MCO Visa card review

Buy, hold, convert and spend cryptocurrencies at wherever Visa is accepted.

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MCO Visa Card

Designed for crypto enthusiasts, the MCO Visa card is a first-of-its-kind prepaid card that comes with competitive rebates, travel benefits, interest and more. In this review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the MCO Visa card before signing up.

What is the MCO Visa card?

The MCO Visa is a crypto-backed prepaid card offered by Crypto.com, a Hong Kong based startup formally known as Monaco. Since 2017, the cryptocurrency company has launched two native tokens – Monaco (MCO) and Crypto.com coin (CRO), both of which are rank highly on CoinMarketCap based on market capitalisation.

Coupled with a mobile wallet, the MCO Visa card allows cardholders to reload fiat currencies, as well as buy, hold, and convert between various cryptocurrencies. It also comes with a wide range of payment features and travel benefits, including zero foreign currency transaction fees, interbank exchange rates and free ATM withdrawals.

To sweeten the deal, cardholders are also entitled up to 8% rebates on all spend and attractive perks like free Netflix and Spotify subscriptions.

Temporary suspension of MCO Visa card issuing in Singapore

As of 4 October 2020, the issuance of new MCO Visa cards is temporarily paused in Singapore. According to the company, this is due to a switch to a new vendor and services will resume once the switch is complete. However, new customers can still undergo the card application process, but the card will not be issued until the service is restored.

However, if you have an existing MCO Visa card on hand, rest assured that it’ll remain operational for both top-up and spend.

What are the features that come with a MCO Visa Card?

The app is simple, easy to navigate and streamlined. With MCO, you can do the following:

  • Worldwide acceptance. MCO cards can be used wherever Visa is accepted, whether in stores or online at over 61 million merchant locations around the world.
  • Spend globally fee-free. All spending abroad is also charged at the interbank rate, up to the card’s specified limits.
  • Multi-currency account. You can hold a balance or make an exchange in the app with a variety of crypto and up to 6 fiat currencies.
  • Instant conversion. Convert your crypto to fiat currencies from the app and pay for purchases instantly.
  • Rebates. Earn up to 8% rebate in CRO on all spending, local or overseas. No maximum cap and no minimum spend required.
  • Crypto Earn. Deposit your preferred crypto into Crypto Earn, select from three different holding term options (flexible, 1-month fixed and 3-month fixed) and accrue daily interest.
  • Pay your friends. You can send crypto to other Crypto.com App users and receive up to US$5 equivalent in ‘Pay Rewards’ every month.
  • Referral programme. For every friend you successfully refer to the Crypto.com exchange, you’ll earn up to US$2,000 in referral bonus and 50% of their trading commission for 12 months. Do note that both you and your referee need to stake at least 1,000 CRO to be eligible for this programme.
  • Control your card and account. If you’ve lost your card, or suspect that it’s been compromised, you can freeze it immediately on the Crypto.com app.

    MAS Payment Services Act limitations

    To comply with the limits imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Payment Services Act (PSA), the following changes will be imposed on MCO Visa Card for Singapore users with effect from 28 January 2020:

    • No cash withdrawals from local ATMs.
    • Maximum balance you can hold in your MCO Visa Card wallet is S$5,000.
    • Total transactions on your MCO Visa Card is capped at $30,000 p.a.

    How does the MCO Visa Card work?

    Before we delve into the various card tiers and perks, you’ll need to know what is ‘staking’ — which is making an investment in CRO tokens.

    MCO Visa cards are free and does not impose any setup, shipping or annual fees. However, the main catch in getting one of the cards (all except the most basic card tier — Midnight Blue) is that you’ll need to ‘stake’ (buy and hold) CRO tokens on the Crypto.com app for at least 6 months. CRO (Crypto.com Chain Token) is a token created by Crypto.com and traded on numerous cryptocurrency exchanges.

    By staking CRO, you’ll be eligible to apply for higher tiered cards and enjoy a variety of staking benefits, including:

    • Receiving one of the premium metal MCO Visa cards
    • Benefit from Crypto Wallet benefits (e.g. higher purchase rebates, extra card cashback, higher fee-free ATM withdrawal limits etc)
    • Enjoy better APR in Crypto Earn

    How much CRO tokens do I need to stake?

    The type of MCO Visa you can apply for depends on how much CRO you’re willing to stake. Here are the five different tiers and the amount of CRO required:

    • Midnight Blue. Free (No CRO staking required)
    • Ruby Steel. 1,000 CRO (~S$201)
    • Royal Indigo/Jade Green. 10,000 CRO (~S$2,008)
    • Frosted Rose Gold/Icy White. 100,000 CRO (~S$20,077)
    • Obsidian Black. 1,000,000 CRO (~S$200,774)

    *Prices calculated based on the exchange rate for CRO/SGD on 4 October 2020, which is 1 CRO = S$0.200774. Do note that the prices for cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile and subject to sharp fluctuations.

    Types of MCO Visa Cards available

    MCO offers five account tiers based on the amount of staked CRO — each with different features:

    Card tiers Stake CRO Rewards Features
    Midnight Blue Free 1%
    • Fee-free ATM withdrawal. Up to S$200 per month. A 2% withdrawal fee applies thereafter.
    • ATM withdrawal limit. Capped at S$5,000 per month.
    • Interbank exchange rates. Enjoy conversions at mid-market FX rates for up to S$2,000.
    • Top-up limit. Up to S$10,000 per month.
    • Plastic card. Only available in Midnight Blue.
    Ruby Steel 1,000 CRO 2%
    • Free Spotify subscription. 100% reimbursement for your monthly Spotify subscription, up to US$12.99 equivalent.
    • Fee-free ATM withdrawal. Up to S$400 per month. A 2% withdrawal fee applies thereafter.
    • ATM withdrawal limit. Capped at S$10,000 per month.
    • Interbank exchange rates. Enjoy conversions at mid-market FX rates for up to S$4,000.
    • Top-up limit. Up to S$15,000 per month.
    • Composite metal card. Available in red colour only.
    Jade Green & Royal Indigo 10,000 CRO 3%
    • Free Spotify and Netflix subscriptions. 100% reimbursement for your monthly Spotify and Netflix subscription, up to US$12.99 equivalent for each of these services.
    • Fee-free ATM withdrawal. Up to S$800 per month. A 2% withdrawal fee applies thereafter.
    • ATM withdrawal limit. Capped at S$10,000 per month.
    • Interbank exchange rates. Enjoy conversions at mid-market FX rates for up to S$10,000.
    • Top-up limit. Up to S$25,000 per month.
    • Composite metal card. Available in two colours — green and indigo.
    Frosted Rose Gold & Icy White 100,000 CRO 5%
    • Free entertainment subscriptions. 100% reimbursement for your monthly Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime subscription, up to US$12.99 equivalent for each of these services.
    • Travel perks. Up to 10% reimbursements for expenses on Expedia (up to USD 50 equivalent).
    • Fee-free ATM withdrawal. Up to S$1,000 per month. A 2% withdrawal fee applies thereafter.
    • ATM withdrawal limit. Capped at S$10,000 per month.
    • Interbank exchange rates. Enjoy conversions at mid-market FX rates for up to S$15,000.
    • Top-up limit. Up to S$25,000 per month.
    • Composite metal card. Available in two colours — rose gold and white.
    • LoungeKey pass. Unlimited access for cardholder plus one accompanying guest to over 1,100 premium lounges across 500+ airports worldwide.
    • Merchandise welcome pack. Free exclusive Crypto.com-branded merchandise.
    • Bonus interest on Crypto Earn. Additional 2% p.a. interest on fixed-term deposits (paid in CRO).
    • Private program. Access a range of crypto-related features including OTC block trade of CRO, inheritence services, invitations to top industry events and priority customers support.
    Obsidian 1,000,000 CRO 8%
    • Free entertainment subscriptions. Get 100% reimbursement for your monthly Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime subscription, up to US$12.99 equivalent for each of these services.
    • Travel perks. Up to 10% reimbursements for expenses on Expedia (up to USD 50 equivalent) and Airbnb (up to USD 100 equivalent).
    • Fee-free ATM withdrawal. Up to S$1,000 per month. A 2% withdrawal fee applies thereafter.
    • ATM withdrawal limit. Capped at S$10,000 per month.
    • Interbank exchange rates. Enjoy unlimited conversions at mid-market FX rates.
    • Top-up limit. Up to S$25,000 per month.
    • Composite metal card. Available in obsidian black only.
    • LoungeKey pass. Unlimited access for cardholder plus one accompanying guest to over 1,100 premium lounges across 500+ airports worldwide.
    • Private jet partnership. Exclusive luxury perks on your first flight with one of MCO’s preferred private jet partner.
    • Merchandise welcome pack. Free exclusive Crypto.com-branded merchandise.
    • Bonus interest on Crypto Earn. Additional 2% p.a. interest on fixed-term deposits (paid in CRO).
    • Private program. Access a range of crypto-related features including OTC block trade of CRO, inheritence services, invitations to top industry events and priority customers support.

    *Information provided are accurate as of 4 October 2020.

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    How do you use the MCO Visa card abroad?

    Many financial institutions charge you additional fees and add a high margin to exchange rates, making it expensive to use your card abroad or make payments in foreign currencies.

    With the MCO Visa Card, users can take advantage of its attractive travel features — no foreign currency transaction fees, interbank exchange rates, free ATM withdrawals and even free airport lounge access (for selected cards only).

    Using it abroad is much like using it in Singapore. However, don’t forget that while there’s no spending limit for card payments, free overseas ATM withdrawals are limited to $200 with the Midnight Blue card (increased limits for higher card tiers), after which you’ll be charged a 2% fee.

    Is is safe to use the MCO Visa card?

    As of 4 October 2020, Crypto.com is not regulated by any financial authority. However, the company has applied for an E-money license in Europe and is in the process of applying for different licenses in multiple jurisdiction — Singapore, United States and United Kingdom.

    In terms of compliance and restrictions, Crypto.com adheres strictly to local regulatory requirements. The platform is well-equipped with a multitude of security features, including:

    • Cold storage. User cryptocurrencies are all held offline in cold storage, which is an extra layer of protection against potential fraud and hacking activities. Crypto.com is also in a strategic partnership with Ledger, integrating its institutional-grade custody solution, Ledger Vault.
    • Insurance coverage. Crypto.com has secured a total cryptocurrency insurance of US$360 million, including direct and indirect coverage via custodians. This financial buffer safeguards its user base against physical damage or destruction, and third-party theft.
    • Hot wallet. In addition to cold storage, Crypto.com also keeps its corporate funds in hot wallets protected by HSM (hardware security modules) and multi-signature key-generation technologies to allow fast withdrawal requests and easy accessibility.
    • Fiat currency security. Customers’ fiat currency deposits are held in secured and regulated custodian bank accounts. This means that regardless of what happens to the company, Crypto.com or its creditors will not be able to lay claim to these funds.
    • Infrastructure security. Crypto.com uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its wide array of security capabilities and services, including automatic encryption of all traffic, Network and web application firewall capabilites and business continuity planning for outages and attacks prevention.
    • App security. The Crypto.com app employs various security features such as secure coding, two-factor authentication (2FA), withdrawals protection and round-the-clock live customer support.

    Crypto.com is also the first cryptocurrency company in the world to have ISO/IEC 27001:2013, ISO/IEC 27701:2019, PCI:DSS 3.2.1, Level 1 compliance and CCSS.

    What are the benefits of an MCO Visa card?

    The MCO Visa card comes with a wide array of benefits, including:

    • Free to use. There’s no setup, monthly subscription or annual fees.
    • High cashback rewards. Earn up to 8% rebate in CRO tokens on all spend, with no minimum spend required or rewards cap. Even the free Midnight Blue card can earn you 1% CRO rewards.
    • Instant balance top-up. Reload funds from your bank account to your Crypto.com wallet fast and conveniently.
    • Multi-currency fiat wallet. Although you can only load your accounts with SGD, you can exchange and hold other foreign currencies in the wallet, namely EUR, AUD, HKD, JPY, and GBP.
    • ATM withdrawals. ATM withdrawals are free up to the card tier’s withdrawal limit. Any subsequent withdrawals will incur a 2% fee.
    • Low exchange rates. Enjoy conversions at mid-market FX rates with no added margin, up to the card’s specified limits.
    • Wide range of cryptocurrencies. There are 75+ different cryptocurrencies available for direct purchase from the Crypto.com app (as of 4 October 2020).
    • No credit check. Since the MCO Visa Card is a prepaid card, no credit check will be required.
    • Complimentary global shipping. You’ll not be charged any shipping fee for your MCO card, regardless of which country you live in.
    • Card benefits unaffected by un-stacking CRO. If you choose to un-stake your CRO, you’ll still enjoy the existing MCO card benefits (e.g. card cashback, LoungeKey access, fee-free ATM withdrawal limits and interbank exchange rate).

      What should I look out for?

      The MCO Visa card may come with a lot of benefits and features, but it’s not without its disadvantages:

      • Staking of CRO tokens. To enjoy the features that come with higher card tiers above the Midnight Blue, you’ll need to hold adequate CRO in your Crypto.com wallet for a minimum of 6 months.
      • Unregulated. At the time of writing, Crypto.com is not regulated by any financial authority. It is, however, in the process of securing licenses in multiple jurisdiction.
      • Free overseas ATM withdrawals are capped each month. You’ll need to pay a 2% fee on withdrawal amounts exceeding the monthly cap.
      • Online only. There are no branches, which can put off those who prefer face-to-face customer service.
      • No automatic exchange. The app doesn’t exchange your crypto to fiat currency when you’re making a purchase. This means that if you have insufficient SGD in your account, you’ll need to manually exchange your crypto to fiat, or reload more SGD into your account beforehand.
      • No supplementary cards. MCO does not support supplementary cards at the moment.
      • No spending analytics. Unlike many other digital wallet app, the Crypto.com app is not equipped with an analytics feature to categorised your transaction type or provide a monthly overview of your expenditure.
      • Crypto Credit feature unavailable. Singapore users will not be able to utilise the Crypto Credit feature, which enables users to secure a loan instantly by depositing crypto (BTC, CRO, XRP, ETH, LTC, EOS, XLM) as a collateral.
      • Company cashflow unclear. MCO is a first-of-its kind product, which raise skepticism on the sustainability of its business model. There are also multiple discussions and suspicions on forums like Reddit, claiming that MCO is a possible Ponzi scheme and accusing it of manipulating the prices of CRO tokens.

      How do you sign up for a MCO Visa card in Singapore?

      To apply for a MCO Visa card, you’ll need to download the Crypto.com app and complete three simple steps:

      1. Register for an account
      2. Purchase CRO tokens (Only for Ruby Steel and above)
      3. Stake them on the app for 6 months (Only for Ruby Steel and above)

      How do I deposit or withdraw money?

      MCO offers two convenient ways to load funds into your Crypto.com wallet:

      • Credit card. Load your account with your credit card through Xfers. You’ll need to register for an Xfer account and connect it to the Crypto.com app. Do note that transferring money by credit card may be recognised as a cash advance transaction.
      • Bank transfers. Set up an EUR IBAN account through the Crypto.com app and you’ll be able to wire funds to the account from your bank or money transfer providers.

      If you wish to withdraw your fiat balance from the Crypto.com app, simply transfer the funds to your Xfers account and then send it to your bank account. Do note that a small withdrawal fee of 0.4% applies.

      Bottom line

      For users with experience in cryptocurrencies and well-aware of its potential risks, the MCO Visa card is a gamechanger that allow you to hold both crypto and fiat within a single app and exchange between them effortlessly.

      However, this card may not be suitable for those with no prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Crypto.com has been marketing and branding this product as a ‘lifestyle card’, requiring users to invest in its own coin — CRO. While there’s a potential in earning more than your initial investment, the risk of cryptocurrencies losing their value is equally real. Price volatility of cryptocurrencies are extreme and notoriously unpredictable. Spikes and crashes over 100% of the coin’s value is also a common sight, not to mention the risk of exchanges getting hacked.

      Depending on your choice of MCO card and how you utilise it, the level of cryptocurrency risks you’re exposed to may be minimal or dangerously high. So before you decide to stake or hold CRO tokens (or any other cryptocurrencies), know that the coins can potentially lose their value.

      If you’re keen to try out the features of an MCO Visa card without risking your money on CRO tokens, simply opt for the free Midnight Blue card. Once you’re comfortable with the idea of staking CRO, you can always upgrade it to a higher tier. Alternatively, you can also consider other prepaid debit cards such as Revolut, YouTrip, and TransferWise.

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