Whether you’re curious about crypto or you’re already heavily invested, you may be considering applying for a crypto card. So, what do you need to know? From crypto credit cards to debit cards, to prepaid cards and beyond, crypto cards come in all shapes and sizes to suit every type of user.
In this post, we’ll unpack everything you need to know, from what crypto cards are currently available in Australia, to what they have to offer – and what may be coming our way soon.
Let’s start with the basics. What is a crypto card? To answer that, we need to break down the various types of crypto cards currently available.
Depending on the card provider and the card you choose, you may receive a physical card, a virtual card, or both. The physical card will look much like a regular credit card or debit card, offered either in plastic or metal, to be used when paying in person. The virtual card would be held within your digital wallet, to be used online or in person via your device.
When it comes to crypto credit cards, the ‘crypto’ part really only relates to the crypto rewards you earn on your card spending. The card itself is funded by the line of credit provided to you by the card provider. That means, when you use the card day to day, you are funding those transactions with your line of credit in fiat currency, rather than cryptocurrency.
Crypto debit cards and prepaid cards work slightly differently. With these cards, cryptocurrency is drawn from your crypto wallet and converted into fiat currency at an exchange rate determined by the card. You then spend or withdraw the fiat currency as required, using the Visa, Mastercard or EFTPOS network.
As such, crypto cards don’t allow cardholders to spend in cryptocurrency directly. Although that may change in the near future, with both Visa and Mastercard putting direct-spend crypto trials into place this year. Depending on how those trials pan out, crypto cards – and their offering – may expand dramatically here in Australia, and overseas.
Time to weigh up the pros and cons of crypto cards. As crypto credit cards work in a very different way to crypto debit and prepaid cards, we’ll focus on the pros and cons of earning crypto rewards first, to then check out some important factors to keep in mind when choosing crypto credit, debit and prepaid cards.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the range of crypto cards currently available in Australia to find out what they have to offer. Bear in mind, each of these cards works either as a debit card funded by your crypto wallet, or as a prepaid card that you preload using crypto. We don’t yet have credit cards that earn crypto rewards here in Aus.
Perhaps the best known crypto card available in Australia, the Crypto.com Visa Debit Card is a prepaid debit card that you can top up using cryptocurrency or fiat currency, either via bank transfer or using a credit or debit card. After preloading the card, you can use it in much the same way as any other prepaid debit card, covering transactions in store and online, or to access cash at the ATM.
The card supports more than 20 fiat currencies (including AUD, USD, EUR, and GBP), and more than 100 cryptocurrencies (including BTC, ETH, XRP, and CRO). Within your account, you can manage all your fiat and cryptocurrencies using the Crypto.com App.
The rewards and extras offered on this card are tiered according to the number of CRO tokens you stake. The more you stake, the higher the percentage of rewards you will earn on your card spend, paid out in CRO (Crypto.com’s native currency). The highest earn rate is currently set at 8%.
Depending on your tier, you may also benefit from extras such as Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Airbnb, and Expedia rebates. LoungeKey airport lounge passes are also available, as is exclusive research reports and priority customer service.
Additional extras include free ATM withdrawals and free currency exchange transactions. Cardholders may also enjoy the high end composite metal card provided.
Anything else worth noting on this card? Here are the highlights.
Based in Sydney, BTC.com.au is a privately owned start-up that allows users to buy cryptocurrencies, pay bills, and spend and withdraw crypto funds via its ATM/EFTPOS card.
Using BTC.com.au, you can:
The company advises it is looking to support additional currencies in the near future.
More on the card? The BTC.com.au ATM/EFTPOS card is a prepaid card available exclusively to BTC.com.au customers. It allows users to preload any of the cryptocurrencies mentioned above, to then make purchases using the card via EFTPOS terminals, or to withdraw cash at ATMs. It can only be used within Australia.
It’s worth noting that to use the card, you will need a crypto wallet. BTC.com.au does not offer a wallet service. You can, however, view your balance, load your card with funds, and view your transaction history by logging into the BTC.com.au site.
The fees to use the card are minimal. There are no application fees or postage fees to receive the card. Ongoing, there are no monthly maintenance fees or inactivity fees, there are no load fees or ATM withdrawal fees (although the ATM provider may charge its own fees upon withdrawal).
Brought to you by Wirex, the Multicurrency Wirex Card is a multicurrency debit card designed to make crypto more accessible to everyone. Using the card, you can buy, hold, exchange and spend crypto and fiat currencies wherever Visa (soon to be Mastercard) is accepted, with real-time conversion at point-of-sale.
As a rewards earner, the card allows users to earn Cryptoback rewards, paying out up to 2% in WXT every time the card is used in store and online. The card also has zero exchange fees, so you can instantly switch between your crypto and fiat currencies at over-the-counter and interbank rates, with zero fees to pay.
Due to be released in 2021, the CryptoSpend Card is a prepaid card that links to your CryptoSpend wallet, allowing you to load and spend Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and XRP. As a service, CryptoSpend touts its ability to allow users to transfer funds to Aussie bank accounts and pay bills, with transfers made almost immediately.
In terms of card features, CryptoSpend offers users control over their card, making it easy to activate, lock and unlock the card, and change the PIN using the CryptoSpend app. Users can also see all of their transactions in one place in-app, and can have up to AU$10,000 worth of crypto on their card at any time.
Any other crypto cards worth a mention? Here are a few crypto cards that may be available in Australia soon. Some have waitlist options that you can join if you’re interested.
The CoinJar Swipe Card was previously available here in Australia, but is due to be replaced by the company’s new CoinJar Debit Card. The card is to be released some time in 2021, and you can register your interest on the CoinJar site.
The Bitpay Debit Card is currently available in the US only, but has a waiting list you can join as an Australian resident. The card can be preloaded with crypto and used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
As far as we could tell, the Binance Visa Card, the Coinbase Card and the Cryptopay Visa Card all offer crypto card services, but are not currently offered to Australian residents. It may be worth digging deeper into these options if you’re interested, as they may create an Aussie offering in time.
Thinking of applying for a crypto card? Here are some factors to bear in mind as you compare the options.
Each crypto card has its own application process in place. You will usually have to provide personal details when you apply, backed by some form of identification. You may be able to register anonymously in some cases, with the option provide ID to access higher transaction limits.
After giving the provider the required information, you may have to pay an application or issuance fee. From there, you may receive a virtual card, which can be used straight away, and then a physical card in the post.
Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. This special offer has no annual fee first year, a low purchase rate and long 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the huge 0% for 30 months balance transfer from Citi with no balance transfer fees.
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