Posted by William Charles on October 4, 2019
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on October 4th, 2019 | by William Charles

146

[FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MI, NC, OH, TN, WV, In Branch] Fifth Third $500 Checking Bonus – Direct Deposits Not Required

Update 10/5/19: Deal now requires a deposit of $20,000 instead of $15,000.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $500
  • Availability: Only in the following states: FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MI, NC, OH, TN, WV (may be only for those within a 50-mile radius of a branch). Must also open in branch
  • Direct deposit required: None
  • Additional requirements: Maintain balance of $15,000+ for 90 days
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: $11, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: None listed
  • Household limit: None listed
  • Expiration date: October 31st, 2019 December 31st, 2019

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Fifth Third is offering a bonus of $500 when you open a new Fifth Third Essential Checking account and complete the following requirements:
    • Reach a balance of $20,000 within 45 days of account opening and maintain that balance for 90 days from the date the balance requirement is met (seems like you need to deposit an additional $20,000 and minimum opening deposit is $500. So total would be $20,500)

 

The Fine Print

  • To qualify for the $500 bonus: Open a new Fifth Third Essential Checking® account, within 45 days of account opening, reach a balance of $15,000 or more and then maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $15,000 for 90 days from the date the balance requirement is reached.
  • Offer is not available to existing Fifth Third checking customers or to those with a Fifth Third Checking® account that has been closed within the last 12 months.
  • Account must be funded within 45 days of opening. Bank reserves the right to limit each customer to one new account-related gift incentive per calendar year.
  • Essential Checking account must be opened between 6/19/2019 and 10/31/2019.
  • No minimum deposit required to open a checking account. Bonus will be deposited into your new checking account within 10 business days of completing qualifying activity requirements.  Bonus may be taxable as interest income and reported on IRS Form 1099-INT.
  • The $500 cash bonus offer is valid for Essential, Enhanced, Preferred and Free (where available) checking accounts only. Enhanced, Preferred and Free checking accounts must be opened at a banking center. See your banker for details. Not valid with any other offer.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Essentials Checking $11 Monthly Fee

Essential Checking account is required for this bonus and has an $11 monthly fee. The fee can be waived by maintaining an average monthly balance of $1,500 or more across your savings and checking accounts.

Early Account Termination Fee

This account does not have an early account termination fee

Our Verdict

Previously the best bonus was for $300, but the requirements were much easier to meet (e.g just deposit $500 and maintain that for 60 days). That same deal is also still available, but only for $250. This is an extra $200 (or $250 compared to current offer) but you do need to maintain a balance of $15,000 for 90 days. That’s still worth doing even though these accounts basically earn no interest, but might not be an option for everybody. I’ll be adding this to our list of the best checking bonuses.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



146
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Public Celebration
Public Celebration

Offer link front page says, “Receive your $500 offer code via email, and then take it to any Fifth Third branch to redeem.” Does anyone know if you can open online and still get the bonus? Would be nice to stay out of the branch if possible.

MCT
MCT

You have to go to the branch. There is no option to open online anymore and has been that way for a few months. I don’t know when they changed it.

Mimi
Mimi

If you’re going on a road trip, be on look out for 5/3 banks especially if you’re going to Central FL. No issue at all presenting out of state DL.

Manish
Manish

I live in Seattle but went on a vacation recently to Chicago, noticed this bank and ongoing promotion and opened an account with Fifth Third bank. Seattle does not have a state tax but Chicago does. Next year, do I pay taxes as per Seattle’s or Chicago rules?

AllwaysLearning22
AllwaysLearning22

It is like you did some work for someone while in Chicago and she paid you $500. She then sends you a 1099. It does not matter where you earned the money.

At least this is my understanding

Celia
Celia

Illinois does like to tax. But in this case, I don’t think it’s really income in Illinois since Fifth-Third is in several states and they’re actually based in Ohio. As far as I have researched, because I earn income from multiple states as well as interest/dividends, if you have non-work income (such as interest), you’ll declare that in the state where you live.

DM
DM

Will have to double check but I believe there is language in this offer indicating that you can keep the incremental $15k in a CD or other interest-bearing account. Locks up the money for longer (at least with the CD), but could be a good alternative for some

MCT
MCT

I would like to do that if possible, I still don’t see in the terms where it says that.

Krista check my posts
Krista check my posts

Nope. The $15,000 used to include linked accounts in past offers but not any longer.

Chris Martin
Chris Martin

Opened acct in branch (NC) today. Was able to open a new acct type called ‘Free Checking + Extra Time’. No min bal, no monthly fees. Banker also said I could put the $15k in a 5 month 2% CD and that would count towards the $15k min bal needed for bonus, could keep zero in checking (no min bal account). I did not open the CD today (I have 45 days to do so) but am planning to go back and do so in next week or so.

Chris Martin
Chris Martin

I misstated the $15k versus $15,500 requirement. The banker told me (in NC) that the $500 bonus does require an additional $15k, for total combined deposit balances of $15,500. I have since opened a 2% APR 5 month CD with $15k, leaving $500 in checking. I did this at another branch because I was traveling; the branch rep at 2nd branch confirmed the same info as told to me at opening branch. After 60 days, I will remove $500 from checking (it is a no-fee checking acct. as mentioned in my previous post) and then wait for CD to expire 90 days later (5 months total) to withdraw the $15k. (plus my $500 bonus of course, when it posts).

Someone commented it was surprising a bank did not have online applications in this day and age. They have do online apps, of course, but for some bonus offers they want you to come into the branch in hopes they can establish a personal relationship in hopes you will become a long-term customer, not just someone who will take the money an run. Banks are not stupid, they know bonus offers will lead to some temporary customers who just want the bonus, but also some new permanent customers. They may then decide that the proportion of new accounts that ‘stick’ will be higher when they make you come into the branch. BTW, most of the branch reps I have dealt with when complying with various in-branch requirements (several different banks) have been a pleasure to work with, so it is certainly not an onerous requirement for what is nearly free money.

IS250
IS250

I’ll be in Tampa next month for a trip. Hopefully I’ll be able to open an account being out of state (prior DP’s show that people were successful but have not seen a DP recently).

Ping
Ping

it will be appreciated if you report back your DP.

Jose Espinola
Jose Espinola

I opened an account using my PA DL about a month ago

IS250
IS250

Awesome. I figured it would still work but good to see recent successes.

Mimi
Mimi

Successfully opened account with out of state DL in Central FL while on spring vacation.

Jeff
Jeff

No branches within 50 miles of me (upper MI) but there are branches in my state (lower MI). Fingers crossed I can go in-branch and open an account in IL when I go to Chicago in July to visit friends/family.

Celia
Celia

Jeff Make sure to double check the locations when you visit. They’re closing about 1 in 5 on July 9 as a result of their takeover of mbfinancial.

Jeff
Jeff

Good tip. Thanks.

Anon
Anon

You need to deposit $15,500, not $15,000. The terms and conditions says you need to raise the initial $500 BY $15000, not TO $15,000:

“To qualify for the $250 checking bonus, open a new Fifth Third Essential, Enhanced, Preferred, Free or Free Checking plus Extra Time checking account by 10/31/19 and reach a balance of $500 within 45 days of account opening and maintain $500 as a minimum daily balance thereafter for 60 days. The $250 checking bonus does not require any additional activities. To get the additional $250 bonus, you must meet the requirements above and also increase total deposit balances by $15,000 within 45 days of account opening and maintain that increased balancein total deposit balances thereafterfor 90 days.”

Lily
Lily

I disagree. What you quoted was the previous promotion terms (when they also had the $250 option). This promotion is straightforward for $500 bonus and the terms clearly says 0 opening balance and then build up to $15k.

Anon from OP
Anon from OP

“What you quoted was the previous promotion terms”

What happened in the past has changed. When I signed up earlier last week, I read the terms and conditions. It clearly says the words “increase total deposit balances by $15,000”

If you have the terms and conditions from the current promotion which differ than my own, I’d like to read them. Even if you have the earlier promotion’s terms and conditions: list them here with the relevant wording to defend your claim and we can compare it.

Is it possible they used the old terms and conditions. Sure. However you don’t want to take anything to chance and make sure to have a total of $15,500 if 5/3 goes the way of IBERIA bank and obfuscates rules to prevent people from obtaining their bonus.

Aks
Aks

This is much better then $550 bouns for 20k deposit for 90 days.
You can park your money in 9 months promotional CD for 2.57%.

MCT
MCT

How can I do this? Where is the information about a 2.57% promotional CD?

Aby
Aby

I did the $400 bonus for 15k deposit last December 🙁

petejp
petejp

It is kind of baffling to me that banks still exist that do not have online applications.

victor
victor

I just redeemed a similar offer that I received in the mail in FL but the deposit amount was only $500 with 90 day retention. 4 months of $11 fees are okay with me. They will 1099 you on it though.

Celia
Celia

Why not just keep the $1500 in there instead of paying the $44 in fees? We did this at the end of last year for just the checking part. $1500 initial deposit, left it in, no fees.

Worst customer service though. It was painful opening the account, and closing should have been easy but they mucked that up too.

Daniel
Daniel

I can’t even find a way to open an account online, so I think you’ll definitely need to take this into a branch. There is a phone number to open an account, they might be able to apply the promo code that way. I haven’t tried it yet though.

767
767

If you open in branch, can you close online or otherwise close without having to go to a branch again?

Bonus_Chaser
Bonus_Chaser

Yes.
I’ve opened in branch and closed 3 months later via SM.

767
767

Very helpful thanks.

Darrell
Darrell

Great find, 13.3% return. Plus I need a local checking account to be able to deposit cash.

missjenniferd1
missjenniferd1

i have to wait 3 more weeks for my 12 months since i closed the previous account, but after that, i’m going to do the $500 deal, thanks!

Accelerating Alpha
Accelerating Alpha

Just left the bank. I did NOT need a $500 initial deposit. But, I just transferred $10k over from my main bank. $10k is the daily limit.

creditGuyInDixie
creditGuyInDixie

I just opened my account on Saturday July 6. Details below. * I used the link provided in this DoC article. As others observe it caused a promotion code to be emailed to me. Mine was 16 digits and included letters and numbers. That code then must be taken into a branch. * I took the code into my local branch and the banker seemed very knowledgeable. He carefully typed the long code into his system and came up with a promotion very similar to what Anon describes in post #77799 of this thread. Namely, that the fine print I was given by the banker clearly show that in order to get any bonus…. (a) a $500 initial deposit was required first. (b) At that point you become eligible for a $250 bonus (though you have to keep the account at least $500 for 60 days, etc.) (c) Should you wish to become eligible for an additional $250 bonus, you must make additional deposits totaling 15k, but these extra deposits must be made made after the initial $500 goes through. (c1) The resulting $15,500 (or greater balance) must be kept for 90 days as per the DoC description. (c2) It can, however, be kept in any combination of accounts, including CDs or their money market. I wonder if the bankers who told people they were not required to deposit $500 meant that opening the account does not require that — which is true. That’s different from the fine print for what is required to get the promotion. It’s also possible that the 16-digit number I was sent was to the older promotion and other people are being sent a code to a newer promotion that does not split the bonus into two pieces (could that be dependent on state? date of application?). Some states offer a free checking account (no monthly fees, no minimum balance) to which the promotion is also linked. I am a resident of Georgia so I was given access to that option. The takeaways from my end, based purely on the fine print I saw, are these: Consider opening a free checking if you can Consider whether a free checking and a $250 bonus works better for you than pursuing the additional $250 (which requires an extra 15k). If you pursue the extra $250 bonus ($500 total) be sure to make an initial deposit of $500,… Read more »

El Cheapo
El Cheapo

Thanks for the details. This is just what I was looking for.
I will pull my $25K emergency fund at my local Capital Bank where the promotional period of 2.02% is expiring at the end of this month, and apply it to the 5th3rd promo locally, where I’ll be over a year closed as of 8/7.
By chance, do you know where I can see details online for the high interest savings rate of 2.x% with 25K? Is that a year long promo rate?

DP719
DP719

Best if you go into the bank and ask for options to park the 25k. I believe there is also a short term CD option.

missjenniferd1
missjenniferd1

excellent detailed post, upvoted, and thanks! this is how i took the details to be also, except i just planned to go in with $15,500, but your detailed post makes more sense according to the wording in the fine print.
im going to look into the rates for their savings/cd’s etc, so i can see what i want to open. i have to wait another month before i can open because of the date of my previous account.
it does state this info in my email since i emailed myself the coupon, if you scroll down, there’s a fine print below your offer in your email that states you can open savings or cd’s for the “increased $15k” part of the balance, and it would definitely make sense to put it in something that’s earning a decent rate. thanks for the reminder.

El Cheapo
El Cheapo

Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll post what the interest rate is on 25k in my area when I open the accounts in a few weeks.

From the email:

Total deposit balances are defined as your total checking, savings and/or CD balances and the increased balance may be in any of these accounts.

DP719
DP719

I signed up a similar deal in June, using a coupon in the mail. I went to 53 with a book of checks. Banker accepted two checks from me, one for $250 (our coupon deal only requires $250 and not $500 deposit, for a $250 bonus) and another check for $20k to get a 9 month CD at 2.5% (the rates were higher then…) This qualifies me for another $250 bonus. I suppose depending on the branch, you could do both at the same time. I have another mailed-in coupon and will do it for a family member to deposit $250 for a $250 bonus!

DP719
DP719

DP: I signed up on 06/03 and $250 bonus was deposited to my account on 08/03! Didn’t realize until I checked my account today. I think a poster had asked whether it is 45 days and then 60 days before you get the bonus so the answer is no. Very nice!

DP719
DP719

Signed up with family member today. With the mailed in coupon, she opened a ‘fee free’ checking (available only in a few states, including Illinois). The mailed in coupon offer is better than the online version since you only have to deposit $250 to get a $250 bonus in 55 days (45+10). Bank is vigorously promoting the Relationship Money Market account at 2% rate guaranteed to 12/31 that requires a $25k minimum balance. They also have a 5 month CD at 2%, and a 9 month CD at 2.25% where you only have to deposit $15k to satisfy the additional $250 bonus requirement.

DP719
DP719

Got my days wrong – need to keep the $250 for 60 days (not 45), and bonus will post in 10 days. This is easy money if you are in their market area.

Back to Top ↑