Banking » Compare Banks » Chime vs Varo Comparison: Which Online Bank Wins in 2023?
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Chime vs Varo Comparison: Which Online Bank Wins in 2023?

Varo’s products are well coordinated to work together, particularly when you combine the savings and checking accounts. However, If you have a less than perfect credit rating, Chime may be the best for your needs. Here's our comparison.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

Review & Fact Check: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Financial Expert, The Smart Investor CEO

Experience

Baruch Mann (Silvermann) is a financial expert and founder of The Smart Investor. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Table Of Content

Chime, while not a banking service, does provide FDIC insurance on all accounts. Chime provides smart account solutions for people who want to manage their money online or over the phone. You won't find the same variety of account types at Chime as you would at your local bank or credit union, but the fees are likely to be lower.

A Spending Account is the name given to the Chime checking account. Because there are no fees or minimum balance requirements, it is an excellent way to improve your financial situation. There are no monthly account fees or required minimum balances.

Chime is distinct from many banks and other financial institutions in that it screens customers in a unique manner. This may make it easier to open an account with Chime if you don't have perfect credit or are still building your credit history.

Varo, a mobile-based bank, was founded in 2015. As a result, it does not have any bank branches. To use Varo's services, you must first download and log in to the bank's Apple and Android mobile apps.
Varo provides plenty of functionality for the on-the-go user, which may persuade you to go online.

Varo's mobile app and extensive ATM network make it simple to complete basic checking and saving transactions while going about your daily life.

All banking services for Varo and Chime are provided by Bancorp Bank. This massive financial corporation collaborates with businesses to provide banking and technology services.

Banking Options

Chime
Varo
Savings Accounts
Checking Accounts
CDs
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Credit Cards
Personal Loans
Mortgage
Government Mortgage
Business Loans
Investing Capabilities

Savings Account

Both Chime and Varo’s savings accounts are fee free and decent products. 

The Varo base rate is 5.00%, and you only need to receive $1,000+ in direct deposits or maintain a savings balance of more than $5,000 to access rates of up to 3%.

In terms of certificate of deposits, there is no comparison here, as neither Chime or Varo currently offers CDs. So, if you are looking for CD products, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Chime
Varo
APY
2.00%
5.00%
Fees
$0
$0
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
Checking Needed?
No
Yes
Main Benefits
  • No maximums to earn interest
  • Automatic savings features including round up
  • if you keep a savings balance of $5,000+ or receive direct deposits totaling $1,000+ , you can earn 3.00% APY on balances up to $5,000.
  • Auto save features include saving a designated percentage of your paycheck.

Checking Account

At first glance, the Chime and Varo checking accounts appear very similar. The accounts are fee free with no minimum balance requirements. They both also offer round up savings, so you can easily increase your savings. 

Essentially, if you swipe your debit card for a purchase for $9.60, your checking account will be billed $10 and the remaining $0.40 will go into your savings. These round up amounts are so small that you are not likely to notice them as you make your purchases, but over a month or two, they can add up to boost your savings. 

Other features in common include getting access to your direct deposit paycheck up to two days early and access to a large ATM network of 60,000+ fee free machines for Chime and 55,000+ machines for Varo.

There are some features that distinguish these checking accounts from each other. For example, while Varo makes it easy to deposit checks through the app, Chime offers up to $200 overdraft facility fee free subject to eligibility requirements.

Chime
Varo
APY
0%
0%
Fees
$0
$0
Minimum Deposit
$50
$0
Main Benefits
  • Get your direct deposit paycheck up to two days early
  • Rounds up your checking account purchases into your linked savings account
  • Get up to $200 as a fee free overdraft according to eligibility requirements
  • ATM network of over 60,000 fee free machines
  • Get paid up to 2 days early with Direct Deposit Express.
  • No monthly fees or balance requirements.
  • Deposit checks through the app
  • ATM network of 55,000+ fee free machines

Credit Cards

Chime’s credit card is a secured card with the aim to help you build credit. There is no annual fee or interest and no credit check to apply. You will need a security deposit for the card, but there is no required minimum. Chime reports your card payments to all three credit bureaus, so you can start to build your credit over time. Chime claims that its members have an increase of 30 credit score points on average.

Varo also offers a secured credit card as its only option. This secured card has no annual fee, no APR and no minimum security deposit. You can simply add money to your “Believe” secured account and then use your credit card for making purchases. When you pay your balance in full and on time each month, this will be reported to the credit bureaus and can help you to build and improve your score. You can even see your credit score in the app, so you can monitor any changes.

Customer Service

Chime has a toll free number that is available 24/7, so you can access the customer service team at any time if you have any queries or questions.

Varo has a website help center with an extensive FAQ section. There is also a contact email address and customer service phone number, but there are no details of when the phone lines are open to receive calls.

Online/Digital Experience

Both Chime and Varo have an app to help you to manage your accounts on the go. Chime’s app is rated 4.8/5 on Apple and 4.7/5 on Google, while the Varo app is rated 4.6/5 on the Apple Store and 4.5/5 on Google Play.

The bank’s websites are both easy to use, with plenty of learning resources. Since both banks offer a secured credit card, these resources are mainly geared towards improving your credit, but there are some helpful articles on banking, saving and investing.

Which Bank is The Winner?

Since both banks are quite similar, to determine which bank is better, we’ll need to assess them according to what you’re looking for.

If you have a less than perfect credit rating, Chime offers a great trifecta of products. The checking and savings accounts are solid products, but the no credit check secured credit card is a nice touch.

Varo’s products are well coordinated to work together, particularly when you combine the savings and checking accounts. When you can meet the combined balance requirements, you can access higher savings rates.

The banks have a number of features in common including no monthly fees, auto save features, and great rates. Both banks also offer a secured credit card, so it comes down to which bank appeals to you.

Chime
The Smart Investor Logo
APY Savings The annual percentage yield (APY) is a percentage that represents the amount of money or interest earned on your savings account over the course of a year. The APY factored in compound interest. A savings calculator can help you quickly determine how much you'll earn with a given APY.
2.00%
5.00%
Up to 5.02%
Checking Fee The monthly fee on checking account
$0
$0
Compare Banking
Mobile App Rating
4.8/5 on iOS
4.6/5 on Android
4.9/5 on iOS
4.7/5 on Android
Various Banks
Open Account
on Chime website
Open Account
on Varo website
Compare
on our website

FAQs

Chime SpotMe is a free feature that allows Chime members to overdraft their accounts without incurring overdraft fees when using their debit cards.

If you have a total monthly direct deposit of $200 or more, you are eligible for SpotMe, an optional feature that allows you to overdraft $20 to $200 without incurring an overdraft fee. Rather than penalizing you for overspending your account, Chime simply covers the negative balance with your next deposit.

Building credit after a credit blunder or establishing credit for the first time can be difficult. To qualify for most cards, you must be able to demonstrate your ability to manage credit, which can be a catch-22. The Chime Credit Builder card was created to address this issue. It is intended to be used in conjunction with a Chime Spending Account. You can fund your Credit Builder card with funds from your account.

You can then use your card at any retailer or store that accepts Visa. Furthermore, the banking platform does not look at your ChexSystems history, making this a great option if banks have turned you down.

Signing up for a Varo account begins on the company's website or app. After the app has downloaded, tap Sign Up and follow the on-screen instructions to submit your application.

After that, you'll need to download the app to finish setting up your account. It is, however, impossible to bank with Varo without a smartphone or tablet. It should only take you five minutes.

If you'd rather sign up on the website, go to www.varomoney.com and click the Get Started button.

It is a good first bank for young first-time customers, particularly millennials who may not be able to open an account with larger banks right away.

The concept of a mobile-only bank is both novel and forward-thinking. This could be the direction that banking takes in the coming years.

They could give the older and more popular banks a run for their money with some app improvements and the addition of new deposit and investment products to their menu.

Review Alternative Banks

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Axos Bank offers home improvement loans as well as checking and savings accounts online. Because Axos is a low-cost online lender, it is able to pass on significant savings to its customers. Axos waives many fees and reimburses ATM and rewards checking fees.

Chime is an online-only company that works with two banks to provide checking and savings accounts. Online banking with Chime is not the same as using a traditional banking system. Chime secures and protects your online financial accounts. It is a safe place to keep your money and access it without any technical difficulties.

Read Full Comparison: Axos VS Chime: Which Online Bank Is Better?

There are some key differences between Current and a traditional checking account. Current, for example, allows you to access direct deposits up to two days faster and manage your account completely through the mobile app. Keep in mind that Current does not have any physical locations, so you will be unable to deal with any banking issues in person.

Online banking with Chime is not the same as using a traditional banking system. Chime secures and protects your online financial accounts. It is a safe place to keep your money and access it without any technical difficulties. You can round up your purchases to the nearest dollar amount and save the difference because Chime has no monthly or overdraft fees.

Read Full Comparison: Chime vs Current – Which Banking Service Is Better?

Marcus, a Goldman Sachs Bank division, provides online savings accounts, CDs, and personal loans. Marcus has no physical locations, so you can only access your accounts through the Marcus website, mobile app, or phone-based customer service.

In addition to assisting you in avoiding typical bank fees, Chime includes useful new features such as early direct deposits and automatic saving. While Chime does not provide credit cards or loans, its savings options and competitive interest rates make it an excellent choice, especially for younger people.

Read Full Comparison: Chime vs Marcus: Which Online Bank Wins?

SoFi's online Spend and Save account, like the Chime online checking account, is fee-free, but it has some different checking account features. Chime, for example, offers a $200 fee-free overdraft facility subject to terms, whereas SoFi provides cash back if you have recurring direct deposits of $500 or more each month.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi vs Chime: Which Online Banking Wins?

Ally has a robust banking product offering that rivals that of a traditional bank. Savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, investments, retirement products, personal loans, auto loans, and mortgages are all available.

Chime's product line has been simplified. All Chime products are designed to assist customers in rebuilding or establishing credit. There are only two savings accounts, one checking account, and one credit card available.

Read Full Comparison: Ally vs Chime: Which Banking Account Wins?

Axos is a large online bank that offers checking, savings, CDs, investing, and other services. Customers can earn interest or cash back on a variety of checking account options. The APY on Axos Bank's Rewards Checking account isn't the highest among online banks, but it's high enough to justify opening an account as part of a larger online banking strategy, and there aren't many fees.

Varo Bank is a web-based bank that offers a variety of deposit and loan products. It was founded in 2015 and is based in San Francisco. Varo offers high-yield savings accounts and cash-back checking accounts, as well as a fee-free ATM network (see below for more information from Varo) and automatic savings tools.

Read Full Comparison: Axos vs Varo: Compare Banking Products

SoFi offers a Spend and Save account that is part savings account and part checking account. You can earn 0.25 percent on your entire balance, but you can also establish savings vaults. These are separate funds within the account that allow you to allocate funds to various savings goals. This allows you to save for both short and long-term goals without having to manage multiple savings accounts.

Varo, on the other hand, has a more traditional savings account that offers an impressive up to 3% interest rate. Higher rates are available if you keep a savings balance of $5,000 or more or receive $1,000 or more in direct deposits during the qualifying period.

Read Full Comparison: SoFi vs Varo Bank: Which Account Is Better For Your Money?

Chime Disclosure:

  1. *The Annual Percentage Yield (“APY”) for the Chime Savings Account is variable and may change at any time. The disclosed APY is accurate as of November 17, 2022. No minimum balance required. Must have $0.01 in savings to earn interest.
  2. Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC. Credit Builder card issued by Stride Bank, N.A. Chime Spending Account and $200 or more qualifying direct deposit required to apply for the secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card. See chime.com to learn more.
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.