Gemini Finally Launches Its Crypto Credit Card in U.S.

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KEY POINTS

  • Gemini just launched its crypto rewards credit card that pays 3% on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on other purchases.
  • Cardholders can receive rewards in over 60 different cryptocurrencies.
  • Cardholders may have to pay tax on their crypto rewards.


After almost a year of waiting, Gemini's crypto rewards credit card is here.

Popular cryptocurrency exchange Gemini just launched its crypto credit card for U.S. customers. The release comes almost a year after it first announced its credit card plans. During that time, over 500,000 people have joined the waitlist.

Cardholders will be able to earn crypto rewards on their everyday spending with this no annual fee credit card. Gemini says its Gemini Credit Card is available in all 50 U.S. states.

Benefits of the Gemini Credit Card

The new card is issued by WebBank and works on the Mastercard network. It can be used with any merchants that accept Mastercard, and cardholders can opt to receive rewards in over 60 different cryptocurrencies. These include popular cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and others.

Gemini says it converts the dollar value of rewards earned into your chosen crypto at time of purchase. It then deposits the crypto into customer accounts. Here's how the rewards break down:

  • 3% on dining spending (up to an annual spend of $6,000)
  • 2% on groceries
  • 1% back on other purchases

So, if you spent $150 in a restaurant and you'd chosen to receive rewards in Bitcoin, Gemini would put $4.50 worth of BTC into your account. Gemini says it doesn't charge fees on this transaction.

Other benefits include no foreign transaction fees, theft protection, and a stainless steel card in three color options. Cardholders can also enjoy World Mastercard® Benefits such as exclusive offers from companies like DoorDash, HelloFresh, Lyft, and ShopRunner.

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Pros and cons of crypto rewards cards

Gemini's new card differs from many crypto rewards cards on the market in that it is a crypto credit card rather than a prepaid debit card. Among other things, this means Gemini will carry out a credit check to find out if you qualify for the card, and your regular payments will count toward your credit history.

The big benefit of a crypto rewards card is that it makes it easy to build up cryptocurrency holdings. As Gemini's CTO Pravjit Tiwana explained, "We developed the Gemini Credit Card to offer a simplified way to invest in crypto without asking consumers to change their daily behavior."

However, investors should be aware that volatility will impact the value of their crypto rewards. For example, let's say you earned that $4.50 in Bitcoin rewards on Nov. 9 last year. According to CoinGecko data, that BTC would only be worth about $2.75 today. On the other hand, if you'd earned $4.50 of Bitcoin rewards on Jan. 23, it would now be worth about $5.25.

There are also crypto tax considerations. The IRS classes cryptocurrencies as property, and realizing gains on your crypto is a taxable event. That means if you sell or spend your crypto rewards, you may need to declare it on your tax form.

It's important to compare the Gemini Credit Card to other no annual fee rewards cards on the market. You might find you can earn higher rewards on your spending with a normal non-crypto credit card. In which case, you might be better off earning those higher rewards and converting them into crypto yourself.

Bottom line

The new Gemini Credit Card might offer investors an easy way to build up their crypto holdings. But it's worth understanding the tax implications and comparing the potential rewards against other non-crypto cards too.

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