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When you are into cryptocurrency and holding a portfolio of coins, you might think that it is difficult to spend your holdings because only few businesses or establishments accept cryptos.
Although many people are now looking at the investment potential of digital currencies, the majority are still afraid of putting their moneys in cryptocurrencies. This may be because of the lack of understanding about cryptos or the high volatility of the coins.
Thankfully, there is now a way to spend your Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any crypto you are holding even if the physical or online shop does not accept cryptocurrencies. This is with the use of crypto debit card.
What is a Crypto Debit Card?
Just like a normal debit card which we are used to, a crypto debit card can be used to make purchases in stores that accept debit cards. The difference is that holders use their digital assets to top up their crypto debit cards. Funding the card are mostly done through the crypto debit card provider’s website of mobile app. Whenever cardholders make purchases, their digital money is converted to the fiat currency that a store accepts. The conversion rate that will be used is the rate at the time of purchase.
For example, you load your crypto debit card with Bitcoin. If you go to a shop to buy some food, even if they only accept dollars for payments, you can use your crypto debit card to pay for your purchases. Whenever a payment is made, the card provider will convert the Bitcoin into cash. This means that the shop will receive the payment in dollars. Many crypto card providers offer lower transaction fees as well as generous spending limits.
What are the Benefits of Crypto Debit Cards?
- Access to Crypto and Fiat Currencies – Having a crypto debit card means having access to both digital and fiat currencies. There is no need to use different cards to pay in different fiat currencies. This is especially advantageous to those who travel between different countries. Conversions are easily done for you by the crypto debit card provider.
- Lesser to Zero Card Costs – Compared to debit cards issued by banks, fees are significantly lesser with crypto debit cards. Some even eliminate transaction fees and foreign exchange fees. Most do not require a monthly maintaining balance. There are also crypto card providers that waive the monthly or annual fees as long as a specific account balance is maintained.
- Advanced Security – Most crypto debit cards use 256-bit encryption, 2-factor authentication, and round-the-clock fraud monitoring. These are advanced security measures giving assurance to holders that their transactions and digital assets have high level of protection. Users can easily freeze their debit cards whenever they detect transactions that they do not recognize to have done themselves. Users have the option to unfreeze their cards as well.
- Crypto Debit Card Rewards – There are perks and rewards that can be enjoyed when you get a crypto debit card. The rewards may be quite different from the rewards that you can get with using the conventional debit cards. Most of the rewards are in the form of cash-bask or rebates for purchases you make. Obviously, you will receive the amounts in cryptocurrency. You have the option to use the rewards either for spending or keeping them into an interest-bearing account.
How to Get a Crypto Debit Card?
You will first need to have a crypto wallet to get a crypto debit card from the company that offers crypto card. Once you have an account, you may purchase a card from the company.
Different companies also have different fees and rates. You can compare and select the company that best suits your needs and spending habits. After choosing the best card for you, you may then proceed with the online application after which you may need to pay some required fees to acquire the card.
How to Choose Between Crypto Debit Cards?
To guide you in choosing between different crypto debit cards, the following are worth comparing:
- The companies behind the crypto debit card.
- The fees associated with the use of the crypto debit card.
- The crypto wallet to which the crypto debit card is linked.
Just like all debit cards, users feel safer using crypto debit cards from major providers. There are companies that are not well-known but may be fraudulent and risky. Inactive cards are also around which should be avoided.
If you already have a crypto wallet, you can start looking at the crypto debit cards they are offering, if any. Look at the charges and rewards then compare with other companies. Important things to check are the charges for every transaction and monthly or annual fees. You can decide which company you will choose according to your needs.
You should always take note of the fluctuating value of cryptos. The amount of digital money varies every time you make a transaction. If the crypto goes down and you do not have enough in your account, the transaction will not be successful. It is therefore important that you check the value of your account from time to time especially if you are going to make a transaction.
Other Things to Consider
The following are things to consider when applying for a crypto debit card:
- Making purchases with your crypto holdings will reduce the possible profit you will earn if the value of the coin rises.
- Different card providers give users different perks and benefits.
- Cash withdrawal limits as well as spending limits vary between crypto debit cards. Check that the card you will choose can provide the limits that you need.
- Registering for an account or crypto debit card requires a valid ID. If you wish to be anonymous, check first with the provider before you sign up.
- If you have a diversified crypto portfolio and wish to use more than one coin in one crypto debit card, check first if the card or provider can support multiple cryptocurrencies.
- Make sure that the crypto debit card you will be applying for can be used in you home country and that the provider has a good reputation and well-funded.
- Check if you can easily monitor your account thru an app or if the provider has other ways of providing quick account information whenever you need to know your available balance.
What are the Top Crypto Debit Cards to Choose from?
Below, we discuss the different crypto debit cards that you can get with their pros and cons.
Launched by coinbase – one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
- Supports payments using multiple cryptocurrency wallets (up to nine cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH))
- Easy conversion between currencies (on demand automatic conversion in your Coinbase wallet of preferred cryptocurrency)
- Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted (in-store and online purchases and withdrawals)
- With multiple security features (includes a mobile wallet app, instant card freeze, two-factor identification, spending tracking, and more)
- Charges huge fees (card issuance fee for UK and Europe residents, 1% daily overlimit withdrawal fee, 2.49% crypto liquidation fee, 2% fee for overseas use of card)
- Requires a Coinbase account
BlockCard is a Visa crypto debit card developed by Ternio – a financial technology company in the US.
- Supports payments using multiple cryptocurrency wallets (up to thirteen cryptocurrencies including BTC, LTC, ETH, and Stellar Lumens (XLM))
- Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
- No transaction, withdrawal, or exchange fee
- Charges a flat rate for monthly fees
- Rewards (1% to 6% cashback in cryptocurrency)
- Cardholders are required to buy Ternio tokens (TERN) to be able to make purchases
- Requires Know Your Customer (KYC) verification
$10 activation fee
$3 fee for ATM cash withdrawals within the country ($3.50 international)
$5 monthly administrative fee (waived for non-cash transaction spends of more than $750 per month)
An EU-only digital payment platform, Wirex was established in 2014. One year later, the company released a Visa-backed cryptocurrency debit card.
- Offers rewards and referral bonuses directly in BTC (up to 1.5% back on all in-store purchases, $10 in BTC for referring a friend)
- Supports 19 cryptocurrencies
- Supports almost a dozen fiat currencies in Europe and a few Pacific and Asian countries
- No issuance or monthly fees (only a 1% fee to fund accounts with cryptocurrencies)
- Not available in the U.S. until early 2021
- Requires cardholders a maintaining balance in Wirex native tokes (WXT) to be eligible for rewards (50,000 WXT ($450), offers 0.75% Bitcoin back for in-store purchases while 500,000 WXT ($4,500) offers 1.5% back in Bitcoin)
BitPay, a Bitcoin payments processor launched a U.S.-only debit card in 2016.
- Available in all 50 states
- Can be used anywhere in the world
- Supports six major cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH
- Supports eight different fiat currencies
- Can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted (in-store and online purchases and withdrawals)
- Supports Apple Pay
- Offers a virtual card option for those that do not need or want a physical card
- No transaction or exchange fees within the U.S.
- Social Security number and driver’s license needed to apply
- Can’t ship card to a P.O. Box
3% overseas currency conversion
$2.50 ATM cash withdrawal fee
One of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to offer a debit card is Crypto.com.
- Supports payments using over 90 cryptocurrencies
- Supports six fiat currencies
- Can be used anywhere Visa card is accepted
- No issuance or monthly fee
- Offers a variety of cards (Ruby Steel card, Midnight Blue card, etc.)
- Rewards cardholders with rebates on streaming services (3% to 5% back)
- Requires cardholders to purchase and stake Crypto.com’s native CRO tokens
- Expensive card (but with better perks)
Bitwala is considered one of the first crypto banking services that allows citizens in Europe to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using their bank accounts. Available only in the EU, it was established in 2013.
- Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted
- No issuance, monthly, or withdrawal fees
- Has an established crypto bank account services (offers standard mobile banking that allows buying and selling of BTC and ETH through the customer’s bank account and automatically converted into Euros)
- Utilizes advanced 3D security features (user authentication through mobile code, biometrics, or security phrase).
- Availability of the crypto debit card is in Europe only
- Bitwala account required
- Only Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies are supported
Became the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in 2018, Binance was founded in 2017. The company offered a Visa crypto debit card when it partnered with Swipe in 2020.
- Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted (in-store and online transactions)
- Offers cardholders 8% cashback
- No issuance, administrative, processing or monthly fees (only ATM withdrawals and transaction fees of up to 0.9%)
- Supports five cryptocurrencies including BTC and ETH
- Offers on-demand crypto conversion to fiat
- The crypto debit card service is only available in Europe
- Balance in Binance’s cryptocurrency required for cashback rewards
Cryptocurrency holders and investors are finally relieved of the difficulties in spending using their digital assets. With the rise of crypto debit cards, transactions using the digital coins and tokens are made easy and crypto enthusiasts enjoy many benefits from it.