Coinbase has confirmed that US customers may now enter the Coinbase Card waitlist, a Visa debit card that enables customers to spend cryptocurrency anywhere they accept Visa cards. Coinbase claims it’s “the easiest, quickest way to spend your crypto worldwide.” Previously, the card was only available in Europe.
There are a number of debit cards around the world that allow you to spend cryptocurrency (you’ll soon be able to do so with Paypal as well). But many platforms require you to load funds onto the card in order to spend them. The Coinbase Card eliminates the middleman, instead pulling funds directly from your Coinbase account. Other cards are limited to one or a few currencies; the Coinbase Card supports more than 30, according to the company (and converts everything to US dollars before completing purchases and ATM withdrawals).
There’s also an optional bonus program (for now open only to US customers). In Stellar Lumen or 1 percent back in bitcoin, you can opt to gain 4 percent back. There’s no issuance fee, but Coinbase says that “cryptocurrency conversion fees may apply” (and those can be steep).
In Coinbase’s app, you’ll be able to keep track of recent transactions and rewards earnings. You can manage your rewards currency there, as well as the currency you’re spending with.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you can join the waitlist via the Coinbase app. It’ll be a bit of a wait — Coinbase says the first customers will be approved “this winter.” As soon as you’re approved, you’ll be able to start spending with a virtual card. You’ll get your physical card in the mail “within two weeks.” You, of course, need to have a verified Coinbase account in order to use the card.
Correction 10/28, 1:29 PM ET: This article stated that the Coinbase Card supports nine cryptocurrencies, as was stated in Coinbase’s FAQ that was available at press time. After publication, Coinbase contacted us to tell us the information in that FAQ only applied to EU customers — their card supports more than 30 cryptocurrencies for US customers.