Posted by William Charles on June 29, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on June 29th, 2017 | by William Charles


[Expired] [AL, AR, GA, KY, MS, NC, TN, VA?] First Tennessee $300 Checking Bonus + $50 Referral

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300
  • Availability: AL, AR, GA, KY, MS, NC, TN, VA?
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, no minimum mentioned
  • Additional requirements: Open with $100 and use promo code PIN300
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: Up to $300
  • Monthly fees: $7-$12, waiveable
  • Early account termination fee: Account must be kept open for six months, or bonus forfeit
  • Household limit: One
  • Expiration date: June 30th, 2017

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Open a new First Tennessee checking account with the promo code PIN300 and receive a bonus of $300 when you complete the following requirements:
    • Open account with at least $100
    • Have at least one direct deposit post to your account within 60 days of account opening

The Fine Print

  • Offer expires June 30, 2017.
  • Offer is non‐transferable. Don’t think this means it’s targeted, even when it says available to this addressee only it hasn’t been targeted in the past.
  • To receive bonus, you must open the checking account online starting at this page ( and ensure the code PIN300 appears in the online application where “Offer/Promo code” is requested, or open your personal checking account at a financial center and present your offer receipt.
  • You must have an opening deposit of at least $100, and at least one direct deposit must post to your account within 60 days of account 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, or for households who have not had an open First Tennessee consumer checking account in the previous 12 months. Customer agrees to maintain account in good standing for a minimum of 6 months.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Express Checking, $7 Monthly Fee

This is waived if you have at least 1 direct deposit during a statement cycle and is the obvious choice for which account to pick.

Classic Checking $8 Monthly Fee

This cannot be waived (and has been increased in the last couple of months).

Select Checking $9 Monthly Fee

This is waived if you have at least 1 direct deposit and 15 customer-initiated debit transactions during a statement cycle.

Premier Checking, $12 Monthly Fee

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

Early Account Termination Fee

The fine print states that the account must be kept open and in good standing for 6 months. We can assume that they will take the bonus back if you don’t fulfill this requirement.


Even though the terms of the offer state that it “cannot be combined with other checking offers”, readers in the past have had success combining the referral bonus with the checking account bonus. In order to receive the referral bonus, you must submit the referral form first, THEN sign up for the $300 bonus.

Note that the terms of the referral are slightly more strict with respect to the direct deposit requirement. You will need to complete two direct deposits of at least $100 each within 60 days of account opening.

If you meet the requirements, both you and the referrer will receive a $50 Visa Gift Card (within about 6 weeks). Do not leave your referral links in the comments below, it clutters the comments and makes it difficult for discussion to occur. Instead post and get them in this dedicated post.

Our Verdict

Currently there is two other bonuses and this is better than both. There is a $300 bonus in middle Tennessee and North Carolina only but that requires a bigger opening deposit (not much difference) and a $200 bonus that is available in the other states. Looks like this $300 bonus should work in all of those states as well so really no reason to bother with that. They also have a $150 business checking bonus available.

$300 + $50 referral is as good as it gets with First Tennessee and this is an easy one to meet the requirements for with plenty of data points, unfortunately not much time left so hopefully it’s extended. Adding it to our best checking promotion page.

Hat tip to reader justdoit

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

89 Responses to [Expired] [AL, AR, GA, KY, MS, NC, TN, VA?] First Tennessee $300 Checking Bonus + $50 Referral

  1. WLT says:

    Boo – signed up for the $150 bonus about a month ago 🙁

    Still waiting for the bonus – anyone know how long it takes for the bonus to appear after meeting the requirements?

  2. joE says:

    There is a dedicated section for referrals as mentioned in the post. Please follow the rules or your link/post will be deleted.

  3. Daniel says:

    please delete sorry misread

  4. joE says:

    For the lazy who don’t read instructions…post your referrals in the below dedicated thread


  5. Justin says:

    Do you have to live in those states mentioned in order to apply?

    I’m from SC and confused to why there are no First Tennessee services here but all other southeastern states have them. Well FL is left out as well.

  6. Anthony says:

    If I am in VA will this work for me? Was planning on trying the $200 bonus before seeing this.

  7. Nick says:

    Question on the household limit, if I got bonus in last offer a couple months ago, can someone else apply this time and get the bonus? Thanks

    • Nick #2 says:

      “This offer is for new checking households, or for households who have not had an open First Tennessee consumer checking account in the previous 12 months. Customer agrees to maintain account in good standing for a minimum of 6 months.”

  8. rajv says:

    Is MA included as well? I started the application with a MA zip code and I was able to proceed with the application. Anybody else tried?

  9. Kevin Rose says:


    Bonus cards are usually check around the 17th and then you’ll get them early the following month.

    • Kevin Rose says:

      Ok. So the issue here is we really buried the lead on not posting referrals for this one and instead using a dedicated thread.

      Even when I skimmed the article I didn’t notice the request for a dedicated thread. As I’ve already completed this bonus I didn’t spend a ton of time reading. (My fault.)

      I think a solution where we wanted the referrals on the dedicated thread would be to have a call out box (different colored box) that says something like to get referrals or post one go “here”.

  10. plungerjoke says:

    MO resident here– it let me get all the way through funding then it looks like I was auto denied (probably for being out of state).

    • plungerjoke says:

      Oh disregard specifics above–the plot thickens. Got a denial email stating that it was based on ChexSystems. Current score of 655 (been hitting the bonuses hard–no other lifetime negative items) isn’t high enough for them. May be worth it for someone who has been more measured in their bank bonusing this year.

      • Eric says:

        Did it say 655 out of a possible BLANK?

        I’m wondering if there’s any way to get our Chex score. I didn’t see anything about this when I last checked my Chex report.

        • vince says:

          anytime you get rejected you can get your free chex score and report… it’s on the same site and easy to miss… i did the first time.

          • Eric says:

            I’ve never actually been rejected. I’m planning on trying Elements soon so there’s a good chance I’ll be able to see my score but I hope not.

            Do you remember what you score was and what it’s out of?

  11. PaulC says:

    Thanks Doc! Just applied, first signed up using referral link and then created an account with the promo code. All went fine. Was able to fund $300 with Citi HiltonHonor Visa card which I opened couple weeks ago. Easy $350.

  12. Brian says:

    Any one had a successful DP from Florida?

  13. Adrian says:

    I was denied for too many Chex inquiries. Application was approved pending from NV.

    Oh well 🙁

  14. Justin says:

    Successfully signed up for a Express Checking account as a South Carolina resident.
    Funded account at $300 using the Wells Fargo Cash Wise CC. Will report back if its coded as a purchase.

  15. chris a says:

    Did not realize there is dedicated thread for referral. Please delete this message. Sorry for the trouble.

  16. Rag says:

    I already got the bonus couple months ago. Can my wife, who has different last name, apply for it and receive the bonus? I know there is household limit of ONE, but want to know if having different last name would help

  17. Mark says:

    Messed up one of the verification questions, frustrating. It had me upload a utility bill and a photo of my drivers license and says “We will contact you in a couple of days when we’ve reviewed your application.”

    It sounds like this might cause me to miss the 6/30 deadline if they truly take a few days, which puts my best case as middle of next week (well beyond the 6/30 deadline to open).

    • Mark says:

      Update: I was unable to open because there is a lingering fraud alert on my Equifax report. Frustrating because I’ve been trying to get Equifax to remove this since March. Despite the message specifically saying it’s an initial alert and expired after 90 days, my app was auto-denied by First Tennessee because there was any trace of a fraud alert still there.

      Lessons learned are they pull Equifax and will not approve anyone if they have a fraud alert on their file. Bummer – will have to miss this one while I sort out Equifax.

      • Holly says:

        If it’s worth your time, you might give the application another shot and see if you can get through the verification questions.

        I had a similar experience last week — on mine the verification questions didn’t even load, so I uploaded ID and utility bill but stupidly missed that I actually needed to click the upload button. So I effectively submitted an application with no verification options. My application was denied and I received the standard decline statement, which pointed out Equifax as the source of the decision.

        I dug into my Equifax record and found … nothing. The closest issue I could find was a minor error in the mailing address section — but an error that could certainly be enough to miss one of the Equifax ID verification questions.

        I couldn’t find a way to reliably correct the error, so in the meantime I decided to try the bank account application again and see if I could at least get the verification questions to load.

        They DID load this time, but I still failed the verification step. (I have no idea how.) Uploaded the utility bill and drivers’ license — this time being SURE to click upload — and my second attempt was approved within an hour.

        Just received my bonus this morning.

        So…give it another shot. I’m thinking their Equifax ID verification is just incredibly glitchy.

        • Mark says:

          Thanks! Good to hear. I figured it out. Even though I had equifax remove my fraud statement months back and there was no longer a comment on file about the fraud alert, upon pulling my full report from equifax this morning I found that there was a field on my report saying my report saying:
          Credit File Status: Fraud Victim “Initial Alert”

          I called eqifax, gave the confirmation number from my original request months ago, was transferred once, verified my identity and they gave me a new confirmation number after removing the fraud victim status, saying it will be processed in 48 hours.

          Bummer because the bonus expires today but good news is in 48 hours I’ll be clear to churn under the radar again! Hopefully no more pesky ID verification calls for every app.

          Lesson learned is if you add a fraud alert, equifax requires an extra step to remove it after you get the personal statement removed.

  18. sue owen says:

    For Limit one bonus per household. Could husband and wife apply two individual accounts with same address?

  19. Mark says:

    My SO just filled out the referral form and clicked ‘Apply Now’ at the end of it. He put in the PIN300 code, but he didn’t open the account from the URL above ( Will he still get the bonus?

    • Tikky says:

      You can try to contact the bank after opening and have them confirm that $300 promo is valid and attached to SO application. I wouldn’t mention about the $50 referral as they may just tell you it’s one or the other.

      • Mark says:

        I’ll have him send a SM. Thanks! And btw, I am pretty sure he used your referral link, so you should be on the lookout for a gift card.

  20. Ben says:

    DC resident, opened, cc funded, and received email confirmation in less than 20 minutes total

  21. Too good 2B! says:

    I am not in a state where this bank has any locations. I applied today after using a referral link posted on the referral page, and got a message stating it was being reviewed. Got a call this afternoon: They had “one last step” to approve my application – they were wanting me to send copy of DL and a utility bill for address verification. I think I’m in! 🤞

    Also noted: There appears to be NO specific geographical area restrictions with this specific bonus link when reading the fine print. Some of the past First Tennessee bonuses I saw linked by DoC specifically listed locations in the details of the offer.

    • Too good 2B! says:

      Update: Approved in MO! Called to verify my verification info had been received and they pushed my application through. Was told by the rep he was able to see the promo on my account and confirmed I was eligible for the bonus pending 1 DD in 60 days. (Will still do 2 DD to get the referral bonus).

      Thank you DoC for all of the excellent information you provide!

  22. jp says:

    I tried with DoubleCash, AAdvantage, Freedom to no avail, all with “error verifying your payment information”. But, Hyatt finally was accepted.
    Perhaps add DPs to your “Bank Accounts That Can Be Funded With A Credit Card” web page….

  23. Adam Ross says:

    For those who used a referral link: How long did it take for your $50 referral bonus to show up on ReferLive?
    I used a link posted on this site, but I am still not showing any activity on the ReferLive portal. Anyone have any data on this?


  24. Jelena says:

    I clicked through the link posted here, but there was nowhere to put the bonus code or verify it was in. Hope I didn’t mess it up.

    • Justin says:

      Same here. I signed up for the referral using someone’s link and then clicked through the link posted here since the fine print said to sign up for an account at No field was found to enter in the referral bonus code.

      I looked through the referral bonus Terms and Conditions and I could not find any language that said you must apply for an account through the referral link. I believe once you get the referral email confirmation, you should be good to go. Crossing fingers.

    • Too good 2B! says:

      If you clicked though the link here, the referral code was automatically entered in the promo code field that was on the first page (I think). At least mine was.

  25. Brian says:

    So DP I applied this morning I live in central Florida I applied this morning and was approved for the express checking after review and my credit charge is pending.

  26. Ryan says:

    Oh man, I thought this would last until later today.

    Appears the link is dead..

    • Gadget says:

      I am bypassing the link and applying using the PROMO CODE PIN300 on a normal application. Then, Crossing fingers! Application submitted.

      • Peter says:

        did you get autoapproved? i applied last night and a banker emailed me today requesting documents (passport/ID & utility bill/pay stub). I was going to wait until the evening to send him them, but then he called me back saying if I didn’t get them to him by COB today so he could push the application through I wouldn’t get the bonus. So rushed home to send to him.

        If I were you I would try calling them to see if you can get somebody to push your application through today.

        • Gadget says:

          I didn’t get auto-approved. I think it said it couldn’t verify my identity by the knowledge based questions, so while still in the application, it asked me to submit a picture of a d/l and utility bill. Did that, and account was approved within hours.

      • Chuck says:

        Yeah, I did the same thing with the referral. Have a feeling I’m not going to get it, since I didn’t really see any sort of confirmation after I put in PIN300. Kind of regretting it, but will be able to easy post DDs from Chase. Just worried it will affect future bank applications

        • Gadget says:

          Most checking accounts promo’s online don’t give confirmations. From what I have seen, First Tenn is pretty quick about payouts, so you will know within a couple weeks after completing the requirements if you got the bonus. If you didn’t, there will be time to contest it or at least ask questions.

  27. PhielHerbut says:

    Bonus posted quickly. Here’s my timeline:

    6/18: Account funded with $300 via Citi DoubleCash
    6/19: Ally Bank “trial credits” post
    6/20: $7 monthly service charge posts, then a $7 credit is applied
    6/22: Ally Bank $100 push transfer posts
    6/29: $300 Bonus posts

  28. intoran says:

    link not working anymore?

  29. Kaung says:

    Looks like they have a new deal that’s only half as good as the $300:

    – $300 to open, only one DD to trigger bonus (no min requirement), offer good until August 31st.

  30. Jelena says:

    Just received an email that my account was closed because of a name discrepancy with my funding account. Funded with CFU, both accounts belong to me. Not sure what the problem is.

  31. Danny says:

    Called in customer service, asked about recent deposit from income, they said it is considered as a DD

  32. Michael says:

    Just an FYI for anyone out of state that actually funds/gets a bonus from 1st Ten. I have never lived in TN (or their service area), but was able to apply, fund, use and get a bonus at one time for a basic checking account a year or so back.

    As of 7/17/17, they have terminated their relationship with me (per their ‘terms’ it seems). This bank doesn’t mess around or have lax rules.

  33. Justin says:

    Update on my situation. So far, it’s not looking good. I’m a SC resident by the way.

    6/29 Used someones referlive link to signup for FT
    6/29 Opened FT checking account
    7/13 Transferred $100 from USAA checking acct to FT
    7/14 Transferred $100 from USAA checking acct to FT

    Both USAA money transfers is listed in FT checking acct as USAA EXT-INTRNT TRANSFER 170714[FIRST NAME LAST NAME]0000

    As of 7/27, no $300 bonus has been posted. Referlive status still says “Transaction requirements
    not completed.” Is anyone experiencing this issue?

    I am not located in the qualifying states so I am not sure if that could be the reason why I haven’t received my bonus yet. Any ideas?

    • MoreSun says:

      I’d try another bank. (FWIW I don’t see any DPs of bonuses posting after 6/29. I also opened in July, no bonus yet.) However, my Referlive status says I completed the reqs and my gift card has been processed. I transferred from Ally.

      • Justin says:

        I’ll try another bank to transfer money. It might be the case that USAA didn’t trigger the DD requirements.

      • Justin says:

        DP UPDATE:
        I spoke too soon. Today, I received my $300 checking bonus and confirmation from Referlive that my $50 gift card has been sent. The USAA money transfer worked!

        • MoreSun says:

          Got my bonus today as well. (I did a different offer for 150 that was open to all states after seeing conflicting data points on out of state getting FT bonuses.)

        • Justin says:

          Awesome! Great to hear things worked out. The risk definitely paid off on this one.

  34. Brian says:

    DP Opened my account in Florida online on June 30 Ally transfer 100 dollars July 7 and just got my bonus today. was sure I was going to have to fight this one

  35. Dan says:

    DD from chase checking $120 on July 12
    bonus posted on July 27

  36. Jason says:

    Hi,Doc. DP for my 300 bonus got on July.27 today
    Live at California
    opened account in June.30
    300 BOA business cash funding code as purchase
    100 transfer from schwab brokrage on July.6

  37. Carlos Danger says:

    6/29 Application date
    7/3 Account open date
    7/13 $100 transfer from Ally
    7/20 $100 transfer from Ally (to qualify for the referral bonus)
    7/27 $300 bonus posted

  38. SG says:

    Ally DD on 7/6/17, and 7/10/17
    $300 Bonus posted 7/27/17

  39. gruf says:

    DP (signed up from CO, outside of stated service area)
    6/30 applied for account and approved. funded with Citi Dbl Cash and processed as a purchase
    7/2 ACH micro deposits from TD Ameritrade Brokerage Acct
    7/3 setup ACH transfer from TD Ameritrade
    7/5 ACH micro deposits retreival
    7/24 transferred initial funding $ back to TD Ameritrade to pay off CC. I could not find a way to add Citibank as a payee in their BillPay site. Very frustrating web site.
    7/27 Account bonus of $300 clears
    waiting for 6 months to pass to close account…..gotta keep dd coming from TD Ameritrade to avoid fees.

  40. soesbandit says:

    6/30 Opened account, funded with TD Ameritrade Client Rewards VISA, posted as purchase
    7/11 ACH transferred $ in from TD Ameritrade
    7/21 ACH transferred $ in from TD Ameritrade
    7/27 $300 bonus posted

    Now waiting to see if $50 referral bonus comes through (used referral code from someone on DoC)

  41. justdoit says:

    Opened 6/28
    2 Wells Fargo ACH transfers
    15 days after ACH: $300 bonus posted
    8 days later: received $50 referral bonus card in the mail

  42. Tom says:

    Any DP’s for getting the bonus with only One DD?
    Opened 6/29, My one DD posted Aug 1st.

    • Tom says:

      Follow Up DP:
      Opened 6/29
      Funded $300 Chase SW Premier coded as purchase
      8/1 Payroll DD allotment of $101
      8/18 Statement….no bonus
      8/31 Bonus Posted

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