The Uphold Mastercard card is a relatively new offering in the world of crypto credit cards; however, the company behind this product (originally known as Bitreserve) has been operating in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space since 2014. This product is mainly focused on acting like a traditional debit card that many people will have used in the past with their personal bank accounts. Of course, the key difference with the Uphold Card is that users have much more variety in terms of the assets that can be used as the backing for payments made with the card. Obviously, users can pay for goods and services with a variety of cryptocurrencies when they use this Bitcoin debit card, but the fun doesn’t end there. Users are also able to store value in a variety of fiat currencies and precious metals on the Uphold exchange. Additionally, this card features 2% cashback on purchases made with cryptocurrencies, which is basically unheard of in this space, at least when it comes to card offerings that do not have their own proprietary tokens attached to them.
The Uphold Card enables users to earn up to $5,000 cashback each month on in-store and online purchases. The maximum monthly cashback payout is $100 for users who only spend crypto assets, and $50 for users who only spend fiat currencies. For users who utilize both crypto and fiat, the maximum payout is somewhere between $50 and $100.
Users who make purchases using crypto assets will receive 2% cashback. Payouts are received in the same crypto asset that was used to make the purchase. If multiple crypto assets are used to make purchases, separate cashback payments will be sent for each asset.
Users who make purchases with any supported fiat currency (EUR, GBP, USD, etc.) will receive 1% cashback in USD.
Note: Cashback payouts for crypto asset and fiat currency transactions are calculated monthly and distributed within 90 days. The cashback value must be at least $1.00 in order for the user to receive funds. If the payout value is less than $1.00, the amount carries over to the following month(s) until the $1.00 threshold is reached.
Of course, there are some downsides to the Uphold Mastercard card as well. The biggest dealbreaker for many will be the simple fact that this card is not yet widely available. It is currently only available in the United States, and even there, there is limited availability at this time.
The Uphold Mastercard card also isn’t free. This may be a dealbreaker for some who are used to getting a debit card or prepaid card for free whenever they sign up for a new service.
While the fees for moving funds between bitcoin and fiat currency are rather reasonable, it’s also true that the fees are sort of hidden in the exchange rate presented to the user. Some potential users may view this as a dealbreaker for the simple fact that they think the company should be more transparent about the fees being charged to users.
One last potential dealbreaker to consider is that the cashback rewards aren’t as high as some of the other cards on the market. Having said that, this crypto debit card also does not have its own proprietary token, and those kinds of tokens are usually heavily integrated in platforms offering high cashback rewards, effectively forcing users to hold a token they may otherwise not choose to hold.
In order to qualify for an Uphold Card, existing Uphold users must request a card through the Uphold Card mobile app.
The card application process works as follows:
The Uphold Card mobile app is used for card registration, card activation, fund deposits, and fund withdrawals.
Here are a few key details about the mobile app:
Once your card arrives in the mail, activate it using the Uphold Card mobile app. In the package, you will find the physical card and a letter that includes the card’s activation code.
To activate the card via the Uphold Card mobile app, tap “Activate physical card”. To activate the card by phone, dial 1-855-568-8580 and press 1. Be sure to have your activation code ready before calling the number.
The Uphold Card is linked to the existing balance of your Uphold exchange account. The card enables you to make purchases directly using your available assets. You can deposit funds from an external credit/debit card, bank account, or crypto asset wallet.
Note: Uphold supports numerous assets, but only allows users to deposit and withdraw a select few assets.
Bank transfers are available for the following fiat currencies: USD, EUR, GPB, CAD, and PLN.
External wallet transfers are available for the following crypto assets: BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, BAT, LINK, ZRX, DASH, BTG, XRP, UPT, OMG, STORM, UPBTC, TUSD, DAI, USDC, USDT, UPUSD, and UPEUR.
Additional fiat, crypto, and precious metal assets supported by the Uphold Card can only be spent via the Uphold Card or traded on the Uphold exchange.
Using the Uphold Card for purchases is comparable to using a traditional debit card, with only a few slight differences.
An Uphold Card transaction works as follows: