I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.
Update: [Product details expired]
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:
|Best Buy||Lululemon||Anthropologie||American Airlines|
|Playstation||Peloton||Crate & Barrel||Southwest Airlines|
|Sonos||Rogue Fitness||Costco||United Airlines|
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.