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Varo Believe Secured Credit Card review

A secured credit-building option without the need for a security deposit.

  • Get this card if you have or are interested in a Varo bank account and need help building credit.
  • Pick something else if you want a credit-building card from a traditional bank.
  • Apply by having a Varo bank account and receiving a qualifying direct deposit of $1,000 or more into your Varo bank account within the last 90 days.

$0

Annual fee

N/A

Purchase APR

300

Minimum Credit Score

Details

Annual fee$0
Purchase APRN/A
Balance transfer APRN/A
Minimum Credit Score300
IssuerVisa

Review by


Steven Dashiell is a writer at Finder specializing in all things credit cards. With more than 300 articles under his belt, he aims to help readers embrace credit cards and maximize their rewards. Steve is studying to become a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, and is a frequent face on Finder’s YouTube channel, offering the latest in credit card hacks and advice. His expertise has been featured on numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Time, CBS, Fox Business, Lifehacker, Martha Stewart Living and more.

Expert review

The Varo Believe Secured Credit Card Card is a pseudo-secured card from Varo, the online bank account. The reason this is a “pseudo” secured card is because in many respects the card works more like a debit card than a traditional secured card.

The card requires no minimum security deposit, charges no annual fee and features no APR. Instead, you load your Varo Believe secured account with money and use your Varo Believe card for purchases. From there, use the Varo app to pay off your monthly purchases in full each month.

Like most secured cards worth their salt, the Varo Believe card reports your card use to all three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The main caveat to what is otherwise a great credit-building option is eligibility.

To apply for the Varo Believe, you need to have an open Varo bank account and receive either one qualifying direct deposit of $1,000 or at least two qualifying direct deposits totaling $1,000 within 90 days of your application. That means to use this secured product, you’ll need to go all-in on the Varo ecosystem.

The Varo Believe card also lacks rewards and similar perks. This isn’t a death sentence, but in today’s card market there is no shortage of secured cards with excellent cashback or reward opportunities.

Nonetheless, there’s plenty to love about the Varo Believe card and it can make for a great pick if you want a low-fee credit-building option with no security deposit.

How to apply for the Varo Believe Secured Credit Card

To apply for the Varo Believe, you’ll need to open a Varo account first.

  1. Go to the provider's site and select Apply now.
  2. Go to Banking and then Varo Believe from the top menu bar.
  3. Go to Join Varo.
  4. Fill out the requested information and hit Let’s go.
  5. Once you’ve met the $1,000 deposit requirement, you’ll be able to apply for the Varo Believe card.

Varo Believe Secured Credit Card benefits

  • No minimum security deposit. The Varo Believe doesn’t require a minimum security deposit for use. Instead, you can deposit as much money as you like to your secured account, which serves as your credit limit.
  • Few fees. The Varo Believe card lacks an annual fee and cash advance fees.
  • No APR. Since you need to pay off your balance in full at the end of each month, you don’t have to worry about any ongoing interest.
  • No hard credit pull. Varo doesn’t perform a hard credit pull on your account when you apply for the card.

Varo Believe Secured Credit Card drawbacks

  • No rewards. You won’t earn any cash back or rewards for purchases made using this card. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but you can find plenty of secured cards that offer rewards these days.
  • Varo bank account required. To apply for this card, you’ll need to have an active Varo bank account and receive direct deposits equaling $1,000 total within 90 days of your application.
  • Can’t carry a balance. While not strictly negative, you’ll need to pay off your account balance in full each month.

Compare other secured cards

Check out some of these other secured credit card options to find one that meets your needs and lifestyle.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
$49, $99 or $200
26.99% variable
$0
New to credit
A no-annual-fee secured card that separates itself from the pack with a $200 credit limit after making a more affordable than average deposit of $49, $99 or $200.
Cleo Credit Builder card
N/A
$180
500
A card made with your credit score in mind
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
17.39% variable
$35
300
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Varo Believe Secured Credit Card customer reviews and complaints

There aren’t many customer reviews of the Varo Believe card to speak of on social media. However, Varo itself is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A rating from the organization as of December 2021.

Varo currently has a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot, with customers praising the online experience.

Bottom line

If you’re into the idea of an online bank and don’t mind going all-in on the Varo online banking system, the Varo Believe card is a useful, low-pressure way of building your credit. If you’re looking for rewards or other perks with your credit-building card however, you’ll want to look at other secured card options.

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