X1 Card Review: 2x to 4x Everywhere. Fee Free.

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Now that I’ve had the X1 card for 6 months, it’s time for a full review.  The original version of this post was published before I got the card and that version relied heavily on information from X1 itself and from early adopters.  I’ve now re-written this post to include my own experience with the card.  Please note that the X1 card is not the same as the Capital One Venture X.

The X1 card earns 2x, 3x, or 4x for all spend and has no fees.  It also offers cool features like auto-expiring virtual cards so that you can sign up for free trials without any risk of being charged if you forget to cancel.

I signed up for the X1 card in November, 2021 using a reader’s referral code.  At the time and even now as I write this, the only way to get the card seems to be via a referral.  X1 also offers a massive waiting list, but doesn’t seem to be making any progress towards clearing the list.

If you’re interested in getting the card after reading this review, see the relevant section below titled “how to get the card”.

X1 Overview

Here’s an overview of the X1 Card (some details come directly from X1’s website):

  • iPhone or Android: When X1 first came out it was only available for iPhone users, but it is now available for Android users as well.
  • Heavy metal: 17g “Pure Stainless Steel”
  • Card network: Visa Signature
  • Earn 2x to 5x everywhere: Earn 3x if you spend over $15K in a year (otherwise 2x); Earn 4x for a month after referring a friend; Earn up to 5x with various “Boosts”
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Fee: $0 (but you will be charged interest on the balance of course)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
  • Welcome bonus: Earn 4x rewards in the first 30 days by signing up using a friend’s referral code (see the section titled “How to get the card”).
  • Virtual card numbers: Easily create virtual card numbers in the X1 app with several options:
    • Singe-Use Card: Auto-cancelled after 1 purchase
    • Free Trial Card: Auto-cancelled in 24 hours
    • Standard Virtual Card: Cancellable at any time.
    • Advanced:
      • Optionally set a monthly limit
      • Make the card Anonymous
      • Auto cancel: Never; after 1 day; after 7 days; after 30 days
  • Higher credit limits: My X1 card has a $30K limit which is considerably higher than most of my other cards.
  • No hard credit inquiry: X1 does a “soft pull” of your credit (Note: one reader says that they issued a hard pull so YMMV).
  • Benefits:
    • Purchase Security: 90 day protection from theft or damage
    • Extended Warranty Protection: Double warranty, up to 1 extra year
    • Return Protection: Up to $250
    • Cell Phone Protection: Max $500 per claim, $50 deductible. Requires paying your monthly cell phone bill with the card.
    • Trip Interruption or Cancellation: Up to $2,000 per person.
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Secondary. No coverage in Israel, Jamaica, the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland.
  • X1 adds to your Chase 5/24 count: The X1 card will appear on your credit report as a new account and so it will add to your 5/24 count.
    Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.
    To determine your 5/24 status, see: Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Earning Rewards

2x Rewards

The X1 card defaults to earning 2x everywhere.

3x Rewards

You can bump up your earnings to 3x everywhere by spending $15K or more within a cardmember year.  When you qualify for 3X rewards, the extra 1x will apply retroactively for the purchases that occurred that membership year before qualification.  Then, all new spend will earn 3x until your card anniversary date.

4x Rewards

There are two ways to earn 4X rewards:

  1. Upon startup: If you join X1 using a friend referral, you’ll earn 4x points on every dollar spent for the first 30 days.
  2. Ongoing: For every friend you refer with an in-app invitation, you get 30 days of 4x earnings.  Note these additional terms:
    • “X1 may limit the number of invites available to you at any given time.” In practice, it appears that each cardholder is limited to offering 3 invites.
    • 4x Referral Bonuses may not overlap. If you refer two Invitees within the same 30-day period, you will earn two consecutive 30-day 4x Referral Bonus periods (for a total of 60 days), and so on.
    • Additional terms can be found here.

5X or more via Boosts

The X1 app offers greater rewards for purchases with certain merchants or within certain categories of spend.  To earn up to 5x, you have to enroll in “Boosts”.  Here are some example Boosts I’ve had available:

  • Earn 5x Points on your next Amazon.com purchase
  • Earn 5x Points on your next Apple Pay purchase
  • Earn 5x Points on your next gas purchase
  • Earn 5x Points on your next restaurant purchase
  • Earn 5x Points on your next grocery purchase
  • Earn 200 More Points on your next $500+ purchase
  • Earn 400 More Points on your next $1,000+ purchase

When I first signed up for the card, and even before receiving the physical card in the mail, I picked an Apple Pay 5x Boost and then bought a couple of items at CVS using Apple Pay.  A few things were notable about this:

  1. I immediately received an email confirming that the Boost worked. Subject: “Boost Completed: 5X Points Earned”.  Content of email: “Merchant: CVS, Amount: $17.50, Total Points Earned: 87”.
  2. Points showed up immediately in the X1 app.  Most rewards programs wait until your statement closes before awarding points.  In some cases (such as with Capital One, I believe), points are awarded once a purchase moves from pending to actual.  In this case, the purchase was still pending.
  3. I was immediately able to select a new Boost after the CVS purchase.  Apple Pay 5x showed up again, so I picked it again.  I thought that maybe it would always be available, but after using the Apple Pay Boost one or two more times, it was no longer an available option.

Not only are these Boosts very rewarding at 5x, but I found the whole process fun.  There’s a bit of strategy involved in picking your Boost: will my next purchase be with Apple Pay, or dining, or grocery, or online?  If online, will my purchase be in an eligible category or should I pick a generic boost that offers points for a $100+ purchase (for example)?  Another option is to wait to pick your Boost until you’re about to make a purchase.  I guess that some may find this stressful, but for me it’s like a fun little puzzle which, when solved correctly, means bonus points.  If you mess up, you still earn strong rewards.

What are points worth?

The value you get for your points depends upon how you use them.  You can offset purchases with specific merchants for 1 cent per point value or you can redeem for cash back for 0.7 cents per point value.

Redeeming Points for Eligible Purchases

The image above shows how I used points to offset American Airlines purchases

Points are worth 1 cent each when used to pay for items with select merchants.  At the time of this writing, here is the full list of qualifying merchants:

TECH FITNESS RETAIL TRAVEL
Apple Adidas Allbirds Airbnb
Beats Cannondale Anthropologie Alaska Airlines
Bose Lululemon Aritzia American Airlines
Masterclass Nike Asos Delta
Nintendo Outdoor Voices Casper Hotels.com
Playstation Patagonia Crate & Barrel Hotel Tonight
Sonos Peloton Etsy Southwest Airlines
Xbox Rogue Fitness Everlane United Airlines
REI Glossier JetBlue
Trek Ikea Vrbo
Reformation Zipcar
Sephora
Supreme
Uniqlo
Warby Parker
Wayfair

Redeeming points for merchant charges works in a similar way to Capital One’s ability to redeem Miles for travel purchases or to Chase’s Pay Yourself Back.  In other words, you make the purchase first and later use points to erase the charge.  Here’s how:

  • Open the X1 App and go to the Rewards tab (FYI: the Rewards Tab is labelled as either 2X, 3X, or 4X, depending upon your current earnings).
  • Select “Redeem” to see a list of eligible purchases from Rewards Partners that can be paid off with your Points
  • Choose an eligible Rewards Partner transaction and select “Pay Off”.
  • You must have enough Points available to redeem against the entire transaction amount (partial redemptions are not accepted).
  • The amount you paid with Points will be applied to the selected transaction as a statement credit and will reduce the outstanding balance on your account.

I’ve erased several purchases so far and found that it works exactly as advertised.

Redeeming Points for Cash Back Statement Credit

If you prefer cash back, points can be redeem for 0.7 cents each.  Cash is applied instantly to your card balance.  If you choose to redeem points in this way, then you can calculate your earnings as follows:

  • Earn 2x = 1.4% cash back (not good)
  • Earn 3x = 2.1% cash back (good)
  • Earn 4x = 2.8% cash back (excellent)

Risks

The fact that X1 has been rolling out incredibly slowly may be a good thing or a bad thing.  It’s good if the reason is that X1 wants to make sure to resolve all major issues with the card before rolling it out widely.  It’s bad, very bad, if this is because their ongoing survival is in doubt.  If they close down, it seems likely that cardholders will lose all points not yet redeemed.

Another scary thing about X1 is that several readers have reported to us that X1 has shut them down for “misuse” of their rewards program soon after they opened the card.  For example, one reader said that he only tried a single purchase with the card (he tried to buy a laptop at Best Buy), the purchase wasn’t approved, and his account was shut down.  How in heavens can that be considered misuse of their rewards program?!

Another reader wrote about X1: “I spend a good amount of money within the first days and posted my code in social media for people to skip the waitlist. Suddenly all the transactions were declined.”  After some back and forth with customer support, he got this message: “Hope you’re well. I just wanted to give you an update that the team did their review and your account has been flagged for potential misuse of our rewards program. As a result, we will sadly need to close your account.”

When signing up for X1, it’s necessary to connect the bank account where your salary is deposited so that they can determine your credit limit from that.  Some people have speculated that X1 is using this information to also look for a history of manufactured spending behavior and are shutting people down if their accounts look suspicious.  I find that hard to believe for a number of reasons, but I’m putting it out there as a bit of a caution.  If you sign up for X1 and you have a history of manufacturing spend, make sure to link a bank that has only non-ms transactions on record.

Regardless of how or why X1 has been shutting down accounts, the situation makes me nervous.  I’d consider making X1 my single go-to card for almost all spend (except when earning a very good bonus with another card), but I’m worried that X1 may decide for some reason that they don’t like me after all.  Earning a lot of points won’t be very useful if I get shut down before I get to use the points.  Normally, I’d be pretty cavalier about something like this and just assume the best, but my experience with getting shut down by Capital One has me on edge (see: Capital One shut down my account and gave me only a half cent per mile).  Capital One shut me down for no discernable reason (I truly didn’t do any questionable spending) and so the same can plausibly happen with X1.  When Capital One approved my Venture application, they gave me a $30K limit… just like X1.  Coincidence?

Review: Is this card worthwhile?

Based on using the card for 6 months, and receiving some reader feedback about the card, here are my pros and cons:

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No late payment fees (but you will be charged interest if your balance isn’t paid in full within 21 days of the close of each billing cycle)
  • High point earning rate (2x to 4x everywhere)
  • Awesome virtual card number features.  I love using auto-expiring virtual cards to sign up for free trials without any risk of being charged when I forget to cancel.
  • Higher credit limit than most other cards

Cons

  • Unproven start-up.  There’s a real risk to earning points with a start-up company.  If they suddenly fold it is likely that you’ll lose all unredeemed points.
  • Shutdown risk.  Early on, there were a number of reports of X1 shutting down people without any obvious reason.  I don’t know if that’s still happening.
  • Poor customer support.  I haven’t had to deal with customer support so I can’t speak from experience, but several readers have reported problems. Here’s one recent example: “There is no actual person u can speak with if u have a dispute, they only do text or email. This makes resolving a dispute a nightmare. I had an unauthorized charge and was told to wait 2 weeks for the vendor to respond.”
  • Rewards worth full value only if you shop with their qualifying merchants.  If you want cash back, you’ll only get 0.7 cents per point.
  • No welcome bonus (unless you count the ability to earn 4x in the first month).
  • Adds to your 5/24 count
    Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.
    To determine your 5/24 status, see: Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.
  • No hotel partners.  As things stand today, you can redeem points at full value towards Hotels.com, Airbnb, and Vrbo, but I don’t see Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Wyndham, Choice, or any other hotel brand on the list.
  • No transfer partners.  Regular readers know that I love points that transfer to airline and hotel partners.  X1 doesn’t offer this option.
  • Cardholders are currently limited to referring 3 people.  This means that you are limited to 4 months of 4x earnings: 1 month when you first sign up and 3 months from referring friends.  It is unclear if the 3 person limit is permanent and/or if it resets annually.

Advice

As a reminder, the card earns 2x by default, 3x for those who spend $15K per year, or 4x for 30 days after referring a friend.  So, I’ll break down my advice by these buckets:

  • 2X: If you think that you’ll only earn 2x most of the time, then skip this card altogether and go with something like the Citi Double Cash to get a total of 2% cash back plus the option to transfer points to airline and hotel programs by adding the Citi Premier card to your collection in the future.
  • 3X: If you’re sure you’ll spend $15K or more on the card each year, then X1 is worth considering.  If you cash out your points for 0.7 cents each, the X1 becomes a 2.1% cash back card.  It’s possible to do better than that, but usually with big hoops involved.  And if you’re interested in redeeming points against qualifying merchant charges, you’ll get 3% value from your X1 spend.  That’s great.
  • 4X: If you’re pretty sure that you can refer people regularly to the X1 card, then the X1 is a great option for you.  If you cash out your points for 0.7 cents each, the X1 becomes a 2.8% cash back card while your 4x earnings are in place.  That’s excellent.  And if you redeem for qualifying merchant charges, you’re looking at 4% value.  That’s awesome.  Please note, though, that X1 currently limits cardholders to 3 referrals.  I don’t know whether that limit resets each year or not.  So, for now, you should consider the ability to earn 4x as a limited time bonus rather than an ongoing opportunity as a cardholder.

Regardless of whether you earn 2x, 3x, or 4x with the X1 card, it’s possible to do better with other cards within certain categories of spend.  For example, some cards offer bonuses for grocery purchases, others offer bonuses for dining, etc.  See: Best Category Bonuses — Which card to use where?  X1 doesn’t try to compete on that level.  Instead, X1 competes against cards that offer excellent rewards for all purchases.  See: Best cards for everyday spend.

How to get the card

X1 has long had a waiting list, but they don’t seem to be actively clearing the list.  Instead, the best way to get the card is by being referred from a current cardholder.  To help with that, we’ve created a URL that you can use to apply.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Click here: frequentmiler.com/go/X1
  2. Click “Enter An Invite Code” (the next screen will be automatically populated with an invite code)
  3. Click “Submit”

If you see a message saying that no more referrals are available, please comment below.  We’ll then rotate in another reader’s referral code to our URL and then you can try again.

How to earn referrals

Once you have the card, you can refer friends.  You can get your referral link in the X1 app by clicking on the little gift box icon at the top-right of your screen, next to the bell. Then, share the invite code by emailing it to friends, or email it to yourself as a way of getting the referral URL.  Once you have the URL, you may want to list it in the Frequent Miler Insiders Group Facebook page on a thread dedicated to this purpose.  We’ll then use your link on our website once we’ve rotated through the referrals before yours.

  1. Join Frequent Miler Insiders
  2. Go to this group thread to add your referral link (please pay attention to the instructions!)

Bottom line

The X1 Card is real and very rewarding for everyday spend.  Unfortunately, the card is still unproven (and thus your rewards may be at risk), and still doesn’t seem ready for prime time with regards to customer support.

I love using X1’s one-time-use virtual card numbers when signing up for free trials.  When I forget to cancel before the free trial is over, I still don’t get charged.  That’s great.  I’m hesitant, though, to put a lot of spend on the card at this time.  Will X1 stick around long term?  I have no idea.  I have other cards that earn great rewards for everyday spend and so, for now, I’ll continue to use those for most purchases that don’t otherwise earn great category bonuses.

Most readers would do better to skip this card and to continue to earn lots of points by signing up for the best credit card offers.  With a single great welcome bonus you can quickly earn more rewards than with a year of spending at 3x on the X1 card.  But for those who want to keep things simple with one great fee free card, this could be the card you’re looking for.

See also: X1 First Impressions: Fun, Rewarding, Scary.

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Erica

oZhZp8t is out of uses. Can you please post another? Thanks so much!

Geoff

Looks like the code is not working.

Robert Haupin

The invite code is out of uses.

Matt

This is a very bad credit card. It is by far the worst-run operation I’ve ever experienced. 80% of my attempted (normal) transactions were declined. The only thing I’ve successfully ever used the card for is a parking meter. Restaurant? Declined. Grocery? Declined. $20 of Crypto? Declined. A newspaper subscription? Declined.

I complained to customer service. They closed my card.

By far, the absolute WORST of the WORST. There is nothing good about this credit card. You also have to manage everything from the app, as there is no website.

Neal

Code out of use as of sat may 21, please change

Matt

That’s a good thing. You don’t want this horrible credit card anyway.

robertw

This card has strict underwriting in this way. If you dont show a bank account that gets regular deposits (Ie Payroll) they will decline. They will check that. Its part of their deal with their underwriter.

Ferdinand Magellan

AVOID! Does not have a customer service phone number. Does not send statements by mail or e-mail; you have to log in, on your phone only, just to see a statement. No website access. Did not send me a payment e-mail notice — they admit it was their mistake — and then charged me some ungodly amount in interest paying one day late. TWO HOURS of texting back and forth did not change that result. And now they have reneged on their penny-per-point redemptions. Possibly the worst credit card operation I have ever seen.

robertw

Here is what I suggest you do for statements/transactions. I have another card (Paceline) that does the same thing. Paceline is 3% Cash everything 5% groceries and fitness. Anyway forward the statements to your email. Drop them into good drive. If you open them in google drive you can copy paste the transactions into Google sheets. I find 3X every day and the chance to get 4X as a decent benefir base don their partner offers.

Boraxo

I also have X1 with a $30k limit. Rarely use it as I prefer 2x Amex points for everyday spend. However the single use numbers are quite handy.

At 4x point I would use it much more but I don’t have time or inclination to shill it. Not sure it was worth wasting a 5/24 slot

veeRob

As you post this, X1 changed their program today without notification and I’m not happy. I don’t see that list of merchants that 1c redemptions are good towards. I now see other merchants where I can redeem at much less. I emailed support last night about it and they responded with a non answer that the merchants can change at any time. I guess we’ll see if this card is dead to me shortly.

veeRob

Here’s a more well-explained version of what I’m calling a major devaluation:

It looks as if X1 quietly overhauled their rewards system overnight with no warning. I had been cashing out my points by buying Nike GC and redeeming at 1c against those charges. While I still see Nike on the list of merchants, they added some merchants that weren’t there before like Amazon, Best Buy, and Home Depot. If they were all 1c merchants, I’d be stoked. But my charges that show up from those merchants have a cashout rate of ~.00715. I have no current Nike charges so I can’t see if perhaps those would still be 1c, so I emailed support to ask them and got back a very telling response this morning:

“Points values may change over time and can differ by merchant depending on our partnerships. You will always be able to see the points needed to pay off each individual eligible transaction on the redemption screen in the app.”

robertw

As far as I know, Nike is still 1%. That is a generic BS response you got from some offshore rep most likely. The other merchants pay it off are merely like as if you did cashback, so they did not add those vendors to the preferred list. You might think they did but its really like other cards that let you credit for example travel purchases with points or something. Why were you redeeming for Nike GC? To use in store?

Phill

New invite code JUSR8vf is out of uses as well. Thanks!

Glen

Just got an invitation (via email) to apply. I’m 17 months from being under 5/24, so I don’t think it’s worth it for me. My biggest expense every month is rent and my BILT card takes care of that, fee-free. Plus, I have a couple of 2x cash cards already, so I’ll sit this one out. I, too, have felt the burn from a Capital One closure, so I’m snake-bitten.

dan appy

New invite code 6JIfx55 is out of uses as well. Thanks!

Ivan Y

Everyone — if the code/link here doesn’t work, try searching your email for an invite from X1.

I completely missed their email from March but the link in the email still worked even though email said “invitation will expire April ##”.

Kneemuh

Perhaps I’m incredibly old school, but the primary reason I’ve barely used my X1 (and don’t plan to use it much at all) is because I found out after opening the account that they don’t support Quicken. If I can’t automatically download my transactions into Quicken, it would become an operational nightmare to manage this account with the 20+ other cards I have.

robertw

Several of the new FINTECH cards/programs dont support Quicken/Mint etc. They dont want to pay the fees.

Kneemuh

Yikes. May I ask what other major cards/programs? Asking so that I avoid the trap I fell into with this one (i.e. wasting a 5/24 slot).

robertw

Paceline for one. Brex as well, although Brex downloads to Quickbooks online. Brex has CSV.By the way I have been in the miles points game for 25 yrs? What is the big deal with 5/24. Is Chase a life and death carrier that people panic over that? Not me. There are many other good programs out there and I have held many or most of the Chase cards over the years. 5/24 this or that? How many of those cards to people need. I have their business and personal cards.

Kneemuh

I guess if you’ve never been rejected for a Chase card that you really wanted, then I could understand why it may not be such a big deal. When CSR initially launched with a 100,000 sign-up bonus, I was rejected for being over 5/24. Since then, I’ve strived to stay under in order to not miss out on great deals like that.

robertw

Its a rolling 24 months. Its not a big deal. Tell me how many Chase cards are must have life and death cards? INK cards have 80K bonus. Its 24 months rolling regardless. I get what card programs that work for me and over the years had just about any and every major card that exists. Not only that but Chase business cards dont count toward that 5/24. As underwriters tighten up as we head toward a recession that may also cause carriers like Chase to tighten as well as they have in the past. For example for a straight cashback program Paceline at 3%/5% is one of the very best for those whofollow the process there.

Joe K

I asked support about this on 1/26 and got the following answer. Take it for what you will. Should be noted that Quicken isn’t even owned by Intuit anymore.

“We are in the process of finalizing our integration with Intuit so that apps like Quicken and Mint will be supported. This should be live in February and we will make an announcement when it is ready.”

Kneemuh

Wow. Since it’s May, perhaps they meant February 2023?

Greg

Current invite code  l6sPse6 is out of uses.

dan appy

Current invite code is out of referral uses. Able to change the code? TIA

dan appy

Hmm, it’s still populating the same invite code: l6sPse6
If you have another one that isn’t full, would love to use it, thanks again!

Anthony

Nice writeup, Greg. Thank you. I received an invitation finally, but it expires on Monday. Would there be any reason to go with this card over the Paceline Visa that you reviewed? I have it and I’ve been getting 3% back everywhere and 5% on groceries, sporting stuff (broad category), etc. The metal card is cool, but wouldn’t Paceline be a better option? For those on the fence, if you have an Apple Watch, it is insanely easy to meet the 150 minutes of exercise, it counts slow walks even.

chris

nope, pass.

Only attractive redemption for me would be air fare, and if I have to redeem for the entire transaction, it will take forEVER.

LarryInNYC

Was just thinking about that. I wonder if purchasing gift cards from the airline could be offset, so you could cash out in $25 (maybe even $10) units. If not, on Southwest (and increasingly on other airlines) it’s possible to “build” a more expensive fare by buying a cheap one and changing it in increments to what you actually want. Extra work, yes, but it lets you consume credits below the threshold of the flight you actually want.

Stefan Krasowski (@rapidtravelchai)

Android yes. I have it. Customer service took six hours to respond my only and small inquiry and denied charges which turned out was not for fraud alert rather they require an account to season. I have a $33k credit limit. My first month I forgot to make any charges (was away from home to receive physical card and forgot about virtual). Second month I made a $1k purchase and then subsequent attempts at $1k+ we denied and told to wait till next month. Second month I had my recurring $1k, have paid that immediately, and in a few days will have another large purchase to attempt.

Reno Joe

X1’s application express states that it will only consider employment income and that applicants must EXCLUDE investment income. My wife’s application was immediately rejected.

Ian

They just sent an email out about Visa Signature benefits. They look pretty good to me on first glance.

Gardizi

I have had the card for 2 months, I don’t recommend it. Will go back to my Chase freedom unlimited. I prefer getting my cash out on a 1:1 basis for my points, 0.7cents is a ripoff. Also, this is only in the form of statement credit not a check or cash that u get to spend however u like.
There is no actual person u can speak with if u have a dispute, they only do text or email. This makes resolving a dispute a nightmare. I had an unauthorized charge and was told to wait 2 weeks for the vendor to respond?? I have never had any other credit card company tell me this, the charge is credited back to me pending their investigation which has always been in my favor.
For anyone considering this card, I would highly recommend you find another card. All the marketing is a bunch of hype and loud noise that needs to be blocked out. It seems like they are targeting a younger demographic as well, in which case u should definitely stay clear. Consider the Chase/Citi/or Wells Fargo credit card competitor instead.

Sachin Paryani

This is a critical comment. Disputes and customer services matters much more important than an extra 1% in “cash back”.

Terry

My card is in the mail. I have a 15.5k limit. I’m trying to do the math to figure out how I want to use this card. I can’t find this answer on their app and I don’t see it in your article. What amounts to 1 point? Does $1 equal 1 point? I see amd understand how the points are “cashed out.” But for me to figure out of this is worth it for me i need to understand how do I get 1 point.

Last edited 5 months ago by Terry
Ian

Clarifying that it’s membership year, not calendar year, can see it in the points section of the app.

Michael Allen

I’ve had the card for about 2 weeks after being on the waiting list for almost a year. My highest credit limit prior to this card was my Amex at 7500. I applied and was given 19.500. I was able to use the card right away by adding it to Google Pay. within 24 hours I bought a Denon receiver and a few “Home” wireless speakers, gas for my car and a trip to Longhorns. No problem with the card at all…paid off the balances as they posted. Most of the people I have seen being shut down are people sharing those invite codes with people they don’t know…for some reason, that always seems to come up.

Patrick Hanser

I got the X1 after waiting for month… I spend a good amount of money within the first days and posted my code in social media for people to skip the waitlist. Suddenly all the transactions were declined and I got in touch with customer service. All they told me was that they’ll have to look into it. After days of no response I got in touch with them again via text. The feedback was that I would receive an email with the explanation by end of day. As expected again no answer. I reached out to them again the following day and the answer I got was the following:

Hope you’re well. I just wanted to give you an update that the team did their review and your account has been flagged for potential misuse of our rewards program. As a result, we will sadly need to close your account.

You’ll receive another email in the coming days with more details.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Best,
X1 Team

I’m super disappointed because I was such a fan and very excited to use the card… and now it was all for nothing and I wish I would’ve done my big purchases on another card!
They don’t seem to care that I’ll take my business elsewhere and just apologized for the inconvenience. Not sure what’s going to happen with the points I accumulated!

I hope nobody else is going to have such bad experience with this card! I won’t recommend the card anymore and wish I didn’t get friends to sign up since I can’t stand behind it!

Best,
Patrick Hanser

Michael Allen

So you got shut down for what exactly? By sharing your codes or using the card? For now its like I need another card in my hand just in case this one gets shut down while buying gas……what a joke. I read about a guy given 40 grand….he spent 25, then sent in his payment before anything posted…they shut him down.

Matt

This is normal for them. I didn’t do anything sketchy and was shut down the same way for even less.

Nick Summy

I have been reading points blogs for almost a decade, and while they got me into a “hobby” the increased competition and need for content definitely poisoned the well. Obviously they were always funded (and nothing wrong with it) by credit card referrals & similar ads. No doubt covid thinned the herd even more.

That said, has it gotten to the point that I have to read a long “review” only to find out at the end the author doesn’t even have the card? Have the bloggers fallen so far that now the referral isn’t even for cash, but now to move up in the wait list?!?!

When was the last time a credit card has to go through a “private beta test?” And the only proof of the card is some guy on youtube talking about it? As the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it is. Expect this to debut with an annual fee and bizarre fee structures and rules. This will be on par with the visa “black cards” that are hocked on late night tv. I hope I am wrong but I will check back on the progress..

Good luck, godspeed, and never drive faster than you can see.

Nick Reyes

The second sentence of the post was “I had moved up to position 124,105 on X1’s waiting list.” – so if you had to wait until the end to find out that Greg doesn’t have the card, I think you must have skipped the first paragraph.

Just for critical thinking purposes, how much money would Greg have to spend for the incremental benefit of 4% on this card (assuming perpetual referrals) over the next best card in his wallet to be enough to be worth writing about this card just for referrals? We’re talking an extra 1.375% more than he can get with his Bank of America Premium Rewards card or 1% more than one can get with a first year Discover card and as 4% on the X1 card it can only be used for the included brands. It’s not that I don’t want the card or think it is valuable — I do want it and I do think it is valuable. But if you think the referral was the reason for the post, you’re mistaken.

To do the math for you, he’d have to spend $74,074 on the card at 4x for it to earn an extra $1,000 in cash back over the Premium Rewards card (with Platinum Honors). As a point of comparison, anyone with an Ink Business Preferred can refer 5 people to that card and get 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 at a base level, no $74K spend required). If referrals or commissions were what dictated the content of this site, we wouldn’t be writing about the X1 card (or about Choice Privileges gems or Hyatt peak and off-peak pricing or many of the other topics we cover). We write about what we find interesting and think other people will also find interesting or useful or both.

In terms of cards going through “private beta tests” – Brex, Bilt, the SoFi Money card, and the Venmo card are a few that immediately come to mind as examples that have beta tested and then successfully launched from that place. The Curve card similarly has been building on the waiting list model and it sounds like they plan to launch very soon. Most credit cards in the market are issued by banks like Chase, Citi, Amex, Synchrony, Comenity, etc — but we’ve seen FinTechs start to enter the space and of course they have a different model. I don’t find that particularly surprising.

Will this card work out? Nobody knows and about that you’re absolutely right. The thing about the “if it’s too good to be true it probably is” sentiment is that if I followed that sentiment I would have missed out on many thousands of dollars and probably well over a million points over the years. We frequently see those “too good to be true” things in this game and often they *are* too good to last, so the key is to strike while the iron is hot and take advantage of those deals while you can. That’s why we write about something like this now instead of only after it has launched and been around a few years — those readers who might be interested in taking a swing at it would miss out on the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot if we wait until someday down the road to discuss it. Does that mean you should join the waiting list and/or apply for the card? Absolutely not. Don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with doing. But the way that venture capital has been thrown around through FinTechs in recent years (again, see Brex and SoFi and the many banking apps that have thrown out big new account bonuses for new users), I think you’re missing out if you write off every new player in the game.

Peter

This card feels pyramid scheme-ish. If its main value proposition is for those with very large pools of referees, then who exactly are they supposed to refer? Other people who also happen to have exponentially many referees? Or suckers who will end up with a subpar product? Of course, most cards in the market aren’t as valuable as Citi Double Cash or Amex Blue Business Plus, but my concern with this card is its incentive structure for holders to market on its behalf dishonestly.

Another thought is that this referral bonus sucks. Even if you can manufacture $10k within the month after a referral, you get $70 (+1x 0.7 cents x 10,000). It’s pretty low compared to what you can get from referring people to some cards that are actually good.

The diss is to the card, not this post. Always appreciate reviews and analyses here for a wide range of products.

Peter

Woohoo a direct response from Greg!

Well don’t blame me when I started my thought process with your “It’s possible to do better than that, but usually with big hoops involved.” under the 3x discussion… 😉

And this blog definitely conditioned me to consider 2x TY points to be superior to 2.1% cb (or even 3.0% cb). Of course, dealing with transferrable currencies is extremely headachy. X1 sits somewhere between the simplicity of 2% cash back and the value of 2x transferrable points.

EricF

$9,750 spend on BBP, redeemed with Business Platinum Pay with Points.

Ryan

I’m not sure this card is for me, but with no annual fee, might as well give it a try.

Ryan

Hey Greg, when I click on your link it asks for a referral code? Do you have one?

Nick Reyes

You click on “Request an invite”, you don’t have a code. This is the relevant section of the post (under the heading “How to get the card”:

If you’re willing to wait, then you’ll want to join the waitlist (you’ll also get 4x rewards for your first 30 days once you get the card). Here’s how:

  1. Click here for my “invite a friend” link (Note: I don’t earn anything from this other than moving up the waitlist a bit)
  2. Click “Request an Invite” and then enter your name, email, and annual income to join the list.

Note that the comment here doesn’t have the invite link, but you’ll find it in this section in the post.

Julien Gledel

How do you see your spot on the waitlist? It looks like I already signed up a while ago but I can’t figure out how to view my position.

LarryInNYC

Given that my go-to airlines for domestic travel are all in the 1% cash-out list this would be a 3% cash-back travel card for me. That’s better than any airline card, plus no dealing with award availability and all flights would count towards status.

Seems like a pretty good deal for anyone who flies a reasonable amount. If you can be assured of the 4x earning (if you have a steady referral network, which I don’t) I think it’s a no-brainer.

SMR

No benefit to this card at all…. its just a Millenials are excited for nothing event. X1 card lol. 4x points if you refer someone…sorry I do not like having to work for my points. My brew card pays that at all restaurants with no annual fee and the points are worth the fell 1%. oh and the 8x at Uber… cant beat that.

Dick Bupkiss

Hard pass for me. This is a ponzi scheme. Gonna be some unhappy customers when this collapses and all their accumulated points vanish like a fart in the wind.

Sachin Paryani

Greg, you never addressed Dick’s real concern: can we trust these guys enough that they would not just abandon ship and leave us be with thousands of worthless points?

dan appy

“Please don’t post referrals in the comments.”

“Click here for my “invite a friend” link”

Jed

Don’t think this is for me, but i do know a few ppl at work who have a lot of AA spend that gets reimbursed, so this might be a good no-fee option for them yo just cash out points that way. Making it essentially a 3% cb card.

Greg

Greg you’re letting faux marketing scarcity suck you into a mediocre offering. 2.1 % cash back not exciting esp with min spend each year to get it. Most of the big 1 cent merchants are travel and get better bonuses / value elsewhere.

That 0.7 per point value is like Ralphies decoder telling him to drink his Ovaktine.

Nick Reyes

Agreed with Greg. I’m mostly interested in this as my domestic flight awards card. I typically don’t want to use miles on domestic flights as I don’t get great value for my miles that way (I’d rather save the miles for international trips). Instead, I could use rewards from this card to book paid flights and earn miles on those flights. I’d also generally be happy with 3% back toward Airbnb / Vrbo.

I’m likely to naturally shop at enough of a handful of the other 1% merchants that there are enough back-ups for me to be satisfied (especially since I don’t have to redeem the points through X1 for merchandise or gift cards but rather I can go through a shopping portal and link my X1 card to a card-linked program and stack with all of my usual tricks and then cover the charge).

I don’t know where this will go long-term, but I’m intrigued enough in the short term.