Earn 1.5% in Bitcoin

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the the crypto craze may seem a bit quieter than it was earlier this year, but the crypto credit card landscape is heating up. Upgrade has released a new version of the Upgrade card today, it allows cardholders to earn bitcoin rewards on every purchase they make.

There is no waiting list (other crypto-focused cards have all launched with a sign-up approach now for later access), and the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card comes with a simple income structure:

  • 1.5% cashback in bitcoin on every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • Bitcoin rewards must be kept for 90 days before selling them (and when you sell, you’ll pay a 1.5% transaction fee)

When comparing the new Upgrade card to the card from BlockFi, the other major player currently active in the bitcoin rewards space, Upgrade’s is a clear winner to avoid confusion. BlockFi’s offer comes with an annual fee of $ 200 and bonus opportunities for crypto trading and hold stable monetary assets, which can be a potential headache for anyone new to space. The 1.5% discount on Upgrade rewards is a familiar value proposition.

Read more: The best cash back credit cards you can apply for right now

The company launched the new card in partnership with Visa, and it includes all of the standard Visa Signature benefits, such as secondary car rental insurance, extended warranty protection, and luxury hotel benefits.

Create a “ramp” to the complex crypto highway for everyone

Cryptocurrency can be associated with an emerging distribution of Generation Z and Millennial consumers, but Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Upgrade, told Insider the company aims to “create innovation for the general public and for families – not just for a few people in Silicon Valley.”

“Many of our clients are not necessarily early adopters,” said Laplanche. “Our average client is in their forties. Very few of them actually have a crypto wallet, so this is a real opportunity to learn about cryptocurrencies. [when] they might not be comfortable enough to buy it. “

Read more: The best Bitcoin wallets to store and secure your cryptocurrency

Terry Angelos, senior vice president, global head of financial technology at Visa, told Insider that he sees Upgrade’s new rewards offering as an effective “ramp” to crypto.

“With Upgrade, you have a number of financial service products, and bitcoin rewards are a way for some of those consumers to gain exposure to the asset class in an easy way,” Angelos said. “I’ll spend where I normally spend. Rather than receiving cash back, I get bitcoin. A consumer effectively creates a brokerage account on the fly by opting for these rewards.”

Think about the detention period

There are a lot of uncertainties around bitcoin, but there is one undeniable truth for anyone who earns a reward payout in crypto’s biggest name: you are going to see your rewards swing wildly.

For example, if you had accumulated $ 100 in bitcoin rewards on April 15 when a bitcoin was valued over $ 63,000, the value on July 15 would have fallen below $ 50 when that same bitcoin was worth less than $ 32. $ 000.

With that in mind, the 90-day detention period will seem like an eternity to some. And compared to the traditional landscape of credit card rewards, it looks like a strict limitation on the use of rewards. Cash back rewards tend to be available at the end of each billing cycle, so waiting three months can be a drag for some cardholders.

Read More: The Best Credit Cards For Turning Rewards Of Daily Spending Into Investments

However, on the other hand, holding is part of a successful long-term investment strategy. In fact, if you think bitcoin can chart a whole new monetary future, you’ll want to hold onto these rewards for well over 90 days.

“So far, bitcoin has proven to be primarily an asset that people own the same way they own stocks,” Angelos said. “Among the people who hold it, there is a belief that it will grow in value.”

Laplanche acknowledges the current high level of volatility in Bitcoin, but cites inflation issues, large government spending programs, and the limited supply of 21 million currencies as three key reasons why the future of bitcoin is bright. .

“I believe that in the long run there are fundamental reasons why Bitcoin will continue to appreciate,” he said.

And in the meantime, the ebb and flow are not going to make or break a cardholder’s well-being.

“It’s a safe way to get exposure to bitcoin volatility,” Angelos said. “If my rewards balance goes up one day and goes down the next, it doesn’t have a big impact on my bottom line.”

Read more: Financial advisers say it’s not too late to invest in Bitcoin, but there are a few things you need to do with your money first

“Upgrade” of the entire credit card market

Laplanche’s vision for Upgrade involves a broader vision than figuring out how to help average consumers understand the basics of bitcoin. The Company’s other credit cards are designed differently from the average credit cards.

Instead of the traditional monthly minimum payment structure, Laplanche said Upgrade cards all operate on fixed payment plans that offer “the forced discipline of paying back principal and interest each month.” Cards charge interest, but APRs start at 8.99%, a rating significantly lower than the current average of 16%. The structure is particularly suitable for anyone who has fallen into the trap of overspending.

Read more: The best low interest credit cards with 0% APR

“Credit cards are fundamentally bad products,” Laplanche said. “They have very high rates and fees. The worst thing about credit cards is that they encourage people to stay in debt for as long as possible.”

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