I tend to think of credit cards and debit cards as just modes of payment to make purchases more seamless.
To attract more people to sign up for these cards, banks throw in perks like rebates, cashbacks, reward points, or airline miles.
But these perks may not even be easily accessible or useful in your daily life unless you’re a big spender or a frequent traveller.
And now, here’s a card that gives 100% rebate on their cardholders’ Spotify and Netflix subscriptions, and 10% rebate on their trips and accommodations booked on Expedia and Airbnb.
Called the MCO Visa Card, it’s described as, “The free metal card for your on-the-go lifestyle.” While it looks like a traditional credit/debit card, it doesn’t work like one.
It’s more like a prepaid card that also has a multi-currency e-wallet function, which cardholders can access and track their transactions via its eponymous app.
There are four tiers of the MCO Visa Card: Obsidian Black, Royal Indigo/Jade Green, Ruby Steel, and Midnight Blue, with each tier boasting different benefits.
All cards come in metal form except the free Midnight Blue. In order to apply for the metal MCO Visa Cards, the cardholder is required to lock up a certain amount of MCO Tokens, a type of decentralised virtual currency.
We got to try the Royal Indigo card for a day which allows us to withdraw money at a VISA- supported ATM and exchange foreign currency.
The card can be loaded with fiat money to make both online and offline purchases.
Let’s see how this card fares.
To get the card, I applied for it via the MCO App, available for download on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Once I opened the app, I was introduced to the cards and their benefits. There is an option to skip this.
After the initiation, I entered my email address, keyed in my phone number, and went through a Know Your Customer (KYC) process to set up my account.
It took just one working day to get my application verified and I could proceed to set a six-digit passcode and enable Face ID (for Apple users).
The application took less than five minutes to complete, and it’s possible to complete the whole registration process in under 10 minutes if you have all the documents on hand.
Unlike some sites that require you to upload photos or scans of your proof-of-address, the MCO App scans your documents which are then sent for verification.
I selected my local currency and was ready to start exploring the functions of the app and choose my card.
Under the ‘Card’ tab at the bottom of the screen, I chose the Royal Indigo card and locked in 500 MCO Tokens that were provided to me.
No more than five working days later, I received the cool, metal card in a stylish hexagonal cardboard box.
The card was heavier than a normal credit or debit card and the choice of material definitely added to that bougee effect.
All that’s left to do is to activate it and start tapping!
Putting It To The Test
For this review, I received another 60 MCO to spend as the initial 500 MCO tokens were locked in.
The app conveniently shows me all the rates and values of the virtual currencies I own in the local fiat currency in a glance, and it also reflects the total amount of money I have from owning these virtual currencies.
But before I can start using the MCO Visa Card, I have to convert the MCO tokens into Singapore dollars in the app.
I tapped on the ‘Buy’ icon and was asked to choose a fiat currency to convert into a specific virtual currency, and vice-versa, I was also able to convert the virtual currency into Singapore dollars.
The money was almost instantaneously converted and I was able to use the MCO Visa Card right away.
It functions just like any debit or credit card and because it has Visa PayWave, I was able to pay for my colleagues’ and my meals with just one tap.
Right after the transaction went through, I received an email and a push notification on my phone that also shows how much cashback I’ve earned.
We then went to pick up some hamster food and bedding for our office pet and we paid with the MCO Visa Card with one tap.
What’s a better way to round up a fulfilling, food coma-inducing lunch than a cup of bubble tea?
My colleagues and I made our way to a KOI store excitedly only to find out that they only accept NETS or cash – which gave me the opportunity to test out the MCO Visa Card’s ability to withdraw cash at any ATM that accepts Visa.
I chose the Citibank ATM because there was no queue, then keyed in my PIN number, and waited for the machine to dispense the money.
Participating banks under the atm⁵ network in Singapore, lets cardholders perform cash withdrawals without incurring a fee.
To be honest, I was a little bit worried that it would fail, and I have to disappoint the rest of my colleagues who wanted bubble tea.
Anyway, it was a success! We got bubble tea for everyone back in the office.
As we ~unexpectedly~ took a long lunch break, we decided to take a Grab back to our office.
My colleague added the MCO Visa Card to her GrabPay and we were good to go.
Overall, I had a great experience using the MCO Visa Card, and I would recommend it for the great benefits, innovative services, and cool metal card. Here’s why.
Besides having a stylish and sleek metal card, the registration process and application process are painless and seamless.
Traditional credit/debit card application is a tedious act of signing multiple papers, getting ready scanned copies of relevant documents, and understanding complicated words.
Personally, that’s a big turn off, so I was pleasantly surprised when I could complete the processes so quickly without having to meet a pushy salesperson.
Also, the multi-currency wallet function is undoubtedly useful.
If you’re new to virtual currencies, the app’s functions let you track the fluctuations, and with their user-friendly interface, you can easily analyse and read the graphs.
The MCO App would be a great boon for those who travel frequently, or a frequent traveller who happens to dabble in virtual currency.
It’s extremely practical because travellers can quickly convert their virtual currencies into local fiat currencies without having to visit a physical money changer – and the Royal Indigo card has a US$10,000 interbank exchange rates limit.
All MCO Cards offer cashback with every Visa transaction you do.
The cards also boast other perks like giving the cardholder airport lounge access and rebates on Spotify, Netflix, Expedia, and Airbnb.
Just head to the ‘Card’ tab in the MCO App and flip the ‘Enable International Usage’ switch and link the MCO Visa Card to the Spotify or Netflix account.
I received a notification immediately when Spotify charged the MCO Visa Card, giving me 100% rebate AND cashback.
Free Spotify and Netflix subscription FTW!
Finally, the ability to withdraw cash at any ATM that supports Visa cards is convenient and handy, even though it comes with a limit.
For the Royal Indigo card, the limit is USD$800 per month – that is more than enough for a young working adult like me.
But it shouldn’t be a problem nowadays since going cashless is the way to go.
Now, on to the cons of this card.
As a first-time user, it took me a while to figure out how to convert my MCO Tokens into fiat currency.
I think it’d be better if the cardholder is served a tutorial of some sorts within the app that shows off all its functions once the card is activated.
This would be especially helpful for someone who isn’t familiar with using virtual currency applications.
For me, I felt a little frustrated trying to figure out which currency should I be buying/selling to get my fiat currency.
At the moment, the MCO wallet supports 11 types of virtual currencies, including the major ones in the market and can be expected to add more into their portfolio soon.
Under the ‘Track’ tab, the MCO Visa cardholder can view and track the fluctuations of 200 other virtual currencies.
All in all, I think that this could spur first-timers to get on the virtual currency bandwagon as they can add a debit/credit card into the MCO wallet and start buying them right away.
With the MCO Visa Card, virtual currency is made practical, as cardholders are now able to spend these digital currencies on real-life necessities and retail purchases.
It is still on the cardholder’s onus to make prudent financial decisions and to not go overboard.
I think the regular travel-loving, tech-savvy millennial would also find this card suitable for their needs since it fully rebates their Spotify and Netflix and gives 10% rebates when they make purchases on Airbnb and Expedia.
The MCO Visa Card is quite accessible with its different tiers and cardholders can upgrade to their preference when they like.
Whether you’re a jet-setter or go-getter, the MCO Visa Card is worth checking out.
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion into our Facebook page.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post