I have never been an advocate of cryptocurrency. I see it as being more speculation than investment at this point in time. Just go to forums or Reddit for whichever coins you’re interested in and be amused.

That’s not to say there is no merit to it, or that one definitely shouldn’t go near it. Ask fundamental questions like, what real-world problem is this cryptocurrency start-up trying to solve that traditional means can’t? Is it simply moving an existing solution to the crypto-universe for the sake of acquiring hot money? Thread carefully.

One possible awesome thing to come out of it is the Monaco Pre-Paid Visa Card. Touted as an avenue for holders of cryptocurrency to cash out and spend their coins, it has a surprisingly fantastic use-case for frequent travelers.

For a start, you don’t even have to dabble with cryptocurrency to utilize it. From the official website, it states that you can top up with bank transfer, debit/credit card (hint hint potential air-miles chaser), Bitcoin and Ether. Still, is it subjected to top-up fees? And how much? I don’t know anything yet, for now.

But what’s so great about a simple VISA pre-paid card?

  • $2,000 interbank exchange rates limit
    According to Monaco, “your card will always be treated as a local currency card and you will get perfect interbank exchange rates, wherever you are.” It would be ridiculously awesome if it works as advertised.
  • $200 free ATM withdrawal limit
    Imagine on an overseas trip and running out of funds due to emergencies? The free ATM withdrawal would be a godsend.
  • No monthly or annual fees
    No hassle of getting waivers etc.
  • Free shipping
    If it’s free, it’s good enough for me.
  • No MCO Purchase
    Unless you’re going for one of their premium cards, the most basic edition costs nothing. You don’t even have to buy their coins (called MCO Tokens) to use their cards.

If you have existing Bitcoins or Ether in your wallets, would you want to tie those virtual coins to real-world usage? Singapore is the first and only country, as of now, to have the Monaco Pre-Paid VISA Card. Global domination is next on their road-map. TODAY Online (sourced from Bloomberg) reported this piece of news yesterday, but suspiciously no other mainstream media in Singapore reported the official tie-up between Monaco and VISA.

Well, since it costs me nothing (my advice is to skip the premium cards), I have reserved my free card. The waiting list is currently at 20,000 when I last checked, and slowly inching upwards.

Due to my stupidity, I signed up without using any referral code and missed out on a free US$10 credit. If you’re interested, don’t make the same mistake as I did and remember sign up with a referral code.

Disclosure :
If you use my code, lucky you will get US$10 credit; but I don’t get ANY money at all. What I do get in return, is that my queue number in the waiting list will get pushed forward – and I can do publish a review of the Monaco Pre-Paid VISA Card as soon as I get it. Win-win!

Updated 4th Nov 2017 :
The man has spoken! GMGH shared the some very useful info at the comments below. I dug around TenX website and found this table (no guarantee of the accuracy) for reference. Seems like most of you are just as skeptical of emerging technology as I am, and a handful (read, less than 5) have signed up via my link. For those of you who did, well I guess you can happily test the card with the US$10 credit? I’ll put in some of my real money to do my own test when the time comes, and thanks to the helpful bunch, I’m now among the first 1,000 in queue 😀