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Credit Cards

The new X1+ Card offers unique lounge benefits, solid travel insurance and a reasonable annual fee

The new X1+ Card is loaded with interesting features, just make sure you understand the limits of its rewards program before getting on the waitlist.

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Courtesy of X1

On the heels of the public release of no-annual-fee X1 credit card last year, the fintech startup X1 has unveiled a new rewards credit card – the X1+ Card.

The X1+ will utilize the same rewards program and smart technology as the X1 Card. But the X1+ features enhanced travel insurance, lounge access when your flight is delayed and expanded redemption options to go along with a $75 annual fee.

This card has some interesting benefits and unique security features that aren't common with other credit cards. However, its rewards program is limited because you can only redeem points for maximum value at specific merchants. So you may find more value with a card with more flexible redemption options.

The new X1+ isn't publicly available, but there is a waitlist you can sign up for.

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X1+ Card details

One standout feature of the X1+ Card standout is its disposable virtual card numbers. You can create one-time use virtual card numbers or card numbers that are auto-canceled after 24 hours, which is ideal for free trials because you won't accidentally be charged after the trial period ends. For additional security, you can opt for a card with no visible card number or security information on it.

An X1+ Card holder's credit limit is based heavily on current and future income. Because X1 places a lesser emphasis on credit score, you may be able to get approved with a lower credit score than you'd expect and possibly have access to a larger amount of credit.

The X1+ Card is a part of the same rewards program as the no-annual-fee X1 Card, with a few additional earning and redemption options. You can earn unlimited rewards on every single purchase at the following rates:

  • 2X points per $1
  • 3X points every time you spend $1,000 in a month
  • 4X points at Expedia, Hotels.com and VRBO
  • 4X, 5X and even 10X points per $1 for up to a month when you successfully refer someone to the card
  • Up to 10X points when cardholders shop through the X1 app

You can earn bonus rewards when you refer someone and they get the card, but it's not a simple bonus. Instead, you'll earn at least 4X points on all purchases for up to 30 days per referral. The referral program is also a bit of a lottery — sometimes the referral will unlock 5X or even 10X points.

The points you earn with the X1 or X1+ Card are worth 0.7 cents each for cash back and one cent each as a statement credit for purchases with over 50 brands, including Airbnb, Apple, Best Buy, Amazon, Etsy and many more. X1+ cardholders have additional redemption options that include:

  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts
  • Westin Hotels and Resorts
  • Emirates
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JSX

For frequent travelers, the X1+ Card has built-in protections, such as primary rental car insurance, lost and delayed baggage coverage and trip cancellation protection. The card also has purchase protection, extended warranty coverage and cell phone insurance.

One of the most unique features of the X1+ Card is its lounge access benefits. Instead of getting a specific lounge membership with the card, the cardholder and up to four additional passengers will get complimentary lounge access if a flight is delayed by one hour or more.

CNBC Select was told the lounge access benefit applies to more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including most lounges available through the Priority Pass network, but won't apply to Priority Pass restaurant partners. If your flight isn't delayed, you'll have the option of purchasing lounge access.

The X1+ Card has a $75 annual fee.

Bottom line

The X1+ Card is an affordable option for anyone looking for a card with good insurance benefits and a solid earnings rate. It also has a number of unique benefits that could be useful depending on your spending and travel habits, like virtual card numbers and lounge access when your flight is delayed.

The main drawbacks of the card are the limits of its rewards program and the fact that it doesn't currently have a welcome bonus. You may find that a card or rewards program with flexible redemption options provides more value.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows you to transfer your points to 14 travel partners, redeem points for one cent each as cash back and pay for travel booked through the Chase travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. It also has a welcome offer of 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and only a $95 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.49% - 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

 

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Information about the X1+ Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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