The Alliant Visa Signature Card is a fantastic credit card for cash back lovers with high spend. This card is a lesser-known option among travelers, but it’s a favorite among cash back lovers. That’s because of its high and flat earning structure and lack of bonus categories. However, travelers with high spend should opt for a premium or mid-tier travel credit card.
This card has a $99 annual fee, which is waived the first year. Most cash back credit cards do not have an annual fee. But this one earns exceptional rewards for high-spending cash back lovers.
The Alliant Visa Signature Card earns lots of cash back quickly. Cardholders will earn 3% for all purchases for the first year and then 2.5% thereafter. This is a fantastic earning structure that is unrivaled among flat rate cash back credit cards.
Furthermore, the breakeven point for this card is $3,960. In other words, cardholders must spend $3,960 within one year to earn $99 in cash back to justify the card’s annual fee. This does not apply to the first year because the annual fee is waived. The breakeven point shows that the Alliant Visa Signature Card is best suited for high-spenders who want simplicity in their credit card lineup.
Plus, this card has a maximum spend limit of $10,000 per month. That means cardholders can earn up to $300 per month during the first year and $250 per month thereafter. Cardholders can earn a maximum of $3,600 per year during the first year and $3,000 per year thereafter.
Unfortunately, Alliant is not offering a sign-up bonus for this card. That’s to be expected given the first-year annual fee waiver and long-term rewards. However, the first year annual fee waiver immediately saves cardholders $99. That’s similar to earning a sign-up bonus without any minimum spend requirement.
Cash back credit cards generally have fewer ways to redeem rewards than travel credit cards. The Alliant Visa Signature Card is no exception. This card offers two redemption methods: statement credit and direct deposit.
Redemption via statement credit is one of the most common methods among cash back credit cards. It’s the only redemption method for those who do not have a Alliant Credit Union checking or savings account.
Alternatively, cardholders who have a bank account with Alliant Credit Union can deposit their cash rewards into their account. Cardholders can then use their rewards however they want to. Many non-travelers move their rewards into an IRA or brokerage account. Conversely, travelers can use their rewards towards uncommon travel expenses for which they cannot use points and miles.
One of the main caveats of the Alliant Visa Signature Card is that cardholders must earn at least $50 in cash back before being able to redeem. This is a very high minimum, especially compared to competitors. Several competitors have a $25 cash back minimum before being able to redeem. Some competitors have no minimum at all.
Plus, all cash back earned has a four calendar year expiration date. Cash rewards expire at the end of the fourth calendar year after they are earned. For example, any cash back earned in 2021 expires in December 2025.
The Alliant Visa Signature Card is a high-earning cash back credit card. That means it does not have the travel perks of most travel credit cards. However, it does come with a few useful perks.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Cardholders will save 3% on foreign transaction fees when using their card abroad. This perk is unusual for a cash back credit card because it’s normally found on travel cards.
Purchase Protection & Extended Warranty
Items purchased with the Alliant Visa Signature Card that are stolen or damaged within 90 days of purchase may be eligible for reimbursement. Purchase protection is a nice perk that’s not offered on many credit cards.
Plus, Alliant doubles the manufacturer’s warranty on certain purchases. This is an awesome and unique take on a typical extended warranty perk. For example, an Alliant cardholder purchases a TV at Costco. Costco offers a four-year warranty with the TV. Therefore, Alliant will double that to eight years.
Travel Accident Coverage
Furthermore, Alliant offers $250,000 in travel accident coverage for cardholders. This is similar to the travel insurances offered by the Chase Sapphire cards and several American Express cards. It is nice to see Alliant offer this perk even though the Alliant Card is not a travel card.
Rental Car Coverage & Roadside Assistance
Alliant’s rental car coverage is secondary, which is what American Express offers with many of their cards. Cardholders must file a claim with their insurance company first if they get into an accident with a rental car. The secondary insurance from Alliant kicks in if there is any deductible left over.
Plus, Alliant cardholders have access to 24-hour roadside assistance, which must be paid for separately. However, many cardholders also have AAA or a similar roadside assistance service. These services are why many credit cards are no longer offering roadside assistance.
Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash is the most direct competitor to the Alliant Visa Signature Card. Cardholders earn a total of 2% cash back, which comes in two parts. The first 1% is earned upon making a purchase and the second 1% is earned upon paying the bill. This 2% total does not change after the first year.
Like Alliant and the Visa Signature Card, Citi is not offering a sign-up bonus for the Double Cash. However, the Double Cash has no annual fee. Thus, the Double Cash the better option for those who spend less than $3,960 per year.
The Citi Double Cash is also better for international travelers. That’s because cash rewards can be converted into transferrable Citi Thank You (TY) points. In turn, TY points can be transferred to a plethora of partners, most of which are international airlines.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred
Alternatively, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred is an excellent competitor to the Alliant Visa Signature Card. This card also has a $95 annual fee, but it’s not waived for the first year.
However, that annual fee is countered by a rich earning structure. The Blue Cash Preferred Card earns 6% cash back at the grocery store and on select streaming services. Plus, it earns 3% at gas stations and on local commuter transit. All other purchases earn 1%. This earning structure is laden with bonus categories as opposed to the flat rate Alliant Card.
Plus, American Express is offering a sign-up bonus worth $250 for the Blue Cash Preferred Card. This bonus can be earned by spending $1,000 within the first three months. Alliant does not offer a sign-up bonus for the Visa Signature Card.
Those with significant grocery store expenses are better off with the Blue Cash Preferred Card. However, those with more general expenses and large budgets are be better off with the Alliant Card.
The Alliant Visa Signature Card is a niche cash back credit card. Alliant’s website says that this card is “exclusively designed for high spenders with excellent credit”. But what makes this credit card truly niche given its target market is its cash back rewards. A plethora of high spenders with excellent credit opt for mid-tier and premium travel credit cards. But many of these people are switching to cash back because of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel being limited. Therefore, the Alliant Visa Signature Card could be a suitable alternative.
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