Last updated on March 23rd, 2023
Cryptocurrency is often hailed as the future of finance and currency. Cryptos, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others, are free from many of the challenges that fiat currencies face, but they also suffer from the danger of value fluctuations. Still, crypto is a growing subset within credit and debit cards. But if you’re interested, which should you choose? Here is everything you need to know in the crypto debit vs. crypto credit card comparison.
Why Choose a Crypto Debit Card?
Crypto debit cards are a relatively new form of debit card that lets you spend digital currencies more quickly and conveniently. These cards look and work just like regular debit cards but with the added benefit of making purchases using digital assets.
There are many reasons why you might opt for a crypto debit card. First and foremost, crypto debit cards provide a way to use digital currencies in the real world, which is a significant step toward mainstream adoption. Providing a debit card that works with popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin simplifies using these currencies, making them more accessible to a broader audience.
Making purchases traditionally using your crypto is if often difficult and a bit of a hassle. With a debit card, however, you can make purchases at most places that accept debit cards, including physical stores and restaurants. The convenience of immediate access to your crypto assets is another benefit of these debit and prepaid cards.
Drawbacks of Crypto Debit Cards
There are, however, a few disadvantages to using crypto debit cards. First, they may not be accepted at all places – just like regular debit cards – which may limit their usefulness. Second, these debit cards may come with transaction and ATM fees, which can increase the cost of living with the card (especially if you use it frequently). Finally, like any financial product, there is always the risk of fraud or hacking, so users need to take precautions to protect their funds.
|Immediate access to your crypto wallet funds||Must spend your crypto|
|Earn rewards and build a bigger crypto portfolio||Debit cards offer less security than credit cards|
|More convenient way to use crypto instead of fiat currency||Additional program fees may apply|
|No credit check required to open||Can't build credit|
Why Choose a Crypto Credit Card?
While crypto debit cards are newer, crypto credit cards aren’t exactly old, either. Cryptocurrency credit cards allow you to earn digital currencies as rewards for your eligible purchases. These cards work just like regular credit cards but with the added benefit of being able to earn and spend the cryptocurrency of your choice.
You might opt for a crypto credit card instead of a traditional credit card for several reasons. The most obvious reason is the chance to earn crypto rewards for purchases in fiat currencies. For many people, investing in cryptocurrencies can be challenging, with steep learning curves and technical barriers. Providing a credit card that rewards users with crypto while they go about their normal shopping lives simplifies this process of earning and investing in these currencies.
Flexibility is another benefit of crypto cards. Most cryptocurrencies are mined or traded, making them difficult to use in the real world. These methods are time-consuming, technically challenging, and often expensive. With a credit card that earns crypto rewards, however, you can earn these funds simply by making everyday purchases, making it a more convenient and accessible option for many people.
Drawbacks of Crypto Credit Cards
Just like debit cards, there are also drawbacks to using crypto credit cards. For instance, they may come with higher fees than traditional credit cards, including foreign transaction fees and annual fees. These costs can offset the rewards earned, making it important to evaluate each card’s costs and benefits carefully. Another drawback is the danger of accidentally deleting your crypto wallet and losing all your assets.
|Earn rewards in cryptocurrency||Cryptocurrencies are volatile and may decrease in value|
|Easy way to start crypto investing as no initial stake is required||Crypto investing is automatic, meaning you have less planning ability|
|Rewards may increase in value vs. a traditional rewards credit card||Requires a hard inquiry on your credit report|
|Build credit||May charge an annual fee|
Crypto Credit Vs. Debit Comparison
The differences between debit and credit are obvious, but what is the difference when it comes to everyday value? Here is a quick comparison between two examples of each type: the Fold Visa prepaid crypto debit card and the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards – the crypto version of Upgrade’s popular credit card:
Fold Visa® Prepaid Card
Upgrade Visa® Card with Bitcoin Rewards
|Each purchase activates a spin on the Spin Wheel Sweepstakes||Earn unlimited 1.5% back in bitcoin rewards after you make payments on your purchases|
|Two tiers, Spin (free) and Spin+ ($10/month); Spin+ features no foreign transaction fees||No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees|
|No ATM fees||Credit lines up to $20,000|
|-||Online pre-approval available|
Summing It Up
Crypto rewards cards make sense if you invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or another crypto asset and want to increase your stake or spend those assets. But these cards only make sense if you fully understand their limitations and are not just in it for the short-term. Here is a quick breakdown of the differences between a crypto debit card and a cryptocurrency credit card:
|Payment method||Crypto assets||Fiat currency|
Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your unique needs. If you are new to credit or don’t want to risk harming your credit score, try looking into prepaid and debit cards like Fold, Nexo, or another debit card. But if you want to earn crypto rewards – and not just spend them – check out a crypto credit card like Upgrade, Gemini, Crypto.com, or other options.
Related Article: How Crypto Credit Cards Work