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Credit Cards

The new no-fee X1 Card offers higher credit limits and perks that appeal to younger cardholders

Select takes a look at the X1 Card, dubbed “the smartest credit card ever made.”

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Courtesy of: X1

There's a new credit card on the market targeting a younger generation of cardholders who prefer tech-savvy financial products, sleek designs and rewards for their everyday spending.

The X1 Card, unveiled a year ago and backed by tech execs like PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, is now officially rolling out to the public, starting with its 350,000-plus person waitlist. While its 17 grams of stainless steel is a modern addition to anyone's wallet, the card's built-in smart technology helps it stand out as what the company calls "the smartest credit card ever made."

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What makes it so smart? X1's technology allows cardholders to cancel subscription payments in just one click and end free trials automatically with auto-expiring virtual credit card numbers. Cardholders can also get instant notifications on refunds and create virtual cards (disposable card numbers) for one-time use, making it possible to spend anonymously without disclosing your personal information.

The X1 Card also stands out because of its higher credit limits. The issuer looks at an applicant's current and future income to set credit limits and interest rates, rather than basing those factors solely off one's credit score. That means it's more likely a cardholder can get a higher credit limit than they would with any other traditional credit card — up to five times higher, per the company's website.

A higher credit limit means you have a better chance at a lower credit utilization rate (your total balance divided by your overall credit limit), which helps your credit score. And if you want to pay off your balance more frequently than once a month, cardholders can set up autopay on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Below, we take a closer look at the X1 Card's rewards and fees.

X1 Card rewards

The X1 Card boasts a rewards program that gives unlimited points for every single purchase a cardholder makes. Here is the rewards structure:

  • 2X points on every $1 spent
  • 3X points on every $1 spent for the year, if you spend $15,000+ on the card in that year
  • 4X points on every $1 spent for a month for every friend you refer. For example, refer and sign up 10 friends and you'll get 4X points on every single purchase for 10 months (30 days for each friend referral).

Point redemptions are limited to purchases from certain brands, but there are a wide variety of tech, fitness, retail and travel options, including Airbnb, Apple, Asos, Casper, Crate & Barrel, Glossier, Nike, Patagonia, Peloton, REI, Sephora, Supreme, Wayfair and more.

There are also a few travel brands, including airlines like Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest and United, as well as transportation (Zipcar) and accommodations like Hotels.com, Hotel Tonight and Vrbo.

Courtesy of: X1

In addition to its smart technology and rewards program, the X1 Card is part of the Visa Signature network, allowing cardholders to use it at more than 46 million merchants around the world.

Fees

The X1 Card has no annual fee, no late fees and no foreign transaction fees, so international travelers can use it anywhere in the world that accepts Visa without additional costs.

Variable interest rates range from 12.75% to 19.75%, which is on the lower end. The card's balance transfer fee is also particularly low, 2% (most cards charge a 5% transfer fee on balances). There's no introductory 0% APR period on balance transfers or new purchases.

Bottom line

The X1 Card is certainly an interesting option for a new generation of young cardholders. Its smart technology, modern look, strong rewards program and promise of a higher credit limit makes the card appealing to those looking for something different.

Plus, the card is an affordable pick. It has no fees whatsoever, interest rates on the lower end and a notably low balance transfer fee.

There are some drawbacks to how you can redeem your rewards with the X1, and some may prefer a credit card that has more flexible redemption offers.

With the no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, for example, cardholders earn an unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases and can redeem as a statement credit toward their credit card balance (see rates and fees).

Another no-annual-fee card to consider is Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which now offers new cardholders 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on drugstore purchases, 4.5% on dining at restaurants (including eligible takeout and delivery services) and 3% cash back on all other purchases. This cash-back is on all categories up to $20,000 spent in the first year.

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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.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide
Enjoy an intro APR on purchases plus, Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.