Is This the Future of Credit Cards?

Even with new features like cash rewards and cash back credit cards, the card industry seems to have gotten a bit stale of late.

That’s understandable, as the move from cash to plastic is in full surge, giving credit card companies few reasons to tinker with an industry that has captured so many financial consumers.

According to industry data, there are 511 million open credit cards in the U.S. in 2020 and 2.8 billion active credits across the entire globe. With those kinds of numbers in play, why should the credit card industry change a model that’s working so well?

Turns out, maybe most credit card providers have gotten complacent – but not all of them.

Case in point – the X1 credit card created by ex-Twitter executives and backed by Max Levchin, founder of PayPal. The card, set for a late 2020 launch could be a game-changer for the entire digital card payments industry.

According to a company statement, the X1 Card uses proprietary smart technology and offers features and perks that aren’t offered by traditional or premium credit card companies.

“By looking at current and future income instead of credit score, the new card can set smart credit limits that rise automatically as cardholders advance in their careers (the founder got the idea after realizing he, Max Levchin and David Sacks all had similar credit scores),” X1 states.

Composed of 17g of stainless steel, the X1 Card offers the following automated features, including:

  • the ability to cancel subscription payments with one click
  • auto-expiring virtual cards that allow you to cancel free trials automatically
  • an incognito mode to shop anonymously
  • generous rewards on every single purchase
  • instant notifications on refunds

The X1 Card also gives points for every single purchase. In fact, X1 claims the reward structure coupled with no annual fees is unmatched in the industry:

  • 2X points on every $1 spent
  • 3X points on every $1 spent for the year if you spend $15K+ on the card in that year
  • 4X points on every $1 spent for a month for every friend you refer. If you bring in 10 friends, for example, you’ll get 4X points on every single purchase for 10 months.
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The card has a credit score feature that should appeal to financial consumers.

By looking at current and future income instead of credit score, the X1 Card can responsibly set smart credit limits up to five times higher than traditional credit cards, X1 claims. “The higher limit also gives cardholders the opportunity to have a lower utilization rate, allowing them to increase their credit score faster,” the company adds.

The X1 Card also has no annual fee, offers the lowest interest rates of any card in its class and charges no late fees or foreign transaction fees. The card’s APRs range from 12.9 – 19.9%, and it has a balance transfer fee of 2%, the lowest in its category.

The card venture is partnering with Visa Signature, allowing cardholders to use it at more than 46 million merchants around the world. Points can be redeemed at more than 100 top brands including Apple, Airbnb, Casper, Glossier, Nike, Patagonia, Peloton, Sephora, Supreme, and many more.

“With X1 Card, we set out to modernize the credit card for a new generation of cardholders,” said co-founder & CEO, Deepak Rao. “X1 Card doesn’t rely on the archaic credit score system to set limits and rates, its rewards program is the most generous offer on the market, and its built-in smart technology makes it easier to shop, save and spend with friends.”

Expect a big line of interested credit card customers when the X1 roles out. (There’s already a big waiting list.) I’ll probably be one of them.

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