The time has come once again for me to bash... ummm I mean to review a project. This time around I am going to take a look at the new Binance Visa card which I've been using for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, the card is only virtual and there's no news on when I'll get my hands on the physical version.
That being said I've still been able to make some payments with the card and I think I've tried it enough to have an opinion.
The card is issued in the UK
This brings us to the first issue that I have with the Binance Card. The virtual card at least is issued in the UK which means that services like Spotify, Netflix, etc. are a big no-no for me since I live in Romania. It's not the card's fault, it's just that those services are restricting users from using debit cards issued in other countries?
But why would they do that?
Because they charge different sums of money depending on the country you're in. They do this because in poorer countries nobody would pay the $10 or £10 that you have to pay in the US or UK. That's why in my country the price of a Premium Spotify subscription for example is $5.
The IP address however is unreliable at telling if someone is actually buying from Romania or not due to the use of VPN services. The Binance card, being issued in the UK would force me to pay the UK rate(£10) for such services which in turn means that I'd end up paying more than double what I pay using my normal bank card.
All Visas are equal... but some are more equal than others
While the Visa part might be the same for every Visa card, I'm guessing that the service which provides transaction authorization matters a lot, and some are not accepted by all merchants.
Binance went with Swipe as the transaction processing authority and for me, that's both good and bad at the same time. While appreciate Binance promoting and using other crypto projects, I feel like going with Swipe makes this card an incomplete deal.
The reason for this is that even when paying at merchants that don't have any kind of geographical restrictions, I found that the Binance card sometimes fails to... work. This problem, I think, comes from the use of Swipe, because while on some sites I can get the Visa confirmation screen on others I can't. The fact that is a Visa card doesn't seem to matter that much as this card has failed me more times than it actually worked.
While the card is advertised at 8% cashback, this is actually true only if you hold large amounts of BNB. That's pretty stupid in my opinion because maybe I have a large amount of BTC which by the way you can totally use with this card. Instead of calculating the cashback rate based on the amount of crypto you hold, they focus on BNB which I guess was to be expected as that's their own coin, but I fell like a lot of people will feel left out due to this decision.
Right now I have a 1% cashback which I think it's the lowest of the low, but I'm not going to buy BNB just for this card that doesn't work half the time.
Based on your BNB holdings there are multiple levels of cashback and I feel like they're a bit too expensive. For the 8% cashback that they advertise, you must have around 6000BNB which is more or less worth $170,000. That's a lot of money!
The good parts
Well, there aren't many, to be honest with you. The only positive thing is that I use Binance for trading which means that I can easily transfer money between the Spot account and the Card account. 1% cashback is not that bad considering my traditional debit card gives me 0.0%, but I still feel like there are better services out there.
The lack of a physical card, for now, is also a minus for me, I don't know if they didn't ship any of them or they didn't ship to Romania yet, or maybe it's just me. Who knows?
I also like that you can use multiple cryptocurrencies when paying with the card (SXP, BNB, BUSD, and BTC) and you can also automatically top up your card when you run out of funds. There's also no card administration tax which is pretty standard nowadays, but still a nice thing to have 👌.
If you're heavily invested in the Binance ecosystem and own large amounts of BNB and you're from the UK this might be the card for you. If however, you're not in this tiny minority you might like to look somewhere else for crypto cards.
While this card is pretty new and more features and changes will definitely come to make this a sweeter deal, for now, I'll rate it, on a scale from burning pile of garbage to better than sliced bread, with a ... dirty shorts mark 👎.
This is not a great investment if you're not already using Binance in which case you've got nothing to lose, so if you're looking for a crypto card and have multiple options in mind, you can stay away from Binance without fear.
And now it's time for me to shill for Binance because after I criticized their service I still have to make money somehow. It's hard out there you know? So if you're looking out to try Binance in the near future, why not use my referral link: https://www.binance.com/en/register?ref=XAUJC4TW. Yay my first referral link, I officially sold out 😂.