Banks are always looking to one up each other. We typically see this with sign up bonuses, but we also see banks wanting to be the top card in your wallet. They are upping their daily earning game which is always great. The Alliant Signature Visa deserves to be in the conversation of cards that your wallet needs.
Credit Card Review: Alliant Signature Visa
I always gives the disclosure to not apply for reward credit cards if your credit score is below 700. You have a higher risk of being denied, which would not help you.
There are credit cards out there to help you increase your credit score if your credit score is below 700.
Credit Score Needed:
I couldn’t find many credit scores for people who were approved for this card. The one I did see was an 810, but I would believe if you are over 700 you would be good to go.
Other information I have read on this card…
It looks like Alliant has denied people who have great credit scores, but earn under $100,000 a year. While there are people who have been approved for the card who do earn under $100,000 it is something to consider.
Alliant is a credit union, which means you need to be a member.
There are plenty of ways to become a member, but for many people the easiest way could be to make a $10 donation to the Foster Care to Success.
Once you make your donation, you will have access to apply for the Alliant Signature Visa
Sign Up Bonus:
Like many other cash back credit cards, the Alliant Signature Visa has no sign-up bonus. Even when cash back cards do have a bonus, they aren’t that exciting.
I don’t think we will see one for this card, because the earning rate is one of the best options for a cash back card.
The annual fee for the Alliant Signature Visa is $59, but it is waived for the first year.
The earning rate for this card is definitely one of the best cash back cards for non-bonus spend. Or, even for the person who wants just one card to earn at a great rate.
You will earn 3% for year 1, then starting year 2 you will earn 2.5% on all purchases. The only card that could rival the earnings would be the USAA Limitless, but the application is no longer available.
To my knowledge, this is the only cash back card still with an active application that earns 2.5% on all purchases. The USAA Limitless is no longer available.
Before anyone mentions Bank of America, that requires $100,000 in the bank to earn the extra 75%. I think for many people that is not attainable. Even if it is, that is a lot of money to tie up with one bank.
There are no banking requirements to earn the 3%/2.5%.
Running the Math
In year 1, this is a no brainer at 3% cash back. It is a great card and if you want simplicity, this could really be the card for you.
Once you hit year 2, you need to do some math to make sure the fee is worth the cost.
While earning 2.5% cash back on all purchases sound great, there are plenty of 2% cash back cards on the market.
The 0.5% difference could really add up, if you spend a lot on this card. The breaking point looks like this:
- $59 annual fee/ 0.005 = $11,800
If you do not spend over $11,800 a year on this card, you will do better with a 2% cash card. If you spend over $11,800 a year on this card, you come out ahead with the Alliant Signature Card.
You will need to run the numbers for yourself to see if this card works out better than a 2% card.
Foreign Transaction Fee:
The Alliant Signature Visa has no foreign transaction fees, making this a great card to use while traveling abroad.
There are a couple of ways to redeem your cash back on your Alliant Signtaure Card
- Redeem for cash back in Alliant Checking or Savings account
- Credit statement, starting at $25
The good news, during your first year, you earn $25 for every ~$833 you spend. The cash back will really rack up in your first year.
Alliant currently has saving accounts earning 1.3% APY, so adding your cash back into a savings account could be better than a credit statement.
**A rep for Alliant reached out to clarify some information. When you become a member of Alliant, your account automatically comes with a shared savings account.**
This would make adding to your savings account a slightly better option than redeeming for a credit statement.
But, if you prefer not to open a savings account, redeeming for a credit statement is going to be your only way.
Interestingly enough, the cash back you earn with your Alliant Signature Visa expires 5 years after you earn the rewards. While I don’t like rewards that expire, you really have no excuse letting your cash back sit on your account for 5 years. That would be completely on you.
If you are using this card, then you should have no issue redeeming your cash back before the expiration.
The Alliant Signature Visa is well, a Visa Signature. This card comes with all the standard benefits of a Visa Signature credit card.
The other benefits include:
- Emergency Card Replacement
- Emergency cash disbursement
- Travel accident insurance
- Concierge services
- Double warrantee coverage
- Personal identity theft
These “benefits” are on a lot of other cards. I don’t really see anything that stands out in the extra benefits section of this card.
The Alliant Signature Visa received a lot of attention when it was first launched, but it seems it has cooled off. This is definitely one of the best cards available if you value cash back or want simplicity when it comes to rewards.
If USAA decides to close my Limitless account, you can believe this card will be on my radar to open.