Varo Believe Card: How to Apply for the Varo Believe Card

The Varo Believe Card is an unusual credit card with distinct advantages for those looking to build or rebuild their credit history.

Varo Believe Card

With no fees, interest, or credit checks, it provides an accessible entry point for establishing responsible credit usage. But how exactly does it work, and could it suit your situation?

Let’s take a closer look at what makes this card stand out.

What is the Varo Believe Card?

The Varo Believe Card is a new kind of credit card issued by fintech startup Varo Bank. Rather than relying on your credit score for approval, it works more like a secured card backed by a bank account.

To qualify and use the card, you need:

  • A Varo bank account
  • At least $500 per month in direct deposits to the Varo account
  • The money in your Varo account secures your line of credit

So essentially, the money in your Varo account serves as your credit limit on the card. You can spend up to that amount, but no more. This avoids overspending while helping cardholders build credit through on-time payments.

Key Features and Benefits

Here are some of the most important things to know about the Varo Believe Card:

No Credit Check Needed

Since the card runs on money in your Varo account instead of credit, Varo does not check your credit when approving applications. This makes it easy to qualify when you have limited credit history.

No Interest or Fees

The Varo Believe Card charges:

  • No annual fee
  • No interest on purchases or cash advances
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No penalty APR

Avoiding interest and fees saves money and makes it simpler to keep balances low.

Flexible Credit Limits

Your credit limit equals the money in your Varo account, from $100 up to $10,000. You decide how much credit you want access to by funding your Varo account accordingly.

Cash Back Offers

While the card has no fixed rewards program, Varo provides occasional “cash back boosts” of up to 6% back when shopping with select retail partners. Past partners have included Nike, Macy’s, and PetSmart.

Credit Building and Monitoring

Responsible card usage results in regular on-time payments to the major credit bureaus. According to Varo, members may see a 40+ point credit score increase within months when using the card properly. An online dashboard also lets you monitor your credit situation.

How Secured Credit Cards Differ from Traditional Credit Cards

Since the Varo Believe Card operates similarly to a secured credit card, it’s important to understand key differences from traditional “unsecured” cards.

Deposits Act as Collateral

With a secured card, the issuer requires an upfront cash deposit that acts as collateral on the account. This deposit protects the card company if you fail to repay balances. It determines your initial credit limit but doesn’t earn interest for you.

Spending Power Tied to Deposits

Since your deposit sets the credit limit, your buying power rises or falls based on how much money you’ve deposited with the card issuer. Adding to your deposit increases your limit. Lowering deposits reduces it.

Building Credit Takes Discipline

When used properly by paying on time, secured cards build credit histories accurately reflecting repayment abilities. But missing payments or overspending damages credit, just like with unsecured cards. Maintaining deposits to match spending takes discipline.

Varo Believe Card vs. Traditional Secured Credit Cards

To better evaluate the Varo Believe Card’s advantages for building credit, it helps to compare features against traditional secured card offers.

The Varo Believe Card requires no credit check, while typical secured cards generally do. There is also no minimum deposit needed with the Varo card, but most secured cards enforce at least a $200 deposit minimum.

When it comes to fees, the Varo Believe Card has no annual fee, while standard secured cards tend to charge between $25-100+ yearly. Additionally, the Believe card has no APR, while secured card APRs often fall between 22-25% or higher.

With no credit check or security deposit and zero fees/interest, the Believe Card reduces traditional barriers to credit building. Avoiding interest charges also makes keeping balances affordable while improving scores.

Who Should Consider the Varo Believe Card?

With its unique features and approval requirements, the Varo Believe Card suits certain types of credit users best. Consider it if you meet one of these descriptions:

Building Credit from Scratch

Younger applicants with no prior credit history can start building a positive record from nothing. As long as you meet the direct deposit requirements, make payments on time, and avoid overspending your Varo account balance, you’ll establish responsible usage patterns.

Recovering from Past Credit Struggles

Those recovering from financial problems benefit through access to credit not tied to your prior history. Timely payments rebuild your score. Just remember to fund your Varo account appropriately to match your spending.

Seeking Low-Cost Credit Building

With no interest or fees, the Varo Believe Card provides affordable credit building. Compared to secured cards charging high APRs and annual fees, you’ll save substantially over time through smart usage of a no-fee card.

In all cases above, the key is following credit best practices: making payments on time, keeping balances low relative to limits, and monitoring your credit reports and scores. Doing this diligently leads to creditworthiness improvements.

Requirements for Approval

Applying for the Varo Believe Card is straightforward, with just a few requirements:

  • Open a Varo bank account
  • Receive $500+ in direct deposits to your Varo account monthly
  • Maintain your account in good standing

As noted above, there is no minimum credit score or credit check needed. Your Varo account balance secures your line of credit instead.

Meeting these requirements makes approval simple. But remember, you need to keep receiving sufficient direct deposits to remain eligible long-term.

How to Apply for the Varo Believe Card

If the Varo Believe Card aligns well with your needs, applying only takes a few minutes. Just follow these steps:

  • Open a Varo bank account online or via mobile app: This eligible checking account pays interest and has no monthly fees.
  • Link your payroll for $500+ in monthly direct deposits: Connect your payroll provider to send eligible deposits to Varo automatically. Government benefits also qualify.
  • Apply for your Believe Card: Once your account and deposits are set up correctly, request your card through Varo’s online dashboard or app.
  • Fund your account to set your card’s credit limit: Transfer sufficient personal funds to support your desired spending limit, up to $10,000.

After approval, you can immediately use your Varo Believe Card to start establishing your credit history responsibly.


The Varo Believe Card takes an innovative approach to secured credit cards for people seeking to build credit from scratch or rehabilitate past issues.

With smart usage focused on timely payments and avoiding overspending, it can generate quick credit score improvements. Before applying, ensure you understand the card’s unique mechanics and how sustaining direct deposits affects eligibility.

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