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Best Banks in Tennessee

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We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure

Finding the Best Banks in Tennessee

Choosing the best bank is difficult because there are so many high-quality financial institution that offer a range of accounts. To help you decide which banks in Tennessee offer what you need in particular, SmartAsset created this list of the best banks in the state. Continue reading to see the most accessible banks and to see which banks offer the best accounts.

Bank APY Minimum Deposit Highlights
Ally Bank Ally Bank logo Read More 2.20% $0
  • The Top Savings Account
  • High APY
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank With Branches in Tennessee
  • More than 100 branches in the state
FirstBank FirstBank logo Read More 1.51% $0
  • Best Regional Bank
  • Best Checking Accounts
  • High APY on checking accounts
CIT Bank CIT Bank logo Read More 2.40% $100
  • Best Savings Account Rate
  • One of the best APYs on the market
FSNB FSNB logo Read More 0.15% $5
  • Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate
  • 10 locations in Tennessee
Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best Customer Service
  • Waivable fees
BB&T Bank BB&T Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best Student Account
  • No monthly fees

How We Determine the Best Banks in Tennessee

SmartAsset’s banking experts found the 15 most popular banks in Tennessee, based on the number of branches in the state. 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

Ally Online Savings
Learn More
Our Rating: 5/5
How we calculated this rating

Saving money is a primary concern of many Americans, and Ally’s Online Savings Account can help with a 2.20% APY. For your checking needs, Ally also offers the Interest Checking Account. This comes paired with a 0.10% APY for accounts with a minimum daily balance below $15,000 and a 0.60% APY for accounts above that mark. Both accounts have no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum initial deposits, meaning anyone can open an account.

Ally has developed a solid mobile offering for both Apple and Android users. Aside from its standard features, such as mobile check deposit, an ATM locator, digital account statements and automatic bill pay, Ally lets you send and receive payments through a program called Zelle®. Zelle works just like Venmo and Paypal, as it allows you to transfer funds both to and from your account as you please.

While most Ally customers regularly use their debit cards to make purchases, you may occasionally need cash. When this situation arises, just stop by any one of the Allpoint ATM network’s 55,000 ATMs throughout the U.S. and beyond. Ally has an agreement in place that lets its account holders use Allpoint ATMs free of charge, though you can have as much as $10 in out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed per statement cycle.

Best National Bank With Branches in Tennessee: U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank offers a variety of checking and savings accounts. No matter what kind of account you’re looking for, U.S. Bank probably has it. Need a credit card, loan, mortgage or help with investing? No problem. The range of accounts and services makes life a bit easier because you can keep all of your finances under one roof.

As it is a large bank, you can also find branches in most places. In addition to more than 100 branches in Tennessee, there are about 3,000 U.S. Bank locations across the country.

The tradeoff is that like many other large, national brands, U.S. Bank has low APYs for its accounts. Even certificates of deposit (CDs), which people generally use as a way to get high APYs, don’t offer competitive rates. (Consider some of these top CDs instead.)

Best Regional Bank and Best Checking Accounts: FirstBank

Checking

FirstBank is a local company. Most of its branch locations are in Tennessee. However, it still offers a strong suite of accounts for a bank of its size. You can build savings through a basic savings or money market accounts (MMAs). You can also pair one of those with a checking account.

If you plan to use your checking account a lot, you may also qualify for a very high APY of 1.51%. This rate is on par with some of the best MMAs, let alone checking accounts. But as mentioned, you need to use your account regularly. You only qualify for this APY if you elect to receive electronic statements, make at least 10 debit card purchases each month and if you have at least one ACH debit or credit each month. If you can’t meet those requirements, don’t despair. You still earn an APY of 0.05% without any account minimum or monthly fee.

You can also go beyond basic banking with FirstBank. There are multiple credit cards options, including a card with cash back rewards. To help you save for long term goals, like retirement, you also have access to financial advisors through the bank.

Best Savings Account Rate: CIT Bank Savings Builder Account

CIT Savings Builder

Savings Builder from CIT is a high-interest account that offers benefits for just about any type of savings customer. So no matter whether you already have significant savings or you’re looking to put aside a bit at a time, you’ll be able to access the bank’s top-tier 2.40% APY. To be exact, account holders who meet the $100 minimum and either deposit $100 on a monthly basis or maintain an account balance of at least $25,000 will earn this. If not, a 1.28% APY awaits you instead.

Part of the reason CIT can oust much of its competition in terms of interest rates is because it’s a branchless bank without the expense of maintaining a brick-and-mortar infrastructure. This means that customers can only manage their accounts through the bank’s online website and its Apple and Android mobile apps, which hold a combined rating of 3.85 stars out of 5. Through these platforms you’ll be able to deposit checks remotely and view your account balances and transaction histories.

Want to diversify your banking portfolio? CIT has a number of choices available, such as a money market account, two- to five-year jumbo CDs and six-month to five-year standard term CDs. Money market customers are privy to an extra mobile banking perk that lets them send and receive money from friends and family.

Runner-up for Best Savings Account Rate: FSNB

FSNB

FSNB has a strong presence across Tennessee with about 40 branches. You can also find the bank in nine other states. That could make it a good choice for people who travel within the country and want to use their bank while on the road.

If you’re looking for basic banking, FSNB has some accounts worthy of consideration. In particular, consider pairing a savings account with a Basic checking account.

You only need $5 to open a savings account and you will earn a 0.15% APY if you maintain an account balance of at least $25. This is a great rate for a savings account and certainly beats many banks. You can also avoid any monthly fees by maintaining a balance of $75 and by receiving electronic statements. If you keep more than $5,000 in your account, you’ll earn a higher rate of 0.35%.

Similarly, you can open a Basic checking account with just $5. And as long as you maintain a $75 balance, you avoid monthly service fees. This account comes with unlimited check writing and a free Visa CheckCard (similar to a debit card). If you can maintain a balance of $500, you also earn interest on that money at an APY of 0.08%.

Best Customer Service: Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank

According to J.D. Power’s U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, Fifth Third Bank has one of the top banking experiences in and around Tennessee. This study takes multiple factors into account, like a bank's ability to handle customer issues, the frequency of its branches and ATMs, its fees and its product offerings.

It isn’t just customer service, though. Fifth Third Bank has a multitude if account options. If you need a checking account, there are free accounts plus special accounts tailored to students and those in the military. Savings accounts, CDs and MMAs are similarly varied. You can step past basic banking with things like 529 college savings plans.

The bank’s mobile app is also useful. It has an ATM/branch finder, account history of up to six months, mobile check deposit and a widget that allows you to check your account balance without logging in.

Best Student Account: BB&T Student Checking

Checking

If you’re a student in Tennessee, you may want to look for one of BB&T’s 48 branches in the state. You can also find the bank elsewhere, as it has locations in 15 states and Washington, D.C.

The Student Checking account from BB&T is available for students 23 and younger. There is no minimum deposit necessary to open an account. There is also no monthly service fee. That alone makes it a great choice for students. In addition to free transactions at BB&T ATMs, the bank will also waive the fee for two non-BB&T ATM transactions each month.

Of course, this is just a checking account. You should also consider one of these great savings accounts for students.

Additional SmartAsset Bank Reviews in Tennessee

Didn't find the best bank for you? Consider the following banks in your area.

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