We live here, too.
The tagline at the heart of Fifth Third Bank’s endeavors marks its continued commitment to community involvement.
Proclaiming itself as the first bank in the nation to establish a charitable foundation, Fifth Third Bank continues to pour millions of dollars into funding initiatives in the communities it serves.
And with a century’s worth of banking under its belt, Fifth Third Bank has established itself as a credible national bank with competitive rates among savings accounts.
Originating in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fifth Third now boasts over 1300 branches across 10 states nationwide.
So what does it offer?
With comparatively low interest on its savings and checking accounts, decent CDs, nationwide ATM accessibility, Goal Setter Savings program, and lending options, the widely accessible bank may be one to consider.
What’s the downside?
WIth Fifth Third, steep overdraft and monthly fees abound, and while they aren’t inherently sneaky, they can engulf you pretty quickly if you aren’t careful.
Let’s take a look at Fifth Third’s features (good and bad) and see how it stacks up.
Fifth Third Bank Review
Fifth Third Bank offers a wide range of quality products and services. More than just your neighborhood bank, they offer their customers a full service experience, including banking, mortgages, loans, credit cards, and small business services. Gaining access to your money is easy, with an ATM network exceeding 50,000 cash points. The Fifth Third Bank mobile apps make banking on the go easy, with online bill pay, mobile deposit, and peer to peer payments via Zelle®. The only downsides: Fifth Third is a regional bank, which may be inconvenient if you live outside their market, and you can find higher interest rates with many online savings accounts. Accounts are easy to open.
A Thriving History
With roots dating back to 1858, the Fifth Third Union Trust came to be in 1927 in Cincinnati, Ohio, through the merging of Fifth-Third National and The Union Trust Company.
The Ohioan bank boasts a longstanding commitment to continuous expansion with a dedication to community, one which can be tracked through the last two centuries.
After outlasting the Great Depression and later leading the War Bond initiative in World War II, Fifth Third Bank focused its efforts on growing its branches and innovating its services, opening 27 branches by the 50s.
In the 70s, it launched the first shared ATM in the nation, along with an automated teller.
Over the last 50 years, Fifth Third Bank has steadily expanded from Ohio into the region and beyond, now operating in the following states:
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
Today, Fifth Third bank proudly partners with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Nashville Predators, the Cleveland Browns, the Columbus Zoo, and over ten other corporate sponsors in the realm of art, sports, and music.
Beyond basic banking, Fifth Third has now launched a Lives Improved Through Financial Empowerment® (LIFE) suite with programs to help you manage your finances.
Fifth Third has also built partnerships with fintechs like GreenSky, ApplePie, AvidXchange, and Transactis.
They’ve secured Retirement Corporation of America, R.G. McGraw Insurance Agency, Epic Insurance, and Integrity HR as well, establishing credibility in the field and growing the bank’s reach.
According to its 2017 assessment, Moody’s Investor Service gives Fifth Third a stable outlook, anticipating no major changes to its credit profile over the next two years.
And the Better Business Bureau gives Fifth Third Bank an A+ rating.
In other words, banking with Fifth Third is a safe bet by industry standards.
If you’re wondering just how much Fifth Third bank has in assets, the amount totals over $140 billion.
Fifth Third Bank Features
|Banking Account Types||Checking, Savings, CDs|
|Other Account Types||Loans, Mortgages, Credit cards|
|Minimum Deposit to Open an Account||$0. Must fund account within 45 days|
|Number of Branches||1300+|
|ATM Network Size||Allpoint, Presto!, 7-Eleven
|ATM Reimbursements||Available for Some Accounts|
|Remote Deposit Availability||Yes|
|App Availability||iOS, Android, Mobile Optimized Website|
|Person to Person Money Transfers||Zelle®|
|Money Transfers & Payment Services||Wire Transfers|
|Customer Service Types||Phone, email, appointment|
|Customer Service Hours||Monday-Friday, 7am-7pm; Saturday, 8:30am-5pm|
|Member FDIC||FDIC Certificate #6672|
|Routing Number/ABA Number||042100272|
|Current Promotions||$250 starting bonus
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Much of Fifth Third’s popularity banks on its traditional checking accounts.
Fifth Third offers 4 checking accounts: free, essential, enhanced, and preferred.
One of the main catches with Fifth Third accounts is their service fees, which hurt clients with low monthly balances.
They also carry costly overdraft penalties. In general, if you overdraw, you’ll get slapped with a $37 penalty.
And if you think the bank’s overdraft protection service will keep you safe, think again.
Even if you aren’t penalized on the spot, you’ll be charged an additional fee on your credit card, line of credit, or transfer with every overdraft.
Below we’ve provided the key features for each type of account and ways to bypass their monthly service fees.
Free Checking Account
- No minimum deposit and no minimum balances
- No monthly fees
- Debit card
- Mobile banking and deposits
- Only available in Florida, Georgia, and parts of Kentucky and Indiana
Essential Checking Account
- As its name implies, this option gives you all the essentials of a checking account.
- Debit card, mobile banking, unlimited check writing, and secondary checking account
- Relationship interest rate on relationship savings
- There’s an $11 monthly service fee.
You Can Avoid the Service Fee If You
- Average a $1,500 monthly balance across your Fifth Third accounts
- Spend $500+ a month on a Fifth Third credit card
- Have an outstanding Fifth Third personal mortgage, auto loan, or line of credit
Enhanced Checking Account
- Unlimited check writing, mobile banking, and secondary checking account
- Relationship interest rate on relationship savings
- Better CD and loan rates
- $20 monthly service fee
You Can Avoid the Service Fee If You
- Have a combined minimum balance of $20,000 across all Fifth Third accounts at least once a month
- Make a monthly direct deposit of at least $5,000
Preferred Checking Account
- Complimentary checks and money orders
- Secondary checking account, mobile banking
- Complimentary notary services
- Complimentary safe deposit box
- Better CD and Loan rates
- High-yield interest
- Up to 10 waived ATM fees per month
- World Debit Mastercard
- Fifth Third Identity Alert
- $25 monthly service fee
You Can Avoid the Service Fee If You
- Have a combined balance across Fifth Third accounts of $100,000 at some point during the month
Fifth Third Bank offers a few specialized accounts as well, the first being its student account services.
Student banking benefits equate to the essential checking features above, without a minimum balance or service fee.
They also offer students 5 free ATM transactions a month.
Fifth Third also offers a military account for active and retired military families.
In addition to essential checking benefits, this account offers special rates on VA home loans and up to 10 free monthly ATM transactions at non-Fifth Third locations.
While services fee policies are the same as essential checking, clients can opt for another account of their choice with a $5 discount to the service fee.
Last, Fifth Third offers an express account with no service charge, minimum balances, or overdraft fee.
This account is a good option for those who want instant access to their funds without contractual obligations.
You get a debit card, mobile banking, and potential discounts on some Fifth Third services.
How You Can Save With Fifth Third
Fifth Third offers competitive savings accounts with comparable interest rates.
The one real downfall is the service fee, which is $5 (but can be waived).
The options for waving the fee are the same across all savings accounts.
Want to avoid the service fee? You can if you:
- Own a Fifth Third Checking account
- Average at least $500 a month
- Are 18 or younger
- Are a Fifth Third Military Account holder
Goal Setter Savings
- Online goal setting and tracking program
- Interest bonus the first time you reach your monthly savings goal
- Comparable interest rates
- Funds are only accessible at the bank or over the phone
- $5 service fee, waived the first 6 months
Fifth Third Relationship Savings
- Monthly interest rate credits if you have a Fifth Third checking account
- Automated savings transfers from checking
- Bank statements including both checking and savings
- $5 service fee
Fifth Third Relationship Money Market
- Tiered interest: the more you save, the higher the return.
- Relationship interest rate with a Fifth Third checking account
- Check writing from savings
- Statements contain checking and saving
CDs are a fantastic way to invest in the future, and Fifth Third offers several options for doing so.
Fifth Third has 4 CD types: 529 CD, a short-term Standard CD, a long-term Standard CD, and a Promotional CD.
The 529 CD stands out. Fifth Third’s CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan allows students to save for college, offering a guaranteed CD return rate and tax-free earnings.
Let’s look at the value of Fifth Third’s CD offerings overall.
- The interest you earn can be credited to the CD, or your Fifth Third checking or savings account.
- No enrollment fee
- Option to use CD as collateral on your Fifth Third Loan
- After a week of being open, you can access your funds before the CD reaches maturity. Fifth Third will return your original deposit.
- Promotional CDs with better interest if you contribute $5,000 or more
Here’s the drawback to investing in a certificate of deposit with Fifth Third Bank:
Interest rates are low, especially on short-term and standard CDs.
If the interest is low, it stands to reason the returns will be low as well.
If you have enough money to be eligible for a promotional CD, then your interest rates will be higher.
But even those rates are a percentage point or more lower than some competitors.
Bottom line: there are far more competitive rates on the market to consider, especially if you’re considering a standard CD or one with a short term.
The 529 CD is a viable option for future-forward students, but if you fall into the other categories of investor, you might want to shop around for better CD rates.
Beyond Checking and Savings
Aside from checking and savings accounts, what can Fifth Third bank offer you?
Fifth Third offers a number of competitive credit and lending services, which we’ve outlined below.
Fifth Third offers 4 credit card options: the Trio Credit Card, Truly Simple Credit Card, Stand Up to Cancer Credit Card, and Secured Card.
- With the Trio Credit Card, you can earn 2% cash back on gas, groceries, and drug store purchase (up to $1500), 3% cash back at restaurants, and 1% on all your other purchase. With this card, there is no annual fee and the APR is 0% for the first year, increasing to a reasonable rate in the months following.
- While the Trio Card is geared towards rewards, the Truly Simple Card is geared towards usability and paying off higher debts on other cards. With no annual fee and 0% introductory APR on transfers and purchases for the first 15 billing cycles, you get flexibility and a fair amount of type to accomplish your goals. Following that time, APR is similar to the Trio card’s rates. With this card, there is never APR for missed payments.
- The Stand Up to Cancer Card allows you to contribute to cancer research with your purchases, earning a reward point towards the cause for each $1 purchase you make. This card also has a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months, followed by a comparable variable APR.
- As Fifth Third puts it, the Secured Card is “a great way to build or rebuild your credit.” How? With the Secured Card, major credit bureaus receive reports of your credit behavior, you have liability protection in case of theft, and your card can be insured by your savings account at Fifth Third. The Secured Card comes with a $24 annual fee and truly can help you to responsibly strengthen your credit score.
Down Payment Assistance
Fifth Third’s down payment assistance program is simple:
If you meet their income and location requirements and have a credit score of at least 600, Fifth Third will pay up to $3600, or 3%, on your down payment.
You can pair this amount with other down payment assistance programs and never have to pay the bank back.
Fifth Third’s offers quite a few mortgage plans, allowing you to find the perfect fit for you and your family’s needs.
With average interest rates and APR, a Fifth Third mortgage could be worth your consideration.
Here are Fifth Third’s mortgages and their key benefits:
- Traditional – principal and interest payments remain unchanged
- Adjustable – flexibility and low initial interest rate
- FHA – low down payment and dependable payment
- Physician and Dentist – finance up to $750,000 with no down payment
- VA – minimal down payment and fixed interest
- VA IRRRL – use the VA Loan Streamline Refinance to refinance your home loan without appraisal or income verification
- Construction – build a new home with financing up to $2 million
- Jumbo – $425,000 to $2 million loan with fixed rate options
- Home Possible – low down payment and reduced insurance premiums for those with limited funds
Personal, Home, and Auto Loans
Fifth Third also offers personal loans, auto loans, and home equity lines of credit with flexibility and highly competitive interest rates.
Fifth Third’s personal loans come in two forms: signature loans and secured loans.
With a signature option, your $2,000-$50,000 loan is unsecured and terms and payment schedule are set at the time of application.
Signature loans come in 12-60 month terms, with a fair APR.
Secured loans are guaranteed by your CD or savings account, allowing you to borrow as those accounts build up.
The borrowing amount is higher with this one, allowing you to take out up to $500,000 with between 50 and 100% collateral.
APR is competitive on this loan as well, making it a viable option for a large personal loan.
Fifth Third also offers personal lines of credit, both secured and unsecured.
With these options, you can borrow what you need when you need it.
With the Personal Line, your credit is unsecured but simple to obtain.
Lines can amount anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000, with a 5-year draw time and 10-year repayment period.
This line of credit does have a $35 annual fee, which is waived your first year.
With the Unsecured Flexline, you get lower rates and a longer draw time.
If your assets qualify you for the Flexline, you can draw up to $100,000 on a 20-year period with interest-only monthly payments.
The annual fee, also waived the first year, is $65.
Last it the Secured Line of Credit.
The Secured Line is guaranteed by your CD or savings with Fifth Third and offers lines up to $500,000.
This line, like the personal line, offers a 5-year draw time and allows you 10 years to repay the loan.
With an auto loan from Fifth Third, you can buy a car at a dealership, refinance your loan for a lower payment or interest rate, and get Relationship discounts if your payments come through your Fifth Third checking account.
In addition to personal lines of credit, Fifth Third offers competitive home equity options allowing you to take advantage of your equity.
With the Fifth Third Equity Flexline, you get competitive variable rates, rewards points, 10 years of interest-only payments, no closing cost, and the option to set a fixed rate on your balance for $95.
You also receive a line of credit and accessible funds through a Flexline MasterCard.
Fifth Third also offers fixed-rate home equity loans with no closing costs and set monthly payments.
The bank also provides homeowners an Easy Home Refi® option, which is a simplified way to refinance your mortgage with a fixed rate.
This equity-based program is also beneficial as your interest might be tax-deductible.
Fifth Third Bank Business Accounts
Fifth Third Bank also offers business accounts for small, medium, and large businesses, including commercial banking and lending.
Products and services offered include business checking, business savings, business credit cards, business loans, Cash Management Services, and administration of tax advantaged health benefit accounts, including Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, and Health Reimbursement Arrangements.
You will need to have your small business in good standing before opening for a business bank account. Be sure to bring your articles of incorporation or other business formation paperwork, your EIN, and any other supporting paperwork.
Fifth Third Bank Advantages and Disadvantages
- No minimum needed to open a checking account
- Rewards and bonuses for savings accounts and credit cards
- Fair minimum ($500) to open a CD
- Promotional CDs available when you invest $5,000 or more
- Plethora of flexible and attainable options to improve your credit
- Competitive HELOC and mortgages
- Large ATM network nationwide
- $11 monthly fees if you have less than $1500 across your Fifth Third accounts
- No interest on checking and very low interest on savings accounts
- Standard CDs have low interest rates which yield low returns and don’t compete with comparable banks
- Branches are only available in 10 states.
Is Fifth Third the Bank for You?
In a market bursting with banks offering similar services, it can be challenging to choose the right one.
Fifth Third Bank has grown alongside monumental moments in the nation’s history, never wavering from its community engagement and commitment to advancement.
Whether you’re in the bank’s birthplace, Cincinnati, or another city playing home to one of Fifth Third’s other 1300 branches, you might want to take a second look at Fifth Third for your banking needs.
If you’re looking for a checking home, a place to put your savings, a way to build your credit, or a loan to pursue your dreams, Fifth Third could be a worthwhile choice.
The devil is in the details, though, and overdraft and minimum fees, along with low interest on CDs, can be detrimental.
Whether or not those factors will negatively affect you depends on how much money you’re willing and able to deposit.
With checking and savings accounts, you need at least $1500 to avoid monthly fees.
If you know you won’t meet the minimum, you might want to consider an alternative checking option.
If your account will meet that average, Fifth Third checking has some great perks.
Likewise, if you can’t put $5,000 into a CD, you may want to look elsewhere for more competitive interest rates and higher yields.
But, Fifth Third’s credit lines and loans are competitive, flexible, and affordable, no matter what financial shape you’re in.
If you’d like more information on Fifth Third Bank’s services, rates, and promotions, visit the Fifth Third website.
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