While there are numerous ways you can buy Bitcoin online, one of the most popular forms of doing so are with debit cards and credit cards, which is what I will be focusing on in this article. Many people might wonder ‘Can I buy Bitcoin with credit cards?’ ‘Can you buy Bitcoins in the USA with credit cards?’ or ‘Can you buy cryptocurrency with credit cards?’, before they worry about how to buy Bitcoins with credit cards or where to buy Bitcoin with credit cards.
Part of the reason for people’s confusion could be that some credit card providers have not been allowing customers to purchase Bitcoin with credit cards. This is not universal to all credit cards but is just something that depends on your credit card provider, for example, you may not be able to buy Bitcoin with American express on Coinbase but you may with Citibank – it just depends on their internal policies. The Coinbase American Express Bitcoin policy is that you can buy up to $150 per week.
So, now we have clarified the question of can you buy Bitcoin with credit cards, what about can you buy Bitcoin with prepaid debit cards? In short, yes, you should be able to buy Bitcoin instantly with debit cards. If for example, you buy Bitcoin with prepaid visa cards, because you buy Bitcoin with debit rather than credit (i.e., the money you have in your bank rather than money that belongs to the bank), you can buy Bitcoin with debit card instantly.
So although you can buy with either debit or credit cards a lot of the time, you are more likely to be able to buy Bitcoin online with debit cards. Now we know you can buy BTC with debit cards, we will look at how to buy Bitcoin with debit cards. This includes gift cards as well as regular debit cards if, for example, you want to buy Bitcoin with vanilla visas.
To buy Bitcoin with cards on an exchange you will need to create an account with whichever exchange you choose, once you have completed the sign up buying your Bitcoin with a debit or credit card should be like buying anything else – providing you are using an exchange which is easy to use and navigate. Otherwise, you may struggle to work out how to buy Bitcoin with prepaid cards.
It is worth noting you should also set up a Bitcoin wallet before you buy your Bitcoin, for two reasons:
1. It’s a more secure place to store your Bitcoin so you should send it from your exchange as soon as possible.
2. Some exchanges require the address of your Bitcoin wallet when you buy the Bitcoin, which will then be sent directly to that wallet address.
For more information about Bitcoin wallets see the following article [Would be useful to link to my previous article, but I do not have the link]. Different exchanges charge different amounts for debit and credit card purchases, summarised in the below table. Also below is a summary of each exchange with the pros and cons of using it to help you make your decision. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of every exchange in existence.
|Countries||Ease of Use||Privacy||Debit/Credit Card Fees||Reputation||Limits|
|Coinbase||US, Europe, Singapore, Canada||Very High||Low||3.99%||Very High||$50,000 or €30,000 per day|
|CoinMama||Most non-sanctioned countries but only 24 US states||High||Low||5.00%||High||$10,000 lifetime limit|
|Bitpanda||Europe||High||Medium||Debit – varies, Credit – 5%||Medium||€1,000 or €15,000 per day|
|CEX.io||Most countries, 24 US states||Medium||Medium||2.99%||High||$300 or $20,000 per day|
|LocalBitcoins||Most without restrictions/regulatory prohibitions||High||Medium||None||High||None|
|Coinhouse||Europe||High||Low||3.90%||Medium||€10,000 (buy)/€5,000 (sell) per day|
|Bitstamp||Europe, US, Asia & others||High||Low||Credit – 5%||Medium||None|
|IndaCoin||Most countries, US not included||Very High||High||4%||Medium||None after the first month|
|CoinCorner||45 countries, mainly Europe, not the US||High||Low||5%||Medium||None|
|VirWox||Most without restrictions/regulatory prohibitions||Low||Medium||3.50%||Low||Up to €1,000 per day|
Coinbase is the most popular website/app for buying Bitcoin, with an excellent reputation. Coinbase is very easy to use which is one of the reasons it is such a favorite place for Bitcoin prepaid visa or credit card purchases for newer users. Coinbase is fully compliant with anti-money laundering and know your client procedures so as a result user privacy is low, with users required the complete all the usual know your client questions and provide a copy of their photo ID for verification before they can start trading. Although making Bitcoin purchases using a debit card from the USA and worldwide is straightforward, the fees are high, at 3.99% to buy Bitcoin with debit card from the USA/worldwide or buy Bitcoin using credit cards. The Coinbase debit card limit is $50,000 or £30,000 per day depending on where users are in the world. Although if you are reaching the Bitcoin debit card Coinbase limit that is a nice problem to have.
The main pros for using Coinbase are ease of use and very high liquidity, with the main drawbacks being the high fees and lack of privacy; Coinbase has a history of tracking what their users do with their Bitcoin after purchasing. Due to the massive popularity of the app, Coinbase is possibly the best instant Bitcoin exchange there is.
CoinMama is a Bitcoin exchange operating in almost every country, with the only countries they don’t operate in being the ones with sanctions. CoinMama does however only operate in 24 US states. The pros of using CoinMama are its ease of use and availability in most countries. However, the cons are very high fees (5% for Bitcoin visa debit card/cryptocurrency credit card purchases plus a 5.5% transaction fee) and the low lifetime limit. Users can exceed the lifetime limit; however, they must first provide additional documents/ID to do so.
Bitpanda is an exchange with a high reputation within Europe. However, users outside of Europe cannot buy cryptocurrencies on the exchange. The daily transaction limits depend on whether the user is verified or not. Verified users are users who have completed the anti-money laundering and know your client procedures and submitted a copy of their photo ID for verification. Therefore privacy-focused users can still use the exchange, compared to a lot of other exchanges which require a lot of user data before any transactions can be made. The exchange has very low fees for debit card transactions, although high costs to buy Bitcoin with credit cards (5%).
Cex.io is one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges in existence. Cex.io operates in most countries, but only 24 US states. The exchange is easy to use but does have a lot of features so newer users may be easily confused; there have also been a lot of complaints about ‘hidden fees’ on the exchange. Cex.io have a fee of 2.99% to buy Bitcoin with credit card instantly (cc to BTC) or to purchase Bitcoin with debit cards, and users can deposit up to $300 or $20,000 a day depending on whether or not their accounts are verified. As with Bitpanda, a verified account is one who has completed the know your client and anti-money laundering procedures, including submitting a copy of photo ID.
LocalBitcoins is one of the best-known exchanges out there, especially for those who have previously wanted to avoid know your client and anti-money laundering regulations and protect their privacy. LocalBitcoins is a peer to peer exchange, so when you buy Bitcoin through LocalBitcoins, you are doing and arranging this with the seller, not the exchange. While user privacy has previously been very high, as users only needed an email to sign up and start trading, LocalBitcoins have warned they will be bringing in new know your client and anti-money laundering regulations to comply with EU regulations. LocalBitcoins have no transaction limits or fees (except a 1% fee for those advertising to sell their Bitcoin). LocalBitcoins is available in most countries unless there are sanctions or regulatory issues. However, the US is one of the countries not supported by LocalBitcoins.
Coinhouse is a well-known exchange in Europe. Coinhouse charges fees on any card transactions of 3.9%, i.e., whether you want to buy Bitcoin with a debit card or buy Bitcoin with cc. Coinhouse is easy to use but has low privacy, due to customers needing to complete anti-money laundering and know your client procedures to purchase any amount on the exchange. Coinhouse is a good exchange for people buying Bitcoin for the first time although the transactions fees are very high (10% for transactions below €500).
Bitstamp is an exchange operating in over 60 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, China and more. Bitstamp was the world’s first fully licensed Bitcoin exchange. Bitstamp is easy to use but has a poor reputation for customer support – particularly with regards to forks. Bitcoin charges fees of 5% to buy BTC with credit cards (they do not disclose whether there are any fees to buy bitcoin with visa) but have no limits for verified users, which are users who have been through the know your client and anti-money laundering procedures. Like most significant exchanges user privacy is low due to the high level of know your client and anti-money laundering procedures.
Indacoin is an exchange for Bitcoin and over 700 cryptocurrencies, which is available in most countries, except for the US. Indacoin is easy to use exchange with high privacy – there is no anti-money laundering or know your client procedures required, and customers need an email and a wallet address to purchase off the site. There are numerous transaction limits for the first four trades and month but none after that. It is worth noting that due to a lack of liquidity the purchase price can be up to 30% higher than on other exchanges – this may be worth it in some users eyes to buy Bitcoins with credit card instantly no verification or buy bitcoins with debit card no verification. The fees for debit and credit card transactions are 4% for each.
CoinCorner is an exchange which mainly operates in Europe, although it does run in other countries too such as Argentina, Brazil, and Australia. CoinCorner is based in the Isle of Man and as such has to comply with know your client and anti-money laundering procedures, meaning customer privacy is low. CoinCorner has a reputation for being easy to use, which has drawn comparisons to Coinbase’s usability. CoinCorner charges a BTC credit card and BTC debit card fee of 5% each, with no deposit/withdrawal limits.
Virwox was founded in 2007 for trading online currencies, so is older than Bitcoin itself! Virwox does not have an excellent reputation for customer support, usability, or fees. Virwox charges 3.5% fees to buy Bitcoin with prepaid cards and 3.5% to buy Bitcoin online with a credit card, and relatively low daily limits, which can be increased to Up to €1,000 per day depending on the user’s account level. Virwox operates in most countries without sanctions or regulatory prohibitions; countries Virwox does not operate in include the US, France, and Belgium. Virwox does have a reputation for customer privacy and does not require much personal information on sign up.
To conclude, there are lots of exchanges for you to choose from, both summarised above and others not mentioned in this article. There is no one size fits all and the best exchange for you will depend on your preferences, such as whether you are more privacy-focused, even if it is at the expense of liquidity. Alternatively, you may be more concerned about the exchange having the lowest fees, or being easy to use or getting the best buy credit card support.
Whichever exchange you decide to use, make sure you do your research. Also, I would suggest doing a test transaction after signing up before you start transacting more significant amounts, just so you can be sure you have made the right choice, and that you choose the best place to buy Bitcoin with credit cards (or debit cards) for you.