The Gemini credit card is finally available. With it you can get 3% back on dinning, 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else. Overall I'm excited to get this card because I'm currently using Blockfi's 1.5% credit card as my "everything else" payment option.
I've personally noticed that I use my Blockfi credit card mostly for my coffee, nights out with friends (drinks and food) and grocery shopping. So for my typically use case I would actually benefit more from the Gemini card.
The Blockfi card works by way of a point system where points are exchanged for BTC at the current market rate once a month. Those rewards points are then deposited into an interest bearing account. As an American you're no longer able to add funds directly to this account, but you still get the rewards paid out.
However, you should get in the habit of self custody using a hardware wallet like Trezor for your Bitcoin. Blockfi overall is an annoying hassle when withdrawing because they require a facial scan (yea no joke) and proof of identification in the form of your passport or driving license to move BTC off the platform which makes using Gemini all the more appealing.
The Gemini card by contrast pays out rewards in real time, not once a month. So it's may be a better option for me in everyway but I do first need to use it.
My preferred crypto exchange just released a fantastic credit card. Signup, buy some BTC and apply for their credit card.
Rewards available in Bitcoin and multiple digital assets
Now, I'm not trying to sell you on Gemini or anything but one feature I like about this card is the ability to earn your rewards in multiple digital assets. While I'm long Bitcoin (see my how to invest guide) and think it's a good idea to own at least .1 to .5 of BTC at a minimum (or a whole coin if you can afford it) there is no denying that it's pretty dang cool that you can earn stable coin like USDC with Gemini.
With USDC and Gemini you can also use their "earn" platform to earn interest on your USDC stable coin balance. So overall it's a win-win on multiple levels to use their credit card, earn rewards in USDC and interest on your USDC balance. The only slight issue is how to spend that USDC which we will get to in a bit.
Now I should note that USDC is not FDIC insured or anything and after the disaster that was Terra Luna blowing up from a high of $98 to .01 cent in a week you need to be careful. I would suggest using your USDC for spending purposes or perhaps accumulate a years worth of rewards and interest then sell it for fiat each year and spend it on something you want.
Personally the only stable coin I like is GUSD which is Gemini's stable coin. USDC is from Coinbase which I like too, but not as much as Gemini. But you know what? What if there was a way to spend your USDC without needing to log into your Gemini account and sell USDC for dollars for purchases?
My main issue so far with Gemini
As I'm currently abroad when I got approved for this card, I don't actually have the physical card itself. Instead it's tucked away in a drawer at my sisters house waiting for my return in January.
I could have the card mailed out here to Thailand, but it's literally the other side of the world and there is a risk of it getting lost. Instead, I've been using the card via my wallet on my iPhone. It's been hit or miss, a lot of transactions are declined annoyingly. For example, all of a sudden I can't use it at Starbucks even though a week ago there was no issue.
It's super annoying that I can't use this card for "everything else" like I was doing with my Blockfi card which has performed perfectly so far. I was really aiming to compare the two in performance overall in a future post so I'll have to take this into consideration.
So I really like the card, 3% on dinning and 2% on groceries is good when it works. Perhaps it is because I'm abroad? Maybe it's because I'm using it on a wallet instead of the physical card itself? Who knows, if this keeps up I may have to drop my recommendation on my expat resources page.
Enter the Voyager debit card
Update: Voyager has frozen all accounts and suspended all activity. If you did happen to get the debit card it's now suspended as well. They appear to be done for but time will tell. Update again: They filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Voyager is a cryptocurrency brokerage app that is coming out with a debit card. They are not an exchange like Gemini but instead use multiple exchanges to initiate buy and sell orders for their users and make their money on the spread.
They currently pay 9% on USDC and will be coming out with a debit card that allows you to spend USDC directly. So what I'm thinking is that I'll use my Gemini credit card to earn USDC then once a month transfer that balance from Gemini to Voyager.
The benefit of this is two fold, not only would you earn a higher interest rate on your USDC balance, but you can actually spend your rewards each month on purchases.
A mobile app for buying crypto currency. I used Voyager to buy speculative coins in small amounts which I would later sell after a 2X price increase.
While you can earn BTC as a reward with Gemini, after earning BTC from my Blockfi credit card, I think it's more valuable to earn stable coin as the BTC credit card payments are small. I would rather make a one lump sum buy order when Bitcoin dips than earn $10-$30 worth of BTC from a credit card, but again that's just me.
Gemini and Voyager - An interesting 1-2 combo
So right now I'm waiting for my Gemini credit card to arrive and I'll replace my Blockfi credit with it for the next few months to see how much I end up earning.
At my spending levels it should be around $30 worth of USDC rewards each month that I would transfer over to Voyager. Hopefully the Voyager debit card launches in the next few months so I can try this idea out.
Then, with these two companies combined you have a unique way to earn a high cashback rate and a high interest rate on your balance. Anyways, if you've not already done so go ahead and signup for Gemini here.