Fifth Third simplifies its credit card rewards

Looking to make customers' finances less complicated, Fifth Third has introduced an easier-to-use cash back rewards credit card.

Called Trio, the new credit card automatically enrolls users to earn at least 1 percent cash back for every dollar charged. The card provides additional cash-back rewards for charges while eating out or shopping.

Customers get 3 percent cash back for charges at restaurants and they collect 2 percent for using their credit card at gas stations, supermarkets and drug stores. The additional points are for charges up to $1,500 per quarter.

A recent NerdWallet survey shows that almost one-third of rewards credit card holders don’t understand how they earn or redeem their rewards.

Fifth Third officials believe the new credit card will resonate with customers who want to earn rewards but want to avoid complexity. Another appeal of the card: categories earning bonus rewards don't change by the month.

“Understanding rewards programs should be simple,” said Jimm Bell, Fifth Third's director of consumer and small business payments. “Customers don’t want to stand at a register trying to remember which card they should use. … They want a single card that earns great rewards where they tend to spend most."

Rewards can be redeemed for cash back as a statement credit, deposited into a Fifth Third checking or savings account, or even to pay down a Fifth Third loan or mortgage. The new card also charges no annual fee or fees for purchases overseas.

The card comes out as some banks are looking to entice new customers with more generous rewards as the economy slowly improves and interest rates remain low.

For customers looking to pay off the plastic, Fifth Third has also introduced another card, called the Truly Simple Credit Card, which offer a zero percent interest rate for the first 15 monthly billing cycles and charges no annual fee.

 


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