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First Tennessee Bank Savings Account Review: Should You Open?

With this review of the First Tennessee Bank savings account, find out whether the fees, interest rates, and other relevant account features are any good.
(1 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

First Tennessee Bank iPhone App
First Tennessee Bank iPhone App

You want to put your money in a place that is safe -- with room to grow.

A savings account does the job, but not all of them are the same.

First Tennessee Bank offers a saving account that is locally available to many residents in the Southeast states in the U.S.

Through this review of the First Tennessee Bank savings account, find out whether it is worth opening based on the fees, interest rates, and other relevant account features.

Interest Rates

When you open a savings account, you’re typically looking for a place to keep your money safe.

But, every savings account comes with the ability to earn interest.

Now:

The interest rate is what really matters.

Higher savings rates mean that your deposits grow faster.

First Tennessee Bank Savings Account Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Use for overdraft protection on linked First Tennessee checking account
  • Mobile apps available
  • Has a quarterly fee (can be waived)
  • Very low savings rate

Unfortunately:

Most brick and mortar banks struggle to offer good interest rates on deposits.

First Tennessee Bank is no exception.

The First Tennessee Bank savings account offers little to no return on your deposits.

Essentially, you won't be earning much interest at all.

The rates offered by most brick and mortar banks pale in comparison to the rates offered by an online bank.

Combat inflation

Over time, money tends to become less valuable due to inflation.

If something costs $1 and the inflation rate is 2%, it will cost $1.02 one year from now.

Ideally, you want the interest rate you earn to be greater than or equal to the rate of inflation. 

If the interest rate paid on the account is lower than the inflation rate, your savings are actually losing value as time goes on.

Monthly Fee

Unlike many savings accounts from big banks, First Tennessee's savings account charges a quarterly fee instead of a monthly fee.

The First Tennessee Bank Savings Account has a $5 quarterly fee, which works out to a fee of $1.66 each month.

You can avoid the fee by maintaining a balance of at least $250.

Compared to big bank savings options, yes, it is considered cheaper.

But:

Generally, it is counterintuitive to pay a fee on an account that is supposed to help you save more money.

For this reason, you might lean towards an online savings account, which typically doesn't have a monthly fee at all.

Other Fees

Monthly fees are the most common type of savings account fee, but they aren’t the only fees that you might face.

Though most of these fees are uncommon, it’s good to be familiar with the fees that you might be charged.

First Tennessee Savings Account Fees

Type of Fee Fee
Quarterly Maintenance $5
Excess Withdrawal $2 (charged after 3 per quarter, if avg. daily balance is less than $250)
Overdraft Fee $37
Stop Payment Fee $37
Returned Item Fee $16
Domestic Incoming Wire Transfers $15
Domestic Outgoing Wire Transfer $25

Most interestingly, First Tennessee charges an excess withdrawal fee of $2 after the third withdrawal per quarter, when your average daily balance falls below $250.

So, if you keep an average $250 for a quarter, there is no excess withdrawal fee.

Overdraft Protection

If you also have a First Tennessee Bank Checking Account, you can sign up for overdraft protection services.

If you ever try to spend more money than you have in your checking account, First Tennessee Bank may decide to cover the transaction anyway.

When this happens, your account’s balance will go negative and you will be in overdraft.

Banks don’t like it when customers spend more money than they actually have, so they charge hefty fees when you overdraft your checking account. First Tennessee Bank charges a $37 fee for each overdraft.

If you sign up for overdraft protection, money will instead be moved from your savings account to your checking account.

There is a once-per-day $15 fee for this service each time you use it.

That’s less than half the fee charged for a single overdraft normally.

This service can save you a lot of money in the event that you overdraft your checking account.

FDIC Insurance

Like most banks in the United States, First Tennessee Bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. FDIC insurance makes a bank as safe as it can possibly be.

The FDIC offers insurance on money that you deposit to your savings account.

Up to $250,000 per depositor, per account type at a bank is covered.

If you make a deposit to your First Tennessee Bank Savings Account and the bank is later unable to return your deposit, the FDIC will reimburse you for the loss, up to $250,000.

Note that this insurance limit is based on the account type and the bank.

You can get another $250,000 in insurance through a joint account at the same bank.

If you need even more insurance, you’ll have to open accounts at a different bank.

The Competition

When you’re in the market for a new savings account, it’s not unusual to get overwhelmed by the wide variety of options available to you.

Though it can be overwhelming, it’s important that you take the time to find the right account.

Fees are the first thing you should compare when you’re comparing savings accounts.

You don’t want to pay a bank fee if you can avoid it, so opt for the account that doesn’t charge monthly fees. Online banks are a good option for avoiding fees.

If you must choose an account with a monthly fee, make sure you can meet the fee-waiver requirements easily.

Once you’ve found some good, fee-free savings accounts compare their interest rates. The higher the rate, the better it will be for you.

Settling for a lower interest rate is like giving up free money and the inflation-fighting effects of interest make the rate doubly important.

Finally, consider the special features that each account offers. Some might give you discounts, rewards of meeting savings goals, or financial management software.

First Tennessee Money Market Savings Account

Money market accounts combine the benefits of savings and checking accounts.

You can earn interest on your balance while maintaining easy access to it through checks and a debit card.

The downside is that money market accounts tend to carry much higher fees and minimums.

First Tennessee Bank’s money market account carries a $9 monthly fee if you’re unable to maintain a $5,000 balance across all your accounts at the bank.

If you are able to maintain that balance, opening the money market account is likely to be worth it. It offers significantly higher interest rates than the standard savings account with more flexibility.

The Final Verdict

The First Tennessee Bank Savings Account is a relatively unexciting account that doesn’t offer much to draw in customers.

Most people would be better off working with an online bank that guarantees a fee-free experience and pays higher rates of interest.