Fifth Third Bank Momentum Checking review: No fees or minimum balances

A couple out shopping stop at a bank atm to withdraw funds from their Fifth Third Checking account.Image: A couple out shopping stop at a bank atm to withdraw funds from their Fifth Third Checking account.
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Fifth Third Bank checking accounts at a glance

Physical locationsApprox. 1,100 full-service locations in 11 states across the Midwest and East Coast; more than 50,000 partner ATMs nationwide
Getting startedOnline or in-person, no minimum deposit or balance required
Monthly service feeNo monthly maintenance fee
Overdraft fees$37 overdraft fee
Other feesNonpartner ATM fee of $3 per transaction, monthly dormancy fee if account unused for 12+ months
How to depositDirect deposit; Zelle; check deposits at a branch, ATM or via mobile; cash deposits at ATM or branch
How to withdrawPhysical checks, debit card, ATM, at a branch, Zelle
Notable feature“Extra Time” feature can help customers avoid overdraft fees by providing additional time to cover a purchase

Fifth Third Bank is a full-service financial institution that offers checking accounts, savings accounts, personal loans, mortgages, investment options and business banking services. There are several Fifth Third checking accounts, including versions with premium features like interest checking.

For customers looking for a low-cost checking account, Fifth Third Momentum Banking may be a good fit. The Fifth Third Momentum account doesn’t charge monthly service fees, nor does it have a minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirement.

5 things to know about a Fifth Third Bank Momentum checking account

Many banks charge customers monthly fees on checking and savings accounts, which can make an account unaffordable if you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Fifth Third Bank’s Momentum checking account doesn’t charge any monthly fees, so it may be a good option if you’re looking to save a bit. Here are some things you should know about the Momentum account.

No monthly service fees

Basic checking accounts from national retail banks can have fees that cost as much as $12 per month. You may be able to get that fee waived if you meet certain requirements, such as signing up for direct deposit or maintaining a minimum balance in your account, but those fees can still be frustrating.

With this Fifth Third Momentum account, there’s no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum deposit and no minimum balance required. Those benefits make it a good choice for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of money on hand to open a new account.

Avoid overdraft fees with ‘Extra Time’

Overdraft fees occur when a transaction you make takes your account balance below zero. If you’re signed up for overdraft protection, your bank may let the charge go through — and then charge you an overdraft fee. On average, overdraft fees average about $30.

With Fifth Third checking, you can take advantage of the bank’s “Extra Time” feature, which can help you avoid overdraft fees. When your account is overdrawn, Fifth Third will send you a notification the next business day. You’ll have until midnight Eastern time to make a deposit to your account to bring your account to $0 or higher. If you do, Fifth Third won’t charge you any overdraft fees.

Early paycheck access

With Fifth Third’s Early Pay feature, the processing time on direct deposits can be shortened. As a result, you can access money up to two days sooner.

Early Pay isn’t just for your paychecks. It also can be used for other deposits, including tax refunds. There are no fees, and you don’t have to enroll to benefit from it. Momentum customers can take advantage of this benefit by setting up direct deposit with their checking accounts.

Paycheck advances through MyAdvance

If you need cash quickly, say to cover an emergency expense, you can use your Fifth Third Momentum to get a cash advance through MyAdvance. Through MyAdvance, you can get anywhere from $50 to $1,000 without a credit check.

Fees range from 3% to 5% of the cash advance amount and are determined by how long your account has been active. The advance and the related fees are automatically taken out of your next qualifying direct deposit.

Keep in mind that cash advances like Fifth Third’s MyAdvance can be expensive forms of credit. You may be able to find lower-cost options through personal loans or payday advances.

Checking accounts aren’t available to everyone

Though Fifth Third’s Momentum account could appeal to people who are looking for a low-cost checking account, it’s not available to everyone.

Fifth Third Bank only serves customers in 11 states. If you live outside of its service area, you can’t open an account.

If you live in a state where Fifth Third Bank operates, you can open a checking account online. To do so, you must be 18 or older, have a Social Security number and a valid source of identification. To apply in person at a local branch, you must have a valid form of ID or a nonresident alien card.

Does Fifth Third have free checking?

There are several Fifth Third checking account options. If you’re looking for a free checking account, Fifth Third’s Momentum and Express accounts have no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.

How much does it cost to bank at Fifth Third?

This depends on which account you choose. For example, the Momentum account has no minimum balance or monthly service fee. By contrast, Fifth Third Preferred Checking costs $25 per month, but it has added features like interest checking, complimentary personal checks and free identity alert protection.

Not sure if Fifth Third Bank is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Citizens Bank EverValue checking: Citizens Bank’s EverValue account charges $5 in monthly fees but has no overdraft fees and no minimum balance requirements.
  • Capital One 360 checking: Capital One’s 360 checking accounts are available to customers nationwide, and there are no monthly fees, overdraft fees or account minimums.

About the author: Kat Tretina is a personal finance writer with a master’s degree in communication studies from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Obsessed with her many side hustles, she focuses on helping people pay down their … Read more.