UPDATE 14 January 2021: Please be advised that this card is currently only available to people from the US. We will update this review as soon as that changes.
If you're not from the US, but you want to find a crypto debit card that you can use today, please visit our Crypto Debit Card List to see what options there are.
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 Uphold, one of the crypto debit cards out there.
Uphold claims to be the world’s first transparent financial reserve. Uphold keeps a public record of its solvency – assets vs member holdings. This means that each user of the Uphold card can see that funds are there and accessible. This is an interesting approach that we believe will be more and more common.
On its website, Uphold informs of two companies standing behinds its products, Uphold Europe Limited (UK company) and Uphold HQ Inc. (US company), so one would assume that Europe and the States would be the company's main markets. But that's only partly right. Apparently, the debit card is not only open to US-investors, it is only open to US-investors. So if you're from anywhere else, you'll have to refer to our crypto debit card list to find another alternative for you
According to a comparison table presented on Uphold's website (where the info is accurate as of 23 September 2020), Uphold is a much better choice of crypto debit card than Coinbase Card, Revolut or Robinhood. This is the table:
The most interesting part of the above comparison might very well be that Uphold let's you hold 4 different precious metals (gold, silver, platinum and palladium), or rather contracts derived from those metals, and also use them for payment through their debit card. A very interesting feature.
Uphold is a MasterCard. MasterCard and VISA have roughly the same acceptance rates, so Uphold can be used essentially everywhere. Or to be more precise, at "nearly 50 million merchants and ATMs across the globe". Apparently you don't have to pay any foreign transaction fees at all.
Uphold supports a number of different cryptos. Not only the absolutely biggest ones, but also a few others. The total number of supported cryptos is 38 according to information on its website (although we can only find 23 on the website). The card will most likely support even more cryptos in the future.
With respect to fiat currencies, Uphold supports more fiat currencies than the vast majority of other cryptocurrency debit cards. The following fiat currencies are supported: AED, ARS, AUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, CNY, DKK, EUR, HKD, ILS, INR, JPY, KES, MXN, NOK, NZD, PHP, SEK, SGD and USD.
Picture of Card
The following is a picture of the card as presented on Uphold's website (front and back):
Uphold Card Cashback
The card from Uphold 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. If you use the card to pay something with USD, you get 1% back. So essentially a 1% discount on all your purchases! If you use the card to pay something with crypto, you get 2% back.
Different from many other cards, you don't have to hold a certain number of tokens of a certain type (like Paycent Tokens for the Paycent Card, or BNB tokens for the Binance Card) in order to be eligible for the cashback. As long as you have an Uphold card and use it, you get the cashbacks. Very attractive deal indeed!
The fees charged when using this card are not particularly high. There are of course fees involved in using it, but these are not deterrent to using it in our opinion.
According to the info we have received, you can’t use this card in an ATM. So if that’s important to you, Uphold won’t be the card for you.
There is no monthly fee. This is quite common. Something less common, however, is that there is no issuance fee either. Very competitive.
In any event, the most important fee of them all is the commission on spending. This card sets you back 1.80%. This means that if you buy a nice sweater for USD 100, this will reduce your crypto assets with USD 101.80.
The card also charges deposit fees, meaning that if you want to transfer funds to your card, you need to pay a percentage of the amount you want to transfer in fees. Such amount is 3.99%, which is actually quite a lot in our opinion.
The maximum deposit is USD 2,500 per day (if you deposit via bank transfer, deposits via debit card are capped at USD 500 per day). If you need a card with higher maximum deposit limits than that, don’t worry. Just have a look in our crypto debit card list to find another card for you.
If this is the crypto debit card for you, congrats!
If not, check out one of the other cards in our crypto debit card list. Good luck!