Unreasonably excited woman with a payment card in her hand sitting at a laptop

Best Bitcoin Debit Cards (2019)

Interest is growing in bitcoin (BTC), but the majority of merchants still don’t accept it (or any other cryptocurrency). Fortunately for us, we can use bitcoin debit cards.

Bitcoin debit cards allow you to instantly convert and spend your cryptocurrency. There are exceptions, but they’re usually accepted anywhere that a normal Visa debit card is.

But what’s the best bitcoin debit card in your country?

In this post, I’ll go through your best bitcoin debit card options – wherever you are in the world.

Best Bitcoin Debit Cards

Back in January 2018, Visa terminated WaveCrest’s Visa membership. This impacted lots of popular bitcoin debit cards available at the time and meant they had to (temporarily) cease offering their products.

Even a year later, it seems like the majority of bitcoin debit cards still aren’t available. Some of the most popular options (e.g. TokenCard & TenX) look like they’re getting close, but haven’t closed the deal yet.

Below are the four best options which are currently available.

#1: Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card

Supported CountriesUK & EU
Supported Fiat CurrenciesGBP, EUR, & USD
Supported CryptocurrenciesBitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Waves (WAVES), & Wollo (WLO)
Card IssuanceFree
Account Management Fee£1.00 / €1.20 / $1.50 per month
ContactlessYes
Card TypeVisa Debit (GBP) & Visa Prepaid (EUR & USD)

Wirex is the only crypto debit card which is currently available in the UK and Europe. It’ll soon be available in the US and Asia too.

It’s free to setup GBP, EUR, or USD virtual and physical cards. However, you’ll need to pay a £1.00 / €1.20 / $1.50 account management fee (per month). If you use it enough in-store, you should cover the costs of that with the 0.5% cashback you earn (in satoshis) when you use your card in-store.

And the cherry on top?

It’s one of the easiest and cheapest places to buy bitcoin in the UK with a debit card. While alternatives are charging fees of more than 4% to buy bitcoin with a debit card, Wirex are (usually) charging only 1.5%.

I’m a big fan of what Wirex are doing.

For more details, check out my full Wirex review or check out their official website.

#2: Cryptopay Bitcoin Debit Card

Supported CountriesRussia
Supported Fiat CurrenciesRUB, USD, & EUR
Supported CryptocurrenciesBitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), & Ripple (XRP).
Card Issuance€15.00 / $15.00 / 1,000.00 ₽
Account Management Fee€1.00 / $1.00 / 65.00 ₽
ContactlessYes
Card TypeVisa Prepaid (RUB, EUR, & USD)

Cryptopay bitcoin debit cards are currently only available in Russia (since October 2018). Physical or virtual cards are not currently available in the UK, Europe, or the US.

Here’s what they said when I asked them about this:

“From the technical perspective we are 100% ready for our new European card programme, but we’re yet to receive the final legal approval from one of our issuing partners”

Cryptopay weren’t able to provide an estimate on when they expect to receive this legal approval from their partners. There are some further details in this blog post.

Unlike Wirex, you’ll need to pay a card issuance fee of €15.00, $15.00, or 1,000.00 ₽ when you order a physical card. You’ll also need to pay an account management fee of €1.00, $1.00, or 65.00 ₽ to keep your account open. To make matters even worse, you’ll be charged 1% to top-up (i.e. load) currencies onto your Cryptopay card.

Sounds pretty bad.

But if you want to know more, check out their official website.

#3: BitPay Bitcoin Debit Card

Supported CountriesUS
Supported Fiat CurrenciesUSD
Supported CryptocurrenciesBitcoin (BTC)
Card Issuance$9.95
Account Management Fee$5 per month (if you don't use the card once every 90 days)
ContactlessNo
Card TypeVisa Prepaid (USD)

The BitPay bitcoin debit card is currently only available to US residents, across all 50 states.

Although you’ll need to pay a card issuance fee of $9.95, you won’t be charged an account management fee as long as you use the card at least once every 90 days. If you load dollars onto your BitPay debit card using your BitPay bitcoin wallet, then you won’t pay any additional fees.

When you’re in the United States, it should be accepted anywhere that a Prepaid Visa is usually accepted. You won’t pay anything to use your BitPay debit card while in the United States, but you’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee when using it abroad.

If you’re a United States resident, this seems like a great option from a reputable and established company. You can find out more about this on their official website.

#4: Shift Bitcoin Debit Card

Supported CountriesUS
Supported Fiat CurrenciesUSD
Supported CryptocurrenciesBitcoin (BTC)
Card Issuance$20
Account Management FeeFree
ContactlessNo
Card TypeVisa Debit (USD)

Shift is shutting down its card services on 11 April 2019. See here for more information.

The Shift bitcoin debit card is available to US residents in 46 states.

It’s currently available if you reside in the following states:

“AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV” – Source

You can load up your Shift card (for free, it seems) by connecting it to your Coinbase or Dwolla account. Unlike alternatives, it’ll automatically convert BTC in your Coinbase account to USD when you make a purchase (which is awesome). It should (usually) be accepted anywhere that supports bog-standard Visa cards.

The main downside is that it costs $20 to order a Shift bitcoin debit card. On the plus side, there are no monthly (or annual) account management fees to worry about. Like other bitcoin debit cards, you’ll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee when using it internationally.

Find out more on their official website.

Unavailable Bitcoin Debit Cards

The following bitcoin debit cards are not currently available:

Summary: Best Bitcoin Debit Card?

Wirex mobile app (in the wild!)

Right now, there isn’t much choice.

If you’re from the UK or Europe, then the best bitcoin debit card is Wirex.

With Wirex, you can easily convert and spend your cryptocurrency balance anywhere that Visa is accepted (which is pretty much everywhere). You’ll also get 0.5% cashback (in satoshis) when you use your Wirex card in-store.

You can find out more in my full Wirex review.

If you’re from the United States, then the Shift bitcoin debit card looks ideal.

Why?

It converts BTC in your connected Coinbase account at the time of purchase. This means you don’t need to hold a USD balance (or convert it ahead of time). It also has no monthly or annual fees.

Find out more on their official website.


What’s your favourite bitcoin debit card?

Let us know in the comment section below!

2 Comments

  1. Paul 23rd February 2019
    • Dean 3rd March 2019

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