Coinbase’s Visa cryptocurrency debit card is coming to the U.S.
The card works like any other Visa debit card and is accepted wherever Visa is accepted. The card allows users to send crypto directly from their Coinbase account. Cryptocurrencies are automatically converted to U.S. dollars before completing purchases and withdrawing from ATMs.
Coinbase is kicking off the launch with a rewards program, which gives back 4 percent when you spend Stellar Lumens (XLM), or 1 percent back when you spend bitcoins (BTC). This promotion won’t initially be valid for other regions.
There’s no issuance fee for the card, and spending also doesn’t incur fees, but only if you spend with Coinbase’s USDC stablecoin (stablecoin is a special type of cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to a real-life asset, in this case, the U.S. dollar). Spending with non-USDC cryptos has a 2.49% transaction fee on all purchases. Note that in Europe, the USDC “discount” isn’t available.
There are other minor differences between the U.S. card and the card that’s offered in Europe. For example, customers in the U.S. can sign up for and manage their card directly in the Coinbase app (elsewhere, Coinbase has a separate app for managing the card), and they can spend any cryptocurrency they hold on Coinbase (in other regions you are limited to a smaller list of coins).
Coinbase users in the U.S. who want the card can join the waitlist here or through the Coinbase app. Note that the card will be offered in all U.S. jurisdictions except Hawaii. The company says first users will be approved “this winter.” Once approved, users will be able to spend with their virtual card right away, and the physical card should arrive in the mail in two weeks’ time.
As for wider availability, Coinbase says it should happen in the first half of 2021.