BlockFi Credit Card Review: Are $1,250+ of Perks and Bonuses Worth It?
If the BlockFi credit card is the first bitcoin credit card you’re thinking of applying for, you’re not alone; the cryptocurrency credit card category is very new and few people are using crypto cards over legacy credit cards.
BlockFi’s gist is simple: upon approval, you get a credit limit in USD and get 3.5% cashback in bitcoin on every purchase in the first 3 months, and then 1.5% on all purchases after.
It’s an actual credit card–not a “debit card with perks” like that of some competitors.
The card no longer has a $200 annual fee. The variable interest rate is between 14.99% and 22.99% on outstanding balances.
The bitcoin rewards are transferred to your BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) every month and immediately start accruing interest. So, let’s say you spend $3,333 in August and earn $50 in bitcoin– your BTC would immediately start earning 6% APY in the interest account, earning you an extra $3 if held for the full year.
Three bucks doesn’t sound like anything to do a backflip over, but the ability to earn interest on cryptocurrency is an exciting evolution of the cryptocurrency industry. The card also offers a 2% APY increase on stablecoins in the BIA.
The BlockFi Credit Card is currently on waitlist but started shipping orders in July 2021.
The card also comes with solid perks, whether cryptocurrency-based or not.
Note: Check out our BlockFi review for a detailed analysis of its cryptocurrency interest account.
- Sign-up Bonus: There are no sign-up bonuses at the time of writing.
- Annual Fee: None
- Other Perks: Increased stablecoin APY on interest accounts and trading bonuses.
BlockFi Company Bio: A Quick Look
BlockFi is a New Jersey-based company that focuses on cryptocurrency lending and borrowing founded in August 2018. It has over 265,000 retail and 200,000 institutional clients, with reported monthly revenue of $50 million, as of March 2021.
Led by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez, the company saw a rapid acceleration in both user growth and funding in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021. It raised the bulk of its $508.7 million total funding in a $350 million Series D in March 2021; reputable firms like Valar Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Kinetic Capital, Galaxy Digital, Pomp Investments, and ConsenSys Ventures have invested in BlockFi.
BlockFi Credit Card Perks:
BlockFi’s credit card is straightforward: you get 1.5% back in bitcoin, deposited in your BlockFi Interest Account, on every purchase. There are no categories; it’s just a blanket 1.5% back.
The BlockFi credit card has the same perks as a Visa Signature card: no international transaction fees, roadside dispatch, travel emergency services, and more.
1.5% is the highest base bitcoin rewards rate on the market. However, some cards offer higher percentages (we’ve seen up to 20%) if shopping with specific merchants, such as earning 9% back when buying from Dominos.
There are a few notable first-year bonuses that come with the card, as we’ll get into below.
BlockFi Credit Card Bonuses: Earn up to $1,000 in Crypto Bonuses
The BlockFi credit card offers a handful of sign-up bonuses and ways to earn money.
Sign Up Bonus: There isn’t currently a sign-up bonus; the beta version of the card hinted at a $250 bonus, but the company has since decided to remove it (and the $200 annual fee.)
BlockFi offers an additional spending incentive called the Bitcoin Rewards Rate Bonus: Cardholders using the card for three months will see a 2% increase in their bitcoin rewards (from 1.5% to 3.5%) for the following three months. This bonus caps out at $100 in bitcoin by the end of the 6th month.
The other credit card bonuses are incentives for users to immerse themselves with the BlockFi ecosystem, such as depositing stablecoins into the BlockFi Interest Account, trading crypto on the platform, and referring friends.
Stablecoin Bonus: Cardholders that also have stablecoins like USDC and GUSD in their BlockFi Interest Account (see our BlockFi review here) can earn an additional 2% APY on top of the current stablecoin APY after the annual card renewal, up to a $200 total.
If BlockFi’s stablecoin rates remain at the current 8.6%, BlockFi credit cardholders will be able to earn up to 10.6% APY on their stablecoin deposits.
According to BlockFi, the stablecoin bonus percentage will accrue based on the cardholders’ average daily stablecoin balance. This bonus is capped at $200, and cardholders must renew to earn this payout.
Trading Bonus: BlockFi credit cardholders will earn 0.25% of their trading volume back in bitcoin, up to a $500 maximum per month. Stablecoins are excluded from this bonus.
BlockFi Credit Card Fees:
The BlockFi credit card initially launched with a $200 annual fee, but it has since removed the fee.
Outstanding balances are liable to be charged a variable interest rate between 14.99% and 22.99%, which is pretty standard for most credit cards.
How to Max Out Your BlockFi Credit Card Bonuses
The BlockFi credit card offers some unique bonuses and some require using the BlockFi Interest Account.
To save you the trouble of having to do Sudoku to try to figure out how to max out your BlockFi bonuses, we did it for you.
Start of Month 1: You got the BlockFi credit card. Since there isn’t a signup bonus, you don’t have to rush to hit your spending threshold. Whatever amount you spend will get you 3.5% back in bitcoin in the first 3 months, and then 1.5%.
End of Month 3: Everything you spend will get you 1.5% back in bitcoin.
The meaty perks of the card are in how it combines with the BlockFI Interest Account.
Enter the BlockFi Interest Account:
By including stablecoin deposits in the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA), which earns a 2% lift over the 8.6% APY with the card, we can earn up to $1,060 in stablecoin interest over the one-year period.
- $5,000 in stablecoin deposits in the BIA will get you $100. The standard 8.6% rate will get you $430 for the annual period, at a stablecoin interest total of $530.
- $10,000 in stablecoin deposits in the BIA will get you $200. The standard 8.6% rate will get you $860 for the annual period, at a stablecoin interest total of $1,060.
With all the steps followed above, you’ll get around $1,000 to $1,530 in your first year of using the BlockFi credit card in bitcoin and stablecoin interest.
This is good enough for us, as customers. However, more motivated customers can earn more money by trading on BlockFi (0.25%) and referring friends ($30 per referral.) We didn’t include these options in our calculations for the sake of simplicity and ease. BlockFi provides two scenarios for both in the chart below.
If you decide to go all out in the BlockFi ecosystem by spending an average of $3,500 per month, holding $10,000 in stablecoins, trading $13,333+ per month, and referring 10 people, you can earn a maximum of $1,000 in bitcoin and stablecoins bonuses in your first year, as well as an additional $860 in stablecoin interest generated by the BIA, and $630 in bitcoin rewards from the flat 1.5% rate.
- Bonus Total: $1,000
- 1.5% bitcoin rewards rate ($3,500 per month): $630
- Stablecoin interest ($10,000 at 8.6% APY): $860
Total Amount Earned with the BlockFi Credit Card and Interest Account in One Year: $2,490
How to Sign Up for the BlockFi Credit Card
The card hasn’t launched yet and potential applicants can sign up for the waitlist. Seeing as the card’s perks require an Interest Account as well, it’s worth opening one now to familiarize yourself with the ecosystem and cryptocurrency interest accounts in general.
Here’s how to open a BlockFi Interest Account:
- Go to the BlockFi website. CoinCentral readers can get up to $500 as a sign-up bonus for this account alone, as well as the credit card bonuses listed above once available and if approved.
- Earn $15 with a $200 deposit
- Earn $20 with a $500 deposit
- Earn $40 with a $1,000 deposit
- Earn $75 with a $5,000 deposit
- Earn $150 with a $10,000 deposit
- Earn $250 with a $20,000+ deposit
- Hit the “Sign Up” option in the homepage slider, or “Get Started” in the menu.
- Enter your email and make a password to create your account.
- Enter the verification code sent to that email.
- Once logged in, select “Deposit” to verify your identity and make your first deposit.
- Enter your personal information for verification (part 1)
- Upload a form of ID such as a passport, driver’s license, or ID card and wait to be approved.
Is the BlockFi Credit Card Worth It?
With a 1.5% flat rewards rate paid back in BTC, the BlockFi credit card makes for a great addition to your credit card arsenal. It’s a unique way to increase your exposure to bitcoin. The BlockFi team removed the $200 annual fee, which really caps the bulk of the initial downside of the product.
Pros: What’s Great About the BlockFi Credit Card?
- Increased exposure to bitcoin without having to buy bitcoin. 1.5% on everything adds up.
- It’s an excellent introduction to cryptocurrency interest accounts. The BlockFi Interest Account is much more valuable than the card, so if this is your first exposure to it, it’s worth diving in and doing a bit more research on how it works– check out our BlockFi review.
- First-year perks are solid: The BlockFi team engineered the first-year perks to get users involved and engaged with the ecosystem, and the dollar amount earned is very competitive; it beats most legacy credit cards.
- Supporting the cryptocurrency ecosystem: This final point shines a bit more optimistic, but by using something like a cryptocurrency credit card, you’re encouraging more innovation in the cryptocurrency space.
Cons: What We Think BlockFi Could Do Better.
- Drop off in value after year 1: The first year with the card comes with an array of bonuses and ways to earn cryptocurrency. However, seeing as it is a new product, we anticipate new perks and features to be announced.
Final Thoughts: Is the BlockFi Credit Card Legit?
We’re bullish on the cryptocurrency credit card industry and are optimistic that BlockFi can set a strong example of cryptocurrency companies entering the greater personal finance arena.
The first year comes with enough bonuses to sign up, and the card is a dynamic duo paired with the cryptocurrency interest account.
To sign up for the BlockFi Credit Card waitlist you can do so here.
Whatever you decide to do, we hope that this BlockFi credit card review has helped outline the landscape and your options. We write our content as independent, and we’re proud that our opinions are our own. That being said, this isn’t financial advice, nor an endorsement.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Moskov is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of CoinCentral. Alex leans on his formal educational background (BSBA with a Major in Finance from the University of Florida) and his on-the-ground experiences with cryptocurrency starting in 2012. Alex works with cryptocurrency and blockchain-based companies on content strategy and business development. He privately consults entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on movements within the cryptocurrency industry.
His writing has been seen in The Hustle, VentureBeat, Yahoo Finance, Harvard Business Review, and Business Insider. His articles on CoinCentral have been cited on publications like Forbes, TechCrunch, Vice, The Guardian, Investopedia, The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and more.
He also regrets not buying more Bitcoin back in 2012, just like you.
You can connect with Alex on Twitter.