Fold Spin, Spin+ Bitcoin Rewards Debit Card Review
Not long after I initially reviewed the Bitcoin rewards app Fold, I got an email informing me that I’d made it off the waitlist and would have the opportunity to try out their new debit card. Since then, I saw the product evolve as an early adopter before the card even went truly public. However, speaking of evolution, the Fold debit card recent underwent another round of changes that have had a big impact on its usefulness.
With that, let’s dive into what you should know about Fold’s Spin and Spin+ debit cards and their Bitcoin rewards — including the latest updates.
What is the Fold Debit Card and How Does it Work?
Before we jump into the Fold debit card, let me give you a quick refresher on the main app. Fold allows users to purchase gift cards for various brands and earn a percentage of their purchases back in the form of Bitcoin (more accurately, Sats, which are a small fraction of a Bitcoin). While the app does support debit and credit cards, it encourages customers to pay via Lightning by often offering better Bitcoin back rates on such transactions.
For more on the Fold app, I’d humbly recommend checking out my full review. But, with that primer, let’s jump into the Fold Spin and Spin+ debit card options.
Fold Bitcoin Reward Debit Card Options and Features
- Annual fee: $0
- Bitcoin rewards on purchases: Increased rewards on gift card purchases and up to 100% back on debit card transactions (spin the prize wheel)
The first Fold debit card option you have is what’s now known as the Spin card. This lower-tier version doesn’t have a recurring annual fee — but, as you’d expect, also has fewer perks. In fact, this tier was heavily impacted by recent changes.
For one, while Spin customers could previously purchase Amazon gift cards and earn 5% back in Sats, this benefit is now exclusive to Spin+. Furthermore, Fold users in general (including basic Spin users) will see numerous Spin+ exclusive card options in the app now. When there are gift cards that regular Spin customers can purchases, they’ll also earn a lower rewards rate than Spin+ — although it will still be higher than if they’d used a different credit or debit card.
As for the “Spin” moniker, this comes from the way the Fold debit card earns rewards. Whenever you make a purchase, you’ll unlock one spin on the prize wheel. According to Fold, Spin customers have a chance to win up to 100% of their purchase back in Bitcoin rewards — although this will obviously depend on your luck. Other prizes on the wheel often include other percentages of Bitcoin back, a set number of Sats back, Purchase History Match, and more. Note that the Spin prize wheels do update fairly often, so you may see other options. By the way, as a Spin cardholder, your prize wheel will be available for a limited time after you make your purchase. That said, if you miss your window, the Spin card earns one “extra spin” per day, which can be utilized for missed spins or in the event that you’re unsatisfied with your prize.
- Annual fee: $100 a year or $10 a month
- Bitcoin rewards on purchases: The highest rate on gift purchases and up to a full Bitcoin back on debit card transactions
If you want to take your Fold debit card to the literal next level, there’s also a Spin+ option. For an annual fee of $100 or a monthly fee of $10 (which is down from the previous $150 annual fee) cardholders will be able to earn up to a full Bitcoin back on their purchases — with this, again being left up to the luck of a wheel. However, in this case, you can elect to just take a flat 1% back in Sats and forgo spinning.
As I mentioned in the Spin section, another perk that was previously open to free and paid users is now exclusive to Spin+: the ability to purchase Amazon gift cards and get 5% back. This perk is limited to $500 in gift card purchases per month, but you can earn 2% on gift card purchases after that. Elsewhere, Spin+ members also have exclusive access to gift cards from select brands featured on the app and will earn the absolute highest rate on all gift card options. That said, unfortunately, Fold no longer allows you to “double dip,” meaning you cannot earn prizes from the wheel when purchasing gift cards.
Looking to get started with Fold? For a limited time you can get a bonus of 5000 Sats if you open a new account with this Dyer News link.
At this point, most of the additional benefits are limited to the Spin+ debit card. This includes the ability to instantly fund your account via a different debit card without fees. While regular users will need to pay 1.5% of their transfer amount for this feature, Spin+ customers receive three fee-free transactions per month.
As for other perks, while Fold makes mention of Fold+ customers having early access to new products, they don’t state exactly what those could be. Previously, the company teased an upcoming credit card, but I no longer see any mention of this.
Using the Fold Debit Card: My Experience
Which card I chose
After some consideration, I opted to go with as the regular Spin card (I believe it was called the “Intro” card at the time). A few days later, my card arrived in the mail and was ready to use after that. However, while I waited, I was still able to use the card via Apple Wallet or use it to purchase gift cards at the enhanced cardholder rates.
Adding money to your account
Back when I first got access to the Fold card, the only way to add money to your account was manually — as is entering your account and routing number, getting test deposits, and confirming them. I’m very happy to say that this is no longer the case as there is now in-app ACH support that makes it much easier.
Additionally, you can arrange direct deposit for your Fold card or follow directions in order to add funds from Venmo or Apple Cash to your Fold balance. And, as mentioned, instant debit card funding has finally arrived… although it now costs 1.5% unless you have Spin+.
Earning rewards on purchases
I’ll admit that I wasn’t quite prepared for how the Fold debit card worked when I first used it to make a purchase. For one, I was surprised to see that I only had five minutes to spin the wheel and claim my prize. Thankfully, this has since been adjusted and they’ve also added Extra Spins in case you miss your window.
In any case, even after being awarded a prize, it wasn’t obvious to me just how much I had actually won. That’s because, in most cases, math is involved to first figure out how many Sats you won and then determine what those Sats are worth in U.S. dollars. Of course, this second figure will also fluctuate often.
Speaking of fluctuations, one of the interesting things about the Fold debit card is that, even with the beta long over, its prize structure continues to evolve. That’s because the prize wheel that makes up the main rewards mechanism is regularly updated. For example, in celebration of the past Bitcoin conferences, the app has rolled out a Miami wheel. Similarly, other prize wheels may be themed to holidays or whatever else — and Fold has been known to try out some different prize ideas along the way. This even includes some very generous reward wheels that are only available for a super limited time.
One of the common complaints that early adopters had of the Fold card was that it didn’t reward larger purchases well. In a bid to correct that, many of the recent Fold wheels have included prizes that are tied to your current or past transaction amounts. So, since I haven’t made any large purchases with my card, I also haven’t won a whole lot from the reward wheel.
For as fun an idea as the rewards wheels are, I think I’d personally prefer a standard earning rate. That’s why I was somewhat excited when Fold added a default option that users could opt for if they didn’t want to deal with the wheel. This option still exists for Spin+ (and is a flat 1%), but it seems it may have been discontinued for Spin.
Knowing this review was coming and seeing as it had been a while since I had used my Fold debit card, I decided to try it out again this past weekend. This also gave me a chance to check out the relatively recent addition of Extra Spins. After making my $6 purchase, I hit up the app to take my first spin. This resulted in my earning 5x Sats on my purchase amount (with a minimum earning of 25 Sats).
Thinking I could do better, I decided to tap one of my Extra Spins and give it another shot. Funny enough, this time my prize was… another spin. One more spin later, I landed on 15x Sats on my purchases. In other words, I tripled my winnings! Then again, since the transaction was pretty small, this didn’t amount to much. Still, having improved upon my initial winnings, I called it a day.
Obviously this “press your luck” element could go either way. Nevertheless, I think that Extra Spins were a crucial addition to the debit card offering and I’m glad they’re there.
Earning rewards on gift cards
Now for what I think is the secret star feature of the Fold debit cards. If you’ll recall from my initial review of the app, one of my biggest disappointments was that the largest Bitcoin back amounts were reserved for those paying with Lightning. Seeing as I’m not a very blockchain literate person, that option eluded me. However, thanks to my Fold debit card, I can now unlock even better reward amounts without even having to figure out Lightning.
Fold highlights the (now Spin+ exclusive) 5% back on Amazon gift cards most of all — and for good reason — but I feel like the fact that you can get enhanced rates on all the other gift card options is an undersold perk. To me, this is where the app finds that “guaranteed rewards” and “element of chance” balance they’ve spoken about.
Final Thoughts on the Fold Debit Card
Overall, I think that Fold’s Spin and Spin+ debit cards have some really fun ideas and could certainly be attractive to Bitcoin fans and those who enjoy the small thrill of winning rewards. As for me personally, I was already a bit torn on the offering — and the recent changes haven’t made me any more of a fan. While I still appreciate the enhanced rewards it offers on gift card purchases, it’s unfortunate that the regular Spin card’s rewards are no longer quite as high and that Amazon is off the table. Plus, you no longer earn Spins on top of gift card purchases, so that’s another bummer.
Oddly, however, I do now think that the Spin+ card may be the better option these days. With a lower annual fee than before and the addition of a monthly fee option instead, I could actually see the math working out for some people. Specifically, if you plan on purchasing a lot of Amazon gift cards, you may just be able to turn this into a moneymaker.
Overall, although the latest updates are disappointing to be sure, I do think there are still some reasons to try the Fold debit card — even if you stick with the free Spin card. For one, there may still be some worthwhile gift cards you can purchase for a decent discount (or rebate, really). Secondly, it could be fun to make a couple of purchases per month with card and see if luck is on your side. Then, if you find you actually enjoy the card, you could always upgrade to Spin+ later.
With all of that said, I think it’s at least checking out the Fold debit card and seeing if it appeals to you.
Also published on Medium.