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How a Bitcoin Debit Card Works and Whether It Is Right for You


Dec. 21 2020, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

More merchants are accepting cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as payment. However, many local coffee shops and barbers still won’t accept bitcoin payments. The bitcoin debit card solves this problem. 

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You may have heard about a bitcoin debit card before. How does the debit card work and is it right for you? Where can you get a bitcoin debit card and what is the best crypto debit card? 

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How a bitcoin debit card works

A bitcoin debit card functions like a regular debit card. However, instead of loading it with funds from your bank account, it converts your cryptocurrencies in your digital wallet into fiat currency. You can use the card to pay for purchases or withdraw cash at the ATM.

If you transact with cryptocurrencies regularly, a bitcoin debit card may be a great fit. If you only want to spend your bitcoin online, a virtual card would be sufficient. However, if you want the flexibility to spend your cryptocurrency in-store and withdraw cash at ATMs, you should get a physical card.

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Does Coinbase have a bitcoin debit card?

Coinbase operates the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. As the crypto community expands, Coinbase has expanded and offers more than a trading platform. Coinbase offers a crypto debit card that operates on the Visa network. Initially, Coinbase offered the card in Europe before introducing it in the U.S.

Best bitcoin debit card

When choosing the best bitcoin debit card, you should consider factors like the processing fee, supported currencies, and spending and withdrawal limits. Other cards offer generous cashback rewards. A good card should work with other cryptocurrencies beyond bitcoin to give you the flexibility to spend your digital assets. 

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Coinbase has one of the best crypto debit cards in the market. The card pulls funds from your Coinbase account. The card automatically converts cryptocurrencies in your account into the dollar, euro, or pound. In addition to bitcoin, the card supports about 30 other cryptocurrencies. The Coinbase card is available in physical and virtual forms.  

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Besides Coinbase, the other prominent crypto debit card providers are Bitnovo, Bitstamp, Bitpay, Wirex, and Cryptopay. Bitnovo offers a debit card called Bitsa that operates on the Visa network and can be recharged with bitcoin to spend in euros. You don’t need a bank account to get the Bitsa bitcoin debit card. 

Bitstamp offers a debit card that you can load with bitcoin and spend in euros, pounds, and dollars. You will need to convert your bitcoin into the desired fiat currency and transfer to the card to spend it. Bitpay’s bitcoin debit card runs on the MasterCard network. The card lets you convert your cryptos into dollars to use for shopping and withdrawals at ATMs. 

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Wirex offers a debit card that you can recharge with a bitcoin balance. The debit card allows you to pay for purchases with the local currency anywhere you go. Cryptopay offers a Visa debit card that you can top up with bitcoin and select cryptocurrencies. 

Considerations before getting a bitcoin debit card

Many people hold bitcoin as an investment. Bitcoin’s fixed supply appeals to individuals trying to beat inflation. While a bitcoin debit card removes the hurdles in paying with the cryptocurrency, it also makes it easy to reduce your bitcoin holding. If you intend to profit from future bitcoin price appreciation, you may want to limit spending the cryptocurrency.


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