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M&T Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
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M&T Bank Review: Appealing features and support — if you can avoid the fees story

NerdWallet’s rating: 3.0 / 5.0
3.0 stars out of 5

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at M&T Bank
M&T Bank offers more checking and savings accounts than most other regional banks, but the accompanying fees are as plentiful as they are steep. Its savings rates, including those on its certificates of deposit, are fairly low, especially compared with what you might find at a credit union or online bank.

The bottom line

  • The majority of M&T’s roughly 800 branches are in New York, Pennsylvania and the greater Washington, D.C., area.
  • M&T offers a $150 sign-up bonus on new checking accounts for customers in certain states.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best banks and credit unions in the Northeast

Our ratings

Checking account3.5 stars out of 5
Savings account2.5 stars out of 5
Certificates of deposit (CDs)3.0 stars out of 5
Customer experience3.5 stars out of 5
Overdraft fees2.0 stars out of 5
Overall3.0 stars out of 5

Read on for more details about M&T’s checking and savings accounts, CDs, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Checking accounts

3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 / 5.0

There are four checking accounts to choose from, five if you’re older than 50. The premium options come with several perks, but sidestepping the monthly fees on those accounts won’t be easy.

ProsCons
  • All you must do to avoid the $6.95 monthly fee on the basic EZChoice Checking account is make at least one transaction: a deposit, withdrawal, or check or debit card purchase.
  • New checking account users who sign up for direct deposit can earn a sign-up bonus of $150.
  • M&T Bank offers 1,600 surcharge-free ATMs, which is on the low end.
  • EZChoice Checking doesn't earn interest.
  • EZChoice Checking customers face a $3 fee for out-of-network ATM use.
Account reviewed for rating: EZChoice Checking

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best checking accounts

Savings accounts

2.5 stars out of 5
2.5 / 5.0

M&T offers several savings accounts. Though it wasn’t factored into our ratings, the MyChoice Money Market account lets customers with large balances earn an annual percentage yield of 1.25% during their first three months at the bank. Rates vary by region.

ProsCons
The Relationship Savings account has a monthly fee of $7.50, but it can avoided fairly easily if you:
  • Have a high-end M&T checking account.
  • Keep a minimum balance of $500.
  • Make at least one deposit in your account per month.
At 0.02% APY, rates on the Relationship Savings account are low. Rates may vary depending on where you live.
Account reviewed for rating: Relationship Savings

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Certificates of deposit

3.0 stars out of 5
3.0 / 5.0

M&T offers a decent selection of term lengths, but its rates aren’t very good, and the initial deposit requirement of $1,000 is high.

ProsCons
  • Customers have several CDs to choose from.
  • For residents of New York City, rates top out at 1.11% APY. Rates differ by region.
  • To open most M&T CDs, customers must first open a premium M&T checking account.
  • Steep initial deposit requirement of $1,000.
  • Rates on short-term CDs are mostly low.

» MORE: What is a CD?

Customer experience

3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 / 5.0

Unlike the larger national players, M&T operates primarily in the mid-Atlantic region. If you live within its branch and ATM footprint, you’ll likely have plenty of places to do your banking.

M&T’s online banking platform is generally useful, but the user experience could be much better. Its Android and iOS mobile apps come with helpful services like mobile check deposit and online bill pay.

Overdraft fees

2.0 stars out of 5
2.0 / 5.0

If you have a checking account at M&T, keep a close eye on your balance. The bank charges a high overdraft fee of $38.50, which it can charge up to five times per day. At $12.50, the overdraft protection transfer fee also is more expensive than most. The overdraft line of credit has an 18% interest rate, and most checking account holders will owe a $12.50 transfer fee. If incurred, both transfer fees are charged only once per day.

Good sign-up bonus, but little else

M&T+Bank
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at M&T Bank
M&T isn’t the best bank for everybody, but if you live in its territory and can get the monthly fees waived, you can make the bank work well for you.

Otherwise, you’ll probably be better served elsewhere. You may also want to give online banks a look; these typically come with some of the best high-yield savings accounts on the market and more forgiving overdraft policies.

Tony Armstrong is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: tony@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @tonystrongarm. NerdWallet writer Devan Goldstein contributed to this article.

Verified Jan. 30, 2017.


RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of each category: checking, savings, CDs, customer experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing tech and customer service. Several Nerds contribute to each financial institution’s ratings to ensure consistency and accuracy.

What the ratings mean:
5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best
4.5 stars out of 5 — Very good; only minor caveats for most customers
4 stars out of 5 — Good; issues that might make a difference to some customers
3.5 stars out of 5 — Fair; make sure strengths and weaknesses are a good match for you
3 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution
2.5 stars out of 5 (or below) — Best to avoid