UPDATE 17 December 2021: This card is currently unavailable. We received the following message from Uphold:
We will soon launch an even better card that works in-wallet, with higher rewards, in more countries (currently US only), with tax-smart spending and dozens of other revolutionary features. As we prepare for this launch we will sunset sign-ups for the first generation card. This means that no new cards will be issued from today.
We will update this review as soon as the new card is launched.
If 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.
However, it is important to point out that for European and UK users, only the following cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies are available (as of 20 September 2021):
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!
DISCLAIMER: You should be aware that the risk of loss in trading or holding cryptoassets can be very high. As with any asset, the value of cryptoassets can go up or down and there can be a substantial risk that you lose all your money buying, selling, holding or investing in cryptoassets. Your cryptoassets are not subject to protection. You should carefully consider whether trading or holding cryptoassets is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Uphold makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about Uphold.