Fifth Third Bank Review - Everything You Need to Know

What to Know About This Bank Serving the Southeast and Midwest

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Fifth Third Bank is one of the largest banks in the U.S., serving 10 states in the Midwest and Southeast. It currently has branches and ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.

The bank offers checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards, loan products, insurance, and investing services.

Who is Fifth Third Bank For?

Fifth Third Bank is appropriate for anyone who:

  • Lives in the Midwest or Southeast
  • Wants a variety of saving account choices
  • Prefers the products and services of a full-service bank

Fifth Third opened originally in 1858 as the Bank of the Ohio Valley, then merged with Third National Bank in 1871. In 1908, it merged with the Fifth National Bank to become Fifth Third Bank. It is often referred to as 5/3 Bank.

Fifth Third is listed as a member of the S&P 500 and is ranked among the 30 largest banks in the United States, with more than $140 billion in assets.

Pros

  • More than 1,100 branches and 2,400 ATMs for those living in the Midwest and Southeast, plus access to thousands of Allpoint ATMs nationwide

  • Competitive interest rates on promo CDs

  • Multiple checking and savings accounts to choose from with low service charges

  • Online and mobile banking

Cons

  • Interest rates are low on traditional CDs and savings accounts

  • Relatively small selection of credit cards

  • Some savings accounts do not allow withdrawals except in person or over the phone

Types of Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers the following types of accounts in the U.S.:

  • Savings Accounts
  • Checking Accounts
  • CD Accounts
  • Credit and Debit Cards
  • Personal Loans and Lines of Credit
  • Auto Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Insurance
  • Investments

All bank accounts and CDs are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Savings Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers several traditional savings accounts to match the needs of any customer. All have a $5 per month service fee that can be easily waived by meeting certain requirements.

Savings account choices include:

  • Goal Setter Savings: A basic savings account designed to discourage people from withdrawing money. Funds can only be accessed at a branch or by calling 1-800-972-3030. The account offers interest rates of 0.01 percent. The account fee is waived for customers who also have a checking account with Fifth Third. The fee can also be waived if you maintain a balance of $500 or above, or if the account is owned by someone under 18. The service charge is waived for the first six months after opening.
  • Fifth Third Relationship Savings: Offers automatic checking-to-savings transfers and special interest rates if you also have a checking account. Interest rates are 0.02 percent, or .10 percent for balances over $25,000.
  • Fifth Third Relationship Money Market: Offering the highest rates, especially for those with higher balances. You can write checks from this savings account and get a combined checking and savings statement. Interest rates start at 0.02 percent APY but rise to as much as 0.40 percent for balances over $250,000.

Checking Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers six different checking accounts to address the needs of various customer bases, including students and military service members. Accounts include:

  • Essential Checking: This account allows for unlimited check writing, online bill pay, and a secondary checking account. The $11 monthly service fee is waived if you have a $1,500 monthly balance or a loan with Fifth Third. Fees are also waived if you make $500 in monthly purchases on a Fifth Third credit card. The fee is reduced to $8 per month if you make direct deposits of $500 or more each month. 
  • Enhanced Checking: Maintain a balance of $20,000 or make $5,000 in direct deposits each month to avoid the $20 per month service fee. Account holders are eligible to get higher interest rates on savings accounts and CDs, and lower rates on loans. Enhanced Checking includes unlimited check writing and online bill pay.
  • Preferred Checking: This account comes with a $25 per month service fee that can be waived by maintaining a balance of $100,000 or more across all deposit and investment accounts. Earn better rates on CDs, savings accounts and loans. This account includes online bill pay, unlimited check writing, and free identity theft alert.
  • Student Banking: Offering the same services as Essential Checking, but the account fee is waived for any high school or college student aged 16 or older. Account holders can make five transactions per month at non-Fifth Third ATMs.
  • Military Checking: Similar to Essential Checking, but service members can get special rates on VA home loans and 10 free non-Fifth Third ATM transactions per month.
  • Express Banking: A basic account with no service fee, offering a debit card, check cashing and direct deposit. This account does not allow check writing or check deposits at ATMs.

CD Accounts

Fifth Third offers a variety of certificate of deposit products with minimum deposits ranging from $500 to $5,000, including promo CDs offering higher interest rates.

With CDs, you can earn higher interest rates in exchange for keeping your money in the account for a specified term.

Early withdrawal penalties are one percent of principal withdrawn for terms of under one year; two percent of principal withdrawn for terms of between one and three years; and three percent of principal withdrawn for terms of more than three years.

Here’s a look at the CD offerings and their annual percentage yield (APY):

CD Accounts
Term APY Minmum Deposit
11 months 2.26% $5,000
18 months 2.50% $5,000
27 months 2.50% $5,000
7 to 89 days 0.05% $500
3 to 6 months 0.05% $500
6 to 12 months 0.05% $500
12 to 14 months 0.05% $500
12 to 14 months 0.10% $5,000-$49,999
12 to 14 months 0.15% $50,000
24 to 36 months 0.15% $500-$24,999
24 to 36 months 0.20% $25,000
36 to 48 months 0.20% $500-$24,999
36 to 48 months 0.30% $25,000
48 to 60 months 0.30% $500-$24,999
48 to 60 months 0.40% $25,000
60 to 84 months 0.40% $500-$9,999
60 to 84 months 0.50% $10,000
84 months 0.50% $500-$9,999
84 months 0.60% $10,000

Credit and Debit Cards

Fifth Third offers four debit cards to allow easy access to your money and to make purchases without cash. They include:

  • Gold Debit Card: No annual fee
  • World Debit Card Mastercard: This card has a $3.95 service charge but the ability to collect reward points on every purchase. Includes access to automatic discounts at many retailers.
  • Professional Debit Mastercard: Offers separate statements for business and personal transactions, plus automatic savings applied to your account when you make business purchases at certain retailer. There is no annual fee.
  • Access 360 Reloadable Prepaid Debit Card: Customers can add money to a card and use it anywhere most debit cards are accepted. There is a $4 monthly service fee that is waived if you are a checking customer.

    Fifth Third also offers three credit cards, including:

    • TRIO Card: Offering three percent cash back on restaurant purchases and two percent cash back on gas and groceries. A low zero percent introductory APR for the first 12 cycles. After that, APR ranges from 15.99 to 24.99 percent. There's no annual fee.
    • Truly Simple Card: No rewards, but a low zero percent introductory APR for the first 15 cycles and no penalty rate for a missed payment. After that, APR will range from 13.99 to 24.99 percent. There's no annual fee.
    • Stand Up to Cancer Card: Offers one reward point for every dollar spent and has a zero percent introductory rate for 12 cycles. Rates are between 14.99 and 25.99 percent after that, and there's no annual fee.
    • Secured Card: This card is designed for people looking to build or rebuild credit. The card is secured by your Fifth Third Savings Account, and all transactions are reported to the three credit bureaus. This card has a $24 annual fee.

    Personal Loans and Lines of Credit

    Fifth Third offers Signature Loans of between $2,000 and $25,000 with terms of 12 to 60 months. Annual percentage rates range from 6.99 percent to 19.24 percent. Additionally, the bank of offers secured loans of between $2,000 and $500,000 with rates between 5.14 percent and 8.64 percent. There are no closing costs, prepayment penalties or annual fees.

    The bank also offers personal lines of credit of $2,000 to $5,000 per month with rates of 10.49 to 17.09 percent and a $35 annual fee; an unsecured flexline of $5,000 to $100,0000 with rates between 7.50 and 9.00 percent and $65 annual fee; and secured lines of credit of $5,000 to $500,000 with rates between 5.25 and 8.00 percent and no fee.

    Auto Loans

    Fifth Third will set up an auto loan before you begin shopping for a new car. You can also refinance with no payments for up to 90 days. If you refinance a non-Fifth Third auto loan, you can get a 0.25 percent rate discount. You can get the same discount if you deduct payments from your Fifth Third checking account.

    Mortgages

    Fifth Third offers fixed-rate mortgages with 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms. Rates range from 4.125 percent to 4.5 percent assuming a minimum FICO score of 740. Rates can vary depending on the size of the loan and credit score of the borrower. Adjustable rate loans and jumbo loans larger than $453,100 are also available.

    Insurance

    Fifth Third offers a wide variety of insurance products to protect your family, your home, car, and personal property.

    Products include:

    • Term and whole life insurance
    • Disability insurance
    • Long-term care insurance
    • Auto insurance
    • Title insurance
    • Homeowners insurance
    • Liability insurance

    Investments

    Fifth Third offers a comprehensive suite of investment services, including access to advisors that can help you craft a plan to achieve your financial goals, and even your retirement.

    For those who want a simple way to set goals and invest, Fifth Third offers OptiFi, an online system that allows you to enter your objectives and receive automated advice. Customers are directed to 14 different investment portfolios from Geode Capital Management, which serves as the sub-advisor to Fifth Third. You can open an OptiFi account with as little as $5,000 with an advisory fee of 0.50 percent.

    Customers can also get a full view of their investments through the banks Life360 online portal, or hand over control to an investment professional through a Passageway Managed Account.

    Fifth Third also serves as the custodian for employer 401(k) plans.

    Fifth Third Bank has purchased naming rights for three minor league ballparks that serve as home to the Toledo Mud Hens, West Michigan Whitecaps, and Dayton Dragons.

    About Fifth Third Bank

    Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fifth Third Bank is one of the largest banks in the United States, with a history that dates back to 1858, when it was founded as Bank of the Ohio Valley.

    Fifth Third operates with more than $140 billion in assets, and has more than 1,200 branches in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. 

    The bank does not have a history of bad data security, but it did report that more than 45 million credit card numbers were compromised in 2007, as a result of a data breach involving its card processor.

    In 2008, the U.S. Department of Treasury invested $3.4 billion into Fifth Third as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. It bought the investment back by 2011.

    Fifth Third is publicly traded on the NASDAQ with the ticker symbol FITB. It is a member of the S&P 500 and has more than 18,000 employees.

    The bank can be found online at www.53.com.

    The Bottom Line

    BENEFITS

    Fifth Third is a full-service bank offering a wide selection of checking and savings accounts, CDs, investment and insurance products, and loans. You can truly use Fifth Third as your “one-stop shop” for banking. For those who live in 10 states in the Midwest and Southeast, banks and ATMs should be easy to find.

    DRAWBACKS

    Fifth Third doesn’t have the most competitive interest rates, and it’s possible you’ll get dinged with service fees on many accounts. Its selection of credit and debit cards is also lacking. The bank also only has branches in 10 states.