Best Banks in Tennessee

Nashville TN Skyline with Cumberland river in view.
Jonathan Ross / Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are over 100 state-chartered banks in Tennessee, along with a variety of credit unions, online and national banks. Choosing a bank when there are so many options available can be overwhelming. This guide of the best banks in Tennessee simplifies the process by narrowing down the contenders.

Best Banks Near Me: How Banks In Tennessee Made the List

The annual GOBankingRates Top 100 Banks report highlights the best financial institutions in the country. The top 100 ranked due to criteria including market share, customer reviews, accessibility, interest rates, bank fees and more. The top banks and credit unions with physical branches in Tennessee were selected for the best banks in Tennessee guide.

8 Best Banks in Tennessee

Here’s more on the best banks in Tennessee and what makes them noteworthy.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Why it stands out: Navy Federal pays a better-than-average interest rate on nearly all accounts. While the baseline interest rate, known as a dividend, is 0.01% APY, the majority of accounts earn between 0.05% to 0.50%, depending on the account type and balance. Besides the higher yields, Navy Federal offers banking services and loans with lower fees and more competitive rates. However, membership is required to access its banking products. To join, you'll need to be a veteran, active or retired military personnel, Department of Defense civilian or close family member. Pros:
  • Higher-yield rates on nearly all accounts
  • Geared towards military personnel who may be stationed overseas
  • No-fee checking accounts
  • Up to $240 per year on ATM rebates for withdrawals not made in the 30,000 free ATMs
Cons:
  • Only available to military personnel and relatives
  • Only three branches in Tennessee
    What to look for: The Special Easy Start certificate of deposit can be opened with as little as $50 and earns 4.25% APY for a 12-month term, one of the best CD rates you'll find. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
    A Better Way to Bank

    Bank of America

    Why it stands out: Bank of America makes banking flexible by allowing you to switch between its three tiers of checking based on your needs. Safe Balance is the basic checking account. Advantage Relationship checking is the top-tier. It includes free checks, the ability to earn interest and no fees on many banking services. Besides the level of flexibility you can have by switching between account types without having to close the existing account, Bank of America has a good presence in Tennessee, with branches in 30 cities and towns. Pros:
    • Fees on most accounts can be waived
    • Flexible checking account options in three tiers from basic checkless to premium
    • Self-directed investing available through Merrill Edge
    • Preferred Rewards members receive relationship rates
    Cons:
    • Low APYs of 0.01% to 0.02% without Preferred Rewards membership
      What to look for: Enrolling in Preferred Rewards by maintaining an active checking account and a combined balance of $20,000 or more comes with several advantages. Earn an interest rate booster of 5% on your deposits, receive discounts on loan origination fees and reduced interest rates on home and vehicle loans. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
      A Better Way to Bank

      Wells Fargo

      Why it stands out: Wells Fargo is a full-service bank with personal and business accounts available, as well as home and vehicle loans, investing, retirement planning, credit cards and wealth management. Everyday Checking is the most popular checking account, with a monthly maintenance fee of $10, which is waivable with a minimum balance or monthly direct deposit of $500. Adding a savings account makes it possible to put money aside each month automatically by setting up Save As You Go. For larger savings balances, Platinum Plus Savings includes unlimited withdrawals and higher interest rates. Pros:
      • Mobile app averages 4.8 out of 5 stars from millions of users
      • Many accounts have low opening deposit minimums of $25
      • Monthly maintenance fees can be waived
      • Automatic savings transfers available
      Cons:
      • Low APY of 0.01%
      • High overdraft fee of $35 per item and $12.50 per overdraft protection transfer
      What to look for: Wells Fargo is known for its large representation of branches in the U.S. The bank doesn't have as many in the state of Tennessee there are currently only 13 locations available, mainly concentrated in the Nashville area. However, the Wells Fargo mobile app can step in to handle many banking tasks such as mobile check deposits, bill pay and account alerts. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
      A Better Way to Bank

      American Airlines Federal Credit Union

      Why it stands out: Individuals that qualify for membership to the American Airlines Federal Credit Union can enjoy accounts and loans with low fees and the chance to earn higher interest on balances. Most of the bank accounts available don't have any minimum opening balance requirements, making banking accessible for everyone, including individuals just getting started. Pros:
      • Higher-than-average APY of 0.20% to 0.40% on most accounts
      • Free accounts or easy-to-waive account fees
      • Member Advocacy Center available for customer support weekdays and Saturday
      • Low loan rates and credit card APRs available
      Cons:
      • Limited to airline-industry employees
      • Only one Tennessee branch at the Nashville post office
        What to look for: The Dream Plan Share Certificate is a CD that helps you save to purchase your first home. Start with $25 or more and at least $25 in contributions per month to earn a premium APY for 60 months. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

        Eastman Credit Union

        Why it stands out: Eastman Credit Union earned second place in GOBankingRates' Best Credit Unions rankings. Free checking and competitive interest rates are just a couple of standout features. As with all credit unions, ECU is membership-based. Fortunately, it's easy to qualify for membership as long as you live near a credit union location. You must set up a savings account to establish your ECU membership with a minimum deposit of $5. Your balance will earn 0.30% APY with no fees for monthly maintenance or for not meeting account minimums. Pros:
        • No minimum balance requirements
        • No monthly maintenance fees
        • 22 branches in Tennessee
        • Over 56,200 free Allpoint and Presto! ATMs
        Cons:
        • Overdraft fees of $30 per transaction on all accounts
          What to look for: The credit union's dividends are superior to many of the largest, national banks. Your funds can earn 0.05% APY for a minimal checking account balance, 0.30% for savings account balances of $5 or more and up to 0.55% APY for balances of $200,000 in a money market account. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
          A Better Way to Bank

          Fifth Third Bank

          Why it stands out: Fifth Third's full range of banking products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, loans, investment accounts and insurance make it possible to handle all your financial needs in one place. Fifth Third Bank is headquartered in Ohio and ranks as #3 in the GOBankingRates' Best Regional Banks. The bank has over 1,300 regional locations across Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia and Tennessee. You'll find 40 branches in 13 cities and towns in Tennessee. The bank's Momentum checking account makes banking affordable. There are no hidden fees or balance requirements. Plus, you'll have access to 50,000 free partner ATMs in addition to Fifth Third's cash machines. Pros:
          • Direct deposits come in up to two days earlier
          • Robust and convenient digital banking and mobile app
          • Free checking available, as well as premium checking with waivable monthly maintenance fees
          • No minimum balance requirements
          Cons:
          • Multiple accounts are required to get the best rates
            What to look for: MyAdvance, a short-term credit line, is available to account holders with enrollment. The credit line ranges from $200 to $1,000 depending on your deposit history. Funds are available immediately. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
            A Better Way to Bank

            US Bank

            Why it stands out: Opening a bank account with U.S. Bank is easy. You can start with as little as $25 on select checking and savings accounts. CDs also have low requirements, with a minimum investment of $1,000. Waivable monthly maintenance fees are another standout feature. Without waiving fees, you could pay $6.95, $14.95 or $24.95 per month. However, maintaining a minimum monthly balance or having a U.S. Bank loan, credit card or mortgage will remove the fee. Pros:
            • Opening balance requirements of $25 to $100
            • In addition to U.S. Bank ATMs, access to MoneyPass ATMs nationwide for free
            • Higher-yield interest rates
            • Lucrative new account bonuses, such as up to $400 when opening a Platinum account and completing qualifying activities
            Cons:
            • Four overdraft fees per day possible of $36 each
              What to look for: Some accounts have higher-yield interest rates. Certificates of deposit with U.S. Bank have a lower minimum deposit of $500 but a deposit of $1,000 earns you higher APYs with CD Specials. READ OUR FULL REVIEW

              First Citizens Bank

              Why it stands out: First Citizens Bank's money market account is one of the most flexible, provided you live near a branch. While most money markets have federally-mandated limits to the number of withdrawals that can be made, First Citizens allows unlimited transfers and withdrawals without penalty if they're made at a branch. In addition to the bank's notable money market account, First Citizens recently announced it will reduce or eliminate overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees. First Citizens will no longer charge a $36 NSF fee for returned or unpaid transactions. In addition, the new overdraft fee will be $10 instead of $36. These changes are expected to take effect mid-year. Pros:
              • Free checking account available with a $50 minimum opening requirement
              • Better-than-average interest rates for savings, money market accounts and CDs
              • User-friendly mobile banking app
              Cons:
              • Only seven physical locations in Tennessee
                What to look for: The free checking account has no monthly fees. Overdraft protection is included, to help cover any oversights if you overdraw your account. Although the new fee structure for overdrafts reduces the cost to $10 instead of $36, having overdraft protection saves you from returned items. READ OUR FULL REVIEW
                A Better Way to Bank

                Takeaway

                Tennessee offers the average person a variety of banks and credit unions to choose from. The best way to decide on which one is best for you is to ask yourself what the most important feature from a bank is for you. Is it conveniently-located branches? Free ATMs? Or perhaps, higher interest rates or no monthly maintenance fees? Once you figure it out, you’ll find just what you need. 

                Best Banks By Region

                FAQ

                Choosing the right bank for you can be overwhelming. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about banks in Tennessee to help you decide.
                • What is the most popular bank in Tennessee?
                  • Regions Bank is the largest bank in Tennessee by number of branches, followed by First Horizon Bank. Regions Bank also rates among the top spots on various lists and review websites.
                • What is the biggest bank in Tennessee?
                  • According to Bank Branch Locator, Regions Bank has the most locations in Tennessee. Next according to number of branches are First Horizon Bank and Truist Bank.
                • What banks do they have in Nashville, Tennessee?
                  • There are nearly 150 banks and credit unions in the Nashville Metro Area, including those listed in this article and many others.

                Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of August 9, 2022.

                GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account.

                GOBankingRates bases its assessment of “best” and “top” products on the above-stated parameters to create a baseline for comparison. This assessment is an approximation of “best” and “top” designed to help consumers find products that might be appropriate for them. There could be other options available as well. Consumers should consider various options appropriate for their circumstances.

                To discover the Top 100 Best Banks, GOBankingRates looked at all institutions with available published data (National, Regional, Local, and Online) from the 2021 Best Banks categories as well as all Credit Unions with over $1 billion in total assets and accessible to a wide audience. GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC and NCUA; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC and NCUA; (3) checking account annual fee; (4) savings account APY rate; (5) 12-month CD APY rate; (6) customer service products offered (24/7 customer service and live chat with a human); (7) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (8) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services, and insurance); and (9) the average mobile app rating between the android and apple stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (4) were weighted 1.5 times in final scoring, factor (2) was weighted 2 times, factor (6) was weighted 0.5 times, and factor (8) was weighted 2.5 times. For all Savings and Checking Account data only the basic accounts/products offered at each institution was analyzed. Rates and fees subject to change.

                Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

                Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

                Share This Article:

                A Better Way to Bank

                About the Author

                Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.
                Learn More