Poor/fair credit score? Try the Fifth Third Secured Credit Card

Fifth Third Secured Card review – August 2018

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Establish or rebuild healthy credit with this basic secured card.

  • Get this card if… you want to build or rebuild your credit.
  • Poor to fair credit score of 300 to 679 recommended.
Product NameFifth Third Secured Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$24
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases25.74% variable
Balance Transfer Fee4% or $5 of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate24.99% variable
Cash Advance Fee$5 or 4% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Minimum Interest$1
Late Payment Fee$38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

The Basics

The secured credit card offered by Fifth Third Bank is one of several that can help you build or rebuild your credit. Open your card by depositing as little as $300 into an interest-bearing Fifth Third savings account, and your deposit then becomes your line of credit, with a maximum of $5,000.

You’ll pay a $24 annual fee for as long as your account remains active. And though the 25.74% variable APR is quite high, you can avoid it by paying your bill in full each month. This card’s real value is consistent account reporting to the three major credit bureaus. Which means that with responsible spending and on-time payments, you’re soon on your way to graduating to an unsecured card — possibly one with travel or other rewards.

Unlike the few secured cards that come with cash back or rewards, Fifth Third’s does not. But it does come with price protection, Mastercard Global Service and smartphone protection: If you pay your monthly wireless bill with your secured card, your phone is protected from damage and theft.

One other caveat: You can’t apply for this card online. Instead, you’ll need to visit a Fifth Third Bank branch in one of the 10 mostly Southern states it services.

The Perks

  • Low starting deposit.
    Establish your line of credit by depositing as little as $300 or as much as $5,000 into your new Fifth Third interest-bearing savings account.
  • Consistent reporting to the bureaus.
    Fifth Third reports important account information to the three major credit bureaus to help you re-establish your credit.
  • Extra cellphone protection.
    Use this card to pay your phone bill each month and get protection against theft and damage for a maximum of two claims every 12 months.

You’ll also like …

  • Worry-free shopping.
    The card comes with price protection and extended warranty.
  • Travel benefits.
    Jet-set around the world with access to Mastercard Airport Concierge, Master RoadAssist roadside service and Mastercard Global Service.
  • Safety and security.
    Zero liability against fraud and Mastercard ID theft protection further secure this chip-enable card.

What to watch out for

  • $24 annual fee.
    Paying a fee can be well worth it by spending responsibly to build your credit.
  • Apply in store only.
    You’ll need to visit a Fifth Third Bank branch in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee or West Virginia to open this card.
  • High late fees.
    Missed or late payments come with a fee of up to $38.
  • Foreign transaction fees.
    This isn’t the best card for international travel given you’ll pay 3% of your transaction in fees.

Consider other cards if …

How to apply for the Fifth Third Secured Card

Qualifications

Apply for the Fifth Third Secured Card if:

  • You’re at least 18 years of age.
  • You’re a US citizen or permanent resident.

Required information

To apply for the Fifth Third Secured Card, you’ll need to provide:

  • Your full personal and contact information.
  • Details about your employment and sources of income.
  • Your residential status and monthly rent or mortgage amount.

Steps to take

Unlike other secured cards, you’ll need to visit a Fifth Third Bank branch to apply for the secured card.

How to apply Fifth Third secured credit card 1

Find your nearest bank with Fifth Third’s online branch and ATM locator.

How to apply Fifth Third secured credit card 2

Once the bank extends conditional approval, you’ll need to open a Fifth Third interest-bearing savings account and deposit at least $300. The deposit amount determines your credit limit.

How likely is approval?

Most secured credit cards welcome those with less-than-perfect credit. Fifth Third recommends a credit score of 300 or higher for its secured credit card.

How long will it take to be approved?

You’ll learn about your application’s status directly from the bank in seven to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Monitor your spending. Fifth Third’s online banking system lets you keep track of your spending and easily make payments online.
  • Avoid interest. Purchases come with at least 23 grace days before they start accruing interest. You’ll get no grace days on cash advances.
  • Avoid fees. Paying late can set you back by up to $38. Cash advances, balance transfers and overseas transactions also come with fees.
  • Customer service. For support, call 1-866-671-5353. You can also connect on Twitter at @FifthThird or on Facebook @FifthThirdBank.

Bottom line

While this card can help you build or rebuild your credit, you’ll have to apply at a Fifth Third Bank branch. Compare your options to find a similar card — even one with rewards or no annual fee.

Common questions about the Fifth Third Secured Card

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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