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Fifth Third Bank: A wide reach from its Cincinnati base

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Fifth Third Bank review logoFifth Third Bank offers an expansive network of branches and ATMs, but consumers must be willing to pay monthly fees if they don't meet minimum requirements to waive these charges. Fifth Third Bank traces its history back to the 1850s. Today, it's one of the larger regional banks in the country, serving 10 states from its headquarters in Cincinnati.

As most large regional banks do, Fifth Third offers a range of checking, money market and savings accounts to its customers. It also provides mortgage, auto and wealth management services, and operates a commercial lending division.

Fifth Third Bank review

Pros

  • Large network of 1,300 branches and 45,000 no-fee ATMs
  • Multiple options for interest checking accounts

Cons

  • Monthly service fees, ranging from $5 to $20 (with ability to waive fee)
  • Lower interest rates compared to competitors

History

Fifth Third Bank began as the Bank of Ohio Valley, which opened its doors in Cincinnati in 1858. Third National Bank purchased that institution in 1871. It wasn't until 1908 that Third National Bank and the Fifth National Bank joined forces to become the Fifth Third National Bank of Cincinnati.

That bank eventually became today's Fifth Third Bank.

Fifth Third Bank remains headquartered in Cincinnati. The bank is a big one with a big reach, operating 1,300 branches and 2,600 ATMs. The institution ranks among the 20 largest bank holding companies in the country, and has about $142 billion in assets. Fifth Third Bank locations are found in the following states:

  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Missouri
  • Kentucky
  • Florida
  • Tennessee
  • Illinois
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia

Fifth Third Bank checking accounts

Fifth Third Bank offers three main checking accounts:

Essential Checking account

The most basic is its Essential Checking account. This Fifth Third Bank checking account comes with a monthly service charge of $11. Customers can avoid this fee by maintaining a combined monthly average balance of $1,500 across their deposit and investment accounts or if they spend at least $500 a month on a Fifth Third credit card. Customers with an existing Fifth Third personal mortgage, auto loan or line of credit with an outstanding balance can also avoid this monthly fee.

Essential Checking comes with a Fifth Third debit card, online banking, online bill pay and access to more than 45,000 no-fee ATMs.

Enhanced Checking account

Customers who want to earn interest on their checking account can consider Fifth Third's Enhanced Checking account. For this benefit, you'll have to pay a higher monthly fee, $20, unless your deposit and investment accounts reach a combined total of $20,000 at any time during the month. You can also avoid this fee by making monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more. As of late June 2017, the interest rates on the Essential Checking account stood at 0.01 percent.

Preferred Checking account

The bank's Preferred Checking account also pays interest, but at a higher rate. As of late June 2017, this account was paying interest rates of 0.10 percent. The monthly service charge for this account is $25, unless your deposit and investment accounts reach a combined total balance of $100,000 at any time during the month.

Fifth Third Bank savings accounts

Fifth Third does not charge service fees for its savings accounts for customers who meet certain requirements. They can avoid the fee if they have a Fifth Third checking account or if they maintain an average monthly balance in their savings accounts of $500 or more. Customers who don't meet these requirements will have to pay a monthly service fee of $5.

Fifth Third Goal Setter savings account

The bank's basic account, the Fifth Third Goal Setter savings account, was generating an interest rate of 0.01 percent as of June 2017.

Relationship Savings account

Fifth Third's Relationship Savings account comes with higher interest rates for those customers who also have a Fifth Third checking account, 0.02 percent.

Fifth Third Bank money market account

For the best savings interest rate, customers can consider a Fifth Third Relationship Money Market account. Customers who also maintain a Fifth Third checking account, will receive interest of 0.02 percent on money market accounts with a balance up to $9,999. That figure jumps to 0.04 percent for balances ranging from $10,000 to $24,999 all the way to 1 percent for balances of $250,000 or higher.

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