Credit card

The X1 credit card pushes the boundaries of rewards and security

The X1* card was recently unveiled, offering a handful of unique rewards and security features. It even asks for a double take aesthetically. Advertised as 17 grams of stainless steel, the card will come to you in a branded box, a different move than typical envelope issuers.

In keeping with X1’s aspiration to be unconventional, you can’t just “apply” for it. Following the Handbook of Applications and Services Seeking to Appear as Exclusive, you can request an invitation to apply by submitting your name, email address, and earnings.

In this article

Introductory bonusN / A

APR12.75% – 19.75% variable

Recommended credit Excellent/Good Credit

Reward rate
  • Earn 2x points on every dollar spent
  • Earn 3x the points on every dollar spent that year when you spend $15,000 or more in a year
  • 4X points for 30 days for each friend you invite who receives the card

Annual feesNothing

Intro Purchase APRN / A

Balance Transfer Fee 2% of the amount of each transfer.

APR balance transfer12.75% – 19.75% variable

APR Penalty Nothing

  • Earn 2x points on every dollar spent
  • Earn 3x the points on every dollar spent that year when you spend $15,000 or more in a year
  • 4X points for 30 days for each friend you invite who receives the card

X1 smart card features

The X1 card intends to use technology to ease the hassle of security and payment management, while making it easier for users to improve their credit.

X1 claims its credit card offers up to five times the spending limit of a traditional credit card, with an average credit limit of $24,300. This gives cardholders a lot more purchasing power, as well as the ability to take on more debt. It also potentially gives them the chance to increase their credit score improving credit utilization (the ratio between what an individual owes and their total spending limit). The issuer bases your credit limit on your salary, and new approved X1 cardholders have annual salaries ranging from $40,000 to millions of dollars.

Another cool feature is automatic virtual card support, which gives you a unique, unique credit card number every time you make an online purchase. This helps you spend more anonymously by limiting companies’ access to your personal information, potentially preventing identity theft. These virtual cards can be used for one-time purchases and are convenient options for free trials of new services and subscriptions you want to test.

Alternatively, you can generate virtual credit cards designed to be used more than once, which expire in a set number of days that you specify. This can be useful if you want to sign up for a free trial of a service and want the card to automatically expire before being charged, or if you want to share the credit with someone (e.g. a family member or an employee) for a specified period. You can also manage and cancel subscription payments with one click from the X1 app.

Rewards and referral bonuses

The point system is quite rewarding and has components unlike other cards on the market. You earn 2x points for every dollar spent on every purchase, and if you spend more than $15,000 in a year, you’re automatically upgraded to earn 3x points for every dollar spent that year. At a general redemption rate of $0.01 per point, this equates to a standard fixed redemption rate of 2%-3% (when spending more than $15,000 per year).

In addition to block rewards, you may occasionally activate “boost” bonus categories from your app as they become available. There is also a referral bonus. For each friend you refer who receives the card, you unlock 30 days of 4x points on your purchases (note that a referral bonus may trigger a taxable event). The points can then be redeemed for purchases made from major players in technology, retail, fitness and travel.

Comparable cards

A 2% fixed cash rewards rate is competitive with the best fixed rate cards on the market, including the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card and Citi® Double Cash Card (1% on purchase, 1% on payment ).

Jumping to 3x points with the X1 card after spending $15,000 in the year is somewhat reminiscent of Discover’s Unlimited Cashback Match program – which is offered on all maps Discover — in that your total annual spend can earn you even more rewards. With the Cashback Match program, you earn double the cash back you would otherwise earn, paid by Discover into your account at the end of your first year as a cardholder. With the X1 card, however, the opportunity to earn a 3x bonus point lasts beyond your first year, unlike Discover.

FAQs

How to choose a credit card?

Ultimately, the right credit card is individual for each person, their goals, and their preferences. Decide what features you’re looking for: maximized rewards, spaced out payments for a large purchase, credit, emergency credit card, or other perks. From there you can decide what type of card you are looking for. You can then use online reviews like CNET’s to further narrow down the terms that work best for you.

Is cash back better than points?

Although cash back is a more accessible concept, both cash back and points have their strengths and weaknesses. While cash back may be more universally applicable, points are often worth more in value than their cash back equivalents. Depending on your shopping preferences and credit card usage settings, you may find points or cash back rewards more valuable to you.

What is a virtual credit card?

A virtual credit card, or virtual account number, is a temporary credit card number used to make purchases online or over the phone securely. This means you don’t have to reveal your real account information, saving you from potential identity theft. The virtual account number is randomly generated and expires after a set period of time so that it cannot be hijacked in the future.

Our approach

We review the most popular cards with the best benefits. We go through the fine print so there are no surprises when you open an account. We find the key factors that make a card stand out and compare them to other top cards. This way, readers can opt for a different card with similar functionality if our choice doesn’t suit them. Our opinions are regularly checked and updated to incorporate new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offers and the market.

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*All information on the X1 card has been independently collected by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our editors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It was not supplied or commissioned by a third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.