- 1 How to Buy Bitcoin with Credit Card or Debit Card Online
- 1.1 A quick step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins with credit card on Coinbase:
- 1.2 2. Click "Buy Bitcoins" in the Navigation Bar at the top
- 1.2.1 What risks are involved when buying bitcoins with credit card?
- 1.2.2 If the limits aren't high enough for me, can I buy bitcoins on multiple exchanges?
- 1.2.3 Why was purchasing bitcoins with a credit card once difficult?
- 1.2.4 Should I leave my bitcoins on the exchange after I buy?
- 1.2.5 Will the fees for buying bitcoins with debit card or credit card ever get lower?
- 2 Credit where credit’s due: A beginner’s guide to credit cards
- 3 Why do credit card forms ask for Visa, MasterCard, etc.?
- 4 How can I automatically detect the credit card type so I don't have to ask for it in the form?
How to Buy Bitcoin with Credit Card or Debit Card Online
We can both agree on this:
Buying bitcoins with a credit card or debit card is confusing.
Today we'll show you how easy and fast it can be.
We've collected the best exchanges and listed them for you below.
Buying bitcoins with a credit or debit card used to be REALLY hard.
Luckily, companies like Coinbase (USA, Canada, Europe & UK) and CoinMama (worldwide) have made the process smooth and fast.
Below, we've listed 5 proven exchanges for buying bitcoins with your credit card.
Before we start:
You'll need a Bitcoin wallet before you buy since some exchanges require one.
Don't have a wallet?
Read our guide on the best Bitcoin wallets.
We suggest using the exchanges listed below or doing research before buying from any exchange.
Many exchanges are simply trying to steal your credit card information!
We do research on every exchange we list and are very careful not to include scam exchanges on our site.
Coinbase is the world's largest Bitcoin broker.
At Coinbase you can buy up to $150 or €150 of bitcoin per week instantly with a credit or debit card in:
Coinbase charges a flat 3.99% fee on all purchases via credit or debit card, which is among the lowest for European and US customers.
Get $10 or €10 worth of free bitcoin when you buy more than $100 or €100 worth through this link.
A quick step-by-step guide on how to buy bitcoins with credit card on Coinbase:
- Create account. Open your account on Coinbase.
- Connect credit card. Add your credit card to your Coinbase profile
- Verify ID. Verify your ID with Coinbase.
- Buy bitcoins! Buy bitcoins using your credit card.
- High liquidity and buying limits
- Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
- "Instant Buy" option available with credit card or debit card
- Purchases made with bank transfer can take up to 5 days to complete
- Coinbase may track how and where you spend your bitcoins
CoinMama is a bitcoin broker that specializes in letting you purchase bitcoin with a debit or credit card.
You'll be charged a
6% fee due to the risks and processing fees that come with credit card payments.
CoinMama offers high limits. You can buy up to:
- $5,000 worth of bitcoin per day
- $20,000 worth of bitcoins per month
After your account is verified and a purchase is made you will receive your bitcoin within a few minutes.
Get 5% off your order when you use this link.
CoinMama is only available in some US states; please see this page for details.
Want to buy using CoinMama? This guide will show you step-by-step how to use CoinMama.
- Works in almost all countries
- Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
- Reliable and trusted broker
- Some of the highest fees among credit/debit card bitcoin brokers
BitPanda is a Bitcoin broker located in Austria. You can purchase coins with a credit/debit card for 3-4% fees. Only residents of Europe can use BitPanda.
Note that the fees are not displayed publically but displayed in your buy price when completing your purchase.
- Some of the lowest fees for buying bitcoins with credit/debit card
- Reliable and trusted broker
- Fees aren't shown openly on the site but instead included in the buying price
CEX.io Buy Bitcoin Read Review
CEX.io lets you buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card
CEX.io is one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges and works in the United States, Europe, and some countries in South America.
CEX.io's verification process is extensive and can take up to 30 minutes to complete.
- Support for many countries and regions
- Low 0.2% trading fee
- Established and trusted exchange
- Verification process is extensive, requiring much personal information (including a photo) and incurring a long delay
- GBP market lacks liquidity
Coinbase lets you buy bitcoins instantly with a credit card or debit card. Here are step-by-step instructions to help make the buying process easier for you.
Once you create an account, confirm your personal details and login. You may be asked to upload a scan of ID. Once you’ve logged in, continue to the next step.
Navigate to the top right corner and click on your name. There should be a drop-down menu where you can click "Settings". Then click "Payment Methods" on the menu at the top and you should see something that looks like this:
Click on "Add Payment Method" in the right corner.
Note that Coinbase only accepts Visa and Mastercard credit/debit cards at this time.
You should see a confirmation like the one below. If so, your credit/debit card has been successfully added!
Go to the buy page and you should see a widget that looks like the image below:
Enter the amount you want to buy, and click "Buy Bitcoin Instantly". Your coins will then be delivered to your Coinbase wallet!
This section will show you how to buy using CoinMama. (PS: you can also check out our CoinMama review!)
Once you create your account and verify your email address, you can begin following the steps below:
Once you login, go to "My Account" in the top navigation bar and you should see a page like this:
Enter all of your personal details in the fields above and save them.
You should now be brought to a page that lets you choose how many bitcoins you want to buy. You can choose one of the set amounts-0.5, 1, 1.2, or 2 bitcoins-or scroll down a bit more to select your own amount.
The field to select your own amount looks like this:
Once you've chosen your amount click the green "Buy Bitcoins" button to advance.
You NEED a Bitcoin wallet for the next step.
We'll wait for you here
This is the address where the bitcoins you're buying will be delivered to once your payment is confirmed. Paste your address into the empty field.
You'll receive a 4-digit SMS pin and an email confirmation. Once you've confirmed these forms of contact, you should see this:
Most people will not need to upload a selfie. Just skip step 8 if CoinMama does not request this from you.
Upload a selfie with you holding your credit card towards the camera. Make sure your name, expiration date, and the first four and last four numbers on the card are visible.
CoinMama needs to verify that your credit card payment went through successfully.
If your credit card payment went through, you should receive an email that looks like this:
Long process, yes!
But that's it. Wait 20-30 minutes for the bitcoins to arrive in the address you provided in step four.
This section will show you how to buy using BitPanda. (PS: you can also check out our BitPanda review!)
Once you create your account and verify your email address, you can begin following the steps below:
Login to your account and click "Buy" in the top menu bar. You will now see a page like below. Select "Visa/Mastercard" since you want to buy with your credit or debit card. Also, enter the amount of euro you want to spend or amount of BTC you want to buy:
Now confirm that you want to buy with credit/debit. (Note that only 3d-Secure Mastercard and Verfied by Visa cards are allowed. If you don't have one of these try CoinMama or Coinbase).
Now you need to confirm that the amount you entered before is indeed the amount you want to buy. Also, you confirm that you agree to BitPanda's exchange rate. In the "the Current Price" field you can also see the exchange rate you are getting. It will likely be 3-4% above the market rate since BitPanda's fees are included in the exchange rate.
Note, you only have 60 seconds to lock in your exchange rate and confirm!
Now you will have to verify via SMS or a phone call:
Enter the PIN code you received via SMS or phone call:
If you verified successfully, you can now click "Click here to start the payment process". Make sure you note the 10 minute time--you have this amount of time to complete your order.
On this page you enter your credit card details through mPAY24. One you enter your card information press "Bezahlen":
That's it! Now in your BitPanda account you can check your "History" tab to view the trade details.
If you're still a bit confused, that's okay. Buying bitcoins is hard and that's why I built this site.
The FAQ section below should answer all of your remaining questions.
What risks are involved when buying bitcoins with credit card?
First of all, make sure the company you're buying for has a good reputation and is regulated. It's possible that sketchy companies selling bitcoins may be collecting card (credit card fraud) information and could possibly use your information to make fraud purchases with your card.
Some users have reported cash advanced fees, so be sure to understand how your CC company handles the purchase of bitcoins.
Purchasing with a debit/credit card is one of the easiesy ways to buy bitcoins. Also one of the fastest! Since most people understand how to shop online using credit and debit cards, it may be easier for less technical buyers to use credit cards to purchase bitcoins.
It's hard to buy large amounts of bitcoins with a CC or DC. Also, the fees are higher due to the risk of fraud and scams.
Do you want to buy larger amounts of bitcoins? Try buying with a bank account and you'll save on fees.
This is not possible since you won't pass ID verification. It's also illegal, so you should not do it or try.
This is illegal and you won't pass ID verification.
Most exchanges will not allow you to use a pre-paid debit card. To buy bitcoin with a pre-paid debit card you will have to exchange it locally using LocalBitcoins.
If the limits aren't high enough for me, can I buy bitcoins on multiple exchanges?
If, for example, CoinMama's limits are too little for you, you could buy $150 each week and also open a Coinbase account and buy an additional $150.
Why was purchasing bitcoins with a credit card once difficult?
Credit card payments are reversible. Actually, merchants don't receive the money from credit card payments until
60 days after a card is swiped.
Because Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, it's risky for a merchant to sell bitcoins for CC payments. Companies have found new ways to prevent fraud and thankfully this has made it much easier to buy with a CC, as evidenced by the many options listed above.
It depends how much you trust the exchanges. Just like any information you give up online, there is always the risk that it can be hacked or stolen from the website you give it to.
One thing that Bitcoin exchanges have going for them is that because they are constantly under attack, they have some of the best security and protections in place to protect against the hacking of your personal info.
There is always risk with anything related to information online. Even Yahoo was hacked and information on 400 million accounts was stolen.
Do you want to buy bitcoins more privately? Try buying bitcoins with cash instead.
Should I leave my bitcoins on the exchange after I buy?
We really recommend storing any bitcoins you want to keep safe in a wallet you own. Many Bitcoin exchanges have been hacked and lost customer funds. If you don't want to fall victim to these hacks then the easiest way is to store your coins in a wallet you control.
Out of the exchanges we listed, CEX.io is the only one that allows you to sell bitcoins to your credit card.
Will the fees for buying bitcoins with debit card or credit card ever get lower?
Probably not. Payment processors like Visa, Mastercard and American Express charge at least 2.9% per transaction. So any exchange selling bitcoins for CC payments is always going to pass this fee off to you, plus charge a bit more to make a profit. The fees could get lower if some exchange cuts a deal with a credit card processing company to get lower fees.
Depends on the exchange. Coinbase, for example, allows you to buy litecoins and Ethereum with credit card. Coinmama, on the other hand, only supports Bitcoin.
If you want to buy lesser-known cryptos you can always buy bitcoins using the methods above and trade them for altcoins on another exchange like Kraken or Poloniex.
A quick comparison of credit/debit card exchanges. These cover nearly every country in the world.
Credit where credit’s due: A beginner’s guide to credit cards
We live in a very backwards economy. Want a mortgage or a loan? Chances are you’ll find those tricky to get hold of unless you are, or have been, in debt.
That’s because unless potential creditors can see on your credit record that you’re able to deal with debt, they’re unlikely to let you take on more. This means that someone with an impeccable financial history, who’s never borrowed so much as a crumb, is viewed as more of a credit hazard than someone with several store cards. Mad, right?
So to bolster your credit record, it’s worth considering taking out a credit card (and using it wisely!) to prove you’re a savvy spender. But for the uninitiated, the whole business can be a bit taxing.
In short, a credit card gives you instant access to a pre-arranged amount of money which you can spend as you like, but must pay back. They work just like a debit card, with a chip and pin. After making your first purchase, you’ll have a ‘grace period’ (usually up to 56 days) to pay off the card in full without any penalty, after which you’ll start paying extra fees and charges.
These fees and charges will depend on the card you have. Every card comes with an APR, which stands for Annual Percentage Rate. This is the percentage of interest you will pay on purchases if you don’t pay off the full balance within the grace period, and is charged monthly. So for example, you spend £500 on a credit card with a 16% APR. This would result in £6.67 interest being added a month over the course of the year.
These charges can rack up if you’re not careful, though. All cards ask you to make a minimum monthly payment – usually around 2.5% of the balance – which is then tacked on to the interest for the month. In this example, then, you’d be required to pay £19.17 in charges without even making a dent in the actual balance. So avoid the minimum payment trap by paying off as much of your balance as you can every month.
When you apply for the card you’ll be given a credit limit which will reflect your credit record, so it may be quite low to start with. Respect your limit! Maxing out your card can result in hefty fines, as will late payments.
Your bank will send you a statement every month to remind you of the payment required and current balance, but many people find it easier to set up an online account for the card to keep tabs on it regularly. Payments can be made via online transfer from your current account, over the phone, by cheque or via Direct Debit, which can be set up once you receive your first statement, and is quite helpful for forgetful types.
So, those are the basics. The next question: which type of credit card is right for you? Households receive hundreds of unsolicited leaflets promoting different cards every year, because – make no mistake – banks want your business. After all, those fines and that interest goes straight into their pockets. Therefore, they’ll tout dozens of offers with attractive bells and whistles in an attempt to get you to pick theirs. They fall into three broad categories.
These cards will offer a much longer grace period than usual; up to as much as 16 months instead of the standard 56 days. Not surprisingly, these tend to be pretty popular around Christmas and the summer holidays, when the big spending happens. They can be useful if you’re planning on making a hefty purchase as you can then spread the cost over a number of months, interest-free. But remember, the balance needs to be cleared by the end of the interest-free period, otherwise you’ll start accruing charges.
These may only really useful for people who already have a credit card. In this instance, you can shift the balance of one card on to another (usually for a small fee – around 3% of the balance), and then enjoy benefits such as an extended interest-free period, or a rewards programme (see below). Some credit card holders will continually ‘bump’ their balance from one card to another to avoid paying interest, and indeed, this can be a smart way to manage the debt in the short term. However, companies are clocking on to repeat offenders, which can limit your chances of getting a new card. It’s much better to pay off the debt as soon as you can, rather than shift it around.
Unless you’re planning on paying off your balance in full every month, then consider choosing a car based on its low APR, rather than any snazzy extras the bank may offer. However, there are several reward schemes that are worthy of note, and could prove fruitful alongside a well-managed credit account.
• Cashback credit cards offer a percentage cashback of your annual spend, which can provide a decent bonus if you’re a regular spender. Beware though, sometimes this is only applicable to certain retailers, or is capped at a particular limit.
• Air mile cards will offer air miles – redeemable for free flights – in line with a certain amount spent or frequency of spending (although airline taxes and charges will probably still apply).
• Shopping/points reward cards offer a number of incentives for shopping with a particular store, such as discounts or points which can be redeemed for goods and services.
It’s also worth noting that spending with a credit card offers a number of other benefits, such as identity theft protection and purchase protection. If you’re a victim of fraud, or find yourself in a tricky situation with a retailer following a purchase, you could file a claim with your credit card company and get a refund.
Some folk may find it difficult getting hold of their first credit card, whether because of other debts, a shaky job history or multiple previous addresses. In this case, repeated applications for credit cards can actually have a damaging effect on your credit rating, and you’d be better opting for a credit card geared specifically for first-timers (which can have whopping APRs), or a ‘secured’ credit card, which involves putting down a payment on the card before you can use it. Both scenarios aren’t ideal, of course, but once you’ve proven to the company that you can be trusted you may well have your pick of the deals available.
Why do credit card forms ask for Visa, MasterCard, etc.?
The simple answer is that 10-20 years ago, no one knew any better and it sort of just became the convention.
A slightly more complex answer indirectly deals with PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance. If you want to accept credit cards online, you have to have an IMA (Internet Merchant Account). You may obtain your IMA through a bank or PSP (Payment Service Provider).
For the sake of this scenario, we will assume you are not PCI compliant and elect to go through a PSP to obtain your IMA and to process credit card transactions. At that point, you are at the mercy of whatever PSP you choose to go with. If their credit card form asks for the card type, then by proxy you are asking for the card type. Obviously, you decide what PSP you want to use, so you can find one whose credit card form has the functionality you want.
The good news is that the convention is changing to more of a user experience convention.
Here are some quotes from that article:
Will you help your users succeed in their purchase, or rather make it really hard for them? It’s up to you.
If you ask for tons of optional information, therefore risking distraction, have unclear labels, or don’t inform what type of credit card you accept, your call to action is obscure and data transfer isn’t safe… don’t be surprised if many people will leave the process without completing the payment.
You’re not helping them. You’re creating additional obstacles.
Amazon tries to be as simple as possible
They also minimized the information needed to just “Card number”, “Name on card” and “Expiration date” fields. In most cases they don’t even ask for the infamous CVV code (though how they manage to proceed with the transaction without the CVV is somehow mysterious).
Amazon tries to help their customers to go through the process as quickly as possible.
Gumroad choose the same way of pointing out to the user that they know what kind of credit card you’re using.
Technically it’s rather simple. Credit card numbers are created in a consistent way. American Express cards start with either 34 or 37. Mastercard numbers begin with 51–55. Visa cards start with 4. And so on. This information can be used to detect what type of credit card someone is using simply by looking at their credit card number.
Comments to this answer, since removed, brought up another question:
With respect to displaying credit card logos @ChrisLively mentioned the following:
The reason sites put the logos up and ask the user to select is because VISA, MC and others either require it or give slightly better rates when you do. Period.
He did not cite a source, but @alastair mentioned the following later:
The bit about displaying logos is part of the scheme rules (requirements of which are typically passed on to merchants by their acquirer); MasterCard’s website mentions that it’s compulsory. I’m not sure where VISA and AMEX mention it (or whether they mention it) on their websites.
In the MasterCard Acceptance Mark Uses source @alastair cited, it says the following:
Display the Acceptance Mark at parity with all other acceptance marks/symbols/logos also displayed (with the exception of MasterCard POI locations in the U.S., where a specific regional Standard that permits otherwise exists. Refer to MasterCard Rules, Rule 5.11.1 "Discrimination" of Chapter 15, "U.S. Region Rules").
This is sort of confusingly worded. Due to the use of the word parity in that statement, it seems to me that you only have to show their logo if you show other logos, as parity means equivalent to, or a state of equality. I could be wrong though, it doesn't seem to be very clear.
Later on the same page, it seems to clarify things a little bit more:
Use on Internet Merchant Locations
At internet merchant locations, cardholders must be able to determine immediately that the particular brand is accepted. The most effective way to ensure this is to display the appropriate Acceptance Marks on the merchant's home page. At the very least, the appropriate Acceptance Marks always must be displayed where payment options are presented.
So here, the last sentence MasterCard states that Acceptance Marks always must be displayed where payment options are presented. However, they don't tell you what happens if you don't.
In conclusion, it seems that you should display credit card logos, but I'm not sure if it's an actionable offense if you don't. If anyone has a source that clarifies whether or not it is, I'd love to know and update this section.
The last thing I want mention piggybacks the original question by asking:
How can I automatically detect the credit card type so I don't have to ask for it in the form?
So for those who are curious about or don't know what the breakdown of the credit card is, I found an article on Mint.com that has an info graphic that breaks things down rather well. As a bonus, it also shows you how validate a credit card number with your mind by using the Luhn algorithm:
Now, as you should have noted from the info graphic, we are able to determine the type of a credit card by looking up the first 6 digits of the card number. These first 6 digits make up what is called the credit card's IIN (Issuer Identification Number) or BIN (Bank Identification Number).
There are a few ways you can perform a lookup of an IIN:
Make your own database comprised from the known IINs listed on Wikipedia for you to query.
a. You only get a limited amount of free lookups and then you have to purchase a license.
a. ISO/IEC 7812-1:2006 specifies a numbering system for the identification of issuers of cards that require an issuer identification number to operate in international, inter-industry and/or intra-industry interchange.
b. ISO/IEC 7812-2:2007 is one of a series of International Standards describing the parameters for identification cards, and the use of such cards for international and/or inter-industry interchange. It describes the application and registration procedures for numbers issued in accordance with ISO/IEC 7812-1.
This is also a way to let the user know which cards are supported by the merchant. If you only see Visa and Mastercard options available, you won't pull out your Amex and punch all the numbers in just to have the site tell you they don't accept Amex.
Many sites do not accept Amex or Discover because of the extra fees they charge for processing. Users with Amex cards will usually check the list first preferring to use their Amex, but if it's not listed they will (begrudgingly, in my experience) fall back to their Visa or MC.
It probably is possible to design a system that figures that out on its own but it isn't great systems design to set it up that way. Different cards have different numbers of digits and it is best to explicitly state how the system should parse the values and number of digits it should expect. In the case of an error, it makes error handling easier as well.
If the consumer says it is an American Express card yet enters more than 15 digits, you can check against the first digits of the card to cross-check the type of card and, if that matches, give an error that extra digits were entered. Without that cross-check, the source of the error may be harder to figure out.
Also, it simply a way to verify the credit card. It's a check. It's also very helpful for the consumer. If he intends to pay with his Visa and he grabs his wallet and starts type 5455. he may then say "Whoa I didn't want the MasterCard."
The number of digits really isn't an issue. The first set of numbers determine the type of card so they don't need all the numbers.
My answer won't be voted up but you need this one if people from China is in your customer base, which is roughly 20% of earth's population.
Most online transactions in China are though 'UnionPay' system in a certain stage, and most of them are not MasterCards, none are VISA cards (due to some nasty competition issue between UNIONPAY and VISA). It is a monopoly, but that's a fact of life. Many users do not know that they need a MASTERCARD or VISA in order to pay outside of China, and those who do, do not know whether your website is outside of China.
So in the world's largest e-commerce market, billions of users are paying online with a card that has only UnionPay logo, unfit for most international online transactions, everyday. When they visit your website, which may be even in Chinese but doesn't process payment in China (and not through UnionPay), having to choose VISA/MASTERCARD effectively turn the problem "Your website doesn't process my payment" to "Your website doesn't support my card", which gives the user a clue to seek a solution on his own (let's find a card that is supported by this site) instead of sitting there frustrated.
The same may even be true in other countries int the second / third world, that most of the bank cards floating around being used for payment everyday are not one of MASTERCARD/VISA.
You can argue that you let them type the card number. If it is neither MASTERCARD nor VISA, nor anyone your system supports, you can display a message saying "We only support this, this and this, and your card is not one of them". If you added this in your question, I wouldn't need to post this answer.
On a side note, equipped with billion-numbered users, UnionPay wish to be accepted as an international payment method, direct in competition with MASTERCARD, VISA and American Express. I hope they are not so easily accepted, because that would be a wrong lesson, that "You can win the world with China's government-lead monopoly business".