A Review of the Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card, Earning 2.5% Cash Back

alliant newI’ve done my very best to put as much monthly spending on a select group of cashback credit cards. Utilities, car insurance, groceries, gas … the list is long because I enjoy a solid cash back percentage on every purchase using my Citi® Double Cash Card or Blue Cash Preferred from American Express. Now, I’ll be adding a third card to the list, as the Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card offers what is now the greatest cash back percentage on the market today: 2.5%.

3% Cash Back the 1st Year

The Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card offers no up-front cash bonus, but does have the great perk of offering 3% cash back on all purchases for the first full year. No spending hurdles, no tier levels… every single charge on the card will simply receive 3% cash back. When the intro rate expires, the cash back percentage becomes the ongoing 2.5%, which is still the best cash back rate you can find anywhere.

There are two primary drawbacks to owning the Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card that you won’t find with other cashback credit cards.

  1. A $59 annual fee, waived for the first year. Of course, this isn’t a problem when initially signing up, but keeping this card as your go-to cashback credit card means having to fork over an annual fee down the line. But all is not lost! Let’s say you already spend $1,000 a month on a 2% credit card (vs. this 2.5% credit card); switch that spending to the Alliant card, and you would earn an additional $5 cash back each month. Over 12 months, that’s $60 in extra cash back earned with the Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card… meaning you’ve paid the annual fee in rewards. So, if you plan to spend more than $12,000 a year on your credit card, this is better than the 2% cash back with no annual fees.
  2. You must be a member of the Alliant Credit Union. There are a variety of free ways this can be done, but if you do not qualify, a simple one time $10 donation can be made — suddenly, you’re in. Not an overwhelming hurdle at all. (Details on how to become an Alliant credit union member are below.)

Alliant CU membership eligibility

To be approved for the Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card, you must be an Alliant credit union member. This can be done in a variety of ways; the easiest is to make a one time $10 donation during your application process. Here are the eligibility requirements:

  • Anyone who is willing to make a one-time $10 donation to the Foster Care to Success charity group.
  • An employee or retiree of a Qualifying Company.
  • A member of a Qualifying Organization.
  • An immediate family member of an existing Alliant member.
  • Anyone that lives or works in a Qualifying Chicagoland Community.

Perks of the Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card

In addition to a great cash back rate, this credit card offers a few additional perks that make signing up attractive, including:

  1. Ongoing purchase APR of 10.74% – 23.74% variable (one of the lowest cash back APRs around)
  2. No foreign transaction fee — Purchases abroad will not be charged for currency conversion
  3. Travel Accident Insurance
  4. Cash Advance fee of 2% (again, one of the lowest fees around)

The high cash back rate on the Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card is alluring, no doubt about it. For the first year of ownership, there simply isn’t a better cash back card available… 3% on all purchases is as good as it gets (especially with no annual fee). Beginning with year two, the luster wears off just a bit. However, if you’re a high spender that can take advantage of 2.5% cash back and plow through the $59 annual fee, the Alliant Credit Union Visa® Signature Card is the card to use when buying just about anything.


Topics: Credit Cards

One Response to “A Review of the Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card, Earning 2.5% Cash Back”

  1. Scott

    Just a heads up, the credit card has terrible after hours customer service. They use a 3rd party and only grant limited services and can’t research advanced issues.

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