Crypto.com Rewards Visa review: A prepaid card for crypto enthusiasts

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Snapshot

Bottom line

This card lets fans of the Crypto.com app quickly spend their crypto. But the best features that could make this a truly standout option are reserved for investors willing to tie up $400,000 worth of funds in Cronos (CRO).

Crypto.com Image

Crypto.com Visa® Card

Rewards rate

8%

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

N/A

Regular APR

N/A

Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card overview

The Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card is a unique prepaid debit card geared specifically to crypto enthusiasts looking for an easy and efficient way to access and spend their cryptocurrency. Since it’s not a credit card, you have to add funds to your Crypto.com app account using bank account transfers, credit or debit cards or other cryptocurrency. Those funds are turned into crypto assets that then become spendable currency using your Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card.

The Crypto.Com Rewards card can easily be used anywhere that accepts Visa for payments. This makes the card a good fit for someone who doesn’t want to go the usual route when it comes to converting cryptocurrency to a spendable asset, which can take several days.

Unlike most debit cards, the Crypto.com Rewards card can also earn rewards, but to qualify, you’ll need to stake (invest in and hold on to) at least $400 worth of the platform’s cryptocurrency token Cronos (CRO) for at least six months. Depending on how much CRO you stake, you could earn up to 5 percent on purchases and unlock additional benefits like discounts on popular subscription services and complimentary airport lounge access.

If you’re primarily looking to earn rewards, the Crypto.com card isn’t the best option. There are plenty of traditional credit cards that offer rewards and don’t require you to invest large amounts of money to qualify for the best features. Some even let you redeem your rewards for cryptocurrency which can be more valuable for people who want to earn as much in rewards as possible without having to tie up their funds in a  cryptocurrency exchange app on only one form of crypto.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Pros

  • Makes it easy to turn crypto assets into spendable currency you can use right away
  • Earn rewards on spending
  • No annual fee
  • No credit pull required
  • Get reimbursements for some purchases
  • Free ATM withdrawals each month, up to limits

Cons

  • Prepaid debit card and not a credit card
  • Requires staking of your crypto assets on most cards
  • Most benefits go to cards with high staking requirements
  • Low limits for free ATM withdrawal on lowest-tier card

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards rate: Varies by card tier; up to 2 percent with no stake; up to 5 percent with active stake
  • Welcome offer: N/A
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase intro APR: N/A
  • Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: N/A

Current welcome offer

The Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus. This isn’t unusual for a prepaid debit card, but it is one of the disadvantages of using a debit card vs. a credit card.

On top of usually being safer to use thanks to additional fraud protection features, credit cards may also offer a number of benefits that debit cards don’t have. This includes a welcome offer typically worth $200 to $500 or more after spending a set amount within a few months of opening an account.

Rewards rate

The Crypto.com card comes in five tiers. The most basic tier (Midnight Blue) is simply a debit card, which doesn’t earn rewards and won’t provide any additional features or benefits. Here are the tiers, required stake and rewards rates:

Card type CRO stake CRO Rewards(No stake) CRO Rewards (Active stake)
Midnight Blue $0 USD 0% 0%
Ruby Steel $400 USD 0% 1%
Royal Indigo/Jade Green $4,000 USD 0% 2%
Frosty Rose Gold/Icy White $40,000 USD 1% 3%
Obsidian $400,000 USD 2% 5%

Each additional tier requires active participation in the platform’s crypto staking program if you want to earn the tier’s highest rates. To stake, you’ll need to purchase and hold on to a specific amount of CRO in the app’s crypto wallet for 180 days. CRO is Crypto.com’s native token. Depending on the tier and how much CRO you stake, you unlock increased rewards rates along with discounts on subscription services.

It’s worth noting these rates are lower than previous rates offered by Crypto.com. Before Crypto.com changed its rewards program “to ensure long-term sustainability,” even the basic Midnight Blue tier earned 1 percent in CRO rewards, and the Obsidian tier earned as much as 8 percent.

From a card’s perspective, the rewards rates on the Crypto.com Rewards Visa are not standout features. For no annual fee and no upfront costs, traditional credit cards may offer flat rates of up to 2 percent and even higher rates in bonus categories. While a 5 percent rewards rate is quite impressive at the card’s high end, the $400,000 staking requirement is a big ask that not many will be able to afford. Even provided you can afford it, the volatility of cryptocurrency can quickly make the 5 percent you’ll earn as rewards pale when compared to the percentage of what you stand to lose (or gain, depending on which way crypto swings).

Once the 180 days are up, you can unstake the CRO tokens and move them out of your crypto wallet. But unstaking means you no longer have an active stake, which reduces your rewards rate and benefits.

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Bankrate insight
Staking comes with risks. Cryptocurrency is considered a volatile market, which means prices can significantly rise or drop quickly. After holding on to CRO for 180 days, there’s no telling how much the CRO token will be worth. That’s why you should research any crypto you plan on investing in to make sure you’re comfortable with any risk, and make sure you don’t invest more than you can comfortably afford to lose.

How you earn

The Crypto.com Rewards Visa rewards cardholders for purchases made following Merchant Category Codes outlined on their website. It earns rewards–not as cash back or points–but as CRO token based on the rewards tier you fall in at the time of purchase. One great benefit of this card is that rewards are reflected in your Crypto.com Wallet instantly following transactions. But if you do not actively participate in the staking program, only the two top tiers earn rewards on purchases.

Crypto.com also introduced a monthly cap on the amount of CRO rewards you can earn with certain tiers. Now, the Ruby Steel has a limit of $25, and the Royal Indigo/Jade Green has a limit of $50. So once you spend $2,500 in a month on either tier, you stop earning rewards.

How to redeem

The rewards earned with the Crypto.com Rewards card come in the form of CRO rewards, which are deposited into your account instantly and can be traded on the Crypto.com platform for other digital coins or turned into USD (or another fiat currency) for spending.

How much are the rewards worth?

The value of your CRO Rewards is tied to the value of the CRO token itself, so your rewards value will only be set once you trade your token on the Crypto.com App. If you do this as soon as you receive your card rewards, you should expect to exchange no more or less CRO than you earned in rewards. Currently, CRO is valued around $0.18 on Crpyto.com with a 90 day range between $0.16 and $0.50. CRO value peaked at nearly $0.90 in November of 2021.

For example, if you spend $1,000 at the Royal Indigo/Jade tier, you’ll earn 2 percent back as CRO, so that’s $20 worth of CRO. At its 90-day high of $0.50, that would be roughly 40 CRO tokens added to your Crypto.com wallet. But this doesn’t mean that your 40 CRO will continue to be worth a combined $20 despite having earned 2 percent back on your $1,000 worth of transactions. The value of each CRO token will change based on the volatility of the crypto market and could be worth far more or far less in a matter of hours.

Other cardholder perks

Various tiers of the Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card also come with cardholder perks that may be interesting and useful. But the card’s best benefits are only available to cardholders of the top-tier Obsidian, which requires a considerable staking threshold.

Monthly reimbursements and credits

Depending on the tier, you can receive reimbursements on one or more subscription services, such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime. This is one of the card’s best features and isn’t something you can find with other prepaid cards or even traditional credit cards, which typically only offer anywhere from 3 percent to 6 percent back on select streaming services. Depending on your tier, you may also be eligible for Expedia and Airbnb purchases. Here’s what each tier officers:

Card type 100% rebate for purchases 10% rebate for purchases
Midnight Blue N/A N/A
Ruby Steel Spotify N/A
Royal Indigo/Jade Green Spotify, Netflix N/A
Frosty Rose Gold/Icy White Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime Expedia
Obsidian Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime Expedia, Airbnb

Reimbursements are given out once per month per category and they are capped at the following amounts:

  • Airbnb: Up to 10% with a $100 limit
  • Amazon Prime: Up to $14.99 per month
  • Expedia: Up to 10% of each purchase with a $50 limit per month
  • Netflix: Up to $13.99 per month
  • Spotify: Up to $13.99 per month

LoungeKey access

Cardholders starting with the Royal Indigo/Jade Green tier get complimentary LoungeKey airport lounge access at over 1,100 lounges across more than 500 airports. Royal Indigo/Jade Green cardholders get a basic membership, while Frosty Gold Rose/Icy White and Obsidian cardholders can bring a guest.

Free ATM withdrawals

Each tier of the card comes with a certain amount of free ATM withdrawals every month, starting at $200 with the Midnight Blue card. From there, Ruby Steel members get $400 in ATM withdrawals, Royal Indigo/Jade Green qualify for $800 and Frosty Gold Rose/Icy White and Obsidian cardholders can withdraw up to $1,000 per month for free.

Bonus rewards

Frosted Rose Gold/Icy White and Obsidian cardholders who qualify for Crypto.com Private can also earn an additional 2 percent in interest on fixed-term deposits in their Crypto.com account. The interest will be paid in CRO.

Discounts at select merchants

Frosted Rose Gold/Icy White and Obsidian cardholders who qualify for Crypto.com Private are also eligible for a welcome pack filled with Crypto.com branded merchandise.

Private jet membership

Finally, Obsidian cardholders who qualify for Crypto.com Private can become eligible for a private jet membership. This benefit qualifies members for upgraded perks when they travel with Crypto.com’s preferred private jet partner.

Rates and fees

The Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card is a prepaid debit card, so you don’t have to worry about most common credit card fees. That means you won’t pay interest on your purchases or an annual fee.

Since the Crypto.com Rewards card is a crypto-linked Visa card, you’ll need to watch out for a number of fees that typically come with using a cryptocurrency exchange, including trading and withdrawal fees. And while it’s free to transfer money from your bank account, there’s a 3 percent fee for using your credit card to fund your prepaid card. Other fees associated with the different card tiers are listed in the Crypto.com app.

How the Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card compares to other crypto cards

The Crypto.com Rewards Visa is worth considering if you’re a cryptocurrency enthusiast who wants an easy way to use crypto for purchases. It has some impressive features beyond that but only for upper-tier members with large sums of cash.

For everyone else, there are more rewarding cards on the market geared toward crypto enthusiasts. Here’s a look at two rewards credit cards. Both are traditional credit cards that charge no annual fee, though you’ll have to watch out for interest rates and other fees. But you won’t have to tie up funds in staking to earn the highest rewards and the best perks. One earns crypto on every purchase and one lets you turn your rewards points into cryptocurrency.

Feature Crypto.com Rewards Visa BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Card SoFi Credit Card
Annual fee $0 $0 $0
Rewards rate 0% to 5% back on spending 1.5% back in crypto on every purchase, then 2% after you spend $30,000 on your card within a year Earn 3% cash back rewards for a year when you set up direct deposit with SoFi. After that, earn 2%* unlimited cash back on purchases when redeemed toward investing, saving, or paying down an eligible loan with SoFi. Plus, redeem points toward crypto.
Welcome offer None None Earn up to $300 when you apply, get approved, and set up direct deposit and maintain a qualifying direct deposit every month

Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card vs. BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Card

Due to regulatory restrictions, the BlockFi Rewards card isn’t available to residents of New York. But for everyone else, it earns 1.5 percent back unless you’re a big spender. If you spend $30,000 in a year, you graduate to 2 percent for the remainder of the year.

The 1.5 percent rate is similar to many rewards credit cards on the market, though the chance to earn a higher rate when you spend more is an interesting twist you won’t find with most rewards cards. But if you can qualify for a flat-rate credit card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, you won’t have to spend large sums before you earn 2 percent cash rewards on purchases.

The BlockFi card has a few additional perks. This includes discounts at select merchants and Visa Signature benefits, which gives you access to travel and purchase protections as well as luxury hotel benefits. These features can save users money and provide peace of mind when shopping and traveling and top what you would get in the bottom tiers of the Crypto.com Rewards card. But users who qualify for the lounge access and monthly subscription reimbursements won’t get as much value out of the Block Fi card and would be better staying with the Crypto.com card.

Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card vs. SoFi Credit Card

The SoFi Credit Card offers 3% cash back rewards for a year and a chance to earn a cash bonus of up to $300 when you set up direct deposit with SoFi. After that, earn 2% unlimited cash back on purchases.

Points can be redeemed for cryptocurrency, including many of the most popular types of crypto. If you want to redeem for something beyond crypto, you can redeem your points toward investing, saving, or paying down an eligible loan with SoFi. You can also redeem your rewards for a statement credit, but the redemption value drops from 1 cent per point to 0.5 cent.

The SoFi card is a World Elite Mastercard, so it comes with specific Mastercard benefits you won’t see with the Crypto.com card. This includes a free ShopRunner membership, $5 in Lyft credit for every three rides taken in a month, cell phone protection worth up to $1,000 and a three-month free trial of DashPass.

All this gives the SoFi card far more flexibility than the Crypto.com card. It may even provide better value for anyone stuck in the debit card’s lower tiers. But SoFi’s cryptocurrency trading fees of up to 1.25% could be too much of a downside for traders who prefer using a low-fee crypto exchange.

Which card should you pair the Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card with?

Since the Crypto.com Rewards Visa is a prepaid debit card and not a credit card, you may want to pick up a traditional credit card as well. Doing so can help you qualify for cardholder benefits you typically only get with credit cards, as well as zero fraud protection for unauthorized purchases. Meanwhile, a regular credit card can come in handy if you need access to a line of credit for emergency expenses, or if you need to consolidate and pay down high-interest debt with a balance transfer credit card.

The right type of credit card for you depends on your needs, so make sure to compare travel credit cards, cash back credit cards and 0 percent APR credit cards to find the right fit.

You can also check out other cryptocurrency credit cards, which are growing in popularity right now. Just make sure you have a handle on the type of crypto you’re earning, how it works and what you might be giving up by picking a crypto card over a traditional rewards credit card.

Bankrate’s Take—Is the Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card worth it?

The Crypto.com Rewards Visa Card can be worth it if you are looking for a place to park your cryptocurrency and you want easy access to your funds for spending. Just keep in mind that you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the best features, and locking up funds in a risky investment is required to earn the highest rewards.

Since traditional credit cards are more flexible and can provide easier access to rewards, Crypto enthusiasts may want to keep one of the lower-tier versions of this prepaid Crypto.com Visa card on hand for emergencies but use a traditional rewards credit card for all other spending.