This isn’t the first bitcoin debit card in the world, but this is the first one that works with your Coinbase account. Coinbase has partnered with Shift Payments so that you can get a Visa card for just $10 and pay everywhere with your bitcoins. There are no fees for now.
Shift Payments is a company that is working on integrating all your currencies in one card. The company’s key product is a debit card. Once you have it, you can connect it with multiple accounts to seamlessly spend all your real money and Internet money with the same card.
So far, the company supports Coinbase and Dwolla accounts. You can choose a first source of funding, a second one, etc. For instance, you can tell Shift to spend your bitcoins first, and to use your Dwolla account as a backup once your Coinbase hot wallet is empty. You can see your transaction history in the app as well.
How much does it cost? After spending $10 to get your card, there is no annual fee or domestic transaction fee. There are a $2.50 ATM fee and a 3 percent international transaction fee. When you spend bitcoins, Coinbase doesn’t take any cut — the BTC to USD conversion fee is 0 percent.
But there are some restrictions as well, starting with fees. Coinbase wrote that there isn’t any domestic transaction fee “for a limited time.” So you can expect a small conversion fee in the future. The Coinbase integration for the Shift Card is only available for people living in one of these 24 states as well.
Shift Payments also plans to let you spend airline miles, loyalty points and other stores of value. As for the bitcoin angle, anything that makes it easier to buy and spend bitcoins is a good thing — and it is particularly interesting when it comes from a big player like Coinbase.