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With SoFi, the rewards you earn are most valuable when redeemed into an eligible SoFi account, which includes investing in cryptocurrency, savings, or paying down eligible loans.
SoFi Technologies, Inc., more commonly known as SoFi, was founded in San Francisco in 2011 by Stanford business school students. What started as a company looking to help with student loans has grown into a fintech powerhouse, offerings savings, checking and investing products to help consumers manage their money in one convenient location. SoFi also offers mortgages, personal loans and student loan refinancing.
SoFi has over 1 million member users as of January 2020, and in February 2022 SoFi was approved to complete an acquisition of Golden Pacific Bancorp. This acquisition will make SoFi a bank holding company, allowing it to offer banking products directly to applicants, rather than relying on third party banks. Until the transition is complete, banking products will continue to be issued by banks SoFi has forged partnerships with, like the Bank of Missouri.
The SoFi credit card stands out for its simplicity. The card charges no annual fee, which is our standard expectation for a cash back credit card. It also does not charge a foreign transaction fee, making this a good card for those looking to travel internationally, at least occasionally. Many cards tack on a 3% service fee to use their cards overseas. SoFi's credit card also comes with competitive interest rates for those with the strongest credit profiles. Overall, the fees and charges associated with this card are comparatively low when looking at its credit card peers.
In addition to the competitive fees, the SoFi credit card also offers benefits through the Mastercard World Elite program. These include cell phone protection when you use your card to pay your phone bill each month, Lyft credits when you take at least 5 Lyft rides per month, and exclusive discounts on movie tickets and other events.
The rewards on the SoFi card are simple for those already using one of SoFi's many other financial products. The card earns 2 points per dollar on all eligible purchases. Points are worth a penny a piece when redeemed as a deposit into an eligible SoFi account, or when used to pay down an eligible SoFi loan. Other redemptions are worth half a cent each, making your net rewards per dollar only 1% cashback. We don't recommend this card for those looking to redeem rewards outside SoFi's platform. With that being said, you can always redeem your rewards into a SoFi savings or checking account and then move that cash to an outside bank account. Problem solved!
What we love about the rewards is the ability to directly invest through SoFi's Invest account. We view rewards as discretionary fun money. In other words, rewards aren't part of your monthly budget - they are a nice surprise. Rather than using cash back to pay for a blender, we appreciate the ability to take that windfall of rewards and put it to work in an investment account. This provides a budget friendly way to expose yourself to the stock market without putting your core monthly household funds at risk.
Where things get fascinating for us is using rewards to purchase cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is highly speculative, and subject to wild price swings. We're not comfortable putting "earned money" into an investment that could lose all of its value. We are comfortable using our credit card rewards for some speculative gambling, though. Redeeming SoFi rewards into a SoFi Invest account qualifies for the 2% cash back rate, and from there you're off to the races betting on over 30 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum.
SoFi started off as a platform for those with excellent credit, and they haven't strayed far from that with the SoFi credit card. It's recommended that applicants have a good to excellent credit score, which means a FICO score of around 680 or higher.
Keep in mind that a score you get from a tool like Credit Karma may not be used by a lender when they check your credit. SoFi has you covered, though. You can check for a credit card offer with SoFi by using their prequalification option without harming your credit score.
The available Reddit reviews for SoFi credit card are positive. Many users report good experiences interacting with SoFi, the card approval process going smoothly, and a hassle-free rewards redemption process. The biggest item of concern appears to be a delay in transactions positing to the online account. If you're someone that meticulously checks your app for new charges, this may be something to consider.
SoFi isn't accredited by the BBB, but they do have an A+ rating on the platform.
If you're still on the fence, it doesn't hurt to check to see if you're eligible for an offer. The prequalification process is quick and easy. You'll be able to see what interest rate you'll qualify for at this point in the process, which may help you decide if you want to apply for the card.
For those already invested in the SoFi ecosystem, we think this card is a winner. The rewards and low-fee structure are truly some of the best in the industry. If you're looking to invest credit card rewards in a new savings account or the stock market, we think this card is definitely worth being on your short list. We particularly enjoy the access to invest in the cryptocurrency market.
For those looking for a no annual fee cash back card that doesn't require a specific account or banking relationship to maximize your reward redemption value, we'd recommend taking a closer look at the Citi Double Cash card.
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