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Varo Bank Review 2022

Published March 2022 by René Bennett

AT A GLANCE
4.4

Bankrate Score

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Digital Leader

No Minimum Balance

No monthly fees

Varo is best for consumers who want an online alternative to traditional banks, no fees, competitive APYs and digital tools for saving.

  • Savings
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    5.0
  • Checking
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    4.7
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Bask Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.75 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    CIT Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.70 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.65 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    4.4

    Bankrate Score

    Varo is a digital bank that prides itself on its technology and offers checking and savings accounts with unique online features.

    What we like

    • Varo has no minimum deposit or balance requirements and charges no monthly fees.

    • The savings account offers a competitive APY.

    • Varo offers unique tools and features to help customers build their savings.

    What we don't

    • There is a fee for depositing cash.

    • Varo’s person-to-person transfer service only permits money to be transferred between other Varo accounts.

    • Neither a money market account nor certificates of deposit are available.

    Savings accounts

    5.0

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Bask Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    2.75 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Varo offers an FDIC-insured high-yield savings account. The APY on savings is competitive, and it requires no minimum balance to earn. There’s also no minimum opening deposit requirement nor a monthly fee. Varo also offers a much higher APY on savings on accounts that meet certain criteria, including at least $1,000 directly deposited each month and a maximum daily balance of $5,000.

    Two useful tools for savings come with the account: a Save Your Pay feature and a Save Your Change feature. Save Your Pay automatically takes a percentage that you set from each directly deposited paycheck and transfers it to your savings, while Save Your Change rounds up transactions made from the checking account and transfers the spare change to savings.

    A Varo checking account is required to open a Varo 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
    SoFi

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    2.50 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Varo’s online checking account has no monthly fee or minimum deposit or balance requirements, making it accessible to nearly everyone.

    New account holders are automatically sent a Visa debit card, which can be used to withdraw money fee-free at tens of thousands of ATMs in the Allpoint network. Varo’s early direct deposit feature, account holders have access to their funds up to two days early.

    Varo customers also have access to Varo Advance, a feature that gives customers up to $100 in cash directly in the bank’s app when they meet certain qualifications. 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 accounts at retail store checkouts using Green Dot Reload. Varo won’t charge a fee, but the store may charge a fee up to $5.95. Customers also can purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak at those stores.

    What we like

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

    • Customers have access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs with a Visa debit card, which can also be used for purchases and other transactions.

    • The account comes with helpful financial features, including early direct deposits and advance cash.

    What we don't

    • Cash deposits can only be made through a third-party service and may come with a fee.

    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 time, weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekends. Inquiries can also be sent by email.

    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. It also gives customers the ability to lock their cards instantly should they be lost or stolen.

    About Varo Bank

    Founded in 2015, Varo Bank is a digital bank that seeks to provide banking services to those who historically have had difficulty accessing them, including the underbanked. In 2020, Varo became the first fintech company to receive a full-service bank charter from the federal government.

    Varo only offers a few deposit products, but they come with plenty of extras, including no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements or transfer fees, early direct deposit, a cash advance feature and top-notch digital tools.

    René Bennett Twitter Created with Sketch. @

    René Bennett Twitter Created with Sketch. @

    René Bennett is a writer for Bankrate, equipping readers with the knowledge they need for best saving practices. He reports on personal finance and, as someone coming out of college, understands how difficult it can be to make choices about money, so he endeavors to make navigating those choices as straightforward as possible. With a background in writing and a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University, René is devoted to balancing clarity of style with accurate and informative content in his reporting. He has written on a number of topics, from savings accounts to roller coasters.