Everything has been shifted to online mode as the pandemic has made the digital world a new normal. There are now numerous online banks all over the world that provide all the bank services to their customers.
Once you sign up, you can perform every function you would do at a brick-and-mortar bank. Neo banks demand low- to no-fee cuts. You also don’t have to drive to a branch location or deal with expensive fees.
With all these options, how do you know which online-only banking choice is right for you? Your final decision should be based on your personal preferences and what kind of services you are looking for.
Varo and Chime are regarded as the top players in the world of online banking. Want to decide which is a better fit for you? Let’s first get into the brief overview of Varo and Chime.
Varo is the first banking app to get approved for a full bank charter in the United States. The best part is that Varo is its own bank which implies that it does not work with other national banks to provide its services behind the scenes.
It is a mobile bank or an online bank that was earlier partnered with Bancorp Bank in 2010. Later it received its National Bank Charter to form a fully functional online bank in itself.
Like most other banks, Varo offers some basic features like a savings account. Varo has some unique features such as the Varo Advance feature, Partner Offers feature, and some other resources.
The main features of the Varo account involve
Varo does not incur any monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, or minimum balance fees. Upon setting up the No Fee Overdraft Service, you are allowed to withdraw up to $50 without being charged any fees or interest if you pay it back within 30 days.
The free savings account with Varo comes with an incredible 0.40% APY. You can even earn up to 2.80% APY if you manage to meet certain requirements.
You can access the free mobile banking app of Varo that involves a mobile check deposit feature. This feature can be utilized to monitor your accounts. The app also has an “offers” tab to help you find deals from Varo’s partners.
Varo offers top-notch customer service via phone or email.
You are charged a $2.50 fee only for using out-of-network ATM. You will also be charged a fee of $5.95 fee for over-the-counter deposits or withdrawals.
Get the following pros upon opening a Vero account.
- There are not any monthly maintenance fees
- No overdraft fees
- There are no ACH bank transfer fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- No in-network ATM fees
- Generous APY on savings
- Early direct deposit
- Varo offers a very competitive APY on savings
- You can access automated saving tools with Varo
- Varo gives access to your paycheck early with direct deposit
- Varo charges low fees than its competitors
- Customer service of Varo is available seven days a week
Some of the disadvantages for banking with Vero includes
- Varo has limits on cash deposits
- There are no small business banking options
- Varo charges out-of-network ATM fees
- Highest APY available only on daily balances of $5,000 or less
- No money market accounts or CDs
Chime is another online bank whose primary focus is customer satisfaction. It offers the service of a spending account which is a kind of checking account. You don’t have to pay any fees for it, and there is no minimum balance requirement for Chime.
The other service is of Savings Account with 0.50% APY. In addition, there are some features exclusive to Chimes, such as Chime Builder Account and access to the green dot reload system.
To keep your account functioning, chime does not demand any structure fees, minimum balance, or foreign transaction fees. Also, there is no requirement for overdraft fees, making it a user-friendly option.
Following are the main features of Chime.
Chime does not require a minimum balance from you to open a checking account. After setting up your account, you will receive a Visa debit card for free. The account can be used for sending money and paying your bills.
The savings account with Chime comes with a generous and competitive rate of 0.50% APY.
Automated savings option
Once you make a purchase with your Chime Visa card, the bank will round it up to the nearest dollar. That amount will then be automatically transferred into your savings account. This is one of the ways you can start saving money with Chime.
Chime has made its mobile app available for Android and iOS devices. The mobile app can be utilized to
- Manage your accounts
- Deposit checks
- Transferring funds
Chime assist their customers via phone, email, or the chime app.
Chime’s ATM network extends to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs. You can also send money to an out-of-network ATM, but in this case, you be charged $2.50 in addition to any third-party provider fees.
Following are some of the advantages of opening a Chime account.
- Customers are not charged any monthly maintenance fees
- There are no overdraft fees
- No ACH bank transfer fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- No in-network ATM fees
- There is an Early payday option through which you can get paid up to two days early with direct deposits.
- Deposit cash through Green Dot
- Chime’s has tools for automated savings
- Chime’s mobile app is highly rated
- Offers competitive APY on savings
Some of the cons of Chime include
- You don’t earn interest on checking
- There are no budgeting tools
- No joint accounts are allowed
- No small business ranking
- You need to have a Chime Spending account to open a Chime Savings Account
- Chime doesn’t offer a 24/7 customer service
- Chime does not provide CDs or money market accounts
Varo vs. Chime – Features and Benefits
To help you make an informed decision, here are some of the features and benefits of each bank. You can choose one on the basis of the kind of services you want.
|Checking||Offers free checking with no requirement for minimum balance||Offers free checking with no requirement for minimum balance|
|Savings||Transfer funds from Varo checking or an external ACH transfer||You can only transfer money to a savings account. External transfers are not allowed|
|Fees||$2.50 out-of-network ATM fee and no fee for over-the-counter withdrawals||$2.50 out-of-network ATM fee and no fee for over-the-counter withdrawals|
|Digital Experience||Offers mobile and online banking access for managing accounts and depositing checks||Offers mobile and online banking access for managing accounts and depositing checks|
|Banking Experience||the convenient online-only bank that provides live customer service agents if you have questions||the convenient online-only bank that provides live customer service agents if you have questions|
Both of the online banking systems come with unique advantages that make the choice of ‘the best’ complex for us. That being said, the active users looking for higher APY should opt for Varo bank. Varo can thus be beneficial for long-term saving. On the other hand, people who have to make frequent withdrawals should opt for Chime since it does not charge for overdraft services.