly, if you frequently use ATMs, you may want to seek out an account that reimburses you for ATM fees.

Alternatives to SoFi Bank

While SoFi is a strong choice for an online bank, it’s not the only option out there. Depending on what you’re looking for, such as a higher APY or in-person branches, there may be other options that suit you better. 

SoFi Bank vs. Wealthfront: High APY

Wealthfront is currently advertising a 5.0% APY on its Cash Account, with no minimum balances or fees. Note that Wealthfront is not a bank itself, but partners with other banks to provide its APYs and FDIC insurance.

SoFi Bank vs. Capital One: Branch access

Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings currently advertises a somewhat lower 4.25% APY with no minimum balance to earn that APY and no maintenance fees. 

It has approximately 750 branches, although only in a handful of states in the Northeast and the West South Central states. It also offers options to deposit cash in CVS and Walgreens stores.

FAQs

Does SoFi Bank have physical locations?

SoFi is an online bank and therefore doesn’t have any physical locations. This is one of the reasons why they’re able to offer low fees and high interest rates on savings products — they don’t have as much overhead as a traditional bank.

You can contact a SoFi representative through online chat or by phone.

Is SoFi Bank safe?

SoFi Bank is FDIC-insured, meaning any money you deposit into your checking or savings accounts with them is federally insured.

While the standard is to insure up to $250,000, with SoFi you’re insured up to $2 million. This means that if the bank fails, your money will be okay. 

SoFi also uses multi-factor authentication to keep your account safe.

Bottom Line

SoFi Bank started as a student loan refinancing company, but now offers all kinds of financial products, including checking and savings accounts, investing services, insurance, mortgages, and more.

If you’re looking for a high-yield savings account, the SoFi Checking and Savings Account has one of the highest APYs out there — although you’ll need to keep a pretty high minimum balance.

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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

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Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.