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

Do you use cash back credit cards? If yes, then you’ll also want to use this one. If no, then you’ll want to start now. Here’s our review of the Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card with 2.5% cash back.

alliant visa card review

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.

Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card

Alliant Credit Union Visa Signature Card

Bonus Offer

9.5 /10

Rewards Program

9.0 /10

Annual Fee

8.0 /10

Added Perks

9.0 /10

Customer Service

9.5 /10


  • 3% Cash Back First Year
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low Cash Advance Fee (2%)


  • $59 Annual Fee (Waived Year #1)
  • Must Be an Alliant Credit Union Member
Topics: Credit Cards

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

  1. Jonathan

    Fee has gone up to $99… not sure if it’s worth it vs DoubleCash. DoubleCash just pulled a bunch of services off their card, like extended warranty. This card is Visa Signature, going to have to compare features vs new DoubleCash features to make sure its worth it.

  2. Jason Neisler

    I agree that the cash back percentage is great. However, there is a reason everyone complains about their customer service – because it is terrible. The wait time for their Visa customer service is really long and, to boot, they typically can’t answer any questions so you get to wait again while they get the actual credit union employee on the phone. Also, their payment system is from 1959 – it takes forever for a payment to post to free up your credit to keep using the card. It’s very disappointing as I was really excited to have this card be my primary card but it’s simply not worth the hassle and time of dealing with the poor customer service.

  3. Fantastic card, have $25k limit, best cash back card you can get for anything $12k and above per hesd. Ignore the guy that just keeps copying and pasting his bad experience.

    This the best card for cash back, period.

  4. We are very aggressive with our cards. We use them for 150K+ every month. Discover is difficult but is a cakewalk compared to Alliant.

    Let’s say you have a 25K limit and you pay a 20K bill. That 20K posts and you have 5K available. You make a 20K electronic payment expecting that you will have your 25K available by the next day. It won’t happen. You’ll have about 15K available. They’ll tell you that it takes a few days for the whole payment to clear. We all know that is bull. This isn’t 1985 we’re talking about here.

    Then they’ll also tell you that if you fund your savings account and make payments to your credit card from the savings account, you’ll get a full credit within 24 hours. For whatever reason, that won’t happen either. Then you’ll call and ask why and they’ll give you a new story about if you want to get full credit, you have to call the credit union to make the payment from the savings account.

    What it amounts to is Alliant doesn’t want to be a high volume credit card. They want you to pay your light bill and your phone bill from their card but not a bill that is several thousand.

    If there was a rating for running off good customers, I would give them 5 stars on that.

  5. michele foran

    I used this card to pay federal estimated taxes, and yes it was a hassle paying down the card mid

    month to get more credit to make more payments. However it only took a week for the payment to

    register and increase my available balance back above $20000. However the $20000 payment
    netted me over $200 since the fee to pay taxes on a credit card is almost 2%. I also pay property
    taxes and many other things that have a fee to pay by card, but these fees are less than 3% so I am making a good amount of money using the card. Even electric and gas bills are easy to pay ahead, and I pay, for example , $600 for gas paid ahead, and only get charged $2.95 for using a credit card. That is $15 in my pocket, and takes no longer than Paying on line.

  6. Jonathan S

    Beware that if you’re trying to use this to spend a lot of money on, they’ll give you a fixed line of credit, i.e. $20k/mo for me, and then if you want to make one-time payments during the month, I’ve found that 50% of the time their online transfer system simply won’t work to pay it off, so the card can get filled and stop working. So overall at this point I’m regretting going with this company – more hassle than it’s worth since their systems are unreliable.

    • Do you just hate Alliant that much? You have copy and pasted the same exact comment on every article about this card.

      I’ve never had an issue paying on an Alliant bill (had/have noth auto loans and credit cards) and while a 20K credit limit might be somewhat on the low end of what you expect, you can ask for an increase after 6 months.

  7. 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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