Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card review
It has an annual fee, but offers the best flat-rate rewards available: 2.5%.
- Get this card if you want excellent flat-rate cash back and spend at least $19,920 in purchases a year.
- Pick something else if you want tiered rewards.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Up to 2.5%
for the first year ($99 thereafter)
11.99% to 14.99%
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
|Product Name||Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card|
|Annual fee||$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)|
|Purchase APR||11.99% to 14.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||11.99% to 14.99% variable|
|Balance transfer fee||3%|
|Cash advance rate||19.99% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 3% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Penalty APR||24.99% variable|
|Foreign transaction fee||None|
|Interest free period||Up to 25 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $27|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $27|
Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.
In a sea of big-bank cards, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card holds its own. It’s simply one of the best cashback cards on the market with 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 each billing cycle.
To be fair, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card has an annual fee starting the second year. That will eat into your rewards, so analyze your spending before you jump on this card.
- Annual fee: Waived for the first year.
The first year you have this card, you won’t pay an annual fee. Starting the second year, you’ll pay an annual fee of $99.
- Rewards: Up to 2.5% cash back.
You’ll earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases on up to $10,000 each billing cycle. This is an excellent rate — most flat-rate rewards cards offer a 1.5%. However, many of these cards don’t have annual fees, while the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card does. Consider your spending to see if you’ll earn enough cash back to make the card’s annual fee worth it.
- Relatively low APR.
Depending on your credit, you’ll qualify for a purchase and balance transfer APR of 11.99% to 14.99% variable. These are relatively low rates compared to the average credit card APR of around 16%.
How much cashback rewards can I earn with the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card?
The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card offers different cashback rates depending on how long you’ve had the card.
For the first year, you’ll earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases but you will have $0% annual fee. At that rate, here’s how much cash back you might earn based on these hypothetical monthly budgets:
|Monthly spending||First-year cash back||First-year annual fee||First-year effective cash back|
Starting the second year, you’ll earn 2.5% cash back on all purchases. You’ll also pay a $99 annual fee. Here’s how much cash back you might earn based on these hypothetical monthly budgets:
|Monthly spending||Annual cash back||Annual fee||Effective cash back|
How much do I have to spend to make the annual fee worth it?
Starting the second year, you’ll need to spend $3,960 annually to offset the card’s $99 annual fee with the cash back you earn.
You’ll also like …
- No foreign transaction fees.
The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is an excellent choice to take on a trip abroad and to use at foreign websites.
- Travel and purchase protection.
Receive up to $250,000 in travel accident insurance when you pay for your trip with your card. It also offers collision damage waiver for rental cars and 24-hour access to roadside assistance. Access Visa emergency travel services, which can help with issues like emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement. You’ll receive purchase protection for 90 days following the date of purchase on eligible items you buy with your card. Your eligible items may also receive extended warranties — according to Alliant, many are doubled.
- Personal identity protection.
If you incur expenses to restore your identity due to one of Alliant’s covered stolen identity events, the credit union covers your costs up to $5,000.
- No overlimit fees.
You won’t incur a fee for exceeding your credit limit.
What to watch out for
- Annual fee: $99.
Many flat-rate cashback cards don’t have annual fees. Then again, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card offers a much better 2.5% cashback rate. Whether the card is worth paying for depends on how much cash back you think you’ll earn.
- Penalty APR.
You’ll pay 24.99% variable penalty APR to all of your balances if you make a late or returned payment. This rate applies until you make six consecutive on-time payments of at least the minimum amount due.
You’ll pay a 3% fee of the transaction for each balance transfer. For each cash advance, you’ll pay $10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater. For each late or returned payment, you’ll pay a fee of up to $27.
The math behind the $19,920 cutoff
Here’s the effective cash back you’d earn from the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, after your first card year, and the Citi® Double Cash Card based on $19,920 in spending:
|Cash back on $19,920 of spending||Annual fee||Effective cash back|
|Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card||$498||$99||$399|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||$398, assuming you pay off your purchases||$0||$398|
Now, let’s say you spend $25,000 a year. Here’s the effective cash back you’d earn from both cards:
|Cash back on $25,000 of spending||Annual fee||Effective cash back|
|Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card||$625||$99||$526|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||$500, assuming you pay off your purchases||$0||$500|
Even with its incredible cashback rate, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card will eat into your rewards with its annual fee. If you spend at least $19,920 a year on your card, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card could be the right choice. Otherwise, consider another option, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card.
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What should I know before I apply?
You must be at least 18 years old to apply for the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card.
Join the Alliant Credit Union to apply for this card
To apply for this card, you must join the Alliant Credit Union. You’re eligible if you’re:
- An employee of an Alliant partner organization.
- A relative of an Alliant member.
- A member of an Alliant partner organization.
- A resident or employee in an eligible community in Illinois.
If none of the above describes you, you can join Foster Care to Success (FC2S) through Alliant Credit Union. This makes you eligible for Alliant membership.
Information you’ll need
- Name and date of birth.
- Contact information.
- Social Security number.
- Employment information and annual income.
What credit score do I need?
According to Alliant, there’s no minimum credit score to qualify for this card. However, card providers tend to favor applicants who have good to excellent credit scores of 670 or higher.
What do customers say about the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card?
Some customers say Alliant is very conservative when approving new customers — meaning you’ll have better chances with a good to excellent credit score and a low credit utilization ratio. Those who were approved for the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card say they’re pleased with its cash back.
Alliant Credit Union has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2004, and it has a A+ rating with the agency. It currently has over 30 complaints on its BBB profile, many of which are reported as answered or resolved.
How to apply for the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card
- Navigate to the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card page and click Apply online.
- If you’re a member of Alliant, click Log in & apply. If you’re not, click Apply as a new member.
- Read the Consent to Conduct Business Electronically agreement. Then click the I agree checkbox and Continue.
- Under the “What are you applying for?” section, click the bubble next to Visa Signature. Then click Continue.
- Under “Which option best describes what you would like to do?” select New card from the dropdown menu. Then select your requested credit limit. Lastly, click Continue.
- Complete the application form with details like your name, date of birth, contact information, Social Security number, employment information and income.
- Review your application and submit it.
How long will it take to get my Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card?
You may receive immediate conditional approval after you submit your application. If Alliant needs to review your application further, hold tight for up to a few weeks.
According to Alliant, you’ll typically receive your card in the mail within seven to 10 days if you’re approved.
I got the card. Now what?
- Register for an online account. Go to the Alliant homepage and click Set up in 1 minute under the Secure login button. Through your online account, you can check your balance, make payments and redeem rewards.
- Avoid interest. Consider paying off your balance each month. This makes you eligible for a grace period on interest for purchases, which will be at least 25 days from your statement closing date.
- Avoid the penalty APR. Alliant may apply a 24.99% variable penalty APR to all of your balances if you make a late or returned payment.
- Avoid fees. Balance transfers and cash advances come with fees. You’ll pay fees of up to $27 per late or returned payment.
- Contact customer service. If you need help with your account, contact Alliant customer service at 800-328-1935.
How do I redeem rewards from the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card?
Log in to your Alliant online account to redeem your cash back. You can redeem if your rewards balance is at least $25.
You can receive a statement credit on your balance or a deposit into your Alliant bank account.
Look out for the $99 annual fee starting the second year, which will take a bite out of your rewards. If you spend at least $19,920 on your card per year, however, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card‘s excellent rewards rate can give you top-notch cash back.
If you’re not sure if the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is right for you, compare other cashback cards.
Frequently asked questions