Back in the summer of 2018 when CDs and savings rates where starting to pick up steam again, many of the big national banks hopped on a growing trend – create online-only banking divisions that specialize in amazing high yield savings accounts and CDs.
This is exactly what happened when MidFirst Bank, one of the five largest privately held banks in the country, launched Vio Bank in August of 2018.
Vio Bank came out of the gates with a bang – offering one of the top APY (annual percentage yields) for an online savings account anywhere in the country.
Today, the interest rate landscape is heading back the other direction. And with the FED’s latest drop to zero, it looks like CDs and savings will likely follow suit (as is tradition).
That said, we’re thrilled to see Vio Bank hold strong on their lucrative 1.21% APY high yield online savings account. Although we don’t know how long the rate will hold, it is one of the top APY’s available online today and the account can be opened with as little as $100.
Vio Bank’s Online Savings Account Rate + Details
Like the Citi Accelerate Savings Account we covered earlier this month, the 1.21% annual percentage yield on Vio Bank’s online savings account remains highly competitive despite falling rates around the country. This is a variable rate that can change at anytime without notice.
The high yield online savings account by Vio Bank can be opened with just $100 and has no monthly balance requirements after opening. The account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
More account details:
- Interest is compounded daily and paid out monthly
- 6 free withdrawals per monthly statement cycle. A $10 withdrawal fee applies after 6.
- No monthly fees.
Please note – if you plan on making more than 6 withdrawals per statement cycle you may want to consider using a different account. Not only with a $10 fee be imposed on withdrawals after 6 in any monthly statement cycle but Vio Bank states they could shut down your account if withdrawals become too abundant.
Vio Bank Online Savings Account Fee Schedule
Like many online savings accounts Vio Bank’s has minimal fees. That said, you will still have to pay for certain items and/or services. Here is their complete fee schedule:
|Dormant Account (inactive for 12 consecutive months)||$5/month|
|Withdrawals||6 free per month, then $10/each|
|Wire Transfers (domestic outgoing)||$18|
|Wire Transfers (domestic incoming)||$10|
|Wire Transfers (international outgoing)||not listed|
|Wire Transfers (international incoming)||$0|
|Verification of Deposit||$15|
|Additional Statements||$2 each|
If you’re looking to lock in a rate and not worry about a future drop, then you may want to consider one of Vio Bank’s certificate of deposits.
Vio Bank’s CD Rates + Account Details
Vio Bank’s current certificate of deposit rates aren’t nearly as competitive as their high yield online savings account.
The CDs come with standard terms ranging from 6 months to 10 years.
Like the online savings account, your interest is compounded daily and paid out monthly. Your deposits are also FDIC insured up to $250,000 and can be opened online with $500 or more.
Side Note: Unfortunately there are no promotional deposit products offered currently by Vio Bank. This is an effective marketing tactic we’ve seen used by many online banks even in poor savings environments.
Vio Bank’s Current CD Rates:
[Updated May 18, 2020: Vio bank significantly slashed the rates on all their deposit terms greater than 9 months.
Update May 6, 2020: Vio Bank cuts rates across the board on all deposit products and their online savings account.
Update April 22, 2020: Vio Bank cut the rates on their short term CDs (6 and 9 month terms) by 0.10% and cut the rate on their longest term CDs (5 – 10 year terms) by 0.10% APY.
Update March 31, 2020: Vio Bank backtracked on a number of rate cuts they made to their CDs in early March.]
Early withdrawal penalties apply for all Vio Bank CDs.
The penalties vary depending on the length of the deposit term. For 12 month CDs, the penalty is 1 percent of the amount withdrawn, plus a $25 fee.
For CDs with terms longer than 1 year the penalty is 3 percent of the amount withdrawn plus a $25 fee.
Vio Bank Features and Customer Sentiment
As an online-only bank, Vio Bank doesn’t have any branches or ATM networks. In fact, you won’t even get an ATM card with any VIO bank accounts nor any check writing capabilities.
There are very little Vio Bank account features to write home about (if any). Customers have no access to any budgeting tools or peer to peer transfers.
Accessing money or moving it around will be difficult with Vio Bank unless you’re comfortable with ACH or wire transfers.
ACH transfers initiated through the Vio Bank External Transfer Service may not exceed $25,000 (or 5 separate transfers) per day or $100,000 (999 separate transfers) per month. Incoming or outgoing transfers initiated by a third party transfer service are not limited though, which will allow you to get around these restrictions if needed.
Vio Bank has native apps in both the IOS app store and Google Play that have received mixed reviews. Their IOS app has a 4.4 start rating out of 5, while their Android app receives just a 3 star rating out of 5.
The apps allow Vio Bank account holders to do the following:
- Check account balances anytime
- Search recent transactions by date, amount or check number
- Transfer cash between accounts
- Deposit checks while on the go
Bank review websites and bloggers love Vio Bank, but reviews and experiences provided by users tell a different story. On DepositAccounts, Vio Bank has 2 stars. So though this bank looks good on paper (especially for its high-yield savings account), it does not meet expectations in the eyes of real people with accounts.
Here’s what some of these people have to say:
Look out for contradictory information provided by Vio’s website and representatives as well as cumbersome application hurdles and poor service, issues named by many users. Many individuals seem to doubt the bank’s trustworthiness based on support interactions and insufficient explanations. Even more have been turned away or had their accounts closed soon after opening for no apparent reason. Definitely don’t ignore these alarm bells but know that every person’s experience is going to look different and that Vio Bank might improve its customer care, policies, and practices over time.
User reviews for MidFirst Bank, the parent company of Vio Bank, are similarly poor with an overall rating of 2.5 stars on Yelp and 1.5 stars on DepositAccounts. There are also a number of complaints left against this company with the Better Business Bureau, another red flag that doesn’t reflect well on Vio either.
If you’re after a high yield online savings account and APY is your sole focus, then Vio Bank may be a solid solution for you.
However, if you intend to conduct regular banking activities out of this high yield savings account, you will be let down as it comes with no ATM card and no real way to move money around other than wires or ACH transfers.
Their CDs aren’t attractive at all at the moment and carry some steep early withdrawal penalties (mentioned above), so if you’re looking for an online CD we would suggest shopping around.