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Checking Account Bonuses of up to $100 at M&T Bank - Nationally Available

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M&T Bank is offering bonuses of up to $100 for opening one of its checking accounts. Details of this promotion are described in M&T Bank's checking page. The offer is scheduled to last through April 4, 2009. You have to enter your zip code to see the checking account selections.

I called the bank to see if it's a nationwide offer, and according to the CSR it is available nationwide. I was told the bonuses are currently the same for all regions. The CSR also said that they do not do a hard credit inquiry (they only use ChexSystem). Checks are not free, but they are not automatically ordered in the application. You'll have to call to order them if you want them.

Update: Here's an important detail in the small print regarding the bonus:
One cash bonus per personal checking account for activating direct deposit within 90 days of account opening or for making an initial deposit to your account via ACH transaction during the online account opening process. Bonus will be credited to the account after the first such deposit is made and will be reported as income for tax purposes

The online application uses Andera which is common for online applications. You can fund the account with either an ACH transfer or by mailing a check.

Not all the checking accounts qualify for the $100 bonus. The Totally Free Checking account only has a $25 bonus. The two best checking accounts that offer the $100 bonus include the Direct Checking and the Classic Checking. The Direct Checking has no monthly fees with direct deposit or when you maintain at least a $1,500 in combined average daily balance. The Classic Checking is only available to customers 50 and over. If you qualify, this is the best choice since there are no balance requirements or monthly service fees.

M&T Bank has branches in the Mid Atlantic States with most branches located in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 588).

Credit for this find goes to iBankDesign member ichaelm who posted it in this iBankDesign thread.

  Tags: New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, checking account

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Comments
19 Comments.
Comment #1 by Mike (ichaelm) (anonymous) posted on
Mike    (ichaelm)
Thanks Ken! I read your outstanding blog on a daily basis and often post messages here too, (usually regarding rate drops, such as the inevitable one that I posted last night regarding Broadway Fed) but in the past I've always posted here as "anonymous".

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anyone with experience with M&T know whether externally initiated ACH (e.g., ING, GMAC, Fidelity etc.) qualify as Direct deposit?

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This bank has a lot of fees. They charge you $4 if you close account by mail. They also have a fee of $10 for early account closure. I was on the way to open the direct checking for $100 bonus but when I read the terms and conditions for this specific checking account, they mentioned that only $25 bonus will awarded for all accouts outside DC, Virginia?? Maryland accouts will get $50. That sucks. I am outside these areas.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I called a CSR who said the bonus was only for accounts that initiated a Direct Deposit.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I live in Maryland and the checking account rate is a microscopic 0.05%. So the $100 is in effect, your interest payout for the entire lifetime of the account. Ridiculous.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
As Anonymous at 3:35p on Feb. 27 indicates, offers like these from M&T that offer a cash "bonus" for opening an account that is, for all intents and purpose, a non-interest-bearing account, is just one more example of a collective assault by many banks on the intelligence of savers......

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened the "classic checking" account, for those 50+. Free checking with no minimum balance requirement, therefore, the bonus is a meaningful perk.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I live in Maryland and opened this account. The bonus payout was easy and prompt - the same day my first direct deposit hit the account, the bonus was paid.

I noticed several comments about the fact that the accounts bear little to no interest. Yes, this is true. I wouldn't recommend this account for anyone intending to deposit or keep a high balance. However, I am fortunate to have an employer that allows me to split my direct deposit into three, so I direct deposit a few bucks into this account and then spend it. The lost interest is minimal.

My original plan when I opened the account was to close it after 6 months (there was a fee to close before then). However, one nice feature of the account is the free access to Yodlee, so this account can be used as an ACH hub for all your other accounts. I don't have another account with that feature, so I may keep the M&T account around for that reason.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The main reason for offering the bonus is to get people to open accounts. Bank workers get bonuses for opening accounts. If they don't open any new accounts, they don't get any bonuses. The bonus money is still free money, albeit the interest rate for these accounts is minimal. Before the dot com bust and when the rage was on day trading and online investing, I opened brokerage accounts at Fidelity, Ameritrade, TD Waterhouse, and Discover brokerage firms. Each of them offered account opening bonuses of $100. I was glad to get several hundred dollars of free money. Of course, these accounts paid paltry credit interest rates on the balance in the accounts, so none of them are open now.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
BONUS FOR FUNDING VIA ACH DURING ONLINE APPLICATION OR FOR ESTABLISHING DIRECT DEPOSIT: We will credit one bonus
(the “Bonus”) to the account if you make a qualifying ACH deposit into the account. A qualifying ACH deposit can be either (1) the first deposit
you make into the account if made by ACH transaction authorized during your online account application, or (2) a direct deposit into the account
made within 90 days of account opening. Bonus will be credited to the account on the business day following the day on which we credit such
qualifying ACH deposit to the account. The account is eligible for only one Bonus regardless of the number of qualifying ACH deposits made to
the account. If the zip code entered on the "Your Banking" page of the online application for your account is within (1) the District of Columbia,
Virginia, West Virginia, or the following counties in Maryland: Allegany, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St.
Mary’s, or Washington, the amount of the Bonus is $100; (2) Delaware or the remaining counties in Maryland, the amount of the Bonus is $50;
or (3) any other location, the amount of the Bonus is $25.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The bonus amount differences must be because certain Maryland counties, DC, and most of Virginia and West Virginia have some of the most competitive banking operations where you need to get customers by offering a higher rate. The other counties and the rest of the country are not that competitive, so they can afford to give you a smaller bonus.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
O-ops! The offer seems to be not available anymore. Nothing about $100 bonus at the M&T site.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
hey guys, I just opened the M&T Direct Checking, is there a fee for closing the account early ? how long do i have to keep this account?

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Comment #14 by Scott (anonymous) posted on
Scott
$10 fee if you close within 180 days. Found this link that appears to have the full details on all fees:

http://services.mandtbank.com/personal/daily/PA095_BasicBanking.pdf

Also, this bonus is most definitely still good - you just have to follow the instructions and enter your zip code first to see the bonuses listed. Although, it might be geographically restricted.

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
3/4/09 - Application from Pacific NW. Classic checking (for ages 50+). ACH transfer for minimum opening deposit.

3/9/09 - Check/Debit card received via USPS.

3/12/09 - initial deposit + $100 bonus available balance!

Of Note:
1) $10 early closure fee (180 days to avoid)
2) $4 close by mail
3) Check/Debit card REQUIRED to establish web banking. Free.
4) check/debit card fees...
use a pin number, get charged a fee. Includes pin number used for purchases. Signature purchases, no charge. The card and web banking are free as well at least for this account type.

For me, it's all good... more diversification of cash, with FDIC insurance, and a bonus. I figure these bank bonuses are as close as I'll get to a piece of bailout money.

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Very easy $100. I am from the state of Hawaii and opened the account online via ACH transaction. Bonus appeared immediately and there was NO HARD PULL on my credit report.

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Comment #17 by Scott (anonymous) posted on
Scott
Here's an idea:

1. Open Direct Checking account with ACH transfer.
2. Get $100 bonus.
3. Switch checking account type to Totally Free Checking to avoid $1500/DD minimum.

I opened a Direct Checking account a month ago and just sent an email to see if I can switch my account now (already got bonus). I'll report back when I find out!

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Comment #18 by Scott (anonymous) posted on
Scott
Follow up to my comment above - it worked! I still have my bonus and they converted my checking account to a Totally Free Checking account. Only thing to note is the 90-day inactivity fee if I don't use this account often enough. Excerpt from email from M&T:

As you requested, I changed your account to an M&T Totally Free Checking account. The M&T Totally Free Checking account does not have a minimum balance requirement. Therefore, you will not be assessed a monthly service charge.

If, at any time after you open your M&T Totally Free Checking account, there is a period of 90 consecutive days during which there is no activity in your account (i.e., deposits or withdrawals), your account will be automatically converted to an M&T First account with us. An M&T First account requires a combined average daily balance of $1,500.00 to avoid an $8.00 service charge.

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Comment #19 by Dwayne in LA (anonymous) posted on
Dwayne in LA
In response to anonymous, in MD I guess, the full $100 bonus was paid to me & my girlfriend. I live in LA & she lives in TX. I opened both accounts online in about 30-60mins w/ $26 each about at the end of March. I don't know if ING, PayPal, or other externally initiated ACHs qualify as dir dpt but we received our bonuses w/i 10 days. I set dir dpt for $20/mo, w/ debit card, & estatements. Bank-to-bank transfers available after receiving your debit card. CSRs I have spoken w/ have been friendly & helpful.

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