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M&T Bank: A regional bank with a broad reach in the East

| Money Rates Columnist.

M&T Bank provides plenty of branches and ATMs for customers living and working in the Eastern United States. This regional bank operates a network of more than 690 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and Florida. It also gives customers access to more than 1,500 ATMs. In addition, M&T Bank is FDIC-insured.

M&T is a full-service bank, offering a range of savings, checking and money market accounts in addition to mortgages, auto loans and wealth-management services. None of the bank's products stand out when it comes to rates and options -- but if you are looking for an Eastern-based financial institution offering convenience, M&T is a solid choice.

Checking accounts

M&T Bank has a number of checking account options for customers. All of them come with monthly maintenance fees -- but these fees are fairly easy to avoid.

EZChoice Checking:

The bank's EZChoice Checking is a no-frills, basic account with a monthly maintenance fee of $6.95.

  • Avoid monthly maintenance fees: To avoid the $6.95 monthly maintenance fee, you only have to make one or more transactions each monthly cycle. Those transactions can include a deposit, withdrawal, payment with check or any debit payments.

MyChoice Plus Checking:

The MyChoice Plus Checking account includes some important extra benefits beyond the basic checking account but has a monthly maintenance fee of $14.95:

  • No ATM fees: M&T Bank won't charge MyChoice Plus customers fees at ATMs located outside the M&T network.
  • Earn interest: You can earn interest on your balance. Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly.
  • Avoid monthly maintenance fees: To avoid the $14.95 monthly maintenance fee, you'll have to keep an average daily balance of $2,500 or more during every monthly cycle or make direct deposits to your MyChoice Plus checking account totaling at least $1,500 in every cycle.

MyChoice Premium Checking:

This premium checking account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $24.95.

  • Better interest rates: TheMyChoice Premium offers somewhat higher interest rates and special rates on M&T CDs, loans and money market accounts; however, this requires larger balances as well.
  • Avoid monthly maintenance fees: You can avoid the $24.95 monthly maintenance fee by keeping an average daily balance of $7,500 or more or a total combined balance of $25,000 or more in personal deposit accounts, loans and home equity balances.

Savings accounts

Like most larger banks, M&T also gives customers their choice of several savings options -- savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Relationship Savings account:

The bank's basic savings account, its Relationship Savings account, features:

  • Online access: This makes the savings account compatible with the bank's direct deposit and M&T Easy Save, which allows automatic transfers between M&T accounts.

For children under 18:

The M&T Starter Savings Account is designed for children under 18. The goal is to teach children how to manage their money and build their savings.

  • No fees: There are no monthly maintenance fees with this account.
  • No minimum to open: In addition, there is no minimum balance requirement to open the account.

Money market accounts

  • The M&T e-Money Market account also comes with no monthly maintenance fee and online access.
  • The MyChoice Money Market account is similar but has higher interest rates and allows customers to write checks against it.

Certificates of deposit (CDs)

M&T also offers certificates of deposit that come with terms of 32 days to 72 months. Customers can choose from fixed or variable rates with their CDs.


M&T Bank Corporation got its start in 1856 in Buffalo, New York. That's when Pascal Paoli Pratt and Bronson Case Rumsey began discussing the need for a new bank that could finance durable manufacturing equipment. In March of that year, 13 founding stockholders of M&T Bank -- back then called Manufacturers and Traders Bank -- held their first meeting at the American hotel in Buffalo. The bank's first president earned a salary of $1,000 a year. That president, Henry Martin, held the job for 29 years.

Today, M&T Bank Corporation boasts more than $120 billion in assets.

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