Friday, October 25, 2019

Easy sign-up bonus money ($150 or more!) from SoFi (and maybe useful products??)

This is a great and easy deal(s). Read on for more details ...

UPDATED (11/15/19): I'll update some of the details below. The key change is that you are now getting $100 (previously only $50) from SoFi Invest, but you have to deposit $1000 (up from $100) into the SoFi Invest account to get the $100 bonus (but you do NOT have to invest the $1000 - you can withdraw as much of as little of it as you'd like to at a later date). Also, they are now only giving $50 for referrals (once you sign up and refer other family/friends) to SoFi Money (previously $100).

****This is a REALLY EASY deal with great value. Don't be scared away by all the words (below). But I just wanted to be sure you had all the details.****

If you're a regular reader of miles/points/deals/travel blogs, then you've probably already heard about this deal (such as here and here from my friends at Miles to Memories).

But if you're not, then maybe this is news to you ... and it's a really great (and pretty easy) deal. It's worth at least $150 ($50 + $100) to you, but could be worth even more (quite a bit more) if you have other friends/family to refer (much as I'm doing with you now!). Of course, feel free to share my referral links with them ... but I won't blame you at all for sharing your own referral links (just please use mine when YOU sign up! thanks!!) ...

There are kind of two (or three) parts to this deal, as you'll read below.

The first is SoFi Money. It's basically a debit card "cash management" (or savings) account. The primary features that you might care about are: a) no fees, b) decent interest rate (currently 1.6%), and c) specifically NO ATM FEES (any fees you get charged are refunded). I think that last one is the most interesting, unless you already have a bank relationship that does this for you. You know the annoying message when you use an ATM machine that says "we're going to charge you $X, on top of whatever your bank charges"? (Very common internationally or places like Las Vegas casinos.) Well, apparently SoFi will refund/waive those charges. So taking cash out of ATM's with your SoFi debit card is always fee-free, no matter what the fees are that are charged by the ATM.

But the best part of signing up for SoFi Money is that they give you $50 (put into your account within a couple of days), just for signing up and funding your account with $100. It's easy to fund from another checking account. As best as I can tell (and have read), they do NOT do any sort of credit pull (hard or soft). And it appears (I'm not certain) that they do not issue a 1099 tax form unless/until you receive bonuses totaling $600+ in a calendar year (of course, consult your tax professional regarding handling/treatment of any income you receive).

Once you sign up for SoFi Money, you will be able to refer your family and friends, and you get $100 $50 for each successful referral. (It is unknown how long this $100 referral offer will be around. It was previously $50 until very recently. And, now, as of Novemeber 2019, it's back down to $50.) As I said above, I certainly won't fault you for using your own referral link (see below how to get them) to sign up your own family and friends ... but I also would love it if you passed this along to anyone you think might be interested and have them use mine! :)

HERE IS MY SoFi MONEY REFERRAL LINK (just click on it, or copy & paste this: ). I recommend right-clicking on it (or copy/paste) and choosing the option to open it up in a "private" or "incognito" browser session.

The second is SoFi Invest.** It is basically a no-fee brokerage account, for buying stocks and ETFs. I won't go into a big description, but they basically have a list of 50 or so stocks or ETFs that you're allowed to buy: a) for any dollar amount (don't need to buy full shares of stock), and b) with no fees. I haven't played around with it yet, so you'll be learning right along with me, but it looks pretty slick.

The best part of signing up for SoFi Invest is that they give you $50 $100 (towards the stock or ETF of your choosing) for simply depositing $100 $1000. (This deal may only be available until 10/31/19, unless they extend it. So be sure to fund your account with $100 by Halloween. Or check to see if the deal has been extended. I'll try to update it here, but no promises! They extended the deal, but with the noted changes.) This is much like SoFi Money (above), except for THIS KEY DIFFERENCE ... the $100 can be funded from SoFi Money (into SoFi Invest) ... so you can use the same $100! Update: Unfortunately, with the minimum deposit going up from $100 to $1000, you'll probably have to fund the $1000 (or $900) from another external account (unless you want to fund SoFi Money with $1000, and then just move it over to SoFi Invest a few days later).

Key detail (less relevant now that SoFi Invest requires $1000 funding to earn $100 sign-up bonus): if you sign up for both Money and Invest today and fund Money (with $100 from an existing/external checking account), it will take a day or two for those funds to show up fully in your Money account ... and thus to be ready to fund your Invest account. But it's okay to sign up for both today, and then wait a couple days to fund the Invest account with the $100 from your Money account. (Tip: I've found that you can fund the Invest from Money after one day ONLY if you use the SoFi app. For whatever reason, the Money $100 funds become available sooner there. Ore you can wait an extra day or two to presumably do it via the desktop/browser interface.)

When all is said and done (if you do as described above), you will have $50 in your Money account (the bonus for signing up and funding with $100), and you will have $100 cash in your Invest account plus $50 in whichever stock or ETF you selected. So you've parked $100 at SoFi and received a $50 cash bonus and a $50 stock/ETF bonus. you will earn a $50 bonus for funding your SoFi Money account with $100, and then you will earn $100 bonus for funding your SoFi Invest account with $1000. Then you can decide if you want to keep using either or both SoFi account if you like them. Or if not, down the road, you can withdraw your funds (sell the stock or ETF with no fees) and deposit them back in your current bank.

HERE IS MY SoFi INVEST REFERRAL LINK (just click on it, or copy & paste this: ). I recommend right-clicking on it (or copy/paste) and choosing the option to open it up in a "private" or "incognito" browser session.

I'll quickly note that the third potential bonus is within the Invest platform. At least as of this posting, they will give you $25 in crypto (crypto-currency of some sort - I have not researched) for funding and buying $10 worth of crypto. I do believe there are fees involved with at least the selling process in crypto, so definitely do your homework there if you decide to participate.**

Finally, a key component to all of this the referral bonuses for getting family/friends to sign up (unless you want to tell them to use mine, out of the goodness of your heart!). To find the referral links, obviously you must sign up first. Then the KEY PIECE of information is that you can only find the referral links (separate for Money and Invest) in the SoFi app (you canNOT find them in the PC/browser interface). Here's another key ... by my reading of their terms, a person cannot get referral credit for both Money and Invest for the same person signing up. That's why the links I shared above, one is from me and the other from another family member.

FINAL (really final!) favor to ask (besides using my links) ... please shoot me a message (text, twitter DM, email, or a comment on the bottom of this post) to let me know if/when you use my referral links. I'd love to keep track of them and make sure they post, if possible.

Thanks!! Let me know if you have any questions or run into any snags.

Here are screenshots from the app, showing where to find the referral links:

** Notes: None of this (especially buying/selling/trading/owning securities) is intended to be investment advice. Please consult your financial or investment adviser. Also, sadly I cannot guarantee that the SoFi bonuses will come in as expected. They have for me and many others, and appear to be a pretty safe bet - as of the date of this post anyway: 10/25/19.

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