What Are Crypto Cards and How Do They Work?
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Introduction
What is a crypto card?
How does a crypto card work?
What are the differences between a crypto card and a credit or debit card?
What are the benefits of using a crypto card?
Do crypto cards have any risks?
What is Binance Card?
Which countries is Binance Card available in?
How to apply for a Binance Card
Benefits of using Binance Card
Closing thoughts
What Are Crypto Cards and How Do They Work?
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What Are Crypto Cards and How Do They Work?

What Are Crypto Cards and How Do They Work?

Beginner
Published Sep 27, 2021Updated Oct 28, 2021
8m

TL;DR

A typical crypto card lets you earn crypto rewards or instantly convert your crypto to fiat currency to pay for goods and services. Both Mastercard and Visa issue crypto cards, meaning you can use your crypto in millions of locations globally.

A prepaid crypto card is similar to a debit card in that it has to be pre-loaded with crypto to spend. You can get a crypto card from a licensed issuer such as a crypto exchange or bank. However, crypto cards aren't without risk. Your funds stored on the card can still lose their market value, and any transactions you make with your card are likely to be taxable.

Crypto credit cards work more like standard credit cards with crypto rewards. You can pay your credit card bill with fiat cash but receive crypto bonuses on the money you spend. 

Binance offers a Binance Visa Card for KYC and AML verified customers. You can complete the sign-up process in under a few minutes and enjoy zero administration or transaction fees, cashback, and other benefits.


Introduction

While much of crypto's interest is in its investment potential, it still has a use case in transferring value. Satoshi Nakamoto didn't create Bitcoin to make people billionaires. It was, however, designed as a global, digital payments system. One way to achieve this goal is with crypto cards. This payment method is now helping people use crypto and digital assets in their daily lives and even receive crypto rewards as well.


What is a crypto card?

A typical crypto card acts in a similar way to your debit card. You can pay for items or services that accept the card provider. While it might sound like you are paying a vendor directly with digital currencies, this isn't actually what happens. The vendor receives fiat cash into their account and not crypto. Your crypto card takes the cryptocurrency in your linked account, converts this into the local currency you're paying in, and then uses this cash to pay. We'll explain this with an example later on.

Both Visa and MasterCard offer crypto cards with partner companies who apply for a license. These are the two most commonly used payment providers globally, making crypto cards almost universally accepted by retailers. Some crypto cards only offer crypto rewards on the money spent with the card. These cards are usually credit cards that require a credit check to sign up for.


How does a crypto card work?

As we mentioned, a crypto card doesn't actually pay the vendor with crypto. It conveniently converts your crypto into cash which you can spend with the vendor through the card. 

For example, imagine you have $500 (US dollars) of BNB in your Binance Card's Funding Wallet. At a restaurant, you go to pay the $100 bill with your crypto card. Once you have inserted your card and agreed to the payment, Binance sells $100 of BNB and loads the fiat onto the card. The restaurant then gets paid $100, and you're left with $400 of BNB in your Funding Wallet. All of this happens within the few seconds it takes to use your crypto card.

You can also use crypto cards for ATM withdrawals if your service provider supports them. The same method above is used to withdraw your physical cash.


What are the differences between a crypto card and a credit or debit card?

There are a few minor differences between credit and debit cards and crypto cards. For the most part, they function in the same way when it comes to paying. The most significant difference between a crypto card and a credit/debit card is that you load your typical crypto card with cryptocurrencies. A debit card is pre-loaded with fiat currencies, and a credit card's transactions are paid off later with fiat.

A prepaid crypto card works similarly to a traditional debit card. You must have the funds in your account before you can spend them. You cannot load your cards with fiat cash but only with crypto. When you make a payment, your funds are converted immediately in your crypto wallet.

On the other hand, Crypto credit cards extend a line of credit that lets you purchase now and pay later. Gemini and BlockFi both have released crypto credit cards with crypto cashback. Your credit card bill is payable in normal fiat currency, meaning that the crypto credit card is basically a rewards credit card.

To order a card, you will have to be a customer with a company that already provides a crypto card, such as a crypto exchange or crypto-supporting bank that supports crypto. The process will involve you completing Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering procedures before you can order your crypto card, just like with any regular credit or debit card. With a crypto credit card, you will also need to pass a credit check.


What are the benefits of using a crypto card?

The key benefit of a prepaid crypto card is the ability to use your crypto for everyday purchases. This has traditionally been difficult to do unless a vendor directly accepts crypto. Even then, some coins like Bitcoin can take 30 minutes for a transaction to confirm. The price is also volatile, meaning you may actually pay more or less than expected.

Many crypto cards also come with benefits like cashback rewards or discounts with certain subscriptions like Spotify or Netflix. These benefits lure you towards a specific card provider and are similar to those offered with standard debit/credit cards. Make sure to compare what each card offers to find the best benefits for you. Don’t also forget to look out for possible exchange fees you might have to pay in the conversion process.


Do crypto cards have any risks?

Having a crypto card provides all the same risks as holding crypto. If you have loaded up your account with Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH), your account’s fiat value will constantly change. This means you may not have the exact amount of money in your account as you think, depending on exchange rates.
You should also remember that in many tax jurisdictions, the spending of crypto is a taxable event. This doesn't matter if you're spending a few dollars on a coffee or thousands of dollars on a car. If you have made any gains or losses on your crypto before you use it to purchase something with your crypto card, you'll have to pay or write off the appropriate taxable amount.
You can avoid this problem by purchasing stablecoins to use with your crypto card, as the price very rarely changes from its pegged value.


What is Binance Card?

Binance Card is a Visa debit card connected to your Binance account. By loading up your Card's Funding Wallet, you can spend crypto anywhere that Visa is accepted. It acts in the same way as the prepaid crypto debit cards mentioned above.


Which countries is Binance Card available in?

Binance card is available only to users from selected countries, including: 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.


How to apply for a Binance Card

Getting a card is simple if you've already got a Binance account and live in an eligible country. If you aren't yet registered with Binance, you can follow our Binance Beginner's Guide and be set up in minutes. You will need to complete all relevant KYC and AML processes before successfully applying for a Binance Card.
To order your card, make sure you're logged in and go to the Binance Card page. You can also navigate to this page by hovering over [Finance] on the Binance homepage and clicking [Binance Visa Card].


Next, click [Get Started] followed by [Order Card]. You'll now see some KYC information and an agreement to confirm.


After confirming, you will land on the Order Card page. Here you can choose the format of your name to appear on the card. Once you have confirmed your choice, click [Continue].



You will now find your details pre-filled out with extra missing information for you to fill in. Finally, agree to the Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Cardholder Agreement before clicking [Order Your Binance Card].

Once you've ordered your card, you'll also have access to a virtual card to use before your physical one comes. You can add this card to Apple Pay, Google Pay Send, or even use it for online purchases. If you prefer to use the Binance mobile app, you can also order your card there. For more details on how to order a Binance Card, head to our FAQ.


Benefits of using Binance Card

Apart from allowing you to spend your crypto in stores, restaurants, and VISA acceptors worldwide, Binance Card also has some unique benefits and perks.

1. Zero Fees - A Binance Visa Card is free for any Binance user. There are no Binance administrative, processing, or annual fees, but you may occasionally be subject to third-party fees.
2. You can keep holding your crypto - There's no need to exchange your crypto into fiat in preparation for purchasing something. Binance converts it exactly when you need to, which means that your crypto can still earn possible market gains. 
3. Up to 8% cashback - Depending on your BNB monthly average balance, you will get up to 8% cashback on all your purchases. This cashback is given to you in BNB in your Binance account. You can read more details on the cashback program here.
4. Safe funds - Your crypto funds are SAFU and protected by Binance. Binance has a high level of safety and uses robust security standards.


Closing thoughts

If you have some crypto that you no longer want to HODL, a crypto card makes converting to fiat simple. Without using a crypto card, you'd need to go through the conversion process and transfer the fiat manually to your bank account. This can take days to do, depending on your bank and cryptocurrency exchange. A crypto card really is one of the fastest ways to use your crypto for purchasing things and is a welcome development. However, always make sure that you keep accounts of what you spend for tax reasons.