Editorial Review

Alliant Cashback: One of the Highest Flat Rates Available

You'll get 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 a month in spending for an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99. You'll need to be a member of the credit union to qualify, but joining is easy.

Robin Saks FrankelJanuary 26, 2020

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This page includes information about one or more products not currently available on NerdWallet:

  • Chase Freedom®

  • Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards page for updated offers.

Our Take


NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: The sky-high ongoing rewards rate is one of the best available right now. For big spenders, this card is well worth its annual fee.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $99

Regular APR

11.74% - 14.74% Variable APR

Intro APR


Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons


  • High rewards rate

  • No foreign transaction fee


  • Has annual fee

Alternate Pick: 5% back in certain categories

Chase Freedom®

No Annual Fee

Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter (1% back on all other spending). There's also an intro APR 0% offer: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR. Plus, the card has a sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Read our review

Full Review

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is an outstanding option for bigger spenders who want simple but lucrative rewards. Although tt's not as generous as it once was, it's still one of the highest-earning flat-rate cash-back rewards cards you can find, offering a whopping 2.5% cash back on all purchases.

What's the catch? There are a few, but they might be only speed bumps for many of this card's target users. First, there's a cap on how much cash back you can earn; it's a high cap, but it's still a cap. There's an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99. And you'll have to join Alliant's credit union before you can apply for this card. But that's relatively easy to do.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card: Basics

Card type: Cash back.

Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $99.

Sign-up bonus: None.


  • 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 in purchases per billing cycle.

You can redeem rewards for statement credit or as a deposit into an Alliant checking or savings account, although you'll need to have accrued a minimum of $25 in cash-back rewards first.

APR: The ongoing APR is 11.74% - 14.74% Variable APR

Foreign transaction fee: None.

Balance transfer fee: 3%.

Extras: Visa Signature benefits, which include rental car collision coverage, extended warranty coverage and purchase security coverage (for protecting purchases in the first 90 days in the event of theft or certain types of damage).

Calculate it

Use our calculator to see how much cash back you would earn based on your spending — and whether you'd earn more rewards from this card or from a 2% cash back card with no annual fee and no limit on rewards:

Why you might want the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card


The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card pays 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 in spending per billing cycle, meaning you can earn up to $250 cash back per month and $3,000 in a year. That's a significantly higher rewards rate than nearly any other flat-rate card, with or without an annual fee. Other cards tend to top out at 2%.


There are no bonus categories to keep track of. All you have to do is spend the way you normally would, and you'll earn the same elevated rewards rate until you hit the monthly cap.

No foreign transaction fees

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is one of just a handful of great cash-back cards that don't charge foreign transaction fees, those annoying 3% fees applied to international purchases. That makes it a worthy traveling companion.

Why you might want a different card

There's a cap on rewards

Let's be realistic: The average Joe or Jane probably doesn't put $10,000 on a single credit card every month, so they wouldn't necessarily be affected by the rewards cap on the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card. But this card isn't designed for the average Joe or Jane. It's for someone with big expenses who might conceivably bump up against that ceiling. And not only is $10,000 the monthly limit on spending eligible for 2.5% cash back — it's the limit for earning any cash back. It's not as if you drop down to 1% after you hit the cap, as is the case with some cards that limit the amount of spending eligible for bonus rewards. Once you reach $10,000 in spending in a billing cycle, you get no more cash back.

Nerd tip: The rewards cap on this card is fairly new. Prior to January 2020, the card paid unlimited cash back. And on top of that, it paid 3% cash back in the first year.

Credit union membership required

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card requires an Alliant Credit Union membership, but anyone can qualify. You can become a member if you're a current or retired employee at an organization partnered with the credit union, a relative of a member or a resident living or working in a qualifying Chicago-area community. Or, if you don't meet those requirements, you can join by becoming a member of Foster Care to Success, Alliant's partner charity. If you choose the latter option, Alliant will pay the $5 membership fee to the group on your behalf.

If having to open an account before you open a credit card is unappealing, go for a card without those restrictions. One to look at: The $0-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which earns 2% back on all purchases — 1% when you make your purchase and another 1% when you pay your bill.

Annual fee

The annual fee on the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card means you'll have to do some substantial spending on this card each year to net more rewards than you would with a no-fee card.

Consider a no-annual-fee card that offers 2% cash back on all purchases instead, like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. Another good option is the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, which earns a straight 2% cash-back on every purchase for $0 a year. To apply, you need a PayPal account, which is free to set up.

Rewards expire

Unlike the rewards on some cash-back cards, the cash back earned on the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card will expire in December of the fourth calendar year following the year they were earned.

To see more options, visit our roundup of top credit cards.

Is the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card right for you?

The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card isn't as lucrative as it once was. But if you spend a lot and you're not interested in keeping track of complicated reward structures, its outstanding ongoing rewards rate is worth a little hassle.


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