The Embily Card is a debit card that lets you pay for goods and services anywhere that Visa is accepted. With the Embily Card, you can top up your account balance with crypto and your coins are automatically converted to Euro (EUR) for seamless spending online and in stores.
But how does the Embily Card work? What are the fees? Is it really the best Bitcoin debit card?
In this Embily Review, I’m going to help you understand the ins and outs of the Embily Card. I’ll discuss how the card works and clue you into its features, fees, and limits.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Supported in the UK and in all EEA countries.
- Convenient way to automatically convert crypto into a spendable Euro (EUR) balance.
- No point-of-sale transaction fees for purchases in the UK and EEA.
- Simple 1% fee to top up your card with crypto.
- Available as a plastic card or virtual card (Apple Pay and Google Pay supported).
- Charges monthly account fees (€2 per card) and costs €6 (virtual card) to €15 (plastic card) to open an account.
- Won’t let you increase card spending limits unless you earn more than €120,000 annually.
- All crypto deposits are automatically converted to Euro (EUR) with no option to convert British Pounds (GBP).
- Only supports 6 cryptocurrencies.
- Tedious identity verification and KYC check processes.
What is Embily
Embily is an Estonia-based fintech company that offers a crypto-backed Visa-branded debit card called the Embily Card. It was founded in 2017 by a team of crypto enthusiasts led by CEO Alexander Bychkov.
The Embily Card is available as both a plastic and virtual card (Apple Pay and Google Pay available). You can use it to pay for daily purchases at the more than 40 million merchants worldwide where Visa is accepted.
However, the Embily Card isn’t a classic crypto-backed debit card because it doesn’t technically let you use crypto to pay for goods and services.
Unlike most crypto debit cards, your Embily Card balance is always expressed in Euro (EUR)—not in crypto. But what makes the Embily Card unique is that you can deposit any of the company’s supported cryptocurrencies to your account and your coins will automatically be converted for you into EUR so you can spend them as needed.
This automatic conversion into EUR is somewhat unique to the Embily Card. Many other crypto debit cards let you maintain multiple crypto balances that automatically convert into fiat whenever you make a payment.
There are some advantages to Embily’s system as it gives you full control over when you want to convert your crypto holdings into fiat. This is a huge benefit for some people because it lets you avoid some of the big price fluctuations that we see when the crypto markets are particularly volatile. But if you deposit a lot of crypto to your Embily Card when the exchange rate isn’t very good, you could lose money in the long term.
Key Features of the Embily Card
The Embily Card is a convenient way to pay for goods and services anywhere Visa is accepted. Some of the key features of the Embily Card include:
- Simple 1% fee whenever you top up your card.
- No additional transaction fees on purchases made in the UK or EEA.
- Lets you top up your card with 6 cryptocurrencies or SEPA transfers.
- Supports purchases wherever Visa is accepted.
- Offers a physical card and a virtual card (Apple Pay and Google Pay supported).
- Automatically converts your crypto deposits to Euro (EUR).
Anyone who is a resident or citizen of the UK or an EEA country can get an Embily Card by making an Embily account.
To make an Embily account:
- Go to the Embily website and click the button to sign up.
- Enter your email address and create a password for your account.
- Confirm your email address.
- Provide your personal information (full name, date of birth, gender, etc.).
- Enter and confirm your phone number.
- Complete identity verification (photo ID and physical address information required).
- Provide information about your source of funds and estimated monthly spending.
Once you make an Embily account, you can order an Embily Card. To order an Embily Card:
- Log into your Embily account dashboard.
- Press the button to order a new card.
- Choose whether you want to get a plastic card, virtual card, or both.
- Confirm your shipping address (plastic cards only).
- Agree to the terms of service.
- Pay for your new card using a credit card (Visa & Mastercard), Bitcoin (BTC), or Tether (USDT).
Last but not least, you need to complete KYC (know your customer) verification before you can activate your Embily Card. Note that this KYC process is different from the identity verification that you complete when you make an account.
To complete KYC with Embily:
- Navigate to your Embily dashboard and click the ‘Start Identification’ button.
- Upload photos of your government-issued ID.
- Take a selfie.
- Wait for the system to approve or reject your KYC application.
Note that it normally takes only a few minutes to complete KYC with Embily. In some instances, your KYC application may need to be manually checked by a member of the Embily team. If this happens, it can take a few business days to activate your account.
As soon as you pass KYC, you can activate your Embily Card. You can activate a virtual Embily Card immediately after completing KYC and start spending right away. Physical Embily Cards can take 1 to 2 weeks to arrive via DHL.
The Embily Card is available in the UK and the EEA. Embily also has plans to launch the card in the US in the coming months.
Embily currently supports the following cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Tether (USDT)
- US Dollar Coin (USDC)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Dai (DAI)
Note that you can deposit the ERC-20, OMNI, and TRC-20 versions of Tether (USDT) into your Embily Card account.
The Embily Card is primarily designed so that you can top up your card balance using crypto. But there’s also an option to top up your card with Euro (EUR) using a SEPA transfer by opening an Embily IBAN account.
This feature isn’t automatically enabled on Embily accounts, so you’ll need to contact customer support if you want to open an IBAN account for your card. Once your IBAN account is open you can deposit or withdraw funds from your Embily Card using SEPA transfers.
There’s no monthly maintenance fee for an IBAN account, but you do need to maintain a balance of at least €0.01 at all times. Fees for SEPA transfers to and from your Embily Card are as follows:
- SEPA Deposit: €0.02 + 0.25%
- SEPA Withdrawal: €0.06 + 0.05%
Embily also says that all SEPA transfers are processed the next business day. If you need to quickly add funds to your Embily Card, a crypto deposit is the better option.
Embily Card Fees
Here’s what you can expect.
Getting an Embily Card costs €15 (plastic card) or €6 (virtual card). For plastic cards, Embily offers free DHL delivery.
Embily also charges a €2 monthly maintenance fee per card. So if you have both a virtual and a plastic card, you’ll pay €4 a month in account fees. If you want to close your account, Embily charges €25 per card.
There are two other account-related fees to keep in mind with the Embily Card.
The first fee is a 1% card load fee that’s charged whenever you add crypto to your account, sort of like a crypto conversion fee.
The second fee is a €30 chargeback handling fee that’s charged every time you open a chargeback request. This is a really, really high fee for chargebacks, even when compared to other crypto debit cards.
For purchases made in the UK and EEA, Embily’s fees are as follows:
- Transaction Fee: Free
- ATM Withdrawal Fee: €1.50
If you use your Embily Card outside the UK and EEA, you’ll pay the following fees:
- Transaction Fee: €0.15
- ATM Withdrawal Fee: €1.50 + 0.70%
- Exchange Rate Markup: 1.5%
You can get cheaper fees with other popular Bitcoin debit cards like the CoinJar Card in the UK (1% fee on all transactions in GBP).
Embily Card Limits
Every Embily Card account has spending limits that vary based on your account tier. The account tiers and limits are:
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3|
|Daily Spending Limit||€2,500||€5,000||€7,500|
|Monthly Spending Limit||€5,000||€10,000||€20,000|
|Daily ATM Limit||€500||€1,500||€2,500|
|Monthly ATM Limit||€2,500||€5,000||€10,000|
Embily’s spending and ATM withdrawal limits aren’t bad, but they’re fairly low if you’re a Tier 1 account holder.
All cardholders automatically start out at Tier 1. You can request card limit increases by contacting Embily’s customer service team. To increase your card limit, you need to provide additional information, such as your employment information, source of funds, and proof of your residential address.
To increase your card limits to Tier 2, you need to have a verified monthly income of at least €10,000. So if you earn less than €120,000 per year, you’ll be stuck at the Embily Card’s relatively low spending limits.
Embily Card Alternatives
My favourite Embily Card alternative is the CoinJar Card.
The CoinJar Card is a Visa debit card that lets you spend your crypto on daily purchases. It has a simple 1% fee on all transactions and there are no card issuance or monthly account fees. You can spend any of the 50+ cryptocurrencies that CoinJar supports on the card and your coins are automatically converted for you at the point of sale.
If you want a crypto debit card that comes with cashback rewards, consider the Crypto.com Visa Card.
I like the Crypto.com Visa Card because it lets you earn up to 8% cashback on all your purchases (depending on how much CRO you stake) and there are no explicit transaction fees. Like the Embily Card, you have to manually top up the Crypto.com Visa Card – but you can do so with either fiat or a few different cryptocurrencies, so it’s a bit more versatile.
The Bottom Line: The Best Bitcoin Debit Card?
The Embily Card is a unique addition to the world of Bitcoin debit cards. There’s a lot to love about this card if you’re looking for an easy way to convert your crypto into a spendable cash balance.
Two things about the Embily Card that I liked:
- Seamless Crypto Conversions: Any crypto you deposit to your Embily account is automatically converted for you into Euro (EUR).
- Virtual & Physical Cards Available: Embily gives you the choice between a virtual and a physical card (or both!) when you open an account.
But there are downsides to the Embily Card.
- One of the biggest drawbacks to the Embily Card is the €2 monthly fee and the €6 to €15 card issuance fee.
- I’m also not a fan of Embily’s tedious identity verification process.
- The card’s lack of support for British Pounds (GBP) is also a bummer given that it’s available in the UK.
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for checking out this Embily review.
What do you think about the Embily Card? How do you think it stacks up to other options on the market?
Let me know in the comments below!