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Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure: Some of the card offers that appear on this website are from companies which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). The site does not review or include all companies or all available products.

Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone. For a full list of our advertisers, see our disclosure page.

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

Fifth Third TRIO Credit Card: Is It a Good Value?

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"An excellent credit card for earning rewards at restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and drugs stores. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also good for use abroad."

Contents

The newly released TRIO℠ Credit Card is a strong contender for one of the best cash back credit cards of the year. Though it comes with a $1,500 cap on select shopping categories, it can still provide fantastic savings for the average consumer. The card is best for people who frequently shop at gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores and drug stores. If you tend to spend money at a wider range of merchants, consider other options.

This card is good for...

  • Low spenders who want a good credit card to pay at restaurants, gas stations, drug stores and grocery stores
  • Consumers who want a credit card to use when travelling abroad

This card is bad for...

  • High spenders who can get credit cards with better bonuses
  • Anyone who wants a simpler card without having to track different categories

Review: Is the TRIO℠ Credit Card Worth Applying For?

The TRIO℠ Credit Card qualifies as one of the best credit cards for dining out, especially for low-to-moderate spenders. The card offers an above average, 3%, rewards rate on purchases at restaurants, 2% at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores, on up t $1,500 per quarter. These are all above-average rates, and better than you get out of most credit cards. The only caveat to this is that $1.5K cap. Before you apply for this card, take an inventory of how far above it you would go. If it’s significant, then you might want to consider applying for a card without such limitations, like the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer.

A graph showing how the TRIO credit card compares to other offers based on average consumer expenditure data

The figures above are based on the average consumer expenditure data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, making it perfect for use when travelling abroad. Other credit cards will typically charge you as much as 3% when you use them outside of the country. Given that this card is also on the Mastercard network, you should not have difficulty finding foreign merchants that accept it.

The TRIO℠ Credit Card also provides users a standard suite of features that include things like price protection, and zero liability on fraud purchases. Though these are used in marketing copy for the card, shoppers should know that these can be commonly found on most credit cards out there, and aren’t anything special. Particularly disappointing was this card’s cellphone protection perk. It comes with a fairly low claim limit of $200, and a high $50 deductible. Other banks, like Wells Fargo, give far more generous terms on similar benefits.

Bottom Line: The TRIO℠ Credit Card is a solid everyday credit card for low-to-moderate spenders. It’s especially useful for people who tend to eat out a lot, and those who have significant gas, grocery or drug store expenses throughout the year.

TRIO℠ Credit Card Benefits and Features Explained

The TRIO℠ Credit Card earns you 3% cash back at restaurants, 2% at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores, on up to $1,500 spend per quarter in the combined purchase categories. That means if you spend $1,500 dining out and on groceries within two months, for the next month you’ll earn just 1% back at all three merchants – including drug stores. The clock resets every three months, and you get another $1,500 to spend within the bonus categories. Those who use the card optimally, can get anywhere between $30 and $45 extra cash back every three months.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
Purchase APR 14.24% to 23.24% Variable
Card Details
  • 3% cash back rewards at restaurants and 2% cash back rewards on gas and at grocery and drug stores, up to $1,500 spend per quarter in these combined purchase categories
  • 1% unlimited cash back rewards on all other purchases

Additionally, cardholders can get a $100 bonus if they spend $1,000 on their new credit card within the first 90 days of account opening. Taking out a cash advance or performing a balance transfer do not count towards this $1,000 requirement. The bonus, like all rewards on this card, is earned in the form of points that you can then trade in for cash back. The bank doesn’t specify a minimum amount needed for redemption.

Cellular Telephone Protection

Those who charge their wireless phone bill to the TRIO℠ Credit Card can be reimbursed if their device is damaged or stolen. Only phones purchased by the cardholder are covered. The coverage limit on this benefit isn’t as good as the ones we’ve seen offered through other banks, such as Wells Fargo. Fifth Third gives a limit of $200 per claim, and a $400 limit per 12-month period. You also cannot file more than two claims per year. When you submit a claim, you are subject to a $50 deductible.

By contrast, Wells Fargo’s cellular telephone protection benefit offers a $600 claim limit, capped at $1,200 per year. The deductible is also significantly lower at $25. That means the consumer is likely to pay less out of pocket in the event something goes wrong.

With how expensive smartphones get, replacing or repairing them can easily exceed the $200 offered by Fifth Third. Anyone thinking of this type of benefit as a major selling point should consider this in making his or her decision.

How Does the TRIO℠ Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?

It’s good to view the TRIO℠ Credit Card in the backdrop of other reward credit cards, to get a better sense of its value. We took a look at some of the most popular options out there and compared the cards below.

TRIO℠ Credit Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

The Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer is the better option for anyone who shops at a variety of merchants. This card offers 1% cash back whenever you make a purchase, and another 1% back when that transaction is paid off. This makes it one of the simplest reward credit cards to use. There is no need to worry about optimizing for categories, or thinking about how to redeem points. You simply shop and get the money credited to your account each month. The one downside to the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer is that it has no sign-up bonus. Therefore, if you choose to go with this card over the TRIO℠ Credit Card, you will be potentially missing out on an easy $100. It's also worth mentioning that the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer was named as one of this year's top cash back credit cards.

TRIO℠ Credit Card vs Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® has the potential to give significantly better returns to cardholders than the TRIO℠ Credit Card. Users get 5% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter, up to a quarterly maximum of $1,500. Purchases outside of that will earn users just 1% back. Though certain categories repeat year-to-year, there is an element of unpredictability to this card’s reward structure. If you can generally get 25% to 50% of your purchases throughout the year to fall into one of these bonus buckets, you’ll be coming out ahead with the Chase Freedom®. Otherwise, if this type of uncertainty bothers you, and you rather have a consistent and fixed rewards program, you should go with the TRIO℠ Credit Card.

TRIO℠ Credit Card vs BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card is a great everyday credit card, targeting similar categories as the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card. However, instead of giving cardholders a 3% rewards rate on restaurants, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card boosts its rewards on gas purchases. Users get 2% at grocery stores and at wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. This bigger cap can be more accommodating for consumers who tend to spend a little bit more. Anyone who doesn’t like to eat out, and spends a lot at the pump will get more out of the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card than the TRIO℠ Credit Card.

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.