Bitcoin Debit Cards Reviewed and Compared
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 11/12/19
A debit card that can be loaded with Bitcoins – It’s as simple as it sounds. Using your Bitcoin debit card you can pay at any store while the charge is deducted from your Bitcoin balance (plus a fee of course). This post will cover the most popular active Bitcoin debit cards around.
Bitcoin Debit Card Summary
With the ongoing shortage of payment processors there aren’t a lot of options to choose from. UK residents should choose Coinbase, non UK European residents should go with Wirex and US residents should go with BitPay,
There is also a user generated card list that seems somewhat outdated and I cannot vouch for here.
If you want a detailed review about each card keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover:
- What are Bitcoin debit cards?
- Best Bitcoin Debit Cards
- New and Untested Bitcoin Debit Cards
- Inactive debit cards
- Conclusion – Which card should you choose?
No, it doesn’t. Bitcoin isn’t controlled by anyone so it can’t issue its own debit card. However, you can get a 3rd party prepaid debit card which you can load with Bitcoin and then buy almost anything.
While not many businesses accept payments in Bitcoin (yet), most accept debit cards. With a Bitcoin debit card, merchants get paid in their own currency while you are charged in Bitcoin from your prepaid balance.
However there are downsides. First, when using a Bitcoin debit card, you’re basically giving someone else control over your coins (at least the ones you’ve deposited).
Second, this service comes with a price. Every payment you make entails both processing fees as well as conversion fees for paying with a foreign currency if you’re not using the card’s native currency.
On January 5, 2018 Visa suspended the activity of WaveCrest – the company providing most crypto credit cards out there. Many card issuers either suspended their services or work only in specific countries.
Today, there are only 4 active reputable companies that supply Bitcoin debit cards.
Pros: Multiple coins supported, established company
Cons: Available only in the EEI, relatively high maintenance fees
Previously 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 card can be loaded with Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC).
Card balance can be converted to USD, EUR or GBP.
The card is available to all EEI residents and will soon be available in North America and Asia as well. The card is usable anywhere Visa is accepted.
There is a $2.5 for ATM withdrawal within Europe and $3.5 outside of it. Account management costs $1.5/month. The complete fee schedule can be viewed here.
Wirex also supplies a virtual card if you don’t need the actual plastic.
Keep in mind that some of our users have stated they have had issued withdrawing cash from certain ATMs and paying online with the Wirex card.
Pros: Multiple coins supported, established company
Cons: Limited to 6 countries only
The card is linked to your Coinbase account and allows you to easily spend crypto held on Coinbase anywhere Visa is accepted.
The card is linked to the Coinbase app and through the app you can choose which coin will be spent. The card also offers multiple security features such as 2 factor authentication, instant freeze and more.
There’s a $4.95 fee for issuing the card, and ATM fees are 1%/2% (domestic/international). The complete fee schedule can be viewed here.
Here’s how to get your Coinbase card:
Pros: Well known company, no transaction fees
Cons: Limited to US residents only, Bitcoin only
For US residents there is the option of using Bitpay’s Bitcoin debit card. The card is available 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. There are no transaction fees for the Bitpay card. Bitpay’s card supports Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Gemini Dollars (GUSD), USD Coin (USDC) and Paxos (PAX).
If you’re using the card outside of the US you will need to pay a 3% conversion fee. If you withdraw money from your card you will pay a $2 fee ($3 outside the US). There are also additional deposit and mailing fees which can be seen here.
Pros: Multiple currency support,
Cons: Russia only, relatively high fees
Founded in October of 2013, Cryptopay is a wallet and payment platform that also issues a Bitcoin debit card. The card is currently available in Russia only (European residents can use a virtual card). You can either order a physical card with a chip & pin, or a virtual debit card if you’re just into online shopping.
The card supports BTC, ETH, LTC and XRP.
The physical card costs $15 and is shipped for free worldwide. ATM withdrawal costs 1.5% with a $5 minimum.
The card has a monthly maintenance fee of $1 and a 1% commission for loading money. Non-verified you can load up to €1000 in your card. The complete fee table (in Russian only) can be viewed here.
Pros: Low fees, multiple currency support
Cons: Very limited country support
TenX Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore based company that supplies a cryptocurrency wallet that is tied to a Visa prepaid debit card. The wallet supports BTC, ETH and LTC.
The card is available for order only in the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
There is a $15 fee for a physical card and a $1.5 fee for a virtual card. Maintnance fee is $10/year but it is waived if you spend more than $1,000 during the year. ATM withdrawals have a flat $3.25 fee by the company (however the bank may charge additional fees).
Aside from the companies mentioned above I have found several less known companies that claim to supply a Bitcoin debit card. However, these companies have very limited information about them online and should be treated carefully.
Bitnovo caters mainly for Spain residents. It allows users to buy Bitcoin and Dash through their mobile app, website or via vouchers that can be purchased in dedicated shops around Spain.
The company supports the purchases of several cryptocurrency and the card can be charged with the following ones:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Dash (DASH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Zcash (ZEC)
However it seems that unlike most debit cards, with Bitnovo you basically sell your coins the moment you move them to Bitnovo and your card gets only fiat funds.
This means that if you’d like to enjoy the volatility of your cryptocurrencies you’ll need to hold them until you actually want to purchase something before selling them in order to top off your card.
You can read additional Bitnovo reviews here.
There’s a $25 yearly fee for the card and 0% fees on ATM withdrawals. The complete fee schedule can be viewed here.
I would be very careful when using this card since the whole website seems to be very sketchy in how it looks and feels (e.g. links aren’t working, no information about the company, etc.)
- Shift debit card
- XAPO debit card
- SpectroCoin debit card
- CoinsBank debit card
- ANXPro debit card
- TenX debit card
- Uquid (active but doesn’t accept new customers)
With the ongoing shortage of payment processors there aren’t a lot of options to choose from like there were in the past. UK residents should choose Coinbase, non UK European residents should go with Wirex and US residents should go with BitPay,
In the end, most of these cards work more or less the same.
On a personal note, using a Bitcoin or crypto debit card is a great way to start realizing your crypto gains on a day to day basis. Hopefully, a suitable solution will be found and the previous companies will resume their services.
Have you had any experience with a Bitcoin debit card? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.
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