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Crypto.com Ruby Steel Visa Review

Crypto.com Visa Ruby 6 Month Review: Interesting Or No Good?

Last Updated on May 2, 2022 by Mr. FightToFIRE

Update: As of 1 June 2022, CRO cuts cashback rates and stake rewards on all cards. On top of that, there is a cashback limit of 25 and 50 USD for Ruby and Jade/Indigo respectively. This effectively reduces the appeal of the cards and the CRO ecosystem considerably. The below experiences are based on everything before this cut.

With over 12 months of use with my crypto.com Visa debit card, I figured I’d share my experience with everyone.
For myself, this card has been an excellent addition to my credit cards. I improve my portfolio without doing anything thanks to the cashback this crypto card provides.

Lately, there have been many cards to choose from in the crypto sphere, all with their owns benefits, but this post is only about my experiences with the crypto.com Ruby VISA debit card. To clarify, I also have the Binance card, but I stopped using it after realizing I couldn’t use it for my Amazon purchases.

How I decided on the Crypto.com Ruby steel Visa debit card (and Jade Green)

Around half a year ago, at the beginning of the year, I was looking for two things:

  • Switching to a lower cost crypto broker for my crypto investments
  • Getting another cashback card because Beobank was replacing their Visa cashback to €100 per year.

The cards were not pegged to a fiat amount to order them but to a CRO amount back then. So I decided to try out the first paid level card, which was the Ruby card.
I bought 10,000 CRO worth €726.03 and staked half (5.000 CRO) for 6 months to get the perks of the Ruby card.

When you order a card, the initial staking amount is locked for 6 months. After that, you can take the CRO out of the staking, but you will lose some of the perks if you do. You will be able to continue using the card even after you unstake, but you will get less cashback %, and you will not get your subscriptions to Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Prime paid back. So to use the full benefits, you will have to keep the needed CRO staked for that card. During the 6 months where the staking amount of CRO is locked, you can not access these funds, meaning that there might be heavy price fluctuations (it’s still crypto)

With the level of Ruby also came a steel card. It’s with the delivery of this steel card that I experienced my first letdown. It took me multiple support calls from mid-February till April for my shiny and heavy metal card to arrive at my doorstep.

Crypto.com cards
Overview of the various Crypto.com Visa cards that you can get.

How I got the Crypto.com Ruby Steel card

Going through the process is fairly straightforward.

  1. Download the app
  2. Setup your account by filling in your personal details
  3. Go through the KYC process (in Europe).
  4. After the initial setup, you are at the base level and can get the (physical) midnight blue which gives 1% cashback.
  5. For the metal Ruby Steel Visa card:
    1. Get the €350 worth of CRO by any credit card or bank account to transfer the money.
    2. Using your credit card the transfer is instant and you can immediately stake the required amount.

(First) Uses

Once received, the first thing I did was link the card to my Spotify account since it was one of the main perks: my Spotify subscription paid back. And paid back it was.
The day my subscription was due, it was fully paid back in CRO, meaning €9.99 went of my card as payment, and right away, €9.99 worth of CRO coins came into my crypto wallet. Sweet!

Meanwhile, I was getting cashback left and right for purchases that I had to do anyway. My spending didn’t change, but I was getting crypto for doing the same thing.

To be honest, I don’t always use a crypto card. I also switch between my Two Beobank credit cards for one main reason: insurance. The debit card doesn’t have any, while the credit cards do.
When I purchase goods to use immediately -think groceries- I get the Ruby steel card where I can. Of course, also for Spotify. But for bigger purchases such as a new fridge, I use my Extra Mastercard that gives 1% cashback because I have insurance.

(No) Fees, even abroad!

Crypto.com doesn’t charge any fees for the four ways you can top up the Visa debit card.

Supported Credit Card Supported Debit Card
Mastercard Maestro (Mastercard network)
Visa Visa Electron (Visa network)

50 eur for a card upgrade

Since I got the Ruby card first and recently upgraded to the Royal Indigo Jade Green level, I had to pay a €50 fee to upgrade my physical Ruby Steel metal card to Royal Indigo Jade Green. Upgrading the card is needed if you want to use card-linked perks such as lounge access.

High transaction fee limits abroad!

The biggest benefit I have noticed recently is that the Crypto.com Visa Debit card has a huge exchange fee limit when purchasing goods in a foreign currency which is exceptional. I don’t know how long they will keep that up as they updated their site already mentioning ‘Free Currency Exchange Transactions Per Month’, but for the moment, there is barely a limit.

Is the Ruby steel Visa debit card worth it?

If you are a Spotify user that pays for their membership, the first level card is worth it.

On top of that, benefiting from the CRO cashback is probably the key selling point of the first “paid” level.

Higher-level cards depend on your spending amount and if you also have Netflix / Amazon Prime subscriptions. You can see this in the table below.

Cashback from subscriptions are taken into account for every card level, and no interest earning on the cashback nor price fluctuations of the CRO coins are taken into account. There are other benefits to the higher level cards like free airport lounge access, exclusive merchandise welcome pack, Airbnb & Expedia reductions. But you get the general idea if a card is worth it for you or not.

 

Stake overview

Ruby steel Royal Indigo/Jade Green Icy White/Frosted Rose Gold Obsidian
Stake amount €350 €3,500 €35,000 €3500,00
€500 spending Yearly cashback €275.88 €891.76 €5,567.64 €48,947.64
Time to earn stake back 1 year 5 months 4 years 5 months 7 years 2 months 8 years 2 months
€1500 spending Monthly cashback €515.88 €1,251.76 €6,167.64 €49,907.64
Time to earn stake back 0 years 9 months 3 years 2 months 6 years 5 months 8 years 0 months
€2000 spending Monthly cashback €635.88 €1,431.76 €6,467.64 €50,387.64
Time to earn stake back 7 months 2 years 9 months 6 years 2 months 7 years 11 months

Besides the monetary benefit, there are a number of other benefits and downsides to point out as well.

Pros of the Crypto.com Ruby Steel VISA Debit Card Key points

  1. $25 welcome bonus (20.50 euro) with referral code: h4w9srzh97
  2. No costs and high cashback. Before this card, I mainly used the Beobank credit card but it was only 1% cashback with a limit of €200 which got reduced this year to €100. On top of that, the credit card costs €5/year. If you do not change your spending habits, these cards are great. I’ve never had my card declined at a place that accepts Visa, and I get ‘cashback for using the card to buy things I would usually buy.
  3. The app and exchange are user-friendly.
  4. The Spotify (and Netflix/amazon subscription payback if you have a higher tier) add up to a nice amount every year for services I use anyway.
  5. When a store accepts Visa, I’ve never had my card declined.
  6. Excellent exchange rates when traveling abroad and never any problems in the countries I’ve gone to. (only Germany so far).
  7. You can put the cashback you get in an ‘earn’ program in the app, letting you earn interest on your cashback.
  8. KYC is required to order a payment card or to create an account on the exchange. This shows they comply with strict (European) financial regulations.
  9. You can request virtual cards once you’ve staked and ordered a crypto.com card, meaning you do not have to wait until the physical card arrives to start using it.
  10. You get a sturdy and heavy metal card. What’s not to like about that 😉 ?

Cons of the Crypto.com Ruby Steel VISA Debit Card Key points

  1. Once you top up your card, you have to spend it. Transferring it back to your bank account is nigh-impossible.
  2. Waiting on your physical card is usually long. I don’t know how it is now, but the waiting time seems to vary between two weeks to three months. 6 months ago when I ordered it, it took close to 3 months weeks to arrive.
  3. You need a backup card since not all stores accept Visa. A big one is Colruyt for example.
  4. It’s crypto ‘start up’ that rewards you with their self-created coins. The price of your staked coins shows extreme fluctuations. Over the last year, the price topped around $1/CRO and bottomed at $0.055 with a price of $0.40 at this moment (02/2022). The risk of losing your investment is always there, and swings are inherent to crypto.
  5. Some limitations on cashback. For example loans and utility bills are excluded. This does not exist with Coinbase.
  6. Not your keys – not your coins.

Is the Curve card something for you? Not sure if you should get it? Read my review about and decide for yourself!

Weak Customer service

Online you can find quite some remarks regarding Crypto.com’s customer service, but at least to me they were helpful and replied every time I asked them about the status of my card or the cashback I received. That said, those two times were easy to solve customer service tickets, so this is no real reference.

Seeing how fast they are growing as a company (they crossed 10 million users at the beginning of this year), it’s understandable that reaction times are not always immediate.
A growing company has growing pains. And hiring new people is not only about onboarding them, but also about them learning how to do the job.

As a result, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt regarding customer support for now. But if they don’t improve on this, I’ll be inclined to limit my usage even more. There’s nothing more annoying than to be unable to get a hold of a company you are a customer with when you have an issue.

What can you do with the cashback?

All the cashback (and the staking rewards from higher-level cards) you get are in CRO, the native coin from crypto.com. But what can you do with these coins?

I either keep it as CRO or trade it all for one of the following cryptocurrencies I hold with them, usually, it’s Cardano:

  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Internet Computer (ICP)
  • Binance (BNB)
  • VeThor Token (VTHO)
  • Shiba Inu (SHIB)Sold this one in the meantime

I also use their CRO earn program. At the moment I have the second part of the 10,000 CRO I transferred in the beginning in it earning me 6%year.

Trading on the Crypto.Com exchange

Next to the wallet, I have an account on their exchange. It’s better to trade on the exchange than on the app because the fees/spread are better.
Putting crypto from the app to the exchange and back is free of charge.

But you can choose to do other things with the cashback. You can exchange your CRO cashback to Euro within the app. Other options are staking the CRO on their exchange and getting 6% interest (minimum 5.000 CRO and locked for a minimum of 6 months), putting it into their DEFI wallet (about 6% interest atm), or participating in their syndicate events (where you can buy cryptos at discount prices).

My most recent Crypto.com cashback
The overview you get in the Crypto.com app of the most recent cashback. At the bottom you can see the Spotify rebate.

Does Crypto.com give cashback on everything?

No, you do not get cashback on all your purchases. Crypto.com excludes some ‘merchant codes’ for cashback. Examples of these purchases are insurance, taxes, fines, or self-service gas stations. However, paying for your gas at the counter afterward gets you to cashback. Withdrawing money also does not give you cashback.

The cashback you see in the app under ‘earn’ is the total euro amount of the cashback. Other than that, the cashback is visible and available in the app the second you make the purchase. In total, I got around 462.62529059 CRO as cashback; if I had kept it all as CRO, this would equal around €55.51 in cashback today (17/08/2021).

A word of caution about the cashback conditions: why your purchase might not be eligible for cashback

Crypto.com bases itself on the codes it receives through the transactions from the merchants themselves to determine what is eligible for cashback.

This is especially important when dealing with a large retailer like Amazon. Believe it or not, but the code can vary on Amazon itself. I received a reversal of cashback once for a seemingly normal book purchase of €35.05. However, my cashback got reversed because Amazon used MCC 5374 for this transaction which makes the purchase illegible for cashback. What is 5734?

Merchants classified with this MCC sell computer
software programs for business and personal use and
may also sell or lease computer hardware or other
related products.” – usa.visa.com

Does this make sense? No, it does not. Why did Amazon use that code? Why not any other? Why does Visa say to Crypto.com these must be excluded? Questions I have asked but haven’t received an answer to from either Amazon or Visa. If I do, I’ll update this post.

But if the seller sends this code with the transaction, your cashback will be declined.

The best way to prevent a reversal is to ask the merchant beforehand.

What other things do you have to know?

  • Staking for a Royal Indigo & Jade Green card and upwards will let you earn 10% interest paid out weekly in CRO on your card-staking. Staking for a Frosted Rose Gold, Icy White & Obsidian card will give a 12% total on your card-staking.

  • There is a spending limit of 25.000$/m, and you can ‘only’ do 300 transactions a month with the card.

  • Free Airport lounge access is available from Royal Indigo & Jade Green upwards. (One guest for free as from the level of icy white/rose)

  • You can link your crypto.com card to your Curve card. Curve is an app where you can link all your credit cards behind that one card and ‘switch’ which card you wish to pay with. While you are waiting for your physical crypto.com card, you can link your virtual card to Curve and pay that way. No money on your crypto card? No problem, choose a different payment card in the curve app and switch the payment to your crypto card later (thanks to a go back in time feature).

  • Crypto.com has a free card, no CRO stake, as well. It works the same way as the ‘staked’ cards, but you only get 1% cashback (it’s called midnight Blue).

Conclusion

How do I summarize my first six months?

While I haven’t used the Crypto.com Visa card as my main one, I enjoy it every day through the “free” Spotify subscription. Thanks to this full refund and the 2% cashback, I save CRO every month, which I can then either keep or convert to any crypto of my choosing. The overall performance of my crypto portfolio has improved leaps and bounds thanks to this.

Not everything is rose petals and rainbows. The customer service isn’t the greatest, and it’s only reachable through the app (as far as I’m aware). The reaction speed of said service is slow at best, though at least not non-existing like other crypto-companies. Crypto.com is a rebrand of Monaco and its Monaco coin (MCO), which came with a controversial coin swap to crypto.com coin (CRO). So, who’s to say they won’t do it again?

Vigilance remains necessary due to this very turbulent atmosphere. As a result, I would never put more than a couple of hundred euros at a time on the card, making it unlikely that it will ever become my main Visa card.

With that all said, All in all, I’m a satisfied Crypto.com Ruby steel Visa debit cardholder, albeit somewhat reserved.

CRYPTO.com Logo

Crypto.com

If you are looking for a no-cost yet decent cashback debit card, Crypto.com Ruby should definitely be on your shortlist!

Interested in applying for the Visa debit card? 

Apply for the Ruby Steel Crypto.com Visa card directly by clicking here.
Or download the Crypto app and use the following referral code when signing up: h4w9srzh97

When you stake for a card through one of the above methods, we will both receive 25 dollars as a gift (approximately €20.50).

I'm a developer for a major financial institution in Belgium that is present in over 40 countries. I have over 8 years of working experience in the development of customer applications focussing on all aspects of banking. This helped me gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of a commercial bank. All of this experience in both banking and life culminates in this blog about personal finance and my fight towards FIRE.

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Luk

Thanks for the insight into the Crypto.com visa debit card.

Yuzzzzuy

What about taxes? Is the sale of the CRO, acquired via cashback a taxable event? If you use it to pay back several subscriptions on top of regular cashback, it can amount to quite the sum. I suppose you could spend it, but legally are you supposed to declare it? I think I once read about taxes on crypto acquired via staking, so wondered whether it applied to crypto cashback as well.

Last edited 9 months ago by Yuzzzzuy
james androw

I lost all my savings to CM Trading. I invested 41,000 and they refused to allow me to withdraw both my initial deposit and accrued interest. I have reached out to a recovery expert Support [ommited] to help me recover the money back from them and it is really progressing. I have been able to recover over 15,000 and I hope I will get the rest of the money in a few days. you can also text them via WhatsApp [ommited].

Yesiah

I must admit that it’s one of the best trading wallets I’ve ever used. Low fees with credit card, chance of funding account with bank transfer, many assets, investment plans, a free debit card with outstanding perks (in my opinion ruby card is extremely rewarding!). I did not regret one cent until now and I am really happy I took this step. With the code “[omitted]” you actually start with $25 Dollar in your wallet.

dhjdhjdh

u changed cro to shiba?? lolol

Jjjjj

Icp and Shiba, lololol

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