SoFi Credit Card Full Details Released (4% Referral Bonus For 30 Days)

Update 4/8/21: There is now a referral bonus for double points earned for the first 30 days (please don’t share your referrals in the comments).Hat tip to reader V K

Update 3/15/21: Card is now available publicly. Sign up bonus is $20-$10,000 (they are giving away 50 million points (worth $500,000)) in total).

Update 12/16/20: Some people are targeted for a $100 bonus after $1,000 in spend. E-mail subject line is ‘Get $100 with the new SoFi Credit Card’

Update 10/28/20: Card has now started to be offered to SoFi customers via e-mail. Hat tip to reader Platypus

Original post: In January it was announced that SoFi would launch a credit card, in June we  got some additional details about what the card might offer. Today the card was briefly available on the SoFi app but it was not possible to apply for. The details shown when the card was live are as follows:

  • No annual fee
  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Full mastercard world elite benefits (including up to $1,000 cell phone insurance)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No sign up bonus

The previous rumor was that it would come with two 5% categories but also a $99 annual fee. For people interested in more details somebody saved the full terms & conditions here. Obviously it’s possible that the details surrounding this card could change again, but seems unlikely given the level of detail leaked here. In all likelihood we could see the official launch this coming week.

Hat tip to /r/creditcards


Point Rewards Debit Card – Earn 5x/3x/1x, $49 Annual Fee ($100 Referral Bonus)

Update 3/25/21: Point is now offering a $100 referral bonus

Point is a new rewards debit card on the market. Let’s take a look in this quick review.

  • Annual fee of $49
  • No sign up bonus, although you can get 50,000 points (worth $50) when signing up through Drop or $100 via referral
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • Earn 5x on subscription purchases
    • Earn 3x on delivery and ride share
    • Earn 1x on all other purchases
  • Points are worth 1¢ each
  • Insurance:
    • Phone insurance covers up to $1,000/yr. in loss or damage when you pay with Point Card.
    • New purchase insurance reimburses you up to $1,000 in loss/damage.
    • Trip cancellation insurance covers up to $1,500 for expenses for cancellation/delay.

For most people they will be better of with just a standard rewards earning credit card, especially as this debit card comes with an annual fee. There are some limited use cases for this point card, but how useful that is will depend on how tolerant Point is with large purchases.

Referral Bonus

Point is offering a 10,000 points ($100 bonus) when you use a referral link and spend at least $1,000 on your card within 90 days of account opening. Person referring you also receives 10,000 points. Valid until 6/30/2021. Do not share your referrals here, but you can share them in this linked post.

Hat tip to reader T


Refer your friends and family to earn bonus rewards at home furnishing stores

Earn 4x American Express points at select stores with referral link

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


Marriott Bonvoy American Express Business 100,000 Points + $150 Statement Credit

The Offer

Direct link to offer 

  • American Express is offering a sign up bonus of 100,000 points on the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card after spending $5,000 within 3 months.
  • You also get a $150 statement credit on eligible purchases made within the first three months.

Signup offer ends on 5/12/21.

Card Details

  • Anniversary free night award up to 35,000 points (this is a free night certificated that can be used on properties costing up to 35,000 points)
  • $125 annual fee (not waived first year)
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • Six Marriott rewards points per dollar spent at participating hotels
    • Four Marriott rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
    • Two points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Silver status; earn gold status by making $35,000 in purchases within a calendar year
  • Receive 15 nights towards elite status
  • Premium in room internet access at participating properties
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Can only get the bonus once per lifetime

Our Verdict

Last year we saw a 100,000 point offer + $150 credit + elite status, but the credit required spend on U.S. Advertising in select media. We also saw last month 75,000 points + $150 anywhere. This new offer is the best with 100,000 points + $150 which can be spent anywhere (though this one does not come with elite status). Additionally, this offer is available via referrals, so if you have a friend/spouse to refer you and get a referral bonus the offer is especially nice.

We’ll add this offer to our list of the best credit card bonuses. There’s also a new increased offer on the American Express Bonvoy Brilliant personal card as well.


Tips for Getting an Apartment When You’re Self-Employed

Girl holding while dog in front of computer while applying for apartmentsMore and more Americans are choosing to work freelance, be self-employed, or join the gig economy. This has caused the typical rental application process to shift dramatically from even five years ago. If you’re one of the more than 15 million self-employed people in the U.S., you may have noticed that it can be particularly difficult to get your apartment application through the approval process. Why is this and what can you do to make sure you get the apartment of your dreams?

We’ve covered finding an apartment when unemployed and now it’s time give our post a facelift in light of the ever-changing renter’s landscape. Here are some NEW top tips to help you rent an apartment when you’re self-employed.

Choose your landlord wisely.

It might be best to shy away from super large complexes run by nationally-owned businesses. These companies usually have corporate leasing policies in place that are difficult to budge. Stick to small and privately-run rental properties where you can meet the landlord face-to-face. Ask friends for referrals so that on top of finding an awesome landlord, you or your friend may get a discount or referral bonus.

Know where your money’s been and where it’s going.

You can expect to be asked to show proof of income through bank statements and tax returns when you’re self-employed. Make sure to bring at least six months’ worth of bank statements along with IRS-approved copies of the past 2-3 years’ annual tax returns. If you have big, recurring clients, you might want to bring copies of their contracts or invoices that can demonstrate some sort of regularity. Show your landlord that you are responsible with your finances. The more information you can provide, the better!

Also, save up a big ol’ chunk of cash. As a bargaining chip, you might be able to pay above and beyond a typical deposit, such as two or three months’ rent, up front.

Know your network.

Make sure you have good references from former landlords, especially those who leased you an apartment while you were self-employed. Written recommendations with contact info are ideal.

BONUS TIP: Take it a step further and create a “renter’s resume” detailing your past rental history: dates you lived there, landlord contact info, the reason why you moved, how much you paid in rent, etc. You can include employment history, references, even an objective!

Have a great “interview” on the day you tour!

Dress appropriately when meeting the landlord. Make sure you are polished and put-together. You don’t have to look like you’re going to a job interview, but don’t come in anything your mother wouldn’t approve of. Comb your hair, brush your teeth, don’t bring any funky smells with you. Act respectfully, ask insightful questions and keep a level head.

Other possible bargaining chips?

  • Try to think of other features that might make you a model tenant. Maybe you don’t have a car so you won’t need a parking space. Or maybe you don’t have any kids or pets. Every point counts here!
  • Consider hiring a real estate/leasing agent to help with the search. There are agents who specialize in finding rental properties. He or she might be able to find properties you don’t know about!
  • Co-signers are another great option if you have someone that trusts you to not mess up their financial future. Co-signers don’t live at the property but are fiscally responsible if you can’t make a rent payment.

With these tips in hand, it’s time to put in an application for your perfect apartment. Search apartments for rent on ApartmentSearch today! Once you’ve signed your lease, let us know and you could get a $200 reward.


Rakuten Review – Earn Cash Back for Shopping at Your Favorite Stores

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is a popular website that offers cash-back rewards and rebates on everyday purchases from more than 2,500 retail partners. Offers usually range from 1% to 10%, with an impressive crop of “10% cash-back stores” that include some of the biggest names in retail.

Rakuten also offers thousands of product-specific coupons with much larger instant discounts, including “buy one, get one free” (BOGO) offers. Major retailers including Amazon, Macy’s, eBay, and Target are all represented in Rakuten offerings.

It’s free to join Rakuten, though purchases must be made in order to earn cash-back, discounts, or coupons. To make money on a deal, simply click the applicable link on the Rakuten website and complete your purchase with the retailer. Cash back accrues to your Rakuten member account and is automatically sent to you via PayPal or check each quarter. With instant discounts and coupons, the purchase price is reduced before you buy, so your rewards balance doesn’t increase.

How does Rakuten offer these deals? Simple: It collects an affiliate bonus, which varies by retailer, on every purchase members make via the Rakuten site. Rakuten keeps a portion of the bonus for itself and passes the rest along to the member. The exact amount Rakuten keeps varies from deal to deal.

How It Works

Creating an account with Rakuten is easy. Simply enter your email address or Facebook login, click the verification link in the email that appears in your inbox, and create a password. Once you’ve created an account, you can start seeking and taking advantage of offers.

Website Cash Back

The Rakuten homepage displays an array of retailer-specific deals (called “panels”), and the cash-back amount offered by each. When you click on a panel, you’re shown a host of details, including the specific products you can get cash back on, the amount of time remaining for the deal (if applicable), quantity restrictions, and other caveats or limitations.

You can also use the onsite search feature to find specific products or retailers, or browse categories and subcategories displayed on the homepage.

While most cash-back offers apply to direct product or service purchases, others cover coupons purchased through social deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. These offers allow you to get cash back when you purchase the coupon in addition to the coupon’s advertised discount.

To earn cash back, you must sign in to your Rakuten account, click the outbound link in your chosen deal listing, and make a purchase without navigating away from the retailer’s website. If you navigate away and return later to complete your purchase, Rakuten doesn’t earn its affiliate payment and thus can’t offer cash back on the purchase.

Rakuten Button

All Rakuten members are eligible to download the free Rakuten Cash Back Button, a browser plugin (browser extension) that eliminates the need to sign in to your Rakuten account.

The Rakuten Cash Back Button automatically notifies you of cashback opportunities on Rakuten’s retail partner websites. The plugin offers a search box for finding products, and when cash back is available, a small Rakuten logo is visible next to the results. Depending on the retailer, cash back is either automatically activated as soon as you visit the retailer’s website or after you click an orange “Activate Cash Back” link.

In-Store Cash Back

Rakuten offers plenty of opportunities to earn cash back in-store too. To qualify, you need to navigate to the corresponding in-store cash-back panel on your Rakuten mobile app, follow any purchasing instructions, and present your device at checkout for verification. Some merchants offer buy-online, pick up in-store deals for added convenience.

Since in-store cash-back offers are often tied to clearances or seasonal sales, they may be more time-sensitive than online-only deals. Plan accordingly.

Tracking Cash Back

Your Rakuten account dashboard tracks all shopping sessions initiated through Rakuten or the Rakuten Button during the past three months. If you suspect a particular transaction failed to post cash back to your account, you can check your dashboard to see if the transaction was logged and, if so, contact Rakuten to find out what happened.

A transaction’s actual cash-back value can take as few as one or two days to appear in your account, or longer than 30 depending on the retailer and the time of your purchase.

Once earned, cash back never expires. If you return an item whose purchase earned cash back, Rakuten reduces your account balance by the cash-back amount.

Cash-Back Payouts

Rakuten issues quarterly payments for cash-back credit, either as a mailed check (dubbed a “Big Fat Check“) or PayPal deposit. You can also send your Big Fat Check to a recipient of your choice. Payouts come 45 days after the end of the quarter:

  • January 1 to March 31: May 15
  • April 1 to June 30: August 15
  • July 1 to September 30: November 15
  • October 1 to December 31: February 15

To be eligible for a payout on the upcoming payout date, you need to have at least $5 in your account on the last day of the quarter. Smaller balances roll over into the next quarter.

Instant Coupons

In addition to cash back on purchases, Rakuten offers instant discounts through exclusive coupons on individual products or product categories. There are more than 10,000 coupons active at any given time, though many apply to different products from the same retailer. Some coupons are paired with cash-back offers.

Each listing shows the retailer and product to which the coupon applies, the coupon code to enter at checkout (if applicable), the available discount, and any restrictions or limitations.

Key Features

The opportunity to earn cash back on everyday purchases is what brings most shoppers to Rakuten, but the site also has these value-added features:

Sign-Up Bonus and Referral Program

New Rakuten members are eligible for a sign-up bonus worth $20 payable as a gift card to Walmart or a cash bonus to your Rakuten account. To earn the bonus, you must spend at least $20 through Rakuten within 90 days of becoming a member.

A reciprocal referral bonus opportunity allows you to refer new members once you’ve signed up and started shopping.

Rakuten Cash Back Visa Credit Card

The Rakuten Cash Back Visa Credit Card is a branded Visa cash-back credit card that pays 3% cash back on most purchases made through Rakuten, including in-store cash-back offers and most travel purchases. All non-Rakuten purchases earn 1% cash back. You also get a $10 cash bonus after your first card purchase.

Mobile Apps

Rakuten has responsive mobile apps for iOS and Android. These apps are the best way to take advantage of coupons for in-person shopping trips. Simply display the coupon or promo code on your phone or tablet’s Rakuten app at checkout.

Customer Support

If you can’t find the answer to your question in the FAQ section, there’s a support ticketing system that typically produces a response within one or two business days. Rakuten doesn’t publicize a customer support phone number.


Rakuten has some notable advantages, including a mobile-friendly website, plentiful instant discount opportunities, and a generous cash-back credit card.

  1. Highly Functional, Mobile-Friendly Website. Rakuten’s website runs smoothly and is mobile-friendly, aided by an impressive browser extension (the Rakuten Cash Back Button). Some competing platforms are dogged by frustrating website errors or poor mobile functionality.
  2. Plentiful Instant Discount Opportunities. Rakuten features thousands of active coupons at any given time. Some are good for discounts on specific products, while others cover broader product categories. Some retailers appear to use Rakuten coupons to clear seasonal inventory. By comparison, TopCashback hardly has any instant deals or coupons, a major drawback for shoppers who want immediate discounts.
  3. Cash Back Credit Card Offers Another Way to Earn. The Rakuten Cash Back Visa credit card offers 3% cash back on purchases made through Rakuten. It also comes with a $10 sign-up bonus and 1% cash back on all other purchases, similar to the Chase Freedom card and other popular cash-back credit cards. Some competing cash-back websites omit credit card options, disadvantaging reward-seeking consumers with above-average credit scores.
  4. Nice Sign-Up Bonus. Rakuten offers up to $40 simply for signing up and making qualifying purchases during the first 90 days.


Rakuten’s disadvantages include no “highest payout” guarantee, pushy prompts, and a potentially inflexible payout schedule.

  1. No “Highest Payout” Guarantee. Rakuten has a lot of competitors that offer deals and discounts with the same retailers. TopCashback has an expansive “highest cash back” guarantee that essentially promises to beat any nonsubscription competitor’s posted deals. If you’re looking for such a guarantee, Rakuten isn’t the shopping discount or cash-back platform for you.
  2. Pushy Sign-Up Prompts. Nonmember visitors to Rakuten are inundated with frequent popups advertising the company’s sign-up bonus. Since the ad is embedded in the site itself, it’s immune to most popup blockers. Though all competitors pressure nonmember site visitors to some extent, Rakuten is probably the most insistent.
  3. Quarterly Payments Can Be Inflexible. Rakuten’s infrequent cash-back payout schedule is a major drawback for shoppers who count on cash back to provide breathing room in their monthly personal budgets. You get paid a maximum of four times per year, regardless of how much you shop or earn.
  4. Payments Only Come by Mailed Check and PayPal. Rakuten only pays out by mailed check or PayPal. Its competitors tend to be more flexible – some offer Amazon credits, for example.

Final Word

Rakuten is a great resource for shoppers who want to get more for less. If you’re a regular online shopper, there’s little downside to creating a Rakuten account, joining the rewards program, and keeping tabs on the site. It’s a legit platform, not a scam, and offers real potential to earn free money.

Then again, Rakuten and its fellow online cash-back sites don’t create money out of thin air. They simply put a small portion of the funds you spend back into your pocket. So while Rakuten is great for saving money on items you were already planning to purchase, don’t let it dictate your shopping decisions or encourage impulse buying.