Looking for the best crypto card? Do you even know what a crypto card is? We’re going to answer both of these questions and more, so you can walk away with greater knowledge than when you walked in, and have more confidence with your ongoing cryptocurrency investments.
Cryptocurrency is fast becoming the most popular asset that can be bought, sold and traded. Even if you don’t fully understand how it works (don’t worry, you’re not alone) you’re likely to have heard of Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the first decentralised cryptocurrency and since then, numerous new coins have been created.
The sheer popularity of cryptocurrency has caused the world’s major banks and credit and debit card providers to sit up and take notice so that anyone who owns cryptocurrency can convert it to fiat currency, which can then be used to spend on regular purchases. You may wonder what the point of this is. After all, you need to spend your own money on crypto assets first, only for those assets to be converted back into regular money.
In theory, however, the crypto assets you invest in should increase in value, so you can effectively earn some ‘free’ money to use on everyday purchases.
To do this, you need to arm yourself with a crypto card. Crypto cards are relatively new to the financial scene, although the first hit the market in around 2015. As cryptocurrency becomes more and more popular, so will the popularity of crypto cards. This is why knowing about and signing up for the best crypto cards right now could see you reap some huge rewards.
But, before we move on to the best crypto cards, we’ve first got to discuss, what exactly is a crypto card?
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What Is A Crypto Card?
A crypto card is either a physical or digital card that can come in one of three types: crypto credit card; crypto debit card or crypto prepaid card. Understanding the differences between these three types of crypto cards will help to inform your decision with regard to which to sign up for.
Essentially, no crypto card currently allows you to spend your crypto assets directly in-store or online. All three crypto card options need to convert your cryptocurrency to fiat currency first before it can be used. This is something that may change in the future, however, as Visa and Mastercard have both committed to trialling the ability to spend cryptocurrency directly.
What Is A Crypto Credit Card?
A crypto credit card works much in the same way as a regular credit card from the likes of Visa, Mastercard or American Express. You still need to have a good credit score in order to obtain one, and it is then connected to your everyday bank account. You use it in exactly the same way as a regular credit card, i.e. you make purchases which you need to pay off, along with any interest the card provider adds on.
What makes a crypto credit card different, is the fact you earn cryptocurrency as a reward, instead of the usual rewards points you may have become accustomed to, such as air miles. The card provider will usually tell you which cryptocurrency, or cryptocurrencies, you can be rewarded with based on your spending.
Remember, if you arm yourself with a crypto credit card, it acts in the same way as a regular credit card. If you don’t pay off the minimum amount, or the amount agreed upon during application, there could be serious financial consequences.
What Is A Crypto Debit Card?
A crypto debit card works in a similar way to a regular everyday debit card, but the source of money is different. Whereas your everyday debit card is linked to your bank account, a crypto debit card is linked to a crypto wallet. This means you can use your crypto assets to pay for items in-store and online; basically, anywhere you’re able to use a regular debit card, you can use a crypto debit card.
When you make a transaction, the card draws from your crypto wallet, converting the value of your crypto assets into enough fiat currency to be able to make the purchase. This conversion is done at the exchange rate connected with your particular card, so knowing this piece of information before you sign up could prove to be vital.
What Is A Crypto Prepaid Card?
Not much separates a crypto prepaid card from a crypto debit card. The only major difference is that, as its name suggests, you have to preload your crypto prepaid card using cryptocurrency from your crypto wallet. You can then convert your crypto assets into various currencies, handy if you’re a regular traveller and need USD one week and AUD the next.
Of course, you can only spend or withdraw up to the maximum amount loaded onto the card, but you’re able to make instant transfers from your crypto wallet to the card using companion smartphone applications. Some crypto prepaid card providers may also offer rewards based on the transactions you make, or how much crypto you have stored on the card at any one time.
Best Crypto Cards To Get Right Now
Because crypto cards are still a relatively new phenomenon, there aren’t a huge number of options available in Australia. For example, you can’t get a crypto credit card in Australia at the moment, but you can get either a crypto debit card or a crypto prepaid card in Australia.
These are currently the best crypto cards available to sign up for in Australia
Crypto.com Visa Prepaid Card
Crypto.com is a marketplace where you can buy and sell 200+ cryptocurrencies using some 20+ fiat currencies, with quick and easy bank transfers from your regular credit or debit card. Crypto.com has its own coin, too: CRO, which at the time of writing, has seen a spike in value following the company’s takeover of the iconic (and now former) Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The sporting arena is the home of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team, and also plays host to a number of other sporting and music events.
Crypto.com’s prepaid Visa card is one of the best-known crypto cards currently available. You can top up its value using either fiat currency or funds from your Crypto.com crypto wallet. Once you’ve topped it up with money (or equivalent value in cryptocurrency) you can then use the Crypto.com Visa card to make purchases online or in-store, at any terminal where a Visa card is accepted.
However, in order to sign-up for a Crypto.com card, you first need to buy CRO tokens and stake them for 180 days. This means you need to pledge your tokens to Crypto.com for the 180 day period. You still own those coins, but you won’t be able to sell them during the 180-day window.
The number of coins you stake will depend on which Crypto.com Visa card you want to apply for. There are five tiers of Crypto.com Visa card with the CRO stake being either: $0 AUD; $500 AUD; $5,000 AUD, $50,000 AUD or $500,000.
Various rewards and benefits are offered depending on which tier you sign-up for. For example, if you stake the maximum $500,000 worth of CRO tokens, you will be rewarded with 8% of the value of your card spend, paid out in CRO tokens.
Other benefits include receiving rebates on services such as Spotify, Netflix and Amazon Prime, LoungeKey airport lounge access and rebates on Airbnb and Expedia bookings. Crypto.com also provides free ATM withdrawals, with the maximum amount you can withdraw for free changing depending on the tier you sign-up for.
Wirex Multicurrency Travelcard
Wirex is a worldwide digital payment platform and was the first to introduce a contactless payment card, that you could use to spend your crypto, in 2015. The company’s multicurrency travelcard lets you spend any of 49 currently supported crypto assets, along with traditional fiat currencies, anywhere that a Visa card is supported.
The Wirex multicurrency travelcard cannot currently be used at terminals that accept Mastercard in Australia, although it is accepted in the UK and EEA, but support for this will arrive in the future. When you do spend with your Wirex crypto card, the transaction will be automatically converted based on the exchange rate at the time of the transaction.
You can earn up to 2% back in WXT tokens (Wirex’s own coin) every time you use the Wirex crypto card in-store and online. There are always zero exchange fees whenever you use the card.
Embily Crypto Card
Embily is another blockchain payment gateway platform that has launched its own crypto card to be used in stores and online. The Embily card is a debit card, meaning it is connected directly to your crypto wallet, meaning all your purchases are debited from the value of your wallet at the time of the transaction.
What makes Embily such an attractive proposition is the time it takes to get your card. The company offers one of the, if not the fastest dispatch, so you’ll receive your physical card usually within a week of you ordering it. But, obviously wanting its users to be able to spend as quickly as possible, you can add a digital card to the wallet on your Apple iPhone around five minutes after you’ve signed up to the Embily service. Support for Google Pay has been promised in the future.
You can currently top up the Embily card with any of six crypto tokens and there is a 1% fee added on every time you load currency onto it. There is also a 2 Euro monthly charge for being in ownership of a card.
However, transactions made using your Embily card are currently only accepted at Visa terminals. It’s not yet clear if support for Mastercard terminals will be added in the near future.
Monolith Visa Debit Card
If you’re someone who is a particular fan of Ethereum, then the Monolith Visa debit card is for you. This is because Monolith runs on the Ethereum ecosystem, meaning only tokens that run on this system are supported. For now, the Monolith crypto card can only be ordered in the UK and 30 European countries, along with some Special Member State Territories, however, it can be used to make purchases anywhere around the world where Visa payments are accepted.
Monolith also has its own token, TKN, which can be used to waive some fees you can expect to pay if you top it up using other tokens. Predominantly, this relates to the 1% Community Chest feature. With this, every time anyone who owns a Monolith card tops up their card with any other token, 1% of the value of that top up is given to the Community Chest. If you top up your card using TKN, you won’t pay this fee.
TKN holders can then claim their share of the Community Chest at any time using the company’s Cash & Burn feature.
There are various fees related to owning, using and topping up the Monolith Visa debit card, and all of these are explained with transparency on the company’s website.
Coinbase Visa Debit Card
Coinbase is a popular online crypto platform for buying, selling and trading crypto assets. The company’s Visa debit card is funded by the value of your Coinbase wallet, making it one of the best crypto cards for direct spending.
The Coinbase crypto card essentially acts exactly in the same way as a regular debit card, it’s just connected to your digital wallet instead of a bank account. You can use it to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted and make withdrawals from ATMs. You can even select which crypto assets you want to use to spend with from within the Coinbcase app.
Spending summaries within the app act in the same way as bank statements too, and underneath the value of each transaction you’ll be told how much of the particular crypto coin you used, was spent.
At the moment, only residents in the US and select European countries can sign up for a Coinbase card. Anyone that does sign up for a Coinbase card can begin using it online instantly, using the information provided within the app. The Coinbase card is also supported by Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Various rewards are available too, and these can be tailored within the app. Rewards can be earned on your spending, no matter which crypto token you use to make the purchase.
Voyager Debit Card
Voyager is another incredibly popular cryptocurrency trading platform, thanks in part to its zero trading fee feature. The Voyager crypto debit card is one of the few cards currently available that is accepted at Mastercard terminals.
It too offers rewards in the form of crypto back into your account. What is particularly appealing about this feature is that you get rewarded in USDC, a stable coin that is pegged to the price of the U.S. dollar, making it a pretty stable offering. You are able to change the coin you get rewarded in, however, within the Voyager app. If you choose to stick with the USD Coin, you can earn up to 9% annually when you hold the minimum of US$100 worth of USDC in your account.
If you hold Voyager Token (VGX) then you qualify for the Voyager Loyalty Program, which gives you extra rewards and crypto-back on purchases. The value of crypto you can receive increases depending on the amount of Voyager Token you hold.
To use the Voyager debit card, you need to connect it to your bank account, deposit cash and then use this to buy USDC, which you then load onto your card.