26 January 2021, 19:01

2 min reading

What Is Crypto Debit Card

Learn about the best crypto debit cards, their limitations, and perks, and choose the right product to start converting your digital assets into real things.

What Is Crypto Debit Card

Dabbling in the cryptocurrency world and looking for ways to put your digital funds into real-world use? The best tactic to leverage your virtual tokens for worldly goods is obtaining a crypto debit card, a physical piece of VISA or MasterCard plastic or metal, giving you the opportunity to reckon with both online and POS merchants using your digitalized capital. Good idea? Indeed.

What is a crypto debit card?

As cryptocurrencies are making a splash and earning overall trust, businesses are no longer skeptical about crypto, and many of them have already begun to accept e-coins as a valid payment. Yes, crypto seems to stay for quite long (if not to say forever), and, in order to meet the demands of tech-savvy clients, merchants face the necessity to support the newest payment methods; otherwise, they will simply lose potential profits.  

So, customers have electronic coins to spend, and vendors are eager to accept them. The question: is there a legal solution to facilitate transactions between both parties? Yes, there is. Debit crypto cards. Broadly speaking, it is a prepaid payment card connected to your cryptocurrency wallet that performs the same functions as a traditional debit/credit thing issued by a bank. But, instead of supporting fiat currency, a crypto card allows you to buy goods and services, exploiting your electronic funds.

Many crypto debit cards instantly convert your e-tokens to fiat money when you need to pay for daily spending or withdraw from an ATM. Replenishing the balance is also as simple as with a classical piece: via ATMs, online or mobile banking, or the website/app of the provider. It is also possible to top up a card from an e-wallet or link it to a popular payment processor like ApplePay or Google Pay to pay anywhere in the world.

How does a crypto debit card work?

It works the same way as a debit one in a shop or ATM. However, instead of taking money from your bank account, the crypto card takes coins from the connected virtual wallet. When you transact, cybercash in your account is converted to fiat money, and then this fiat is sent to the bank account of the merchant.

The whole transaction process is instant, seamless, and fully legal as if with a classical debit item. You can use your crypto card with any vendor that accepts cashless payments, and the merchant does not receive tokens, but fiat money converted from your token holdings. Such a card can be swiped, chipped, or tapped on any POS-terminal as surely as used for online shopping and cash withdrawals from ATMs.

Some debit crypto cards come with a virtual counterpart. The virtual duplicate provides a prepaid usable card number existing in your smartphone for Internet transactions. Many cryptocurrency platforms issue both physical and virtual cards for greater convenience.

Since crypto debit cards fully mimic the performance of regular ones, they do have some limitations and fees. You may encounter limits on daily/monthly withdrawals, restrictions on online & offline spending, commissions on balance refills, maintenance fees, conversion fees, and other charges depending on the card provider.

Advantages of a crypto debit card

To promote mass adoption of cryptocurrency payments, many providers offer nifty benefits and perks for holding a crypto debit VISA/MasterCard. The bright sides of keeping such a card include:

  • Financial freedom. Many cards support dozens of different altcoins, allowing you to make the most of your digitalized funds and easily pay with the desired crypto without worrying about exchange and conversion. With such a thing in your hands, you can buy virtually anything and in any location where card payments are available.
  • Low maintenance premiums. The majority of banks set strangely high fees for their plastics, but it is generally not the case with crypto-backed pieces where maintenance and service charges are often pretty low or even zero if you do not spend aggressively.
  • Cashback. Many providers refund their cardholders a certain percentage of the cryptocurrency spent on purchases or top-ups. Some rewards are very generous returning up to 10% or even more of the total transaction.  
  • Convenience. You can spend your coins as easily as you exploit your Visa or MasterCard: pay for groceries, order food delivery, and make utility payments without having to first convert cryptocurrency on the exchange. You can also withdraw cash from thousands of ATMs worldwide – the conversion is hassle-free and instant. With such a card at your fingertips, you can live entirely on your electronic tokens with no one ever guessing you do.
  • Protection against inflation. A crypto debit card is like a magic wand in regions where a local currency is volatile or prone to inflation. You can keep your money in cryptocurrency and only spend what you need, while your provider always helps get the most favorable exchange rate.