Once perceived as a passing trend, cryptocurrency is now going mainstream. The world’s 1st Bitcoin ETF was recently launched, and Tesla is already betting big on Bitcoin with an investment of over $1.5 billion in the digital asset. Crypto’s popularity and capacity to change the world of traditional finance are just being realized. Crypto credit cards make it easy to spend crypto and even earn spending rewards in Bitcoin.
Our guide shares the intricacies of crypto credit cards, including a review of the top 10 cards.
Best for Flexibility: Crypto.com Card
Crypto.com’s collection of Visa cards is a great option for users looking to maximize rewards. The entry level Midnight Blue visa card is free and doesn’t require you to stake any CRO. The Midnight Blue card earns users 1% back in CRO on all purchases.
While the Midnight Blue card is great for getting users in the system, the real fun starts when you begin staking CRO. By staking $400 in CRO, you'll unlock the Ruby Steel card which bumps your CRO rewards up to 2% and 100% back on Spotify.
By staking $4,000, you'll unlock the Royal Indigo & Jade Green level. At this tier, you'll earn a 3% CRO reward, 100% back on Spotify and Netflix and airport lounge access. With a $40,000 stake you'll bump your rewards to 5%, as well as unlock 100% back on Amazon Prime and 10% on Expedia. You'll also gain access to Crypto.com Private, earn a bonus reward and an exclusive merchandise welcome package.
For the biggest of ballers, there's the Obsidian Card. With a $400,000 CRO stake, you'll gain all the perks from the previous packages, 10% back on Airbnb and a private jet partnership.
Best for No Fees: Nexo Card
Dubbed the only card that lets you spend the value of your digital assets without having to sell them, the Nexo Card eliminates most of your common credit card fees — no monthly fees, no annual fees and no FX fees. Accepted by over 40 million merchants globally, simply swipe your card and the payment is deducted from the available balance.
Instantly get 2% cash back each time you tap your Nexo card to make a purchase. You can choose whether to receive the rewards in NEXO tokens or BTC or switch between the 2 before making a transaction. All your cash back is automatically deposited in your Nexo account. The Nexo wallet app gives you access to crypto credit lines and a high-yield earn interest account.
Your Nexo wallet is fortified with military-grade 256-bit encryption and 24/7 fraud monitoring mechanisms to protect your funds and transactions.
Best for User Experience: Embily Card
The Embily VISA card can be used anywhere that VISA is accepted, making it a convenient option almost anywhere in the world. The credit card supports major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin and stablecoins. While crypto-back rewards are still a work in progress, the app makes it easy for you to top-up your card using your cryptocurrency.
The Embily Card comes with a great mobile app that lets you manage your finances, track your spending, and fund your card all in one simple place. While the credit card isn't yet available in the U.S, you can still sign up for their Debit Card today.
What is a Crypto Credit Card?
Crypto credit cards serve the same functions as traditional credit cards, except they let you access the spending power of your cryptocurrency holdings. Rather than being attached to your bank account, crypto credit cards link to your digital cryptocurrency wallet. Cryptocurrency cards come in a physical, virtual or prepaid form.
It’s important to note that you don’t directly pay with bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency when buying goods or services. Instead, your cryptos are 1st converted into fiat currency and sent to the merchant. Crypto credit cards are supported by Mastercard and Visa, 2 of the world’s largest financial networks. This makes it possible for you to withdraw your converted fiat currency from Mastercard or Visa ATMs.
Benefits of Crypto Credit Cards
Here are a few good reasons to love crypto credit cards:
Access Different Currencies with a Single Card
Crypto credit cards offer the best of both worlds if you’re looking to access digital assets and fiat currencies. No need to carry multiple cards since digital assets are converted into your base fiat currency each time you need to make a purchase.
Similar to conventional rewards or cashback cards, some cryptocurrency credit cards let you earn rewards for every transaction you complete. You can earn up to 5% cashback on every online or in-store purchase you make.
Some crypto card issuers even promise to rebate your monthly maintenance fee for meeting the monthly minimum card load requirements.
Low to No Fees
You can use your crypto credit card without incurring any monthly fees, annual fees or FX fees. Some crypto-backed cards will even waive these fees if you spend or maintain the minimum required amount within a specific period.
Some crypto credit cards support multiple traditional and cryptocurrencies, which lets you pick a payment method of your choice. You won’t have to go to a currency exchange to load up on any foreign currency.
How do Crypto Credit Cards Work?
Crypto credit cards function the same as your regular credit card, except rather than using fiat currency alone, you can use crypto assets to pay for goods and services to merchants that accept them. The way a crypto credit card works depends on your provider.
At its core, you’ll send your digital assets to a dedicated crypto wallet (usually on the card provider’s platform) and load them on your credit card. Some crypto card solutions may require that you convert your digital assets into fiat currency to load them onto your card. Not all service providers require you to store your crypto assets on dedicated wallets.
Once the cryptos are loaded on your card, you’re now ready to make digital asset payments. Your crypto card will now work just as your traditional payment card would. Unless the service provider needs you to convert your digital assets into fiat currency, the coins on your card are automatically exchanged into cash once you make a purchase.
Similar to normal credit cards, a crypto card may also have different periodical limits, such as daily withdrawal limit, daily purchase limit or monthly top-up limits. Some crypto card solutions avail universal limits for all customers while others use a tiered system where you’ll access higher limits and premium features (such as airport lounge access) at higher levels.
Crypto Credit Rewards
Similar to traditional credit cards, crypto cards also carry rewards depending on how you use them. Some crypto credit cards will offer rebates in fiat currency or your preferred crypto asset for every purchase you make. Other crypto credit card solutions will waive your monthly maintenance fee for meeting the required monthly top-up amount.
Crypto Credit Variables
While crypto credit cards open up many opportunities in the world of finance, such as fast, efficient and traceable transactions, they also have their drawbacks. For starters, illegal activities with digital assets are not a new phenomenon. Bitcoin has been used for money laundering, tax evasion, contraband transactions, extortion and the theft of bitcoins.
Cryptocurrencies are still not an easy technology to use, and Bitcoin is volatile in nature, which makes operating with crypto cards a challenge for many.
Is Using a Crypto Credit Card Worth It?
Many investors that are interested in investing in cryptocurrencies would find it worthwhile to use a cryptocurrency credit card. These cards give you more flexibility and liquidity for your assets, so you can remain properly exposed to cryptocurrencies at any time. Plus, earning cryptocurrency rewards can be a great way to accumulate more coins passively. Since you'll be earning crypto rewards over time, you'll slowly be dollar-cost-averaging your way into the cryptocurrency markets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I use a crypto credit card?
You can use your crypto credit card at any acceptable merchant globally and any compatible ATM machine.
Is spending crypto a taxable event?
Yes, spending cryptocurrency is a taxable event. This could be considered long-term or short-term capital gains, depending on the length of time you’ve owned your crypto for.
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