Bitcoin debit cards are one of the most convenient solutions to spend cryptocurrency on all types of purchases. Until bitcoin becomes a mainstream payment method accepted by all merchants, using a cryptocurrency-laden debit card seems to be the next big thing. Quite a few different bitcoin debit cards are available to consumers, though not every offering is equal to the next. Below is an overview of three popular bitcoin debit cards and what sets them apart.
When popular bitcoin payment processor BitPay announced they would issue their own debit card, there was a lot of excitement. Having more players compete in this niche market will eventually benefit consumers as fees get lower. BitPay has quite a few things going for them in the debit card department, as their product works in all countries around the world. On the other hand, the card is only available to US residents, which is a significant drawback.
The reputation associated with BitPay speaks volumes, which make this debit card an absolute must-have for US-based bitcoin enthusiasts. Although the application process requires a SSN, it is still an appealing product. For the price of $9.95, the BitPay bitcoin debit card could be yours. Currency conversions are subject to a 3% fee, whereas US-based ATM withdrawals are subject to a US$2 flat fee. It is not the cheapest card by any means, but unless you withdraw cash quite often, it is well worth checking out.
One of the first companies to jump on the bitcoin debit card “bandwagon” is Xapo. Considering how the company’s card ships to nearly all countries in the world, they have a leg up over BitPay in this regard. Moreover, Xapo has a reputation in the bitcoin world, although they are active in a different industry compared to most other companies. However, there are some drawbacks associated with this card which users need to take into account.
First of all, Xapo’s fee structure has been subject to a lot of criticism. Most users feel the card is far too expensive to use for any type of transaction, although things have improved over the past few years. Secondly, a lot of Xapo cards do not have chip-and-pin protection, although the latest batches seem to have received this upgrade. Funding the card is also subject to a 1% fee, which may put off a lot of people. Do your own research regarding Xapo’s fees and requirements, even though it is still a very solid bitcoin debit card offering.
One of the more intriguing bitcoin debit cards is the one offered by CoinsBank. The company, formerly known as Bit-X, has been active in the debit card scene for quite some time. Although some of the cards offered are rather expensive – depending on which type of card one wants – they are worth the price. The most expensive card offering comes with no maintenance and transfer fees, which is quite a positive trend.
Additionally, CoinsBank has been sending customers a text messages every time they fund their balance or complete a transaction. Although a small fee is subtracted for every text message, it is a price well worth the convenience. Moreover, users can keep a balance in different national currencies, rather than having to purchase a different card for USD, GBP, or EUR balances. All things considered, CoinsBank is a powerful bitcoin debit card that can easily compete with the other two companies mentioned in this article.
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