Introduction to my Crypto drama

I’m getting vivid flashbacks of the last time I blogged about Crypto [as a landlord blogger] – it resulted in many of my regulars’ shitting the bed in utter despair and confusion. They didn’t understand what the hell was going on; some thought my website had been hijacked by a malicious bot, shilling crypto!

Funny enough, the controversy of blogging about something other than property/landlording (how dare I?) caused my Property Investment Vs Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency blog post to be one of the most engaged with. Be that as it may, I wasn’t entirely sure whether I dared to make another Crypto related post in fear of causing further havoc.

However, I’ve been itching to write about the VISA Debit Reward cards for a while now, because I adore mine so bloody much. Moreover, I genuinely believe the card is an awesome pick-up for landlords and property investors (because they can earn hefty rewards when paying for renovation and maintenance).

So as a compromise, I’ve decided to write this blog post and publish it ‘behind the scenes’ (i.e. I won’t send it out to my 65k strong mailing list) so the only likely access point is through search engine results (although, that’s probably unlikely, given how terribly competitive and spammy the crypto space is, so the odds are I’m just writing this for my own morbid pleasure! But fuck it, I’m going to enjoy it even if no one else does!).

Okay, so before plodding along with sharing my personal experiences and thoughts on the reward cards, I just want to clarify that I’m going to – respectfully – make the following pressumptions:

  1. You’re interested in Crypto but have absolutely no experience, or have very limited amount;
  2. You have at least a basic idea of what Cryptocurrency/Bitcoin is (if not, you may want to read my first (and only other) blog post on Crypto, the infamous blog post where everyone spazzed out because I deviated from property);
  3. You don’t really know what is.

Basically, I’m going to assume you’re a bit of a Crypto plonker. Cool? Cool.

Quick overview of the Reward Visa Debit Card

First, let’s discuss

In short, it’s a Crypto “exchange”, which basically means it’s a place where you can trade (buy and sell) hundreds of Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Doge etc. It’s one of the more popular and reputable exchanges. have released a range of Visa Debit Cards which offer crypto cashback rewards for spending, and various other juicy incentives: Reward Cashback Debit Cards Reward Cashback Debit Cards

Please note, I try my best to keep the information up-to-date, but for the most up-to-date and accurate information, please visit!

Rewards quickly explained

Please do not get confused or misled, the cashback rewards are in the cryptocurrency CRO, not in GBP (I personally think this is a good thing, and I’ll explain why further down).

So, for example, where it says you can qualify for cashback for your Netflix membership, it means that if you use your card to pay your monthly Netflix membership (e.g. £10.99 per month), you will get £10.99 worth of CRO back in rewards each time. Similarly, purchasing a TV (or whatever else) with your card will result in receiving a percentage back in CRO tokens.

If you’re confused by any of this, don’t worry, I’ll discuss the CRO token in more detail in the You get rewards in CRO (which is virtually the same as cashback… but better!) section, further down the post.

The Tier 1 Midnight Blue card offers no rewards unfortunately (it used to back in the day), so if you want to earn rewards, you’ll need to stake at least £300 worth of the CRO cryptocurrency so you become eligible for the Tier 2 Ruby Steel card.

You can start with any Tier card and then switch tiers (i.e. stake less or more in order to downgrade or upgrade).

I personally started my journey with the Midnight Blue, then a couple of months later upgraded to the modest Ruby Steel, and most recently, I made the leap to Royal Indigo (Tier 3).

Tier 4, watch out, I’m coming (although, I do wish the gap between the staking amounts between Tier 3 and 4 wasn’t so hefty)).

What does “staking” mean?

To be eligible for a rewards card (excluding the Tier 1/Midnight blue card), which offers 1%+ cashback rewards and various other benefits, you need to buy the qualifying amount of’s native cryptocurrency “CRO”, and then you need to lock in the funds for 6 months (i.e. you can’t touch it during that period, it’s invested).

So, to get my hands on the Ruby Steel (and benefit from 1% cashback on purchases and 6 months cashback on my Spotify membership), I had to purchase £300 worth of CRO and “stake” it with After 6 months, I have the option of “unlocking” my money, or I continue staking it. The advantage of staking it is that you earn interest on it while it’s being staked).

And yes, you read correctly, your eyes aren’t failing you! £300,000! That’s the Obisidian, a disgustingly-rich, fuck you (and get out of my way), high-rollers card, and in order get a sniff of it you need to “stake” £300,000 worth of crypto and lock it in for 6 months. Eye-watering! I can only dream of being so pompous.

The Ruby Steel card (entry level to earning cashback rewards)

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to focus mostly on the Tier 2 Ruby Steel card because:

  • it’s the lowest tier card that offers rewards;
  • it offers 1% cashback rewards in CRO;
  • it’s likely going to be the one most appealing to folk that have little experience with Crypto and want to earn rewards.

If you’ve heard enough (cor, you’re eager!), you can sign up for the Midnight Blue card or any of the other reward cards by downloading the App.

If you have the urge to learn more about the higher tiered cards and the additional benefits available, you can do so on I wouldn’t blame you, they’re terribly compelling.

Is the Visa Card good for International/Overseas Payments abroad? What are the FTX rates?

This was kind of a pleasant surprise.

Before using my card abroad, I wanted to find out if it’s good for using abroad. In short, I was fearful of getting absolutely ravaged by overseas transaction fees. From what I could find out (based on what other people have said on reddit), the card offers the perfect Mastercard foreign exchange rates, and there are no additional international transaction fees (most cards charge 3% + admin fees)! In other words, it sounded like it’s great to use abroad.

My go-to card has always been the Halifax Clarity credit card (Mastercard) for overseas spending, which has been a long-term top pick as the best “travel card” by MoneySavingExpert’s Margin Lewis, as it also has no fees on overseas spending. It’s always provided great rates abroad for me.

So to determine how the card compares with the Halifax Clarity in terms of foreign exchange rates, I decided to put it to the test.

On a recent trip to Romania (date: 15th May 2022), I paid for a restaurant bill on both my cards. The total bill was 373 Lei (local Romanian currency), so I evenly split the payment by paying 186.50 Lei on each card. I felt this was a fair and reliable test because I was paying the exact same amount on the two difference cards on the same day/time.

Here are the results (the amounts I was charged in GBP as shown on the respective card statements):

  • Halifax Clarity card (Mastercard) – £32.34
  • card (Visa) – £32.35

Basically, 1p difference (which was more than compensated for with the Cashback).

Yup, I’ll definitely be using my abroad – that’s more sweet cashback rewards. However, I won’t be completely ditching my Halifax Clarity card- she’s been a faithful travel-buddy for many years, so I can’t discard her like burnt toast. Plus, the is a debit card, while the Halifax Clarity is a credit card, so they don’t function the same.

I should also point out that the Mastercard exchange rate may not always be the same as the Visa exchange rate for every country. What I mean is, while it seems like they offer the same exchange rates in Romania at the time of my visit (which is why there was practically no difference in rate when I paid my restaurant bill) that doesn’t necessarily mean they will offer the same rate in a different county that has a different local currency. So personally, before I choose which card to use abroad (the Halifax Clarity or, I’m going to check both Mastercard’s and Vias’s exchange rates for the local currency of the country I intend to visit. Obviously, if rates are the same, I’ll use my card to reap the cashback rewards, otherwise the one which offers the better exchange rate.

How does the Cashback Visa Debit Card work?

It’s a Debit Card, NOT Credit Card

It’s important to note that the Visa reward card is NOT a Credit Credit, it’s a Debit card, but it does NOT work like a regular one that is connected to a current bank! Although, it’s very similar…

Topping up your card

The Crypto Visa card is connected to your account, and you essentially need to “Top-up” your Crypto account with funds (just like you would deposit money into your current account to use your debit card), which will enable you to use it like a regular debit card.

You can “Top-up” your Crypto card by transferring money from a different debit card or via bank transfer.

Warning #1: I recommend topping up via bank transfer because it’s completely free. There’s a 1% transfer fee for EU/UK users for topping up via a debit or credit card.

Warning #2: once you transfer money into your account and “top-up” your card, you can’t reverse the transfer, meaning you cannot send the money back into your current account. Not sure why that’s the case, but it’s never been a big issue for me, however, it does mean that I don’t load up my card unnecessarily or excessively. You can take the money out from an ATM at no cost, but it’s only a partial solution, because there are withdrawal limits. The Midnight blue has a limit of £180 free ATM withdrawals per month, and once exceeded, withdrawals will incur a 2% fee. The higher tier cards have larger withdrawal limits.

Tracking transaction

The app is very similar to a normal banking app that tracks the spending of your debit/credit card, showing each and every transaction.

Transactions in App

Transactions in App (FYI: Photoshopped transactions)


All the cards support PIN codes and contactless payments.

You get rewards in CRO (which is virtually the same as cashback… but better!)

The rewards are INSTANTLY transferred into your account when a payment is complete. As mentioned, the rewards are paid in “CRO”, which is the native cryptocurrency. Basically, it’s’s own Cryptocurrency, similar to Ethereum. Think of it as shares in a company, like McDonalds or Tescos.

Simply, the cashback rewards are paid in a cryptocurrency, not fiat currency (e.g. GBP, USD etc). Cashback Rewards Cashback Rewards

You can either sell your shares (CRO) for GBP, keep it in CRO, or if you’re feeling particularly saucy, you can trade it for other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin .

I personally haven’t sold any of my CRO; I plan on building-up my stash and compounding my returns, because I believe in as a company. The hope is, over the long-term, the value of each CRO coin rocket to the moon. But obviously you don’t have to do that, that’s just my destiny.

That leads me onto perhaps the most important aspect of earning rewards: since CRO is a traded cryptocurrency (which behaves like shares in a company), it will go up and down in value, so that means it’s value in GBP will also fluctuate.

For example, imagine that you earned 1 CRO in rewards. When you earned that CRO, each CRO was worth £1. Now, imagine 10 months later the value of CRO has doubled in price, it is now worth £2. That means if you sell your 1 CRO now, you will get £2 in return.

You with me?

The value can really add up quite quickly – I’ve seen it with my own googly eyes – especially if there is positive price action with the CRO token. Of course, the price can always go lower, too. But we don’t think about that. In the last 6 months, I’ve managed to earn over £1,000 in CRO.

Since the Ruby Steel card provides 1% cashback in rewards, you’ll earn 1% worth of CRO on each eligible purchase. For instance, if you spend £50 on a T-shirt, you’ll earn 50p worth of CRO. While this may seem insignificant – and it’s actually not a lot – when you widen your perspective and consider the potential impact of continuous accumulation and positive price trends, you’ll realise that all this complimentary CRO you’re earning – simply for buying stuff you would have purchased anyways – can potentially grow into something substantial over time.

Each time you use the card, you essentially get back shares in I think that’s fucking awesome.

Quick update: I originally wrote this blog post in 2022 (I’ve made small updates a long the way as have amended their rewards structure), and it’s now 2024.

During that time I’ve been using my VISA card as my primary card and earned rewards on every spend that’s eligible.

At one point, the CRO crypto token went as low as $0.05 per token, and it’s now currently $0.14 per token (it’s essentially x3 in value).

So what does that mean? Hypothetically, let’s say I earned £300 worth of CRO cashback rewards when the price was at it’s low, today it’s worth £900+.

Despite this impressive increase, I’ve refrained from selling any of my CRO tokens, opting instead to continue accumulating them. If the positive price trend for the CRO token persists (which I suspect it will), there’s a chance I could recoup my entire expenditure between 2022 and 2024, or at least come very close to it.

Do you get why this excites me so much now?

Cashback reward restrictions

Unfortunately, there are restrictions on rewards which means you won’t get one for every type of purchase/transaction. You can find a full list of exemptions here.

For example, I had the gall to attempt to pay a hefty tax bill to the HMRC, hoping to get back a handsome prize, but it didn’t take – I didn’t earn any rewards in CRO after paying through the nose for my tax liability! BOOOO! That would have been sweet as a nut.

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely surprised. They’d probably be out of business if they gave cashback on tax bills. Similarly, you don’t get cashback when buying currency or paying loans. Again, not entirely surprising if you think about it.

Big purchases that offer great rewards

Please, don’t be disillusioned or discouraged by the “predictable” restrictions, because there are plenty of big ticket items that can earn you plenty of CRO rewards.

I’ve purchased multiple holidays/plane tickets on my card and have been rewarded handsomely for it.

I watched a video on the CheekyCrypto YouTube channel, where the chap mentioned he purchased a brand new Range Rover sport with his card. Man, that must have been one schweeeeeeet payout! And yes, he could have sold the CRO rewards immediately for GBP (but my guess is he kept it in CRO as an investment).

Common purchases you can earn big rewards on:

  • Holidays / Plane tickets
  • Hotels
  • Grocery shopping
  • Petrol
  • Cars / vehicles
  • Decorating / refurbs (as mentioned in the intro, this card is great for landlords and property investors, because they notoriously have expensive overheads in this department. I often cover business expenses with it to claim the rewards.)
  • Household items e.g. appliances
  • …etc.

Is the Cashback Visa Cards worth it?

In my opinion, 100% yes. But I do have a few caveats.

  • I’m not staking money I need or cannot afford to lose (£3000 worth of CRO at the time of writing this blog post).

    I don’t think I will lose the money; I personally see it as a solid investment, but God forbid, if somehow the CRO token dies and I lose my entire investment, it won’t impact my life.

    I can’t say that’s the case for the next tier up – the Tier 4 Frosted Rose Gold & Icy White – the £30,000 staking requirement currently makes me feel uneasy. But it’s all relative.

  • I’ve invested with a long-term mindset, so even if the CRO price dips in the short-term, that’s really not a problem for me.
  • I started with the Midnight Blue just to test the water and I was happy with how it worked.
  • I’m a big fan of the exchange and I think they have a bright future, so I’m happy to invest in their native cryptocurrency.
  • In order to qualify for the Royal Indigo, I needed to stake £3000 (i.e. buy £3000 worth of CRO), but I didn’t do that one go. I slowly built up that amount using three methods:
    1. Earned cashback rewards
    2. Buying CRO during price dips
    3. Positive price action of the CRO token
  • The Royal Indigo gives 100% cashback rewards on Spotify and Netflix for the first 6 months, and I happen to use both those services. I also regularly make use of the Airport lounge access benefit – it’s great. That alone is worth £100s per year to me.

In conclusion, making the upgrade(s) have been worth it for me, and my only regret is that I didn’t upgrade sooner. That’s the stone-cold truth.

Just to re-clarify, you can upgrade at any time, but there is a one-off £50 re-issue fee for a new card (you don’t get charged that fee for your first card). So if you’re on the fence, and deciding between the Midnight Blue and going straight for the Ruby Steel (which is a perfectly reasonable debate, even for newbs, because the £300 staking requirement isn’t unfeasible for most people), it might make sense just to bite the bullet.

Another point worth noting is that if you stake £300 worth of CRO to get the Ruby Steel card, you only need to stake the shortfall to qualify for the next tier up (Royal Indigo & Jade Green). For example, if your initial £300 CRO is worth £500 by the time you want to upgrade, you only need to stake an additional £2500 worth of CRO to make up the £3000 (the staking requirement for the tier 4 card).

Is the Cashback Visa Cards safe (and how to protect yourself)?

I don’t want to go too deep into this topic, but I will say that I fully understand the scepticism when it comes to Crypto. Yes, there are plenty of scams and scammers, however, I would experience has led me to realise that it’s not as terrible as reported by the nay-sayers, and those that are anti-crypto (for one reason or another).

The risks with crypto is like anything else really, so as long as you’re careful and use common sense, you should be fine. But if you get reckless and get lured into an email you received from a Nigerian Prince, promising you riches beyond your wildest dreams, then you’ll likely struggle with whatever you do in life.

Here are my quick-hit thoughts on the issue of safety regarding as an exchange and their debit cards:

  • is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world and is heavily funded
  • I’ve never experienced any issues or problems with the app or exchange in regards to security
  • You can read about the security measures take here
  • To limit my risks, I personally wouldn’t hold hundreds of thousands of pounds in my account, but rather, top-up my card just before I need to use it. I usually have £50 or so loaded onto it at all times, but if I know I’m going to make a big purchase (i.e. pay for a holiday), I’ll load it up right before paying, so the money doesn’t sit in my account for too long.
  • Always enable two factor authentication.

Why do I adore the Reward Visa Debit Card so much?

If you’ve made it all the way down here, it should be apparent why already. However, I know I’ve waffled on, so I’ll tie it up in a neat little bow for you (and I’ll even add some extra points):

  • Beautiful metal card – this might sound silly, but honestly, until you get one of these puppies in your hand you won’t be able to appreciate why the physical card itself excites me.

    I was shocked by the quality of the cards – including the free Tier 1 Midnight blue – they’re exceptional; the solid and smooth metal feels unbelievable in the hand. They make all the other cards in my wallet feel like rotten, squishy potatoes. They’re garbage in comparison.

  • Easy to jump between Tiers (starting from the FREE tier) – while the Tier 1 Midnight Blue card doesn’t offer any rewards, it serves as a good starting point for familiarising yourself with the app and its functionalities.

    There are no obligations whatsoever, allowing you the flexibility to advance to the next tier whenever you’re ready to start staking and earning rewards. To be fair, even if you have no intentions of exposing yourself to crypto or any of the inherit risks, I think the free Midnight Blue metal card is worth having, just because of how sleek it is.

  • Great way to start the crypto journey – the reward card is the perfect starting point for anyone that’s interested in dabbling with crypto with relatively little on the line, with the added bonus of earning crypto rewards!
  • Rewards – needless to say, I can’t get enough of the rewards, and I felt the same even when I was on the 1% cashback rate! I just love earning rewards on “stuff” I was going to buy anyways. It’s a no-brainer.
  • Passive investing – I think this is what wins it for me. As I’ve said, the rewards in CRO is nice, but I’m more excited about growing my position in the CRO token itself, because I’m a believer in the company and the CRO token. I used to regularly use my Amazon Credit Card to earn Amazon points, but I’ve pretty much limited its use just to purchases on Amazon, because I want to earn more CRO [over GBP and Amazon points].
  • Easy to use and manage app
  • Responsive customer service – I’ve only used their support service once via the “live chat” in the app, when upgrading the tier of my card, and they were super responsive.

How to sign up for your card (and claim a £20/$25 sign up bonus)

  1. Download App – Sign up for a Visa Card by downloading the App and completing their KYC:
    1. iPhone
    2. Android
  2. **Invited – When you open the app select “Invited?” and add referral Code to get a $25/£50 bonus: bweprx3z3b
  3. Apply – once you’ve downloaded the App and completed their KYC, navigate to the “Card” page” which is located at the bottom right corner of the app.
  4. Select Card – Select your preferred card tier and stake the respective CRO equivalent (if you’re choosing a card that requires staking).
  5. Request physical card – once you’ve approved, you will receive a virtual card, which you can use like a normal card. However, you will need to manually request for the physical metal card (optional) to be delivered thereafter. You can do this from the Card dashboard via the app.

**£20/$25 sign up bonus

The referral code will work for new UK and international accounts (USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia).

No pressure to use the code at all, but if you decide to, many thanks, as it will help support my blog.

Anyways, hope that’s been useful.

If you have any questions, or have any feedback, I’d love to hear from you…

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