While there’s no guarantee about the future value of cryptocurrencies, this type of reward has the potential to appreciate, unlike most other reward types. While airline miles can open the world to you, there’s almost no chance they will be worth more in two or three years than when you earn them.
But as things stand, there is another option for people who want to leverage everyday purchases into cryptocurrency. For some, it may still make more sense to consider a cash-back earning card and use those earnings toward bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in a more DIY process.
Ted Rossman, an industry analyst for CreditCards.com and Bankrate, believes that is the wiser strategy: “It would make a lot more sense to get a no-annual-fee credit card which offers 2% cash back on all purchases. Then, if you choose, you could invest those proceeds in Bitcoin or a different cryptocurrency.
Those who join the waitlist, and the more than 10,000 people already on the Blockrize waitlist, will get early access.
Rewards will be automatically deposited into a cardholder’s Gemini account.
For Gemini users or others interested in signing up to the waitlist, please visit: https://gemini.com/credit-card/waitlist.
Gemini is launching credit with bitcoin
Crypto rewards will automatically be deposited into the cardholders’ Gemini account.
This gives cardholders full control over their rewards and allows them to benefit from any appreciation in the price of their rewards from the moment the transaction occurs.
Gemini’s mission is to empower the individual and we believe this credit card will bring more people into the cryptosystem and benefit all who are a part of it. Added to that, there are new ways to use cryptocurrency and participate in the ever-growing industry.
Turner: At the heart of it, payments really come down to choice — and that involves more than just credit or debit.
Our focus with digital currencies isn’t really about getting more people into crypto but giving them the option if they are interested — and demystifying it so they can take advantage of a full range of choices.
The world is changing, and people have different expectations than they did just a year ago. Payment is a great example — people want to access their money how they want.
To give people that choice, it’s critical for Mastercard to offer all sorts of payment services.
Starting today, anyone can apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card and enjoy the same affordable and responsible credit as with any Upgrade Card, plus the potential upside and fun of owning bitcoin.”
The company has partnered with NYDIG for the bitcoin rewards. Right now, you can’t do much with your bitcoins. You can choose to hold them or sell them.
There’s no way to transfer your bitcoins to another wallet for instance. If you choose to sell your rewards, there’s a 1.5% transaction fee.
It’s also worth noting that this card isn’t available in all 50 states.
Customers in Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia can’t order a Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card at the moment.
Once again, Upgrade is diversifying its portfolio of products as a top-of-the-funnel strategy.
We’re honored to work hand in hand with Gemini to deliver this one-of-a-kind rewards offering and make it even easier for consumers to experience crypto.”
The move comes on the heels of a Wednesday announcement about “the world’s first crypto-backed payment card” from Mastercard and Nexo, a cryptocurrency lending company in Europe.
The “Nexo card” is currently only available in some European countries, but works like a normal credit card: users can pay for traditional goods and services, with the advantage of using cryptocurrency as collateral. Users can also link the card to their Apple Pay or Google Pay accounts.
The cards will be accepted at 92 million merchants worldwide that take Mastercard, according to the company.
“The card requires no minimum repayments, monthly, or inactivity fees.
Combined with 24/7 live customer support, it will deliver a superior cardholder experience.
We’re excited to partner with them on our first real-time crypto rewards card, further helping to bring crypto mainstream,” he added.
“Consumer choice is at the center of Mastercard’s strategy – giving people flexibility in how they pay and anticipating their evolving preferences,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, president of North America at Mastercard. “Our work with Gemini builds upon this position, connecting consumer needs with next-generation assets and delivering a ground-breaking experience that redefines the future of card rewards and benefits.”
Don’t miss out on how smart money is playing the crypto game.
Now, a year later in early February of 2021, that value is about $35,000 (after falling from a $40,000 high in January).
Before you get too excited, however, know that back in late 2017, the value of bitcoins came very close to $20,000 before falling a few months later to around $3,000. In other words, this currency is volatile — but certainly has enjoyed a good run in its most recent history.
Related:Should you buy Bitcoin with your credit card?
Crypto cards we have our eyes on
BlockFi credit card
In December, BlockFi — a cryptocurrency exchange platform — became the first company to announce abitcoin-earning credit card.
Currently, it’s scheduled to launch sometime in the first half of 2021 on the Visa network. It’ll be the first time the Bitcoin logo will be featured prominently on a physical credit card.
Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini is launching a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards in association with newly acquired crypto startup Blockrize. The Gemini Credit Card will allow consumers to earn up to 3 percent back in bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies on every purchase they make.
Ahead of the credit card’s official launch later this year, Gemini has opened up the Gemini Credit Card waiting list.
More than 10,000 Blockrize waitlist customers along with Gemini’s own customers will be provided with early access to the credit card.
“The Gemini Credit Card will make it easier for any consumer to invest in bitcoin and other cryptos without changing their existing behavior,” said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini. “Rather than deciding how and when to buy crypto, customers can do so when making their everyday purchases.
Both sides quickly realized we could achieve a lot more together, with Blockrize’s small team able to grow faster under Gemini’s larger structure and using Gemini’s platform, and Gemini benefiting from Blockrize’s three years of crypto card development. So, we acquired Blockrize and have been working to launch the Gemini credit card since.
We’ve been in touch with Mastercard for a while, too, and saw the potential to connect its global network, customer base and security capabilities with the concept for this card.
But why do you think it’s important to get more people into crypto in the first place?
Perlman: A lot of people may only see crypto as a speculative investment or a store of wealth.
While yes, we believe in the investment element, there’s a lot more to it than that.
This interest came up clearly in our New Payments Index research this month, with most people saying the pandemic caused them to test out new forms of payments, such as contactless or crypto. Compared to a year ago, millennials showed a much greater interest in crypto versus other age groups.
So, offering a card like this makes sense to benefit our customers.
Why offer real-time rewards?
Perlman: There were three main reasons to make these rewards in real time instead of, say, monthly like other cards currently available on the market. One was the instant gratification from getting rewards immediately after a purchase. Second, the potential for price appreciation.