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Neobanks, digital or mobile-only financial institutions, are the banks of the future. There are many contenders in the market today. What makes one stand out over another may vary, but what mostly drives people in is its annual percentage yield (APY) on savings accounts.
I have been using Sofi Money for a few months now. I cannot lie. The $25 referral bonus drew me in, but the option to receive a debit card for easy access to cash is what sealed the deal. I have been using Ally since earlier this year and that is where my New Car sinking fund is saved. I love having a high-yield savings account (HYSA), but one of the cons with Ally was that I would have to initiate an automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfer in order to receive my funds, which can take up to three days depending on your financial institution.
Now that I have had some time to explore the account and try out some of Sofi Money’s features, let us look at some of the things I like, and where I believe they can improve.
Pros and Cons of Sofi Money
Quick & easy signup
The signup process was very simple and easy. It took me less than five minutes to open an account.
No monthly or maintenance fees ever
Overdraft your account. Not charged, but you should consider creating a zero-based budget so this is not a thing for you. Only have a small amount in your account. No fee. They believe that your money should not cost you a thing. You can learn more about that here.
Free ATM access
You can access your cash either domestically or overseas whenever you need it free. Any third-party ATM fee charges will be reimbursed.
No foreign transaction fees
Going out of the county. No problem. Take your Sofi Money debit card with you and use it for all your foreign transactions.
At the time of this writing, the APY is at 1.90%. This recently decreased when the Feds decreased interest rates due to inflation. This is still hundreds of times more than you will receive at a brick and mortar bank.
Bill pay. Check. Direct Deposit. Check. Check ordering. Check. I want to point out that Sofi Money provides free checks if needed.
Funds transfer dates
Sofi Money keeps you up to date on the process of funds transferring in and out of your account. This is nice.
Nice debit card design
This probably does not matter to most of you, but I am a sucker for aesthetics. The Sofi Money card is definitely aesthetically pleasing.
One app for everything
This is good if you have multiple products, but a bad thing if you do not. If you only have Sofi Money, you see ads to open other accounts and tabs for other products. It is a bit cluttered, and I believe that it should only display the products that you have. That is the aspiring minimalist side of me talking.
Not an actual bank
Sofi Money is not a bank. It is a cash management account and your money is housed in one or more of its six partner banks to federally insure your money up to $1.5 million. Note: Banks only insure up to $250,000, so this may be a pro for you.
You cannot deposit cash
I do not have cash much, but when I do have cash, I would rather be able to deposit instantly instead of depositing in my local checking account first and then transferring over.
No physical location
I am indifferent about this. I rarely go to my local bank. If you are like me, this will not bother you at all.
For me, the pros outweigh the cons, and I would definitely recommend Sofi Money. With a high APY, awesome benefits, and a debit card, what more is there not to love? I hope that as Sofi Money continues to grow, they will consider updating their app and make it a bit more simplistic. In the meantime, if you are in the market for a new checking, savings, or both, Sofi Money is worth exploring.