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M&T Bank EZChoice Checking Account Review

Learn about all the details of the M&T Bank EZChoice Checking Account, the bank's basic checking offering. Find out what the fees are and the different features - ATM access and mobile apps - are available to customers. Compare it to checking accounts offered by other financial institutions, especially online banks.
(3 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

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M&T Bank primarily serves customers in the mid-Atlantic states with more than 800 branches from West Virginia to Connecticut.

As a full-service bank, you're likely to come across it when you're looking for a new checking account.

M&T Bank offers several checking accounts, but its basic checking account is a clear option for most people because it doesn't charge a monthly maintenance fee.

If you’re looking to open this checking account, in this review learn what you need to know about it to see if it is the right fit for you. And, compare it to other options before making your decision.

No Monthly Fee or Minimum Balance

One of the biggest benefits of the EZChoice checking account is that it does not charge a monthly fee.

There is no minimum balance to maintain and no requirements to meet to avoid the fee.

You will not be charged a maintenance fee no matter what your account’s balance is.

M&T Bank beats many other brick-and-mortar banks on this front because other basic checking accounts from national banks tend to have a monthly fee.

M&T Bank EZChoice Checking Account Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • No monthly fee
  • Free financial review with a personal banker
  • Mobile apps available
  • Fee for using Non-M&T Bank ATM
  • Does not pay interest

Complimentary Financial Review with a Personal Banker

An interesting benefit of the M&T Bank EZChoice checking account is that it offers a free meeting with a personal banker.

Personal finances are exactly that, personal. There’s no one-size fits all solution to everyone’s financial problems and concerns.

Still, it can be helpful to get a second opinion from a professional to make sure you’re on the right track to meet your financial goals.

Usually, when people want to review their financial plans, they’ll hire a financial advisor.

These advisors can be expensive, charging hundreds of dollars for a single meeting.

With such prohibitive costs, most people avoid meeting a financial advisor unless they really need to.

While the personal banker can’t provide all of the advice that a financial advisor could, they can still help you review your plans.

You can use this meeting to work on a budget, track progress towards your goals, and learn how M&T Bank can help you achieve those goals.

Make sure to take advantage of this valuable benefit if you open an account.

Note: Be ready for any kind of upsell to other financial products that you may not need or are expensive. Take down the information and advice and do more research afterward.

Fraud Protection

One of the downsides of using a debit card over a credit card is the reduced financial protections that you receive.

M&T Bank wants you to feel confident using your debit card, so it offers M&T Assurance.

This policy offers real-time fraud monitoring on your debit card purchases.

You can receive instant text messages when M&T detects potentially fraudulent activity on your card so that you can contact the bank if something is wrong.

M&T Bank also offers a zero-liability policy for unauthorized use of your debit card.

So long as you are not “grossly negligent or fraudulent” in handling your card and notify M&T immediately if you lose your card, you’re protected.

M&T will not hold you responsible for unauthorized transactions and will refund any money removed from your account.

Automatic Savings Transfers

Everyone should have an emergency fund and do their best to save money towards their long-term financial goals.

Unfortunately, saving is easier said than done.

Having to manually move money from your checking account to your savings account each month just makes saving more difficult.

M&T Easy Save lets you link your EZChoice checking account to an M&T savings account.

Once you’ve linked your accounts, you can set up automatic transfers from the checking account to the savings account.

You can set transfers to recur weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. You can also customize the size of the transfer, transferring as little as one penny each time.

There’s no commitment when you set up an M&T Easy Save plan. You can change the plan as often as you want. You can also cancel it whenever you’d like.

Automating your savings is the easiest way to get into the habit of saving. Using M&T Easy Save makes automating your savings even easier.

ATM Access

The goal of a checking account is to serve as short-term storage for the money you need access to on a daily basis.

No special feature can make up for a checking account that doesn’t let you get your money when you need it.

M&T Bank operates a network of 1,800 ATMs, which you can use to get cash whenever you need it.

M&T Bank does not offer reimbursement for fees charged by other bank’s ATMs. In fact, M&T will charge an additional $3 fee if you use a non-M&T Bank ATM.

This can make withdrawing cash very expensive if you don’t use an M&T Bank ATM.

Most of M&T Bank’s ATMs are located in the mid-Atlantic, where the bank is based.

If you’re outside of that area, you’ll have trouble withdrawing cash for free.

Earn No Interest

The M&T Bank EZChoice checking account does not pay any interest.

If you want to earn interest on the balance of your checking account, you’ll need to choose one of M&T Bank’s other accounts.

For those seeking to earn interest on their checking accounts, online checking accounts are likely to be better options.

Other Fees

Although M&T Bank does not charge a monthly fee for the EZChoice checking account, it does charge some other fees.

Most people won’t encounter these fees on a regular basis, but it is still important to be aware of them.

The most common checking account fee, outside the maintenance fee, is the overdraft fee. You will be charged an overdraft fee if you ever use your debit card to spend more money than you have in the account.

The overdraft fee for the M&T Bank EZChoice account is $38.50. You will not be charged a fee if:

  • The overdraft amount is less than $5
  • The overdraft occurs from a one-time payment and you did not authorize M&T to allow overdrafts

You have already been charged five overdraft fees on that business day.

Some other fees that you might be charged include:

M&T Bank EZChoice Checking Account Fees

Type Fee amount
Monthly Maintenance Fee $0
Out-of-Network ATM Fee $3
Overdraft Fee $38.50
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $12.50
Returned Item $38.50
Deposit Item Returned $10
Stop Payment $35
Incoming Domestic Wire Transfer $16
Incoming International Wire Transfer $16
Cashiers Check $10
Early Account Closure (withing 180 days of opening) $50

Other M&T Bank Checking Options

If you're interested in becoming a M&T Bank customer, but aren't sold on this checking account, check out some other checking account options also offered by this bank:

MyChoice Plus Checking

The M&T MyChoice Plus Checking account has everything a standard banking consumer would need, plus a few extra added benefits.

This account is best for banking consumers that know they will be making transactions at banks that are outside of the M&T network, and want easy access to their account and mobile banking features.

With this interest-bearing checking account, you can get a variety of streamlined perks, such as:

  • No M&T fee at other banks' ATM's
  • Refund of other banks' ATM fees (up to $2 per transaction)
  • A Relationship Savings Account with no monthly maintenance charge 
  • Discounted personal loan rates

These added perks do come at an additional fee, however. This account bears a $14.95 monthly maintenance fee, unless you're able to meet one of these requirements:

  • Maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 or more in the account, or
  • Have direct deposits totaling at least $1,500

We've highlighted the main fees and features of the account below:

M&T MyChoice Plus Checking Account Fees

Type Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee $14.95
Minimum Opening Deposit $25
Stop Payment Fee $35
Non-M&T ATM Fee $0
Overdraft Fee $38.50
Not-Sufficient Funds Fee $38.50
Early Account Closure Fee $50 if account is closed within 180 days of opening
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $12.50
Deposited Item Returned Fee $10 ($20 per item on accounts within District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia)
Incoming Wire Transfer Fee $16
Outgoing Domestic Wire Transfer Fee $32
Outgoing International Wire Transfer Fee $75


MyChoice Premium Checking

The MyChoice Premium Checking account is M&T's highest-tier checking account that offers greater interest rates and exclusive membership benefits.

This account makes the most sense for people that want a premier checking account that features platinum membership rewards and a handful of fee-waivers.

In addition to the standard checking perks that M&T offers, this bank account also offers:

  • No M&T fee at other banks' ATM's
  • Refund of other banks' ATM fees  (up to $2 per transaction)
  • No fee for Overdraft Protection transfers
  • Standard checks and safe deposit box discount
  • No M&T fee for traveler's checks
  • No M&T fee for incoming foreign and domestic wire transfers

Before you can receive this high-end perks, you'll have to pay a $24.95 monthly maintenance fee, unless you meet one of the following requirements:

  • Maintain an average daily balance of $7,500 or more in the account, or
  • Maintain total combined balances of $25,000 or more in eligible personal deposit accounts, loans and home equity outstanding balances, investments and business deposit accounts

Here's some of the most important fees of the account:

M&T MyChoice Premium Checking Account Fees

Type Fee
Monthly Maintenance Fee $24.95
Minimum Opening Deposit $25
Stop Payment Fee $35
Overdraft Fee and Not-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fee $38.50
Non-M&T ATM Fee $0
Traveler's Check Fee $0
Early Account Closure Fee $50 if account is closed within 180 days of opening
Overdraft Protection Transfer Fee $0
Deposited Item Returned Fee $10 ($20 per item on accounts within District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia)
Incoming Wire Transfer Fee $0
Outgoing Domestic Wire Transfer Fee $32
Outgoing International Wire Transfer Fee $75
Safe Deposit Box Fee Fee waived for $50 or less for one safe deposit box, or 50% off on the annual rental fee for one safe deposit box with a fee of more than $50 (up to a maximum of $200)


Convenience

Your checking account is the nexus of your financial life, so it should be easy to use.

If you can’t get to your cash when you need it, all that your checking account is doing is making your life more difficult. 

If you live in an area serviced by M&T Bank, the EZChecking account the account is fairly convenient. M&T operates over 2,500 branches and ATMs, so you’ll rarely be far from the nearest location.

That means you shouldn’t have much trouble getting money out of your account. The fact that there aren’t any hoops to jump through to avoid a monthly fee is another nice bonus.

M&T offers standard online convenience features. You can view your account balances and make online transfers from your phone or computer.

The bank also offers free online bill pay functionality.

M&T Bank has native mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Mobile check deposit is a handy feature to have and it is absolutely free. However, there are limits to how much you can deposit.

M&T Bank Mobile Deposit Limits

Account age Daily limit Monthly limit
Under 90 days $1,000 $3,000
90 days or older $2,500 $5,000

There are no limits on how many checks can be deposited -- only the dollar limits apply.

Note: M&T Bank states that mobile deposit limits may vary by you relationship with the bank. The limits are not the same for all customers.

How Does It Compare?

Checking accounts are the most common type of account in the United States. Nearly every bank offers one.

That means that you have a lot of options to choose from when you’re looking to open a checking account.

What that means is that you should take the time to shop around. Don’t just open the first checking account you find.

Look at all of the banks in the area to find the best account.

A smaller, local bank or a credit union might be able to tailor its services to fit your needs.

You could also look into online banks. Online bank accounts tend to charge the lowest fees and the best interest rates.

Other than the fees you’ll pay and how easy it is to access your money, you should consider these factors when choosing a checking account:

  • Monthly fee
  • Minimum deposit
  • Fee waiver requirements
  • Interest rates
  • ATM access

Conclusion

If you live in the geographical area serviced by M&T Bank, the EZChoice checking account is a solid choice.

The lack of a monthly fee is means you don’t have to worry about paying for the account, but the ATM fees can quickly eat into that savings if you need to use an ATM while you’re traveling.

If you’re a frequent traveler or expect to move across the country, you should look into other options.