Alliant Credit Union has come out with a new cashback credit card that offers 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year of card membership and 2.5% after that.

The only other cards I’m aware of that earn the same or a better cashback rate longterm are limited to a small market. They are the:

In my opinion, that makes the new Alliant Visa Signature the best cashback card available at the moment.

Quick Facts 

  • Eligibility: Must be an Alliant Credit Union member (anyone can be for $10)
  • Sign Up Bonus: 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year
  • Standard Cash Back Rate: After the first year, 2.5% on all purchases
  • Global Acceptance: Visa, chip technology, and no foreign transaction fees
  • Other Perks: No cap on cash back you can earn, large credit limit
  • Annual Fee: $99, waived the first year

Eligibility

Check what makes you eligible for Alliant membership here.

Even if one of the first four bullet points doesn’t apply to you, anyone can join Alliant by donating $10 to Foster Care to Success. That means everyone that has $10 is eligible for this credit card.

Cash Back Rate

For a year after you open the card, you will earn 3% cash back on all purchases instead of the standard 2.5% on all purchases that will kick in the second year of card membership.

Other Perks

There is no cap on the amount of cash back you can earn.

The credit line you’re extended will depend on your credit history, but they advertise large credit lines.

Many other cashback cards have foreign transactions fees and the Alliant Visa Signature does not. It’s also a Visa and has a chip, so acceptance of this card should be pretty widespread.

Annual Fee

The annual fee is $99 and it is waived the first year.

Who is this card right for?

Obviously this card is good for someone who doesn’t travel often or want to bother with miles and points, but wants credit card rewards. If you found your way to this blog, it’s safe to assume that’s not you.

The Alliant Visa Signature is a great card for people who can manufacture spending at under 3% cost so they can use this card to make money, and people who for whatever reason do a lot of non-sign-up-bonus, non-category-bonus spending. Those people include those with tons of spending in general, people wanting to put all spend on one card and wait on opening any other cards for Chase 5/24 reasons, and presumably others, like someone who buys mainly cheap economy tickets that are usually not worth redeeming miles for.

Alliant Visa Signature VS. Barclaycard Arrival Plus

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is also a good card for all of those reasons listed above, and perhaps a better card than the Alliant Visa Signature if you just need a card for those purposes for a year or so considering that the Arrival Plus comes with a large sign up bonus. In the first year, bigger spenders will get a higher rate of return on the Alliant Visa Signature, while those that spend less will profit more from the Arrival Plus.

I’ll show you what I mean with math, but first allow me to explain the Arrival Plus’ earning and redeeming structure.

The Arrival Plus card is not a cashback card since the rewards are in the form of free travel, but since all of us do a lot of travel each year, I consider cash back and rewards for travel to be equivalent. The Arrival Plus earns a type of “mile” (not really a mile) worth 1 cent each in the form of a travel expense statement credit. You earn two Arrival miles per dollar spent on all purchases, and when redeeming on travel expenses, each Arrival mile is worth 1 cent. When redeeming Arrival miles on non-travel expenses, they are worth less, so don’t do this.

Back to the math.

Let’s assume you spend $3,000 per month on a credit card. In the first year, spending $36k on the Arrival Plus would earn 50k Arrival miles for the sign up bonus and 72k Arrival miles for spending (2 miles per dollar spent x 36k). That’s 122,000 Arrival miles, worth $1,220 in travel statement credits. The Alliant Visa Signature would earn $1,080 in cashback on $36k of spend (3% of 36,000). But if you spend $4,000 per month on a credit card, $48k in a year, you’ll earn 146k Arrival miles the first year including the bonus, worth $1,460 in travel statement credits. $48,000 in spending on the Alliant Visa Signature would earn $1,440. Spend $5k a month? You’d earn $1,700 in travel statement credits from the Arrival Plus the first year. You’d earn $1,800 putting that much spending on the Alliant Visa Signature the first year.

Comparing the cards long term, the Alliant Visa Signature is better as you’ll get a higher rate of return–almost 2.5% after factoring in the $99 annual fee, versus about 2% on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus after factoring in that $89 annual fee.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Travel Credit Cards.

Bottom Line

There’s a new cashback card out and it’s pretty impressive. We usually stick to discussing travel rewards credit cards on this blog, but the Alliant Credit Union’s new Visa Signature Card provides 2.5% cash back on ALL purchases, and EVERYONE is eligible for it–making it worth a mention. This card might be just what you’re looking for if you can manufacture spend with less than a 3% cost, or do a lot of non-sign-up-bonus, non-category-bonus spending.

You can learn more about the card, join Alliant Credit Union, and apply for the card on alliantcreditunion.org.

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