Our favorite travel debit card is basically giving away free money for signing up!
You know we love a good travel hack, and this might be the best one of 2020. Here’s how you can get $50 for just a few minutes of your time, and if you’re a couple, you can easily get $150! Plus, if you travel internationally it’s going help you obtain local currency with zero fees!
SoFi Money is an online bank account that does not charge any account fees. And the free debit card that comes with the account allows us to withdraw money around the world fee-free! We have been using the SoFi card since the beginning of the year, and it’s become our go-to card for withdrawing money from foreign ATMs.
BUT even if you never plan travel internationally, you should probably still create an account to get the sign-up bonus! Below is the short version for people who just want to take advantage of the free money. If you plan to use the card internationally to withdraw foreign currency fee-free, I recommend skipping to the long version below that explains why this card is such a game-changer for travel!
Short Version: How to Get $50 in 5 Minutes
Step 1: Create a SoFi money account using my referral link. By using the link below, you’ll receive $50, and I’ll receive $50 (after you transfer $500 to your new SoFi account).
Step 2: Connect your bank account and transfer at least $500.
Step 3: Wait patiently for your $50 sign-up bonus! In most cases, your $50 sign-up bonus will show up in your account in 2-3 days, but it could take up to a week.
Step 4: Now that you have a SoFi account, you can download the app to get your own personal referral link. For each person you refer, you’ll earn $50!
Step 5: If you have a partner, invite them to create an account using your new referral link, you’ll get $50 for referring them, and they’ll get $50 for signing up! You can find your personal referral code by downloading the app and looking under the “money” tab (see screen shot below).
Also, if you have $1,000 to fund a SoFi Investing account, you can get another $50 – $150 in free stocks. Just use my referral link to start the sign-up process, and fund your account with at least $1,000.
The Long Version: Get $50 in 5 Minutes + Fee-Free ATM Withdrawals Around The World
One of the questions that we get over and over again in the comments on YouTube and in emails sent directly to my inbox is:
“What is the best way to get local currency?”
Whenever we have the option, we always pay for stuff using a travel credit card that offers no foreign transaction fees. Our go-to card for over a year has been the Chase Sapphire Reserve because it earns three times the points on travel and dining purchases, which covers most of our spending.
However, there are many times when we aren’t able to pay with a credit card, and we must use local currency for one reason or another.
When we first started traveling, this was a HUGE pain for us because we were stuck choosing between exchanging cash for local currency (which usually involved getting ripped off on the exchange rate), or getting cash out of an ATM using the debit card from our bank.
The problem with using our bank’s debit card is that they charged us a 3% foreign transaction fee + a $5 ATM withdrawal fee. That meant if we were withdrawing $100, we would end up paying $8 in fees (a huge rip-off).
Then, right before we left to start traveling full-time, we learned about the Charles Schwab High Yield Investor Checking Account debit card. This account was designed as an account for investors, but it also works great for travelers because the debit card that comes with the account doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and it reimburses all ATM fees!
This card has allowed us to withdraw foreign currency from ATMs around the world with no fees during our first four years of travel. Up until this year, anytime someone asked about the best way to get local currency, I always pointed them to this card.
However, it’s not exactly convenient to set up one of these accounts. Since this is an investing account (and Charles Schwab is pretty old school), in order to set up this account I actually had to go into a branch and apply, get a credit check, and in order to fund my account, I had to mail a physical check to one of their bank branches. It’s not exactly the easiest setup process, and it really only makes sense for someone who does a lot of traveling to go through all of this effort.
However, at this beginning of this year I found a new card that has replaced our Charles Schwab card, and I recommend signing up for it even if you never plan on leaving your couch, because the bank will give you $50 just for signing up and funding your account with $500.
We have replaced our Charles Schwab card with the new SoFi card because it has all of the features we love about the Charles Schwab card. Plus, it’s built to be a mobile banking account, so it’s much easier to manage the account from abroad.
PLUS if you sign-up using our affiliate link below and transfer $500 to your account, SoFi is giving you $50 for free! It’s a no-brainer!
It gets even better for couples because you can easily get $150 from the bank.
If you refer a friend, SoFi will add an extra $50 to your account. So, here’s how Kara and I earned a free $150:
I signed up for the card and transferred $500 to my account. (+$50)
Then I invited Kara to create an account so I could earn the $50 referral fee. (+$50)
Then Kara created account and transferred $500 to her new account which earned her an additional $50. (+$50)
Total = $150 in free money (thank you SoFi!)
Even if you aren’t a couple, you can still earn $50 for each friend you refer.
It’s rare that an opportunity this good comes along, and it usually doesn’t last long. Do as we did and ask fast before they take away these generous account bonuses!
I assume these bonuses won’t last forever, so even if you’re reading this post and the bonuses aren’t available anymore, I would still highly recommend signing-up for this account and using it to obtain local currency around the world with zero fees!
P.S. If you have $1,000 to fund a SoFi Investing account, you can get another $50 – $150 in free stocks. Just use my referral link to start the sign-up process, and fund your account with at least $1,000.