Alliant Platinum Rewards Review: 2% Back on Everything, No Annual Fee

With a high rewards rate on all purchases and loads of redemption flexibility, the card is an excellent pick, as long as you don't mind joining the credit union.

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Our Take

4.7

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: This card offers outstanding long-term value, and it's an even more compelling choice for those with average credit (FICO scores of 630 to 689); few cards marketed to that credit range offer such rich rewards.

Alliant Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card

Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 23.24%, Variable

Intro APR

As low as 0% introductory rate for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 13.24% - 23.24% variable APR.

Recommended Credit Score

Quick Facts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Qualify with average credit

  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

Cons

  • Must be a credit union member

Compare to Other Cards

Alliant Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card

Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

13.24% - 23.24%, Variable

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Rates & Fees

Regular APR

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

As low as 0% introductory rate for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 13.24% - 23.24% variable APR.

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

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Full Review

The Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards is an excellent choice for those looking for rich, flat-rate rewards and a $0 annual fee. In fact, for those with average credit (FICO scores of 630 to 689), it's nearly unbeatable.

The card earns 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases, and points are worth 1 cent each. That's effectively 2% back, a top-notch reward rate. And unlike many standout cards, this one is available to those with average credit. While you need to be a member of Alliant Credit Union to get the card, you don't have to meet any special criteria to do so; it's possible to join by opting to support Alliant's partner charity.

Nerd tip: Alliant Credit Union also offers the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, for an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $99. It earns 2.5% cash back on up to $10,000 in purchases each billing cycle and requires good or excellent credit (FICO scores of 690 and higher). If you plan to spend more than $19,800 a year on your card, it offers more long-term earning potential than the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards.

Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards: Basics

Card type: Cash back.

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 5,000 bonus Alliant Rewards points after spending $500 or more in qualifying purchases during the first three billing cycles after the account is opened.

Rewards: 2 points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases. One point is worth 1 cent no matter how you redeem it, and there's no limit to how much you can earn.

Redemption options: Points can be redeemed by logging into your Alliant Credit Union account and selecting one of the following options:

  • Cash back, starting at $20 redeemed as a deposit to your Alliant savings or checking account, or as an account balance credit to your Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards account.

  • Travel.

  • Merchandise.

  • Event tickets.

  • Activities.

  • eGift cards and gift cards.

  • Charitable donations in the form of a gift card to the charity of your choice.

APR: As low as 0% introductory rate for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24%, Variable

Foreign transaction fee: 2%

Other features: Auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, access to roadside dispatch services.

Benefits of the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards card

Generous flat-rate rewards

The effective 2% rewards rate on the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards is superb for a flat-rate rewards card. It's richer than the current standard of 1.5%, and among the best rewards rates you can find on no-annual-fee cards. The card comes with good redemption options, too; you can use points for cash back or travel, among other things, and points are always worth 1 cent each.

There's also a sign-up bonus, which is unusual among no-annual-fee cards with high rewards rates: Earn 5,000 bonus Alliant Rewards points after spending $500 or more in qualifying purchases during the first three billing cycles after the account is opened.

No annual fee

The annual fee on the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards is $0, but its ongoing value rivals those of cards with big annual fees. That makes it easy to come out ahead on rewards, no matter how much you spend.

Attainable FOR those with average credit

Among all credit cards for average credit, the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards offers one of the highest rewards rates you can find. Other cards that offer 2% back or higher typically require at least good credit (FICO score of 690 and up).

Its rewards rate makes it a strong choice no matter what your credit score is. But especially for those with less-than-perfect credit scores looking for rich rewards, it's head and shoulders above most of the competition.

Downsides and alternatives

credit union membership required

The eligibility requirements to join Alliant's Credit Union are pretty accessible to most. If you don't live or work in one of the qualifying communities or jobs, or aren't related to someone who fits the description, you can join by opting to support Foster Care to Success, Alliant's partner charity. Alliant will make a $5 donation on your behalf, which will make you eligible for membership.

But if you're not interested in joining a credit union, consider a different card, like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. It also earns 2% back on everything: 1% back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay your bill. There's no special membership required, and you don't have to bank with Citi to apply. The annual fee is $0.

If your credit is average, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid flat-rate option. It's not quite as generous — it earns only 1.5% cash back and charges an annual fee of $39 — but it doesn't require a membership, and you don't have to bank with Capital One to apply.

0% APR isn't a sure thing

The card does have an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, but the rate you get is based on your creditworthiness. Only those with the best credit will get a 0% intro APR offer, and you won’t know if you qualified until after applying.

If getting a 0% APR period is a priority for you, go with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. It comes with this offer: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR. It also earns 1.5% cash back on most purchases (plus some extra category bonuses earn 3-5%) and features a nice sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.You don't have to bank with Chase to qualify, but you need at least good credit (FICO scores of 690 and higher).

Is the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards right for you?

If you're looking for big flat-rate rewards for no annual fee, yes, as long as you don't mind joining the credit union. It's an especially great deal if you have average credit.

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