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Best Banks In Tennessee

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by Derek Silva Updated

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
U.S. Bank U.S. Bank logo Read More 0.01% $25
  • Best National Bank
  • 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
FSNB FSNB logo Read More 0.15% $5
  • Best Savings Accounts
Fifth Third Bank Fifth Third Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best Customer Service
BB&T Bank BB&T Bank logo Read More 0.01% $0
  • Best Student Account

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.

If you're interested in saving money, consider opening up a CIT Savings Account. Earn over 8 times the national average with a 2.25% APY on balances of at least $25,000 OR monthly deposits of $100 or more with an initial $100 minimum deposit.

Best National Bank: 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

FirstBank

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 Accounts: 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

BB&T Bank

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.

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