Crypto cards are quickly increasing in popularity because of their ease of use. Nowadays, you can pay for everyday transactions with cryptocurrencies and sometimes even earn fantastic rewards.
"Crypto debit cards connected to crypto accounts, are becoming increasingly popular among crypto enthusiasts. These cards combine the best of both worlds: the utility and convenience of traditional debit cards with the innovative financial features of cryptocurrencies." Paul Shumsky, CMO at Velmie
Below, you will discover a list of the best crypto card programs available at the moment. Whether you’re looking for the best option for beginners or for a card that offers insane perks, the chances are high that you’ll find exactly what you need by the time you get to the end of this article.
A quick cryptocurrency market overview
In the year 2022, the global cryptocurrency payment apps market was valued at $110.84 million. It is projected that by the year 2030, the market will reach a value of nearly $300 million. According to Crypto.com, their Visa Card experienced more than an 80% growth in total spending in the previous year. Though the majority of users were still spending a lot online, the out-of-home consumption rates started to grow rapidly as well. For example, in 2022, crypto cardholders spent 30% more on entertainment and 11% on travel.
Furthermore, various card transactions have been registered in over 200 countries worldwide which means that the cryptocurrency market is finally going global after experiencing a slight drop during the pandemic.
Today, it is safe to say that the crypto card industry will continue to witness optimal growth in the upcoming years. The constant rise will continue happening mainly due to the entry of new players, technological breakthroughs, more research and development activities, and growing competition. Furthermore, the market's growth will be determined by the development of supportive government policies and favorable laws.
Global crypto payments regulation
At the G20 conference in February, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that there should be regulatory standards for the crypto market. Though there is still some disagreement on how the industry actually needs to be regulated, the IMF is continuing to work with different governments to try and develop a unified approach to cryptocurrency regulation.
In May, the European Union introduced the first comprehensive regulation for issuing and trading crypto – the MiCA Regulation. It is expected to come into full effect in July 2024.
The regulation would require issuers and traders to be licensed with a national regulator and to provide the potential investors with a prospectus (which includes not only the information about the asset and the issuer but also the risks associated with investing in the asset).
If everything goes well, the regulation would finally provide clarity on the legal status of any crypto-assets. The ones that would meet certain criteria will be classified as ‘financial instruments’. This means that the crypto-assets would be subject to the existing financial regulations.
Some of the most popular crypto firms, like Coinbase and Binance, have welcomed the MiCA Regulation. They are sure that such an initiative will provide a predictable and stable regulatory environment which would be beneficial for both users and the industry.
But what about the US?
Crypto regulations in the States are full of various complications. There are quite a few federal institutions regulating digital assets, and the exact institution depends on the type of the asset. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, it is difficult to determine the exact category of the asset that the company is working with.
In a nutshell, the companies working with crypto in the US have to be compliant with the BSA and be registered with SEC, FinCEN, and CFTC (depending on the type of assets). Such businesses have to conduct a risk assessment of their exposure to various money laundering activities. Based on the results, they would have to implement an AML program.
As the regulatory framework of crypto in the United States is, at the moment, relatively complex and, in some ways, underdeveloped, the European Union might soon turn into a base where traders are able to operate in a regulated market.
Top 7 best crypto cards
As we have already figured out, the future of crypto seems bright. And, naturally, individuals who already hold cryptocurrency would start looking for ways to spend their valuable assets in the real world, instead of simply using them as a store of value.
Thankfully, there are already plenty of cards for you to choose from. Though the main aim of crypto cards is to allow their holders to spend cryptocurrency without first having to convert it into fiat currency, some cards offer a lot more than that. So, make sure to choose the one that ticks all of your boxes.
Crypto.com Visa Card
This is a debit card from Crypto.com which means that you would have to load it before you start spending (which a lot of people actually prefer).
The main downside is that most of the cards (there are 5 different tiers) require a certain amount of the crypto to be staked on the Crypto.com application. But if you don’t have a problem with that, you’ll be able to take advantage of various rewards.
For example, the card allows you to earn up to 5% in crypto cashback while enjoying free Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even airport lounge access.
The card supports over 250 cryptocurrencies. And the physical card is made out of metal, by the way.
The Gemini MasterCard is available in all of the states and is, perhaps, the best credit card that a crypto enthusiast can start with. Bear in mind that it’s not debit-based which means that you can start spending straight away and earn up to 3% back along the way.
There is no annual fee, and you can earn rewards in any of the over 100 coins available on Gemini.
Coinbase Visa Debit Card
This debit card has no annual fee, and you can easily earn up to 4% crypto rewards in one of the rotating cryptocurrencies. If you already have a Coinbase account, then this might be the best option for you.
The Coinbase card allows you to spend your crypto everywhere where Visa is accepted, but do bear in mind that the card is not available in a few states.
Though this particular card is not as widespread as the others, it has actually been created by one of the oldest crypto card companies. It is available in all states (excluding New York) and allows you to earn up to 8% crypto back.
However, getting your hands on the rewards might not be as simple as you would want it to be. The crypto back is initially paid in X-points which you can then use to trade for different cryptocurrencies (over 37 are supported by the company).
The good news, however, is that there are no annual fees.
Nexo MasterCard is one of the cards that allow you to borrow cash against your crypto. So, you’ll get to spend while holding your cryptocurrency.
Though the card is still in an early access phase, it might be the one that you would want to try out as there are no annual or application fees and no minimum account balance required. Furthermore, you will be getting 2% cashback rewards.
You can get a free virtual card in a matter of minutes and then withdraw cash from ATMs in over 200 countries. The card can be easily topped up straight from your Wallet and it can be connected to Apple Pay.
If you want, you can apply for a plastic card and get it delivered to your door.
By the way, the company also allows you to place your savings in a safe interest account (and get a passive income) and to invite friends and earn extra money on their commissions for a full year.
You can easily add funds from the BitPay Wallet app or a Coinbase account to the card and use it practically anywhere. There are no conversion fees within the US and you can view the balance, reload instantly, and request a new PIN within the convenient BitPay app.
The applications for this card have currently been paused, but if you’re from the United States, you can join the waitlist in order to get the most up-to-date information.
Top 5 crypto card issuers
Card issuing services and APIs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their simplicity and value-added services. These companies handle many of the tasks required to launch and manage a card program, allowing founders to focus on their core business activities. We have compiled a list of the top 5 companies that provide crypto card programs for businesses and FinTechs.
Marqeta provides a comprehensive range of card issuing and payment processing services to businesses. Their platform allows businesses to create and manage payment cards, both physical and virtual, with tailored branding and features. Marqeta's solutions encompass payment processing, real-time transaction authorization, and settlement. Their versatile services cater to various industries and applications, including digital wallets, marketplace payments, and fintech innovations. Marqeta's developer-friendly approach offers APIs and tools for seamless integration, making it a versatile choice for businesses seeking modern payment solutions.
Fiserv is a prominent provider of financial services and technology solutions, encompassing a wide spectrum of offerings. Their comprehensive suite includes payment processing, digital banking, risk management, and card issuing services. Businesses can utilize Fiserv's platform for efficient payment handling, seamless transactions, and personalized customer experiences. With their robust tools, businesses can facilitate online banking, mobile payments, and tailored financial management services. Fiserv's integration of card issuing services further enhances its capacity to deliver innovative and complete financial solutions to its clients.
Solarisbank offers a range of innovative banking and financial services designed to empower businesses in the digital age. Their services span various aspects of banking and finance, including banking as a service, payment processing, and digital asset solutions. They provide tools for seamless payments, account management, card issuing, and financial operations. With a focus on digital innovation, Solarisbank supports businesses in offering modern banking experiences to their customers while streamlining operations and accelerating financial innovations.
Galileo, a fintech platform, provides a comprehensive suite of APIs and tools that empower businesses to create and manage various financial products and services. Their services include payment processing, card issuing, and advanced financial technology solutions. Galileo's platform enables businesses to customize and launch payment cards, both physical and virtual, with branding and features tailored to their needs. They facilitate seamless transaction processing, real-time authorizations, and fund settlement. Galileo's APIs empower businesses to integrate financial functionality into their applications, offering a versatile range of solutions for modern banking experiences and innovative fintech products.
Bankera is a fintech company that offers a range of digital financial services and solutions. Their services include online banking, payment processing, card issuing and digital asset management. Bankera provides customers with the ability to open business and personal accounts, manage transactions, and access a variety of financial products. They also offer cryptocurrency-related services, including crypto wallets and trading platforms. Bankera's focus on digital solutions aims to provide users with convenient, modern, and efficient ways to manage their finances and engage in the evolving financial landscape.
If you don’t want just to store your crypto, but also be able to make purchases in the real world, then you should definitely apply for a crypto card. Such cards have made shopping and taking care of different bills a lot easier, and the best part is that if you manage to choose the right card, you will earn plenty of rewards along the way.
The Gemini and Coinbase cards are usually considered to be the right choice for beginners. But if you’re an experienced crypto-enthusiast, then you might want to have a look at what the Crypto.com card has to offer.