Cryptocurrency is becoming a greater part of mainstream discussions these days, and Bitcoin in particular has been making headlines. More and more individuals are investing in Bitcoin, and it is gradually becoming accepted as a valid alternative payment method. With usage and interest in the currency increasing, companies are beginning to develop Bitcoin-specific debit and credit cards such that consumers can use their Bitcoin wallets to fund everyday transactions. Here is a comprehensive guide on all you need to know about Bitcoin debit cards and Bitcoin credit cards.
Before going in depth on Bitcoin debit and credit cards, it is important that you have a base level understanding of what Bitcoin actually is. Bitcoin is a digital currency that, like traditional forms of currencies, can be sent to and from individuals and businesses that recognize Bitcoin as a valid payment method. The value of a single Bitcoin fluctuates based on market demand, similar to how the daily value of a stock moves. If you purchase Bitcoin, you store it in a digital wallet with a unique identification code for transaction purposes. While it has taken until recently for Bitcoin to be used in everyday transactions, its popularity is on the rise. A great way to use Bitcoin in your daily transactions is via Bitcoin debit or credit cards.
BITCOIN DEBIT CARDS
There are a number of Bitcoin debit cards already available for use, including Bitpay, Cash Card, Coin Base, and Fold Card. To use your Bitcoin debit card, you must link the card to your digital Bitcoin wallet, after which you can use the card like you would a traditional bank debit card. When using your debit card, you should beware of the following:
- Bitcoin value – unlike with a traditional debit card, the amount of funds in your Bitcoin debit card changes based on the market value of the currency; you must track Bitcoin’s value (and therefore, the value of your digital wallet) to ensure you have enough Bitcoin to cover a transaction
- Fees – you may be assessed transaction or withdrawal fees, as well as potential monthly fees for holding a Bitcoin debit card; be sure you fully understand the fee liability to your Bitcoin debit card company
As is the case with most transactions, it is a good idea to bring another form of payment (e.g. cash, traditional debit card) in case there is an issue with your Bitcoin debit card.
BITCOIN CREDIT CARDS
Unlike Bitcoin debit cards, Bitcoin credit cards are still in the works and have yet to be released for consumer use. The two companies closest to releasing Bitcoin credit cards include BlockFi and Gemini. Both have a waitlist for their expected 2021 release:
- BlockFi – 3.5% cash back for first 90 days, 1.5% cash back up to $50,000 annually, 2.0% on every dollar spent over $50,000 annually, no annual fee
- Gemini – 3.0% cash back, no annual fee, cardholders can choose the digital wallet for their rewards (Bitcoin or any crypto on Gemini, no exchange fee)
If you are interested in opening up a Bitcoin credit card, you should join the pertinent waitlist(s) and submit the required eligibility information.
USE BITCOIN WITH CAUTION
If you pursue a Bitcoin debit card or Bitcoin credit card, it is important to do so with caution. Remember that Bitcoin’s value can move in a volatile and unpredictable manner, which means the value of your funds can fluctuate considerably. Be sure to monitor the value of your currency and take personal safety measures to avoid fraud and scams.