Update 4/2/19: The annual fee has been increased to $99 from $59. This is still waived first year. It’s not clear when this increase took place or what will happen to existing users. I know that the annual fee was still $59 in January (update was still $59 on March 28th, 2019 so change is very recent). Hat tip to reader Dan C
Alliant has a credit card called Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card. Let’s take a look at the card basics:
- Card earns at the following rates:
- 3% cash back on all purchases in the first year (available if you product change)
- 2.5% cash back on all purchases second year on wards
- Annual fee of $99 is waived first year (available if you product change. Keep in mind they don’t prorate annual fees or refund at all once the annual fee has posted)
- 0% foreign transaction fee (you also do earn 3/2.5% cash back on these purchases)
- No limit on cash back earned
- Minimum redemption of $25
- Minimum credit limit of $10,000
To apply for this card, you need to join the Alliant Credit Union. There is no hard pull to join and anybody can join for free. Here is the easiest way to join for free:
- Click Become a Member green button in the top right side of the Alliant web site.
- Click on Another way to qualify gray button twice until the Find Out If You Are Eligible header shows up.
- Select Freelancers Union radio button from the list of qualified organizations
- Click on Continue green button.
- You will see the following message: Congratulations! You are eligible to apply for membership in Alliant Credit Union. You have selected Freelancers Union.
- Finally, click on Continue with application green button to start your Alliant Credit Union application process.
Big thanks to reader Eduardo.
Additional Alliant Benefits
You can improve your credit score if you don’t have any installment loans by using the secured loan technique (discussed in detail here). Alliant is one of the most popular credit unions to do this with.
They also offer an account with a 2.1% APY interest rate, there are accounts with higher savings rates but this is still somewhat competitive.
Obviously 3%/2.5% cash back is one of the best options out there. Our base line is usually 2% cash back on all purchases with no annual fee. This card offers 3% cash back the first year with no annual fee (similar to Discover it Miles), so it’s obviously better in that regard. Year two onwards you’d need to spend $11,800 to be better off with this card compared to a regular 2% card if you have the old $59 annual fee or $19,800 with the new $99 annual fee.
The nice addition is the lack of foreign transaction fees. It’s nice that you also earn 3%/2.5% cash back on these purchases. It’s also great that if you do a product change/upgrade to this card (they offer targeted bonuses of up to $400 for their other cards), that you get the annual fee waived and also the 3% cash back in the first year.
Overall I think this is a great card if you have a lot of credit card spending that is on unbonused categories. Just keep in mind that the best value comes from credit card sign up bonuses, so take into account how much unbonused spend you’ll have after meeting minimum spend requirements.