Pros: None. I hate M&T.
Cons: RUDE Service, FEES FEES FEES, Unreasonable check clearing times. Did I mention FEES?
This bank is another example of how big business is out to screw over the little guy. Like most people, I'm not rich and actually depend on my weekly paychecks to you eat and pay bills, etc. Well, here comes M&T Bank with their offer of a FEE, er, I mean Free checking account. No monthly fees! The account I presently had charged a 5.95 monthly fee, which was usually waived if you made enough deposits and had a minimum balance on your linked accounts.
It sounded good, so I switched accounts. First thing they did is hit me with a monthly online bill-pay fee. Wait, I thought this was a FREE account? I never use bank services to pay bills online, and I never requested the service but they billed me anyway! so I called up and had the fee waived, after dealing with the not-so-cooperative telephone rep.
OK, so now I'm set to enjoy my FEE...(I mean Free) checking account, right? Well, no. I have found out that they seemingly intentionally mis-represent available funds in your checking account in order to get you to overdraw and pay massive NSF fees when you use your FEE, er, Free debit card. I keep thorough banking records and keep all my receipts. I have never bounced a check or overdrawn an account in my life...until M&T, that is. After reading reviews on this and other sites, it appears I am not alone in this experience.
On one occasion I had deposited my paychecks (I have 2 jobs) a couple days before, and I go out to run some light errands ...3 transactions of about 7 dollars each. Well...come to find out that M&T now takes upwards of 4-5 BUSINESS DAYS to clear a Payroll check, one of which is a government payroll check! What these snakes do is post the money as 'available' on the online banking site, so you think you have the money available in your account to use...which I did. So, those three transactions initially cost me about $60 in NSF fees. I called up and demanded a refund. They waived two of the fees but I had to pay the third. The phone rep also gave me a guilt trip about not having direct deposit. Well, I politely told him that my employer does not presently offer direct deposit, and I still got the third degree for not having a job that offers direct deposit. Sorry...not everyone works for a freakin' bank.
The same thing happened 2 weeks later. The funds were listed as available and cleared, and matched the 'available' balance I received on a receipt from the teller as well as matching my check book balance. Again, come to find out that the State Government payroll check was still in the process of clearing (after 4 days!), and again was hit with multiple NSF fees when the debit transactions were presented to the bank for payment. This time I was irate with their service department. I got all my funds back and I closed all of my accounts there and changed banks.
Speaking of their phone service, make sure you save all your complaints for one call. They only allow you 4 calls a month to the service center, after that you have to pay a per-incident phone service charge of $2.50. Great, huh?
Also, their mortgage department is absolutely horrendous and could care less about you unless you have 150,000 to put down on a $400,000 house. Their mortgage reps do not return your phone calls, I had to nag this guy repeatedly before I gave up and changed banks. I mean it literally took over a month to get a simple yes-or-no answer to a pre-qualification from these people. I don't need this hassle when there are hundreds of banks out there who would love to finaance someone with excellent credit like me.
Also, FYI I never used my card as debit but M&T charges $1.50 per transaction if you use your debit card as debit instead of as a Visa. And, their debit cards dont last long. I have to order a replacement every six months...and they keep wanting to charge me for it but I refuse to pay for their shabby products.
Some other quirks: If you want money from your account, you cant just fill out a withdrawal slip to take money out of your account. You have to write a check either yourself or to 'cash.' Every other bank I've had lets you use a withdrawal slip. Guess this is so you burn through checks faster and have to order more, or to make you use your shabby debit card more often, wear it out and get charged for a new ont. Also, when depositing at an ATM you have to fill out everything on the envelope yourself, name, account number, date, dollar amount and account type. And, you also have to fill out a deposit slip. This is always fun with a line of cars behind you when you are trying to fill out 3 different forms on your steering wheel.
In sum, unless you are rich enough, or if you enjoy paying all sorts of fees (for your FREE account) or if you like being cheated by their record keeping system, avoid this corporate-minded bank like the plague. Living in Western NY I wanted to support local business as M&T was based here, but I'd sooner stuff my money in a crack dealer's mattress before dealing with this poor excuse for a bank again. I hate M&T Bank, but at least now I'm getting reasonable service from another local community bank who actually values me as a customer, and doesnt treat me like some average joe-schmoe slime-ball like M&T did.