The Bitcoin Debit Card Is A Game Changer For Every Cryptocurrency User
Wish you could use Bitcoin to pay for anything anywhere? The time has come. As Bitcoin gains acceptance in establishment markets around the world, you will soon be able to use Bitcoin just about anywhere you can imagine. A key enabling technology in this transformation is the Bitcoin Debit Card. This complete guide will show you how exactly a Bitcoin debit card works. We will answer common questions about how you can take advantage of Bitcoin debit cards, and give you insight into some specific cards like the Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card.
There is not one Bitcoin debit card, but many, from providers like Wirex, BitPay, Bitwala, SpectroCoin, BitPlastic, Cryptopay and AdvCash. Now spending Bitcoin on everything from food and entertainment to travel and gifts for family or friends has become easier than ever before.
The usage of a Bitcoin debit card helps a user deal with Bitcoin where they would have turned to fiat money in the form of cash or plastic money. In actuality, the Bitcoin debit cards are themselves a form of plastic money, but there are key differences. A Bitcoin debit card is issued by a financial services firm in partnership with VISA or MasterCard. In this, there are obvious parallels to the world of traditional financial services, where the two global finance networks service countless debit and credit cards. When it comes to the funds backing the debit card, however, there is an essential difference from traditional debit cards.
For one, you don’t need a bank account to fund your Bitcoin debit card. Rather, you use a Bitcoin wallet, and that is the source of the card’s funds. In addition, your card will deduct balances from your wallet directly denominated in Bitcoin and not in fiat currency units. A Bitcoin debit card can give you a level of anonymity that bank debit cards lack, but this varies between specific Bitcoin debit cards.
Your 10 Best Options For Bitcoin Debit Cards Now Available
The multitude of Bitcoin debit cards presents numerous opportunities for the average cryptocurrency user to start using Bitcoin in everyday transactions. These Bitcoin debit cards in general give you the opportunity to make purchases online and in offline stores. In addition, you can access cash at ATM machines around the world. Beyond these similarities, however, the cards vary based on their fees, usage and other properties.
A review of the major Bitcoin debit cards shows that their focus is low fees and convenience, though they implement these uniquely for every card. Here are the best Bitcoin debit cards and how they stack up:
- Wirex Bitcoin card, issued by Wirex, officially registered in Gibraltar as Wave Crest Holdings Limited, comes with free activation, no cost for purchases transactions. Cash withdrawals cost $2.50 at domestic ATMs and $3.50 at international ATMs.
- SpectroCoin Bitcoin Debit Card, with funds denominated in U.S. Dollars, Euro or Great Britain Pounds, has a $9 delivery fee. It costs $1 in monthly service fees. Currency exchange costs 3% of the transaction value.
- Bit Plastic Bitcoin debit card charges a Bitcoin conversion fee of 6%-8%. Meanwhile, ATM withdrawals will cost you $1.50.
- Cryptopay Bitcoin Debit Card comes with free global delivery. The card is a VISA card that costs $15 for the physical card. There is a 1% loading fee, and ATM withdrawal fees are $2.50 domestically, $3.50 internationally.
- AdvCash Bitcoin Debit Card comes with no monthly or annual charges, saving you money on maintenance fees. The physical card costs $4.99. The card is issued for 3 years and comes with a $1.99 fee for ATM withdrawals.
- Uquid Bitcoin Debit Card brings a card that lets you spend Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero and more than 40 cryptocurrencies. POS transactions are free, as is worldwide fast delivery.
- WageCan Bitcoin Debit Card is available in more than 210 countries and has access to 30 million ATMs worldwide. The card itself costs $15.40 and has no activation fee.
- Bitwala Bitcoin Debit Card is a VISA Bitcoin debit card that makes transacting around the world easy. The card carries a flat, 0.5% for transactions such as converting Bitcoin to fiat. There are no other transaction fees.
- Raxcard Bitcoin Debit Card comes with both VISA and MasterCard versions. The card is a fully anonymous, no-name required card. Domestic and international ATM withdrawals cost $0.99.
- Coinizy Bitcoin Debit Card is a 100% virtual Bitcoin debit card. Approval of the VISA virtual Bitcoin debit card is instantaneous, and the card does not require disclosure of the client’s identity. Card activation and loading is free, but there is a $1 monthly management fee.
Who Can Get A Bitcoin Debit Card: The Wirex Bitcoin Card
A Bitcoin debit card is often easier to obtain than a traditional bank debit card. The Wirex Bitcoin debit card is no exception. Wirex is a startup that makes it easier to combine cryptocurrencies with traditional currencies. Along with VISA and MasterCard debit cards, the company also offers digital wallet services for Bitcoin storage. The card requires no documents at all to apply and obtain. The card is issued instantly, with no need for a long wait time.
With worldwide delivery, this card is available to almost any user of Bitcoin from around the world. This opens up new vistas of opportunity for Bitcoin users who turn to the cryptocurrency to facilitate trade across borders.
Where limitations on the deliverability and use of a Bitcoin debit card exist, they are likely to be based on your country’s regulations around cryptocurrencies.
If you are in a country where Wirex is not able to issue a Bitcoin debit card, you might still be able to obtain it by traveling and having the card issued in another place. Wirex officially delivers the card to a great number of countries on all continents. The list of Wirex supported countries includes everything from Denmark, United Kingdom, Turkey, Brazil, Panama, South Africa, Nepal, all the way to Canada and Kazakhstan.
Even if your country is currently not supported by Wirex due to a regulatory issue in your country, there is a chance that Wirex will be able to support your country in the future.
There are other region-specific requirements due to government regulations in those places:
- e.g in China, Wirex Bitcoin debit cards may not be used to fund gambling transactions for users with addresses registered in China.
- The same applies for Japan.
- Meanwhile, in France, government regulations stipulate that all cards with addresses registered in France should be verified. Moreover, the cards cannot hold more than EUR 10,000 at any time.
Besides these geographic limitations, the Wirex card does not restrict itself to one type of industry or place special restrictions on who may use the card. As long as you have an interest in using your Bitcoin where you normally use cash or plastic money around the world, this is the card to make it happen.
To take advantage of the card, it helps if you are in a metropolitan area where there is a VISA or MasterCard ATM network. This, however, is not strictly required. Even if you live in a rural area with no access to the VISA or MasterCard networks, the Wirex Bitcoin Card will still come in handy when you venture into the wider world. In fact, for a traveler looking to have an easy source of purchasing power based on their Bitcoin, this card will be a near perfect match.
For business users who want to receive payments from customers, the Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card opens up new avenues for doing business. You can add Bitcoin as one of your accepted payment methods. Customers will continue to pay you in the traditional payment methods you have accepted all along. However, you will now also be able to receive Bitcoin payments for your products or services. When you need to pay your suppliers, as long as they accept payment using VISA cards, you will be able to use your Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card to tap your Bitcoin funds.
Obtaining Your Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card
Opening your Wirex account is fast and is done entirely in the cloud. Once you have a Wirex account, you can download the Wirex app on your mobile phone, add funds to your Bitcoin wallet and order your Wirex Bitcoin debit card.
To receive the card, you will need to enter some minimal personal information so the card can be shipped to you. In the Wirex Bitcoin debit card order process, you will need to enter your full name, as well as date of birth. This information identifies you as the owner of the card. For delivery and online purchases, you will enter your billing address.
In case you would like the card delivered at a different location than the one you would like to use as your billing address, you can enter a different delivery address.
The Wirex Bitcoin debit card costs US $17. Once you pay this card cost, the card will be delivered to you. Standard delivery is free, but if you want trackable delivery, there will be a $10 fee.
Verifying Your Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card
While the requirements to get started are minimal, using the card to its full potential will require that you verify your personal information and residence address. When you verify your information, you get higher spending and transaction limits.
For example, an unverified card can be used to withdraw cash at an ATM a maximum of 2 times in a 24-hour period. The maximum single ATM withdrawal value for such an unverified card is $200. You can make more withdrawals and transactions in successive 24-hour periods.
However, when you verify your Wirex Bitcoin debit card, you unlock the ability to conduct 5 ATM withdrawals in a 24-hour period. Your maximum single ATM withdrawal value goes up to $1000, meaning you can now withdraw a total of $5000 cash at ATMs in a single day.
Verification comes with numerous other benefits, but requires information to comply with governmental regulations that apply to financial services firms. As part of verification, you will be asked to present proof of identity as well as proof of residency. For proof of identity, you can use any of the following:
- Driver’s license
- ID card issued by your state or country
- Other identification documents issued by your country
Likewise, for proof of residence, you can use any of the following documents:
- Bank statement not older than 3 months
- Utility bill for home utilities such as electricity, water etc.
- Certificate of residency
- A tax return not older than 3 months
Wirex has chosen to strike a middle ground between getting a card you can use right away and allowing more power for users with verified Bitcoin debit cards.
Some cards on the market have more information requirements. Still others allow you to be almost completely anonymous. The cards also differ in their benefits for users, with some well suited for gaining rewards, some well-suited for getting payments at home from around the world, and some directed at frequent travelers. You can hunt around to consider your options until you find the card that suits your preferences the best.
How The Wirex Bitcoin Card Works
Bitcoin cards like the Wirex Bitcoin debit card work much like your traditional debit cards. The key difference is that these Bitcoin debit cards do not work with your bank account as the source of funds. In fact, you do not need to set up a bank account at all in order to take advantage of the Wirex Bitcoin debit card and others like it.
The Wirex Bitcoin debit card uses as its source of funds your Wirex Bitcoin wallet. You can load money into your wallet from different sources, such as sending Bitcoin from other wallets, or purchasing Bitcoin and sending it to your Wirex wallet.
You can not only send Bitcoin to your Wirex wallet, but other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Litecoin as well. This is achieved through an integration with ShapeShift. With this integration, when you send altcoins to your wallet, they arrive in ShapeShift prior to being converted to the equivalent Bitcoin amount. Then your wallet receives the Bitcoin.
How Secure Is A Bitcoin Debit Card
The Wirex Bitcoin debit card comes with security measures such as card proxies that keep your card details private even from Wirex employees.
Wirex secures its Bitcoin systems with industry-standard BitGo’s multi-signature technology. For funds in wallet storage, Wirex creates a personal wallet allocated to a single user. This ensures your wallet belongs to you alone.
In addition, each wallet is secured with 3 keys which are stored on different stores. Other security measures in place to protect your Bitcoins include 2 Factor Authentication, an enhanced security mechanism that requires logins to be authenticated in two different forms, using online as well as phone authentication. This makes it much harder for hackers and other potential attackers to access your Wirex account.
While you can choose not to enable 2 Factor Authentication, it is a highly useful and highly recommended way of increasing the security of your Wirex account.
Using The Wirex Bitcoin Debit Card In Online and Offline Stores
With funds loaded in your Wirex wallet, you can now use your Wirex Bitcoin debit card in online and offline stores. You can swipe at offline retailers that accept VISA cards just as you would with a normal VISA bank debit card. Your Bitcoin wallet on Wirex will be debited with the equivalent Bitcoin of the amount that you spend on a purchase.
Wirex transaction fees apply when you are using your Wirex Bitcoin debit card. For example, a foreign currency transaction fee of 3% applies when you withdraw cash in a currency different than your Wirex Bitcoin debit card currency.
The Advantages Of A Bitcoin Debit Card Over Cash Or Bank Cards
Using your Wirex debit card has some important advantages over using alternatives such as cash or bank debit cards.
The first big advantage is that the Wirex Bitcoin debit card and others like it allow you to free yourself almost entirely from transacting with fiat currencies. As long as you have funds in your Bitcoin wallet, you can now buy things in most places where cash and bank card users can.
There is also the issue of added convenience since you do not need to manually sell Bitcoin to get your local currency to be able to transact. The experience of putting your Bitcoin balance to use becomes seamless. The added security put in place by Wirex can also give you greater confidence over using bank cards, though, to be fair, many banks take pride in implementing strong security as well.
Where you will be able to boast some of the biggest advantages over bank card holders is in the area of funds transfer.
When you are using your Wirex Bitcoin debit card, friends, family and business partners can send money to your Bitcoin wallet instantly, with the lowest fees possible. And once you have the funds, you can spend them right away through your Wirex Bitcoin debit card. These advantages will be especially great for freelancers, remote workers and business owners.
For travelers as well, using the Wirex Bitcoin debit card and others like it brings numerous advantages. When you are traveling, the speed and convenience of the Bitcoin ecosystem can make your experience so much better.
The Wirex Bitcoin Card Can Help You Put Your Bitcoin To Use For Anything You Want
With low transaction fees and instant access to Bitcoin wallet balances, the Wirex Bitcoin debit card smoothes your daily use of Bitcoin. The card allows you to shop in online and offline stores, as well as withdraw cash at millions of ATMs around the globe.
Whether you are traveling internationally or just shopping at home, the use of a Bitcoin debit card simplifies the experience. Now, thanks to Wirex and other Bitcoin debit cards, you can transact faster than ordinary bank card users. Instead of spending time juggling transfers back and forth between fiat and Bitcoin, the Bitcoin debit card lets you simply put your Bitcoins to use however you wish.
Images sourced from Pixabay.