Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card review

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Chanelle Gibson  in  Cash Back How we rate our cards  | 

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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:
12.24% - 22.24% (Variable)
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

Our writers, editors and industry experts score credit cards based on a variety of factors including card features, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards.

This card offer is currently unavailable on Bankrate. To see more cards in this category, please visit our cash back category page.

 

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Best for big spenders

  • Rewards Rate: 2.5% cash back on all purchases (on up to $10,000 in qualifying purchases each billing cycle, with a maximum cash back earning per billing cycle of $250)
  • Welcome Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0 for first year, then $99
  • Purchase Intro APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 12.24% to 22.24% variable

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is ideal for users who want to do a lot of spending that isn’t specific to certain rewards categories. The 2.5 percent cash back rate (on up to $10,000 in qualifying purchases per billing cycle) is quite high compared to typical rates for all purchases on similar cards.

The annual fee is more than many comparable cash back credit cards, but none offers that high of a rewards rate without the limitation of categories, so cardholders are likely to easily earn the amount in cash back.

If you are a high spender with excellent credit, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature will be a great fit, but you do have to be an Alliant Credit Union member to be eligible.

Current welcome offer

While this card does not offer a specific incentive for new members, the $99 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Other cash back rewards credit cards may seem more appealing due to their welcome bonuses, but it’s up to you to consider whether that one-time benefit is worth more than the longer-term earning of the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature’s high rewards rate.

Cash back

Cash back credit cards earn rewards at a flat-rate or through bonus categories that may be consistent or rotating. The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature’s rewards are applied to each purchase at the same rate, so you don’t have to focus on making certain purchases to get the most rewards.

Earning cash back

Cardholders earn 2.5 percent cash back on qualifying purchases on up to $10,000 per billing cycle, which means the maximum cash back per cycle is $250. The rewards rate is higher than what similar cards typically offer, and it allows for your earnings to offset the annual fee much faster.

If you’re an especially big spender, a card with a high credit limit and unlimited rewards may end up being more beneficial to you. Consider how you’ll be using the card to determine what will give you the most rewards in the end.

Purchases you make on the card through Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay can also earn cash back.

Redeeming cash back

Members need to earn a minimum of $50 in cash back before they can claim their rewards. You can redeem earnings as a statement credit or deposit them into your Alliant checking or savings account. Many comparable cards require half that minimum and allow you to redeem at any time, but the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature’s rewards rate also allows you to earn faster than you would with those cards.

Other rewards credit cards may offer different options for redeeming your rewards, such as gift cards, discounts or travel benefits. If those may be of more interest to you than just cash back, there may be a better option for you.

Any cash back you’ve earned is valid for four calendar years before expiring on your December cycle date. For example, any cash back that you earn in 2021 will expire in December 2025.

How much are the rewards worth?

As long as your spending is less than $10,000 per billing cycle, your cash back will always equal 2.5 percent of each purchase.

Benefits

The major pull of this card is definitely the high rewards rate, but it also offers many other benefits to round out its worthiness for your wallet.

Purchase protections

Items purchased with the card that are reported stolen or damaged within the first 90 days may be eligible for reimbursement under Alliant’s purchase security. The card also doubles manufacturer warranties on eligible purchases.

Alliant also offers debt protection benefits in the case of death, disability or involuntary unemployment and personal identity protection that will reimburse you for expenses incurred to restore your identity. You are also protected with a $0 fraud liability guarantee from Visa.

Travel support

Cardmembers receive $250,000 of free travel accident insurance as long as they purchase the trip with the card. And while you are traveling, you’ll also enjoy no foreign transaction fees and certain concierge services.

Emergency assistance

In the event of circumstances that may involve a lost wallet or other scenarios, Alliant offers cardholders emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement. Your card also gives you access to 24-hour pay-per-use roadside assistance. Also, if you need to use a rental car, making the purchase with your card gives you automatic auto coverage for collision and theft if you decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver coverage if offered.

Rates and fees

Cash back cards and rewards cards often rely on some give and take when it comes to benefits and fees. For instance, cards with no annual fee may have a lower rewards rate, while a card with a high annual fee may have a higher rewards rate. The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature is more of the latter.

The card’s annual fee is $99, but it’s waived for your first year of membership. It’s more than similar cash back cards, but the higher rewards rate makes it easier to earn back the amount. Spending $3,960 would earn you $99 in cash back, and the high spenders that this card is meant for would easily accomplish that.

Your potential variable APR can vary widely with this card, depending on your credit history. The range is 12.24 percent on the low end to 22.24 percent on the high end.

Many cards charge an average of 3 percent for foreign transaction fees, but the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature charges none, so your purchases abroad won’t cost you extra.

The card’s balance transfer fee is 3 percent of the amount of each transfer. The return payment fee and late fee are both up to $27 and there is no over-limit fee. The cash advance fee is $10 or 3 percent of each advance, whichever is greater.

How the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card compares to other cash back cards

Card Annual fee Rewards Welcome offer Other details
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express $95 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year) 6% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%);

6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services;

3% cash back on U.S. gas stations and transit;

1% cash back on all other purchases

Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.

Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

Purchase intro APR 0% for 12 months, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR
Chase Freedom Unlimited® $0 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022);

5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards;

3% back on dining and drugstore purchases;

At least 1.5% back on other purchases

$200 cash bonus after spending $500 within first three months Purchase intro APR 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% to 23.74% variable APR
Citi® Double Cash Card $0 Unlimited 1% cash back as you buy, plus another 1% back when you pay for your purchases N/A No purchase intro APR, 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR;

Balance transfer intro APR is 0% for 18 months, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR

Best cards to pair with the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card

Combining cards is great not only for getting you the most benefits and meeting all of your needs, but it also obliges each card’s individual shortcomings. You may fault the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature for its high annual fee, $250 limit for cash back earnings each billing cycle and lack of a purchase intro APR or welcome offer.

So, a card like the Discover it® Cash Back would do well to complement it. It has no annual fee, unlimited cash back, 0 percent purchase intro APR for 14 months (11.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable APR after) and a sign-up bonus that automatically matches all your cash back earned in the first year. The Discover it Cash Back card offers 5 percent cash back in rotating categories (activation required) until spending reaches $1,500, then it’s 1 percent. All other purchases also earn 1 percent. It would be a great option for spending in those categories on that card instead to ensure you don’t hit your rewards limit on the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature.

Another great pairing would be the Chase Freedom Flex℠. It also has no annual fee, a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases for 15 months (14.99 percent to 23.74 percent variable APR after), a great welcome offer and tiered rewards categories. Cardmembers earn 5 percent cash back on activated rotating category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500, then 1 percent) and on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases. Lyft rides also earn 5 percent through March 2022. Drugstore purchases and dining, including eligible takeout and delivery services, earn 3 percent cash back. Other purchases earn at least 1 percent cash back. Those rotating categories are a great way to shift some of your spending away from reaching the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature’s limits and earn major cash back.

Bankrate’s take—Is the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card worth it?

It may take a bit of research to determine which credit card is the right one for your needs. The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature may be that card, but you’ll have to be a pretty specific type of spender.

If you spend too little, then the high annual fee lessens the card’s worthiness. If you spend too much, you may be missing out on what you could earn from a card that may have a lower rewards rate but allows unlimited earning. The highlight of the card is definitely its rewards rate, but its purchase protections and support for travel and emergencies are also good advantages. This card won’t be the right choice for everyone, but it will be highly beneficial for those that fit its niche.

Pros

  • High cash back earning rate
  • No annual fee for first year
  • Low-end APR
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • $50 minimum cash back redemption
  • Cash back limit of $250 per billing cycle
  • Must be Alliant Credit Union member to qualify

 

The information about the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card  has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.