Our top picks of timely offers from our partners

More details
National Debt Relief
Learn More
Terms Apply
National Debt Relief helps consumers with over $10,000 of unsecured debt and has operated since 2009
UFB Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Up to 5.25% APY on one of our top picks for best savings accounts plus, no monthly fee
Freedom Debt Relief
Learn More
Terms Apply
Freedom Debt Relief can help clients get started without fees up front
LendingClub High-Yield Savings
Learn More
Terms Apply
Our top pick for best savings accounts for its strong APY and an ATM card with no ATM fees
Learn More
Terms Apply
Get paid early with direct deposit and pay no overdraft, transfer, or minimum balance fees
Select independently determines what we cover and recommend. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links. Read more about Select on CNBC and on NBC News, and click here to read our full advertiser disclosure.
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.”

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, started with a 350,000-plus person waitlist but has now launched for all U.S. customers. 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."

Subscribe to the Select Newsletter!

Our best selections in your inbox. Shopping recommendations that help upgrade your life, delivered weekly. Sign-up here.

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, Select 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 every time you spend $1,000 in a month.
  • 4X, 5X and even 10X points on every $1 spent for up to a month for every friend you refer. For example, refer and sign up 10 friends and you'll get at least 4X points on every single purchase for up to 10 months (up to 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.


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 from 15.50% -27.75%. 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 make 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.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

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.
Rocket Mortgage
Learn More
Terms Apply
Rates could continue to rise - look into refinancing with one of our top picks.
Earn more with a high yield savings account
Learn More
Terms Apply
Fed rate hikes can mean higher rates on savings accounts