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Fifth Third Bonus: $150 For You, Charity

Fifth Third Bank is offering a unique sign-up bonus: It will pay you and make a donation to a cancer charity if you open a new checking account.

The bonus is worth $150 to you and $150 to Stand Up to Cancer, a charitable program of the Los Angeles-based Entertainment Industry Foundation.

To benefit both yourself and the charity, you’ll need to open a checking account with direct deposit and make three online bill payments within 90 days at the Cincinnati-based bank.

Opening an account requires a minimum deposit of $50.

If you make the online bill payments and receive direct deposit, you’ll receive your $150 within six weeks of making your third online bill payment.

The bank also will give $150 to Stand Up to Cancer. The charity was founded by film and media leaders to speed up cancer research and quickly get new therapies to cancer patients. Charity Navigator, which evaluates how charities use their money, gives Stand Up to Cancer’s foundation four out of a possible four stars.

The checking account offer is only available to new checking account customers through March 31.

Fifth Third has five checking accounts, but the eAccess Account and Essential Checking have the most reasonable terms for most customers.

The eAccess Account is designed for those who do all of their banking online. There are no monthly service fees, but you must have direct deposits totaling at least $500 per month. You can neither write checks nor receive paper statements.

Essential Checking has an $11 monthly service fee, but it’s not difficult to have that waived. Among the ways to avoid a charge, keep a combined balance of $1,500 in your checking and savings accounts.

Fifth Third operates in 17 states in the Midwest and South and has more than 1,300 branches. If you live in an area the bank serves, you can open an account in person or online.

For more information, visit www.53.com or call 800-972-3030.

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