Varo is an online bank that offers a free checking account with no minimum account balance and no hidden fees, a high-yield savings account with a competitive interest rate, and an online banking experience to take control of your money.
Suppose you are looking for a bank to use as your primary checking and savings account. In that case, Varo has excellent customer service and a 4.6-star rating in Google Play for the Varo Money Mobile Banking app to manage your finances from anywhere.
About Varo Bank
Varo Bank is a branchless online bank that gives you 24/7 access to your accounts and your money through a highly rated mobile banking app.
Intending to make banking more accessible for everyone in the U.S, Varo set themselves on a mission to become the first U.S. consumer fintech to receive a national bank charter from the OCC. After operating as an online banking solution since its foundation in 2015, Varo filed for national bank charter with the OCC in July 2017. After three years, it officially opened as Varo Bank, N.A. after being approved as a national bank charter by the OCC in June 2020 and approved by FDIC for deposit insurance in February of the same year.
What this means for you is that the money you deposit in Varo Bank accounts is insured by FDIC, like any other bank.
Varo Bank Accounts and Banking Services
Varo Bank offers banking services and products, like a checking account and savings products, like a high-yield savings account. All the Varo accounts have no monthly fees or minimum account balance requirements, and the checking accounts come with a Varo Visa debit card. Varo also offers free cash withdrawals when you use in-network ATMs. Since the bank has no branches, cash deposits are only available through third-party retail locations, but you can use the Varo Bank mobile app to use saving tools and manage all your banking online.
Let’s review the banking products and services that Varo Bank offers:
- Varo Bank Account: A checking account with no fees and a Visa debit card.
- Varo Savings Account: A high-yield savings account to earn interest on your savings.
- Varo Advance: Get an instant cash advance of up to $100.
- Varo Believe: A credit building program to raise your credit scores. The program is coming soon.
Varo Bank Checking Account
The best feature of the Varo Bank Checking Account is that it has no hidden fees. The bank account does not charge any monthly maintenance fees, and you don’t need to keep any minimum balance in your account. It does not charge transfer or foreign transaction fees either.
The checking account comes with a Varo Debit card that you can use for online or retail purchases. If you have up to $50 overdraft, Varo will not charge overdraft fees as long as you enroll in the No Fee Overdraft feature through Varo Bank mobile app. And you have 30 days to pay the amount back.
To summarize, the benefits of opening a Varo Bank Account are:
- A free checking account with no hidden fees.
- No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance fees.
- No transfer or foreign transaction fees.
- No overdraft fees up to $50 for 30 calendar days.
- Access to 55,000 Allpoint ATMs to withdraw cash for free.
- Free Visa debit card to make retail or online debit card purchases.
Varo Savings Account
Varo offers a high-yield savings account with a competitive annual percentage yield that allows you to earn interest on the money you save. To access a higher APY, you will need to meet some requirements, such as a minimum daily savings balance for the calendar month. They make it easy for you to save money with the savings tools in the online banking and mobile app:
- You can set up automatic transfers between your checking and your saving accounts.
- You can enable Save Your Pay to put a percentage of your deposits and transfers into your savings account.
- The Save Your Change feature rounds up your transactions to the nearest dollar and transfers the amount to your savings account.
Varo Advance allows you to get up to $100 cash advance when you are baking with Varo. This feature is helpful if you need extra cash before your paycheck comes, you have an emergency, or you don’t want to pay overdraft fees.
You can get this instant advance cash through the Varo mobile app in one tap and pay it back within 30 calendar days. There is a small fee depending on how much you want to borrow.
To use this service, you must have a Varo Bank account for at least 30 days, a minimum of $1000 direct deposit funds to your Varo Bank accounts (checking, savings, or both combined) within the last 31 days, and not have another Vero Advance active.
So let’s quickly review what Varo Advance is and how you can use it.
- Get up to $100 instant cash advance through the mobile app for a small fee.
- Repay the money to your Varo Bank account within 30 days.
- You must have an active account for at least 30 days, and a $1000 direct deposit into your Varo accounts within the last 31 days.
- You can only access one Varo Advance of up to $100 at a time.
Once it is launched, Varo Believe will be a credit building program to help you raise your credit score. Offering a new credit card linked to your Varo Bank account with no monthly fees, no APR, and no upfront deposit, you will get a secure Vault to pay your credit card balance on time and in full. Then, they will report your credit card payment history to the three credit bureaus to help you raise your credit scores.
Varo Believes will be a credit building program like no other. Although we don’t know if there will be early access to the program, the program will be coming soon:
- Automatically build your credit.
- Get a credit card linked to your account with no upfront deposits, monthly fees, or APRs.
- The credit card balance will be paid in full and on time from a secure vault in your bank account each month.
- Varo Bank will report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus.
Online And Mobile Banking Features
Varo Bank offers a free mobile app available for iOS and Android users to manage all their banking online anytime from anywhere. At the moment of writing this, the Varo Bank app was impressively rated 4.8 out of 5 stars at the App Store and 4.6 out of 5 at Google Play.
With such a highly-rated mobile app, let’s see what you can do with a tap of your finger:
- No fees banking: Open a free bank account with no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements and no hidden fees, and a Visa debit card.
- Grow your money: Open a high-yield savings account and access automatic savings tools to help you save more money.
- Fee-free ATMs: Access 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs to withdraw cash for free.
- Make mobile purchases: Use Google Pay and Samsung Pay for quick, contactless payments.
- Manage your money: Track spending and set up alerts to get notified.
- Send or receive money: Send cash instantly for free from Varo to Varo accounts, and quickly transfer money to and from external accounts.
- Get paid up to 2 days earlier: Varo will deposit the money in your bank account as soon as they receive the direct deposit notification from the Federal Reserve, meaning you can get your paycheck as soon as two days early.
- Get up to $100 instant cash advance: For a small fee, get up to $100 to pay back within 30 days in one tap
- Get peace of mind: Your deposits with Varo Bank are FDIC insured, your debit card protected with Visa Zero Liability, and your personal data is protected with advanced 256-bit AES-level encryption, access control, secure processes, and audits.
- Get excellent customer service: Even though Varo Bank has no branches, it offers phone, email, and Twitter support. The bank is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Better Business Bureau.
How To Sign Up
You can apply for a Varo Bank account by downloading the Varo Bank mobile app from the App Store or Google Play. Or go to the website and click on get started instead. When you sign up for Varo Bank, you apply for a Varo Bank Account, although this will not impact your credit score since Varo does not check your credit score in the application process.
To apply for an account, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, 18 years old or older, and have a valid social security number. You will need to provide your identification and your SSN.
Once you are approved, your Varo Bank account will be open, and you will receive it within 6-9 business days. From this point, you can access your banking online through the app or the browser and access all the features and perks that come with your Varo Bank account.