Ultimate Resource For Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards of 2020 (#GotBitcoin?)
Here are the four best bitcoin debit cards in 2020. Ultimate Resource For Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards of 2020 (#GotBitcoin?)
1. Revolut – Your Digital Banking Alternative
The best bitcoin debit card on the market is provided by Revolut. This might come as a surprise to some of you, considering Revolut is not thought of as a crypto company.
Update (Feb 24, 2019): Revolut now allows users to store: BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and XRP.
If you’ve ever used the Revolut App you will have been impressed with its gorgeous design and sleek functionality. You can top up your account instantly using a credit card, and exchange into bitcoin just as quickly. Up to $200 a month can then be withdrawn for free anywhere in the world. Once that threshold is reached, Revolut applies a 2% withdrawal fee from ATMs anywhere in the world. If you are unhappy with the 2% fee, you can upgrade to either the Premium or Metal pricing plan. These increase the free withdrawal limit to $400 and $600 respectively.
These pricing plans are worth diving into in more detail.
For the Premium plan you can expect to pay $8.99 a month or $92 per year. For the money, you get free card delivery (usually $4.99) plus free virtual card issuance, and, of course, the increased monthly withdrawal limit. Depending on you use the card this represents good value for money.
The Metal plan is also worth checking out, because it offers 1% cashback on all your cryptocurrency purchases outside of Europe. Cashback on transactions within Europe is set at 0.1%. Naturally, this isn’t going to make you rich, but it’s a nice option to have for those of us who are bullish on crypto prices in the long term. Besides cashback, the Metal plan also offers free worldwide ATM withdrawals of up to $600.
Finally, it’s easy to see why Revolut and crypto are such a good fit. Revolut has ‘borderless cash’ baked into its DNA, making bitcoin the perfect accoutrement. For Revolut’s 2 million customers the end result is impressive. Instant access to bitcoin and ability to spend it anywhere in the world with zero fees.
This makes Revolut the best bitcoin debit card of 2019.
2. Wirex – Crypto And Traditional Currency In The Palm Of Your Hand
Second on our list is Wirex. Based in London and founded in 2014, Wirex has become one of the industries heavy-weights, thanks to a host of impressive features.
Unlike Revolut, the London based startup allows users to purchase cryptocurrency within the APP. In the case of bitcoin, users can even fund their accounts instantly, providing one of the best purchase experiences available today.
Additionally, ether, bitcoin, Litecoin, Waves and XRP are available for purchase, exchange, and withdrawal both within the APP and on the debit card. This shouldn’t give you the impression that only crypto is supported. Instead, users can buy, store and manage USD, EURO and GBP as well, making Wirex attractive to users not affiliated with crypto as well.
Crucially, Wirex also offers impressively low fees to customers. Exchanging is absolutely free, and so are both crypto and fiat transfers. Unlike Revolut, Wirex does not charge for the card delivery either, saving customers $4.99 in comparison.
That being said, Wirex does come in second place for a reason. Some of the few blemishes on this excellent service are the withdrawal limits and fees. More specifically, Wirex charges between $2.50 – $3.50 per withdrawal depending on your location. Additionally, users are constrained by a $250 daily limit on withdrawals. Add to that the monthly account fee of $1.50 as well as the maximum card balance of $10,000 and you get a worthy second place finish behind Revolut.
Wirex Payments Platform Hits 3 Million Users, Becomes Profitable
London-based crypto payment processor Wirex has revealed that it now has over 3 million active users, highlighting the popularity of its crypto-supporting visa card among customers.
Wirex is a company licensed by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which allows crypto users to spend their crypto and fiat currencies using a dedicated Visa card and mobile app. The service has been rolled out in 130 countries, with the card accepted at over 46 million locations.
Speaking to Cointelegraph on April 14, Wirex CEO Pavel Matveev said that more and more mainstream users “who are not typically hardcore cryptocurrency users” were being drawn to the card over traditional bank offerings thanks to features such as “Cryptoback,” which rewards Wirex users with up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin (BTC) for each in-store transaction.
“If we compare usage before Cryptoback existed and afterwards, there is a 100% increase in the number of in-store transactions per customer after,” he said.
The increase in demand has translated into the company achieving profitability, as was publicly announced earlier this month.
The Impact Of COVID-19
Matveev noted that at a time when global restrictions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic are in full force, cashless and contactless payments systems such as Wirex’s are a secure and low-friction means for users to transfer funds across borders.
Yet the impact of profound disruptions to everyday life and economic hardship is for now resulting in users spending much less in stores at point of sale, he said.
Three key figures for online Wirex card transactions offer a stark indication of this. Matveev revealed in a comparison of the first 20 days of February vs. March that:
“1) The total volume of online transactions is 15% down in March. The average check is 5% down. 2) Amazon volume is 17% down in March. The average check is 46% down. 3) Deliveroo volume is down 25% in March. The average check is 8% up.”
Despite many having anticipated that people would be spending more online during the lockdown, himself included, Pavel said, the data for now seems to indicate that the public “prefer to spend less during the turbulent period.”
To compile the statistics, sampling was done based on 1 million random transactions during the first 20 days of each month.
MakerDAO’s Dai stablecoin, which Wirex has supported since February 2019, has been increasingly popular with users, Matveev noted, considering this ties in with the growth of decentralized finance — also known as DeFi.
Under the terms of Wirex’s strategic partnership with MakerDao, Wirex will soon be offering users discounts on purchases of the MKR governance token, he revealed.
Holding MKR confers voting rights on the Maker protocol, providing investors with an opportunity for hands-on involvement in the day-to-day management of Dai. The firm anticipates that this opportunity will further increase demand for the DAI stablecoin on its platform.
As reported, Wirex had last spring revealed plans to launch support for 26 stablecoins pegged to fiat currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP, HKD and SGD.
3. Cryptopay – Bitcoin Wallet & Prepaid Cards
Third on our list is Cryptopay. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in the English city of St. Albans, Cryptopay offers an impressive array of services to its huge customer base. Primary among them are the plastic and virtual bitcoin debit cards. Over 120,000 debit cards have been issued and more than 270,000 transactions are processed each month.
These remarkable statistics are understandable given Cryptopay’s ease of use and transparent fee structure. Not only can you use your Cryptopay card to shop online or at any point of sale terminal, but it allows you to easily exchange funds using a FLEX account. FLEX makes it easy to convert cryptocurrencies in a number of fiat currencies.
Similarly to Wirex, Cryptopay offers bitcoin, ether, litecoin and XRP. Interestingly, EURO, USD and GBP are all supported.
Additionally, Cryptopay falls a little short of Revolut and Wirex by charging higher fees. For the physical card, users can expect to pay €15, plus a monthly service fee of €1. On top of that, there is a 1% loading fee, as well as ATM transaction fees ranging between $2.50 and $3.50.
The limits on the Cryptopay debit card depend on whether you are verified or not. This refers to the completion of the platforms KYC requirements, which are relatively painless. Simply sign into your account and upload:
- A high quality image of your passport
- A high quality selfie of you holding your passport
- A proof of residence document issued to your name and the address within the last 3 months
Once you’ve uploaded these three documents you will become a verified user, which ensures a much better experience with Cryptopay. As an example, your daily ATM withdrawal limit is raised from €400 per day to €2,000, and the number of permitted ATM withdrawals increases from 2 to 5 per day.
4. BitPay – Load Dollars Using Your Bitcoin Wallet, Spend Anywhere
Fourth on our list is BitPay. Compared to the other bitcoin debit cards provided here, Bitpay puts a much stronger emphasis on the US market. This is in part because the company is based in Atlanta, but also because CEO Steven Pair identified the huge potential for bitcoin in the US early on. After founding the company in 2011, BitPay grew quickly aiming to become the foremost bitcoin payment service provider in the world.
In May 2016, BitPay launched its debit card which was the first bitcoin debit card available to users in all 50 US states. Encouragingly, Bitpay not only lists all of its fees, but even instructs users on how to minimize them.
This kind of customer-centric approach goes a long way, especially when coupled with BitPay’s intuitive mobile APP. Add to that, the ability to spend your bitcoin anywhere that accepts Visa, and you can see why BitPay made it onto our list.
That being said, the flaws are more glaring here than with the cards mentioned previously. BitPay, for example, has just canceled all European card holders, restricting the service almost completely to the US. Europe has plenty of alternatives, so this is not unsurprising, but the APP lacks quite a bit of functionality compared to the other cards listed.
For one thing, it is not possible to buy bitcoin in the mobile APP. Instead, you need to fund your account via another BTC wallet. Additionally, it is not possible to hold, manage or withdraw any other currency. As a result, BitPay’s service is far less comprehensive than that of Revolut or Wirex, which can hold multiple crypto and fiat currencies.
However, BitPay is a great service for US residents on the lookout for a bitcoin debit card.
Despite the major set back experienced in January 2018 by the demise of Wavecrest, the bitcoin debit card ecosystem has recovered. Not only that, but it has reached heights it had never known before.
The introduction of Revolut has significantly raised the bar for cryptocurrency service providers around the world. This will prove to be vital, as the ease with which cryptocurrency can be spent will play a crucial role in its long term success.
I say this because debit cards are becoming an ever more important part of our financial lives. According to a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, consumers use debit cards for 27% of all transactions, second only to cash. As a result, it is vital that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be spent using physical cards anywhere in the world.
Luckily, we have 4 excellent options.
StormX Announces Integration of StormShop For Their Mobile Users
StormX has announced the integration of StormShop for its iOS and Android users, allowing them to earn cryptocurrencies back when they shop online, as the company has announced.
The platform aims to improve the eCommerce experience for consumers and merchants, who offer up to 40% cashback in five different digital assets, including BTC, ETH, LTC, DAI and STORM.
StormShop is complemented with StormPlay’s mobile app, which has attracted more than 2.5 million users since its launch in January 2014.
StormX’s CEO and co-founder, Simon Yu, gave his input on the new mobile integration:
“We are now able to reward shoppers with some of the most secure and popularly adopted cryptocurrencies in the world when they shop online at their favorite retail stores. We are eager to continue these expansions, providing an easier entry point to cryptocurrencies for everyday consumers.”
The service offered by StormX allows the user to connect with leading companies like Samsung, Microsoft, and GameStop, along with 400 other retailers from different areas like food, travel, entertainment.
New Products Coming Soon
Speaking with Cointelegraph, Yu commented on new products that are soon to be released to the public:
“A feature we are excited to be launching soon is our StormX Rewards Program. Through it, we plan on incentivizing STORM token stakers and introduce new types of cash backs. However, more details will be announced soon.”
Furthermore, Yu assured Cointelegraph that they will soon launch Korean language support, in addition to targeting other regions like China and Brazil.
The mobile integration comes at a time when the company announced its expansion to Canada on January 14, in addition to partnering with the Litecoin Foundation for its StormPlay and StormShop services.
StormX is a Seattle-based blockchain startup, focused on allowing users to earn money from any device. Thanks to its StormShop service, users with cryptocurrencies are rewarded when they buy through partner websites.
Uphold’s New Debit Card Lets You Pay With Bitcoin, XRP And Gold
Digital payment platform Uphold has released a new debit card, allowing users to pay with converted crypto, commodities and cash.
Uphold’s new multi-asset debit card allows United States-based participants to spend assets held in their Uphold accounts at any Mastercard compatible location, a representative from Uphold told Cointelegraph in an interview. “Anywhere globally where Mastercard is accepted, they will be able to use this debit card,” she said.
United States-based customers can now pre-order the card, which touts compatibility for 24 crypto assets, 27 fiat currencies, and four metals including Bitcoin (BTC), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Ripple’s XRP, gold, and U.S. dollars.
Uphold is a digital asset platform on which users can buy, sell, spend and hold digital assets, fiat currencies and commodities.
Uphold Is The First To Combine Asset Worlds In Debit Form
Uphold’s multi-asset debit card is the first of its kind that allows users to convert different commodities, crypto-assets and fiat currencies to spendable cash at the point of sale.
“If you toggle within the app that the debit card is connected to, you are able to spend, instantly, BAT, gold, palladium, silver USD — anything, anywhere, any time — in real time,” an Uphold representative said. “This really gives spendability across any connected asset.”
Uphold also touts no foreign exchange fees in the process. “We’re really trying to mirror and complement what our wallet already provides users, which is this anytime access to anything within our wallet,” she said. “We’re not prohibited by borders or foreign exchange fees.”
The Platform Also Supports Commodities
Although digital asset usage within such a system seems logical, one may wonder how they might go about holding and spending gold, a non-digital and somewhat clunky asset.
“We do have a partner where our users who have gold can actually order physical gold, delivered to their house,” the representative explained. She noted that each asset on a user’s Uphold account has its own wallet, and users decide which asset they would like to spend on any given purchase.
“It’s not as if you have to show up and have the physical bag of gold,” she added. “It really just gives the user the freedom to decide what asset they want to spend, versus the limitation that current cards have.”
This type of simplicity and low barrier to entry is a significant step forward in making crypto more functional and versatile.
In December 2019, the company also announced work with Salt to provide the public access to crypto-backed loans.
Bittrex Global Integrates Credit Card Support, Biteeu Launches In Aus
Bittrex global has announced the introduction of new features on its platform, including credit card support, a referral program, and upgrades to its mobile app.
Credit card support will see an initial roll-out to Bittrex Global users in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The exchange intends to launch credit card support for all international users in the future.
Bittrex Global To Support Conditional Orders On Mobile App
Users of Bittrex Global’s mobile app will soon be able to place conditional trade orders, such as stop-limit orders for risk management.
Despite revealing a forthcoming referral program that will share trading fees, the program’s commission price structure has not been disclosed.
Stephen Stonber, Bittrex Global’s COO, indicated that exchange plans to launch additional new features in coming months:
“We are continually working on ways to provide a better experience for users. An enhanced mobile trading experience is one of our top priorities and creating this new credit card gateway is an important way of lowering the barriers to digital asset trading for new and existing customers alike.
These features are the first of many we have planned that will underline Bittrex Global’s ambition to provide the best and most secure platform for digital trading.”
Bittrex Partner Biteeu Launches Australian Exchange
On March 5, Biteeu, an Estonia-based cryptocurrency powered by Bittrex’s trade engine, announced the launch of an exchange in Australia.
Biteeu is now registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) as a digital currency exchange provider, and offers exposure to more than 70 cryptocurrencies to the Australian market.
Biteeu supports cryptocurrencies purchases with Australian dollars via debit card or wire transfer.
Bittrex Sees Dwindling Market Share
Despite recent efforts to attract traders with reduced trading fees, Bittrex’s share of cryptocurrency trading volume has consistently declined since the 2017 all-time high bull run.
As one of the leading platforms supporting a wide selection of altcoins, Bittrex briefly attracted cryptocurrency inflows representing 40% of the total market, according to CryptoQuant data.
As of February 2020, Bittrex’s crypto inflows represent less than 10%, with the exchange’s BTC inflows having fallen from a momentary all-time high of 88% to roughly 2%.
At the time of writing, Bittrex has a 24-hour volume of $45.6 million, ranking it as the 90th-largest crypto exchange by trade activity.
Cash or Plastic? Countries Where Crypto Debit Cards Are Fair Game
Cointelegraph examines where crypto debit cards are available and what options they offer as wider adoption starts to take hold.
As a sector, plastic cryptocurrency cards have had a bumpy ride. While for some they are the perfect way to spend those hard-stacked sats, it has evidently been a struggle for crypto companies to provide such a service. Wracked by regulation, supplier issues and the volatility of digital assets, crypto debit cards have had a rough start.
Nonetheless, crypto debit card use is growing and is considered an important development for the growth in the adoption of crypto around the world. So, in which countries are most of the crypto cards available?
Wirex is a London-based crypto debit card provider and is often seen in the wallets of many people involved in the industry. The firm offers over 13 traditional and cryptocurrency accounts and has crypto-to-crypto, fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat capabilities. The firm is also backed by Visa, meaning that anywhere Visa is accepted, crypto can be spent.
Wirex launched its Russian service on May 19, offering customers fiat credit and debit cards. According to a press release from the company, it plans to offer customers the opportunity to buy crypto such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP, Dai and its native Wirex Token (WXT) via Visa and Mastercard.
Revolut is perhaps the best-known card provider to make forays into the crypto world. Based in London and headed by CEO Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut has 10 million customers, a third of which have traded crypto on its app, according to data released by the company.
The company recently reported a 58% dip in the average size of crypto purchases from its United Kingdom customers, citing the effects of the lockdown measures imposed in March. Two months later, the average sum is climbing back up to previous levels, having increased by 57%.
Monolith is based in Manchester, England. It is a company that seeks to bring self-sovereignty to finance through decentralization. Monolith’s CEO, Mel Gelderman, explained to Cointelegraph the philosophy behind the decentralized finance factor in its crypto debit card offering:
“We have complete faith in DeFi and its role in ushering in the next economy. Monolith’s purpose is to make DeFi a viable choice to manage your everyday finances with ease, just as you might do now on your banking app. The diverse nature of DeFi will allow users to maximise their wealth in ways they haven’t been able to before. We take this a step further by ensuring we have no access to your money as each user wallet is non-custodial.”
The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on businesses, decentralized or not. Despite this, Gelderman told Cointelegraph that the flexibility offered by DeFi and crypto is particularly appealing for customers that want to be in control of their finances during the COVID-19 crisis:
“The Crypto industry is evolving into an integrated piece of daily life in terms of financial management, and debit card services are part of that. The crypto-debit card is the next step in this evolution, giving the end user a non-custodial financial platform that interfaces in a way that is no different from the current account they use daily. This mix of timing, usability, and control of funds makes this new economy more viable than ever.”
Coinbase is a United States-based platform that provides a variety of functions, including exchange, wallet and trading services. The company’s crypto debit card, imaginatively dubbed Coinbase Card, was launched in 2019. At first, the card was only active in six European countries, but it has since been launched in a further 10 countries with a greater variety of crypto assets.
The firm announced on Feb. 19 that it had become a principal member of Visa, meaning that it is now able to issue debit cards without the involvement of third parties, and it can now also issue cards to other crypto companies.
Bitwala, a blockchain-based banking firm headquartered in Berlin, offers a service where customers can convert their crypto and pay with a Mastercard debit card. The card is linked to a Bitwala bank account and is available only to EU and Swiss citizens.
Bitwala recently partnered with DeFi platform Celsius to offer an annual interest of up to 4% on Bitcoin holdings. The funds from customers using Bitcoin Interest Accounts are loaned to institutional borrowers via Celsius, earning weekly interest in BTC. Bitwala has said that DeFi is “a new way to generate wealth” and cited passive income generated from crypto holdings as an example.
Celebrity tokenization is one of the most innovative sectors in crypto finance. Socios runs a crypto sports-fan token ecosystem, offering tokenized voting platforms and a blockchain-based mobile app. The firm announced in late February that it would launch a crypto-to-fiat prepaid debit card. Alexandre Dreyfus, the CEO of Socios, explained to Cointelegraph how the project works:
“Socios Debit Card, a Fiat Debit Card that will allow Socios.com users to get a card (VISA or MASTERCARD) that will trigger rewards every time they spend money. The idea is that if you are Juventus Fan and you spend FIAT into an Adidas shop, you’ll get cashback and more Juventus Fan Tokens for example.”
Dreyfus also told Cointelegraph that tokens and payments could have an impact both for service users and sponsors in sports: “Sponsors will be able to track and generate campaigns with the teams they are sponsoring, and who have issued Fan Tokens with us.”
Crypto industry titan Binance announced in March that it would release its own debit card, with the initial testing being carried out in Malaysia. Issued by Visa, the card will be available in Southeast Asia and will later be rolled out to other regions. The internal balance of the Binance Card will be in crypto, with Binance Coin (BNB) and Bitcoin. The card costs $15 but has no monthly or yearly maintenance fees.
Paycent is a Singapore-based crypto debit card provider. A Paycent Card costs $49 and comes in three tiers. Ruby is powered by UnionPay and has a daily spending and withdrawal limit of $5,000. Sapphire is powered by Unified Payments Interface and has a daily spending limit of $5,600 and a withdrawal limit of $1,650. Solitaire is Paycent’s option for big spenders. Powered by Mastercard, it has a daily spending limit of $13,000 and a withdrawal limit of $10,000. Its supported currencies are Paycent’s native PYN token, Bitcoin, Verge (XVG), Dragon (DRGN), Ontology Coin (ONT), DigiByte (DBG), Groestlcoin (GRS), Binance Coin, Ether, Litecoin, XRP, Dash and Steem.
Becoming Visa Principal Partners
Coinbase is leading the charge in terms of becoming a bona fide principal partner of Visa. As reported by Cointelegraph, only three further firms have publicly considered putting themselves through the grueling vetting process of becoming a partner. If Cryptopay, Crypto.com and Crypterium are successful in their applications, the firms stand to set themselves apart from all other competitors in the sector.
George Basiladze, the co-founder of Cryptopay, gave Cointelegraph an insight into the application process, saying that becoming a principal member is a long journey that requires obtaining an Electronic Money Institution license, having a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification — and a lot of funding. Here’s what the firms are offering so far:
Crypto.com is a payments and crypto platform that offers five different cards. The most basic is free and offers spending rewards of 1% on all transactions, while the most expensive requires a Monaco (MCO) stake of 50,000 and offers spending rewards of 5% on transactions, airport lounge access, and Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime access. The company recently announced the launch of its MCO Visa card. Formerly known as Monaco Card, it will be available in 31 countries throughout the region. Crypto.com claims that this makes its card offering the most accessible worldwide.
Cryptopay’s C.Pay card is available to be ordered in the U.K. and Russia and can be used anywhere that Visa is supported. This means that customers can use it with the same support and security that they would normally expect from a Visa card. C.Pay customers can use cryptocurrencies to spend up to 30,000 euros in one transaction.
Virtual cards are free and prices start at 5 euros for a physical card that offers a daily load of 8,000 euros and a daily ATM withdrawal limit of 400 euros. C.Pay cards incur a monthly 1 euro management fee, a 2.50 euro domestic ATM fee, a 3.50 euro international ATM fee and a 3% foreign exchange fee, as well as a loading and unloading fee of 1%. C.Pay customers can spend Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP and Ether.
Estonia-based firm Crypterium also purports to offer the most global card. Crypterium’s card gives access to over 50 million online and offline retailers, 2.5 million ATMs worldwide and is supported in 178 countries. Cards come with a spending limit of up to $13,000 per day or $60,000 per month, as well as a dedicated app.
The cards cost $25 each but don’t incur monthly costs. Crypterium’s debit cards are processed by the Chinese financial services company UnionPay. Crypterium’s Chief Operating Officer, Austin Kimm, recently told Cointelegraph that UnionPay gives Crypterium greater global reach: “Both Visa and Mastercard allow you to develop cards for particular regions like the United States, South America, Europe, etc. UnionPay, on the contrary, divides the world in two regions.”
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