Varo Bank has a checking and savings account, but it packs a punch with its features. As an account holder, you’ll enjoy no minimum balance requirements, up to $100 in instant cash advances, early paychecks, tools to help you reach your savings goals and no fees — as long as you don’t use an out-of-network ATM.
Varo Checking account. This low fee checking account features early direct deposits, no monthly or overdraft fees and a $0 opening deposit. It’s also a second-chance checking option for those with bad credit or a negative ChexSystems report.
Varo Savings account. Earn up to 3% APY with this free savings account. But you must have an existing Varo Bank account to open.
How does Varo Bank compare to other banks?
Varo is a digital bank founded in 2015. It’s the first mobile-only bank to receive an official banking charter in the US. Although it currently only has one checking and savings account, its new banking charter means it’s on its way to offering a full suite of products for consumers.
Varo is part of the Allpoint ATM network, which gives Varo users free access to 55,000 ATMs nationwide. Unlike other banks, all of Varo’s accounts come with a debit card, so you always have easy access to your money.
Here’s how Varo Bank compares to other banks:
Minimal fees. Varo Bank doesn’t charge any fees for maintenance, overdrafts, transfers, foreign transactions and card replacements. There’s also a $0 opening deposit.
Early payday. Receive your paycheck and government benefits up to two days early when you enroll in direct deposits.
Accepts cash deposits. Unlike most digital banks, Varo Bank accepts cash deposits. Simply visit one of 90,000 Green Dot locations nationwide, but fees may apply.
Non-network ATM fees. Although Varo Bank is part of one of the largest ATM networks in the country, you’ll pay $2.50 if you need to use an out-of-network machine.
No checks. This account doesn’t come with checkwriting privileges, but you can remote deposit any checks you receive through the mobile app.
No fees. Varo‘s savings account has no fees, so you can put all your money toward your savings goals.
Two ways to automate savings. Sweep your spare change into savings when you make a purchase or have part of your paycheck moved to savings.
Debit card. Unlike most savings accounts, this one comes with a debit card for easy ATM withdrawals.
Checking account required. You’ll need to open a Varo Checking account first before you can open Varo‘s savings account.
Strict APY rules. The base APY is 0.20%. But to earn its 3% APY, you’ll need to make at least five qualifying purchases with your Varo debit card, receive at least $1,000 in monthly direct deposits and keep your account balance below $5,000.
Varo Advance. Eligible customers can receive an instant cash advance of up to $100, ideal for times when money’s tight and you need extra help. Varo Advance is currently free to use until April 2021.
Daily customer service. You can reach Varo Bank customer support seven days a week by phone or email, except for federal holidays.
No hidden fees. Varo Bank offers transparent accounts that have minimal fees and $0 opening deposits.
Limited product selection. You won’t find any CDs or business accounts at Varo Bank.
No live chat. Unlike other digital banks, Varo doesn’t have a live chat function on its site.
No checks or wire transfers. You can’t write checks or send and receive wire transfers with Varo.
Compare Varo with leading bank accounts
Use this table to see how Varo Bank accounts stack up against the competition.
Varo Money is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) where it’s earned an A rating for its financial stability and swiftness to respond to customer complaints. And it has a 4 out of 5-star customer rating, which is an unusually high score for a bank.
Customers love how modern Varo Bank is, saying it’s easy to use and straightforward. They also love that they never have to worry about hidden fees, and they receive paychecks up to two days early. You’ll find similar stories on Trustpilot, where Varo has a 4.7 out of 5-star customer rating based on 996 reviews.
The major complaint is that transfers from an external bank account can be slow, with some users reporting that it takes three to four days for money to reach their account.
Varo Bank customer service
Varo Bank provides customer service seven days a week. Service is available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on weekends. You can reach Varo Bank by:
What Varo Bank lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Both its checking and savings accounts have no monthly fees and no minimum balances. Plus, customers are eligible for a cash advance up to $100 when money’s tight. The only downside is that the bank doesn’t currently offer any CDs or business accounts. As always, compare bank accounts to find one that suits your needs.
Frequently asked questions
Qualifying users can get an instant cash advance of up to $100 in the Varo Bank app. Advances up to $20 are free, and there’s a maximum $5 fee on advances of $21 to $100. Funds must be repaid within 30 days.
Varo Advance launched in October 2020 to give users more control over their finances in a time where 50% to 78% of people are living paycheck to paycheck.
Varo Bank only charges one fee to its users — $2.50 when you use an out-of-network ATM. It also makes money when you use your Varo debit card because the merchant is required to pay the bank a small percentage of each transaction.
No. Varo is a federally insured bank offering checking and savings accounts. That said, it doesn’t run credit checks and it regularly approves those with a bad banking history.
If you haven’t been able to qualify for a regular bank account and are thinking of getting a prepaid card, Varo Bank could be a good alternative. It has minimal fees, and it can help you rebuild your banking history.
Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and kids’ debit cards. She’s been featured on Legal Zoom, MSN, and Consolidated Credit and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. When not writing, you can find her exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.
TD Ameritrade Cash Services lets you manage uninvested funds, but this account earns little interest.
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