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Varo
4.8
★★★★★
Finder score
4.4
★★★★★
On Varo's secure site
Fee
$0 per month
APY
Up to 5.00%
Minimum deposit to open
$0

Our verdict

A digital account with hard-to-beat perks like cashback rewards and no monthly fees.

Varo is an FDIC-insured digital bank account with no monthly fees, no opening deposit required, no overdraft fees, early payday access and Zelle integration for peer-to-peer payments. This account also unlocks Varo's optional savings account, which earns up to a 5% APY when you meet direct deposit and balance requirements. Varo also doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees on its debit card, so globetrotters can enjoy that perk. There are also cashback rewards, up to 6% with select brands. But like most digital banks, you'll need to visit a participating retailer to make cash deposits, which will cost you per deposit.

Best for: Anyone in need of a free, rewards digital checking account.

Pros

  • No fees
  • Early payday
  • No credit checks or minimum balances

Cons

  • Android app limitations
  • Expensive cash deposits
  • No checks or wire transfers

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Who is the Varo bank account best for?

Varo is a digital bank account for nearly anyone — it’s a free, low-maintenance bank account with no opening deposit requirement. And with the lack of foreign transaction fees on its Varo Visa debit card, frequent travelers can spend with less stress internationally.

It’s also best for anyone looking for a high-yield account. While Varo checking doesn’t earn any interest, opening this account unlocks Varo‘s optional savings account, which earns up to 5% APY, making it one of the best high-yield savings accounts.

What we like about the Varo bank account

Varo sets itself apart as one of the the only digital banks that’s FDIC-insured directly rather than through a partner bank. This status means that Varo can offer more types of banking products compared to other digital banks.

While lacking physical locations, Varo has all the typical features of a modern bank. It’s integrated with Zelle so you can perform peer-to-peer payments, features online banking and its own companion app, and you can get your paycheck up to two days early.


With a Varo account, you may also qualify for a cash advances from $20 to $250 to help with unexpected events, or just when you need to borrow some extra cash. The fee for the advances depends on the amount, from $1.60 to $20. There’s no interest rate, no required tip and you can choose a repayment time (up to 30 days). The maximum you can borrow with Varo’s advances depends on your account history, balance, direct deposit history and more. It’s nice option to have for those tight times when you just need a little extra cash. Varo also works with many other cash advance apps if you want other options.

Unlocks high APY savings account

A Varo bank account qualifies you for Varo‘s savings account, which boasts a high 5% APY on balances up to $5,000. For balances over $5,000, you’ll earn 3% APY — still higher than the national average, which currently sits at 0.47%, as reported by the FDIC. The highest rate is for the lowest balance, so those just starting a savings account benefit most.

To qualify for the 5% to 3% rate, you have to set up direct deposit and deposit at least $1,000 per month and maintain a positive balance. Compared to other top high-yield savings accounts, this rate is among the best and has simple requirements to qualify.

Up to 6% cash back with top brands

Cashback rewards are something we typically see with credit cards, but Varo‘s bank account offers them too. And it’s actual cash back — not points — that’s automatically deposited into your account once you reach $5 in rewards.

Some brands you can earn up to 6% cash back with include:

  • Circle K
  • Petsmart
  • Nike
  • Forever 21
  • Little Caesars
  • Kohls
  • Popeyes
  • Macy’s

Where Varo bank account falls short

Like most online banks, Varo‘s biggest downfall is the lack of branch access and in-person support. But compared to other online banks, such as American Express, which offers 24/7 phone support, Varo‘s customer support is limited.

Varo offers in-app chat support between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT and weekday phone support at 1-877-377-8276 (1-877-377-VARO). Most issues will need to be resolved through chat support, as the customer phone line is limited to issues logging in with the Varo app, filing a dispute or activating your digital wallet.

And unfortunately, Varo doesn’t offer joint bank accounts, perform wire transfers or accept ATM deposits. You’re limited to depositing cash at Green Dot ATM locations, but it’ll cost $4.95 to $5.95 per deposit.

Varo bank account fees and access

Type of feeFee details
Monthly service$0
Opening deposit$0
ATMs
  • Domestic: $0 with Allpoint, $3.50 out-of-network
  • International: $0
Debit card fees
  • Cash withdrawals: $0 with Allpoint, out-of-network fees may apply
  • Foreign transactions: 0%, though currency conversion fee may apply
  • Card replacement: $0
Overdraft or nonsufficient funds$0
Wire transfersDoesn’t allow wire transfers
Other fees
  • Paper statements: N/A
  • Account closure: $0

Compare Varo to other top bank accounts

Narrow down top bank accounts by account type, opening deposits, fees and more. Select Compare on up to four providers to see them side by side.

Snag up to a 5.00% APY if you get qualifying direct deposits, plus automated savings tools. But you must open a Varo Bank account first.
1 - 6 of 29
$
Name Product Account type Annual Percentage Yield (APY) FDIC or NCUA insured amount Minimum balance to earn interest Minimum deposit to open Offer Estimated total balance
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Score: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
Traditional savings,Checking

4.60%

0.50%

1.20%

Up to $250,000
$0
$0
Get up to $300 cash bonus with qualifying direct deposit. Terms apply. This offer is available until June 30, 2024.
$1,046
BrioDirect High-Yield Savings
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
BrioDirect High-Yield Savings
Traditional savings

5.35%

Up to $250,000
$25
$5,000
$1,053.50
Barclays Online Savings
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Barclays Online Savings
Traditional savings

4.35%

Up to $250,000
$0
$0
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new savings account, deposit $25,000 within 30 days of opening and maintain the balance for 120 days. Terms apply
$1,043.50
Cash App Savings
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cash App Savings
Savings app

4.50%

1.50%

Up to $250,000
$0
$1
$1,045
Customers Bank High Yield Savings through Raisin
Finder Score: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Customers Bank High Yield Savings through Raisin
Traditional savings

5.16%

Up to $250,000
$0
$1
$1,051.60
UFB Secure Savings
Finder Score: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
UFB Secure Savings
Traditional savings,Custodial account

5.25%

Up to $250,000
$0
$0
$1,052.50
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A digital account with a $0 monthly fee, access to 55,000+ free Allpoint ATMs and no minimum balance required. This account gives you access to an optional savings account with yields as high as 5.00% APY.
Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Offer
SoFi Checking and Savings
Finder Score: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
SoFi Checking and Savings
$0 per month
$0
4.60% on balances of $0+
0.50% on balances of $0+
1.20% on balances of $0+
Get up to $300 cash bonus with qualifying direct deposit. Terms apply. This offer is available until June 30, 2024.
Earn up to 4.60% APY on savings by meeting deposit requirements, and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Members without deposit requirements will earn 0.50% APY on both savings and checking balances. Turn on automatic savings or use the Roundups feature to help you reach your savings goals faster. Get up to $2M of additional FDIC insurance through a network of participating banks.
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
Finder Score: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Upgrade Rewards Checking Plus
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Earn up to 2% cashback rewards on everyday purchases. Pay $0 fees for overdraft, domestic wire transfer and monthly maintenance. Member FDIC.
Cash Card by Cash App
Finder Score: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Cash Card by Cash App
$0 per month
$0
N/A
The Cash App Cash Card lets you pay for goods and services both online and in stores using your Cash App balance. Enjoy features like ATM access, direct deposit, instant discounts at select stores and a customizable card.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Finder Score: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Bonus
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
$0 per month
$0
3.30% on balances of $0 to $50,000
Use promo code AXOS300 and apply by June 30th, 2024, to earn up to $300 bonus, $50 each month you meet requirements: Make direct deposits of $5,000+ each month for the first 7 months and maintain an average balance of $7,000.
Earn up to 3.3% APY after meeting rate requirements. Get ATM free reimbursements at all domestic ATMs. Pay $0 monthly or overdraft fees. FDIC insured.
Chime® Checking Account
Finder Score: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime® Checking Account
$0 per month
$0
N/A
Save easily and access your paycheck up to 2 days early with direct deposit. Pay $0 monthly fees, and no minimum balance is required. Access 24/7 support and get daily balance and transaction alerts. FDIC insured.
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Customer experience

Varo Money is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds a solid A rating. Unlike most other banks and fintechs, Varo has pretty good reviews on its BBB profile, holding a 3.86-star rating out of over 400 customer reviews — most banks hold a 1-star rating.
Varo also holds a similar rating on Trustpilot, with most reviews being 5 stars. Customers are happy with the free checking and savings accounts, cashback rewards, knowledge and friendly representatives and early direct deposit. There were many reviews of customers citing they’ve been banking with Varo for years with no issues.

Similar to most online banks, the majority of negative reviews stem from poor communication or issues contacting customer service. However, this is common among fintechs due to their lack of in-person support and limited phone hours.

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

Ask a question

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Bethany Finder

Writer, Banking and Loans

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