Cryptocurrency debit cards provide consumers with a flexible and convenient alternative to traditional payment methods.
Crypto cards are becoming more readily available in Australia. But they offer a range of features and benefits, so do your homework to find the best option for you.
Here are a few things to consider.
1. Check if providers offer a physical card, a virtual card, or both. This may affect how easily the card can be used and the fees you are charged. A physical card can be swiped for POS purchases or used at ATMs. A virtual card allows you to enter card details for online purchases.
2. Decide if you prefer a prepaid or non-prepaid card. Prepaid cards can be loaded with crypto from your crypto wallet then converted to the fiat currency of your choice immediately. Non-prepaid cards allow you to swipe at a payment terminal or enter your details to make online payments; the card provider converts your digital coins into fiat currency at the current exchange rate to carry out the transaction.
3. Ask which currencies and countries are supported. Many cards allow you to convert crypto to USD and EUR; however, not all cards convert to AUD. In addition, some cards only allow you to top up your balance with specific digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
4. Consider fees and charges, which could include:
- Ordering, delivering and activating a card.
- Loading the card with crypto coins or tokens—this could be a flat fee or percentage of the transaction cost.
- Other charges such as monthly service fees, annual fees, currency conversion fees, ATM withdrawal fees or international transaction fees.
- Third-party fees charged by merchants (about 1.5% to 3%) at the POS to cover the profits taken by Visa, Mastercard and other providers.
5. Ask what loading methods are available. You may need to own crypto to load your card, or may be able to purchase crypto through an app/wallet platform using bank transfers, BPAY, credit or debit cards.
6. Ask what rate you will get when the provider converts your crypto into fiat currency, then check how this compares with market rates.
7. Look for a debit card linked with a smartphone app and wallet so you can check the balance, top up or convert to different currencies.
8. Ask about daily or monthly limits for transactions such as loading, spending or ATM withdrawals.
9. Check which payment network the card is issued on, for example Visa or Mastercard; this may show you where the card is accepted.
10. Search for card recommendations from respected sources. Consider how long card providers have been in business, check their reputation and customer reviews.
When you’ve explored the options and chosen a crypto card, you’ll need to provide proof of ID then pay any upfront fees. Once your card arrives, you’ll be ready to go!
And remember to ask a trusted tax agent what records you need to keep if you’re using crypto for business and personal transactions.