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Varo Savings Account Review

Earn up to 3% APY on savings under $5,000.

finder.com’s rating: 4.7 / 5.0

★★★★★

With the Varo Savings account, you can earn a competitive APY and enjoy no fees. But to earn the highest rate, you’ll need to meet stringent balance, spending and deposit requirements. And if you can’t meet them, your rate will drop to 0.20% APY.

3.00%

APY

$0

Fee

$0.01

Minimum deposit to open

Details

Annual percentage yield (APY)3.00% on balances of $0.01 to $5,000 you must receive $1,000 in qualifying direct deposits + 5 qualifying purchases per month, otherwise 0.20%
Fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$0.01
Minimum balance to earn interest$0.01
Interest compoundingDaily
More info

More Info

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Review by


Alexa Serrano is an editor at Finder specializing in banking and kid’s debit cards. A certified anti-money laundering specialist, Alexa helps guide readers to the best savings and checking accounts for their financial goals. Her expertise has been featured on top publications including Best Company, U.S. News & World Report, MSN and Yahoo. And she’s frequently interviewed by broadcast news publications across the country, including Fox News and NBC News. Alexa earned a BA in English from Wesleyan College and enjoys reading memoirs in her spare time.

Expert review

The Varo Savings account is best for those who plan to keep less than $5,000 in their account. You’ll get a debit card with your account and have the opportunity to earn a high rate at 3% APY.

But to earn this high rate, you’ll need to meet strict requirements. You have to keep less than $5,000, make at least five qualifying purchases with your Varo debit card and deposit $1,000 to your account each month.

And if you don’t meet these requirements, your rate drops to 0.20% APY, which is still competitive for today’s savings market rate.

But if you want a savings account that doesn’t come with strict rules to meet the highest APY, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when considering a high-yield savings account.

How do I open an account?

Open a Varo savings account in 10 steps:

  1. Visit Varo Bank’s website.
  2. On the navigation menu, go to Banking and then select Savings account.
  3. Enter your email address.
  4. You’ll be prompted to create a Varo account by entering your email, mobile phone number and password.
  5. Enter the verification code your receive via phone. Choose Next.
  6. Then enter the verification code your receive via email. Select Next.
  7. Enter your full name, last name, date of birth, Social Security number and country. Then choose Next.
  8. Enter your address and mailing address and select Next.
  9. Continue through the application to submit your application.

Eligibility

You’ll need to meet the following eligibility requirements to open a Varo Savings account:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen

Required information

To proceed setting up your Varo account, some additional information and specific hardware are required:

  • Valid email address
  • At least iPhone 10 or Lollipop Android OS 5.0
  • Valid Social Security number

What are the benefits of a savings account with Varo?

Like with most savings accounts, you’ll be able to automatically save a percentage of your direct deposits. A few of Varo‘s other unique benefits include:

  • Competitive APY. You’ll have the opportunity to earn up to 3% APY with this account.
  • Debit card. Comes with a Visa debit card — a rare perk for a savings account.
  • No minimum balance. There is no minimum balance required to open an account.
  • Save your change. Round up each transaction and send the difference to your savings account.

What should I look out for?

A few things you should be aware of before signing up:

  • Strict APY rules. If your balance exceeds $5,000, you’ll earn 0.20% APY instead of 3%. Additionally, you’ll need to make at least five qualifying purchases per month with your Varo debit card and have at least $1,000 directly deposited into your account monthly.
  • Required checking. You’ll need to open a checking account with Varo before you can start using Varo‘s savings account.

Case study: Jennifer’s experience – November 2020

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Jennifer Gimbel
Editor

After moving home earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, I managed to save a good amount of money. So, I decided to open a high-yield savings account.

After comparing savings accounts and their APYs, I decided to go with Varo Savings. It offered the highest interest rate I could find — 2.8% APY for up to $10,000 in your account. That high APY came with a catch, though — I needed to set up a direct deposit of at least $1,000 each month. I figured that would be easy enough since I planned to automate my savings.

However, what I didn’t realize until after I set up the account was that I’d also need to make five purchases with a Varo debit card each month to qualify for that high APY. If I didn’t meet both of these conditions, I would only receive an APY of 0.20%.

This is where they got me — I didn’t realize when I signed up for the savings account, I was also signing up for a Varo checking account and debit card until I received it in the mail. I honestly didn’t want to have a debit card tied to this new bank because I didn’t want to have easy access to my savings.

I haven’t been making the five purchases with my debit card, so I’ve only been earning 0.20% APY. I keep meaning to set up autopay with this debit card for some of my monthly subscription services so that I don’t need to manually use the card five times each month, but I keep forgetting to do this.

If you’re good about meeting the two conditions I mentioned above or you’re looking to open a high-yield savings account along with a checking account, then I think Varo Savings would be worth it. But if you’re like me and are only looking to open a savings account to earn interest, you might want to go for an account with fewer hoops to jump through to earn the highest APY.

Compare with other savings accounts

Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account

1.00% on $0 to $10,000 but you’ll need to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases a month
$0 per month or $15 per month for Aspiration Plus ($12.50 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank High Yield Savings

0.61% on $0 to $24,999
0.25% on $25,000 to $99,999
0.15% on $100,000+
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
Chime Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Savings
0.50%
$0
$0
Grow your savings automatically with recurring transfers, round-ups on debit card purchases and 0.5% APY.
Discover Online Savings Account
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Discover Online Savings Account
0.40%
$0
$0
Take advantage of a high-interest online savings account with no fees, no minimums and more.
UFB Direct High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5: ★★★★★
UFB Direct High Yield Savings
0.20%
$0
$100
Earn an APY when your balance is higher than $10,000 with this no-monthly-fee savings account.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

There are several ways that you can withdraw and fund your account. Varo limits you to a cash withdrawal of $750 per day from ATMs. No minimum or maximum balance is required to fund your account.

Other ways you can withdraw money:
  • Use a Visa debit card that you can use at any 55,000 Allpoint ATMs available for free worldwide.
  • Use an out-of-network ATM for a $2.50 fee.
  • Withdraw up to $500 per day using your Varo Visa debit card at the store checkout.
  • Do an “Over the Counter” cash withdrawal for up to $1,000 per day at most major banks or credit union branches.
A few ways you can fund your account:
  • Sign up for direct deposit to automatically deposit checks into your account.
  • Make cash or check deposits for free at any AllPoint ATM.
  • Transfer from another account.

Frequently asked questions

How does Varo Savings keep my money safe?
Your Varo Savings account is insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 through their sponsor bank, The Bancorp Bank.

Savings account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top savings accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: interest rates, monthly fees, minimum deposits, customer service and account features.

Read the full methodology of how we rate savings accounts.

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