Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card Review: Strong Flat Cash Back Rewards, if You Meet Eligibility Requirements

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Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Card
Editor’s Score: (N/A)
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0 the first year, then $99
  • Regular APR:
    12.24% – 22.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

3% cash back in year one. 2.5% cash back after one year.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Earn up to 2.5% back on up to $10,000 in spending per billing cycle (then 1.5% back)
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • Checking account and other requirements apply
  • High APR
  • Limited rewards options
  • Alliant Credit Union membership required
The Bottom Line
The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card has a great cash back rate, but you’ll need to jump through a few hoops — including being a member of Alliant Credit Union, or willing to join. It offers 2.5% cash back on the first $10,000 you spend each month (then 1.5% back), if you meet specific checking account requirements. There’s no annual fee, and limited redemption options.

Additional Card Details

  • Tier One rewards: If you have an Alliant Checking Account and maintain an average daily balance of at least $1,000 quarterly, earn 2.5% cash back on the first $10,000 you spend each billing cycle (then 1.5% back)
  • Tier Two rewards: If you don’t qualify for Tier One, you’ll earn 1.5% back on all eligible purchases instead
  • Personal identity theft protection worth up to $5,000
  • Purchase protection against damage or theft
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Roadside dispatch included

Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card Full Review

Card Type

The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card is a cash back credit card. But unlike many other cash back cards, you’ll only be eligible for the card if you’re an Alliant Credit Union member, and only qualify for maximum rewards if you have an eligible checking account and meet account requirements.

Annual Fee

This card doesn’t charge an annual fee. However, to qualify for rewards, you’ll need to maintain an average daily balance of at least $1,000 in your Alliant checking account.

Welcome Offer

The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card doesn’t have an initial welcome offer, which puts it at a disadvantage when compared to other cash back credit cards that offer sign-up bonuses worth $200 or more.

Rewards

When you sign up for the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card, you can earn 2.5% cash back on the first $10,000 you spend each billing cycle (then 1.5% back) if you meet Tier One requirements. First, you must qualify for an Alliant High-Rate Checking account (including signing up for e-statements and have at least one direct deposit monthly). Then, eligibility is determined quarterly, and requires maintaining an average daily balance of at least $1,000 throughout the preceding quarter.

Pro Tip

The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card requires you to open an Alliant High-Rate Checking account and keep $1,000 on deposit in order to earn the higher 2.5% rate. You’ll also need to sign up for e-statements and set up at least one monthly direct deposit to qualify.

If you don’t meet the requirements for Tier One, you’ll earn 1.5% back on all your purchases instead.

Unlike some other cash back card options, your cash back can expire with this card. Cash back earned in any given calendar year will expire in December of the fourth calendar year following. For example, if you earn $100 cash back in 2021, it will expire in December 2025 if you don’t redeem it before then.

Fees

The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card doesn’t charge an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees, nor does it charge an over-the-limit fee. Balance transfers require a 3% balance transfer fee — though this card has no 0% intro offer on balance transfers, so it’s a poor choice for debt payoff.

Other fees to watch out for include a 3% (minimum $10) cash advance fee if you use your card to get cash from an ATM, and a late payment fee and returned payment fee, both of which can be up to $27.

Other Benefits

The Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card comes with a few unique benefits thanks to its Visa Signature status. Cardholders receive personal identity theft protection worth up to $5,000, purchase protection against damage or theft for up to 90 days after a purchase is made, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver coverage and access to a roadside dispatch hotline for emergencies.

Benefits of the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card

There aren’t many added benefits or a welcome bonus to boost value, but if you belong to Alliant Credit Union and have Alliant High-Rate Checking already, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card can be a lucrative option for your wallet. Tier One rewards status with this card will net you 2.5% back on the first $10,000 you spend monthly, then 1.5% back, and you don’t have to pay an annual fee.

Unless your monthly spending is very high, you also won’t have to worry about meeting the $10,000 spending ceiling on the 2.5% boosted rate. If you were to max out this higher rewards rate every month, you could earn $3,000 in cash back per year.

Drawbacks of the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card

Qualifying for Tier One status isn’t too difficult, but it is a larger hurdle than most cash back cards require. You must have an Alliant High-Rate Checking account, and maintain an average daily balance of $1,000 or more for each month of the preceding calendar quarter. To qualify for the account, you’ll need to sign up for e-statements and have at least one direct deposit set up each month, which can be inconvenient if this isn’t your primary checking account.

Just remember that if you can’t (or don’t want to) meet the checking requirements for Tier One, you’ll only earn 1.5% cash back with this credit card. At that point, you’re better off with a 2% back card like the Citi Double Cash Card or the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.

You also have to be a member of Alliant Credit Union to even apply for the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card, and not everyone is eligible for membership. You must either be employed or retired from businesses and organizations that partner with the credit union to join, be an immediate family member of an Alliant member, or live or work near Alliant’s Corporate Headquarters in Chicago. If you don’t qualify through any of these options, you can also become a member of an organization supported by Alliant. You can learn more about eligibility requirements on Alliant’s site.

How to Use the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card

If you’re going to sign up for the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card, you should be willing to sign up for Alliant’s High-Rate Checking account and plan to keep at least $1,000 on deposit at all times. Also remember that you have to sign up for electronic statements and set up at least one monthly direct deposit. Meeting all these requirements will allow you to earn the higher 2.5% rate of cash back on up to $10,000 in spending per billing cycle (then 1.5% back), which is very generous. 

If you meet those requirements, all you’ll need to do to maximize this card’s value is use it for all purchases you can put on the card — within your budget. Since there are no bonus categories or annual fee, you can easily gain max value from the flat 2.5% rewards rate.

When you’re ready to redeem your rewards, you’ll only have a few limited options, including redeeming your rewards for a statement credit to your account or a deposit to an Alliant checking or savings account. You should also keep track of your cash back balance if you don’t plan to redeem regularly, so your rewards don’t expire.

Just remember, only charge what you can afford to repay and avoid carrying a balance. After all, the high APR this card charges can quickly lead to high interest debts — and definitely cost more than you’re earning in rewards.

Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card Compared to Other Cards

  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0 the first year, then $99
  • Regular APR:
    12.24% – 22.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
  • Intro bonus:
    $200 cash rewards
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99%-24.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Is the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card Right for You?

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

If you’re an Alliant Credit Union member and you’re looking for a way to boost your rewards, opening an Alliant High-Rate Checking account and keeping $1,000 on deposit so you can earn 2.5% back can make sense. If you don’t want to jump through all those hoops, or if you don’t qualify to join Alliant in the first place, there are plenty of other rewards credit cards to consider. This may be higher than most cards, but there are cards without the other requirements than can still earn 1.5%-2% cash back on every purchase — still a great rate.

As you compare all your cash back card options, also consider cards that may have welcome offers worth hundreds of dollars, tiered rewards structures that can help you earn more in the categories you spend most, or that let you redeem for flexible options like gift cards, merchandise or travel. 

Before you apply, consider all the best cash back credit cards on the market today to get the best idea of which aligns best with your individual spending habits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who is allowed to join Alliant Credit Union?

To join Alliant Credit Union, you have to be employed or retired from a business or organization that partners with Alliant, be an immediate family member of an Alliant member, or live or work in an eligible community near Alliant’s Corporate Headquarters in Chicago. There is also an option to join an organization supported by Alliant to join.

Does the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card charge foreign transaction fees?

No, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card doesn’t charge any fees on foreign purchases.

How can I redeem rewards with the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card?

Rewards earned with this card can be redeemed for statement credits or a transfer to an Alliant checking or savings account.