Fifth Third Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Fifth Third Bank is a regional bank with a presence in central and southern states. But beware of monthly fees if you don’t meet average balance or other requirements.

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Overall bank rating

Fifth Third Bank
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Fifth Third Bank is based in Ohio and has a strong branch network across 10 states in the Midwest, South and Southeast. But fees on checking accounts and overdrafts are expensive and can add up quickly.

Pros

  • Access to more than more than 50,000 ATMs across the country.

  • Monthly fee on savings is waived for the first 6 months.

Cons

  • Savings, checking and certificate accounts have low interest rates compared with other banks.

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

Full review

Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Bank Goal Setter Savings

Fifth Third Bank Goal Setter Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

With its bare-bones savings rate, the basic Fifth Third Goal Setter savings account won’t earn much, even if you score its account bonus. This is a one-time credit issued when you reach a preset savings goal. But the amount is equal only to the interest paid during the lifetime of the account. And Fifth Third only pays interest on balances up to $50,000.

There is also a $5 monthly fee, though it can be waived if you have an average monthly balance of at least $500, have a Fifth Third checking or Military Banking account or are under age 18.

Other banks pay higher interest rates and have fewer restrictions. Add the monthly fee into the mix, and you get an account that’s tough to recommend.

» See higher interest rates on NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Bank Essential Checking

Fifth Third Bank Essential Checking

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$11.00

Waived with direct deposit or $1,500 minimum balance

Fifth Third’s Essential checking account comes with access to more than 50,000 ATMs across the country.  That goes beyond the bank’s branch footprint. But the account also comes with an $11 monthly fee. The fee can be waived or reduced, however, by meeting spending or deposit requirements, such as having a $1,500 balance across all the bank's accounts. Essential Checking does not earn interest.

Fifth Third Bank CD

Fifth Third Bank CD

1.5

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.10%

3-year APY

0.15%

5-year APY

0.20%

Minimum Deposit

$500

Fifth Third offers CDs with a fair minimum opening deposit requirement, but its low rates mean low returns for customers. If you deposit at least $5,000, you can qualify for promotional CDs with higher interest rates. But online competitors offer higher returns with no minimum opening deposit.

» Compare with other banks’ offerings using our CD tool.

Banking experience

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Fifth Third has 1,200 branches in quite a few states relative to other regional banks, which is good news if access options are important to you. It does not have 24/7 customer service, but representatives are available until 8 p.m. Eastern on weekdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Support is also available via Twitter. In addition, the bank has favorable ratings for mobile apps.

Overdraft fees

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

It’s not unusual for brick-and-mortar banks to charge hefty overdraft fees, but Fifth Third is higher than most — $37 per transaction, up to five times a day. Overdraft protection from a linked account is available, but Fifth Third charges $12 per transfer.

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

Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Bank Goal Setter Savings

Fifth Third Bank Goal Setter Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

With its bare-bones savings rate, the basic Fifth Third Goal Setter savings account won’t earn much, even if you score its account bonus. This is a one-time credit issued when you reach a preset savings goal. But the amount is equal only to the interest paid during the lifetime of the account. And Fifth Third only pays interest on balances up to $50,000.

There is also a $5 monthly fee, though it can be waived if you have an average monthly balance of at least $500, have a Fifth Third checking or Military Banking account or are under age 18.

Other banks pay higher interest rates and have fewer restrictions. Add the monthly fee into the mix, and you get an account that’s tough to recommend.

» See higher interest rates on NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

How does Fifth Third Bank compare?

Member FDIC

APY

0.60%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

0.60%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$150

Requirements to qualify

RATING 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, banking 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.