I have some bitcoins which I want to use for payments in the "usual" shops around me (not accepting bitcoins, but accepting plastic cards), and in a quicker way.

Previously, I used http://metabank.ru to transfer the money to my cards (they used to promise max. 48 hours delay, but often it happened faster), but now the transfers from Mt.Gox (done by metabank.ru) take longer (and the delay is not predictable).

Are there quicker ways to use the bitcoins for payments?

Just to know that in case I need to pay for something, there is a way with a predictable short delay to use the bitcoins. For example, the delay before 6 confirmations for a transaction is not so long and predictable.

Can I load a plastic card with bitcoins or buy a "virtual" ("digital") card, and wait a predicatble short period of time before the money is available?

(I'm located in Russia, so primarily I'm looking for cards that I can use in Russia, but the question is intended to be more general.)

What will the commissions and exchange rates be for the ways suggested in the answers? What the delay will be?

Can I trust the service suggested in an answer? Are there any experience reports about these services?

  • 1
    Different answers are there at StackExchange, so that the participants of StackExchange can assess the different variants and collectively select the better ones. I don't have the knowledge and experience with bitcoin to write a good review as an answer to my question, but I can put the answers I was able to find for the assessment by the community. The community can add more info and promote the better answers, so that we have good answers ready for this question. Mar 20, 2012 at 17:15

3 Answers 3


You can find a less automated exchange (like that one (in Russian)) and negotiate a transfer to WebMoney, and a WebMoney account can be associated with a Qiwi account, and you can reload your plastic cards through Qiwi.

(The reloading of one of my cards, issued by Tinkoff Credit Systems bank, through Qiwi is instantaneous. So, there can remain delay with the exchange to WebMoney, and with negotiating the exchange with the person running the exchange, since it's not automated..)


There are several services offering to buy a digital card for bitcoins (listed in a comment at bitcointalk).

Visa For Bitcoins BitCashLotto.com accepts Bitcoins for a digital Visa card! These are a great way to convert your Bitcoins into cash you can use today!

We will provovide you a digital Visa card for the spot price of Mtgox for a Bitcoin equivalent of a $7usd service charge. Available to registed users only! Buy a $25USD valued card below:

But there is very little information about this offer. And there is no contact information at their website! Are there any experience reports?

Since it's a digital card, there is probably no delivery delay involved in this solution.

(And I can use the digital card at online shops, and also I can probably load another plastic card of mine paying with that virtual card, through a payment service like http://qiwi.ru, though there might be problems, because they do more verification for a card: they block a random amount, and ask to report that amount.)


physical debit cards


One stores bitcoins in his account, and they are spent when one uses the card. (The account is in bitcoins.)

So, one time you will have to wait before their plastic card arrives, and then either deposit a larger amount of bitcoins to your account and spend them instantaneously at shops, or transfer your bitcoins to your account whenever you need to spend them, and probably wait for the not-so-long delay before the standard 6 confirmations of the bitcoin network (or the like).

(Open questions: What exchange rate is used then? Will there be a commission for using the card for payments in shops in Russia? What will the exchange rate from USD to Russian rubles be? Are there any experience reports about this service?)

I'm not sure they ship cards internationally... (http://www.bitcoindebit.net/order.php expects only addresses in the U.S.)


You can open a wallet at http://okpay.com, and load it with bitcoins (Mt.Gox rate with 3% commission), order their plastic card and use it. (The wallet is in USD, or EUR, or RUR, i.e. not in bitcoins, the bitcoins are exchanged at the moment of deposit.)

There is a one-time delay for the delivery of the plastic card (and your ID and address confirmation).

Other withdrawal methods from OkPay:

Also, perhaps, it's possible to transfer from OkPay through Contact electronic money transfers to one of your existing plastic cards (I hope it's quick). (Even though my TCS bank has such an instantaneous reloading method (through Contact) and OkPay has such a withdrawal method, it seems not be possible to transfer directly from OkPay to the bank account via Contact without coming to an office and receiving cash first from OkPay, and then depositing it again. So, it's not very convenient.)

Also it's possible to transfer the money from OkPay to another system like Qiwi (which would allow to load my bank's card instantaneously) through an exchange like http://cash4wm.com (it has quite many bad reviews though 1 (in Russian), 2 (in Russian), 3 (in Russian); still, it worked for me for a small amount of money. I couldn't find other OkPay->Qiwi transfer services.)

(And there are experience reports with OkPay: 1 (in Russian).)


  • AurumXchange (a service often mentioned together with bitcoin) offers debit cards (but one cannot pay directly with bitcoins to load them, one has to trade somewhere else to exchange bitcoins into some USD-like e-currency):

At this time we offer our Instant Load AurumXchange MasterCard for free to our premium members. The card is shipped worldwide for free by regular airmail, and for those users wanting a speedier delivery, there are shipping upgrade options for an additional fee.

So, there is a one time delivery delay before you can use the card.

Western Union prepaid cards

In a thread at bitcointalk.org, they suggest to load a Western Union prepaid card with bitcoins through http://cheaperinbitcoins.com.

So you will have to wait one time for the delivery of the WU plastic card, and then you could load it with bitcoins whenever you need this.

But http://cheaperinbitcoins.com doesn't seem to work anymore.

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