Find out which bitcoin debit card meets your needs when it comes to convenience, fees and currency support.
Bitcoin debit cards make it easier to spend your bitcoin like any other currency. They usually run on existing card networks like EFTPOS, Visa or Mastercard, and are accepted in any place those cards are.
Compare bitcoin debit cards available in Australia
The direct bitcoin debit card options are relatively limited but you can get the same result from using any other service that lets you easily send bitcoin to a debit card.
|How it works||More information|
|CoinJar||This is a bitcoin wallet and exchange that has its own cryptocurrency debit card.|
The CoinJar Swipe debit card seamlessly exchanges BTC to AUD at the point of purchase so you can use your bitcoin just like fiat currency.
The CoinJar bitcoin debit card is accepted anywhere that takes EFTPOS.
|Bitpay||Bitpay is a bitcoin service that also offers its own bitcoin debit card.You can load it with bitcoin from your wallet address and then spend it where needed.|
The Bitpay card is accepted anywhere that takes Visa cards, while Bitpay also offers AUD.
|TenX||This is a cryptocurrency service that offers its own reloadable prepaid debit card.The card can be loaded with fiat currencies, converted from cryptocurrencies by the TenX platform without any fees.The card only offers USD, EUR and GBP, converted from bitcoin, Dash, and Ethereum and ERC20 tokens.||Learn more|
|Cryptopay.me||Cryptopay.me is a bitcoin wallet and payment service that also offers a prepaid bitcoin debit card.The card lets you convert your BTC to load your card with USD, GBP or EUR as needed.||Learn more|
|Coinbase Shift||The Coinbase Shift card connects directly to your Coinbase account to let you spend bitcoin as USD anywhere Visa cards are accepted.It’s only available to residents of select US states but will likely become more widely available over time.||Learn more|
|Living Room of Satoshi||You can almost instantly exchange bitcoin for AUD at current market rates with no fees and have it sent to your usual bank account with a linked debit card.You can also use it to pay off your credit card directly.|
It can be done quickly and easily, and this is probably the second-easiest and potentially most cost-effective way to spend your bitcoin.
|Selling bitcoin and withdrawing funds directly to debit card-linked bank account||There is a range of exchanges that let you withdraw funds to debit card-linked bank accounts.You won’t be able to spend your bitcoin directly and freely, but by planning ahead and considering withdrawal times it might be a value-for-money way of loading up your account spendable bitcoin money.|
Most exchanges that let you deposit funds with a debit card will also let you withdraw.
How do bitcoin debit cards work?
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency debit cards work just like any other debit card. You can swipe them at card terminals to buy things in-store, use them to withdraw cash at ATMs and enter their numbers when shopping online.
Typically they convert your bitcoin into the local fiat currency on the spot, ideally at fair rates and without any additional fees.
They’re designed to make it easier to directly spend your cryptocurrencies as needed, even if a merchant doesn’t accept bitcoin payments.
What are the common supported currencies?
BTC and USD are the most commonly supported currencies worldwide, but the supported crypto and fiat currencies will vary by card.
For example, CoinJar debit cards only support BTC and AUD, while TenX supports USD and European fiat currencies plus a wide range of cryptocurrencies.
Conversely, Bitpay offers almost any fiat currency in existence but only for bitcoin.
Make sure your chosen cryptocurrency debit card supports both the fiat and cryptocurrencies you want.
Can I get a virtual bitcoin debit card?
Yes. Virtual debit cards can be a more secure option than physical cards. Some cryptocurrency services will only offer physical cards, while some will offer both physical and virtual cards.
What fees and charges should I be aware of?
The fees are much like any other card. Not all providers will charge all of these, so if you want to minimise fees, shop around.
- Card issuing fee: The cost of ordering a card. It might range from $0 to $30, and varies depending on whether it’s a physical or virtual card, and delivery expenses.
- Card annual fee: The annual fee for a card. Many bitcoin debit cards will have no annual fee at all, and those that do might waive it if you spend a certain amount per year.
- Exchange fee: Fees incurred when converting bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies. Many cards won’t have any exchange fees.
- ATM fee: A fee charged when using your crypto debit card at an ATM. This fee might be charged by the owner of the ATM, it might be charged by the card issuer or it might be charged by both. It’s well worth checking these beforehand if you plan on using your bitcoin debit card to withdraw cash at ATMs.
- Third party fees: Additional fees charged at the point of sale, usually by whichever merchant is accepting the card. Depending on your country and the type of purchase, this will often be around 1.5% to 3% to cover the portion of profits taken by Visa, Mastercard or other providers.
Where can I use my bitcoin debit card?
It will depend on the card. To work out how widely you can use it, look at what network it’s connected to.
It will often be EFTPOS, Visa or Mastercard. The card will be usable anywhere these card types are accepted.
Often this will be at any ATM, at any store with a card reader and on any website that lets you pay with a card.
What to consider when choosing a bitcoin debit card
You’ll want to consider all of these factors:
- What are the supported currencies?
- Where can I use the card?
- What are the fees?
- What’s the service itself and how does it work?
You’ll also want to consider any additional features of a card or service. For example, whether it lets you lock in rates to guard against price fluctuations.
Bitcoin debit cards are still very new and under development, so it’s also worth considering whether an alternative might suit your needs better.
Getting the card will often lock you into using a particular service. So if you don’t feel like the attached cryptocurrency wallet is secure, feel like it’s not good value for money or otherwise just don’t like it, then you might just skip the bitcoin debit card entirely.
Cryptocurrency debit cards are convenient, but not essential. Like anything else, you should consider how the pros and cons apply to your situation.
Risks and benefits of a bitcoin debit card
- Can be exceptionally convenient
- Can let you hold a larger proportion of your money as cryptocurrency, for better or worse
- Can be a quick and cost-effective way of converting crypto to fiat
- Rates and fees can vary and the costs might outweigh the benefits
- Options are relatively limited and you might be foregoing some benefits by choosing one