Fortune Recommends™ is editorially independent. We may earn affiliate revenue from links in this content.

Varo Bank Review 2023: For the customer who prefers mobile banking and a 5.00% APY over the brick-and-mortar experience

Illustration of the Varo Bank logo surrounded by a blue and purple frame.
Varo Bank offers a 5.00% APY up to $5,000 for eligible account holders.
Illustration by Fortune; Original logo by Varo Bank

Varo Bank is an FDIC-insured, online-only bank that provides services online or via mobile app, with zero physical branches. Varo has limited account options, but the current options boast savings accounts with competitive APYs with zero fees or minimum balances. Varo also has an expansive ATM network with more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs worldwide. You can find them in stores like CVS, Walgreens and Target. All rates and fees are current as of January 3, 2023, and are subject to change. 

Varo Bank offerings 

Varo Bank offers two different accounts that consumers can choose from for their banking needs. 

Checking and savings accounts 

Varo bank account 

  • APY: 0%
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum balance: $0
  • Overdraft fee: $0
  • Transfer fees: $0
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0

High-yield savings account 

Savings account 

  • APY: 
    • 3.00% 
    • 5.00%: Customers who want to qualify for the higher APY up to the $5,000 limit must meet the following requirements (they will continue to earn 3.00% APY on any additional balance over $5,000):
      • Receive direct deposit(s) totaling $1,000 or more
      • End the month with a positive balance in both your Varo Bank Account and Savings Account
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0 
  • Minimum balance to open account: $0 
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01

Other services Varo Bank offers 

  • Varo Advance: Customers who are on the verge of overdrafting their account can use Varo Advance to borrow a line of credit up to $100 which must be repaid within 30 days. Customers can request one advance at a time and continue to receive advances as long as they have direct deposits of $1,000 or more over the past 31 days to their Varo Bank Account or Varo savings account, and neither account can be overdrawn, suspended, or closed.
  • Varo Believe: Varo offers a secured credit card that doesn’t require a minimum security deposit, has no annual fee or interest, and doesn’t require a hard credit check to apply. Customers can also earn cashback from purchases across more than 50 brands when they shop online or in-store with their Varo Believe Card.
  • Early direct deposit: Varo customers can get access to their paycheck up to two days earlier than traditional banks.  
  • Zelle: Varo Account holders can send, request, or receive money with Zelle in the Varo app.

The Varo Bank platform and customer support 

Customers who have questions about their Varo account can contact a customer service representative via the Varo app. Varo Bank’s app is available on Apple’s app store and Google Play Store for Android users. 

The app features a live chat option, email, and a calling feature. Support by chat is available 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT. Representatives are not available on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. You can also reach Varo by sending an email to Support by phone and email is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT, as well as on federal holidays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT. Services by phone and email are not available on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. 

Pros and cons of Varo Bank

If you’re considering banking with Varo Bank, here are a few of the major pros and cons to consider: 

Pro: Varo Bank’s savings account offers a competitive APY. The national average savings rate stands at 0.24%. At 3.00%, Varo’s savings account offers a rate that is over 12 times the national rate. 

Pro: Varo accounts do not have monthly fees or minimum balances to open an account. Customers with Varo accounts do need to have at least $0.01 to earn interest on the savings account balance, but there are no minimums to open an account and zero monthly fees. 

Con: Varo bank does not have any physical branches. Varo is an online-only bank, meaning that customers who prefer a brick-and-mortar experience will have to settle for virtual assistance. 

Con: Customers must meet certain requirements to earn the 5.00% APY. While Varo does offer a steep APY of 5.00%, account holders must meet certain requirements to qualify for that APY and it will only apply on balances up to the $5,000 limit. 

Frequently asked questions

Is Varo Bank a real bank?

Yes. Varo Bank Accounts are provided by Varo Bank, N.A., and deposits are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 through "Varo Bank, N.A."

Does Varo Bank have Zelle?

You can send, request, or receive money with Zelle in your Varo app. There are no fees to send or receive money with Zelle. 

Can you deposit cash into a Varo account? 

You can deposit cash into your Varo Bank Account at Green Dot Network® locations nationwide, including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and more. You can also deposit cash by purchasing a Green Dot MoneyPak® at most of the same stores. You can also opt to buy a MoneyPak at a participating Green Dot location and deposit $20–$500 in a single transaction.

Follow Fortune Recommends on Facebook and Twitter.

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE: The advice, opinions, or rankings contained in this article are solely those of the Fortune Recommends editorial team. This content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of our affiliate partners or other third parties.