Is 'The Smartest Credit Card Ever Made' Actually That Smart?

3 weeks ago 17

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Photo: Photo provided by X1

The overmuch hyped X1 recognition card, billed arsenic “the smartest recognition paper ever made” is present finally available to the wide public, but is it arsenic innovative arsenic its selling suggests? Indeed, determination are immoderate unsocial perks, on with a bully rewards rate—especially for a no-fee card—although the reward redemption options are much constricted than what you spot with different much accepted cards.

How does the X1 paper work?

Backed by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, the X1 has “smart” offerings you don’t spot with accepted lenders. This includes the quality to automatically extremity escaped trials, cancel subscription payments successful 1 click, and make one-time usage virtual cards that connection enhanced privacy.

Most notably, the card’s recognition bounds and involvement rates are based connected “current and aboriginal income” alternatively of your recognition score. As a result, the company says that recognition limits are up to 5 times higher erstwhile compared to accepted cards; for this reason, the paper is well-suited for borrowers who either person a atrocious recognition people oregon a constricted recognition history.

Other features include:

  • No yearly interest and nary overseas transaction fees
  • Two points per dollar connected each purchase
  • Three points per dollar for the twelvemonth if you walk $15,000 oregon much that year
  • Four points per dollar for a period for each referral who signs up for the card
  • Variable involvement rates that are comparatively low, ranging from 12.75% to 19.75%
  • Visa Signature perks and benefits

Two points connected each acquisition is simply a competitory complaint erstwhile you comparison it to akin no-fee cards, but 3 points per dollar walk is really good if you usually walk $15,000 annually with your recognition card. Combined with the other recognition bounds and deficiency of fees, the X1 would beryllium a coagulated mundane recognition card.

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The X1 rewards are a spot of trade-off, however

While the rewards multiplies compare good with akin no-fee cards, the reward redemptions are little robust than what you spot with accepted lenders:

  • There is nary invited bonus oregon introductory APR offers—often a $1,200 worth if you execute definite spending goals (e.g., spending $5,000 successful 3 months).
  • There are nary discounted introductory APR offers, either (other cards often connection 0% for 12-18 months).
  • Points are redeemable lone with 45 listed brands, which see Apple, Nike, Patagonia, Wayfair,, Vrbo, Airbnb, and immoderate large airlines. You’d privation to marque definite the partnerships already align with your spending habits earlier committing to the paper (you tin besides redeem points arsenic a recognition statement, but the complaint is little favorable compared to redeeming rewards done X1's partnerships).

Bottom line

The X1 is simply a bully mundane paper for radical who person decent income but less-than-decent recognition scores, particularly if you walk capable to suffice for the three-points-per-dollar-spent perk. Other features, similar automatic subscription cancellations and one-time usage virtual cards, are beauteous astute and look similar a measurement guardant erstwhile it comes to recognition paper perks.

The reward redemptions are limited, though, truthful you’ll privation to marque definite the card’s partnerships enactment up with your existent spending habits. Otherwise, it’s a coagulated enactment if you’re looking for a no-annual interest card.