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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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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
  • $6.95 monthly fee is easy to get waived by making at least one transaction — a deposit, withdrawal, or check or debit card purchase
  • 1,600 surcharge-free ATMs
  • Low $25 minimum deposit to open account
  • 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
  • Relationship Savings has a monthly fee of $7.50. It can be avoided by:

    • Making at least one deposit in your account per month

    • Keeping a minimum balance of $500

    • Opening a high-end M&T Bank checking account

  • At 0.02% annual percentage yield, interest rates on the Relationship Savings account are less than half the national average

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, with terms that range from 32 days to six years
  • Rates on short-term CDs are mostly below average
  • Steep initial deposit requirement of $1,000
  • To open some M&T Bank CDs with terms between six months and three years, customers must first open a premium M&T checking account

» 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

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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 ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, 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 technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.