The perfect balance between the old financial structure and the modern structure could be crypto debit cards. They fill the divide between the legacy banking schemes and the future of decentralization.
Maybe you are a long-standing crypto holder who needs to invest your earnings or you want to use your spare crypto to take care of daily expenses without converting between crypto and fiat. Or maybe you just want to carry your crypto and fiat in your wallet.
You are the perfect candidate to use a crypto debit card, then. A crypto debit card acts similar to a normal credit card, but you can fill it with crypto instead of fiat. You may purchase food, pay for oil or book a trip, for example.
Why Would I Need a Crypto Debit Card?
In the past five years, holders of cryptocurrencies have increased exponentially. In the USA alone, Bitcoin is owned by nearly 10 million individuals.
The value of your cryptocurrency reserves may be quite hard to be used in everyday settings without a debit card. The normal way to pay off part of your crypto funds is by exchanging it for fiat, transferring it from your crypo wallet, and withdrawing the proceeds to your bank account.
Despite growing popularity of cryptocurrency, most retailers still have to embrace this emerging technology and those who recognize crypto as a means of payment remain difficult to locate. This means anyone who uses a crypto debit card could be considered an early adopter.
The problem with using crypto today to pay for goods lies within converting your crypto into fiat. To do so, you must use a third party to convert from one of the most popular coins, such as BTC or ETH, to fiat.
Next, you wait until the bank deposit clears, and then you are able to use the funds at a retailer, digitally, or in a physical store. It will most likely take a few business days to do so.
A wire transfer requires days to clear and keeps the worth of your holdings from being easily accessible.
On the other hand, you can spend your crypto on the go with a crypto debit card. It allows a smooth experience by converting the crypto to fiat for you automatically. Of course, there are expenses involved.
Many crypto debit cards incur a small fee. There is also a centralization effect of losing custody of your crypto holdings to the card company.
Costs or benefits range widely from card to card, with some free to order, costs lowered, type of cryptocurrency supported, or accessible in more nations.
What Should I Look for in a Crypto Debit Card?
All crypto debit cards provide the same key functions of enabling online/offline spending and authorizing ATM withdrawals to be made by cardholders. The devil is in the details, however. Features such as altcoin help, financial facilities, payment/remittance services, and the functionality of foreign exchange vary greatly by card.
Ease of Usage
It should be easy to use crypto debit cards, but the experience can be confusing due to funding choices, costs, and expenditure caps.
Since cards are sometimes connected to online trading profiles, the overall experience improves when you are able to quickly access your account. Access to quality customer service also varies depending on the card.
Some crypto debit cards are focused on delivering a safe and efficient debit card service, while new projects are also targeted at enticing new customers by offering incentives, cashback programs, and referral programs to render their service more appealing.
Users need peace of mind with regards to improved security, technologies such as web encryption, two-factor verification, and email / SMS alerts.
Integration with the main vendors of credit cards often helps consumers to utilize authentication protocols such as 3D Safe by MasterCard. In addition, users should consider whether or not their wallets are non-custodial.
Owing to how the cryptocurrency market is being regulated, many crypto debit cards are only offered in specific countries. Users need to double-check if a debit card company serves their country, while still staying consistent with regulations and strives to keep up to date with any adjustments in legislation.
The industry is young with Bitcoin only just ten years old and it makes sense to try to pick the most proven and reputable service providers.
Cards supported by the conventional banking framework, such as Visa and MasterCard, can help provide users with consistent, quality service.
Although the field of digital currencies is highly competitive in nature, consumers of Bitcoin debit cards are already motivated to find the best selling prices and an excessively stringent fee policy does not impede expenditure on the card. In order to retain their customer base, initiatives that maintain straightforward and easy fee arrangements are often well placed.
We have collected a list of crypto debit cards and categorized them into the following:
- Most versatile
- Most affordable
- Highest limits
- Lowest fees
Most Versatile – Crypto.com Debit Card
The Crypto.com card supports USD, EUR, GBP, and SGD and provides zero cost conversions of up to $2,000 whereas most of the cards sold in the USA support USD only.
In terms of benefits, any transaction made with the Crypto.com card includes up to a 5% cashback. The free version of the Crypto.com debit card offers 1% cashback, with the next tier offering 2% cashback (provided you purchase $50 of CRO).
The Crypto.com debit card also supports direct fiat deposits compared to other cards which only allow cryptocurrency deposits. This allows you to use the Crypto.com debit card like you would a regular debit card, along with its cryptocurrency functionality.
You can load BTC, ETH, LTC, or XRP directly into the card or convert a variety of other cryptocurrencies supported by its wallet. This allows users to access their card across a wide variety of retailers and shops.
The Crypto.com debit card also comes with a payments app that allows users to access contactless payment. In a Covid-19 world, this may be a benefit for users who are out and about but still want to practice social distancing.
Most Affordable – Bitwala Debit Card
Bitwala is a European cryptocurrency exchange that operates in partnership with Solaris Bank, a German fintech bank, to allow its users to buy and sell Bitcoin and make deposits of both crypto and fiat, with a significant feature of SEPA transfers.
The Bitwala debit card is offered in partnership with Mastercard. Bitwala provides free fiat card purchases made via the bank cable, free deposits and ATM withdrawals and 0% foreign exchange rates for any extra SEPA currencies.
There are zero fees with regards to card servicing. One key aspect of Bitwala crypto wallets is that users have full custody over their crypto.
This card is particularly useful for users who travel around Europe. It ensures that your base fiat is translated to an authentic interbank exchange rate if you are in UK, France, Denmark, Sweden or some other nation in the SEPA arrangement. For translating your crypto into fiat Bitwala charges a nominal flat rate fee of 1%.
Lowest Fees – Spend.com and Monolith
Crypto debit cards provide an easy to actually spend your cryptocurrency, but often charge fees. Fortunately, there are specific companies that only assess a few fees to user their cards
Spend.com Debit Card
Spend.com is a new player to the crypto debit card scene. Introduced on December 2018, the platform focuses on increasing versatility and accessibility when it comes to dealing with fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.
Spend helps you to spend the normal way you’d spend real money on your crypto. At a supermarket, you just check your Spend debit card and spend your crypto without any hassle.
In addition, the debit card has extremely low fees. There are no regular maintenance or inactivity costs and secondary/replacement cards may be ordered for free. Spend.com only assess a one-time $25 processing fee.
There are zero fees with regards to fiat transfer, crypto deposits, and ATM withdrawals. For crypto-fiat transactions, there is a small 1% fee.
You can invest in a wide range of tokens with Spend.com, including BTC, ADA, XRP, XLM. You can also use the token anywhere the Visa is approved within the app. The apphelps you to switch between different crypto tokens quickly.
Monolith Debit Card
Monolith is the first 100% decentralized non-custodial Ethereum (ETH) wallet that is linked to a Visa debit card. Residents of the United Kingdom and around the European Economic Area (EEA) can access the Monolith Passport.
It has a few special characteristics. For one, Bitcoin (BTC) isn’t sponsored. It supports tokens for Ethereum ( ETH) and ERC-20 only. Second, a non-custodial Ethereum (ETH) contract wallet is attached to the Monolith Card. During the setup, you’ll set up this wallet and you’ll be the only one with access to it.
There are no other crypto debit cards that allow users full access to their private keys. This can be a gift for some people and a curse for others, depending on how experienced you are with keeping your private key safe.
By swapping ERC-20 tokens for fiat (either GBP or EUR), can you load money onto your Monolith Card. The Monolith Card can then be used anywhere (online and offline) where Visa is approved.
This card cannot be used by US investors. So, if you’re an American and you’re trying to get a debit card for a cryptocurrency, you will have to look elsewhere.
The Monolith debit card provides a very competitive fee structure. There are no annual fees, nor are there any activation fees. Depending on the token used, the price for loading cryptocurrency on the card is between 1% and 2%.
Withdrawal from domestic ATMs is free up to twice a month. Afterwards, a nominal £0.75 fee is charged. There is a general maximum expense cap set at £7,500.
Highest Limits – Crypterium
Crypterium acts as a one-stop solution for payments and crypto-related needs. The following services are provided by Crypterium:
- Mobile crypto wallet: a custodial wallet, meaning the private key is not managed by you)
- Prepaid debit card: Use it to take cash out of supported ATM’s for online/offline transactions)
- Banking services: passing funds in other countries to customers. Earn interest by holding your crypto.
- Buy vouchers and smartphone top-up: In 100 + countries, you can top-up a mobile phone, and you can also buy vouchers using cryptos for Skype, Steam, and more.
Currently, the wallet supports BTC, ETH, LTC, USDC, and CRPT cryptocurrencies. In the days to come, the team plans to add more coins.
Using the Crypterium app, users can transfer funds to anyone using their phone number. As soon as the account is created, the recipient will receive an SMS message to download and create a Crypterium account, and the funds will be added to the recipient account.
Crypterium has some of the strongest debit card limits. You can withdraw as much as $2,500 a day from an ATM machine using your card and spend up to $13,000 a day with the Crypterium card. Users can upgrade the card to a $50,000 limit and deposit a maximum of $10,000 per day (or $5,000 per transaction).