When I was at CoinFestUK in Manchester the other weekend we received some lovely swag from various sponsors and included in the bag of goodies was this little gem from CoinsBank:
Yup, an anonymous debit card with a free gift of 0.1 btc to get you started.
There are several companies now offering crypto debit cards, so I thought I'd provide a fair review of the CoinsBank nanocard offering, without letting their generosity colour my opinion
When I opened it I loved the packaging. Clearly these guys know a thing or two about presentation. The card holder is beautiful, with a magnetic strip giving it a nice reassuring clunk when you close it back up. I'm actually thinking I'll repurpose this and use it for my next load of business cards. My current holder is fine, but this is better. The pen is good quality too, cheers guys!
So yesterday, more than a week after receiving it, I finally got around to activating and trying it.
Here I ran into my first problem. I went to the website, filled out all the forms, received text messages and entered codes, but when I got to the last page, where I enter my personal info and the last four digits of the card I came unstuck and had to open a support ticket. I also heard from another attendee that they'd had the same issue, had to contact them and had got it sorted.
Given I opened my ticket about 4 in the afternoon I wasn't surprised to see I had no response till this morning, but there it was, as soon as I woke up and got around to checking. They'd read the ticket, sorted out the issue and I went through the process of activating the card and claiming the free gift.
As it turns out, they charged 0.057btc activation fee, which left me with a balance of 0.043, so not quite the 0.1 I thought it was but still, free is free, right? I calculated that to mean that buying and activating a card from them is about £17, which seems a bit pricey compared to other options such as Wirex, Spectrocoin and Xapo. I wouldn't personally recommend spectrocoin btw, I didn't like the card when it arrived, it was badly packaged and required me to contact them on a premium rate phone number to set it up, but this isn't about them...
The CoinsBank platform is attractive, easy to navigate and offers a whole range of options for funding in different currencies, as well as direct bitcoin & litecoin support. The only thing I'd say needs some attention is the top bar where the ticker is for the various currencies. I'm not colour blind but I couldn't make them out easily, there wasn't enough contrast between the background and the data.
There's also several options which are still under development, including merchant support and trading.
I've taken the card to the shop and tested it to make my first purchase and the process was flawless. Standing in front of a number of people queuing the last thing I wanted was a card which didn't work, but I needn't have worried.
One thing I did notice when going through the website is that I couldn't find any mention anywhere of the fees for use, either at POS or for cash withdrawal. I also couldn't easily find any info on fees for transferring between currencies. That said, I've only had 2 pints of coffee, so I'm still a bit fuzzy.
Really keen to see what these guys build. The additional upcoming features make this one for me to watch. They will also now be my default debit card for spending bitcoin when I want stuff but can't be bothered to go all the way to the Bitcoin ATM. .
If you've still not settled on any particular card option, or you've been looking for a new one definitely check these guys out.