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Varo is a free fintech banking app similar to Chime or Current. It’s currently offering a $50 bonus to new users that open a new Varo account with a referral link. Here’s how to earn your Varo referral bonus: 

  1. Open a Varo account using a referral link (here’s my Varo referral link)
  2. Spend $20 within 30 days of opening your Varo account. 
  3. Your bonus will be deposited within 4-7 business days of meeting the requirements.  

The Varo referral bonus is particularly easy right now because it doesn’t require a direct deposit – all you have to do is spend $20 on the Varo debit card. Accordingly, I recommend snagging this bonus while you can. 

Varo is also a good beginner bank account bonus for several reasons. It has no fees or minimum balance requirements, so you don’t have to worry about managing the account. The bonus terms are also easy to meet since it doesn’t require a direct deposit. The bonus also posts relatively quickly, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time waiting for your bonus. And finally, when you open a Varo account, you get a referral link that you can use to refer your friends and family, allowing you to stretch your bonus even farther.

In this post, I’ll walk you through exactly what you need to do to earn your Varo referral bonus. 

What Is Varo? 

At the outset, it can be helpful to explain what Varo is for those of you unfamiliar with it. Varo is a fintech banking app, very similar to banking apps like Chime, Current, and Lili. While they aren’t technically banks in themselves, they partner with FDIC-insured banks and all of your funds are FDIC-insured. 

Varo is a solid fintech bank because it offers a checking account with no fees or minimum balance requirements. They also offer early pay, so direct deposits arrive up to 2-days early.

Perhaps most interesting, Varo offers a 5% savings account on up to $5,000. That’s really good, but the downside is to qualify for the 5% interest, you need to have a monthly direct deposit of $1,000. If you were to use Varo as your primary bank account, then this would be a no-brainer – you’d want to take advantage of the savings account.

But if you’re using Varo solely for the 5% interest account, it’ll require more work. Varo also is fairly strict on what qualifies as a direct deposit, so you’ll likely need to do a real direct deposit to qualify for the 5% interest. 

I personally don’t use the Varo savings account because of this strict direct deposit requirement, instead opting for 5% interest accounts that are easier to manage (you can read more about those accounts in this post: Where To Get 5% Interest Savings Accounts). 

Varo $50 Referral Bonus: Step-By-Step Directions 

With that background out of the way, let’s look at how to earn your $50 Varo referral bonus. You’ll need to do the following to earn the bonus.

1. Open A Varo Account Using A Referral Link. The first step is to open a Varo account using a referral link. Here’s my referral link if you’d like to support this blog. The signup process is straightforward and doesn’t have any impact on your credit (if you’re worried about that). You can signup for your account on your phone or on the website.

varo referral bonus

2. Spend $20 With Your Varo Debit Card Within 30 Days Of Account Opening. Your next step is to spend $20 on your Varo debit card. You’ll have 30 days from when you open your account to do this. Varo will mail you a debit card and you should receive it within a few days. It’s important to remember that the 30 days begins the moment your account is approved, so in practice, you’ll have fewer than 30 days to spend the $20 on the debit card since it’ll take a few days for your debit card to arrive in the mail. Don’t let this trip you up!

Of course, to spend $20 on your debit card, you’ll also need to fund your Varo account with at least $20. You can fund your Varo account at the time you open it. Varo uses Plaid, which allows you to link your external bank accounts to Varo and transfer money into it.  

Be sure to make actual purchases with your Varo debit card. The bonus terms specifically state that ATM or over-the-counter cash withdrawals do not qualify, nor do third-party transfers using apps like Cash App, Venmo, or PayPal qualify. The easiest way to meet the $20 spending requirement is probably to pay a bill with your Varo debit card. Paying $20 towards a utility bill or phone bill, for example, would make things simple. 

3. After Meeting The $20 Spending Requirement, Your Bonus Will Post Within 4-7 Business Days. The terms state that your bonus will post within 4-7 business days after meeting the spending requirement. That’s nice because it means you won’t have to wait long to get your $50 bonus.

Once your bonus posts, you can withdraw it immediately and send it to your regular bank account.

Pro-Tip: Refer Your Friends And Earn More Varo Referral Bonuses  

One nice thing about accounts like Varo is that you get your own referral link that you can use to refer other people. You’ll earn $50 for every person you refer. You’re limited to 5 referral bonuses per calendar year. You can still refer more than 5 people each year – you just won’t get a bonus after you’ve referred 5 people in a year. 

From a practical standpoint, if you have a spouse or partner, you can refer them and earn a referral bonus from them. You’ll earn $50 for referring them and they’ll earn $50 after meeting the referral terms. 

For example, if you’re a two-person household, you can open a Varo account using my referral link, which will get you $50. You can then refer your spouse or partner, earning an additional $100 ($50 for them and $50 for you). That’d get you $150 for a few minutes of work. That’s well worth it for most people.

Final Thoughts

Varo is an excellent beginner bank bonus because the terms are easy to meet, it doesn’t have any fees or minimum balance requirements, and it comes with the ability to refer other people so you can earn even more referral bonuses.  

For anyone who hasn’t earned a Varo bonus yet, this is worth doing. It’ll also get you more comfortable with bank bonuses in general, so you can start moving on to more advanced bonuses. 

There’s a lot that goes into bank bonuses and if you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend reading my post, The Ultimate Guide To Bank Account Bonuses. That post goes into a lot of detail about how bank account bonuses work and how you can take advantage of them and should be required reading for anyone looking to diver deeper into this world.

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