Wirex is one of the longest-running crypto debit card options in existence. The company behind the Wirex Visa card was founded all the way back in 2014. Wirex has continued to offer their service throughout multiple booms and busts in the crypto market. Like many other crypto debit cards these days, the Wirex Visa card has a proprietary token attached to it in the form of WXT. The rewards made available with this card pale in comparison to what is available with other token-powered crypto debit cards such as the Crypto.com Visa card and the Swipe Visa card. The lack of high rewards for a card that requires users to stake WXT in the Wirex app makes the Wirex Visa card an unappealing option for most cryptocurrency users.
By: CryptoVantage Staff | Sep 21, 2020 | Modified Sep 30, 2020
|Cost||$1.50 monthly fee plus possible staking costs|
|Funding methods||Cryptocurrencies, SWIFT, Faster Payments, SEPA transfers, debit card, credit card|
|Cryptocurrencies supported||BTC, LTC, XRP, ETH, WXT, and DAI + more in specific regions|
|Rewards||Up to 1.5% cashback on in-store purchases, discounts on card fees|
|ATM Fees||$2.50 domestic, $3.50 international|
|Issuing bank||Contis Financial Services Ltd|
The Wirex Visa card is part of the greater Wirex application, which is targeted to people who often find themselves in different parts of the world and needing to access a variety of different currencies. Users are able to exchange currencies within the Wirex app, and they can move funds to their card account when they want to be able to access those funds through the Wirex Visa card. This crypto debit card comes with a cashback rewards program that can reach as high as 1.5%; however, the highest cashback rewards are only available to users who are willing to buy and hold Wirex’s propreitary WTX token.
The biggest benefit available to Wirex Visa card users is the potential for 1.5% cashback rewards. However, these rewards are handed out via a tier-based system. Users who are willing to hold more WXT tokens can gain access to higher cashback rewards. All of the rewards are paid out in Bitcoin. If you are unwilling to stake any WXT in the Wirex app, then you will be left with only 0.5% cashback on your purchases. It should also be mentioned that these rewards only apply to in-store purchases.
In addition to the cashback rewards, WXT holders are also able to get discounts on fees. These discounts can range from 25% to 100% depending on how much WXT is willing to hold in their Wirex app.
Of course, the potential benefits associated with the Wirex Visa card should not be mentioned without also mentioning the potential downside of being forced to hold WXT tokens. Due to the relatively small cashback rewards that are available with the Wirex Visa card, it is extremely risky to hold WXT in order to gain access to these rewards. These small cashback rewards may not make up for the loss in money that users experience in a situation where the WXT price crashes.
As alluded to already in this review, the WXT token will be a dealbreaker for many potential Wirex Visa card users. While other crypto debit cards also have proprietary tokens attached to them that make the use of their services quite the gamble, those other card providers are offering 5% or more cashback rewards on top of other potential benefits. This cryptocurrency card is also not available in some major countries such as Japan and the United States, so those potential users are left out in the cold.
It’s hard to figure out what kind of person will see the Wirex Visa card as the best option available to them. This crypto debit card has a combination of the worst aspects of some other cards on the market, as it requires users to stake WXT to gain access to rewards that really aren’t all that great in the grand scheme of things. The only scenario that may make sense for someone to get the Wirex Visa card is if they’re in a specific country where the fees and rewards with the Wirex card are the best available option to them. Remember, the user does not necessarily have to stake WXT if they don’t want to, so anyone considering all of the crypto debit card options currently on the market should keep that in mind during their search.
The issuer of the Wirex Visa card is Contis Financial Services Ltd. They are authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to issue e-money and are a member of Visa. Wirex Limited itself is regulated in the United Kingdom.
The fees for using the Wirex Visa card differ from region to region. There are three fee structure for Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world.
In Europe, there is a monthly card maintenance fee of 1 GBP or 1.20 EUR per month. In terms of making a deposit to the card, there is a 1% fee for digital currency deposits and fiat currency deposits are free. If the user wants to make a withdrawal via SWIFT, then there is a $15 charge. The fees for trades between fiat and crypto currencies is based on the OTC rate plus a commission taken by Wirex. This usually averages out to around 1.5%, which is a common rate for this kind of transfer. There is a 2.25 EUR fee for using an ATM to make a cash withdrawal in Europe, and this fee rises to $2.75 internationally. There is also a 3% fee on card payments that require a currency conversion.
In Asia, there tend to be lower fees. There is no monthly card maintenance fee and ATM fees are waived up to the first 400 SGD. After that, the ATM withdrawal fee rises to 2% of the transaction.
Similar fee structures for Wirex are found in the rest of the world; however, the Wirex Visa card is not available in these locations.
It should be noted that some of these fees can be diminished or even completely removed if the user is willing to hold WXT tokens. But again, this comes with high risk in terms of the volatility of the WXT price.
The Wirex Visa card is currently only available in countries around Europe and Asia. Here is a full list of countries where the card is available:
There are no limits on the amount of currency that can be held in the Wirex app or exchanged on the platform. In fact, there aren’t any limits on how large a digital currency-based deposit can be, but users should be aware that there is a daily $50,000 limit on digital currency withdrawals. Most fiat currency-based deposit methods come with a $50,000 per transaction and $500,000 daily limit. Up to $5,000 can be added to a Wirex Visa card user’s card balance per day, and there are no limits on ATM usage or card spending.
WXT is Wirex’s own proprietary token that was issued on top of the Stellar network. Users can stake WXT tokens in the Wirex app in order to gain access to more rewards and lower fees for their Wirex Visa card. The tiers for cashback rewards based on WXT holdings are as follows:
The tiers for discounts on Wirex Visa card fees for WXT stakers are as follows:
The discounts on card fees apply to exchange fees, bank transfer fees, withdrawal fees on crypto transfers and top ups made via a credit or debit card.
With any rewards scheme that is based on holding an application’s proprietary token, it’s important to remember that users can easily lose more money due to a fall in the price of the proprietary token than they’ll earn via the rewards and discounts enabled by holding the token in the first place.