SoFi Money Beats The Competition – Including Charles Schwab
Update: SoFi Money has had some recent changes made which makes it a good account but it is no longer a great account. The interest rate is now near nothing because of the Federal Reserve continues to lower the rates. But they also recently switched their ATM coverage. Now only Allpoint ATMs are covered for any accounts created after 6/8/20. This puts the program in line with a Capital One 360 account and the Charles Schwab card is once again the best option for travelers. I still think the account is worthwhile to have because of the promos they continue to run but it isn’t the go to for travel that it used to be for anyone looking to sign up now.
A week or two ago I wrote about an offer for SoFi Money because it had one of the easiest
$50 bonuses (has increased to $75 3/1/20) you will ever see. They also have a pretty sweet $50 investment bonus too. That was pretty much it. I mean the program looked pretty good but I was happy with my Charles Schwab debit card. Remember that is the card I said that everyone should get.
Well after digging into the program even more and testing it out I need to change my thinking. SoFi Money beats the competition when you put them head to head and it isn’t really all that close. I have been saying that for a week or so now but there are still some doubters so I put it to the test.
SoFi Money Perks
Let’s review the perks of SoFi Money one more time real quickly:
1.1% APY(updated 3/3/20) on your account balance. This rate moves as interest rates move. It was up to 2.25% last year but the Fed keeps reducing rates. As of 7/1/2020, accounts with recurring monthly deposits of $500 or more each month, will earn interest at 0.25% APY. All other accounts will earn interest at 0.01% APY. Accounts opened prior to June 9, 2020, will continue to earn interest at 0.25% APY irrespective of deposit activity.
- No minimum balance required to unlock the interest rate.
- No account fees.
- ATM fees reimbursed worldwide. As long as there is the ATM is displaying the Visa®, Plus®, or NYCE® logo.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- The cash balance in SoFi Money accounts is swept to one or more program banks where it earns a variable rate of interest and is eligible for FDIC insurance. FDIC Insurance does not immediately apply. Coverage begins when funds arrive at a partner bank. There are currently six banks available to accept these deposits, making customers eligible for up to $1,500,000 of FDIC insurance (six banks, $250,000 per bank).
- There is a ATM withdraw limit of $615 per day but there is no ACH money transfer limit that I know of.
Putting SoFi Money To The Test
The big knock against SoFi Money was that their 1% foreign exchange fee. After digging into their terms deeper it appears they eat this fee just like Charles Schwab does. It had been previously reported that the user incurred this fee. We even had people comment that the withdraw amounts were the same between the two when they tested it.
I decided to hop over to Canada this week and test it out for myself. I made a withdraw for the same amount from two different ATMs with both cards. And wouldn’t you know the amounts were exactly the same for both.
Charles Schwab ATM Report
SoFi Money ATM Report
As you can see the amounts were exactly the same. The only difference is that SoFi Money refunds the ATM fees almost immediately. I have to wait till the end of the month for Charles Schwab to refund them.
Ways SoFi Money Beats the Competition
Here are the reasons I think SoFi Money offers the best program for travelers:
- Near instant ATM refunds
- No fees for ATM withdraws domestically or internationally
- Competitive conversion rates that equals the competition
- An APR rate that beats the competition by a wide margin
- No hard pull to signing up for the account like Charles Schwab does
- No minimums or fees of any kind
When Charles Schwab‘s Debit Card Still Makes Sense
There are two reasons that I can think of that people would still benefit from getting the Charles Schwab account. If you are a serious investor their customer service is top notch (not that SoFi’s isn’t good) and they offer more than SoFi can on the investment side. The other reason is if you want access to the Charles Schwab Amex Platinum card and its 60,000 point welcome offer. You have to have a Charles Schwab account to get that version of the Amex Platinum.
Even then I would still get the SoFi Money account and use it as my go to account for travel and most checking activities.
I know it is difficult to get past our preconceived notions and to many people Charles Schwab has the best thing out there. But I can assure you that SoFi Money is the better option for all of the reasons I listed above. I encourage you to give it a try, what do you have to lose? I can guarantee that you will lose an easy $50 if you don’t!