Most cryptocurrency users are searching for a convenient way to spend their crypto in day-to-day affairs. Swipe is a decentralized finance company that plans to achieve this lofty goal. They aim to provide several products including lending, exchange and payment services. Their cornerstone product is the Swipe debit card which can be used at more than 60 million merchants worldwide. Their card will let users pay for everyday purchases such as gas and groceries, receive cashback rewards and other perks by spending crypto. However, some of Swipe’s cards requires buying and staking their native SXP token to use their service. So, are their debit cards a worthwhile investment? In this article, we will breakdown each of the cards Swipe has to offer and attempt to predict their true value.

Swipe currently offers 4 tiers of cards

The 4 card tiers Swipe currently offers are Saffron, Sky, Steel and Slate. They all provide cashback in BTC, zero foreign exchange costs, and rebates on certain purchases/services.

Swipe Card Tiers

Swipe offers 4 card tiers for different consumer groups. The cards (from left to right) are Saffron, Sky, Steel and Slate. The cards are arranged based on their exclusivity, with the slate offering the most premium experience.

The Saffron card is the lowest tier card and requires 0 SXP staked and gives 1% cashback and a Spotify Premium rebate. The other cards require an SXP stake but offer better perks.

The Sky card is Swipe’s entry-level card and requires a 300 SXP stake and includes the rewards of the previous tier and 2% cashback, Netflix and Amazon Prime subscription rebates.

The Steel card is a mid-tier card and requires 3000 SXP staked and includes the rewards of the previous tiers and 4% cashback Apple Music and a 10% rebate on Travala and Uber.

The Slate card is Swipe’s premium card and requires 100 000 SXP staked and includes the rewards of the previous tiers and 8% cashback, Hulu and 10% rebates on Starbuck and Airbnb.

Swipe Card Rebates

A summary of the services Swipe offers as rebate rewards for their customers

Many of the rewards Swipe provides is superior to what traditional credit cards offer. However, Swipe also requires customers to put up their own money as SXP for collateral. Therefore, some cost-benefit analysis is necessary to see if these cards are a good investment.

How Valuable are the Perks Swipe Offers?

The Swipe Whitepaper shows the monthly reward cap for each of the various rebates they offer. The rebate values are displayed in the graphic below.  The rebate value of the subscription services are pretty straightforward since you pay a flat fee. However, calculating the rebate for the services which have a 10% discount requires some statistics.

Swipe Rebates for discounted services
The rebates the average customer can expect when using their Swipe card at these businesses

Uber

When surveyed across 32 major cities in the United States, the average Uber customer spends about $50 per month. Therefore, the average Swipe user who uses Uber may expect to earn about a $5 rebate per month.

Travala

An average individual spends about $1,200 on vacation per year. Therefore, with a 10% rebate Swipe users can reasonably expect to earn about $10/month. If you happen to take more than one vacation and have multiple family members you will spend more and also earn a larger rebate. However, since the rebate is capped at $100/month, you are likely to earn a $100 rebate per vacation, and no more.

Airbnb

The average Airbnb costs about $160.47 / night in the United States. The average user will spend about 4.3 nights per visit. Conservatively, the average person has 1 vacation per year and may ultimately use Airbnb once per year. Of course, guests can also use Airbnb for business related events but for simplicity let’s assume card holders only make one visit per year for 4.3 nights. In this case, customers can expect to pay about $700 at Airbnb per year. Therefore, they can expect to earn about $6 per month in value ($70 rebate).

Starbucks

Starbucks offers up to a $50 rebate per month if you purchase up to $500/month. The average price of coffee is $2.75 and a regular consumer might make up to 6 monthly visits. Therefore, a typical customer may expect to spend $20/month and receive a rebate of $2. Given that Starbucks coffee is already pricey, the value of this perk isn’t that significant except for those who already use Starbucks far more than the average. 

One important factor to consider is that most users will not take full advantage of their rebates every month. Not every user uses each of the services that are included in the card perks. Additionally, some of the perks are redundant. For instance, someone who uses Spotify is unlikely to use Apple Music. A Netflix user is unlikely to use Hulu. Therefore, the benefits of the higher tier cards are not as enticing as they first appear.

How Valuable is the Cashback Swipe Offers?

The cashback offered by the cards provides users an additional source of revenue. The average American household spends about $5000 per month on expenses. However, it is unlikely that cardholders will use Swipe for all their purchases. The table below shows the monthly rebate earned based on monthly spending habits. The values shown also assumes card holders take advantage of each perk in their card tier, and spend no more than average on services like Uber, Travala, Airbnb and Starbucks. The baseline rebate for simply taking advantage of the perks (without cashback), is shown in the first row ($0 monthly spending).

Average swipe rewards per month

This table shows the monthly rebate Swipe users can expect for each card tier based on their monthly spending

Clearly, at higher cashback tiers more monthly spending results in larger and larger rewards. However, this needs to be balanced with a higher upfront cost associated with staking a larger amount of SXP. With this in mind, we can now consider how good Swipe Cards are as an investment.

To see how much you can earn specifically with the Swipe Cards based on your actual spending and services you use, consider trying out our Swipe -Calculator. Click on the link to learn more.

Our Swipe calculator lets you discover how much rewards you can earn with the Swipe card based on your spending habits and the services you use

Are the Swipe Cards a Good Investment?

As a conservative estimate, we will assume that the average person will spend about $3000 per month using their Swipe Card. Therefore a Saffron cardholder can expect to earn $540, Sky $1187, Steel $2087 and Slate $3768 per year. With these rough earning estimates for the Swipe cards we can now predict how long it will take to get a return on investment.

The price of SXP can vary, so instead we will try to estimate the fair value of SXP to get a 100% return on investment in a 1 year period. The Sky card requires locking up 300 SXP and for a 100% return on investment you will need to buy SXP at an average price of about $3.95. The Steel Card requires locking up 3000 SXP and for a 100% ROI requires SXP purchased at an average price of $0.70. For the Slate card, 100 000 SXP should be purchased at around $0.038.

Getting a 100% return on any investment in a 1 year period is very unlikely. However, the graph below shows the price at which you would need to purchase SXP to get X amount of ROI in a 1-year period. The graph ranges from a 10% ROI in a 1 year period all the way up to a 100% ROI. If you expect a lower ROI each year then you are more willing to purchase SXP at a higher price than someone who wants to earn a larger ROI. However, keep in mind that the value of the SXP you stake for a Swipe card can also decrease in value and thus hurt your ROI. Additionally, the perks provided by each of the cards can change over time and negatively impact your ROI.

This data shows the average SXP price to purchase a card’s stake in order to receive a certain return on investment. This highlights how the lower tier cards are better investments since you could purchase SXP at a higher price to receive the same ROI as higher tier cards.

To understand what the data above is showing let’s use an example. If an individual with a Sky card is looking to get at least a 50% yearly ROI, the average price they would need to buy SXP at would need to be $7.91. A Sky card requires 300 SXP and thus the total cost would be $2373. As mentioned earlier, an average Sky card user can expect to reasonably earn $1187 in rewards per year, which is about 50% of their initial investment. The same logic applies to each card tier and the targeted yearly ROI.

From this data it becomes clear that the average cardholder is more likely to get better value from the lower tier cards. However, with larger spending the cashback becomes more significant and can become a better deal. Additionally, large spenders may be more concerned with the absolute amount of rewards earned rather than as a percentage of their initial investment. For instance, a slate cardholder that spends $1 million per year would receive $80 000 in cashback rewards. If they purchased their slate card (100 000 SXP stake required) at an average price of $3.96 per SXP, they would ultimately receive about a 20% ROI just on the cashback. A sky card would only return $20 000 in cashback but as a % ROI it would be closer to 1700%. Nonetheless, the extra $60 000 would be more meaningful.

Therefore, users who are able to acquire SXP cheaply should consider the higher tier cards to earn a larger absolute amount of rewards. However, overall the average consumer is likely better off with a lower tier card.

Which is the best Swipe Card?

Swipe cards offer more benefits than the average debit/credit card but it comes at the cost of locking up some of your money as SXP. At higher SXP prices, the lower tier cards become a better bang for your buck. However, at lower SXP prices, getting your hands on the higher tier cards becomes a better deal.

Overall, it seems that the Sky Card is the best in terms of value since you don’t need to commit a significant amount of capital and will receive a double-digit return as long as you purchase each SXP under $40. The Steel card is riskier but is a good option for those who make lots of purchases and can take advantage of the 4% cashback. The Slate card doesn’t appear to be a good investment for most consumers since It requires a hefty stake of 100 000 SXP and, other than the cashback, provides minimal benefits over the Steel Card.

The Final Verdict

The main draw of crypto cards is the ability to spend your crypto easily not the perks and rewards. Nonetheless, Swipe provides an enticing cashback and rewards program. Their Sky and Saffron cards provide the best value for most consumers but their Steel and Slate cards are excellent for large spenders. One concern to keep in mind is that Swipe is a relatively new crypto company and there have been numerous reports of issues with their app and lackluster customer support. However, Swipe is backed by industry giant Binance and has the potential to become a significant player in the crypto markets. Swipe faces significant competition from other well-known crypto leaders such as Crypto.com, NEXO, Blockfi and Coinbase. Swipe has a long road ahead but they are taking the right steps to offer cashback cards with excellent value for the average cryptocurrency user.


Summary

  • Swipe is a Binance backed cryptocurrency company that offers cryptocurrency debit cards to enable users to spend their crypto using the Visa Network
  • There are currently 4 tiers of cards each requiring a certain amount of SXP locked up as a stake: Saffron (0 SXP), Sky (300 SXP), Steel (3000 SXP) and Slate (100 000 SXP)
  • The cards offer cashback in BTC along with rebates and discounts with the following services: Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Travala, Airbnb, Uber, Starbucks and Apple Music.
  • The Saffron and Sky cards offer the best value for the average consumer. The Steel and Slate cards are not good investments for the average user but worthwhile for large spenders
  • Swipe’s service is still in need of improvement since there issues with their app and lackluster customer support. There are also several competitors which offer comparable crypto cards.
  • Swipe’s potential is immense if they are able to improve customer satisfaction. Their cards offer excellent value and their future is bright if they continue to improve their services

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