Coinbase Card Testdrive

Spending my first $1,000+ on the Coinbase Card while earning 4% Rewards.

The waitlist for the long awaited Coinbase Card has been around since October of 2020. After nearly a year of waiting, the Coinbase Card has offered a Visa debit card to current customers of their platform. With all the various options for crypto credit cards, there are many that stand out.

Features of the card:

The Coinbase debit card has several features that make it a worthwhile option to living the SatoshiFI/CryptoFI lifestyle. Some of which include:

The option to pull from a variety of cryptos, including USDC for bulk conversion in your portfolio.

Desktop Dashboard for the Coinbase Card (Desktop Dashboard for the Coinbase Card)

Earn crypto rewards on your transactions

These are the current crypto cash back rewards offered on the card: (Current Rates 10/28/2021)

4% back in XLM 4% back in GRT 4% back in AMP 4% back in RLY 1% back in BTC 1% back in ETH 1% back in DOGE 1% back in DAI

Screenshot of the options to change your reward payout (Screenshot of the options to change your reward payout)

What are the fees?

The fees vary depending on how you plan to use the card. Here is a quick summary breakdown of fees on the Coinbase card:

Card Transactions: $0.00 Coinbase Wallet Currency Conversion: 2.49% (Does not apply to USDC)

While it can be seamless and easy to just set your debit card to be a point of sale crypto to USD converter, the fees will become significant. Comparing the Coinbase Pro fees which are currently 0.5% for transactions 0-10,000 USD, you can save yourself in fees significantly.

Now if you are curious what is the cheapest way to get to 0% fees? Get ready to increase your transaction volume up to $1,000,000 providing a maker service to the platform (limit orders).

Receiving the card

Your card will arrive in a bold blue envelope with nothing more than a big C on the top left side of the envelope. Inside is your debit card, which can be easily activated right from the main Coinbase application or website. Took me all of 5 minutes to get it up and running.

Test driving the card

After my card was up and running, it was like having a new found liquidity and immediacy converting crypto into traditional transactions at a speed I have never seen before.

Keep in mind if your using this card to convert Crypto to Fiat, you will pay a flat percentage of 2.49% each transaction. There are ways to optimize the fee expense such as using Coinbase Pro to convert what you need to spend into USDC.

In prior years, converting my favorite altcoin holding of choice to fiat was a rough journey. It first of all required a Altcoin to Bitcoin exchange, then sending your Bitcoin to a Fiat exchange like Coinbase or Gemini to finish the transaction. All while hoping none of the exchanges you needed were down for maintenance that day. The round trip journey would take two hours of my day to finish, then wait another day or up to three for the funds to arrive in a bank account.

Having access to this card eliminates many extra steps. In real time I can decide I want to convert any amount I need for lunch while totaling up the bill and tip amount.

Spending $1,334 on the card.

Since my first transaction on September 23, as of November 9th I have spent a total of $1,334 on my Coinbase card. My total rewards having been set to Stellar Lumens totaled to $53.38. The current valuation of these rewards is sitting at $67.48.

While you can earn 1% on Bitcoin rewards, it can be just as easy to collect the rewards in whatever coin pays most and convert to Bitcoin. Just remember this can have tax implications in your jurisdiction, plan accordingly.

Issues with the Coinbase card

There does seem to be one type of transaction that the card struggles with, and that is gas purchases. An acquaintance of mine was telling me the struggles he has had waiting for approval of his gas purchase after about a month. This is usually due to the fact that gas stations will reconcile all transactions during different times of the month. While his payment did process, he has had to reach out about his cash back reward not being paid out to him.


This is a great option for those who are in a position to draw down on some of their portfolio for certain expenses. From what I have read about technical issues about other cards not be accepted at many places, I have yet to personally deal with that issue since I started using my card this last month.

Where do I sign up?

If you are not a member on Coinbase, sign up here to get started.

About the Author

JBM has been involved in crypto since 2014. Works as a transactional technical consultant. Retired miner specialized in managing network nodes for select coins.