Despite the gradual adoption of cryptocurrencies, not all buyers are ready to accept crypto as payment. However, almost everyone accepts bank cards. Thus, the idea of creating a crypto card appeared. Moreover, primarily crypto cards work with the two most popular payment providers — Visa and Mastercard. Due to this, you can pay with such a card in all places where Visa/Mastercard is accepted, which means almost everywhere.
The convenience of crypto cards lies in the possibility of using them even among those merchants who do not accept crypto payments. Furthermore, you don’t have to pass a long procedure of crypto-to-fiat conversation. Such a tool is in high demand among those who want to be able not only to invest in digital assets but also to use them in everyday life — in grocery stores, restaurants, to buy air tickets or goods in stores.
A cryptocurrency debit card is an analog of a debit bank card that allows you to top up a card account and pay using one or more cryptocurrencies. Such a card is also called a prepaid card since, before using the card, you need to top it up. It is noteworthy that when replenishing a crypto debit card, it is impossible to use a fiat currency.
Crypto credit cards increase your credit line, allowing you to make purchases now and pay later. Crypto credit cards are more like regular credit cards with cryptocurrency rewards. You can top up your credit card with fiat and receive crypto bonuses for the money spent. To get a credit card, you need to pass a credit check.
How does a crypto card work?
In simple words, the principle of crypto card operation can be compared with how goods or services are paid using a regular bank card when you are abroad. For example, you are a resident of Germany and are located in the United States. Let’s say you have a Visa/Mastercard card and you want to buy a coffee. You’re not running somewhere to exchange funds, are you? You simply attach the card to the POS terminal, and payment magically takes place. This happens because the bank receives a request and automatically converts EUR into USD at the current exchange rate. In the case of crypto cards, the principle remains the same, cryptocurrencies act as the national currency. The scheme of operation of the crypto card is as follows:
- The card must be linked to a cryptocurrency account. Then, the system will collect funds from it when paying.
- To bypass the restrictions on payment with cryptocurrencies, developers offer instant crypto-to-fiat conversion.
- The seller does not receive cryptocurrency to the account but fiat money.
Some cards involve paying directly with digital assets without any conversions. Unfortunately, such a scheme can be implemented only if the seller has a cryptocurrency account.
Pros and Cons
- The possibility of instant payment with cryptocurrency
- The possibility of payment wherever a bank card is accepted
- Availability of deposit programs for crypto balances and various bonuses
- Convenient replenishment of the card account
- There may be high fees for converting cryptocurrencies into fiat
- Cryptocurrency volatility
- Not available in all regions
Top Crypto Cards
The popular crypto exchange Coinbase has introduced a Visa debit card with cryptocurrency support. The platform links card with an exchange account.
- There is no maintenance fee in the system.
- You can use the card to return up to 4% of purchases.
- You can manage the card through the crypto exchange’s mobile application.
- You can use Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Gemini Card is one of the few crypto cards that are serviced by the Mastercard payment system. In addition, the Gemini crypto credit card is considered one of the best in terms of rewards.
- Developers offer up to 3% cashback (3% on food, 2% on groceries, 1% on other purchases).
- Gemini cashback can be exchanged for cryptocurrency.
- The system does not charge maintenance and exchange fees.
- According to the developers, the card can be used wherever a Mastercard card is accepted.
Binance Card is issued by one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Binance Card users can make instant transactions without fees, and crypto-assets are easily converted on the exchange.
- No fees.
- Depending on your average monthly balance in BNB, you can get up to 8% cashback on all your purchases.
- Your cryptocurrency funds will be permanently protected (SAFU).
- You can use the stored cryptocurrency to generate income from staking, deposits, and liquidity mining.
The Wirex multi-currency card is designed for travelers. The system allows you to instantly convert currencies.
- There are no service fees.
- Supports more than 150 currencies.
- There is a cashback system with which you can return up to 2% of purchases.
- Supports free withdrawal of up to $400 per month.
- You can use the card to pay in more than 54 million online and offline stores.
- There is a referral system. For each attracted user, the platform pays $10 in BTC.
BlockFi is one of the first platforms whose team created a credit card with cryptocurrency support. In addition, the developers offer cardholders a cashback system in BTC.
- There are no service fees.
- Card users can return up to 3.5% in BTC to the account with each purchase within the first 90 days after registration, while the cashback cannot exceed $100. After that, the system reduces the percentage to 1.5%. For those who spend more than $50,000 a year, cashback increases to 2%.
- The system transfers monthly rewards to users.
- The project offers participation in a referral program. The system pays $30 for each attracted user.
- You can pay with a card wherever your Visa is accepted.
Crypto cards are perfect for those users who believe in cryptocurrency and want to use it in real life. Every day the number of companies accepting crypto for payment is growing rapidly, but there is still a long way to go before the mass adoption of crypto. With the help of crypto cards, users can easily pay with their crypto assets everywhere where ordinary bank cards are accepted. When choosing a crypto card, we recommend that you carefully read the terms and fees charged by the issuer.