Buying bitcoins via credit and debit cards is one of the most popular and convenient ways to purchase Bitcoin. On most exchanges, if a credit or debit card is used, you will have instant delivery of your Bitcoins. This is perfect for buying the bottom, or catching a big move right before it happens.
The thing is this…
This convenience can come at a price, as most cryptocurrency exchanges will charge around 4% for card purchases.
If time is not a concern, consider using a bank transfer to purchase Bitcoin, as you will save on purchasing fees.
Below we will compare and contrast several cryptocurrency exchanges that allow Bitcoin’s to be purchased via debit and credit card. After reading about each exchange and deciding which one will be the best for you, look towards the bottom of this page for step by step guides on using each exchange.
Lastly, before purchasing Bitcoin, it is important to learn about the different options you have for storing your Bitcoin. Leaving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin on an exchange for an extended period of time is not recommended.
Coinbase (review) is one of the most reputable Bitcoin exchanges in the world. They’ve been pushing to bring cryptocurrencies to the general public since 2012. Coinbase makes it easy for anyone to get into cryptocurrency. Just make an account, link your preferred payment method, and start purchasing.
Coinbase was recently valued at $8 billion for good reason, its amazingly simple user interface allows anyone from any background easily purchase cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
Coinbase’s works with the financial authorities in the U.S., so you can be sure that any profits made from the appreciation of Bitcoin or purchases of over $20,000 will be reported as tax needed to be paid. Coinbase requires users to submit a picture of their ID to confirm the identity of the account.
Please note that if you are based in the United States, credit card purchases are disabled. You can still purchase with a debit card from Coinbase in the US.
Fees and Limits
Coinbase’s credit and debit card purchasing fees are remarkably low compared to the competition at 3.99%.
Coinbase’s buying limits are relatively low when using a card to pay compared to its competition. Depending on your accounts verification level, you will be able to purchase different amounts of cryptocurrency daily. The highest tier of verification allows $50,000 to be purchased daily on Coinbase.
Coinbase has no deposit fees for moving currency onto the exchange, the transaction fee occurs upon purchase.
All in all, Coinbase provides a fantastic starting point for beginners by having an easy to navigate interface, and quick sign up process.
Coinmama is also a great option. The first thing you might notice upon logging in to Coinmama is the user interface of its website. Coinmama offers different packages which give a certain amount of cryptocurrency. If you plan to get a different amount than their packages, you can specify how much Bitcoin you want to buy.
Another small difference about Coinmama is that they do not provide you with a wallet for storing your purchased cryptocurrency. Instead, they ask you for a wallet to send the purchased currency too. This shouldn’t be an issue at all, as long as you have your own wallet. To learn more about Bitcoin wallets, check our guide,
Coinmama has a great reputation in the crypto community as they have reliable customer support and have been around for a while. They are based in Israel and support several countries and almost all US States.
Fees and Limits
Coinmama charges a fee of around 5% for credit and debit purchases. Although its fees are higher than Coinbase, they have instant delivery and higher purchasing limits.
Coinmama has high purchasing limits at a max of $5,000 daily, and $20,000 monthly. As far as minimum purchases go, Coinmama has a minimum of $60 USD.
Bitpanda separates itself from other exchanges by offering many different payment methods and cryptocurrencies. They only sell cryptocurrency to customers in Europe but have extremely competitive rates and fees.
Bitpanda’s user interface is pretty clean, making it easy for beginners to purchase currency on the site. Outside of credit cards, Bitpanda offers Sofort transfers, Netteller, Skrill, EPS, Giropay, SEPA transfers and OBT.
Bitpanda requires an ID upon sign up, making it not a great choice for those concerned with privacy.
Silver level verification is not currently out but has the same buying limit of Bronze. However, the selling limits are nearly double. Other transaction and withdrawal fees on the exchange are all pretty reasonable compared to its competitors.
Fees and Limits
In total Bitpanda charges between 3-4% for their services The range varies depending on the circumstance and is not directly displayed at checkout.
Depending on your verification level, users will be able to purchase different amounts of cryptocurrency.
The lowest level of verification is Bronze, allowing 50 Euro of Bitcoin to be purchased daily. The highest tier is Gold allowing 10,000 Euro to be purchased daily if a credit or debit card is used.
Overall, Bitpanda is a fantastic choice if you are based in Europe.
CEX.io is another great option for purchasing cryptocurrency with a credit or debit card. They have been in business since 2013 and are based in London, UK. The exchange brings strong security, great liquidity, and cross-platform trading via their website, mobile app, and API solutions. According to the website, they have over 2 million active traders. CEX.io also allows margin trading for those that want to, and near 100% uptime.
Their service coverage is decent, allowing 24 US states, and 99% of countries around the world. Here are the states CEX.io does NOT support.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.
They are working on increasing the supported US states by obtaining additional Money Transferring Licenses.
Fees and Limits
As far as fees and limits go, CEX.io is competitive with a 3.9% on credit and debit card deposit fee. When selling Bitcoin back to your credit or debit card, there will be a 2.9% fee. This is a special feature to CEX.io as many exchanges do not allow you to sell back onto your credit card.
CEX.io appears to offer feeless purchasing, but this is not the case. They charge a premium upon purchasing. This basically means that the price of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are sold above the going rate.
Bitstamp’s claim to fame is that it’s the ‘first fully licensed bitcoin exchange’ in the world. As the statement suggests, Bitstamp provides more than just debit and credit card purchases. It also allows you to buy with a bank transfer, SEPA transfer, and more. You can even cash out your balance in gold.
That, however, does not deter from the ability to make credit and debit purchases. The page has a simple interface that lends itself to navigation and oversight. Debit card purchases, like with most services, require identity verification. Once the account has been verified, just link your debit card and make purchases as desired.
Fees and Limits
Credit card purchases using Bitstamp also follow a staggered fee system.
- For up to 500$/500 Euro purchases the fee is 8%.
- For up to 1000$/1000 Euro purchases the fee is 7%.
- For up to 2500$/2500 Euro purchases the fee is 6%.
- For up to 5000$/5000 Euro purchases the fee is 5%.
All in all, Bitstamp offers very low prices compared to most other services, considering other services can charge 5%+ for credit card processing alone.
LocalBitcoins (review) operates a bit differently than other exchanges. The prices vary as anyone posts what they are willing to sell their Bitcoins for. Each vendor on the page has a review history which gives you a good idea of how trustworthy the transaction will be.
Also, the page marks the average response time taken for a vendor to respond to your order. All in all, it’s a great peer-to-peer alternative to Bitcoin purchases than the other services listed above.
Fees and Limits
Localbitcoins charges a 1% fee for using their service and depending on the price a seller is offering you could technically be paying a higher one. Localbitcoins is a more private way of purchasing Bitcoin, so some users don’t mind paying a few % in fees in exchange.
CoinCorner is an exchange based in the Isle of Man, that has an extremely easy signup process that does not require documents to be uploaded, or for your account to be verified. They have a mobile app and built-in wallet, however, I would not recommend storing any cryptocurrencies in an exchanges wallet for a long period of time.
Fees and Limits
Coincorner charges 2.5% fees for the deposit of funds into the exchange, plus an additional 1% upon purchasing, totaling 3.5% fees.
How to Buy Bitcoin on Coinbase
In order to buy Bitcoin on Coinbase, you will need to first create an account. Click “Create Account” and then confirm your email.
Next, you will be asked to confirm your phone number. Enter your number, and Coinbase will text you a code. Type in the sent code to go the next step.
From here, you will need to verify your identity by filling in several fields.
After this step, you are almost ready to buy Bitcoin!
Click the settings tab on the nav bar and click “Link a new account”. From here, you choose the payment method you want to link.
As stated above, Coinbase does not allow US customers to use credit cards to purchase Bitcoin anymore. Debit cards still work.
After linking the payment method you are ready to buy Bitcoin!
Click the buy/sell tab on the navigation bar to continue. Enter a $ amount or a BTC amount and click Buy!
Congrats, you now own Bitcoin! Since we used a debit card, we will receive our Bitcoin instantly! Learn how to store your Bitcoin’s on a hardware wallet in one of our other guides.
How to Buy Bitcoin on Coinmama
Before we can purchase cryptocurrency on Coinmama, we must first create an account! To start, you will be prompted for some simple information.
After making your account, you will be prompted to enter some more information in order to verify your identity. This can be annoying but is mandatory for Coinmama to serve its customers. You only have to do this part once.
Click next when you are finished! There may be a verification process where you have to send in some photo to prove your identity. If not, you are ready to purchase Bitcoin on Coinmama using your credit or debit card!
Click Bitcoin on the navigation bar to start purchasing.
You’ll be taken to Coinmama’s packages screen, where you can choose a preselected amount or your own price.
Choose an option, and click Buy Now! You’ll be taken to the next screen. Enter the wallet address you want to send your Bitcoin to.
Next, enter your card information. Click Pay Now when you are finished and your Bitcoin will be delivered shortly!
Congrats, you have successfully purchased Bitcoin on Coinmama!
At the moment, the market rate for Bitcoin credit and debit card purchases is hovering around 5%. Although that might seem like a lot for a regular currency transaction, it is easier to justify given the security risks exchanges face, and the potential gains cryptocurrency including Bitcoin have to offer.
Using a bank transfer will almost always be the most cost-effective option when purchasing cryptocurrency, but it is important to be educated about your different payment options.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get the best price of Bitcoin?
There are two factors that affect the amount of Bitcoin you receive. These are the exchanges fees, and the going price of Bitcoin. For example, if Coinmama is selling Bitcoin for $8,000 a coin while Coinbase is selling Bitcoin for $7,950, it may make more sense to use the cheaper exchange Coinbase.
Small differences in exchanges pricing is a common thing in cryptocurrency, so keep an eye out when making your purchases.
How to buy Bitcoin instantly
The exchange Coinbase allows users to buy cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin instantly when a credit or debit card is used. This is great for buying dips in the price.
How to buy Bitcoin anonymously with credit card
Buying Bitcoin anonymously is much more difficult as regulations surrounding cryptocurrency has increased. Your best option would be Localbitcoins, where you can meet someone in person to exchange Bitcoin.
Why use a credit or debit card to purchase Bitcoin?
Buying Bitcoin using a credit or debit card is a much faster way of obtaining cryptocurrency. If you were to use your bank account, exchanges will make you wait 3-8 days to receive your cryptocurrency, making you unable to move it off the exchange. This can be inconvenient, so some users decide to user a card for their purchases.
Are there any disadvantages to buying Bitcoin with a card?
There are two main disadvantages for buying Bitcoin with a card. The first, is the higher fees associated with the process. For example, Coinbase charges a 1.49% fee for buying Bitcoin with your bank, but a 3.99% fee if you were to use a credit or debit card.
The other disadvantage to buying Bitcoin with a card is the purchasing limits. Due to the risks exchanges face when users purchase Bitcoin with a card, they offer lower limits. These limits can be increased when:
- A bank account is linked
- A photo ID is provided
- A phone number is linked
- A purchase history is established
How can I get around low purchasing limits?
If you reach your limits on one exchange, try using a combination. As stated above, we recommend Coinbase, Coinmama, and Bitpanda. Limits are replenished on exchanged slowly over the course of the week, so depending on how patient you are you could just use one exchange.
Is it safe to send in my ID or other sensitive information?
Absolutely! Coinbase and other exchanges are required to ask for this information in order to comply with government regulations. There has been no data breaches or anything of the sort so far. However, there is always a chance of your information being used, so it is important to be aware that it is possible.
How do I sell Bitcoin back after purchasing?
To sell your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on an exchange after purchasing, just go to the appropriate page or tab, for example, Coinbase has a Buy/Sell tab where users can buy and sell on the same page. Most exchanges will charge a fee for selling, usually around 1%-2%. The exchange CEX.io will allow users to sell Bitcoin and receive funds directly to their credit card?
Why can’t I buy altcoins (Monero, Ripple, etc.) directly with a credit card?
Due to issues with liquidity and regulations, it is difficult for exchanges to offer altcoins directly for fiat. To get around this, just buy Bitcoin first, and send the purchased Bitcoin to a crypto to crypto exchange like Binance to buy alt-coins.
Should I try and trade Bitcoin, or just hold onto it?
This is up to you and depends on how much experience you have trading, and how much you are willing to risk when trading. There is definitely some serious gains that can be made if done properly.