Recently a new credit card has been announced called the X1 Card releasing Winter 2020. Reading through each one of the advertised features it looks like a very appealing credit card. With any pre-launch in the past the actual launch can offer something completely different in terms of features and points. I am very skeptical if this card is too good to be true.
With most credit cards they offer points, rewards or cash back and I have had a variety of them. The X1 Card is no different with them offering 2 – 4 points per dollar.
Breaking down the points, you will see:
- 2X on all purchases
- 3X on all purchases over $15,000 in a year
- 4X for 30 days if you refer a friend
- Points do not expire
If you a fan of point cards, this card is not dramatically different. It offers a variety of points to redeem at partner retailers. In my opinion, a 2X on purchases is nothing new and quite a few cards offer that exact perk. The 3X is where this card gets my attention because not many offer that.
Looking through some tech features the X1 card offers is where I see some value over my existing cards. The X1 Card offers auto expiring virtual cards. The idea here is if you sign up for a trial such as a subscription, you can use a virtual credit card number that will expire at a date you set. This is useful for subscriptions you do not want to keep but forgot to cancel before that promotional pricing ends. This I find valuable and see a lot of places I would use it. I hope that this is easy and quick to do and manage.
There are a few other features the X1 also offers, such as a onetime use credit card. This is very similar to the auto expiring virtual cards, just with a brief window. I have seen some credit cards have something similar but maybe not as advanced. For example, Citi Cards have virtual cards but I found its usage clunky and not easy to use.
The X1 Card is offering what they call “Spend anonymously” which is supposed to protect your personal data. Personally, I think there is a very limited use case for this and have some questions how this can be used. For example, if you are buying a physical product you immediately cannot be anonymous as you will need shipping data. The only time you can use some form of anonymous shopping is on digital services. My questions here is how does that work exactly? Are there values X1 Card will give me I can put into my autocomplete tools on my browser or password manager? If the anonymous data changes each time this could make it more of an annoyance. It would interest me in learning more to see how this works and how practical it will be.
X1 Card is adverting a few other features that are common these days, such as linking receipts and instant notifications on returns. Nice to see, but becoming more and more expected these days. What I would like to see is how actual real time I can do these these linking of receipts and notifications. For example, if I make a purchase at a store and while walking out to the car, I can link a picture to the transaction instead of hours later like some of my other cards. Sadly by the time it is available for linking I have lost the receipt. The instant notifications for returns would be nice, but I have the same question. Am I able to return it to the store and would it notify me as I am walking back to my car? I think this is how the X1 can set itself apart.
Could be Amazing?
The X1 Card could be an amazing card as it boasts no Annual Fees and no foreign transaction fees. If you look at the folks behind this venture are former Twitter and Paypal executives. They are claiming a launch date of Winter 2020, but as many startup credit cards, I will not hold by breath on that date.
They claim that this card will not be based on credit score, but based on income. I would be curious to see how their sign up process will work to verify income and how the X1 card will protect their own financial risk with this model. Maybe they are planning on doing both verifications of credit and income.
I put almost all of my transactions on a credit card and pay the balance at the end of the month. With that being said, I will hit the $15,000 minimum to get the bonus. Anything below that would put this card in the same class as other existing credit cards with 2%. One of my favorite credit cards offers 2% cash back, and I have been happy with them such as my Citi Double Cash Back Card.
A Few Questions
I have a few questions about how they are planning to offer 3X on points plus and offer no annual fee. When you use a credit card, the merchant has to pay a transaction fee. By moving to 3X point or 4X points how are the margins on that for X1 Card? Are they hoping for financing charges to offset this cost? How are the merchants for point redemption picked? Are the merchants adding an up charge on sticker price to make the points look like a better discount? Is this offer just an introduction offer to attract users then remove many of these features? I think they will answer many of these questions, but we will have to wait and see when and if this card launches.
There is a waitlist which you can check out on the X1 Card Website. Currently, I am 6,845 on the waitlist. I will wait to see what happens when they launch. I recommend if you spend over $15,000 in a year on a credit card to join their waitlist. I will update this article when they launch in Winter 2020.
All screenshots are from https://x1creditcard.com/