Crypto debit cards serve as a bridge between the cryptocurrency and fiat systems. This article will explain how they work, their benefits, and how to get one.
What is a crypto debit card?
It is a card that allows you to spend the digital tokens in your crypto wallet. They work like typical debit cards that you can preload with money. In this case, you’re preloading tokens instead of fiat.
Crypto cards don’t actually spend cryptocurrencies directly. Instead, it converts the tokens into fiat at the point of purchase. Let’s say you have 1,000 USDT (a dollar-pegged stablecoin) in your wallet. If you buy a shirt for $100, the issuer will deduct the equivalent amount (100 USDT) from your wallet.
Cryptocurrency cards are usually issued by exchanges or wallet providers.
Advantages of a crypto debit card
It enables you to use cryptocurrency for everyday purchases. You can use the card for fiat payments, and the equivalent tokens will be removed from your wallet. These cards work with different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Tether, Ethereum, Cardano, etc.
Perks and rewards
Cryptocurrency cards come with perks and rewards, just like traditional debit cards. For example, you can enjoy 1-10% cashback on your purchases. You can get loyalty points for online stores. You can get miles for air tickets, video streaming app subscriptions, discounts from specific retailers, etc.
Disadvantages of crypto debit cards
The cards usually have regional limits because of banking laws and restrictions. It’s difficult to find a crypto card that works globally. Most of them are limited to the US and Europe. If you can find one that works outside these regions, they’ll likely be limited to a few countries.
Spending tokens via your crypto card is a taxable event in some jurisdictions. For instance, if you’re a U.S. citizen, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers crypto an asset, and you’ll have to pay taxes on capital gains. Let’s say you bought BTC at $20,000 but spent it at $30,000; you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on the difference.
Examples Of Crypto Debit Cards
CryptoWallet is a popular cryptocurrency wallet provider. It’s launching a debit card that will let users spend the tokens in their wallet. It will support over 800 tokens at the start and let you purchase stuff online or offline. It’s scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Binance is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange. It offers a debit card to European users. Users can pay for euro-denominated items, and Binance automatically deducts the equivalent amount of tokens from their wallet.
Binance users enjoy up to 8% cashback each time they spend euros with their card. The cashback is paid in BNB, Binance’s native token.
Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. It’s also available in many other countries across North America and Europe.
Coinbase offers a Visa-issued debit card that allows users to spend the tokens in their wallets. You can use it at any merchant that accepts Visa debit cards. It has no transaction fees for US Dollars and USDC, a dollar-pegged stablecoin.
Coinbase customers can earn up to 4% cashback on their purchases.
How do I get one?
You can sign up on a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet provider. Afterward, you can request a debit card and ship it to your location. Different exchanges and wallet providers have different criteria to qualify for their cards. For example, you may need to hold at least a specific number of tokens in your wallet to get one.