TRIO Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank Review – WalletHub Editors
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The Verdict: The TRIO® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank is best for relatively light spenders with good or excellent who want to earn bonus rewards at restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores. The TRIO Card offers 2% to 3% “cash” back in those purchase categories, you see, but only on first $1,500 that you spend each quarter. So you can earn a maximum of $45 in bonus rewards every three months, or $180 per year. All other purchases – including those in bonus categories once you’ve crossed the quarterly spending threshold – yield just 1% back. And that’s just the market average for a rewards card.
As a result, you should only plan to use the TRIO Card from Fifth Third Bank for $500 in bonus-category purchases per month. So it’s actually a better complementary card than an everyday workhorse. Fortunately, TRIO is well suited to such a specialized role. There’s no annual fee, which means you won’t need to spend a certain amount to get your money’s worth. Plus, you can qualify for the card’s $100 initial bonus, which requires you to spend $1,000 within 90 days of account opening.
Finally, it’s worth noting that while the TRIO Card does offer a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles your account is open, it also has a balance transfer fee of 4% (min. $5). So make sure to use a credit card calculator to see if the card is a good fit for you.
Below, you can learn more about the TRIO Credit Card.
- $100 Initial Bonus: If you charge at least $1,000 to your TRIO Credit Card from Fifth Third within 90 days of opening an account, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus points, redeemable for a $100 statement credit. In other words, you’ll earn the equivalent of 10% cash back on your first $1,000 in TRIO Card purchases, if you time things right. That’s a pretty good return, even if it is only average for an initial bonus.
Up to 3% Back on Purchases: You will earn 2-3 points per $1 for the first $1,500 that you spend in the following bonus categories each quarter: restaurants, gas, grocery stores and drug stores. More specifically, dining at restaurants yields 3 points per $1, while the other categories give you 2 points per $1. But the overall spending limit is for all of those categories combined.
The TRIO Card rewards you with 1 point for each $1 that you spend on all other purchases. And that’s actually a bit below what the average card offering points or miles brings to the table.
- No Annual Fee: TRIO won’t cost you anything just to keep. That not only saves you about $18.61 per year compared to the average card, but also makes TRIO a viable candidate for a secondary role in your spending arsenal. You don’t have to spend a certain amount to get your money’s worth, after all.
- Limited Availability: The TRIO Card is only available to people who live in these 10 states: Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.
High Regular APR: The TRIO Card’s regular APR is advertised as a range: 15.74% - 24.74% (V). And you’ll be assigned a specific rate from that range, based on your overall creditworthiness. But in any case, this aspect of the TRIO Mastercard offer doesn’t compare favorably to the rest of the market.
People with excellent credit can expect an APR of 14.56%, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. And the average cards for folks with good and fair credit charge around 20.93% and 23.25%, respectively. So despite requiring good or excellent credit for approval, the TRIO Card could charge interest at a rate more befitting someone with limited or fair credit.
Other Things to Consider
- Average Balance Transfer Offer: The TRIO Credit Card offers 0% interest on transferred balances for the first 12 billing cycles your account is open. That’s more than a month longer than the average balance transfer credit card will give you. But the TRIO Card also charges a balance transfer fee equal to 4% of the amount transferred or $5, whichever is more. In contrast, the average balance transfer fee is about 2.7%.
- Rewards Are Earned as Points: The TRIO Card doesn’t actually offer cash back rewards. You actually get points, which can devalue.
- Multiple Redemption Options: You can cash in your points for a statement credit, a deposit into a Fifth Third checking or savings account, or a payment toward a Fifth Third home loan. In any case, your points will be worth a penny apiece.
- Good Credit Required: You need good or excellent credit to get TRIO Mastercard. And we actually recommend a score closer to excellent (700+) for good approval odds. If you’re not sure where you stand, check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub.
Compared to the Competition
If you live in one of the 10 states that Fifth Third Bank serves, have good credit or better, and want an everyday rewards card, the Trio Card is a solid choice. But it’s not the only good option available. Below, you can see how it compares to some other notable rewards cards.
TRIO® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
|Rewards Rate||1 - 3% Cash Back||1 - 4% Cash Back||1 - 6% Cash Back||1.5 - 1.8% Cash Back||1 - 3% Cash Back|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||0% for 12 months||0% for 15 months||0% for 15 months|
|Transfer Intro APR||0% for 12 billing cycles|
Transfer Fee: 4% (min $5)
|Not Offered||0% for 12 months|
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
|0% for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers|
Transfer Fee: 3% for 120 days, then 5%
|0% for 15 months|
Transfer Fee: 3%
|Regular APR||15.74% - 24.74% (V)||16.99%* (V)||14.74% - 25.74% (V)||15.74% - 27.74% Variable||15.74% - 25.74% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||3.4 / 5||4.7 / 5||4.7 / 5||4.5 / 5||4.8 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
|Learn More||Learn More|
Rates & Fees
Rates & Fees
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