If you’re wondering how to buy cryptocurrencies with a credit card then look no further. We break down the advantages and disadvantages of buying crypto with a credit card before showing you the key steps to doing so. Buying crypto with a credit card can be extremely convenient, but there are caveats. Whether buying through a crypto exchange, a dedicated payment platform, or through a crypto wallet app, there are many ways to use your credit card to buy crypto. Let’s jump in.
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Advantages of Buying Crypto with a Credit Card
There are some notable advantages to buying crypto with a credit card including speed and various rewards:
The biggest advantage of buying crypto with a credit card is that it’s a fast process. Instead of having to transfer funds to a platform in order to exchange them for crypto you can just buy them instantly using your credit card. They’re then available nearly instantly for you to trade or do as you wish.
This depends on the credit card you are using. Crypto and traditional credit cards often give you a solid amount of cashback for purchases, but whether those rewards are worthwhile depends on the disparity between the fees you’ll pay and the rewards you get. It’s not really worth 2% cashback if the fee for the purchase was 3%. See disadvantages below for more info.
Disadvantages of Buying Crypto with a Credit Card
Of course there are also some legitimate disadvantages to buying crypto with credit:
While the speed of buying cryptocurrency with a credit card is quite convenient, the fees these purchases incur are not. You’ll likely be paying fees in excess of 3% for making a credit card purchase of crypto, and that’s not even including the cash advance fees and other fees the credit card company may charge for the transaction.
If you’re looking to maximize the amount of crypto you get for your money, then you need to use a method other than your credit card. This may mean a slower process where you have to transfer funds to an exchange, but it will also mean big savings on fees, as trading fees for platforms such as Binance are 0.1% of the transaction.
The unregulated nature of crypto assets has made banking companies wary of purchases of crypto made using the credit cards they issue. This is because users sometimes try to file chargebacks when assets they buy drop in price, and because of the general risk in buying digital assets at all.
There is a good chance your bank has blocked crypto purchases using their credit cards, and if so, you’ll need to find an alternative method. You may also be able to make a purchase the first time you try, but not on subsequent attempts as the bank realizes what the purchase was for.
What About Debit Cards?
Debit cards can be a good and sometimes more cost-effective way to buy crypto. It depends heavily, however, on your jurisdiction.
In the USA credit cards and debit cards both operate off the Mastercard or Visa networks so the fees tend to be similar. That’s a sharp contrast to a region like Canada where debit cards run off the proprietary Interac network and offer significantly reduced fees.
Another advantage of debit cards is that users can sometimes dodge the potentially cash advance fee that’s charged by credit card operators.
Finally buying crypto with credit card will tend to lead to more rejections from banks. Debit cards have a higher success rate when it comes to buying crypto.
For the most part buying crypto with debit and credit cards is fairly similar but it’s definitely worth checking out both options depending on where you reside.
4 Steps to Buying Crypto with Credit Card
Buying crypto assets with a credit card is easy to do by following the below steps. As noted in the disadvantages section above, there is a good chance the bank your credit card was issued through does not allow digital asset purchases. Be sure to double check whether your bank allows cryptocurrency purchases with a credit card before following the steps to buy below. If your bank doesn’t allow purchases using a credit card, you will need to transfer funds to an exchange using another method such as bank transfer or e-Transfer.
Step 1: Choose a Platform
This is perhaps the most difficult step in buying crypto with your credit card. There are so many platforms to choose from to buy crypto. These include crypto exchanges, crypto apps, cryptocurrency wallets, and more. Each of these options will have differing fees and crypto assets available for purchase, so be sure to compare all your options. The two most important things to look for when choosing your platform are the fees for credit card purchases and that the platform is available to your jurisdiction.
Step 2: Register and Complete Identity Verification
Once you’ve chosen a platform through which to buy crypto using your credit card, the next step is to register for the platform. Registration shouldn’t take very long, generally just requiring an email and/or phone number, and your name. However, what may take long is the unavoidable identity verification which you will have to complete in order to make the purchase.
The identity verification or Know Your Customer (KYC) process is put in place to help deter money laundering and terrorist funding through crypto assets. It will require you to prove your identity by providing information such as:
- Your residential address
- Proof of residence (government issued ID such as a passport or driver’s license)
- Utility bill with address that matches address your provided
- A selfie, possibly holding a piece of paper with a code or the website written on it, along with the date
After you’ve provided the required information, the amount of time it takes to get verified will vary. Taking clear photos and providing good documentation can certainly speed up the process, but it’s mostly dependent on the service provider. It can take a few minutes with one platform while a few days with another.
KYC Step Example
Step 3: Purchase Crypto Using Credit Card
An example of a recurring crypto buying plan.
After you’ve registered and successfully have your identity verified, you can purchase your desired digital asset using your credit card. This is generally done through a “Buy Crypto” type button on a crypto platform. You’ll then need to enter what currency you want to buy in, and the amount of crypto you want to buy. Some platforms such as Binance (image), allow you to set up a recurring buy. This means that you can set it up so that you buy X amount of an asset every day, week, month, etc.
Once you’ve completed the purchase, the assets will be deposited into your account on the platform (typically, more info in Step 4 below).
Step 4: Withdraw Crypto to External Wallet (Optional)
Assuming you bought crypto with a credit card through a cryptocurrency exchange or finance application, the assets will be deposited into your account on that respective platform. You then have the option to withdraw those assets to an external crypto wallet (a wallet that you hold the keys to) such as Meta Mask, a Ledger hardware wallet, or another option. In light of the incident that occurred with assets held with FTX exchange, this seems more prudent than ever.
If you bought the crypto through a direct platform such as from within your Ledger Live account, through Chagelly, or through something like Simplex, then you won’t need to withdraw your crypto. This is because when making a purchase through one of these methods, you have to provide an external wallet address at the time you buy. Then, when the payment is complete, the assets will be sent directly to that address, meaning you can skip this step altogether.
Buying crypto using a credit card can be convenient and fast. It can also be expensive in terms of fees and may not even be possible using your credit cards depending on your bank.
The most important thing to consider when buying crypto with a credit card is whether you really need to make the purchase right then and there. If you can afford to wait and use something like a bank transfer to fund your account instead, then this will save you on fees and your bottom line.