X1 Card review
Your credit limit is based on your income, not your credit score.
- Get this card if you don’t have a substantial credit history but earn a great income and want your credit capabilities to reflect that.
- Pick something else if you’re looking for a card with bigger rewards or an intro APR on purchases.
- Apply with a full-time job or internship.
Up to 4x
12.9% to 19.9%
Purchase APR (variable)
Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.
The metal-clad X1 card sets your credit limit based on your “current and future income” rather than your credit score. It offers 2x points on all purchases which you can bump to 3x points by spending $15,000 in a year or 4x for a month if you refer a friend to the card. The card doesn’t charge late fees or foreign transaction fees, has no annual fee and comes with a variable APR of 12.9% to 19.9%
It may take a moment to wrap your head around the X1’s earning rate. A flat 2x points per dollar baseline is on par with the Citi® Double Cash Card, long seen as the watermark for flat-rate rewards cards. But then you can kick that rate up a notch to 3x and even 4x if you meet the requirements. This could lead to some big value for the adept planners out there. This is on a card with no annual fee, mind you.
The card’s big draw is in how your credit limit is determined. Rather than your credit history, X1 determines your credit limit based on your current and future income. We’re not yet clear on the exact details, but the bottom line is your limit is tied heavily to your job and can range extensively. But as your income goes up, so can your credit limit.
The result: It’s more than likely the limit you end up with on the X1 will prove higher than a traditional no-credit card that assesses your credit score when determining your credit limit.
The X1 card also comes with a few useful tools for managing your finances, like an app that tracks and lets you easily cancel subscription payments and anonymous spending capabilities. While the card isn’t available until Winter 2020, it shows a lot of promise as a great option for recent graduates, those new to the US, or anyone without an established credit history.
How to apply for the X1 Card
As of this writing, you can’t apply for the X1 Card yet. You can sign up for the waiting list by visiting the X1 Card site at x1creditcard.com and clicking Join the waitlist at the top of the home page.
What credit score do I need?
It’s not entirely clear. While your credit score affects your given APR, Thrive hasn’t mentioned whether a poor credit score will disqualify you from qualifying for the card. We’ll update this section as soon as we learn more from Thrive.
X1 Card benefits
- Credit limit based on your income. Your credit limit on the X1 Card is based on your current income and your future income. Depending on your job, you could end up with a much higher credit limit than you would with a traditional card.
- Earn rewards on purchases. This card earns 2x points per dollar on all purchases right out of the gate. You can bump this rate up to 3x points by spending $15,000 in 12 months, for the rest of the year. And if you refer a friend to the X1 Card and they qualify for the card, you’ll earn 30 days of 4x points. These points are worth 1 cent a piece on average and never expire.
- Low APR. The X1 Card comes with a variable APR of 12.9% to 19.9%. This is quite low for a no-credit card, even at the highest end of X1 Card‘s APR range.
- Low fees. You won’t have to pay an annual fee, late fee or foreign transaction fee for using this card. This card also comes with a lower than average balance transfer fee of 2%.
Things to watch out for
- Unclear terms around credit scores. While we know the X1 Card‘s APR is based on your creditworthiness, it isn’t clear if a poor credit score will prevent you from qualifying for the card.
- No traditional signup bonus. The X1 Card doesn’t have a traditional signup bonus you can achieve through spending.
- No intro APRs. You won’t find an intro APR on purchases or balance transfers with the X1 Card.
Compare rewards credit cards
The X1 Card packs a wallop for a card with no annual fee. The base rewards on the card are comparable to the Citi® Double Cash Card, a longtime market leader for flat-rate rewards. And you can push that rate even further with spending or referring a friend. Combine this with the lack of fees and potentially generous credit limits and you have a card that could very well make an impact this winter. Stay tuned for more details as we approach the final card launch.