Posted by William Charles on May 14, 2014
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 14th, 2014 | by William Charles


[TN, FL, NC, SC, VA Only] $200 Checking Account Bonus From First Tennessee Bank – Direct Deposit Required

Update: There is a better offer for $250, more details here.

There is now another offer for $150, you don’t need to apply for this account in branch and the requirements for keeping the account fee free are lower. You can read our post here.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $200
  • Availability: TN, must apply in branch. You might also be able to apply at one of their Private Client branches in FL, NC, SC, VA.  [Branch locator]
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, unspecified amount. ACH Transfers may trigger this bonus.
  • Additional requirements: None
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Unknown
  • Monthly fees: $9, waived if minimum daily balance is $5,000 or greater
  • Early account termination fee: $10, if closed within 180 days of account opening
  • Expiration date:  May 31st, 2015 January 31st, 2015 August 15th July 31st, 2014 (although this offer is usually extended/it appears a lot) September 30th, 2015 January 1st, 2015

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Receive a $200 when you open a Premier checking or Money Market Savings account with First Tennessee bank, you must receive a direct deposit within 60 days of account opening.

first tennessee offer

The Fine Print

  • Must open account at a First Tennessee financial center and present a printed copy of the offer, accounts opened online are not eligible.
  • Minimum opening deposits: $500 for Premier checking & $10,000 for Money Market Savings (money must be new to First Tennessee)
  • Promotion open to new checking and savings account household only, you’re not eligible if you’ve held an account within the last 12 months
  • Bonus will post within 6 weeks of receiving the first direct deposit
  • Cannot be combined with other offers
  • Valid until July 31st, 2014
  • No minor accounts
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

The First Tennessee fee schedule can be accessed by clicking here.

Monthly Fee $9 – Premier Checking Account

This is waived if you have a minimum of $5,000 in combined monthly balances (checking, savings, bank IRAs or CDs).

Money Mark Savings $9 Monthly Fee

Waived if you have a linked checking account, otherwise you need combined deposits of $5,000 or more.

Early Account Closure Fee $10

If you close your account within 180 days of opening it you need to pay a $10 fee.

early account closure fee

Our Verdict

In the past First Tennessee has been picky about people having too many recent chex systems inquiries on their report, so be aware that you might not be approved if this is the case. Apart from that this looks like a pretty good deal for those who can afford to part with $5,000 for 180 days (to avoid the early account termination fee). By doing this you’d be forgoing about $25 in interest (assuming a 1% APR which is the highest you can currently get on a non rewards earning checking account).

It looks to be a soft credit pull, we’re unsure about credit card funding at the moment but it’s not make or break for this deal considering it’s for $200. Here is how I’d approach this deal if I lived in the service area.

  1. Open a Premier checking account at a participating branch
  2. Fund as much as I could using a rewards earning credit card with it’s cash advance limit set to $0
  3. Send an ACH transfer to bring the total to $5,000+ to avoid any monthly fees, this should also trigger the bonus (+$200)
  4. Wait for the bonus to post
  5. Wait 180 days to avoid any early account termination fees
  6. Transfer money out
  7. Close account

If you plan on doing this bonus, let us know how it goes in the comments with any important information such as: hard or soft pull, what counted as direct deposit and if you could fund with a credit card. We’ve added this to our ever growing list of bank bonuses, it will most likely get a honorable mention in our best of list (although maybe not due to most people not being eligible for this bonus).

Direct link to offer | Screenshot of offer

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[…] is a higher bonus of $200 that this bank is offering with similar terms. This lower sign up bonus of $150 might be better for two […]

info please
info please

just wanted to point the current fee schedule says nothing about an early cancellation fee anymore.. unless im missing something

Tommy Botello
Tommy Botello

I did a ‘popmoney’ transfer from my Regions banking account. Will that trigger the DD requirement?


This is the current offer for $200 SUB wyo Express checking:

Offer Details: Offer expires 06/30/2019. Offer is only available to residents of TN, AR, MS, GA, AL, KY and parts of VA (Bristol, Weber City, Gate City). To receive bonus, you must open your account at a financial center and present a copy of the offer certificate, or open your account online by clicking the link on this page and ensuring the code DGCB20 appears where “Promo code” is requested. To receive your bonus, you must have an opening deposit of at least $50 and at least one direct deposit must post to your account within 60 days of opening. Opening deposit cannot be transferred from existing First Tennessee accounts. If you meet the stated requirements of this promotional offer, the bonus will be credited to your account within 6 weeks of the first direct deposit and will be reported as income on Form 1099-INT. Limit one bonus per household. Cannot be combined with other checking offers. This offer is for new checking households only. Households who have a current consumer checking account or who have closed a consumer checking account in the past 12 months at either First Tennessee or Capital Bank are not eligible. Customer agrees to maintain account in good standing for a minimum of six months. Account openings are subject to bank approval and may be declined based on certain factors. This offer may be withdrawn or modified prior to acceptance.
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