Shift Card Review
Coinbase customers, this visa debit card will provide you unparalleled convenience and cost effectiveness. Just needs to add multicurrency capabilities.
The Shift Card is a visa issued credit card that allows users to spend funds from “any store of value he/she controls”. While shiftpayments is working to expand the number of stores of values to which this statement refers, in practice this is limited to Coinbase bitcoin accounts.
The card is limited to US residents, and only to those residing in the 32 states in which Coinbase is regulated. And while statements have been made as to the desire and efforts to integrate additional currency accounts, the Shift Card is limited to USD, which eliminates a massive use case in our opinion.
However, Shift Card presents incredible convenience for US Coinbase account holders, and further blurs the once stark line between crypto and mainstream finance.
Shift Cards are associated with the coinbase wallet of your choosing through coinbase connect which allows for the direct debiting of amount directly from the wallet. No additional security for the shift card is really needed – users can instead continue to put their trust in Coinbase’s superior wallet security while enjoying the added benefits of the shift debit card.
How to Get a Card
head on over to shiftpayments.com, and click on the “connect coinbase” button on the homepage. This will redirect you to Coinbase, where you must sign in as usual to access your Coinbase account – however, please note the “by Shift Payments” logo at the top of the sign in box. Signing in essentially links the two accounts, much as how you might have linked your Coinbase and bank account to faciliate ACH transfers. After successfully logging in, you’ll be asked to select the wallet from which Shift should debit bitcoin, set up your daily limits, and authorize the process.
Please note; if you would like to set up a new debit wallet, best to handle this prior to undergoing the process, as you will be unable to set up a new wallet from this interface.
Once authorization is made, a $10.00 deduction will be taken by Shift for the issuance of the card. 5-7 business days later, you should have a shiny new visa bitcoin debit card in your possession!
How the card works
The card is a standard visa, and can be used anywhere a visa card is accepted. Merchants needs not accept bitcoin, of course, to enable shift cards usage; rather, at the point of sale, a conversion is made from bitcoin to the required USD, at the relevant btc/usd conversion rate. Whether one prefers the point of sale conversion preloading method, by which bitcoin is loaded as fiat onto the card ahead of time, is a matter of taste.
Proponents of this method point to the ability to always keep coin denominated as bitcoin, and thus avoid the scenario in which the bitcoin price increases whilst coin is sitting as dollars on the debit card. The opposite case could just as easily occur of course, and so we see this as a wash. However, there is an additional degree of convenience with not only never having to preload, but also having funds drawn directly from your Coinbase account.
In our opinion, if you only need to use USD and you live in one of the 32 states in which the solution is available, this is the best solution available.
|Domestic Point of Sale||Free|
|International Point of Sale||3%|
|Issuance Fee – Plastic||$10|
Shiftpayments has a standard daily spending or withdrawal limit of $1,000, though ATM withdrawals made from an associated Coinbase account is limited to $200. If you would like to raise the daily limits, contact support.
The Android and IOS apps allow a number of administrative conveniences, such as changing a pin number ( which by default is set as the last 4 digits of your telephone number) and track your spending. It’s a nice to have, but after the card has been associated with the coinbase account, there isn’t much more that needs to be done.
In the event of charge disputation, cardholders may contact support by toll-free phone or email.
The Shift Card provides incredible convenience for Coinbase users, and really takes the exchange one step closer to being a proper online, bitcoin bank. The instant conversion from bitcoin to cash at point of sale means that a user will always receive the latest exchange rate for his coin while benefitting from the superior security of Coinbase wallets. A big miss, and one we hope to see sorted soon, is the establishment of multiple currency accounts connected to the card, so that travelers may have a convenient and cheap method of exchanging currencies on the go. For this, or if you happen to live in one of the 20 states in which the card is not available, the best alternative is e-coin.