Fifth Third Bank Review: An Eclectic Mix of Products

Decide if Fifth Third Bank is the best bank for you.

Fifth Third Bank serves a range of customers throughout 10 states. Besides the usual assortment of financial products such as checking accounts, savings accounts and credit cards, customers also enjoy Fifth Third Early Access, which allows them to receive an advance on their next qualified direct deposit.

Before you close your current bank account, keep reading to see if Fifth Third Bank has all of the features to cater to your financial needs.

Fifth Third Bank Review

The bank serves customers in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia and boasts roughly 1,200 full-service Fifth Third Bank locations. Customers and clients have access to personal, business and commercial banking options. If you need to withdraw cash, you can do so fee-free by using your Fifth Third debit card or prepaid card at one of the bank’s 50,000-plus partner ATMs, including those within the Allpoint ATM network. Securitywise, FDIC-insured Fifth Third Bank uses a mix of various security tools like encryption, digital certificates and customer authentication to protect your wealth.

Fifth Third Checking Accounts

You can select among six checking accounts — three traditional and three specialized — depending on your financial needs and occupation. Here’s a quick review of the perks and conditions of each checking account:

Traditional Checking Accounts

All traditional checking accounts come with unlimited check writing and a secondary checking account.

  • Fifth Third Essential Checking: The monthly service charge of $11 is waived if your combined monthly balance averages $1,500 or more.
  • Fifth Third Enhanced Checking: The Enhanced Checking account earns 0.01% APY no matter what the balance is (except $0, of course). The monthly service charge of $20 is waived with a combined balance of $20,000 or more.
  • Fifth Third Preferred Checking: Fifth Third’s Preferred Checking account has a superior 0.10% APY for all balances above $0. This account also allows customers to earn an additional 0.25% APY during the initial term of a standard CD over six months long. The $25 monthly fee can be waived if the combined account balance is $100,000 or more.

Specialized Checking Accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers the following specialized checking accounts:

  • Fifth Third Student Banking: Students at least 16 years old with a valid student ID can open this account, which comes with no minimum balance, no monthly fee and five free non-Fifth Third ATM transactions per month.
  • Fifth Third Military Checking: Service members and their families can enjoy Veterans Affairs home loan rates and 10 free non-Fifth Third ATM transactions per month with this account. The monthly service charge can be waived with a combined average balance of $1,500 or direct deposits of $500 or more.
  • Fifth Third Express Banking: No service charge plus discounted fees on select services; however, there is no check writing or check deposits at ATMs.

Fifth Third Bank Savings Accounts and CDs

Fifth Third also offers a mix of traditional and specialized savings accounts, all of which earn anywhere from 0.01% APY to 0.40% APY. The key to boosting the savings interest rate is through the Fifth Third Relationship Savings account or the Fifth Third Relationship Money Market account. Customers that also have a valid Fifth Third checking account qualify for the special interest rates.

Its CD options offer customers a bit more flexibility than the traditional three-month to five-year range. You can open a CD for as little as seven days or as long as seven years. These certificates’ APY go from 0.05 percent for the shortest weeklong CD to 0.60 percent for the full 84-month CD. Term lengths of seven to 89 days require a deposit of $5,000, whereas a length of three to 84 months requires a deposit of only $500.

Like with any bank, customers should be wary of early penalty withdrawals. Fifth Third deducts anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the principal deposit based on the term length.

Learn More: Why It’s Smart to Ladder Your CD Accounts

Fifth Third Early Access

The bank’s Early Access option helps when customers encounter short-term financial emergencies. You must first kick off a transaction that allows the direct deposit of an advance into your account, upon which you can withdraw any amount up to your approved line of credit, with a minimum advance amount of $1. Fifth Third calculates this line of credit based on your most recent three-month period of direct deposits and adjusts them accordingly based on deposit amount. The maximum credit limit is $1,000, and there is a fee of 3 percent for an advance.

Fifth Third Bank Advantages and Disadvantages

Review some of the main advantages and disadvantages of Fifth Third Bank to decide if the bank is right for you.

Advantages

  • Variety of specialized checking and savings accounts to suit multiple financial needs
  • Versatile CD term lengths and rates
  • Range of available ATMs
  • Early Access provides customers a unique emergency line of funding
  • Multiple ways of waiving monthly service fees

Disadvantages

  • Balance minimums might make it difficult to waive service fees
  • Generally low APY for savings accounts
  • Transaction fee for Early Access makes it a relatively expensive option

See: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Banking

Is Fifth Third Bank the Right Bank for You?

Potential customers should weigh the benefits and drawbacks based on their own needs before setting up an account with Fifth Third Bank or applying for a Fifth Third Bank credit card. The bank’s wide array of checking accounts are likely to satisfy the needs of many customers, but the low APY for savings accounts might be a turnoff for some. Fifth Third also has multiple help lines to field your questions regarding personal, business, commercial or international matters.

Click through to learn about 13 banking fees you should never pay.

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This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Fifth Third Bank.