Varo Banking | Debit Card Review 2019
Sign up for a totally fee-free Varo bank account with a Visa debit card
and get a $75 sign up bonus. Plus earn up to $500 in referral bonuses.

VARO Bank
Rating: 5 / 5 by
Last Updated: May 3, 2019

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I like saving money and I like making money. Having a Varo mobile bank account does both these things. Because a Varo bank account is free to open, it doesn't charge any fees, and it has no minimum balance requirements, Varo saves you money. And because Varo offers a $75 sign up bonus when you open a new account (if you use a referral link from an existing Varo customer) and Varo also has a referral program when you refer family and friends to Varo, Varo makes you money. I opened a new Varo account for myself in December (using a referral link I got from a *friend* and received a $100 sign up bonus (now the sign up bonus is $75). I just recently opened a second Varo account for my wife, using my referral link from my own account, and my wife received the $75 sign up bonus and I received a $75 referral bonus.

I like our new Varo accounts. Our Varo accounts are completely free and have no fees and no minimum balance requirements. We received a free Visa debit card for each account, and we can manage the accounts via the secure Varo Money app on our smart phones. The accounts are FDIC insured and Varo is backed by Bancorp. I especially like that there is no minimum balance requirement, so I can transfer a set amount of money into one of the accounts (for example, $200), and then let our teenage son or daughter use the Varo debit card when they needs to buy something (like lunch) instead of giving them our main bank account debit card or one of our credit cards.

WHAT IS A VARO MOBILE BANK ACCOUNT?
Varo is a new startup company offering mobile bank accounts. Varo is backed by Bancorp, and every Varo account is fully FDIC insured, so your money is safe. When you open a Varo bank account, you then access and manage your account via the Varo mobile app on any iPhone or Android smartphone. You get a free Visa debit card with your account that you can use to pay for things at stores and online, or to withdraw cash at ATMs. You can link other bank accounts to your Varo account to transfer money back and forth, and/or you can add cash to your account at a number of retail locations using your debit card. You can also have your paycheck direct deposited into your Varo account. I recommend you check out Varo's website at https://www.varomoney.com for all the details.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF A VARO BANK ACCOUNT?
 ✔  Pro: The account is FREE.
 ✔  Pro: The account has no minimum balance. You can have as little or as much money in the account as you want.
 ✔  Pro: Varo charges NO fees.
 ✔  Pro: The Varo Visa debit card is PIN protected. You have to enter your secret pin number to use the card (unlike a credit card).
 ✔  Pro: You can lock your debit card from the Varo app on your smart phone.
 ✔  Pro: You can manage your Varo account with the app (check balance, get instant notification of any transactions, set up transfers, etc)
 ✔  Pro: Varo has a $75 sign up bonus offer (when referred by an existing Varo customer)..
 ✔  Pro: Varo has a referral program that allows Varo customers to earn up to $500 in matching $75 referral bonuses (you should receive your own personal referral link a few days after you open your Varo account).
 ✔  Cons: Varo does not have a website account interface. While you can access and manage your account via the Varo app, you can't do this via their website. I wish they had website account access so I could access my Varo account via my computer like I do with my other bank accounts.
 ✔  Cons: Varo does not offer checking or checks. This is one reason I am keeping my main bank account, which is a checking account, since I sometimes need to write checks.

HOW DO I GET THE $75 SIGN UP BONUS OFFER?
You must be invited by an existing Varo customer (like me) and then you need to use their unique referral link to register your email address for the $75 sign up bonus offer. If you open a new account without using a referral link, you won't get the $75 bonus. You need to know a current Varo customer (like me) who can give you their own unique referral link. When you click their referral link, it will take you to a page that explains the offer. You then enter your email address on that page, and Varo will register your email address for the $75 offer. You will receive an email from Varo titled "Here's how to get your $75". You then download the Varo app (from the Apple store or Google play) and sign up for a new account via the app. You must use the same email address when you apply for a new account. After your account is approved, you then need to receive a direct deposit for at least $200 within 45 days of the account being opened, and you'll get the $75 sign up bonus credited to your account.

STEP ONE: Register your email address: You need to use an existing Varo customer's unique referral link. The link will take you to a page on the Varo website where you can register your email address for the sign up bonus offer.

STEP TWO: Sign up for a new Varo account: After you submit your email address, you'll receive an email from Varo titled "Here's how to get your $75" that will say...

How to earn your $75:
1. Download the Varo app.
2. Apply for and open a Varo Bank Account using this email address by June 30, 2019.
3. Receive a direct deposit of $200+ within 45 days of opening your account.*

*The qualifying direct deposit must be one (1) ACH electronic payment payable to the Referee consisting of payroll, pension, or government benefits from the Referee's employer or a government agency. A fund transfer from an account held in Referee’s name at an external bank or other financial institution or a peer-to-peer payment (such as through PayPal, Square, Venmo, or Apple Pay Cash, or similar services) will not qualify.

HOW DO I GET REFERRED (INVITED) FOR THE $75 OFFER?
If you need a referral link so you can register your email address for the sign up offer, I would be happy to email you my referral link. Submit a comment below with your name and email address and ask me for my referral link, and I'll email you. I will not post your email address or your comment. I will only email you my referral link. Please note that one is only supposed to refer friends, family, and acquaintances. I consider any reader of my site CranialBorborygmus to be a friend.

WHAT COUNTS AS A DIRECT DEPOSIT TO TRIGGER THE $75 VARO BONUS?
Technically, the direct deposit is supposed to be your paycheck or other payment you receive, so actually receiving a $200 or more direct deposit or other payment into your Varo account is of course the easiest way to earn the $75 bonus. However, when Varo first started last year, it seemed almost any deposit, including a simple bank (ACH) transfer, would count and trigger the sign up bonus. I received the bonus for my first account in December with a ACH bank transfer from my Ally bank account. But when I tried that on my wife's new account this month (April), it no longer worked. I issued a bill payment from my business to my wife's new Varo account (my wife works for my business at times), and that counted as a direct deposit (payment) and triggered the bonus.
In order for your deposit to count as a "direct deposit", it must code as [Compensation Income] and and not [uncategorized deposit]. From my most recent research, it seems many bank transfers no longer trigger the bonus, but a few bank transfers still work. Specifically, bank ACH transfers from Ally, Capital One 360, Schwab, Incredible Bank, and Wells Fargo code as [uncategorized deposit] and do not count as a direct deposit, but bank ACH transfers from M&T, Discover, and Alliant do code as [Compensation Income] and do trigger the bonus.

HOW DOES THE REFERRAL PROGRAM WORK?
After you open a new Varo account, generally within a few days you should receive your own personal referral link (you'll see it when you sign into the Varo app) that you can then use to invite your family and friends to also join Varo. Whenever someone opens a new Varo account with your referral link and qualifies for the bonus (by having a $200+ direct deposit), they will earn $75 and you will earn $75. The maximum you can earn in referral bonuses is $500, though you can keep referring people after that and they can still earn the sign up bonus.

Earn up to $500 for sharing Varo!

Right now, you have the chance to earn $75 for sharing Varo with a friend. Keep referring friends and you could earn a max of $500!

How to earn:
  Share your link (don’t forget your friends with Android).
  We’ll give you $75 when each friend opens a Varo Bank Account and receives a direct deposit of $200+ within 45 days of account opening.

Sharing is earning, — The Varo Team

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT VARO MOBILE BANKING
https://www.varomoney.com

 

. Comments / Questions / Feedback:

 

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Do you have a comment or question? Would you like to share your own experience with VARO?
Fill in your name and comment below and click [Submit Your Comment].
If you would like me to email you my Varo referral link, enter your name and email address below and write "referral link please" or something like that in the comment box. I will not post any referral link requests, and will only use your email address to send you the referral link.

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Please include your email address if you are asking a question or providing information, as I may want to email you directly to answer questions and/or verify information. Email addresses will be kept private and will not be posted. I may only post comments that I think will be helpful to other readers. I won't post comments if I need to clarify or confirm information in them but am unable to email the person who commented, so please include your email address.