Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card Review: Is It the Cashback King?

Alliant Cashback 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.

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is an excellent product for high spenders who can earn a competitive 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 per month in purchases.

Citi is an advertising partner

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is an excellent fixed-rate cashback credit card for high spenders. The Up to 2.5% cash back on your first $10,000 of qualifying eligible purchases (1.5% for purchases over $10,000) is one of the highest ongoing returns offered by any fixed-rate cashback card. Unlike some competing products, however, the card carries a annual fee $0, which means you must spend enough to earn more rewards than you would with a no-fee card.

The breakeven point for this card is $1,650 in spending per month, when compared to a 2% card. If you spend less than this, consider a no-annual-fee cashback option, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. If you can spend more than this amount per month, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card might be just the card for you.

Pros

  • Competitive Up to 2.5% cash back on your first $10,000 of qualifying eligible purchases (1.5% for purchases over $10,000)
  • Rental car and travel accident insurance coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Monthly cap on cashback earnings
  • No welcome offer
  • Card carries an annual fee
  • Credit union membership required
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The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card does require you to become a member of the Alliant Credit Union.

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You can qualify for membership if you're related to an existing Alliant member, if you work at or are retired from a participating company, are a member of an Alliant-related organization, or live or work in the Chicago area near Alliant headquarters. If you don't meet these requirements, you can still sign up by becoming a member of Alliant's partner charity, Foster Care to Success. This can be done automatically when applying for Alliant membership, and Alliant will pay the $5 charity membership fee on your behalf.

Earn 2.5% cash back

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card's fixed rate of Up to 2.5% cash back on your first $10,000 of qualifying eligible purchases (1.5% for purchases over $10,000) is unmatched among cashback credit cards.

There are a few cards that offer 2% cash back, and many other options that offer a 1.5% fixed cashback rate. There are also cards that offer greater rewards rates, but only for specific merchant categories. For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ lets you Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

You don't have to worry about category bonuses with the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card. The card earns the same rate of cash back everywhere, on up to $10,000 in monthly spending. This means that you can earn up to $250 in cash back per month ($3,000 per year) on a card that bills itself as being designed for high spenders with excellent credit.

Easily redeem cash back

You can redeem cash back earned with your Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card in two simple ways. The first is to apply it as a statement credit to your credit card account. It can take Alliant up to two billing cycles to apply your cash back depending on the date the reward is requested and the date your statement closes.

The second way to redeem cash back is by requesting it as a deposit into your Alliant Credit Union checking or savings account. It can take up to five business days from the date of request for cash to be deposited. In both cases, the cash back redeemed is immediately deducted from your available balance.

Keep in mind that you need a minimum of $50 in cash back to redeem. Your rewards also expire, unfortunately. However, you have at least four years from the date you earn the rewards to redeem them, which is plenty of time.

Is the annual fee worth it?

Unlike many other cashback credit cards, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card charges an annual fee. You'll need to determine whether the card is worth $99 per year. To simply break even, you'll need to spend at least $3,960 annually on your card.

More importantly, you'll want to know that you're getting an overall better return than using a different cashback card. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card earns 0.5% more cash back than the $0-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Your average charges to the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card will need to be greater than $1,650 per month ($19,800 per year) in order to do better with the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card.

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Other Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card benefits

Besides offering a competitive cashback rewards rate, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card comes with additional benefits. Some of these might make it a worthwhile product even if you cannot spend enough to provide a greater return than other cashback cards.

You don't have to worry about racking up excess fees when traveling abroad with your Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card. There are many great cards that offer the benefit of no foriegn transaction fees, but this makes the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card even more appealing if you're looking for a single card that provides an excellent return on everything, everywhere.

The card offers an annualized percentage rate (APR) as low as 12.24% to 22.24% variable. This is better than the minimum APR for many other cards, and far lower than the average APR of most. Carrying a balance and paying interest tends to cancel out the value of any cashback rewards you earn, so we always recommend that you pay off your credit card in full each month. Still, if you must carry a balance, at least temporarily, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card has one of the lower interest rates around.

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card offers 90-day purchase protection coverage for all eligible purchases made with your card. The benefit covers accidental and environmental hazards, such as fire, windstorm, vandalism, theft and home plumbing leaks, that cause damage to covered items. Some items and situations are excluded. Check the benefit terms for more information. Coverage is limited to $500 per claim, to a maximum of $50,000 per cardholder.

The card also offers Visa Signature extended warranty coverage that doubles the manufacturer's warranty on products for which the warranty is less than a year. For products where the warranty term is from one to three years, your Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card will extend the warranty by an additional year. The item must be purchased using your card, and this benefit only applies to U.S. warranties. Some products are excluded, such as vehicles and computer software.

When renting a car with your Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, you'll automatically be covered by the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, as long as you decline any collision coverage sold or provided by the rental agency. Coverage is limited to rentals of 15 days or fewer within the U.S. and up to 31 days abroad. Exotic cars, large pickups and cargo vans are excluded from coverage. You, as the cardholder, must also be the primary renter of the car in order to be covered.

Roadside Dispatch is a built-in benefit of Visa Signature cards that you can enjoy as an Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Cardholder. Rather than have to track down a service provider, you can call the program phone number and have them arrange everything. This service isn't free, but it does come at a set price per service call. The program provides:

  • Standard towing – up to five miles included
  • Tire changing – must have good, inflated spare tire
  • Jump-starting
  • Lockout service (no key replacement)
  • Fuel delivery – up to five gallons (plus the cost of fuel)
  • Standard winching

Any light-duty vehicle is covered under this benefit, which includes typical passenger vehicles such as cars, SUVs, minivans and small pickups.

How does the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card compare to other cards?

To illustrate how the card benefits and rewards earning rate make the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card stand out, we compare it to three popular cashback card alternatives.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is likely to be a better option for low spenders. This card lets you Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Unlike the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, the cash back you earn is uncapped. The card does not have an annual fee, so you never have to worry about breaking even. As we demonstrated in the math example above, if you spend less than $19,800 on a single card, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a better option.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card vs. Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • On Chase's Secure Website

Unlike the fixed-rate rewards on the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card and Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers bonus cash back in a couple specific categories and 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories. The card lets you Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. The quarterly categories vary, but they often include grocery stores, gas stations, warehouse clubs, Amazon and PayPal. Quarterly 5% earning is capped at $1,500 in spend.

This is a better return than the 2.5% offered by the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, but only in the mentioned specific categories. These restrictions and the low quarterly cap make the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card a better choice for high spenders, or for those who don't want to bother tracking categories. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ doesn't charge an annual fee, however, so it may be worth adding to your wallet for its niche bonus categories.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card vs. Discover it® Cash Back

Like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Discover it® Cash Back offers bonus cash back in rotating quarterly categories: 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

The welcome offer for the Discover it® Cash Back is unique as well. Rather than offering a set bonus after meeting a spending threshold, Discover offers an Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

That being said, you're still capped at $75 in bonus cash back per quarter (you'll earn 1% cash back on the remainder of your purchases that quarter), for a maximum of $300 per year ($600 for new cardmembers enjoying the cashback match). For those with higher spending or who don't want to bother tracking categories, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is likely a better option, as you can earn up to $250 in cash back per month.

Is the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card worth it?

If you like the simplicity of cash rewards and have monthly expenses above the $1,650 threshold described above, you're unlikely to find a better cashback card than the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card. You can earn up to $3,000 per year in cash back with its unmatched 2.5% rewards rate. For anyone who has high monthly expenses, the card is a great choice and well worth the annual fee $0.

For others whose spending is less than the level necessary to get outsized value from the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, it's hard to go wrong with a no-annual-fee cashback card like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. The uncapped fixed-rate 2% return on spending is the best you can find among no-annual-fee cashback cards. There are plenty of other options, though. Check out all the best cashback credit cards to find one that meets your personal needs.

The information related to Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card and Discover it® Cash Back has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).