Fifth Third Bank—its somewhat odd name reflects the merger of two institutions, the Fifth National Bank and the Third National Bank, in 1908—is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Serving both individual and commercial clients, it has a strong bricks-and-mortar presence in 10 states in the Midwest and Southeast, including Fla., Ga, Ill., Ind., Ky, Mich., N.C., Ohio, Tenn., W.Va. This comprehensive review can help you determine if this large regional bank is the right choice for your financial needs.
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More than 50,000 free-fee ATMs
No minimum deposit to open a checking or savings account
No minimum balances to earn APY
Interest bonuses available on savings
High monthly maintenance fees
High balance requirements to waive monthly fees
Low APY on interest-bearing accounts
Monthly debit card service charge
- More than 50,000 fee-free ATMs – Fifth Third Bank customers have access to 1,124 branches within the bank’s geographical footprint of 10 states, and have even more ATMs at their disposal all across the country. The bank belongs to the Allpoint, Presto, and 7-Eleven ATM networks. This means that if you use your Fifth Third Bank debit card at any of these ATMs within the network, you will pay no transaction fees.
- No minimum deposit to open a checking or savings account – Fifth Third Bank accepts accounts of any size. You are required to fund the account within 45 days of opening it, however.
- No minimum balances to earn APY – Interest-bearing accounts pay an annual percentage yield no matter how little you have in your account—even if it’s only one cent.
- Interest bonuses available on savings – The Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings account encourages you to save by offering an interest bonus. You are awarded this one-time bonus—equal to all the interest your account’s earned to date—once you reach a pre-selected savings amount, which can range between $500 and $25,000.
- High monthly maintenance fees – Nearly all of Fifth Third Bank’s accounts come with monthly maintenance fees, and they're somewhat steeper than average for consumer accounts. Checking account fees range from $11 per month to $25 per month, while all savings accounts have a $5 per month fee.
- High balance requirements to waive monthly fees – Maintaining a minimum account balance is one way to avoid the monthly maintenance fees, but these minimums skew high as well: $1,500 for the Fifth Third Essential Checking account and $500 for the Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings account.
- Low APY on interest-bearing accounts – Fifth Third Bank offers APYs starting at 0.01% and rising to 0.10% at their highest. These rates are lower than other banks offer. In addition, you can only earn interest on balances up to $50,000 in the Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings Account.
- Monthly debit card service charge – Unlike many banks that offer free debit card usage, Fifth Third Bank charges Essential Check Account holders a monthly fee of $3.95 for use of their debit card.
Who is Fifth Third Bank Best For?
Fifth Third Bank appeals to fairly well-heeled clients in its 10-state region who want to bank with a large, well-established bricks-and-mortar institution. It’ll best fit you if you:
- Reside in Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., Mich., N.C., Ohio, Tenn., or W.Va
- Want to have multiple accounts at the same bank
- Love earning extra money: bonuses, interest even on small balances, and cashback with a debit card
- Can maintain a $1,500 balance in checking account
- Would like the ease and convenience of a contactless debit card
What Does Fifth Third Bank Offer?
Fifth Third Bank carries pretty much the full array of deposit accounts and services to meet the needs of consumers. These include:
- Savings accounts
- Checking accounts
- Money market account
- Certificates of deposit
- Credit cards
Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings Account
As an introductory savings vehicle, the Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings Account has a lot to offer. With this account, you start by setting your savings goal, anywhere from $500 to $25,000. You can open the account with no minimum deposit, although you will need to fund it within 45 days. Once you reach your savings goal, Fifth Third gives you a one-time interest bonus equal to all the interest you have earned over the life of the account.
The APY on this account is low: only 0.01% for balances up to $50,000. In addition, there is no interest paid on balances above $50,000. There is a $5 monthly service charge, which is waived for the first six months (185 days). However, there are several other ways to avoid the charge:
- Have a Fifth Third Checking Account or Express Banking Account
- Maintain an average monthly balance of $500 or more
- Be an account holder under the age of 18
- Enroll in Fifth Third Military Banking
Fifth Third Relationship Savings Account
The Fifth Third Relationship Savings Account is set up to reward customers who handle both their checking and savings at Fifth Third Bank. This account offers two different APYs, a standard one for customers who only have a savings account, and a higher Relationship APY for those who also have a checking account:
|Balance||Standard APY||Relationship APY|
This account has a $5 per month service charge, which is waived for customers who also have a checking account (except for the Express Banking Account—see below), who maintain a minimum $500 monthly balance, who are under age 18, or who enroll in military banking.
When you pair a Fifth Third Relationship Savings Account with a checking account, you can automatically transfer money from checking to savings.
Fifth Third Express Banking
While not exactly a checking account, Fifth Third Express Banking provides customers an account with no maintenance fee that offers many of the benefits of a checking account: You can cash checks and make deposits at Fifth Third Bank branches and deposit checks via the mobile app. However, the account does not allow ATM deposits or check-writing. You also receive an Express Banking Debit Card with this account, and there is a $3.95 monthly service fee for the card.
While there are no monthly maintenance fees with this account, the services you use each have an associated fee, including in-person check cashing/deposits and mobile deposits. However, these fees are reduced based on the number of transactions you make per month.
The fees associated with the debit card and basic services like check cashing and deposits mean that many customers will pay more in monthly service fees using the Fifth Third Express Banking than they would with a more traditional checking account.
Fifth Third Essential Checking
This non-interest bearing basic checking account has a lot to recommend it:
- A Fifth Third Bank contactless debit card with cashback rewards
- Mobile banking, which includes mobile deposit and account alerts
- Access to online bill pay
- Unlimited check writing
However, the fees on this account might be a bit expensive. To start, the debit card comes with a $3.95 monthly service charge. There is a monthly maintenance fee of $11, which is reduced to $8 if you have monthly direct deposits of at least $500. You can get your monthly maintenance fee waived entirely in one of seven ways:
- You maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 per month.
- You spend at least $500 per month on a Fifth Third credit card
- You have a Fifth Third personal mortgage, auto loan, or line of credit with an outstanding balance.
- You are a current or former member of the U.S. military with monthly direct deposits of at least $500.
- You participate in your employer’s Fifth Third banking benefits program with monthly direct deposits of at least $500.
- You are a student under the age of 23.
- You have a Business Premium or Business Elite Checking account.
Despite the lengthy list of options to waive your monthly fee, these requirements are more onerous than those you can find with other banks. In addition, if you need to use an out-of-network ATM, expect to pay $2.75 per transaction.
Fifth Third Enhanced Checking
This interest-bearing checking account not only pays 0.01% APY on your account balance (with no minimum to earn your interest) but having this account also entitles you better rates on other Fifth Third products. You can receive an additional 0.25% on standard rate 6 month-plus CDs during the initial term, as well as 0.50% lower interest rate on Direct Auto Loans, Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit, and Personal Loans and Lines of Credit. Enhanced Checking account holders also receive exclusive discounts on Fifth Third Brokerage Accounts, as well as exclusive pricing for identity theft protection.
This checking account comes with a $20 monthly maintenance fee, which you can avoid if your deposit and investment accounts have a combined total $20,000 balance at any time during the month, or if you receive monthly direct deposits of at least $5,000. You will also pay the $3.95 per month service charge for the associated debit card, and the $2.75-per-transaction out-of-network ATM fee.
Fifth Third Preferred Checking
This account is Fifth Third Bank’s high-yield checking option. The more you keep in your Fifth Third Preferred Checking Account, the higher your APY:
However, the increased APY comes at a cost. There is a monthly maintenance fee of $25, which can only be waived if your deposit and investment accounts have a combined total balance of $100,000 at any point during the month.
That said, the $3.95 per month service charge for Fifth Third’s debit card is waived for Preferred Checking account holders. Fifth Third Bank will also waive the first 10 out-of-network ATM fees you rack up each month.
It’s also important to note that the APY for this checking account is lower than the rates you can find at other banks, particularly online banks.
Fifth Third Relationship Money Market Savings Account
Like Fifth Third’s Relationship Savings, the Relationship Money Market Savings Account is set up to encourage customers to have multiple accounts within the bank. There are two different APYs depending on whether you only have a Money Market account with Fifth Third, or you also have a relationship with the bank—i.e., a checking or savings account as well.
|Balance||Standard APY||Relationship APY|
Though this is called a Money Market Savings Account, you have the ability to write checks and pay bills from it, as well as conduct your business via mobile banking. There is no minimum balance required to open the account.
This account has a $5 per month maintenance fee, which is waived for any of the following:
- Have a Fifth Third checking account
- Maintain an average monthly balance of $500
- Are under the age of 18
- Are enrolled in Fifth Third Military Banking
Certificates of Deposit
Fifth Third Bank offers customers a number of CD options, with a range of terms and rates. The CD rates can also be improved for current Enhanced Checking Account holders, as those customers are eligible for an additional 0.25% on standard CDs with terms longer than six months. Fifth Third offers several CDs with a minimum deposit as low as $500.
The featured CDs have higher rates, but require a higher minimum deposit of $5,000.
|Featured CD Rates|
|3 Month CD Promo||0.60%||$5,000|
|6 Month CD Promo||0.60%||$5,000|
|15 Month CD Promo||0.25%||$5,000|
Standard CD rates vary based on their term length.
|Standard CD Rates|
|7 to 89 Day CD||0.01%||$5,000|
|3 to 6 Month CD||0.01%||$500|
|6 to 12 Month CD||0.02%||$500|
|12 to 24 Month CD||0.04%||$500|
|24 to 36 Month CD||0.10%||$500|
|36 to 48 Month CD||0.15%||$500|
|48 to 84 Month CD||0.20%||$500|
These rates can vary by geographical location, and the rates listed here are those offered by the Central Ohio Fifth Third Bank affiliates as of March 30, 2020.
Fifth Third Bank offers four different credit cards (all MasterCards) to meet the needs of its customers, including two cashback rewards cards, a no-fee card, and a secured credit card:
- TRIO Credit Card: This rewards card offers 3% cashback on restaurant purchases and 2% cashback on gas, grocery, and pharmacy purchases, up to $1,500 per quarter, as well as 1% unlimited cashback on everything else you buy. There is no annual fee, and the ability to earn a new cardholder account bonus worth $100.
- TRIO Preferred Credit Card: This Preferred version also gives you 3% cashback on restaurants, 2% back on gas, groceries, and pharmacy purchases, and 1% on everything else. However, all your cash back rewards are unlimited. There is no annual fee, and a $350 welcome bonus if you're able to meet the spending requirements.
- Truly Simple Credit Card: This no-fee card offers a 0% introductory APR for purchases made and balances transferred during the promotional period. There is also no penalty APR for missed payments.
- Secured Card: Customers who are working to build or rebuild their credit can use the Fifth Third Secured Card. You will place a $300 refundable deposit into your Fifth Third Relationship Savings Account as backing for your card charges. There is a $24 annual fee.
Other Financial Products Offered By Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank is an excellent option for those who seek financing or investment services. It also offers:
- Car loans
- Purchase mortgages
- Home equity loans
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- Managed investment portfolios
- Financial advisors
- Business loans
Fifth Third Bank Customer Service
You can reach live customer service agents via phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m to 5:30 p.m EST on Saturday.
The mobile app allows you to handle your banking business, including mobile deposit, money transfers, and bill pay, 24/7. With over 11,000 ratings, the app boasts a 4.5 star rating on the App Store and is currently ranked #116 in Finance apps. It is also available on Google Play and has a similarly strong score.
J.D. Power gives a 4-out-of 5- rating in overall satisfaction for the mobile app, which does not compare brilliantly in appearance to other bank’s mobile apps, but does fairly well with ease of navigation, availability and clarity of information, and range of services. The bank itself has a 3 out of 5 rating in overall satisfaction, with “convenience” being the only amenity that rates a 4.
In trying to find accurate information about the rates offered, I called the customer service line to request the rate sheet for various accounts, per the website’s instructions. The customer service agent did not seem to know what I was requesting and told me repeatedly that Fifth Third does not provide a rate sheet, despite what the website says. This was a somewhat frustrating experience.
How to Bank with Fifth Third Bank
Customers in the 10 states served by Fifth Third Bank can easily open an account online or in person at one of the 1,124 available branches. Once you have opened an account, you can make deposits through online transfers from external accounts, mobile check deposit, wire transfer, check deposits by mail, at the ATM (except for Express Banking customers), or in person at a Fifth Third Bank branch.
Fifth Third Bank offers a great deal of convenience for customers within their geographic footprint, enhanced by the fee-free ATM network nationwide. The number of products and services provided, as well as the savings and other incentives Fifth Third offers to customers with multiple accounts, means this can be a great one-stop-shop for all of your banking and financial activities.
However, given the high monthly maintenance fees and low APYs, customers may find that their checking accounts cost more and their interest-bearing accounts pay less than competitors'. Although it is possible to eliminate monthly maintenance fees, Fifth Third sets more onerous requirements for waiving these fees than other banks do. Add in the monthly $3.95 service charge for using a debit card with all but the highest-tier checking account, and you may often feel nickel-and-dimed with an account at Fifth Third. If you only need a few services or the most basic of accounts, you may want to bank elsewhere.
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