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Taking money out in foreign ATM can be expensive. There are two fee components that you have to worry about – 1) the fees that your bank might charge for using an ATM that is not part of their network and 2) the fees that the foreign bank might charge. If you have a regular bank account, the first fee is probably around 3% and the second fee can be anywhere between $1.50 and $5. So if you take out $100USD in foreign currencies, you can be charge up to $8 in fees. That adds up quickly.
For the last few years, most of us on the team have been using Charles Schwab’s High Yield Investor Checking Accounts, which reimburse all ATM fees worldwide. We have generally been very happy with it, but we do not like how it takes until the end of the month for the reimbursement to be credited back to your account.
Update 11/27/2019 – signup bonus is now $25
What is SoFi Money?
SoFi is a personal finance company based out of California. It recently introduced SoFi Money which offers:
- No ATM fees anywhere in the world that accepts Visa. So if the bank charges a fee, you will get that fee reimbursed once that fee is posted.
- No account minimums or overdraft fees
- High interest rates – currently you earn 1.60% APY, which is higher than most saving accounts
- Setup the account in under 3 minutes without a credit inquiry.
- $25 signup bonus once you fund your account with at least $100 within 14 days of account opening
Receive 20% cash back on Lyft Rides with SoFi Money
Until February 18th, 2020, you will save 20% on all Lyft rides up to $1,000 back. The rebate is simple:
- Add SoFi Money card as a payment option on the Lyft app
- Make the SoFi Money card as the default payment on the Lyft app
- Receive 20% cash back for every ride until February 18th, 2020.
Our SoFi Money Experience So Far:
Our experiences with SoFi Money have been extremely positive. It took us about two minutes to sign up for SoFi Money online. Once we funded the SoFi Money account by linking our regular checking account, the $50 bonus was in our account two days later. Five days later, we received our ATM card. We were able to activate the ATM and set up the PIN with a one-minute phone call.
How we plan to use SoFi Money
We plan to use the SoFi Money ATM card as our primary travel card because of the speed which ATM fees are reimbursed. But, beyond having our ATM fees reimbursed, SoFi Money‘s ability to freeze and unfreeze the account with the app gives us an added layer of protection should our SoFi checking account be compromised or frozen while traveling abroad. We can simply freeze the account with the app and then deal with the issue upon our return to the United States; our primary ATM card would then serve as a back-up.
In summary, we plan on using the SoFi Money account for all our ATM withdrawals internationally. We like it because of its great benefits:
- All ATM fees reimbursed worldwide
- Earn high interest rates – it is 1.60% APY at the moment
- No account minimums or overdraft fees
- Easy to set up an account
- And $25 signup bonus once you fund your account with at least $100 within 14 days of account opening
Apply for the SoFi Money account, receive a $25 signup bonus and pay no ATM fees anywhere in the world
*We will also receive a $25 bonus for each sign-up. Thank you for your support.
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