Back in the summer of 2018 when CDs and savings rates were starting to pick up steam, many of the big national banks hopped on a growing trend – creating 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 in 2022, as the interest rate landscape heads back upward, Vio Bank still has some respectable yields for savers but are not among the rate leaders like the once were.
Vio Bank offers 10 certificates of deposit with terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years. These are fixed rate deposit accounts.
They also offer a money market account, called “Cornerstone Money Market Account,” and a high yield savings account. These are variable rate deposit accounts that can change at any time and without notice.
Vio Bank is member FDIC and all deposit accounts are federally insured up to the applicable limits.
To see if these products are right for you, continue reading our review below.
Vio Bank’s CD Rates + Account Details
Vio Bank’s CD rates have risen along with the savings rate environment in general in 2022. All of their CD rates beat the national average for each respective term by a significant margin.
That said, they still lag some of the top CD rates offered by other online, FDIC-insured banks and nationally available credit unions.
Vio Bank’s 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.
The minimum deposit requirement for a Vio Bank CD is $500.
To put the yields above in perspective, the current national average on a 12 month CD and a 60 month CD sit at 0.90% APY and 0.98% APY, respectively, according to FDIC data.
Early withdrawal penalties apply for all Vio Bank CDs.
Early Withdrawal Penalties
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 For 12 month CDs, the penalty is 1 percent of the amount withdrawn, plus a $25 fee.
For CDs with terms longer than 1 year the penalty is 3 percent of the amount withdrawn plus a $25 fee.
Cornerstone Money Market Account
The Vio Bank Cornerstone Money Market Account can be opened online with as little as $100. It also has no balance requirements moving forward once it is opened.
Cornerstone Money Market Rate
To give the Cornerstone Money Market yield some context, the national average sits at just 0.29% APY while the very best variable rate accounts (online savings, money market, etc.) are just now inching above the 4.00% mark – and there aren’t many.
Online Savings Account Rate + Details
The high yield online savings account by Vio Bank can be opened with just $100 and has no monthly balance requirements after opening.
To put this yield into perspective, the current national average sits at just 0.24% APY nationwide.
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 will 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.
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.
Like many online savings accounts Vio Bank has no maintenance fees. That said, you still may 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 certificates of deposit.
Banking Experience + Consumer Sentiment
As an online-only bank, Vio Bank does not 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 few 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.
Vio Bank has apps for both IOS (Apple Store) and Android (Google Play) phones that have received mixed reviews. Their IOS app has a 4.4 star 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.
In a nutshell, here is 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. There are also 20 complaints left against this company with the Better Business Bureau, but nothing in 2022.