X1 Card Is Here: Earn 3X On Everything [Up To 10X On All Spend If You Refer Friends]

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Two years ago I wrote about the X1 Card. It was coming, and would potentially be a game-changer – a no annual fee card that earned up to 4x on all spend. It rolled out slowly, for a long time only available by referral. But it’s finally available and it is potentially very lucrative.

  • No annual fee
  • Stainless steel card
  • Potentially “up to 5 times higher limits” than other cards will offer you (“Based on current & future income”)
  • Up to 10x earning for all purchases (!)

They seem to make a big deal about the look and feel of the card, but at an advertised 17 grams this is no heavier than an Amex Platinum or Capital One Savor card and lighter than Citi Prestige (18g) and J.P. Morgan Reserve (27g), and only a hair heavier than Capital One Venture (16g).

Higher card limits can be useful because that can improve your credit score, by pushing down your utilization percentage (your spending is a lower percentage of total available credit). I’ve heard reports of high limits.

But the real star here is the rewards value proposition on a no annual fee card.

  • 2x on everything
  • But you actually earn 3x if you spend $15,000 on the card in a year
  • And you earn a higher multiple on eligible spend if you refer friends to get the card, too (4X, 5X, and even 10X)

For 3x earning, once you hit the $15,000 spend threshold it applies to all of your purchases for the year (even purchases you’ve already made). So this is true 3x earning – not just 3x on spend over $15,000 in a year.

They also offer “boosts” that you can activate to earn at a higher level with specific merchants, for instance you might be offered 5X on a grocery, restaurant or Amazon purchase or to earn bonus points for a larger purchase.

Each time you refer a friend to the card using an invitation in their app, and they’re approved, you get 30 days of higher-level earning at either 4x, 5x, or 10x. I have to imagine getting 10x is rare.

Points are either worth $0.007 as statement credits, or one cent apiece to erase purchases made at designated merchants. Here’s the current list:

TECH FITNESS RETAIL TRAVEL
  Apple Adidas Allbirds Airbnb
  Beats Cannondale Amazon Alaska Airlines
  Best Buy Lululemon Anthropologie American Airlines
  Bose Nike Aritzia Delta
  Masterclass Outdoor Voices Asos Hotels.com
  Nintendo Patagonia Casper Hotel Tonight
  Playstation Peloton Crate & Barrel Southwest Airlines
  Sonos Rogue Fitness Costco United Airlines
  Sony REI Etsy JetBlue
  Xbox Trek Everlane Uber
Glossier Vrbo
Home Depot Zipcar
Ikea
Reformation
Sephora
Supreme
Uniqlo
Warby Parker
Wayfair

The presence of United, American, Southwest, Airbnb and Uber alone should mean you’ll be able to get a full cent per point of value from your redemptions. However you can always redeem at 7/10ths of a cent as well.

  • 2x earn, at 7/10ths of a cent, isn’t great value.
  • This is an amazing card if you’ll put $15,000 spend on it in a year. Earning 3x at $0.007 apiece means a 2.1% rebate – better than the benchmark Citi® Double Cash Card. And that’s if you aren’t able to redeem for nearly 50% more value against spend with their designated merchants.
  • And if you can refer friends to the card, it’s an incredible play. 4x earning (let alone 5x or 10x) on all spend, redeemed on airline tickets, Airbnb stays, or with Uber, means a 4% rebate on all spend without factoring category accelerators.

If you can regularly refer friends to the card this is unquestionably the highest value rebate for general spend that doesn’t earn a bonus with another card.

There are no foreign transaction fees and no late payment fees (though they charge interest in that case). And they have an incredible set of virtual card features, along with numerous protections: Cell Phone Protection; Trip Interruption Reimbursement; Purchase Security; Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver; Extended Warranty Protection; Return Protection; Travel and Emergency Assistance; Roadside Dispatch

The product supports both single use virtual cards (auto cancel after one use) and temporary virtual cards (auto cancel in 24 hours, which they advertise as perfect for free trial offers that require a credit card).

How they get to their higher credit lines is because their approval process is unique. You connect a bank account that receives payroll direct deposit via Plaid, and they’re able to verify your income. If you can’t login via Plaid, they ask you to upload a bank statement. X1 Card is issued by Coastal Community Bank, and I’m confident almost no reader has maxed out credit opportunities with them.

X1 Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Warning about this card product. I have this card for several months and did the spend for 3X. Mid-cycle this month after I had the card for about 5 months they now cap the 3X to $7500.00 spend per month. There is also A Facebook fan group of users not associated with the company. Other users are reporting credit lines reduced with zero explanations and monthly payments in full. I did not have my line changed, merely a cap on spending they claimed they emailed me about this again mid-cycle after I exceeded the spend. This one goes into the sock drawer or I will spend little on it and keep cashign them in since I feel the company its possible the company may be unable to handle point redemptions etc. I should add all of my spending is real spend not manufactured or anything like that. The 4X refer and stuff, forget it. They are tough on underwriting and unless you submit bank statements and they can see income being deposited the refers get turned down and you do not have unlimited ones. They seem to be changing that 4X as well in that it could be capped. @Gary if you want to contact me directly about this, feel free and I can give you some details. Also no accounting on the points. No proper statements on the points. All bank statements are pdf only and they dont connect to any software. I am going to check this weekend how many points they didnt award me at 3X. Ill file formal complaints on that.

  2. I just found this. It was in the terms they updated. They emailed me about referring customers and had a link to reward terms. Again without notice which they claim they can do.

    Monthly Spending Limitation: The three (3) points per dollar will only be available on the first $7,500 of Eligible Spend each calendar month. All Eligible Spend in excess of $7,500 during the calendar month will earn two (2) points per dollar, even if the 3x Annual Spend Bonus has been activated.

  3. Given how much more valuable ThankYou points are, this card still isn’t better than the DoubleCash when it’s paired with the Prestige or Premier.

  4. I participated in the beta test for this card for about a year. After two very substandard problem resolutions, I canceled the card. Their customer service made Uber look like the gold standard.

  5. Thanks for the heads up Robert W. Will be limiting my spend accordingly. Big purchases will go to the BBP or B of A premium. Looks like my last few purchases this month were 2X.

  6. @Steven when I see something like this happen with zero notice I wonder how viable the program is per other changes coming. They entice customers stating 15K earns 3X for 12 months then change without notice. I realize they state they can change the program with zero notice however I am going to fight any missing points from my account. Most people dont complain when things like this happen.

  7. When they do an income verification, they expressly state that they exclude investment income. And, if you’re a business owner, in the absence of a traditional fixed amount payroll hitting your checking account, they won’t count your business income either. In spite of significant income, both my wife and I were declined and were told that their decision was final and would not be reconsidered. Now, with the revelation about the 3X cap, perhaps it’s best we were not approved.

  8. PS

    And, what’s up with the Curve Card? Other than Bilt, it seems that these tech-fi cards are either not ready for prime time or rethinking their rewards structure (not for the positive).

  9. Warning that pertains to all cards not issued by a major bank. The backend tech is not as full featured, meaning if you have a problem, like a charge to dispute, the process is a lot more complicated.

    Please don’t forget to get your flu vaccine.

  10. @Gene. If they didnt cap it its still nto a bad zero fee card and Ill tell you why. I live the virtual single-use cards and the ones that last 24 hours for a trial and expire. Also, they have deals in the ap for 3X-5X points you can activate on the fly. Like 5X groceries for a one-time use. They do have those bonus point things in there every month. So it has a use case for sure. The issues I noted above. And at any time they go poof. Amex isnt going poof.

  11. @Brutus – nope, I was never offered a referral and honestly had forgotten about it since I heard and wrote about it two years ago. For a long time it wasn’t open to the public and only just learned that had changed.

  12. The issuing bank isn’t identified until the very last sentence. Who cares what their card is made of or how much it weights? The point is, who in their right mind would get involved with this shady-sounding operation?

  13. How many }*]€}<#£ credit cards does one person need, anyway? I get by fine with one United, one Costco, and one Amex.

  14. 3x for those merchants is good, how do you redeem? But 2.1 for cash isn’t since you can get 2.25 with freedom unlimited / sapphire applied to any travel spend.

  15. First, they dropped the statement credits from one cent to 0.7 cents without warning. Second, THEY HAVE NO PHONE NUMBER. How can any serious company (other than Facebook, I guess) operate without taking calls? I once wasted two hours texting back and forth to them when they forgot to give me a payment text, and they still charged me interest. Third, as you can see, they have no paper statements. Their idea of customer service is we serve them, not vice versa.

  16. Gary I took your advice and was instantly approved for the Bilt card. So far no issues and liking the product. I am however, going to pass on this card. Seems like more negatives than positives.

  17. Read robertw’s comment two times.

    Like so many fi-tech cards that are announced with a lot of hype, we find that the reward model is not sustainable and ultimately becomes something less than what we thought it would be. Punt.

    Bilt is WAY better.

  18. Read the T&C on the referral bonuses (which Gary fails to discuss). Limited time offers to refer to friends pop up. And then if you get one a mind refer, you earn a “mystery” referral bonus. 85% chance of 4x, 5% chance of 5x, and 2% chance of 10x. Then that bonus lasts “up to” 30 days, with the T&C referring to 7 day increments. Period starts when the other person activates their card, which they probably don’t tell you about or if they do they take a couple days so you’ve got a few days of a referral bonus at best.

    Hard pass

  19. The X1 Card is bull(poop). See my other comments . . . all of them.

    I will argue all day long FOR the Bilt Card. I will argue all day long AGAINST the X1 Card.

  20. Yes, I got a 30k line off the bat, but otherwise Xq is overhyped with few useful benefits. I like the 1x card #s which are easy to generate for trial offers, etc. But otherwise my X1 usage is limited to apple pay. I don’t have time to play games with “boosts” that change every week, and much prefer transferable points to a system that requires me to charge at a specific merchant and then “erase.” Nor do I generally have 15k of spend to waste on this card as I’m constantly using other cards to meet SUBs. And I’m not going to shill cards to my friend for 1 time boosts (though I realize that’s Gary’s biz model).

    Overall kind of sorry I wasted a 5/24 slot on this card. The Cap1, Citi and Amex Biz cards that offer 2x/$1 spend are much more valuable for everyday spend.

  21. When you look at BofA unlimited rewards or Premium rewards along with platinum honors –
    that is a true 2,625c card – scalable with no issues for massive spend
    This is a 3x card (x 0.7c usually = 2.1c card)
    Not scalable
    – 7500 a month spend is 3x90k points a year =270k points = 1890$ cold cash or 2700$ with partners e.g., AA, UA etc etc
    Same 90k spend on BofA is 2362.50 on BofA deposited into your account = Much Better Value
    No hassle
    Gary, this is a bad deal for most folks

  22. The information in the article about the income verification is incorrect. They DO NOT have any other way to verify income other than Plaid. My bank (HSBC US) is not on Plaid. I emailed them (since there is no phone number) and then had to email again a week later when they didn’t respond. The response said that there’s no other verification method. (Maybe there was once but not anymore). But I’m not upset anymore since I read comments here about the caps. I was going to use the card to pay my federal quarterly taxes (about $100k per quarter). I was interested in this card because I recently realized that it will take me a very long time to spend all the transferable Amex, Chase, Cap1 and Citi points. So wanted to get high cash back. Clearly bait and switch.

  23. Nerf alert. Now the earnings after the first year are 2x on the first thousand, 3x on spend from 1k to 7.5k, then 2x thereafter.

  24. In addition to the corrected rewards structure — not very impressive any more — is the fact that to activate the app on my phone they ask for a photo ID. Since they already had access to my bank account which had required that I use my password, I tried uploading my Global Entry card which is a U.S. govt issued ID rather than a drivers’ license or passport which might be used in the event of a hack to get into my bank account. It would not accept the Global Entry i.d. card! So I’ve just sent an email asking to cancel the application process before a card issues or an account is activated.

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