By now, you’ve probably heard of cash back credit cards that let you earn a percentage of your daily spending back as a reward.
But what if you could earn Bitcoin or other popular cryptocurrencies for your spending instead?
Cryptocurrency investing has been booming over the last few years. And, as a result, there are numerous companies that now offer crypto rewards credit cards to their customers.
If you want to earn cryptocurrency for your everyday spending, these cards can be particularly attractive. However, it’s also important to know how these cards work and to pick the one that gives you the best combination of rewards and perks. Here's what you need to know.
How Do Crypto Rewards Credit Cards Work?
Crypto rewards cards are similar to regular rewards credit cards. The main difference is that the “cash back” you earn for daily spending is paid out as various cryptocurrencies. Cards typically pay 1% to 2% back in crypto rewards but can also have higher reward tiers or additional perks depending on the card provider.
Another difference is that many crypto rewards cards are like prepaid debit cards. This means you spend your own funds and aren’t drawing on a line of credit. Many crypto rewards cards also let you spend your cryptocurrency on everyday purchases but actually convert your crypto to regular fiat in the process. Some cards also let you spend regular cash or USDC instead.
Our Picks For The Best Crypto Rewards Credit Cards
Since cryptocurrency rewards cards are relatively new, many cards still have a waitlist to onboard new cardholders. But as more companies jump into the space, new cards should become available.
That said, our list of the best crypto rewards cards considers features like crypto reward rates, sign-up bonuses, fees, and other perks to outline the best cards on the market right now.
Best For Grocery & Dining Rewards: Gemini Credit Card
As one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges out there, it’s no surprise that Gemini is also launching a cryptocurrency rewards card.
You have to join a waitlist for early access and to see if you qualify. But when Gemini’s card actually hits the market, it has potential to be one of the best crypto credit cards available. It doesn’t have an annual fee and lets you choose between 40+ cryptocurrencies to earn. The main benefits of this card include:
- Earning 3% back on dining (up to $6,000 in annual spend and 1% after that)
- Earning 2% back on groceries
- Getting 1% back everywhere else
- Crypto rewards deposit to your Gemini account instantly (except for purchases that time to clear, like gas station refueling or pre-authorization purchases)
- No foreign transaction fees
- Special offers from select merchants like DoorDash and Lyft
You need a Gemini account to use its credit card. Gemini doesn’t state what credit score is necessary to apply but pre-qualifying doesn't impact your credit score. You can view Gemini’s interest rates and terms on this page.
Check out our full Gemini review here.
Best For Earning Passive Income: Nexo Card
If you want to earn passive income on your cryptocurrency, Nexo is another company that should be on your radar.
Like BlockFi, Nexo lets you deposit cryptocurrency to earn interest. Currently, you can earn up to 20% APY on certain cryptos and interest accrues daily.
Nexo users can also apply for its crypto rewards card. This zero-fee card is powered by Mastercard and lets you earn 2% unlimited cash back on purchases.
Cash back appears in your Nexo account automatically. You can choose Bitcoin or NEXO Tokens as rewards. Nexo Tokens are the platform’s utility token, and holding these tokens has several benefits like:
- Earning up to 12% APR on your Nexo Tokens
- Getting higher yields on various cryptocurrencies the more Nexo Tokens you hold
- Getting better loan rates the more Nexo Tokens you hold
- Additional free withdrawals per month
There’s currently a waitlist to get a Nexo credit card. Nexo doesn’t state credit score requirements or if your application impacts your credit score. You can learn more about the card on Nexo’s website.
See our full Nexo review here.
Best For Serious Crypto Investors: Crypto.com Visa Card
Crypto.com is another massive player that lets you trade, sell, and stake crypto. You can also take out crypto-backed loans and even buy NFTs. Overall, it’s one of the most robust cryptocurrency trading platforms around.
The Crypto.com Visa Card is also incredibly lucrative for serious cryptocurrency investors. This prepaid card lets you earn up to 8% back on spending in CRO, Crypto.com’s token.
Crypto.com actually has five different card tiers each of which offer different crypto-back rates. Eligibility for the higher card tiers is based on how much CRO you own and stake. This mechanism benefits serious stakeholders much like Nexo’s token bonuses. Here’s how the reward tiers work:
Crypto.com Visa Card Reward Tiers
Frosted Rose Gold & Icy White
Royal Indigo & Jade Green
Value Of CRO Staked
Different tiers also have certain benefits, like getting free Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. You can view a list of all the perks and cardholder terms on Crypto.com’s card page.
Crypto cash back deposits instantly in your Crypto.com account. You don’t pay any annual fees either. Additionally, Crypto.com doesn’t run a credit pull when you apply. The main drawback is you need to own CRO tokens and stake them for at least 180 days to apply for any of Crypto.com's cards other than the Midnight Blue card.
Read our full Crypto.com review here.
Best For Beginner Cryptocurrency Investors: Coinbase Card
Coinbase is another leading cryptocurrency exchange that’s also getting into the crypto card game.
Right now, the Coinbase Card requires joining a waitlist like Gemini and Nexo. But early signs are promising for this Visa debit card. Features of the Coinbase Card include:
- No annual fee
- Spend crypto or US dollars from your Coinbase account
- Earn 4% back in crypto rewards
- No credit pull to apply
Earning 4% back looks great on the surface. However, you need to be careful with fees. Coinbase charges 2.49% to convert crypto to USD
for daily spending unless you pay with USDC (a stablecoin that’s pegged to the U.S. dollar). So if you pay for something with crypto, you’re only earning around 1.5% back after conversion fees.
This means the most effective way to use the Coinbase Card is to buy USDC with USD from your bank account for daily spending. You can also earn 0.15% APY by staking USDC, so this is almost like having a high-yield checking account.
It’s also worth noting that some cryptocurrencies have lower reward rates than others. For example, while Coinbase pays 4% back for XLM and GRT, it only pays 1% back for BTC and ETH. You can read more about cardholder terms and rewards on the Coinbase website.
If you already use Coinbase and want to use USDC for your everyday spending, the Coinbase Card is a natural fit. But it’s currently not the best crypto rewards card for BTC or ETH rewards.
Read our full Coinbase review here.
Best For Simple Bitcoin Rewards: Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa Credit Card
If you want a simple Bitcoin rewards credit card with unlimited cash back, Upgrade could be the right choice.
This card works anywhere that supports Visa and pays you unlimited 1.5% back in bitcoin rewards after you make payments on your purchases. You actually get your Bitcoin rewards whenever you pay off your balance. This makes Upgrade a nice middle-ground between cards that pay rewards instantly and ones that pay monthly.
Note that Bitcoin you earn is held by NYDIG and you can’t transfer your Bitcoin to your own wallet. When you want to sell your BTC, you also pay a 1.5% transaction fee. Additionally, rewards are only redeemable as statement credits, which also limits flexibility.
These wallet and redemption limitations are the main downside to Upgrade over other crypto rewards cards. There’s also a 90-day holding period after your first Bitcoin rewards process, during which time you can’t sell. Upgrade outlines these rules within its terms and condition page.
Crypto rewards cards from companies like Nexo and Gemini offer better crypto-back rates. But if you want a simple zero-fee card that doesn’t require much knowledge of crypto or opening accounts with exchanges, Upgrade is a reliable choice.
Upgrade also offers competitive personal loans and you can read our full Upgrade review for more information.
Best For Business Owners & Startups: Brex 30 Card
Brex is a fintech company that provides a range of services for business owners, including business bank accounts, a corporate credit card, and expense tracking tools.
The Brex Credit card is a charge card, meaning you pay off your balance in-full by the end of every month. It actually earns points rather than crypto rewards. However, points can be converted to Bitcoin or Ethereum and Brex has some very impressive reward rates:
- 8 points for every $1 you spend on rideshares
- 5 points for every $1 you spend on travel
- 4 points for every $1 you spend on restaurants
- 3 points for every $1 you spend on eligible Brex Rewards purchases
- 3 points for every $1 you spend on recurring software costs
- 1 point for every $1 you spend on all other transactions
New cardholders can also earn up to 40,000 free points for spending at least $3,000 in their first three months and linking payroll to their Brex account. The catch is you need to open a Brex Cash Account and switch to daily payments to earn the highest reward rates.
Brex card requirements also vary depending on if you pay off your balance daily or monthly. Neither plan has an annual fee and Brex doesn’t run a credit check. But it should be mentioned that Brex is only available to C-corps, S-corps, LLCs, and LLPs.
Brex has a pretty complicated rewards structure when it’s all said and done. But getting access to a monthly credit line can help business owners grow faster. Plus, earning up to 8% back as Bitcoin or Ethereum is a nice perk if you’re an entrepreneur who loves crypto.
Check out our full Brex review here.
Pros & Cons Of Crypto Rewards Credit Cards
Cryptocurrency rewards cards are a newer option for consumers versus traditional rewards cards. Here are some of their advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before adding one to your wallet.
Crypto Rewards Credit Cards FAQs
Here are a few of the most common questions that people ask about crypto rewards credit cards:
Is there a crypto credit card for Bitcoin?
Most crypto rewards cards let you choose Bitcoin as a crypto you get paid out with. Cards like the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa credit card also specialize in paying you with Bitcoin for everyday spending.
Are crypto rewards taxable?
This is still a gray area since crypto rewards cards are new. Normally, credit card rewards are considered rebates and aren’t taxed as income. But with crypto rewards cards, you can create a taxable event if you eventually sell your crypto rewards for regular fiat.
If you’re seriously investing in cryptocurrency, you should look into different crypto tax software like CryptoTrader.Tax. You can also consult an accountant about how to properly file crypto taxes.
Can I buy crypto from my exchange with my rewards credit card?
Maybe, but you probably shouldn't. Most crypto exchanges charge a hefty convenience fee for purchases made with credit cards, even if you're using the platform's own branded card.
Can you redeem your crypto rewards for travel?
None of the crypto rewards credit cards that we've seen so far offer any type of integrated travel portal. So if you're wanting to use your rewards to book a flight or hotel, you'll either need to convert your crypto to cash first or look for travel companies that accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
Cryptocurrency rewards cards provide an accessible way for you to earn crypto for everyday spending. This is especially true if you’re already a customer with companies like BlockFi or Gemini and can apply for a card right now.
Ultimately, using a crypto rewards card could be worth it if you want to passively earn rewards and learn more about cryptocurrency in general. And other companies like Celsius and Voyager have their own cards coming, so keep your eye peeled for new entrants to the market.
Just remember: you generally shouldn’t spend actual crypto on everyday purchases. Rather, spend USDC or regular fiat whenever possible since the appreciation potential of your crypto is simply too high to spend it for a few percentage points back in rewards.
Tom Blake is a personal finance writer with a passion for making money online, cryptocurrency and NFTs, investing, and the gig economy.
Editor: Clint Proctor Reviewed by: Claire Tak