Varo Bank

Varo Bank

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About Varo Bank

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Varo is a self-described “digital consumer bank” with features such as no minimum balances, no monthly fees, branchless banking, automatic savings tools and a secured credit card. You can access your cash at more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs. Sign up and manage your account on Varo Bank’s website or using its app. Deposits with Varo Bank are insured up to $250,000 with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Pros

  • Cash back on debit and credit card
  • Early access to direct deposit funds
  • Up to 3% APY on savings
  • Advances up to $100 with no interest

Cons

  • Customer service not available 24/7
  • No in-person services

Bottom Line

Varo is an online bank with no minimum balance, no monthly charges and no overdraft fees. It also has a secured credit card and savings tools. Sign-up takes a few minutes and requires only ID and your Social Security number.

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What is Varo Bank?

Varo Bank is a fintech company that offers 100% mobile banking services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, the Varo Believe secured credit card, cash advances with no interest and automatic savings tools. Varo doesn’t charge monthly or overdraft fees. Its stated goal is to provide banking solutions that work for everyone and more ways to control your money.

Varo Bank is chartered and regulated as a national bank by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as of 2020, according to the company. Deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor.

How does Varo work?

Varo is a simple banking system to sign up for and use. To start, you can download the app, click on “Sign Up” and follow the instructions. You can also use the Varo website. You need a form of personal ID and your Social Security number. There is no credit check when you sign up for a bank account.

After approval, you should receive your Visa debit card in six to nine business days. You can deposit money into your account via direct deposit; transfer from an external bank account or digital wallet; mobile deposit of a paper check; cash deposit at checkout with various retailers; or using a Green Dot MoneyPak.

To withdraw cash with no fee, you can visit Allpoint ATMs, which are located in places such as CVS, Walgreens and Target.

With Varo, you can also apply for a savings account with an annual percentage yield of 3% if you meet certain requirements; otherwise, the APY is 0.5%. Varo’s other products and features include the following:

  • Varo Believe secured credit card
  • Varo Advance cash advance up to $100
  • Early access to direct deposit funds (up to two days earlier)
  • Cash back for using your debit or credit card
  • Save Your Pay and Save Your Change savings tools
  • Free Varo-to-Varo cash transfers

Varo products

Varo’s products start with its checking account, which you get when you first sign up, but it has several other offerings:

  • Bank account: The Varo checking account has no minimum balance, no monthly fees and no foreign transaction fees. The debit card is contactless, and you won’t be held liable for unauthorized charges. You can send money to other Varo customers instantly and free. You also have access to direct deposits up to two days early.
  • Savings account: The Varo savings account has a starting APY of 0.5%, but you can qualify for a 3% APY if you get direct deposits of at least $1,000 per month, don’t have a negative balance in your checking or savings accounts during the month and keep your savings balance at $5,000 or less for the entire month. The optional Save Your Pay tool lets you transfer a percentage of your direct deposits to your savings account. There's also Save Your Change, which rounds up your transactions to the nearest dollar and adds the difference to your savings.
  • Varo Believe: This secured credit card helps you build your credit. It has no annual fee, no APR and no minimum security deposit. Add money to your account and make purchases, then pay your balance when it’s due. You can see your credit score in the Varo app. To qualify, you need $1,000 or more in qualifying direct deposits and an active Varo bank account without a negative balance and with no overdue advance. Varo reports payment history to the three major credit bureaus.
  • Varo Advance: Get a cash advance of as much as $100 with no interest. There is a small fee with advances of $50, $75 and $100. You have 30 days to pay back the advance in as many payments as necessary. There are several qualifications, such as having a bank account that's at least 30 days old.

Varo fees

One of Varo’s biggest selling points is the lack of fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees or overdraft fees. There are some fees to be aware of, though.

Varo checking account fees include:

  • $2.50 per transaction for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • Up to $5.95 for cash deposits via third-party money transfers
  • $2.50 per transaction for over-the-counter cash withdrawals

Varo Believe fees include:

  • $15 for late payments
  • $2.50 per transaction for out-of-network ATM withdrawals

Varo Advance fees include:

  • $3 for a $50 advance
  • $4 for a $75 advance
  • $5 for a $100 advance

Varo FAQ

Is Varo a real bank?
Yes, Varo Bank is real. As of publishing, Varo is listed as a national bank chartered and regulated by the OCC.
Is Varo a prepaid card?
The Varo Bank Visa debit card is not a prepaid card. The company does offer a secured credit card called Varo Believe; the Varo Believe Secured Account acts as a security for your spending.
Where can I load a Varo debit card?
You can deposit cash in your Varo checking account at participating Green Dot locations. These include retailers such as:
  • 7-Eleven
  • Albertsons
  • CVS
  • Dollar General
  • Dollar Tree
  • Family Dollar
  • Rite Aid
  • Safeway
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
Is Varo FDIC-insured?
Yes, Varo is FDIC-insured. Deposits are insured up to $250,000.
Is Varo safe?
Varo is safe to use. Your money is FDIC-insured, and your personal information is protected with industry-standard encryption.

Is Varo Bank legit?

Varo Bank is a legitimate banking option for those who are looking for a fully online service. The bank is chartered and regulated by the OCC, and it’s FDIC-insured. There are many benefits, such as the low number of fees, early access to direct deposit funds and high yields on savings accounts. Just keep in mind that you won’t be able to visit a branch, and customer service isn't available 24/7.

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 23, 2022

If you’re looking for a card that can help you build credit and have conveniences this is not it. Even when you make a payment on this account that money still never goes back into your available amount, and it must be paid in full each month.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 14, 2021

Love Varo Money! No fees, no hidden charges and getting paid early, even better. Have been with Varo for 2 years and have even closed my CHIME acct. because of the better perks and customer service! Couldn't ask for a better banking service and getting not only a checking acct but a savings too, AWESOME!! TOTALLY RECOMMEND TO ANYONE WHO'S TIRED OF MAJOR BANK DRAMA! OH, and the interest rate every month, AMAZING!

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 31, 2021

    Horrible customer service; over 40+ minute wait just to talk to someone. Always had problems with my card, they would deny any auto debits for bills and never did anything about it! When they changed their app, I was never able to log in to the older app to get/see my transactions.

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    Rated with 5 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 30, 2021

    I hope to be safe as honest with the account and be as made it as easy to move funds from saving to check accounts with this new systems. Hope it makes life a little easy to live. From gas station to doctor to eating place.

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    Varo Bank Company Information

    Company Name:
    Varo Bank
    Website:
    www.varomoney.com