Bitcoin Debit Cards Reviewed and Compared

Last updated: 15.10.18

A debit card that can be loaded with Bitcoins – It’s as simple as it sounds. Using your Bitcoin debit card you can pay with your debit card at any “normal” store while the charge is deducted from your Bitcoin balance (plus a fee of course).

Post Summary

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.

Wirex
Availability:
EEI
Supported coins:
BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Bitpay
Availability:
US
Supported coins:
BTC only
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Cryptopay
Availability:
Russia
Supported coins:
BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Shift
Availability:
46 US states
Supported coins:
BTC only
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this post:

  1. What are Bitcoin debit cards?
  2. Best Bitcoin debit cards reviewed
  3. Inactive debit cards
  4. Conclusion – Which card should you choose?

1.What are Bitcoin debit cards?

Simply put, Bitcoin debit cards allow you to add funding in Bitcoin to your card’s prepaid balance. Thanks to that, you can buy almost anything with Bitcoin. While many businesses don’t accept payments in Bitcoin (yet), they do 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.


2. Best Bitcoin debit cards reviewed

Important – On January 5, 2018 Visa suspended the activity of WaveCrest – the company providing most crypto credit cards out there. This means that Xape, Wirex, TenX, Bitwala and CryptoPay either suspended their services or work only in specific countries.

There are only 4 active companies that supply Bitcoin debit cards. Here’s an overview of all of them:

Wirex Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Multiple coins supported, established company

cons: Available only in the EEI, relatively high maintenance fees

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

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 company also supplies a virtual card if you don’t need the actual plastic.


Bitpay Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Well known company, no transaction fees

cons: Limited to US residents only, Bitcoin only

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

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 only Bitcoin.

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.


Cryptopay debit card review

Pros: Multiple currency support,

cons: Russia only, relatively high fees

Overall rating: 4.5 stars

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 $2.5 and international currency change adds another 3% on each transaction. 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.


Shift Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Easily connects to your Coinbase account, no maintenance fee

cons: BTC only, high ordering fee

Overall rating: 4 Stars

Shift position themselves as “the first US Bitcoin debit card”.  The company supplies a debit card that is connected to your Coinbase account. The card is available in 46 out of 50 US states at the moment.

The card costs $20 to produce and has no maintenance fees. There is a 3% international transaction fee and $2.5 flat ATM withdrawal fee ($3.5 for international withdrawals).

The Shift debit card is accepted at any Visa supported payment terminal.


3. The following debit cards are currently inactive:

  • XAPO debit card
  • SpectroCoin debit card
  • CoinsBank debit card
  • ANXPro debit card
  • TenX debit card

4. Conclusion – Which card should you choose?

With the ongoing shortage of payment processors there aren’t a lot of options to choose from like there were in the past. US residents can choose from Bitpay and Shift, while European residents should go with Wirex. 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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Mira
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Mira

It is not possible to withdraw cash with the Wirex card in EUR and many times companies refuse an online payment with it, which is highly frustrating.

anthony
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anthony

malaysia can use ??

Rich
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Rich

Bitpay stops cash transactions March 8th 2019

Gwar
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Gwar

Cryptopay is only issuing cards in Russia at the moment.

indospace.io office
Guest
indospace.io office

Bitpay is not just BTC only.

Cryptocurrencies allowed to load your Bitpay debit car…

Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Gemini Dollars (GUSD)
Paxos (PAX)
Circle USD Coin (USDC)

Jim
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Jim

Just a heads up, anyway bitwala recently launched a Blockchain bank with associated MasterCard debit card. Unfortunately it’s only available to EU members and everyone has to be verified to open an account, check it out at bitwala.io

Mario
Guest
Mario

Polispay card is starting right now with the beta after a closed beta testing everything works and i have the polis card already used in Austria and you can use this card worldwide i follow a showcase in the Discord and it works in Africa and Australia too. As i say Worldwide the Open Beta should start in a few Days. And Polis is a Masternode Coin too.

Gary E Hall
Guest
Gary E Hall

Has anyone tried the bonpay card?

Gary E Hall
Guest
Gary E Hall

Excuse my ignorance. Can these cards be used to withdraw cash at Bitcoin ATM’S?

joey
Guest
joey

Its so frustrating that non of these companies work with South American Countries. its always UK, EU, Singapore! like aren’t there enough options for those people. why do we as South Americans get left out? iv’e been wanting a Crypto Debit card for so long. And I live in Suriname. and people in my country are willing to use bitcoin. but no one is approaching us.