Editorial Review

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

With a high rewards rate on everything and loads of redemption flexibility, the card is a worthy contender, as long as you don't mind joining the credit union.

Robin Saks FrankelApril 5, 2019

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Our Take

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: Unlike many competitors, this card is attainable by those with only average credit. But if you already have good to excellent credit or you spend heavily in one specific area, another card might work better.

Alliant Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card

on Alliant Credit Union's website

on Alliant Credit Union's website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.49% - 25.49% Variable

Intro APR

As low as 0% APR for 12 months, after that variable APR is 15.49%-25.49%

recommended credit score

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

Alternate Pick: Even higher rewards in specific areas

Chase Freedom®

5% cash back in rotating bonus categories

This card earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (1% back on everything else). In the past, categories have included things like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and more. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$0

Annual Fee

$39

Regular APR

15.49% - 25.49% Variable

Regular APR

15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR

Regular APR

26.96% Variable APR

Intro APR

As low as 0% APR for 12 months, after that variable APR is 15.49%-25.49%

Intro APR

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score

Full Review

If you like the idea of simple, flat-rate rewards on all of your spending, the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards is an appealing choice.

The card earns 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases, and since points are worth a penny each, you're getting 2% back on everything you buy. There are other 2% flat-rate cards on the market, but unlike many of them, the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards is attainable to those with only average credit (a FICO score of at least 630).

However, you must be a member of Alliant Credit Union to get the card — and if your credit is better than average, you might qualify for a different Alliant card with an even higher ongoing cash-back rate.

Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards: Basics and benefits

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 one 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% APR for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 25.49% Variable

Foreign transaction fee: 2%

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

Why you might want the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards

Generous flat-rate rewards

For an annual fee of $0, the card delivers high and hassle-free rewards. The 2% rate is above average for a flat-rate rewards card — the current gold standard is 1.5% — and there's a wide variety of ways to use those earnings. Plus, no matter which redemption option you choose, points are always worth one cent each.

Attainable to those with average credit

Other cards earn 2% back or higher, but if you don't have at least good credit — a FICO score of 690 and up — you likely won't qualify for those options. For example, Alliant Credit Union also offers the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card, for an annual fee of $0 the first year, then $99. It earns an unlimited 3% cash back in year one and 2.5% cash back after that. But that card is marketed toward those spending $50,000 or more a year on the card, and it's aimed at applicants with good to excellent credit. The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid flat-rate option for those with average credit, but it earns only 1.5% cash back and charges an annual fee of $39.

Sign-up bonus

The sign-up bonus is modest: 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. But it's unusual for a card with a high flat rate to offer any kind of sign-up bonus. The higher-earning Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card doesn't, nor will you get one with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. The Apple Card won't offer a sign-up bonus, nor will many of its direct competitors.

Why you might choose a different card

You don't want to join the credit union

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, another card will suit you better.

you don't like the unusual Balance transfer offer

The card does have an introductory APR on balance transfers, but the rate you get is based on your creditworthiness. That means that only those with the best credit will get a 0% intro APR offer on a balance transfer; those with lower scores may end up with a higher rate. If you've worked hard on your credit profile and it shows, consider the aforementioned 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 credit union to join, and it comes with a longer and more straightforward balance transfer offer: 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR.

You spend the bulk of your budget in one or two specific areas

Earning 2% back on everything is very good. But if you spend most of your money on, say, groceries or gas, you can find cards that offer rates of 5% back or higher in those specific categories. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, for instance, earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit; and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms Apply. The annual fee is $95. If that's a deal breaker, consider a rotating-bonus-category card like the Chase Freedom®. It earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (1% back on everything else). The annual fee is $0.

Should you get the Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards?

The Alliant Visa® Platinum Rewards offers some of the highest flat-rate cash-back rewards available to someone with average credit. But if your credit is better than average, or if you're not interested in joining a credit union, you can find other cards that offer similar rewards rates or higher.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.

on Alliant Credit Union's website