The information in this article is out of date. The credit union heard members' feedback and reversed point values, according to a spokesperson for Alliant. As of Feb. 4, 2021, points are once again worth one cent apiece. Any members that redeemed points between Jan. 4, 2021 and Feb. 4, 2021 at the lower value will be issued a points credit to their account.
Holders of the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card are getting some bad news: As of early 2021, points are no longer worth the industry-standard 1 cent apiece, which dramatically lowers the card's effective earning rate.
The card still offers 2 points per $1 spent on all purchases, but Alliant confirms that those points are now worth only about 0.67 cent each — less than a penny per point. That means if you want to redeem your rewards for, say, a $50 gift card, you'll now need 7,500 points instead of 5,000. (Other redemption options include cash back, merchandise and charitable contributions.)
This is a big blow to the card's earning potential. Previously, with points worth one cent apiece, the card effectively earned 2% back on everything, an outstanding flat rate and among the highest in its class. Now, that rate is roughly only 1.34% on everything, which is below the 1.5% you'll find on most flat-rate cards.
However, one thing hasn't changed: The Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card is still available to those with fair credit (typically, FICO scores of at least 630). That's a small and underserved market to begin with, and among cards for applicants in that credit range, even this new rate is still a bit better than average, especially since the annual fee remains $0.
To be eligible for this card, you do need to be a member of Alliant Credit Union. It’s pretty easy to join: Even if you’re not eligible based on your location or job, or you’re not related to someone who can get you in the door, you can opt to support Alliant's partner charity, Foster Care to Success. (Alliant makes a $5 donation on your behalf, which makes you eligible for membership.)
But it's still an extra step or two. And if you have good to excellent credit (FICO scores of 690 or higher), you can qualify for more valuable offers.