Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

First Tennessee Bank Review

Your Details Done
by Updated
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
First Tennessee Savings
0.01% APY

First Tennessee Bank is one of the largest banks in the state of Tennessee. In addition to commercial banking and lending, it offers customers a full range of personal banking services. There are several types of checking and savings accounts available at First Tennessee.

The rates offered on those accounts tend to be on the low side when compared with other banks nationally. Likewise, its service fees and overdraft fees are not especially customer-friendly. While there are account features that will appeal to some customers for their convenience, such as access to the national Allpoint ATM network, there are better options than First Tennessee for most personal banking services.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Account
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $5 quarterly fee, waived for accounts with minimum balance above $250
  • Very low interest rates
Certificates of Deposit
  • Add-On Certificate of Deposit available
  • Standard minimum deposits
  • Interest compounds annually for CDs longer than a year
  • CD renews automatically
Money Market Account
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • $9 monthly fee, waived for accounts that are linked to a checking, or with a combined balance of $5,000
  • Tiered interest, very low rates for accounts below $50,000
Checking Accounts
  • $50 minimum opening deposit
  • Monthly service fees of $7 to $12, can be waived or rebated in some circumstances
  • Surcharge-free ATM transactions at nationwide network of Allpoint ATMs

First Tennessee Interest Rate Comparison

First Tennessee Overview

As its name suggests, First Tennessee does most of its business in the Volunteer State, out of its headquarters in Memphis. It has banking locations throughout Tennessee, offering banking personal and commercial banking services. Additionally, through a partnership with Capital Bank (which has the same ownership), First Tennessee customers can access bank branches in Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina.

First Tennessee Account Features

Most First Tennessee deposit accounts have a $50 minimum opening deposit, as well as a monthly service fee. In some cases, the monthly service fee can be waived based on certain benchmarks such a minimum balance or a minimum number of transactions.

There is free online and mobile banking with all First Tennessee accounts. Most accounts also come with a Visa debit card, and access to the Allpoint ATM network, with more than 40,000 ATMs throughout the country.

Compare First Tennessee to Other Competitive Offers

First Tennessee Traditional Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $5 quarterly fee, waivable for accounts with minimum balance of $250.
Current Terms and Rates 0.01% APY

First Tennessee’s standard savings account, its Traditional Savings account, is low-fee, low-interest and low on features. The minimum balance required to avoid the quarterly $5 charge is $250, which makes the account somewhat more accessible than savings accounts at comparable banks.

That being said, the interest rate on this account is a paltry 0.01%, regardless of deposit level. Furthermore, ATM access is not standard with the account. In order to withdraw your money from an ATM, you will also need to set up a checking account. 

In short, if you are interested in a savings account that will earn you interest or from which you can easily withdraw your money, this is not your best bet. First Tennessee does have some other options for deposit accounts with slightly higher rates — read on to learn more about those.

First Tennessee Regular CD (Certificates of Deposit)

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee, but an early withdrawal penalty can equal 90 days interest.
Current Standard Terms and Rates
  • 30 Day: 0.02% APY
  • 60 Day: 0.02% APY
  • 90 Day: 0.02% APY
  • 180 Day: 0.06% APY
  • 270 Day: 0.06% APY
  • 12 Month: 0.10% APY
  • 24 Month: 0.15% APY
  • 36 Month: 0.30% APY
  • 48 Month: 0.40% APY
  • 60 Month: 0.55% APY
Current Terms and Rates: With Checking Account
  • 12 Month: 0.25% APY
  • 24 Month: 0.30% APY
  • 36 Month: 0.45% APY
  • 48 Month: 0.55% APY
  • 60 Month: 0.70% APY

A certificate of deposit at First Tennessee offers somewhat higher rates than the other deposit account options. The minimum deposit required to open a CD is $1,000. You can also earn higher rates on CDs 12-months or longer by linking your CD to a checking account. 

By opening a CD you agree not to withdraw your money for a fixed amount of time, with longer periods earning higher rates. There is a penalty for withdrawing your money early, equal to 90 days of interest for most CDs. 

The highest rate currently offered by First Tennessee is 0.70% on a five-year CD with the checking account bonus. While that rate is certainly better than those offered on most First Tennessee deposit accounts, it is lower than the rates offered on comparable CDs at a number of national banks.

First Tennessee Add-On CD

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee. First withdrawal every six month is free, penalties for additional withdrawals.
Current Standard Terms and Rates
  • Account balances below $25,000: 0.02% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 and over: 0.06% APY

An Add-On CD is a slightly more flexible version of a certificate deposit. Where as the amount of a typical CD (and therefore the interest it can earn) is fixed for the length of its term, an Add-On CD allows you to contribute more funds to your CD. First Tennessee also allows one free withdrawal from your Add-On CD every six months.

That being said, the rates on the Add-On CD are low enough that there is little justification for choosing this account type over a money market account, or even a regular savings account. For deposits below $25,000, the rate is just 0.02%.

First Tennessee Money Market Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $9 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • A linked checking account
  • $5,000 in combined deposits among all First Tennessee accounts
Current Standard Terms and Rates
  • Account balances below $25,000: 0.01% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 - $49,999: 0.02% APY
  • Account balances of $50,000 - $99,999: 0.45% APY
  • Account balances of $100,000 - $249,999: 0.75% APY
  • Account balances of $250,000 and over: 1.00% APY

A money market account functions a lot like savings account, with a few extra features. Most importantly, account holders have ATM access without signing up for an additional account, and can also write checks - two features that the standard First Tennessee savings account lacks.

First Tennessee's Money Market Savings account also has tiered interest rates. These don’t provide much advantage if your deposits are less than $50,000. Above that level, however, rates can be as high as 1%.

There is a $9 monthly service fee for the money market account. It is waived for accounts that are linked to a checking account and for account holders who have at least $5,000 in total deposits among all First Tennessee accounts. 

First Tennessee Checking Accounts

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • Express Checking: $7 monthly fee, rebated with direct deposit
  • Classic Checking: $8 monthly fee
  • Select Checking: $9 monthly fee, rebated with direct deposit and 15 debit transactions
  • Premier Checking: $12 monthly fee, rebated with $5,000 in combined deposits
  • Premier Plus: $6 monthly fee, rebated with $25,000 in combined deposits

If you’re interested in opening a checking account, First Tennessee bank has a number of options for you to choose from, from the relatively low-fee Express Checking account to the more advanced Premier Checking Account. 

There are some advantages and disadvantages to First Tennessee’s checking accounts, so let’s start with the advantages. All First Tennessee accounts come with free online and mobile banking, which is standard for a bank of its size. 

They also come with a Visa debit card, which you can use to make purchase online and on the road. Lastly, they have access to the Allpoint ATM network, which means you should be able to find a fee-free ATM in most U.S. cities.

Now the disadvantages. All First Tennessee checking accounts have a monthly fee, ranging from $7 to $12. In most cases, you can avoid that fee by meeting a condition. For an Express Checking account, for instance, all you need is one direct deposit per month to avoid the fee. The more advanced Premier Checking account requires a balance of $5,000 combined among all First Tennessee accounts to avoid the fee. A Premier Checking account pays a small amount of interest on deposits.

First Tennessee also charges a $37 fee for overdrafts, which is any transaction that draws your account below zero. If you link a savings account to your checking account, you can set up overdraft protection, which will automatically transfer money over to fill the gap, but the fee for that is still $15.

Where Can I Find First Tennessee?

No surprise here — First Tennessee does most of its business in Tennessee. It also has a partnership with Capital Bank (the two companies have the same owner), which has locations Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. First Tennessee customers can do business at Capital Bank locations and use Capital Bank ATMs for free.

What Can You Do Online With First Tennessee?

First Tennessee’s online banking platform allows you to transfer money between accounts, set up automatic bill pay and create budgets. Through the mobile app, you can also deposit checks remotely. The mobile app has a moderate rating on the Apple App store with 2.9 stars out of a possible 5.

How Do I Access My Money?

If you need to withdraw or transfer money, there are a few options. Transfers can be made from the mobile app or online. You can also set up wire transfers in one of First Tennessee’s branches, though there is a fee for this type of transfer.

Withdrawals can be made for free at any First Tennessee ATM. First Tennessee is also a member of the Allpoint ATM network, which has over 40,000 ATMs nationwide. Note, however, that not all First Tennessee deposit accounts come with ATM access, so make sure the type of account you are opening does include that feature if it is important to you.

How Can I Save More Money With First Tennessee?

There are not a lot of high-return deposit account options at First Tennessee. Your best bet for a decent interest rate is a long-term certificate of deposit, but even those have rates below what other banks offer. In general, if earning a high interest rate is your top priority, First Tennessee is not the best choice.

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With First Tennessee?

You can apply for a First Tennessee deposit account online, through its website. The application process takes less than half an hour, and requires some kind of ID (such as a driver’s license), your Social Security number and your contact information. You will also need to have your opening deposit handy, either through an online transfer from another account, or a debit or credit card number.

If you live in Tennessee, you can also open an account in person. Just head to your local branch and a banker will get you set up. You’ll need the same items and information required for the online process, though you may also be able to open your account with cash or a check if you do so in person. 

What’s the Catch?

As we have mentioned elsewhere, First Tennessee does not offer particularly high rates on its deposit accounts. If your priority is a high return, you can find better options elsewhere. 

They also have fee requirements that may be onerous for some. For example, the Express Checking account requires a monthly direct deposit to avoid the monthly fee. That could be a problem if you are between jobs and do not have a steady source of income.

Bottom Line

First Tennessee is a regional bank, with branches throughout the Volunteer State. It offers fairly low rates on deposit accounts such as its savings account and money market account, and its fee requirements may be difficult to meet for some. In short, there are few compelling reasons to go with First Tennessee for your checking or savings account needs.

Save more with these rates that beat the National Average
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to find savings account that fit your criteria. Please change your search criteria and try again.
Searching for accounts...
Ad Disclosure
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to find savings account that fit your criteria. Please change your search criteria and try again.
Searching for accounts...
Ad Disclosure