Credit Unions, Cryptocurrency, and Card Rewards

Most financial institutions have been slow on the uptake when it comes to cryptocurrency. It’s still a relatively new technology and represents a definite risk. But there might also be risk in steering clear much longer.

Consider this:

Credit unions have been disappearing to the tune of by about 4% per year for nearly a decade. Cryptocurrency is quite clearly still on the rise. Crypto might be the shot in the arm our industry needs.

Want to learn more about credit unions and crypto? Ask us about our Fintech Call Program.

 

Where Should Credit Unions Start with Cryptocurrency?

There are many uses of cryptocurrency. Think faster, cheaper, and more secure transactions to start. But to be honest, the inner working of crypto in banking applications isn’t the point of this blog. This is:

The total assets of all credit unions in the U.S. was $1.88t in 2020. That was rivaled by the total market cap of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) in early 2021, which reached almost $1.8t.

Consumers are as comfortable putting their money in crypto as they are in credit unions.

So, credit unions should explore crypto for their members.

There, we said it.

Give the people what they want. Give them cryptocurrency. Let them use it, somehow.

They’re going to get it anyway. If not from your credit union, then from Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, or one of countless other exchanges.

 

What Are We Looking At?

Cryptocurrency credit cards!

Another admission here: We’re not suggesting you try to figure out how to offer cryptocurrency credit card rewards. Rather, this is a strategy that many exchanges and crypto-centric fintechs are using to attract users.

It’s working.

Anyway, here are a few interesting crypto rewards credit cards:

1.    The Gemini Credit Card

The Gemini Card is powered by Mastercard. It earns reward in BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies. It’s an attractive metal card, but what’s better are the bonuses:

  • Up to 3% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Connects with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and its own app

2.    The Coinbase Debit Card

The Coinbase Card is powered by Visa. It allows users to spend any asset in their Coinbase portfolio—and earn rewards on it, too. Unlike most other crypto cards, this one essentially allows cardholders to spend their crypto.

  • Up to 4% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Spends cryptocurrency
  • Connects with Apple Pay and Google Pay

3.    The Crypto.com Debit Cards

The Crypto.com cards are powered by Visa. They provide a wide variety of bonuses and rewards depending on the card tier the user chooses and qualifies for. Although the bonuses are arguably the best, their cash back and interest are available only in CRO—Crypto.com’s own native coin.

  • Up to 8% cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Connects with Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Full rebates for Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, and more

4.    The BlockFi Credit Card

The BlockFi Card (powered by Visa) is more like the Gemini Card in that it converts cashback rewards into cryptocurrency. However, the card is Bitcoin-specific for now.

  • 5% cash back on purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Earns additional Bitcoin interest on stablecoin holdings

Next Steps for Credit Unions

Pursuing cryptocurrency is… new ground for credit unions. But it’s important ground to break—or failing that, to survey. If you’d like to learn more about crypto in credit unions, CU 2.0 would love to introduce you to the technologies and providers making it possible.

First, our Fintech Call Program discusses tech and vendors in the credit union space. Credit union leaders opt into 1:1 quarterly calls to hear about new and interesting solutions. Blockchain-powered tech is increasingly common.

Second, our Fintech Mastermind will host a showcase event in July. Credit union cryptocurrency is a leading presentation topic currently. The presentation topics will be finalized soon.

Please contact us to learn more about the Fintech Call Program or our Fintech Mastermind showcase event.