7 Bitcoin Debit Cards Compared and Reviewed (2017)

seven Bitcoin Debit Cards Compared and Reviewed (2017)

Even however the list of merchants that accept Bitcoin is continuously expanding, it’s still not possible to buy everything with Bitcoin. However, thanks to several companies in the Bitcoin ecosystem you can now order your own Bitcoin debit card. It’s as plain as it sounds – a debit card that is connected to your Bitcoin balance.

choose your card

Bitpay

Cryptopay

Wirex

Shift

ANXpro

Coinsbank

Pros of using a Bitcoin debit card

Table of Contents

The pros are pretty visible – you can now buy virtually anything with Bitcoin. Any place that accepts credit or debit cards would accept your Bitcoin debit card as well. The merchant gets paid in his own currency by the debit company and the charge will be deducted from your Bitcoin balance. This permits you to live purely on Bitcoin.

For example, when I travel abroad I always take my Bitcoin debit card as a backup card in case my money gets stolen. It’s like the traveller’s check of the digital age.

Cons of using a Bitcoin debit card

The major con of a Bitcoin debit card is centralization. In order to use the card you need to deposit money into your account at the debit card company – this means you’re providing control over your coins to a 3rd party. This risk is diminished by not depositing too many Bitcoins into your balance – basically deposit only an amount you can afford losing in case of a hack. Also since you are using the service of these companies it comes with a price – as you will see below you can’t overlook the fees that Bitcoin debit card companies charge.

At the moment there are seven Bitcoin debit card companies available, here’s a brief summary of each one and their pros and cons.

Bitpay Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Well known company, card accepted worldwide

cons: Limited to US residents only, doesn’t have chip and pin, requires verification

Bitpay is a well known company in the BItcoin ecosystem which provides payment solutions for businesses and individuals. It permits you to get a prepaid Visa card that is loaded through your Bitpay account. The BitPay Prepaid Visa ® Card is available to residents in all fifty US states. You must have a home address (no PO boxes), government-issued ID, and Social Security number to apply.

The card costs a vapid fee of $9.95 and takes about seven days to arrive in the mail. When traveling outside of the United States of America you will pay a fee of 3% to cover the cost of currency conversion. There is a $Two.00 fee for ATM or cash-back withdrawals inwards the US and a $Three.00 fee for any ATM or cash-back withdrawals outside of the country. You can see a finish fee list here. There are no transaction fees for the Bitpay card.

Cryptopay Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Available worldwide, supplies both physical and virtual cards

cons: Has maintenance and stream fees

Cryptopay supplies a Bitcoin debit card that is available worldwide (unlike Bitpay). You can either order a physical card with a chip & pin, or a virtual debit card if you’re just into online shopping. Another excellent bonus of Cryptopay is that you do not have to supply utter id verification if you don’t need high card thresholds.

The physical card costs $15 and is shipped for free worldwide. ATM withdrawal costs $Two.Five and international currency switch adds another 3% on each transaction. The things I don’t like about this card is that it has a monthly maintenance fee of $1 and a 1% commission for loading money. If you’re not verified you can stream up to €2500 in your card but not more than that.

Xapo Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Ships to most countries, established company reputation

cons: Redundant fees (IMO), no chip & pin

Xapo was one of the very first companies to supply a Bitcoin debit card. Just like Bitpay it suggest a “plain” credit card that does not have a chip & pin mechanism (edit: some users have gotten a chip & pin card, I personally did not). The cost of the card is $20 and it does have an annual fee of $12/year after the very first year.

Xapo ships their card to a lot of countries around the world albeit not to all of them (a accomplish list can be found here). Also their card actually has a “switch pin” fee which seems pretty odd IMO. You will be able to use the card without extensive verification but you will be limited to $2500.

Wirex Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Chip & Pin card, virtual cards available, established company

cons: Redundant fees (IMO), relatively expensive card

Perviously known as E-coin, the company rebranded to Wirex in 2016. The company supplies a Chip & Pin visa debit card that can be loaded through your Wirex app (desktop or mobile). The fees are pretty similar to other cards – costing 3% for international transactions, $Two.Five for ATM withdrawal and $17 to get your physical shipped to you. The company also supplies a virtual card if you don’t need the actual plastic. Like Xapo, Wirex also charges service fees, only they charge them on a monthly and not an annual basis ($1/month).

Shift Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Lightly connects to your Coinbase account, relatively low fees

cons: Available only in forty five states around the US, Coinbase is limited to certain countries as well

Shift position themselves as “the very first US Bitcoin debit card”. The company supplies a debit card that is connected to your Coinbase account. However, even however it’s supposed to be the US debit card it’s available only in forty five out of fifty states at the moment.

The card costs a reasonable $Ten to produce and has no ongoing fees. There is of course the standard 3% international transaction fee and $Two.Five vapid ATM withdrawal fee.

What card should you choose?

Most of these cards are more or less the same. They most likely all use the same card supplier to run their business as well and the difference is only in their branding. Personally I’d advise to make sure the card you choose is available in your country and then use the one with the lowest fees. I’d undoubtedly attempt to avoid the cards with the ongoing fees (i.e. Wirex, Xapo). For example, if you live in the US, using Shift is a reasonable option.

In addition to the cards reviewed in this post there are also ANXPRO and CoinsBank that supply Bitcoin debit card – you may want to take a look at them as well, they are listed in the table at the top of this page.

7 Bitcoin Debit Cards Compared and Reviewed (2017)

seven Bitcoin Debit Cards Compared and Reviewed (2017)

Even tho’ the list of merchants that accept Bitcoin is continuously expanding, it’s still not possible to buy everything with Bitcoin. However, thanks to several companies in the Bitcoin ecosystem you can now order your own Bitcoin debit card. It’s as elementary as it sounds – a debit card that is connected to your Bitcoin balance.

choose your card

Bitpay

Cryptopay

Wirex

Shift

ANXpro

Coinsbank

Pros of using a Bitcoin debit card

Table of Contents

The pros are pretty evident – you can now buy virtually anything with Bitcoin. Any place that accepts credit or debit cards would accept your Bitcoin debit card as well. The merchant gets paid in his own currency by the debit company and the charge will be deducted from your Bitcoin balance. This permits you to live purely on Bitcoin.

For example, when I travel abroad I always take my Bitcoin debit card as a backup card in case my money gets stolen. It’s like the traveller’s check of the digital age.

Cons of using a Bitcoin debit card

The major con of a Bitcoin debit card is centralization. In order to use the card you need to deposit money into your account at the debit card company – this means you’re providing control over your coins to a 3rd party. This risk is diminished by not depositing too many Bitcoins into your balance – basically deposit only an amount you can afford losing in case of a hack. Also since you are using the service of these companies it comes with a price – as you will see below you can’t overlook the fees that Bitcoin debit card companies charge.

At the moment there are seven Bitcoin debit card companies available, here’s a brief summary of each one and their pros and cons.

Bitpay Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Well known company, card accepted worldwide

cons: Limited to US residents only, doesn’t have chip and pin, requires verification

Bitpay is a well known company in the BItcoin ecosystem which provides payment solutions for businesses and individuals. It permits you to get a prepaid Visa card that is loaded through your Bitpay account. The BitPay Prepaid Visa ® Card is available to residents in all fifty US states. You must have a home address (no PO boxes), government-issued ID, and Social Security number to apply.

The card costs a plane fee of $9.95 and takes about seven days to arrive in the mail. When traveling outside of the United States of America you will pay a fee of 3% to cover the cost of currency conversion. There is a $Two.00 fee for ATM or cash-back withdrawals inwards the US and a $Trio.00 fee for any ATM or cash-back withdrawals outside of the country. You can see a finish fee list here. There are no transaction fees for the Bitpay card.

Cryptopay Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Available worldwide, supplies both physical and virtual cards

cons: Has maintenance and flow fees

Cryptopay supplies a Bitcoin debit card that is available worldwide (unlike Bitpay). You can either order a physical card with a chip & pin, or a virtual debit card if you’re just into online shopping. Another excellent bonus of Cryptopay is that you do not have to supply utter id verification if you don’t need high card thresholds.

The physical card costs $15 and is shipped for free worldwide. ATM withdrawal costs $Two.Five and international currency switch adds another 3% on each transaction. The things I don’t like about this card is that it has a monthly maintenance fee of $1 and a 1% commission for loading money. If you’re not verified you can stream up to €2500 in your card but not more than that.

Xapo Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Ships to most countries, established company reputation

cons: Redundant fees (IMO), no chip & pin

Xapo was one of the very first companies to supply a Bitcoin debit card. Just like Bitpay it suggest a “elementary” credit card that does not have a chip & pin mechanism (edit: some users have gotten a chip & pin card, I personally did not). The cost of the card is $20 and it does have an annual fee of $12/year after the very first year.

Xapo ships their card to a lot of countries around the world albeit not to all of them (a accomplish list can be found here). Also their card actually has a “switch pin” fee which seems pretty odd IMO. You will be able to use the card without extensive verification but you will be limited to $2500.

Wirex Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Chip & Pin card, virtual cards available, established company

cons: Redundant fees (IMO), relatively expensive card

Perviously known as E-coin, the company rebranded to Wirex in 2016. The company supplies a Chip & Pin visa debit card that can be loaded through your Wirex app (desktop or mobile). The fees are pretty similar to other cards – costing 3% for international transactions, $Two.Five for ATM withdrawal and $17 to get your physical shipped to you. The company also supplies a virtual card if you don’t need the actual plastic. Like Xapo, Wirex also charges service fees, only they charge them on a monthly and not an annual basis ($1/month).

Shift Bitcoin debit card review

Pros: Lightly connects to your Coinbase account, relatively low fees

cons: Available only in forty five states around the US, Coinbase is limited to certain countries as well

Shift position themselves as “the very first US Bitcoin debit card”. The company supplies a debit card that is connected to your Coinbase account. However, even however it’s supposed to be the US debit card it’s available only in forty five out of fifty states at the moment.

The card costs a reasonable $Ten to produce and has no ongoing fees. There is of course the standard 3% international transaction fee and $Two.Five plane ATM withdrawal fee.

What card should you choose?

Most of these cards are more or less the same. They most likely all use the same card supplier to run their business as well and the difference is only in their branding. Personally I’d advise to make sure the card you choose is available in your country and then use the one with the lowest fees. I’d certainly attempt to avoid the cards with the ongoing fees (i.e. Wirex, Xapo). For example, if you live in the US, using Shift is a reasonable option.

In addition to the cards reviewed in this post there are also ANXPRO and CoinsBank that supply Bitcoin debit card – you may want to take a look at them as well, they are listed in the table at the top of this page.

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