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We recommend the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card to high spenders who want a good fixed-rate cash back credit card. The 2.5% rewards rate is currently unmatched by most other rewards cards. However, the $59 annual fee (waived year 1) means you have to make enough cash back to break even. Ignore this card if you spend less than $11,800 per year – at that point you should consider other options, like the Citi® Double Cash Card.
Note: You must have an Alliant Credit Union account to apply for this card.
This card is good for...
- Individuals who don't want to optimize rewards for certain categories and want a simple cash back credit card
- Anyone with varied spending that doesn't conform to traditional credit card rewards categories
This card is bad for...
- People spending less than $11,800 each year on their card
- Those who are looking for a sizable credit card sign-up bonus
Review: Our Thoughts On The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card
The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card is easily one of the best cash back credit cards around, and quite possibly the best overall card for some consumers. The 2.5% rewards rate it offers on all purchases is unheard of. Up until now, the only cards that came close offered just 2%. While it’s possible to beat the 2.5% return with other cards, your spending needs to break down in a specific way, with much of it going towards dining and travel. If you want a hassle-free card to put all your purchases on, this is a good one to go with.
Estimated 2-Year Net Rewards Per Card Based On Average Consumer Expenditures
|Credit Card||2-Year Net Rewards Estimate|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||$1,027|
|Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card||$885|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||$686|
There are two major things to consider before you apply for this card – its annual fee and the Alliant bank account requirement. The card charges a $59 annual fee that is waived during your first year of cardmembership. We don’t consider this to be a con, since for some users it actually makes sense to pay the fee. You just need to make sure you’re spending over $11,800 annually on your card. Otherwise, a no-fee option may be better. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that you can’t get this card unless you have an Alliant checking or savings account. This is a minor obstacle, and for some consumers it may be a small price to pay for that 2.5% rewards rate.
Bottom Line: The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card can’t be ignored. It offers one of the highest rewards rates on the market right now. However, due to its annual fee, you shouldn’t get it unless you spend at least $11,800 per year on purchases.
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card Benefits & Features
The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card offers consumers a steady 2.5% cash back rate on all purchases with no category restrictions. There are also no limits on the amount of cash back you can earn in a single year. The cash back rewards can be applied either as statement credit to your account or be deposited directly into your Alliant bank account. The card doesn’t have any bonuses. Instead, for your first year, you receive 3% back on all purchases, instead of the standard 2.5%.
In terms of fees, cardholders must contend with a $59 annual fee that is waived during the first year of card membership. Generally speaking, most cash back credit cards don’t have any annual fee. However, given the higher than normal rewards rates this is justifiable. You need to spend just $2,360 annually to break even -- $2,360 x 2.5% = $59. If you compare this card to a no-fee 2% card, then you would need to spend $11,800 each year to come out ahead. At that point, the extra 0.5 points you get on each purchases will come out ahead, despite the $59 annual fee. The math works as follows:
- $11,800 (spending) x 2.5% (rewards) - $59 (annual fee) = $236
- $11,800 (spending) x 2.0% (rewards) - $0 (annual fee) = $236
How Does The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card Compare To Other Credit Cards?
You can only get the true measure of a credit card after knowing how it compares to other credit cards. Most people will only want to sign-up for one credit card at a time, therefore it’s important to consider the opportunity cost of picking one over another. We matched the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card against some popular alternatives to see how it stacks up.
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card vs Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card is likely to be the better option for low-spenders. That is anyone who charges less than $11,800 to their credit card per year. This card awards 1% cash back on all purchases, and another 1% back when those purchases are then paid off. Since it has no annual fee, you also never have to worry about breaking even. As we showed in the math example above, getting 2.5% back through the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card while also paying an annual fee will only be worth it if you spend above that $11.8k annual threshold.
One other thing to consider is the fact that the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card has the 3% cash back bonus during the first year of membership. The Citi® Double Cash Card, on the other hand, currently has no special promotions going on at the moment. However, most consumers should keep in mind the long-term differences between the card we described above. The marginal increase you’ll get during that first year may not be worth it, if you get slapped with a $59 fee in the second year.
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card vs Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card are natural to compare since they both come in at the same price-point. Both cards have their annual fee waived during the first year of card membership. However, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card charges $95 thereafter, as opposed to the $59 charged by the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card will always come out on top, because it offers a superior rewards rate – 2.5% versus the 2% on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. One thing to consider, however, is the fact that you don’t need to open any Capital One bank account when you open the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card requires you to have some Alliant account. For some, this restriction may be a deal breaker.
From a bonus perspective, the reward you can get on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is superior. Cardholders get 50,000 miles once they spend at least $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You would need to spend $50,000 during your first year with the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card to match that bonus’ value.
Right now, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is also running a fantastic new promotion. Users get 10x miles on hotels when they pay with their Venture card at hotels.com/Venture. The promotion is running through January 31, 2020.
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card vs Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a premium credit card that has the potential to earn its users a lot more than just 2.5% back, depending on how they use it. Before considering the card's rewards, however, it is important to know that it comes with a $450 annual fee. Despite that, the card can pay for itself, and be much more profitable than the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card, for the right consumer. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides a 4.5% rewards rate on dining and travel purchases, 1.5% on everything else, and a $300 annual travel credit. You'll earn 3 points on travel purchases, but only after using the $300 travel credit.
When picking a rewards credit card, it’s important to consider how you spend your money. The math behind this can be tough, especially when annual fees are concerned. This is why we constructed a comparison calculator that allows you to input your estimated monthly purchases, and do the work for you. We included a few other cards so that you can better see how the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card performs against the competition.