Whether they’re seeking low-cost startup financing or simply looking to build or rebuild their credit, the Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card is tailor-made for ambitious small business and midsize owners.
Its no annual fee, not even for authorized users, means it costs you nothing to keep around. It has a 9-month 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases, so it’s a great tool for low- or no-cost financing. It has a relatively low regular interest rate for qualified users. And its lineup of Mastercard-backed benefits is extensive for a no-annual-fee credit card.
On the other hand, this card doesn’t have a rewards program or sign-up bonus. It also doesn’t have luxurious travel perks such as airport lounge access, which is a big part of the reason why it will likely never make our best travel rewards credit cards list.
But it’s nevertheless a solid choice for business owners with simple tastes and straightforward spending needs. If you’re in the market for a new business credit card, here’s what you need to know about the Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card.
The Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card has a 9-month, 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases and balance transfers. During the promotional period, purchases and balance transfers do not accrue interest.
Once the introductory period ends, the purchase and balance transfer APR rises to range between 12.49% and 23.49%, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. It’s then a variable rate that changes with prevailing interest rates.
The cash advance APR is set at 24.99%, also from the day you open your account. The penalty APR is 29.99%.
This card has no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the total transaction amount. Balance transfers and cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 4%. Late payments cost as much as $39. There is no fee for additional authorized user cards.
Mastercard Easy Savings is a Mastercard-exclusive program for business credit card holders. Thousands of participating merchants offer small but meaningful discounts (technically instant rebates) at the point of sale. Discounts can range as high as 5% off the total transaction amount. To capture them, simply use your card as you normally would – Easy Savings does the rest.
The Easy Savings network includes fuel merchants, hospitality companies (including national hotel chains), and restaurants, making this a great option for business owners looking to save money dining out at restaurants.
Fifth Third Direct
Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card cardholders get complimentary access to Fifth Third Direct, a powerful money management and reporting suite for small and midsize businesses. Features include:
- A dashboard that shows your cash position, flows, bills due, and other items at a glance
- Tracking and reporting tools for accounts payable and receivable
- Modular design that lets you create sub-groups and adjust permissions on an individual level
- Customized alerts and notifications
Fifth Third ePay
Fifth Third ePay is a powerful payments suite that automates and streamlines accounts payable for growing businesses.
Mastercard-Backed Travel Benefits
This card has a slew of Mastercard-backed travel benefits that go above and beyond most competing cards’. These include:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with your card
- Travel accident insurance (a bare-bones form of travel insurance)
- 24/7 lost card replacement and cash disbursement around the world
- Travel assistance, including help with stolen or lost luggage)
- VAT reclaim service for taxes paid on foreign purchases
Additional Mastercard-Backed Cardholder Benefits
This card has a nice lineup of non-travel benefits as well, including:
- Extended warranties (up to 2 years) on items with existing manufacturers’ warranties
- Purchase assurance (reimbursement for items lost or damage within 90 days of purchase)
- Cash flow management tools that let you see how your authorized users are spending your funds at a glance
- MasterCoverage®, a separate assurance policy that protects “financial institutions and organizations from employee misuse of charge privileges up to a maximum limit of $100,000 per cardholder for programs that have 5 or more cards”
This card is designed for business owners with good credit. If you have serious credit issues in your past, such as a recent personal bankruptcy, your application could be denied. However, minor blemishes on an otherwise solid credit report aren’t necessarily disqualifying.
- No Annual Fee. The Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card has no annual fee, meaning there’s no downside to keeping it in your wallet for occasional use.
- Very Good 0% APR Purchase and Balance Transfer Promotion. This card has a 9-month 0% APR introductory promotion for purchases and balance transfers. It’s tailor-made for business owners looking for cheap or free financing for large capital investments or everyday purchases – provided they have adequate cash flow to pay off the charges before the interest-free period expires. Assuming that’s the case, this promotion can easily save hundreds of dollars in interest charges on major purchases. This promotion is also great for business owners dealing with high-interest balances on existing credit card accounts.
- Low Ongoing Interest Rate for Qualified Cardholders. Applicants with excellent credit are likely to qualify for this card’s minimum APR: just 12.49%. That’s lower than most business credit cards. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced balance-carrying option, the Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card is worthy of consideration.
- Excellent Mastercard-Backed Benefits. The Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card has an above-average lineup of Mastercard-backed benefits. The most valuable include complimentary insurance on rental cars paid in full with the card, extended warranties (up to two years) on items with existing manufacturers’ warranties, purchase assurance protection for certain stolen or damaged purchases, and a slew of attractive benefits for frequent travelers – including VAT reclaim, a must for anyone who spends heavily overseas.
- Mastercard Easy Savings Offers Attractive Spending Discounts. Though this card lacks a traditional rewards program, it’s not completely blind to your desire to earn a return on your spending. The Mastercard Easy Savings program entitles users to modest but welcome discounts at tens of thousands of participating merchants, including many national gas station, hotel, and restauranat chains. This benefit is similar to the OPEN Savings program available through Business Green Rewards from American Express OPEN.
- Complimentary Employee Cards. The Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card offers employee cards (authorized user accounts) at no additional charge. Many high-end business credit cards impose separate fees for authorized user cards, which can quickly add to the total cost of card membership.
- No Rewards Program. This card has no rewards program: no cash back, travel points, or any other loyalty scheme that provides a direct return on spending. If earning cash back or points is important to you, consider the Blue for Business Credit Card from American Express and Capital One Spark Cash for Business.
- No Sign-up or Ongoing Bonuses. To compound the lack of rewards, this card has no sign-up or ongoing bonuses. That’s a big drawback relative to competing business credit cards that entice new applicants with juicy sign-up bonuses. For instance, Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has an enormous sign-up bonus worth up to $1,000 when redeemed for travel. Capital One Spark Miles for Business has a solid bonus worth $500 when redeemed for travel.
- No Overdraft Protection for Fifth Third Deposit Accounts. The Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card doesn’t offer an overdraft protection transfer plan for Fifth Third Bank deposit account holders. That’s bad news for existing or prospective Fifth Third Bank account holders who want to avoid overdraft charges, NSF charges, and transaction failures.
- 3% Foreign Transaction Fee. The Fifth Third Commercial Credit Card has a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you frequently travel out of the U.S. on business, this is likely to be a problem – even after the Mastercard-backed VAT reclaim benefit. Many popular business travel cards, including Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express, waive foreign transaction fees altogether.
- Charges Penalty Interest. This card charges penalty interest at 29.99%. According to Fifth Third Bank, the penalty interest rate kicks in after just one missed payment and remains in effect for a minimum of 6 billing cycles thereafter. Needless to say, this isn’t ideal for cardholders who occasionally miss payments due to cash flow issues or unexpected, unavoidable expenditures.
Fifth Third Bank is one of many regional U.S. banks that issue personal and business credit cards to the general public – current deposit account holders and outsiders alike. Based in Ohio, it serves a wide swath of the industrial Midwest.
I eventually picked up a Fifth Third Bank credit card and checking account. Years later, I have nothing but good things to say about Fifth Third Bank. My point is this: the fact that you’ve never heard of a particular financial institution doesn’t mean that it isn’t on the up and up. Conversely, well-known national institutions can and do muck up, as countless consumer banking scandals attest.
So, if you’re in the market for a new small business credit card, don’t blow past Fifth Third’s offerings simply because you’re not sure you can trust an outfit that lacks household name status.