SoFi has been aggressively recruiting new customers, recently offering great bonuses for new account openings and then following it with a $100 bonus for setting up direct deposit. Now they have increased both the referral and welcome bonuses for SoFi Active Investing, though they have also increased the minimum deposit to trigger the bonus. Those who sign up for new Investing accounts through a referral will get $100 in free stock after depositing $1,000 within 14 days of account opening and those referring new account holders will get $100 per referral. It’s worth noting that the Investing referrals and bonuses take much longer to post — as opposed to SoFi Money bonuses, which post within about a week, Investing bonuses take 2-3 weeks to post. This post includes everything you need to know about this promo and SoFi Investing — including how the promo works, how to cash out your bonuses, how to find your referral stats and links, and more. See the table of contents below for relevant sections.
The Offer / Our Links
- SoFi Investing is offering newly increased bonuses for new account holders and referrals:
- Open a new SoFi Active Investing account through a referral and deposit at least $1,000 within 14 days of opening and get $100 in free stock of your choice (from many major options, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, Vanguard ETFs, and more)
- Refer new customers and get a $100 bonus for each new customer who opens and funds their SoFi Active Investing account with at least $1,000 (this bonus is deposited as cash in your Investing account that can be used to buy stock and/or cashed out)
- If you’re new to SoFi Investing, consider using one of our links with our thanks:
- New account holders must open their account and deposit at least $1,000 within 14 days to be eligible for the bonus
- Annual cap of $10,000 in referral bonuses per calendar year combined between SoFi Money and SoFi Invest
Why SoFi can be a great deal
By my math, this all adds up to a really nice bonus for a household. If you haven’t yet signed up for SoFi Money, follow this path:
- Player 1 opens SoFi Money through a referral and deposits $100 to get a $50 bonus
- Player 1 refers Player 2 to open a SoFi Money account and receives a $50 bonus for referring when Player 2 opens and funds the minimum
- Player 2 opens a SoFi Money account and deposits $100 to get a $50 bonus
- Player 1 opens a SoFi Investing account through a referral and deposits $1,000 to get $100 in free stock
- Player 1 refers Player 2 to open a SoFi Investing account and receives a $100 bonus for referring when Player 2 opens and funds the minimum
- Player 2 opens a SoFi Investing account and deposits $1000 to get $100 in free stock
In the end, that’s a total of $250 cash and $200 in free stock for a couple playing in 2-player mode who opens both account types now. If you previously opened SoFi Money, you’re $50 ahead of those numbers. Furthermore, if you get targeted for the direct deposit bonus in the future, you can each get another $100 for two direct deposits of $500 or more (see this post for details). That’s $450 in cash and $200 in free stock for like 10 minutes of work tops. If you happen to know anyone else who might be interested in the free stock, you will get another $100 in your Investing account for each of them who use your link. SoFi remains a hot deal.
First up, as Greg and I discussed in our Frequent Miler on the Air broadcast last week, I want to address why we’re writing about SoFi: we’re writing about this because it is a great deal for readers and we know many of you have previously opened SoFi Money accounts. The bar is really low on earning these bonuses, with no real hoops to jump through, and as you can see in the section above the math works out really nicely. There aren’t enough hours in the day to write about every deal I see, but when I see something like this that is a huge win with very little effort required, it would seem silly to write about how you can earn an extra 500 Hyatt points via a hotel promo and not tell you how you can get a few hundred dollars in easy money that you could use to pay for a night or two at a Hyatt. Whether you use our links (thanks to all those who have / do!) or find friends in our Frequent Miler Insiders group (see this section for how to find your links and this section for where to share them), we’re thrilled that readers are benefiting. On that note…..
If you previously skipped the SoFi Investing bonus, it may be worth a second look here if you have the cash on hand to fund your Investing account. Note that there is no requirement that you buy investments with the money deposited into your Investing account and there is no minimum time listed to keep the account open and no early termination fees in the terms, making this a pretty good deal if you can tie up the cash for a couple of weeks. A couple playing in 2-player mode could pick up $200 in free stock plus $100 in a referral bonus with just a few minutes of effort. Those playing in multi-player mode could really well.
While the terms I saw somewhere else the other day sounded as though each person opening a new account with SoFi is only eligible to receive one new account bonus, I don’t see anything in the SoFi Investing terms that indicates those who have opened SoFi Money accounts aren’t eligible to receive this bonus. Indeed, Greg, Stephen, and I (and many members of our family) have successfully opened both SoFi Money and SoFi Active Investing accounts and received both bonuses. Furthermore, you can fund your SoFi Investing account directly from your SoFi Money account if you already have the funds there — you do not need to deposit new funds from an external account (though you obviously can).
Oddly, money movement between SoFi Money and SoFi Investing is one direction only — while you can fund your SoFi Investing account with SoFi Money, you can only withdraw your SoFi Investing balance to an external account.
It is worth being aware that Investing bonuses, both the free stock for new account holders and referral bonuses for those referring new members, post on a much slower schedule than SoFi Money bonuses. I originally opened my Investing account on October 23rd and referred a couple of people that day. I received my free stock on October 30th and the referral credit from my first referrals finally became available earlier this week (November 4th or 5th). Note that the Investing bonuses post to your “available” money (i.e. money available to invest in stocks) a bit faster for those looking to invest, but it will not immediately be available to cash out. I tried buying and selling stock (both bits and shares) to see if that would make money available for withdrawal, but it does not — you just have to wait it out a bit longer for the bonuses to be withdrawable. The good news is that it does become withdrawable. See the section below for instructions on how to cash out as I did not at all find it intuitive.
Also: while the landing page clearly states that you need to deposit $1,000 to get your $100 in free stock, the instructions below the main picture note that you need to deposit $100. I imagine this is just leftover from the previous bonus (which only required a $100 deposit to get a $50 bonus in free stock) and you’ll actually have to deposit $1,000.
After helping a few friends and family through the process, I found it much easier to sign up on a desktop computer.
If you already have a SoFi Money account, sign into it on your browser. Then, open a referral link in a new tab in the same browser. When you click through to open the Investing account, it will pre-fill most of your key info and save you a few minutes. You just use all the same info as you do for the SoFi Money account — same address, email, etc — and both accounts will show up in the same SoFi Money app when you’re done.
If you haven’t signed up for SoFi Money, you can get a bonus of $50 cash when you sign up and fund your account with at least $100. See this post for full details on that.
Free stock choices
When you click through a referral link to set up your account, you will be prompted to choose the free stock bit you would like for your bonus. SoFi also offers the ability to buy full shares once you have your Investing account set up, but for the bonus you pick a “bit” — that is a fractional piece of stock. SoFi will give you whatever $100 in that stock is (in other words, if you choose a company where stock is exactly $50 a share, you’ll get 2 shares. If you choose a company where stock is $200 per share, you’ll get half a share. If you choose a company whose stock is $300 per share, you’ll get 0.33 shares — and so on.). The amount you get will depend on the price when the trade for your bonus is actually executed, but it’ll be $100 worth of that stock on that day.
The options for stock bits are plenty. I saw that they recently added Berkshire Hathaway, though I don’t know if that is an option for the free stock bit (I assume it is). Nonetheless, there were options like Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Tesla, Starbucks, Microsoft, a variety of Vanguard ETFs, and the like. This was just a partial screen shot of a long list.
You’ll hit “claim” and when the bonus posts, they will buy the specified stock for you.
A note on buying and selling stock “bits”
When you buy or sell full shares of stock with SoFi, the sale is completed more or less immediately at the current stock price.
However, buying and selling stock “bits” is not immediate. This makes sense: I imagine SoFi takes orders from all of its customers and once each afternoon (on days when the stock market is open) executes a single large order for buying / selling. For this reason, if you choose to buy or sell a stock bit, be aware that the price will vary with the market and the final price may be different than when you initiate the sale.
For example, earlier this week, I bought a $50 bit of a Vanguard ETF. I then went to sell that bit when the price was $50.03. However, lucky for me, the price of the stock went up in the hours before the trade was executed: my bit sold at $50.16. Things could have just as easily gone the other way. To my knowledge, this is standard practice with apps that allow you to buy fractions of stock shares. I note it here because it is worth knowing that your $100 in free stock could increase or decrease in value before you are able to cash it out (if you stick with a major company or stable ETF, the change is likely to be in a matter of cents rather than dollars — but YMMV).
The “free” stock posts somewhat strangely (but it is net free)
When my “free” stock posted to my account, I found it initially confusing. While SoFi advertises the new account bonus as $100 in free stock, they actually post it as a $100 welcome bonus in your Investing account that they then (sort of) use to buy a $100 stock bit in your chosen company.
However, in my case at least, they actually used money from my initial deposit to buy the stock. It’s a little confusing, but it comes out as a wash in the end.
In other words, I put $100 in my Investing account (when I opened my account, the minimum deposit was $100 to receive $50 in free stock). On the day of my “free” stock posting, my account showed a $50 “Welcome Bonus” credit and a $50 “buy” order for my chosen stock. That made the stock net free. However, you’ll see screen shots below that show $50 in withdrawable cash. I came to realize that this was because SoFi had used $50 of my initial deposit money to actually buy the stock bit and the $50 welcome bonus was not yet “withdrawable”. While I spent a few hours being confused at how the Investing bonuses worked and became withdrawable, the short story is that all of the money eventually becomes withdrawable, so it’s really a wash in the end — I note it here so that you are less confused than I was.
Withdrawing SoFi Investing money
On that note, the process of withdrawing your SoFi Investing money isn’t as intuitive as transfers on the SoFi Money side. To withdraw money from your SoFi Investing account, you’ll need to pull up the “Invest” tab in the SoFi app.
Then at the top, you’ll see your account balance. You’ll want to click “View account” under the total.
That brings up the account details again and this is the least intuitive part of the process. It shows your total again underneath where it said “View Account”. Though it doesn’t look like it, that second total is a clickable button. Click that as shown here:
On the next page, you’ll see your balance yet again, but what you are looking for is “buying power”. This represents a mixture of money you have deposited and not yet invested and any referral bonuses that have been credited to your account.
On the next page you will again see your “buying power”. That’s the total money you have available for investing immediately. It also shows “instant funding remaining”. My understanding there is that SoFi will essentially let you make an ACH transfer from your bank and instantly use up to $1,000 even before the deposit reaches your SoFi account — so that’s not actually money in the account but rather the limit as to what they’ll let you buy before the transfer is complete. At the bottom, you’ll see withdrawable cash.
In the screen shot above, you’ll notice that the withdrawable cash is only $50. That’s because, as noted above, bonuses from referrals become available to invest before they are available to cash out. It takes 2-3 weeks for that money to become withdrawable. The above screen shots were taken earlier this week; that money has since become withdrawable. You’ll need a little patience, but the good news is that it does happen.
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.
Though I’ll readily admit that the process if withdrawing cash from the SoFi Investing account isn’t at all intuitive (disappointingly so I think), it is just a few clicks once you know how it is done and I think it is worth the minor pain points for some easy money, especially if you’re playing the game in multi-player mode. While I hopped on the Investing bandwagon before this increased bonus (as did most of my family), it represents a nice opportunity for those who can take advantage. I know that many readers previously signed up for SoFi Money accounts (many thanks to those who have used our links!) and some of you may not have yet signed up for Investing. While this does require having the cash on hand to make a deposit and let it sit for a few weeks, the return seems well worth it, especially if you have multiple family members who can get in on it.
Last updated on January 27th, 2020