New credit cards come and go all the time, but it’s rare to come across a card that makes you sit up and take notice.
The X1 Credit Card is one of those rare cards. Not because it’s the best credit card ever created, but because it pushes the envelope and does things few (if any) other cards do. Like setting credit limits based on both current and expected future income, making it super-easy to create and use safe virtual cards, and offering secondary cards with no age limit so that your kids can responsibly build credit from an early age.
Because the X1 Credit Card is a little outside the box, you’ll want to understand what sets it apart — and what doesn’t — before you apply. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is the X1 Credit Card?
The X1 Credit Card is a rewards credit card with no annual fee. Eligible regular purchases earn 2 points per $1 spent, with no caps on how much you can earn. If you spend at least $15,000 per year, you can earn 3 points per $1 spent on eligible regular purchases up to the first $7,500 in monthly purchases.
The X1 Credit Card has a powerful mobile app that offers easy transaction search, real-time transaction notifications, virtual card generation, and a simple transaction dispute feature. It also has an innovative approach to underwriting that considers both your current and future expected income, potentially resulting in a higher credit limit than you’d get with a more traditional credit card.
The X1 Credit Card requires good credit or better, so it’s not ideal if you’re still establishing or rebuilding your credit. Its rewards points also don’t have the best redemption value — they’re worth as little as $0.007 when redeemed for cash. Your total return on spending could therefore be lower with this card than with a travel credit card whose points or miles are worth $0.02 or more at redemption.
How the X1 Credit Card Stacks Up
The X1 Credit Card is not your typical credit card, which makes apples-to-apples comparisons difficult.
Still, it has clear strengths and weaknesses that are easy enough to compare against other options. See how it stacks up against a more traditional rewards credit card: the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card.
|X1 Credit Card||Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card|
|Credit Limit||Potentially very high — based on current and future income, with dynamic increases over time||Typical for cash-back credit cards — based on income, credit score, and other factors|
|Credit Required||Good to excellent||Good to excellent|
|Rewards||2x base points on eligible purchases; 3x points for the entire year if you spend at least $15,000 for the year; opportunities to earn more with Boosts||Up to 5% cash back on Chase Travel purchases and 3% back on drugstore and restaurant purchases; 1.5% back on everything else|
|Point Value at Redemption||$0.007 when redeemed for cash; up to $0.01 when redeemed with partners||$0.01 when redeemed for cash|
|Virtual Cards||Yes, one type for free trials and one for one-time purchases||Not offered by Chase|
What Sets the X1 Credit Card Apart?
The X1 Credit Card is not a typical credit card, so there’s a lot that sets it apart. These are the three most notable things X1 does better — or at least differently — than the rest.
- High, Dynamic Credit Limits Based on Current and Future Income. X1 advertises credit limits up to five times higher than traditional credit cards. The secret: X1 uses both current and expected future income to set your credit limit, rather than just current income.
- Different Types of Virtual Cards. X1 offers two different types of virtual credit cards, one for free trials and one for one-time purchases. The free trial card expires after 24 hours; the one-time purchase card can only be used once, period.
- Powerful, Easy-to-Use App. The X1 app ups the game for mobile credit card apps. Benefits include a super-simple transaction search feature, transaction disputes in just a few taps, and real-time transaction notifications (clutch if you have multiple authorized users).
Key Features of the X1 Credit Card
The X1 Credit Card has some familiar features, such as a rewards program that earns points on every purchase. It also has some less-common attributes, such as a dynamic credit limit and multiple types of virtual cards. See what you’ll get if you’re approved.
Dynamic Credit Limit That May Be Higher Than Other Cards
The X1 Credit Card considers your current and future income when setting your credit limit, in addition to your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and other factors that affect your risk as a borrower.
Using your future income in addition to your current income can result in a higher credit limit — up to five times what a traditional credit card might offer you, according to X1.
This is good if you occasionally make big purchases and don’t want to throw your credit utilization out of whack. Just bear in mind that the X1 card doesn’t have a 0% interest promotion, so you need to pay off your charges in full by the due date to avoid interest charges.
Earning Rewards Points
The X1 Credit Card’s baseline rewards rate is 2 points per $1 spent (2x points) on all eligible purchases.
If you spend at least $15,000 in a calendar year, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent (3x points) on all eligible purchases for the year, regardless of when you cross the $15,000 spend threshold. X1 caps the 3x tier at $7,500 in monthly purchases, so your earn rate drops back to 2x in any month you exceed that level of spend.
X1 offers another way to increase your point earnings: Boosts. These are limited-time offers to earn extra points with select partners, such as Amazon and Uber. The Boost rate is typically 5x, or 5 points per $1 spent, but can vary by offer.
Redeeming Rewards Points
You can redeem your points in two ways: by requesting a cash-back statement credit or by redeeming points with participating X1 partner merchants.
Redeeming for statement credits is easier and more flexible, but not as rewarding. Each point is worth $0.007 when redeemed this way, lower than the $0.01 value that most other credit cards offer and that X1 offers when you redeem with partner merchants. So this is only a good option if you can’t wait to make a purchase with an X1 partner.
And X1 has plenty of partners, so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to redeem with them. Choose from:
- Major retailers like Amazon, Costco, and Home Depot
- Tech brands like Apple, Best Buy, and Sony
- Apparel and lifestyle brands like Nike, Adidas, Patagonia, and Peloton
- Travel and transportation companies like Airbnb, Uber, Delta, and Southwest Airlines
You can generate as many virtual card numbers as you need in the X1 app. Choose from three different types of cards:
- Standard cards that you can cancel anytime — good for recurring memberships or cards on file with retailers you buy from regularly
- 24-hour cards that expire after one day — ideal for free trial memberships
- One-time use cards — ideal for single purchases with brands you’d prefer not to have your card on file
The X1 Credit Card is a 17-gram piece of brushed stainless steel, rather than a flimsy piece of plastic. This sounds like a gimmick, and maybe it is, but a metal card really is more durable. If you use your physical card a lot, you’re less likely to wear it down (or lose it) and have to go without it while you await a replacement.
Adding Authorized Users (Secondary Cardholders)
You can add up to five authorized users to your account, which is great if you have kids responsible enough to use plastic (or metal, in this case). Notably, there’s no age limit on your authorized users — you can add people under age 18. Just remember that you’re responsible for their purchases.
Cell Phone Protection
If you pay your monthly cell phone bill in full with your X1 card, you qualify for complimentary cell phone protection that kicks in if your phone is damaged or stolen and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Visa Signature Benefits
The X1 card comes with a solid lineup of Visa Signature benefits, including:
- Extended warranties on eligible purchases
- Trip interruption reimbursement for nonrefundable travel expenses
- Return protection on eligible items
- Loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with the card
- Travel and emergency assistance
- Roadside dispatch
These benefits don’t cost anything extra to keep in reserve, but some (like roadside dispatch) may incur out-of-pocket expenses if used.
The X1 Credit Card does not have an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Other fees may apply, such as fees for late and returned payments.
The X1 Credit Card is for people with good or better credit. If you have any significant blemishes in your credit history, you might not qualify for this card. Apply for a secured credit card or unsecured starter card instead, then reapply for X1 when your credit score has improved.
Advantages of the X1 Credit Card
The X1 Credit Card has some significant advantages over your replacement-level cash-back credit card. These are the most notable.
- Potential for a Very High Credit Limit. The X1 Credit Card has an innovative underwriting process that can produce a higher credit limit than competing cards. Your limit could be five times higher here, according to X1, but this isn’t guaranteed.
- No Annual Fee. The X1 Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, so you won’t lose money if it sits idle in your wallet.
- Earn Up to 3x Points on Eligible Regular Purchases. Everyday purchases earn up to 3x points with X1, subject to annual spending minimums and monthly spending maximums. Still, that’s an above-average rate of return.
- No Age Limit on Secondary Cards. You can add authorized users regardless of age, which is great if you have teenage kids responsible enough to use a credit card under your watchful eye. (The card’s real-time transaction alerts come in handy.)
- Virtual Cards for Free Trials and Single Purchases. X1 makes it easy to generate virtual card numbers for situations where you don’t want a vendor to have your real card number forever. Some competitors don’t offer this capability.
- Full Lineup of Visa Signature Perks. X1 is a Visa Signature card, meaning it comes with basic travel insurance protections, extended warranties, and other potentially valuable benefits.
- User-Friendly App With Powerful Account Management Capabilities. The X1 app is more powerful than your standard credit card mobile app. One particularly awesome feature: easy-peasy dispute resolution with just a few taps.
Disadvantages of the X1 Credit Card
The X1 Credit Card has some significant drawbacks too. You decide whether they’re worth reconsidering your application.
- Low Point Value at Redemption. X1’s rewards points are worth $0.01 at most when redeemed. To unlock this value, you need to redeem against purchases with participating partner merchants — not difficult, considering the partner list includes heavy hitters like Amazon, but still annoying. Straight cash redemptions value points at just $0.007 apiece.
- 3x Points Tier Requires Heavy Spending. You need to spend at least $15,000 per year to earn 3x points on all spending. That works out to $1,250 per month, which can be a stretch if your income is modest or you don’t use X1 as your primary card.
- Cap on 3x Rewards Tier. The 3x rewards tier has a maximum cap too. If you spend more than $7,500 in a given month, your earn rate goes back down to 2x. This won’t affect many cardholders, but it’s a problem if you do spend a lot or if you’re planning a major purchase in the near future.
Is the X1 Credit Card Legit?
Yes, the X1 Credit Card is legit. It’s a real credit card that earns real rewards and has a growing base of satisfied customers.
This doesn’t mean that the X1 Credit Card will be around forever or that you should rush to apply for it. As a newer card that does some key things differently, it’s a higher-risk proposition for X1. I wouldn’t be shocked if, in 2025, the X1 Credit Card isn’t available to new applicants, or if it’s still available but looks unrecognizable compared to today.
But if you like what you’ve seen from X1 so far, I won’t talk you out of applying. Just look at the cool box it comes in.
Alternatives to Consider
And if you don’t like what you’ve seen from X1 so far, or you just want to see what else is out there before you apply? Consider these alternatives first.
|Product Service||Best for|
|M1 Owner’s Rewards Credit Card||Seamlessly linking to your savings and investing accounts|
|Citi Double Cash Card||Flat-rate rewards (2% cash back) with no gimmicks|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card||Long introductory APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers|
|Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card||High cash back (up to 5%) on eligible purchases|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||Earning travel rewards and perks|
The X1 Credit Card offers the potential (but not the guarantee) of a higher credit limit than you can get elsewhere. Eligible purchases earn up to 3 points per $1 spent. And the powerful mobile app puts everything from single-use virtual cards to transaction disputes at your fingertips.
Yet the X1 Credit Card isn’t for everyone. The higher credit limit is a double-edge sword if you’re easily tempted by impulse buys. The 3x rewards tier only applies within a certain spending range. And the mobile app is all about how you use it — you won’t get any value from it if you never open it.
So, should you apply for the X1 Credit Card? That’s up to you. If you do, you can be sure that the experience will be different than any credit card you’ve had to date.