Posted by William Charles on August 22, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on August 22nd, 2018 | by William Charles

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[FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MI, NC, OH, TN, WV, In Branch] Fifth Third $200 + $200 Checking Bonus – Direct Deposit Not Required

Small update: You don’t actually need to open in branch. After you e-mail yourself the coupon it’s possible to open the account via phone. Still not as easy as online opening, but at least you don’t have to go into a branch. Hat tip to reader Dan.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $400
  • Availability: Only in the following states: FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MI, NC, OH, TN, WV. Must be opened in branch  (may be only for those within a 50-mile radius of a branch).
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Maintain $500 for 60 days or Maintain $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
  • Expiration date: September 30th, 2018 December 31st, 2018

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Fifth Third is offering a checking bonus of up to $400, bonus is broken down as follows:
    • Get a bonus of $200 when you open a new fifth third checking account and reach a balance of $500 within 45 days and then maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 for 60 days from the date the balance requirement is reached
    • Get an additional $200 when you meet the requirements listed above and increase your total deposit balances by $15,000 within 45 days of account opening and maintain a minimum daily balance of $15,000 for 90 days

The Fine Print

  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them
  • 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

Avoiding Fees

If you’re in an area that has free checking, that account is also eligible.

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

Update: Deal is better than first thought as it looks like you can put the $15,000 into an 11 month CD that earns 2% APY.

Previous best offer was $300 (same requirements as the $200 bonus in this one), so this is basically an extra $100 for keeping $15,000 deposited for 90 days. If those funds were put in a 2% account you’d earn $74 so the deals are similar in that respect (although you could have the funds in an account earning up to 5% APY). We also haven’t seen the $300 bonus since last year and even then it has only been offered once, the standard bonus is $200 (sometimes $250). Another downside to this offer is that it requires opening in branch. I think if you have the $15,000 in funds available I’d do this deal, otherwise definitely just wait for a bigger bonus to come along. I’ll be adding this to our best checking account bonus page.

Big thanks to reader, Preserve who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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I wonder if the additional $15K savings can go into the 11 Month Promo CD at 2% that they list. Looks like yes from the fine print….

For most of these type of deals I wouldn’t expect that to work, but in this case it looks like it does.

“Total balances are defined as your total checking, savings and/or CD balances and the $15,000 balance may be in any of these accounts. ”

The only catch is you’re then committing yourself to 11 months rather than three.

William Charles

The terms state that free checking is eligible for the bonus in places it’s available. I’m guessing they only offer that in very few (any?) places. Definitely not available here in Kentucky.

The bonus does work for free checking if you are in an area that is eligible for it. I did it four months ago and the bonus posted. Free checking is eligible in Florida, georgia and some parts of Kentucky and Indiana

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Any DP’s of out of staters opening an account successfully?

I’m in state and can’t even open because I’m not close enough to a branch

Worked for me and SO last year as VA residents, opened account in IL.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Thank you for the replies I’m attending college in Ohio and a branch is 2 miles away so I am gonna give it a go.

Do you see the $200 + $200 offer online? Can you copy the link on the Apply Now button and share it here?

pardon for asking, but i just started going to college in OH too near a 5/3 (CWRU) – which one do you attend/?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

I called to apply Andrew Donshik

oh i mean where do you attend college – a churning-type meetup would be hilarious

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

John Carroll, didn’t have quite the grades to get into Case haha Andrew Donshik

Hey, you’re right nearby, drop me a line at some point (andrewdonshik (at) gmail)

Post says you have to open in branch, but you can open over the phone. That is what I did four months ago and the bonus did post

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

What phone number did you use?

I am pretty sure I used the phone number from googling “contact fifth third” which is tel:+1-800-972-3030

Were you out of state?

No – I was in state. Main purpose of posting about phone number is so one has an option to apply without going I to branch

I have been receiving 250+250 coupon for a while now, requirement is the same IIRC

Same. The Val-pack coupon comes every month. Last month it increased to $250 bonus for checking and $300 for $15k in savings for 3 months.

Scott, please look at the Val Pak offer carefully. I believe the terms are different. For the $400 offer will posted your total deposit balances of $15,000 “are defined as your total checking, savings and/or CD balances and the $15,000 balance may be in any of these accounts”

But for your $500 offer, I believe the language is different. It reads you must reach the $15,000 balance in the “Relationship Savings Account.” There is no mention of CDs counting toward the minimum balance.

So per Will’s math above, the 2% CD is worth an extra $74, netting you only an extra $26, not $100.

Can you please confirm for Everyone? Thank you!

You are correct. The $400 with 11 month 2% cd is basically the same net bonus as the $500 offer. However, since they net the same I’d rather have my money freed up after 3 months instead of 11 so I’m ready for the next bank promotion that comes along. I’m also betting rates will continue to rise and I’ll be able to get >2% in 3 months.

if I just closed an account within the last few months, I’m eligible?

“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”

William Charles maybe worth including in the Fine Print?

The direct link to the $200 only offer is https://www.53.com/product/apply/now?tag=essentialchecking&offercode=J6CWPP. Can some one who sees the $200 + $200 offer copy the link on the Apply Now button and share it here?

I saw your previous post that you last opened your account in branch in IL. Do you know if out of state apps via online would be eligible too?

Out of state online would be difficult. DoC notes that they may enforce the limit to be within 50-miles of branch. You can always try. At least ensure your offer page has the $200 + $200 promo listed and you take screenshots every step of the way on the application.

Be the DP. What is the worst that can happen? I am sure the answer is buried in one of the many 5/3 threads. Just try to apply and you should quickly find out.

$400 offer doesn’t let you apply online — only option is to email the offer code.

Email has a 16-digit offer code — tells you to apply in branch or call them

I only see the first $200 offer. Where’s the 2nd $200 offer (the one with the $15k requirement)?

Is the 2nd offer YMMV/targeted?

I’m located in IL.

Just google “fifth third bonus” in incognito — sometimes it shows the $200 offer so try multiple times.

There should be an ad on top “$400 Bonus – Fifth Third Bank | Open Your Account Today”

I had done that and also tried Google Advanced Search. Nothing about $400 offer was showing up for me, so I thought it’s probably geo-targeted. Paid Results on Google also still shows me the $200 offer only.

Where are you located?

Just outside Chicago — if you want to reply to this post with your email as text (blah at gmail) then I can send it from my browser right now (edit post out in few mins)

Thanks, appreciate the help/offer.

I finally was able to get it to show up. I’m on the Metra train and am outside of Chicago at this very moment and tried doing a Google search again using the Incognito Mode and the $400 Offer Ad showed up on the bottom. The top ad was still showing only $200.

Here’s the direct link to the $400 offer in case anyone else is looking: https://accounts.53.com/banking/offer/checking?&cid=cpc:goog:AO18_Checking:Brand+Banking+Stacked:fifth%20third%20banking_b&mkwid=s_pcrid__pkw_fifth%20third%20banking_pmt_b_pdv_m_slid__pgrid_58635442318_ptaid_kwd-297912557949_

If you don’t see the field where you can enter your email, view the page in Desktop Mode instead.

Can we just do the 1st $200 ($500 required within 45 days) rather than the entire thing? If so, is there a separate link for that?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

William Charles Once you email the bonus coupon to yourself it does show the option to call and give your offer code to the banker and open over phone. May be worth updating

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

They are chex sensitivitie they said I am not elegible for bonus and would offer me a “second chance checking account” which is not elegible for bonus.

I called them today and was told that i can open the account over the phone but i cannot get 2% CD over the phone. You can only get the 2% 11 month CD in branch.

I opened this in branch and banker said you need $15,500 total. $500 must remain in the checking account but the other $15,000 can remain in any account (Savings, Money Market, CD, Checking).

Thank you for posting that – I didn’t catch that and would have been $500 short when I visited the branch. Now that I read it carefully I see that the banker is right as it says “Get an additional $200 when you meet the requirements listed above and increase your total deposit balances by $15,000.”

An additional confusing point is that the $500 has to be maintained for 60 days while the $15,000 has to be maintained for 90 days.

A 2% CD is good, but it is better to re-purpose these funds for other bank bonuses. You get the bonus in 3-4 months, empty out the account and close it.

I live 30 miles away from a physical branch, but am in the neighboring state of SC (though we do have 5/3 atms in SC). I am assuming I would be ineligible?

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