Consumers in the U.S. alone made 39.6 billion credit card purchases in 2019, and chances are you have several of those little plastic squares on you right now. As the industry standard for online purchases, credit and debit cards offer a quick and convenient way for you to acquire bitcoin. While not built for heavy trading, using credit cards to buy Bitcoin is an excellent option for first-time buyers and people looking to use Bitcoin (BTC) to purchase goods.
Why should you buy Bitcoin with a credit card?
Benefits of using a credit card
Credit cards allow you to buy Bitcoin instantly. You don’t have to wait the 3-8 days that it usually takes for bank transfers to go through, which adds convenience and security. There are no advanced forms to fill out, and platforms are user-friendly, ideal for beginners.
The card allows investors like yourself to use FIAT currencies to make their purchases, and the card will automatically make any exchanges for them. Buyers can leverage their credit lines, allowing them to purchase more Bitcoin than they have liquid assets. While very risky, there are times when this strategy is advantageous.
Drawbacks of using a credit card
Platforms generally charge you higher fees for credit card transactions. Depending on the exchange, these fees can be as high as 5%. You aren’t anonymous when you buy with a credit card, and your cards need to be linked to a bank account.
Despite leveraging credit lines, the amounts of crypto you can purchase with credit cards will be lower than other methods. You wouldn’t buy a house with a credit card, would you? The same logic applies here. These purchases will also affect credit ratings like any other purchase and lower their score if the balance climbs too much.
Bank wire transfers will have lower fees and are preferred for larger transactions, but they take longer. ATMs are convenient, but they still charge you high fees and require your physical presence. Buying Bitcoin with PayPal is just now starting to be widely available, and isn’t very secure.
Where can you buy bitcoin with a credit card?
Given how easy it is for companies to accept credit card payments online, most exchanges and marketplaces that trade Bitcoin accept credit cards. Some of the options include:
- Exchanges are platforms dedicated to trading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The exchange acts as a third party to match up buyers and sellers while securely handling the funds during transactions. Traders hoping to make money and move large amounts of Bitcoin favor these platforms. The cryptocurrencies bought in these exchanges aren’t kept here and will need to be transferred to a wallet to keep them safe.
- Peer to peer marketplaces match up buyers and sellers. People looking to purchase Bitcoin can search and find others looking to sell it, negotiate prices, and make a transaction without intermediaries. Like exchanges, this is a place to buy Bitcoin, but you need to transfer it to a wallet to be able to use it.
- Crypto enabled ATMs allow buyers to purchase bitcoin at a physical kiosk quickly. These ATMs are starting to pop up, and there are even maps to find locations. They work similarly compared to standard ATMs, allowing you to pay a fee to purchase bitcoin with a credit or debit card. The ATM will transfer the funds into your wallet after the purchase.
- Dedicated apps, like our Ledger Live, allow users to purchase Bitcoin and directly import it into their wallets. You can purchase cryptocurrencies securely and have them instantly available in your hardware wallet. There are no intermediary fees, and your assets are secure without the added step of transferring them somewhere safe.
How do you buy Bitcoin with a credit card?
The steps to buying Bitcoin online with a payment card are straightforward. Once you find a fair exchange, like our partner coinify, all you do is:
- Signup by creating an account on the platform that will include your personal and payment information.
- Verify your identity with a passport, national ID, or other documents. This is standard for most platforms to prevent illegal money laundering and is required for larger transfers.
- Choose a wallet where you are going to send and store your bitcoin.
- Place an order, and the Bitcoin will be automatically transferred to your wallet.
The platforms that accept credit cards almost universally accept debit cards. Online purchases rarely distinguish between the card types as long as they are issued by a large credit company like Visa or Mastercard.