Despite the recent rough patch, the crypto field is continuing to see new growth and opportunities from innovative blockchain technologies to broadening payment options. With so much change going on, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest options to get involved with the crypto space. One of my favorites over the past few months has been the crypto.com solid metal Visa debit card. While the card has a ton of great benefits, it’s gone through plenty of changes recently — so here’s my full review of the pros and cons so you can decide if you want to get involved yourself!
If you haven’t heard of this card before, it’s a tiered system ranging from an absolutely free card with 1% cash back on all purchases up to an ultra-exclusive Obsidian card with some serious benefits. You move up the tiered system by staking crypto.com’s own cryptocurrency, CRO. If you’re unfamiliar with crypto staking, check out my recent article that explains the details. Basically, staking is a way for you to earn interest on your crypto while having it locked away for a set period of time.
To me, staking is a win-win. Not only do I earn some serious rewards on my otherwise stagnant crypto, I’m unable to access my stake until the end of the term. This forces me ignore crypto volatility and invest for the long-term.
Staking Rewards & More
So what are the rates for this card? Well, better than any standard debit card I can tell you that. As of April 2021, here are their standard cash back rates:
An important thing to keep in mind is that the cash back is in the form of CRO. If you have faith in crypto.com, that’s great news because you’re basically getting cash back in a growing asset. However, you’re going to face volatility in your rewards.
Personally, I would much rather take the CRO over cash. Who cares about your $20 cash back from restaurant rewards? A constant 2% reward in CRO that can grow in price sounds like a much more attractive option to me. Plus, getting crypto rewards with a solid metal card for your daily purchases has just got a cool feel to it — I love using my card.
More than just cash back
The card also gives some pretty generous perks when you start staking additional CRO. The Ruby Steel card requires $400 of CRO stake for 180 days, however in addition to 2% CRO rewards you also got 100% reimbursement when you put your Spotify subscription onto the card. That’s already $120 savings per year.
As you upgrade your card, you gain access to further rewards. If you get the Royal Indigo or Jade Green cards with $4,000 worth of staked CRO, you’ll see 3% cash back on all purchases along with reimbursed Netflix in addition to Spotify AND free access to airpot lounge networks.
Let’s say you spend $20,000 per year using the Ruby Steel debit card at a $400 stake. Assuming CRO doesn’t crash, you can easily see $400 worth of CRO in rewards from your yearly spending. That’s ignoring the $120 you would save from the Spotify reimbursement, which is a nice cushion should CRO take a downturn.
For icing on the cake, crypto.com offers up to 10% p.a. interest on stablecoins and 4.5% interest on top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum just by using their Ruby Steel card. The rewards only go up from there.
For the most part, this card gives what it advertises. However, there’s a few points to be aware of. Recently, crypto.com changed the staking tiers from being raw CRO amounts to raw U.S. dollar amounts. Personally, this is a little concerning because either crypto.com doesn’t believe in their coin and wants to protect themselves from loss, or they believe in their coin and want to make sure they see the profits. If you’re going to offer the card based off of your own cryptocurrency, keep it that way. Show us you have faith in your mission.
The other gotcha is that you don’t actually load the card up with cryptocurrencies. Even if you had stablecoins, you would have to convert them to the fiat currency of your choice to “top up” the card. It truly is like a debit card, but crypto.com is FDIC insured up to $250,000 for U.S. residents for their USD balances.
Furthermore, you can’t buy cryptocurrencies with the card. While it would be great to receive CRO back when buying CRO, the crypto.com card restricts you from purchasing cryptocurrencies on their site and others. It’s primary purpose is for everyday transactions where you get unique card benefits and CRO rewards.
Fortunately, crypto.com doesn’t shortcut security. 100% of user cryptocurrencies are held in offline cold storage. That’s a great safeguard against some of the hacks that have plagued exchanges such as Coinbase.
My Personal Experience
I purchased the Ruby Steel card in January of this year and, put simply, I love this card. I wish that crypto.com still had their staking tiers based from raw CRO amounts instead of capped U.S. dollars, but you just can’t beat the rewards with any standard alternative. Most other credit cards that offer you these types of rewards have yearly costs to them ranging from $50 to $500 or more.
I believe that crypto.com will find themselves a place in the crypto ecosystem. Do I think they’ll be at the top? No, I really don’t. Yet, crypto.com is at the forefront of the crypto payments market and I’ve yet to run into any issues with their card. I believe that with continued simplification and improvement, the crypto.com team will continue to grow and succeed in their mission of delivering crypto payments at a broader scale.
Plus, the card isn’t a standalone experience. It’s the combination of being able to buy crypto with low fees, solid security, high staking and great card rewards that make the platform awesome to be a part of. I highly recommend this card to my friends and family and plan on upgrading to the Jade Green card this coming summer.
I will add the disclaimer that I don’t place any money into CRO that I wouldn’t be willing to lose entirely, and I don’t think you should be making risky bets with this card. Instead, take advantage of the reimbursements and rewards features of the card and invest in the crypto space through your daily purchases.
All said and done, the crypto.com Visa card is a fantastic option for crypto beginners and veterans alike. I get compliments on the card all the time, and it’s just cool to be a part of the crypto space in such a unique way.
If you’d like to get involved yourself, you can use my referral code w6jyux2vcq to get $25 of CRO when you get the Ruby Steel card yourself — which is a fantastic offer if you ask me. Plus, CRO just saw a correction so you’re sure to see your initial CRO investments grow. You can get started by downloading their award winning mobile app below:
The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.