10 Banks Like Varo: Compare Your Options


If you’re on the hunt for banks like Varo that offer fee-free banking, user-friendly platforms, and creative financial tools, look no further. This article cuts through the fluff to provide a direct comparison of digital banks similar to Varo, making your choice easier with a concise, side-by-side look at their key features.

woman using mobile app

Varo Alternatives: An In-Depth Look at Comparable Online Banks

Online banking is full of new companies offering different services. Varo’s competitors, like SoFi, Chime, and Upgrade, just to name a few, are challenging the established banking corporations for their market share. They offer digital banking services that mirror and sometimes surpass those of Varo. Think no monthly fees, easy access to debit cards, and user-friendly mobile banking applications.

Let’s explore these competitors and analyze the services they provide.

1. SoFi

Our exploration begins with SoFi, a dynamic financial platform that redefines traditional online banking. SoFi delivers a unified checking and savings account setup, boasting an impressive annual percentage yield (APY) of up to 4.60% on savings and 0.50% on checking accounts, all without the hassle of monthly fees.

SoFi enhances banking convenience by offering early direct deposit, allowing users to access their paychecks up to two days earlier. It also provides significant security with FDIC insurance on deposits up to $2 million and includes overdraft protection up to $50 under certain conditions.

New to SoFi? They welcome new users with a bonus ranging from $50 to $300 based on the initial deposit, and grant access to over 55,000 Allpoint® Network ATMs worldwide.

2. Chime®

Our next selection is Chime, a prominent player in the online banking sector known for its innovative approach to everyday banking challenges. Chime’s standout feature, SpotMe, allows customers to overdraw their accounts on debit card purchases up to $200 without any overdraft fees.

Like many modern online banks, Chime eliminates common banking fees, imposing no monthly fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance fees. The only fee Chime charges is for using out-of-network ATMs.

Chime supports its users with access to over 60,000 ATMs nationwide. Account holders receive a Visa debit card with no replacement fee and can benefit from the SpotMe feature for fee-free overdraft protection.

Moreover, Chime encourages saving by offering a feature to round up transactions to the nearest dollar, depositing the difference into a high-yield savings account. Additionally, Chime provides the convenience of early direct deposits and a user-friendly mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices.

3. Upgrade

Update stands out in the digital banking space with its unique financial products. Customers enjoy a user-friendly checking account for easy money management and a high-yield savings account that offers an impressive 5.21% annual percentage yield (APY).

The inclusion of the Upgrade Card enhances user experience by offering cashback rewards on purchases, adding value with every transaction. Additionally, Upgrade simplifies the banking process by eliminating common nuisances like annual fees and late fees.

Further enhancing its service, Upgrade provides an intuitive mobile app, ensuring that managing your accounts is straightforward and accessible from anywhere. This combination of features makes Upgrade an attractive option for those looking for innovative and effective banking solutions.

4. Current

Current is a fintech company that stands out by offering transparent financial services with no hidden or monthly fees on both its standard and teen accounts. It simplifies banking with no minimum balance requirements, no overdraft fees, and no fees for money transfers.

Current makes it easy to build your credit by simply using your debit card for everyday purchases, thus avoiding the need for traditional credit-building methods like loans or credit checks.

Users also benefit from access to over 40,000 Allpoint ATMs for cash withdrawals without fees. When using a Current debit card at participating retailers, customers can earn points redeemable for cash or items available in the Current Shop.

Additionally, Current offers an instant cash deposit feature, allowing you to deposit cash directly into your account at over 60,000 retail locations, including major stores like Walmart and CVS.

5. GO2bank

GO2bank is a modern online bank launched by Green Dot Corporation, tailored to meet the varied needs of its customers through an intuitive and seamless banking experience. It’s designed to simplify financial management with a host of user-friendly features.

GO2bank eliminates common banking hurdles by waiving monthly fees for those with eligible direct deposits and by not requiring a minimum balance. Its mobile app, compatible with iOS and Android devices, enables users to access their accounts, deposit checks, and pay bills effortlessly.

A notable feature of GO2bank is the Early Pay option, which allows eligible customers to access their paychecks up to two days before the traditional payday. Additionally, GO2bank offers a high-yield savings account with an attractive 4.50% APY.

To assist in credit building, GO2bank provides a Secured Credit Card. The bank also enhances customer convenience with mobile wallet compatibility for Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, and features that allow customers to lock and unlock their debit cards directly from the app.

6. Capital One

Capital One is more than a credit card company. It’s also a comprehensive online bank that provides:

  • A digital checking account without monthly fees
  • The 360 Checking account, which can be managed online, in person, or through a mobile app
  • Additional savings account options for teens and kids, encouraging financial literacy from a young age.

With access to over 70,000 fee-free ATMs for online checking account holders and secure banking with FDIC insurance up to the maximum allowable limits, Capital One is a strong contestant in the online banking space.

7. Juno

Following that, we have Juno, a digital bank that transcends conventional banking services. Juno offers a checking account that lets you earn up to 5% cashback at select merchants. But that’s not all. Juno also provides access to cryptocurrency trading, allowing you to dabble in digital currencies right from your checking account.

With no overdraft fees and customer support available through phone and online chat, Juno has clearly prioritized customer satisfaction.

8. Ally Bank

Ally Bank has a reputation for its extensive array of digital finance services. Some of the features and benefits of Ally Bank include:

  • FDIC-insured Interest Checking Account
  • Spending Account with a competitive interest rate
  • Access to over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs without fees
  • Reimbursement of up to $10 per statement cycle for fees incurred at out-of-network ATMs

Plus, there’s no requirement for a minimum deposit to open a Spending Account, making Ally Bank an accessible choice for many.

9. Revolut

Revolut is a dominant player in the field of online banking. It offers a range of unique features, including the option to earn up to 5% cashback on qualifying purchases. The platform facilitates fast international money transfers and supports spending in over 140 countries.

Revolut also offers commission-free stock trading, making it an attractive choice for users looking to invest. From its standard to premium plans, Revolut offers a variety of options to suit different banking needs.

10. Monzo

Finally, but by no means least, we turn our attention to Monzo. Known for its user-friendly interface and innovative app features, Monzo has carved a niche for itself in the digital banking world. With no monthly fees and features like bill splitting and budgeting tools, Monzo makes managing finances a breeze.

Plus, Monzo offers the unique feature of getting paid a day early without any fees. Now that’s something to consider!

No-Fee Banking Unleashed: Who Offers the Best Deal?

Having examined the diverse online banks and their services, it’s time to take a closer look at no-fee banking. Online banks provide no-fee checking and savings accounts to lure customers. But which bank gives the best deal? It’s time to find out.

Fee-Free Overdraft and Direct Deposit Perks

One of the major perks of online banking is:

  • Fee-free overdraft and direct deposit services
  • Banks like Capital One and Ally Bank have discontinued all overdraft and non-sufficient fund fees, offering fee-free banking experiences
  • Banks like Monzo enhance their direct deposit services by providing early access to funds.

These benefits play a significant role in determining the best banking deal available.

High Yield Savings Account Showdown

The benefits of online banking don’t stop at no fees. High-yield savings accounts are another major perk, with some accounts earning around 5% APY. SoFi and Revolut, for instance, offer high APYs without monthly fees.

When it comes to high-yield savings accounts, the best online banks are leading the way in offering the highest rates and minimizing service fees.

Convenience and Accessibility: Cash Deposits and ATM Networks

Convenience and accessibility, particularly in terms of cash deposits and ATM access, are significant concerns with online banking. Thankfully, digital banks have this covered. They offer extensive ATM networks and cash deposit options at partner retail locations, ensuring you have easy access to your money when you need it.

Accept Cash Deposits: Not Just an Online Fantasy

While digital banks focus mostly on digital transactions, they also offer cash deposit options. For instance, SoFi customers can deposit cash at Green Dot locations and Dave users can make cash deposits at Walgreens and CVS locations.

So, depositing cash with an online platform that is not a bank is not just an online fantasy but a reality, especially with the availability of online checking services!

Expansive ATM Network: Withdrawals Made Easy

What about ATM access? Well, online banks have got you covered. They provide access to thousands of ATMs nationwide. Some banks like Chime offer fee-free withdrawals at over 60,000 ATMs, while others like Capital One provide access to over 70,000 fee-free ATMs. Plus, some online banks offer reimbursement for a certain number of out-of-network ATM fees per month, making cash withdrawals more accessible and affordable.

Innovative Features: Beyond Basic Banking Services

Online banks are not just about basic banking services. They’re about innovation and offering services that traditional banks don’t. Whether it’s cryptocurrency trading, stock trading access, or personal loans, online banks are pushing the boundaries of what banking can be.

Let’s investigate these innovative features more thoroughly.

Crypto and Stock Trading Access

Crypto and stock trading access is one such innovative feature. Juno integrates cryptocurrency trading into its banking platform, while Revolut offers commission-free stock trading. These features bring the world of investments to your fingertips, without ever having to leave your banking app.

Personal Loans and Credit Options

Online banks also offer personal loans and credit options. Varo provides the Varo Believe card, a secured credit card designed to help build credit. SoFi provides investment options and includes personal loans as part of its comprehensive suite of financial products.

Such features provide a holistic financial experience, going beyond basic banking services.

Customer-Centric Banking: User Experience Reviewed

What’s banking without excellent customer service? In the world of online banking, customer satisfaction is driven by user-friendly mobile apps and excellent customer service through various support channels.

Let’s scrutinize how these online banks perform in these areas.

Mobile App Mastery: Banking at Your Fingertips

Mobile apps play a critical role in the online banking experience. They’re the main touchpoint between the bank and the customer. From Dave’s app that features 4% APY on savings and cashback rewards to Ally Bank’s mobile app that enhances savings experiences, online banks are mastering the art of mobile banking.

Real People, Real Support: Customer Service Excellence

Having a great mobile app isn’t enough. Excellent customer service is equally important. Capital One 360 provides 24/7 customer service and has ranked highest in customer satisfaction according to J.D. Power.

Online banks like Chime and Monzo offer robust customer support features within their apps, ensuring help is readily available whenever needed.

The Fine Print: Fees and Limitations Explored

While online banks offer numerous benefits, it’s important to read the fine print. Customers should be aware of potential limitations and fees, particularly when it comes to regulatory compliance and direct deposit timing.

Let’s examine these aspects in further detail.

Transparency in Transaction Fees

Transaction fees can be a gray area when it comes to banking. Certain transactions, particularly those over $10,000 or at a lower threshold of around $2,000, may be subject to additional scrutiny and associated fees due to regulatory requirements. Foreign transaction fees, for example, can add to the overall cost of a transaction, not to mention the potential impact of a monthly fee.

It’s crucial for banks to maintain transparency in how regulatory compliance might affect transaction fees, and for customers to be informed about potential implications for their high-value transactions.

Direct Deposit Timing and Limits

The timing and limits of direct deposits can also vary. For instance, the ability to access direct deposit funds early through online banks is dependent on when the payer submits the payment file, which can be influenced by direct deposit frequency and whether it’s a qualifying direct deposit.

Being aware of these limitations can help you manage your finances more effectively.


As we round up our exploration of online banking, it’s clear that digital banks are a force to be reckoned with. They offer a plethora of services, from fee-free banking and high-yield savings accounts to innovative features like cryptocurrency trading and personal loans. Moreover, with user-friendly mobile apps and excellent customer service, online banks provide a seamless banking experience. As we move further into the digital age, perhaps it’s time to consider making the switch to online banking.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do online banks offer fee-free banking?

Online banks offer fee-free banking by eliminating common fees like monthly maintenance fees and overdraft fees, and some banks, like Capital One and Ally Bank, have completely discontinued these fees.

Do online banks offer high-yield savings accounts?

Yes, many online banks like SoFi and Revolut offer high-yield savings accounts with high APYs and no monthly fees.

Can I deposit cash with an online bank?

Yes, you can deposit cash with an online bank by using partner retail locations like Green Dot.

What innovative features do online banks offer?

Online banks offer innovative features such as cryptocurrency and stock trading, personal loans, and credit options to meet various financial needs. These features can enhance your banking experience and provide additional flexibility for managing your finances.

How is the customer service of online banks?

The customer service of online banks is generally excellent, with various channels like chatbots, email, and phone available for assistance, and some banks even offering 24/7 support. So, you can expect prompt and helpful service whenever you need it.

Meet the author

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