Varo Money Savings Account – 3% APY (Debit Card Requirement Removed)

Update 6/1/21: Starting 7/1, you will no longer need 5 debit transactions to get 3% APY. Must also keep a balance of $5,000 or less. Hat tip to reader Davis

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 3% APY
  • Minimum Balance: $0.01
  • Maximum Balance: $50,000
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, $1,000+
  • Additional requirements: 5 debit card purchases
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems:  No
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: None
  • Insured: FDIC

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Varo Money is now offering a tiered savings account:
    • Account earns 0.2% APY as long as the balance is $0.01 or more
    • Account earns 3% on balances up to $5,000 if the following requirements are met:
      • Receive payroll or government direct deposits totaling at least $1,000 each month into the Varo Bank Account
      • Use the Varo Visa® Debit Card to authorize at least 5 purchases each month (excluding ATM or Over-the-Counter Cash Withdrawals and P2P transfers)

Avoiding Fees

This account has no monthly fees to worry about.

Our Verdict

A lot of people have Varo Money accounts from the $100 sign up bonus they previously offered. I don’t think this savings account is particularly useful, other accounts earn at a rate of 2.5% APY with no requirements (beating out the 2.12% APY offered here) and HeritageBank offers 3.33% APY with similar requirements (direct deposit not required, any ACH will work). I hope Varo Money offers another referral bonus again soon.

Hat tip to reader Francesco

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patrick
patrick

Is the max balance $5000 or $50000 to earn the 3%?

Davis
Davis

5k

Dad's Hat
Dad's Hat

This is great news! Varo has been stable with the 3% through the pandemic even raising it 0.2% from 2.8%. I wish they hadn’t reduced the limit but they’ve been stable. It might be a response to T-mobile.

CK9
CK9

What is the max credit card funding (if available)? I hope, money is FDIC insured !!

Davis
Davis

No credit card funding. It is FDIC insured

CK9
CK9

Thanks a lot Davis . Looks good. Lots of DP on DD, not sure which one is working right now !! They also have a weird-type of $5K limit. They should have removed the DD requirement.

Davis
Davis

All those DP are old for when it was Varo Money. I haven’t found any that work for Varo Bank, including Treasury Direct. Also if you’re signing up for the first time, you should go through Swagbucks/MyPoints to stack.

alcwj
alcwj

why waste it on bank almost every stable coin platform out there get you at least 6 % interest

Jason
Jason

Great idea! No government is going to ban crypto when it is the only ransomware currency

Matt
Matt

I personally prefer to keep my money in a real bank.

Stable coins are speculative. You make margin loans on crypto. It is an unregulated market. Am I gonna accept all that baggage for 6%?

Jason
Jason

I don’t know why but fuck you alcwj

L
L

Yes, I want to put my emergency savings in crypto. Lmao

alcwj

Jo
Jo

stable and crypto? They don’t go together

TDD
TDD

alcwj (alcwj) I’m assuming you are referring to Gemini interest or BlockFi interest (which uses Gemini for its interest earning)? If you read the terms of this system you are plopping money into the crypto currency and authorizing Gemini (or BlockFi via Gemini) to loan out your cryptocurrency. Sounds acceptable except if you read further into the terms and find out that your loan is not insured. If the loan-ee defaults on his/her loan you lose your money. Even though Gemini is backed by the financial system, very trusted crypto name, there is 0 guarantee with the loans. Yes, you can pull your money out of the loans at any time fee-free, but your money COULD be lost at any time.

Burton

I was intrigued, and it looks like it even pays 3% now instead of 2.8%, BUT the terms are you must keep no more than $5,000 the entire month and have a $1k DD. If you go over, it appears the rate on the full amount is .2% instead of 3% on first 5k and then .2% on the excess like you’d expect.

To maximize I suppose you’d need to set up a recurring 2x month $500 DD, but a few days before each DD transfer out $500 plus leave a cushion for interest (about $13) to not accidentally go over. I can do these things but it sounds like a lot of work for <$150/yr, assuming they don't limit it further, and tying up a DD.

ShawntheShawn

The DDs do not have to go into the Varo Savings account. They can go into your Varo Bank Account. This makes your job of ensuring <=5k in the savings account a little bit easier, but still you'll want to transfer out the DDs to your other accounts with interests. Burton

Anonymous
Anonymous

Be wary of Varo. They banned me for no reason. Not just one of those whiny “oh, I don’t know what I did wrong”. After I got the bonus, I did literally nothing with the account, and then they banned me. It was not for inactivity.

Davis
Davis

William Charles Just got an email update that is actually good. Starting 7/1, you will no longer need 5 debit transactions to get 3% APY

Davis
Davis

William Charles this post needs a refresh. its 3% on up to 5k now

ShawntheShawn

For accounts opened prior to October 1, 2020, it is still 2.8% APY for up to 10k.

ieatdogfood
ieatdogfood

Ohhh never noticed they had a grandfathered plan like SoFi. Unfortunately they are still dead to me. Couldn’t find a fake DD once they became their own legit bank.

ShawntheShawn

These fintechs have “better” IT people, which is not good for us.

Go Browns!
Go Browns!

I opened in 2019 and they made me over to the Varo Bank app saying that my account and routing numbers were changing. Lost the 2.8% on 10k.

Ron
Ron

ShawntheShawn
Didn’t know they had a grandfathered plan
Thanks

Are people who converted to new Varo post -Oct 2020 eligible for this ?

ShawntheShawn

Ron You may ask Varo about it, but I doubt it would work. See here: https://www.varomoney.com/policies/, only accounts which were opened prior to October 2020 and haven’t been migrated to Varo Bank (i.e., still using Varo Money ) are in the 2.8% APY up to $10k plan.

Ron
Ron

ShawntheShawn thanks
I am confused now. So this is for people who still haven’t migrated to the new app ?

I didn’t know that people can still hold onto the old Varo if they wish to. I thought back in Jan Varo was forcing people to migrate to new app when you opened the old app.

And even after conversion I was initially earning 2.8% on 10K until they changed their terms in March and lowered the limit to 5K.

ShawntheShawn

I am not sure how they are phasing out Varo money, but clearly some users have not been converted to Varo Bank yet.

RAM

Receive $1,000+ direct deposits in the qualifying period;
Keep a daily savings balance of $5,000 or less for the entire calendar month; and
Keep your Bank Account and Savings Account balances greater than or equal to $0.00

Jay
Jay

William Charles it seems worth updating the post for the balance limit of $5k to qualify for the higher APY. That is the bigger gotcha for most than the lack of 5 debit trnx now.

Steve
Steve

So you only get the 3% on up to $5k?

ieatdogfood
ieatdogfood

Yep and if you go a penny over, you only earn 0.02% on all of it.

B
B

For 5 legit Debit,
Cash app will not work, it will get declined by the bank,
Going to the do the 5 AMZN or 5 $1 toll payment

B
B

Has anyone have had success using ACH instead of DD?

Jeremy
Jeremy

Fidelity CMA used to count for me, but not after the switch over from Varo Money to Varo Bank.