Best for: International Travelers
Availability:
U.S
Currency:
USD
Fees:
Low

The Uphold Card is a crypto debit card that enables cardholders to directly spend their crypto, fiat, and precious metal assets on everyday purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted. The card is available in the US and is expected to launch in Europe and Latin America in the second half of 2020.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • FX Fees Refunded - At the end of each quarter, cardholders are reimbursed for any foreign exchange (FX) fees charged when using the Uphold Card for international purchases.
  • Asset Spending Options - Cardholders can directly spend their crypto, fiat, and precious metal assets using the Uphold Card.
  • Rewards - The Uphold Card offers 2% cashback on crypto asset transactions and 1% cashback on fiat currency transactions.

Cons

  • No Direct Registration - Eligible cardholders are currently required to sign up for the Uphold Card waitlist in order to apply for a card.
  • Regional Availability - Cardholder eligibility is currently limited to US residents.
  • Deposit/Withdrawal Limitations - Deposits and withdrawals are unavailable for several supported assets. For example, cardholders can only spend Platinum (XPT) by purchasing it through the Uphold exchange, which charges an extremely high fee of 3.95%.

Uphold Card Overview

Card Network Master Card
Supported Currency USD
Issuing Exchange Not issued by an Exchange
Virtual Card Support Yes
Available in US Yes
Available Regions U.S
Card Delivery 7-10 Business Days
Crypto-to-Fiat Fees Free
Top Up Assets ETH, XRP, BTC, LTC, LBA, BAT, BCH, DASH, BTG
Top Up Stablecoins USDC
Top Up Methods Crypto Deposit, Direct Deposit, ACH Credit
NFC Support No
Mobile Wallets
KYC Check Yes
Credit Check No
Issuing Bank Metropolitan Commercial Bank
Benefits & Rewards 2% cashback on crypto asset transactions and 1% cashback on fiat currency transactions.

Benefits & Rewards

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.

Uphold Card Notable Fees and Limits

Physical Card Issuance

$9.95

Virtual Card Issuance

FREE

Domestic ATM

$2.50

International ATM

$3.50

Domestic Transactions

FREE

Intra-EEA Transactions

3%

International Transactions

3%

Card Replacement

$9.95

Chargeback Processing

No Fee

Monthly Maintance

No Fee

Dormancy

No Fee

ACH Decline

No Fee

ACH Payments

No Fee

Uphold Card Spending Limits

Daily Spending

$10,000

Monthly Spending

UNLIMITED

Yearly Spending

UNLIMITED

Daily ATM

$1,500

Card Balance

UNLIMITED

Daily Top Up

$2,500

How to Get the Card

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:

  1. Download the Uphold Card mobile app and log in to your existing Uphold exchange account.
  2. Once prompted, enter your basic personal details: first name, last name, government-issued ID number, email address, date of birth, and address.
  3. Be sure to have an Uphold exchange account balance of at least $9.95 in order to pay for the physical card issuance fee.
  4. Once approved, you should receive your Uphold Card in the mail within 5 to 7 business days.

Mobile App Experience

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:

Card Activation

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.

Deposits & Withdrawals: Fiat, Crypto, & Precious Metal Assets

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, DASH, BTG, XRP, LBA, 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.

How to Use the Card

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:

  1. Link an Uphold exchange account to your Uphold Card account.
  2. Deposit or purchase supported assets (crypto, fiat, or precious metals) to your Uphold exchange account.
  3. Directly spend your assets online or in-store at any Mastercard-approved merchant.
  4. Mastercard will verify that there are sufficient funds available to complete your transaction.
  5. Uphold converts the selected asset to fiat currency on your behalf.
  6. The merchant receives payment in their local fiat currency, regardless of which asset was used for the purchase.

Uphold Card Alternatives

Rating9.5/107/105.5/10
Supported CurrencyUSDEUR, GBPEUR, GBP
Physical Card Issuance Fee$9.95$4.95Free
Domestic ATM Fee$2.501%$1.75
Crypto-to-Fiat FeesFree2.49%1%
International Transaction Fee3%3%3%
Mobile WalletsGoogle PayGoogle Pay, Apple Pay
Available RegionsU.SUK & EEAUK EEA & SG
Learn MoreReviewReviewReview

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Uphold Card available to United States residents?

Does Uphold require Uphold Card applicants to verify their identities via KYC?

How do I add funds to my Uphold Card?

Can my Uphold Card help me save money while traveling abroad?

Can I directly spend crypto assets using my Uphold Card?

Does Uphold have physical reserves to match the total value of precious metals held in user accounts?

What fees are associated with using the Uphold Card?

Does the Uphold Card support contactless payments?

Does the Uphold Card have spending limits?

Does the Uphold Card have a mobile app?

Conclusion: Is the Uphold Card Worth It?

While the initial product rollout is ongoing, the Uphold Card appears to be a promising choice compared to most crypto debit cards available today.

The Benefits:

Beginner Friendly - The physical debit card and accompanying mobile app are both well suited for beginners.

Frequent Audits - Uphold undergoes independent audits quarterly to verify that user funds are secure. Additionally, Uphold’s precious metal holdings are audited daily.

Mobile App Features - The Uphold Card mobile app enables users to access or hide card details, receive push notifications for purchases, place temporary card freezes, change their PIN number, and break down spending by category.

FX Fees Refunded - At the end of each quarter, cardholders are reimbursed for any foreign exchange (FX) fees charged when using the Uphold Card for international purchases.

Asset Spending Options - Crypto, fiat, and precious metal assets can be used for purchases with the Uphold Card.

Cashback Rewards - Users may earn cashback rewards for online and in-store purchases made with fiat or crypto assets (up to $5,000 monthly).

The Drawbacks:

Waitlist for Signup - Eligible cardholders are required to sign up on a waitlist before being able to apply for the Uphold Card.

Regional Availability - Cardholder eligibility is currently limited to United States residents.

High Fees - Uphold charges higher fees when compared to traditional debit cards for card issuance, fiat and crypto withdrawals, and ATM withdrawals.

At this time, the availability and coverage of the Uphold Card is quite limited. Additional unforeseen benefits and drawbacks may only become apparent once the card launches in regions outside of the US.

That being said, the product currently offers a high-quality user experience. The Uphold Card appears to be a user-friendly, flexible option for spending crypto assets, fiat currencies, and precious metals. Due to its low FX fees, high cashback rewards, and feature-rich mobile app, Blockfer currently recommends that potential cardholders consider the Uphold Card.

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