Guide to Airline Credit Cards?

Guide to Airline Credit Cards?

An airline credit card is a category of credit card that allows you to rack up airline miles, among other cardholder benefits. These cards are usually co-branded with a particular airline. You can reap the perks of an airline credit card through purchases made on your card.

Airline credit cards are designed with the enduring and frequent flyer in mind. However, no two cards are alike. They can vary widely in terms of perks, restrictions, and perks, which you’ll need to consider when deciding if an airline credit card is worth it.

What Is An Airline Credit Card?

As mentioned, an airline credit card is a type of credit card designed for those who hop on planes frequently, such as avid travelers and those who fly a lot for work. Major network credit card networks and banks partner with airlines to offer co-branded airline credit cards.

They usually feature a rewards program, where you can earn points or credit card miles to redeem for flights, luggage fees, in-flight wifi, food and beverages, or upgrades to first class. Other perks might include reimbursement for canceled flights, insurance for lost baggage, and hotel room upgrades.

Recommended: How Do Credit Cards Work?

How Does An Airline Credit Card Work?

When you put purchases on your airline credit card, you’ll earn points. You can later use these points for travel-related perks, such as flights, hotel stays, and free upgrades. Beyond a rewards program, an airline credit card might also feature benefits like free upgrades to first class, invitations to airport lounges, and an annual travel credit.

To redeem your points, you usually can book directly through the card issuer’s portal. Sometimes, you can transfer your points to one of the card network’s hotel or airline partners.

Unlike private label credit cards, where you can only use the card at one specific store or group of stores, airline credit cards can be used anywhere the credit card network is accepted.

Examples of Airline Credit Cards

Airline credit cards are a type of loyalty program for a particular type of airline, where you earn miles for making purchases with the card. However, there are several different kinds of airline credit cards:

•   General airline credit card: With a general airline credit card, you earn credit card points or milyoes for purchases, and you can redeem them for flights, upgrades, free wifi or in-flight food or beverage, and priority boarding or free checked bags. Some cards feature a sign-up promotion where you automatically get a certain number or miles or built-in travel perks.

•   Premium airline credit card: These have the gold cadillac version of airline card perks — think more points earned for each purchase, annual bonuses and travel credits, and access to exclusive airport lounges. As it goes, the greater the perks, the higher the annual fee. Premium airline credit cards tend to have higher annual fees than other types of airline credit cards. However, they generally aren’t quite as exclusive as, say, a black credit card.

•   Business airline credit card: This type of airline credit card is designed with the frequent business traveler in mind. Perks might include additional ways to earn higher points on business-related expenses, free upgrades to business class, a companion pass, and cards for you and your employees, which can help you earn miles more quickly.

Recommended: What Is An International Credit Card?

What to Consider Before Choosing an Airline Credit Card

The perks of an airline credit card are alluring. You’ll want to mull over these factors when shopping around for an airline credit card:

•   Fees: The more robust and attractive the perks, the higher the annual fee for a card likely is. That being said, there are a number of no annual fee credit cards in the airline credit card category that still offer perks.

•   Sign-up bonuses: Some cards will offer a sign-up bonus, such as a number of points for simply opening an account, or for spending a certain amount within a specified time frame.

•   Rewards: As you research cards, look at how you earn rewards as well as how many points you can earn for certain types of purchases. Also consider what types of rewards you’ll earn and if that’s a good fit for your spending. For instance, some people may prefer credit card miles vs. cashback.

Airline Credit Cards vs Travel Rewards Credit Cards

They might sound strikingly similar, and while airline and travel rewards credit cards both allow you to rack up credit card miles or points in return for rewards, an airline credit card is specific to an airline. In turn, you can only enjoy, say, free checked bags or flights with that specific airline.

Travel rewards cards, on the other hand, are more broad in how you can redeem miles earned. You typically use these more general rewards credit cards for any airline, hotels, and rental cars.

Both airline credit cards and travel rewards cards can come with added perks, such as credit card travel insurance. Additionally, both allow you to use them for any type of purchase. They also might feature no foreign transaction fees, like the credit card offered by SoFi.

When to Consider a General Purpose Travel Credit Card

A general travel credit card could be a good idea if you travel enough to make the most of the offered travel-related perks and rewards. It can also be a stronger choice than an airline credit card if you aren’t loyal to any particular airline carrier, or you don’t have a preference.

As usual, you’ll want to review the rewards program in addition to the perks, fees, rates, and restrictions on a card before making a decision.

Benefits of Airline Credit Cards

Unsure what the upsides are of an airline credit card? Here’s a look at the main benefits of having one:

•   Travel perks: If you hop on planes quite often, you can take advantage of an airline credit card’s rewards program. In turn, you can scoop up free flights, priority boarding, free checked bags, access to airport lounges, travel protection, and upgrades.

•   Discounts on the flight: Common in-flight discounts include money saved on wifi, meals and drinks, and on entertainment.

•   Sign-up bonuses: Some airline credit cards offer a generous sign-up bonus where you can scoop up points if you spend a certain amount within the first several months after opening an account. The exact terms will vary by card.

Airline Credit Card Cost

The cost of an airline credit card varies. Some have zero annual fees, while others can have an annual fee of several hundred dollars and upwards.

The annual percentage rate (APR) of an airline card also can vary. A particular credit card may advertise an APR range, though your rate will depend on your credit and financial situation.

Is an Airline Credit Card Right for You?

An airline credit card could be a good fit for you if you are a frequent flyer and love traveling on a particular airline. It’s important to carefully look over the perks, sign-up bonuses, and fees before moving forward with any particular airline credit card.

The Takeaway

An airline credit card could be a solid choice if you travel frequently and prefer to fly on one airline. Benefits can include travel perks, discounts, and sign-up bonuses, with rewards earned in the form of credit card points or miles. Before deciding if an airline credit card is a good idea, carefully research the perks and rewards and compare those against the fees, interest rates, and other travel cards.

In some cases, a more general rewards credit card might make more sense. With the SoFi Credit Card, for instance, you can earn cash-back rewards on all eligible purchases. You can then choose how to redeem those rewards, including using them to invest, save, or pay down eligible SoFi debt.

The SoFi Credit Card offers unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. There are no spending categories or reward caps to worry about.1



Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.

FAQ

Is an airline credit card worth it?

Wondering if an airline card is a good idea? An airline credit card could be worth it if you are a frequent flyer and like to travel on a particular airline. However, it might not be worth it if you won’t end up using the rewards often enough to justify any annual fees on the card.

What are the benefits of booking a flight with an airline credit card?

Perks of booking a flight with an airline credit card might include free checked bags, bonus offers on miles, priority boarding, and lounge access. The perks vary depending on the card.

Do you lose airline miles if you cancel a credit card?

Typically no. Points or miles earned on an airline credit card usually will be transferred to the specific airline’s loyalty program account shortly after you cancel and close out your account.

Must airline credit card rewards be used all at once?

Usually, you can use your rewards points or miles at your leisure and discretion. You do not have to use them in one fell swoop. However, points on an airline credit card might expire after a period of inactivity.


Photo credit: iStock/Choreograph

1Members earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent on purchases. No rewards points will be earned with respect to reversed transactions, returned purchases, or other similar transactions. When you elect to redeem rewards points into your SoFi Checking or Savings account, SoFi Money® account, SoFi Active Invest account, SoFi Credit Card account, or SoFi Personal, Private Student, or Student Loan Refinance, your rewards points will redeem at a rate of 1 cent per every point. For more details please visit the Rewards page. Brokerage and Active investing products offered through SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A.

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, a statement credit, or pay down eligible SoFi debt.

Members earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent on purchases. No rewards points will be earned with respect to reversed transactions, returned purchases, or other similar transactions. When you elect to redeem rewards points into your SoFi Checking or Savings account, SoFi Money® account, SoFi Active Invest account, SoFi Credit Card account, or SoFi Personal, Private Student, or Student Loan Refinance, your rewards points will redeem at a rate of 1 cent per every point. For more details, please visit the Rewards page. Brokerage and Active investing products offered through SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A.

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15/3 Credit Card Payment Method: What It Is & How It Works

15/3 Credit Card Payment Method: What It Is & How It Works

One strategy to help lower your credit utilization ratio — the percentage of your total available credit that you’re using at any one time and a big factor in determining your credit score — is the 15/3 credit card payment method.

In most cases, people make one credit card payment, often on the day it is due. With the 15/3 credit card payment method, you make two payments each statement period. You pay half of your credit card statement balance 15 days before the due date, and then make another payment three days before the due date on your statement.

What Is the 15/3 Credit Card Payment Method?

With the 15/3 rule for credit cards, instead of making one payment each month on or near the credit card payment due date, you make two payments every month. You make the first payment about 15 days before your statement date (about halfway through the statement cycle), and the second payment three days before your credit card statement is actually due.

How Does the 15/3 Credit Card Payment Work?

The way credit cards work in most cases is that you make purchases throughout the month. At the end of your statement period (usually about a month), the credit card company sends you a statement with all of your charges and your total statement balance. In an ideal situation, you’d then send a check or electronic payment to your credit card company, paying off the total amount due.

As an example, say you have a credit card with a $5,000 credit limit, and you regularly make about $3,000 in purchases each month. In a typical situation, you might make an electronic payment for $3,000 to the credit card company at the end of the statement period. But just before your payment clears, you’d have a 60% utilization ratio ($3,000 divided by $5,000), which is quite high.

If you use the 15 and 3 credit card payment method, you would make one payment (for around $1,500) 15 days before your statement is due. Then, three days before your due date, you would make an additional payment to pay off the remaining $1,500 in purchases. Making credit card payments bi-monthly means that your credit utilization ratio never goes over 30%, which is the percentage generally recommended.

Recommended: What Is the Average Credit Card Limit?

Why the 15/3 Credit Card Payment Method Works

When you’re using a credit card, your credit utilization ratio is constantly fluctuating as you make additional charges and/or payments to your account. The way that the 15/3 credit card payment trick works is by making one additional payment each month. That additional payment can help lower your credit utilization ratio throughout the month, which can be beneficial to your credit score.

Recommended: What Is a Charge Card?

Reduced Credit Card Utilization Through the 15/3 Method

Even if you regularly pay your credit card balance in full each and every month, you may still be carrying a balance throughout the month as you make charges. Because your credit utilization is calculated throughout the month, if you rack up a large balance from purchases you make, your credit score may be affected — even if you pay off your credit card bill in full at the end of the month.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

When Does the 15/3 Credit Card Payment Method Work?

While there’s no harm in making two payments each month, most people who are already paying their credit card balances in full each month are unlikely to see a huge benefit. One scenario where the 15/3 credit card method might make sense, however, is if you have a relatively low credit limit relative to your overall monthly spending. If you regularly approach or hit your credit limit in the middle of the month, making a payment in the middle of the month can have a relatively big impact on your credit utilization ratio and thus your credit score.

Another possible reason to pay on a bi-monthly basis instead of only once a month is if you have outstanding credit card debt that you’re working to pay down. If you make only the credit card minimum payment, you’ll end up paying a large amount of interest before you pay off your balance. By paying every two weeks instead, you end up making additional payments, which can help lower the total amount of interest that you have to pay before your balance is completely paid off.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

Pros and Cons of Using the 15/3 Credit Card Payment Method

While there are certainly upsides to taking advantage of the 15/3 credit card payment method, there are possible downsides to consider as well:

Pros

Cons

Can help reduce your overall credit utilization Paying bi-monthly may be harder to keep track of
Useful if need your credit score to be as high as possible because you’re applying for a mortgage or other loan May not provide much benefit in most scenarios
Can help you to pay down debt faster Can stretch finances if your income is irregular

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Using the 15/3 Credit Card Payment Method: What to Know

Should you use the 15/3 credit card payment method? Like most financial advice, it depends on your specific financial situation.

In most cases, the 15/3 rule for credit cards won’t provide a ton of benefit and may not be worth the extra organizational and logistical headache. However, it may make sense if you’re paying off existing debt, have a low overall credit limit, or need to keep your credit score up for a specific period of time (like when you’re applying for a mortgage).

The Takeaway

The 15/3 credit card payment rule is a strategy that involves making two payments each month to your credit card company. You make one payment 15 days before your statement is due and another payment three days before the due date. By doing this, you can lower your overall credit utilization ratio, which can raise your credit score.

Keeping a good credit score is important if you want to apply for new credit cards. When considering your next new credit card, you might look at a cash-back rewards credit card like the SoFi Credit Card. With the SoFi Credit Card, you can earn cash-back rewards, apply them toward your balance, redeem points into stock in a SoFi Active Invest account, and more.

Apply today for the SoFi Credit Card!

FAQ

What is the 15/3 rule in credit?

When you have a credit card, most people usually make one payment each month, when their statement is due. With the 15/3 credit card rule, you instead make two payments. The first payment comes 15 days before the statement’s due date, and you make the second payment three days before your credit card due date.

How do you do the 15/3 payment?

When you do the 15/3 credit card payment hack, you simply make an additional payment to your credit card issuer each month. Instead of only paying at the end of the statement, you make one payment about halfway through your statement (15 days before it’s due) and a second payment right before the due date (three days before it’s due).

Does the 15/3 payment method work?

In most cases, you won’t see a ton of impact to your credit score by using the 15/3 payment method. Your credit utilization ratio is only one factor that makes up your credit score, and making multiple payments each month is unlikely to make a big difference. One scenario where it might have an impact is if you have a relatively low overall credit limit compared to the amount of purchases you make each month.

Does it hurt credit to make multiple payments a month?

While most people won’t see a ton of benefit from using the 15/3 payment method to make multiple payments a month, it won’t hurt either. There isn’t a downside to making multiple payments other than making sure you have the money in your bank account for the payment and can handle the logistics of organizing multiple payments.


Photo credit: iStock/Vladimir Sukhachev

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

New and existing Checking and Savings members who have not previously enrolled in direct deposit with SoFi are eligible to earn a cash bonus when they set up direct deposits of at least $1,000 over a consecutive 25-day period. Cash bonus will be based on the total amount of direct deposit. The Program will be available through 12/31/23. Full terms at sofi.com/banking. SoFi Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 1.20% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. 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. These rates are current as of 3/17/2023. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

Members earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent on purchases. No rewards points will be earned with respect to reversed transactions, returned purchases, or other similar transactions. When you elect to redeem rewards points into your SoFi Checking or Savings account, SoFi Money® account, SoFi Active Invest account, SoFi Credit Card account, or SoFi Personal, Private Student, or Student Loan Refinance, your rewards points will redeem at a rate of 1 cent per every point. For more details, please visit the Rewards page. Brokerage and Active investing products offered through SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A.

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Average Cost of a Wedding in 2021

Average Cost of a Wedding in 2024

Planning a wedding can be a major endeavor. First, there’s the figuring out financing. According to a recent SoFi survey, the median cost of a wedding is $10,000. And then there’s all the logistics that need wrangling. Dress? Check! Rings? Check! Venue, music, photography, and more?

It can be wise to get organized as early as possible to make the process as smooth as possible. Here’s a look at what you can expect from venues, vendors, and other costs as you plan this happy day.

What Is the Average Cost of a Wedding?

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding ceremony and reception in recent years was $19,000, but SoFi’s most recent research found a more affordable median price of $10,000. Either way, that’s a considerable investment: a five-figure amount to pull together or finance.

Typically, the wedding venue and reception account for the largest share of a budget, but all the trimmings (think flowers, gifts for your maid of honor and best man, band, and so forth) all contribute to the bottom line. It’s important to note however, that true wedding costs will vary based on how elaborate the event and the unique vendor and venue costs of the region.

What Goes Into the Cost of a Wedding?

Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking. From the dress to the decor, there are so many details involved that many couples choose to pay the $1,500, on average, for a professional wedding planner to handle them all. These recent numbers are courtesy of The Knot’s Real Wedding Survey.

Pre-Wedding Costs

The purchase of engagement rings is generally what kicks off the entire wedding planning process. While the tradition of spending three month’s salary on a ring may be old and outdated, couples are known to spend $5,500 on rings on average.

The cost of wedding invitations can vary widely depending on many factors. Handmade paper will cost more than cardstock. Letterpress printing will cost more than digital printing. More guests means more invitations, which means a higher cost. The average cost of invitations is $590.

Then comes the dress, which can take months to find. Assuming you’re not bent on purchasing an elaborate couture gown, but definitely want to secure something nicer than what might be found on a bargain rack, a dress can average $1,600.

It would be a mistake not to hold a rehearsal with your full wedding party, and taking the opportunity to treat them to dinner, thanking them for being a part of your celebration, is tradition. Rehearsal dinners can cost around $1900.

Recommended: The Cost of Being in Someone’s Wedding

Vendor Costs

What is your big day if no one is there to capture it? Photographer costs can be as high as $2400 for a wedding. Should you choose to film it as well, you can expect to pay around $1800 for a videographer.

Wedding photos are lifetime memorabilia and people want to look good in them. Average costs for professional services are $110 for hair and another $100 for makeup.

If you need transportation to the wedding, from the wedding to the reception venue, or for a guest shuttle, it can cost around $800 on average.

Wedding decor is a must, and flowers are one of the most common choices. From the choice of your bouquet to the centerpiece arrangements on your guest tables, a proper florist can average $2000.

The star of the show—after the bride—is the cake. Whether traditional white or unconventionally colored, tiered or cupcakes, a wedding cake can cost around $500.

Reception Costs

The reception venue will likely be your largest expense. It is where you will feed and entertain your guests for the longest portion of your celebration and, depending on the type of venue you book, it may or may not come with decor. This can cost around $10,500.

You can’t let your guests go hungry. Catering your reception, accounting for any special dietary restrictions, and toasting with champagne, you’ll pay around $70 per person. If you want to offer top-shelf liquor, that cost can increase.

Now let’s dance! The music is what will set the tone for your celebration, and it’s likely what your guests will remember most after your “I dos.” A DJ can cost around $1200 for a wedding. A live band on the other hand will cost significantly more at $3700.

Some couples choose to give their guests wedding favors, a gift that says ‘thank you for coming.’ Purchasing favors for your guests that remind them of the great time they had on your big day will cost around $400.

A few ways that can help you cut spending costs include trimming the guest list, opting for a cash bar, and enlisting family and friends to help you DIY a few things. Make a shortlist of the planning details that are most important to you and you don’t want to skimp on, and consider spending less on the unlisted details that aren’t as meaningful. Also, be sure to leave a buffer in your budget. You never know if you’ll have to cover an unexpected wedding expense or even a last-minute guest, and having extra room in your budget will allow you to cover those costs without overspending.

Recommended: Affordable Wedding Venue Ideas

Smart Ways to Finance a Wedding

Knowing how much you can expect to spend is only one half of the wedding planning puzzle. The other half is actually funding the spending. With average wedding costs in the tens of thousands of dollars, it’s important to plan ahead so you can enjoy your special day with minimal stress.

Gifts and Contributions

A bride and groom seldom pay for their wedding alone. As a matter of fact, in 2019, couples only contributed 41% toward their total wedding costs with their parents taking on the brunt of expenses. Immediate family members can be a resource to help cover costs and are often happy to do so. Whether it’s the groom’s family that agrees to cover rings and clothes, or the bride’s family that takes care of the flowers and food, having a family discussion about who is able and willing to cover what on your big day can help relieve some of the spending stress.

Also, contributing cash isn’t the only way to help. Any time your family, friends, or even your wedding party can offer with planning, creating, or decorating anything that you might have otherwise paid someone else to do can help keep your budget in the black.

Recommended: Wedding Gift Etiquette

Savings

Being able to cover costs with funds from a saving account is one of the more ideal ways of covering large wedding costs. Couples that plan long engagements might be able to take advantage of this method more so than those with short engagements, simultaneously saving for and planning their big day over several months or years.

Retaining a comfortable amount of savings separate from wedding funds to have on hand for an emergency is always a smart money move that can help prevent financial roadblocks in the future. As much as you may want to fund your big day with savings, if doing so will put you in a financially precarious position or prevent you from reaching other financial goals, it may be better to err on the side of caution. Having those funds post marriage may be more important than spending them now.

Credit Cards

Credit cards provide quick and immediate access to cash that can be used to cover wedding costs. If you have particularly high credit limits, and not much cash on hand, it may be possible for you to cover the entire cost of your wedding on a credit card.

Though this may be one option among many, using your credit card might also come with a few drawbacks, such as high interest rates and an increase in your credit utilization ratio. Charging wedding purchases to your credit cards means you’ll be subject to paying interest on those charges until you pay off those credit cards. Also, using large amounts of credit will increase your credit utilization ratio and could, in turn, trigger a drop in your credit score. If that scenario will keep you from reaching future financial goals, you may want to think twice about using this method.

Personal Loan

Applying for a personal loan is another method for securing wedding funds. Personal loans tend to offer qualified applicants lower interest rates than traditional credit cards. A personal loan may also have a fixed interest rate that can help you manage and maintain steady payments over the life of the loan.

Another benefit of a personal loan is that it can help you build your credit. Diversifying the types of credit you have helps the three credit bureaus view you as a responsible borrower, and in turn may raise your credit score.

Awarded Best Online Personal Loan by NerdWallet.
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The Takeaway

Average costs are just that: average costs. Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a budget breaker, but an event with this significance does come with some costs that probably don’t easily fit into most budgets. Using a personal loan to pay for wedding costs is reasonable if you are financially able to repay it.

SoFi wedding loans have no fees required, low fixed rates, and can save thousands of dollars in interest compared to using a credit card. Getting prequalified takes just a few minutes, and loans can be funded in as little as three days.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

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21 Productive Things to Do on Your Day Off

Some days off are meant for purely relaxing. Others are meant for checking things off our to-do lists that we can’t get done during the course of the work week.

If you’re looking for productive things to do on your day off—including ideas that may improve your money mindset and financial fitness—we have 21 good ways to get started.

How Staying Productive Can Improve Your Money Mindset

If you have a lazy day off, it might wind up costing you. The temptation to spend when bored is real. When you have nothing to do, you may turn to online shopping, dining out, or other pricey leisure activities to fill your time.

There is of course a time and place for spending on leisure, but there’s a big question to ask yourself before spending that money. Specifically, are you plunking down that cash because you will get something out of the experience or purchase or are you simply doing so because you’re bored?

Staying productive on days off can be a form of financial self-care. It can help you avoid unnecessary spending which, in turn, can make other leisure time feel even more enjoyable.

Productive Things to Do on Your Day Off

Not sure what to do on a day off? Consider checking one or more of these productive activities off your to-do list. Any of them can help you feel more organized and in control of your finances…and perhaps even your life!

1. Planning a Vacation

Instead of going out and spending money, stay home and plan an upcoming vacation. Money will be spent on that vacation, and a little planning can go a long way to make sure the vacation goes well and that investment pays off. You might even open a travel fund account and begin saving.

2. Checking Your Credit Card Statements

Need a friendly reminder not to overspend? Review recent credit card statements to get an idea of how budgeting is going and to make sure all charges are accurate. If you’re carrying a balance, you might hatch a plan to pay it off.

3. Taking Quality Time for Yourself

We can all decide what quality alone time means to us. That may mean pursuing a hobby like painting, reading a good book, or going for a long run. There are plenty of relaxing activities to enjoy that don’t cost any money and recharge you for the work days ahead.

4. Reviewing Your Career Goals

While it may not sound fun to sit down and think about work outside of working hours, there’s a lot of value to be found in peaceful reflection. Spending time reviewing career goals when there are no Monday-to-Friday stressors or distractions can make it easier to find clarity.

5. Starting a Side Hustle

Speaking of work, a fun and fulfilling way to make career progress and some extra cash during downtime are some benefits of starting a side hustle. Think about some fun options that you would enjoy which might also allow you to try out new skills and career options.

6. Catching Up on Important Errands

Running errands isn’t always fun, but not having them hanging over our heads sure feels good. If you have a day off, spending a couple of hours in the morning to tackle them can leave the rest of the day wonderfully free. Plus, you’ll get that “I’ve got this!” boost from knowing you’re in control of those to-do’s.

7. Exercising

Earning some extra endorphins is a great way to stay healthy and feel happier on a day off. Sweat it out, and then enjoy the extra energy and mood boost that comes from a good workout.

8. Mapping Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Money Goals

Social media’s effect on finances may have some upsides, but on a day off, why not stop scrolling and start setting money goals. Similar to setting career goals, a day off is the perfect time to think critically about any short-, medium-, and long-term money goals to set. How to get started? Review your current financial situation, reassess your budget, and make a plan for working towards your financial goals such as buying a house, paying for a child’s college education, or paying off debt.

9. Getting a Haircut

A fresh haircut can put a bit of pep in anyone’s step. A definite self-esteem booster for most of us.

10. Volunteering

Giving back to our community is a great way to spend free time. There are so many different causes worth giving back to, from food banks, to animal shelters, to beach cleanups. Volunteering can even help borrowers pay down their student loan debt.

11. Updating Your Online Resume

If you’re looking for a new job, the weekend is a great time to update online resumes on social media platforms or job searching websites. There are loads of templates online that can help you spiff up your resume, too.

12. Reading a New Book

With so many distractions on busy days, it’s hard to find the time to read. Make reading a new book (or an old favorite) a priority on your next day off. There’s nothing like the escape of a good story, whether it’s historical fiction, a murder mystery, or whatever else catches your attention.

13. Taking an Online Class

Whether you want to learn a new work or personal skill, there’s an online class out there that can help you productively use your time off. From learning how to code to cook, almost any topic is available these days, whenever and wherever you may be.

Recommended: Can You Take Online Classes While Working?

14. Spending Time With Loved Ones

Productivity can mean a lot of different things. For example, spending time with loved ones can be extremely beneficial as it helps us build a support system and provides personal gratification.

15. Unsubscribing From Unwanted Emails

Have half an hour to kill before meeting up with friends? Chip away at unsubscribing from all unwanted emails. The lack of digital clutter can be super freeing, even if you don’t achieve “inbox zero” just yet.

16. Updating Your To-Do List

Want to get things done on a day off, but don’t know where to start? Sit down with a pen and some paper (or a doc on your phone or laptop) and write an updated to-do list. Of course, it’s not necessary to tackle the entire list in one day, but do schedule when to check the most urgent items off the list.

17. Checking How You’re Doing With Your Budget

Budgets only work if you check in to make sure they’re sticking with it. A good habit is to eyeball your budget weekly to make sure it’s still on track. If not, see what spending changes need to occur the rest of the month. There are all kinds of apps to help with this; your financial institution may have a great one to use. Don’t have a budget yet? Get started by creating a line-item budget.

Recommended: Guide to Cash Cushions

18. Planning for Next Week

Get organized for the week ahead so it feels less stressful and intimidating. Do meal prep, clean up the house, organize your bills, and make sure all work clothes are washed and ready to wear.

19. Finding Networking Opportunities

Nowadays networking can all be done from home online. Hop on websites like LinkedIn and see who’s worth connecting with professionally. Send some connection requests or messages to get the ball rolling and build your career.

20. Adjusting Your Tax-Withholding if It’s Not Right

Sick of owing taxes each year? Check your tax withholdings to make sure the correct amount is being deducted from your paychecks. Adjust it accordingly if needed. That quick move could save you some money headaches when tax season rolls around.

21. Cleaning Your House

A good cleaning session can help make a home more comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable to live in. Imagine your place freshly vacuumed or the bathroom scrubbed as motivation.

The Practical And Financial Benefits of Being Productive

While it may feel counterintuitive, being productive on a day off can have many benefits. Not only can being productive help you feel better and cut down on unnecessary stressors, it can also help you save money. How? To start, being productive helps us feel less bored, meaning we are less likely to fill our time with shopping or other expensive activities. Being productive also helps us stay organized and gives us the time we need to set financial goals and manage our budgets.

Banking With SoFI

As you can see from this list, there’s no shortage of productive things to do on your day off. Whether you choose to spend your free hours taking an online class, reviewing your budget, or outside running, you can relieve stress and get organized. Feeling in control and more relaxed are terrific benefits worth pursuing and enjoying.

If setting financial goals is at the top of your weekend to-do list, it may be time to find a banking product that can better suit your needs. When you open an online bank account with direct deposit, SoFi can help your money grow faster. SoFi Checking and Savings puts tools at your fingertips to help you set savings goals, and with direct deposit you’ll earn a competitive APY and pay zero account fees. Your money can keep working hard for you even when you’re relaxing.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

What is considered wasting time on your day off?

When deciding what things to do on a day off, only you can decide what’s a waste of time or not. For one person, organizing their receipts is a waste of time; for another, it’s productive. The same holds true for reading a book. The key is to find a way to balance productivity and relaxation as you define them.

How can I productively treat myself on my day off?

If you’re wondering, “What should I do on my day off?” and want to come up with something that is a productive treat, you might consider a hike, reading a new book, or taking an online class. All have positive benefits in terms of self-care and fun but don’t cost much.

Is traveling considered productive?

Traveling and gaining new experiences and insights beyond your local community can indeed be a great way to be productive. Travel can help us learn, grow, relax, and return home with a new, refreshed perspective.


Photo credit: iStock/MesquitaFMS

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

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Guide to Practicing Financial Self-Care

As nice as a spa day, vacation, or hot yoga class is, sometimes the best form of self-care doesn’t cost anything at all. In fact, you can practice financial self-care and grow your wealth.

Financial self-care involves taking the steps to avoid financial stress and meet financial goals. Given that 73% of Americans say money is their number-one stressor in life, practicing financial self-care and minimizing money worries can be a very good thing. It might even feel better than a massage.

But what exactly does financial self-care mean and how do you do it? Read on to find out the answer, as well as learn nine money moves to make now.

What Is Financial Self-Care?

Financial self-care is a form of self-care that focuses on financial wellness. Essentially, instead of more traditional self-care activities (like getting massages or enjoying dinners out), you find the best way to manage your finances and improve your financial situation. This may not sound fun, but worrying about debt, paying the bills, and falling short of savings goals can all lead to a lot of stress that can be draining both physically and mentally. Self-care and money can go hand in hand.

Here’s another perk: Once you get your financial life under control, you’ll have more money to put towards the more exciting areas of self-care. Whether that means finally splurging on that cleaning service or a new puppy is up to you.

Recommended: Are you financially healthy? Take this 2 minute quiz.💊

Tips for Practicing Financial Self-Care

Self-care and money can combine in the pursuit of financial self-care. Here are some strategies that make it easy to incorporate this form of self-care into daily life.

Creating Realistic Financial Goals

To make strides in the area of financial self-care, it’s important to set reasonable goals. That way, you can make progress and feel a positive boost when you finally do reach a goal. Here’s an example: Paying off your student debt in a single year would be hard even on a high salary. Instead, having a goal of paying off your highest-interest debt (perhaps a credit card balance) in a year is likely more obtainable. Look at your income versus your monthly necessary expenses (the “musts” in your life), and see if you can begin funneling some of the funds left over after bill-paying towards your debt.

Tracking Your Expenses Daily

Impulse spending can feel good in the moment, but it can do a lot of harm. You can be more mindful about your spending by reviewing your personal finances daily, focusing on where your cash was spent. You may not realize just how much money flows away from you on a typical day. Expense tracking will reveal that. On days that you don’t spend much or anything at all, give yourself a big pat on the back. You’ve just taken care of yourself financially by adding to your wealth.

Checking Your Banking Accounts Frequently

Good cash management is an important part of hitting your financial goals. Alongside tracking your daily spending, it can be helpful to check bank account balances daily or at least a couple of times a week. You’ll see where you stand financially and won’t be caught unaware by a low balance. This process will also give you a deeper look at how any automatic bill payments are impacting your cash flow.

After all, most of us don’t see the money we earn or spend in cold hard cash, so it can feel less tangible. When you know exactly where you stand financially, it can empower you and help better inform your purchasing decisions.

Making Any Needed Changes to Budgets

After keeping an eye on spending habits and account balances, it’s a good idea to review your monthly budget goals and see how you’re doing. Perhaps you put a reminder in your calendar to do a quick check-in on the last day of every month and see how things look. Maybe eating lunch out on weekdays has made it hard to stick to your food budget for the month. Perhaps having too many subscription services left no wiggle room in the entertainment section of the budget.

The end of the month is the perfect time to reevaluate spending habits, to see where you can cut back on spending, and to figure out how to increase savings.

Recommended: Post-Pandemic Money Lessons

Focusing On Getting Rid of Debt

Debt is likely part of your life, but it can also cause a lot of worry. Thanks to interest charges, debt can mount and be hard to pay off. It’s not a fun cycle. So when you have some extra money, sure, you might spend it on a new outfit or a weekend getaway and lift your spirits that way. Or you could pay down your debt instead.

By prioritizing debt, you’d be a step closer to eliminating some money stress from your life. Getting rid of debt can be a key aspect of financial self-care and can boost your peace of mind.

Improving Your Mindset on Money

Self-care has just as much to do with our mental health as our physical health. Feeling negative about money can really drag a person down. That’s why it can be helpful to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have.

If you are feeling as if you can’t compete with other people’s lifestyles, it may be that your comparison framework is skewed. It may be beneficial to delete social media (or unfollow certain luxury accounts), stop watching reality T.V., or to skip hanging out with that friend who earns and spends big.

Recognizing what your money can do for you rather than feeling deprived is an important step. It can be a very empowering mindset to adopt.

Recommended: Tips for Managing Finances When Facing Depression

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


Improving Financial Literacy

Money can be intimidating in part because most of us lack a basic financial education. While you may not have learned about money management in school, you can teach yourselves the financial basics and beyond. Knowledge is power, after all.

From learning about how credit scores work to the investing basics, take some time to read up on the financial topics that seem confusing. Also look into apps that help you with budgeting, saving, and tracking your spending. These tools can be part of financial self-care, helping to boost your financial literacy and wealth.

Visualizing Retirement and Investing in It

Financial self-care means taking care of today’s and tomorrow’s needs. Retirement can seem like a distant concept, so try picturing your future self at retirement age and how you’d want to live then. That way, you may feel more motivated to save even though retirement is far away. Look at your budget again to see if there is room to improve your retirement savings. Even saving an extra 1% a month can make a major impact.

Respecting Money

Money is a tool and a very valuable one at that. Embracing financial self-care means recognizing that money isn’t just about buying things. That may be the easy and fun part, but saving and investing it is what really makes the most of your cash. Educating yourself on investing or seeking professional advice can help you harness the full power of the money you make. It’s a force to be reckoned with; respecting its importance can help you achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

Why Financial Self-Care Is Important

Financial self-care is equally important, if not more so, than more traditional forms of self-care like heading to the spa or taking a personal day off of work. When you prioritize financial self-care, you can reduce money stress and move closer to your short- and long-term goals.

Banking With SoFi

Financial self-care can help you reduce money stress and make the most of what you earn. Being smart about your cash and helping it grow can unlock the good things in life today and in the future. Try practicing some financial self-care ideas, and see if you don’t feel more in control of your money and less stressed about it.

The right bank can also help boost your finances. For instance, you can bank smarter with SoFi. When you open an online bank account with direct deposit, you’ll earn a competitive APY and pay no account fees, plus have access to more than 55,000 fee-free Allpoint Network ATMs. Higher interest and no fees mean your money could grow that much faster.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Why is financial self-care important?

Financial self-care can help eliminate financial stress from your life. Specifically, prioritizing financial self-care can make it easier to reach financial goals like paying down debt or saving for retirement.

How do you take care of yourself and your money?

Budgeting, focusing on debt repayment, and setting clear savings goals are all great ways to take care of yourself and your money. Not having to worry about debt or overdue bills are other benefits of financial self-care.

How do I respect my money?

Respecting money involves not wasting it and instead looking for ways to make the most of it. Being mindful about purchases, sticking to savings goals, and not taking on high-interest debt are all ways someone can respect their money.


Photo credit: iStock/hatman12

SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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