Banking and Finance

Online Banking Review | Varo Bank

KK
May 29, 2020

About Varo Bank

Varo Bank is one of the fee-free digital banks that allows you to do your banking through an app. The most brilliant thing that Varo Bank offers to customers is its online banking service. It reinvented the idea of what digital banking should be and how digital banking works for different types of customers.

Varo Bank
Picture source

Varo Bank's Pros & Cons

Based on Varo Back's reviews and comments from its users, it has the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • No monthly fee and no minimum balance

It doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees and it doesn’t require a minimum balance. Customers have more mobility and flexibility to transfer the money without worried about the amount of money in the account is lower than the requirement. 

  • 2.8% APY saving account

It offers the highest APY I have seen so far. Compared to the national average APY, 0.07%, for saving accounts, the Varo Bank provides an attractive rate for customers to save and invest money. The Varo Bank does have a tiered rate: 2.8% rate for saving up to $50,000, 1.61% rate for all other balances if requirements are satisfied.

  • No hidden fee

Varo Bank promises that there is no other hidden fee that you need to pay at the end of the month. All changing fees are transparent and easy to check via the app. It is no necessary to worried about hidden fees. 

  • No Foreign transactions fees

Compared to other visa cards from famous bank, it is customer-friendly. Not only because it offers high APY, but also it waives several major fees. As long as the place you travel accepts Visa, you can use a Varo Visa card without being charged an extra fee. 

  • No fees at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs

You can withdraw money for free from over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs in the United States. Withdraw money is accessible for Varo’s customers all over the United State. 

  • Varo Bank account is FDIC-insured

Although Varo Bank is a digital bank, it is safe and secure enough because any customers’ deposits are FDIC insured to over $250,000.

Cons 

  • No physical checkbook

Same to other digital online banking systems, Varo Bank does not provide checkbooks. You can only use online checkbooks for financial records.

  • Cash deposits fee

Since Varo bank is an online digital banking system and does not provide any brick and mortar branches, the only way to deposit your cash directly to your account is by adding money through third-party services or other retailers such as CVS or Walgreens, which cost you about $5 each transaction.

  • No Zelle

Varo Bank is not listed on the Zelle list. However, some customers have been able to successfully link their card to Zelle. It’s not safe to try to link with Zelle because it might spend more time to solve the problem if it doesn’t work.  

Referral Bonus

According to its announcement, the sign-up bonus has been reduced from $100 to $75. And the $75 bonus will be expired on 5/31/2020. If you enjoy the service provided by Varo Bank, share your unique link to your friends to get a $75 referral bonus. When your friend gets approved and his/her account fits some specific requirements, you and your friend will both get a $75 bonus at the same time. Click here for more details. 


Accounts & APY

The savings account and checking account are two major account types in Varo Bank and you will get money interests more and smarter once you start your journey with Varo Bank. The checking account is as normal as what other regular banks provide which has no APY. All you can do with checking accounts is withdrawing and spending your money. 


However, Varo Bank offers attractive 2.8% APY for the savings accounts. There are three requirements for customers to earn a high 2.8% APY in savings accounts: 

  • Make more than 5 purchases in each calendar month by using Varo Visa Debit Card;
  • Receive total direct deposits which are more than $1,000 in the same calendar month;
  • Have savings balances up to $50,000 in the same calendar month.

But you should notice that these three requirements have to be met in the same calendar month. Otherwise, Varo Bank only offers 1.61% APY. Click here for more details. 


Varo APY
Picture source

Minimum Checking/Saving account Requirement

Varo Bank implements a no-minimum policy, which means there is no minimum balance requirement to open the bank account.  Compared to the other banks like Chase and Bank of America, your money will be more flexible in Varo Bank.

Fees

Overdraft Fee

Basically, it provides an overdraft fee-free policy with customers who are qualified. Once you qualify, you have the flexibility to overdraw up to $50 on any transaction without call Varo bank. Here are two requirements:

  • Make more than 5 qualifying Varo Visa Debit Card purchases in each calendar month;
  • Receive payroll or direct deposits more than $1,000 into your Varo Bank Account in the same calendar month;

Wire Transfer Fee

It is still developing more services. The wire transfer on both domestic and international are currently unavailable with Varo Bank. 

Foreign Transaction Fee

Many banks charge you about a 3% foreign transaction fee for each purchase but the Varo Bank does not charge you any foreign transaction fee when you travel with your Varo debit card. You can use the Varo debit card everywhere as long as Visa is accepted and you do not have to worry about the extra fee for it.

Customer Service 

Call customer service is really a pain because people have to wait like a century. But Varo Bank changes the calling experience. It has nice and professional customer service agents who stand by 24/7. It is no need to wait for a long time to solve your problems. Most reviews are positive. The customer service number is 800-827-6526.


Except for Varo’s card, Cheese debit card is an excellent card as well, helping you save money easily. Cheese offers a cash bonus and no banking fee. Sounds attractive? Click here to apply for the Cheese debit card.


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