Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to live off cryptocurrency and use it as your day-to-day money in New Zealand? If you have and thought it’s impossible, you wouldn’t be alone.
Until this year, most Kiwis believed that businesses must accept crypto as a payment option before people like us can buy things from them with Bitcoin and other digital currencies. On top of this, there are only an estimated 250 businesses directly accepting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment in New Zealand.
Well, what if I told you it doesn’t matter, and businesses don’t actually need to ‘accept crypto’ for you to buy goods and services from them with cryptocurrency..
What is a Cryptocurrency Debit Card?
A crypto debit card is a pre-paid card that connects to your crypto wallet, which allows you to spend your crypto at almost any place in NZ where you can buy things using your standard Visa or Mastercard bank card.
The way they work is simple. You pre-load your favorite cryptos onto your chosen card (such as Wirex or Crypto.com). And when you buy something, your card automatically converts your crypto into local currency and completes your purchase using NZD.
Your recipient is receiving NZD and you’re paying with crypto – and your card is taking care of the hard work for you. In fact, the recipient doesn’t even know you’re paying with crypto in the first place. 😎
Crypto cards work by piggy backing off existing payment gateway infrastructure such as the Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe payment terminals that you use on a daily basis when you buy things from almost any business in NZ.
The only place my Wirex card has failed me is at the odd fish & chip shop when they’re not accepting international cards. Otherwise, I had 100% crypto card reliability for 6 months straight over my experience with living on crypto.
How to Get a Cryptocurrency Card in NZ
Crypto cards are famously easy to obtain, thanks to companies like Wirex shipping them directly to your home address for free. They take about a week to ship, and as soon as you receive your card you can start using it to spend your crypto instead of solely relying on NZD.
Here in NZ, most Kiwis go with one of two crypto cards, Wirex & Crypto.com.
Wirex – https://wirexapp.com/en (Recommended)
Crypto.com – https://crypto.com/en/cards.html
Follow our guide below to learn about each card, and order your own crypto card today to unshackle you from your bank and help you unleash the true power of decentralized currency in action. 🤘
Wirex Cryptocurrency Debit Card
Wirex is one of the world’s most popular crypto cards, serving over 3 million users in over 130 countries worldwide, including New Zealand.
Wirex is easily one of the best crypto cards in NZ. This is largely because it has zero transaction or account maintenance fees. Wirex is also extremely reliable and has a highly intuitive mobile app for managing accounts and transferring funds.
When you spend with Wirex in-store, you also receive up to 1.5% cash back for all purchases in BTC.
This means if you buy a $5,000 car with your Wirex card, you can receive back up to $75 NZD in BTC deposited directly into your Wirex Bitcoin wallet. (see Wirex cashback webpage for more details)
Wirex crypto card desktop interface – https://app.wirexapp.com/
Advantages and disadvantages:
- No account, transaction, or shipping fees. (You can order a Wirex card without having to pay a cent)
- Highly intuitive and familiar mobile app and desktop interface.
- Decent range of currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stable coins such as DAI.
- Feeless ATM withdrawals, in New Zealand and abroad.
- You can also store, exchange, and spend fiat currencies like USD, EURO, AUD as well as crypto.
- Some businesses don’t accept Wirex, namely businesses that don’t accept international debit cards.
- Verifying your identity and address can often take longer than advertised (24hrs on their website).
- Wirex’s card doesn’t look ‘ultra’ cool – it’s plastic, lightweight, and lime-colored. ⭐
- Due to Wirex’s massive growth over the past 6 months, their customer service response times have significantly slowed down. This is Wirex’s biggest weakness from my point of view. You can see evidence of this on Wirex’s Trust Pilot page.
Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Waves (WAVES), Wollo (WLO), Dai (DAI), Nano (NANO), Stellar (XLM), and Wirex Token (WRX).
Wirex also allows you to easily buy, sell, and exchange between fiat and cryptocurrencies in the Wirex mobile app.
The fees are higher than local retailers and exchanges, however, it’s still a good backup for when you need an exchange on the fly.
See our guide on how to buy cryptocurrency in New Zealand.
Summary and recommendation:
I would highly recommend Wirex to anyone looking for an easy, reliable, and secure crypto debit card.
Wirex was my flagship crypto card all this year and I’d recommend getting one even if you already have a crypto card. It doesn’t cost any money to order or use and it’s a solid backup.
Although Wirex is easy and reliable, there’s still other options that take crypto cards to another level..
Crypto.com Cryptocurrency Debit Card
The Crypto.com card (formally known as Monaco) is a highly popular pre-paid crypto debit card, best known for its durable composite metal cards, tiered cashback system, and rebate rewards.
Crypto.com’s card is definitely more advanced than Wirex – supporting over 50+ coins while providing users with a range of cards that vary in benefits; depending on how much CRO (Crypto.com’s native token) you stake.
What is Staking CRO with Crypto.com?
Staking CRO with Crypto.com is the act of holding CRO tokens (Crypto.com’s native crypto) inside a locked wallet in your crypto.com account, which in turn helps power the Crypto.com network.
As reward for staking CRO, you receive exclusive access to a range of different cards, each offering its own benefits such as free Spotify, Netflix, discounted Airbnb, and more.
More on Crypto.com’s staking system: https://crypto.com/en/cards.html
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Ultra sleek and durable composite metal cards.
- Tiered card options with varying benefits, based on how much CRO you stake.
- No transaction fees.
- 24/7 human support.
- Over 50+ supported coins.
- The CRO staking system is overkill for those just wanting a crypto card without complication.
- You have to stake 2,500 CRO to order Crypto.com’s tier one card. (Roughly $230 NZD)
- Like Wirex, businesses that don’t accept international cards won’t accept Crypto.com’s card.
Summary and recommendation:
Crypto.com’s card is durable, customizable, and offers a range of benefits depending on how much CRO you stake. This, however, makes it more complicated to use and requires staking overheads if you’re keen on top-tier benefits.
“I’ve been using a CDC (crypto.com) card for over 6 months within NZ without issue. CDC is a startup, so as a company they are consistently adapting to be sustainable long-term and attract new customers but overall the card is a great tool for anyone looking to dive more into crypto.Sarn from CryptoKiwi
I’d recommend choosing Crypto.com’s card if you wish to receive as many benefits as possible for your spending. However, if you’re new to crypto I’d recommend starting with Wirex to learn the basics and work up from there.
Wirex vs Crypto.com – Crypto Debit Card Comparison
Because both cards offer near-zero fees, the key difference between Wirex and Crypto.com is the benefits you can receive for staking various amounts of each platform’s native tokens. (CRO & WRX)
Wirex’s staking program isn’t something you need to engage with to use Wirex’s card, and could be seen as ‘additional content’.
Whereas with Crypto.com, you’re required to stake CRO, even to order a card in the first place. The benefit to this, however, is that users receive better rewards for spending crypto with crypto.com.
Cash-back, Rebates and Rewards Comparison
*Rewards are based on how much CRO and WRX is being staked by the user.
Up to 1.5% cashback
|Up to 8% cashback|
100% Spotify rebate
100% Netflix rebate
100% Prime rebate
10% Expedia rebate
10% Airbnb rebate
Service Fees Comparison
Card delivery: Free
Issuance fees: $0
Account fees: $0
Card fees: $0
NZD deposits: $0
Crypto deposits: 1%
|Card delivery: Free|
Issuance fees: $0
Account fees: $0
Card fees: $0
Supported Coins Comparison
Wirex Token (WRX)
Crypto cards enhance your financial life in many ways. They give you an international bank account, let you spend crypto like you would NZD, and give you more financial freedom to use and spend your money how you like.
In a world where crypto is yet to be accepted as a mainstream payment method, the role of crypto debit cards is to bridge the gap between the old world and the new.
Wirex and Crypto.com offer reliable, secure, and usable Bitcoin and crypto debit cards, which are entirely capable of helping you live off crypto. The key difference between each platform is their staking and rewards system, which could be seen as overkill or beneficial, depending on what exactly you’re wanting from your crypto card.
After researching and trialing both cards, Cryptocurrency NZ prefers Wirex due to its simplicity, ease of use, and reliability. For me, the benefits of Wirex far outweigh their negatives, notably in customer support and ticket response times.
Crypto.com, on the other hand, is more advanced, has better rewards, supports more coins, and is better suited to those wanting to maximize spending perks – best suited to high spenders and those invested in the Crypto.com ecosystem.
I hope this guide has provided you with value in one way or another, and don’t hesitate to leave a comment below to give feedback or ask any questions. 🙂
All content in this article is for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always DYOR on any financial service you use, and on any investment you make.
Cryptocurrency NZ has no affiliation with any card provider mentioned in this article. We do not represent any service showcased, and information on these services is prone to change.