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Crypto debit cards

Convert cryptocurrencies to cash for the purchase of goods and services.

Crypto debit cards are similar to traditional debit cards in that you can swipe or dip your card for purchases in person and online. But instead of deducting fiat currency like Australian dollars from a bank account, your card deducts the charge from a crypto wallet that automatically converts your purchase into Australian dollars or other fiat currency.

Find out what you need to know about crypto debit cards in this guide.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

How do crypto debit cards work?

Crypto debit cards are linked to a crypto wallet, which is where your cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are stored. To use a crypto debit card, you need to connect to a crypto wallet. You can open one through an exchange or crypto-focused platform if you don't already have one.

Most crypto debit cards are backed by Mastercard and Visa, making it easy to use them anywhere that accepts debit payments. Each time you use your crypto debit card to make purchases, funds are deducted from your crypto wallet balance automatically, just like fiat would be.

Crypto debit cards vs traditional debit cards

Unlike traditional debit cards, crypto debit cards go through an extra process of converting your crypto assets into fiat currency. Some crypto cards will convert your crypto as soon as you fund – or, as some cards call it, "top off" – your crypto wallet. While others convert it when you make a purchase.

When your crypto card converts your cryptocurrency into fiat currency is important, as you may be locked into a potentially weaker or stronger exchange rate.

3 ways your crypto funds convert when you use your crypto debit card

1. Converts as soon as you fund your crypto wallet

Cards like the Crypto.com Visa card convert your cryptocurrency into fiat currency like Australian dollars when you fund it. Purchases are deducted from your balance, requiring no further conversion for transactions.

Automatic conversions are easier to manage, but cryptocurrencies are volatile. If the conversion takes place during a dip in value, you're stuck with that low rate until you spend down your account.

2. Converts at the point of transaction

Certain cards convert your cryptocurrencies to fiat at the time of purchase.

This model can lead to the freshest rates, allowing your crypto assets to grow with the market until you're ready to spend them. But it can also lead to more complicated taxes, with each transaction triggering a taxable event reportable on your tax returns.

3. Manually converts at the time of your choosing

Cards like the Nexo Crypto debit card require you to manually convert your cryptocurrency into fiat before you can make a purchase. If you haven't yet converted your crypto and you attempt to make a purchase from your wallet, your transaction is declined.

This method provides control and flexibility to convert at the strongest exchange rates, though you must stay on top of your wallet to avoid your card being declined when you least expect it.

What to know about tax and crypto in Australia

In Australia, there are specific guidelines on the taxation of cryptocurrency by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Anyone who buys, sells or invests in cryptocurrency needs to be aware of their tax responsibilities. For example, you need to keep records for all your transactions, as disposal of cryptocurrency may incur capital gains tax.

While you can estimate taxes on your crypto profits, it's best to talk with a tax professional about your specific crypto card to learn how your spending habits can affect how much you might owe to the government.

Compare crypto debit cards

Name Product Mobile view crypto Yield rate Deposit fee Supported cryptocurrencies
CoinJar Card
  • Yield rate

    N/A
  • Deposit fee

    1%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    68
N/A
1%
68
Spend crypto using the CoinJar Card with a flat 1% conversion fee, which is returned in CoinJar Reward Points.
CoinSpot Card
  • Yield rate

    N/A
  • Deposit fee

    $0

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    4
N/A
$0
4
Use the CoinSpot Mastercard online or in person to pay using your crypto. This prepaid debit card has zero annual fees and can link to up to 5 wallets per card.
Crypto.com Midnight Blue Visa Card
  • Yield rate

    N/A
  • Deposit fee

    1-2%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    6
N/A
1-2%
6
Convert your crypto to fiat currency by loading it onto the card and enjoy no annual fee. You can also withdraw up to AUD$200 each month and pay no ATM fees (2% fee thereafter)
Crypto.com Frosted Rose Gold Visa Card
  • Yield rate

    Up to 3%
  • Deposit fee

    1-2%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    6
Up to 3%
1-2%
6
Earn 3% back in CRO Rewards on all eligible spending. 100% rebates for Shopify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Complimentary airport lounge access.
Crypto.com Ruby Steel Visa Card
  • Yield rate

    Up to 1%
  • Deposit fee

    1-2%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    6
Up to 1%
1-2%
6
Earn 1% back in CRO Rewards on eligible spending. Monthly CRO Rewards cap of $25 USD equiv. 100% rebates for Shopify in the first 6 months.
Crypto.com Jade Green Visa Card
  • Yield rate

    Up to 2%
  • Deposit fee

    1-2%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    6
Up to 2%
1-2%
6
Earn 2% back in CRO Rewards on eligible spending. Monthly CRO Rewards cap of $50 USD equiv. 100% rebates for Shopify and Netflix in the first 6 months. Complimentary airport lounge access.
Crypto.com Obsidian Visa card
  • Yield rate

    Up to 5%
  • Deposit fee

    1-2%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    6
Up to 5%
1-2%
6
Earn 5% back in CRO Rewards on all eligible spending. 100% rebates for Shopify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Complimentary airport lounge access and private jet partnership.
Wirex card
  • Yield rate

    Up to 2%
  • Deposit fee

    3.49%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    29
Up to 2%
3.49%
29
Spend a range of cryptocurrencies anywhere Visa is accepted with the Wirex Crypto Card and earn rewards.
Wayex Card
  • Yield rate

    Up to 3%
  • Deposit fee

    $0

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    16
Up to 3%
$0
16
This card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Use it to withdraw cash, shop in-store or make payments online.
Uphold Card
Uphold Card
  • Yield rate

    Up to 2%
  • Deposit fee

    US Credit Card 3.99% and US debit card 2.49%

  • Supported cryptocurrencies

    28
Up to 2%
US Credit Card 3.99% and US debit card 2.49%
28
Uphold’s crypto debit card offers rewards on purchases at more than 50 million stores worldwide with no foreign transaction fees. Earn up to 2% back in crypto rewards and 1% cash back on all purchases.
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5 features to look out for

When searching and comparing different crypto debit cards, look out for these features:

  • Account type. While most crypto debit cards are attached to crypto wallets, they aren't your only crypto debit card options. Keep an eye out on checking accounts that may offer a debit card that rewards you in Bitcoin instead of fiat currency.
  • Currency conversion. If you want your crypto to instantly convert into AUD or USD upon funding your account, you may want to go with a card like the Crypto.com Visa card. Otherwise, you can look for alternatives that allow your crypto to be converted at the time of purchase or manually at your preferred rate.
  • Supporting cryptocurrencies. Not all crypto debit cards support every cryptocurrency. Some may only allow deposits of popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, while others only allow you to deposit stablecoins like USDC or USDT.
  • Withdrawal fees. While there are normally no fees associated with depositing cryptocurrency, withdrawing funds is often a different case. If you don't plan on keeping your cryptocurrency in a crypto wallet all of the time, find out if there are any withdrawal fees.
  • Rewards. Cashback is the most common incentive offered by crypto debit cards. Cashback incentives vary between different service providers with some even offering the opportunity to send rewards straight into a crypto savings account. Some platforms also offer loyalty tiers that reward you in their native coin.

How safe are crypto debit cards?

Crypto debit cards are as safe to use as traditional debit cards. You're required to submit "know your customer" (KYC) documentation to meet governing regulations when you apply for a crypto debit card.

The majority also implement strict security measures to prevent unauthorised access. For example, you'll be asked to establish strong passwords and set up 2-factor authentication.

Benefits and drawbacks of crypto debit cards

Some of the key benefits for using a crypto debit card include the following:

  • Utilise cryptocurrency assets. Crypto debit cards are ideal for those looking to spend cryptocurrencies on real-world goods and services. Using a crypto debit card greatly improves the usability of otherwise restricted digital assets.
  • Reduced foreign fees. Because cryptocurrency prices aren't based on any single fiat, the same price is available worldwide. You can use crypto debit cards to convert to a range of different fiat currencies, which can reduce foreign exchange fees compared to traditional debit cards.
  • Potential rewards. Most crypto debit card providers offer rewards like cashback incentives, often paid in cryptocurrencies. Several all-in-one crypto banks pay stronger loyalty rewards the more you use their services.
  • Spending limits. Some crypto debit cards set daily or weekly caps on how much you can spend, regardless of the balance in your account.
  • Price volatility. Cryptocurrencies are volatile, so prices can change quickly. That can also affect the value of your card rewards. For example, an AUD$5,000 reward in BTC could be worth only AUD$3,000 at the time you cash out if the value of BTC drops. You may need to stay on top of cryptocurrency prices to maximise your card's value.
  • Potential tax liability. The capital gains taxation of cryptocurrency in Australia means each crypto-to-fiat conversion could trigger a taxable event reportable to the ATO.

Before you sign up for a crypto debit card

Similar to traditional banking, KYC documentation and verification are required when you open a debit card account. This process is designed to deter money laundering and terrorist-related activities.

Most crypto debit cards require you to first download their app before completing the KYC verification process, which typically requires your full name, address, a photo of your government-issued ID or driver's licence and a photo of yourself.

Once you're verified, you can fund your crypto wallet and you may be required to stake your crypto for a specific time. For example, the Crypto.com Visa debit card requires you to stake CRO – its native coin – in the app for 180 days.

Bottom line

As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, crypto banking platforms are offering debit cards that allow investors a way to manage and spend their cryptocurrencies on everyday goods and services – sometimes with cashback and rewards.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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