SoFi Money exploded onto the scene last year with some generous new account offers. They have since scaled back quite a bit on offers for opening new SoFi Money or SoFi Investing accounts while running some other interesting offers like 20% back on Lyft (expired 2/19) and the current deal for 20% back on streaming and delivery services (which stacks for some people for 40% back on Netflix). Now they are switching things up with a new offer for new accounts: get 5% back on all purchases made within 60 days of account opening up to $100 back. This apparently does not stack with the referral offer — you’ll have to pick one or the other. In terms of which is “better”, that depends on your circumstances as explained below.
- SoFi Money is offering 5% back on all purchases for the first 60 days (up to $100 back on $2K) for new accounts opened directly through SoFi Money (i.e. not through a referral)
- Direct link to this deal
- The offer is open to new Accounts opened between April 20, 2020 at 12:01AM PT and Jun 30, 2020 at 11:59PM PT and will be in effect for 60 days from the date your new SoFi Money Account is opened. Note that in most instances, after you open a new Account, it will take 5-10 business days before you receive your SoFi Money Debit Card and can begin making eligible purchases.
- Participation in the Program is open to new SoFi Money Members who reside within the United States and open new SoFi Money Accounts during the Promotion Period.
- Most purchase transactions using your SoFi Money Debit Card are eligible for cash back under the Program.
- Certain merchants and transactions are excluded, including DoorDash, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access, Pandora Music, and Google Music. Purchase transactions with the aforementioned excluded merchants are not eligible for the Stimulus Multiplier 5% Cash Back Program, but may remain eligible for other cash back programs offered by SoFi.
- ATM, Bill Pay, ACH transactions, and purchases via check are not eligible for the Program.
- For each eligible transaction made within 60 days of the date your new SoFi Money Account is opened, SoFi will credit your account for an amount equal to 5% of each eligible purchase, up to a maximum of $100 during the Promotion Period (“Cash Back”).
- See promotion page for full terms
SoFi Money is definitely an account worth having. While interest rates have unfortunately plummeted, the lack of monthly fees or minimums and instant reimbursement of most ATM fees make it a great account for travelers. If you haven’t yet opened an account with them, it’s worth considering any way you slice it, especially if you don’t already have a debit card that reimburses ATM fees for withdrawing cash when you travel. The key for most people will be comparing this new 5%-back offer to the referral offer.
This new offer is structured like this:
- Sign up for a new account through SoFi Money (not a referral link) and get 5% back on all purchases for the first 60 days (apparently this does not stack with the streaming cash back) up to $100 back
- Put simply, the offer is this: Spend $2K in the first 60 days, get $100 back
Contrast that with the current referral offer. You can find full details and Frequent Miler team member links in this post, but here’s the basic deal:
- Open through a referral link and get a $75 bonus after receiving two direct deposits totaling $500 or more
- Refer others and get $25 for each person who opens and completes the direct deposit requirements
Keep in mind that while the requirements state that the direct deposit must be in the form of salary, pension, social security benefits, etc, things aren’t always enforced as strictly as they sound. Doctor of Credit maintains a great resource in terms of what activity may satisfy direct deposit requirements for various banks.
Assuming that you could potentially meet the direct deposit requirement, consider the following:
- If you’ll spend less than $1500 in the next 60 days, the referral offer works out better (as you’d earn less than $75 with the 5% back offer)
- If someone in your household is opening the account, you can get $100 total between the $25 bonus for referring your family member and his/her $75 new account bonus. If you’re pooling funds anyway, this enables you to end up with the same amount of money without any spending required.
If you can easily spend $2K on a debit card in the next two months and you don’t have anyone else in your household with an account, this new $100 offer is $25 richer than your next best option for this account.
I’m not a huge fan of using a debit card for everyday purchases given the relative lack of protections as compared to a credit card, but I can envision scenarios in which this deal could make sense. I don’t see restrictions listed in terms of whether transactions need to be signature-based or whether PIN transactions would count, so there may be some easy opportunities to meet the requirements.
It’s also kind of odd to see a bank account bonus based on depleting your bank account, but who am I to question SoFi’s marketing department? They’ve certainly shown some creativity over the past couple of months and I’m glad to see them continue to do so.
H/T: Doctor of Credit