X1 Credit Card Begins Official Roll-Out
A new FinTech credit card has hit the market. Just over a year after originally opening its waitlist, the unique credit card offering X1 has officially started rolling out. According to the company, the card is now making its way to the more than 350,000 people who joined said waitlist.
Billing itself as “the smartest credit card ever made,” X1 includes a number of modern FinTech features. For one, the offering utilizes virtual cards to help with everything from cancel subscriptions and free trials to shopping anonymously online. Additionally, thanks to an algorithm that looks at both current and future income instead of relying on credit score models, X1 says that it’s able to offer higher-than-normal credit limits to customers. In turn, customers can keep a lower utilization rate and increase their credit score.
The X1 card has some interesting aspects in the rewards department. To start, the card earns 2 points per dollar on any purchase. What’s more, this rate increases to 3X for users who spend more than $15,000 on their card during the year. Then, if users successfully refer friends, they’ll earn 4X points for one month. Also notable is that the X1 card does not carry an annual fee, waives foreign transaction fees, and is accepted anywhere where Visa is.
While those rewards rates may sound promising, one potential downside is how points are redeemed. As X1 notes in their press release, “Points can be redeemed at top brands including Apple, Airbnb, Asos, Casper, Crate & Barrel, Glossier, Nike, Patagonia, Peloton, REI, Sephora, Supreme, Wayfair, and more.” According to their website, points are worth up to 1¢ each.
Speaking to the inspiration for the X1 card, the company’s CEO and co-founder Deepak Rao said in a statement, “With X1, we tossed the rulebook out and designed the first challenger card for digital native. X1 delivers a superior experience that feels both simpler and smarter than any other credit card on the market, and we were so honored last year when hundreds of thousands of people joined our waitlist to get access to that experience.” He continued, “After months of hard work and an extremely promising private beta, we’re thrilled to start rolling out X1 Card to the public.”
Overall, the X1 card is a great example of how FinTech is changing several aspects of the financial industry. Furthermore, its use of alternative credit algorithms and leveraging of referral bonuses speak to two popular trends in the sector. But, as a credit card, it has its pros and cons. With no annual fee and the chance to earn up to 3x points (or 4x with referrals), it’s a solid pick for general spending. At the same time, the current lack of a sign-up bonus and the fact that you can only redeem points with partner brands may be a turn-off. In any case, as the X1 card continues to roll out, it may be one worth watching.