Fifth Third Bank Review

Fifth Third Bank

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

Fifth Third Bank offers plenty of products, and it even has a mobile app that outpaces plenty of similarly small banks. Add in a solid sign-up bonus, and Fifth Third starts to feel like a sure thing.

Pros

  • Plenty of local branches and ATMs
  • Solid mobile app
  • Wide range of financial products
  • Great sign-up bonuses

Cons

  • Bottom of the barrel savings rates
  • Lots of fees
  • Only available in 10 states

Fifth Third Bank is the Cincinnati, Ohio-based subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp, a bank holding company. Founded in 1909, Fifth Third is now one of the largest banks in the Midwest.

In 2019, Fifth Third obtained a national bank charter, but it still exists as a regional bank with a strong presence in 10 states.

The bank offers deposit accounts, credit cards, personal, home and auto loans, and more.

In this post, you’ll get a glimpse of how Fifth Third serves its customers and learn everything you need to know before choosing it as your next bank.

Note: Previous accounts offered by Fifth Third, including Essential Checking and Goal Setter Savings, appear to have been discontinued for new customers. In this post, we’ll cover the accounts that currently appear as available on its website.

In This Article

Fifth Third Bank Checking Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers a whole host of checking account options that tailor to different financial needs. Let’s take a look at what you’ll get out of each one.

Momentum Checking

Momentum Checking is a free checking account that covers all the basics — you’ll get a contactless debit card, mobile banking, and direct deposit.

There is no monthly maintenance fee or minimum deposit requirements, and you can open an account with any amount for your initial deposit.

Momentum Checking is only available in select markets, so you’ll have to head to the website and enter your zip code to find out if it’s available to you.

Preferred Checking

Preferred Checking is Fifth Third’s premium checking account that comes with exclusive discounts, benefits, and services.

There’s a $25 monthly fee, and you’ll need a combined balance across all Fifth Third accounts (including investment accounts) to get around it.

Here’s a look at all of the added benefits of a Preferred Checking account:

  • 0.01% annual percentage yield (APY)
  • 10 reimbursed ATM fees per month
  • Complimentary Fifth Third Identity Alert ($10.95 per month)
  • Access to credit report and credit score
  • Access to Fifth Third’s Life360 online financial portal
  • $0 self-directed online trades in your brokerage account
  • Access to a team of investment consultants
  • Complimentary checks, notary services, money orders, and cashiers checks
  • Complimentary 3×5 safe deposit box
  • Exclusive rates on Fifth Third loans
  • 24/7 dedicated customer service line

Student Checking

Student Checking is a basic checking account for students aged 13 years or older.

It has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements and comes with a debit card, online banking, and bill pay.

Express Banking

Express Banking is an option for those who don’t feel the need for in-person banking.

This digital account has no monthly service fee, minimum balance requirements, or overdraft fees.

The trade-off is that there’s no option for check writing, and you won’t be able to make check deposits at ATMs.

Fifth Third Savings Accounts

A quick disclaimer before we get into savings — Savings rates may vary depending on your location. All rates in this post represent the current available rate for Cincinnati, Ohio.

To find out the rate for your area, head to the Fifth Third website and enter your zip code.

Momentum Savings

Momentum Savings is a basic savings account that earns with an interest rate of just 0.01%.

The account comes with a $5 monthly fee, but you have a few options for getting around it. The fee is waived if you have a Fifth Third checking account, maintain an average monthly balance of $500 or more, or are under the age of 18.

Relationship Money Market

Fifth Third’s Relationship Money Market account promises tiered savings rates based on your total balance, but at the moment, it’s one rate across the board (and it isn’t great). The APY is the same 0.01%, no matter what tier you fall under.

Relationship Money Market comes with a $5 monthly fee and has the exact same criteria as Momentum Savings to avoid it.

Fifth Third Bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Promotional CD

Fifth Third’s 5-month Promo CD comes with the honor of the highest rate for any of its accounts, though it still leaves a lot to be desired.

The APY is 0.05%, and you’ll need a minimum deposit of $5,000 to open an account.

Standard CD

Standard CDs come with term lengths ranging from 7 days to 84 months. If you commit funds for 7 to 89 days, you’ll need at least $5,000 to deposit, but the threshold goes down to $500 if you commit to 3 months or more.

Unfortunately, no matter how long your term or how much you deposit, the CD rate stays the same — it’s 0.01% across the board.

Fifth Third Bank Features

Here’s a look at its most interesting banking features.

1,100 Physical Branches

Fifth Third currently operates more than 1,100 brick and mortar branches across 10 states — Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina.

The bank only offers accounts and services to those who live in these states.

Fifth Third Bank is even listed as one of the Best Banks in Florida.

50,000+ Free ATMs

In addition to more than 2,000 of its own ATMs, Fifth Third is also part of the Allpoint, Presto!, and 7-Eleven ATM networks.

Altogether, this means that customers have fee-free access to more than 50,000 ATMs nationwide.

Online Banking

With online banking, customers have full account access at all times. Fifth Third’s digital platform comes with online bill pay, paperless statements, and custom account alerts.

Mobile App

Fifth Third’s mobile banking app is available on both iOS and Android and holds a stellar rating on both operating systems — it currently stands at 4.5 stars in the App Store and has a 4.3-star rating in the Google Play Store.

With the app, you can execute all of your online banking needs from your smartphone, plus a little more.

You can easily make mobile check deposits and even take cash out without a card at Fifth Third ATMs.

Fees

When it comes to fees with Fifth Third, there’s a lot to talk about. Most of the banking fees are avoidable, but you’ll see most of the fees associated with big, traditional banks.

Here’s an overview of what to expect and how to minimize the damage.

Monthly Service Fees

Most of the deposit accounts at Fifth Third come with a monthly service fee, but fortunately, they’re all avoidable.

Express Banking and Student Checking are the only accounts without a potential fee, so you’ll have to navigate the requirements for any other option.

ATM Fees

If you need to use an out-of-network ATM, Fifth Third charges a $2.75 ATM fee for domestic transactions and $5 for international.

This includes withdrawals, deposits, transfers, and balance inquiries.

Some Fifth Third accounts reimburse these fees, so be sure to make a note of how much flexibility you have.

Overdraft Fees

With the exception of Express Banking, Fifth Third charges $37 per overdraft.

There’s no fee if your account is overdrawn by $5 or less, but the fee is charged up to five times per day if you continue to make transactions.

Fifth Third offers overdraft protection in a couple of ways.

You can link your checking with your savings, and depending on your account, you’ll be charged a certain fee for the transfer to cover your negative balance.

The other option is Fifth Third Extra Time, which is only available in select markets. This feature is only for Momentum Checking and gives you an extra day to correct your balance without penalty.

Wire Transfer Fees

Incoming wires, both domestic and international, come with a fee of $15. For outgoing wires, there’s a $30 fee for domestic and a $50 fee for international ($85 if you send it in US currency).

Other Fees

  • Stop Payment Fee: $33
  • Money Order: $1 each
  • Cashier’s Check: $4 each
  • Check or Statement Copy: $5 per copy
  • International Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction

Getting Started

When you’re ready to sign up for an account, you can easily do so online or head to your local bank and open one with a branch manager.

All you’ll need is a Social Security Number, Date of Birth, ID, and account information for funding.

The sign-up process should take as little as 10 minutes online, though some accounts require you to call or visit a branch to open.

Promotions

Here are the current promotions offered by Fifth Third Bank:

BankAmountExpiresRequirements 
Fifth Third Bank LogoFifth Third Bank Personal Checking $300 December 31, 2021
  • Direct Deposit
see all bonuses

Security

Fifth Third protects you and your money with multi-level online security. With Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, automatic time-outs, and enhanced authentication, your sensitive information should be in good hands.

Fifth Third also vigilantly monitors your payments for evidence of fraud and will give you a heads up if anything seems out of order.

You can choose to add Fifth Third Identity Alert for increased protection, and it’s even included with some accounts.

Your funds are protected by FDIC insurance, so all of your funds are protected in the event that the bank fails.

Customer Service

For customer service, Fifth Third offers 24/7 messaging support through a virtual assistant, plus live chat and a call center during business hours.

Phone calls are accepted Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm Eastern Time and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays.

The call center is closed on Sundays, but you can chat with a live agent from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Overall, service seems to be an area that Fifth Third has a handle on, with a rating of 3.7 stars (out of 5) on ConsumerAffairs.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Plenty of local branches and ATMs
  • Solid mobile app
  • Wide range of financial products
  • Great sign-up bonuses

Cons:

  • Bottom of the barrel savings rates
  • Lots of fees
  • Only available in 10 states
  • Some accounts are only available in select markets

Alternatives to Fifth Third Bank

If you like the idea of a community bank but want to see some higher interest rates, it might be worth looking into a credit union.

Whether you consider a local option or a national behemoth like Alliant or Navy Federal, credit unions generally offer lower fees and higher APYs than traditional banks.

Another option is to look into online-only banks. You won’t get the in-person support of a brick and mortar establishment, but digital platforms come to play with high-yield accounts and industry-best pricing.

FAQs

Is Fifth Third a good bank?

It depends on what you want in a bank. If you’re looking for a regional bank with plenty of branches and solid customer service, it’ll work just fine.

On the other hand, the savings rates are lower than average, and you might run into a lot of fees.

Is Fifth Third Bank FDIC insured?

Yes, Fifth Third is an FDIC-insured financial institution, and it’s also an Equal Housing Lender.

Is Fifth Third Bank nationwide?

No. Fifth Third’s products and services are only available in 10 states: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Is Fifth Third Bank Right For You?

Whether or not Fifth Third is the right bank for you depends entirely on what your goals are. There’s plenty to like, but there are also some undeniable limitations.

Fifth Third thrives mostly in areas associated with traditional banking. If you’re after the community feel of a regional bank with plenty of in-person support, you should be in good hands.

There are plenty of products to choose from, and it even has a mobile app that outpaces plenty of similarly small banks. Add in a solid sign-up bonus, and Fifth Third starts to feel like a sure thing.

On the other hand, Fifth Third is behind the times when it comes to two big areas — pricing and earning on interest. There are fees all over the place, and there’s not a single account that comes close to high-yield.

At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. If you feel like you can navigate the fees and you aren’t concerned about earning a big APY, there’s enough here to keep your attention.

Now that you know what to expect, you should be ready to either sign up or keep browsing for other options.