New X1 credit card: Smart features and credit limits based on income

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  • The X1 Card is a new credit card with “smart” features such as automatically expiring virtual card numbers and subscription cancellation.
  • Your credit limit will be set based on your income, not your credit score — which could benefit students and other people who are new to credit.
  • The waitlist for the card is open now, and it will be available later this year.
  • The card will earn 2 points per dollar — or 3 points per dollar if you spend $15,000 or more in a calendar year. If you refer a friend to the card, you can unlock a higher 4x rewards rate.
  • See Business Insider’s list of the best rewards credit cards »

Usually new credit cards come from the same handful of major banks, but this latest announcement is from a startup founded by Twitter alums, with backing from other high-profile figures in tech including PayPal co-founder Max Levchin.

The company says the no-annual-fee X1 Card is “designed for a new generation of cardholders,” and it has a handful of “smart” features, including the option to use a virtual card number that will auto-expire and prevent your free trial from charging your card. There’s also a subscription-cancellation feature that looks like it can save you both time and money dealing with recurring charges, and X1 says it will offer credit limits up to five times higher than competing cards. The rewards look pretty competitive, too.  

The X1 Card is expected to arrived in winter 2020, and the waitlist is open now. According to an X1 spokesperson, more than 75,000 people signed up in the first 24 hours from the card’s unveiling.

The X1 card will have high-tech features

The most unique features of the X1 Card relate to the virtual card numbers you can create, with an expiration date that prevents you getting charged by a subscription service after your free trial ends. This is reminiscent of the virtual card number feature on the Apple Card.

You can use virtual card numbers any time, including with online merchants where you don’t want to give your regular card number, and you can also cancel subscriptions with a click.

The card also claims to offer credit limits up to five times higher than competing cards. X1 appears to do this by calculating your credit limit based on your income, and cardholders’ credit limits will increase automatically as their incomes rise in the future. Having a high credit limit can help you improve your credit score if you keep your credit utilization low and only charge what you can afford to pay off in full each month.

The card itself is made with stainless steel and is heavy, at 17 grams. That makes it one of the heaviest metal credit cards on the market.

The card carries the Visa Signature brand, which includes valuable benefits and protections including an automatic extended warranty on eligible purchases and rental car coverage.

As of the card’s launch, it claims to have the lowest APRs in its card class. With a top variable rate of 19.9% as of this writing, that could be the case depending on your credit history.

The rewards look impressive, too

Based on images on the X1 card website, it looks like points are worth 1 cent each and can be redeemed for purchases at a long list of brands including Apple, Airbnb, Etsy, Sephora, and Wayfair.

Cardholders will earn at least 2x points per dollar on all purchases, though anyone who spends at least $15,000 on the card per year will earn 3x points on every dollar spent that year. If you refer a friend to the card, you can unlock a higher 4x rewards rate for the month of the referral.

The 2x to 3x points rate most users will earn is impressive and puts it toward the top of the list for flat-rate rewards cards. If you spend at least $15,000 per year, which comes out to an average of $1,250 per month, your 3x rate for the entire year is one of the best you’ll find in the category.

The X1 Card website shows a “Pay with Points” feature in the X1 app. Based on the image, points are worth 1 cent each. That means someone who spends the minimum $15,000 on the card to earn the 3x rewards rate would earn 45,000 points worth $450 in cash back.

Here’s a quick look at how the X1 card’s rewards stack up to some other top cards:

  X1 Credit Card Citi® Double Cash Card Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee $0 $0 $0

2 points per dollar base rate

3 points per dollar if you spend at least $15,000 per year on the card

Temporary 4x rate after referring a friend to the card

1% cash back when you make a purchase, 1% cash back when you pay your bill

5% cash back on travel…

Read More: New X1 credit card: Smart features and credit limits based on income

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