Cashless is the buzzword today. But the pains of dealing with currency exchange fees, carrying thick bundles of cash around overseas and converting leftover currencies back at a loss still exist. This recently-launched prepaid card with cryptocurrency capabilities seeks to eliminate that.
It would be nice if we all could convert our crypto assets into everyday transactions and purchase goods with bitcoin and other altcoins. Well, now that is possible. Just get a cryptocurrency debit card and buy also non-virtual goods (such as coffee, beer, clothes, and so on) with your crypto assets. This is a general overview of MCO Visa Card – one of the many cryptocurrency debit cards.
What is MCO Visa Card?
First of all, the MCO Card is not a conventional credit card. It is a mobile wallet that has an attached Visa Card that users can use to make payments; in essence, it is very similar to the MCAs (Multi-Currency Accounts) that are all vogue these days.
To take the comparison with MCAs a step further, the MCO Card also makes it possible for users to hold various currencies in their wallet, with one key difference being that although YouTrip and the like are primarily branded as foreign currency wallets, MCO Card is a mobile cryptocurrency wallet, allowing users to buy, hold, and convert between various cryptocurrencies as well as national currencies.
The wallet can hold many kinds of cryptocurrencies, including well-known ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and also other less prominent ones. It is vital to note that MCO itself is also a cryptocurrency that was created by crypto.com, the company behind the MCO Card.
It is referred to as the free metal card for your on-the-go lifestyle. Although it looks like a traditional credit or debit card, it doesn’t work like one. It is more like a prepaid card that also has a multi-currency e-wallet function, which cardholders can access and track their transactions through its app.
The MCO Visa Card has four tiers, each boasting different benefits. The tiers are:
- Obsidian Black
- Royal Indigo/Jade Green
- Ruby Steel and
- Midnight Blue
All cards come in metal form except the free Midnight Blue. To apply for the metal MCO Visa Cards, the cardholder is required to lock up a certain amount of MCO Tokens, a type of decentralized virtual currency.
MCO Visa Card comes as a result of the rebranding of the Monaco Card. The rebranding transition was completed in September 2018 and the card is now shipping in, among other places, the USA, Singapore, and the countries in European countries.
Currently, MCO Visa Card supports the following cryptos: BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, MCO, BAT, BNB, TUSD and ENJ, but it will most likely support even more cryptos in the future. With respect to fiat currencies, the card supports GBP, HKD, EUR, JPY, SGD and AUD. The MCO Visa Card is, as you might have expected, a Visa card, meaning that it is accepted everywhere around the world.
Among the newer, unconventional cards that are available today (e.g. GrabPayMastercard, YouTrip, and Transferwise card) the MCO Visa Card is probably still quite a bit less well-known, and yet we have also seen and heard quite a bit of interest about it, with its really impressive marketing of up to 5 percent cashback, 10 percent rebates on Airbnb and Expedia, and 100 percent cash back on Netflix on Spotify.
Five Various MCO Card Tiers
Ranked from the highest to the lowest, below are the tiers of the MCO Card
- Obsidian Black
- Frosted Rose Gold / Icy White
- Royal Indigo / Jade Green
- Ruby Steel
- Midnight Blue
The MCO Card comes in 5 different tiers, with great rewards as your stake increases.
But what is the MCO Stake?
Simply put, it is a minimum deposit of MCO (the cryptocurrency) that you have to hold in the wallet to get the promised rewards. Abiding to credit card comparisons, this is similar to the StanChart Unlimited Combo 29, where you can get up to 5 percent cash back on your Unlimited Card (Rather than the regular 1.5 percent) IF you are willing to keep $100,000 in a linked StanChart deposit account.
If you do not hold the appropriate MCO stake, you will rather get the non-stacking rewards rate. If you compare against the staking benefits, you will see that all the great rebate options on Netflix/Spotify/Expedia/Airbnb go away and the MCO reward rate drops to a paltry rate of between 1 to 2 percent, nothing to shout about given that the StanChart Unlimited card already offers 1.5 percent cash back.
Although crypto.com has every right to modify rates at any period, the monthly rebates are as follows:
- Spotify: USD 9.99
- Netflix: USD 12.99
- Expedia 10%: USD 50
- Airbnb 10%: USD 100
Have it in mind that:
- The above benefits are not due to the partnership between crypto.com and those companies. crypto.com identifies the rebate by the merchant name or transaction ID.
- The Spotify account requires to change the country setting. If you don’t feel like changing it, you can make use of PayPal to bypass it (use card issuer’s exchange rate). This is because Spotify binds the country setting and the country of the card issuer for the availability of charge.
- After the MCO locking period, you can downgrade the tier. You will still have the benefits of 0 fee ATM withdrawal, interbank exchange rates, LoungeKey and a physical card. However, the remaining benefits will be downgraded to the corresponding tier. For instance, 500 MCO tier downgrades to 50 MCO tier, you will be losing the Netflix rebate and dropping the cashback rate from 3 percent to 2 percent.
- To gain free access to business launches, use loungeKey. Remember to register it before making use of it. There are some differences between 500 MCO and 5K+ MCO tier card. You can notice that the 500 MCO tier is 100 lounges lesser on the official site. Before using the lounge, the counter will put 3.25 USD on hold for a while.
- Every card type should stack a corresponding amount of MCO for 6 months. In this period, the MCO can’t be unlocked. After that, you can unlock it anytime you want. However, if you unlock the MCO, you will be losing lots of benefits that come with staking (such as cashback, Spotify, and so on). So, the best hedging strategy is to use the below methods: downgrade and stop-loss (i.e. sell the MCO close to the cost price).
- Netflix and Spotify can both use the plan you desire, for instance, a family plan, but there are limitations. If you exceed the limitation, you need to pay the remainder of the amount. Except for the rebates, you are entitled to a certain amount of cashback with the payment you make.
- The Visa card is valid for 4 years.
- You can upgrade your card tier at any period, including the locking period, for a charge of 50 USD. The advantages and the physical card will be replaced.
MCO Token Ecosystem
The current benefits of stacking MCO are all linked to crypto.com services such as:
- Earn service (such as lending): Higher lending interest rate
- Credit service (such as a loan): Lower loan interest rate
- Invest service (such as financial management): Half of the fee comes from profit
The Earn service provides 8 percent APR with a flexible period (which can let you withdraw anytime) or 12 percent APR with three months of being locked. It’s still a bit like the Celsius platform so there is no obvious difference. Most people prefer to put money in a low-risk platform, such as Celsius, or the high-risk one, such as Bitfinex (both contained referral codes).
Generally, those services are more elastic and it is not advisable to put all your eggs in one basket. If you use the above crypto.com services, you should count this kind of risk in the below evaluation.
From the point of security, crypto.com does a pretty great job at it. They have a page showing their securities including code auditing, the multi-sig wallet from Ledger Vault, penetration testing, the security bounty program at HackerOne, and so on.
MCO Visa Card Fees
There are some people that consider the MCO Visa Card charges/fees very competitive. There is no issuance fee. There is no monthly fee (0.00 USD). There is not even any commission on spending. This means that if you buy a nice sweater for USD 100, this will reduce your crypto assets at only USD 100.
There is no minimum or maximum deposit. The only fee we have been able to find (comparable to other cards) is the ATM withdrawal fee. There is no such fee for withdrawals up to USD 200. But thereafter, the fee is 2.00 percent.
The card has a crypto cash-back function, which means that for everything you spend, you receive 1.00 percent back in the form of crypto.com tokens (MCO Tokens). There are six card types (beginning from the least exclusive), where the deal you get is the best for the most exclusive.
Charges for the various card types are:
- Midnight Blue (no purchase of MCO Tokens needed)
- Ruby Steel (purchase of at least 50 MCO Tokens – to be held for no less than 6 months – needed)
- Jade Green (purchase of at least 500 MCO Tokens – to be held for no less than 6 months – needed)
- Royal Indigo (purchase of at least 500 MCO Tokens – to be held for no less than 6 months – needed)
- Icy White (purchase of at least 5,000 MCO Tokens – to be held for no less than 6 months – needed)
- Obsidian Black (purchase of at least 50,000 MCO Tokens – to be held for no less than 6 months – needed)
Although a lot of people might be perfectly fine with the Midnight Blue card for normal use, those that want to take advantage of the better benefits offered in the higher tiers such as 100 percent rebate for Netflix and Spotify and airport lounge access might want to consider upgrading their cards.
To progress up the card tiers, you need to first stake a virtual token known as MCO – which means holding MCO locked in your wallet for a specific period.
Depending on which card tier you decide to make use of, you need to buy and stake the needed amount of MCO from the app or transfer the tokens in from another exchange, choose the Upgrade option in the app, select the respective card you would like to order and then proceed with staking.
This process will lock your MCO tokens in the app for some time, and if you subsequently decide to upgrade your card again during this time, your six-month timer will reset. They will then close your current MCO card before reissuing you with a new card with a different number. Take note of the $50 card reissuing fee that will be charged to your old debit card.
Remember that you have to keep on staking and locking up your MCO tokens if you wish to continue enjoying the purchase rebates of the MCO Card. This will also grant you the rebate percent tier. If you decide not to keep on staking MCO tokens after the initial lock-up, then your reward tiers reduce to a maximum of 2 percent rebate and there will be no purchase rebates for Spotify, Netflix, Expedia, etc.
How Can you Get MCO Tokens for Staking?
The MCO token can either be bought through their crypto.com app or through other common crypto exchanges such as Binance, OKEX, and Bittrex.
Due to the fact that the token is traded publicly, it is subjected to price volatility, which means that the value of the token can change over time. This is a risk that you are undertaking when staking MCO tokens.
Why should you Stake MCO for Better Rewards?
Staking MCO means that they will be locked in the app for the next six months. The price of the token can also fluctuate, which means they could be potentially worth less than when you had bought them. But there are advantages of staking these tokens, which can be broken down into the different products they offer in their ecosystem, such as:
- Cards: Reserve and upgrade a higher tier MCO Visa card
- App: Airdrops for tokens and earn referral rewards
- Earn: Earn higher interest on other staked tokens/coins
- Credit: Borrow cheaper and get instant loans with MCO collateral
- Invest: Payless in fees when investing on their platform
More on MCO Rewards
- Transaction Rebates
MCO rewards are somewhat like a credit card cashback or rebates program, where you will get a rebate with every transaction that you make with the MCO card in the form of MCO tokens – paid into your crypto wallet within the app. Even though this is not cash, MCO tokens have a value attached to them which can be sold in the market or converted to for cash.
For instance, if you make a $2 purchase at Burger King and paid using your MCO Visa Card at the contactless terminal. You will instantaneously be given a 0.0054 MCO rebate (similar to $0.04), which is a 0.04/2 = 2 percent rebate.
Two percent rebate is a higher rate of a rebate than what most unlimited cashback cards you see in the market are offering (they usually offer between 1.5 to 1.6 percent). You also don’t have to pay any credit card annual fees or meet any minimum monthly spend or wait till the following month to receive your rebate. The trade-off is that you can only get your rebates in MCO tokens and you currently can only convert your MCO tokens into fiat (SGD) in 4.5 MCO (approximately $33) blocks.
- Purchase Rebates
For higher tier MCO cards, you will have the option to get a 100 percent rebate for your current subscriptions by paying with the subscription using your MCO Visa Card. The website will deposit the MCO equivalent of the rebate to your MCO Wallet after you’re charged, but you need to maintain sufficient balance in your MCO Visa Card for the deduction.
Have it in mind that the merchants (such as Netflix and Spotify) do not have any kind of partnership with crypto.com, so there is always a risk of them pulling or modifying the offer at their discretion. They might be subsidizing the cost of acquisition to make it more worthwhile to stake MCO for such benefits.
Experts agree that the 50 MCO (approximately $250 stake) upgrade tier makes the most sense if you only want to quickly recoup your initial investment through Spotify purchase rebates. If you already own and are paying for a Spotify family plan, then you can break-even on your investment within 16 months at current prices, less if you manage to stake MCO cheaper.
Analyzing MCO Visa Card (1 MCO ≅ 4 USD)
Let’s assume that we spend 6,999 USD yearly. The real spending varies from person to person. You should change the number in the following evaluation.
Plastic Blue Card: 0 risks with 1 percent cash back. You can save 66.66 USD annually.
Ruby teel (50 MCO ≅ 200 USD) (The best deal): You’ll breakeven beginning from the 8th month, and save up to 103.2 USD in the first year. Next, you’ll save 253.2 USD yearly.
The best deal is in the metal cards. After staking 8 months of 50 MCO, you won’t need to worry about the MCO price anymore and rather enjoy your 2 percent cashback with free Spotify.
Royal Indigo/Jade Gree (500 MCO ≅ 2,000 USD) (Sweatspot): By using the downgrade method, you can breakeven in the 6th month, if the MCO price isn’t lower than 3.51 USD. You save 665.74 USD annually.
For instance, if you travel once a year and use this service twice. The value of LoungeKey is difficult to be evaluated. We counted it as 35 USD because it’s close to the price when you bring a guest. The MCO price is stable at around 4 USD
- First method:
You can break-even in the 3rd year and save 47.2 USD. Save 665.74 USD annually afterward. This period is too long, we cannot be assured that the advantages remain unchanged in the future and it’s too risky, so we make use of a different method to evaluate. Downgrade to 50 MCO tier after an unlocked period (6 months). Only Netflix, interest and cashback change, other benefits are retained (LoungeKey, ATM, and so on).
- Second method:
This is called the downgrade strategy. You should break-even in the 6th month, only when MCO price above 3.51 USD.
In the 6th month, you lose 1,582.13 USD. At that time, you downgrade to 50 MCO tier and sell the rest 450 MCO. To cover the loss, price of 1 MCO most above. Break-even in the 6th month, only when MCO price stays above 3.51 USD.
And in a situation where the price drops below 3 USD in the 6th month, you downgrade to 50 MCO tier and sell the MCO at 3 USD each. Break-even in the 18th month (one and a half years) and save 21.07 USD. It is a middle-risk tier because you may have a low likelihood to lose money.
Just as noticed, MCO price is the same as other altcoins, they all follow the BTC price. But it is good to see that the MCO price moves a bit from the index of altcoin now.
It can be as a result of the fact that crypto.com has a high issuing rate in APAC and the US recently. Additionally, they are going to issue the card to EU users in 2020 and then in Canada. Thus, you can evaluate your own risk. If you think the following six months is a bull market, I suggest you apply for the 500 MCO tier. Rather, if you think it will be a bear market or you don’t want to let the price bother you, the best option is 50 MCO tier.
Icy White/Frosted Rose Gold/Obsidian Black (≥ 5K MCO) (Highly Risky): It is extremely risky that most people don’t evaluate it. Crypto.com still has not announced the service of MCO private or any reliable benefits.
Things You Should Know Before Making use of the Card
You may think that MCO Visa Card can automatically exchange your crypto to fiat while paying the bill, but that is not really the case, you need to manually sell your crypto before spending it. I guess this is kind of a weird design because of the high volatility of the crypto. This design makes it possible for the users to select the appropriate timing to exchange the crypto to fiat. Compared to TenX, their flow is better. Perhaps the flow of the MCO Visa Card is the better choice when there is no option for stable coins.
Types of Wallet from crypto.com
- (Crypto) Wallet: Crypto stays here
- Fiat Wallet: Support lots of fiat currency
- Card (Wallet): Support a few fiat currencies for the card only
- Enables wire transfer to deposit and withdraw the fiat (Now support 21 currencies)
- Enables currency exchange in Fiat Wallet only
- Buy the crypto and store it in Crypto Wallet
- Spend the fiat in the Card Wallet through the MCO Visa Card
- Currency exchange in Card Wallet only (APAC: EUR, AUD, HKD, JPY, SGD, and GBP)
- Deposits can only be done through Crypto Wallet or Credit/Debit Card (Fee: for the Credit card is 1 percent, for the debit card is 0 percent. In Taiwan, we have another cross border fee which is 1.5 percent)
- The only fiat currency you can deposit in Card Wallet is SGD. For other fiat currencies, you can exchange by SGD. Just like if you intend to travel to Japan in the future. You can exchange SGD to JPY when the rate is favorable.
- Withdrawal needs an ATM machine that supports Visa.
- The place to store your crypto
- Buy the crypto through other cryptos, Fiat Wallet or credit/debit card (both fees are 3.5%. Also, the bank cross-border transaction fee in Taiwan is about 1.5%) is valid.
- Sell the crypto to exchange for other cryptos, Fiat Wallet and Card Wallet are available.
- There’s only an internal transfer function for the Pay service so it’s on-chain action (with fee) if you withdraw the crypto.
The important part about this is that:
- People always confuse Card Wallet with Fiat Wallet because they both store fiat currency. But note that they are not interchangeable.
- In-App, the fiat from the Card Wallet can’t be transferred to other App wallets. You can only spend it through the card or withdraw it from the ATM.
- To sum it up, before you use the MCO Visa Card, you should first deposit money into your Card Wallet.
There are two options to go about this:
- Sell the crypto from the Crypto Wallet to Card Wallet. Currently only support ETH, LTC, XRP, BTC, and MCO. For the APAC region, there’s no option for stable coins but the US card has this option. Every crypto has its minimal deposit amount, like MCO, which is 4.5.
- By using credit/debit cards to make deposits in the Card Wallet (It is suitable for people who are not quite familiar with the crypto world). Fee for a debit card is 0 but the credit card is 1 percent. Also, mind the bank cross-border transaction fee. In Taiwan, it is about 1.5 percent.
How can you top up the MCO Card?
Under the MAS Payment Services Act, you can only hold up to $5000 in your MCO Visa Card wallet, and spend $30,000 from it annually. You also cannot make any ATM withdrawals – this is the same for all other similar cards such as Revolut Visa, GrabPay MasterCard, and so on.
To top up your MCO Visa Card, you can go to the Card page, click on top up and choose if you would like to top up by Crypto (ETH, LTC, XRP, BTC, MCO) or Credit or Debit card – a new feature created in November 2019.
You can also top up and convert into other currencies (HKD, EUR, AUD, JPY, GBP) from the Card page at the interbank exchange rate, up to limits set by each tier of MCO Visa card. The Midnight Blue card has a $2000 monthly exchange limit to exchange currencies using interbank exchange rate, and there is a 0.5 percent surcharge for exchanges above the monthly limit.
Some people prefer to use bank debit cards for topping up SGD in the MCO Visa Card Wallet because they have no processing fees associated with them. If you top up with credit cards, a 1 percent processing fee on the top-up amount applies.
Are there Risks of Using the MCO Visa Card?
We have discussed quite a bit about the features and benefits of the MCO Visa Card. But there are some small risks particularly when it comes to staking MCO.
The price of MCO goes up and down regularly as it gets traded on big exchanges worldwide. Within the past year, we have seen wild swings in its value. This price volatility has implications on the value of your transaction rebate (denominated in MCO) and the value of your MCO stake.
Staking (Making an Involuntary Investment in MCO)
The staking concept makes it quite difficult to cleanly evaluate the value of the rewards you will get from this card because you are also investing in MCO when you hold it as a stake to get the card. Initial MCO stakes have to be held for at least 6 months, which means you are locked in as an investor of MCO for at least that time period.
Even for those of us who are not cryptocurrency investors, you probably already know that cryptocurrencies prices tend to be very volatile. So you need to be extremely careful while staking.
Begin Shopping and Making Withdrawals
- How to Shop
Have it in mind that you need to toggle the international usage button in the cart page before using it. For physical shopping, the POS machine needs to support cross-border transactions. For online shopping, if the site needs the 3DS verification, the transaction will not be successful. The blog of crypto.com has made it known that they already support 3DS verification, but outside Singapore, it’s still not functional. However, you can use third-party payment services such as PayPal or Line Pay to bypass this verification step.
- Withdrawal Process
The ATM needs to support cross-border withdrawal. Take note of the fact that some banks will add a fee on this kind of transaction. This free-fee benefit is awesome. People can bring less money when traveling around the world. Although the free quota is not that much, it is still helpful when you run out of money in a foreign country. If the free quota is exceeded, the fee is about 2 percent which is more expensive than the bank card (for Taiwan users).
Which MCO Card should you be considering?
- Obsidian Black, Frosted Rose Gold, Icy White, Midnight Blue (Avoid these ones)
Putting down SGD 290,000 on MCO just to get the Obsidian Black card is clearly absurdly risky unless you are currently already a seasoned crypto investor and want to go (very very) long on MCO – in this case, any benefits you would get from your MCO Card is probably far outweighed by your potential cryptocurrency trading profits anyway.
We will make a similar argument for the Frosted Rose Gold/Icy White cards that involve a staking amount of 5,000 MCO/SGD 29,000 – too much risk for too little reward.
At the other end of the spectrum, the no-staking required Midnight Blue card gives a paltry 1 percent reward rate, which is worse than what you would get on even basic cash back cards such as the StanChart Unlimited and Amex True Cashback cards that give 1.5 percent cashback.
The potentially more reasonable staking options are the Jade Green/Royal Indigo (500 MCO stake) and Ruby Steel (50 MC stake) Cards. These offer relatively low staking amounts at current MCO prices – SGD 2,900 or 290 respectively, and offer reasonable rewards rate of 3 and 2 percent.
- Jade Green/Royal Indigo (Offers additional rewards do not justify the risk)
Considering the Green/Indigo cards – 3 percent rewards rate on all spending sounds pretty good when compared to the Unlimited Card’s 1.5 percent cash back rate. However, with an effective cashback card strategy today it is honestly not that difficult to get an overall 3 to 5 percent cashback using regular credit cards such as the UOB One Card or DBS Live Fresh.
Sticking with regular cash back credit cards also means that you do not have to worry about MCO price fluctuations based on your staking amount. MCO prices may increase and give you a nice extra payout, or it may conversely also decrease and wipe away any extra rewards you are getting from using the MCO card.
Being both avid investors as well as credit card users, our view is that investment and credit card decisions should be kept separate. If you believe that MCO prices will go up and want to make a bet on it, please go ahead and invest in it, but if you do not have such a view that it is not worth the risk and volatility to buy into MCO (500 MCO/SGD 2,900 worth of staking for the Green/Purple cards) just to get a slightly higher reward rate
- Ruby Steel (It might be worth considering in some circumstances)
The Ruby Steel Card is where we can potentially see the value for users who are seeking an alternative to their existing unlimited cash back cards such as the StanChart Unlimited/Amex True Cashback. With only 50 MCO (SGD 250) at stake, it offers a reasonable improvement in overall cashback rate to 2 percent, and also provides a 100 percent rebate on Spotify.
MCO Visa Card Benefits
- Up to 10 percent rebate for Expedia and Airbnb bookings
This is something frequent travelers would appreciate with up to 10 percent of savings on big-ticket travel items from flights and accommodation to even car rentals. And since you get to enjoy travel budget savings, that also means you can spend a little more for extra comforts, such as better Airbnb accommodation.
- No additional transaction, processing or annual fees
All the costs you’d associate with your normal credit card is basically zero with the MCO Visa Card. There are no card-related annual/monthly fees, overseas transaction fees, and currency exchange fees.
So if you ever run out of cash on the tail-end of your trip and have to resort to using your MCO Visa Card, you can rest easy that the exchange rate will be better than credit cards that impose heavy additional bank charges.
- Basically free Netflix and Spotify subscriptions
Crypto.com promises up to 100 percent purchase reimbursement for both standard subscription plans, which means they’re basically free; you’re saving up to S$31 per month. If you spend a lot of time commuting (be it planes or buses), this could be useful.
Netflix offers some of the best original content on television today that you definitely won’t find on inflight entertainment systems. So, this perk is a really nice touch.
- Cashback on all purchases, with no minimum or maximum spend
The MCO Visa Card allows up to 5 percent cash back on ALL spending, local or overseas, with no minimum or maximum spend required. This applies even for cardholders of the lowest tier, the Midnight Blue with 1 percent cash back on all purchases. This is a huge one-up over other cards that only allow cashback for certain merchants.
- Free monthly ATM withdrawals up to US$1,000
This will especially come in handy in countries such as Japan, which is still a very cash-based society. Withdraw for free from ATMs overseas (and in Singapore, with the ATM5 network) within your monthly withdrawal limit, without incurring fixed charges by crypto.com that banks traditionally impose. After the limit, there’s a 2 percent surcharge.
- Free, unlimited airport lounge access
Maybe checking off bucket lists of airport lounges around the world to explore will someday be a thing. The MCO Visa Card comes with free, unlimited access to over 1,000 premium lounges in over 400 airports. It doesn’t matter which airline or ticket class you hold as long as you show your card. Depending on the card you get, you even get to bring in one guest with you each time.
- Spend anywhere Visa is accepted
Probably the biggest benefit of the MCO Visa Card for existing cryptocurrency users is that you no longer have to check whether cryptocurrency is accepted by merchants, and you can pay with the card as long as the shop accepts Visa (and that’s 40 million destinations).
Traditionally, you’d have to transfer the cryptocurrency to your bank account through an exchange that takes several days and toggling between several wallets and bank accounts are seriously tedious. This card does the exchange on the spot and streamlines the entire process to just a few steps.
In other words, you never have to go out of your way to find shops that particularly accept crypto as means of payment, because the actual money paid out will always be in cash — the app takes care of everything else behind the scenes.
Are there any MCO Card promotions?
Crypto.com usually holds card promotions regularly on its platform. Last month, they had a waiver of the card re-issuance fee when users upgrade their cards from one tier to another. They are currently running a 10 percent rebate for food and grocery shopping with the MCO Visa Card for merchants such as GrabFood, Fairprice, Sheng Siong, McDonald’s, Foodpanda, Domino’s Pizza, Deliveroo and more. This is part of their crypto.com special measures for April to June 2020 campaign which will end on 30 June 2020.
MCO Card Sign up and Referral Bonus
If you are interested to get for yourself the MCO Visa Card, you can use this referral link and input the referral code. You will receive $50 ($70 SGD) if you stake at least 50 MCO for the MCO Visa Card, which can be used to pay for your staking requirement.
With this referral, your cost of owning a Ruby Red card is much lower, and you should be able to break even much faster with the rebates on your Spotify subscription.
No bonuses if you didn’t, but you can within 10 days of confirming your email still input the referral code through the App Settings then Referral Code to get your bonus.
Sounds good, but are there any other hidden T&Cs?
Initially, people thought that there would be many more sneaky constraints/T&Cs behind these benefits, but to MCO’s credit, it seems like they put most of it into the MCO staking requirement already.
That said, one major condition to point out is that the MCO rewards for spending on the card is given in the form of MCO Tokens (the cryptocurrency), which then have to be converted back to SGD if you prefer it in cash. This is a small extra step that has to be taken but does not fundamentally affect the value of cash rebate you get.
For the Spotify 100 percent rebate, it also sounds too good to be true so there was always going to be some limitation. The maximum reward amount is capped USD 9.99/month which is the subscription cost for a single person – still a pretty decent benefit if you are an existing Spotify subscriber.
That said, a 2 percent reward rate is still nothing to really shout about when compared to regular cashback credit cards. Since there is no cap on the reward rate for the MCO Card, it may make sense for those who are for various reasons currently making large monthly spending on Unlimited/Amex True Cashback cards and want to increase the reward rate slightly. For most people though, you would be better off optimizing with cards such as the UOB One/DBS Live Fresh to get an even higher reward rate.
Pros and Cons
- Travel buddy: 0 cross-border transaction and withdrawal fee plus support multiple fiat currencies (APAC card supports: SGD, HKD, JPY, GBP, EUR, AUD). Compare to Revolut’s 30 fiat currencies and TransferWise’s 50 fiat currencies, it totally loses. After you applied for the card, you can give up the use of crypto but only deposit the Card Wallet via credit/debit card to prevent the price slippage or the exchange fluctuation.
- High cashback rate: Without spending a penny to apply for the card, you still have a 1 percent cash back benefit. It beats all the multi-currency cards in the world. Like the black card from Revolut which has this kind of benefit, but you need to pay 12.99 EUR (around 14.3 USD) monthly membership fee.
- Lots of benefits (Like free Netflix, Spotify, interest, free lounges, and so on)
- Fee quota for ATM withdrawal is quite much: For ruby steel card, you have 400 SGD free quote (around 294 USD or 265.9 EUR). If the stacking MCO has already reached break-even, it is better than the standard account of Revolut, 200 EUR.
- Low eligibility required for the metal card
- Crypto spendable card
- It’s suitable for newbies who are willing to try the crypto world
- Not an automatic exchange: It doesn’t directly exchange your crypto to fiat currency when buying. The user needs to exchange it beforehand.
- If you don’t use services from crypto.com, any advantages from the card or your traditional bank’s credit/debit card already have a high cashback rate, this card may not be appealing to you. It just another way to let you transform the crypto to fiat to let you spend.
- Stake: People should lock the MCO for a 6-months period when applying for the metal card. After that time, you can unlock anytime. After unlocking the MCO you will be losing lots of advantages coming with staking. The best hedge strategies are downgrade and stop-loss when near the cost price.
- E-commerce platform which needs the 3DS verification may fail. However, by using the aforementioned supported third-party payment services the user can bypass it
- Price slippage or exchange fluctuation: There is a price slippage when depositing into the Card Wallet from Crypto Wallet. People may use their non-native currency so sometimes they may lose some pennies when exchanging to fiat currency. I think this is not a major problem because the cashback can cover it.
- POS machine and third-party payment service may not work if they don’t support the cross-border transactions (By using supported service, such as PayPal or Line Pay, to bypass this obstacle)
With its unique set of bonus rewards merchants (Spotify, Netflix, Expedia, Airbnb) and a mysterious-looking card that comes with fancy names and multiple colors, the MCO Visa is clearly trying to target savvy millennials and who have dabbled with cryptocurrency investments in a bid to lure them over from conventional credit cards offered by one of the boring banks (as compared to young and sexy MCO).
Supported by a whole host of sponsored posts, the MCO Cards can change the way that we live and spend our money, right until you realize that most of the benefits promised in these articles only apply to the higher tier cards that involve you putting in tens to hundreds of thousands of SGD worth in MCO stake.