The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is one of the better cards available for non-bonus, non-special-category earning. It earns 3% cash back on all spending in the first year and then 2.5% cash back in the following years. To get this card you’ll need to join the Alliant Credit Union, but the good news is that anyone can join for free. One of the qualified organizations for Alliant CU membership is the Freelancers Union, and membership in the Freelancers Union is free. You can join the Freelancers Union at https://www.freelancersunion.org/ and join the Alliant CU and sign up for the card at http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank/visa-signature-card.
- Earns 3% cash back in the first year and 2.5% cash back in subsequent years
- No limit to the cash back awards you can earn
- Minimum redemption of $25
- $59 annual fee, waived the first year
- No foreign transaction fees
- This card is geared toward heavy spending. Your credit limit will likely be at least $10K.
In the first year, the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is at least as good as the Discover it Miles card, which also earns 3% cash back in the first year. The Discover it Miles card has the small disadvantage that you receive half of the 3% cash back at the end of the first year, as a bonus.
In the second year, after the $59 annual fee kicks in, it can still make sense to keep the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card as a daily driver depending on the other cards you have available and how much spending you’ll put on the card. For example, if your other available card for general spending earns 2%, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card or the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card, then you’d need to spend $11,800 (i.e. $59 / 0.005) to break even on the annual fee and any spending beyond that threshold would tip the scales in favor of the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature. On the other hand, if you’re using the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card in conjunction with Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards Platinum Honors status and have enough travel expenses to make it a virtual 2.625% cash back card all the time, then you probably have little need for an ongoing 2.5% cash back card with a $59 annual fee.
There are other cards that compete well with the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card for both the first year earning rate and the ongoing earning rate; you can find and compare them for your situation using our credit cards tool.