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.
|Ally Bank Read More||1.70%||$0|| |
|Bank of America Read More||0.03%||$100|| |
|First Tennessee Read More||0.01%||$50|| |
|CIT Bank Read More||1.85%||$100|| |
|FSNB Read More||0.15%||$5|| |
|Regions Bank Read More||0.01%||$50|| |
|Renasant Bank Read More||1.51%||$50|| |
|First Citizens Bank Read More||0.03%||$100|| |
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.
Ally Bank: The Top Savings Account
If you can handle the online- and mobile-only nature of Ally Bank, its accounts have a lot to offer. The Online Savings Account is perhaps the best choice, as it’ll help you save with a 1.70% APY that compounds on a daily basis. To put this rate into perspective, an opening balance of $10,000 would garner more than $746 in interest earnings over a four-year span. The account is also completely devoid of minimums and fees.
Although the Online Savings Account is Ally’s most popular account choice, its Interest Checking Account is a close second. To simplify cash withdrawals, account holders will get a free debit card and fee-free access to 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. As its name indicates, this account earns interest at a base APY of 0.10%. However, if you can manage to pull your minimum daily balance above $15,000, your rate will jump to 0.50%.
Mobile banking is becoming an increasingly important feature for many Americans. Ally customers have apparently received the bank’s app well, as it currently holds a combined rating of 4.35 stars out of 5 between the Apple and Android app stores. Through this platform, you’ll be able to view your account statements and transaction histories, find fee-free ATMs, deposit checks remotely and use Zelle®, a personal money transfer program.
Best National Bank With Branches in Memphis: 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
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 Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account
Traditional banks are notorious for low interest rates, but branchless alternatives such as CIT Bank are becoming formidable competitors. In fact, CIT’s Savings Builder account comes with an impressive 1.85% APY, though some strings are attached. For example, only account holders that maintain a $25,000 balance or deposit $100 a month will earn that rate. Otherwise, a 1.17% APY is applied to your balance. CIT calls for a $100 minimum for this account.
Is saving money your primary concern? If so, CIT has a multitude of savings products to pick from, including:
- Premier High-Yield Savings account
- Money market account
- 6-month to 5-year term CDs
- 2-year to 5-year jumbo CDs
- 1-year to 4-year “RampUp” CDs
- No-Penalty/11-Month CD
With an average rating of 3.85 stars out of 5 across Apple and Android users, the CIT mobile banking app offers a number of useful features. When you download it, you’ll be able to deposit checks remotely, move money between your CIT accounts, view your latest transactions and more. Money market account holders can also send money to friends and family through “People Pay.”
Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate: 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 Customer Service: 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 High-Yield Checking Account: Renasant Bank
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
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.
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