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Earning M&T’s Checking Bonus Takes Work

M&T Bank is promoting up to $175 in “Family Value Bonuses” when you open a new checking account.

It’s available to customers who live near one of the bank’s 750 branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

But there are a couple of drawbacks to consider before jumping in.

The full $175 in bonuses is only available when you sign up for M&T Select Checking.

That type of account charges a hefty $14 monthly service fee unless you maintain an average daily balance of at least $5,000, or have $10,000 in other B&T accounts, or a mortgage through the bank.

If you aren’t prepared to commit that kind of money to the bank, you could wind up paying M&T more in fees than the bonus is worth in just 13 months.

Then there are all of the hoops you must jump through to qualify for the bonus.

You only earn a $100 cash bonus by opening a Select account with direct deposit.

To qualify for an additional $25 cash bonus you must apply, and be approved, for an M&T credit card.

Then you can receive a $25 gift card from Best Buy by signing up for the bank’s free online bill payment service and making three payments. That’s a good idea.

But to qualify for a second $25 Best Buy gift card you must enroll in overdraft protection. That’s not a good idea. (Click here to read why we don’t like overdraft protection.)

When we tried to take advantage of the bonus, we were given six other checking accounts to choose from.

“Totally Free Checking” for example has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fees.

But the potential bonus is only $75, not $175 – $25 in cash for opening the account and the two $25 gift cards.

The story was pretty much the same for the other checking accounts. The lower the fees, the smaller the bonus.

What’s the problem with all of this?

The more complicated the choices, the more likely you are to feel like you didn’t get everything you were promised.

Or that the bank took advantage of you.

So the simpler the better. That’s our motto.

We’ve seen checking account bonuses that were more complicated than M&T’s. But not many.

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Comments (4)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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4 Existing Comments
  1. Steve said:
    on November 28th at 12:46 am

    how long does the account have to remain open? thanks!

  2. Lightrider said:
    on November 28th at 11:24 am

    Stay away from M&T bank. Had a big problem w/ them in the past. And they will NOT work w/ you!!!! BAD NEWS BANK!!!!!

  3. Marino said:
    on December 1st at 12:52 pm

    Best Bank EVER!!!!!! Got my $$$175

  4. danny boy said:
    on January 12th at 05:24 pm

    got my dinero tambien