Bitcoin debit cards have grown in popularity over the past couple of years. There are a lot of different choices for consumers, including the Bitpay Bitcoin debit card. That’s the card that I’m going to be reviewing today.
I will start off by saying that this is one of the best cards on the market. The Bitpay card is extremely user friendly and can be used anywhere major credit cards are accepted. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the reasons why this card is one of the best on the market.
A Look at the Fees
Naturally, money is going to always be a primary concern for new users so this is the perfect place to start our review. Upon ordering the card, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee of $9.99 which you’ll have to pay for using Bitcoin.
ATM fees fall in line with every other debit card, clocking in at $2.00 per transaction and $3.00 when the card is used outside of the United States.
While there are no transaction fees in the U.S., there is a 3% fee for the card when used outside of the U.S. Furthermore, since loading the card requires the processing of Bitcoin, there is a miner fee that’s paid through the BitPay network. This fee covers the cost of converting Bitcoin to dollar. It’s perfectly normal though because miners are the ones who verify transactions. They mine in order to get paid.
Bitpay Requires Identification Verification
This is probably the biggest downside of the Bitpay debit card. You will have to provide them with the following information when registering for this card:
- Social Security Number
- Email Address
- Mailing Address
While that’s not a lot of information, it’s enough to make a few of us a bit uncomfortable.
The Customer Experience
Once you have paid for the card, you can expect to receive it within 7-10 business days. However, most people report that they receive their card within 5 days. That’s including the PIN, invoice, and reference to fees. So far, so good! So what happens next?
Activation is also a breeze just like you would expect. All you have to provide is the card number, three-digit CVV, and your email address. Once you have activated your card, you will gain access to your account page.
Thus far, the user experience matches every other card on the market. However, this is where everything starts to change because we’re dealing with Bitcoin.
Reloading Your Card with Bitcoin
The user experience for Bitcoin debit cards comes down to how easy it is to convert your Bitcoins to normal currency. The account page allows you to easily load Bitcoins onto the card. All that’s required is for you to decide how much you want to load and then process the transaction like you would any other Bitcoin payment. It’s really that easy!
As with most other Bitcoin transactions, it takes approximately 15 minutes for the funds to be verified. A transaction requires one confirmation before the funds are added to the card. On a busy day, it might take a little longer. You’ll need to plan ahead in order to add funds. This part of the user experience aligns with every other type of prepaid debit card on the market.
It’s Basically a Conversion Tool!
The entire process is treated like a normal Bitcoin transaction. You pay Bitcoin to add funds to the card, receiving the rates at whatever the current market price is. Once the money is added to the card, the USD amount will never change. For example, if you trade Bitcoin to get $500 and then the price of Bitcoin drops, you’ll still have $500 on the card.
This is different than a lot of other Bitcoin debit cards that actually adjust a card’s balance based on the market. Keep that in mind as you move forward.
The Bottom Line
Overall, I have found that the Bitcoin debit card feels exactly like every other debit card I have ever used. The overall user experience is pleasant and the card is accepted everywhere major credit cards are accepted. The biggest downside is probably the somewhat hidden inactivity fee, which is $5 per month after 3 successive months of the card not being used.
Thanks for reading!
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