Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is launching a debit card in the U.S. this winter. Customers can join the waitlist and get the Coinbase Card whenever it is available. Coinbase already launched the Coinbase Card in the U.K. and Europe.
The Coinbase Card is a Visa debit card that works with any Visa-compatible payment terminal, online checkout interface and ATM. It works with a mobile app that lets you control how you want to spend your cryptocurrencies. In the U.S., customers get a virtual card immediately after signing up, and a plastic card within two weeks.
You don’t need to liquidate your cryptocurrencies in order to spend them in a store. Coinbase can do that for you when the transaction occurs. That’s why you can select between all your crypto balances for your upcoming transactions in the app.
The Coinbase Card should support many cryptocurrencies currently available on Coinbase, including USDC. While Coinbase has released a separate app for European customers, you'll be able to manage the card from the main Coinbase app in the U.S. The card withdraws money from your Coinbase account directly. You don’t need to transfer your tokens to another wallet.
In the U.S., Coinbase Card users will also earn rewards. The company says that you could earn up to 4% back in Stellar Lumens or 1% back in Bitcoin. You can select one reward at a time and rewards will be refreshed regularly.
Unlike in Europe, you won’t have to pay any issuance fee in the U.S. But there will be some fees. The company charges 2.49% in crypto liquidation fees. There's one exception to the crypto liquidation fees. If you're using your USDC balance, there's no fee to spend your USDC using the card.
There are some foreign transaction fees and ATM limits on top of that as well. But some customers might be focusing on convenience. And it’s true that a debit card is much more useful than a bitcoin wallet when you want to shop in-store.