Reward credit cards have traditionally offered cash back, points or miles, but there’s a new game in town – crypto rewards.
More and more credit cards (and debit cards) now offer rewards in the form of cryptocurrency, either directly (e.g., 2% back in bitcoin) or by allowing you to convert regular rewards to crypto.
If you’re the type to buy the dip, you might consider these above-average deals that’ll pay off more and more over time. But if your crypto of choice is devalued, your credit card rewards will take a hit too.
Crypto reward cards come with some new considerations. You typically can’t control exactly when your crypto is bought so that you may buy it at a relatively high price. Some cards have geographic restrictions for legal reasons. And once you earn or convert rewards to cryptocurrency, it’ll be taxed like any other cryptocurrency.
Here is our list of the best credit cards for crypto rewards.
BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card
A solid offer all around, the BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card is competitive with some of the best flat-rate rewards cards, like Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The base reward rate is a bit lower by the numbers, but, if you think bitcoin is on the way up, you might value it much higher.
It’s an excellent way to “automatically” invest a bit every time you purchase. Cash back is converted to bitcoin and paid out monthly into your BlockFi account. Plus, cardholders get some nice perks that up the value of their BlockFi portfolios:
- 2% APY bonus, in bitcoin, on USD-backed stablecoin balances
- 0.25% back in bitcoin on all eligible trades (up to $500 in bitcoin per month)
With no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee and Visa Signature benefits, the BlockFi card doesn’t come across as a niche product – it fits right into the reward credit card landscape.
Take note that as of July 2021, there are some geographic restrictions. Residents of New York, for example, aren’t currently eligible to apply.
SoFi Credit Card
Although you don’t earn crypto rewards directly with the SoFi Credit Card, you can redeem SoFi points for bitcoin or Ethereum if you have eligible accounts. You’ll need a SoFi Invest and SoFi Crypto account to convert points to crypto.
At 2X points per dollar and 1 cent per point, you’re effectively earning 2% back in either cryptocurrency – an excellent deal for a simple card with no annual fee. Not only is it one of the strongest cards for earning crypto, but it’s just as good as the best flat-rate rewards cards (or better, given crypto futures).
This could make the SoFi card a much more attractive offer; it previously only gave the 1-cent-per-point rate for redemptions, like loan payoffs and traditional investments.
Gemini Credit Card™
You’ll earn 3% back on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% everywhere else. You spend fiat currency (e.g., USD) and earn rewards back in crypto, which is automatically deposited into your Gemini account.
There’s no annual fee, and it’s a metal card available in black, silver, or rose gold.
Other than that, it’s a pretty standard Mastercard. You don’t need to be an existing Gemini customer, but Gemini will create an account for you if you apply. Take note that as of July 2021, there’s a waitlist to apply.
Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®
A crypto card from an unlikely source, the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa® earns a respectable amount of bitcoin. But it offers little else for the discerning credit card user, and crypto holders may not be satisfied with their limited control over their bitcoin.
In general, 1.5% back in bitcoin is nothing to sneeze at, but here’s the fine print:
- You’ll only earn bitcoin back on payments to pay off your card (rather than purchases themselves, like most cards).
- Bitcoin rewards are purchased 1 – 2 statement periods after they are earned, based on the reference rate at the time of bitcoin purchase (not when the original card transaction occurs).
- You’re subject to a 90-day holding period after the first bitcoin purchase on your account, and you can’t sell bitcoin rewards during that time.
- Bitcoin rewards can only be “sold” for statement credits to pay off your account balance.
- Bitcoin reward “sales” for statement credits incur a 1.5% fee.
- Bitcoin rewards can’t be transferred to a separate wallet.
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Venmo Visa Signature® Credit Card
Venmo now offers the ability to buy and sell crypto – as of August 2021, you can buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. You can also convert the cash back rewards you earn with the Venmo Visa Signature® Credit Card to those currencies.
But, as of publication, Venmo doesn’t allow you to do anything but buy and sell crypto; you can’t transfer it out of your Venmo account. Buying and selling crypto will incur transaction fees and a currency conversion spread. And Venmo doesn’t provide a private key.
So, you can’t do much with crypto in a Venmo account aside from waiting for it to grow (or shrink) in value.
Unifi Premier Visa Signature Credit Card
Not much is known about the card yet. Still, the CEO of Unifimoney, Ben Soppitt, told Business Insider the annual fee would be less than half of $550 (that’s the annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, as of July 2021). Rather than bonus categories, it’ll offer “an unlimited cash-back percentage that will be around 2%.”
The Unifimoney Premier Card will come as a Visa Signature and will be made of recycled ocean plastics. It may be the first card to offer rewards in gold.
Brex (paid daily)
The information related to Brex (paid daily) has been collected by Credit Card Insider and hasn’t been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.
Brex cards aren’t available for the average consumer – they’re charge cards for corporations and other non-individual liability companies. But if that’s what you need, Brex has a suite of powerful tools and perks to help your business manage its money through the Brex Card (paid daily) and Brex 30 Card.
Brex now allows you to redeem points for bitcoin or Ethereum for a network transaction fee that varies depending on average fees at the time. In this case, you can redeem into your cryptocurrency wallet, giving you more flexibility than some other programs (in fact, you must have your crypto wallet). Be sure to only redeem Bitcoin (BTC) to BTC-network wallets and Ethereum (ETH) to ETH-network wallets. If you don’t send it to the correct type of wallet, your crypto will be lost. Coinbase handles the transaction.
Sounds good, however, the redemption rate is fairly low. According to Brex, as of July 2021, you’ll only receive $7 in BTC or ETH for every 1,000 Brex points (0.7 cents per point). Compare that to a full 1 cent per point for redemptions into a Brex Cash account (or even more via point transfers), and it seems like a poor deal. If you want cryptocurrency, you’d be better off redeeming points into a Brex Cash account and buying it directly, avoiding the network transaction fee in the process.
Here is our list of the best debit cards for crypto rewards.
Got a lot of money wrapped up in Coinbase and not sure what to do with it? If you’re looking to cash out, at least partially, the Coinbase Card gives you a relatively easy way.
The card allows you to spend from any of your Coinbase wallets. Select the wallet you want to pay within the Coinbase app, and pay with the card as standard. No need to load funds onto the card ahead of time, like BitPay.com’s prepaid card. Cryptocurrency is converted to fiat at the point of sale.
You can choose to earn 1% back in bitcoin or 4% back in Stellar Lumens (XLM) on every purchase, an interesting choice for some. There’s no annual fee.
The Coinbase Card isn’t available yet, but you can join the waitlist. If you’re waiting on your trip to the moon, or at least a suborbital flight, you may balk at such an easy way to spend crypto (at least right now). But if you’re ready to spend it, the Coinbase card will make it happen.
Crypto.com Visa Card
If you’re already a crypto.com customer, the Crypto.com Visa Card gives you an easy way to make purchases with your CRO (Crypto.com Coin) account balance. You must stake CRO tokens for at least 180 days before you’ll be eligible to apply for this debit card.
The card comes in various tiers, based on your CRO holdings, with different fees, terms, rewards and benefits. There are no annual fees for any card tiers.
At the high end – dubbed Obsidian, for a CRO stake of $400,000 – you’ll earn 8% back on everything you buy, and get complimentary Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify and LoungeKey airport lounge memberships (plus more). Midnight Blue, for a $0 CRO balance at the low end, you’ll still earn 1% back.
The second tier – Ruby Steel, for a $400 CRO stake — might be the sweet spot for most people. It comes with 2% back and a free Spotify membership, with $400 in free ATM withdrawals per month. The next level requires a $4,000 stake, with $40,000.
Although you’re limited to spending and earning rewards in CRO, you can convert CRO to other cryptocurrencies on the crypto.com platform.
BitPay crypto debit card
The BitPay crypto debit card can be loaded with crypto funds from your BitPay Wallet and used like any other prepaid Mastercard. It can be ordered through the BitPay app.
When you load crypto on the card, that crypto is converted to USD. This is permanent – you can’t transfer money back from your card to your BitPay Wallet. No conversion fees from crypto to USD exist, but network and miner fees may apply.
Unlike the Crypto.com Visa, you won’t need to hold a specific cryptocurrency. You’ll be able to reload the card with BTC, ETH, LTC (Litecoin) and several others.
There’s no credit check required (because it’s a prepaid card), and you’ll never be able to spend more than you load.