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Coinbase Card Review
A common argument for regular money (also known as fiat currency) as opposed to cryptocurrency is that you can’t use cryptocurrency to buy groceries and other everyday items. Well, through the use of a cryptocurrency debit card, you can. This is a review of Coinbase Card, one of the crypto debit cards out there.
Coinbase Card is a card from Coinbase, one of the world's largest crypto platforms. To be more specific, the European version of the card is issued by Paysafe Financial Services Limited (a company being authorized by the UK Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 FRN: 900015 for the issuing of the electronic money and payment instruments.
This card is (obviously) a VISA-card. This means that you can use the card at any point of payment that accepts VISA. This is of course a great advantage, seeing that VISA (and Mastercard) are the most widely accepted cards in the world. The latest figure that we heard of was that VISA-cards were accepted by more than 42 million merchants worldwide.
Different from many other crypto debit cards, Coinbase Card supports Google Pay. At the date of last updating this review (23 January 2021), Apple Pay was however not supported.
The card is available to citizens and permanent residents in the following list of countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Coinbase Card is currently working on expanding the offer to additional markets.
The card supports the same number of cryptos that Coinbase does. On the date of last updating this review (23 January 2021), the list of supported cryptocurrencies included 44 different cryptocurrencies (all of them listed above).
Picture of Card
The following is a picture of the Coinbase Card (the latest we have obtained):
Coinbase Card Cashback
The card from Coinbase also offers something very interesting: a cashback feature. What is a cashback feature? Well, it's actually quite simple, every time you use the card, a percentage of what you pay with the card gets transferred back to you. For the Coinbase Card, you get the cashback in the form of ETH, BTC, DOGE, DAI, GRT, XLM, AMP or RLY, whichever you prefer. If you have chosen to get the cashback in ETH, BTC, DOGE or DAI, the cashback percentage is 1.00%. If you have chosen to get the cash back in GRT, XLM, AMP or RLY, you get 4.00%.
We think the most sensible way to handle the cashback would be to choose one of the cryptos triggering 4.00% cashback, and, if desired, swap that received crypto into one of the others (if one of the others is what you want). That way you wouldn't miss out on 3.00% of the value.
Coinbase Card Fees
Compared to the other crypto cards out there, Coinbase Card is actually quite expensive. Sure, there are no monthly fees and the issuance fee is quite moderate (EUR 4.95), but all other fees are a bit on the high end compared to the industry average. This goes in particular for the most important fee of them all: the commission on spending.
Coinbase Card charges a spending fee in two parts. First, you have the straightforward card commission. This commission is 0.20% for "domestic purchases". This is quite alright. For international purchases however, the spending fee is 3.00%. This is a bit more painful to the card user. But it doesn't stop there. In order to make a purchase in the first place, you need to convert your cryptocurrency to a form of payment that is acceptable to the merchant where you want to make the transaction. When doing that conversion, Coinbase Card charges you a 2.49% "liquidation fee". This means that the cheapest trade you can make - a domestic purchase - will set you back 2.69% (0.20% + 2.49%) of the purchase value. International transactions set you back 5.49% (3.00% + 2.49%). Ouch...
If this is the cryptocurrency debit card for you, congratulations.
But if not, check out one of the other cards in our crypto debit card list.