The incentive to apply your rewards toward money goals is helpful, but other cash-back cards are potentially more flexible and valuable.
Pros & Cons
No annual fee
Cell phone insurance
Flexible rewards redemption
No intro APR
Best rewards limited to certain customers
Compare to Other Cards
13.24%-25.24% Variable APR
14.74%-24.74% Variable APR
12.24%-23.24% Variable APR
0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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 $200 when you fund an Invest account as well as a Checking and Savings account after getting approved for the SoFi Credit Card (See Terms)..
Rewards: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases (3 points in the first year, if you set up direct deposit).
Redeem at a value of 1 cent per point as cash deposited into your SoFi Checking and Savings account, as whole or fractional shares credited to a SoFi Invest account, as digital currency credited to your SoFi Crypto account, or as cash applied to the outstanding balance on a SoFi Student loans, SoFi Refinance or SoFi Personal Loan.
Redeem at a value of 0.5 cent per point toward a statement credit.
Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 13.24%-25.24% Variable.
Foreign transaction fee: None.
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. For example, the BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Credit Card has launched, but as of April 2022, the Gemini Credit Card has temporarily paused applications.
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 DoorDash.
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.
NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.