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Best Banks In Memphis

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by Derek Silva Updated

Finding the Best Banks in Memphis

With all of the different banks and types of bank accounts available, it’s difficult to choose the best bank for you. To help you decide which banks in Memphis, Tennessee offer the accounts and services you need, SmartAsset created this list of the best banks in the city.

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
Bank of America Bank of America logo Read More 0.03% $100
  • Best National Bank
  • Branches/ATMs in 36 states
First Tennessee First Tennessee logo Read More 0.01% $50
  • Best Regional Bank
Regions Bank Regions Bank logo Read More 0.01% $50
  • Best Customer Service
  • Almost 50 branches
FSNB FSNB logo Read More 0.15% $5
  • Best Savings Accounts
Renasant Bank Renasant Bank logo Read More 1.51% $50

Best High-Yield Checking Account

First Citizens Bank First Citizens Bank logo Read More 0.03% $100
  • Best Student Account

How We Determine the Best Banks in Memphis

SmartAsset’s banking experts found the 15 most popular banks in Memphis, Tennessee based on the number of branches in the city. From those banks we selected the best national and regional banks, as well as the best savings and checking accounts. To make our choices, we considered minimum balance requirements, annual percentage yields (APYs), fee structures and overall accessibility.

Best National Bank: Bank of America

Bank of America

With more than one dozen branches in Memphis and more than 4,500 branches across the country, Bank of America is a great candidate if you’re looking for a large, well-established bank. While it doesn’t offer the highest APYs, it does have a wide variety of banking service and account types. Those looking to save can choose from multiple savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). If you’re specifically looking to save for retirement, there are a few individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to choose from.

Bank of America offers multiple credit cards for both individuals and businesses. It has loans and mortgages. You should also consider Bank of America if you’re looking to invest. Because Bank of America owns Merrill Lynch, a very large wealth management firm, it’s easy to talk with a financial advisor who knows how to help you meet your retirement goals.

Ultimately, Bank of America is a good choice if you want a full suite of services, all from one bank.

Best Regional Bank: First Tennessee Bank

Traditional Savings Account

First Tennessee Bank is headquartered in Memphis and has more than 30 branches in the city. That’s useful if you’re looking for a local bank that still has the accessibility of a larger brand.

No matter what you’re looking for, First Tennessee Bank has it. There are multiple savings and checking accounts. And while those accounts do come with monthly fees, you can typically waive them. The biggest downside is that the APYs are not as high as at some smaller banks. They are more on par with the large, national banks.

However, there is also the big advantage of being able to get accounts and services beyond just standard accounts. For example, you can open credit cards, including secured credit cards, which could be a smart choice for those who are just starting to build credit. The bank also offers help with retirement accounts, wealth management, annuities and multiple types of insurance. Need an auto loan or mortgage? First Tennessee Bank can help you.

Best Customer Service: Regions Bank

Regions Bank

While the APYs aren’t the highest, Regions Bank does offer a full suite of banking services and accounts. No matter what you’re looking for, Regions Bank will have it. You can also find branches and ATMs even if you travel outside of Memphis or Tennessee. (You can find the bank in 15 states across the South and Midwest.)

According to J.D. Power’s U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, Regions Bank offers one of the best banking experiences for consumers in the Southeastern U.S. This study takes multiple factors into account, including a bank's ability to handle customer issues, the frequency of its branches, its fee schedules and its product offerings.

Best Savings Account: FSNB

FSNB

FSNB has nearly a dozen branches in Memphis with about 30 more branches scattered throughout Tennessee. For those who frequently travel within the U.S., there are branches in nine other states.

Aside from the accessibility of the bank, there are multiple accounts for customers to choose from. Anyone looking for simple bank accounts should especially consider opening a savings account and then pairing it with a Basic checking account.

It takes only $5 to open a savings account and you earn an APY of 0.15% as long as you can maintain an account balance of $25. This APY is significantly higher than what you’ll get from many other banks. The account has a monthly fee but you can avoid it by maintaining a balance of at least $75. This is a great offer when you consider that many banks require you to have more than that just in order to open an account. Customers with higher account balances (more than $5,000) earn a higher APY of 0.35%.

As mentioned, you can also pair your savings account with a Basic checking account. Again, you need just $5 to open the account and you can waive monthly fees by maintaining a balance of $75. Throw in unlimited check writing and a free Visa CheckCard (similar to a debit card), and you’ve got the essentials covered.

On top of that, you can earn interest at an APY of 0.08% if you can keep a balance of $500. Many checking accounts that are free or have easily waivable fees don’t offer any interest. So even if you can only keep your account balance above $500 for a few months out of the year, you’re making much more than you would with another bank.

Best High-Yield Checking Account: Renasant Bank

Renasant Rewards Checking Account

Many banks do not offer interest-bearing checking accounts. That makes the Rewards Checking account from Renasant Bank stand out. Once you open an account, you will earn an APY of at least 0.03%. If you meet certain requirements, you can earn a significantly higher rate of 1.51%. That rate is higher than even some of the best savings accounts.

In order to earn that higher rate you will need to make at least 10 debit transactions and have at least one direct deposit or ACH payment per month. You also need to elect to receive your statements electronically. If you do those things, you will receive the highest APY. Other perks of the Reward Checking account include unlimited check writing, a debit card and up to $25 in ATM-fee refunds.

Beyond the checking account, Renasant Bank also offers savings accounts, CDs and retirement accounts. You can get loans, mortgages and credit or debit cards.

Best Student Account: First Citizens National Bank

First Citizens Bank

Banking fees can really eat away your savings, and this is especially true for college students, who are usually just starting to save money. The free checking account from First Citizens National Bank stands out, because it has no monthly fee as long as you elect to receive electronic statements within 60 days of opening your account. Once you open the account, there is no minimum balance and you get a free debit card. You also get access to the bank’s network of more than 475 ATMs. Even if you aren’t near an ATM or branch, you have access to the bank’s online and mobile banking services.

 

So the free checking account is a great starting point for college students, but First Citizens National Bank also has plenty of other accounts and services. You can start planning for your retirement through the bank’s financial planning services. You can get loans (auto, personal, etc.) and mortgages. There are also cash back and rewards credit cards available.

Tips for Finding the Best Bank Accounts

  • Before you open any accounts, you should consider your financial goals. The best bank accounts will be the ones that most help you to meet those goals. If you aren’t sure which accounts or banks can do that, consider talking with a financial advisor. An advisor is an expert who can give you guidance based on your specific financial situation.
  • It’s great to bank at a branch near you, but you can probably find higher rates online. Regardless of where you live, here are some of the best high-interest savings accounts.
Save more with these rates that beat the National Average
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Best Places to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places to save.

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Rank County Median Household Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where you live can have a big impact on how easy it is to save money based on several regional factors. Our study aims to find the most suitable places for people to save based on median household income, average living expenses and income tax burden.

First, we calculated the average cost of living in each county for a household with two adults (one working). We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living.

To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for a family making $50,000 annual income in each location. Next, we created an effective tax rate index for each county, which reflects the counties with the lowest ratio of income taxes to the assumed $50,000 annual income.

Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall best places to save score. We used a three-fourths weighting for purchasing power and a one-fourth weighting for tax rates. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect places that are better to save.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study