7 Bitcoin Debit Cards Compared and Reviewed (2017)

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Even though the list of merchants that accept Bitcoin is continuously expanding, it’s still not possible to buy everything with Bitcoin. However, thanks to several companies in the Bitcoin ecosystem you can now order your own Bitcoin debit card. It’s as simple as it sounds – a debit card that is connected to your Bitcoin balance.

  • choose your card

  • Issuance cost
  • No verification option
  • Max deposit limit
  • ATM Withdrawal fee
  • International tx fee
  • Available worldwide?
  • Maintenance fee
  • Bitpay

  • bitpay
  • $9.95
  • $25,000
  • Depending on domestic/international$2-$3
  • 3%
  • US only
  • For each month following a 90 day period of inactivity until the card is used again.$5/month
  • Cryptopay

  • Cryptopay
  • $15
  • For unverified customers$2,500
  • Depending on domestic/international$2.5-$3.5
  • 3%
  • $1/month
  • Xapo

  • xapo
  • $20
  • The limit is not stated on their website or on the web$2,500
  • Depending on domestic/international$2.5-$3.5
  • 3%
  • Ships to most countries
  • $12/annualy
  • Wirex

  • wirex
  • $17
  • $2,500
  • Depending on domestic/international$2.5-$3.5
  • 3%
  • $1/month
  • Shift

  • shift
  • $10
  • Your card is connected to your Coinbase account and has the same limitsCoinbase limits
  • $2.5
  • 3%
  • US only
  • free
  • Coinsbank

  • coinsbank
  • $9.95-$99.95
  • $300
  • $3.95-$9.95
  • 3%
  • $0.95-$4.95

Pros of using a Bitcoin debit card

The pros are pretty obvious – you can now buy virtually anything with Bitcoin. Any place that accepts credit or debit cards would accept your Bitcoin debit card as well. The merchant gets paid in his own currency by the debit company and the charge will be deducted from your Bitcoin balance. This allows you to live purely on Bitcoin.

For example, when I travel abroad I always take my Bitcoin debit card as a backup card in case my money gets stolen. It’s like the traveller’s check of the digital age.

Cons of using a Bitcoin debit card

The major con of a Bitcoin debit card is centralization. In order to use the card you need to deposit money into your account at the debit card company – this means you’re giving control over your coins to a 3rd party. This risk is reduced by not depositing too many Bitcoins into your balance – basically deposit only an amount you can afford losing in case of a hack. Also since you are using the service of these companies it comes with a price – as you will see below you can’t ignore the fees that Bitcoin debit card companies charge.

At the moment there are 7 Bitcoin debit card companies available, here’s a short summary of each one and their pros and cons.

Bitpay Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Well known company, card accepted worldwide

cons: Limited to US residents only, doesn’t have chip and pin, requires verification

Bitpay is a well known company in the BItcoin ecosystem which provides payment solutions for businesses and individuals. It allows you to get a prepaid Visa card that is loaded through your Bitpay account. The BitPay Prepaid Visa® Card is available to residents in all 50 US states. You must have a home address (no PO boxes), government-issued ID, and Social Security number to apply.

The card costs a flat fee of $9.95 and takes about 7 days to arrive in the mail. When traveling outside of the United States of America you will pay a fee of 3% to cover the cost of currency conversion. There is a $2.00 fee for ATM or cash-back withdrawals inside the US and a $3.00 fee for any ATM or cash-back withdrawals outside of the country. You can see a complete fee list here. There are no transaction fees for the Bitpay card.

Cryptopay Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Available worldwide, supplies both physical and virtual cards

cons: Has maintenance and load fees

Cryptopay supplies a Bitcoin debit card that is available worldwide (unlike Bitpay). You can either order a physical card with a chip & pin, or a virtual debit card if you’re just into online shopping. Another great bonus of Cryptopay is that you do not have to supply full id verification if you don’t need high card limits.

The physical card costs $15 and is shipped for free worldwide. ATM withdrawal costs $2.5 and international currency change adds another 3% on each transaction. The things I don’t like about this card is that it has a monthly maintenance fee of $1 and a 1% commission for loading money. If you’re not verified you can load up to €2500 in your card but not more than that.

Xapo Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Ships to most countries, established company reputation

cons: Redundant fees (IMO), no chip & pin

Xapo was one of the first companies to supply a Bitcoin debit card. Just like Bitpay it offer a “simple” credit card that does not have a chip & pin mechanism (edit: some users have gotten a chip & pin card, I personally did not). The cost of the card is $20 and it does have an annual fee of $12/year after the first year.

Xapo ships their card to a lot of countries around the world although not to all of them (a complete list can be found here). Also their card actually has a “change pin” fee which seems pretty odd IMO. You will be able to use the card without extensive verification but you will be limited to $2500.

Wirex Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Chip & Pin card, virtual cards available, established company

cons: Redundant fees (IMO), relatively expensive card

Perviously known as E-coin, the company rebranded to Wirex in 2016. The company supplies a Chip & Pin visa debit card that can be loaded through your Wirex app (desktop or mobile). The fees are pretty similar to other cards – costing 3% for international transactions, $2.5 for ATM withdrawal and $17 to get your physical shipped to you. The company  also supplies a virtual card if you don’t need the actual plastic. Like Xapo, Wirex also charges service fees, only they charge them on a monthly and not an annual basis ($1/month).

Shift Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Easily connects to your Coinbase account, relatively low fees

cons: Available only in 45 states around the US, Coinbase is limited to certain countries as well

Shift position themselves as “the first US Bitcoin debit card”.  The company supplies a debit card that is connected to your Coinbase account. However, even though it’s supposed to be the US debit card it’s available only in 45 out of 50 states at the moment.

The card costs a reasonable $10 to produce and has no ongoing fees. There is of course the standard 3% international transaction fee and $2.5 flat ATM withdrawal fee.

What card should you choose?

Most of these cards are more or less the same. They probably all use the same card supplier to run their business as well and the difference is only in their branding. Personally I’d advise to make sure the card you choose is available in your country and then use the one with the lowest fees. I’d definitely try to avoid the cards with the ongoing fees (i.e. Wirex, Xapo). For example, if you live in the US, using Shift is a reasonable option.

In addition to the cards reviewed in this post there are also ANXPRO and CoinsBank that supply Bitcoin debit card – you may want to take a look at them as well, they are listed in the table at the top of this page.

Ofir Beigel

Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

30 Comments

  1. those limits (like 2500) are per year ?per month ? i would like to have an anonymous card, bitplastic and raxcard seems to be the best, are any better option ?
    thank you bro!

    • Zsofia - 99Bitcoins support on

      The limit is set for the lifetime of the card. Unverified option is available at Cryptopay and Wirex as well.

  2. Thank you Ofir Beigel for very nice post
    but i think this articles out of date and it will be nice if you can update it
    you can check other ratting :

    Now many people vote for uquid card (https://uquid.com/bitcoin-debit-card) . they have best bitcoin price compare with all other service. they got quite a lot of positive reviews in the bitcoin community.

    i got experiences with most of bitcoin debit card services and now i am only using uquid because i also can load with altcoins to my card.

  3. Do you have any experience about latest Wirex practice to make a difference of 10-12% in exchange rate when transferring money to card. That happened to me lately and I ain’t gonna be their user anymore

  4. Weiting Chen on

    Hi Ofir,
    I think you miss WageCan, it’s one of the best Bitcoin imho, the reason as follows:
    1) You could earn daily interest in the bitcoin wallet
    2) Ship globally and Instant top-op
    3) Quick customer service
    4) Cheap

    But they somehow keep a low profile in the industry, but definitely worth trying.
    I can give you promo code if you want to try it :)

    • Zsofia - 99Bitcoins support on

      Hi Weiting Chen, thanks for the suggestion, we will explore WageCan in the future.

  5. Suprised that SpectroCoin is not featured in the list. They offer one of the cheapest cards in the market and have an amazing live support.

  6. I must say I trully love using my cryptopay.win debit card. They have amazing customer support and free worldwide shipping.

  7. Hello Ofir thanks alot for sharing your knowledge . I appreciate the information and have learnt alot.
    Quick question on the shift payment debit card of which i recently acquired mine.

    1. Wouldn’t spending BTC with the shift card be considered a taxable event by the IRS?

    2. Has the IRS given any indication to Coinbase that their customers won’t need to worry about that?

    Seems to me that using this for day to day purchases would be a nightmare of calculating capital gains etc…

    • 1. I’m not sure since I don’t live in the US – I suggest consulting an accountant.
      2. The IRS recently asked Coinbase to fork over all of their customer info. So if seems that they are pretty keen on Bitcoin users.

      In the end there’s a lot of confusion about how Bitcoin should be dealt with tax-wise. That’s why I advise that whatever you decide to do, do it with the help of a professional. Sorry I couldn’t shed any more light on this.

      • Taxes in the US are for the most part a joke and the IRS is very strict, also avoiding them can be very risky with huge potential consequences for even people unaware about it. Will do as you suggested.
        Thank you for your feedback :) .

  8. Gordana Djukic on

    Dear Offir thanks for sharing your knowledge with us..worldwire…I love to look your videos because I learn a lot of BTC from your lesson…Also I repeat again THANKS for your beautiful 99 site..which is one of the best!!! I wish you much luck and profits in New 2017 year,and also to your family wish all the best !!! Regards from Djukic Gordana

  9. Hi Ofir, thanks for writing on btc cards, I’ve been curious about them before and tried ordering two before.
    Wirex first (they were still called e-coin then). Then one from CryptoPay I got for free since I told them about a very late delivery of my wirex card.

    Finally I got two grey unrecognizable credit cards that looked almost identical shipped to me from cyprus, while the companies I ordered from are UK-based I believe. The cards did not have any wirex/cryptopay logo markings or colour on them. They look nothing like the cards as visualized on their websites.
    I can make some pictures of them if they can help in an article like this.

    I am now unsure whether these cards are a scam, in which case it would be good to include a warning about this in this card review. Have you actually ordered and tried the cards?

    • Yes, I have a Xapo and Wirex card. The cards are unbranded usually, it’s common practice for most of them although I’m not really sure why. I suggest just using them with a small amount of coins to begin with. In any case, never deposit large amounts of money into these cards, as you are risking losing it in case the card gets stolen or the company goes bankrupt.

  10. I would love to hear about bitwa.la, seems the most flexible in regard of foreign currencies but didn’t tried out yet.

    • Hey Richard – you need to apply to whichever company you choose. The link are available in the chart of the top of the page or inside the post.

  11. Very informative article, the only thing I don’t like is the feature that you need to send the money to the card holder before able to use it. Also, can you buy bitcoins with those cards?

    • Not sure I understand your question – these cards are for people who have Bitcoins and want to pay with these Bitcoins. It would be useless to buy Bitcoins with these cards since you’ll be buying Bitcoins with your own Bitcoins.

      • I think what he meant is if the cards let you pay USD to load up the debit card up with BTC. I guess the advantage of that is you wouldn’t have to spend your USD on Coinbase and have to send the coins to your debit wallet address.

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