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finder.com’s rating: 4.7 / 5.0
★★★★★Varo is a digital bank account that doesn’t charge monthly or overdraft fees and gives access to your paycheck up to two days earlier. Its optional savings account also earns up to a 5.00% APY if you qualify, though you’ll need a Varo Bank account first before you can open it. But like most digital banks, to make cash deposits you’ll need to visit a participating retailer, which costs per deposit.
$0 per month
Up to 5.00%
Minimum deposit to open
|APY||5.00% on balances of $0 to $5,000 (with direct deposits of $1,000+) |
3.00% on balances of $5,000+
|Fee||$0 per month|
|Minimum deposit to open||$0|
|Intro or bonus offer||Earn $30 bonuses every time a friend signs up for an account and spends at least $20 within 30 days|
|ATMs||55,000 AllPoint ATMs around the world for free|
|ATM transaction fee||$0|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$2.50|
|Foreign transaction fee||0%|
|Nonsufficient funds fee||$0|
|Learn more||Apply now|
Katia Iervasi is a lead writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet and a former editor at Finder, specializing in insurance. Her writing and analysis on life, disability and health insurance has been featured in The Washington Post, Forbes, Yahoo, Entrepreneur, Best Company and FT Advisor. She holds a BA in communication from Australia's Griffith University.
You can also access your cash from over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs, unlike some online-only banks that don’t offer an ATM network. However, the Allpoint network may not help you as much if you’re traveling abroad since it’s only available in a few countries.Varo also sets itself apart as the only digital bank that’s FDIC-insured directly rather than through a partner bank. This status means that Varo can offer more products like overdraft protection and early paydays, and it could pave the way for future loans offerings too.
However, Varo’s checking account doesn’t come with checkwriting privileges or free cash deposits. To avoid fees when depositing cash, you can top up your account through external transfers, direct deposits or mobile check deposits.
Plus, you can pair your Varo checking account with its Varo Savings account, which offers yields as high as 5.00% APY. But you’ll first need to open the checking account to qualify for its savings account.
If you’re convinced that Varo checking is for you, apply online to get started with Varo.
To get the most out of your account, pair your Varo checking with a Varo Savings account, which offers one of the highest APYs around. You can get a 5.00% APY on the first $5,000 in your account, then another 3.00% APY on balances above that. Its base APY of 3.00% is also one of the most competitive we’ve seen, set at 15 times the national average rate for savings accounts.
But to qualify for the highest savings rate, you’ll need at least $1,000 in direct deposits each month. Although you don’t need a minimum balance to maintain the account or earn interest, you must open the Varo Bank account first before you can open its savings account. You’ll also earn interest in whole cents, so you need at least $0.01 in interest before Varo will pay out.
Its checking and savings account work hand-in-hand to make the most out of your savings goals with two features:
Assuming that you meet the requirements to gain Varo‘s highest APY on balances of $5,000 or less, see how much you could earn on your savings each year with this account.
|APY||Amount in savings||Interest earned in 12 months|
The Varo checking account is connected to an app and comes with a debit card that you can link to digital wallets like Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo and Zelle. It boasts these benefits:
You can use your Varo debit card for free at over 55,000 Allpoint network ATMs located in US retailers like Walgreens, Target, Kroger and CVS. However, if you travel internationally, you’ll only find in-network ATMs in these countries: United Kingdom, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Mexico.Varo charges $2.50 per withdrawal if you use an out-of-network ATM — plus any ATM operator fees.
Compare features from other checking accounts, such as their interest rates, minimum opening deposits and ATM networks. Then, select Compare to see up to four options side by side.
You can move money around with your Varo account in a variety of ways.
Top up your checking account by:
You can take money out of your account, but understand the limitations and withdrawal limits ahead of time.
★★★★★ — 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.
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