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Fifth Third Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

May 29, 2019
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
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Fifth Third Bank

3.0 NerdWallet rating

Fifth Third Bank is based in Ohio and has a strong branch network across 10 states in the Midwest, South and Southeast. But beware of fees if you don’t have an average monthly balance of $1,500 across your accounts or meet other requirements. Harsh overdraft policies and low interest rates might also dampen your enthusiasm for the bank.

Fifth Third Bank

at Fifth Third Bank,

Member, FDIC

The bottom line

  • Regional bank with strong presence in 10 states in the Midwest, South and Southeast.
  • Fees on checking accounts and overdrafts are expensive and can add up quickly.
  • Savings, checking and certificate accounts have low interest rates when compared with other banks.

» Want to see your other options? Check out NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions

Checking

ProsCons
  • More than 50,000 ATMs across the country.
  • No minimum deposit needed to open the account.
  • $11 monthly fee.


    • Have at least $1,500 total across all Fifth Third accounts.
    • Spend at least $500 per month on a Fifth Third credit card.
    • Have a Fifth Third mortgage, auto loan or line of credit.
    • Be a current or former member of the military with at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.
    • Participate in Fifth Third’s Banking Benefits program through your employer and receive at least $500 in monthly direct deposits.
    • Have a valid student ID.
    • Have certain Fifth Third business checking accounts.

  • Monthly fee drops to $8 if you have $500 in direct deposits or more per month.

  • No interest offered.
Account reviewed for rating: Essential checking

Fifth Third’s Essential checking account comes with better ATM access than most of its larger competitors and goes beyond the bank’s branch footprint. But other banks offer easier ways to waive monthly fees on checking, and, as with many other large banks, the account doesn’t earn interest.

 

» Take a look at NerdWallet’s best checking accounts

Savings

ProsCons
  • Offers a bonus after you achieve a savings goal, such as saving up to $25,000.

  • Monthly fee is waived for the first 6 months.
  • Has a low interest rate of 0.01%; rates may vary by region.
  • $5 monthly fee.


    • Have a Fifth Third checking account.
    • Hold an average monthly account balance of $500 or more.
    • Be under 18.
    • Enroll in Fifth Third Military Banking.

Account reviewed for rating: Goal Setter Savings

With its bare-bones interest rate, the basic Fifth Third savings account won’t earn much, even if you score the bonus — it’s equal only to the interest paid during the lifetime of the account. And Fifth Third only pays interest on balances up to $50,000. Other banks pay higher interest rates and have fewer restrictions.

Add the conditional monthly fee into the mix, and you get an account that’s tough to recommend.

 

» See other interest rates of 2% or more at NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Certificates of deposit

ProsCons
  • Requires a $500 minimum opening deposit for standard CDs.
  • If you deposit at least $5,000, you qualify for promotional CDs with higher interest rates.
  • Very low rates for standard CDs, up to 0.60%. Rates may vary by region.
Although Fifth Third offers CDs with a fair minimum opening deposit requirement, low rates mean low returns for customers. Online competitors offer higher returns with no minimum opening deposit.

Compare with other banks’ offerings using our CD tool.

 

» Want the best CD rate? Find out what banks are offering this month

Bank experience

ProsCons
  • About 1,200 branches across 10 states.

  • Customer service available until 8 p.m. Eastern on weekdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

  • Support also available on Twitter.

  • Favorable ratings for mobile apps.

  • Some basic information difficult to find online.
Fifth Third has quite a few branches in quite a few states relative to other regional banks, which is good news if access options are important to you. And while it doesn’t have 24/7 customer service, it does have weekend service and extended weekday hours — though some of its competitors offer help on Sundays, too.

Overdraft fees

ProsCons
  • Overdraft protection available.


  • Overdraft fee is $37 and can be charged up to 5 times in a day.

  • Even with overdraft protection, transfers to cover overages cost $12 each.
It’s not unusual for brick-and-mortar banks to charge hefty overdraft fees, but Fifth Third’s is higher than most. And while not all banks offer overdraft protection transfers, some allow them for free. Fifth Third charges.

 

» Compare this to other banks at Overdraft Fees: What Banks Charge

High minimums, high overdraft fees

Fifth Third Bank

at Fifth Third Bank,

Member, FDIC


If you don’t usually keep at least $1,500 in your bank accounts, fees can add up quickly, so Fifth Third is probably not the bank for you. High overdraft fees and low interest rates on all accounts mean that you likely won’t see your money grow in any significant way. That said, a strong regional branch system and extensive ATM network mean that people in the Fifth Third area who prefer to bank in person are able to access services more easily. For other options, consider NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions.


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

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