Written by John Csiszar | Published on 6/11/2020
Vio Bank is the online division of MidFirst Bank, one of the largest privately owned banks in the U.S. But even though its parent bank has an extensive branch network, you can’t use its physical locations to access or service your Vio Bank account, as they are distinct entities.
As an online bank, Vio Bank is geared more toward those comfortable with a virtual experience and don’t need a full-service, in-branch experience. While Vio Bank won’t do much for customers in need of a one-stop shop, the deposit accounts it does have — a High Yield Savings account and certificates of deposit (CDs) — score high points for what they offer, including competitive rates and low fees.
Vio Bank account features
Vio Bank offers two deposit products: a High Yield Savings account and CDs of various maturities. The current APY on its High Yield Savings account is one of the top savings account rates currently available on our site — plus, it has no maintenance fees and can be opened online in a matter of minutes.
Vio Bank’s CD lineup is similarly impressive, offering generally high APYs across 10 distinct terms, including long-term maturities. These accounts are also easy to open online. Minimums are half the cost (and in some cases, even less than half) of many of the bank’s online competitors.
Whichever type of account you choose, you can access it via the Vio Bank website or mobile app. Features available through the website include:
- Real-time account information, including transaction history
- Secure message system
- Online transfers between Vio Bank accounts and external accounts
- Email and text message alerts
- Access to eStatements, eTax forms and eNotices
- Ability to download account information into Quicken
The mobile app provides basic account information and the ability to transfer funds to or from external accounts. It also offers mobile deposit, although some reviewers on the Google Play store have found it frustrating to use.
Vio Bank High Yield Savings account
If you’re looking for a place to invest your short-term funds, the Vio Bank High Yield Savings account has a lot going for it. In addition to the top-tier yield, there’s only a $100 minimum to open the account, which comes with no monthly maintenance fees.
As with all bank-managed savings accounts, the High Yield Savings account enjoys FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 per account type per depositor. If you open both an individual and a joint savings account, for example, each of those accounts benefits from the full $250,000 FDIC protection. As Vio Bank is a division of MidFirst Bank, investor funds are actually held at and protected by MidFirst Bank’s FDIC insurance.
Although the Vio Bank High Yield Savings account has some great features, it is lacking a few benefits that some competitors offer. For example, Vio’s savings account doesn’t offer ATM access, check writing or a debit card. As the bank also lacks physical branches and bank tellers, the only way to withdraw funds is to make an electronic funds transfer or send a domestic wire — international wire transfers are also unavailable. You can also request a physical check in the mail from Vio.
- Deposit limits: Vio Bank doesn’t have deposit limits for incoming wire transfers or check deposits. Mobile deposits are limited to $100,000 per day and $250,000 per month. Amounts greater than $5,000 may be delayed for as long as seven business days. For new accounts, deposits may be held for as long as 11 business days. Total account size is limited to $2,500,000.
- Minimum balance: Vio Bank requires a $100 deposit to open the High Yield Savings account.
- Withdrawal limit: Federal regulations limit certain transactions in all savings accounts to six per statement cycle, including telephone and electronic withdrawals. An excess transaction fee of $10 per instance applies to additional transfers.
- Overdraft fees: Vio Bank doesn’t charge any fees on negative balances in this account. However, per the account agreement, it maintains the right to offset any overdrafts with a charge against any other account you hold at the bank.
Vio Bank online CD account
Vio Bank offers a wide range of online CDs, with maturities ranging from six months to 120 months — 10-year maturity in an online CD is relatively unusual. This flexibility can come in handy for customers trying to build a CD ladder.
The minimum investment for a Vio Bank CD is $500, which is lower than what many competitors require. Interest across-the-board is quite high on Vio Bank CDs, and is compounded daily. Like the Vio Bank High Yield Savings account, balances in CDs are protected by FDIC insurance up to $250,000.
Vio Bank CDs automatically renew upon maturity, although there is a 10-day grace period in which you can choose to withdraw the money without penalty. CDs auto-renew into new issues with the same term, unless otherwise informed by Vio Bank. If you withdraw money before a CD matures, you’ll pay an early withdrawal penalty according to the following schedule:
Opening a Vio Bank online accountYou can open a Vio Bank account easily online. You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to do so, and you’ll have to provide the following information:
- Your name, date of birth and mailing address
- Social Security number
- Email address
- Driver’s license or state ID
- Information about your employer
Once you’ve provided your personal, financial and identifying information, you’ll need to accept the bank’s disclosures and provide information on your funding account. If you ever get stuck along the way, you can call the bank at (888) 999-9170.
Overall review of Vio Bank accounts
Vio Bank has a specialized account lineup, aimed directly at the no-fee, high-APY savings crowd. In that arena, the bank succeeds admirably. The High Yield Savings account pays a top-tier yield, with no maintenance fees and just a $100 minimum. Similarly, the CD lineup is impressive, covering a broad range of maturities that all pay high rates. Minimum contributions are fairly low as well.
The bank does have some drawbacks. For starters, there is no checking account available at Vio Bank, which can make deposits and money transfer more inconvenient — this rules the bank out for those that want an “all-in-one” institution. The lack of ATM card access is another negative, as customers will have to either wait for a check or transfer money to another institution before being able to access their funds. The reasoning is understandable, as Vio Bank doesn’t want to encourage withdrawals from a savings account (as opposed to a checking account), but it’s still an inconvenience.
All-in-all, however, Vio Bank delivers on the promise it makes to its target customers: low fees and high rates. If you’re looking for a place to park short-term cash — or invest it for as long as 10 years — Vio Bank has some commendable savings and CD options for you. If you need a checking account, ATM access or the full lineup of traditional banking services that other institutions can provide, you’ll likely be happier elsewhere.