Introduction to my Crypto drama

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

Little did they realise – even though I tried explaining – I simply wanted to share my experience with crypto, and how I’ve been investing in it as a means of diversifying my investment strategy. I love property, it’s the foundation of my investment strategy, but it’s okay to explore options, ya’ know?

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 Crypto.com VISA Debit Reward cards for a while now, because I adore mine so bloody much – and I believe it’s a great entry point to investing and dabbling with Crypto without taking on any risk. 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! 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 Crypto.com reward cards, I just want to clarify that I’m going to – respectfully – make the following assumptions about you:

  • You’re interested in Crypto but have absolutely no experience, or have very limited amount
  • 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)
  • You don’t really know what Crypto.com is

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

Quick overview of the Crypto.com Reward Visa Debit Card

First, let’s discuss Crypto.com.

In short, it’s a Crypto “exchange”, which essentially 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.

Crypto.com have released a range of Visa Debit Cards which offer rewards (which is for all intents and purposes is cashback) and other juicy incentives:

Crypto.com Reward Cashback Debit Cards

Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com!

Yes, you read correctly, your specs 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.

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 for yo’ arse.

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 100% cashback for your Netflix membership, it means that when you use your Crypto.com 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.

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.

What does “staking” mean?

In order to qualify for the higher tier cards, which offer the alluring 2%+ cashback rewards and various other benefits, you need to essentially buy the qualifying amount of Crypto.com’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 2% cashback on purchases), I had to purchase £300 worth of CRO and “stake” it with Crypto.com. After 6 months, I have the option of “unlocking” my money, or I can continue staking it. The advantage of staking it is that you earn interest on it (i.e. you earn more CRO while it’s being staked).

The Midnight Blue card is 100% free (no staking required)

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m only going to focus mostly on the Midnight Blue card because:

  • it’s completely free, no contracts or tie ins;
  • 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;
  • my intention isn’t to encourage anyone to invest in Crypto or expose them to risk, but rather, learn about Crypto in a super cool, risk-free and rewarding way, without spending a dime;
  • the Midnight Blue card is a no-brainer, which can’t necessary be said about the higher tiered cards.

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 Crypto.com App.

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

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

This was kind of a pleasant surprise.

Before using my Crypto.com card abroad, I wanted to find out whether it’s actually good for using abroad. In short, I was fearful of getting absolutely ravaged by foreign transaction fees. From what I could find out (based on what other people have said on reddit), the Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com 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
  • Crypto.com card (Visa) – £32.35

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

Yup, I’ll definitely be using my Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com), 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 Crypto.com card to reap the cashback rewards, otherwise the one which offers the better exchange rate.

How does the Crypto.com Cashback Visa Debit Card work?

It’s a Debit Card, NOT Credit Card

It’s important to note that the Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com 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. For example, I have added my Barclays debit card details into the Crypto.com app so I can transfer money from my current account into my Crypto.com account. There are no fees for topping up from a debit card.

Warning: once you transfer money into your Crypto.com account 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 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 Crypto.com App

Transactions in Crypto.com App (FYI: Photoshopped transactions)

Contactless

All the Crypto.com 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. The rewards are paid in “CRO”, which is the native Crypto.com cryptocurrency. Basically, it’s Crypto.com’s own Cryptocurrency, similar to Ethereum. Think of it as shares in a company, like McDonalds or Tescos.

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

Crypto.com Cashback Rewards

Crypto.com Cashback Rewards

You can either sell your Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com 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 Midnight Blue card offers 1% cashback in rewards, you will earn 1% worth of CRO on every qualified spend. For example, if you buy a T-shirt for £50, you will earn 50p worth of CR0. That may not sound like a lot – and it’s actually not a lot – but if you expand your horizon and consider the impact of accumulation and positive price action, you may note that all this free CRO that is being tossed your way – simply for buying stuff you would have purchased anyways – can amount to something significant down the road.

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

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 Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com Cashback Visa Cards worth it?

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

Since the Midnight Blue is completely free and returns 1% in rewards on purchases, I don’t think anyone can dispute its worth.

However, whether you should splash out on a higher tier card that requires investment (staking) in order to receive better rewards and benefits is another question, and it’s one I can’t answer for you. But it is a question which I battled with for too long, so I’ll share my thoughts on why I took the plunge and upgraded to the Ruby Steel and then the Royal Indigo:

  • 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 think it’s 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 makes me feel uneasy. But if things change…

  • 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 Crypto.com 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, and I happen to use both those services. That alone is worth £100s per year to me.

In inclusion, 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 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 Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com as an exchange and their debit cards:

  • Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com 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 Crypto.com account for too long.
  • Always enable two factor authentication.

Why do I adore the Crypto.com 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, 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.

  • Completely free – the Midnight Blue has no contracts or tie ins. You can simply sign-up and start earning rewards.
  • Great way to start the crypto journey – the Crypto.com reward card is the perfect starting point for anyone that’s interested in dabbling with crypto for FREE without taking on any risk, 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 coin. 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 Crypto.com Visa Card by downloading the Crypto.com App and completing their KYC:
    1. iPhone
    2. Android
  2. **Invited – When you open the app select “Invited?” and add Crypto.com 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…

Join the Conversation...

Nobody

Nobody

Landlord

Landlord

Tenant

Tenant

Agent

Agent

Legal

Legal

Buyer

Buyer

Developer

Developer

Enthusiast

Enthusiast

Your personal information will *never* be sold or shared to a 3rd party. By submitting your details, you agree to our Privacy Policy.


Popular Landlord Categories

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements Evicting Tenants & Ending Tenancies DWP / DSS & Housing Benefit Tenants Landlord Forms, Documents & Checklists Landlord Tax Advice, Finances & Saving Costs Landlord Legal Issues Managing Your Rental Property Letting Agents HMO (Houses In Multiple Occupation) Guides Decorating, Repairs & Maintaining BTLs Buying & Investing In BTL Rentals Landlord BTL Insurance Guide Tenant Security Deposits Finding Tenants & Marketing Problem Tenants
Tweet
Share