Catching On Crypto Credit Cards: The Issuers List

The credit card industry is joining the crypto conversation and has popped up the latest trend by offering various crypto cards on the market. Through these cards, crypto holders can now access their assets for real world spending while gaining rewards and other benefits.


Should you buy in?


Here's a review of the different crypto credit card issuers out there to help you decide if they're a fit for you:

  1. Binance

  2. BitPay

  3. BlockCard

  4. Coinbase

  5. Crypterium

  6. Crypto.com

  7. Nexo

  8. Nuri (Previously known as Bitwala)

  9. Plutus

  10. Wirex

 

Binance

  • Binance originated in China in 2017, before moving its operations to Malta and the Cayman Islands in 2018 to avoid being regulated by the Chinese government

  • Now the biggest crypto exchange in the world (by a country mile), Binance has introduced a Visa debit card that allows cryptocurrencies to be instantly converted and spent as if they were fiat currency

  • Users need only to move funds from their spot wallet to card wallet to make it spendable, although it is only possible for 5 cryptocurrencies at this time - Bitcoin (BTC), Binance Coin (BNB), Ethereum (ETH), Swipe (SXP), and Binance USD (BUSD)

  • 0% admin and processing fees

  • Up to 8% cashback is possible, though you’ll need to hold 6,000 BNB (over £1m) to get the full 8%. The tiered system can be seen here

  • Account funds are protected by SAFU

  • No issuance or monthly fees

  • The card is only available for Europeans, with Americans excluded from Binance.com’s services and the UK being banned by regulators in 2021

  • Binance’s Visa debit card was released thanks to a partnership with Swipe, arguably the best issuer of crypto debit cards in the world (Crypto.com and FTX use them too)

  • Up to a 0.9% fee for transactions and withdrawals

  • Conversions are made at the time of purchase

 

BitPay

  • ‘Live on crypto’ reads the BitPay slogan, reminding users that it’s possible these days, thanks to crypto cards, to do virtually any kind of transaction. For BitPay, the mission of the card is to allow users to move away from fiat currency and traditional banking

  • One way that BitPay beats its rivals is through its professionalism for business people and freelancers, as it offers great tools for invoicing and getting paid internationally with cryptocurrency

  • Get the app, load the wallet, and order the card to get started, also, there are no conversion fees, though miner and network fees do apply

  • Not yet available in the UK, but it will be coming soon, however, those who have a BitPay card already can use it in the UK if coming from overseas

  • Join the UK waiting list here

  • Withdraw up to $6,000 per day, load/spend up to $10,000 per day

  • Maximum balance of $25,000

 

BlockCard

  • BlockCard comes from New York City, and offers US residents a great crypto Visa debit card option that supports 12 cryptocurrencies for instant conversion into US dollars: BAT, BTC, BCH, DAI, ETH, LTC, PAX, XLM, TERN, USDT, TUSD, USDC, and XRP

  • At the point of sale, cryptocurrencies are converted to US dollars to make the transactions happen, but you don’t actually need to maintain a USD balance to use the card for purchases

  • The BlockCard has a monthly subscription rate of $5, which can be waived through regular account activity (at least $750 per month in purchases)

  • Fiat currency deposited onto the card is converted immediately into TERN

  • The issuance fee is $10

  • What attracts most people to the BlockCard is the 6.38% cashback rewards on all purchases, more than any of their rivals, however, there’s a risk involved, as you need to buy and stake the TERN token in a large amount, with this coin liable to lose value and create a net loss in the long run

  • $3 charge for cash withdrawals

  • Currently US only, but coming to Europe soon!

 

Coinbase

  • San Francisco’s golden child of crypto companies, Coinbase was launched back in 2012

  • In October 2020, Coinbase released their crypto visa debit card, allowing holders to ‘Spend Crypto Anywhere’, as the slogan goes. Essentially, your crypto is instantly converted into fiat currency when making a transaction

  • The Coinbase card uses your account holdings as a balance, allowing you to instantly spend crypto as if it were money in the bank. Simply use the app to select which crypto balance you want to make payments with - you can change this when you like

  • Contactless transactions, PIN payments, online shopping, and ATM withdrawals are all enabled

  • World-class security protocols are built-in, as expected from Coinbase, which has never been hacked or compromised

  • Two-step verification (2FA) and the instant account freeze option help to keep you on the safe side

  • The main downside of the card is the fees, which include a 2.49% cryptocurrency liquidation fee (turning your crypto into fiat currency to execute the transaction), 2% for using the card outside the country of issuance, and 1% for withdrawing over your daily limit

  • The issuance fee is £4.95 in the UK, €4.95 in the EU, and free for those in the US

 

Crypterium

  • Crypterium is an Estonian startup that was founded in 2017 and operates mainly out of Moscow

  • Through the mobile app and virtual crypto card, users can make instant payments at NFC terminals or with QR codes

  • The virtual card can also be connected to Apple Pay

  • Applying for a virtual card and confirming your identity will take around 20 minutes, after which, an approval gives you access to start spending right away

  • Issuance is free (though delivery is €14.99), but there is a monthly fee of €2.99 unless you add over €299 to your account each month

  • Withdraw up to €2.500 per month from ATMs or spend up to €10,000 in transactions

  • A fairly small company compared to some of the giants in this directory, with just 30,000 cards issued and 1 million monthly transactions

  • Available in 65 different countries, with UK users permitted to get a Visa debit card since July 2020

 

Crypto.com

  • One of the first companies in the world to offer a cryptocurrency debit card

  • The card and app work very well together and the reputation of the company has grown significantly, with many people seeing this as the best crypto card in the business

  • Based and launched in Hong Kong back in 2016, Crypto.com now has offices in Singapore and Switzerland too

  • Users sell their crypto in the mobile app, with various fiat currencies available, including GBP, USD, and EUR

  • When selling your crypto, you select either the card wallet or the fiat wallet. With the card wallet, you can go and withdraw cash at an ATM, with the fiat wallet, you can transfer the funds via SEPA (EUR only) to your bank account

  • The first €200 per month of cash withdrawals are free, with a 2% charge after that

  • There are more than 90 cryptocurrencies available for direct purchase through the app, far more than many other brokerages

  • No monthly fees

  • Crypto.com has its own utility and reward token called CRO which offers users cashback depending on which card they choose. These different cards have different benefits and different prices, with most people opting for the free card as the others can be pretty expensive. Rather than paying directly for the card, you must purchase a large amount of CRO, their proprietary cryptocurrency

  • It’s possible to get your Spotify subscription paid through your Crypto.com account as a reward

  • The top cards come in a high-quality metal finish

 

Nexo

  • Nexo has no annual fees, no monthly fees, no issuance fees, and no FX fees, meaning its perhaps the best place to spend the actual value of your crypto

  • Up to 2% cashback on purchases, paid in NEXO tokens or Bitcoin, whichever you prefer

  • The Nexo wallet app also has lending features with 19 different cryptocurrency options to use as collateral

  • Nexo allows you to stake crypto in a high interest account offering 12% annual returns, paid daily

  • Nexo has 1.5m users around the world and is accepted by more than 40m merchants, though it operates slightly differently from their rivals, by giving you a credit line based on the value of your portfolio and deducting the value of transactions from that amount

  • Offers a virtual card so that your mobile phone can be used to make contactless payments

  • The card can be frozen and unfrozen instantly

  • Nexo is a Swiss company and has been active in the crypto lending industry since 2017

 

Nuri (Previously known as Bitwala)

  • Hailing from Berlin, Nuri launched in 2013 as Germany’s flagship crypto project, attempting to create a solid link between traditional and blockchain-backed finance tech

  • Nuri is a combination of bank account, crypto wallet, and trading platform

  • No issuance or monthly fees, Nuri is an EU-only crypto card issuer

  • One of Europe’s first services that permitted users to purchase crypto directly from their bank account

  • Withdrawals are free

  • Bitcoin purchases have a minimum amount of €30

  • Nuri offers both a physical and a virtual card (for smartphone users)

  • The card is free to receive and should come in just over a week, though it can be expedited for €69 and come in 3 days

  • By being both an online bank and a crypto platform, users are able to make direct Bitcoin and Ethereum purchases without leaving the app. Crypto prices are converted to Euros for these purchases

  • The card itself offers biometric confirmation features, as well as 3D security, mobile codes, security phrases, and the ability to block the card immediately from the app in case of loss or theft

  • Users can stake their Bitcoin for 5% returns per year, though there’s no staking option for Ethereum. These are the only two cryptocurrencies on the platform

  • Why did they rebrand from Bitwala to Nuri? After doing some research and looking to grow faster and embrace more development, it was decided that a new name and new look would help. With the new design, users at different stages of life are targeted for different services, making the company feel more inclusive. With inbuilt investment pipelines for users, this is a great place to get started

 

Plutus

  • Despite the .it domain name, Plutus is a UK business, registered in London

  • It’s one of the smallest crypto card companies in this directory, but don’t let that turn you off, it offers a lot and will surely compete with some of the big boys

  • Plutus offers a P2P decentralized exchange for their users, which helps them to swap currencies without centralised permission

  • UK and Europe only, for the moment

  • 3% PLU cashback on transactions - PLU is described as a ‘decentralized loyalty token’ and as a deflationary asset, the rewards will change in value and emission rate over time

  • Ethereum (ETH) and Plutus (PLU) capabilities only, meaning this is not a place to store or spend your Bitcoin

  • ‘Plutus Perks’ is an additional reward system that offers extra cashback with certain retailers, such as Airbnb, Nike, Agoda, Radisson, Amazon, and more. You will need to earn and stake PLU to unlock these cashback rewards, which can be as much as 15%

  • Sell your ETH or PLU for GBP or EUR and spend it like a debit card

  • Plutus is completely non-custodial, so your keys and personal data are really yours, meaning that you don’t need to trust any centralised party

  • Trading fees are 1.75%, ATM fees are €5.50, and the card itself costs €9.99 for issuance

  • Loads of different fees depending on a variety of things, which is explained in this slightly confusing table

 

Wirex

  • London-based, launched in 2014

  • Wirex used to offer up to 1.5% in Bitcoin cashback on purchases, but after a legal challenge and a change of strategy, they instead offer up to 2% in WXT cashback, their native utility cryptocurrency, for online and in-store purchases

  • WXT holders can gain 6% interest on the coin by holding it in a special Wirex savings account

  • Earn bitcoins for referring friends (around £7 per friend)

  • One of the best (if not the best) crypto visa debit card platforms for rewards, if that is your motivation

  • In 2021 Wirex has expanded to 29 cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies for users to instantly switch between within the app

  • Fiat-to-fiat exchanges have zero FX fees applied to them

  • Full service offered in the UK and EU, with no services available (yet) to US citizens. Latam and Africa rules vary from country to country, as do Non-EU European states

  • No issuance or monthly fees

  • Withdrawal fees are waived for the first €400 per month

  • 1% fee for loading accounts with crypto

 

2,509 views1 comment