Cryptocurrency cards are useful to spend digital assets like fiat currencies without having to convert your coins.
However, crypto debit or credit cards are precisely like the regular debit and credit cards we use every day. The only difference is that you are spending cryptocurrencies and not fiat currencies.
Before now, cryptocurrencies never had debit/credit cards to use. Fortunately, the crypto industry has grown with lots of use-cases, and it is giving birth to cryptocurrency cards.
This guide explains what crypto cards are, how they work, and the best cryptocurrency card solutions to spend your cryptos. Read on!
What is a cryptocurrency card?
Cryptocurrency cards are card representations of financial contracts backed by digital assets. These cards solely rely on the transparency of cryptocurrencies and the capability to actualize financial transactions.
It is essential to know that cryptocurrency cards allow users to spend digital assets as if they were in fiat currencies.
Through regular payment networks like MasterCard and Visa, we now use cryptocurrency cards to buy things online even if the stores don’t get a dedicated crypto payment gateway.
Crypto cards seem to be the solution everyone has been looking for because they bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and the traditional space.
With the advent of COVID-19, digital payments are becoming safer and quick.
Your bank’s credit ratings back traditional credit cards, but on the other hand, crypto credit cards are supported by cryptocurrencies. These solve the problems involved with uncollateralized loans and the difficulty in spending cryptocurrencies.
The origin of cryptocurrency credit cards
Over a decade ago, cryptocurrencies weren’t too popular and much exotic like they are today. Holders of BTC tokens don’t have the option of having their BTCs in cash to spend. The only option for them was for exchanges to convert BTC to traditional currency, thus liquidating their stake.
As the crypto space started growing and getting more use-cases, many people realized that cryptocurrencies could have their own credit and debit cards for comfortable spending with the right structure and verification process. At that time, two significant changes were going on in the crypto space – tokenized assets and DeFi (Decentralized Finance).
DeFi has to do with using decentralized crypto-assets to create any form of financial agreements through smart contracts without the help of intermediaries like banks and lawyers.
Tokenized assets have the same idea as DeFi. It has to do with the process of converting ownership rights on a specific asset into a digital token on a blockchain network.
With these in mind, crypto cards were produced to permit easy and quick access to fiat-friendly liquidity.
Benefits of crypto cards
Cryptocurrency cards solve lots of problems that people have with traditional credit and debit cards. Here are some of the benefits:
Minimal to no annual fees
Traditional banks always impose charges when users use their credit or debit cards for transactions. Worst of it all, these banks charge high annual fees for their card services. On the other hand, crypto cards don’t have fees even if you spend a certain amount in a year.
You use your digital assets easily
Individuals that own cryptocurrencies have learned to use them to earn income. It hasn’t been easy to use digital assets to pay for goods and services in the real world. With crypto cards, you can spend your cryptocurrencies in the real world without paying fees to convert to fiat currencies.
No foreign exchange fees
Another problem with traditional credit cards is that they acquire foreign exchange charges. These charges can be up to 3 percent of the total transactions a user makes.
On the other hand, cryptocurrency cards do not have FX charges for every transaction that is being made. This benefit has made crypto credit cards a better option. Although, users need to pay for Visa or MasterCard fees.
Some crypto card providers offer rewards in coins when users make transactions or top up with their card. Some cashback rewards from these providers can be more than 3 percent of your total transactions.
Access to different fiat currencies
Crypto cards allow users to have access to both fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies. This means that you don’t have to switch between cards before you can perform a transaction.
The best cryptocurrencies credit and debit cards
This section will take a detailed look at top crypto credit and debit cards that you can use for your day-to-day transactions.
Crypto.com MCO Visa card
The Crypto.com MCO credit card is one of the most popular crypto cards today. Before now, it was called Monaco, and it was later renamed Crypto.com. The crypto card company is situated in Hong-Kong. The company produced its crypto credit card after realizing almost $27 million in its token sale in 2017.
Crypto.com credit card is top-rated among users due to its crypto cashback reward system, where users get credited with tokens for top-ups through the card.
Crypto.com has a large ecosystem that allows users to exchange cryptocurrencies. Users can also earn the platform’s native token (MCO).
Crypto.com doesn’t have card issuance fees, and you don’t have to pay anything to maintain your account. Depositing and exchanging cryptocurrency is free, as the platform charges a minimal cost. You can also use the credit or debit card to exchange fiat to cryptocurrency, but you will be charged a 3.5 percent fee.
Based on your account level, you can withdraw a specific amount of cash in ATMs monthly.
The crypto.com card is available in different countries, including the UK and Canada.
What makes it unique?
The reason why Crypto.com is unique is due to its availability. The platform has a tiered system, where users have to invest MCO tokens to earn incentives. In addition to the stimuli, users get free access to NetFlix, Spotify, and premium subscriptions on Amazon, Airbnb, and many more.
Wirex Visa Card
Wirex is a UK-based company that was created in 2014. It is one of the most popular debit card solutions in the world today. Wirex also has a mobile application where users can exchange their cryptocurrencies.
Like Crypto.com, users also earn cashback rewards in Bitcoin for every transaction made through a Wirex Visa card. The percentage of cash back rewards users receive is equivalent to the Wirex token amount that users have in their accounts.
Wirex Visa has higher charges than its counterpart. The platform has been in existence since 2014, so you can assume that your funds are safe.
Even though the company doesn’t charge for card delivery and issuance, about €1.20 monthly for account maintenance, Wirex also charges a 3 percent FX fee for international transactions. There is also a fixed charge of €2.25 for domestic and €2.75 for international ATM withdrawals.
The company’s Visa card operates only in the European Economic Area. Although the company recently expanded its reach in the APAC regions.
What makes it unique?
Wirex has been a trusted credit card company for years, and it also has a good reputation for its services. Additionally, users can also get up to 1.5 percent as a cashback reward rate by holding the company’s token.
This crypto credit card also allows users to exchange cryptocurrencies to fiat currency with ease; again, users can quickly deposit both cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies through their Wirex card.
Nexo credit card
Nexo is a unique cryptocurrency credit card that allows you to take up loans worth more than a million dollars. Before you are eligible to take loans, you have to create an account and complete the KYC procedure and deposit crypto assets. Nexo has a mobile app that you can use to track or monitor your balance.
Like its counterparts, Nexo also offers cashback rewards at a rate of 2 percent on any transaction done with the Nexo credit card.
Nexo is available worldwide. Furthermore, about 45 million merchants support the Nexo card.
What makes it unique?
Nexo is also one of the most prominent crypto card companies today. It allows users to pay for goods and services in fiat currencies.
Monolith Visa debit card
Monolith was formerly known as TokenCard, and it is among the best cryptocurrency card solutions today. The company’s cryptocurrency card supports both USD and GBP.
Monolith also allows users to transact and spend ETH tokens too. The company has its own token called TKN. The company ensures that TKN holders can use the token to get free discounts when they top their accounts through its credit card.
Monolith charges 1 to 2 percent per top-up.
Monolith Visa cards are available in 31 countries of the European Economic Area.
What makes it unique?
The Visa card allows you to spend Ethereum (ETH) tokens like physical cash.
Tenx credit card
Tenx is a popular crypto credit card company in the Asia Pacific region. The company allows users to exchange cryptocurrencies for free through their Cryptographically-Secure Off-Chain Multi-Asset Instant Transaction (COMIT) network. Users can be able to convert their digital assets to fiat currency through Tenx.
The company charges a fixed fee of $3.25 on cards issued within the APAC area for withdrawals. For cards issued in the Economic European Area, the cost is $3. At the moment, this credit only supports BTC, ETH, and LTC tokens.
The company is available in the Economic European Area and the APAC area.
What makes it unique?
Through its mobile application, the company offers real-time tracking anytime a user uses the card.
There is no doubt that cryptocurrency debit cards are worth using. They offer an endless possibility for crypto enthusiasts to spend cryptocurrencies through their wallets. Of course, the most significant benefit is that these credit cards are becoming available to everyone worldwide, and we may see increased adoption in the future.