TRIO® Credit Card From Fifth Third Bank Review
3% cash back at restaurants, 2% cash back on gas and at drug and grocery stores ($1,500 combined spend each quarter)
10,000 bonus points (worth $100) after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles with no annual fee
(This offer is now EXPIRED)
The TRIO® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank is great if you don’t spend too much on your card, but still want to earn cash back when you buy groceries and gas, or when you dine out.
The card offers good basic perks, though it doesn’t have some of the benefits cards for higher credit scores deliver.
Even so, it’s a great way to earn cash back without overpaying interest every month, and includes some useful security features. With a favorable earn rate and worthwhile travel perks, adventurous cardholders can quickly gain cash back rewards to spend where they want.
TRIO Credit Card Overview
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance card that lets you gain steady cash back rewards every month, TRIO® credit card from Fifth Third Bank is an intriguing option. The card offers a tiered rewards model that benefits customers who love dining out and pay for gas and groceries with their card.
While its standard earn rates are somewhat low for the industry, the ability to earn additional cash back on gas, groceries, and dining out makes up for it.
One of the best advantages the card delivers is a 12-month introductory 0 percent APR period for balance transfers, though not for purchases.
This card is meant for users with good credit. It has a standard industry rates ranging from 15.49%-24.49%* Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers for purchases and transfers once the introductory balance transfer period concludes. It does include fees for transfers and advances, though it eschews annual fees and foreign transaction fees, which some cards include.
I had the chance to try this card out, and have been happy with how easily my cash rewards account has expanded, as well as the competitive interest rates we received.
With some excellent travel benefits from Mastercard thrown into the mix, as well as zero foreign transaction fees, the TRIO card presents a great blend of perks and reliability that makes it a solid cash back card.
For customers with good credit who want an easy way to accumulate rewards, the TRIO card might be an ideal option.
TRIO Credit Card Rewards and Benefits
Though it lacks some of the bells and whistles some cash back cards offer, the TRIO card still delivers helpful added-value features and benefits for cardholders. These include great travel benefits, along with a tiered earn rate that can let responsible customers quickly rack up cash rewards.
Tiered cash back
One of the most beneficial attributes of the TRIO credit card is how easily it empowers customers to swiftly earn cash back, but, it isn’t designed for customers who use their card heavily. Cardholders can earn three percent when dining out at restaurants, two percent when spending at grocery and drug stores, as well as gas stations, and one percent cash back on all other purchases.
The first two cash back rates are only available for total spending up to $1,500 for the combined purchase categories each quarter, while the one percent rate is unlimited.
Additionally, customers can pad their cash rewards account with a $100 bonus when they spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening their account. While this introductory bonus is lower than some of its competitors, the TRIO card’s other earn rates make up for it with quick quarterly boosts and a steady trickle of cash back rewards every month.
I was a little surprised to see that TRIO card’s cash rewards do expire. Rewards points for the TRIO card generally expire within three years of being accumulated. However, you can redeem your points as a check, an electronic deposit into your Fifth Third bank account, and even use them to pay down an existing Fifth Third loan. I would have liked to see the ability to withdraw cash rewards from an ATM, similar to the feature that some competitors supply.
Shopping and security benefits
When I make larger purchases with my credit card, I enjoy knowing my goods are protected. The TRIO card offers some low-key, but essential perks that make shopping a less stressful experience. Customers can rest assured they’re obtaining the best price on any purchase thanks to the company’s price protection guarantee. If a cardholder discovers a lower price for a new item, they may be eligible to have the price difference repaid to their account if the necessary conditions are met.
Moreover, all purchases made with the TRIO card are qualified for double the manufacturer’s warranty. This advantage is extended for up to two years, but is a nice perk that not all competitors readily match. For me, it means I can buy more expensive items without stressing or fussing about them as much.
The TRIO card is also digital payment optimized, so cardholders can add them to digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, as well as the Fifth Third Masterpass digital payment system. The company also complements the card with standard security benefits including zero liability from unauthorized purchases and chip technology.
Finally, we appreciated that the TRIO card includes MastercardID theft protection, which enables cardholders to access a special resolution service and gain assistance when working to recover their credit standing.
Coverage for travelers
With the TRIO card, customers gain access to Mastercard’s comprehensive travel benefits membership. For individuals who spend time at airports or abroad, this includes some key perks that can make their travel experience significantly smoother.
One of the most advantageous attributes is membership to the Mastercard Priceless Cities program, which offers exclusive access to private events, tickets to in-demand events, and other similar perks. Moreover, cardholders get access to airport and travel concierge services to expedite their travel, planning, and vacations. Importantly, it also grants customers some extra protections when traveling abroad.
TRIO Credit Card Rates and Fees
While the TRIO card is meant for users with good to excellent credit scores, the card does include some variable interest rates that rank near the upper end of the industry range. Overall, however, the card remains competitive and a worthy choice for users seeking a no-hassle cash-back card.
We’d recommend this card only if you’re confident you can pay off the balance in full and on time each month.
The TRIO card does not come with the lowest APR available on the market, but its rates are standard for purchases and transfers. I would have liked to see an introductory 0 percent APR period for purchases, a benefit some cash back cards offer, but was happy to see the company does include the 0 percent rate for balance transfers during the first 12 billing cycles.
The TRIO card offera a straightforward APR range for both transfers and purchases of 15.49%-24.49%* Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers. Cash advances carry a slightly higher rate, with an APR of 26.49%* Variable. It’s also positive to see Fifth Third Bank doesn’t punish cardholders severely if they miss a payment, with no penalty APR to speak of, and you can avoid interest on purchases entirely if you pay your balance in full by the due date.
Fees for the TRIO Credit Card are a mixed bag, with some great value on annual fees but high rates for other activities. But, the card has no annual fees. Moreover, there are no fees on any foreign transactions or purchases made abroad, adding even more benefits for travelers making purchases with the card.
However, if you’re seeking to make a balance transfer or access a cash advance, you can expect some fees that may quickly pile up. Balance transfers carry a fee of $5 or four percent—whichever is higher—while cash advances and convenience checks have a slightly higher fee of $5 or 5% (whichever is higher). This may seem low, but it can quickly expand when transferring higher amounts. The card is great for customers with lower balances, but if you’re working to transfer a large existing balance, there may be more suitable alternatives.
While there is no penalty APR, the company does charge up to $39 for late payments.
Pros & Cons
- Strong Bonus Rewards — Earn 3% cash back on dining and 2% back on gas and grocery purchases.
- Great Sign-up Bonus — This card has a $100 signup bonus.
- Low Fees — This card has no annual fee.
- Limited Bonus Rewards — You only earn bonus cash back on your first $1,500 spent each quarter.
- High Minimum Spending Requirement to Earn the Sign-up Bonus — $100 signup bonus requires a relatively large $1,000 in spending within 90 days of account opening.