If you're looking to stash away some money, diversify your portfolio, or de-risk, you should give Vio Bank due consideration – and perhaps you'll find out they're just the thing you were looking for to reach your personal finance goals and dreams.
- FDIC insured
- No monthly fee
- Regulation D is still in effect
- No debit card
- Limited financial products and services
If you’re not looking to making a trip to your nearest branch whenever you need to bank, online banks might very well be what you’re looking for.
The premise of such banks is simple – unlike brick and mortar banks, they have no bank branches and replace them with a robust mobile app and internet banking portal that allows customers to attend to all of their banking requirements from wherever they are.
Online banks tend to pass the savings from not managing branches to their customers by offering better interest rates on their savings accounts to sweeten the deal.
One such financial institution is Vio Bank. Vio Bank is the internet division of MidFirst Bank, based in Oklahoma City.
What is Vio Bank?
Vio Bank is an online-only bank offering one of the best savings accounts.
It’s a division of MidFirst Bank, the largest bank privately held in the US. As such, we can safely say that Vio bank is both legit and secure.
As they are an online-only account, they have no branches.
Even so, they are an FDIC member, which means their accounts are fully insured.
They offer a limited range of savings accounts, including MMA (Money Market Account), CDs (Certificates of Deposit), and a High Yield Savings Account.
Vio Bank Features
With Vio Bank being an online-only bank, all of their accounts need to be accessed online.
You can do this through online banking (also called internet banking) and mobile banking with apps available for Android and iOS devices.
However, Vio Bank doesn’t have the extra features many other accounts offer – like automatic savings tools, budgeting tips, and others.
They primarily offer different types of savings accounts, making this a somewhat limited bank.
Even so, if you’re only looking for an account to stash money for a rainy day or an upcoming purchase, they are worth checking out.
Vio Bank Products
As mentioned earlier, the bank offers a range of Vio Bank savings accounts.
Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account
Vio Bank is offering a High Yield Online Savings Account with an APY (Annual Percentage Yield) interest rate of 0.51%.
That is quite a high rate compared to what most of the competition offers and is available on all balances with no tier structure in place.
The minimum deposit requirement for savers to open this account is $100, and interest is compounded every day so that you can make the most out of the provided rate.
There’s no minimum balance, which makes things a bit easier.
Cornerstone Money Market Account
The Cornerstone Money Market Account offers an even higher APY than the High Yield Savings Account. At the moment, the interest rate on offer stands at 0.56%.
Like the savings account, the minimum deposit requirement is $100, and interest is compounded daily.
High Yield Online Certificate of Deposit
Vio Bank offers several CD terms and different APYs, making it that much easier to choose the right CD for you.
Terms start at just six months with an APY rate of 10%. The longest term available is for 120 months (10 years) which offers an APY rate of 0.70%.
While these are reasonable rates, they are not the highest on the market.
The minimum opening deposit requirement is $500, which makes them reasonably accessible.
The bank states that they regularly monitor what their competition is offering to ensure they provide reasonable rates, but this all depends on how much money you’re looking to put in a CD and for how long.
Vio Bank Fees
With Vio Bank being an online bank, fees are pretty low, as one would expect.
You’ll pay no monthly maintenance fees on Vio’s Money Market and Savings account.
These accounts also have no overdraft fees – which is understandable since you cannot overdraw the account.
Vio Bank still follows Regulation D, limiting certain transactions, including withdrawals, to six per month.
If you go over this limit, the bank may charge you a $10.00 Excessive Transaction Fee and may even choose to close your account – so do be careful.
If you’re looking to take out a CD, do bear in mind that these come with early withdrawal penalties, which can wipe out all of the interest earned and, in some cases, a portion of the invested capital.
If this is your first time opening a CD, consider starting with a lower-term CD or a CD ladder first.
The bank will also charge a $5 monthly fee if you opt for paper statements; however, electronic statements are entirely free of charge.
Getting started with Vio Bank is easy. The entire sign-up process takes less than five minutes and can be completed online from start to finish.
All you need to set up your account is your SSN (Social Security Number), a driver’s license, and mailing address.
Vio Bank is not offering any promotions or bonuses at the moment.
Even so, you might still want to check their website before opening an account since these kinds of offers are set up from time to time and are always worth checking for.
Vio Bank uses certificates and encryption to keep its customers’ data safe. Their servers are monitored continuously and updated regularly.
Furthermore, they use a combination of anti-virus software, firewalls, and IDSs (Intrusion Detection Systems) to ensure their networks on your data are safe at all times.
Their software systems also undergo validation processes such as audits to ensure that systems are kept secure.
If you’re looking to keep your account as safe as possible, Vio bank also offers several security tips that can help you take precautions when using their software.
These tips follow industry best practices and are well-worth reading if you want to enjoy a safe online experience – while using Vio or anything else for that matter.
When it comes to customer service and support, Vio offers a few different options.
A learning center is freely available on their website with information about different accounts, tools, and tips to help you make the most out of your money.
There’s also an FAQ section that answers a long list of commonly asked questions, which is worth checking out if you have a question and need a fast answer.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you can get in touch with a bank representative using the online form or by reaching out to their customer service department over the phone.
They’re open from 7:00 AM until 9:00 PM on business days. On the weekends, they work shorter hours which are 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM on Saturdays and 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM on Sundays.
If you prefer to send an actual physical letter, you will also find their PO Box mailing address on www.viobank.com.
Pros & Cons
Choosing the best savings account or bank is not always easy. There is a lot to consider, so here are some pros and cons of Vio Bank worth highlighting.
- FDIC insured: With Vio Bank being a member FDIC bank, your money is insured up to the allowed limit.
- No monthly fee: As a Vio Bank customer, you can look forward to accounts with no balance requirements and no monthly fees.
- Regulation D is still in effect: While Regulation D has changed, some banks, including Vio Bank, have retained this measure, limiting withdrawals from savings accounts to 6 per month.
- No debit card: You won’t be able to withdraw or deposit money using an ATM. You’ll be able to move money between linked accounts or do an external money transfer.
- Limited financial products and services: Aside from savings accounts, the bank does not offer anything else, including no checking accounts or credit cards. That’s a bit of a downside because a credit card is excellent for building up your credit score. That said, you can always get it with another bank.
Alternatives to Vio Bank
While Vio Bank is an excellent financial institution that offers a substantial (though limited) range of products, they are not the only ones operating in this space.
Whether it’s the right bank for you or not will largely depend on what you’re looking for and what you value. For example, you might appreciate a higher interest rate more than the range of products and services on offer or vice-versa.
If you’re looking to open a Vio bank account, we have listed some alternatives that you might want to consider before tying the knot, helping you make sure you make the best financial decision for yourself and your money.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Like Vio, Marcus’ primary focus is on savings accounts; however, they also offer investments and loans, giving you more options for managing your finances.
Their high-yield savings CD goes up to 0.50% APY while the APY on their CDs goes up to 0.80% APY for a 6-year term CD.
You can’t talk about online banks without mentioning Ally – an online bank that consistently ranks among the best online banks.
Ally offers a more comprehensive range of financial products and services than most competition offers, including checking accounts, loans, and investment accounts.
The APY rate on their High Yield CDs goes up to 0.80% for a 5-year term, while their Money Market and Online Savings accounts both offer an APY of 0.50%
While American Express is mainly known for its cards, they also offer Savings Accounts and personal loans.
Their HYSA (High Yield Savings Account) offers an APY of 0.40%, which is still a very competitive rate, even if not the highest.
On the other hand, the interest rate on their CDs goes up to 0.55%, with terms going up to 5 years.
CIT Bank is another online bank that’s offering competitive rates on their accounts.
Their savings account comes with tiered interest that starts at 0.42% and maxes out at 0.50%.
On the other hand, the bank’s Jumbo CDs offer an APY rate as high as 0.50% for a 5-year term; however, you will need to deposit at least $100,000 to get this rate.
Is Vio Bank Best For You?
While Vio Bank does not offer a wide range of bank accounts, the deposit accounts they offer are well-thought-out and pretty solid.
This bank will not be for everyone, especially if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop solution.
In that case, you might want to look at some of the alternatives we listed, or you might even want to consider a credit union.
Even so, you should not dismiss Vio Bank’s value proposition without due consideration.
If you’re looking to stash away some money, diversify your portfolio, or de-risk, you should give them some due consideration – and perhaps you’ll find out they’re just the thing you were looking for to reach your personal finance goals and dreams.