Bitcoin is a decade old now and there are more options than ever to spend it, but do you know what ‘s the best bitcoin card?
Bitcoin debit cards have only been introduced in the last several years — and they are quite different from a normal debit card.
You might keep up with the best business news and financial times … but do you know what’s the best bitcoin debit card for you?
In this article we’ll consider five tips on finding and using the best crypto powered debit card for your needs.
1. Is it available in your country?
Even though Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted around the world, that does not mean that the company offering the bitcoin Visa or Mastercard will let you sign up.
Some companies, like Bitpay, are only available for customers who have US citizenship.
Other companies, like Wirex, are available for customers of the EU and the UK
Still others, like Coinbase, offer cards to customers in both regions.
Each of the bitcoin debit cards also offer various levels of cashback, security, usability, and other features. So you might be tempted to get one because of its benefits only to realize later on that it’s not available for you.
It’s important to check the jurisdiction first, otherwise you might waste your time.
2. How secure is the card provider? How safe are your funds?
The second most important tip is to check how secure your funds are.
Bitcoin debit cards exist because, rather than providing a line of credit, they use the bitcoin you deposit to fund your purchases.
It’s like having a prepaid debit card.
First, you deposit the amount of bitcoin you wish to spend over the course of a few days, weeks, or months.
Then, you make your regular purchases and your spending is deducted from your bitcoin balance.
Some cards require you to sell your bitcoin first so the card can debit from your fiat funds. Other cards will sell your crypto on the market as you spend it.
The point here is that you first need to load your card with crypto.
But what if you load your card with, for example, $5,000 worth of bitcoin … and the card provider has their accounts hacked and your crypto is stolen?
This is a possibility even though bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are quite secure.
Business Insider notes that:
“According to Dan Boylan of The Washington Times, the key to blockchain’s security is that any changes made to the database are immediately sent to all users to create a secure, established record. With copies of the data in all users’ hands, the overall database remains safe even if some users are hacked.
This tamper-proof, decentralized feature has made blockchain increasingly popular beyond its original function supporting bitcoin digital transactions. Many cutting-edge finance firms, for instance, have used blockchain to expedite processes and cut costs without compromising security.”
Firms and users have high security using bitcoin but only when they are in full control of their own wallets and funds.
When you deposit your bitcoin into the card provider’s site — you don’t have control over your funds anymore, they do.
That’s why it’s paramount to research the security levels of each bitcoin debit card provider. Do they use good internal security measures?
Do they have systems in place to prevent hackers from outside getting to their hotwallets or people inside the company from getting at their cold wallets?
Find out before you choose a provider.
The next tip on using your bitcoin debit card is to watch for the fees.
None of the top debit card providers charge for deposits, but some charge for withdrawals, transactions, foreign conversions, and more.
Some card providers like Bitpay have low fees inside the country they operate. They don’t charge fees for purchases in the US for example.
However, Bitpay seems to charge a 3% currency conversion charge when you travel.
This means that if you travel to Australia and use your Bitpay card to buy a $10 taxi ride — you’ll be charged a 3% fee to change your USD into Australian dollars.
There are other factors to consider, such as if you value cashback rewards (which are only minimally offered and only by some debit card providers).
Other debit card providers also let you deposit cryptocurrencies besides bitcoin, like Ethereum or BNB or more.
At the end of the day, it’s best to stick to those three main tips above and then use any other differences you find to make an even more focused decision.