Update 2/12/20: SoFi Investing has significantly increased the funding requirement for the Investing bonus. To earn the $100 SoFi Investing bonus, you’ll need to fund your new account with $5,000. While a $100 bonus for merely depositing $5K (without any requirement to invest that money and no stated minimum timeframe to keep it invested once you get your free stock) is still pretty good, it marks a large increase over the past few months (in October 2019, the funding requirement was $100. Then it increased to $1K and now $5K). The SoFi Money account still offers a $25 bonus for opening and funding with just $100. The rest of this post details these accounts and bonuses with the updated requirements.
SoFi Money and SoFi Investing offer easy account bonuses that are low-hanging fruit and could easily net a household a couple hundred dollars or more with very little effort. What’s more is that they also offer really convenient fee-free accounts. With no minimums, no monthly fees, no foreign transaction fees, ATM reimbursements that give you back the fee on most ATM withdrawals instantly, and a solid APY offering, SoFi is almost a no-brainer for travelers. Miiles to Memories first made us aware of the SoFi Money cash management account / debit card and we’re glad they did. The entire sign up process took me less time than it’ll take you to read this post welcome offers post quickly also (about 7 days for the SoFi Money bonus to be withdrawable and a few weeks for Investing). If you can also 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 $25 bonus
- Refer new members and get a $25 bonus for each person you refer up to $10K in bonuses per calendar year. 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 worth $100 when opening through a referral and meeting the funding requirement for that account). For more info on that, see the “SoFi Investing” section below.
Key Terms for SoFi Money
- 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).
- Terms state only one referral reward and one welcome bonus per new customer. The fine print says that 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. However, in practice, we have been able to receive the bonuses on both SoFi Money and SoFi Investing (for example, I received the bonus for opening SoFi Money and for opening SoFi Investing; the friend who referred me also received the referral bonus for both accounts).
- 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).
- 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). Note that in my experience, these reimbursements have posted within minutes of withdrawing.
Why SoFi Money 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 can easily clear a couple hundred bucks in bonuses (and potentially quite a bit more). In terms of ease and speed, these are some of the best account bonuses around.
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 February 2020)
- 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 $25 bonus when you join and deposit at least $100 within 14 days of opening your account (this bonus shows as pending within a couple of days and can be withdrawn about a week later)
In a nutshell, this is a pretty solid cash management account that also happens to offer an easy $25 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 new account bonus and both 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. Note that recent reports indicate that SoFi will be moving over to Mastercard in 2020, but there is no word yet on whether or not current debit card holders will receive a new card.
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.
SoFi Money & SoFi Investing bonuses post very quickly
One of the things that has impressed me about SoFi is the speed at which bonuses have posted. Here is the full timeline for me:
- Day 1 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)
- Day 2 morning: SoFi Money shows pending Money Welcome Bonus and Pending Money Referral bonuses for the two people referred before 6pm Eastern. SoFi Active Investing despot (i.e. the $100 I deposited in the investing account) becomes available in my Investing account around 9:30am Eastern. SoFi Money deposit is not yet available for use, neither are pending referral bonuses.
- Day 2 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)
- Day 3 around 9:30am: My SoFi Money initial account deposit of $200 becomes available for use in my SoFi Money account.
- Day 7 around 9:30am: My account opening bonus and first two referrals (the referrals that happened before 6pm Eastern on Day 1) become available for use or transfer.
- Day 8: 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). Note that this part of the timeline is variable. It seems that SoFi purchases this stock in batches and it may post anywhere from 1-4 weeks after you sign up.
Welcome and referral bonuses initially show up under “Activities” in your online account. On the SoFi Money side, you’ll usually see these pending within a day or two. Note that the welcome bonus and referral bonuses have changed over time — the welcome and referral bonuses were higher when I initially opened my account.
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 share your link and you can send it via email / text / social media or click “copy to clipboard” so you can paste it in an email or our Frequent Miler Insiders group (or the place of your choice).
How to find your SoFi Money & SoFi Investing 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 referrals earned from referring people to SoFi Money and SoFi Investing will be summed here together). Note that this total will include lifetime earnings, so if you have referred people in separate years, you’ll have to go through your account activity to determine earnings from the current calendar year only.
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 SoFi Money 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, it arrived about a week after shipping.
SoFi also offers an investing account for those interested and it currently (as of January 2020) offers a bonus of $100 in free stock when you open an investing account and fund it with at least $5,000. Note that there is no requirement to invest this money. You only need to deposit the funds into your account to earn the bonus. You can also earn $100 in free stock for each person you refer who opens an Investing account and deposits $5,000 or more.
You can fund your SoFi Investing account via your SoFi Money account or a linked bank account from another institution. The sign up process was more or less identical to the Money account. Options for free stock for your welcome bonus included mainstream stuff like Apple, Amazon, Google, some Vanguard ETFs, and a lot more. Here were just some of the options:
You will receive a fractional amount worth $100. In other words, if you choose a stock that is worth $200 per share at the time your bonus is awarded, you’ll receive half a share. If you choose a stock that is trading for $25 on the day it is awarded, you’ll receive 4 shares.
Bonuses on the Investing side post more slowly. The new account welcome bonus ($100 in free stock) takes anywhere from 1-4 weeks to post. The bonus for referring others who deposit $5,000 in their investing accounts takes about a week from the time they make their initial deposit. Note that the free stock you receive for referring others is random and includes fractional shares. My household and family has earned free stock in companies like Starbucks, Snapchat, Chewy, and Disney from these referrals, but YMMV – you get what you get. You can sell your stock at your leisure, but note that standard brokerage wait times apply in terms of withdrawing (i.e. you have to wait a few days for sales to settle before withdrawing).
If you’re interested in opening a SoFi investing account, feel free to use our referral links with our thanks:
- Greg’s family SoFi Investing referral link
- Nick’s family SoFi Investing referral link
- Stephen’s family SoFi Investing referral link
Once I dug into the details on this, I realized that it was such an easy win. A couple playing in 2-player mode can easily get some cash and a couple hundred bucks in free stock pretty easily. Follow this type of pattern with fictional couple Morgan and Ryan:
- Morgan opens and funds a SoFi Money account through a referral and earns a welcome bonus ($25 cash)
- Morgan refers Ryan to open a SoFi Money account and earns a referral bonus ($25 cash)
- Ryan opens and funds a SoFi Money account and earns a welcome bonus ($25 cash)
- Morgan opens and funds a SoFi Investing account through a referral and earns a welcome bonus ($100 in free stock)
- Morgan refers Ryan to open a SoFi Investing account ($100 in free stock)
- Ryan opens and funds a SoFi Investing account and earns a welcome bonus ($100 in free stock)
In total, that’s $300 in free stock and $75 in cash for a couple playing in 2-player mode. That’s a nice bonus for very low effort.
If you know a couple more people who would open accounts to get that kind of deal for their families, 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.