October 27, 2018

M&T Bank Review: Account Good for You?

Read more about M&T Bank
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If you are on the upper East Coast, you probably see M&T Bank frequently. With a free checking option and a range of deposit accounts, does it meet your needs?

Overall Score

3.4

Savings

3.0

CD

3.0

Checking

4.0

Money Market

3.0

Customer Service

4.0

Mobile App

3.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Free checking option
  • High APY for Promo CD
  • Free savings with checking
  • Fee heavy
  • Subpar savings APY
  • Limited branches

Bottom Line

Upper East Coast bank with free checking option and good promo CD rates

M&T Bank is a regional bank, but they offer a variety of services that cater to people of all ages. You may not find the highest interest rates at this bank, but you will find exceptional customer service. They pride themselves on being a customer-oriented bank that strives to create personal relationships with each customer.

Even though you can conduct a majority of your bank transactions outside of the branches, you may find yourself visiting the branches just for the comradery they exhibit each time you visit. Keep reading to see if M&T Bank is right for you.

Services Offered


Checking Accounts

Each checking account comes standard with a debit card with chip technology, access to online and mobile banking, and M&T alerts.

  • EZChoice Checking: This checking account doesn't have a monthly maintenance charge. You get access to online and mobile banking, as well as a Relationship Savings account with no monthly maintenance charge. This account doesn't earn interest, but it also doesn't have a minimum monthly balance you must meet.

  • MyChoice Plus Checking: The service fee is waived if you keep a minimum monthly balance of $2,500 in your checking account or have monthly direct deposits of at least $1,500. This account does earn interest. You also won't pay fees for using a non-M&T Bank ATM. Plus, M&T Bank will refund you the charges any third-party banks charge for using their ATM. You may also have access to discounted loan rates.

    If you're in certain New Jersey regions, the requirements to waive the fee are lower. You need to maintain a $500 average daily balance, or have $500 in direct deposits per cycle.

  • MyChoice Premium Checking: This premium checking account requires a monthly balance of $7,500 or a total combined balance of $25,000 in all M&T deposit accounts. This account offers higher interest rates than the other checking accounts as well as all of the benefits of the MyChoice Plus Checking. It also provides access to a MyChoice Money Market account free of charge, access to a safe deposit box, and no M&T fees for incoming wires (domestic or foreign).

  • Basic Banking: This basic banking account meets your everyday banking needs like ATM access, direct deposits, mobile banking, etc. But the $3 monthly maintenance fee cannot be waived. You also get a Relationship Savings Account for no extra monthly service fee.

Savings

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M&T Bank offers savings accounts for different types of savers. Whether you are just starting out or you want a high-yield money market, they have options for you.

  • Relationship Savings: This savings account is included with many of the above checking accounts free of charge. If you open it on its own, there is a service fee unless you keep a balance of $500. It does earn interest and can serve as an overdraft account for other M&T checking accounts.

  • M&T Money Market: This savings account provides you with check writing abilities, but you are restricted to the standard six withdrawals per cycle. This account doesn't have a maintenance charge and you don't have to meet a minimum balance. The interest on this account is variable.

  • M&T Starter Savings: This savings account was designed for those 18 years and younger. It will require a custodian to maintain control of the account. There are no monthly service fees or minimum balances required. Teens get access to online and phone banking, and can even use direct deposit or an M&T ATM. The interest earned is a variable rate.

  • MyChoice Money Market: This money market account earns tiered interest rates based on your balance and whether you have a MyChoice Premium checking account in which you make three deposits during each month. You have access to your funds via ATM, checks, or at an M&T branch. You can also set up direct deposit with this account.

  • CDs: M&T Bank offers CDs with terms ranging between 32 days and 72 months. You can only open a CD at your local branch, not online. You need at least $1,000 to open a CD and to get promotional rates; the $1,000 must not already be on deposit in another M&T account. M&T offers a very competitive rate for their 12-month and 24-month CD terms.

What Is the M&T Bank Routing Number?
M&T Bank has three routing numbers. Your routing number corresponds to the state you opened your account in.

  • New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut: 022000046
  • Pennsylvania and Delaware: 031302955
  • Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC: 052000113

Reasons We Like M&T Bank

  • Free checking option. It's rare nowadays that a traditional bank offers a free checking option with no monthly service fee or account minimum requirements. The EZChoice Checking account has no maintenance fee and fills all banking needs.

  • Receive alerts. You can receive M&T Bank alerts regarding your account in three ways. M&T Bank will send alerts via the mobile app, email, or text message. You can set up your preferences so that you are alerted in a manner that will get your attention right away.

  • Make mobile check deposits. You can deposit your checks via the mobile app. You also get an extended time to do so. Checks deposited by 8 PM local time are considered a same-day deposit. The funds' availability will be based on the standard requirements, but the couple of extra hours give you a chance at having access to the funds sooner.

  • Free mobile banking. You can transfer funds, pay bills, and view your account transactions on the mobile app. M&T Bank's mobile app is an extension of their online platform. This makes it easier to bank no matter where you are and at any time of day or night.

  • Free custom debit card. Stand out and express your style with your debit card. M&T bank offers stock images for you to choose from for your card or you can upload your own image. You can even upload an image of yourself for extra card security.

  • Overdraft Protection. To protect your checking account from overdrafts, you can link a M&T savings account, credit card, or Overdraft Line of Credit. Funds will automatically be transferred to cover the overdraft. There is a transfer fee (though it's a lot less than the overdraft fee) and an interest rate will apply if you're using credit. You must enroll in this protection plan.

  • Set up automatic savings deposits. The Easy Save program allows you to set the amount and frequency of your automatic transfers to your savings account. This can take the thinking out of savings, possibly making it easier to stay on track with your savings goals.

  • ATM accessibility. There are more than 1,600 fee-free M&T ATMs located throughout the Northeast region. And plus, if you have the MyChoice Plus or Premium account, M&T will not charge a fee for non-M&T ATMs and will even refund the fee charged by the other bank.

  • Your deposits are FDIC insured. Each account is insured up to $250,000. If M&T Bank went out of business, your money would be protected.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • High overdraft fees. If you tend to occasionally overdraft your checking account, you'll want to look elsewhere. The overdraft fees at M&T are higher than many other banks. In addition to the high overdraft fee, they charge an extended overdraft fee if you remain short on your account for five straight days.

  • Limited locations. You must live in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Washington, DC, to open an account. M&T Bank is a regional bank, not a nationwide bank.

  • The interest rates are subpar. Just like many other big-name banks, M&T Bank's interest rates can't compare with the online, high-yield rates offered by many banks that don't have the overhead of a brick-and-mortar branch.

What Is the M&T Phone Number?
You can reach M&T Bank general service at 1-800-724-2440, Monday-Friday 6 AM - 9 PM ET, and 9 AM - 5 PM ET Saturday and Sunday.

If you have questions about online or mobile banking, call 1-800-790-9130, Monday - Friday 8 AM - 9 PM ET, and 9 AM - 5 PM ET Saturday and Sunday.

How It Compares

PNC:
PNC is an Eastern bank that offers comprehensive banking services. Their online budgeting tools make it easier to set financial goals and reach them. They also have a large presence at many major universities, providing financial education for college students. They also offer low monthly fees, but they do have lower interest rates than many other banks.

KeyBank:
KeyBank has an estimated 1,200 branches across 15 states. Their offerings are rather basic, but they excel at customer service. Like M&T Bank, they have high overdraft fees and their interest rates do leave a bit to be desired.

Bottom Line

M&T Bank is a great neighborhood bank. If its locations are convenient for you and you aren't looking for top-notch interest rates, you may have found the perfect bank for yourself. As always, make sure you read the fine print and determine if banking at M&T Bank is in your best interest. Comparing its offerings to other banks in your area and online will help you make the most profitable decision for your money.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on October 27, 2018. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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