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Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card Review

Dayana Yochim

Written by Dayana Yochim
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Andrea Coombes

March 12, 2024

Why trust us? has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.

A straight-up 2.5% rewards rate — versus the standard 1.5% — is on offer for Alliant Cashback Visa cardholders who maintain a checking account at the credit union. Plus, Alliant makes it easy to become a member.

Stop fumbling at the register trying to figure out which card to use. If you qualify for the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Card's Tier One rewards rate, you'll earn a healthy 2.5% cash back on all purchases up to $10,000 a month and 1.5% on amounts above that. (Shots fired, 2% cash back credit cards.)

About those eligibility requirements... for the first 100 days after card approval, all cardholders automatically earn the Alliant credit card's 2.5% cash back rate. After that, only those who maintain an Alliant checking account with at least one monthly deposit will qualify earn it. Otherwise, the Tier Two 1.5% cash back rate on all purchases will apply.

P.S.: See our picks for Best Flat-Rate Cash Back Credit Cards for similar cards that offer a set rewards rate on all purchases without additional banking requirements.

The basics: Tier One Rewards: 2.5% cash back on the first $10,000 of qualifying eligible purchases per billing cycle, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other qualifying eligible purchases if you maintain an Alliant checking account. Tier Two Rewards (no checking account required): Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all qualifying eligible purchases.

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Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card

Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card Logo
Cashback Per Year
Annual Fee
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Want to compare more cards? Use our full calculator.

Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card pros and cons

thumb_up_off_alt Pros

  • Straight-up 2.5% cash back on all purchases up to $10K in spending a month (though caveats apply)
  • 1.5% default rewards rate after you hit the ceiling (or if you fail to meet caveats outlined below)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Premium-level Visa Signature Card program coverage

thumb_down_off_alt Cons

  • Requires maintaining an Alliant high-rate checking account, otherwise it's 1.5% for you
  • $50 reward redemption minimum
  • Rewards expire (after four years of procrastination)
  • No 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers
  • No sign-up bonus

Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card cashback rewards spending categories

The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.

Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (aka the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g., $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”

Category Default Rate Bonus Rate Bonus Spend Cap Bonus Spend Period (Months)
Gas 1.50% - - -
Travel 1.50% - - -
Dining 1.50% - - -
Entertainment 1.50% - - -
Pharmacy 1.50% - - -
Groceries 1.50% - - -
Other Purchases 1.50% - - -

Note: For the first 100 days of card membership the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature card pays 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 in monthly purchases. After that, cardholders will earn 1.5% on all purchases unless they maintain a $1,000 average daily balance in an Alliant high-rate checking account and complete one deposit per month. The Credit Card Rewards Calculator 2024 assumes a 1.5% cashback rate.

What we like

Straight-up 2.5% rewards first $10K of qualifying purchases 👏 per 👏 billing 👏 cycle. Math: That’s up to $250 a month ($3,000 per year) in potential payola. Caveats: See the next section for a 2.5% eligibility requirements.

New cardholders automatically earn the Tier One 2.5% rewards rate for the first 100 days after sign-up and approval.

Unlimited 1.5% default rewards rate applies on monthly amounts exceeding $10,000. Got that, moneybags?

No rotating categories to track. Buh-bye Excel spreadsheets!

No foreign transaction fees means when in Rome, the standard 3% surcharge many other rewards cards charge on your Pope-in-a-snow-globe souvenirs doesn’t apply.

Comes with Visa Signature Card premium-level extras like protections for your purchases and personage (e.g., travel accident and identity theft insurance). Go wild! (Actually, please don’t.)

Credit union membership is easy to get and costs you nothing. If your job or residence doesn't make you eligible to become an Alliant Credit Union member, you can qualify by agreeing to let Alliant make a one-time $5 donation on your behalf to its Foundation, which supports digital inclusion.

Credit union perks. Getting the Alliant Cashback Visa helps you earn your community-minded do-gooder badge by joining a credit union, which tend to offer more favorable terms (e.g., lower APRs and more forgiving penalty fees). For consumers looking beyond offerings from traditional for-profit banks, it's hard to beat Alliant's offering, which is why we crowned it the #1 Credit Union Cashback Card.

Want to deepen your banking relationship? Although it doesn't offer the highest APY, Alliant pays a decent interest rate on savings, too. (See our how it stacks up against other high-yield savings accounts we review.)

What we don't like

2.5% rewards rate requirements. Cardholders will earn just 1.5% cash back unless they maintain a $1,000 average daily balance and complete one monthly deposit in an Alliant high-rate checking account.

The cash back rate dips to 1.5% for cardholders who fail to meet the checking account requirements. However, Alliant does offer all new cardholders a taste of the good life: The card pays the 2.5% cash back rate on purchases made within the first 100 days after card approval.

No bonus categories keeps things simple and sane, but may limit earning potential compared to a bonus category card that pays 3% to 6% cash back on certain spending categories, such as gas and dining/groceries.

The $50 reward redemption minimum requires $2,000 in spending at the 2.5% cash back rate to meet. Plus, redemption options are limited to an Alliant card statement credit or deposit into your Alliant checking or savings account.

Rewards expire after four years — a drawback if you suffer from acute absent-mindedness.

Not much wooing for new cardholders: The Alliant Cashback Visa offers no welcome bonus or 0% introductory APR on balance transfers or purchases. Harrumph.

The bottom line

Is the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.

Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card fine print

Craving more info? See Alliant Cashback Visa Signature card rewards details and card terms and conditions.

Does the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card charge an annual fee?

No, there is no annual fee for the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card.

tips_and_updates Trivia time!

How common are annual fees? Roughly 17% of the consumer cash back cards we review charge an annual fee. They range from $39 to $99, with an average annual fee of $67.

Does the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card offer a welcome bonus?

No, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card card does not currently offer a welcome bonus.

tips_and_updates Fun fact

More than half (55%) of the consumer cash back credit cards we track in the database offer a welcome bonus, ranging from $30 up to $300. The average sign-up bonus for new cardholders is $197, with the median being $200.

How much cashback can I earn with the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card?

The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $180.00 in cash back per year using the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.

These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card depends entirely on your unique spending habits.

Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.

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The results of the Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.

To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:

  • Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
  • Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
  • Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
  • Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
  • Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.

What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)

About the Editorial Team

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim has been writing (articles, books, podcasts, stirring speeches) about personal finance and investing for more than two decades, focusing on bringing clarity and the occasional comedic aside to what is often a murky, humorless topic. She’s written for NerdWallet, The Motley Fool,, Woman’s Day, Forbes, Newsweek and others, and been a guest expert on "Today," "Good Morning America," CNN, NPR and wherever they’ll hand her a mic.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Andrea Coombes
Andrea Coombes

Andrea Coombes has 20+ years of experience helping people reach their financial goals. Her personal finance articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, and other publications, and she's shared her expertise on CBS, NPR, "Marketplace," and more. She's been a financial coach and certified consumer credit counselor, and is working on becoming a Certified Financial Planner. She knows that owning pets isn't necessarily the best financial decision; her dog and two cats would argue this point.