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Coinbase Card Review: Worth It for Poker Players in 2023?

Coinbase Card Image

If you're a fan of both poker and crypto-currency, then you can combine your interests with the Coinbase debit card. This card connects with your Coinbase exchange account, letting you spend the cryptos and cash you have in your portfolio anywhere that Visa is accepted. In this Coinbase card review, we'll go over how the card works, who's eligible to receive it, instructions for requesting a card, and much more.

Comprehensive review of the Coinbase Card, including eligibility, features, how to use it, et cetera

How Does the Coinbase Card Function?

Two Interlocking Gears

Much like its predecessor, the Shift debit card (discontinued April 2019), the Coinbase debit card lets you spend crypto-currency that you have in your main Coinbase account. At the time that you make a purchase or an ATM withdrawal using your card, the coin that you have previously selected to pay with will be sold in order to cover the cost of your transaction.

Coinbase does not charge any fees on this crypto-currency sale; however, there will be a “spread” amounting to around 1% of the transaction value in order to facilitate the market exchange. You can avoid this spread by designating your Coinbase USD balance as the currency to spend. Also, the “stablecoin” USD Coin (USDC) can be spent without incurring any spread.

The Coinbase card has no annual fees.

Who's Eligible for the Coinbase Debit Card?

Man With Question Mark

The Coinbase card is available in the United States, except Hawaii, the United Kingdom, and several E.U. countries. There are few differences in the fees, software, and regulations pertaining to the card depending on where you reside. We have opted to focus on the U.S. market and the web interface for this Coinbase debit card review. Be aware that some of the details may vary if you're in another country and/or you're using the Coinbase app rather than the website.

Be aware that the Coinbase Visa card is only offered to customers who already possess a Coinbase account. Moreover, that account must be verified. To learn how to get started at Coinbase, click over to this illustrated Coinbase setup guide. Then come back here when you're ready to apply for the Coinbase card.

How to Obtain the Coinbase Visa

Paper Pages

It's easy to request your new Coinbase card as long as you meet the qualifications outlined above. First, log in to your Coinbase account.

Logging Into a Coinbase AccountTo Get Started, Log Into Your Coinbase Account

Then choose the “Card” tab along the leftmost side of your browser:

The Coinbase Card has its own tab on the left of the main Coinbase interfaceSelect the Card Tab on the Left

Click the “Get started” button in the middle of the browser window:

Begin the application process for the Coinbase CardClick the Button to Get Started

A pop-up window will appear giving you an overview of the benefits of the Coinbase Card. Again, click on the blue “Get started” button to proceed:

This page tells you some generic info about the Coinbase CardClick the Blue Button to Continue

Coinbase should already have your personal information from before when you verified it. Nevertheless, you'll be prompted to confirm this information. Click the blue pencil to edit it if necessary. When ready, click on “Continue” at the bottom of the window.

It's important that Coinbase have your accurate name and addressConfirm Your Name and Address

Because it's such an important detail to get right, you'll be asked to again review your mailing address. Click “Looks good!” if it's right, or press the back arrow if you need to edit it again.

If your correct mailing address is shown, then you are good to proceedClick the Button If the Mailing Address Is Correct

Next, you'll see a bunch of legal information:

Here you learn about the fees and important facts governing the use of the Coinbase CardImportant Legal Information

There is quite a bit of legal information here, and Coinbase doesn't want you to skip over it. You must manually scroll to the bottom of the document and click a box confirming that you understand and agree to the terms. Then hit the blue “Accept” button.

Here you're presented with more legal info, including on the arbitration processRead This Information and Accept When Ready

Next, a congratulatory message will appear informing you of the timeframe within which you should receive your new Coinbase debit card.

At this point, the card application process is nearly completeIt's Time to Choose Your Card Reward

At this time, you are prompted to “Choose reward.” You see, you can set up the Coinbase Visa to give you cashback with every purchase! This rebate can be provided in one of several cryptos, and each comes with a stated percentage of your purchases that will be credited back to you in that coin.

You will earn crypto back on every purchaseThere Are Several Crypto Rewards to Select From

Historically, Stellar Lumens has had the highest Coinbase card rewards, sometimes reaching as high as 4%! However, all of these deals are limited-time offers, and at their expiration, you'll be prompted to choose from a set of new offers.

After you select from the available rewards, you'll get to decide if you wish to spend from your U.S. dollar balance or crypto balance. No matter what you choose here, you'll be able to change your decision at any point later on.

You can pay with your dollar balance or your crypto walletsSpend Either US Dollars or Crypto

Now you just have to wait for your new card to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, though, you're provided with a virtual card. Therefore, you can start using it immediately without having to wait to receive the physical Coinbase Card. The Coinbase virtual card can be used to make online and over-the-phone purchases as well as at terrestrial retailers that support contactless payment.

To view your virtual card information, simply click on the image of the card within the “Card” tab of Coinbase. Alternately, toggle the “Show card number” slider toward the right of the screen:

In addition to a physical card, you will also be issued a virtual cardUntil Your Physical Card Arrives, You Can Use the Virtual Card

What to Do When Your Coinbase Visa Card Arrives

Red Present

Before long, you'll receive an envelope containing your new Coinbase card along with a paper describing some of the features of the card. It's now time to activate it so that you can begin to use the physical card to conduct transactions in real life.

From within the “Card” tab of the Coinbase website, choose “Activate Coinbase Card” on the right. A pop-up will appear, prompting you to “Activate physical card.” Press the button to do so.

After you receive your card in the mail, you must activate it onlineReady to Activate Your Card?

Now you'll have to enter your card number and the 3-digit CCV, both of which you'll find on the back of the card. When ready, click on “Activate Card.”

Activate your card by confirming the card number and CVVCopy the Information From Your Physical Card

As a security measure, you'll be prompted to input a four-digit PIN for your card. This is standard procedure with debit cards in the United States. Choose a number that's easy for you to remember, but not too easy (i.e., no sequential series of digits, no birthdays or anniversaries, et cetera). Enter this number in twice, in the spaces provided, and then click “Set PIN.”

Selecting a PIN is an important security stepSelect a Four-Digit PIN

That was the final step in activating your Coinbase debit card. You'll see a message telling you that your card is activated. Press “Done” at the bottom of the window.

After you choose a PIN, your card will be ready to useYour Card Is Now Ready to Use

How to Use the Coinbase Card

Blue Play Button

Now that you've received your card and activated it, you're probably eager to begin buying goods and services with it. The Coinbase debit card woks just as any other chip card does though you can swipe the magnetic stripe too when dealing with older card readers.

Coinbase Card Limits

Your spending is, of course, limited by the amount of USD and crypto-currency in your various Coinbase balances. However, there are additional daily limitations in place for the Coinbase Card. These are $1,000 in ATM withdrawals per day and a $2,500 daily spending limit.

These limits could change in the future, and there's always the chance that your Coinbase Card spending limit is different for whatever reason. To view your personal limits, go to the “Card” tab while logged in on the Coinbase website. Browse over to the “Support” link on the bottom right of the page. Click on “View spending and ATM limits.” You'll see a box like the following:

The default Coinbase Visa card limits are $2,500 in purchases and $1,000 in ATM withdrawals per dayCoinbase Card Daily Limits

Viewing the Transaction History

The transaction history for the Coinbase Visa card is pretty self-explanatory and transparent. As long as you're logged in and on the “Card” section of the Coinbase website, you'll see a list of your transactions below the image of the card.

You can view your transaction history at any timeReview Your Transaction History Here

Click on a transaction to get more information about it:

You can view the details of any transaction, including the amount, reward earned, status, and merchantDetailed Information About a Single Transaction

Prohibited Transactions

Coinbase likes to boast that its debit card is accepted everywhere that Visa is, this isn't entirely true. There's a list of merchant categories that are prohibited by the card rules. They include:

  • Securities brokers
  • Money Order/Wire Transfer/Money Services Businesses
  • Cryptocurrency Businesses
  • Dating/Escort/Massage Parlor Services
  • Firearm- and Marijuana-Related Businesses
  • Gambling, Including Government-Licensed Online Casinos, Horse/Dog Racing, Lotteries

The item on this list that will perhaps interest our readers the most is the last. Though its debatable whether or not poker is properly considered a form of gambling, most credit card and finance companies emphatically believe that it is.

Therefore, you're not allowed to use the Coinbase debit card to deposit to your internet poker room of choice. This is true even for U.S. regulated online poker sites, like those in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, so it's probably doubly true for offshore operators.

What's more, you can't use the Coinbase Visa Card to purchase crypto-currency or to fund your PayPal or Venmo accounts due to the prohibition on crypto and money services businesses. So even attempting to use the card to fund an intermediary account and then put the funds into an online poker balance seems undoable.

For these reasons, we counsel all our readers to only commit to the Coinbase Card cash that's earmarked for spending, not for recycling into your bankroll. You're better off leaving your poker bankroll in several non-exchange crypto wallet accounts rather than parking it in Coinbase.

WE HAVE A FURTHER NOTE OF CAUTION for all our readers: DO NOT attempt to send your crypto-currency winnings directly from your poker site to your Coinbase wallet. Coinbase is a duly registered corporation in the United States and must therefore adhere to all financial regulations in legal effect, including those that prohibit internet gambling transactions. Coinbase has been known to shut down the accounts of people who have sent their gaming winnings to their Coinbase wallets. Simply routing your coins first through an intermediary wallet, such as that provided by, will eliminate this risk.

How to Sell Your Crypto on Coinbase

Bitcoin Logo

We've already seen that the Coinbase card can convert your crypto to dollars at the point of purchase whenever you buy anything with the card. However, you'll still have to pay the spread on these transactions. For better results, we recommend designating your USD or USDC balance as the currency to pay with. This does mean, of course, that you'll probably have to sell some of your crypto to acquire these funds.

Selling on the Main Coinbase Platform

To sell some of your crypto, browse over to the “My assets” tab on the left. Below a chart tracking the value of your portfolio over time, you'll see two boxes: one marked, “My cash” and another labeled, “My crypto.” The first of these areas shows your balances of U.S. dollar and USD Coin whereas the latter displays any other crypto balance you currently hold.

The “My Assets” screen is where you can see which cryptos you own and how muchTake a Look at All Your Balances Here

Scroll down to the “My crypto” part of the page when you're ready to sell. Then open the three-dotted menu to the right of the asset you wish to sell. Select “Sell” from the drop-down menu. In the image below, we have chosen to sell some of our Bitcoin.

Use the menu with three dots to access the selling interfaceSelling Bitcoin

Next, an interface will appear allowing you to specify how much you wish to sell (in either BTC or dollars) and the wallet to add the funds to. We recommend adding to your USD Wallet. Changing between USD and USDC, if necessary, can be done later with no fees or spread.

In the example below, we have chosen to sell 0.05 BTC.

Choose how much Bitcoin you want to sell and where to send the fundsSet up Your Sale of Bitcoin in This Window

Click “Preview Sell” to see a rundown of the prices and fees involved along with the total payout that will be added to your USD wallet. In this case, we see that the price quoted is $29,748.60/BTC, and the Coinbase fee is $22.16, leading to a total payout of $1,465.27.

Check out the order preview to ensure that the transaction details are correctConfirm That All Information Is Correct Before Selling

When you're ready, press the "Sell now" button to process the transaction.

However, this is not the best way to sell your crypto on Coinbase. You can use one simple trick to reduce fees at Coinbase and get the maximum amount of money for your crypto-currencies.

You see, the company provides an Advanced interface for power traders who wish to avoid the hefty fees that Coinbase charges unsophisticated, casual users. Read on to learn how you can make your trades at a fraction of the normal cost.

Coinbase Advanced

To get to the Advanced trading platform, click the top-right menu and choose “Advanced.”

Coinbase has another interface reserved for serious tradersClick Here to Go to the Advanced Trading Display

You'll see a new display appear in your window, containing a bunch of confusing charts and stats. These are tools meant for experienced traders and power users, but fortunately, if all you want to do is sell some bitcoins, you can ignore most of this info.

There's a lot of information to process in the Coinbase Advanced trading windowThis Is Where the Experienced Traders Execute Their Orders

First of all, confirm that you're in the right market by looking near the top-left of the screen. If you're trying to sell BTC, then it should say “BTC-USD.” If you're selling something other than bitcoins, then replace the “BTC” portion of the currency pair by the ticker symbol of the coin you're interested in, e.g., LTC, BCH, ETH.

Then move your attention over to the right pane of the window, which is where you can input your trades. By selecting “Sell” and “Market” and then typing in the amount of BTC you wish to sell, you can place an order that will be fulfilled almost immediately.

Market orders are the best way to ensure that your order is fulfilled quicklyFill Out the Info and Then “Sell BTC”

The system will calculate the estimated fee and the total amount that will be deposited into your USD wallet. When ready, click the “Sell BTC” button, and your trade will be put through for immediate fulfillment.

When composing this article, we elected to obtain prices from both the basic Coinbase platform and the Advanced view. As you can see from the image above, the estimated fee on Coinbase Advanced was just $9.02, and the total to be put into our USD account was $1494.42.

Compare this to the $1,465.27 that the regular Coinbase selling window would have given us a few paragraphs above, and you can easily realize the value of the Advanced trading window. Between the explicitly stated Coinbase fee and the use of an inferior trading price, Coinbase was extracting an extra $29.15 beyond the $9.02 that the same trade could be accomplished for in the Advanced trading screen. That a fee increase of more than 300%!

To put it another way, with a final sale price of $1,503.45 on the advanced platform, the $9.02 in fees represents a percentage of just 0.60% of the total transaction value. The normal Coinbase fee + spread by contrast consumes 2.54% of the transaction amount. What a ripoff!

You can actually reduce the fees even further by making limit orders rather than market orders, but doing so is beyond the scope of this article. There are also volume discounts that may come into play based upon your 30-day trading history, but you must have a volume of trade greater than $10,000 in the past month for these discounts to come into play.

Coinbase Card Additional Features

Clipboard Checklist

We've already gone over most of the ins and outs of using the Coinbase Visa card. Nevertheless, there are still a few elements that you might wish to acquaint yourself with in case you should ever need them. Most of these features can be found in the right panel of the “Card” tab on the Coinbase website.

You can change your PIN, lock your card, and perform other useful functions onlineLook to the Right of the “Card” Tab for Useful Functions

You can change what wallet you use for card payments as well as the reward offer you wish to take advantage of. Below these options, you'll see controls for showing your card number on screen as well as copying it to the clipboard.

Next, you can lock the card and unlock it by toggling a slider. This can prove useful if you've temporarily misplaced your card or suspect that it might be stolen. You can also reset your PIN at any time: another useful security feature.

Of course, if you really believe that someone has already or intends to make fraudulent purchases with your card, you ought to contact support, which you can do through the bottommost menu in this section of the website. Besides getting in touch with support, this menu also has options for reporting a damaged card, changing your billing address, and viewing the FAQ.

Coinbase Card Conclusion

Fancy Pen

We have found the Coinbase Card to be a useful addition to our financial toolkit as poker players who dabble in crypto-currency. There are a few annoying limitations, such as a daily ATM withdrawal limit of just $1,000 and a prohibition on using the card for certain types of purchases.

However, the convenience of being able to use the Coinbase Visa at thousands of merchants to spend any of dozens of cryptos while earning cashback rewards makes this an alluring proposition. The fact that the Coinbase debit card is available in almost every U.S. state (sorry, Hawaii) argues strongly in its favor too.

We wouldn't go so far as to make this the main card in our wallet because you can get much better returns and higher limits from a traditional rewards credit card, but for converting your crypto into easily spendable cash, it's tough to beat the Coinbase Card.

Of course, you'll need a Coinbase account in order to request the card. If you have yet to sign up for Coinbase, then you can do so by clicking the button below.

Coinbase Card FAQ

Green Question Mark

If you still have questions about the Coinbase debit card, look below in our FAQ where we have compiled the answers to some of the most common queries about this card.

The Coinbase Card is issued by MetaBank under a license from Visa U.S.A. In 2022, MetaBank changed its name to Pathward, and you will encounter both names in connection with the Coinbase Visa Card.

You can reach out to Coinbase debit card support by calling (888) 908-7930. You can also use a webform on the Coinbase website to send an email. Support is offered 24/7.

There are no annual or monthly Coinbase debit card fees. ATM withdrawals and purchases are also fee-free, but you may have to pay transaction fees when paying with a balance other than USD or USDC. Also, while Coinbase doesn't charge a fee for ATM withdrawals, the owner of the ATM might levy its own fees on your transaction.

The advantages of the Coinbase debit card include the ability to spend crypto-currency at merchants that accept Visa, the security protections inherent in credit cards, Coinbase Card rewards with every purchase, and the possibility of withdrawing funds at ATMs.

The two main ways of accessing the Coinbase card are on the website and through the Coinbase mobile app.

According to IRS regulations, every time you spend cryptocurrency with your card, it's a taxable event. However, transactions using your USD or USDC wallet do not lead to a taxable gain or loss. In order to keep your tax paperwork reasonable, we recommend selecting only USD or USDC as the funding source for your card.