Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card: The absolute best 0% intro APR offered by a rewards credit card

Why we like this card: Anyone who values simplicity will dig the Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card’s easy-to-use cash back rewards structure. It also comes with a (nearly) unprecedented intro APR offer that can help you catapult out of high-interest debt.


  • No annual fee
  • Solid 0% intro APR offer
  • Simple rewards structure


  • Below-average return rate
  • No welcome offer
  • Must have a previous relationship with Fifth Third

Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card: Overview


  • Intro: 0% intro APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers (then 16.24%—27.24% Variable)
  • Purchase: 16.24% to 27.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer: 16.24% to 27.24% Variable (plus a fee of $5 or 4% of your transferred amount, whichever is greater)
  • Cash advance: 29.99% (plus a fee of $10 or 5% of your cash advance, whichever is greater)

Annual fee: $0

Foreign transaction fee: $0

Convenience check fee: Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each check, whichever is greater

Late payment fee: Up to $40

Minimum interest charged: $1.50

The Fifth Third 1% Card isn’t a ground-breaking product. You’ve seen all of its benefits before.

But a solid credit card offer doesn’t have to be innovative. This card cobbles together a few key benefits that make it a serious contender for multiple demographics. For example, the card comes with an incredible 0% intro APR offer. No credit card on the market presents more generous terms than the Fifth Third 1% Card at the time of this article publishing.

The card also waives foreign transaction fees, meaning it’s a good option for those planning to travel internationally. This is quite a rare feature among no annual fee credit cards; many will tack on a fee of up to 3% when your transaction is processed outside the U.S.

To boot, the card doesn’t charge an annual fee. That means you can keep it for as long as you want without paying any sort of membership. Even if your credit card goals migrate away from the Fifth Third 1% Card, you can still keep it open just to bolster your “length of credit history,” which accounts for 15% of your overall credit score. Just remember to swipe the card once or twice every six months to keep the card from being proactively closed by the bank from inactivity.

Curiously, the card charges a lower fee for convenience checks than it does for cash advances. Convenience checks are effectively cash advances—you can write them to anyone (including yourself), and a portion of your credit limit will be used when they’re cashed. If you need to liquidate your credit line for some reason (it should be a last resort), this card gives you a cheaper-than-usual way to do it.

Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card: Rewards

Earning and redeeming rewards with this card is extremely straightforward.

You’ll get a fixed 1% back on all purchases, so you don’t have to mentally juggle bonus categories. In truth, this is a subpar return for your spending. There are plenty of no annual fee credit cards that offer a flat 1.5% return (or more). If your primary motivation for opening this card is to earn cash back, you should keep looking. We’ll recommend alternate cards below.

Does Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card offer a new customer bonus?

Unfortunately, the Fifth Third 1% Card does not offer a new customer bonus the previously mentioned intro APR offer.

How to redeem Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card rewards

The Fifth Third 1% Card technically earns “Rewards Points” which can be cashed out at 1 cent each. While the card gives you a handful of ways to redeem, they all result in that same value of 1 cent per point.

Statement credit

Perhaps the most streamlined way to redeem your rewards is as a statement credit on your card—or any Fifth Third loan, for that matter (auto loans, mortgages, installment loans, etc.). It’ll lower your balance, though it won’t count as an actual payment. In other words, you’ll still have to make any minimum monthly payment you might have.

Direct deposit

Equally simple is to request a direct deposit into your Fifth Third checking or savings account. You should see the credit within two weeks of your redemption date.

Automatic redemptions

Fifth Third even allows you to set up auto-redemption, which will apply your rewards balance either towards your credit card statement, as a direct deposit into your bank account, or toward the principal of your Fifth Third mortgage loan. This takes every bit of elbow grease out of the redemption process.

Additional benefits

The Fifth Third 1% Card is a Mastercard, and thus it is eligible for Mastercard benefits in addition to some Fifth Third-specific perks. For example, you’ll get:

  • Cell phone protection: Receive up to $800 per claim (maximum two claims or $1,000 per 12-month period) when your phone is lost or stolen. You’re subject to a very reasonable $50 deductible. To qualify, simply use the Fifth Third 1% Card to pay your monthly phone bill.
  • Lock and unlock your card: Easily turn off your card’s payment ability within the Fifth Third mobile app. This comes in handy for when you misplace your card but aren’t ready to cancel it.
  • Identity theft protection: Enroll in a monitoring of the dark web for sensitive personal information, high-risk transaction monitoring, credit bureau monitoring and more to mitigate the risk of fraud.
  • Contactless payments: Use the Fifth Third 1% Card touch-free at an eligible point of sale. You can also add the card to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Is the Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card right for you?

The Fifth Third 1% Card is by no means a bad credit card. Its lack of annual fee and foreign transaction fees make it a very customer friendly companion for your wallet. And automatic cell phone insurance when paying your monthly phone bill is an exceptional feature for a no annual fee credit card. But its otherwise lack of ongoing perks and low return rate prevent it from standing out from other similar cards.

However, there is one type of customer for which the card is a clear winner: the card’s 0% intro APR. The ability to avoid interest for a whopping 21 months on both purchases and balance transfers is extremely rare—and the cards that offer similar terms don’t earn any rewards at all. All of a sudden, 1% cash back doesn’t look so bad.

Credit cards similar to Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card

Once the Fifth Third 1% Card’s 0% intro APR offer has expired, the card has a relatively weak offering when compared to other no annual fee cash back credit cards. Weigh it up against these contenders and tell me I’m wrong.

Citi® Double Cash Card vs. Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card earns 1% back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay off that purchase (fulfilled as Citi ThankYou points). That’s effectively 2% everywhere—double the return rate of the Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card.

But here’s the tradeoff: The card only comes with 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (after that, the variable APR will be 19.24%–29.24%, based on your creditworthiness). If those terms will work for your situation, it could be well worth the opportunity to earn more rewards for your spending.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® delivers an all-around higher earning rate than the Fifth Third 1% Card—though to maximize your earnings, you’ll have to pay attention to a few bonus categories. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery service)
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases

Plus, the card comes with a very intriguing welcome bonus: During your first year of card membership, Chase will double the rewards you earn. That means you’ll effectively earn between 3% and 10% for your purchases during your first year.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® also offers 15-month 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers (then 20.49%–29.24% variable APR). Again, not as generous as the terms offered by the Fifth Third 1% Card. But again, the high return rate will mean the card is valuable long after the intro APR period ends.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card worth it?

The Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card is worth it for those looking to escape high-interest debt. This card has the most generous 0% intro APR offer of any rewards credit card issued by a major bank.

What is the APR for the Fifth Third 1% Card?

The Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card incurs a purchase APR of 16.24% to 27.24% Variable. It’s unwise to carry a balance month to month with this (or any) credit card.

Is the Fifth Third 1% Cash/Back Card the best Fifth Third credit card?

Fifth Third offers a family of no annual fee cash back credit cards, some of which offer up to 2% back on all purchases. The Fifth Third 1% Card doesn’t offer the best return rate for spending, but it’s the clear winner for anyone searching for a lengthy 0% intro APR window. 

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

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