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Verdict: With the Fifth Third Bank World Debit MasterCard, you can earn rewards points with every purchase that you make. But to avoid a monthly fee, you must sign up for a checking account with Fifth Third Bank, and you must spend at least $1,500 a month in signature-based debit card purchases. In fact, you can only earn rewards with signature purchases, too. This makes earning rewards with the World Debit MasterCard a bit more cumbersome than it is to do the same thing with traditional rewards credit cards.
Overview: The key to using this debit card wisely is to make “signature” purchases as often as you can. Such a purchase occurs when you use your debit card as a credit card — the money to complete your purchase will still be taken directly from the checking account attached to your debit card. Instead of entering a PIN to complete your purchase, you’ll sign a receipt, just as if you paid with your credit card. Only when you make a purchase in this way will you earn rewards points.
How This Card Works: Like all debit cards, the World Debit MasterCard must be tied to a checking account. When you make a purchase, the funds to pay for it will be immediately removed from your checking account. If your checking account does not have enough cash to cover the purchase, your transaction will be denied. The World Debit MasterCard does not have to be connected to a Fifth Third Bank checking account. However, if it’s connected to any other checking account, you’ll be stuck paying a monthly fee.
Travel and Shopping Benefits: You’ll receive one rewards points for every dollar’s worth of purchases that you make with this debit card. You can then redeem these reward points for gift certificates to restaurants and merchandise. You can also turn your points into deposits to a savings account or to help pay down another loan. There is no cap on the amount of points you can earn.
Fees: If you link your World Debit MasterCard to any checking account except for one issued by Fifth Third Bank, you’ll pay a monthly fee of $3.95. You’ll also pay this fee even if your card is hooked up to a Fifth Third Bank account if you don’t make at least $1,500 worth of signature debit card purchases in a month. You might also face fees if you use the card to withdraw money from ATMs not operated by Fifth Third Bank. These fees vary, but generally range from $1 to $4.
- Solid rewards program.
- No fees if you spend enough and hook up card to Fifth Third Bank checking account.
- No cap on the number of rewards points that you can earn.
- If you don’t spend enough, you’ll pay a monthly fee of $3.95.
- You’ll only earn rewards points with signature-based debit card purchases.