angle-up angle-down
M&T Visa Signature card review

M&T Visa Signature card review

Published: October 29, 2018
Published: October 29, 2018
Ratings Policy
Low Interest Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Rates, Fees, Penalties: 3.7
Rewards: 2.9
Features: 2.0

In a Nutshell:

Cardholders seeking to save money on a balance transfer or new purchase will appreciate the low interest rates on the M&T Visa Signature card and may find it worth keeping in the long run, thanks to its generous cash back program.

Regular APR
12.99-19.99% (variable)

Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 12 months

Introductory Balance Transfer APR
0% for 12 months


  • No annual fee
  • 4% balance transfer fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 3% cash advance fee


  • $35 late payment fee
  • 25% penalty APR
  • $25 returned payment fee

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, EMV chip, free concierge service, car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside dispatch, discounts on hotels

Rewards Rating:
2.9 rating
2.9 rating
2.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.7
Rewards Flexibility: 4.1
Features: 2.0

In a Nutshell:

This inexpensive rewards card offers a fair amount of value cardholders who want affordable rewards without the fuss: In lieu of a costly and complicated rewards scheme, it offers a low APR and 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.

Rewards Rate
1.5% cash back on general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
$100 if you spend $500 in 90 days

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)

12.99-19.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption

  • No limits on cash back
  • Transfer rewards to other M&T rewards accounts
  • Redeem for a checking account deposit or statement credit
  • Automatically redeem to a checking account
  • Redeem for cash back, dining out, merchandise or travel


  • Rewards expire after 48 months
  • $25 minimum redemption

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, EMV chip, free concierge service, car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside dispatch, discounts on hotels

For a cash back card that also functions as a balance transfer card, the M&T Visa Signature card is a good value. With a straightforward cash rewards program and valuable perks, this is a good card for consumers who want to earn cash back but don’t want to bother with a complicated rewards scheme.

It also works well as a balance transfer card if you have a small amount of debt that can be paid off in less than a year. Unlike most balance transfer cards, the M&T Visa Signature card doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee for the first several months after opening the account. If you have a significant amount to transfer, you can save a substantial amount.

The M&T Visa Signature card also doesn’t a charge a foreign transaction fee, so it’s a good card to have on hand if you travel internationally.

Low-maintenance cash back

Rather than offering bonuses rewards on certain categories of spending, the M&T Visa Signature card gives you 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase. So, you don’t need to worry about when and how you use your card. The simple rewards structure eliminates the need to track your spending and opt into bonuses every quarter. It also gives you the chance to earn a substantial amount back if you use your card for every purchase. If you spend $1,500 a month, for example, you can take home $270.

OK sign-up bonus

M&T Bank will also award you an extra $100 if you spend $500 – roughly $167 a month – within the first three months of opening your account. The M&T Visa Signature card’s sign-up bonus isn’t the most generous sign-up bonus on the market, but you don’t need to spend a lot on your card to earn it.

Few restrictions

The M&T Bank Visa Signature card also gets high marks because it makes it fairly easy to redeem the cash you’ve earned. You can have your cash automatically redeemed to your checking account so you never have to think about it. Or, you can redeem cash for statement credits, travel, restaurant purchases or merchandise.  There are no limits on how much you can earn, so if you use your card for all purchases, you can build up a substantial amount. You can also transfer your cash to other M&T rewards programs. The cash expires after three years, though, so you need to be quick to claim it.

A decent balance transfer card

If you plan to consolidate your debt, the money you save with the M&T Visa Signature card’s balance transfer promotion can also be significant – especially if you plan to transfer more than a few thousand dollars to the card. Most balance transfer cards charge a minimum 3 percent fee to transfer a balance. For the first few months after opening your account, M&T Bank doesn’t charge any balance transfer fee, potentially saving you up to $100 or more in fees. The M&T Visa Signature card also gives you up to 12 months to transfer a balance without paying any interest.

Why get the M&T Visa Signature card?

  • You want a hassle-free rewards card with significant cash back.
  • You prefer cash instead of points.
  • You have a small amount of debt to transfer and want to avoid paying a balance transfer fee.
  • You’re already an M&T Bank customer and want a card with the same bank.

How to use the M&T Visa Signature card:

  • Consolidate your credit card debt onto the M&T Visa Signature card in order to save money on fees and interest. Be sure to pay off the balance transfer before the end of the introductory period.
  • If you decide to transfer a balance, pay off new purchases in full each month so you don’t undermine your zero percent introductory rate.
  • To maximize your cash back, use your card for any purchases you can afford to repay in full.
  • Use your card to pay for domestic and international travel in order to take advantage of the card’s premium travel benefits.

Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.