TRIO Credit Card review |

TRIO® Credit Card review – November 2018

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A rewards credit card with no annual fee and a long intro APR period on balance transfers.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want rewards on your spending and an intro APR period on balance transfers.
  • Pick something else if you want higher rewards and an intro APR period on purchases.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
Product NameTRIO® Credit Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases15.74% to 24.74% variable
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 12 billing cycles (then 15.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance Fee$5 or 4% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Reward Value per Dollar1% cash back
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

This is a good no-annual-fee credit card that lets you earn a high number of Real Life Rewards Points on dining, gas, groceries and at drug stores. You can redeem your points for a number of rewards, including cash back and travel.

You also get a long intro APR period on balance transfers, which can help if you’re stuck paying a high-interest rate on another non-Fifth Third Bank account.

Where does Fifth Third Bank operate?

The bank operates across 10 states with more than 1,200 locations.

  • Ohio
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

The perks

  • Signup bonus.

    Get 100 bonus points, worth $100, once you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of card membership. This may not be as generous as other cashback card offers, but it’s there for you regardless.

  • Cash back.

    Earn 3% back at restaurants and 2% on gas, groceries and at drug stores for up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. Get 1% back after the cap and for all other purchases.

  • Intro APR period on balance transfers.

    Enjoy a 0% intro APR period for the first 12 billing cycles following your account opening. After that, a variable APR of 15.74% to 24.74% applies. This is a decent balance transfer promotion, though it’s not the longest you’ll find.

  • No annual fee.

    You’ll get all these perks without paying an annual fee.

How many cashback rewards can I earn with the TRIO® Credit Card?

The TRIO® Credit Card offers elevated rewards on dining, gas, groceries and drugstore purchases. Here’s how much cash back you might earn based on this sample budget:

  • $500/month at restaurants x 3% = $180 cash back a year
  • $500/month on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases x 2% = $120 cash back a year
  • $250/month on other purchases x 1% = $30 cash back a year

In total, you’d earn $330 cash back in a year.

You’ll also like …

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    Use your card freely when you travel abroad and you won’t incur any fees. Other cards have a fee of up to 3% for each international transaction.

  • No penalty APR.

    You won’t pay a penalty APR if you make late or returned payments. Other cards have penalty APRs of up to 30% variable that can apply once you make a single late or returned payment. What’s worse is that you could be stuck with it indefinitely.

  • Cell phone protection.

    When you pay your cell phone bill with your card, you’ll qualify for Fifth Third Bank Cell Phone Protection. This covers costs up to $200 in case of theft or damage. Two additional phones on your cell phone bill are also covered. The Cell Phone Protection plan comes with a $50 deductible per claim.

  • Digital wallets.

    Add your card to Fifth Third Masterpass, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Microsoft Wallet to pay faster.

  • Mastercard® benefits.

    Receive special offers for events with Priceless® Cities and get an airport concierge to help you get through immigration quicker, assist you with baggage or get you transportation.

    Also receive a 10% discount at OneFineStay properties and more. On top of everything else, you’ll receive additional shopping and security benefits, including price protection, zero liability, identity theft protection and more.

What to watch out for

  • No intro APR for purchases.

    A long intro APR period for purchases can be a fantastic deal. Unfortunately, the card doesn’t offer one.

  • Potentially high APR.

    Without strong credit, you may be approved for a variable APR of up to 24.74%. Considering the average APR is around 16%, you might want to research other cards.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want a similar card from another bank.

    If you’re looking for high cash back on dining and groceries, consider the Savor® Rewards from Capital One®. Plus, you’ll get a long intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases, and the signup bonus is easy to get.

    The AARP® Credit Card from Chase has a similar offer for both cash back and intro period.

  • You want higher cash back.

    If you spend heavily on groceries, consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which offers a high 6% back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year and 1% back after that, 3% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% back on everything else. And you’ll get an intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases.

    The no-annual-fee Uber Visa Card by Barclays could also be a great choice. It lets you earn 4% back on dining, 3% back on travel purchases, 2% back on online purchases and Uber rides and 1% back on everything else you buy.

Fifth Third Bank credit cards

Compare cash back credit cards

Name Product Filter values Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit. Rates & Fees
14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
$0 to $99
19.99% to 25.99% variable
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

With this card, you get a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, your rate will be 15.74% to 24.74% variable.

The fee for each transfer is either $5 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater. This means you’ll pay $120 for a $3,000 balance transfer. Other cards have fees of 3%, which would lower the fee for the same transfer to $90.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for this card, you must be at least 18 years old and a citizen or permanent resident of the US.

You’ll need to provide:

  • Your full name and contact information.
  • Your residential status.
  • Your annual income and employment information.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • A valid driver’s license or state ID.

What credit score do I need?

To get the lowest APR and to get a high credit limit, apply with a credit score in the high 680s or more. It doesn’t hurt to have a low utilization as well.

You can still apply with a good credit score of 680 or higher, regardless.

What do customers say about the TRIO® Credit Card?

Users are generally happy with the card. Those who applied with a high credit score and low utilization are satisfied with the size of the credit line and the low APR they received.

The Better Business Bureau has accredited the Fifth Third Bank since 1928 and rates it with an A+.

How to apply for the TRIO® Credit Card

  1. Go to the Fifth Third Bank website and find the TRIO® Credit Card. Click Apply now.
  2. Fill out the form with your personal details.
  3. Review and submit your completed application.

How long will it take to get my TRIO® Credit Card?

Due to automated preapproval, you’ll likely get a decision within a minute. In the event that more information is needed, Fifth Third Bank will send an answer within 30 days. Upon approval, you should receive your card in the mail within seven to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download the Fifth Third Mobile Banking app. And use it to transfer money, pay your bills, track your transactions and manage your accounts. You can also find nearby ATMs and more.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 23 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. For late payments, you’ll pay up to $38. Balance transfers, cash advances and convenience checks also come with fees.
  • Customer service. For any questions you may have, call Fifth Third Bank support at 800-972-3030.

How do I redeem my rewards points?

Log in to your Real Life Rewards® account and redeem your points for:

  • Cash back. A direct deposit into your Fifth Third checking or savings account.
  • Gift cards. Select from a range of restaurants and retailers.
  • Merchandise. Shop from fashion and beauty products to electronics and sporting goods.
  • Travel. Arrange flights, hotels or car rentals with the Fifth Third Bank self-booking tool.
  • Loan and mortgage credit. Set up automatic redemption to help you pay off your loan or mortgage.
  • Experiences. Redeem points for culinary, entertainment and sporting events.

Bottom line

With cash back rewards, a long intro APR period on balance transfers and without an annual fee, this card has a lot going for it. It stacks up well with its competitors and even overshadows some of them with the variety of rewards you can get.

But if you’re still unsure if this is a good card for you, check out other cashback or balance transfer credit cards and compare your options.

Frequently asked questions


Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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