Varo Bank

Varo Bank Reviews

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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 & Cons

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

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.

Varo Bank Reviews

Stars Rating

  • 11%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 88%

Popular Mentions

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    How do I know I can trust these reviews about Varo Bank?
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    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
    Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed May 22, 2024

    Someone can steal your identity and open an account and they won't verify the identity. Someone opened an account under my identity and I've tried emails and calling their number and it's impossible to get in contact with them. I've emailed and it says typical response in 2-3 days and it's already been 2 weeks and no response. You can't even call unless you're a customer. They won't help you. I would advise anyone to not bank with this fraud of a bank.

    Punctuality & SpeedOnline & AppEase of Use

    Reviewed May 13, 2024

    I'm in my third year of banking w/ Varo Bank and could not be more content. I've had zero issues and am grateful they exist. It was super easy to open new accounts with them, I find their app super user friendly and there have been zero issues with my debit card. What I appreciate also is I usually get my paycheck a full two days prior to my actual payday AND they offer advances for zero fees! Who does this in this day and age? Varo does. Yes it's a tad inconvenient that if one does need their customer service, one can only reach them via text in their app.. The wait time can be long as well. However, I suspect this is to keep their overhead as low as possible and pass on the savings to us, their customers. I've had zero issues getting my paycheck as well as any time I uploading checks into my accounts. Thanks for you Varo and may we continue to enjoy a lovely banking relationship for many more years to come!

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      Customer ServicePunctuality & SpeedOnline & AppStaff

      Reviewed May 4, 2024

      My account that I only use for my SSI ck was closed. No one contacted me of any issues with my account. The only thing got was a email saying my account was closed. All my bills are due, I can't pay any of my bills. I have late charges now. There is no way to speak to a live person. You can only chat through the app which they locked me out of when they closed my account. I emailed the account support and I got a reply say someone would message me in two days. But the only response I got was to send info to identify myself. When I did I didn't hear back. So know they have my money and I don't know anything and I have late fees stacking up. And my car is about to be repo. Now I'm left not knowing if or when I'm going to get my money.

      Reviewed May 1, 2024

      They give you a link to invite friends and give fake incentive of $30 each if they use direct deposit. I gave link to my girlfriend. She activated direct deposit and Varo closed My account instead of sending both of us the money they promised. They lie. Then you can't get in contact with them. Don't use varo. You'll be disappointed.

      Reviewed April 20, 2024

      Worse bank ever. Don’t use this bank for real transactions, they will take your money and close your account for no reason. They pretend to send you a check refund for the amount you had in the account. Imagine if I had my money there for real.

      Customer ServiceOnline & App

      Reviewed March 8, 2024

      I've been waiting for my funds to be released on a deposit I made almost a week ago. I've tried using their app but the chat feature doesn't connect you with a real person. The phone is even worse. You can never connect to a real person. As for the email, it's a waste of time. The response you get back is that they don't respond to emails. I'd say they have the worst customer service in the world but that would mean they have customer service which they don't.

      Customer ServiceStaffProcess

      Reviewed Feb. 28, 2024

      I got Varo Bank because I moved to a new town and needed to get an account in a hurry so I could get my pay checks direct deposited. Yesterday my account was suspended. I cannot log into my account, I cannot access my money and I cannot get ahold of a live person to speak with! They sent me an email asking me to prove my identity. After sending sensitive information the only thing they sent back to me was someone will contact me within 4 days. So now I have to go without money to provide for my kids, cannot pay my bills, get gas in my car to get to work, feed my family for at least 4 days! Not to mention the whole process of sending my sensitive information through some link they sent me is suspicious enough.

      When you call their help line they tell you, "In order to speak to a live technician log into the app, click the help link and you can chat with someone." How am I supposed to do that when you locked up my account and I can’t access it? I understand being cautious and them protecting people's accounts and all that but it should not take days to review the information, see that I am the one using the account and unlock my account. What I find very suspicious and convenient is they suspended my account the second my tax return was deposited! Why Varo? Why do you lock people away from their money for so long? Why is it impossible to talk to a live person? Why does this whole process take so long to be resolved? Why would you tell someone who can’t access their account to log into their account to chat with a live technician? Why do you only communicate through email?

      There has to be a more efficient and timely way to handle these sort of issues. They should have a team of experts that do just this and if it’s taking 4 days to resolve issues then they need to expand their team! I’m absolutely disgusted with the way they are handling this and the way they have handled thousands of others like me! People are all over the internet complaining about the same thing and they have done nothing to better these issues.

      Reviewed Feb. 21, 2024

      I signed up for the Varo Believe card thinking that it would be a great way to improve my credit score… Well imagine my surprise when my credit score dropped 66 points due to opening a new line of credit. How is something like this even possible? I’ve researched it and this is the reason for the 66 point drop, opening a Varo Believe card… So mad!!!

      Profile pic of the author.
      Customer ServiceStaff

      Reviewed Feb. 14, 2024

      Their support sucks. You have to go through a lot just to type with what may or may not be a real agent. Then when you finally get to chat with them they can't help you no matter what the issue is and it sucks that no matter how long you've been banking with them they won't even give you the courtesy of actually having a conversation and speaking with a real representative to help with your issues.

      Profile pic of the author.
      Reliability

      Reviewed Feb. 9, 2024

      Recent Mobile Deposit rejected after 3 days waiting for it be approved! Never ever had this happen to me before! The world is definitely changing in regards to to Mobile deposits! I have complied with their “said deposit rules” and they still refused to deposit my 401k check which is very legit… and just barely over 1k. Now because I wrote for Deposit to Varo… I now have to go to another bank and WAIT 7 DAY BEFORE I SEE ANY OF THIS DEPOSIT! I was very happy with Varo until this happened!! They have really declined and the fact that you can only talk by chat is unrealistic for sure! Varo has become the worst! Stay with known banks! The only reason I have used them was because they were very reliable on debit purchases and making sure they were declined if the money was not there. I could keep track of my expenses so much better… So that enticed me to start banking with them in the beginning… NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE!

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      Varo Bank Company Information

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