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Nexo Review – Crypto Lending Platform With Low APR

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Nexo is a crypto lending platform that offers crypto-backed loans with an APR as low as 0% with no origination fees. It also offers a crypto exchange featuring over 300 crypto trading pairs and over 40 unique cryptocurrencies to choose from. Nexo also has a crypto credit card that is tied to their Nexo credit lines, allowing users to spend using their crypto as collateral.

Nexo was founded in 2017 and backed by the founder of TechCrunch, Michael Arrington. It offers crypto loans that use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as collateral. There are over 40 crypto supported for crypto loans and over 30 fiat currencies from around the globe supported for purchasing crypto on the platform.

Overall, Nexo offers some of the best interest rates and terms on crypto loans, with a unique approach to borrowing and discounts for holders of NEXO, the platform’s native token.

Note: Nexo also offers crypto interest accounts, but removed access to U.S. residents in February 2022. Non-U.S. users can still access interest accounts that pay up to 10% interest on select cryptocurrencies.

Nexo Fees

Crypto and fiat currency deposits are always free on the Nexo platform, but there is a spread charged for crypto purchases. Nexo also charges fees for crypto loans, which vary depending on the loan-to-value (LTV) of the borrowed funds, and the amount of NEXO tokens held by a user.

Here’s a breakdown of what fees are charged on the Nexo platform:

Type Fees
ACH deposit Free
Crypto deposit  Free
Credit/Debit card purchase 1.49% (EU countries) or 3.49% (non-EU countries)
Wire transfer Free (although banks may charge a fee)
Crypto trading Spread fee of about 2.0%
Crypto loan fees 0% to 13.9% APR; no origination fee

Key Features of Nexo

Nexo offers crypto loans and interest accounts, as well as a crypto credit card that allows you to use your crypto credit line to make everyday purchases. Here are the details of some of Nexo’s best features:

Crypto-Backed Loans

Nexo is a low-cost crypto lending platform, offering loans against a user’s crypto holdings. Nexo doesn’t offer traditional loans, but instead allows users to open up a line of credit that lets them withdraw funds as necessary. The advantage to this is that users are only charged interest on the funds they withdraw, not the entire approved credit line.

The loans are paid out in fiat currency or stablecoins, with interest rates varying based on the NEXO loyalty level and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Here’s how the loan rates compare:

NEXO Loyalty Level Interest Rate (APR)
Base (No NEXO tokens) 13.9%
Silver (1% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) 12.9%
Gold (5% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) 8.9%, or 1.9% if LTV is 20% or less 
Platinum (10% of portfolio in NEXO tokens) 6.9%, or 0% if LTV is 20% or less

There are no origination fees on loans, and loans are to be paid back in the currency that was withdrawn, such as U.S. dollars. All loans are based on a 12-month time period, and loans can be taken for as little as $50 (stablecoin loan) or $500 (fiat loan). Borrowers can apply for loans on the website or mobile app, which offer instant credit line approval.

One important thing to note on crypto loans is the risk of getting a margin call. This happens when the value of the collateral pledged drops too far in value and the LTV reaches 90% or more. If you deposit Bitcoin (BTC) and it drops in value too far, causing the LTV of the borrowed amount to go above 90%, Nexo can liquidate a portion of your funds to pay back part of the loan and get the LTV back below 90%.

Crypto Exchange

Nexo offers a crypto exchange that allows users to buy, sell, and trade over 40 cryptocurrencies on the platform. Although there are no transaction fees, Nexo does collect a spread fee on each trade, which amounts to about 2.0% of the total transaction. This fee is fairly high compared to other exchanges, but offers the convenience of being able to purchase crypto on Nexo and immediately borrow against those funds.

In addition to purchasing crypto, users can place crypto-to-crypto trades as well, with a combination of over 300 trading pairs between the supported crypto on the platform. Nexo also pays up to 0.5% cash back for trades placed on the exchange, with rewards dependent on your loyalty level.

The exchange does not offer advanced charting or trading tools as you would find on a traditional crypto exchange, and is not meant for active traders. It is designed for simple swaps and purchasing of crypto for long-term investors and those who want to use Nexo’s other services. 

Nexo Token (NEXO)

The native Nexo token (NEXO) offers discounts and other benefits to holders. The Nexo Loyalty Level is dependent on the amount of NEXO held on the platform. There are four loyalty levels for Nexo tokens:

Loyalty Level Nexo Tokens Held
Base None
Silver 1% of portfolio in NEXO
Gold 5% of portfolio in NEXO
Platinum 10% of portfolio in NEXO

Here’s a summary of the benefits of holding Nexo tokens:

  • Loan Interest Rate Discounts. Each loyalty level offers discounts to the interest rates on crypto loans, with 0% loans available for Platinum level users.
  • Up to 0.5% Cash Back. When trading crypto on the Nexo exchanges, users can earn up to 0.5% cash back depending on their loyalty level.
  • Bonus Yield. Non-U.S. users who deposit funds into a Nexo savings account can earn an additional 2% APY, as well as another 2% APY bonus when receiving interest payments in NEXO. This type of account is no longer available to U.S. residents, however.

Nexo Credit Card

Nexo offers a credit card that pays up to 2% in cash back in the form of BTC or NEXO rewards. The credit card uses the Nexo credit line, keeping the same terms as your crypto loan, and transactions simply are charged against your available balance.

Users can earn 0.5 cash back when earning rewards in BTC and 2% cash back when earning rewards in NEXO. There are no minimum payments or late fees on the card because it is simply an extension of your Nexo credit line. There are also no foreign transaction fees on up to €20,000 (about $21,000 USD) in transactions per month, and users get up to 10 free ATM withdrawals.

To apply for the card, a user must have opened a crypto credit line with Nexo first.

Crypto Interest Accounts (non-U.S. residents only)

Nexo offers crypto interest accounts for non-U.S. residents that pay up to 15% interest or more for deposited crypto. Nexo supports over 50 cryptocurrencies that can be deposited, with interest payouts happening daily, creating compounding interest on a daily schedule.

Each crypto offers a different interest rate, with Bitcoin and Ethereum paying around 6% APY, and stablecoins paying 10% (or more). An additional 2% APY is available for users who hold NEXO (depending on loyalty level), as well as another 2% APY bonus when receiving interest payments in NEXO.

Note: U.S. residents who deposited funds into a Nexo savings account prior to February 19, 2022 can still earn interest but may not add funds to the account, and any crypto withdrawn from the account cannot be redeposited.

Advantages of Nexo

Nexo offers a simple way to earn interest on crypto holdings, as well as borrow against crypto assets at fair interest rates. Here are a few advantages to using the Nexo platform:

  • Low Rates on Crypto Loans. Paying 0% on a crypto credit line is the best rate in the crypto lending market, period. Although it requires holding 10% of your portfolio in NEXO, anyone looking for low-rate Bitcoin loans will not find a better interest rate than Nexo.
  • Built-In Crypto Exchange. The Nexo platform offers a built-in exchange that offers buying, selling, and trading of crypto, making it easy to swap crypto without the need to use a third-party exchange. This also saves on transfer fees from one platform to another.
  • Nexo Credit Card. Nexo offers a crypto credit card that is tied to the credit line product. Users can earn up to 2% cash back, and there are no minimum payments or late fees when using the card.

Disadvantages of Nexo

Nexo offers great rates on crypto loans, but isn’t the best crypto lending platform for everyone. Here are a few things Nexo could improve:

  • Limited Crypto Selection. Nexo only offers access to 40 cryptocurrencies to use as collateral for loans, and 50 crypto for trading. This selection is much smaller than most crypto exchanges, and users that want to trade more coins will need to find a larger crypto exchange.
  • Crypto Savings Accounts are not Available to U.S. Users. Nexo paused its crypto savings accounts for U.S. residents in February 2022, which was a major blow to the platform. Although users can still get crypto loans and the Nexo credit card, U.S. residents looking to earn interest on crypto holdings will need to look elsewhere.

How Nexo Stacks Up

Nexo is a great crypto lending platform that offers low interest rates on crypto loans and a built-in crypto exchange with over 300 crypto trading pairs available. Nexo also offers a credit card attached to their crypto credit line, with no minimum payments or hidden fees. 

CoinLoan is a competing crypto lending platform that offers loans as low as 4.95% APR and access to interest-bearing crypto savings accounts. Users can earn up to 12% on deposited cryptocurrencies and borrow up to 70% of the value of deposited crypto.

Although both Nexo and CoinLoan offer crypto loans, as well as extra rewards with their own native tokens, CoinLoan offers interest accounts to U.S. residents while Nexo does not (anymore). That being said, Nexo offers crypto loans with rates as low as 0% with no origination fee, making them a superior crypto loan platform.

Here’s how Nexo and CoinLoan compare:

Nexo CoinLoan
Savings Account Interest Rates Up to 16% (available to non-U.S. users only) Up to 12.30%
Crypto Loan Interest Rates 0% to 13.9% APR; no origination fee 4.95% to 11.95% APR; 1.0% origination fee per loan
Crypto Selection 40+ 26

Final Word

Nexo is a great platform for accessing crypto loans with a 0% interest rate, as well as an attached credit card with no minimum payments or hidden fees. While Nexo no longer offers interest accounts to U.S. investors, non-U.S. users can enjoy up to 16% interest on certain deposited cryptocurrencies. 

Nexo users can buy, sell, and trade crypto directly on the platform, making it simple to buy crypto and borrow against it on the same platform. Nexo has a larger selection of crypto than most other lending platforms with over 40 available, but this is far less than most traditional crypto exchanges that carry hundreds of cryptocurrencies. 

Overall, Nexo is a great place to borrow against crypto holdings for the lowest rates in the industry, but U.S. residents looking to earn interest on their crypto will need to look elsewhere.

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