BitPay Debit Card Review
Are you looking for a Bitcoin debit card that is issued by a reliable provider of financial services? How about one that is available to residents of the United States? The Bitpay Bitcoin debit card might be the answer. This card is provided by one of the more well-known companies in the cryptocurrency sector. It is backed by Visa and can be used to make online and offline purchases. You can also use the card to withdraw money from ATMs that bear the Visa logo.
About the Bitpay Debit Card
Bitpay is one of the oldest Bitcoin payment service providers. It was founded in 2011 and has seen the best and worst of the cryptocurrency market. The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia. It offers merchants a payment processing solution for customers that want to spend Bitcoin. As of 2014, Bitpay was processing more than $1 million in daily cryptocurrency transactions. Bitpay has established important partnerships with PayPal, Global Payments, and other financial service companies.
It seems like a very natural thing for Bitpay to provide its own Bitcoin debit card. The card was designed to make it easier for individuals to spend their Bitcoin, something that is very beneficial for Bitpay. The card is available to anyone that has a Bitpay account, and that includes residents in all 50 states of the US. There are other benefits to creating an account with Bitpay. Users can accept Bitcoin payments, create a cryptocurrency wallet, and get the debit card all with one account.
Another thing that will make this card appealing to large number of individuals is its simplicity. It is basically a conversion tool. It lets you load the card from a Bitcoin wallet, but the Bitcoin is immediately converted into cash at the current rates. You’re not really spending Bitcoin each time that you make a purchase. The Bitcoin you loaded to the card has already been converted to cash.
The card also functions just like any other prepaid debit card on the market. You can load it with up to $10,000 cash value, and there are fees for making ATM withdrawals. Other fees are somewhat minimal when compared to other providers, and this card may actually be a cheaper option than the pre-paid debit card that you already carry.
Getting a Bitpay Debit Card
There are a few steps to obtaining one of these cryptocurrency debit cards from Bitpay. The first is to visit the Bitpay website and create a user account. This will be required before you can order a card. Creating the account requires you to submit a valid email address that can be used for verification, and you’ll also be asked to provide your country of origin. No name or other information is required at that stage of the process.
Once your account with Bitpay is created you will return to the website and click on the CARD tab at the top of the screen if you are not automatically redirected to an order page. At this stage you are going to be required to provide a social security number, a physical address, and a name. You will pay the fee for the card. This is currently $9.99. Once you have completed this stage, the card will be shipped to the address you have provided.
Bitpay states that it can take up to seven days to receive your card in the mail. Most residents of the US report getting their card in about five days. Once the card arrives you will return to the Bitpay website so that you can activate the card for use. You will be required to enter the card number and the CVC code on the back. The activation process is instant, and you can then proceed with setting up a cardholder account that will let you monitor the card’s use and your balances. Finally, you need to load the card by using Bitcoin or cash so that you can use it to make purchases.
Loading a Bitpay Debit Card
The cardholder account that you will create with Bitpay lets you access a page where you may make loads to your Bitpay Bitcoin debit card. You will find a button there which you will click to make a load, and the first question that you will be asked is to put in the amount that you wish to put on the card. You can load as much as $10,000 in a single day.
Here’s where things get a little bit tricky for the newcomer. When you enter the USD value that you want have on the card, Bitpay determines how much Bitcoin you will need to provide from your cryptocurrency wallet. An invoice will be created and presented to you for payment. You will send the appropriate amount of Bitcoin to the address on the invoice and the cash will be loaded on your card. The whole process can take some time, but you’ll be notified when the funds are available on your card.
Once the invoice is given to you from Bitpay, you have 15 minutes to view the invoice and complete the transaction. After that time has expired the transaction is canceled and you will have to go through the process again to make a load to your card.
Bitpay Fees and Limits
The Bitpay fee schedule is very simple and straightforward. It all begins with the $9.99 you will spend to obtain the card. This is reasonable when you consider that some Bitcoin debit card providers are charging as much as $50 to issue a card.
ATM withdrawals made with the card are charged a fee of $2.00. This is in addition to the fees that the ATM owner will charge. ACH debits made with the card incur a $5.00 fee.
You can actually make cash loads to the card with services like Green Dot and Western Union, and there are separate fees for this. In most cases the fee will be $4.95 or thereabouts.
Something that we really like is that there are no monthly fees associated with the card. There is, however, a dormancy fee that kicks in if your card has no activity for a period of 90 days. This fee is $5.00 and it is charged each month that your account shows no activity. You will want to take care that you use make at least one load every 90 days.
Bitpay Service and Support
Users requiring assistance with their account are asked to submit a contact form via the Bitpay website. The company does a reasonable job of responding to requests within a reasonable period of time.
Bitpay maintains a strong social media presence with accounts at the following addresses:
Our View of Bitpay
We like the Bitpay Bitcoin debit card for a number of reasons. First of all, Bitpay has a pretty good reputation in the industry. They have kept their reputation intact despite the craziness of the cryptocurrency markets. We also like that this card is simple to use and has a very low fee structure. Finally, the availability to citizens of the United States is a big plus.
With that being said, it’s unfortunate that the card is only available in Asia at the moment. We’re certain this is going to change, of course, but how long that might take is anyone’s guess.
Available to US citizens
Simple to obtain and use
No pin code or chip
Only Bitcoin supported