Coinbase Card Review (2019)
- Ease of Use
- Payment Options
While the Coinbase Card makes spending your cryptocurrency quick and easy, it isn’t the cheapest way of spending your cryptocurrency with a debit card in the UK. You’ll be charged an issuance fee of £4.95, a cryptocurrency exchange fee of 2.49%, and additional transaction fees outside the UK.
I’d recommend you check out cheaper alternatives like Wirex instead.
Coinbase announced their cryptocurrency debit card, dubbed ‘Coinbase Card’, on 11 April 2019. It’s now available to all residents in the United Kingdom.
But how does it work? And how does it compare to alternatives?
Find out my experience with it in this Coinbase Card review.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Makes it quick and easy to spend cryptocurrency anywhere
- Seamlessly connects to your Coinbase crypto wallets
- Charges physical card issuance fee (£4.95)
- High cryptocurrency exchange fees (2.49%)
- Transaction fees apply outside of the UK
- No PIN code required to access the Coinbase Card app on your phone
- Alternatives with wider cryptocurrency support available
What is Coinbase Card?
Coinbase Card is a Visa debit card which is connected to your Coinbase account. It allows you to spend any cryptocurrency which is stored in your Coinbase account.
You don’t need to keep your balance in GBP for this to work. Coinbase will automatically convert your preferred cryptocurrency on-demand to cover your purchases.
You can currently buy things in-store and online using bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), or bitcoin cash (BCH) that you have stored in your online Coinbase account.
In their own words…”[Coinbase Card] lets customers in the UK spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank”
Here are some other features:
- Instant card freeze (through the app).
- Track your spending (with summaries and receipts).
- Instantly pushes a notification whenever your card is used.
Coinbase Card: Getting Started
Before you begin, make sure that:
- You have passed Level 2 verification in your Coinbase account
- You have at least £5 of cryptocurrency in your bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), or bitcoin cash (BCH) account.
To get started, head over to the Coinbase Card website and download the app.
Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll have to verify your phone number and connect the app to your Coinbase account before you can order your Coinbase Card.
Once you’ve ordered it, it should be with you in 5-7 business days. When it arrives, you just need to load-up the Coinbase Card app and select ‘Enable physical card!’ at the top.
To change the cryptocurrency converted on-demand when you make a purchase with the Coinbase Card, just click the highlighted symbol in the Coinbase Card app and pick your preferred cryptocurrency wallet.
Tap the card in the Coinbase Card app and you’ll be taken to a settings screen.
As you can see below, you can:
- Get your PIN code
- Show card details (requires fingerprint configuration on phone)
- Freeze card
- Report card lost or stolen
- Get help (via phone and email)
I’ve made a few online transactions with my Coinbase Card without any issue.
When you make the purchase, you’ll receive a push notification on your phone and show a summary of the purchase in the Coinbase Card app.
One purchase I made on Amazon didn’t immediately appear, but the others I made did.
Coinbase Card is only available to residents in the United Kingdom at the moment.
Coinbase Card Fees
I’ve picked out the most important fees below.
For more details, check out the Coinbase Card FAQ.
|Card Issuance Fee||£4.95|
|ATM Withdrawal Fee (Domestic)||Free (up to £200/month)|
1% (any amount over £200/month)
|ATM Withdrawal Fee (International)||Free (up to £200/month)|
2% (any amount over £200/month)
|Transaction Fee (Domestic)||Free|
|Transaction Fee (Inside EU)||0.2%|
|Transaction Fee (International)||3%|
|Crypto Liquidation Fee||2.49%|
These are the spending limits I’ve picked out.
|Daily Spending Limit||£10,000|
|Monthly Purchase Limit||£20,000|
|Yearly Purchase Limit||£50,000|
|Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit||£500|
Coinbase Card: Things To Know
Alternatives: Coinbase Card vs Wirex
In the United Kingdom, Wirex is the leading crypto debit card which is available.
Like the Coinbase Card, you can spend any cryptocurrency stored in your Wirex account with a Visa debit card – in the UK, but also internationally.
Here’s a quick comparison of them both.
|Card Issuance Fee||£4.95||Free|
|Account Management Fee||Free||£1/month|
|Crypto Exchange Fees||2.49%||0.5%|
|ATM Withdrawal Fee||Free (up to £200/month)|
1% (any amount over £200/month)
|£1.75 (up to £250/day)|
|Cashback||0%||0.5% (paid in BTC)|
Having tested both, I prefer Wirex.
Learn more in my full Wirex review.
Summary: Best Bitcoin Debit Card?
I was thrilled to hear about the Coinbase Card. We don’t have many great bitcoin debit cards, so I was excited to test it out.
And while it makes spending your cryptocurrency quick and easy, it isn’t the cheapest option. Every single time you make a purchase in the UK, you’ll be charged 2.49% in cryptocurrency exchange fees.
That really sucks.
As highlighted above, Wirex provides wholesale cryptocurrency exchange rates (with no fees). Whenever I’ve bought or traded cryptocurrency with Wirex, I’ve paid no more than 0.5% above the real crypto-to-fiat exchange rate.
If you’re desperate for a crypto debit card, I’d check them out first. They’re not perfect, but they are cheaper (and I’ve personally never had any problems with them).