How Do Crypto Credit Cards Work?

Whether you’re a crypto newbie or crypto enthusiast, you may have wondered whether you should consider a crypto credit card. Crypto credit cards work just like any other traditional credit card in terms of providing a convenient way to pay for purchases in person or online. The difference between a crypto credit card and a non-crypto credit card lies in the rewards.

These cards can allow a cardholder to acquire crypto without investing their own funds. Instead they can increase their holdings by earning rewards in the form of crypto. 

How Crypto Credit Cards Work

When you swipe your credit card at a retailer (or enter it online) the company accepting the card pays a “swipe fee.” Part of that money makes its way back to the card issuer– the bank or other company that issues the card. Some issuers share some of that revenue with cardholders in the form of rewards. Travel points and cash back are the most common rewards offered. 

Instead of receiving cash back in US dollars, crypto credit cardholders will  receive their rewards as cryptocurrency. Sometimes that happens directly, when the card issuer automatically puts the rewards into crypto for the card holder. In other cases, they give reward points or cash back that can be used to purchase crypto.

You need a crypto wallet to hold your digital currency, and some cards offer a great number of crypto options to choose from, which may be a plus or minus depending on your level of knowledge and the amount of research you’re willing to do. 

If your goal is to pay for purchases with your crypto holdings (rather than earn crypto rewards), then you’ll likely need a cryptocurrency debit card or prepaid debit card. With one of these cards, your crypto holdings can be exchanged for purchases, and the merchant will get paid in fiat currency. In the US, that means they’ll be paid in USD. 

Pros and Cons of Crypto Credit Cards

Any credit card comes with individual pros and cons. Here are some general ones associated directly with this type of card: 

Pros

  • Many types of crypto rewards available

  • Add to cryptocurrency holdings without investing cash

Cons

  • Using crypto as a payment method usually requires debit or prepaid cards

  • Crypto is volatile

  • Cards may limit the amount of crypto that can be earned

  • Somewhat limited choices currently available

The most important thing to understand is that there is no guarantee that crypto will be worth a certain amount in the future. You may forgo other types of rewards that offer a clearer value. On the other hand, you don’t have to invest your own money, and that helps reduce some of the risk. 

What to Look for in a Crypto Card

There are not nearly as many card issuers offering crypto rewards as there are ones that offer travel or cash back rewards. That means you won’t have to research as many options. And if you are looking for a business credit card, you’ll have even fewer options to consider. 

Credit card shoppers looking for a crypto card will likely be most interested in two things:

  • How much crypto they can earn

  • What types of crypto rewards are offered

On the first point, understand whether crypto rewards are capped at certain amounts. It’s not uncommon for rewards cards to offer a certain level of rewards for spending up to a specific amount, and a different amount after. In addition, some may cap the total amount of crypto that can be earned in a year. 

On the second point, you’ll want to understand what types of crypto can be earned. While Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most popular types of crypto rewards, some cards may offer additional options. 

Crypto Credit Card Rewards

Crypto credit card rewards typically fall in the 1-2% cashback range. Unlike fiat currency (like dollars) where you know, for example, that 2% cash back on $2000 equals $40, crypto currency  values can be volatile. 

Your rewards will generally be purchased at the current crypto currency exchange rate, which can fluctuate. And with some cards it can take up to a month for rewards transactions to process. 

In that sense, these rewards are similar to travel reward points where the value of a point can depend on how and when it’s redeemed. 

Typically, rewards can be used to purchase Bitcoin or Ethereum. However, some cards offer a wide variety of cryptocurrency options.

How to Choose the Right Crypto Card for You

Anytime you choose a credit card, you will want to make sure you understand the costs involved. Those include:

  • Annual fee

  • Interest rate (APR)

  • Foreign transaction fees (for international purchases)


With rewards credit cards you want to pay attention to:

  • Types of rewards offered

  • Rewards rate

  • Caps on amounts that can be earned

  • Eligible purchase categories

  • Other perks (lounge access etc.) 

With crypto rewards credit cards in particular you’ll also want to understand: 

  • Types of cryptocurrency available

  • Transaction time

  • Whether staking is required

  • Fees for purchasing crypto

  • Withdrawal fees 

Staking essentially involves locking up cryptocurrency so it can be used by the network to validate additional transactions. This is required for some crypto cards in order to earn more crypto. Returns will be expressed as an APY.  

The best crypto card will be the one that offers the combination of costs, features and rewards that work best for you or your business. 

Business Crypto Credit Cards

Dash.fi Credit Card

dash.fi offers a rewards charge card for managing digital ad spend. All users earn 3% cash back on their first two months of ad spend and 1-1/2% after that—but if you work with one of dash.fi's agency partners, you can earn 3% on all your managed ad spend. While dash.fi doesn't exclusively pay rewards in crypto, users can now take their 3% cash back in crypto currency instead of cash back. dash.fi provides unlimited virtual cards for each ad account, ad network, and campaign with higher daily spending limits than traditional business credit cards. These unique benefits make it a good choice for businesses that want to scale their ad spend without worrying about daily limits.

Brex Credit Card

The Brex credit card is a business credit card that awards points. The range is 1 to 8 points per dollar, depending on the spending category. Customers that make daily payments on their account earn higher rewards. You can redeem points for either Bitcoin or Ethereum at a redemption rate of Bitcoin or Ethereum per 1,000 Brex points. There is a 1,000 point minimum and 1 million point maximum to redeem for crypto. You’ll need a Coinbase crypto wallet to receive rewards. 

Personal Crypto Credit Cards

The following crypt cards are personal credit cards, not business cards: 

SoFi Credit Card

The SoFi credit card lets you earn points on eligible purchases, which you can then choose to redeem directly for crypto to your SoFi active invest Account. You get an unlimited 2% back on eligible purchases. There are no fees for redeeming rewards directly into crypto. Currently, the two types of cryptocurrency options offered are Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

Venmo Credit Card

You can earn 1-3% cashback with the Venmo credit card. You can then use your cashback to buy one of four cryptocurrencies: ​​Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash. Use the Venmo mobile app to change which currency you purchase. If you end up purchasing crypto through Vemo using your cashback rewards, certain transaction fees will be waived.

BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card

BlockFi is a cryptocurrency exchange and crypto wallet. With the Blockfi Rewards Visa you can earn 1.5–3.5% back in crypto rewards. During the first 90 days you earn 3.5%, up to $100 in Bitcoin rewards. After that you can earn 1.5% unlimited cash back. Spend over $50,000 annually to earn 2% back on purchases over $50,000. There is no annual fee. 

Gemini Mastercard

Gemini is also a cryptocurrency exchange, which means rewards can be redeemed for a variety of crypto (60+), in most cases instantly. The Gemini credit card offers 1-3% back in cryptocurrency on eligible purchases: 3% on dining up to the first $6000 in annual spend, then 1%; 2% on groceries and 1% on other purchases. You’ll need to be fully verified with Gemini to apply for this card.


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