Even though we’re still early regarding cryptocurrency being used and recognised as a monetary asset, integrations with the current economic structure are well underway. When it comes to spending your digital assets as if they were cash in your bank account, crypto cards are the best way to do so.
There are multiple crypto debit and credit card issuers and a lot to consider when choosing one. This guide will comprehensively summarize each option, its pitfalls, perks and limitations.
Why Use a Crypto Card?
A crypto card is definitely worth your consideration if you’re a crypto investor or trader and have ever thought about earning free Bitcoin or crypto rewards. One of the primary benefits for cardholders is that they can earn cash back rewards on their daily purchases made with fiat currency.
Certain cards also facilitate direct crypto spending straight from your crypto wallet and the ability to top up your fiat balance straight from your Metamask and other external wallets.
What Should You Consider When Choosing One?
So what makes a good crypto visa? When choosing the right card, you should consider the card issuer, rewards programs and entry requirements. It is often the case with crypto credit cards that higher levels of reward require higher levels of commitment. At the same time, some of the more accessible options have more restrictions and limitations.
Your choice should be influenced by what benefit you want to capitalize on the most. Are you looking for an easy way to spend your crypto or earn as much crypto cashback as possible?
Trust is essential. To be eligible for some cards, you will be required to stake funds on the provider’s platform, and in most cases, funds will be held on your card like a regular bank account.
Therefore it is essential that you research and trust the platform that will be holding your assets. The old aphorism of “not your keys, not your coins” has as much relevance here as anywhere else.
What Is The Difference Between a Credit Card and a Debit Card?
Another thing to take into consideration is whether or not you would prefer a crypto debit card or a crypto credit card. Debit cards are prepaid cards with funds already loaded and debited immediately when used.
Credit cards are billed after a specific amount of time (usually a month), and the card issuer will specify a limit to which you can no longer use the credit card.
Best Crypto Debit Cards
The analysis below includes various card options with varying rewards and entry requirements. The list was curated with a something for everyone approach, listed in order of lowest to highest possible rewards.
FTX Visa Debit Card
Crypto exchange giants FTX are the first option on our list. Their visa debit card is a no-frills option as it doesn’t generate any form of bitcoin reward. The card is a white label card built by a company called Swipe, which interestingly has just been acquired by rival exchange Binance.
The card doesn’t offer any Bitcoin rewards. However, it could be an option if you’re an FTX customer looking for a no-fee card to spend your cryptocurrency as if it were a traditional credit card spending fiat.
It is safe to say that FTX does not score highly in the customer support department. 68% of all reviews were submitted as the worst possible rating, with multiple people reporting a lack of contact.
Eligibility For FTX Card
To qualify for the card, you must be a US citizen and at least 18 years old. You will also be required to provide a government-issued ID, social security number, address and a selfie.
- Deposits can be made through wire transfers sent directly from your bank. This can be done using multiple currencies, not just USD.
- Credit cards can also be used to make a deposit; however, this method will incur a $0.3 fee and a foreign transaction fee of 2.9%.
They do not specify how long the waiting list is for the card and when asked, customer support claimed ‘we have no ETA’. Once your account is approved, you will have instant access to the virtual card.
- You can spend fiat and cryptocurrency – Within your account, you can select your ‘preferred currency’ for purchases, which can be made using both crypto and fiat currencies. Supported coins for spending are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Tether (USDT).
- No fees – Signing up for this card is free, and there are zero annual fees.
- Virtual card – although this may be a standard feature, FTX offer a virtual card option which isn’t provided by all the alternatives in this list.
- Bad reviews – Many poor reviews for their customer support.
- No cash back rewards – Can’t capitalize on earning crypto through daily purchases.
- Must be linked to an FTX account – This could be an issue if you’re not eligible for an FTX account or already use other exchanges.
Another card courtesy of an exchange, this time from Coinbase. The card is accompanied by the Coinbase app, which allows you to manage your portfolio and track your transactions and rewards.
Cardholders can earn up to 4% in crypto rewards, although this relies on what crypto you choose to earn. To make 4%, payouts are in either Stellar (XLM), The Graph (GRT), Amp (AMP) or Rally (RLY). Bitcoin, Ethereum, Doge, and Dai can also be earned but only at a 1% reward rate.
If you want to earn at the highest rate and be earning in BTC or ETH, you are susceptible to spreads and swap fees, reducing the rewards’ effectiveness. It’s also worth noting that if you sign up for this card, you must opt-in for the rewards program to start earning, as it is technically optional.
Reviews of the Coinbase platform as a whole do not make for great reading. With an overwhelming majority of reviews ranking at 1 out of 5 stars, many users have credited their poor reviews to high fees, long wait times and poor customer service.
Eligibility For The Coinbase Card
To apply for the Coinbase card, you must be a US resident, 18 years old and have a government-issued photo ID. They will also ask you for your social security number, tax identification number, name, email, address, etc.
Deposits can be made onto your Coinbase account using a wire transfer, ACH transfer or deposition from a connected bank account.
The site claims that the card should arrive within 7-10 business days, although many customers have reported that their card took months to arrive. Once your account has been approved, you can access the card virtually. Payments can be made, and the virtual card can be added to your apple wallet and used with google pay.
- 4% Rewards – Despite the payout not being in Bitcoin, 4% isn’t the worst rate on this list if you’re simply looking for a way to invest in crypto assets through your daily spending.
- No annual fee – No annual or sign-up fees apply to the Coinbase card.
- Supports over 100 Cryptos – Coinbase supports over 100 cryptocurrencies that you can spend directly from your portfolio, eliminating the need to load funds onto your card beforehand. Similar cards are very limited as to which cryptocurrencies they support.
- Fees – You’ll pay a 2.49% conversion fee on any purchase made with crypto, nullifying the cashback rewards if you regularly spend directly from your portfolio. However, spending in USDC is an exception as they don’t charge conversion fees for this coin. If you’re spending in fiat currency and want to earn the 4% but not in any of the available options, then you will have to pay swap fees to hold them in the asset of your choice.
- Unable to make peer-to-peer payments – While you can add your Coinbase Card to digital wallets such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, it doesn’t support P2P payment platforms such as Venmo, Cash App or PayPal.
- Long waiting list – some customers have experienced an extremely slow rollout of these cards and have been waiting for months in some instances.
Crypto.com Visa Card (Multiple)
Crypto.com is a highly reputable cryptocurrency exchange where you can buy, sell and spend your digital assets. They offer a variety of reward programs through a variety of different credit cards. The selection includes 5 card tiers where rewards grow from 1% to 5% as the staking levels increase.
Rewards and Additional Perks
There are two ways to earn rewards, and depending on which card you have opted for, you may benefit from both. They are purchasing rewards and staking rewards. These are the differences:
Purchasing Rewards are paid out in the CRO token for any purchase made with your card. These rewards are instantly paid into your crypto.com wallet and can earn from 1% to 5% on your spending. The card tiers are as follows.
- 1% – Ruby Steel
- 2% – Royal Indigo and Jade Green
- 3% – Icy White and Frosted Rose Gold
- 5% – Obsidian
Staking rewards are sent into your crypto.com wallet weekly as a percentage yield on your original CRO stake. The payouts are:
- 4% p.a. for Jade Green or Royal Indigo cardholders
- 8% p.a. for private members with an Obsidian, Icy White, or Frosted Rose Gold Card
Disclaimer: These rewards will no longer be granted if you unstake your initial CRO stake used to obtain the card.
How does staking work?
Each staking tier that generates cryptocurrency rewards requires you to stake the exchange’s own token CRO. For example, the staking tier for the ‘Ruby Steel’ card is 400 USD. This means 400 u.s. dollars worth of CRO tokens at the time of buying and staking. This leaves users at risk of volatility as your original stake could be worth significantly less or more when it comes to cashing out.
Whilst many people are bullish on Crypto.com as a platform, crypto enthusiasts are often skeptical about investing in tokens that are heavily focused on rewards and reimbursements. These types of tokens see a lot of sideways action from being sold off into other currencies, which can lower the price ceiling.
On the contrary, many users are incentivised to keep their tokens staked so they don’t lose any card benefits. The CRO staking period is 180 days, during which withdrawing your CRO is not an option. Once passed, your assets are reclaimable, although you will lose most of the card’s perks.
Cardholders can also gain rebates on Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime, depending on their tier. It is important to note that these rebates are capped, paid out in CRO and are only available for the first six months on some cards.
The higher-tier cardholders will also benefit from airport lounge access. A full breakdown of the benefits of each card is illustrated in the table below:
|Benefits||Midnight Blue||Ruby Steel||Royal Indigo & Jade Green||Icy White & Frosted Rose Gold||Obsidian|
|Staking Interest Rewards (in CRO)||✕||✕||4% per year||8% per year||8% per year|
|Monthly Cap On Purchasing rewards||No cap||$25||$50||No cap||No cap|
|Free ATM withdrawal limit – per month||$200||$400||$800||$1000||$1000|
|Spotify Rebate (capped at $13.99)||✕||✔|
(first 6 months)
(first 6 months)
|Netflix (capped at $13.99)||✕||✕||✔|
(first 6 months)
|Airport Lounge Access||✕||✕||✔||✔|
|Amazon Prime (capped at $14.99)||✕||✕||✕||✔||✔|
As there is no web portal for customers in the U.S, the app is the central hub for managing your funds and transactions. On Apple’s app store, it is rated 4.3 stars out of 5 with over 21,000 reviews. The company also has a very active community on Reddit and Discord who are very fond of the platform’s services.
Eligibility For Crypto.com Cards?
Cards are available for customers across the U.S. and the majority of European countries. You must be at least 18 years old and supply some personal information, including your full name, address, date of birth, a government-issued ID and social security number.
There are a few ways to deposit funds onto your card.
- Crypto wallet – Crypto.coms in-app wallet can be used to top up your card’s USD funds using the crypto you hold.
- Fiat Wallet – There is a fiat wallet on the app separate from your crypto wallet and card wallet. This can also be used to deposit funds onto the card.
- Credit Card – Any credit card can be used to top up your crypto.com card, although it will incur a 2.99% fee.
- Debit card – There’s no fee to top up your account using a debit card.
- PayPal – Once connected, you can add assets to your card using PayPal. This will incur a 2.1% fee.
Currently, there is no waiting list for any crypto.com cards, and the virtual card is issued and ready to use as soon as your address is verified. Once ordered, the advertised delivery time is 7-14 business days for Europe and the U.S.
- Earn up to 5% – There is a good range of card options that suit different levels of investors.
- No fees – No annual or monthly fees are involved.
- Travel rewards – Depending on your card, you can gain free airport lounge access for yourself and others.
- Directly linked to an exchange – while some other options may also be linked to an exchange Crypto.com offers over 250 different cryptocurrencies to invest in.
- Additional Perks – Free Netflix and Spotify rebates.
- Staking – You may be put off by having to tie up funds in CRO tokens to gain access to the card, and they have to remain there for as long as you want to enjoy the perks.
- High Entry Level – To earn the highest level of rewards, the entry fee is $400,000, which is incredibly steep.
- Diminishing Rewards – Those who have had the card for a while would have noticed the returns and benefits of the cards have been slowly reducing over the last year or so. Crypto.com claims the updates to reward schemes are an effort to “ensure long-term sustainability”.
Best Crypto Credit Cards
BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card
The first crypto rewards credit card on the list is courtesy of BlockFi. There are no commitments or annual fees, and your spending rewards accumulate and are paid out on a monthly basis. You can switch between different currencies for reward payouts, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and USDC.
A recent change to the card affected U.S based customers as they can no longer create a BlockFi Interest Account. Previously, all Bitcoin rewards earned from the card were deposited into a separate account every month so they could start to accrue interest.
The card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 3.5% purchasing rewards for the first three months of using the card. From there on, it will return 1.5%, and the rewards are calculated from when the purchase was made and not at the time of payout.
The rewards can rise to 2%, but this is only once you have spent over $30,000 a year. The years taken into account are cardmember years and not calendar years.
You will also receive 0.25% back in crypto on all eligible trades. This is capped at $500 per month and excludes stablecoin purchases and stablecoin to stablecoin swaps.
If you’re unfamiliar with BlockFi, it operates as a crypto trading and lending platform. Following the recent demise and now bankruptcy of Celsius and Voyager, two other crypto lending platforms, you may want to do some additional research into how their funds are stored and how their loans are backed.
There is a very mixed bag when it comes to reading reviews of BlockFi, which is reflected in the overall average rating of the platform. The fleeting reviews of longer-term customers praising BlockFi are somewhat overshadowed by the many complaints of hidden fees, frozen accounts and slow withdrawal periods.
Eligibility For BlockFi Credit Card?
BlockFi credit cards can be issued to residents of the U.S, excluding the state of New York. You must provide proof of identification alongside your social security number. As it is a credit card, a regulatory credit check will also be needed. BlockFi recommends a credit score of 700 when applying for the card to increase your chances of acceptance.
You can fund your card account using a wire transfer or direct deposit from your crypto wallet.
There is currently no waitlist for the card to be issued, although the process of applying may take a few extra steps.
- Offers portal – You can earn up to 10% in Bitcoin rewards on eligible purchases made through the BlockFi Offers Portal.
- Welcome Offer – BlockFi offers a sign-up bonus of 3.5% back on purchases made within the first three months of using the card.
- No commitments – The return rate is better than other options that involve staking funds to access rewards.
- Monthly Rewards – Rewards are paid out monthly as opposed to instantly.
- Credit Score – BlockFi recommends having a credit score of at least 700 when applying for the card.
- Balance transfers – Does not allow balance transfers between credit cards.
The benefits of crypto visa cards are clear, but you must be aware of the dangers when trusting a platform with personal information and your money. Always do your own research and read reviews wherever possible to ensure you are making the right choice for yourself.