Spending Bitcoin or Ethereum is something new in the real world – not many stores, restaurants, and websites currently accept digital currencies, and for a good reason. Retailers fear exchange rates, find blockchain technology too difficult to understand, or view cryptocurrencies as highly volatile assets. Fortunately, new products are emerging to address all these issues: crypto debit and credit cards.
A crypto debit card allows you to spend your digital assets anywhere debit cards are accepted. Each time you use the crypto card, the money is deducted from your wallet balance and converted into the merchant’s currency. To help you understand more, I have researched the cryptocurrency market to bring you the best options for cryptocurrency debit cards.
What is a crypto debit card?
Like regular financial debit cards, crypto debit cards let you make everyday transactions using Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins. You should have no reservations about which merchants accept your card, as Mastercard and Visa back most debit cards.
How Does Crypto Debit Cards Work?
Crypto debit cards are different from conventional cards in how you spend your digital assets. First, you must load your crypto debit card with a digital currency of your choice, usually from the card provider’s wallet. Most providers will allow you to fund your card through their website or mobile app.
Once you’ve loaded your card, you’re ready to start spending, in-store or online. Most (if not all) crypto debit cards will reward you with zero transaction fees and generous daily spending limits. You can use your debit card at outlets that accept Visa or MasterCard.
Instead of purchasing a cryptocurrency product or service, your card provider converts your digital currency into a fiat currency which you will use to complete the transaction. Some cryptocurrency debit card providers will issue 2 cards: a virtual card for online purchases and a physical card for in-store purchases.
Best Brokerage Card: Voyager Crypto Mastercard
Leading cryptocurrency Voyager recently announced that it would launch a debit card with USDC rewards. Because USDC is a stable currency against the US dollar price, Voyager debit card rewards are relatively stable. You can easily change your rewards to a cryptocurrency of your choice through Voyager’s intuitive interface. Since Voyager partnered with Mastercard, the debit card will be accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted.
Best for Security: Nexo Debit Card
The Nexo debit card protects your digital assets with 256-bit military-grade encryption, incorporating 24/7 fraud monitoring mechanisms to keep your funds and transactions safe. You can easily order and manage your Nexo card from the Nexo Wallet app, which gives you access to your line of credit from anywhere in the world.
Use Nexo to create free virtual cards for secure online shopping, monitor your transactions in real-time, lock and unlock your debit card and receive notifications on all your transactions.
Best for Direct Purchases: Coinbase Debit Card
The Coinbase Visa debit card allows you to spend instantly from your Coinbase account without transferring your funds to other bank accounts. Your cryptocurrency is converted to US dollars before making ATM withdrawals and purchases. The Coinbase Card also allows you to earn rewards for your daily spending: you can get back 1% in BTC or 4% in Stellar Lumens (XLM). Manage all your rewards preferences and spending directly from the Coinbase app.
Top Spend Rewards: Crypto.com VISA Card
Being one of the most popular debit cards on this list, the Crypto.com VISA card offers many benefits to its users. Probably the biggest advantage of the Crypto.com card is its reward system. Users can receive up to 8% cashback paid in cryptocurrencies and cashback on Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime subscriptions. Plus, you can get exclusive airport lounge access with enhanced debit card options.
It is important to note that to receive the best rewards, you will need to stake on Crypto.com’s native cryptocurrency, the CRO token. Although a free option is available, you will not receive as many refunds or discounts on certain products. Fortunately, there are a variety of tiers for your Crypto.com debit card, so you can choose the card that best suits your needs.
Best for Crypto Conversion: Wirex Debit Card
With a Wirex debit card, users can hold cryptocurrencies in their accounts and sell them only during their debit card time. This is a huge advantage for investors who want to hold onto their cryptocurrencies for as long as possible. This will allow you to maintain maximum exposure in the digital asset markets; you do not need to sell your cryptocurrency before making a debit card purchase.
The Wirex debit card also offers users great crypto rewards. By using the Wirex Card, you can get back up to 8% of your cryptocurrency purchases, which will passively accumulate in your cryptocurrency wallet.
Best for Zero Cryptocurrency Transaction Fees: BlockCard Visa Debit Card
BlockCard has zero crypto transaction fees. Whether transferring cryptocurrency, switching to fiat currency, or making a deposit, you won’t pay a penny. Deposit Bitcoin and over 12 other accepted cryptocurrencies to your BlockCard account and use them anywhere.
BlockCard allows you to start spending your crypto-assets in 4 steps: Open a BlockCard account, fund your account, start and pass the accreditation check, and receive your virtual BlockCard.
Best for Visa Virtual Card: TenX Debit Card
TenX will provide a virtual Visa card once your application has been approved. Use your virtual card to spend anywhere online, accept Visa, and enable comprehensive in-app security checks. For the perfect card experience, TenX gives you the freedom to spend cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin with the touch of a card. Cryptocurrencies are converted into fiat currency in an instant and continuous payment.
Your 24/7 card security is also guaranteed with real-time notifications when the card is used, card lock and unlock options, and two-factor authentication for added security.
Best for Ethereum: Monolith Visa Debit Card
Monolith Visa is a crypto debit card that focuses on the Ethereum ecosystem, with all crypto tokens accepted as part of the Ethereum ecosystem. The debit card also has its token called TKN, which you can use to waive some of the fees charged to users when using your debit card. You can also trade Ethereum-based tokens for fiat and download them to your Monolith debit card.
Get the Monolith app to get instant updates on your spending and see all your transactions. Monolith lets you protect your assets from crypto theft with your daily spending limits. Although anyone can download the Monolith app and use the Ethereum wallet, the debit card is only available in Europe. If you’re in the United States, stay tuned for updates on your state debit card launch.
The Benefits of Crypto Debit Cards
Switch From One Currency To Another
Most crypto debit cards give you easy access to digital and fiat currencies. You don’t need to switch cards to make payments in different local currencies. It’s a big attraction if you’re a world traveler who doesn’t want to change currency every time you have to pay something.
Reduce your card fees
Crypto debit cards eliminate some of the nasty fees associated with bank-issued debit cards. Most promise zero exchange fees, transaction fees, and monthly maintenance fees. Other crypto cards will waive monthly fees if you maintain a certain account balance.
Most crypto debit cards incorporate advanced security measures to protect digital assets and transactions. Most cards have two-factor authentication, 256-bit encryption, and 24-hour fraud monitoring. Temporarily lock or unlock your debit card if you detect an unrecognized transaction.
Traditional debit cards do not offer rewards, and credit cards generally offer 1% to 3% money back on their expenses. Some crypto cards offer cryptocurrency rewards, which can be a great way to passively add to your wallet. If you earn 3% cryptocurrency, for example, and the digital assets you get as a reward triples in price, then that’s practically 9% of the cryptocurrency returns to the expenses! Of course, it works in both directions. If the value of cryptocurrencies you get decreases, your real awards will decrease.
Some of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, including Coinbase and Binance, now have Visa debit cards. Topping your account is easy because you probably do it from your cryptocurrency wallet. Then, you will have a fully functional debit card that allows you to convert your digital assets to any currency of choice to enable you to pay for goods and services or withdraw funds.
But, with hundreds of brands offering crypto debit cards, it is important to do reasonable diligence. This is useful in understanding the regulations in the jurisdiction of each brand.
Please note that this is not in any way financial advice. Rather, it is a guide on crypto cards and the best ones to use for each situation. The cards suggested are based on my findings.
Haley Hayward is an experienced writer at gblogo.com, where she’s credited with more than 200 articles covering everything from entrepreneurial stories to mental health at work.
She also oversees the Comment&Questions, which poses important admission questions to experts in the field, and regularly hosts webinars on various aspects of the business school experience.
Prior to joining gblogo.com, Haley honed her skills as a freelance writer, tackling a wide array of topics from petcare to car maintenance.
Haley holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.