Being able to access your money quickly and for a low cost are two of the most desired features for the traveler’s bank account. When I sought out these options, I did initially have difficulty in finding one that hit both of these features, until I stumbled upon Sofi Money.
As a Sofi Student Loan customer of theirs for years, I was happy to be one of the initial Sofi Money customers. In this Sofi Money account review, I’ll provide a detailed review of this banking option and provide information on why this is the absolute best bank for travelers.
What is Sofi Money?
Sofi Money® is a “deposit account” – which according to Sofi, functions as a checking account, but provides the high-interest rates like a savings account. It is a mobile-first banking experience, which is enabled by the Sofi App and the Sofi Money® Debit Card. If you like having all of your money in one place, you can essentially keep both your savings and checking funds in the same place!
The Sofi App
The Sofi App is available on iPhone and Android, and as mentioned above, it is meant to serve as the primary way of interacting with your account. From the app, you can of course track all of your expenses / income, as well as manage any other products that you have with Sofi, such as Sofi Wealth (their investing platform) and any loans.
In my opinion, the coolest part of the Sofi App is the recently introduced “Relay” feature, which I’ll cover in more depth below.
Is Sofi Money FDIC Insured?
Before we continue, I will mention that yes, Sofi Money® is FDIC insured. (This is a pretty common question – probably becuase it is not your typical bank). You are insured for deposits of up to $1.5M! Which is quite a bit more than the standard bank coverage of $250K. So no worries as you work your way to being a millionaire ;).
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Sofi Money Key Features
Sofi Money® has some really AWESOME features, which prompted me to transfer all my money over as soon as I had the opportunity. These features include:
High Interest Rate
The high interest rate (2.25% at the time of writing this article), is very attractive, especially since most banks offer less than 0.5% interest rates – on savings accounts! This is a very easy way to have your money grow without putting a whole lot of thought put into it. Why have your money sitting around not earning any money, when you have options available like this one?
No ATM Fees
The Sofi Money® Debit Card is my second favorite feature of this account. There are no ATM fees – ever! Never worry about having to find an ATM that is affiliated with your bank again, just wait to be 100% reimbursed for all fees you are charged for. This is the traveler’s dream, guys!
Relay: Sofi’s Wealth Management Portal
Relay is the newest feature of the Sofi Money® account, and I’m already amazed by it. If you are like me, you probably have money spread across multiple accounts. This could include Retirement Accounts, outside Savings Accounts etc. Relay lets you log into each account and pull in live data. You can also add in values for property and other assets as well.
This means that at any point in time you are able to get a real life picture of your Net Worth – a key to understanding your progress to building wealth. Additionally, you can track progress to specific monetary goals – you’ll have access to discuss with a 1:1 financial planner to do this too!
A few more of my favorite features are:
- No Fees – In addition to having no ATM fees, there are also no bank fees! So never worry about having to keep a minimum account balance or anything else that your bank may charge you for today.
- Member Benefits – Being a Sofi member also gives you access to benefits such as special events, career coaching, discounts on other Sofi products, and more!
Sofi Money Cons
As with anything that you buy or participate in, there are a few cons that you should keep in mind when considering a Sofi Money® account:
No Physical Bank
If you really like going to the bank and interacting with people in person, this may not be the best option for you. You, of course, will have access to customer service. All contact information for Sofi is listed in the Sofi Money ® App.
Lack of Other Products
You won’t have access to some products that you may find at a typical bank – such as CDs. Honestly, most CDs have interest rates that are the same as what’s offered by this account, however, so you won’t miss out on much here. Also, Sofi has options such as mortgage lending, personal loans, investment accounts, and more now.
If you are interested in all that Sofi offers, check out this page.
There are limits to the amount of money that you can take out from your account at a time, including a limit of $610 for daily ATM withdrawals. I don’t think this is an issue for most people, but if you do need to have a large amount of cash on hand at any point in time, remember to plan accordingly.
For more information on withdrawal limits, click here.
As this is a mobile-first account, it is not really possible to depost cash directly into your account. One workaround for this is to simply keep a physical bank account where you can transfer cash into your Sofi Money® account when the need arises.
Why Sofi Money is the Best Bank for Travelers
Based on my intro to this account, you may already have guessed the reason why I believe that it is the best bank for travelers, especially for international travel. There are two key reasons why I have put Sofi Money® into this designation:
Saves Money While Traveling
Once you eliminate the need to pay for ATM fees, you will save so much money – especially when traveling to countries where cash is more widely accepted than credit cards. If you combine a debit card without ATM fees with a credit card without International fees, you no longer have to pay any more to spend money than the price of the item you are purchasing.
This is a great feature for international as well as domestic travel, as many banks a regional and do charge fees if you do not use an ATM affiliated with their bank. The Sofi Money ® Debit Card really is the best debit card for international travel.
Grows Your Money When Not Traveling
One of the most common reasons that people don’t travel more is because they feel that they do not have the money to do it. By putting your money into an account that has a high interest rate, you would start making money that you hadn’t been making before. This is a really easy win guys!
There are many methods to preparing your money for traveling, some of which I’ve mentioned in my Chase Sapphire Reserve Review and my post on How to Budget for Travel. But, it’s great to diversify the ways that you do this.
Final Thoughts | Sofi Money Review
The Sofi Money® account is really a game changer in the area of personal finance. I have yet to find a banking experience that is even relatively close to what is currently offered by Sofi. I hope that the information provided here helps you make an informed decision if you are considering changing your account over.
If you have found a bank that’s comparable, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below!