How Do Bitcoin Debit Cards Work?

The first thing to know about Bitcoins is that they aren’t government issued cash. That means they aren’t guaranteed by any government entity in order to be exchanged for goods and services, and that can make them hard to spend.

It also means that Bitcoins are often quite volatile in value and you should only buy what you can afford to lose.

When you want to spend your Bitcoins, there are only a few institutions that currently take Bitcoin as direct payment. So, most of the time, if you want to spend the value in your Bitcoin wallet, you have to somehow trade it for a fiat (government-issued) currency, such as the US dollar.

There are several ways to do this, but one of the most convenient is to use what’s known as a Bitcoin debit card.

How Does a Bitcoin Debit Card Work?

A Bitcoin debit card works very much the same way as the prepaid debit cards available in drug and grocery stores. Except instead of loading it with dollars, euros or other fiat currency, you  load it from your Bitcoin wallet and then the card converts to the fiat currency of your choice – usually euros or dollars.

This allows you to spend from your Bitcoin wallet anywhere that major credit cards are taken – both online and offline.

What are the Requirements?

There are several companies like Cryptopay, Bitpay, Spectrocoin that all offer Bitcoin prepaid cards. You’ll need a Bitcoin wallet with the company that you get your card with. The price of the card varies from around $15.00 to $50.00 depending on the company you go with.

Cards also have monthly maintenance fees, so be sure you take that into account when you get one so that you know what your total expenses are going to be.

What are the Benefits of a Bitcoin Debit Card?

The big benefit of a Bitcoin debit card is that it allows you to load Bitcoin onto the card and then convert your Bitcoin balances into euros or dollars and use your card anyplace that major credit cards are accepted.

You move Bitcoin from your Bitcoin wallet to your Bitcoin debit card through the Bitcoin wallet app that you are using or through the desktop interface for that particular wallet.

Bitcoin credit cards are branded as either Visa or Mastercard and when funded can be used at almost any restaurant, sports venue, online, and at any other retail location that takes credit cards.

How Can you get a Bitcoin Debit Card?

You can easily get a Bitcoin debit card by applying online and submitting the appropriate fees. It pays to shop around to see where you can get the best deal. The fees for Bitcoin debit cards, just like the fees for banks, vary greatly.

There are two types of Bitcoin debit cards to choose from, virtual and plastic. If you are just shopping online or want to use the card as part of a virtual phone wallet, then the virtual cards are the better choice because they are less expensive. If you need to shop in physical locations, then you may want to consider a traditional physical card.

What Should you Look for in a Bitcoin Debit Card?

Bitcoin debit cards all work pretty much in the same exact way. The main difference is in the fees and what wallet they are associated with.

If you have a Bitcoin wallet that you already like using, then you will want to see if that wallet has a card associated with it.

Otherwise, your best bet is to look at the fee structure and see where you get the best deal.

The Bottom Line on Bitcoin Debit Cards.

If you are an active Bitcoin trader or Bitcoin miner then getting a Bitcoin debit card is a good way to tap into the value of your Bitcoin account with a minimal amount of hassle.

Just like any other debit card, you can only spend what you have in the account.

It’s also a good idea to keep in mind the value of the Bitcoin that you’re spending and whether or not you think the Bitcoin will go up in value.

If you think it will go up, then you may want to leave it in the account instead of converting it to fiat currency and putting it on your card where it doesn’t have a chance to grow.