Varo Bank Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Lance Davis

AT A GLANCE
4.4

Bankrate Score

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Digital Leader

No Minimum Balance

No monthly fees

Varo is best for people who want an entirely digital experience, no fees, competitive APYs and great features.

  • Savings
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    5.0
  • Checking
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    4.7
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Overall

    4.4

    Bankrate Score

    Varo is a digital bank that prides itself on its technology and offers great products and features to its customers.

    What we like

    • Varo doesn’t have minimum deposit or balance requirements and doesn’t charge a monthly fee.

    • The savings account offers a competitive APY.

    • Varo offers unique tools and features to improve their customers’ financial lives.

    What we don't

    • It can be challenging — and cost money — to deposit money into the checking account.

    Savings accounts

    5.0

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Varo offers an FDIC-insured high-yield savings account. As of Jan. 9, the bank was advertising an APY that would be among the highest nationwide. However, in the disclosures, it notes that the APY will be cut in half starting Jan. 12. Still, the reduced APY is competitive. There’s no minimum balance needed to open the account and no monthly fee, making it accessible to anyone searching for a place to stash their savings.

    The savings account offers a couple of automated tools to help customers save more:


    • The Save Your Pay feature takes a percentage of direct deposits to the banking account and transfers it to the savings account. Customers determine the percentage.

    • The Save Your Change feature rounds up transactions to the nearest dollar and moves that amount from the bank account to the savings account.


    Customers must also open a preliminary Varo "bank account" in order to open the savings account. Customers can’t deposit money directly into the savings account; instead, they must transfer the funds into the bank account and transfer them into the savings account.

    What we like

    • The savings account offers a competitive APY.

    • There’s no minimum deposit requirement or monthly fee.

    • Automated tools help customers boost their savings.

    What we don't

    Checking accounts

    4.7

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Varo’s online checking account doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement, minimum balance requirement or a monthly fee, making it accessible to a range of savers. A preliminary “bank account” is needed in order to open the checking account.

    Account holders have access to a Visa debit card. Additionally, they can get paid a couple days early with Varo’s Early Direct Deposit feature.

    Varo customers also have access to Varo Advance, a feature that gives customers up to $100 in cash directly in the bank’s app. There’s one fee depending on the amount of the advance. Customers have to pay back the amount within 30 days.

    Customers can deposit cash into their checking account at the register of retail locations using Green Dot Reload. Varo won’t charge a fee, but the store may charge a fee up to $4.95. Customers also can purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak at those stores. Instructions and other information is available on Varo’s support page. Customers can withdraw money for free through thousands of AllPoint ATMs nationwide.

    What we like

    • There are no minimum deposit or balance requirements and no monthly fee.

    • Account holders have access to a Visa debit card.

    • Customers have access to lots of helpful features.

    What we don't

    • It can be challenging — and cost money — to deposit money into the account.

    Bank experience

    Varo customers can reach a service representative by phone seven days a week. They’re available 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Customers can also email questions to a customer service email address.

    Varo’s app receives high ratings from users on both iOS and Android devices. The app provides all of the account access, tools and features that customers can get through the website.

    About Varo Bank

    Founded in 2015, Varo Bank is a digital bank that prides itself on using technology to help its customers improve their financial lives. In July 2020, Varo became the first fintech company to receive a full-service bank charter from the OCC. The bank received approval for FDIC deposit insurance in February 2020.

    Varo only offers a few deposit products, but Varo offers plenty of other benefits. Among them are: no monthly fees, no minimum balances, no transfer fees, early direct deposit, a cash advance feature and a top-notch digital experience.

    Lance Davis Twitter Created with Sketch. @LRD0015

    Lance Davis Twitter Created with Sketch. @LRD0015

    Lance Davis is the senior editorial director for Bankrate, overseeing content for mortgages, deposits, investing, loans and insurance. Lance leads a team of more than 20 editors and reporters who are passionate about creating content that helps readers make smarter financial decisions. Lance started at Bankrate as a copy editor in 2013, where he learned the finer points of personal finance while reading almost every article before it was published. In this role, Lance saw how small moves today can have a big impact on your financial future. He developed a passion for sharing these lessons to help others budget their money, buy a house, save for retirement and more. Lance also gets involved with fun projects like hosting Bankrate’s webinars with Greg McBride and publishing the annual Best Banks list, which has been cited by MSN, Fox Business, The Points Guy, among others. When he’s not reading Bankrate articles or playing around on the retirement calculator, Lance enjoys following sports, going on runs and reading books. He dreams of being able to retire early and buy a home on a beach where the temperature rarely falls south of 60. Lance earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Auburn University in 2013. Have feedback or suggestions for the editorial team? Send Lance an email at lance.davis@bankrate.com.