A Bitcoin debit card is pretty much the same as any run-of-the-mill debit card you typically use in your local drug or grocery store. The only difference being, instead of loading it with a fiat such as the USD or EUR, you load it with BTC using a Bitcoin wallet.
The card converts the BTC in your wallet into a supported fiat every time you swipe it to make payments.
The main benefit of a Bitcoin debit card is that it enables you to spend from your Bitcoin stash anywhere that accepts conventional debit cards — be it online or at a brick-and-mortar shop. Of course, some limitations could be there depending on where you live and the card you use — more on that later.
In This Article:
How to Choose the Best Bitcoin Debit Card
Before we proceed any further, the moniker “best crypto debit card” would perhaps be apter in the context of this article considering that most of the best Bitcoin cards in use today also support many of the major altcoins such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, and such.
Now, coming to the key things you should always keep in mind while choosing a cryptocurrency debit card, there are several considerations to make, including:
Ease-of-Use: Try and find out how easy it is to use various features and functionality including virtual or physical card use, options, linked exchange accounts, spending limits, and customer support etc.
Reasonable Fees: The lower, the better (duh!) Also, make sure that the fees structure are simple and transparent.
Jurisdiction: Due to the lack of any coherent global regulatory framework to guide the cryptocurrency industry, it is possible that the card you choose will not be accepted in certain jurisdictions. You might want to take that into account to avoid future inconveniences.
Security and Reliability: Things to look out for on the security front includes site encryption, two-factor authentication (2FA), instant SMS/email notifications, among others
Extra Features: Besides the core functionality, it will be worthwhile to find out what additional features are there in your would-be cryptocurrency debit card. Compatibility with a diverse range of altcoins, payments and remittance services, banking services, cash withdrawals, forex-related services, etc. are a few of the additional features/services to look out for.
Added Benefits: Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick up a few extra perks along the way such as discounts, referral programs, cryptoback schemes, and so on?
Let’s take a look at 5 of the Best Cryptocurrency Debit Cards in 2020:
#1 Coinbase Card
It’s a Visa card connected to the user’s account in Coinbase, meaning users can use their Coinbase balance to shop at any location where Visa is accepted. Alternatively, it can also be used to withdraw fiat from any ATM.
As of this writing, nine cryptocurrencies are supported by the Coinbase Card with a relatively low crypto liquidation fee of 2.49%. Security measures include 2FA, end-to-end encryption, and instant card freeze, among others.
Additionally, You also get the psychological cushioning provided by Coinbase’s established brand name, although the fees can be a bit higher comparatively.
- Coins supported: BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, XRP, BAT, REP, ZRX, XLM, or DAI.
- Card issuance fee: €4.95
- ATM fee: 1% for domestic transactions and 2% for international transactions
- Transaction fee: Free for domestic purchase, 0.2% of POS transactions for purchases made in EEA countries, and 3% for each international POS transactions.
For further details, check out the official Coinbase Card portal here.
Previously called E-Coin, Wirex is currently one of the most popular cryptocurrency debit cards in terms of both user-base and transaction volume.
Wirex offers a Chip & Pin Visa debit card that you can load using the Wirex app. You can also link the card with your debit and credit cards in addition to storing cryptocurrencies. Besides real-time crypto-to-fiat conversions, in-store purchases, and ATM withdrawals, you can also use the Wirex Visa Card to transfer funds for relatively low fees.
If you’re not much into plastic cards, Wirex also offers a virtual card. Both types support multiple cryptocurrencies and three major fiats including the USD, GBP, and EUR.
Wirex cards are currently available to Wirex account holders in EEA counties, although the company says it plans on adding North America and parts of Asia into the mix soon.
- Coins supported: BTC, DAI, ETH, LTC, NANO, XLM, XRP, and WAVES.
- Fiat supported: USD, EUR, GBP.
- ATM fee: $2.5 in Europe and $3.5 outside of it
- Card issuance fee: Free
- FX fee: 3%
As you can see, transaction fees are lower compared to Coinbase. Also, users are entitled to score up to 1.5% in cryptoback offers, and $10 for each referral.
If you’re a US citizen turned off by the unavailability of two of the most trusted cryptocurrency debit cards — Coinbase Card and Wirex — in your country, then Bitpay is probably one alternative that could end your search.
It’s available across all 50 states and is issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank. You can order the BitPay Bitcoin debit card online for a one-time order fee of $9.95.
The BitPay Card can be used at any location that supports Visa debit and credit cards. Similarly, you can use it for withdrawing funds at any ATM compatible with Visa withdrawals.
However, note that you can not use the card in Brazil, Colombia, Romania, Cuba, Cameron, and any other country sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).
The card comes with a maximum balance of $25,000 with a daily loading and spending limit of $10,000. Transaction fees are reasonable.
- Coins supported: BTC
- Fiats supported: USD
- ATM fee: $2.00 in the US and $3.00 for international ATM withdrawals
- Dormancy fee: $5 per month if you don’t use the card for 90 days straight
- Currency conversion fee outside the US: 3%
Here’s the official fee chart for Bitpay Card.
#4 Cryptopay Prepaid Card
Cryptopay is another established platform offering cryptocurrency wallet and payment services. The company also has a cryptocurrency debit card that can be linked directly to its wallet service.
The chip & pin Crytopay Card is currently available only to the citizens of the Russian Federation. However, European citizens can order a virtual variant of the card that they can use for online shopping.
The chip & pin card costs roughly $15 and can be shipped to pretty much anywhere in the world. It is accepted anywhere that also accepts other major debit and credit cards. Transactions fees are reasonable, but not by the far the lowest.
The card is protected by the 3D Secure safety protocol, among other security features.
- Coins supported: All leading cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETCH, LTC, and XRP
- Fiats supported: USD, RUB, and EUR
- Monthly maintenance fee: $1
- ATM withdrawal fee: 1.5% with the minimum set at 5%
- Card reloading fee: 1.5% with a minimum cap of $5
Click here for the updated full price list.
“A debit card for the blockchain era.”
That’s how Bitwala describes its Bitcoin debit card, currently available in the EEA region. The card was rolled out as part of a strategic partnership with Germany-based Solaris Bank and it meets all regulatory compliance to maintain trust under the German Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
The card allows enables users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies along with SEPA transfers. Bitwala charges a 1% trading fee on the ground that it has to sell the BTC in your wallet for Euros every time you make a payment or withdraw funds from an ATM.
While Bitwala doesn’t charge anything on ATM withdrawals, some ATMs might have their own fees. There is no card issuance fee and the other fees/charges are relatively low.
On the security front, Bitwala offers 3D Secure in addition to other standard features such as 2FA and site encryption.
- Coins supported: BTC
- Fiats supported: EUR
- Trading fee: 1%
- Card order fee: Free
- Card re-order fee: €9.5
- The daily limit on online payments: €1,500 (upgradable to €5,000)
- The daily limit on offline payments: €1,500 (upgradable to €3,000)
Stay tuned as BeInCrypto prepares more of these “top Bitcoin debit cards” lists in the weeks to come — the list will be more focused on non-European and non-US countries the next time around.