BlockFi Promos: $250 BTC Bonus, 10% APY Interest on USDC, Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card

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Updated: Deposit bonus, APY promo, and new credit card details. BlockFi is a cryptocurrency platform that both pays interest on crypto deposits (including stablecoins) and lets you gain liquidity by borrowing cash backed by your cryptocurrency. Two promotions going on now include the up to $250 bonus Bitcoin for new deposits and the 10% APY on stablecoin deposits.

Up to $250 in bonus Bitcoin for new clients that sign up and fund a new BlockFi Interest Account. Here are the updated bonus tiers:

  • Deposit $25 to $1,499 Get $15 in BTC.
  • Deposit $1,500 to $19,999, Get $20 in BTC.
  • Deposit $20,000 to $39,999, Get $40 in BTC.
  • Deposit $40,000 to $74,999, Get $75 in BTC.
  • Deposit $75,000 to $99,999, Get $150 in BTC.
  • Deposit $100,000+, Get $250 in BTC.

This must be your first deposit, and you must make the qualifying deposits within 30 days of account opening. The required holding period is roughly 3 months. This one is an affiliate offer and you should see the promo code partner250 auto-filled on your application.

New BlockFi clients who sign up with a specific partner referral code and fund their account during the promotion period (current calendar month ending at 23:59:59 UTC on the last day of the month) are eligible to receive a tiered bonus paid in BTC. To be eligible for the promotion, this must be your first ever deposit in the BlockFi Interest Account, and you must maintain a $100+ crypto balance through the 14th of the month at 23:59:59 UTC two and a half months from the month of eligibility in order to remain eligible. Eligible payouts occur on the 15th of every month on a rolling basis. If the 15th falls on a weekend, then the payout will occur by the end of the next business day (ex. If you participate in the promo in December, your bonus will be paid out March 15th). This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other current or past promotions and the promo code on the account will be used to determine promo eligibility for new accounts. The bonus will be paid in BTC based on the prevailing market price at the time of payment. Payout will be based on your average daily balance (USD equivalent) maintained through 23:59:59 UTC on the 14th on the month you are eligible to be paid on. Any withdrawals made before 23:59:59 UTC on the 14th of the month you are eligible to be paid out on may affect your tier. BlockFi Interest Accounts are available in most countries worldwide and all U.S. states other than NY. There is a maximum of one bonus per client. This offer is not valid in conjunction with other promotions or offers. Terms subject to change. Rates for BlockFi products are subject to change. Digital currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and BIA accounts are not subject to FDIC or SIPC protections.

To fund larger amounts quickly, you can do a wire transfer from your bank account or USDC transfer from Coinbase/Coinbase Pro. BlockFi also now supports free ACH transfers direct from your bank account, with reported transfer limits of $5,000 per day. Both deposits and withdrawals are fee-free. Linking is done via the Plaid platform, which means BlockFi never sees your passwords and your info is encrypted.


As of 7/1/2021, the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) currently pays 4% APY on up to 0.5 Bitcoin (BTC) and 7.5% APY on up to $50,000 of USDC/GUSD stablecoins (subject to change on a monthly basis). There are no trade requirements, but when you deposit USD it will be converted to the GUSD (Gemini stablecoin) by default. (You can then use it to buy USDC or something else if you wish.) You could simply hold the stablecoin and earn interest until the bonus posts. Their overall business model is to earn a spread on the difference between lending out money and paying interest.

To earn interest on crypto, we lend assets to highly vetted and audited institutional counterparties. The interest we are able to pay is based on the yield that we are able to generate from lending, which directly correlates to the market demand in the space (I.e. what rate institutions are willing to pay to borrow specific crypto assets, as it varies from asset to asset).

BIA is available in 49 of 50 U.S. states (excluding New York). One free crypto withdrawal per calendar month and one free stablecoin withdrawal per month. After that, additional stablecoin withdrawals are $0.25 each.

I find it interesting these are the current interest rates on USDC from various exchanges (subject to balance limits):

Coinbase is probably the most established and has the highest market value, followed by Blockfi and then Voyager. But the APYs are so wildly different, are they accurate reflections of the relative amount of risk involved? All are multi-billion dollar companies. Voyager is a publicly-traded company on a Canadian stock exchange.

10% APY stablecoin promo through July 31st. Blockfi is offering 10% APY on USDC/GUSD if they are new stablecoin deposits added after 4/21/21.

New and existing BlockFi clients who fund and maintain additional USD stablecoin balances (excluding Tether and DAI) during the promotion period (4/22/21 00:00:00 UTC – 7/31/21 23:59:59 UTC) are eligible to receive a rate boost to 10% APY in GUSD on those additional balances.

Only additional USD stablecoin balances will be considered for this promotion. A snapshot of your USD stablecoin balance will be taken on 04/21/2021 23:59:59 UTC, and only additional USD stablecoin balances from 04/22/2021 to 07/31/2021 will be counted towards your bonus. Trades into USD stablecoin will also count towards your balance.

Blockfi credit card. The new Blockfi Rewards Visa Signature card has is a new rewards credit card that earns BTC instead of cash back. They’ve been adding a few new perks and removed the annual fee, so that altogether it can be a good compliment for Blockfi users. You can only join the waitlist if you already have an open BlockFi BIA account, so I’d grab the deposit bonus first. Here are the highlights:

  • Earn 3.5% back in bitcoin during your first 3 months of card ownership.
  • 2% extra APY on your stablecoin holdings
  • Earn 0.25% back on all eligible trades, up to $500 in BTC each month.
  • Earn 1.5% back in bitcoin on every purchase.
  • Earn 2% back in bitcoin on every purchase over $50,000 of annual spend.
  • No annual fee.

BlockFi is definitely one of the more well-established crypto sites, but you should do your own due diligence as it is not an FDIC-insured bank account nor a SIPC-insured brokerage account. I found that they were backed by some reputable firms including Fidelity Investments and Coinbase, with over $100 million raised so far. They use Gemini as their primary custodian, which is a licensed custodian and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services. As such, they will still require your name, address, and Social Security Number to verify the identity of all accountholders.

Bottom line. BlockFi offering up to $250 in bonus Bitcoin, depending on deposit size, for new clients that sign up and fund a new BlockFi Interest Account. They also pay interest on both Bitcoin and stablecoin.

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Comments

  1. Rudi Pittman says

    Could the square cash app be used to purchase Bitcoin or Satosis and then use that? It doesn’t mention a fee to do it.

  2. The fine print, however, says the following:

    “You must also have a valid promo code or receive a targeted email to be eligible for this promotion”

    https://try.blockfi.com/sept-usdc-offer/?irclickid=X1tzyDSpixyOW0W0EHQlB1XYUkiXrdTIExS7Rw0&irgwc=1&utm_source=Impact&utm_medium=29903&utm_campaign=10568&utm_term=890725&utm_content=TEXT_LINK#lp-pom-text-750

  3. Just thinking out loud here…doesn’t this seem too good to be true? 8.60% APY?!? Yeah, it’s 8.6% in internet money, but it’s internet money that is supposed to be backed by USD, dollar for coin. I’d transfer all my cash reserves if I was assured that I could get it back out again… Jonathan, I know you pointed out that the account is not FDIC nor SIPC-insured, but you also point out that it’s backed by some pretty big names in the industry. I don’t know whether I should transfer $10k, $100k, or pass altogether. What’s the catch? (and at 8.6% APY, shouldn’t there be one?)

    • I am far from a crypto expert and don’t want people to rely on me as such. This is a unique thing, not a bank and not FDIC-insured. There are multiple parts, and the research has been interesting to me. Will USDC stay at $1? Gotta go read about stablecoins. How does stablecoin lending work? Here is one example article. Will BlockFi give me my money back? Gotta read about BlockFi. Below an excerpt from their FAQ, but you should also look for negative stuff independently. I did so myself and didn’t find anything noteworthy. Please feel free to comment if you find something.

      Gemini is BlockFi’s primary custodian. To provide the highest levels of security to any assets safeguarded by Gemini, they keep a majority in cold storage wallets and only a small, operationally determined amount in hot wallets. These hot wallets are covered by an industry-leading insurance policy and the total value of assets stored there will never exceed that policy – this rebalancing is managed using both automated and manual controls. As a limited purpose New York trust company, Gemini Trust is a qualified custodian and regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services. Additionally, Deloitte completed a SOC2 examination of Gemini’s custody solution — you can read more about Gemini’s SOC2 compliance here and about their security here.

      To earn interest on crypto, we lend out assets deposited at BlockFi to vetted institutional counterparties. Our risk and finance teams work collaboratively to review all of our counterparties before they become a qualified borrower. You can read about how we generate our yield for our interest accounts here. Additionally, here is a great resource to learn more on the intricacies of our crypto lending market.

      Please also note that digital currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and BIA accounts are not subject to FDIC or SIPC protections. This is not a risk free product.

      From what I can tell, you are buying an asset that is in demand for lending at the moment due to its unique qualities to certain institutions. You are not directly lending the asset, but BlockFi is, and they are paying you interest and promising that you’ll get back your principal as well. Kind of like a bank but without FDIC insurance, so you have to judge the quality of the business, which is hard for me to do other than see who else is giving them money.

      • After doing some research and listening to the BlockFi CEO on a podcast, I decided to give it a try. Transferring money via ACH takes a full five business days to show up and at $500/day max (at the time), it was going to take a very long time to move money this way. I decided to wire the remaining funds. I paid $25 to my bank to wire the money and it showed up in BlockFi the same day. It was worth it to avoid the ACH hassle. Also, at 8.6% APY, it doesn’t take long to make up for the wire fee, especially when my bank is paying essentially nothing in interest. Now that the max ACH transfer has been bumped up to $5000/day, it should be much easier to avoid the wire transfer fee. Interest accrues daily and is paid out monthly. Dollars are held as digital dollars (GUSD).

        The website is pretty easy to use. The mobile app, while clean, is a bit clunky and has limited functionality. I transferred the little bit of crypto I had lying around and it showed up within 10 minutes and is now also earning interest.
        They make it a little harder to withdraw, which in my mind is probably a good thing. For ACH withdrawals to your bank, they convert your GUSD to dollars (1:1) and it takes 2-3 days to arrive in your bank account. For cryptocurrency, it takes at least a day before it’s sent for security reasons. I turned on the allowlisting function. When allowlisting is enabled, withdrawals cannot be sent to unknown addresses. Withdrawals can only be sent to addresses within your allowlist. If no addresses have been added and allowlisting is enabled, withdrawals are prohibited. Newly added addresses are disabled from use for 7 days. And even then, they still wait a day before transferring the money for security reasons. So if you think you might need to access your money (or crypto) quickly, don’t keep it on BlockFi.

        It’s only been a couple of months, but I’m pleased so far. Again, it’s not FDIC insured, so DYOR, but I think they take enough precautions to make me comfortable holding some of my money there. I look at it as a higher risk/higher reward type of scenario.

  4. I believe you can do a free wire transfer if you have a Fidelity Online Cash Management Account . Save $20, might add a few days if you have to move money around

  5. I am glad you posted this article and got the conversation going among your followers. I don’t know if I was the first one who pointed out to you high interest rates on stable coins a couple of weeks ago. It is definitely worth considering. Also, it is important to note that Voyager pays a little more, it is currently 9%. And Crypto.com pays 12% but you have to jump through a few hoops to get that higher rate. That’s the one I am using.

    • Abra has some very competitive rates but lacks multi-factor authentication (and they have the audacity to have an FAQ that purports they don’t need it because they are a phone based app only). They aren’t getting my money, but I’ll give Block Fi a try.

  6. In essence what you have here is a company operating like a bank that uses fractional reserve banking, hoping that the depositors don’t all demand simultaneous conversion of their coins back to fiat money.

    For all the hype of stable coins, they’re really not all that stable after all. Users of the currency once again have to trust that the stable coins will remain fully backed by something that can be converted to cash without any losses.

    Exactly what is BlockFi using? Loans? Anything else? What happens when the some of those loans aren’t paid back? What do you think?

    • What do you mean “loans aren’t paid back”? It is a secured loan, there is collateral held at BlockFi. Just like in a margin brokerage account, if the value of the collateral goes down, they would sell your collateral to pay back the loan. Didn’t they hire a top risk management guy from Merrill Lynch? I am glad we are discussing this and I could be wrong. The more people look at this platform, the better. I hope we get more opinions on this. Jonathan, what do you think?

    • I’m not sure what you mean by fractional reserve banking. That would mean they lend out more stablecoin than they have in deposits, or that the stablecoin is not backed 100% by US dollars. I don’t think either is the case here, as long as you believe the audits.

      I do agree that there is company risk here. You have a company accepting deposits and paying interest and lending it out for (more) interest. Things can go wrong, and this is not the same as an FDIC-insured bank account. The question is if the risk/reward balance is acceptable to you, given the time horizon.

  7. Nick:
    First of all loans and common stock are not the same thing.

    You can’t just call your broker and sell a loan, there is no organized secondary market for most loans because when you sell most loans its an over the counter market and it could take weeks or months or maybe never to sell it because no body wants it if it goes bad or maybe has a skipped payment or two. Not unless you discount it by 50% or something like that. Talk to a mortgage loan broker and see what they say.

    So they have a guy from Merrill Lynch. He’s probably just window dressing.

  8. Jonathan,

    I was referring to a FDIC insured bank.

    BlockFi is not backing their stable coin with just dollars and nothing else, they claim to back them up with loans that are supposedly easily converted into dollars and that is not the same thing.

    BTW who are they making all those loans too? The borrower puts up collateral. But what is the collateral? Some other cryptocurrency? For all you know, if you could trace it all the way back, it might lead right back to…BlockFi, just like a global daisy chain?

  9. Joe, thank you for your response. I am glad we have a debate going. I want to get a better understanding of it myself because I view it as a huge opportunity. They are revolutionizing the finance/banking industry. We are getting paid less than 1% on our cash in bank accounts and these platforms pay 10% on average. This is a huge market shift. And if it is as legit as they say it is, then this is a great opportunity for all of us.

    As far as the notion of collateral. Let’s say you open a margin brokerage account and deposit your assets there, such as cash (USD), stocks, bonds, gold (GLD). Your broker will give you cash against those assets at 9%. For every dollar I deposit, I get up to 3 dollars to borrow. Same thing with these platforms. You deposit your BTC, ETH, etc and you get a loan against those assets. What are the risks here? Same as a brokerage account. If your assets go down in value, you get a margin call and you have to deposit more assets right away or they start liquidating your portfolio to meet loan-to-asset value ratio. I assume same thing here, you have to deposit more assets or they will start selling your BTC to manage their risk. That’s why they hired the top guy in the industry to do their risk management.

    By the way, I am not affiliated with BlockFi and I am not even using the platform at the moment. I saw this article too late to get $250 bonus. But next time they have such a promotion, I am planning on taking full advantage of it. In the meantime, I am making 12% a year at a similar platform.

    These guys are also planning to release a rewards credit card this fall as well as other great products. This is very exciting and I hope their plan to revolutionize the finance industry becomes successful. Being an early adopter, I am being nicely rewarded. These rates most likely won’t stay at 12%, but even at 6%, it is 10 times more than what you get at your bank.

    Looking forward for Jonathan or anyone else’s input. This is a good discussion and we can all benefit from it either by earning a lot of cash on these platforms or by not loosing our hard earned money if it really turns out to be a ponzi scheme.

  10. Nick

    Before there was FDIC what happened to a bank if too many depositors showed up and demanded their money? They either got bailed out by some other bank or maybe a wealthy individual or they went bust.
    The Block Fi model is almost the same thing. They just aren’t using dollars, instead they are using what is basically a digital product that acts like a commodity and is called a cryptocurrency. And there is no limit on their number despite what the manufactures say, they can always make more and how would anyone know if that were the case? Just because they say there’s a limit doesn’t mean there is one and they can also just manufacture a new “stable” coin. And isn’t that how Block Fi came into existence? And then just start using that.

    As for the “assets” backing it up I didn’t notice anything about initial margin but maybe I am wrong about that? But if it’s 50% like it is at a stock brokerage firm then they don’t really have every stable coin backed up by one dollar. Does anyone know what is the maintenance margin at Block Fi? Most stock brokerages want at least 25%. But in either case that doesn’t equate to one dollar for every stable coin.

    I agree we need to keep this discussion going. I hope other people will join in.

  11. In terms of withdrawing from BlockFI, if you want to withdraw stable coin balance to a bank account via wire, there is another $20 fee for the outgoing wire from BlockFI. Is the better method to transfer from BlockFI to coinbase and then withdraw? The current interest rate they are offering on holding GUSD is tempting, but a wire only option to withdraw and the $20 fee makes it seem less convenient

  12. This quote comes from the Block Fi.
    “What that means is, if we are lending $1M worth of BTC to Firm XYZ, Firm XYZ collateralizes the loan (typically ~120%) by giving us ~$1.2M USD. If the loan were to then enter margin call and the borrower was unable to provide additional collateral (default), we would use their USD collateral to buy crypto.”

    So then the maintenance margin is just 20%.

  13. Update: they are now offering a “beta trial” of ACH withdrawals. If that comes to fruition, it will relieve a pain point

  14. $500/day ACH limit? So it will only take 40 days to transfer $20k? Not really understanding how that saves this.

    • That’s true, although there are lots of deposits tiers below the $20k tier that would be hit much harder by a $20 wire fee. Hopefully by the time it is time to withdraw, they will have raised the limits since this is in Beta.

    • I think it’s useful if you decide to keep this around to collect interest, but want to withdraw some of that. Depending on your others accounts, you can wire funds in for free. Keep the account, withdraw $500 interest by ACH, and whenever you are done, withdraw large amount by wire and eat $20 fee

  15. After reading the comments I thinking buying USDC on CoinBase and transferring them. But now I realized that I’m more than 30 days from account opening, so I don’t think I qualify for any bonuses. Any suggestions?

  16. Regarding ACH transfers:
    > There is currently a daily transfer limit of $500

    This is up to $5,000 daily now. It might start at $500 when you open your account, but it seems to increase after a few successful transfers.

  17. Daniel Shiner says

    Jonathan, you may not want to answer this, but I am curious how much you make on referral fees. Since I have subscribed to your blog for years, as well as passed it on to others, and since I find it eminently worthwhile, I absolutely do not begrudge you anything you can make, whether from advertising, referral fees, or anything else (i.e., you do the work, you deserve the rewards). But I would be interested to know if the referral fees you receive actually amount to anything. I would not be surprised if they are $10 and would not be surprised if they are $5,000 on this or other promotions/products you have written about. Thanks!

    • I’d rather not discuss hard numbers, but the short answer is that it is all over the place. I try to write about what I think are good deals and take advantage of myself, and then if there is a referral/affiliate program, yes I will add those in. For example, I wrote about OnJuno for many months with no affiliate program, and just now they started an affiliate program, so I applied and if approved (not yet), I will go back to my old posts and stick them in. The actual income is really variable, sometimes it is nothing and sometime Google picks it up and it is pretty good. Kind of like content in general, sometimes the post you think is half-baked ends up being popular, while the post you spend an entire week working on and re-editing ends up being mostly ignored.

      • Daniel Shiner says

        Thanks. I think your blog is brilliant because it ranges wildly from analyzing the performance of various stock sectors to letting people know they can get $20 Starbucks credit by adding $10 to their Starbucks card before 5 pm today (or whatever). When someone comes up with something clever and worthwhile (and free), they deserve the benefits…and I know you have been at this a long time. Right now I’m spending $5,000 on my new B of A credit card for a $750 credit as well as spending $2,000 on each of two AmEx Delta credit cards (for myself and my wife) so we can each get 70,000 miles and visit my daughter in Wales at little or no cost in the fall. If you got a referral bonus from our applications, great! Whenever I utilize your suggestions, I either use your links or put in your code. Hope you make a million dollars in referral fees. Or many millions of dollars. Doesn’t cost me anything! Take care, Jonathan.

        • Thanks! The only way I can keep going is if I’m writing about things that truly interest and fascinate me. Otherwise, it’s just a tedious job.

          I’m glad you got in on that BofA $750 deal (no referral credit btw ha!), I actually just used the PFS coin deal to qualify for the spending requirement on that card. Unfortunately, I literally applied the week before and only got the $300 bonus (boo).

          • Daniel Shiner says

            Speaking of losing out on credit card deals, a couple months ago I got a Starbucks credit card. They were offering 4,500 points (30 drinks) plus a “bonus” free drink per month, so 42 free drinks over the next year. Since I get large and elaborate drinks when they are free, it came to about $300 of free drinks. Two days after I was approved for the card, my wife received the same offer, but with 6,000 points…an extra 10 drinks. She took it. I called the credit card company (Chase) as well as Starbucks to request the extra 1,500 stars. They gave me 300 as a “consolation.” So it goes. On my last credit report, I had five open credit cards and 53 that had been canceled in the previous seven years, all with significant bonuses, of course. And my credit score is 808, so no problems there. Take care, Jonathan.

  18. Eugene Lerner says

    Jonathan,
    I bough $20,0000 GUSD at BlockFi. Probably will buy more in future. Is it a good idea to convert half of them to USDC or other stablecoins to spread risk?
    Thanks.

    • I am not an expert, but my checks are as follows: GUSD, is backed by Gemini, a regulated custodian and trusted enough to be used as benchmark institution for CME Bitcoin futures. Dollar reserves are held in a US bank (State Street) and audited monthly by BPM LLC. I can’t seem to find a list of the audits. ERC-20 token.

      USDC is backed by Coinbase, they just announced dollar reserves at Signature Bank (US based) and also audited monthly by Grant Thornton and ERC-20 Token. They haven’t updated their monthly audits after Feb 2021, though, perhaps due to switching banks?

      https://www.centre.io/usdc-transparency

  19. Jonathan,

    Are you invested in crypto through any of these platforms? Just curious as you are a very detailed person.

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