Wirex Card Review (2021)

Wirex Card Review (2021)
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Payment Options
  • Speed
  • Fees
3.8

Summary

I’ve been impressed by Wirex.

It’s a crypto-friendly account, which has decent fees (about 2.5%) and a good user interface. Wirex now supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and an ever-growing list of other cryptocurrencies.

I think it’s definitely one of the best bitcoin debit cards available in the UK and Europe.

Wirex is a crypto-friendly currency account. It allows you to store, transfer, and exchange between cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) and fiat currencies (i.e. GBP, EUR, & USD).

With Wirex’s GBP Visa Debit card, you can also shop in-store and online.

Is it the best bitcoin debit card in the UK and EU? Check out this Wirex review to see what I think.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Quick verification (< 5mins).
  • 3.8 Trustpilot rating (6500+ reviews)
  • Hold a UK FCA e-money licence.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • Buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Waves (WAVES), Wollo (WLO), Dai (DAI), Nano (NANO), Stellar (XLM), and Wirex Token (WRX) without paying unreasonable fees (2.5%).
  • Makes buying and sell supported cryptocurrencies quick and easy.
  • Up to 1.5% cashback (in Bitcoin) when you use your Wirex card in-store.
  • Contactless Visa Debit cards (issued and delivered for FREE).
  • Browser-based and mobile apps (iOS & Android).

Disadvantages

Who Are Wirex?

Wirex Review - Pavel Matveev and Dmitry Lazarichev
Pavel Matveev and Dmitry Lazarichev.

Wirex was established in late-2014 by Dmitry Lazarichev and Pavel Matveev. They’re based in the UK but have offices around the world, with more than 250 employees. They were previously known as ‘E-Coin’ but rebranded in 2016.

Wirex has over 3 million users across over 150 countries, with more than 3000 new registrations every single day. In July 2020, they reported that they’d processed more than $3 billion in transactions.

To sum up their mission statement, Wirex is aiming to.

  • Expand the availability of banking services.
  • Get more people involved in the ongoing financial revolution.
  • Remove the geographic limitations of finance.

Main Features

Crypto Features

Wirex Review - Nano Wallet Overview

  • Store Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Waves (WAVES), Wollo (WLC), Dai (DAI), Nano (NANO), Stellar (XLM), and the Wirex Token (WRX) in their web wallets.
  • Send from, and receive to, these cryptocurrency web wallets.
  • Buy and sell supported cryptocurrencies with GBP, EUR, and other fiat currencies at reasonable rates (about 2.5% in fees).

Card Features

Wirex Review - Account Dashboard

Supported Countries

Wirex fully supports 37 countries, which includes the UK, Europe, and Singapore.

In the near future, Wirex cards will be available in the US too.

There’s partial support (i.e. without card features) in dozens of other countries. You can check what features are available in your country (or one that you’re visiting) here.

What countries are fully supported by Wirex?

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

Supported Cryptocurrencies

You can buy, sell, and transfer the following cryptocurrencies on Wirex:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Waves (WAVES)
  • Wollo (WLO)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Nano (NANO)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Wirex Token (WRX)

If you live outside of the EU, you might not have access to all these cryptocurrencies. Check out this post for a list of cryptocurrencies supported in your country.

Supported Traditional (Fiat) Currencies

In addition to GBP, EUR, and USD accounts, Wirex now supports the following traditional currencies:

  • AUD (Australian Dollar)
  • CAD (Canadian Dollar)
  • CHF (Swiss Franc)
  • CZK (Czech Koruna)
  • HKD (Hong Kong Dollar)
  • HRK (Croatian Kuna)
  • HUF (Hungarian Forint)
  • JPY (Japanese Yen)
  • MXN (Mexican Peso)
  • NZD (New Zealand Dollar)
  • PLN (Polish Złoty)
  • RON (Romanian Leu)
  • SGD (Singapore Dollar)

You won’t be able to add USD to your Wirex account if you’re not a resident in an EU country.

You also won’t be able to add a few of these fiat currencies in some regions. To check what’s available in your country, head over to this page.

How do I activate additional traditional (fiat) currencies in Wirex?

  • Go to Preferences > Accounts (top right of the dashboard)
  • Scroll down to Inactive Accounts.
  • Select the + symbol next to the currency you want to add.
  • Select Home in the left sidebar and you’ll see that currency in the Accounts Overview.

Payment Methods

You can fund your GBP account with:

  • Credit/debit cards (3D Secure)
  • UK bank transfer
  • SWIFT

If you use a credit card, it’ll probably be considered a cash advance (not good). It’ll be simpler and cheaper to just use a debit card.

You can also withdraw GBP from your Wirex account via a UK bank transfer. These are processed through the Faster Payments Service (FPS), which means they should be processed quickly.

If you’re using a credit or debit card, you can top-up your account with the GBP equivalent of $5000 per day. If you use a UK bank transfer, there’s no cap on how much you can deposit.

The maximum card balance is £15000/€16000/$20000, which seems more than enough. Your account balance (separate from card balance) is uncapped.

Deposits with a debit or credit card are instant, but my bank transfers weren’t credited for about an hour (even though use the FPS). I’ve found that it’s quicker and easier to just use your debit card.

All EUR accounts are linked with an IBAN. This means that EU residents can now fund their EUR accounts with a SEPA transfer too.

Fees

Wirex Card Fees

Wirex card fees are reasonable and competitive.

Setting up a Wirex account is FREE and getting a physical card issued and delivered is also FREE. There are also no domestic transaction fees and no loading fees.

Unfortunately, there is a £1/€1.20/$1.50 per month account management fee. It’s not a significant amount, but it’s still an annoying consideration. Regardless of your account activity, you’ll pay this account management fee.

These are the other Wirex card limits and fees I picked out…

Fee or LimitCharge
ATM charge (in Europe)£1.75/€2.25/$2.50
ATM charge (outside Europe)£2.25/€2.75/$3.50
ATM withdrawals$250 per day (equivalent in local currency)
Credit/Debit card top-up$5000 per day (equivalent in local currency)
Maximum card balance$20000 (equivalent in local currency)
Daily Spend Limit$10000 (equivalent in local currency)
Daily Transfer Limit (UK bank transfer)£3000

I wouldn’t make a habit of withdrawing cash with the Wirex card, as the ATM charge will add up.

If you need cash, I’d just transfer the funds to my main bank account and then withdraw at an ATM via that (without paying any fees).

More information available here.

Buying Bitcoin With Wirex

Unfortunately, buying Bitcoin (BTC) or any other supported cryptocurrency with Wirex isn’t as cheap as it used to be.

There now appears to be hidden fee in the cryptocurrency exchange rate (between 1% and 1.5%), in addition to a fixed fee of 1% which you’ll pay whenever you exchange cryptocurrencies using Wirex. You can check the rates that they’re selling all supported cryptocurrencies here.

As I’ve outlined in my popular guide, there are cheaper ways to buy Bitcoin (BTC) in the UK.

It’s possible to buy and send supported cryptocurrencies on Wirex without ordering a Wirex card too. However, you won’t get full functionality if you don’t get a card.

How can I check how competitive Wirex’s exchange rate is?

When you’re buying Bitcoin (BTC) with Wirex, it’ll clearly show you the exchange rate and fees you’re being charged. However, the competitiveness of this exchange rate isn’t explicit.

Wirex Review - Buy Bitcoin

To understand how competitive Wirex prices are, check out BittyBot. It ranks the exchange rate offered by Bitcoin (BTC) sellers in the UK (cheapest first). It offers an impartial comparison that’s worth bookmarking.

When you hover over ‘Price’, you’ll see a little pop-up.

Wirex Review - BittyBot Price Comparison of Wirex

This shows you how much the offered exchange rate is above the BPI (or Bitcoin Price Index).

Wirex Token (WXT)

Wirex Token (WXT) is a utility token issued by Wirex.

If you hold a decent amount of this inside your Wirex account, you’ll unlock benefits such as:

  • Reduced fees when you buy, sell, or transfer cryptocurrency.
  • Enhanced cashback when you shop in-store.
  • Reduced account management fees (coming soon).
  • Reduced ATM fees (coming soon).

This is how much you need to unlock these benefits:

AmountEquivalent CostFee DiscountEnhanced Cashback
50,000 WRX£40025%0.75%
100,000 WRX£80050%1.00%
500,000 WRX£4000100%1.50%

They’re planning to add more benefits for Wirex Token (WRX) holders in the near future. Check out this post for more details.

Interface

Wirex Review - Send Cryptocurrency

I think Wirex’s browser interface looks terrible, but it does the job.

Wirex has quite obviously developed the web interface around the mobile. The mobile version works and feels a lot better though.

Alternatives

Coinbase Card Website _1

Coinbase Card is another half-decent crypto debit card available in the UK.

It offers a great user experience, allowing you to spend directly from your cryptocurrency balance.

But the fees suck. Every single time you make a purchase, you’ll be charged a cryptocurrency exchange fee of 2.49%.

Ooof! No thanks.

To find out more, check out my Coinbase Card review.

Crypto.com Cards (MCO Visa Card)

Another option is the MCO Visa Card, issued by Crypto.com.

It offers cashback on all your spending (up to 5%) and some other juicy benefits (like 100% cashback on Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime). It’s currently available in the UK, EU, US, and parts of Asia-Pacific.

Check out my Crypto.com review to learn more.

Summary: Best Bitcoin Debit Card?

When I first heard about Wirex, I wasn’t expecting much.

But I was wrong. Wirex is a decent bitcoin debit card.

Why?

  • You can buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and other supported cryptocurrencies at reasonable rates (about 2.5% in fees).
  • It’s convenient and beginner-friendly. You get can going in no time at all.
  • Wirex GBP Visa Debit cards are accepted anywhere a normal Visa is (i.e., nearly everywhere).
  • Cashback on in-store purchases starts at 0.5%, but you can get up to 1.5% if you buy and hold Wirex Token (WRX).

Want to give Wirex a shot?

Signup (and get verified) in less than 5 minutes.

Any Questions?

Thanks for reading this Wirex review!

Have a question about Wirex? Or do you want to share your own experience?

Comment below and let me know!

27 thoughts on “Wirex Card Review (2021)”

  1. Can’t believe it iv spent an hour opening an account & then read all this negative news about them, what a waste of time, cant use a company knowing I’m expecting a load of grief if I have a query, why don’t they just improve there CC Dept

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting, Dean.

      I’ve experienced a decline in the quality of Wirex’s customer support over time.

      I recently contacted them with a straightforward request, but it took them over a month and multiple messages before I was able to get it resolved.

      However, it’s not an isolated problem in the cryptocurrency space – it seems like lots of popular places don’t invest enough in their customer support. A good alternative to Wirex is Crypto.com and they have the same kind of issues.

      Reply
  2. Hi Dean,
    Does Wirex offer UK bank transfers via Faster Payments for withdrawing and depositing GBP?
    So it’s clear to me do we need a Wirex Debit card in order to be able to withdraw GBP to my UK bank account.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Thanks for commenting, Umberto!

      Wirex supports UK Faster Payments for deposits and withdrawals, but – in my experience – it’s not instantaneous. It might take a few hours.

      It might have changed since I signed up to Wirex, but I did need to get a Wirex card before I was able to deposit/withdraw with a UK bank transfer.

      If you’re not fussed on having a crypto debit card, then there are now cheaper options to buy cryptocurrency that I’ve covered in this post. One option not included on this list which I really like is Luno (1.5% fees, supports UK bank transfers too). You can find out about that in my Luno review.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
    • I transferred 47.69 UKP to another UK account yesterday and 38.75 UKP arrived. They claim they do not charge and the transfer receipt says Fee Free but when I took this up with them they said “* We never claimed that we don’t change for SWIFT transfers.”. I was only able to choose between local or international with the app so I had chosen local. I do not accept that almost 20% is in any way reasonable.

      Reply
      • Sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience, Jamie.

        However, the deductions you mentioned (£8.94) don’t line up with the fees listed on this page (£12).

        If you 100% selected “Faster Payments” and you have the purchase receipt to back it up, then you could follow-up again and/or submit a complaint to get to the bottom of what’s happened.

        Reply
  3. I have not had access to my Wirex account or funds for 130 days. Wirex standard response when I complain is ‘We would be glad to provide you with the requested information, however, unfortunately, we are unable to do so until the completion of the investigation.’
    I’ve no idea what they are investigating, why or why it is taking so long.

    Reply
    • Andrew, thanks for commenting!

      Sorry to hear you’re having issues with Wirex. As this post details, it could be for a few reasons. If they’re not telling you why it’s locked, it’s probably because their hands are legally tied.

      You might want to check out their complaint process so that you can consider escalation to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they’re non being helpful.

      Reply
  4. Late to the party, but thanks for a great article!
    I’m leaning towards applying for the card, but first I want to understand whether the exchange rate Fiat/Crypto differ between buying and selling, and if so, how much approximately. I can’t find any info on that. Does anyone here have a hunch?

    Reply
    • Glad you found the article useful and thanks for commenting!

      Unfortunately, Wirex recently added a hidden fee to the exchange rate that they offer when buying or selling cryptocurrency (which is about 1.5%). There’s then an additional fee of 1% that’s slapped on top of that, which means you’ll pay about 2.5% in fees whenever you buy or sell a cryptocurrency. That’s not bad, but nowhere near as competitive as it used to be.

      An alternative which I really like is the MCO Visa Card by Crypto.com. It works a little differently to Wirex and requires staking a little money to unlock better rates of cashback, but the buying and selling rates are 0% if you deposit GBP or EUR with a bank transfer. I don’t think those rates will last forever, but you can’t get your hands on cryptocurrency cheaper at the moment. They support a lot more cryptocurrencies too. Here’s my Crypto.com review if you want more info on how it works.

      Let me know if you have any other questions – happy to answer!

      Reply
  5. At first I thought Wirex was great. Oh how wrong can you be….
    currently they have ‘stolen’ nearly £2000 of my money. I have been trying to get access to my account for more than a week. Customer Service is atrocious, you can only contact therm by email, they only reply when it suits them and only answer the questions they want to i.e. I have asked to be in contact with Management multiple times and not even been giving a name, I have asked what their complaints procedure is multiple times and just been ignored! No response on How can I get my money back? I can olny hope that eventually I will get a resolution, in the meanwhile I can only advise people NOT TO USE WIREX! they have no integrity and you will probably loose money.

    Reply
    • Jon, I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble.

      Go to this page and you’ll find a different email address that you can use to submit a complaint. Before you can escalate this to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), you need to give Wirex a reasonable chance to resolve the issue. You might feel like you already have (and that’s fair enough), but doing so again only goes in your favour if they continue to ignore the issue.

      Submit a formal complaint to the email address outlining the complaint from start to finish, including your experience with their customer support. Cite the URL above and inform them that they have 15 days to provide a substantial reply, otherwise you’ll escalate it to the Ombudsman. Make sure to request the reason for the block, as well as an internal timeline on what they’ve done and when in regards to your case.

      If they don’t reply or you don’t think it’s fair, escalate the complaint and follow that procedure. It takes time, but my experience with the Ombudsman has only been positive.

      Hope this helps,

      Dean

      Reply
  6. Signed up to Wirex last weekend. Agree it’s a really nice option for UK-based people to purchase Bitcoin. The app is nice and slick and their markup over spot non-egregious. However…

    Their customer support response time sucks! I had two questions:

    1. Why their BTC transfer fees to an external wallet were more than 3x greater than average transfer fees on the BTC blockchain at the time.

    2. Why, despite being verified, I had no GBP, EUR or USD accounts visible on my dashboard.

    They replied to (1) within 24 hours, but it was just a copy and paste of their “Blockchain Fees” FAQ page. I responded that this reply was not acceptable. Six days later, no reply.

    Six days after enquiring about (2), I’ve had no response from them. Nada. Zip. I’m now wondering if to get GBP, EUR and USD accounts, you have to apply for the Wirex card. However, I’m not prepared to apply for a maintenance fee-supported card if customer support is so poor. Reading their community forum, it seems there is no straightforward way to cancel this card. There is also nothing in their FAQs.

    It’s a shame, as overall the service looks promising. They need to sort out their crap customer service though.

    Reply
    • Happy Friday James!

      Wirex is a decently cheap option, but they did add a 1% fee sometime after they reduced their rates to wholesale. If you don’t want to deal with their support (because you’re right, it’s pretty shit from everything I’ve experienced and read), then Solidi is worth checking out. Review here: https://quickpenguin.net/solidi-review/ UK based, same rates as Wirex, UK bank transfer support, growing in popularity.

      Don’t know why their transfer fees are so bad, but might be able to help with your other point.

        You need a Wirex card to get access to GBP, EUR, and USD accounts. If you want all three, you’ll pay £3/month.
        After ordering, you can freeze the service by reducing your balance to £0. If you want to outright cancel/close your account, you might need to submit a ticket (they’ll still hold your data for a long time for legal reasons).

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Happy Friday to you too, Dean! 🙂

        Thanks for clarifying, re. the missing GBP, EUR and USD accounts. The fact this came from you faster than it has (still not) come to me from Wirex Customer Support speaks volumes.

        When you say that you can freeze the card service by reducing the balance to £0, does this statement refer to your overall balance across all accounts, or just the balance on your card?

        Regarding cancellation, based on my current experience I would absolutely not want to be in a position to need to rely on Wirex Customer Support! I also find the short positive reviews on Trustpilot highly suspect (particularly when compared to the detailed negative reviews), and Wirex responses to negative reivews appear to be generic bot-based. This is all a shame, as a service like Wirex that actually works well, is desperately needed.

        I’ll check out Solidi via your review. Thanks for doing what you are Dean. Your site is a valuable resource; particularly for UK Crypto users.

        Reply
  7. I made the mistake of using my Wirex GBP card for the first time on holiday. I typed in the pin wrongly 3 times and the pin got blocked, though I could still use the card to withdraw money at an ATM. Response from the support team was very slow and advice incomplete. Eventually they told me to unblock the pin at ‘the main Visa ATM’. None in Australia seemed to have that service and all the ATMs I tried in London wouldn’t process that service. I can’t recommend using their card, as they seem to have a significant number of problems to sort out but I wish them well, as not many people are offering their service.

    Reply
  8. UPDATE on a search for a hassle free crypto card.
    Bitwala do respond to queries fairly quickly so I started to apply for a card. Their verification process states that the utility bill required by the applicant must state the full christian names and surname so I queried that most utility bills don’t contain all the christian names and usually just the first letter of the first name plus the surname. tmT They stated that this would not be correct and it would be rejected. They also require the applicant tax reference numbers. They also state that the name of the applicant must be on the letterbox of the property when the card is delivered. I have exchanged numerous emails with Bitwall and it’s clear they are totally bureaucratic and would
    be just total hassle to proceed.
    I have had my details deleted from
    their database and so my search continues for a good reliable hassle free crypto debit card.

    Any recommendations welcome.

    Reply
  9. I emailed Bitwala customer support and they answered within hours. They are limited to Bitcoin at the moment but say other coins will be added soon. They sound good and I’ll be giving thrm a try,
    Meanwhile I gave Wirex a chance and sent the email below on the 8th March (AND 6 DAYS LATER THEY HAVEN’T EVEN ACKNOWLDGED IT! IT WAS EVEN COPIED TO THEIR ‘ESCALATIONS’ DEPT.

    Dean, your review site is professional and a pleasure to read, but may I respectfully suggest you amend your opinions on Wirex.

    ‘Hello Antony
    It has taken you 10 days to respond my request. I have reported other issues since you and have not yet answered.
    After reading the apparently disgraceful reviews of your business online (20% of all reviewers are angry and nasty customers making serious accusations against you) – I can’t imagine dealing with you much longer if these comments are true.
    Are the reviews on trust pilot /Reddit etc genuine? Your replies to some of them seem lukewarm and bot styled to say the least. You do not respond in a normal way that someone would be when wrongly accused of theft and fraud!
    Please pass my comments here to the founders of your business.
    I’d like to be reassured from the top that my money, data and business is safe in your hands!

    Reply
  10. Many thanks -I’ll research Bitwala and update you.
    I think we all have to imagine how we’d feel when an issue arises and it’s not sorted quickly.
    Clearly customer services anyware can take time and it’s frustrating when it takes days and days for responses. When your funds are dependent on it then it’s just not acceptable.
    Dave

    Reply
  11. Hi Dean
    Thanks for your efforts. I have a response just from a query raised 10 days ago.
    As this is rather too long I did some digging on Trust Pilot and Reddit etc.as to what users think of Wirex
    On TP 23% of the almost 800 reviews are accusations of very awful conduct – in fact many of theft and dishonest trading, This is too high. Reviews always show a proportion of unhappy folk fir different reasons but an almost one in four chance of becoming very unhappy means I won’t be doing more business with Wirex.
    Their responses to the accusations (where they have given them) are lukewarm (almost
    BOT- style) and not responsive enough as they would be if they were being wrongly criticised.
    Thanks again – but I’m out. I am still looking for a crypto debit card !

    See – https://www.trustpilot.com/review/wirexapp.com

    Reply
    • I have to admit, their responses to complaints on Trustpilot do look bot-like.

      I’ve never had an issue, but their support seems poorer than I realised. I’ll explore it more and update the review when I have time (as I think people should be aware of this).

      There aren’t many great alternatives right now (lots still need to be approved to send out cards). Someone in this post mentioned Bitwala – who offer EUR bitcoin debit cards. I haven’t explored them deeply, but looks decent enough on the surface?

      Reply
  12. I like the Wirex system but their customer service response time is poor – days in fact.
    All I want to do is change the pin but ATMs here in Spain won’t do it. Their online chat is never online. What time zone are they on?
    The Wirex 3 contactless card would be ideal but they seem to want me to open a separate account. I only need one. Comments appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hey Dave,

      I don’t know where their customer support is based – but it should be somewhere in the EU.

      I’ve tested their response time in the past and it’s not been longer than 24 hours! Perhaps it’s because Wirex 3.0 has just been released?

      It’s strange you can’t change the PIN inside their app. Challenger banks in the UK allow you to do exactly that (free of charge). I don’t have any suggestion, apart from contact support and hold-out on getting a response.

      Sorry I couldn’t help! Hope you get it resolved.

      Reply
    • Hey Dave,

      Reached out to them last night. Their advice was to log a ticket here if you haven’t already and contact via Twitter to escalate/highlight it to them.

      Best regards,

      Reply
  13. Sadly my experience of Wirex has been less than impressive – the debit card worked intermittently so do not make the mistake of going out with just your Wirex card to pay for petrol and then all my funds were taken. Someone changed my password without my permission and it took support which is only available via ticket system 16 days to allow me access to my account. Avoid!

    Reply

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