Coinbase Card Review: Can it replace your Debit Card?
So I recently got my hands on the Coinbase Visa Debit Card and wanted to share my thoughts on it. This card promises 0% transaction fees on all purchases, which is a pretty big deal in the world of crypto. Just to clarify, this card is different from the one they've had for years on a separate app. This one is built into their main application and seems to work better overall.
Card and delivery were both free. I transferred funds from Revolut to Coinbase via SEPA transfer with no fees, and I also traded EUR to USDT with no fee. The only fee I encountered was when I traded Bitcoin, which was only -0.06 EUR. Keep in mind that the fees depend on the amount you trade.
I can't say for sure that there are absolutely no fees for crypto payments, as the price of the coins was changing during my tests, and even USDT went down slightly. There may be some hidden fees, like exchange rate, but they are negligible - you'll be more impacted by the market condition and timing. I tried Bitcoin and Tether, and both had similar results.
Overall, I think this card is worth getting for everyone who owns crypto. It makes it easy to quickly use your crypto or convert it to real-life cash if you need to. However, I wouldn't necessarily recommend using it as a replacement for your local card. For me, it can't replace it simply because in my country, government websites only support few cards, and some services only accept our local cards for payments. However, it's an excellent spending card in stores since they don't accept crypto directly.
While it works differently than traditional cards, it still has some of the same problems that regular banks have. For example, they can lock your funds or put the entire platform on maintenance, as they have done before.
One downside is that I wasn't able to add it to Google Pay for contactless payments, even though they offered it. The app is a bit clunky, but it's easy to use so it's not too bad. I also couldn't view my balance through the ATM, (I assume it only shows fiat balance). But, hey, we have the app for that anyways. Customer support isn't the greatest either, judging by their Reddit and my personal experience, but it's not the worst either.
Finally, this might be the answer why Coinbase didn't integrate Bitcoin Lightning and Nano cryptocurrency. They just want you to use Coinbase instead of the actual cryptocurrencies. I think if we want to see cryptocurrencies used more widely, we should start telling people that we accept or can pay with them directly (even if we're joking). There's a good chance that someone will accept it if they already own it - I know I would
TLDR: Coinbase Card is a viable alternative to local cards, but it may not be suitable for everyone. It's an excellent choice for cryptocurrency holders seeking a convenient means to spend their coins, but I wouldn't suggest relying on it solely. It's better to use it as a secondary card, with a non-custodial open-source wallet as the primary storage option.