(Last updated in Sep. 2021)
I keep being asked about the websites (service providers) I use to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a lot these days and since my last post on this topic was back in 2017, I guess it is time to make an update and give you my top choices for buying crypto – with credit card or cash. I don’t really like to link bank accounts to crypto websites because some banks have been caught shutting down customers accounts when they see such activities and I wouldn’t want to put this to the test myself.
With that said, here are my top picks, these are tested and proven by trial and error.
Some of them I’m using regularly, others, I’ve used in the past and please note: I am only listing here those websites that I know to be legit. I’ve found too many scams and fake websites that I am no longer willing to test new ones so I stick to those that have been working for me for years.
I start with the service that made it possible for me to get involved with Bitcoin more than five years ago.
1. Most popular (and trusted) website: Coinbase
Coinbase is the biggest and most respected Bitcoin platform in the world. It is based in San Francisco (United States) but it operates in more than 30 countries worldwide and it’s been the website with the most user-friendly interface for many years now. It offers both an exchange and wallet in one, making it one of the easiest places to start with Bitcoin. Coinbase also supports other coins (altcoins) such as Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.
Once you sign up and connect your bank card (or bank account is an option too), you can easily transfer funds in and out of your account and convert them to Bitcoin and back to fiat at will. Fiat is your government issued currency such as USD or EUR for instance. The currency you will use depends on the region you are in. If you are in the EU region, it will automatically default to EUR for you, while if you are in the states, it will be USD. You can check the list of all the countries that are supported here.
Coinbase charges a variable percentage fee of one percent for U.S. transactions ($1 min, $50 max) from a bank account or Coinbase USD wallet. Purchases with a credit or debit card add on a 2.49 percent fixed fee.
If you register for Coinbase with this link, you will also get $10 worth in Bitcoin on your first $100 purchase (can be done in smaller amounts, doesn’t have to be one transaction).
Not only that, but you can also participate in their “earn” programme once you become a verified user, so it’s definitely worth checking it out.
The Coinbase wallet is very secure, accessed through the Web app or mobile app, utilises two-factor authentication and keeps redundant digital and paper backups of data “in safe deposit boxes and vaults around the world.” Plus, cash balances are insured up to $250,000 against theft or a breach in online storage. Further, Coinbase holds 98 percent of customer currencies offline to keep them safe from malicious hackers. This is further evidence to why Coinbase is a leader in digital currencies.
- Coinbase is insured. This brings incredible peace of mind.
- Coinbase offers an incredible level of security. Your cryptocurrencies are safe even in the event of a hack. Rest easy.
- Coinbase is legal and regulated in every country it operates from.
- Open to residents of most countries, although some features vary based on your country of residence.
- Easy to use Interface. The site and mobile app are quick to understand and use.
- Over 15 cryptocurrencies available.
- You can use Coinbase to its full potential only if you’re a US, UK, or EU resident. Canadians, for example, cannot perform bank transfers — only credit and debit cards with 4% fees are accessible.
- Fees are on average: 1.5% when buying Bitcoin with your bank account, 4% when buying Bitcoin with a credit card.
2. Next one on my list and currently the most used service by me is Bitpanda.
Being located in Austria and operating to the whole EEA (European Economic Area), Bitpanda is the service I find most useful and versatile for my own portfolio. Not only the number of coins supported is greater than Coinbase, but their fees are less too. This is achieved by using the BEST token (Bitpanda’s own native crypto token) as a payment method for my fees, which cuts my fees in half and I end up paying less than any other crypto website. I also have the option to buy precious metals (in digital form) from the app alongside all the top cryptocurrencies. Not to mention that I can also have a few fiat wallets such as Euro, Pound, Dollar and for someone who travels a lot, this is more convenient as I am not forced to having just EUR or just GBP as is the case with Coinbase.
The Bitpanda App is also very easy to use and rather intuitive, for more details on how to use it, just go this post.
3. Next on my list is the Crypto App
This is another great service I’ve been posting about and shared with my readers and YouTube audience on a number of occasions throughout the last three years. I even interviewed their CEO Kris Marszalek at the Malta Blockchain conference back in 2018.
Their services include a whole bunch of banking solutions from buying and selling crypto, to offering loans, savings accounts with 6-8% interest APR, multi-currency crypto debit cards, fully functional trading platform too and of course their own tokens: MCO and CRO – both tradable and with great liquidity, making them very attractive to many an investor. Their crypto debit cards are in high demand which means there’s a waiting list but in the mean time, you can enjoy all the other perks of their phone App which is also a safe storage for your crypto assets. As safe as they come of course, I always advise taking your funds out of phone apps and website custodians and using your own hardware wallet but this is the next step, not something you need to worry about in the first weeks or months when you are just starting. I share more details about that in this post.
You can also get a $50 bonus if you use this link with the code: i596zgv11f and the condition upon which this reward is redeemed is that you stake 50 MCO. This is their native token and it’s a token that was recently selected by a huge hedge fund manager as one of the top 5 cryptocurrencies that will jump in value massively in the coming year, so I guess it doesn’t hurt to have some of them. You also qualify for their crypto card when you stake the 50 MCO, so there you go.
I have done this already, so I have first hand experience with this.
4. Fast and Simple – Changelly
For a super-fast and uncomplicated way to buy crypto, you can also check out Changelly. This is a service that makes things less complicated by offering you just the exchange service without the hassle of opening accounts, having to verify identity and so on.. The only thing is, you have to first have your own Bitcoin wallet (or whatever other crypto you may be buying, you need to have that wallet already at hand).
What I mean is, that once you make the purchase, your coins will be sent to the wallet address you provide to this website, they do not store your coins in their possession, so if you do not have a wallet yet, you should first get one. You will also find a banner advertising this service on the right menu of this page as you scroll down, I like it so much that I decided to add it to my recommended services. Their fee is about 4.5% which is about the same as Coinbase and many other services, so it’s not too high.
What is unique about them, is that they offer instant crpyto-to-crpyto swap on a wide selection of coins, meaning that you don’t have to go through complicated crypto trading if you decide to swap your Bitcoin for Ethereum (not that I advise you to do this) or Litecoin for XRP for instance (just a random example… they have many coins on offer).
As with other services I use, I do have my own ref link to share, so if you want to give it a try, do me a favour and sign up with this link.
You can find out more about Changelly in my detailed review here.
Now, moving on to two of the websites I use that are actually full-on trading platforms with more options. You can of course trade on all of the above-mentioned apps and websites too, but they don’t have all the tools needed for a professional trader while these two operate as all-in-one kinda services.
First is Binance – the world’s largest crypto trading company.
The second one is Kucoin Exchange and both have the option to buy Bitcoin and other crypto directly with your credit card, after which you can choose to start trading it for other altcoins.
Both of them have been around since 2017 and operate in a very similar manner. You are not required to have KYC in place for most trading and withdrawing limit is capped at 2BTC per day for those non-verified users. If you undergo KYC and verify your account, you have a much greater limit of up to 100 BTC but as you see, it is not necessary. You might have to go through KYC for purchases with credit card and bank transfer though.
Binance is by far the most well-known crypto exchange with very high liquidity (trading volume) and it’s used by pretty much every trader I know, while Kucoin Exchange is preferred for its wide range of cryptocurrencies and especially some lesser known, smaller cap coins which can often bring bigger profits in the short term and a few other perks such as soft staking of a number of coins (meaning that you get dividends on these coins when you hold them in your account) and numerous contests and airdrops.
I have already posted tutorials on both of these here on this blog which you will find at the following links:
If you are buying with credit card, you will be buying at the current market rate, while later, when you decide to do crypto-to-crypto trading, you will be using the professional trading interface where you are able to set your own prices and use the many tools and indicators to determine what direction the market is going and what is the right price for your trades. Check out my tutorials to get a better idea on that but for simple buying with credit card, you don’t need to know any of the trading tricks, it is very straight forward.
As far as trading goes, I have to also mention Bittrex – this is one of the first exchanges that actually started operating with fiat – USD and once verified, you can deposit your base fiat currency directly with a bank transfer.
It is the first trading platform I started using and it is based in Seattle, USA but due to the rigid regulatory limitations, it stopped its services to US customers just over a year ago. It rebranded to Bittrex Global and is still offering a very wide selection of coins and have reduced their fees a lot since then which makes it one of the exchanges I use a lot.
Last but not least, here’s a service I have not used but it is a very well-known and respected company so I have to mention it too. It’s called Gemini.
This exchange belongs to the Winklevoss twins – you know, the ones who started Facebook with the Zuck back in the day before he decided to steal it for himself. Since then they’ve become the biggest proponents of Bitcoin. Their exchange is respected but lately I see more and more complains about their fees as people began using their mobile phone app more, there is something called “convenience fee” which is an additional 0.50% on top of their general fee which makes it not as attractive in my opinion. It operates in many countries though, so it might be one to use if all other options are not available to you (depending on your location). I do not have a tutorial for it since I do not use it but it’s also quite intuitive and straight forward.
Buying Bitcoin F.A.Q.
- How To Buy Bitcoin Anonymously
This is a common question. There’s a misconception that Bitcoin is anonymous, meaning nobody can find out if you own some. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. Nowadays, there are systems that help monitor who owns it and even how much of it.
Yet, buying Bitcoin without providing a name is possible if the amount is small. For example, if you go to a Bitcoin ATM (also known as BTM) you might be able to make a transaction of around $150 (or £150 in the UK) without going through detailed KYC procedure but these machines typically charge about 8%-10% per transaction so they may not be your best deal.
- How To Buy Bitcoin With Paypal
If you are a U.S. citizen and Coinbase is available to you, buying Bitcoin with Paypal is an option. For the rest it won’t really work as the payment processor does not support other crypto websites.
However, if you are determined to use a payment processor like Paypal instead of a trading platform, you can turn to Payeer or Neteller. Both offer a fiat-to-crypto option and operate in a very similar manner to Paypal, facilitating online payments, purchases and all-round digital banking services.
- Can I Buy Less Than One Bitcoin?
The short answer is : Yes.
There’s no need to worry about having thousands in order to buy a whole bitcoin. Bitcoin is divisible to the 8th decimal, meaning each BTC unit can be split into 100,000,000 pieces. The smallest Bitcoin unit is called satoshi and it equals 0.00000001 BTC. You can buy a few satoshis or in other words, you can buy just $10, $20 or $50 worth of BTC (most services have a minimum requirement, so you won’t be able to buy just $1).
- How to withdraw Bitcoin without sending it to my bank?
This is also a legit question since there are so many banks that reject transfers to and from crypto-related websites. The easiest way I can think of is to use a debit card service provider like Crypto.com, Wirex or Revolut.
I’m very happy with Wirex and you can actually also buy Bitcoin and Ethereum and a few other cryptocurrencies with their phone app. You can then convert whichever coin you want into your base currency and withdraw that from any ATM since the card is Visa, so it’s accepted everywhere. I don’t have a tutorial on Wirex but you can check it out here and download their phone app and do everything simply from the app for more convenience. They also have a cashback option where a small percentage of your spending is being returned to you in the form of monthly rewards.
Revolut also works fine for me but they have certain restrictions when it comes to crypto and you are only allowed to buy and sell it within your account with them and it’s not accessible to those who have the basic account level. For more details on both of these cards, take a look at my post here.