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 2020, most Kiwis believed that New Zealand businesses must accept crypto as a payment method before people like us can buy things from them with Bitcoin and other digital currencies. On top of this, there are only an estimated 350 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 in NZ?..
How? I introduce you to the next generation of cards; multi-currency, international / NZ cryptocurrency debit cards – allowing you to spend Bitcoin and crypto almost anywhere.
What is a Cryptocurrency Debit Card?
A cryptocurrency debit card is a pre-paid card that connects to your crypto wallet, or has it’s own dedicated wallet, which allows you to spend and buy things with your crypto at almost any place where you can buy things using your standard Visa or Mastercard 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 the 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. 😎 They’re reliable, trusted, and make spending crypto in NZ easy.
Cryptocurrency cards like Wirex or crypto.com 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 New Zealand.
The only place my Wirex cryptocurrency debit card has failed me is at the odd fish & chip shop when they’re not accepting international cards. Otherwise, I had 100% cryptocurrency card reliability for 6 months straight over my experience with living on crypto in NZ (2020).
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 relying on NZD.
Here in New Zealand, 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
Order your own crypto card today to unshackle you from your bank, have an fail safe to your NZD cards and help you unleash the true power of decentralized currency in action.
Wirex Cryptocurrency Debit Card in NZ
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, ETH, DGE, XRP, and the range of other cryptos supported by Wirex.
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 wallet. (Wirex cashback for more details)
Pros & Cons Of Wirex Card NZ
✔️ No Shipping Fee: No account, transaction, or shipping fees. (You can order a Wirex card without having to pay a cent)
✔️ Easy / Simple Interface: Highly intuitive and familiar mobile app and desktop interface.
✔️ Withdrawal Fees at ATMs: Feeless ATM withdrawals, in New Zealand and abroad.
✔️ Multiple Currencies Available: You can also store, exchange, and spend fiat currencies like USD, EURO, AUD as well as crypto.
❌ Doesn’t Accept Wirex: Some businesses don’t accept Wirex, namely businesses that don’t accept international debit cards.
❌ Long Verification time: Verifying your identity and address can often take longer than advertised (24hrs on their website).
❌ Not Cool Looking: Wirex’s card doesn’t look ‘ultra’ cool – it’s plastic, lightweight, and lime-colored.
❌ Wirex Review’s: Due to Wirex’s massive growth over the past 6 months, their customer service response times have significantly slowed down. Wirex’s Trust Pilot page.
Cryptocurrency NZ would highly recommend Wirex to anyone looking for an easy, reliable, and secure crypto debit card in New Zealand. Wirex is reliable, shipping is free, accepts a decent range of cryptocurrencies and will fulfill your need to spend crypto in New Zealand.
Wirex was my flagship crypto card and I’d recommend getting one even if you already have a crypto card. Backups are good, and it doesn’t cost any money to order or use it.
However they do require KYC, and the company has received serious flak over the years for shifty business practices, including severely reducing the yield of affiliate earnings, after users have invested time into marketing them. (Such as on this very guide). Their customer support can also be pretty crappy, cold and they have a 3.5/5 rating on Trust Pilot. Overall, while better options come to the market, Wirex is still solid and reliable.
Although Wirex is 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 are one of the most recognized cryptocurrency companies in the space, known best for their expansive crypto eco-system and sponsoring the UFC.
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 – ranging from $0 tp $400,000 USD 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 account, helping power 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
Pros & Cons Of Crypto.com Debit Card
✔️ Sleek Looking Card: Ultra sleek and durable composite metal cards.
✔️ More Benefits: Tiered card options with varying benefits, based on how much CRO you stake.
✔️ Limited transaction fees: When using the crypto card limited transaction fees will accrue.
✔️ 24/7 human support: Crypto.com Have a customer support avaible any time of the day.
✔️ Over 50+ supported coins: The crypto debit card accepts a plethora of tokens.
❌ Reward System: The CRO staking system is overkill for those just wanting a crypto card without complication.
❌ Staking CRO: You have to stake 2,500 CRO to order Crypto.com’s tier one card. (Roughly $230 NZD)
❌ Doesn’t Accept Visa: Like Wirex, businesses that don’t accept visa cards won’t accept Crypto.com’s card.
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. Or even better, just get both!
Wirex vs Crypto.com – Crypto Debit Card Comparison
Because both cards offer near-zero fees, the 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 in New Zealand.
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
Service Fees Comparison
Card delivery: Free
|Card delivery: Free|
Issuance fees: $0
Account fees: $0
Card fees: $0
Supported Coins Comparison
Cryptocurrency 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. They also work overseas.
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. However it is to be said they are still an intermediary, and must not be confused with P2P, which is the intention of Bitcoin’s purpose – to be used P2P without a middleman like a crypto card.
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 in New Zealand.
It’s also guaranteed other crypto cards will arrive in NZ, or are even being built here, which may soon be better suited to your needs. We will update this guide when the happens.
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, and sketchy ratings.
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 / cinematic universe.
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. 🙂