Shift is a Bitcoin debit card issued by the American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. As an exchange, they know what’s what in the crypto-industry. That should be an indication that you’ll be in good hands as their customer. Being an exchange comes with several benefits that Coinbase passes on to their users. One of these is the waived monthly service charge for the card. Purchases made with the card will also instantly convert Bitcoin in your Coinbase wallet to USD. There is lots to be excited about, but also a few drawbacks of the Shift card. Let’s get into it!
Advantages of the Shift Bitcoin debit card
Shift users can use the card in any store that accepts Visa cards, which is 99% of stores worldwide.
You will also enjoy instant conversions when you use the card, as Coinbase does the exchange automatically and in real-time. That’s a cool feature not seen with many of their competitors.
The Shift card is available in the majority of the United States, and there are no conversion fees when exchanging Bitcoin for US Dollars.
Some would argue that it’s convenient to use their Coinbase wallet directly, rather than having a separate wallet tied to the card itself.
Disadvantages of the Shift Bitcoin debit card
The Shift card only holds Bitcoin, which some people consider quite limiting if you’re a token-enthusiast.
The Shift card is not yet available in all US states, only 46 of them. Coinbase has stated that they are working on rolling it out in all states.
Some would argue that it’s a disadvantage that the Shift card doesn’t have a wallet separate from Coinbase.
Shift Bitcoin debit card fees
It’ll cost you $20 to get the physical card issued. Once you have it, there is no exchange fee when you want to convert your Bitcoin to US Dollars.
As a bonus, you’ll be able to enjoy free domestic transactions for a limited period. International transactions will cost you a 3% fee.
ATM transactions will cost you the standard flat rate of $2.50 domestically and $3.50 internationally.
Perhaps most importantly, Coinbase doesn’t charge card users a monthly maintenance fee like other card providers.
Summary of the Shift Bitcoin debit card
- Card type: Visa
- Virtual card: Yes
- Physical card: Yes
- Mobile app: Yes
- Supported fiat currencies: USD
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC)
- Anonymous: No
Shift seems like a solid product from Coinbase, and fans of the exchange will probably love it. Those who already trade on Coinbase will now be able to order a debit card. The card connects to your Coinbase wallet, which makes it easier to manage. Coinbase has also made the service more attractive with by waiving the monthly service charge all other Bitcoin debit cards have.
Shift does cater exclusively to the American market, however. That makes the card a much less attractive option to non-American users. Even in America, it doesn’t cover all 50 states yet, which is also impractical. Finally, the Shift card reflects the particular policy of Coinbase by only supporting Bitcoin. Fans of other cryptocurrencies will be disappointed with this limitation.