Bitcoin and Ethereum are real, though more volatile than risk-averse investors would like, repositories of value. Holders of cryptocurrencies have long had difficulty using them for day-to-day transactions since they are designed to operate independently of the global banking system.
That’s beginning to change, due to tools like BitPay Mastercard, a reloadable prepaid debit card that instantly converts cryptocurrency into government-backed cash and enables instant, in-person monetary transactions.
The BitPay Mastercard is more than just a way to convert between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies; it’s a connection between two worlds that have historically been at odds with one another.
BitPay Mastercard isn’t the ideal bridge due to its transaction restrictions, potentially hefty fees, and lack of tangible incentives. However, this is a huge improvement for crypto fans who want to use their assets just like regular money – right now, not in two business days.
The BitPay Mastercard is an integral part of the growing BitPay ecosystem, which enables users to instantly convert their cryptocurrency holdings into fiat currency and spend them anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
With a Mastercard from BitPay
The BitPay Mastercard is a bitcoin debit card that may be used to make in-person purchases with one’s cryptocurrency holdings. It can be used for PIN or contactless purchases at any of the millions of locations (online and off) that accept Mastercard debit and credit cards. It can also be used at ATMs to exchange cryptocurrency for fiat currency.
Instantly change Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum into traditional cash using the BitPay card (U.S. dollars). BitPay does not charge a fee for making this exchange, however, network fees may still apply; funds are immediately available for use within network and load constraints.
However, there are a few key constraints that may affect high-volume users of the BitPay card:
- A maximum ATM withdrawal value of $2,000 per withdrawal and three withdrawals per day
- A maximum single-load limit of $10,000 per day
- A maximum daily spend of $10,000
- A maximum balance of $25,000, including cash loads
BitPay Mastercard holders can benefit from BitPay’s competitive cryptocurrency exchange rates. Each plastic card is equipped with a special EMV chip for added protection during in-person and automated teller-machine transactions.
BitPay Mobile App
The BitPay Mastercard service is built around the BitPay mobile app. It’s been designed to make it simple to manage your accounts and is compatible with both Android and iOS.
Some of the things it can do are:
- Scheduling and executing card loads
- Requesting a new PIN
- Replacing a lost card
- Viewing card balances
- Using a virtual BitPay Mastercard for online transactions
The BitPay app may be downloaded from the App Store and the Google Play Market for nothing.
Users can buy and store their cryptocurrency in the BitPay Wallet without worrying about BitPay or anybody else getting their hands on it.
A BitPay Wallet can be created and used without the usage of a BitPay Mastercard. In fact, the opposite is true. You’ll need a BitPay Wallet if you wish to convert cryptocurrency stored with BitPay into fiat currency for use with your BitPay Mastercard.
To spend the money in your BitPay Wallet, you don’t have to use the BitPay Mastercard. Coins stored in a wallet can be exchanged for fiat currency and used to buy gift cards.
Browser Extension for BitPay
Cryptocurrency stored in a BitPay Wallet can be spent directly from the wallet, without the need for a debit or gift card, thanks to the BitPay Browser Extension.
Installing this extension to Chrome and linking your wallet securely will allow you to immediately begin using cryptocurrency (by purchasing store credit) at hundreds of online shops, including Amazon.
BitPay Mastercard does have associated costs. As a BitPay Mastercard customer, you may be subject to the following card fees:
- $10 per instance for card issue (initial) and card replacement
- $2.50 ATM fee
- 3% international transaction fee, including foreign-denominated point-of-sale purchases made outside the physical territory of the United States and foreign-denominated online purchases with merchants based outside the U.S.
- $5 per month inactivity fee after 90 consecutive days with no transaction activity
With a BitPay Mastercard, you won’t have to worry about paying any fees, either to load funds or for regular maintenance.
The BitPay Mastercard is a convenient debit card that can be used almost anyplace traditional Mastercard debit and credit cards are accepted and don’t require a credit check or extra fees.
- Absolutely No Need to Check Credit. A debit card that accepts BitPay payments is the Mastercard. As a result, applicants are not subject to a credit check that could temporarily lower their credit score.
- Reloads Incur No Currency Conversion Costs. Users using a BitPay Mastercard can convert their Bitcoin to dollars without incurring any costs, albeit BitPay has no say over the network or miner fees that may be levied throughout the transaction. However, in most cases, you shouldn’t have to pay a fee when dealing with U.S.-based businesses that accept dollars as payment.
- Allows Users to Withdraw Fiat Currency From an ATM. Users with a BitPay Mastercard can exchange their cryptocurrency for fiat currency at ATMs across the world, subject to the costs levied by BitPay and the ATM operators themselves. The option to instantly convert your crypto assets into fiat currency is a huge time saver, even after taking into consideration the associated fees.
- The Range of Mastercard’s Acceptance Is Global. Millions of businesses throughout the world participate in the Mastercard network, making it easy to use your BitPay Mastercard anywhere you go. This is not a trivial addition, because Mastercard is rapidly catching up to Visa in terms of global acceptance.
- In a Flash, you can Top Off your Account Online. Reloading a BitPay Mastercard takes just a few taps in the BitPay app, provided the user has a connected BitPay Wallet.
Responsible use of a credit card can help you develop credit, which is something the BitPay Mastercard doesn’t offer. Additionally, there are fees that are unpleasant or excessive, and the absence of a rewards program is disappointing.
- The User’s Credit is not Improved in Any Way. BitPay Mastercard doesn’t allow users to build credit, unlike the several competing credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express which operate only on fiat currency. If your credit history is short or your credit score is lower than you’d like it to be, you may want to consider using a secured credit card instead of or in addition to your BitPay card.
- Contains a Charge for Transactions Made in a Foreign Currency. When using a currency other than the US dollar, a 3% conversion fee will be applied to your total by BitPay Mastercard. This can dramatically increase the total transaction expenses for cardholders who frequently shop at international merchants and lessen the card’s overall appeal.
- Having a High Fee for Inactivity. Regular use of a BitPay Mastercard is recommended. An inactive account will incur a monthly cost of $5 after 90 days. This is not a trivial amount.
- There is Neither a Welcome Bonus Nor a Continuing Rewards Program. There is no welcome offer or ongoing rewards structure with the BitPay Mastercard. This is a significant drawback when compared to credit cards that offer a percentage of your expenditure back in fiat currency or other forms of rewards that can help lower your net cost of purchases.
The BitPay Mastercard bridges the gap between traditional currency and digital currency safely and easily. Of course, it’s not without flaws, what with the possibility of high fees and the absence of a rewards system, but it’s undeniably the best option for blockchain asset holders willing to put their money where their heart is.
How long do you think BitPay Mastercard will remain the top option? Maybe not, but probably not. As crypto enters the mainstream, more and more connections are being made between the crypto and non-crypto communities.
That’s not a good enough reason to hold off using BitPay until the next big thing comes along, but it does make the case for keeping an eye on the market and being prepared to ditch your Mastercard if something better comes along.