Which is better for online banking?

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  • Varo is an online bank and Chime is a fintech; both offer checking accounts and savings accounts.
  • Chime and Varo offer an equally competitive no-fee online checking account.
  • If you also want to open a savings account, the Varo savings account pays a higher interest rate.
  • Read Insider reviews of Chime and Varo.

If you’re looking to open both a high-yield savings account and a checking account, Varo or Chime might be worth considering. Both offer online savings and


check accounts

no monthly service fees and no minimum opening deposit.

We’ve compared banking products from Varo and Chime to help you decide which company might be right for you.

Advantages and disadvantages of Chime

Advantages and disadvantages of Varo

Checking account comparisons

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Nothing

Minimum deposit amount

Nothing

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Nothing

Minimum deposit amount

Nothing

Advantages
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly service fees
  • Receive your paycheck up to 2 days in advance
  • Rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and places spare change in your Chime savings account
  • No overdraft fees for overdrafts up to $200 with SpotMe, if you qualify
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Request that checks be sent to recipients online
The inconvenients
  • $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee
  • No overdraft protection for overdrafts over $100
  • Deposit money into green points, which may charge a fee
  • No physical checkbook
  • Limited to $200/day or $1,000/month transfers from external bank accounts, if initiated via Chime

Read our review
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More information
  • Over 38,000 free ATMs nationwide via MoneyPass® and Visa® Plus Alliance
  • Rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers spare change to your Chime savings account
  • Qualify for SpotMe Overdraft Protection by receiving $200 in direct deposits per month
  • Chime is a fintech company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, NA; FDIC members.

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Nothing

Minimum deposit amount

Nothing

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Nothing

Minimum deposit amount

Nothing

Advantages
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly service fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Receive your paycheck up to 2 days in advance
  • No overdraft fees on overdrafts up to $50, if you qualify for no-fee overdraft
  • Earn Cash Back
The inconvenients
  • No physical branch
  • No overdraft protection if you go over $50
  • $2.50 out-of-network ATM fee
  • No joint accounts

Read our review
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More information
  • Access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs in the US, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, UK and Australia
  • Earn up to 15% cash back at select retailers; view current cash back offers in the Varo app
  • When you receive $5 in cash back, the money is automatically deposited into your account
  • Qualify for free overdraft by swiping your debit card 5 times per month AND receiving at least $1,000 in direct deposits per month
  • If you go over more than $50, there will be no charge – your transaction will simply be declined
  • FDIC insured

Savings account comparisons

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.50% to 5.00% APY

Minimum deposit amount

Nothing

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.50% to 5.00% APY

Minimum deposit amount

Nothing

Advantages
  • High APY
  • No monthly service fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
The inconvenients
  • No physical branch
  • Most open a Varo checking account before opening a savings account
  • Must meet certain qualifications to earn the highest APY
  • Earn only the highest APY on balances up to $5,000
  • The only way to deposit money is to go to a green point and pay a fee
  • No joint accounts

Read our review
Read our review A long arrow pointing to the right

More information
  • You must open a Varo checking account to qualify for a Varo savings account
  • To earn the highest APY each month, you must receive $1,000 in direct deposits, maintain a daily balance of $5,000 or less in your Varo savings account AND keep your bank accounts above $0
  • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
  • FDIC insured

Which online financial company is the most trustworthy?

We use Better Business Bureau ratings to see how companies are handling customer issues.

The BBB gave Chime and Varo an A+ rating. A good BBB rating indicates that a company has transparent business practices, responds effectively to customer complaints, and advertises honestly.

However, a good BBB rating is not a panacea. You’ll also want to talk to current customers or read customer reviews online.

Varo doesn’t have a history of scandals, but Chime was involved in a settlement. In 2021, the Financial Innovation Commission issued a cease and desist order stating that Chime could not use “chimebank.com”, “bank” or “bank” because the company is not licensed as an online bank. Chime is an online banking platform, and accounts are issued and insured by partner banks.

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Is Varo better than Chime?

You may prefer Varo if you are looking to open both a checking account and a savings account with an online institution. Varo’s savings account pays a higher interest rate if you meet certain balance requirements.

If you only plan to open a checking account, it will be a toss-up between the two. Both Varo and Chime offer no-fee checking accounts with similar features.

What is a fintech company?

Fintech companies offer banking products or services, but they are not banks. A fintech company is not directly insured by a government agency, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Online platforms are still safe, however, if their accounts are federally insured through a partner bank.

Chime is a fintech platform, while Varo is an online bank. Chime’s accounts are provided by its two partner banks, Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, NA, which are federally insured financial institutions.

What are the advantages of online banking?

Online banks generally offer more competitive interest rates than traditional banks. A lot


online banks

also waive common bank charges, such as monthly service charges, overdraft fees, or paper statement fees.

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