Wirex is a London-based Fintech company that offers bank accounts and debit cards that reward you in Bitcoin, or their native currency WXT for spending on everyday items.
They offer a user-friendly app, similar to many neo banks with the added advantage of buying able to buy and exchange cryptocurrencies. Unlike Revolut and many others in the industry, their real cryptocurrency wallets which you can deposit and withdrawal from.
Their card features contactless abilities and can be spent anywhere that Visa is accepted.
Every time you spend, you’re notified that you’ve earned Bitcoin. Their base reward rate is 0.5% and if you stake their native currency, you can earn up to 1.5% on all purchases.
In addition to holding cryptocurrencies, you can also hold and spend fiat currencies like USD, EUR and GBP.
Wirex is available in Europe and the United Kingdom. They’re looking to expand to Asia and the US in the near future.
Wirex works just like any other bank account. It does, however, have two differences. It offers the ability to store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and a few others. It also rewards you in Bitcoin or WXT for spending on every day items.
When signing up to Wirex, you apply for a debit card which is shipped to you within a week. It’s free to order the card, however, you may need to pay a small monthly fee of £1 to have it. Once you activate the card, you’ll receive a wallet with the currency that is based on the country you reside in. For example, if you live in the UK, a GBP wallet will appear in your account.
You can simply top that wallet up with a wire transfer, debit or credit card. It’s free and near instantaneous. Once you’ve topped up, you need to transfer your GBP balance to your new debit card. When we tested this with people, this is usually what stumped them. It was clear and it’s definitely a design flaw. Once you’re used to it, it’s easy enough.
You’ll then be able to spend in any store that Visa is accepted. It works just like any other debit card, however, in our experience, they took security more seriously than most. Contactless payments often required chip-and-pin input instead which was pretty frustrating.
When we tested it, people were very surprised and happy that they were earning Bitcoin, instantly. To our surprise you could redeem them immediately and transfer to any wallet you like.
This experience felt like the future and a clear reason to use it over any other debit card. Only if you care about owning Bitcoin, of course.
It’s not as polished or user friendly as Revolut, however, it’s not miles away either. Apart from topping up the card, it’s fairly easy to use without too many nasty surprises. You can clearly see your transactions, your balances and your account information.
We reached out to make some recommendations on obvious improvements that are required and they said they were working on those.
Like all neobanks, we don’t recommend storing any funds you can’t afford to lose. While most are regulated, insured and more, they generally don’t have the same stringent practices in place that traditional banks have.
Unlike traditional banks, there’s no way to call in case of an emergency and they’re unlikely to have tried and tested processes in place to help deal with and mitigate risks.
In our experience, Wirex have gone above and beyond in regards to day-to-day use and security. They put restrictions on use which most banks don’t. While this can be frustrating, it’s also somewhat reassuring.
As they mature and adhere to all the stringent UK-based regulations that other banks adhere to, we expect Wirex to be as secure and trustworthy as any other. In the meantime, we’d recommend using it for small day-to-day transactions.
EEA (including UK): £1.75 / €2.25 / $2.50
International: £2.25 / €2.75 / $3.50
Bank transfer IN / OUT SEPA: Free
Bank transfer IN / OUT Faster transfer: Free
Bank transfer IN SWIFT: Free
Bank transfer OUT SWIFT: £12 13 $15
Crypto top-up by external card: 1%
With Wirex, you can earn Bitcoin based on what you spend at three different rates. They’re based on how much WXT (their native currency) you hold.
No WXT: 0.5%
500,000 WXT: 1.5%
100,000 WXT: 1%
50,000 WXT: 0.75%
Fiat exchange: Unlimited
Crypto transfer OUT: Per transaction: $10k
Credit / Debit card top up: $50 per day
Card spend limit per transaction: £7.5k €16k $20k
ATM withdrawals: $250 per day