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The X1 Card has certainly built up a lot of hype around itself — but why, exactly? What’s so special about it? It is being called “the smartest credit card ever made,” but is it really? Should you sign up for it? Is it really that smart and worth a spot in your traveler’s wallet, or is it just another gimmick? Here are all the details.
The Basics of the X1 Card
- Available to U.S. consumers who can apply online
- The card does not have an annual fee
- There is no impact on your credit score
- Credit limits are not based on credit history but rather on income (and you can increase your limit over time by providing your bank account and pay stub information)
- There are no foreign transaction fees or late fees
One of the other bonuses is the fact that this card is a metal credit card. It’s made of 17g of stainless steel.
If you’re an avid point and miles earner, then you likely really only want a credit card if it can get you those sweet points and miles to spend on travel and more. So, what will the X1 Card offer you in terms of points earning and spending?
The X1 Card gives you 2 points per $1 spent on everything across all spending categories. Cardholders earn:
- 2x points on every purchase regardless of category
- 3x points every time you spend $1,000 in a month
- 4x, 5x, and even 10x points for every friend who gets a card
- Up to 10x points at leading online stores such as Apple, Nike, and Sephora when you shop in the X1 App
Your point-per-dollar rate also increases if you invite someone to sign up for the card. If they then do so, you can earn 4, 5, or even 10 points per $1 spent on everything. That rate holds true for up to 30 days following sign-up.
Unfortunately, if you invite multiple people to sign up for the card and then multiple people do sign up for the card, you won’t get, for example, 12 points per $1 spent if three people sign up. Instead, that 30 days that you get the bonus rate multiplies, so you’d get 3 months of 4 points per $1 earning if three of your friends signed up.
There’s no limit for points earned, and points do not expire.
So then what do you do with all those points once you’ve earned them? The X1 Card allows you to redeem your earned points with a whole bevy of brands, both travel and otherwise. Announced travel partners include Delta, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Hotel Tonight, Zipcar, and Airbnb. There are redemption options with more than 100 retailers.
The value your points hold differs according to who you redeem your points with. Most brands value the points at $0.01 for each, but some offer you $0.02 for each point. This is a pretty good value and one that can stand up to even some of the best travel credit cards — if you want to travel with X1’s selected travel partners and if you take advantage of those extra ways to boost your point-per-dollar rate.
Unlike with other credit cards, you don’t have to redeem your points through a portal. Instead, you just make the purchase with one of the partners, like you normally might, but with the X1 Card. Then, simply wipe the charge from your bill using points.
Extra Perks from the X1 Card
One unique feature the X1 Card offers is the ability to create a virtual card number. This is a disposable card number that you can use to get free trials of various services. Then, before the trial is up, the card number expires. No one can charge you once that free trial turns into a paid trial.
Note that the X1 Card is also a Visa Signature product.
Should I sign up for the new X1 Card?
What it really all depends on is whether or not you want to redeem your points with X1’s partners. If you like these partners and see the value you’re getting from them, then you can definitely get a nice redemption rate for your spending.
However, it’s worth noting that these partnerships aren’t exactly locked in. As with every credit card that’s not co-branded with, for example, a hotel chain or airline, the redemption partners can change over time. While they may add some partners you like, they can also remove some that you like. So, if you only can foresee yourself redeeming points with one or two of the current partners, you may not want to sign up for the X1 Card.
If, however, you really like all of the card’s redemption partners and you think you could redeem with most or all, then it’s definitely a card worth considering.
Additionally, if you don’t have a great credit score, then the X1 Card could be an easy way for you to start earning points at a high level while building your credit at the same time.