The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.
Her First $100K is an affiliate of SoFi, but as always, all of our opinions are our own. We will never partner with a brand/organization we personally do not use/believe in.
When we talk about HYSA’s on social media or during workshops, we get a variety of questions like:
Is there a catch to a HYSA?
Why do I need a HYSA if I already have a savings account?
What IS a HYSA?
This practically magical financial account is, unfortunately, one of the best-kept secrets of the financial industry. But that ends here because, at Her First $100K™, we don’t gatekeep valuable financial tools. Today we are breaking down why you need a HYSA and sharing our current HYSA recommendation so you can get the ball rolling on that sweet, sweet interest ASAP! SoFi is an affiliate of Her First $100K — all our opinions are our own. We will never partner with a brand/organization we personally do not use/believe in.
If you have followed Her First $100K for a while, then you know that we talk incessantly about high-yield savings accounts.
Your typical savings account earns you around 0.03% at your local bank — literal pennies. A high-yield savings account, on the other hand, can earn you 20 times more*. In other words, the longer you wait to open up a high-yield savings account, the more money you miss out on by not allowing it to earn all that extra interest!
This led me to my newest partnership with SoFi, and I am so excited to share more about their incredibly accessible HYSA. SoFi currently offers an up to 4.50% variable APY†, which means it gives you 10x more interest than the national savings account average!
Keep in mind that the variable APY means that the percentage will fluctuate with the market, so this number may shift depending on when you’re reading this! With SoFi’s current interest rate, you can earn more interest in nine days than you would in one year in a big bank’s checking or savings account – talk about getting the most bang for your buck!
What are High-Yield Savings Accounts?
High-yield savings accounts are savings accounts but have interest rates that match up to longer-term accounts (like certificates of deposit). HYSA’s are typically hosted on online platforms, which means that they have less overhead costs than a traditional brick-and-mortar bank or credit union. As a result, the platform then gives some of those savings back to its customers – win-win!
Not only do high-yield savings accounts have interest rates comparable with longer-term accounts, but they also come with more flexibility, such as how soon you can withdraw funds without an early withdrawal penalty.
That’s why high-yield savings accounts are perfect for emergency funds and short-term savings goals – you have total flexibility to liquidate your cash in a pinch if need be.
So, What Makes SoFi Special?
Over the last few months, we have been getting flooded with messages, comments, and emails asking for our personal HYSA recommendation. You see, not all HYSA’s are created equal, and we wanted to make sure that any account that we recommended would get you not only one hell of an interest rate on your investments, but also the best perks and customer service that is available in the personal finance industry.
We looked at a lot of HYSA options – like…A LOT. We put them through the wringer to ensure that we were finding the absolute best recommendation for our community. And when we connected with SoFi, we knew.
We aren’t ones to typically talk about love at first sight and yet, here we are.
Maybe it was the up to 4.50% variable APY, or the complete lack of account fees, or the overdraft coverage, or the “no minimum deposit” policy…or maybe it was all that and everything else that SoFi has to offer. But after hearing the rave reviews from our community and putting SoFi to the test ourselves, we knew that we had found the perfect HYSA for Her First $100K and our Financial Feminists.
But you don’t have to just take our word for it. Here are the reasons why we think that SoFi is the best HYSA for our community:
No Account Fees
SoFi thinks your money should stay in your pockets, and we agree! With SoFi, there are no overdraft fees. No minimum balance fees. No monthly fees. In fact, SoFi even offers 55,000+ fee-free ATMs within the Allpoint® Network§.
We’re big fans of you keeping your money –– SoFi is too.
One of the biggest things we wanted to avoid in our HYSA partner was a minimum deposit to open an account, as these minimums can often be difficult to reach for beginners and lower earners.
We are excited to share that SoFi does not require a minimum deposit in order to open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, so it doesn’t matter if you’re putting $50 or $5000 in your account. Go ahead and contribute as much or as little as you need to and watch as your money begins to grow, baby grow.
This is especially great for anyone with varied incomes, like college students, freelancers, small business owners, or people who work on commission.
No-Fee Overdraft Coverage
If you have ever had to pay an overdraft fee, then you know that there are few things more frustrating. Even just a small, accidental overdraft can result in a hefty fee from your bank, often resulting in massive penalizations of people who most need the money in their pockets.
SoFi knows that sometimes accidents happen, so they offer overdraft protection up to $50 totally fee-free ¶.
Thanks for looking out, SoFi.
Cash-Back Close to Home
When you use your SoFi debit card, you can earn up to 15% cash back at local retailers#. You can then take those cash savings and pop them back into your HYSA to take advantage of that amazing up to 2.00% APY!
Customer Service is a top priority
Here at Her First $100K, we know how important it is to have financial security, support, and transparency with your financial services providers. That goes for your employers, your banks, your financial educators (hi, that’s us!), and your HYSA providers.
Basically what we are saying is that when it comes to your money, you should never have to sit with unanswered questions, wonder what’s going on, or feel like there is any uncertainty about how or when you can access your money. Think of it this way: if you asked a friend to hold $500 for you, you’d expect them to text you back when you are ready to go get that money.
The same thing goes for your HYSA provider. Listen, an HYSA can offer the highest interest rate available and all the perks a customer could ever want, but without the customer service to back it up, they will never be able to offer the security and support that we demand for the HFK community.
That’s where SoFi goes above and beyond; not only do they offer the best options for interest rates and customer perks, but their customer service is just as impressive as their banking services!
SoFi has trained a dedicated support team specifically for Checking and Savings account members that is available through both chat and phone seven days a week (Monday-Thursday 5AM-7PM PT and Friday-Sunday 5AM-5PM PT), so you never have to go days at a time waiting for assistance or information regarding your hard-earned money.
Additionally, in the case of account changes, SoFi members will be notified via multiple channels including email, in-app, and posts on the SoFi Facebook Member Group, so you will never be in the dark about what’s going on with your account.
Automatic Saving Features
We are BIG fans of making your savings as streamlined and automatic as possible, and with SoFi’s automatic saving features, you never have to worry about jumping through crazy hoops to transfer money into your HYSA.
You can set up automatic transfers or direct deposits straight into your SoFi account so that your money can start growing interest without having to lift a pinky. In other words, your SoFi account will literally help you make money while you sleep. What’s not to love?
Functional Design & App
With society always on the go, managing your money from your phone is a BIG perk. A major downside to other banks and HYSA’s is their clunky mobile apps – something you won’t have to worry about with SoFi.
SoFi has a sleek and highly functional app design –– making taking advantage of its features easy and painless. They even have a handy in-network ATM finder if you need to pull cash.
There’s a convenient toggle to turn your cards on or off — a great feature if you ever misplace or lose your debit card.
More Features We Love on the SoFi App:
Turn on real-time transaction notifications to get push notifications after every purchase and daily balance alerts every morning, so you’re never in the dark with your money!
Integrated with Apple Pay™ and Google Pay™ for when you forget your wallet!
Security is a Priority
The security of your private information and money is a top priority to SoFi. The SoFi app allows you to turn off your card immediately if you think your information is compromised or your card was stolen, and they maintain industry-standard administrative, technical, and physical safeguards in order to protect your information.
Reasons you may want to consider other HYSA’s
Something to note is that, when you sign up for SoFi’s HYSA, you’ll also get a SoFi checking account. This is not a big obstacle for many, but if you’re loyal to your current bank’s checking account, SoFi may not be the HYSA for you.
You also will need a Social Security Number in order to be eligible.
Why should you consider SoFi?
Applying for an account is free, consists of a quick process, and won’t affect your credit score. When you sign up for a SoFi account, you’ll receive:
• A SoFi debit Mastercard®
• A Checking and High Yield Savings Account
• Access to their mobile app to keep you in control of your money
SoFi may be a good fit for you if:
You’re starting with a smaller amount of savings (there’s no minimum deposit)
You’re further along in your financial journey and already have a hefty sum saved (there’s no “cap” on the up to 4.50% APY).
You make variable income and may not be able to guarantee a certain savings deposit amount per month
You want built-in automated savings tools
You are saving for a short-term goal (wedding, vacation, etc.) and want to maximize your savings
You are looking for the best place to put your emergency fund
You want a HYSA that offers the best customer support
You want to be able to check on your HYSA on the go with a user-friendly app
You want to earn as much on your savings as possible with the convenience of a debit card
We have always said that the most important factors in choosing an HYSA are that it’s FDIC insured and that it’s actually a High Yield Savings Account –– start there and choose the account that best fits your lifestyle and goals!
Take our FREE quiz for a personalized, step-by-step money plan 🤑
*10x based on FDIC monthly savings account rate as of August 2, 2023.
†SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.50% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 4.50% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
‡ The following describes the terms that apply to participation in the SoFi Checking and Savings direct deposit program (“Program”) offered by SoFi Bank, N.A Member FDIC (“SoFi”).
Eligible Participants: All new members who open a SoFi Checking and Savings account during the Promotion Period (as defined below) and all existing SoFi Checking and Savings customers who have not previously set up direct deposit transactions into their SoFi Checking and Savings account as of the beginning of the Promotion Period are eligible for the Program. Members who previously received a bonus for enrolling in direct deposit into either SoFi Money or SoFi Checking and Savings do not qualify for this promotion.
Promotion Period: The Program will be available from 4/5/22 12:01AM ET to 9/30/22 11:59PM ET.
Bonus Terms: In order to qualify for eligibility for a bonus, SoFi must receive at least one Qualifying Direct Deposit (as defined below) from an Eligible Participant during the Promotion Period. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from an enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. The amount of the bonus, if any, is described below. No bonuses shall be paid for Qualifying Direct Deposits of less than $1,000 during the Evaluation Period (defined below).
Evaluation Period: The bonus amount will vary based on the total amount of Qualifying Direct Deposits received during a 30-day period (the “Evaluation Period”). Once the Evaluation Period has elapsed, we will determine if you have met the offer requirements and will deposit any earned bonus into your checking account within 14 days. For example, if you receive $1,000-$1,999 in Qualifying Direct Deposits in the Evaluation Period, you will receive a cash bonus of $50. A member may only qualify for one bonus tier and will not be eligible for future bonus payments if inflows subsequently increase beyond the Evaluation Period.
Total Qualifying Direct Deposit amount in 30-day Evaluation Period
$1,000 – $1,999
$2,000 – $4,999
$5,000 or more
Payment timeline: SoFi will credit members who meet qualification criteria within 14 days of the end of the Evaluation Period.
This offer cannot be combined with the SoFi Checking and Savings Direct Deposit rate discount on a SoFi personal loan. Bonuses are considered miscellaneous income, and may be reportable to the IRS on Form 1099-MISC (or Form 1042-S, if applicable). SoFi reserves the right to exclude any Members from participating in the Program for any reason, including suspected fraud, misuse, or if suspicious activities are observed. SoFi also reserves the right to stop or make changes to the Program at any time.
SoFi members with Direct Deposit can earn up to 2.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for 2.00% APY. Members without Direct Deposit will earn 1.00% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 2.00% APY is current as of 08/12/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
§We’ve partnered with Allpoint to provide you with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. You will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third-party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
¶Overdraft Coverage is limited to $50 on debit card purchases only and is available to customers with monthly direct deposits of $1,000 or more. Members with a prior history of non-repayment of negative balances are ineligible for Overdraft Coverage.
#Earn up to 15% cash back on local retailers. List of retailers may vary. See our terms and conditions.