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X1 Card review

Last updated:  

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

Points

$0

Annual fee

12.9% to 19.9%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Product NameX1 Card
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR12.9% to 19.9% variable
Balance transfer APR12.9% to 19.9% variable
Balance transfer fee2%

Expert review

Steven Dashiell

Review by


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.

Expert review

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.
This is a generous rate for a flat-rate card, especially for such a unique card. In comparison, the Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card launched with a 1% cashback rate, increasing to 1.5% after 12 on-time payments. The main trade-off here is that you can only redeem your points on select merchants. But if there’s a merchant on the list that calls your name, you’ve got a strong rewards earner in the X1 Card.
  • 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

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$300 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months (Offer expires 12/10/2020)
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $300. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
$200 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
$0
Get 3% cash back on groceries on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) with no annual fee. This is a simple and effective rewards card. Rates & fees
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Citi® Double Cash Card
N/A
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
$0
Earn up to 2% on every purchase with no annual fee. This is the highest flat-rate cashback card on the market.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

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.

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