While I would normally say that 2020 is not the best time to introduce a new credit card, the X1 is not your normal credit card and it is one that is actually perfectly suited to the modern age we are in. Find out all the details about this brand new credit card and how the reward program works.
The New X1 Credit Card
Link: The New X1 Credit Card (this is a reader’s link)
What is the X1 Credit Card?
First of all, this card is a completely new venture backed with the power of people from areas that definitely benefit a new card like this. The CEO and co-founder, Deepak Rao (former Group Product Manager at Twitter) has a good team backing this card to shake things up a bit in the credit card space.
It is a Visa Signature card, which means it has all the usual benefits of the Signature program. It also means it is accepted anywhere Visa is accepted. The card itself weighs 17 grams and is made of stainless steel. But, the real power of the card is the way the credit limits work and the reward program you can take advantage of.
The X1 Credit Card – Smart Credit Limits
When one applies for the X1, there is a soft credit pull to verify your identity. But, the heavy lifting of determining your credit eligibility is based on your future, not your credit past. This means the card’s limits grow as you move on in your career (they say up to 5X more than traditional credit cards use).
These credit lines are set based on things like an offer letter for your job, your pay stubs, or linking to your bank account. This way, X1 can offer you credit limits based on your salary and earning instead of your credit past. Plus, these increases will happen automatically when you link up or send those documents to them!
This does not mean that it is not for someone with a mid-tier income. All it means is that your credit line will be tied to your salary instead of credit history.
Here is what X1 says about this system: By looking at current and future income instead of credit score, the X1 Card can responsibly set smart credit limits up to 5 times higher than traditional credit cards and have limits rise automatically as cardholders advance in their careers. The higher limit also gives cardholders the opportunity to have a lower utilization rate, allowing them to increase their credit score faster.
X1 Card has no annual fee, offers the lowest interest rates of any card in its class and charges no late fees or foreign transaction fees. Its APRs range from 12.9 – 19.9%, and it has a balance transfer fee of 2%, the lowest in its category.
Did you notice the no fee part? That is no late fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no annual fee. This part sounds a bit like the Apple card but it is more than that.
Here is what CEO Deepak Rao has to say about the X1 credit card “With X1 Card, we set out to modernize the credit card for a new generation of cardholders,” said co-founder & CEO, Deepak Rao. “X1 Card doesn’t rely on the archaic credit score system to set limits and rates, its rewards program is the most generous offer on the market, and its built-in smart technology makes it easier to shop, save and spend with friends. Crafted with sleek stainless steel, the X1 Card creates a magical experience that feels both simpler and smarter than any other credit card on the market.”
The X1 Reward Program
First – They Listen!
Speaking of the Apple card, the X1 card kind of has some of the allure of the Apple Card with some of the reward ingenuity of the Uber card but it goes beyond both of those (in my opinion).
I had a chance to talk to Deepak this week and expressed my pleasant surprise about how their reward program was handled. There was an original idea of how the rewards would work but Deepak actually spoke with over 300 people to survey what they were looking for and then reworked the rewards program to make it much better than before and even more attractive for customers.
Imagine the big credit card companies actually making a big change just prior to introduction to make it more attractive! This tells you right away that the X1 folks are willing to listen to customers to encourage long-term customer loyalty.
The Way X1 Rewards Work
So, here is the straightforward earning structure of the X1 rewards program:
- 2X points on every $1 spent
- 3X points on every $1 spent for the year if you spend $15K+ on the card in that year
- 4X points on every $1 spent for a month for every friend you refer. If you bring in 10 friends, for example, you’ll get 4X points on every single purchase for 10 months.
That 3X point amount is a great way to encourage people to have this be a regular card in the wallet since it requires $15,000 of spending in a year. Basically, you will get 2x points on all spending but once you hit that $15,000, you will get an extra 15,000 points and 3x points on all spending going forward.
The 4X point level is a very innovative part of the program. There is no limit on the amount of friends you can refer so you could, essentially, get 4X point earning forever if you have enough friends to apply! This is a great way to encourage cardholders to both use the card and refer it since they will not get any benefit from referrals if they aren’t using the card.
Redeeming the X1 Reward Points
The value of the points will adjust based on the vendor you will use them with. There are currently over 100 brands you can use them with and the base value is 1 cent per point and it will go up to 2 cents per point. That means that you are earning a straight 2% – 3% on all spending with the potential to get 4% – 8% on all spending.
Here are some of the vendors they have currently partnered with for reward redemption:
- Alaska Airlines
- and many more
As you can see, there are some travel companies on the list so, at the minimum, you would be earning 2% on spending to use for travel. If you are referring friends, that is 4%. That exceeds the earnings on most categories by most cards and the X1 is offering that on all spending (in the months you refer a friend).
Plus, you have no annual fee!
Here is Where the X1 Gets Even Smarter
Ok, but that is not all the X1 has to offer. This is a credit card that very much relies on technology to put forth its worth in a crowded credit card space. Here are some of the things that the X1 can do for you.
By just using one click on the app, the X1 card will let you cancel subscription payments. This is something that some credit card companies had said they would put out – but it was more an alert system than letting you simply cancel these payments quickly.
Taking it even further, the X1 has a ton of flexibility with virtual credit card numbers. Here are some interesting uses and information on the X1 virtual credit cards:
- Create virtual credit cards with an expiration period you want
- Great for signing up for trials and not wanting to get charged if you forget to cancel
- Also great if you want to make sure that certain payments never exceed a set date
- Create virtual credit cards to give as gifts
- This is a nice use – you can create a virtual credit card to send to someone and load it up with as much money as you want (which is basically just going to charge your account when it is used up to the maximum amount)
- They can use it online anywhere Visa works
- You can create as many virtual credit cards as you want – quickly and easily through the app
The X1 also has an auto alert when a refund is issued on the card. To my knowledge, only American Express lets you know when a a refund hits your account while other credit card companies will just show it on your statement. So, it can be nice to get alerted when the refund happens instead of trying to remember to check for it.
There is also an incognito mode where you can shop and not have any of your personal information tracked.
How to Get the X1 and Should You?
One of the reasons X1 changed their rewards program and dropped the annual fee was due to the amount of premium cardholders they talked to that expressed their dissatisfaction with paying high annual fees, especially without a lot of travel. X1 has shown they are willing to adapt to their market to provide a rewards structure that is beneficial to many so you can expect it to adapt as time goes on as well.
At this point, X1 has opened up a waiting list. If you want to apply through a reader’s link, you and they can eventually get 4X points per month. 🙂 They are looking at using an affiliate channel at some point so if you do not see this on a bunch of blogs right now, you probably will eventually!
So, there is not an application just yet – just a waiting list. Eventually, you will be able to sign up and then start using the card! I am looking forward to trying out the card to see how it works in some of my non-bonus category spend and to really take advantage of the virtual credit card numbers. I know Citi has this but X1 is making it even more simple with their take on tech.
Whether you apply for this card or not, I really do like that X1 is taking on the big banks in a way that can only help to push forward innovation in rewards and the advancement of tech in the old way of doing credit card systems!