Coinbase users in Australia can now get gift cards with crypto
With feeless purchases and crypto bonuses, this might actually be genuinely good value for money.
Are you a Coinbase user in Australia or Europe? Are you looking for something to do with your crypto? Do you feel like cash is too impersonal but can't be bothered to get someone a real gift?
Then you're going to love this!
Coinbase users in the UK, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia can now cash out crypto for a range of gift cards through a new Coinbase partnership with WeGift. The service is allegedly instant and feeless, with bonuses of about 2-8%, for a range of brands.
Depending on the card and the purchase, the bonuses could cover the Coinbase fees for converting fiat to crypto, and leave you with a net gain when you actually use the card compared to just paying with cash as normal in the store.
Available brands include a wide range of fashion retailers with stylish and appealingly generic names like Ted Baker, Ernest Jones, H. Samuel and L.K. Bennet.
Most of the available options are European – you won't find a Tesco in Australia yet – but there are still options for Australian stores like JB Hi-Fi and global brands like Uber and Nike.
The gift cards come in three steps.
- Go to the Coinbase wallet
- Select how much you want to load onto the gift card
- Choose the gift card
It's available right now, making Coinbase the first platform to allow direct withdrawals from crypto into gift cards.
"From converting bitcoin into Uber credits or ether into a Nike shopping spree, customers will have greater flexibility and control over how they use their crypto," the Coinbase announcement reads. Not that the words "shopping spree" usually imply a great deal of control. To get started, just head over to WeGift. If you don't have a Coinbase account yet, you'll naturally need to go via Coinbase.
It's worth noting that the Coinbase fee structure might actually make this genuinely good value for money in some situations. For example, Australians can buy bitcoin on Coinbase with a debit card for a 3.99% fee. Then when you make a feeless conversion to, for example, a Nike gift card, you get a 6% bonus which more than covers the fee.
Voila. You now have a minor net gain assuming that there are no surprise charges from Nike or that bitcoin prices don't go too far in the wrong direction before you buy.
The potential savings might be even greater for European customers who can get even cheaper Coinbase purchases with other payment methods as well as a wider range of stores and bonuses. Australians are limited to debit or credit cards at a 3.99% fee though.
Whether it's worth it depends on how cooperative bitcoin prices are between the start and finish, but the technical and effort barriers are near non-existent, and almost anyone could probably go from start to bitcoin to finish in a couple of minutes flat, assuming they have photo ID close to hand (Coinbase is legally required to verify customer identity) and don't get caught in a queue during sign up.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.