Update 11/5/19: The referral bonus has finally dropped to $50 per referral. The person opening a new account still gets $50 when they open and deposit $100 or more, but you’ll now get $50 per referral instead of $100 per referral for SoFi Money. This was an easy win for most families while it lasted. Still not a bad deal as a couple playing in 2-player mode can still get $150 just for SoFi Money ($50 new account bonus for P1 + $50 new account bonus for P2 + $50 referral bonus for P1 referring P2) and could also get another $50 cash plus $100 in stock with SoFi Invest ($50 in stock new account bonus for P1 + $50 in stock new account bonus for P2 + $50 cash for P1 for referring P2 to Investing). That said, it’s a much less exciting deal than it was. Hopefully most readers got their friends and family in for some easy money.
Update 11/2/19: Incredibly, this deal is still alive for SoFi Money (deposit $100, get a $50 new account bonus and then get $100 for each person you refer who does the same). The (separate) Investing bonus promotion landing page still says that the account must be opened and funded by 10/31, but the referral page within the app no longer shows an end date and the fine print terms indicate that you have to open your Investing account and then fund it within 14 days to qualify for the Investing bonus (which is $50 in free stock — a separate deal you’d do after opening a SoFi Money account as outlined below). YMMV in regards to whether or not the Investing bonus still works, but I think it probably does and the SoFi Money bonus is still on indefinitely (though I can’t imagine it will last forever). For those curious, I was indeed able to withdraw referral money to my external account without issue. This is the real deal.
Update 10/31/19: Reminder: Today (10/31/19) is the last day to open and fund a SoFi Investing account to receive $50 in free stock. The SoFi Money deal is (surprisingly) still going on and does not have an end date listed, but if you want to also open and fund a SoFi Investing account to get $50 in free stock, today is the last day according to the terms. Note that the free stock takes a week to show up in your account; my stock showed up in my holdings yesterday (exactly 1 week after opening and funding). Also note that SoFi has lowered the interest rate on the SoFi Money account to 1.60% APY in accordance with yesterday’s decrease in interest rates announced by the Federal Reserve Bank.
**Update 10/29/19: Referral credits and new account bonuses have been posting to pending activity over the past week. Today, my new account bonus and first two referrals became available for use or transfer to my bank. That’s great news for anyone wondering how long it would take: I opened my account on Wednesday, the 23rd around mid-day and referred two people before 6pm Eastern. Those bonuses showed up pending by the next day and are now payable / able to be withdrawn on Tuesday, October 29th. See the full timeline in this section below. I’d give it about a week from opening / referring to see your money. See the table of contents below for full details of this deal and see this section for how to find your current referral totals.
Miles to Memories has written a few posts lately about the SoFi Money cash management account / debit card that caught my eye. In a nutshell, this is a debit card account that has no fees and a number of benefits (including a $50 new account bonus when you deposit $100 within 14 days of account opening and a $100 referral bonus when referring your friends). With no monthly fees, no minimums, no deposit requirements, ATM fee reimbursement worldwide, and a current
1.8% APY (updated to 1.6% on 10/31/19) on your money, this looks to me like the biggest no-brainer I’ve seen in quite a while. The entire sign up process took me less time than it’ll take you to read this post and I expect to get my $50 bonus within a day or two based on the reports of others. After I refer a couple of friends and family members, this will be a really nice bonus for really minimal effort.
The Deal & Our SoFi Money Links
- Sign up for a SoFi Money cash management account (which comes with a Visa debit card) and deposit at least $100 within 14 days and get a $50 bonus
- Refer new members and get a
$100 bonus$50 bonus (as of 11/5/19) for each person you refer up to $10K in bonuses. Feel free to sign up with one of our referral links with our thanks:
- Note that there is also a separate SoFi investing account that you can optionally sign up for as well (and also comes with a new account bonus when opening through a referral). For more info on that, see the “SoFi Investing” section below.
- Must be new to SoFi money to get a new account bonus
- Cap of $10,000 in earned bonuses (combined new account and referrals) per customer within a calendar year
- Referral Bonuses and Welcome Bonuses are each considered miscellaneous income and may be reportable to the IRS on Form 1099-MISC (or Form 1042-S, if applicable).
- Only one referral reward and one welcome bonus per new customer: you will not receive multiple referral bonuses for the same friend taking out multiple loans or products, nor will your friend receive multiple welcome bonuses for taking out multiple loans or products.
- SoFi mortgages are never eligible for the SoFi Referral Program
- SoFi Money is a cash management account not a bank account, and is offered by a broker dealer. The SoFi Money account is a brokerage account. Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank (note that according to Miles to Memories, your money is periodically deposited into FDIC-insured banks and may therefore be eligible for FDIC insurance once it arrives at a partner bank. I do not see this in the sign up terms, so YMMV).
- SoFi will reimburse ATM fees at any ATM displaying the Visa®, Plus®, or NYCE® logo and will also reimburse any foreign exchange fees charged by Visa (though note that this is subject to change at any time along with the other program features)
Why this is a great deal
I’d kind of ignored the first few posts I saw about SoFi Money, but when I actually took a look at it I realized what a great deal this is. If you’re playing in 2-player mode (i.e. with a spouse or partner), you should clear at least $200 for four minutes of effort ($50 when you sign up and make your deposit, $100 for referring your significant other, and $50 when they sign up and make a deposit).
For years, the Charles Schwab debit card has been the key no-brainer for travelers in that the card reimburses ATM fees worldwide. That’s long been considered to be a great deal since you can withdraw cash when you travel (or when you’re at home) without paying a fee. The SoFi money card is a competitor that looks as good or better by most measures:
- SoFi offers variable interest, currently 1.6% APY (as of Oct 31 2019)
- There are no monthly fees
- There are no monthly minimums
- There is no direct deposit required
- There are unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide
- Currently offers a $50 bonus when you join and deposit at least $100 within 14 days of opening your account (and reports indicate that the $50 bonus posts within a day or two of funding your account)
In a nutshell, this is a pretty solid cash management account that also happens to offer an easy $50 in free money when you sign up. They do note in the terms that things like their no-fee structure and APY can change at any time. The nice thing is that the new account bonus pays out immediately — I opened my account on Day 1 and referred two people and both my $50 bonus and both $100 referral bonuses posted to my account the very next day. In other words, if they change the fee structure in the future, you wouldn’t be stuck waiting months for your new account or referral bonuses to post.
Note that by comparison, the Schwab debit card also offers a new account bonus for those who have been referred. The Schwab bonus is $100 after depositing $100 to $24,999 and goes up from there. One could potentially get as much as a $500 bonus for transferring $100K in cash or securities. However, note that the Schwab debit card requires also opening a separate brokerage account and there is a hard pull associated with account opening. By contrast, SoFi does not require opening an investing account (though they do offer an investing account and an additional bonus for opening one which is noted below). There is no hard pull for a SoFi Money or SoFi investing account, so the bonus sure feels like nearly free money.
When signing up, you’ll have the ability to link your bank account from another institution to make your initial deposit, which can be done via the routing number and account number or by simply logging in to your external account to link it. I logged in to an account at a different institution and funding my account was quick and painless. It literally took me about 2 minutes to sign up and fund this account. It couldn’t have been easier.
SoFi will then send a Visa debit card in the mail in 7-10 days.
In order to get your referral link, you’ll need to download the SoFi app (available for both Apple and Android). As soon as I logged in to the app there was a banner at the top advertising the ability to get my link and refer friends, but see below for full details about how to find your referral links for the various SoFi products.
Bonuses post very quickly
Update 10/29/19: Here is the full timeline for me:
- Wednesday, October 23rd around noon: opened my account through a referral. Funded SoFi Money with $200 and SoFi Active Investing with $100. Referred 2 people early in the day and others late in the day (after 6pm Eastern)
- Thursday, October 24th morning: SoFi Money shows pending Money Welcome Bonus and Pending Money Referral bonuses for the two people referred before 6pm Eastern. SoFi Active Investing becomes available in my Investing account around 9:30am Eastern. SoFi Money deposit is not yet available for use, neither are pending referral bonuses.
- Thursday, October 24th around 6:15pm Eastern: Referral bonuses from people referred after business hours on Wednesday post to my pending activity (no bonuses available for use yet)
- Friday, October 25th around 9:30am: My initial account deposit of $200 becomes available for use in my SoFi Money account.
- Tuesday, October 29th around 9:30am: My initial two referrals and $50 welcome bonus from business hours on Wednesday, October 23rd become available for use or transfer (current account balance shows $450: $200 from my initial deposit + $200 from two referrals + $50 from the welcome bonus (6 days from date of opening / referring)
- Wednesday, October 30th: Free stock for opening and funding my SoFi Active Investing account shows up in my “Holdings” on the Invest tab (7 days from account opening)
Here’s more detail about how that worked:
On Wednesday, October 23rd, I deposited $200 from my Capital One account. I referred Greg and one other person before the close of business (before 6pm Eastern). The next morning, I saw two $100 referral bonuses and a $50 new account bonus in my pending account activity (this shows up at the bottom of the “Money” tab in the SoFi app). It was that fast. I don’t yet have a debit card to take the cash out of the ATM, but I assume I could likely ACH transfer to my bank if I wanted to. This is pretty awesome.
As you can see, this account is as quick and easy as easy money gets. It’s well worth signing up and getting at least your significant other involved if not a few friends/family members.
In order to get your referral link, you’ll need to download and install the app on your phone:
Once you download and install the app, login.
The first time I logged in, there was a banner ad at the top of the app advising me to click there to refer friends. A reader pointed out that this banner add can change (you can pull down in the app to refresh it) and show referral links for different SoFi products.
However, it’s easy to get your referral links for the specific SoFi products to which you want to refer others (SoFi Money, SoFi investing, etc). All you have to do is click the icon that looks like a universal “My Account” icon in the app (on the Android version, it was in the top left corner as shown below):
Then click the spot that says “Invite friends, earn up to $10k”.
That’ll take you to a full list of the various SoFi accounts to which you can refer others. Simply click on the type of account to which you wish to refer someone to generate your link.
From there, click the buttons to copy your link (so you can paste it in an email or our Frequent Miler Insiders group or the place of your choice), share it via social media or text messages, etc.
How to find your referral totals
If you’re curious as to how much bonus you can expect so far, go to the same page where you found your referral link above and click the link that says “View referral stats”.
That will display your total number of referrals and total bonus earned (note this is cumulative: any $50 referrals earned from referring people to SoFi Investing will be summed here together with any $100 referrals from referring SoFi Money and your $50 new account bonus).
If you’re looking for friends to refer, head over to our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group and find the relevant thread. List your link as a REPLY to my first comment on that thread. Referrals not following the directions will be deleted. Comments on this post that include a link will get caught in our spam filter and will not post, so head over to the Frequent Miler Insiders group instead to post your link.
How long does the debit card take to arrive?
SoFi says the debit card will arrive within 7-10 business days. I opened my account on October 23rd and the app gave me a pop on up October 29th saying that my debit card had shipped and would arrive by November 12th. In reality, I expect it should arrive sooner but do not yet know.
Update 11/9/19: The bonus on an Investing account has increased to $100 in free stock for the person signing up after depositing $1,000 and $100 for each person you refer. See this post for the most up-to-date info.
Update: This bonus has been increased as of 11/9/19. See this post for more details.
SoFi also offers an investing account for those interested. I didn’t dig too deeply into this, but I did sign up since it is also offering a $50 new account bonus (in this case paid out in the form of free stock in a company of your choice) when you open and fund your account with $100 by 10/31/19. You can fund via your SoFi account or a linked bank account. The sign up process was more or less identical to the Money account. Note that you don’t even need to buy stock with the $100 used to fund your investing account to trigger the $50 in stock, you just need to move $100 to the investing account. Options for free stock included mainstream stuff like Apple, Amazon, Google, some Vanguard ETFs, and a lot more. Here were just some of the options:
If you’re interested in opening a SoFi investing account, feel free to use our referral links with our thanks:
Once I dug into the details on this, I realized that it was such an easy win. If you know even two people who would open a free account that costs them nothing more than a few minutes of their time, that’s an easy $250 in your pocket in a few days. If one of those two referrals is your spouse, count another fifty bucks in your collective pockets once he or she gets their new account bonus. If you know three or four people who may be interested, you’ve got yourself a bonus rivaling most credit cards without any spending requirement. That’s a pretty awesome deal for very minimal effort. If you like low-hanging fruit, it’s harvest time.
Last updated on November 9th, 2019