With giants like MasterCard and Visa announcing partnerships with hundreds of card issuers this year alone, customers are spoiled for choice when it comes to getting a crypto debit card, but picking the right crypto card for you can get a little tricky.
That’s why in this article we are going to go through all the ins and out’s of getting yourself a crypto debit card in 2023 and help you get the right fit for this fantastic service.
What Is A Crypto Debit Card?
In its simplest terms, a crypto debit card is a virtual or physical card that you can tap, swipe or scan to spend crypto on anything, from a cup of coffee to a utility bill.
Crypto debit cards bridge one of the last gaps in day-to-day crypto integration and spending, allowing both customers and retailers peace of mind and ease of access when it comes to crypto spending and crypto forms of payment.
How Does A Crypto Debit Card Work?
Crypto debit card transactions generally work in one of a few ways.
The most common way is that your crypto debit card will instantly convert crypto into fiat currencies at the time of purchase.
Another way is called a prepaid card. This works by selling crypto manually from your cryptocurrency wallet and loading that fiat currency onto the prepaid debit card.The third, less common way might be better described as a crypto credit card. This method allows you to borrow fiat money against the strength of the crypto you have stored. You can then spend this fiat when you want to, but will have to pay back the fiat either through fiat or said stored crypto.
How To Use A Crypto Debit Card
Using a crypto debit card is as easy as using a regular debit card. Simply tap, scan or swipe your physical or virtual card and voila!
Instant crypto access and instant crypto spending.
Benefits of Crypto Debit Cards
There are all kinds of benefits to using a crypto debit card, but the primary one has to be convenience. Being able to use your card in virtually any store, online or in person is a huge benefit for crypto users and retailers alike.
In addition to their convenience, card providers like CryptoWallet.com, Coinbase Card and Binance Visa will often offer all kinds of perks to try and get customers through the door, with cashback systems and discounts for main brand services like Spotify, Amazon and Netflix.
Who Can Get a Crypto Debit Card?
The main criteria for getting yourself a crypto debit card will be being over the age of 18, some official documentation, government ID and some form of proof of residence.
Unlike traditional debit cards, crypto cards are often not burdened by credit checks and other criteria that can draw out an application process.
How to Get A Crypto Debit Card 2023
If you find yourself looking for a crypto debit card but don’t know where to start, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In the next few sections, we are going to be discussing some of the main things to look out for when looking for a crypto debit card that suits you and your needs.
Find A Crypto Exchange With Debit Card
One of the central pieces of a good crypto debit card is its crypto exchange.
While different customers have different needs, generally, you’re going to be looking for security, reliability, and of course, affordable exchange rates.
CryptoWallet.com, for example, has everything most customers will be looking for. Offering an easy-to-use exchange that hosts thousands of different cryptos. With low rates and fast speeds, there’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re looking for in CryptoWallet.com.
Research Crypto Accounts With Debit Card
When looking for a crypto debit card it’s always wise to take your time, shop around and do your research into any provider before entering into any kind of contract or handing over private sensitive information.
Review Crypto Debit Card Fees
Different cards will naturally charge different rates for the general service of the card.
But also it’s important to remember that cards will sometimes have additional fees that you may not have noticed at a glance. Some providers will charge accounts for inactivity or hefty foreign exchange fees. Exchange charges, ATM withdrawals fee, cross-border foreign transaction fees, maintenance fees and card issuance and re-issuance fees can all vary.
So it’s important to do your research into the exact nature of your card fees.
Compare Cards Based On Your Needs & Preferences
Different customers have different needs, so different providers cater to different customers. This can make shopping around a little confusing at times, but don’t worry, with so much on offer you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. The trick for you is knowing what you’re looking for.
Start by figuring out what kind of crypto assets you want to spend, and what kind of convenience features like rewards on card spending, cashback programs, crypto wallets and other features you would like.
Availability In Your Location
Crypto acceptance can vary from country to country, with countries like Singapore being extremely accommodating to digital assets and crypto investors, and countries like China being very restrictive, viewing crypto as a too volatile asset.
But for most crypto debit card users, your primary concern between regions will likely be regarding service availability.
Coinbase Visa for example is a broadly US-centered company but does offer an EU-based Visa-backed card that varies somewhat from its crypto card US counterpart. So you must understand the rates, fees and regional restrictions of a crypto service for your region and provider specifically.
In general, you’ll be charged fees on your crypto debit card at two main points of contact. The transaction fee within your exchange and ATM withdrawal fees.
Understanding the fee structures regarding these two points is important, but as previously mentioned there can be other less obvious fees, like monthly maintenance fees that are nonetheless important to consider before entering into a contract with a card provider.
Different card issuers will have different crypto focuses in this regard, with some favoring certain blockchain types or limiting themselves to core currencies like ETH or BTC.
CryptoWallet.com for example, has a massive variety of thousands of cryptos for you to buy, trade and spend with your virtual or physical card. Coinbase however, has far more limited scope in terms of coin options, instead focusing its service more towards different fintech options like staking and crypto lending.
So make sure you know what you want, and what’s available before choosing a provider.
Where You Can Spend
Thanks to cards being backed by major credit card issuers like Visa or MasterCard you can rest assured that you’ll likely be able to use your crypto debit card in pretty much any store, online or in person.
With so much competition between crypto debit card providers, many companies have started offering very attractive crypto reward programs for card spending.
Crypto.com Visa Card is probably the most famous in this regard, offering CRO rewards for its native token, high staking rewards rates and cash-back programs for main brand services like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix. However, most of these rewards are locked behind a complex card tier system ranging from a Jade Green to a Frosted Rose Gold card, or Ruby Steel to Icy White.
Other companies like Coinbase Card, BitPay Debit Card and Binance Card offer more straightforward cryptocurrency debit card rewards of 0.25%-1.5% cash back on crypto exchange and crypto spending respectively.
While different regional governments may treat crypto taxes differently, many will see the exchange of crypto for fiat as subject to a form of capital gains tax or a capital loss tax. Therefore strict record-keeping is extremely important for tax fees and tax returns.
This can understandably get a little messy, especially if your crypto card activities take place across multiple exchanges and wallets. Thankfully with services like Koinly, Accounting and CryptoTaxCalculator available, you should be able to avoid any undue headaches or penalties.
Ease of Use
In general, crypto debit cards are extremely user-friendly, being as straightforward to use as any regular bank account or traditional debit card. Simply tap, swipe or scan your virtual or physical card like you would a regular credit card for online purchases or in-person purchases!
Apply For The Crypto Debit Card
Applying for a crypto debit card can be even simpler than applying for a traditional debit or credit card.
Firstly you’ll have to choose a provider. With CryptoWallet.com for example the registration process will be fairly simple requiring the standard level of KYC (Know Your Customer) information. This will include your name, proof of address and some kind of ID.
Are Crypto Debit Cards free?
Much like traditional banking, it depends on the card issuer, card services and what debit card option you choose.
Some companies will have card issuance fees for physical cards, while their virtual option is free. Others will not charge for your physical card but will charge if you require a replacement.
Can You Pay Bills With A Crypto Card?
In general, you should be able to pay bills and utilities with a crypto debit card, though it might be worth double-checking with said company first.
The way that many crypto cards work means that they aren’t paying a business with crypto, but are trading or borrowing fiat for crypto, and using that as payment. This means that in most cases, the company or individual on the receiving end of the transaction isn’t being paid with digital currencies.
How Long Do Crypto Cards Take To Arrive?
This can depend on the length of the verification process and your location.
In general, a successful verification process can be completed in 1-2 days.
From here you could receive a virtual crypto card on the same day, with physical plastic card delivery taking a bit longer.