Crypto credit and debit cards are skyrocketing in popularity, with major credit card processors like Visa and Mastercard partnering with some of the world's biggest cryptocurrency companies. The most notable partnership to date may be Visa's linkup with Coinbase on a new type of debit card, which was revealed last year.
Now, Coinbase has announced this same crypto debit card has integrated with Apple Pay and Google Pay. This means users can pay with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies just by using their phone, rather than needing a physical card. While payment apps like these are pretty common nowadays, we're just starting to see these apps integrate with the crypto world.
What's a Coinbase Card?
A Coinbase Card is a type of Visa debit card that lets you spend your crypto assets when shopping in person. As long as you have some crypto in your Coinbase portfolio, you can use either Google and Apple Pay to make purchases anywhere that accepts a Visa card. Funds are automatically converted from crypto to U.S. dollars in real-time when making a purchase, with users paying a small 0.2 percent conversion fee in the process.
Coinbase launched the U.S. version of its Visa debit card back in Oct. 2020, and quickly had a massive waitlist. The card was launched in almost 30 other countries as well. Since then, Coinbase has also partnered with other payment service providers, like PayPal, to help make buying and selling crypto in the U.S. easier than ever.
How to get a Coinbase Card
Unfortunately, if you're thinking about applying for a Coinbase Card right now, there's some bad news. There's still a long waitlist for U.S. applicants, with the only exception being for citizens in the state of Hawaii. European residents are able to get their cards much earlier. The Coinbase Card is available in most European countries, with Germany being one noticeable exception.
The only requirement for a Coinbase Card is that you have an account. Other than that, it's free and doesn't require a credit check—Coinbase isn't a credit card, and doesn't lend money or crypto to its users. This card just lets you make purchases with your crypto by converting it into fiat.
If you can't get a Coinbase Card, there are other options. Crypto.com offers a crypto credit card that rewards users with tokens based on how much they spend with the card. Other crypto debit cards include the Binance credit card, which is also partnered with Visa.
The Coinbase Card's fees
As mentioned before, your biggest fee is going to be for transferring cryptocurrency into fiat in real-time. Depending on which country you live in, this could be up to 0.2 percent per transaction. Besides that, most other Coinbase Card fees are small (a few dollars) and include a plastic card issuance fee, cash withdrawal fee, and card replacement fee.