M&T Bank Review 2020: Pros, Cons and How It Compares

Here's a look at the products offered by M&T Bank.

M&T Bank is a Buffalo, New York-based regional financial services firm with more than $120 billion in assets. The company traces its roots to the founding of Manufacturers and Traders Bank in Buffalo way back in 1856, so it’s had plenty of time to grow its footprint both at home and in surrounding states. M&T Bank currently operates more than 750 branches and 1,800 ATMs in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

M&T Bank still bills itself as a community-oriented bank even as its community keeps expanding thanks to a series of acquisitions and mergers. The company offers a wide range of checking and savings accounts as well as loans, retirement accounts, credit cards, debit cards and investment products and services. It’s listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trades under the symbol MTB.

If you wonder whether M&T Bank is the right bank for you, read on to learn more about its products and services and see how it stacks up against the competition:

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Who Is M&T Bank Best For?

If you live in M&T Bank’s service area there are plenty of reasons it might make a good fit. The bank has enough financial weight behind it to provide a full lineup of products and services at competitive fees and rates, along with the standard online banking and mobile app options customers have come to expect. Yet M&T still adopts a community-minded service model that includes Relationship Bankers who are hired and trained to provide personalized service to customers.

Pros and Cons of Banking With M&T Bank
Pros Cons
Personalized service provided by Relationship Bankers Service area limited to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
Good selection of checking and savings accounts to choose from Interest-bearing checking accounts require large balances
Numerous loan options Only two standard savings accounts available for individuals

M&T Bank is best for the following:

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  • Customers who live near enough to M&T Bank branches to take advantage of the face-to-face service and advice provided by Relationship Bankers
  • Customers who like to avoid monthly service fees on checking and savings accounts but don’t need a lot of high-yield options
  • Businesses in the service area that want to build long-term banking relationships that cover checking and savings accounts as well as financing, insurance, cash management and investments

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Who Might Want To Skip M&T Bank?

Your decision on whether to bank with M&T Bank will largely depend on where you’re located. If you don’t live in the immediate service area, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere. M&T Bank doesn’t offer the high annual percentage yields (APY) you’ll find at the best online banks or the lucrative sign-up bonuses being trotted out by larger national and regional banks. Consumers who don’t live near an M&T Bank branch will probably want to skip it.

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Types of Accounts Available

M&T Bank offers a variety of checking, savings and loan options for both business customers and individuals. Read on to learn more about the personal accounts you can choose from.

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Checking Accounts

The M&T Bank website lists four different checking accounts for individuals: EZChoice Checking, MyWay Banking, MyChoice Plus Checking and MyChoice Premium Checking.

Features

  • Access to online banking, mobile banking, M&T debit card and M&T alerts
  • Zelle digital payments available with all accounts
  • Digital wallet services through Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay

Pros

  • EZChoice Checking has no monthly fee.
  • Low minimum deposits to open
  • MyChoice Premium Checking provides access to Money Market account with no monthly maintenance fee.

Cons

  • Only two interest-bearing accounts offered
  • Monthly fees for both MyChoice accounts are high, but they can be avoided if you meet the requirements.

Take a Look: Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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Savings Accounts

M&T Bank offers two standard savings account options and one Money Market account. All savings accounts are subject to transaction and service fees — including insufficient funds (NSF) and overdraft fees — but these can be easily avoided.

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Features

  • Two different interest-rate levels: regular and premium
  • FDIC-insured up to the maximum applicable limit

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fee and no minimum deposit requirement for M&T Starter Savings Account
  • MyChoice Money Market Account offers premium interest rates to qualifying customers

Cons

  • Relationship Savings and MyChoice Money Market accounts both have monthly maintenance fees unless you meet requirements to waive them
  • Low APY compared with many other banks

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    Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

    M&T Bank’s CD options offer higher interest rates than standard savings accounts but more restrictions in terms of accessing money. M&T Relationship Bankers can offer more information on rate offers.

    Features

    • Fixed or variable rates for the term of the CD, ranging from 32 days to 72 months
    • Must be opened at your local branch
    • Minimum deposit of $1,000 to open

    Pros

    • Accounts are FDIC-insured up to the maximum applicable limit
    • Low risk

    Cons

    • Penalties may apply for early withdrawal
    • Low APY compared to other CDs

    Worth Checking Out: Best Savings Accounts of 2020

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    Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

    IRAs are designed to supplement 401(k)s and other long-term retirement accounts. While your money is in the account you don’t pay current income tax on the interest, dividends or capital gains earned.

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    Features

    • Traditional IRA: This is a tax-deferred option that lets you make annual contributions that might also be tax deductible.
    • Roth IRA: With a Roth IRA, qualified investors make nondeductible annual contributions with after-tax dollars. You can withdraw principal and earnings tax-free under certain conditions.

    Pros

    • No fees
    • No minimum balance requirements

    Cons

    • Penalties may apply for early withdrawals, distributions or account closures

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    Loans

    M&T Bank offers the standard lineup of loan products for both businesses and individuals. Personal loans include several types of mortgages and home refinancing options.

    Features

    • Mortgages: Offerings include traditional mortgage loans, mortgage refinancing and mortgage transfers
    • Home Equity Loans: These are available for owner-occupied homes of one to four families, town houses and condos, vacation homes (only available for lines up to $250,000) and deeded manufactured homes (only available for lines up to $100,000)​.
    • Unsecured and Cash-Secured Personal Loans: These are typically used to consolidate high-interest debt, finance major purchases or cover miscellaneous expenses.
    • Student Loans: Available for undergrad and postgrad students as well as parents
    • Auto Loans: Available with terms of up to 84 months

    Pros

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    • Home equity loans have no annual fees or application fees
    • Student loans offer both fixed and variable rates
    • Auto loans have low APR of 3.94% for some borrowers

    Cons

    • Auto loans have a minimum amount of $2,000
    • Website doesn’t offer much APR info on certain loan products

    Useful: Tips To Get Your Mortgage Payments as Low as Possible

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    How To Bank With M&T Bank

    You can open a new account at M&T Bank either online or by visiting one of its branches. Once you’ve opened an account, there are several ways to bank with M&T:

    • In-person at one of its branches
    • On its mobile app, which lets you deposit checks, transfer funds, pay bills, check balances and handle other tasks
    • Via online banking, where you can handle many of the same tasks as you can with the mobile app as well as get electronic statements and documents
    • At one of its ATMs

    To contact M&T Bank with questions, the general service number is 800-724-2440 and is available 24/7. Here are some other numbers you can call, along with the hours:

    • Online & Mobile Banking
      800-790-9130
      Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m. EST
      Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST
    • Business
      800-724-6070
      Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. EST
      Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST
    • Credit Card
      866-279-0888
      Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. EST
      Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EST
    • Mortgage Sales
      888-253-0799
      Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. EST
    • Mortgage Transfers
      866-462-1156
      Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. EST

    The M&T Bank website is simple enough to navigate, though a little slow at times. You shouldn’t have any problem finding information on accounts, products, interest rates and fees.

    Fees

    Monthly maintenance fees for all of M&T Bank’s personal accounts can be avoided if you meet a certain set of requirements. The table below tells you all you need to know.

    M&T Personal Bank Account Fees
    Account Monthly Maintenance Fee
    EZChoice Checking None
    MyWay Banking None if you have one or more transactions each monthly cycle such as a deposit, withdrawal or debit payment; otherwise the fee is $4.95
    MyChoice Plus Checking None if you maintain an average daily balance of at least $2,500 or have direct deposits totaling at least $1,500 per monthly cycle; otherwise the fee is $14.95
     

    MyChoice Premium Checking

    None if you maintain an average daily balance of at least $7,500 or maintain combined average daily balances of at least $25,000 in eligible accounts; otherwise the fee is $24.95
    MyChoice Money Market None if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500; otherwise the fee is $15
    Relationship Savings None if you do one of the following: maintain a minimum daily balance of $500 or more, have a personal checking account with M&T Bank or make at least one deposit in your Relationship Savings account during the monthly cycle; otherwise the fee is $7.50
    M&T Starter Savings Account None

    Beware: Making This Mistake at Your Bank Can Cost You $10,221

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    Availability of Funds

    All deposits at M&T Bank are subject to verification and not normally available for immediate withdrawal. This also applies to M&T’s mobile app, which lets you make same-business-day check deposits until 10 p.m. EST. 

    One way to get quicker access to your money is to sign up for M&T Flash Funds, a fee-based service that gives you the option of making your mobile check deposit immediately available for withdrawals or purchases. For checks that qualify, the fee for this service is 2% of the total check amount with a $2 minimum charge. The fee will be deducted from your account after the deposit is completed.

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    In Conclusion: M&T Bank

    As with any regional bank, where you live will determine whether you should sign up with M&T Bank. If you live in the service area and can easily reach one of its branches or ATMs, there’s plenty to like about M&T: personalized service, a decent range of checking and savings accounts, numerous loan options. But if you don’t live near an M&T Bank branch and are in search of higher-than-standard yields and more investment choices, you’re better off shopping around for other options.

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    Rates are updated periodically and subject to change. All other information on accounts is accurate as of March 23, 2020.

    This content is not provided by M&T Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by M&T Bank.

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