Ease of Use
While the Coinbase Card makes spending 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 (or €4.95), a cryptocurrency exchange fee of 2.49%, and additional transaction fees outside of your home country.
I’d recommend you check out cheaper and more popular alternatives like Crypto.com instead.
Coinbase announced their crypto debit card, dubbed ‘Coinbase Card’, on 11 April 2019. It’s now available to all residents in the United Kingdom, as well as many countries across Europe.
But how does it work? And how does it compare to alternatives? Is it the best bitcoin debit card in the UK?
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.
- Available in UK and Europe (see below for full list).
- Launching in the US in 2021.
- Charges physical card issuance fee (£4.95 or €4.95).
- High cryptocurrency exchange fees (2.49%).
- Transaction fees apply outside of your country.
- No PIN code required to access the Coinbase Card app on your phone.
- Alternatives with wider cryptocurrency support available.
What is Coinbase Card?
You don’t need to keep your balance in GBP or EUR 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:
- Contactless payments.
- Can be added to Google Pay (but it’s not currently supported on Apple Pay).
- Instant card freeze (through the app).
- Track your spending (with summaries and receipts).
- Instantly pushes a notification whenever your card is used.
Coinbase also recently announced that Coinbase Card would be coming to the United States (except Hawaii) in 2021. Head over here to put yourself on the waitlist. It looks similar to the UK and EU versions, with a few key differences:
- You can earn 1% cashback in Bitcoin (BTC) or 4% cashback in Stellar Lumens (XLM).
- No transaction fees if you spend USD Coin (USDC).
- Lower daily spending limits (just $2500).
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 any other cryptocurrencies supported by Coinbase Card (see above for full list).
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 a 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 available in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
Coinbase Card Fees
I’ve picked out the most important Coinbase Card fees below.
|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 / €10,000|
|Monthly Purchase Limit||£20,000 / €20,000|
|Yearly Purchase Limit||£100,000 / €100,000|
|Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit||£500 / €500|
Coinbase Card: Things To Know
Alternatives: Coinbase Card vs Wirex
In the United Kingdom and Europe, Wirex is one 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. This includes purchases within the UK, EU, and 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%||2.5%|
|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 why in my full Wirex review.
But there’s an even better option than this in 2020. The MCO Visa Card by Crypto.com. You can find out more about this option in my full Crypto.com review.
Summary: Best Bitcoin Debit Card?
I was thrilled to hear about the Coinbase Card. We didn’t have many great crypto debit cards at the time, 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 your home country, you’ll be charged 2.49% in cryptocurrency exchange fees. If you make a transaction in a different country, you’ll be charged another transaction fee too.
That really sucks.
As highlighted above, there are better options in 2020. And while Wirex is still a good option, I think Crypto.com are offering much more value with its MCO Visa Card. You can buy and sell cryptocurrency without paying any fees (nothing hidden in the exchange rate either) and get better cashback – starting from 1% for its most basic card.
If you want a crypto debit card, I’d check out Crypto.com before ordering a Coinbase Card. They’re not perfect, but they are cheaper and I’ve never had any problems with the MCO Visa Card.