Fifth Third Bank Review

Is Fifth Third a good bank?

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Fifth Third Bank is a major U.S. bank that serves 10 states in the Midwest and Southeast. It currently has branches and ATMs in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The bank offers checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards, loan products, insurance, and investing services.

What We Like
  • More than 1,100 branches in the Midwest and Southeast, and 50,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide

  • Benefits for maintaining multiple accounts with Fifth Third

  • Multiple low-fee options for checking and savings accounts

What We Don't Like
  • Low interest rates on traditional CDs and savings accounts

  • Relatively small selection of credit cards

  • Some accounts don't allow withdrawals except by phone or in-person

Who Is Fifth Third Bank For?

As of March 31, 2020, Fifth Third Bank managed $185 billion in assets, making it one of the 20 largest U.S. banks. It may be a good fit if you:

  • Live in the Midwest or Southeast
  • Want a variety of account options
  • Prefer the convenience of a full-service bank
  • Aren't concerned with maximizing your interest on checking and savings balances

What Does Fifth Third Bank Offer?

As a major U.S. bank, Fifth Third Bank offers enough to hold its own against any other banking institution. Its long list of accounts include:

Savings Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers traditional savings accounts to help customers set aside emergency funds or save for a big purchase. All have a $5 per month service fee that can be easily waived by meeting certain requirements.

Goal Setter Savings: This basic savings account is designed to discourage people from withdrawing money. Funds can only be accessed in-person at a branch or by calling 1-800-972-3030. The account offers interest rates of 0.01%. The $5 monthly account fee is waived for the first 185 days. After that, it will be waived if you also have a checking account or an Express Banking account with Fifth Third, or if you use Fifth Third Military Banking, or if you maintain a minimum balance of $500, or if you're under the age of 18.

Fifth Third Relationship Savings: This account offers benefits for customers who also maintain a checking account. As long as you maintain both accounts, you'll earn 0.02% interest and avoid monthly fees. Those younger than 18 will have their fees waived regardless, as will those with a minimum balance of $500, or those also enrolled in Fifth Third Military Banking.

Savings accounts are limited to six withdrawals per month. If a customer surpasses those limitations in three out of the past 12 months, the funds in the savings account will be transferred to a checking account.

Checking Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers seven different checking accounts to address the needs of various customer bases. Two are traditional accounts that work for anyone, while the remaining five serve specific customers including students and military service members.

Essential Checking: This basic account allows for unlimited check writing, online bill pay, and a secondary checking account. The $11 monthly service fee is reduced to $8 per month if you make direct deposits of $500 or more each month. The fee is waived entirely if you meet any of the following stipulations:

  • Maintain an average balance of $1,500 across your deposit and investment accounts
  • Have a loan with Fifth Third
  • Make $500 in monthly purchases on a Fifth Third credit card
  • Are in the military and make monthly direct deposits of more than $500
  • Have a valid student ID
  • Have a Business Premium or Business Elite Checking account
  • Participate in a banking benefit program through your employer and make monthly direct deposits of more than $500

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. Members with this account earn 0.01% interest on their balance, and they are eligible to get higher interest rates on 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 achieving a balance of $100,000 or more across all deposit and investment accounts at least once per month. Customers with this account have access to better rates on CDs and loans, in addition to online bill pay, unlimited check writing, and free identity theft monitoring.

Student Banking: This account offers the same services as Essential Checking, but the account fee is waived for any high school or college student aged 13 or older. There aren't any minimum balance requirements. Students with this account can make five free transactions per month at non-Fifth Third ATMs.

Military Checking: This account is 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. It's available to many different types of service members, including active duty, veterans, reserve/guard, and commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Express Banking: A basic account with no service fee, Express Banking offers a debit card, check cashing, direct deposit, and discounts on fees for other Fifth Third services. This account does not allow check writing or check deposits at ATMs.

ABLE Checking: This account allows individuals with disabilities to use basic checking account services without losing access to federal benefits. Depending on where you live and how you use the account, you may enjoy special tax advantages. A $2 monthly service fee is waived if you sign up for paperless billing or maintain a minimum average balance of $250.

In addition to these checking accounts, Fifth Third Bank offers specialized debit cards that customers can use to earn rewards and process cashless transactions without opening up a line of credit.

Certificates of Deposit

Fifth Third offers a variety of certificates of deposit 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. The longer you keep your money in the CD, the more interest you'll earn. Early withdrawal penalties are 1% of principal withdrawn for terms of under one year, 2% of principal withdrawn for terms of between one and three years, and 3% of principal withdrawn for terms of more than three years.

Most standard CDs come with a minimum deposit of $500. Terms range between seven days and 84 months, but terms under three months require minimum deposits of $5,000. Customers may want to keep an eye out for special promotional CDs, which come with higher annual percentage yields (APYs) but require minimum deposits of $5,000.

The chart below lists standard CD offerings and their APY. Keep in mind that the exact offerings may vary by a customer's location.

CD Account Rates (as of May 6, 2020)
Term APY
7 to 89 days 0.01%
3 to 6 months 0.01%
6 to 12 months 0.02%
12 to 14 months 0.04%
24 to 36 months 0.10%
36 to 48 months 0.15%
48 to 60 months 0.20%
60 to 84 months 0.20%
84 months 0.20%

Money Market Account

The Fifth Third Relationship Money Market account offers higher rates than traditional savings accounts. These accounts come with a $5 monthly service fee, but that fee can be waived by maintaining a checking or Military Banking account (Express checking accounts don't apply), or by maintaining an average monthly balance of $500. Those under the age of 18 also have their fees waived. The rates start at 0.02%, but they're tiered, so the higher your balance the higher your interest earnings.

Credit Cards

Fifth Third offers four credit cards:

  • Trio
  • Trio Preferred
  • Truly Simple
  • Secured

Other Financial Products From Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank customers can conduct most of their financial business through the bank. The full list of financial products offered by Fifth Third include:

  • Personal loans
  • Auto loans
  • Mortgages
  • Equity lines of credit
  • IRAs
  • Brokerage services through Fifth Third Securities
  • Automated investing through OptiFi
  • Health savings account
  • 529 education savings account
  • Term and whole life insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Title insurance
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Liability insurance

Fifth Third Bank Customer Service

Customers can reach out to Fifth Third Bank for help by filling out an online form, visiting a branch in person, or by calling 1-800-972-3030. Phone lines are open for customer service Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How to Bank With Fifth Third Bank

As with any bank, those seeking to open a bank account with Fifth Third Bank should prepare to hand over personal information that will verify their identity. The application process can be started on Fifth Third's website by picking the account you'd like to open. You can also open an account by visiting a bank branch.

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. Bank branches and ATMs are easy to find as long as you live in the Midwest or Southeast.

DRAWBACKS

Those concerned with maximizing their interest earnings will likely be disappointed with Fifth Third, and it’s possible you’ll get dinged with service fees on many accounts. Being a regional bank, it may also be inconvenient for people who travel. If you aren't in one of the 10 states where the bank operates, you're out of luck.

Article Sources

  1. Fifth Third Bank. "Find a Fifth Third Bank Branch or ATM by State." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  2. Fifth Third Bank. "Journalist FAQs." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  3. Fifth Third Bank. "Savings Accounts & CDs." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  4. Fifth Third Bank. "Fifth Third Relationship Savings." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  5. Fifth Third Bank. "Checking Accounts." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  6. Fifth Third Bank. "Fifth Third Enhanced Checking." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  7. Fifth Third Bank. "Fifth Third ABLE Checking." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  8. Fifth Third Bank. "Certificates of Deposit." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  9. Fifth Third Bank. "Fifth Third Relationship Money Market." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  10. Fifth Third Bank. "Credit Cards." Accessed May 6, 2020.

  11. Fifth Third Bank. "How Can We Help." Accessed May 6, 2020.