HomeKnowledge BaseWhat Are Crypto Debit Cards?

What Are Crypto Debit Cards?

Crypto debit cards are payment cards that receive funds from crypto wallets. Also, these cards are pretty much similar to regular debit cards in how they operate.

Over the years, the crypto market has seen a significant increase in crypto users. In fact, according to a 2021 triple-A report, the number of crypto users reached the 300 million mark. Additionally, some crypto experts expect this number to hit the one billion mark at the end of 2022.

So with the increase of crypto users globally, there is a high need for crypto debit cards. These cards are a necessity when using your crypto for day-to-day expenses.

The most popular crypto card issuers are the crypto exchange platforms. Payment service providers are second, followed by membership clubs.

Are you considering applying for a crypto debit card? Before you choose one, it’s essential to know how crypto debit cards work.

How Do Crypto Debit Cards Work?

Different crypto debit cards work differently. In addition, the processing companies that support these cards vary. Yet, Visa and MasterCard continue to be the popular processing companies supporting these debit cards.

Using a crypto debit card can seem complex and difficult to understand. However, the working principles of these cards are pretty simple.

When paying with your crypto debit card, the merchant receives the payment in fiat. Despite the varying time of crypto conversion to fiat for crypto debit cards, this is true.

Most of the crypto debit cards fall under the manual conversion of crypto. These cards require you to visit your portal/mobile app account and sell some of your cryptos. Once sold, you receive the fiat, which you then fund to your card directly.

On the other hand, other cards fall under the automated crypto conversion process. These cards convert the crypto to fiat automatically during payments.

Generally, you have to convert your crypto to fiat before spending it. But depending on the card, your transaction process might fall under one of these three ways.

1. Crypto-stablecoin

These cards allow you to convert your crypto to stablecoins manually. The system automatically handles any other process afterward.

You might think you are making payments with stablecoins. But in the real sense, the card converts the stablecoins to fiat during transactions.

An excellent example of a crypto debit card that falls into this category is the Coinbase. Here your crypto gets converted to USD coin (USDC). Usually, these coins have a pegging ratio of 1:1 to the US dollar.

But to acquire USD coins, you must use Bitcoin or any other crypto supported by the company.

2. Crypto-stablecoin-fiat

These crypto debit cards allow you to first sell your crypto for stablecoins manually. Then you can sell these stablecoins for fiat afterward to fund your crypto debit card.

If you’re a Crypto.com cardholder, you can sell your crypto for USDC on Coinbase. Afterward, you can transfer these coins to your Crypto.com account. When in your wallet, you can decide to sell them for fiat eventually.

The benefit of stablecoins is they protect you from the volatility of the crypto market.

3. Crypto-fiat

Most of the crypto debit cards fall under this category. To convert crypto to fiat, first, you have to sell them to the platform exchange directly. The crypto gets then exchanged for fiat at the reigning market price.

After successfully selling your crypto, the fiat gets directly deposited into your account. Eventually, you can manually top up your crypto debit cards with fiat.

Club Swan is a good example of these crypto debit cards. This card issuer makes it possible to hold crypto in your account that funds the debit card.

When you need to fund your crypto, you can initiate a crypto sale process. In addition, you can choose the fiat currency you prefer to top up your crypto debit card with.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Crypto Debit Card?

Besides crypto conversion time, you must consider other important factors if you want a card that suits your lifestyle. These cards vary widely, so the more you need to intensively research before you choose.

These factors include:

1. Fees

Fees charged for your crypto debit card vary from one card issuer to another. These fees include monthly, annual, and transactional fees.

Generally, almost all crypto debit cards lack deposit fees. However, most of them do charge withdrawal fees.

Additionally, some have a Fee waiver perk if you meet a certain monthly or annual expenditure threshold. Other charged fees include card maintenance fees and foreign conversion fees.

In most cases, these extra fees help card issuers reimburse the processing companies, MasterCard and Visa. Unfortunately, these fees make maintenance expensive for crypto debit cards.

2. Security

Over the past few years, there has been an exponential increase in crypto scam cases. In fact, according to a 2021 CNBC report, a business news channel, the total worth of the reported crypto scams was about $14 million.

So far, crypto holders and card issuers have made crypto security something to strive for. Most card issuers have reinforced next-level security measures to prevent crypto scams. Some of these top-notch security measures are biometrics, passcodes, and 2-Factor Authentication.

Many crypto card issuers have taken the big leap to serious security for your crypto. One of these security measures includes remote control of your card over an app or portal.

On this app/ portal, you can freeze your card or change your passcode during its loss. Furthermore, the app or portal allows you to report the loss of your debit card directly.

3. Currencies supported

Almost all crypto debit cards support multiple cryptocurrencies. Also, the number of cryptos supported varies from one debit card to another. Others even support a wide range of altcoins, stablecoins, and fiat currencies.

For instance, the Crypto.com card supports over 90 different cryptocurrencies. This crypto-list includes stablecoins and altcoins. Some of the popular crypto supported include Ripple, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.

Others also support a range of fiat currencies. These currencies range from EUR to USD to GBP.

The wider the variety of currencies supported, the more flexible the card is.

4. Rewards

Crypto debit cards’ rewards might not be a primary factor to consider when choosing a card, but it’s secondary. Rewards make it enjoyable when making purchases with your crypto debit card.

Most crypto debit cards have a reward system, although it might vary. The most common reward system is cashback rewards. Crypto debit cards that offer cashback rewards include Crypto.com, Binance, and Gemini.

Another reward system is through referral programs. Although this reward system might be rare, it’s impressive. An excellent example of a debit card associated with this system is the Club Swan card.


For instance, Club Swan offers you 20% of the joining fee if you successfully refer a new user. Also, if you refer three successful users, your membership gets upgraded for free.

Another not-so-common but incredible reward system is crypto staking. Crypto staking is putting your crypto to work by giving it out to a blockchain network for a specified time frame. A good example of a card issuer that allows staking is crypto.com.

5. Other Perks

Apart from rewards, some cards go out of their way to offer additional perks. These perks can range from fee waivers, discounts, and even free subscriptions.

For instance, Coinbase and Blcockif offer their users a fee waiver perk. But this is only if your crypto expenditure reaches a certain threshold at a certain time limit.

Meanwhile, Crypto.com’s perks include free subscriptions to Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon prime, access to airport lounges, and even a private jet partnership. In addition, it also offers discounts for Airbnb and Expedia.

6. Availability

Some of the crypto debit cards aren’t globally available. Unfortunately, others are only accessible in their home countries. This is despite the huge milestone of the significant crypto adoption worldwide. Additionally, in some countries like Turkey and China, crypto is illegal.

Some crypto debit cards that aren’t available worldwide include Blockcard, Wirex, and Bitpay.

Thanks to processing companies, MasterCard and Visa, you can use some crypto debit cards globally. This includes ATM withdrawals and purchases around the globe.


To find the best crypto that suits your lifestyle, you must know how they work and the factors to consider. The factors discussed above are what you need to know before choosing your crypto debit card.

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Mehul Boricha
Mehul Boricha
Mehul Boricha is the driving force behind Tech Arrival. He is a computer and smartphone geek from Junagadh, Gujarat, India. He is a Software Engineer by Education & a Blogger by Passion. Apart from technology geek, his free time is dedicated to cybersecurity research, server optimization, and contributing to open-source projects.

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