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Alliant Visa Signature Card review

Alliant Visa Signature Card review

Published: October 25, 2018
Published: October 25, 2018
Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.4
Rewards Flexibility: 3.3
Features: 1.0

In a Nutshell:

With unlimited 2.5-percent cash back on all purchases, the Alliant Visa Signature Card is made for those who want to put all of their credit card spend onto one card.

Rewards Rate
2.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase

Sign-up Bonus
3% unlimited cash back on every purchase in your first year

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$59, $0 the first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$385

APR
11.99-14.99% (variable)

Rewards redemption
Pros

  • Unlimited cash back
  • Receive cash back as a statement credit or deposit into Alliant checking or savings account
  • Redeem cash back in any amount of $25 or greater

Cons

  • No option to redeem rewards for a check or as a deposit in an outside account
  • No other redemption options like gift cards, merchandise, etc.
  • No automatic redemption
  • Minimum $25 required for a redemption
  • Rewards expire after 4 years if you don’t redeem them

Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, car rental collision damage waiver, roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, purchase protection, personal identity theft protection, concierge services, $0 fraud liabilityent

If you’re not one to jump through hoops, track your spending, or juggle several credit cards, the Alliant Visa Signature is an excellent option. It’s a flat-rate cash back credit card that offers 3-percent cash back on every purchase made in the first year and 2.5-percent cash back on every purchase every year after that.

Since you’ll be hard pressed to find another flat-rate card that offers as much cash back, the question is: why doesn’t everybody already have this card? The answer is twofold:

  1. You must be a member of Alliant Credit Union to be eligible for the card.
  2. There are better no-annual-fee options for people who spread their purchases across many credit cards to maximize rewards.

Keep in mind that joining Alliant Credit Union is pretty easy, but not necessarily free. Unless you work at/have retired from a company with an Alliant Credit Union membership, are related to a member, belong to one of any eligible associations or live in an eligible Chicago-area community, you will need to make a donation to Foster Care to Success to be granted a membership.

No true intro bonus

Most flat-rate cash back cards offer an intro bonus of $150 or more after meeting a certain spend requirement within the first 3 months or so, but the Alliant Visa Signature does not. Instead, you’ll earn 3-percent cash back on every purchase in the first year and the annual fee will be waived.

Earning 3-percent back on every purchase is certainly attractive, but you’ll need to spend a ton to earn as much in the first year as you would with a different card featuring a one-time bonus. That’s why Alliant markets this card as “exclusively designed for those spending $50,000+ a year on their card.”

It’s worth noting, though, that most people with a monthly credit card bill of $4,000+ are probably more interested in business credit cards or luxury rewards cards.

Let’s say you are considering both the Alliant Visa Signature and the Capital One Quicksilver Card (a flat-rate 1.5-percent cash back card currently offering a $200 intro bonus for spending $1,000 in the first three months). If you spend $1,000 per month on each card, at year’s end, you will have earned a total of $360 with the Alliant Visa Signature and $380 with the Quicksilver.

Big earnings for big spenders

Let’s compare the Alliant Visa Signature to the Citi Double Cash Card, which offers unlimited 2-percent cash back on all purchases (1 percent when you charge and 1 percent when you pay on time). The Alliant Visa Signature and its 2.5-percent cash back rate obviously beats the Double Cash and its 2 percent, but Double Cash doesn’t have an annual fee.

In order to earn more with the Alliant Visa Signature than the Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll need to spend more than $11,800 on the card per year. A yearly spend of $11,800 on either card will result in $236 of cash back all-in.

So, how do you make the Alliant Visa Signature worth it? Make it the only card you use and spend at least $1,000 on it every month.

More benefits than the average flat-rate card

Since many people use multiple cards to maximize their earnings, card issuers often don’t include as many premium benefits on flat-rate cards as are found on rewards cards. Since Alliant is billing its card as a premium product, it’s reassuring to know that many premium features like purchase security and concierge service are included.

Additionally, the no-foreign-transaction-fees is a nice benefit — it gives cardholders the opportunity to earn cash back anywhere in the world.

Why get the Alliant Visa Signature?

  • You prefer cash back to travel points or airline miles
  • You don’t want to track spending categories, activate quarterly bonuses, or worry about spending requirements
  • You want one card that gives you a good return on every purchase

How to use the Alliant Visa Signature

  • Spend more than $11,800 on the card per year to make sure you’re earning more cash back than you would with a no-annual-fee flat-rate card
  • Spend as much as possible in the first year to take advantage of the intro 3 percent cash back rate
  • Consider making it your only credit card to put as much spend on it as possible
  • Use it outside of the country to earn cash back throughout the world without paying foreign transaction fees

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