SoFi Credit Card Review: 2% Back, When You Redeem the Right Way

The card's high flat rate applies when you redeem rewards into a SoFi Money or Invest account or put it toward the balance on a SoFi loan. But if you want a statement credit instead, rewards are worth only half as much.
Sara RathnerOct 20, 2021

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Our Take

4.7

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: The incentive to apply your rewards toward money goals is helpful, but other cash-back cards are potentially more flexible and valuable.

SoFi Credit Card

on SoFi's website

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

Quick FactsView rates and fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Cell phone insurance
  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • No intro APR
  • Best rewards limited to certain customers

Alternate Pick: Sign-Up Bonus

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

1.5% Cash Back

Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, plus a sign-up bonus: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Annual fee

$0

Regular APR

12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

13.99%-23.99% Variable APR

Regular APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

At first glance, the $0-annual-fee SoFi Credit Card is a straightforward credit card that earns 2% cash back on all eligible purchases — among the best rates you can find on cards in its class.

But it's designed a little differently from others promising similar rewards. Technically, you earn points worth 1 cent each, and to get to that 2% rate, you must redeem those points toward investing, cryptocurrency, saving or paying down an eligible loan with SoFi. Other redemption options aren't as valuable.

You don't have to be a SoFi customer to get the card, but it's certainly best suited for those who have other SoFi accounts, so they can redeem rewards at the highest value. If you're not interested in joining the SoFi ecosystem, there are other credit cards that earn 2% cash back on purchases, and with fewer hoops to jump through.

SoFi Credit Card: Basics

Card type: Cash back.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to $100 when you open and fund a SoFi Money and a SoFi Invest account after getting approved for the SoFi Credit Card (See Terms).

Rewards: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.

Redemption options: 

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 12.99% - 24.99% Variable.

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Additional benefits:

  • Make 12 on-time payments and the APR decreases 1%.

  • Instant digital access upon approval. You can add the card to an eligible digital wallet and begin using it right away without having to wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail.

Benefits of the SoFi Credit Card

Rewards that incentivize working toward specific goals

The SoFi Credit Card gently nudges you toward financial actions that can help you meet money goals. Applying your cash back toward savings, investing, cryptocurrency or debt repayment is a way to make earned rewards work even harder for you. But as you use the card, keep in mind that it takes $1,250 of spending to rack up $25 in cash back, assuming you deposit that cash back in a way that yields the full penny-per-point value. Point being, the rewards are nice, but they’re not going to wipe out a large debt.

The card resembles the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, which also advertises a 2% cash-back rate on all purchases — as long as you deposit those rewards into an eligible Fidelity account.

The ability to redeem rewards for cryptocurrency is rare. Two other upcoming crypto credit cards, the Gemini Credit Card and BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards credit card, currently have waitlists.

Nerdy tip: To redeem rewards for cryptocurrency, you must have both a SoFi Invest and SoFi Crypto account. Currently, only Bitcoin and Ethereum are available as cryptocurrency redemption options for the SoFi Credit Card. Residents of Hawaii, Nevada and West Virginia can’t redeem rewards toward cryptocurrency.

A lower interest rate if you pay on time

If you make 12 on-time payments of at least the minimum amount due, the interest rate will be lowered by 1% assuming you keep making payments on time. This feature helpfully adds on one more incentive to meet money goals, because paying credit card bills on time can help you build a positive credit history.

World Elite Mastercard benefits

As a World Elite Mastercard, the SoFi Credit Card comes with additional perks like cell phone protection up to $1,000 and discounts at participating merchants including Lyft, ShopRunner and Boxed.

Drawbacks and alternatives

Lower rewards value for some redemptions

If a statement credit is what you crave, you’re not going to extract the biggest benefit out of this card. That’s because points are worth half as much, a paltry 0.5 cent each, when redeemed this way. For the ultimate flexibility of cash back with a high rewards rate, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. It earns 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you spend, 1% as you pay it back. And you can redeem rewards for a statement credit, direct deposit to a bank account, or a check. You can also convert rewards to Citi ThankYou points.

Geared toward SoFi loans only

You can redeem SoFi Credit Card rewards toward a SoFi student loan only. If you have federal student loans or a private loan from another lender and you want to apply credit card rewards to those balances, the Sallie Mae Accelerate credit card is an option. The $0-annual-fee card earns 1.25% cash back, and for the first 12 months, you’ll earn double that (2.5%) on up to $20,000 in spending. Redeem those rewards toward any federal or private student loan and get a 25% bonus on your redemption.

Mediocre sign-up bonus

There are some $0-annual-fee cards that earn a more modest 1.5% cash back, but with the welcome addition of a more generous sign-up bonus. Depending on your annual spending, the card earning 1.5% back may come out ahead. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, for example, offers this appealing sign-up bonus: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

If you'd like to learn about alternative card options, you can consult NerdWallet's list of best credit cards to have.

Should you get the SoFi Credit Card?

If you already have one or more eligible SoFi accounts and want to dedicate your cash-back rewards to financial goals like loan repayment or investing, the SoFi Credit Card can be a helpful addition to your wallet. But if your accounts are through other banks and you'd prefer to use your rewards in other ways, this card wouldn't be a good fit.

Frequently asked questions