Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Robin Saks Frankel  in  Cash Back How we rate our cards  |  Advertiser Disclosure
Alliant Credit Union Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Annual Fee:
$0 the first year, then $99
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
12.49%-15.49% (Variable)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

Commonly used for: Cash Back, Rewards.

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In April 2017, Alliant Credit Union launched a new champion of cash-back credit cards — the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card. The card pays a stunning 3% cash back on all purchases during the first year of card ownership, then a still-impressive 2.5% thereafter.

Review

The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card outshines other top cash-back reward cards that pay 2% percent on all purchases. There are other cards out there that pay higher rewards in specific categories or in quarterly rotating bonus categories, but there’s only one other credit card on the market that potentially pays as high a rewards rate on all spending as the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card.

At its highest rewards tier, The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card bests Alliant’s cash back rate by paying 3.5 points per $1 on travel and dining purchases and up to 2.62 points per $1 on all other purchases. But you have to have a minimum $100,000 combined daily balance in your qualifying Bank of America deposit accounts and/or your qualifying Merrill Edge and Merrill Lynch investment accounts., That’s a pretty tall order for someone who’s just looking for a great cash-back credit card.

Alliant’s Cashback card has a $59 annual fee, waived the first year, which is easier to stomach then meeting BofA’s best rewards rate requirement.

Because Alliant is a credit union and doesn’t operate like a traditional bank, you have to become a member to apply for this card. Membership is open to people who live in one of the Illinois communities Alliant serves, relatives of an existing Alliant member or through membership in select organizations.

If none of those criteria apply to you, you can still join by making a $10 minimum donation to Foster Care to Success, which helps foster teens who are aging out of the foster system. Alliant membership comes with a High-Rate Savings Account. The account has a $5 minimum deposit requirement but Alliant will make that opening $5 deposit for you.

The final thing to consider before applying for this card is if you will spend enough to earn back more than the cost of owning this card. After the first year, you’ll have to pay a $59 annual fee. At a cash-back rate of 2.5% you’d have to spend $2,360 to break even, which should be fairly attainable for most.

Who should get this card

Anyone who wants maximum cash-back rewards for little cost can benefit from owning this card.

Advantages
  • One of the highest restriction-free cash-back rates of any credit card.
  • Earning rewards is easy and doesn’t require any category tracking.
  • There’s no cap on the amount of rewards you can earn.
Disadvantages
  • You have to be a member of a credit union to apply for the card.
  • Depending on how you spend, you may be able to earn more using a card that offers higher bonuses in certain spending categories.
  • There’s no introductory 0% APR offer on purchases or balance transfers.

Fees and APR

  • The annual fee is $59, waived the first year.
  • You’ll pay a variable APR on purchases and balance transfers of 11.24% to 24.24%.
  • There’s a 3% balance transfer fee.
  • If you use this card to make an international purchase, there are no foreign transaction charges.
  • If pay late or miss a payment, a variable penalty APR of 24.99% may apply until you make at least six months of consecutive on-time payments. You may also be subject to a late fee of up to $25.

Extras, perks and using points

As a Visa Signature card, the Alliant Cash Back Visa Signature comes with auto and travel insurance and protections, and extended warranty coverage for items purchased with the card. Cardholders also have access to the Visa Signature Concierge.

You can receive your cash-back earnings as either a credit card statement credit or deposited into your Alliant checking or savings account. If not redeemed, cash-back earnings will expire in the December billing cycle after the fourth calendar year they were earned.