How Does Crypto.Com Card Work: Ultimate Explainer

Published: May 1, 2024 | Last Updated: May 1, 2024

Hudson Kisia

Hudson Kisia has been researching and writing content for ElementalCrypto since 2022. He has been writing about crypto, blockchains, and mining for more than 5 years now.

In this post I explain how the crypto.com card works.

The Crypto.com card is a special facility available to crypto holders with a Crypto.com account to effectively and efficiently use their crypto holdings.  

The unique features and benefits of this card make it imperative for me to prepare this guide so that both cryptocurrency users and crypto enthusiasts can tap into these immense benefits.

The Crypto.com card guide

Crypto.com Visa debit cards
Crypto.com Visa debit cards

The following are preliminaries to this guide:

1. A brief review

In this guide, I am going to focus on Crypto.com card review. In exploring the nature of the Crypto.com debit card, I will explain the workings of the Crpyto.com visa card, the  Crypto.com card tiers, the features and benefits of this card, and its pros and cons.

Furthermore, while guiding you on the factors to consider in choosing not just the right card, but also the best crypto card from Crypto.com

2. The layout

I have divided this guide into 5 major sections to make it easy to understand how the Crypto.com card works. These sections are:

  • The nature of the Crypto.com card
  • The workings of the Crypto.com card
  • Features and benefits of the Crypto.com card
  • Pros and cons of the Crypto.com card
  • How to choose your Crypto.com card

Let us explore each of these sections one by one.

The nature of Crypto.com card

Crypto.com card tiers
Crypto.com card tiers

Crypto cards have become a popular alternative to traditional payment cards. Cryptocurrency cards mirror these traditional cards in a lot of ways.

The following key points will enable you to understand the nature of the Crypto.com card:

1. The Crypto.com card mirrors traditional cards

Just as we have traditional debit cards we also have crypto debit cards. And just as we have traditional credit cards we also have crypto credit cards.

Apart from the regular debit card, there is also the prepaid debit card. Most crypto cards fall within the prepaid debit card category. The crypto alternative to regular credit cards is still uncommon. Nonetheless, as the fintech gains ground, this will soon be common.

Reward cards are also common. Crypto alternatives to traditional reward cards are the crypto-rewards credit cards, though, they have yet to gain significant traction.

2. The Crypto.com card syncs with traditional cards

Thanks to the collaboration between major traditional card merchants and crypto exchanges, the boundary between traditional finance (TradFi) and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is quickly becoming erased. Major crypto exchange platforms such as Crypto.com, Conbase, and others have collaborated with major traditional financial services providers such as Visa, Mastercard, Swipe, and American Express to issue crypto cards that allow users to automatically convert cryptocurriencies to fiat currency at the point-of-sale (PoS) without going through an exchange platform.

The most popular cards borne out of this collaboration include the Coinbase card and Crypto.com Visa Card. These are some of the best bitcoin debit cards in the crypto market today.

3. The Crypto.com has a native token

The Crypto.com debit card has a native token – the CRO token. This token is also the native token on the Crypto.com exchange platform.

The workings of Crypto.com card

The best way to understand the workings of a Crypto.com card is to break it down into its constituent mechanisms.

The main mechanisms are:

  • The token exchange mechanism
  • The funding mechanism
  • The usage mechanism
  • The reward mechanism

Let us explore how each of these mechanisms works:

2. The token exchange mechanism

The Crypto.com debit card uses the CRO token as a medium of exchange between various digital currency pairs. There are two sides to this token exchange mechanism – the crypto side, and the fiat side:

  • On the crypto side, the token exchange mechanism works by converting between various crypto pairs such as BTC-CRO, ETH-CRO, USDT-CRO, etc.
  • On the fiat side, the token exchange mechanism works by converting between the native token (CRO) and other crypto-fiat pairs such as CRO-USD, CRO-GBP, CRO-JPY, etc.

2. The funding mechanism

Your Crypto.com visa card is funded through CRO staking. Thus, on the Crypto.com exchange platform, you stake the amount of CRO that you would like to be loaded onto your card.

The amount on the card that is available for you to use is equivalent to your CRO stake.

3. The usage mechanism

The usage mechanism is triggered at the point of sale (PoS). At the PoS, automatic conversion takes place depending on the currency demanded at the PoS and the form of cryptocurrency in which your crypto holdings are denominated.

For example, if your crypto assets are in the form of bitcoins, the following process will take place:

  1. The fiat money (e.g., USD) being demanded at the PoS will be converted into an equivalent amount of CRO.
  2. Your crypto.com crypto wallet will be deducted an amount of bitcoins equivalent to the worth of CRO.

However, through CRO staking, step (ii) above is already done in advance. This is the easy way, the most convenient way, and the best option to quicken the conversion process at the time of purchase.

4. The reward mechanism

Like most traditional payment cards, crypto cards also have a cashback rewards program – save for the fact that they are crypto rewards.  

The cryptocurrency rewards provided by the Crypto.com Visa card are in the form of CRO rewards. The reward rates vary depending on the type of Crypto.com debit card that you hold.

Crypto.com has 5 types of debit crypto cards based on tiers. Thus, we have first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-tier cards each having a different set of reward rates. We are going to explore each of these reward rates under ‘The unique tier-specific features and benefits’ in the next section.

The features and benefits

Any Crypto.com card has several features and benefits. In this section, I am going to show you how to leverage the various features and benefits of the Crypto.com card.

I divide these into three categories:

  • General features and benefits
  • Unique tier-specific features and benefits
  • Special features and benefits

Let’s explore each of these three types of features and benefits:

1. The general features

Crypto.com Visa debit card has the following main features:

(a) CRO staking

The first four tiers are loaded through CRO staking. Thus, the amount of fiat money available on the card is equivalent to the amount of CRO stake.

Staking is done through the Crypto.com website or the Crypto.com app.  

(b) Earnings

The major form of earning is interest on the CRO stake.

(c) Reimbursement perks

Crypto.com debit card holders get reimbursed for their expenditures on eligible purchases through cashback rewards program. The type and amount of perk depend on the card tier level.

(d) Multiple digital currencies

As indicated by the usage mechanism, the Crypto.com Visa debit card supports multiple digital currencies. Also see Crypto.com Exchange and Wallet Desktop App Explainer.

Thus, whether your digital assets are in bitcoins, ethers, USDC, or other supported cryptocurrencies, they can be converted to fiat money via CRO staking.

2. The unique tier-specific features and benefits

Crypto.com card tiers comparison
Crypto.com card tiers comparison

The unique features and benefits of each Crypto.com card are bundled according to the tier level to which the card belongs.

At the time of writing this guide, the following are the five Crypto.com card tier levels plus their features and benefits:

(a) The first-tier cards

Crypto.com Obsidian crypto card
Crypto.com Obsidian crypto card

This is the crème-de-la-crème of the Crypto.com cards. This is the top-tier premium level. The following are its unique features and benefits:

  • Card name(s): Obsidian (this is the only card in this top-tier cards category)
  • CRO staking requirement: $400,000 worth of staking
  • CRO rewards: 5% earnings on active stake
  • Benefits/perks: 2% earnings on card spending, free ATM withdrawals for up to $1,000 per month, and a monthly reimbursement on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify subscription services.

(b) The second-tier cards

Crypto.com Frosted Rose Gold and Icy White crypto cards
Crypto.com Frosted Rose Gold and Icy White crypto cards

This is the second-highest tier of the Crypto.com cards. It portends the following unique features and benefits:

  • Card name(s): Frosted Rose Gold and Icy White
  • CRO Staking requirement: $40,000 worth of staking
  • CRO rewards: 3% earnings on active stake
  • Benefits/perks: 1% earnings on card spending, free ATM withdrawals for up to $1,000 per month, and a monthly reimbursement on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify subscription services.

(c) The third-tier cards

Crypto.com Royal Indigo and Jade Green crypto cards
Crypto.com Royal Indigo and Jade Green crypto cards

This is the middle-tier card that strikes a balance between cost and benefits. Here are its major card details:

  • Card name(s): Royal Indigo and Jade Green
  • CRO Staking requirement: $4,000 worth of staking
  • CRO rewards: 2% earnings on active stake with a maximum cap of $50 per month
  • Benefits/perks: free ATM withdrawals for up to $1,000 per month, a monthly reimbursement on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify subscription services for the first 6 months with a maximum cap of $800 per month.

(d) The fourth-tier cards

Crypto.com Ruby Steel crypto card
Crypto.com Ruby Steel crypto card

This is the first card that has a below $1,000 staking requirement. While it is affordable, it significantly squeezes the benefits.

Here are some of the card details:

  • Card name(s): Ruby Steel Card
  • CRO Staking requirement: $400 worth of staking
  • CRO rewards: 2% earnings on active stake with a maximum cap of $25 per month
  • Benefits/perks: free ATM withdrawals for up to $400 per month

(e) The fifth-tier cards

Crypto.com Moonlight Blue crypto card
Crypto.com Moonlight Blue crypto card

This is the lowest tier of the Crypto.com cards. This tier level boasts the following unique features and benefits:

  • Card name(s): Midnight Blue (this is the only card in this bottom-tier cards category)
  • CRO Staking requirement: Nil
  • CRO rewards: Nil
  • Benefits/perks: free ATM withdrawals for up to $200 per month

3. Special features and benefits

These are premium features and additional benefits that cut across multiple tiers. These include:

(a) Crypto.com Private services

Crypto.com Private
Crypto.com Private

These private service benefits cater to the interests of first and second-tier card holders. These perks include:

  • Priority customer service
  • Access to top industry events with priority granted to holders of the Obsidian card
  • CRO’s OTC block trades
  • Priority access to research reports from Crypto.com
  • Special assistance on matters regarding the inheritance of assets held in custody by Crypto.com
  • Exclusive Visa card benefits

(b) Priority Pass at Airport lounge access

Crypto.com Priority Pass
Crypto.com Priority Pass

The first, second, and third-tier cards get to enjoy Priority Pass benefits.

As part of the Priority Pass benefits, the first and second-tier card holders have no visit limitations at the airport lounge. In addition, they have the privilege of bringing with them an additional guest to the lounge.

The Priority Pass for third-tier cards is limited to four visits per year with no free guest.

(c) Super earnings

Crypto.com Super Interest earnings
Crypto.com Super Interest earnings

The beneficiaries of these super earnings are the first and second-tier card holders. These super earnings are based on the Crypto Earn program and are subject to the following terms:

  • An additional 8% interest on fixed-term deposits. They are paid in CRO and do not apply to CRO deposits.
  • An increased account limit. That is, $2 million for the first-tier card holders and $1 for the second-tier card holders.

The pros and cons of Crypto.com card

While it is natural for you to take advantage of the pros of the Crypto.com card, it is equally important to be aware of its cons.

The following are some of the pros and cons of the Crypto.com card:

1. Pros

Here are some of the advantages that Crypto.com Visa cardholders have over other Crypto.com users:

  • Can be used to carry out everyday purchases
  • Cash withdrawals at all Visa-branded ATMs worldwide. However, this may be subject to regional restrictions.
  • Reimbursable ATM withdrawal fees. However, this is subject to capping depending on the type of Crypto.com Visa card.
  • A monthly statement of your everyday transactions using the card. This enables you to analyze, adjust, and monitor your spending habits. An up to date information can be accessed via the Crypto.com mobile app.
  • Special perks on eligible purchases
  • Potential capital gains on your CRO stake.
  • No need to link your bank account. Also see how to withdraw from crypto.com to your bank account.
  • No annual fee

2. Cons

While the Crypto.com Visa debit card has many advantages, the following are the major drawbacks:

  • Except for the fifth-tier cards, the Crypto.com debit card can only be funded through CRO Staking. The mean amount of perks for the fifth-tier cards means that those who do not have a CRO stake are disadvantaged.
  • Higher rates for ATM withdrawals
  • Higher tiers require an exorbitant amount of CRO stake.
  • The opportunity cost of a large amount of CRO staking requirement tends to negate the higher earnings expected by cryptocurrency holders at the higher tiers.

How to choose your Crypto.com card

As identified earlier in this guide, Crypto.com has four major card tiers. How do you choose the best?

The following are the key factors to consider in choosing your preferred Crypto.com card:

  • The reputation of the card issuer – Crypto.com has partnered with Visa global financial institution which is the main card issuer of the Crypto.com Visa debit card.
  • The staking requirement – you need to carry out a cost-benefit analysis of a given card. CRO staking is an opportunity cost. A simple question to ask is, what if I put the money that I ought to stake into a fixed deposit account, would the interest amount be more or less than the interest earnings on staking plus benefits? As a rule of thumb, if the opportunity cost of staking is higher than the benefits, don’t stake.
  • The usage applications – it is a good idea to consider how a particular card benefits you in the real world.
  • Impact on credit score – consider whether using a particular card has a positive or negative impact on your credit score.

Hudson Kisia has been researching and writing content for ElementalCrypto since 2022. He has been writing about crypto, blockchains, and mining for more than 5 years now.

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