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Alliant Visa Signature Card Review

Alliant Visa Signature Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Aug 14, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If your credit is excellent/good, you might qualify for the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, which comes with a generous cashback rate and low APR compared with competing credit cards.

It’s important to note this is a credit union card, so you should be prepared to join Alliant Credit Union if you want to apply. In addition, there’s an annual fee of $99, waived the first year.

In this article:

Where the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card stands out

Great flat cashback rate. It’s hard to beat 2.5% cash back on all purchases. That’s especially true when there’s no limit to the cash back you can earn on qualified purchases, which is the case with the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card.

Low interest rate. At 11.99% to 14.99% variable APR, this card has significantly lower APR than some other cashback credit cards. For example, the Discover it® Cash Back’s APR is 11.99% - 22.99% Variable, and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has an APR of 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable).

No foreign transaction fee. Worried about a foreign transaction fee? There is none. So if you want to use this card when traveling abroad, you can do so without worrying about being charged an extra fee on each purchase when you do.

Cashback calculator. If you’re evaluating the worth of the  Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card before applying, Alliant makes it easy to see potential value with a slider on the card’s webpage. You can set your monthly spend to amounts between $3,500 and $6,000, and the calculator will show the amount of cash back you can expect to earn in your first year of having the card.

Where the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card falls short

No 0% introductory APR. If you’re hoping to save money with an intro offer for purchases or balance transfers, this isn’t the card to do it with.

Annual fee. There’s an annual fee of $99, waived the first year. If you spend $3,960 a year on this card, you’ll recoup the amount of the fee in cash back.

Balance transfer fee. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card has a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount of each transfer., which is fairly standard.

Read: Longest 0% APR Credit Card Offers

What else you should know about

Membership eligibility. This is a credit union card, so be prepared to join Alliant Credit Union if you want to apply for the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card. Potential ways to qualify for membership include through your employer, through a family relationship with an existing Alliant member, through membership in various organizations or through work or residence in various locations in Illinois. If none of those options work for you, you can support Foster Care to Success (Alliant will pay $5 on your behalf) and become an Alliant member that way.

Perks*. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card comes with the following travel and purchase protections:

  • $250,000 of free travel accident insurance
  • Up to $5,000 of personal identity theft protection
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver coverage
  • Purchase security coverage for 90 days after purchase date
  • Double warranty coverage
  • 24-hour access to pay-per-use roadside assistance

*Terms may apply

Compare the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

One of the leading flat-rate cashback cards is the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, so let’s see how these two stack up against each other.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Annual fee $99, waived the first year $0
Regular purchase APR 11.99% to 14.99% variable 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Rewards 2.5% cash back on all purchases Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Sign-up bonus While there’s no “sign-up bonus” per se, you get a higher cashback rate your first year of having the card. No bonus
Foreign transaction fee None 3%

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card has a higher cashback rate, but the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has a $0 annual fee. So which one ends up putting more cash back in your wallet? It depends on how much you spend.

If you spend $15,000 a year on your credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has a better ongoing value. Assuming you make on-time payments and meet the requirements to get the full 2% cash back, you’ll earn $300. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card will earn $375, but once you subtract the annual fee, you’re left with $276 net cash back. It should be noted that this is a look at the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card’s ongoing net cash back. The first year, accounting for a higher cashback rate and waived annual fee, you should net $450 cash back after spending $15,000.

But if you spend $25,000 a year on your credit card after the first year, it’s a different story. When earning 2.5% cash back, that spend will get you a $625 return. Subtract the annual fee, and you’ve netted $526. Contrast that with 2% cash back, which is a $500 return. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card offers a bigger ongoing value for heavier spenders.

The bottom line

There’s a lot of value to the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card. If you’re looking for a flat-rate cashback card you can use anywhere Visa is accepted, 2.5% cash back on all purchases is an excellent rate. The value is even higher your first year of having the card, with a higher cashback rate and a waived annual fee. But do the math to see if your spending outweighs the cost of the ongoing fee.

The tipping point is right around a spend of $20,000 per year. Less than that, and you’re better off going with a no-fee card with a lower cashback rate. More than that, and the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card’s higher cashback rate starts earning enough to make the fee worth it.

If you don’t plan to spend more than $20,000 a year, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. You can Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

For those who prefer to earn all their cash back upfront rather than half when you spend and half when you pay, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is worth considering. You can earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. The annual fee is $0.

It’s also worth noting that the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is looking for a specific kind of applicant. The webpage says the card is “exclusively designed for high spenders with excellent credit.”

If that profile doesn’t quite fit you, don’t worry. There are plenty of credit cards offering rewards for categories such as gas and groceries that can allow you to earn sizable rewards while staying within what you’ve budgeted.


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