Varo vs Chime vs Aspiration
- About Each Brand
- Key features
- Summary of Chime, Aspiration, and Varo
- Costs and fees
- Pros and cons
- The bottom line
About Each Brand
Save Money and Simplify Money Management with Chime
- 0.50% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)¹–over 10X² the national average!
- No hidden fees - no minimum balance, no monthly service fees, no overdraft
- Get your paycheck up to 2 days earlier
- Signing up takes 2 minutes
Open An Account With Aspiration & Save The Planet
- Earn Up To 10% Cashback on Purchases
- Get $100 When You Spend $1,000
- Receive Up To 1.00% APY on Savings
- No-Free ATM Withdrawal at 55,000+ ATMs
- FDIC Insured Deposits
- Plant a Tree with Every Transaction
Varo Bank Account
- Early direct deposit. With Varo, account-holders can receive their direct deposit up to two days earlier than their scheduled payment date, according to the Varo website. As soon as Varo receives the funds from an account holder’s employer or benefits provider, Varo posts the funds to their account.
- No-fee overdraft. Varo also has a No Fee Overdraft program that allows users to overdraw their checking account by up to $50 when making a debit card purchase. To be a part of the No Fee Overdraft program users must be able to make five debit purchases per month and receive a direct deposit of at least $1,000 per month. To enroll in the No Fee Overdraft program, account-holders need to ensure that the feature is activated via the Varo mobile app. Once activated, Varo account-holders have 30 calendar days to pay the amount back.
- Free Varo to Varo transfers. Those who have a Varo Bank Account can send money to other Varo users for free using Varo’s Instant Transfer feature. Account-holders can make up to 50 Varo transfers per day and transfer up to $2,000 per 30-day period.
Varo Savings Account
- Save Your Pay. Varo’s Save Your Pay tool gives users the option to save more by setting up a recurring transfer from their checking to their savings each time they receive a payment via direct deposit. Account-holders can choose the percentage they’d like to transfer.
- Save Your Change round-ups. With Varo’s Save Your Change round-up feature, users can choose to round each transaction up to the nearest dollar. The difference is then deposited into the account holder’s savings account. There’s no fee for using Varo’s Save Your Change feature.
- 24/7 access. Varo is a branchless bank account, which means users have 24/7 access to their accounts via a mobile app. Varo customers also have fee-free access to more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs. Out-of-network ATMs will cost you $2.50 per withdrawal.
Chime Spending Account
- No hidden fees. The Chime Spending Account is a fee-free checking account, which means there are no hidden fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees, transfer fees, overdraft fees, or foreign transaction fees. It’s also free to access any one of the 38,000 in-network ATMs.
- Automatic savings. Chime’s “Save When You Spend” feature automatically rounds up transactions to the nearest dollar and auto-transfers the round-up to your savings account, making saving for a rainy day or your dream vacation easier than ever. Want to save even more? Chime gives account-holders the option to automatically transfer a percentage of every paycheck directly into their savings account—which is an ideal feature for independent contractors.
- Early direct deposit. Chime offers early direct deposit to any account holder who receives direct deposits from their employer or benefits provider. Those enrolled can access their funds up to two days earlier than they would with a traditional, brick-and-mortar financial institution.
High-Yield Chime Savings Account
- No hidden fees. Similar to the Chime Spending Account, the company’s high-yield savings account is free of hidden fees. This means there’s no minimum balance requirement, no maximums on interest earned.
- Automatic savings. Chime is on a mission to save you as much money as possible with its built-in Automatic Savings feature. Each time users purchase with their Chime debit card, Chime’s auto-save feature rounds up the transaction and auto-deposits the round-up into their High-Yield Savings Account. Chime account-holders can also choose to automatically transfer a percentage of every paycheck directly into their savings account.
- Mobile banking. Chime gives users the power to stay on top of their finances via a mobile banking app. There’s no need to log in just to check your balance, either. Chime sends users daily account balance notifications and instant transaction alerts directly to their phones.
- Unlimited fee-free ATM withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs. Aspiration customers can make fee-free ATM withdrawals at any Allpoint ATM. Users who decide to use a non-Allpoint ATM may be charged a fee. Even so, the Aspiration Plus account reimburses members for one out-of-network ATM charge per month.
- Environmentally-conscious round-ups. Both the Aspiration Plus and standard Aspiration plan give users the option to opt-in to the Plant Your Change program. Once opted in, each purchase made with an Aspiration debit card or a linked debit or credit card will be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. For each round-up made, Aspiration will plant one tree via its partnership with the Eden Reforestation Projects. In addition to doing a good deed, Aspiration sends our cash rewards to users who have reached tree-planting milestones. For example, 30 trees planted will get you a $5 reward.
- Cash back rewards. In addition to providing customers with a cashback reward for Plant Your Change round-ups, Aspiration Plus offers members up to 10% cashback whenever they shop from a Conscience Coalition retailer, which includes brands such as Reformation, TOMS, and Blue Apron.
Aspiration Pay What Is Fair
- No hidden fees. Aspiration is committed to an “All Extra Services Provided at Cost” model. Aspiration members are not charged for overdrafts, check deposits, inactive accounts, or dormant accounts.
- Green benefits. Neither the Aspiration Plus plan nor the Aspiration Pay What Is Fair plan use deposits to fund fossil fuel explorations or production. In addition, Aspiration offers all account-holders a unique Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM) rating. This score provides users with stats on where they shop based on each business’s social and environmental impact.
- Cash back rewards. Aspiration’s Pay What Is Fair plan offers users 3-5% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases. While that’s a bit less than what you’d get with an Aspiration Plus account, it’s still a nice perk!
Summary of Chime, Aspiration, and Varo
Costs and fees
Pros and cons
Chime pros and cons
- High APY %'s - Chime's HYSA (high-yield savings account) pays 0.50% APY, which is 10x the national average.
- Automated savings tool - The tool makes saving for a rainy day or an emergency super easy.
- Expansive ATM network - Chime has more than 38,000 ATMs across two networks.
- No ATM fees - No fees for ATMs that are in Chime's network.
- Early direct deposits - Chime offers its users access to their funds up to two days earlier than traditional banks.
- No-fee paper checks - While Chime doesn't offer physical checkbooks, the company will send paper checks on your behalf at no extra cost.
- Mobile check deposit - You can deposit checks by simply taking a photo with the app.
- No reversal of transfers on the Pay Friends program - The Pay Friends program doesn't allow users to cancel or reverse a transfer to existing Chime members. Users can also only transfer up to $2,000 per calendar month.
- No physical branches - Similar to other new-age banks, Chime doesn't offer any physical branches.
- Limit on incoming transfers - Users who'd like to transfer money to Chime from an external bank are limited to $200 transfers per day and $1000 transfers per month. Transferred funds are available in 5 business days.
- Depositing cash is difficult - Customers can only deposit cash at one of Chime's cash deposit partners.
Aspiration pros and cons
- Fee-free account - Aspiration provides a no-fee option that allows users to pay what they think is fair for the basic, no interest Spend & Save plan.
- High APY %'s - With Aspiration Plus, members will earn up to 1.00% APY.
- Socially conscious - Aspiration is dedicated to "doing the right thing." You can feel good knowing that your deposits are helping the planet.
- $100 bonus - Receive a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 60 days. Users signing up for Plus can earn up to $150 when they spend $1,000 during the same timeframe.
- Strong cash-back incentives - Aspiration members receive cash-back on select purchases. Plus members can earn as much as 10% back while Pay What Is Fair members will earn up to 5% back with merchants that part of the Conscience Coalition.
- Mobile check deposit - You can deposit your check through the mobile app.
- Cash-back & high APY requirements - In order to receive high cash-back rates and APY %'s, you must have an Aspiration Plus plan.
- No physical branches - Like most neobanks, Aspiration doesn't have any physical branches either.
- Out-of-network ATM fees - If you can't find an Allpoint ATM, using out-of-network ATMs could cost up to $2.50 in fees.
- Minimum deposit requirement - To open an account, users are asked to make a minimum deposit of $10.
- No ATM cash deposit processing - Aspiration is unable to process cash deposits at ATMs. Members are asked to purchase a money order, then deposit the money order using the mobile app's check deposit feature.
Varo pros and cons
- No minimum balance - You don't need minimum cash requirements to open a Varo bank account.
- 2 days early direct deposit - Account-holders have the option to receive their direct deposits up to two days earlier via Varo's Early Direct Deposit program.
- No-fee ATMs - All Varo users are offered fee-free access to Allpoint ATMs.
- High APY %'s - The Varo savings account comes with an APY of 0.40%, or up to 2.80% for users who meet select requirements.
- Robust savings tools - Use Save Your Change or Save Your Pay to save easier.
- Paper check option - You can select the option to send a paper check via the Varo app.
- Limited account options - Only two deposit accounts are available.
- No physical branches - Varo doesn't have any physical branches for you to go to.
- Checking account requirement - Before opening up a savings you account, Varo customers must open a checking account.
- No joint account - Varo doesn't allow customers to open up a joint account.
Is Chime FDIC insured?
Does Chime charge any fees?
When will I receive my Chime Visa Debit Card?
Is Aspiration a legit bank?
What kind of card does Aspiration provide?
Does Aspiration offer direct deposit?
Is Varo Bank trustworthy?
How do I deposit cash into Varo?
What ATMs can I use with Varo?
The bottom line
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