How To Set Up A Shift Debit Card
The process of getting and setting up a Shift Debit Card is really easy, but I’d like to walk you through the it so you do things in a better order than I went through them. It’s not a big deal if you don’t, but I think the order in which I did things originally led to the issue where I didn’t get my card right away.
To start, the first thing you’ll need is a Coinbase account. If you didn’t go through my Tutorials to get started with Bitcoin and don’t have a Coinbase account yet, sign up here. It doesn’t work with any other service, so this is required.
In Coinbase, go to Accounts section on the left. This will bring you to the account maintenance screen. Here, we’re going to create a wallet specifically for the Shift Card. We don’t want to give Shift general access to our Coinbase account. We want payments to come out of a specific wallet and only put Bitcoin in there we’re willing to lose. This keeps possible fraud under control.
Click on + New Account at the top.
Click on Wallet.
Name the wallet. I chose Shift Card as the name. Then click Create Account.
This will create a new wallet specifically for the Shift card. Then I transferred 0.06 BTC to it. As you can see by the screenshot, I did this a while ago. I would recommend putting in at least $20 because it says on the Shift webpage that the fee for getting a card is $10. I wasn’t charged, which I think may have been the problem with me getting the card. I should honestly contact them about that.
I remember going through the card selection process when I signed up, but I don’t have screenshots of that part.. They had a few colors you could select. I chose black, but I think you could get white or green as well. I would have loved orange or a Bitcoin symbol on it, but I wasn’t going to be too fussy.
Wait until the Bitcoin is confirmed in the Shift Card wallet. Then download the Shift Card app and sign up for the service. You can either select to sign up directly or use Coinbase or Dwolla. Obviously I’m going to select Coinbase here, but if you’re a fan of Dwolla, this card works with both. I can’t remember if I signed up directly or went through the “Connect to Coinbase” option. Either way, the result is the same.
Choose Add Funding Source.
Then you’ll need to log in to Coinbase.
You may be worried about giving your Coinbase credentials to Shift, but don’t worry. It asks for your two factor authentication code next. As long as you’re using two factor authentication you don’t need to worry if they have your password.
And on top of that you’re not giving Shift access to your whole Coinbase account. You’ll be shown a permission set. This is what you’re giving Shift access to do.
Scroll down and the next step is to choose which wallet you’re allowing them access.
Switch this to the Shift Card wallet we created earlier and click Authorize.
You should then see that your Shift app is connected to that specific wallet in Coinbase, as evidenced by the balance you transferred there earlier.
All you have to do now is set your PIN. It comes as the last 4 digits of your phone number by default. But in the settings area of the app there is a Change PIN function.
Just put in your old PIN, put in the PIN you want, and confirm it in the next box. Then click Submit and it’s set. You can now use your card as a debit card or to withdraw cash from ATMs. But beware! You’ll pay a $2.50 fee to Shift, as well as a fee to the ATM provider. Just buy something and request extra cash to avoid this.
Using the card is as simple as keeping it funded. Just transfer Bitcoin to the Shift Card wallet in Coinbase whenever you want to replenish it. You will have to do this with some forethought, as you will need for transactions to settle before they are available. Then use the card like any other credit/debit card.
Just to show that it works, here is a copy of my receipt for the bottle of pop and bottle of water I bought today.
And here is the transaction in the Shift app.
And here is the transaction in the Coinbase app.
The gas station at which I made these purchases just made a transaction that involved Bitcoin and they didn’t even know it.
Setting up a Shift debit card is easy. Using it is even easier. I very highly recommend this product.