Credit Cards Offering Crypto Rewards
As digital currency becomes normalized in commerce-based transactions, financial institutions are doing everything in their power to keep up. Enter the newest product on the market: crypto rewards credit cards.
Crypto rewards credit cards work just like “traditional” rewards credit cards. Each cardmember is issued a line of credit (based on their creditworthiness), and then the funds can be used to make purchases in USD. Card users are required to pay back the amount borrowed and may be charged interest on purchases if the total amount owed isn’t paid in full before the billing cycle ends.
The only difference between the two is that instead of offering miles or cash-back rewards, these brand-new incentive-style cards give users the option to earn Bitcoin and other crypto-based rewards. The best part? You don’t need to be a crypto enthusiast to reap the benefits.
Related: A Beginner's Guide to Cryptocurrency
- Overview of the best credit cards offering crypto rewards
- Best credit cards offering crypto rewards
- Best credit cards offering crypto rewards summary
- Why you should (or shouldn’t) use crypto rewards cards
- The bottom line
Overview of the best credit cards offering crypto rewards
|Card Issuer||Best for|
|BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card||Crypto enthusiasts|
|Gemini Credit Card||Everyday spenders who want real-time rewards|
|Brex Card||Small business owners, startups|
|SoFi Credit Card||Budgeters who are trying to save and pay down debt|
|Unifi Premier Credit Card||Investors|
|PayPal Cashback Mastercard||Everyday spenders who want cashback rewards|
Best credit cards offering crypto rewards
BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card
The BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card is marketed as the “world’s first Bitcoin rewards credit card.” It’s also made of metal and features a sleek and futuristic design. Pretty snazzy, huh? Before I get into the details, there’s one thing you should know: there’s a waitlist.
According to the company’s website, the BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card isn’t available just yet, but there is a waitlist for clients with a funded BlockFi account in the BlockFi app. In addition to being an existing or new BlockFi customer, you’ll also need to have good or excellent credit (FICO scores of 690 or higher) to get approved for the card.
BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card members will receive 1.5% cash back for every transaction made. This amount is then auto-converted to Bitcoin and placed into the cardholder’s BlockFi account. Cardholders will also receive a sign-up bonus of $250 in Bitcoin after spending $3,000 or more within the first three months.
Gemini Credit Card
Similar to the BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card, the Gemini Credit Card is a sleek, metal card that offers members the chance to earn crypto-based rewards automatically. It comes in three colors (black, silver, and rose gold) and requires potential members to join a waitlist. But, you’d better hurry! As of May 17, 2021, Gemini’s credit card waiting list reached 250,000 signups.
The Gemini Credit Card does not require cardholders to pay an annual fee and anyone, including non-Gemini customers, can apply for the card. Those who are approved, however, will receive a Gemini cryptocurrency trading account. According to the company’s website, the Gemini Credit Card is issued by WebBank and will run on the Mastercard payment network.
The card offers rewards based on the transaction category — 3% back on dining, 2% back on groceries, and 1% back on all other purchases. Unlike most rewards cards, the Gemini card provides users with real-time rewards. This means rewards that are earned in real-time are automatically deposited into their Gemini account at the time of transaction. Cardholders can choose to earn in Bitcoin or one of Gemini’s other cryptocurrencies, including Litecoin and Ethereum.
Gemini cardholders will also receive several benefits from Mastercard.
Related: Best Rewards Cards
The Brex Card joined the crypto bandwagon on May 12, 2021, by offering Brex cardholders the option to redeem points for Bitcoin or Ethereum via Coinbase, an online cryptocurrency exchange platform. The company’s website describes the card as the “first-ever crypto rewards program for businesses.”
Points are accrued through purchases made with the card. For most cardholders, the baseline rewards rate is one point per $1 spent. Those who choose to use Brex as their only company card, however, earn higher rates through an Exclusive Rewards Program:
- 8 points per $1 spent on rideshares and taxis
- 5 points per $1 spent on travel
- 4 points per $1 spent on restaurants
- 3 points per $1 spent on recurring software
- 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
Brex card members can also redeem points for miles, gift cards, cash, or travel. The Brex Card does not have an annual fee. New members will receive 30,000 points after spending $3,500 or 50,000 points after spending $9,000 in the first 30 days after activation.
SoFi Credit Card
BlockFi and Gemini may be getting fame and attention for their innovative crypto-rewards system, but SoFi was the first company to offer a credit card product that allows cardholders to redeem points for cryptocurrency. The SoFi Credit Card began giving customers the option to redeem reward points directly into cryptocurrency via SoFi Invest in April of 2021.
Each SoFi cardholder earns 2 points per $1 spent on all purchases. Those points can then be redeemed at a value of one cent each when deposited into an eligible SoFi account. SoFi also rewards customers for making on-time payments. Make 12 on-time payments, and they’ll lower your APR by 1%. In addition to points redemption, SoFi provides customers with smart spending and budgeting tools, cell phone protection, and Mastercard ID theft protection. Bonus: there’s no annual fee.
SoFi is kind of like a company for the people — they’re looking out for their card members’ best interests.
Unifi Premier Credit Card
According to the company’s website, the Unifi Premier Credit Card gives Unifimoney customers the option to redeem rewards as Bitcoin, gold, or equity investments. Unifimoney, an investment and money management platform, partnered with the U.K.-based BaaS platform Railsbank to make this new and innovative credit card a reality.
The Unifi Premier is marketed on the site as a “premium credit card that invests as you spend.” It’s also the first card on this list that’s made entirely out of “recovered ocean-bound plastic.” Although there’s still little known about the Unifi Premier Credit Card, the site claims that the card will be available to Unifimoney customers in Q3.
PayPal Cashback Mastercard
The PayPal Cashback Mastercard is issued by Synchrony Bank and earns 2% cash back on purchases. Cardholders can use the card anywhere Mastercard is accepted. (Which may be limited, depending on your location.) There’s no annual fee or signup bonus associated with the card. Those who apply for the card should have a PayPal account. Those who don’t will be prompted to open a PayPal account before applying.
Although the PayPal Cashback Mastercard isn’t designed to give users cryptocurrency rewards, cardholders can redeem their rewards into their PayPal wallet and then buy cryptocurrency from there. Any cryptocurrency bought with PayPal cash must remain in your PayPal account. So, this option is best for those who are more interested in investing in cryptocurrency rather than cashing out.
Best credit cards offering crypto rewards summary
Here’s a quick rundown of the important details of each card listed above. This summary may make it easier for you to choose which cryptocurrency rewards card is right for you and you:
|Card Issuer||Rewards||Annual Fee||Signup Bonus|
|BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card||$200||1.5% cash back on purchases, which is converted into Bitcoin||$250 in Bitcoin after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months|
|Gemini Credit Card||3% back on dining, 2% back on groceries, 1% back on everyday purchases||$0||No|
|Brex Card||1 point per $1 / Exclusive Rewards Program||$0||30,000 points after spending $3,500 / 50,000 points after spending $9,000 in the first 30 days|
|SoFi Credit Card||2 points per $1 spent||$0||Earn $100 when opening a SoFi Money and a SoFi Invest account (following credit card approval)|
|Unifi Premier Credit Card||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|PayPal Cashback Mastercard||2% cashback on everyday purchases||$0||No|
Learning the ins and outs of any rewards program can get confusing. Here are answers to a few of the questions people most commonly Google when it comes to cryptocurrency and credit cards.
What is the best cryptocurrency credit card?
The answer to this question ultimately depends on what you’re looking for in a cryptocurrency credit card. Are you looking for a card with hefty rewards, a card that’s designed for worldwide spending, a card for multiple currencies, or a card with no fees?
How does a crypto credit card work?
Crypto credit cards are yet another new product that’s been introduced to the blockchain and crypto world. Unlike the credit cards included in the list above, crypto credit and debit cards use cryptocurrencies instead of USD (or your local currency). When using a crypto card, your digital assets are converted into the local fiat currency and then sent to the merchant.
Are rewards credit cards worth it?
If you do not pay your card off in full each month, then the answer to this question is: no.
Why you should (or shouldn’t) use crypto rewards cards
Sometimes getting a new piece of plastic is as easy as making a last-minute decision at the register of your favorite department store, and sometimes, it’s as difficult as relearning trigonometry.
Applying for a new credit card should be a big deal, especially if it’s your first time. Why? Because having and using a credit card is a huge responsibility that could ruin your financial wellbeing if you’re not careful. To help you decide whether or not a crypto rewards credit card is right for you, here are a few things to consider:
- Interest rate: A low introductory interest rate or APR is appealing, but if you can’t pay the balance off before the promotional period ends, you may be in trouble. Once the promo ends, you could be forced to pay 15-20% (or more!) interest.
- Annual fee: Many credit cards are fee-free, but some require customers to pay an annual fee. Be sure to do your research so you’re not stuck with a surprise fee.
- Rewards: When searching for a rewards credit card, be sure to shop around and read online reviews. Another note? You should only apply for a rewards card if you plan to pay the balance in full each month.
- Penalties: Research whether or not the company enforces penalties, such as an increased interest rate, for late payments.
The bottom line
Whether society decides to nix traditional (tangible) currency or not, it may be worth it to look into applying for a cryptocurrency rewards card. Before you decide on which card is right for you, take a second to think about the pros and cons of each. You should take your personal and financial goals into account, too. If you’re really into crypto, for example, you may opt for a crypto credit card. Or, if you’re interested in taking a vacation this year, you may have better luck searching for a travel rewards card or a credit card with no foreign transaction fees.
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