As the so-called ‘crypto-winter’ is coming to an end, more people are turning to cryptocurrencies as both a fruitful investment opportunity and a fast, secure and reliable payment method.
Not long ago, people were still wondering how to actually use digital currencies in real life. Most of the time, cryptocurrency holders had to transfer their assets to a bank account. Apart from being time-consuming (few business days to receive funds), this process also increased the opportunity cost for volatile cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Hopefully, a new solution is here to help: cryptocurrency debit cards — prepaid cards you can load with digital currencies and use instantly, on the go. As there aren’t many options in the market right now, each company is targeting a very specific audience.
In this brief guide, we look at the best bitcoin and crypto debit cards to help you find the one that suits your lifestyle best.
Let’s get to it!
Wirex is a multi-currency crypto wallet. The company’s crypto debit card is among the most popular options in the market right now. There are basically two reasons behind its success: the Wirex Card is cheap and available in several countries.
Wirex charges no issuance fee. However, you are required to pay a monthly maintenance fee of $1.50. If you plan to use the Wirex Card to withdraw cryptocurrencies, remember that a $3.50 fee is applied to each transaction. The daily withdrawal limit is also pretty low, only $250.
Although the Wirex mobile app is available in most countries, only residents in the European Economic Area (EEA) are eligible to apply for a Wirex Card.
This Bitcoin Visa card comes with some rewards. Wirex launched the Cryptoback™ reward programme in 2018, which allows you to earn 0.5% back in BTC on all in-store purchases. The daily spending limit for the Wirex Card is $10.000 and the maximum balance is $20.000.
The Wirex Visa card is connected to the Wirex app, available for both Android and iOS. With the app, you can keep track of payments, and perform some basic operations related to the card.
The Crypterium Card is one of a kind. Unlike most solutions in the market, this Bitcoin prepaid card is available worldwide. No matter where you are based, you can get one.
From fees to limits, this crypto card was designed to be competitive on a global scale. You can either pay a one-time issuance fee of $9.99 and never pay a dime again OR you can upgrade your Crypterium subscription to the Plus or Premium plans and get the card for free. If you go for a subscription, be sure that your money will be well worth it. Both plans give you access to multiple features, such as a crypto savings account, account insurance, priority support and even a personal manager.
This crypto debit card is linked to the Crypterium Wallet. This means you can use any of your balances (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, USD Coin) to top up the card. The app also allows you to change the PIN code, block/unblock, track all your transactions, and more.
The Crypterium Card is a UnionPay prepaid card. It can be used to purchase online or offline in over 175 countries accepting UnionPay, as well as for withdrawals. This card offers outstanding spending and withdrawal limits: $10.000/day and $60.000/month.
When it comes to security, the Crypterium Card is on top of the list. The issuance partner is a solid bank in the Philippines, a jurisdiction outside the Common Reporting Standards (CRS). In other words, this financial institution does not share your financial data with other countries.
The Coinbase Card is the newest option in the crypto cards market. This Visa Bitcoin debit card is linked to the Coinbase wallet, putting at your disposal all the listed cryptocurrencies.
Unlike other solutions, like Wirex or Crypterium, you would need to download a specific app to order and manage the Coinbase Card. While it might not be comfortable for users to switch between apps all the time, you get to use a product belonging to the Coinbase family.
Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. But only UK residents are able to obtain this card. The issuance fee for this Bitcoin prepaid card is £4.95 and there is no monthly maintenance fee, which makes it a very attractive alternative for UK customers.
Using this Bitcoin card abroad is not so convenient. The purchase fee for international transactions is 3.00%, plus a crypto liquidation fee (to convert crypto to fiat) of 2.49%.
In terms of limits, the Coinbase Card lets you withdraw up to £500 per day and spend £10,000. The monthly and yearly spending limits are £20,000 and £50,000, respectively.
The MCO crypto debit card belongs to Hong Kong-based company Crypto.com, formerly known as Monaco. In contrast with most crypto card providers, Crypto.com has developed not one, but five different Bitcoin cards. Each of them has different costs and benefits. MCO debit cards are only available in Singapore.
MCO Midnight Blue Card: this is the entry point. It offers a 1% cashback. As you could expect from a basic card, the conditions aren’t great. The withdrawal limit is $500/day and a 2% ATM withdrawal fee, plus and interbank fee of 0.5%. POS limit is $10,000/day.
MCO Ruby Steel Card: while there is no issuance fee, this card requires you to lock 50 MCO for six month (1 MCO is about $5). The cashback increases to 2%, as well as the withdrawal and spending limits: $400 and $15,000/day.
MCO Jade Green/Royal Indigo Card: to get this crypto debit card you need to lock $2500 worth of MCO tokens for half a year. Quite an expensive cost for a 3% cashback, a LoungeKey ™ Airport Lounge Access and a free subscription to Netflix. This Bitcoin card lets you withdraw up to $800 daily and spend $10,000.
MCO Icy White Card: if you hold over $25,000 worth of MCO tokens, then this card is for you. What do you get? The above mentioned LoungeKey ™ Airport Lounge Access, 4% cashback and a 10 percent off your Expedia bookings. Yeah, a bit disappointing.
MCO Obsidian Black Card: to apply for this card you need to lock a stunning $250K for six months, so this is not everyone’s choice. But no long faces… The benefits aren’t super generous: 10% discount on Airbnb and a 5% cashback on purchases.
The CryptoPay prepaid card is also a localized solution, only available in virtual and physical form for citizens of the Russian Federation. The company plans to add support for the UK and Singapore in the near future.
The issuance cost for this card is above average: $15 for the plastic version and $2.5 for the virtual one. In any case, you can choose between GBP, EUR and USD as a base currency. The monthly maintenance fee is a fixed $1.
One distinctive characteristic of the CryptoPay card is that you can order one without completing KYC verification. However, this reduces significantly the card’s withdrawal and spending limits. Still, it is one of the few cards offering this level of anonymity.
A major disadvantage of this crypto debit card is the fees. Both plastic and virtual cards have a 3% currency conversion fee, along with a 1% loading fee and fixed charge of €2.75 / £2.25 / $3.50 for withdrawals.
If you are based in the United States, the BitPay Bitcoin debit card might be a good choice. This card only supports Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
It is available in all states and it offers no transactions fees when using it inside the country. For those traveling with it, a conversion fee of 3% is applied to each transaction. And withdrawing funds in foreign soil will cost you a fixed $3 fee.
To get one, you would need a home address, government-issued ID, and social security number. The card costs a flat $9.95 and it takes about 7 days to be delivered. That is quite a long time considering that the Crypterium Card ships worldwide in 3 days.
Nexo made a name for itself as the first company to offer an instant, crypto-backed loans platform. It allows you to access your crypto’s value without selling the assets.
Nexo lets you take out a credit line in more than 45 fiat currencies. The credit is underwritten with your crypto assets; the amount of credit you can use out is proportional to the amount of crypto in your Nexo wallet. As the value of the crypto changes, so too does the amount of credit you can take out. Nexo wallets are backed by Goldman Sachs and are SEO-approved.
There is no application, credit checks, or review process. All applications are guaranteed to be successful.
You also won’t find any minimum repayments; Nexo will automatically debit interest from your available balance.
Nexo accepts 21 different cryptocurrencies in its wallets. They include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Cardano, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, NEO, and Ripple.
APR on your purchases starts at eight percent.
If you want 30 percent dividends, access to the Nexo payments card, and require bank withdrawals up to $2 million, you will need to work from an advanced verification process.
The service is billed as a bank for the blockchain era. In addition to crypto credit cards, the company will offer a wide spectrum of financial services, including AI investment tools and a currency exchange.
The crypto credit card is expected to go live later this year. The company raised $150 million in its ICO in 2018.
As with the other crypto credit cards on this list, your crypto provides the backing for the fiat loan. All the credits on offer will have competitive loan to value ratios.