The Alliant Visa Signature Card might not have a ton of name recognition, but it’s one of the best flat-rate cash-back credit cards on the market. It pays a flat 2.5% cash back on every purchase. Compare that to popular flat-rate cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited at 1.5%, or the Citi Double Cash at 2%. The Alliant Visa Signature comes out looking like a winner.
While the card does charge a $0 the first year, then $59 annual fee, it’s often the best choice if you want to keep only one credit card in your wallet. Other cards offer higher rates in bonus categories, but when it comes down to a simple, flat rate, the Alliant Visa Signature is nearly unbeatable. Check out our full review, and try the CardCruncher tool to make sure it’s the right card for you.
Alliant Visa Signature Card Quick Review
Here are the highlights of the Alliant Visa Signature Card:
Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $59
APR: 12.24% to 15.24%
Sign-up bonus: 3% cash back
- Earn 2.5% cash back on everything
- Earn 3% cash back for the first year
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 fraud liability guarantee
- Generous line of credit
- If your balance is less than $25, then the full balance.
- Otherwise, the greater of:
- 3% of the total balance plus any fees and overdue amounts
- Up to $27 for late payments
- Up to $27 for returned payments
Why Apply for the Alliant Visa Signature Card
There are a couple of reasons to consider the Alliant Visa Signature Card.
The highest flat-rate rewards available
If you want to use only one credit card, you’ll want the card that earns the most rewards, regardless of where you shop. The Alliant Visa Signature’s 2.5% cash back (3% for the first year), is one of the highest cash-back rates available for a card with no bonus categories. You won’t have to worry about stuffing your wallet with cards or trying to remember which one to use when you check out.
You want a cash-back card that you can use while traveling
Many travel rewards credit cards make life easier when you travel by offering perks, like airport lounge access or trip insurance, and waiving foreign transaction fees. Cash-back cards often don’t cater to travelers in the same way, and frequently charge foreign transaction fees. Typically, that’s an extra 3% of your purchase abroad. If you’re on a longer vacation, that can amount to hundreds of dollars in fees. The Alliant Visa Signature Card has no foreign transaction fees, and still earns cash back when you use it overseas. Even some high-end rewards cards don’t earn the same rewards abroad, so the Alliant Visa Signature deserves praise for that, too.
Alliant Visa Signature Card: Drawbacks and Downsides
There are some downsides to think about before you apply for the Alliant Visa Signature Card.
You have to spend enough to offset the annual fee
The Alliant Visa Signature Card’s 2.5% cash back can be tempting, but don’t forget about the annual fee. The card’s closest competitor, the Citi Double Cash Card, offers 2% cash back on all purchases with no annual fee. To make the Alliant Visa Signature worth its annual fee, the 0.5% difference in cash back needs to make up for its annual fee. That means you have to spend at least $11,800 each year for the Alliant Visa Signature card to eclipse the Citi® Double Cash Card. To put it another way: You need to spend about $1,000 a month on the card for it to be worth your while. If you don’t spend that much on cards, or don’t plan to use the Alliant Visa Signature Card as your primary card, it’s not worth it.
You must be a member of Alliant Credit Union to apply
The card issuer, Alliant Credit Union, is not a bank. Regulations require credit unions to restrict membership in some way. The good news is that nearly everyone can join Alliant Credit Union. If you don’t work for one of Alliant’s business partners or live near the company’s headquarters, you can pledge $5 to the charity Foster Care to Success to become eligible. It’s an additional hoop to jump through that other cards usually don’t require. But if you’re giving $5 to charity, you’re at least donating to a good cause.
Alliant Visa Signature Card Alternatives
These alternatives to the Alliant Visa Signature Card are worth exploring.
Citi® Double Cash Card
If you want a cash-back card with no annual fee, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card. It offers one of the highest standard cash-back rates of any card with no annual fee. You’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase, and another 1% cash back on every payment, for a total of 2% cash back. This card is a good choice if you don’t spend enough to cover the Alliant Visa Signature Card’s annual fee.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card
If you want a cash-back card with great bonus category earning, consider the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card. It offers a whopping 6% cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 in grocery spending per year). It also earns 3% cash back on gas and at select department stores, along with just 1% cash back on everything else. There’s a $95 annual fee, but it’s easy to spend enough on groceries to offset that.
Alliant Visa Signature Card FAQs
Here are some other things to know about the Alliant Visa Signature Card.
What are my odds of approval for the Alliant Visa Signature Card?
Alliant doesn’t post strict requirements for qualifying for the Alliant Visa Signature Card. Before applying, you should aim to have good credit, which means a score of at least 700. Of course, the better your credit, the better your chances of qualifying.
How long does it take to receive an Alliant Visa Signature Card?
You can apply for the Alliant Visa Signature Card online. Often, you’ll receive a decision immediately. If you’re approved, your card will arrive in about a week. If you don’t get an instant decision, it’ll take two to three weeks for a decision and, hopefully, your card.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Alliant Visa Signature Card?
If you spend at least $1,000 a month on average on your credit card, and you don’t want to deal with multiple credit cards, the Alliant Visa Signature Card is a great choice. You won’t find a card with a better standard cash-back rate. If, however, you’re comfortable with using multiple cards to maximize your rewards, you’re probably better off with a card that has no annual fee.