Bitcoin Debit Card differences

Do you trade Bitcoin and earn fortune on its volatile price? Or do you run hosting, design or consultancy services, which accept Bitcoin? Are you a blogger or forum owner? Do you earn Bitcoin in any other way?

It doesn’t matter how you earn your Bitcoin, because if you have it than sooner or later you will face the need to exchange BTC to fiat money. Why?

It is still easier to pay with USD, EUR or local currency although more merchants start accepting Bitcoin payments.

“Ask yourself: what does increasing in Bitcoin value mean for you?”

First of all it means that you can exchange your Bitcoin for more USD (or your local currency) and only the second is that you can buy more goods/services to satisfy your needs.

How to convert Bitcoin to Cash

1. Exchange personally. It is hard to choose reliable and trusted individuals for personal exchange.

2. Exchange Bitcoin to Paypal or other e-currency. Digital currencies are not accepted everywhere as well as Bitcoin and you may need to pay additional fees to exchange them to fiat later.

3. Withdraw to bank account or to regular debit/credit card. Generally takes a lot of time.

4. Money transfers. Withdrawal is faster than via bank, but often fees for Bitcoin to money transfer transactions are higher and the amount you are able to withdraw is lower.

5. Bitcoin Debit Card. Cheaper and faster than other methods.  Bitcoin debit cards are usually based on Visa/MasterCard platforms and can be used anywhere Visa/MasterCard are accepted.

How to choose the right Bitcoin Debit Card

First Bitcoin Debit Cards emerged in 2014. Nowadays there are lots of them across the Internet and it becomes hard to choose which one is suitable for you. It is easy to find reviews which compare maintenance and withdrawal fees, loading and POS transaction limits, cost of card issuance and delivery.

When searching for card it is also essential to take a look where you can use it. Locations which Bitcoin cards can operate in depend on regulations of the card issuer and where it is based. Don’t waste time on cards that aren’t available for your location.

Recently Bitcoin Virtual Cards start to gain popularity. Their cost varies from 1 to 3.5 USD, which is much cheaper than ordering plastic. Unichange.me currently offers Free Bitcoin Virtual Cards with the same limits as for plastic ones. They can be used for secure online shopping, verifying Paypal account and the only drawback comparing with plastic Bitcoin cards is inability to withdraw cash from ATM.

Pay attention! Many card providers assure that their cards are anonymous. Be informed that absolutely anonymous Bitcoin cards do not exist. Even Bitcoin itself is pseudoanonymous. Due to the following anti money laundering (AML) policies all major Bitcoin card providers will ask for verification as soon as you reach unverified transaction limit for card.

How does Bitcoin Card work

All Bitcoin Card providers assure that their card is the safest. You will find that cards have several layers of protection such as chip and PIN. All that refers to the card from the card supplier who has a contract with Visa or MasterCard. But where will be your money before you actually fund the card?

There could be 3 locations:
1) Your own Bitcoin wallet. It can be hardware, paper, desktop, mobile, online wallet with “cold” or “hot” storage. Web-based online wallets are the less secure among others and it is not recommended to store huge amounts there.

2) Online account of the service providing Bitcoin card. You are usually offered to open an online wallet which can be funded with Bitcoin and order debit card. The amount that you store inside your online account can be transferred to the Bitcoin card.

3) Card account balance. Balance in USD, EUR or other fiat currency that is ready to be used in Visa/MasterCard system with all ATM, conversion to local currency and other fees.

Bitcoin Card providers operate via two main schemes. We are going to show where your money are and what fees you meet on each stage of card funding.

The first scheme includes all 3 locations:


1. Firstly, you pay transaction fee to top up your wallet on the website of the service providing Bitcoin card. Even if it is the only small fee for Bitcoin transaction you are unable to skip it.

2. Then you pay for transferring Bitcoin to your Card in USD, EUR etc. with the conversion rate set up by the service providing Bitcoin card at the moment of transaction and with the fee for Bitcoin to Card withdrawal (if there is any).

3. In the end you pay monthly maintenance, ATM, POS, etc. fees if any. Actually, these fees apply to any other “non-bitcoin” debit/credit card as well.

The second scheme includes only 2 locations:


1. When you need to fund your Bitcoin card you are going to the website of the service providing Bitcoin card and fund card directly from your own Bitcoin wallet. Withdrawal fee and Bitcoin conversion rate at the time of transaction are included here.

2. After funding you pay only fees for using your card balance.

Within both schemes in the end you face the same fees. You also can’t avoid bitcoin conversion rate. However, you can increase security of storing your Bitcoin funds and can reduce unnecessary fees.

The second scheme doesn’t force you to open an online wallet with the service providing Bitcoin card and store your hard earned Bitcoin there. You don’t need to be worried about its safety as all your coins can be stored in the safer wallets. Another advantage of the second scheme is an absence of transactions between your own Bitcoin wallet and Bitcoin wallet connected to Bitcoin card and, in consequence, an absence of additional fees on this step.

Unichange.me provide Bitcoin card services based on the second scheme. Using it you will be your own bank and control all your Bitcoin yourself up to the moment you need a fiat.

With Unichange Bitcoin Card you are welcome to convert Bitcoin to card within minutes. More information can be found here.

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