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M&T Bank's Cash Bonus But Don't Forget the Fees

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M&T Bank

We are still seeing checking account bonuses from the big banks. Those who are careful may be able to profit from these, but the banks know that they will most likely profit in the end. The latest big bank offering a checking account bonus is M&T Bank which is offering a $100 cash bonus for customers who add direct deposit to a MyChoice Checking account. M&T Bank has this promotion advertised on its home page and on its special website raisethegreenflag.com/mychoice.

Those who try to qualify for this bonus should be aware of the potential fees. First, MyChoice Checking is not a free checking account. According to the MyChoice Checking page, there's a $6.95 monthly fee unless you maintain an average daily balance of at least $500 or unless you make 10 or more check card purchases.

In addition to monthly maintenance fees, there are fees for things you might not have expected. If you use M&T Bank's bank-to-bank transfer service, they will charge you a $3 fee for each transfer you make from your M&T account to your accounts at other financial institutions.

If you have an M&T Bank savings account, you might be charged for just tranfering money from the savings to checking account. Regulation D imposes a limit of 6 withrawals per statement cycle. However, banks are free to set a lower limit, and that is what M&T Bank does. For example, M&T Bank charges a $5 fee if you make more than 4 withdrawals per month from its Relationship Savings.

If you do get surprised by one of these fees, you may want to dispute it with the bank's customer service rep. However, don't expect this to be easy. A reader described the trouble he had with trying to get M&T Bank to reverse this withdrawal fee.

The problem with banks is even if you choose a small bank, it has been common for many small banks to be acquired by the big banks. A recent example of this was Wilmington Trust and its online division, WTDirect. WTDirect's online savings account used to have many nice banking features and a competitive rate. That recently ended after its merger into M&T Bank was completed. A reader described his experience with this conversion in this forum thread.

Another option to reduce surprise bank fees is to stick with a credit union. If you're looking for a credit union, please refer to my post Finding the Best Free Checking Accounts at the Best Credit Unions.

Other Bank Bonuses

We have a new bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.


  Tags: M&T Bank, checking account, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

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Comments
9 Comments.
Comment #1 by viking posted on
viking
Would ACH transfers qualify as direct deposits?

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
That depends on the bank.  Most don't treat ACH transfers as direct deposit.

This bank charges you $3 for making an external withdrawal of up to $10K.  Are ACH fees the thing of the future?

1
Comment #4 by dbl118 posted on
dbl118
#2- Actually most do treat ACH transfers as direct deposit.

2
Comment #3 by viking posted on
viking
OT: Wells Fargo and Bank of America also charges for outgoing transfers, but not Citi Bank

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Is this promotion only for new customers? I already have an inactive college checking account with this bank,don't know if I'm eligible for this time's bonus.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Wretched bank. Requires copy of SS card, Drivers licence, Utility bill (all of them)... unheard of.

2
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
When the balance requirements and transaction limits are outlined in the info received when you open the the account, you can't blame the banks.  It is our responsibility to read about the type of account we're opening before we open it.  As a society, it's gotten to easy to blame the big corporations for our laziness or neglect.

2
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just recently "thought" I opened an M&T free checking account. After I got the paper work home I realized that I was given a totally different kind of checking account. I have read about the deceptive practices of this bank online and I feel worried just seeing what people have written about their experiences there. It costs $50 to close an account.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I hate M&T.  I unfortunately have my mortgage there and had to take to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York because they jacked up my payments 6 months after I got the mortgage.  Write a letter with details and ask for names and record dates of everyone you talk to and send it to FRB in New York.  I had a resolution within 5 days.   I tried to resolve if for 6 weeks until I wrote the letter.  Their overdraft fees suck.  The charge 38.50 twice within 5 days if the account is not brought current.  I made an accounting error, raced to the now closed branches.  Got the money in the next morning just enough to cover the overdraft and additional $5. Account brought current Plus $5, that evening, they still charged 38.50, and will charge me another 38.50 in 5 days.  Hate em!

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