crypto debit and credit cards

Cryptocurrencies offer a lot of benefits for both customers and businesses alike. Businesses, in general, have a lot to gain by accepting cryptocurrency payments and as a result, some have become more open to the idea. Here is what crypto debit/credit cards are — and are they worth using?

Customers and businesses face some difficulties when it comes to paying and receiving payments for goods and services using digital assets.

Fortunately, cryptocurrency credit and debit cards seem to be the solution that both parties are looking for. With the advent of COVID-19, digital payments are quickly becoming a better and safer, norm. Will these digital payments become “the new normal?” Let’s hope so.

What are Crypto Debit and Credit Cards?

Essentially, these serve the same functions as regular credit or debit cards but, instead of using just fiat currency, you can use your crypto to pay for goods and services to vendors that accept them.

Also, some service providers give the option of converting your crypto into fiat instantly whenever you use the physical card for any transaction.

It’s also quite easy to add funds to your account.

In general, people who own any cryptocurrency can simply top-up their cards through a payment processor or transfer their funds to specific wallets and link them with their cryptocurrency credit or debit card of choice.

Brief History of Crypto Cards

Before there were any crypto cards available, people who wanted to use their digital assets to pay for goods and services would have to convert them into fiat through third-party platforms.

This was very inconvenient for daily transactions, so a few institutions came up with the idea of offering cryptocurrency credit/debit card services.

One of the earliest ones was Coinbase with their Shift Card. It worked by deducting the value of purchases made with the card to your current Bitcoin balance.

However, you were restricted to a maximum of $1000 for your daily spending and the maximum ATM withdrawals are capped at $200.

Also, their transaction fees were rather high at the time so many weren’t too keen on using it.

Why Use These Cards at All?

Cryptocurrency cards can solve a lot of problems that people have with standard debit or credit cards. These are just a few of the benefits:

You Can Finally Make Use of Your Crypto Without Too Much Hassle

Many of the people who own digital assets have learned how to make money from cryptocurrency as part of their daily lives.

However, it wasn’t always easy to USE that crypto to pay for goods and services in the real world.

Now with cryptocurrency cards, you can spend your savings WITHOUT having to pay expensive fees to convert it into fiat!

Low to 0% Annual Fees

Some banks charge high annual fees for their credit or debit card services but for crypto-backed cards, fees are usually waived if you spend a certain amount within the year.

No Foreign Exchange (FX) Fees

One problem with many bank-issued cards is that they charge foreign exchange (FX) fees, sometimes up to 3% of the total transaction.

Most crypto cards, on the other hand, do not charge FX fees for your transactions, making them the better option overall but, you will have to pay for the standard Visa and Mastercard fees.

Access Different Currencies With One Card

A lot of cryptocurrency cards let you access both your fiat and crypto-assets. That means you wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of switching between cards when making payments.

Cashback Rewards

Depending on the cryptocurrency card provider, you can earn extra coins through topping up or when making a purchase with your card. Some rewards can amount to 3% or more of your total transaction!

5 Crypto-backed Debit/Credit Cards You Can Use Right Now

There are a lot of cryptocurrency credit and debit card services you can choose from but these are some of the most popular ones:

1. Nexo

Nexo is a unique crypto credit card that allows you to make loans for up to $2 million.

To take out a loan, simply create an account, pass the KYC procedure, deposit your crypto assets, and withdraw the loan.

You can use their mobile app to order and manage your account balance and Nexo Card.

Pros:
– Over 45 million merchants across the world accept the Nexo card.
– 2% cashback on all payments made with the Nexo card.

Cons:
– Some tokens are not supported.
– If you make a mistake while depositing, it may take a month or longer to resolve the issue.

What Makes it Unique:

Nexo is one of the first crypto debit cards that allows you to pay for goods and services in local currency.  Nexo holds your existing cryptocurrency balance as collateral instead of converting it into fiat whenever you make a purchase. Members can opt to pay their interest in either crypto or fiat.

2. TenX

TenX is one of the most popular cryptocurrency debit cards in the Asia Pacific region.

They also offer free cryptocurrency exchange using their Cryptographically-Secure Off-Chain Multi-Asset Instant Transaction (COMIT) network.

Also, the TenX Visa card automatically converts your crypto into fiat the moment you make a purchase with it meaning you wouldn’t need to top-up your account.

Pros:
– Free spending and 0% fees.
– All of your assets remain as cryptocurrency until such time that you make a transaction that requires fiat payments.

Cons:
– For cards issued within the APAC region, there’s a fixed $3.25 US fee for every cash withdrawal while cards issued within the European Economic Area are charged €3.
– Currently, the TenX only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

What Makes it Unique:

Their app offers real-time tracking whenever the card is used.

If you find any suspicious transactions, their app also comes with the option that allows you to lock or unlock your card.

3. CoinZoom

CoinZoom is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange that supports crypto to fiat conversions and vice versa. It’s also the first US-based cryptocurrency exchange to be fully licensed in all 50 states in the USA.

Pros:
– Instantly convert your cryptocurrency into USD for every purchase.
– Depending on your card tier, holders can have up to 50% discount when trading if they hold the required amount of Zoom tokens in their wallet.

Cons:
– The exchange is regulated which can put off people from using the platform.

What Makes it Unique:

CoinZoom is the first US-based crypto exchange to comply with many of the existing regulatory laws.

4. Plutus

Plutus is a Europe-based service provider and is the first company that allows you to manage your regular current account and a non-custodial wallet all in one app.

To acquire a Plutus card, simply download the app, go through the KYC identification process, and order your card through the app.

Pros:
– Allow their users to make Instant Current Accounts or European IBAN but this will depend on your location.
– Supports deposits via Samsung and Google Play.

Cons:
– Supports only ETH, Pluton Tokens, Euros and GBP.
– Isn’t FCA- licensed, yet.

What Makes it Unique:

There are many different options for you to top up your account and you earn 3% back in Pluton Tokens whenever you do so!

5. Monolith

Originally called Token, the company rebranded itself and became Monolith.
The Monolith crypto card supports both USD and GBP. Also, the card allows you to spend Ethereum just like fiat currency.

If you want to order your Monolith card, simply download their app via the Google Play Store or the Apple app store and send a request. However, you will need a passport, EU ID card, or driver’s license for verification purposes.

Pros:
– Doesn’t charge for local fiat or crypto transactions at all.
– Supports Google Play.

Cons:
– Currently, it doesn’t support Bitcoin deposits.
– Charges 1-2% per top-up.

What Makes it Unique:

Their physical card lets you spend Ethereum based assets anywhere in the world! Plus the cards are also readily available for customers residing in the European Economic Area.

Conclusion

Overall, cryptocurrency credit and debit cards are definitely worth using. They offer exciting possibilities for businesses, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and for people who are having second thoughts about crypto in general.

Plus, the fact that these cards are becoming more readily available for everyone is a sign that widespread cryptocurrency adoption will almost certainly become a reality.

The biggest benefit is, of course, for cryptocurrency investors is that Crypto Debit and Credit Cards give them a way to start using their hard-earned coins in the real world.

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Blockchain advocate, Cryptocurrency trader, all around nerd. Keen to spread a wealth of experience in trading, investing, and, perhaps most importantly avoiding pitfalls

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