Bank of Tennessee is a state-based bank that offers personal and business banking options. For business clients, it primarily serves medium and small business customers.
It provides a solid, well-rounded banking experience for customers who want to bank local yet also enjoy the convenience of online and mobile banking.
With checking, savings, retirement, and brokerage accounts, among its many financial products, Bank of Tennessee is large enough to fit the full banking needs of most consumers.
The bank cannot compete, however, with the vast range of products and services offered by larger institutions.
About Bank of Tennessee
The bank traces its roots back to 1939, although the Bank of Tennessee was formally founded in 1974.
Founded in Elizabethton, Tennessee in 1939, Carter County Bank was founded by a group of local business leaders. In 1964, Willian B. Green Jr. purchased Carter County Bank, and then ten years later, he and his son opened the Bank of Tennessee.
The Bank of Tennessee was meant to fill the unmet banking cities of the tri-cities area and was in some ways an expansion of the Carter County Bank. In January 2013, Carter County Bank and Bank of Tennessee officially merged as one institution.
Over the decades, the bank has expanded greatly with dozens of locations throughout the state and nearly $2 billion in assets under management.
Bank of Tennessee meets the basic, day-to-day, and long-term banking and financial planning needs of most consumers, including retirement, real estate loans, certificates of deposit (CDs), and direct deposit banking accounts.
Bank of Tennessee: Checking Accounts
Bank of Tennessee offers four checking accounts. All of these accounts are fee-free for meeting basic requirements.
1. Simply Perfect
A basic, no-frills checking account for consumers who want an easy way to receive their paycheck and spend and manage their money. The account has no monthly fees with online statements, although printed monthly statements are available for a fee.
A minimum balance of $50 is required to open a Simply Perfect account, but there are no monthly balance requirements.
The account gives free access to online and mobile (app) banking services and there is a debit card option.
2. Enhanced Perfect
A step up from Simply Perfect, the Enhanced Perfect checking account is an interest-bearing checking account and a good option for consumers who can meet the no-fee requirements of maintaining a minimum balance of at least $1,000 or holding a total relationship (all account balances) of at least $10,000 with the bank.
Account holders who do not meet the minimum requirements will incur a $9 monthly fee. The Enhanced Perfect account comes with free online statements, or print statements are available for a fee.
To accrue interest on your checking balance, you must maintain a minimum balance of at least $1,000. APY rates are not published on the bank’s website, however, consumer review forums state that checking APY rates are around 0.05% to 0.10%.
3. Everything Perfect
Everything Perfect is the bank’s premium checking account with the most bells and whistles. There are $0 in monthly fees for holding a $5,000 minimum daily balance, or maintaining a combined $25,000 total relationship with the Bank of Tennessee.
A minimum of $100 is required to open an account and balances over $5,000 earn interest. Account holders get two (2) free boxes of special checks per year, free ATM Unlimited, and a 10 free basis point rate-bump toward CD rates.
4. Prime Perfect
This bank account is senior-focused. The account has $0 monthly fees for consumers age 62 or older who have a $500 minimum balance, or who set up monthly direct deposits. A $50 minimum opening deposit is required.
If the minimum balance or direct deposit requirements are not met, BoT charges a $5 monthly fee.
The account comes with free eStatements; monthly print statements are available for a fee.
Bank of Tennessee: Savings Accounts
Bank of Tennessee offers two traditional deposit savings accounts.
1. Carefree Savings
This account is similar to a Christmas Club savings account. It’s designed to help customers save money year-round, with the funds automatically transferred to your checking in October. A Carefree Savings account can be opened any time during the year with a deposit of at least $5.
The account can be opened in person or online.
2. Perfect Savings
The Perfect Savings account is the typical deposit savings account the average American consumer has come to expect: tiered interest rates, easy pairing to a linked checking account, easy automatic deposits, and free withdrawals and transfers.
An opening deposit of $100 is required, and balances of greater than $100 earn interest.
Account interest rates are not disclosed online, but online consumer review forums state that APY savings rates start at 0.10%. Interest is credited quarterly.
The account is free if a minimum daily balance of $100 is maintained. If it falls below that amount, a $2 quarterly fee will be assessed.
While not a savings account itself, ChangeUp is a free service. Accountholders with a Bank of Tennessee checking and savings account are eligible for enrollment.
Each time you use your debit card, the purchase total is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the extra change is automatically deposited into your savings account.
If enough funds are not available in your checking account, the roundup transaction amount will be reversed.
Bank of Tennessee: CD Accounts
The Bank of Tennessee offers a certificate of deposit savings account options.
A certificate of deposit, or CD, offers consumers a way to earn a guaranteed rate of return for their investment. The rate of return is a fixed rate of interest that the bank will pay out at the end of the CD’s term.
Bank of Tennessee does not publish term rates or APY rates on its website, but it does state the bank offers varying terms lengths up to 5 (five) years and that a minimum of $500 is required to open a CD account.
Bank of Tennessee: MMA Account
The Bank of Tennessee offers a money market account (MMA), which some consumers consider a high-interest checking account.
Balances of $2,500 or greater earn a tiered interest rate on their daily balance, with interest credited monthly. The MMA account comes with a debit card and there are no limits to monthly ATM or over-the-counter debit transactions.
A money market account is free if you maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500. Balances that fall below will incur a $10 monthly fee.
In addition to the bank’s checking, savings, CD, and money market accounts, Bank of Tennessee offers a number of other popular financial products.
- Personal loans
- Credit cards (for a range of credit scores)
- Home loans
- Home improvement loans
- Individual retirement accounts (RAs)
- Financial planning and wealth management
- Retirement planning
- Financial workshops for home ownership, money management, workplace finances, and paying for college
- Business deposit accounts
- Business cash management, payroll, and Autobooks
- Business financing and credit cards
Here are some of the key features that the Bank of Tennessee offers its customers.
- No-fee checking: For a $50 deposit, the bank offers a no-frills checking account with no monthly fees and no minimum balance or direct deposit requirements.
- DRIVE THRU plus: Video ITM (Interactive Teller Machine) service available 12 hours a day six (6) days a week. Available at all locations, including Bristol, Knoxville, and Erwin.
- Zelle: Free and easy integration with Zelle when you link your Bank of Tennessee account to Zelle in the bank’s app. Easy way to send and receive money from trusted friends and family.
- Online and mobile banking: Innovative digital tools to manage money on the bank website or in the app, including touch ID, face ID, remote image deposit of checks, and easy statements.
- Women Empowered (WE): A free resource for women business owners, WE offers free network, cash flow analysis, and business consultative services.
Pricing and Fees
As with any financial institution, the Bank of Tennessee does have a schedule of fees for NSFs and other various penalties and services.
The bank publishes a 2017 schedule of fees for small businesses on its website, but nothing more current and nothing for consumer or personal banking accounts.
Our editorial team contacted the bank directly to request a 2023 updated copy of consumer fees. We will update this review if we hear back.
In the meantime, we are highlighting some of the fees shared in the 2017 small business schedule as there’s often some overlap between business and personal banking fees.
- NSF (non-sufficient funds) or returned item fee: $30
- Legal processing fee, including garnishments or levies: $100 per order
- Printed statement fee: $5 per month
- Incoming wire transfer fee: $12 for domestic wires, $50 for international wires (including Canada)
- Outgoing wire transfer fee: $20 to $50 for online versus in-branch and destination country
- Dormant account fee: $5 per month for an inactive account
- Stop payment order: $30 per order
To open an account, you can visit a Bank of Tennessee location in Tennessee or North Carolina, or open an account online if you live in an eligible county in Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, or Virginia.
Online, the process should take about 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll need to provide some basic information including your name, address, citizenship, Social Security number (SSN), and ID number.
Next, you’ll need to select which account you’d like to open and then fund your account. You can fund it from an existing, external checking or savings account or with a credit card.
The Bank of Tennessee is not currently offering any promotions or bonuses for new member bonuses.
Banking with the Bank of Tennessee is extremely secure from both a financial health and a cybersecurity perspective.
The bank is a member FDIC institution and an equal housing lender. As an equal housing lender, the Bank of Tennessee adheres to strict federal guidelines when it comes to fair home lending practices. As an FDIC member, this means the federal government insures bank deposits for up to $250,000 per account holder and account type.
In terms of personal and banking security, the bank employs encryption methods, multi-factor authentication (MFA), fingerprint ID, face ID, and other advanced cybersecurity technology to protect your data.
Bank of Tennessee offers several ways for customers to reach customer service.
- Web form: Fill out a brief web form with your email online and a bank rep will reply by email.
- Toll-free phone number: Call 1 (866) 378-9500 Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. The number for mobile banking support is 1-(866) 965-2265.
- By mail: Send correspondence to Bank of Tennessee, Customer Care Department, P.O. Box 4980, Johnson City, TN 37602-4980
- Universal teller: Video ATM or ITM support is available 12 hours a day 6 days a week at Bank of Tennessee store locations.
You can also visit a branch location to speak with a teller during business hours. There are 22 locations throughout the area:
- Roan Mountain
- Mount Juliet
- Johnson City
- Sugar Mountain, NC
Typically we strive to share customer reviews by Trustpilot, a trusted third-party consumer review site. As there were not any Trustpilot reviews available, here are a couple of reviews from verified customers on WalletHub and Deposit Accounts.
Bank of Tennessee does everything right the first time. Couldn’t be happier with my experience with them. They have a much more personal feel than any other bank I’ve ever dealt with.
TNBANK will not give loyal customers their best CD rates. I tried to support this local bank keeping money in Savings while interest rates were low, but I will not deposit any more money in TNBANK knowing how I was treated.
Loyal Deposit Accounts
Pros and Cons
- Brick-and-mortar Tennessee locations: 21 locations throughout the state of TN, located in the state’s largest metro areas.
- Zelle integrations: Convenient way to send and receive money among friends and family.
- Easy to switch: Bank of Tennessee makes it exceptionally easy to switch to their bank with any easy switch kit you can download on the webpage.
- Fee-free checking accounts: The bank has checking options that are no fee with no monthly requirements.
- Limited locations outside of Tennessee: With the exception of one location in NC, there are no locations outside of TN and online banking is restricted to residents in eligible counties of neighboring states.
- Lower interest rates and APY rates than competitors: CD and MMA rates are below the national average and well below the nation’s top competitive rates.
- Limited customer service hours: No chat support, phone support is only five (5) days a week, and no customer support email.
When considering the Bank of Tennessee, here are some other banks to compare it to. Each of the banks below has contrasting benefits and drawbacks.
1. U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank has 127 branch and partner ATM locations throughout the state, including many popular store locations. Additionally, U.S. Bank has over 4,000 banks from coast to coast, a convenience you’ll appreciate when traveling.
It also offers customer service 24 hours a day and an expanded range of product and service offerings.
2. CIT Bank
For Tennesseans who don’t need a physical branch location, CIT Bank is worth considering. While it is online only, California-based CIT is still an FDIC-insured institution so your money is backed by the government with deposit insurance up to $250,000.
Traditional bank services are offered digitally, or via phone, or not at all. You won’t find a friendly local banker who knows your name. CIT does, however, offer some of the best APY rates in the nation for MMAs and CDs. Right now, CIT has a 6-month CD with a 5.00% APY.
3. First Horizon
Memphis-based First Horizon Bank, formerly, First Tennessee Bank, could be a good option if you’re looking for the hometown feel of Bank of Tennessee, but the convenience of more than 180 branches in Tennessee and neighboring states.
While it can’t match the 24/7 customer service hours of a big-box bank, it does offer phone support six (6) days a week, one day more than the Bank of Tennessee. It also offers broader transparency when it comes to product rates, account service charges, and fee schedules.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that readers have about the Bank of Tennessee.
How Much Is It to Open an Account with the Bank of Tennessee?
A minimum deposit of $50 is required to open a checking account (Simply Perfect or Prime Perfect). For savings accounts, the minimum deposit requirements start at just $5.
Is Bank of Tennessee a Local Bank?
If you live in Tennessee, then yes! Tennessee is a born-and-bred financial institution with roots in the state dating back to 1934.
Other homegrown Tennessee financial institutions include Wilson Bank & Trust, Tennessee State Bank, and Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU).
What Are the Largest Tennessee-Based Banks?
In terms of total assets for banks headquartered in Tennessee, the largest banks are First Horizon Bank ($84.9 billion), Pinnacle Bank, ($46.8 billion), FirstBank ($12.9 billion), and Eastman Credit Union ($7.8 billion.)
Bank of Tennessee has $1.8 billion in total assets and is the 19th largest among the state’s 254 Tennessee-headquartered financial institutions.
Is Bank of Tennessee the Best Bank for Your Needs?
For the everyday banking needs of your average consumer, who’s looking for a local bank, the Bank of Tennessee could be an excellent option. It has a strong commitment to the local community and the financial well-being of its customers, and offers all the facets of traditional and digital-first banking.
Customer service hours are more part-time than 24/7, but it boasts plenty of conveniences that may offset them, like ITMs, a first-rate banking app, and RoundUp savings features.
The BankBonus team has analyzed dozens of banks to provide our readers with thoroughly informed and accurate reviews.
Our assessment of each bank factors in these considerations:
- Product lineup: We review the types of accounts, loans, and services offered by each bank, as well as the number of accounts.
- Fees and pricing: We also consider each institution’s fees, including monthly maintenance fees and other service charges.
- Account features: To compare banks, we take a close look at the features, limits, and capabilities each one has to offer.
- Interest: Along with these features, we consider whether or not the bank offers interest-bearing accounts and compare their rates to industry averages.
- Brand reputation: The bank accounts we recommend have been carefully vetted to ensure they are legitimate, secure, and backed by FDIC
- User experience: Additionally, we consider the ease of use and availability of resources on each bank’s website and factor in reviews of the mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Branch and ATM access: To gauge convenience, we also look at each bank’s branch and ATM availability and consider their ATM reimbursement policies.
- Customer service: In our review process, we also explore banks’ customer service channels, hours of availability, and third-party reviews.