Uphold Card Review
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
- 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.
- 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|
|Issuing Exchange||Not issued by an Exchange|
|Virtual Card Support|
|Available in US|
|Card Delivery||7-10 Business Days|
|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|
|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
Virtual Card Issuance
Uphold Card Spending Limits
Daily Top Up
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:
- Download the Uphold Card mobile app and log in to your existing Uphold exchange account.
- Once prompted, enter your basic personal details: first name, last name, government-issued ID number, email address, date of birth, and address.
- Be sure to have an Uphold exchange account balance of at least $9.95 in order to pay for the physical card issuance fee.
- 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:
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:
- Link an Uphold exchange account to your Uphold Card account.
- Deposit or purchase supported assets (crypto, fiat, or precious metals) to your Uphold exchange account.
- Directly spend your assets online or in-store at any Mastercard-approved merchant.
- Mastercard will verify that there are sufficient funds available to complete your transaction.
- Uphold converts the selected asset to fiat currency on your behalf.
- The merchant receives payment in their local fiat currency, regardless of which asset was used for the purchase.
Uphold Card Alternatives
|Supported Currency||USD||EUR, GBP||EUR, GBP|
|Physical Card Issuance Fee||$9.95||$4.95||Free|
|Domestic ATM Fee||$2.50||1%||$1.75|
|International Transaction Fee||3%||3%||3%|
|Mobile Wallets||Google Pay||Google Pay, Apple Pay|
|Available Regions||U.S||UK & EEA||UK EEA & SG|
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Uphold Card available to United States residents?
Yes. The Uphold Card is available to US residents.
Does Uphold require Uphold Card applicants to verify their identities via KYC?
Yes. When users apply for a card on the Uphold Card mobile app, they are prompted to enter their government-issued ID number. Uphold may also request users to provide proof of address (e.g. copy of a recent bill or bank statement) when applying for the Uphold Card.
In general, unverified Uphold accounts have a lifetime transaction ceiling of $1,000. Users who wish to spend more are required to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Government-issued ID (e.g. driver’s license or passport)
- Current address
How do I add funds to my Uphold Card?
The Uphold Card is linked to the existing balance of your Uphold exchange account. You may deposit funds from an external credit/debit card, bank account, or crypto asset wallet.
Can my Uphold Card help me save money while traveling abroad?
Yes. The Uphold Card refunds all FX fees on international purchases.
Card transactions are currently settled in USD—after spending other fiat currencies, the user may see Uphold FX fees of 3% charged to their account. In this event, Uphold will refund the user at the end of the quarter.
Can I directly spend crypto assets using my Uphold Card?
Yes. The physical card supports the direct spending of crypto assets for online and in-store purchases at Mastercard-approved merchants. Crypto, fiat, and precious metal assets can be spent via the physical debit card or the Uphold Card mobile app.
Does Uphold have physical reserves to match the total value of precious metals held in user accounts?
Yes. All customer precious metal balances are fully backed by Gold Bullion International’s physical reserves. Uphold’s precious metal holdings are audited daily by GBI’s approved vaulting partners.
What fees are associated with using the Uphold Card?
Uphold Card fees are generally higher than traditional debit cards:
- Physical card issuance fee - Uphold charges $9.95 per card issued.
- ATM withdrawal fees - Users are charged $2.50 per domestic ATM withdrawal and $3.50 per international ATM withdrawal.
- Fiat and crypto withdrawals - Users are charged $20 per withdrawal of CAD and PLN. Withdrawal fees vary per crypto asset.
Does the Uphold Card support contactless payments?
No. The Uphold Card doesn’t currently support contactless payments (NFC enabled) for in-store purchases. According to Uphold, this feature is currently being reviewed.
Does the Uphold Card have spending limits?
Yes. There are specific purchase limits for the Uphold Card.
- Daily Spending: $10,000
- Monthly Spending: UNLIMITED
- Yearly Spending: UNLIMITED
- Daily ATM: $1,500
- Card Balance: UNLIMITED
- Daily Top Up: $2,500
Does the Uphold Card have a mobile app?
Yes. The Uphold Card mobile app (available on iOS and Android) is used for card registration, card activation, fund deposits, and fund withdrawals.
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.
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).
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.