Varo Banking | Debit Card Review 2019
Sign up for a totally fee-free Varo bank account with a Visa debit card
and get a $100 sign up bonus. Plus earn up to $500 in referral bonuses.
5 / 5
July 3, 2019
* * * * * * *
JULY 3 UPDATE: Varo has extended their offer until September 30 and
has increased the bonus from $75 to $100. All the other offer details are
the same. I have updated this review to change the $75 offer to $100, and
the expiration date from June 30 to September 30. If you need a referral,
comment and let me know.
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 $100 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. Now the bonus offer is back to $100 again!
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
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
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
✔ 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 $100 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 $100 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 $100 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 $100 sign up bonus offer. If
you open a new account without using a referral link, you won't get the
$100 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 $100 offer. You will receive an email from Varo titled "Here's how to get
your $100". 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 $100 sign up bonus credited to
|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 $100" that will say...
How to earn your $100:
1. Download the Varo app.
2. Apply for and open a Varo Bank Account using this email address by
September 30, 2019.
3. Receive a direct deposit of $200+ within 45 days of opening your
*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 $100 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 $100 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 $100 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 $100 and you will earn $100. 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 $100 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 $100 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
This current $75 bonus offer is good through the end of this quarter (June
30). You only need to get the account opened by June 30. You then have 45
days after you open the account to have a $200 direct deposit and earn the
bonus. I expect this offer to be extended for another quarter through
September 30 since they had a referral bonus offer last year and also for
the first quarter of this year. Of course, there is no guarantee they will
extend the offer, so if you are going to take advantage of it, do it now.
Varo has extended the offer until September 30, and the bonus is now $100.
So you need to open the account by September 30 and you then have up to 45
days to receive a $200+ direct deposit.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VARO MOBILE BANKING