Cryptocurrency Debit and Credit Cards
Coinbase, one of the world's top crypto exchanges, also offers a Visa debit card. The Coinbase card is funded by its holders' balances and provides a quick and easy way to spend cryptocurrencies worldwide. According to Coinbase, its card makes crypto as spendable as money in the bank as it can be used in millions of locations around the world. Users can make contactless payments and withdraw cash from any ATM. Thanks to Coinbase's support for a variety of cryptocurrencies, cardholders can spend BTC, ETH, and other assets on-the-go through the card's iOS and Android apps.
Crypto.com offers its clients access to five different types of Visa crypto cards. Card deposits are made in the Monaco (MCO) token. Depending on the type of card the user chooses, he is offered different terms and perks. The entry-level card, for example, comes for free and does not require the user to deposit any MCO tokens. The rest of the options require deposits from 50, 500, 5,000, or 50,000 MCO. Among the perks are 100% cashback on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Spotify subscriptions, 10% cashback on Airbnb bookings, free ATM withdrawals, better exchange rates, and more. The cards can be used to pay at over 40 million merchants worldwide.
BlockCard is a crypto debit card powered by Ternio. To use BlockCard, users have to go through several stages, including registration, depositing crypto (BlockCard supports 12 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin), and KYC verification. After that, the user receives a virtual BlockCard which can be used to make payments everywhere Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay are accepted. BlockCard doesn't charge any registration, transaction, or exchange fees. Aside from the virtual VISA-powered card, users can take advantage of a plastic option. The company also has plans for a metal card.
The borderless payment platform Wirex offers a multi-currency Visa card that allows its users to exchange over 13 crypto and traditional currencies. The Wirex Visa card earns Bitcoin rewards with every in-store purchase and grants its holders the power to use their cryptocurrency for everyday payments. It also allows users to avoid unnecessary fees when paying in local currencies like GBP, EUR, and USD. The Wirex Visa card can be used at 40m+ outlets around the world – in-store, online, or at ATMs. The Cryptoback feature allows cardholders to earn up to 1.5% back in BTC on all in-store purchases. Wirex charges a monthly card management fee of £1.00/€1.20/$1.50.
The BitPay card is a prepaid Mastercard that allows its holders to make instant and seamless crypto transactions. Cardholders can make instant reloads with no conversion fees at competitive exchange rates. The BitPay card also grants its users the flexibility to view their balances, request a new PIN, and reload instantly all within the BitPay app. BitPay promises its cardholders enhanced security based on an EMV chip and options to lock the card and control the way cryptocurrencies are spent. The BitPay card can be used worldwide at millions of different locations to make contactless payments or quick and easy ATM cash withdrawals.
Cryptopay is a global payment gateway that provides cryptocurrency wallets and prepaid card services. C.Pay, the company's prepaid card, allows its holders to spend cryptocurrency everywhere that Visa is accepted. Users are free to use their cryptocurrencies for online and offline transactions and to make effortless withdrawals at ATMs worldwide. The card supports BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP and can be used to make single online transactions worth up to €30,000. The card can be managed through the Cryptopay app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. The card has a 1% uploading fee, a monthly management fee of 1£, and a 3% FX fee.
The prepaid Nexo Card, issued by Mastercard, allows clients of the leading service provider in the niche to access their credit lines in a matter of seconds. The card can be ordered and managed right from the Nexo Mobile App, which offers card freezing/unfreezing, virtual card creation, real-time transaction monitoring, PIN change, and other features. The card can be used at over 40 million merchants worldwide. The Nexo Card doesn't charge any transaction, account maintenance, inactivity, FX, or other fees. Its holders can also take advantage of up to 2% cashback when making payments. Funds are instantly deposited into the Nexo Wallet, increasing the available credit line balance.
Available to customers in the EU and UK, the Monolith card is a Visa debit card that lets users spend cryptocurrency online and at brick-and-mortar shops anywhere in the world. Eligible cryptoassets include ETH, stablecoins, and a number of ERC-20 tokens, all of which can be purchased at zero gas fees (courtesy of Monolith) or swapped via the Monolith app, which scans DEXs for the best exchange rates. There are no monthly, shipping, or activation fees. There is a 1% top-up fee that is passed to holders of the TKN token.
The Crypterium Card is considered to be one of the first global cryptocurrency debit cards. The prepaid Bitcoin card is available to cryptocurrency holders from 178 countries around the world. The card can be used in a network of over 50m global merchants and 2.5m ATMs. Crypterium offers its users two options - Visa and UnionPay. Both differ in terms of price, fees, limits, and restrictions. The Crypterium Card allows users to spend up to $60,000 per month. The card can be managed from Crypterium's app where the user can order a plastic card, change the PIN, freeze/unfreeze the card, keep track of transactions in real-time, and much more.
SpectroCoin by Bankera offers its users contactless prepaid bitcoin Visa debit cards. The SpectroCoin Card allows holders to make withdrawals from every ATM around the globe, pay in shops as with ordinary payment cards, and make online transactions. Funds from users' SpectroCoin blockchain wallets are loaded to the prepaid card instantly. The SpectroCoin Card comes with high deposit and withdrawal limits and all funds are denominated in EUR. It is worth noting that the SpectroCoin Card maintains quite high fees when compared to other solutions in the niche. The monthly service fee is €1.15, while ATM withdrawal fees depend on the region but are in the excess of €1 + 1% on average.
The TenX Visa card allows its holders to spend bitcoin, ether, and litecoin instantly at more than 54 million merchant locations in over 200 countries. Once a transaction is initiated, the cryptocurrencies in the TenX card are converted to cash automatically. Users are free to withdraw local currency at ATMs and pay with no FX fees. The card can be managed through the TenX mobile app where users can take advantage of real-time transaction notifications, check history, download spending reports, lock/unlock the card, and more. Aside from 2FA, the TenX card is also protected by Visa's fraud prevention feature, the 3-D SecureSeamless experience.
Uquid offers its customers a combination plastic and virtual crypto debit card that they can use to make online and offline transactions everywhere card payments are accepted. The Uquid Card doesn't charge any fees for POS purchases and allows for unlimited ATM withdrawals and online spending. It is worth noting that Uquid offers two types of cards - a bitcoin and an altcoin debit card. While the first is limited to just one cryptocurrency, the latter supports over 90 altcoins. The Uquid Prepaid Card is only available to existing Uquid customers and has country-specific restrictions.
Uphold states that it provides the world's most flexible debit card. It allows users to pay, not only with cryptocurrencies and fiat but also with metals and other commodities. Uphold's users can take advantage of both physical and virtual cards, which can be used for online and offline transactions, as well as ATM withdrawals. The fact that the card is issued by Mastercard means it is accepted at nearly 50 million merchants and ATMs across the globe with zero foreign transaction fees. The Uphold Debit Card can be managed through intuitive iOS and Android apps where the user can choose the asset he wants to spend, including commodities, fiat, and over 30 cryptocurrencies.
Eidoo is a multicurrency wallet with a built-in hybrid exchange and DeFi portal that also offers crypto-enabled Visa debit cards. The Eidoo card allows its holders to instantly convert the cryptocurrencies in their accounts into GBP or EUR in-app for spending in stores, online, or to withdraw from ATMs. Cardholders also enjoy up to 5% EDO cashback for qualifying purchases. The Eidoo Card is available to users based in the United Kingdom and the EU with more jurisdictions to come in the future. The card comes with Basic, VIP, and Black accounts, all of which offer different terms and perks. The Eidoo Card supports ETH and BTC and doesn't charge any annual fees.
Bitcard is a cryptocurrency debit card by Bitnovo. It is available to EU residents. Bitcard holders can use crypto to make payments at over 35,000 stores in Europe as well as ATM withdrawals and online purchases. Bitnovo promotes Bitcard as a card that can be used without having a bank account. The crypto card supports a variety of digital assets, including Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, and others. However, thanks to the fee policy, Bitcard is one of the least affordable solutions on the market. The card itself costs €25. Aside from that, Bitcard's holders are charged a monthly €1.20 maintenance fee and €1 for ATM withdrawals. Top-ups are charged 5% commission.
The 2gether Card allows its holders to spend up to 13 different cryptocurrencies from their accounts. The Visa debit card can be used for online and offline transactions as well as ATM withdrawals. It doesn't charge any commission or maintenance fees, except the common network fee associated with the particular blockchain network. 2gether claims that they are adding a new cryptocurrency each month. To take advantage of the card, users have to download the 2gether app, sign up, and buy €10 worth of the 2GT token or invite two friends. Once the user's account is verified, he can claim a 2gether card and expect it to arrive in 1 to 2 weeks.
The PolisPay platform allows users to exchange, store, and spend cryptocurrencies in a secure way, buy gift cards, and top-up phone numbers with digital assets or fiat. Users of the PolisPay debit card can make instant transactions by converting cryptocurrencies to fiat and paying at online or offline locations. PolisPay users can also make ATM withdrawals. The card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Users can top-up their accounts by transferring a number of supported cryptocurrencies directly from their wallets. The PolisPay platform supports BTC, ETH, LTC, Dash, and a variety of niche altcoins. The card is only available to EU citizens.
The Plutus Card is a rewards-focused debit card for crypto enthusiasts. Holders of the Plutus Card can use it by converting their PLU or ETH and using the resulting balance for everyday shopping. The VISA card can also be topped-up with fiat (GBP or EUR). Once the user tops-up his card, he can take advantage of 3% crypto cashback on purchases from some of the world's top brands, retailers, and service providers. There is also cashback of up to 30% for shopping online. Among the retailers supporting the Plutus card are the likes of Amazon, Nike, Lenovo, Alibaba.com, and more.
The Bitwala Mastercard crypto debit card allows users to convert their digital assets automatically and use them for spending in millions of online and offline locations worldwide, as well as thousands of ATMs. Prior to any transaction, the card trades cryptocurrency into euros at competitive exchange rates. The Bitwala Card comes with a 3D secure feature in the form of a private code that gives the user an additional layer of security. To be able to take advantage of the crypto debit card, users have to sign up for a Bitwala account. All funds deposited into the Bitwala account can then be spent on-the-go thanks to the Mastercard crypto debit card.
The commission-free Bitcoin trading platform Change offers its European clients access to a crypto debit card that supports over 14 digital assets. The premium black Visa debit card allows for free-of-charge deposits and withdrawals in over 40m locations worldwide. The card can be managed directly from Change's iOS and Android apps. The Change card costs €4.95 for ordering and shipping and is available only to residents of the EU. Although delivery time may vary depending on the location, according to information on Change's site, the card usually arrives in 5 to 10 days.
Advanced Cash is a fiat and crypto payment platform that also offers prepaid cards, merchant solutions, and gateways for crypto exchanges. The ADV Card is a crypto-enabled debit card that comes in plastic or as a virtual card. Cardholders are free to send international payments, make ATM withdrawals in a wide range of currencies, and shop online and offline. There are no maintenance fees or commissions on transactions. ADV Card options are segmented depending on users' locations with different offerings for individuals based in Russia, the EU, Israel, Turkey, and the US.
The reputation score is a score between 0 and 1000, assigned to products based on our algorithm. It looks at factors such as popularity on Reddit, Twitter mentions, Telegram links, crypto news media mentions, podcast references, and other signals. Unlike our market data methodology for Nomics (which are transparent), the reputation score methodology is opaque to prevent manipulation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Crypto Debit Card?
A cryptocurrency debit card is a payment card that works like a bank debit card or prepaid card, but when a consumer uses it, they spend from a Bitcoin (BTC) or other crypto balance instead of a checking account denominated in their local fiat currency.
History of Crypto Debit Cards
Crypto debit cards have been around since the mid-2010s. From the start, users had a choice of funding methods, which can be illustrated by two early crypto debit cards, Shift Card and BitPay Card.
Shift Card (retired in April 2019) was a Visa debit card that linked to users' Coinbase accounts. Purchases were deducted straight from exchange balances based on prevailing spot prices. While Shift operated like a traditional debit card, BitPay Card is a prepaid Mastercard. Users load it with a fixed amount of cryptocurrency, which is then converted to fiat. Unlike Shift, which was replaced by Coinbase Card, BitPay is still around.
How Crypto Debit Cards Work
Cryptocurrency debit cards enable users to spend crypto at the Point of Sale in stores and online. In many cases, cardholders can also withdraw cash from ATMs. Physical crypto debit cards can be used in-store, online, and at ATMs. A virtual card is not a card at all but an account number and PIN for online purchases.
A cryptocurrency debit card is linked to a balance on a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase or to a cryptocurrency wallet, a piece of software or a hardware device that holds the keys to its owner's crypto. Unlike a physical wallet that holds physical banknotes, a crypto wallet holds keys to addresses on a blockchain. This is where the cryptocurrency resides. For more on crypto wallets, check out our Cryptocurrency Wallets FAQ.
Many crypto debit card issuers offer an integrated wallet, which can be loaded and topped-up with transfers from external crypto balances or with funds from legacy credit cards and bank accounts. These transactions are managed through the wallet app, which, like the integrated wallet, comes with the card.
Crypto Debit Card Pros & Cons
Cryptocurrency debit cards make spending crypto as simple as spending fiat. Most crypto debit cards are powered by Visa or Mastercard, which means that any merchant that accepts Visa or Mastercard can also accept a crypto card – so long as the card is affiliated with one of those payment processors. Conversion from crypto to national currency is handled instantly behind the scenes.
Card issuance may be restricted to certain geographic areas. There may also be spending and withdrawal limits. Like most financial products, crypto debit cards carry fees. However, some cards offer loyalty programs that reward users with "cryptoback", perks, or reduced rates and fees.
There are many crypto enthusiasts who balk at the idea of spending cryptoassets. While major fiat currencies tend to trade within a range, cryptocurrencies can leap dozens or hundreds of percent in no time at all. But beyond FOMO or "fear of missing out," if one is bullish on crypto's long-term prospects, it would not make sense to squander it on consumer goods and services that don't appreciate in value.
For more on using crypto debit cards, understanding their benefits and drawbacks, or to learn about cryptocurrency credit cards, read on.
What Is a Crypto Credit Card?
Like crypto debit cards, cryptocurrency credit cards let consumers turn crypto into spending money. The difference lies in how the underlying cryptoassets are converted. When a consumer swipes a crypto debit card, they draw from a wallet balance or exchange account – just as swiping a bank debit card (or writing a check) pulls from a checking account. Holders of crypto credit cards do not spend from their holdings but from a line of credit secured by those holdings.
How Crypto Credit Cards Work
Because users of cryptocurrency credit cards aren't selling or drawing down, they don't forgo future gains. In many jurisdictions, they also save on taxes. There are countries that refrain from taxing crypto trading profits, but that is not the norm. When a consumer pledges cryptoassets as collateral for a credit line, they get the liquidity they need without shelling out for taxes or sacrificing a shot at the next bull run.
Some crypto credit cards denominate available credit in fiat. Others, like the MCO Visa card offered by Crypto.com, denominate in terms of a dollar-pegged stablecoin like Tether (USDT) or USD Coin (USDC). While few may care whether their available credit is listed in fiat or dollar-pegged stablecoins – such stablecoins track the dollar, and fiat conversion happens instantly at the Point of Sale – there are surely individuals who feel more comfortable spending against a credit line that is already denominated in their local national currency.
With certain crypto credit cards, like the Nexo Card from Nexo, the associated credit line is dynamic. If the underlying cryptoasset jumps in value, so does the credit line – and the cardholder's available credit. Instead of timing the market to manually take profits to then convert to fiat, cardholders see their available credit increase automatically with the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), or other crypto collateral.
How to Get a Crypto Credit Card
For holders of cryptoassets, it's easy to get a cryptocurrency credit card. One simply creates an account with a card issuer and pledges crypto as collateral. Virtual cards can be made instantly; physical cards take time to print and send in the mail. In either case, the application is straightforward. Traditional financial institutions funnel applicants through a complex underwriting process to determine their creditworthiness and where to set their rates and limits. Because crypto credit cards are secured by collateral, there is no underwriting. This also means that a low credit score or spotty credit history is no obstacle to obtaining a crypto credit card. The same is true for secured loans and secured cards, which people often use to rebuild bad credit.
Pledging Crypto as Collateral
In the absence of underwriting, issuers of cryptocurrency credit cards set limits based on the amount and type of collateral. If a consumer pledges stablecoins as collateral, they may secure a higher credit limit than they would with an equal amount (in fiat terms) of Bitcoin, which may secure a higher credit limit than collateral composed of altcoins like Stellar (XLM) or EOS. It depends on the issuer. Nexo sets limits based on the type of collateral. Crypto.com does not.
That said, any issuer of crypto credit cards will require customers to overcollateralize. When applying for a traditional loan – say a home mortgage – a consumer pledges a modest down payment in exchange for a much larger loan. The small down payment is all the bank asks because the collateral is the house. If the consumer misses payments, the bank can seize the property and sell it. Issuers of crypto credit cards (and crypto credit lines) require borrowers to overcollateralize or pledge collateral in excess of the loan amount because the underlying asset – cryptocurrency – could dramatically decrease in value. If the collateral's market value dips below a certain threshold, the issuer will ask for repayment or more collateral.
Of course, the collateral's market value could increase. If that happens, holders of crypto cards linked to dynamic lines of credit would see their purchasing power increase as well. Market gains can also offset fees and rate charges.
More Pros & Cons
Like cryptocurrency debit cards, most crypto credit cards are powered by Visa or Mastercard, ensuring their acceptance by millions of brick-and-mortar and online retailers. Many cryptocurrency credit cards offer loyalty programs that reward users with "cryptoback" on purchases, perks, or reduced rates or fees. As with crypto debit cards, cryptocurrency credit cards may be restricted to certain geographic areas.
Where Can I Use Crypto Debit & Credit Cards?
Cryptocurrency debit and credit cards can be used to pay for goods and services wherever bank debit and credit cards are accepted. Most crypto cards are powered by Visa or Mastercard, so any merchant that accepts Visa or Mastercard can also accept a crypto card – provided that the card is affiliated with one of those payment processors.
Crypto cards come in two forms – physical and virtual. A physical card looks just like a traditional debit or credit card. It can be used at restaurants, brick-and-mortar shops, or any place with a physical Point of Sale terminal. It can be used online, too. Some physical cards, like the Coinbase Card, support contactless payments. A virtual card, which can be created instantly, is simply an account number and PIN. It can only be used online.
In addition to their spending function, crypto debit cards can be used to withdraw money from ATMs. As of this writing, there are approximately 12,000 crypto ATMs worldwide. Nearly 90% of these crypto-friendly cash machines are located in the U.S. and Canada. Most of the rest are scattered throughout Europe. With a few exceptions, all cryptocurrency ATMs support Bitcoin, and more than half support Ethereum and Litecoin (LTC).
While crypto debit and credit cards are accepted all over the world, their issuance is often limited to consumers living in certain geographic areas. For example, the BitPay card, which was one of crypto's first payment cards, is only available to customers in the United States. By contrast, the Crypto.com MCO Visa card is available across the U.S., Europe, and Singapore. The Coinbase Card was originally limited to residents of the UK and Europe. Availability has been increased to all U.S. states except Hawaii.
Card usage may be restricted by spending and withdrawal limits. These limits are usually expressed in a user's national currency in daily, weekly, monthly, or even annual amounts. For example, "$10,000 per day." Cryptocurrency credit cards, which are linked to lines of credit, may carry different restrictions. Spending could be capped by factors like credit limit or the market value of the underlying collateral. For more on that, check out the previous question, What Is a Crypto Credit Card?
What Are the Benefits of Crypto Debit & Credit Cards?
These days, it's easy to turn cryptocurrency into cash. Popular crypto exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, and Bitstamp provide fiat off-ramps, and P2P marketplaces have been around for years. However, both options carry costs and risks. Crypto debit and credit cards let users convert cryptoassets to cash in a way that may be more convenient.
How Crypto Cards Work
Crypto cards come in several forms. There are prepaid cards like BitPay, debit cards like Coinbase Card that draw from a wallet or exchange-hosted account, and credit cards like the Nexo Card that pull from a credit line secured by cryptoassets.
Most crypto cards are powered by Visa or Mastercard, which means that cardholders can use them wherever Visa or Mastercard is accepted. Fiat conversion happens instantly at the Point of Sale. Contrast that with the process of liquidating a position on a cryptocurrency exchange or the knowledge and experience needed to safely navigate a peer-to-peer marketplace. Crypto cards are also simpler than platforms like Cash App, which, though user-friendly, require a series of steps to convert Bitcoin to spending money.
Crypto cards usually come with a mobile app that lets holders check balances and transaction histories, order virtual cards, and manage security settings. If a card supports multiple assets, the app may enable users to toggle between them. Users of the Uphold Card, which supports more than 50 assets including cryptocurrencies, national currencies, and gold, can use the associated app to browse asset balances and select one to spend. This functionality makes it a snap to "sell high." If a coin pumps, an Uphold cardholder can lock in their gains by choosing to spend that asset right at the Point of Sale.
Crypto Card Reward Programs
Like legacy bank cards, many crypto cards incentivize users with reward programs. Rewards may include "cryptoback" on purchases, perks, and lower rates or fees. The MCO Visa card from Crypto.com offers cryptoback, reduced ATM withdrawal fees, and extras like airport lounge access, discounts at Expedia, and free Netflix and Spotify memberships. Benefits scale with the amount of Crypto.com Coin (CRO) a cardholder stakes or deposits with Crypto.com.
Benefits of Crypto Credit Cards
While crypto debit cards pull from a cryptocurrency wallet or exchange account, crypto credit cards draw from a line of credit secured by cryptoassets. There are advantages to this. First, because cardholders are not spending down their crypto, they get liquidity without forgoing future appreciation. In addition, users of crypto credit cards may enjoy significant tax savings. Because cryptoassets are neither sold nor traded but pledged as collateral, there is no sale or exchange to tax. When the credit line is repaid, the crypto is returned intact.
Depending on the type of credit line, there may be more than one way to repay. If it's a dynamic credit line, the borrower's purchasing power automatically tracks the market value of the underlying assets. Gains offset fees and interest charges. What remains just ups the balance. The Nexo Card is linked to a dynamic line of credit. To learn more about it, check out Flippening episode 64 with Nexo co-founder Antoni Trenchev.
Another benefit of cryptocurrency credit cards is the straightforward application. Unlike banks, which put applicants through an underwriting process to determine their eligibility, interest rates, and credit limits, issuers of crypto credit cards set rates and limits by the amount and/or type of collateral pledged. Credit score is a non-issue. If the applicant has the collateral, they get the card.
Cash at ATMs
In addition to enabling spending at stores and restaurants, crypto cards let users flip cryptoassets for cash at ATMs – just as bank debit cards let users withdraw cash from their checking accounts. Since the first Bitcoin ATM appeared in 2013, the sector has grown along with crypto's market cap. Today, there are thousands of ATMs that accept crypto cards. The majority are located in North America, but there are machines in Europe and Asia as well.
What Are the Drawbacks of Crypto Debit & Credit Cards?
Cryptocurrency debit and credit cards have their downsides. There may be times when a consumer would be better off finding a different way to spend or manage their cryptoassets. Even when a crypto card makes sense, there will be restrictions on its use.
Cryptocurrency is an emerging asset class, so it's no surprise that governments have yet to reach consensus on how (or whether) to regulate it. Each jurisdiction has its own rules, and these standards vary widely. Issuers of crypto debit and credit cards are forced to go jurisdiction by jurisdiction to secure approval for their products.
As a result, it's common for crypto cards to be restricted to residents of certain countries or regions. For example, Crypto.com's MCO Visa card is available to customers across the United States, Europe, and Singapore. The Coinbase Card was limited to Europe but has recently been expanded to residents of most U.S. states. The BitPay card is only available in the United States.
Only Some Assets Supported
There is diversity in the number and type of assets that crypto debit and credit cards support. The Uquid Visa card allows holders to spend Bitcoin and nearly 90 altcoins. The Uphold debit card supports more than 25 cryptocurrencies, 20+ national currencies, and precious metals like gold and silver. On the other end of the spectrum is the Bitwala debit card, which only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum. A Bitcoin maximalist might be fine with Bitwala, but an altcoin trader (or anyone with interests beyond the top coins by market cap) will need a card that supports various cryptocurrencies. Before applying for a crypto debit or credit card, it's wise to check which assets it supports.
Crypto Card Limits
Most cryptocurrency debit cards set purchase limits. These restrictions are typically expressed in a user's national currency and in temporal terms like "$10,000 per day." To prevent cardholders from circumventing their daily max by splitting a giant transaction over several days, the Coinbase card also fixes monthly and annual purchasing limits.
Some issuers restrict activity by purchase size. For example, the Wirex Visa debit card sets a spending limit of $10,000 per transaction. As cryptocurrency credit cards are linked to lines of credit, they may restrict spending by other factors such as a cardholder's credit limit.
Along with purchase limits, crypto cards place limits on ATM withdrawals. Most cryptocurrency debit cards set this around $200 to $500 per day, but there are outliers. For example, BitPay permits withdrawals of up to $2,000. It's also common for cards to set a maximum number of ATM withdrawals. The norm is three to five per day.
Crypto Card Fees
Like most consumer financial products, cryptocurrency debit and credit cards carry fees. It's common for issuers to charge for physical card creation and replacement, ACH and wire transactions, and ATM withdrawals.
Fees for card creation and replacement are modest – $5 to $10. Sometimes there is no charge. Crypto card issuers diverge in their approaches to ACH, wire, and other legacy banking transactions. Many allow fee-free deposits.
Depending on the issuer, there could be a flat fee for each ATM withdrawal (usually a few dollars) or a percentage-based levy. For example, Coinbase lets cardholders withdraw up to a certain monthly amount for free before imposing a 1% charge on each additional dollar, euro, or other local currency.
Fees can be offset by rewards earned through loyalty programs, and holders of cryptocurrency credit cards may see their charges reduced or even eliminated by market gains. If a crypto credit card is linked to a dynamic line of credit, appreciation of the underlying collateral will automatically offset fees and rate charges. The card and associated credit line can finance themselves. This possibility exists for holders of the Nexo Card.
If Crypto Is the Future, Why Not HODL?
Unlike a cryptocurrency debit card, which draws down a wallet or exchange account balance, a crypto credit card links to a line of credit secured by cryptoassets, which remain untouched. This means that users of crypto credit cards get the liquidity they need without sacrificing future market gains. Crypto debit cardholders cannot say this, and that begs the question, "If crypto has such a bright future, is it wise to squander it on consumer goods?" For an interesting take on how bright the future may be, check out Flippening episode 76 with Kraken's Pete Rizzo, How the "Great Wealth Transfer" Could Bring $1 Trillion to Bitcoin.