Banking With Vio Review: Pros and Cons

FT Contributor
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Vio Bank is an online-only bank that specializes in savings accounts and CDs. Vio is the online division of MidFirst Bank, which is one of the largest banks in the country. Vio offers high-yield savings accounts that only require a small initial deposit. The bank also has certificates of deposit (CDs). Vio is FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insured under the MidFirst Bank umbrella, which means that all accounts get protected up to $250,000.

Vio does not have any physical bank branches, and it does not offer an ATM network or other checking account features. Its focus is solely on giving customers a place to put their savings. Because of this narrow focus, customers will need an additional checking account with another bank to manage their daily spending.

Vio is a convenient option because it does offer a mobile app for account management, deposits, and withdrawals. It also has competitive interest rates, which it can provide to customers because it has low overhead as an online-only bank.

Vio Bank Services

Vio is a very specialized bank. It only offers high-yield savings accounts and CDs. Both these accounts focus on providing customers with a place to earn interest on their money. You would choose Vio as one of your banks if you want to use these types of financial products.

The accounts are relatively convenient to open and fund because you can handle the entire process online. However, you do need to be comfortable uploading your ID and making a deposit via a website or mobile app. To open an account at Vio, you need a mailing address, a driver’s license, and a Social Security number.

All of Vio’s accounts are fee-free, but you do need to follow several rules to avoid penalty fees.  

Vio Bank High Yield Savings

Vio Bank’s main product is its high-yield savings account. This account currently pays 1.85% annual percentage yield (APY). Like many savings accounts, Vio’s high-yield account has a minimum funding requirement. However, the initial deposit only has to be $100.

Vio bills this account as a no-fee savings account. This claim is valid, but only if you follow the rules related to account activity.

Vio Bank’s savings account does have dormant fees, which you only have to pay if you have no account activity for one year or if you pass the six-transaction maximum during a one-month statement cycle.

If you do not make any deposits or withdrawals for one year, a fee of $5 per month kicks in.

Vio also charges a $10 fee for each transaction over the monthly maximum. Such charges are standard for savings accounts because federal law requires banks to limit the number of transactions involving savings accounts.

While you could expose yourself to these penalties if you do not manage your account correctly, Vio does not charge any monthly maintenance fees or other fees. Customers who abide by the annual transaction minimum and monthly maximum will not have any account-related expenses whatsoever.

Finally, Vio has a website and a mobile app that customers may use to manage their savings account. You can use the app to move money to other accounts, make withdrawals, or track interest earnings. Since Vio is an online-only bank, customers need to be comfortable using the app or website to perform banking tasks. Account-holders can get support via the app or website, but since Vio doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar locations, you cannot get face-to-face support for your savings account.

Vio Bank CDs

Vio also has certificates of deposit (CDs) available to customers. The yield for a Vio CD varies depending on the term. Since you need to keep your money in a CD until the end of its term before you withdraw it, you need to choose a timeframe that matches your financial plans. Luckily Vio has 10 different CDs from which to choose. The terms of these savings products last from six months to 10 years.

Vio customers do not have to pay any fees when opening or holding a CD. However, you may have to pay penalties for early withdrawals.

The current CD terms and interest rates are:

Term APY
6 months 1.65%
9 months 1.65%
12 months 1.65%
18 months 1.60%
24 months 1.65%
36 months 1.7%
48 months 1.75%
60 months 1.8%
84 months 1.3%
120 months 1.4%

Interest on Vio CDs gets compounded daily. Customers often use CDs as safe investment vehicles because they offer a guaranteed rate of return, and you can set them up and forget them until the end of their term. After setup, you do not have to perform any account management tasks.

The minimum deposit for a CD at Vio is $500. Like the High-Yield Savings Account, these accounts are FDIC insured.  

Pros of Vio Bank

Most of the advantages of Vio Bank are related to its accessible and user-friendly savings products.

  • Vio Bank has a convenient and straightforward signup process.
  • Customers have access to competitive interest rates.
  • You can manage your account via a mobile app or website.
  • Vio does not charge maintenance fees, and you can easily avoid penalties by meeting deposit and withdrawal requirements and abiding by transaction limits.
  • Vio has low account minimums. You can open a High-Yield Savings Account with $100 and a CD with $500.

Cons of Vio Bank

Vio Bank has some drawbacks as well.

  • Vio Bank has a limited number of offerings. It only offers a savings account and CDs.
  • Vio does not offer checking accounts, debit cards, or ATM access.
  • You need to deposit and withdraw money via a wire transfer, mobile check deposit, or from another account.
  • APY rates are competitive, but other banks may offer better rates.
  • You are limited to six transactions per month. If you exceed six transactions, you have to pay a $10 penalty.

Is Vio Bank Safe?

Vio Bank is as safe as any other major bank insured by the FDIC, so your money is protected up to $250,000.

Vio is an online bank, but it is associated with one of the nation’s largest banks, MidFirst. MidFirst is a full-service brick-and-mortar bank that has been around since 1982.

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