Over the past few years, more and more services have been built around bitcoin as its user base grows. Bitcoin debit cards are one of the most recent improvements that have become reality thanks to an increased demand to spend bitcoin. What started as a niche kind of service has now become widely available and is gaining increasing popularity. Bitcoin debit cards now present a more convenient way to cash out bitcoins.
What makes a good debit card?
When such services were initially released to the market, there wasn’t much competition. Back in 2015, the first companies started sending out debit cards loadable with bitcoin, but the pricing wasn’t all that great. Bitcoin debit card services were by no means posing competition to conventional debit card options.
Provided that debit cards are a way to handle spending, the alternatives standing out would be the ones enabling users to access the full potential of their money. With no transaction or load fees, and from low to no maintenance fees, banks had since long ago overcome such issues. Bitcoin centered debit cards however, are rapidly gaining efficiency approaching par with bank grade fees as more competitors entered the market very recently.
But what is it that makes a bitcoin debit card good? Important factors that need to be taken into account when handling bitcoin would of course would be exchange rates as well as how loading such a card with bitcoin is handled. Certain bitcoin debit card providers are profiting from a the real-time price buffer with live exchange rates.
Provided that loading a debit card with bitcoin requires converting it to fiat first, the way this is handled can also be a strong point depending on one’s needs. Certain services allow users to exchange their coins whenever they want to allow their card to draw funds from a fiat balance, or let BTC automatically be exchanged every time there’s a request for an order. Other, less flexible services require users to trade BTC on the spot each time they want to load funds into their card.
It’s such factors that people interested in bitcoin debit card services have to look into when deciding between alternatives. After researching several available options, here’s an overview of the most popular bitcoin debit card services:
A card from one of the most well known bitcoin companies that recently went international, known for its appealing fee structure and high limits. It’s using BitPay’s own exchange rates and comes out in USD, EUR and GBP.
Perhaps the earliest pioneer in bitcoin debit cards. Coinsbank offers one of the largest set of options, with several debit and prepaid cards being offered in USD, EUR and GBP for all kinds of users. Moreover, its allowing users to convert their coins at the time of purchases or allowing it to draw from fiat balances depending on user preferences.
One of the newest alternatives, but quickly gaining traction; Mistertango allows users to create a full fledged Lithuanian based EUR bank account that comes with a free debit card as well as the ability to be funded directly with bitcoin deposits.
Provided by Coinbase, one of biggest and most popular bitcoin companies. Shift Card is a service available only to residents of certain USA states and one of the most popular options domestically.
Another debit card provider that came out about a year ago; Uquid is mostly known for providing extremely cheap virtual visa cards that can be loaded with bitcoin.
In summary, each of the listed cards is a viable options. Depending on your location and requirements, different cards might be more suitable. All in all, Bitcoin debit cards are an exciting option for those looking to make day-to-day purchases using Bitcoin.