M&T Bank checking, savings, money market accounts, CDs review: fees, rates, minimums, pros/advantages, cons/disadvantages. Is it good, safe/FDIC-insured?

M&T is a regional bank with branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware. Money Magazine rated M&T as one of the best banks in 2012.


M&T Bank Checking Account Review

M&T offers a host of checking account options. People of different ages and situations can choose accounts with different features.

M&T’s other checking options have monthly service charges, which can be avoided under certain conditions, but also come with more features. The bank’s MyChoice Plus Checking and MyChoice Premium Checking accounts are interest-bearing and offer discounts on personal loan rates. Both accounts charge no fees to customers for traveler’s checks. A $2,500 minimum balance is required for the Plus account to avoid the monthly fee. Currently, Plus offers a 0.01% interest rate on balances while Premium offers a 0.05% rate. The MyChoice Premium Checking account is M&T’s most expensive and most feature-rich option. M&T charges $24.95 per month unless the account holder maintains an average balance of $7,500 or greater, keeps a combined balance of $25,000 in personal deposit, loans, investments, or business accounts - or has a mortgage with the bank with an original amount of $200,000 or more. The MyChoice Premium account does not charge its holders for money orders, official checks, or incoming wire transfers.


M&T Bank Savings Accounts Review

The bank also offers a number of savings account options. People can open a regular savings account or a money market account with various features that they select according to their circumstances. M&T offers an interest rate of 0.02% for its Relationship Savings and M&T Starter Savings accounts. Its money market rates start at 0.03% and go up to 0.15%. Balances up to $2,499 receive 0.03% interest. Rates gradually increase according to the balance. Balances $100,000 or more receive 0.15% interest.

M&T Bank Bank Money Market Accounts and CDs Review

M&T also offers higher introductory rates for new money market accounts that are applied in the first three months. Overall, the bank’s money market rates are higher on average than other banks – a positive. M&T’s certificates of deposit (CDs) offer a yield of 0.01% for 6 months and 0.3% for 36 months. Rates vary with the duration of the CD.

M&T Bank: Is it Safe? FDIC-insured?

Although considering the financial condition of a bank may be considered a relic of the Depression Era with the existence of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the recent recession reminded people that having their money “locked up” for long periods of times is detrimental to their finances. Many banks failed during the recent recession and continue to do so but on a much smaller scale. Customers are guaranteed to get their money back, up to $250,000, by the FDIC, but the time when they get it back can be weeks, months, and perhaps even years. M&T, fortunately, is a conservatively-run bank with solid finances. The bank’s Texas ratio, a measure of the loan troubles a bank is experiencing, is currently around 13%. Banks with Texas ratios at or above 100% are considered risky to have deposits or loans with. M&T also continues to grow its deposit base and provide adequate protection to all its depositors. So, customers opening accounts with M&T can be assured that their money is safe and secure.


M&T Bank: Cons/Disadvantages

M&T is a regional bank and does not have a national or global presence. Customers will have to use ATMs offered by other banks or businesses and pay the fees associated with each transaction. M&T customers can have their ATM fees reimbursed by upgrading their checking accounts to the Premium option. In addition, the basic checking account has a relatively high fee for using other banks’ ATMs at $3. Further, the bank’s online platform is basic and not comprehensive. Customers who prefer online banking will not be impressed by M&T’s platform. Last, M&T charges an overdraft fee of $38 for checking accounts; the average for banks is $35, a $3 difference.


M&T Bank Review Summary

M&T has many different account options that allow its customers to be flexible in selecting the right account for their situations. If you are a traveler and frequent other locations, M&T will not be the best option for you unless you have a premium checking account and are reimbursed for ATM fees. In addition to savings and checking accounts, M&T also offers its customers investment, retirement, and insurance products. Mortgages and other loans can also be taken out through M&T. Individual borrowers are different, however, so different people will receive different rates on the aforementioned products.

M&T is a financially strong bank with savings interest rates that are higher on average than other banks. Its online platform is basic but that may be what some people are looking for - especially older customers who prefer paper correspondence and face-to-face interactions. It has a wide breadth of services and is increasing its offerings as it expands throughout the Northeast. M&T is a safe place to keep your money and is consistently rated as one of the top banks in the United States.

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