In late 2020, Visa’s CEO weighed in on the future of a cashless society. The payments giant sees cryptocurrency as one of the major players in the future of payments.
Neobanks and some cryptocurrency exchanges are already giving people ways to buy with their coins. Just a few years ago, there weren’t too many cards out there. Today, though, you have plenty of choices.
If you’re looking for a crypto payments platform, then you might be wondering about Wirex vs Crypto.com, among others. We put together this complete review to help you make the right decision.
Let’s start by looking at the better known of these two platforms. Crypto.com has been around since 2016, with the mission of making cryptocurrency management simpler. To that end, it tries to make buying, selling, and even spending crypto easier.
Today, Crypto.com offers a complete ecosystem for managing your coins. It includes an Exchange, a DeFi Wallet, lending, staking, and more.
With the Crypto.com app, you can get access to more than 80 cryptocurrencies. The platform’s CRO Visa card allows you to spend with some of those currencies, but not all of them.
Last year, the company launched its non-custodial wallet. With it, you get control of your private keys. Finally, Crypto.com focuses on low fees. To that end, their cards don't have monthly fees.
Also read our detailed review: Crypto.com Review: Pros and Cons. Is Crypto.com safe?
Pros and Cons of Crypto.com Cards
Before we compare Crypto.com to Wirex, let’s consider Crypto.com on its own merits. Some of the pros include the totality of its ecosystem. If there’s something you want to do with crypto, you can do it here.
Another pro is the lack of monthly maintenance fees for Crypto.com cards. Most of the cards also have cashback options, which could help you earn more. While there are some strings attached, you may be able to justify the cost of the card with the perks they offer.
The platform is also highly regulated, which gives users more peace of mind. Better security keeps your coins and your card safe.
It also tends to be a beginner-friendly platform. If you’re learning about trading or anything else crypto, then Crypto.com provides a nice environment to do it. Other platforms can be more frustrating and might offer less support.
One of the other major drawbacks is that not all Crypto.com products are available around the world.
Wirex isn’t new to the cryptocurrency scene, although it’s not as well-known as Crypto.com. Part of the issue is that the company underwent a rebrand.
When it first started out, the company was known as E-coin. In 2016, they rebranded as Wirex.
One thing to note here is that Wirex is not a cryptocurrency trading platform, unlike Crypto.com. Instead, it’s better thought of as a new bank.
The two companies do offer some similar products. Like Crypto.com, Wirex has a wallet where you can store your coins. It also offers users cryptocurrency cards, which they can use to spend crypto.
Pros and Cons of Wirex
Wirex has a few strengths, which make it a competitive choice in the new banking sector. First, it offers you rewards when you use the Visa card. You can earn in either Bitcoin or WXT, the company’s native token.
Wirex also has some of the best wallet support for cryptocurrencies. You can add funds to the wallet by wire transfer, debit, or other credit cards.
The card itself is free to order. You may end up paying a small monthly fee to have it, depending on how much you use the card. In the grand scheme of things, these fees are quite low.
Wirex tends to take security quite seriously, although that can lead to frustration for users. Contactless payments sometimes need chip-and-pin inputs.
As strong as Wirex is in some areas, it has quite a lengthy list of downsides. First is a lack of support. The app doesn’t have a built-in chat function, and there isn’t even a phone number you can call to get help.
Moreover, the app itself isn’t well-designed, although the company says they’re working to improve it. Even the process itself is a bit confusing for first-time users. Many people who tested Wirex were stumped about how to get their funds to their card so they could use it.
Finally, Wirex is only available in the UK and Europe. Wirex has plans to expand into Asia and the United States soon, but users in these areas are currently out of luck.
Compare with the best crypto debit card alternatives
|Coinbase||Visa||Up to 4% XLM, 1% BTC||→|
|Crypto.com||Visa||1–5% CRO, free Spotify & Netflix||→|
|Wirex||Visa / Mastercard||0.5%–1.5% BTC||→|
|Binance||Visa||Up to 8% BNB||→|
|Uphold||Mastercard||2% crypto, 1% cash||→|
Wirex vs Crypto.com: Which Should You Choose?
At first glance, this match looks like an easy victory for Crypto.com. Although Crypto.com does have a lot of strengths, you shouldn’t count Wirex out just yet. There are a few reasons that some people may prefer Wirex to Crypto.com debit cards.
Let’s start by looking at the issue of availability. If you live in the United States or Asia, then Wirex simply isn’t an option for you (yet). Crypto.com offers its cards in the US, Asia, and Asia Pacific, in addition to Europe.
If you’re based in Europe or the UK, though, you might want to take a look at Wirex for at least a couple of reasons. First, it offers much lower fees than Crypto.com cards. You’ll be charged a small monthly fee.
Crypto.com cards have no monthly fees, but that doesn’t mean there's no cost to have them. The 2% cashback card comes with a requirement to stake 2,500 CRO. Depending on the current value of CRO, that could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars you need to be able to put up.
The Obsidian cashback card offers the best returns, but it also has the highest costs. You’ll need to stake 2.5 million CRO for this card. Depending on the trade costs, that can be upwards of $100,000.
Earning with Crypto.com vs Wirex
You might be able to justify the cost of some of the Crypto.com cards with their benefits. For example, the Obsidian card requires a large CRO stake, but it also provides you with access to the Crypto.com investment options.
With this program, you can earn around 20% per year on staked CRO coins. That’s $20,000 if you’re staking $100,000 worth of coins.
On top of that, the Obsidian card provides 8% cashback. That means you also earn when you pay for everyday purchases and bills with the card.
What about Wirex? Their cards let you earn Bitcoin, rather than cash. The rate you earn is based on how much WXT you hold in your account.
If you have no WXT, then you’ll earn 0.5% Bitcoin on every store purchase. The more WXT you have in your account, the higher the rate you’ll receive on your purchases. The highest rate is 1.5%.
To compare cash value, you’d have to look at what CRO is trading for versus Bitcoin. The long and short of it is that Wirex’s scheme doesn’t need you to stake coins. That means you’re earning more on smaller upfront investment.
Given that, you might want to consider a Wirex card if it’s available to you. Crypto.com offers a wider range of benefits with its cards, such as free Spotify Premium subscriptions, but you stand to gain a lot more with Wirex.
Which Is Best for Beginners?
If you’re starting out with a crypto card, then you might want to consider Crypto.com. It’s definitely the more user-friendly platform. It also offers a bit more support for its products.
There’s also the fact you can do everything crypto with the Crypto.com suite of products. With Wirex, you’ll need to buy coins elsewhere, then transfer them to your wallet. That means you need to pick an exchange platform.
With Crypto.com, you can do everything within the Crypto.com environment. That means you only need to learn one system to handle all aspects of your crypto accounts.
What About Security?
Security is a major concern for everyone when it comes to cryptocurrencies. It’s even more of a concern with crypto debit cards.
The good news is both Wirex and Crypto.com are well regulated. They follow strict rules, and they both offer good security. Wirex may have a bit of an edge, although their strict approach sometimes creates a bit of red tape for people looking to use their cards.
Fees, Currencies, and More
We already looked at the fees for having a card with Crypto.com and Wirex. Both charge some fees to use the card.
Crypto.com doesn’t charge ATM fees, so long as the withdrawal is within the card’s limit. Wirex does have ATM fees, which vary across currencies. Both have interbank exchange fees. Wirex also charges to top-up the card.
Both companies support several cryptocurrencies on their cards. Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and several others are available.
Do More With Your Coins
When it comes to making a choice between Wirex vs Crypto.com debit cards, it depends on what you want.
So long as you’re not restricted by geography, the Wirex card offers a great plan to earn. Crypto.com is a more integrated platform and it offers a wider range of perks, although the earning potential is less.
Wirex and Crypto.com are far from the only companies offering crypto debit cards these days though. If you’re not sure either of these is right for you, then check out some of our other reviews!
The right crypto debit card is out there, and we can help you find it.