I first heard about bitcoin Visa cards back in the Summer of 2017, when opted into crypto craze (strong buy and hold here). Back then I discovered Bitpay VISA card and decided to order one at the start of 2018.

Now, as January approached and my existing crypto holdings have grown more by 320%, I decided to take another quick look at Bitcoin Visa card offer before ordering Bitpay card.

Soon I found an interesting article on Steemit: Best Bitcoin Debit Cards! Bitpay vs Wirex vs CryptoPay

As the author of the article concluded that Wirex seems a great option for EU/UK I decided to give it a try.

From Wirex promo materials:

  • Immediately after registration, you will have instant access to your first virtual debit card
  • Get it in less than five minutes. After you apply for the Wirex virtual Visa card online, it will be issued and delivered to your email inbox instantly
  • The Wirex virtual Visa card does not require a verification process before being issued. All we need is your name, date of birth and address
  • For just a few cents, you can transfer hundreds of dollars, unlike traditional transfers that cost so much more
  • Once you have funds on your virtual Visa card, you can use your funds to buy bitcoin, the digital currency
  • Wirex offers a completely free mobile banking app called Wirex app for iOS and Android devices

Register process was smooth, basic stuff

Register with Wirex

Register with Wirex

After filling out info got a confirmation link in my e-mail and I was ready to explore more.

Wirex offers both virtual and plastic cards, as I haven't had any experience yet with virtual cards, I did find it attractive that Wirex offers one for free. And opted to create one.

Wirex Virtual Visa Card

Wirex Virtual Visa Card

In couples of minutes it was ready and setup. Awesome. Virtual VISA card, with the card number, CVC code? Are you kidding me? Fantastic.

Now, before applying for a plastic card to be delivered to my postal address, I decided to test Virtual Card in action and decided to deposit some altcoins from Poloniex exchange.

At the start, I wanted to deposit some Monero (XMR) but transaction fees on Poloniex were too high and then I tried with Vertcoin.

Depositing Vertcoin (VTC) on Wirex

Depositing Vertcoin (VTC) on Wirex

Unfortunately, I  didn't notice the part on the screen saying Minimum transaction amount: 6.38 VTC and transferred just 1 VTC from Poloniex.com

When I realized error I have made I just sacrificed this 1 VTC to the learning curve (as of writing this 1 VTC = EUR 5.85 / USD 7.06) and promised to be more careful in the future. Sure, it changed a bit my desire to acquire a real Plastic card from Wirex. As losing money by not yet starting even using a service doesn't seem right to me. I started to google for negative comments regarding Wirex, and holy cow, found a dozen of articles claiming Wirex is a scam. 

See: 

Luckily, at least on Reddit forums there are always some member from WirexApp to respond even to the negative claims and at least for me it seems that Wirex is a legit

Currently, Wirex is rated with 7.5 stars (from 10) on Trustpilot

Anyhow, I decided to send my question directly to Wirex and made following request:

Hi guys, Wirexapp seems like a great service and would love to use in the future for everyday BTC/Altcoin EUR transfers!

I was searching for reliable BTC (Altcoin) Visa card and that's how I landed on Wirex - seems interesting enough to explore more.

To test out how it works I deposited 1 VTC from Poloniex exchange, unfortunately, just after the withdrawal from Poloniex I noticed that there is a minimum 6.12 VTC minimum. Reading from Help section - I can see you don't take any responsibility for this, quote:

Please take note of the limits to avoid losing money. We are not responsible for funds sent outside of the specified limits.

Now, I have a question, does it means my funds are lost forever, or maybe they are in some queue and if I will make an additional 5.12 VTC transfer they will sum up and will be transferred to my account on WirexAPP?

Here are details for this transaction:
Sent 1 VTC from Poloniex to:

Address: VdjZv6scatkUSTgtLFfiyjRKRq9k2Y7ob2
Txid: ab8a19457125febb43270839096f0fa096cb86cca91b10d386c19469f70a0a3a

Info from Blockchain explorer
https://bchain.info/VTC/addr/VdjZv6scatkUSTgtLFfiyjRKRq9k2Y7ob2

Thanks for looking into this 
Best,
Reinis Fischer

After some 20 hours, I got the following answer, uncovering some other problems with Wirexapp

Dear Reinis,
Thank you for contacting us.
Kindly note that when you top up your BTC account with another cryptocurrency, first the funds arrive to shapeshift.io. They exchange them into BTC and transfer to your Wirex wallet.

You can submit a ticket via their contact form: https://shapeshift.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new 
 
Besides, please mind that yesterday our card - issuing bank has received direction from Visa to immediately close all accounts of its prepaid Visa debit card programs. As a result, all the Wirex cards were disabled.

Unfortunately, the bank has not updated us in advance about these measures and we were unable to make our users ready for the cards closure.
However, we would like to assure you that you will not lose your funds. The card's balance will be converted into BTC and refunded to your Wirex wallet in full amount.
Moreover, once our new cards are available, we will replace the disabled Visa cards free of charge.

Also, in a couple of hours we will publish our official statement and share all the info we have by now.
Please accept our apologies for the inconveniences caused.
Hoping for your understanding and cooperation.

Best Regards,
Olexandra Konoval
Customer Support Representative

If you have any additional questions, please visit our Help Center: https://help.wirexapp.com

As the reply didn't provide answers on my questions regarding minimum transfer limit but instead was focused on some other much bigger issues Wirex is facing,  I decided to take advice and contact ShapeShift support, little reformatted my previous message to WirexApp and sent following:

Hi there!

I have a question regarding VTC transfer to Wirexapp. I already contacted WirexApp support and was advised to come to the Shapeshift Support.

So here is the problem: 
I was searching for reliable BTC (Altcoin) Visa card and that's how I landed on WirexApp

To test out how it works I deposited 1 VTC from Poloniex exchange, unfortunately, just after the withdrawal from Poloniex I noticed that there is a minimum 6.12 VTC minimum. Reading from Help section on WirexApp- I can see that they don't take any responsibility for this, quote:

Please take note of the limits to avoid losing money. We are not responsible for funds sent outside of the specified limits.

Now, I have a question, does it means my funds are lost forever, or maybe they are in some queue and if I will make an additional 5.12 VTC transfer they will sum up and will be transferred to my account on WirexAPP?

Here are details for this transaction: 
Sent 1 VTC from Poloniex to:

Address: VdjZv6scatkUSTgtLFfiyjRKRq9k2Y7ob2 
Txid: ab8a19457125febb43270839096f0fa096cb86cca91b10d386c19469f70a0a3a

Info from Blockchain explorer 
https://bchain.info/VTC/addr/VdjZv6scatkUSTgtLFfiyjRKRq9k2Y7ob2 (link is external)

Thanks for looking into this 
Best, 
Reinis Fischer

Frankly speaking, this doesn't seem interesting at all to me, contacting few different support desks because of the problem should be solved at one (OK, most probably this is just my fault). At this time I started to explore other VISA BTC cards: Xapo, Uquid e.t.c

Anyhow, at this stage I decided - look if there is some magic and I will get back my 1 VTC I will go with WirexApp. If there will be more support desks to contact or some other football then I'm good to go. Lost 1 VTC and got a valuable lesson.

Unfortunately, I didn't get back a reply from Shapeshit after 72 hours nor I got 1 VTC neither deposited to Wirexapp, nor sent back to the Poloniex exchange.

It seems I should wait for another six months before trying out BTC VISA card or stick to the basics and chose BitPay Visa Card.

How about you? Are you using BTC VISA card? Leave some comment, readers and I would love to hear!

Update: I got my VTC recovered after some 3 weeks:

Hello there, Here is your txid: 7ae41d554b27f8cde046430e08a2ec1bbd342feb3e45f963c2c2cfcfcd665ea3
Have a wonderful day, and thanks for using ShapeShift!

All the best,
Megan
Director of Customer Support

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