Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card review
Why you can trust Bankrate
At Bankrate, we have a mission to demystify the credit cards industry — regardless or where you are in your journey — and make it one you can navigate with confidence. Our team is full of a diverse range of experts from credit card pros to data analysts and, most importantly, people who shop for credit cards just like you. With this combination of expertise and perspectives, we keep close tabs on the credit card industry year-round to:
- Meet you wherever you are in your credit card journey to guide your information search and help you understand your options.
- Consistently provide up-to-date, reliable market information so you're well-equipped to make confident decisions.
- Reduce industry jargon so you get the clearest form of information possible, so you can make the right decision for you.
At Bankrate, we focus on the points consumers care about most: rewards, welcome offers and bonuses, APR, and overall customer experience. Any issuers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide to consumers at each of these levels. At each step of the way, we fact-check ourselves to prioritize accuracy so we can continue to be here for your every next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.
We value your trust. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.
Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information.
How We Make Money
You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.
We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate.com. HomeInsurance.com LLC services are only available in states were it is licensed and insurance coverage through HomeInsurance.com may not be available in all states. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.
Citi is a Bankrate advertising partner
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card Overview
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.
- Card overview
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Current offer details
- Value of rewards
- Key cardholder perks
- Understanding the fees
- Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card vs. other cash back cards
- Is the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card worth getting?
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- High annual fee
- $50 minimum cash back redemption
- Cash back limit of $250 per billing cycle
- Must be Alliant Credit Union member to qualify
A deeper look into the current card offer
- 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
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 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.
If you’re steering clear of travel for a while, Chase is offering a 25 percent boost on points redeemed toward grocery, dining and home improvement store purchases made within the past 90 days until Sept. 30, 2021, thanks to the Pay Yourself Back feature. You can also use your points at the checkout screen on Amazon.com and PayPal for a lower value (0.8 cents apiece), but we’d recommend sticking to Pay Yourself Back or cash back if you’re not putting points toward travel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $300 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.
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.