Crypto cards are on the rise, and this month saw the launch of two new contenders: the Gemini Credit Card and the Nexo Card. But how are the different players competing in this emerging space?
Comparing crypto cards: Key trends
Crypto cards primarily come in two types: debit cards that convert cryptocurrency into fiat so that it can be used to make a payment, often with additional crypto rewards, and fiat-based cards that provide crypto as a cashback reward. Or, in the case of the Nexo Card, cardholders can use held crypto assets to open a line of credit and make purchases in fiat while using their crypto holdings as collateral.
Looking at the crypto card schemes on offer, we found the following trends:
- Some cards require you to be holding a certain amount of crypto to apply. For example, to obtain a virtual Nexo Card, users must have a portfolio balance amounting to at least $50.
- With some cards, the crypto rewards you receive for purchases are based on the amount of crypto you stake. With the Crypto.com Visa Card, the number of CRO tokens you have staked determines the CRO rewards that the user will receive. For example, if your held tokens amount to a value of £300,000, you will receive the maximum CRO reward of 8% on transactions, whereas if you have less than £300 staked you will only receive 1% in CRO cashback.
- Rewards are received in a variety of cryptocurrencies, depending on the company. For example, Crypto.com Visa Card users can only receive their rewards in CRO, whereas Gemini Credit Card users can receive their rewards in one of more than 60 cryptocurrencies.
- The majority of crypto cards we track don’t have transaction fees for payments, except for the Binance Visa Card, with charges for transactions and ATM withdrawals up to 0.9%.
- Many crypto cards don’t charge FX transaction fees, meaning they will convert crypto directly into the fiat currency needed to make foreign purchases abroad without any additional charge. Exceptions here were Bitpay, which charges 3% FX fees for payments outside the US, and Nexo, which is only free of FX fees up to €20,000 (depending on the amount of NEXO tokens being held).
Many of the crypto cards have been launched in the last few years,which makes this a nascent area that will be subject to a lot of change (which we can help you track) as challengers continue introduce new offerings.