Varo Bank Checking Review 2024

Use this Varo online checking account review to learn about its offerings, including its robust mobile app, and early direct deposit payment.
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Editor's Rating
4.5
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Written by Rebecca Lake
Financial Expert
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Managing Editor
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Having a checking account can make paying bills and spending and managing your money easier. But where do you go to find the right checking account?

Varo Bank is a strong option to consider if you’re looking for an online checking account. Varo is a digital consumer bank that’s designed to make staying on top of your money as easy as possible. This Varo Bank Checking Review 2024 offers a closer look at how this banking option works.

Top Features of Varo Bank

What sets Varo Bank apart from other online banks and banking apps? Here are some of the best features and benefits worth knowing about:

One of the best features is Varo Perks. With the Perks program, you can earn up to 15% cash back on purchases made with your Varo debit card. This is real cash, not points. Every time your cashback earnings reach $5, it’s automatically deposited into your account.

This is a nice benefit to have, considering that it’s one most online banks (and traditional banks) don’t offer. It’s a simple way to earn money back on what you spend, whether you’re shopping for clothes, groceries, or other day-to-day purchases.

Compare the Best Checking Accounts Online

Use our comprehensive listing below to compare fees and see which banks are offering new customer rewards.

Varo Bank Checking Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Pay no monthly fees and no hidden fees of any kind for a checking account
  • Get paid up to two days early when you enroll in direct deposit
  • Earn cash back for online purchases made with your Varo debit card
  • There’s no minimum balance to open a Varo Bank checking account
  • Withdraw cash at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs and deposit cash at 90,000+ retail locations using GreenDot reload

Cons

  • Limits apply on how much cash you can deposit to your account per day and per month
  • Out-of-network ATM fees apply
  • Retailer fees apply when depositing cash at GreenDot locations
  • There are no branches available
  • No live chat customer support

Who Is Varo Bank For?

Varo Bank could be an attractive choice if you don’t mind banking online and skipping branch access. Opening a checking account here could be right for you if you:

  • Want to avoid monthly maintenance fees and other hidden banking fees
  • Are also interested in opening an online savings account that earns a competitive annual percentage yield
  • Get paid via direct deposit and want to get paid up to two days early
  • Want the convenience of being able to withdraw cash at an extensive ATM network
  • Need to make cash deposits to your checking account from time to time
  • Want a convenient and user-friendly online banking website and mobile banking app
  • Need to take cash advances against your paychecks occasionally

This online checking account may not work as well for you if you still need to visit a branch every so often or if you prefer being able to talk to someone in person when you have a problem.

Varo Bank also has limited banking options beyond checking and savings. For example, you can’t apply for a personal loan, car loan, or a mortgage here. There is a Varo credit card option, but it’s specifically designed for building credit rather than earning rewards.

Compare Varo Bank to Other Checking Accounts

Varo Bank isn’t your only option for banking online. Here are a couple of other online banking possibilities you may consider when looking for a new checking account.

Chime

Chime is not a bank, but it does offer bank accounts, including an online spending account with no hidden fees. Chime offers direct deposit so you can get paid up to two days early and fee-free access to 60,000+ ATMs. You don’t get the early advance feature, but Chime does offer fee-free overdrafts of up to $200.

How to Get Started

It’s easy to open a Varo Bank checking account online. You simply click the “Open Account” button on the checking account page, then enter your email address, phone number, and a unique password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have to verify your phone number by entering a unique code that Varo will text to you.

From there, can enter the information Varo needs, including your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number

You’ll also need to share your bank account number and routing number for the account you plan to use to fund your Varo checking. All in all, the process takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Rating the Features

As mentioned, Varo Bank offers some great features for people who are comfortable with online banking. If you’re on the fence about whether Varo is right for you, reviewing the features could make it easier to decide.

User Experience

Getting started with Varo Bank isn’t difficult at all. You can complete the account opening online in just a few minutes. The website is easy to navigate, and there’s a detailed Help Center in case you have questions. Likewise, the Varo Bank mobile app is equally easy to use if you want to be able to manage your money on the go.

Fees and Rates

Varo Bank charges no monthly fees and no hidden fees of any kind for its online checking account. There is a $2.50 foreign ATM fee that applies if you use an ATM outside the Allpoint network. You won’t pay any fees or interest to use the Varo Advance feature to borrow up to $100 in advance from your paycheck. Varo charges no fees to deposit cash at a GreenDot retailer, but the retailer may charge $0.95 to $5.95 to add cash to your account.

Transparency

Varo’s Help Center provides a lengthy list of answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you need help, customer support is available by phone or via email.

Flexibility

With Varo Bank, you can manage your money online or through the mobile app. You have the option to withdraw cash when needed or deposit cash. And you can save time by getting paid early with direct deposit.

Customer Support

Varo’s customer support is on standby to answer questions by phone or email. There’s no live chat option at this time, but overall support is responsive, which is helpful when you have a problem or need an answer to a question you can’t find on the website.

Bottom Line

Varo Bank could be a good checking option for you if you don’t mind forgoing branch banking. Paying no monthly fees or hidden fees is a plus if you’re trying to make the most of your hard-earned dollars and cents. If you’re ready to give banking with Varo a try, take the next steps and open a Varo Bank checking account today.

About Author
Rebecca Lake
Rebecca Lake, a valued contributor at MoneyRates, unravels the intricacies of personal finance with her expertise in areas spanning from banking to homebuying and investing to small business strategies. Rebecca seamlessly bridges the gap between complex financial concepts and readers, demystifying them with her clear and insightful narratives. She has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, among numerous other publications. With Rebecca’s guidance, financial clarity is just an article away.