How the New X1 Card Is Different From Any Other Credit Card

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The X1 Card promises some never-before-seen credit card perks. Will it be able to deliver?

According to its website, the X1 Card is both "the first smart credit card" and "the smartest credit card ever made." While it's tough to say just how smart this credit card is, it's certainly unlike any other card.

The X1 Card, which is scheduled to be released in winter of 2020, will temporarily boost your rewards every time you refer another cardholder. It uses your income to determine your credit limit and says its limits will be up to five times higher than traditional credit cards. To top it off, it has special features that make it much easier to cancel subscriptions and free trials.

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The X1 Card has several interesting features that could make joining the waitlist worthwhile. But it's also smart to be skeptical about whether the card will live up to the hype.

Top features of the X1 Card

The X1 Card won't charge an annual fee. Its rewards rate depends on a couple of factors. Here's how it works:

  • The X1 Card earns a base rate of 2 points per $1 on purchases.
  • When you spend at least $15,000 in a year, you'll earn 3 points per $1 on your purchases that year.
  • Every time you invite someone who gets the card, your card earns 4 points per $1 on purchases for 30 days. For example, if you invite eight new cardholders, you'll earn 4 points per $1 for eight months.

You can redeem points for purchases at a variety of brands, including Apple, Airbnb, Delta Air Lines, Etsy, and many more. With most merchants, points are worth $0.01 each, but some will offer up to $0.02 per point. That means you'll effectively earn anywhere from 2% to 8% per $1 with the X1 Card -- a rate on par with the best credit cards. However, you'll also be limited to redeeming points with the card issuer's merchant partners.

Unsubscribing from subscription services is a lot simpler with the X1 Card. It offers one-click cancellations through its app. For free trials, you can create a virtual card number that expires before the end of the trial period. This virtual card number will work to activate the trial offer, but the merchant won't be able to charge it. You'll need to update the payment information if you decide to continue using the service after the free trial, though.

Potential drawbacks

The main area of concern with the X1 Card is point redemption. If points only work with select brands, it can eventually lead to problems. You're limited to the brands partnered with the X1 Card, and its partners could change over time. That might mean the card issuer adds more merchants you like, but there's also the possibility that it loses some of your favorites.

The rewards rate on the X1 Card is excellent. But earning lots of points only matters when you can redeem them easily. If you want a safer rewards option, then a cash back credit card would be a better way to go.

It's also unclear if those higher credit limits will be higher for everyone. Your credit limit with this card is based on your income, not your credit score. That could help consumers with bad to fair credit and large salaries get approved for higher credit limits. But it stands to reason that consumers with excellent credit and smaller salaries could also get less credit than they're used to.

How to join the waitlist

To join the waitlist for this card, visit the X1 Card site and click "Join the Waitlist." Fill out the form with your name, email address, and a bonus code if you have one.

When you join, you'll be able to see your current position on the list. You can also move up by adding where you went to college and your most recent employer, and inviting other people who sign up for the card.

Is the X1 Card right for you?

Like most credit cards offered by technology companies, the X1 Card isn't quite as revolutionary as it's made out to be.

As far as rewards credit cards go, this card probably won't be the best choice. It has an excellent rewards rate, but it looks like redemption options will be limited.

That doesn't make it a bad card, though. The fact that it bases your credit limit on your income could work out well if you don't have the best credit score. Its one-click cancellation and virtual card number features are great if you often find yourself overspending on subscription services.

It isn't out yet, but so far, the X1 Card looks like a solid credit card option for consumers who don't have good credit.

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