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Credit Cards

Cash back is out, bitcoin is in with the BlockFi credit card

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The wait is over — you can now earn rewards redeemable for bitcoin on your daily credit card purchases. In December 2020, BlockFi, a trading platform for cryptocurrency investors, announced it would be launching a new credit card. Since then, the waiting list grew to hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts eager to earn bitcoin rather than cash-back or travel rewards. Seven months later, BlockFi has started to release the BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card to select members of their waiting list. 

However, it's not too late to get in on the frenzy. The card is still open for waitlist applicants. Keep in mind because this card is a bit different from a traditional credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It has different requirements, features and processes as it is still being trickled out into consumers wallets.

Below, Select breaks down everything you need to know about the card.

The BlockFi bitcoin credit card has launched

Rewards

First, you are not issued bitcoin directly, but rather BlockFi Cryptocurrency Rewards Points. You will earn 1.5X points per $1 spent on the card. If you spend more than $50,000 in a 12 month period, you will earn 2X points per dollar after that. Once the points are deposited and the cardholder account is in good standing, BlockFi will immediately convert the points into bitcoin. With this card, you're essentially earning 1.5% back in bitcoin for every dollar spent.

New cardholders can earn 3.5% back in bitcoin on all purchases made within the first three months of card membership. However, this is capped at $100 in bitcoin. Compared to other credit card sign-up bonuses, this is a modest offer.

If you hold the card, you can also earn additional rewards from crypto you hold and cryptocurrency trades with BlockFi. You can earn a 2% APY bonus in rewards on stablecoin holdings, up to $200. In addition, you can earn 0.25% back on all eligible trades, up to a maximum of $500 in bitcoin each month. And for each person you refer to the card, you can earn $30 in bitcoin.

The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees and runs on the Visa network.

Qualifying for the card

As of publication, the card still has a waitlist and BlockFi has not published a timetable for when people should expect their turn to receive the card. But you can improve your place in line if you refer others to join the waitlist for the card.

It doesn't cost anything or impact your credit score to join the waitlist. And you can be preapproved for the card with a soft credit pull. Once you are able to apply for the card, a hard credit inquiry will be recorded on your credit report.

The card requires you have "good to excellent" credit, according to BlockFi's website. 

Limitations of the card

Unlike traditional credit cards, this one is limited geographically. While there are no specific provisions listed in the terms and conditions, it does indicate that laws around cryptocurrency are rapidly changing, and the use of the BlockFi online platform may not be available in your state. There is no up-to-date list of eligible states made available at this time.

In addition, the terms and conditions state if you access the online platform outside the United States, "you do so at your own risk and are responsible for compliance with the applicable laws of the country or jurisdiction where you may be located."

The card does not have the capability of adding an authorized user, balance transfers or cash advances

Bottom line

This card could be a good fit for someone who doesn't necessarily need the cash back or travel rewards. Because bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile, a cardholder should expect and understand that the value of their rewards may fluctuate dramatically. So, if you are interested in a card where you can passively earn bitcoin from your daily purchases, this option is worth considering.

If a traditional rewards credit card is more fitting, consider a cash-back or travel rewards credit card. Earning cash back could provide more flexibility, as you would have the option to buy bitcoin if you wanted, or use that money for nearly anything else.

Information about the BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.