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How to Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card – Ultimate Guide 2018

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We have compared and analyzed 7 popular Bitcoin-selling websites that support debit card purchases. Find out what their rates and fees are, and which of them have unseen pitfalls you’d be better avoiding.

If you already have some experience with cryptocurrencies, this article can still prove useful for you: it closely examines crypto exchanges and reveals their disadvantages (hidden fees, security issues, slow support, etc.). Buying cryptocurrency with a debit card may seem quite a simple task but still, the number of web resources where you can purchase it can be fairly intimidating. If you are considering your first Bitcoin purchase, this article is for you: we have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the seven most popular Bitcoin trading platforms. Their rates, fees, reputation and other key characteristics are presented in easy-to-perceive charts. Learn how to buy Bitcoins with a debit card with the most profitable conditions.

Important: In order to perform Bitcoin purchases you need a 3D-Secure debit card that is associated with your phone number that supports text code verification. Do not use credit cards, because your bank can apply extra fees. This is also true for all brokers and exchanges featured in this article.

Types of Websites that Sell Bitcoin

There are three types of online resources where you can buy crypto: cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency brokers and peer-to-peer trading platforms. What is the difference between them?

  • A cryptocurrency exchange functions like a traditional stock exchange. The current rate is calculated on the basis of numerous investor’ requests, and each transaction is charged a fee (that is how the exchange gets its revenue). There are both fiat exchanges that accept fiat money (in the form of bank transfers, debit/credit cards or cash) and purely cryptocurrency ones.
  • A broker sells cryptocurrencies for a set price, which is slightly higher than the market rate. This margin is called a premium and is the source of the broker’s revenue. As a rule, orders are fulfilled manually by the platform’s representative, without any automated platforms.
  • Peer-to-peer trading platforms provide the environment for direct trading between individuals. There is no set price: each seller offers a certain rate, and buyers simply choose which one is acceptable for them. The service plays the role of the guarantor of transactions, since sellers have to deposit cryptocurrency first.

BTC Exchanges at a Glance

 Buy Bitcoins at Coinbase

Coinbase

Coinbase is one of the most popular online platforms for buying and selling Bitcoin (as well as other cryptocurrencies). It has won its popularity due to its straightforward, intuitively arranged interface, which has attracted more than 13 million users and has made Coinbase the standard entrance point for cryptocurrency neophytes. Though the platform’s reputation was somewhat stained by the overcharging kerfuffle of February 2018, as well as by insufficient tech support, it is still considered to be the largest crypto exchange in the world.

Coinbase is headquartered in San-Francisco, CA, and operates in 32 countries (US, Canada, most of Europe, Australia and Singapore). Citizens of those countries can easily buy Bitcoins using a Visa or Mastercard debit card. If your country is not in the list, then Coinbase is not an option for you, so please check the other exchanges featured in this article.

How to Buy Bitcoins with a Debit Card at Coinbase


1. Create a Coinbase account or sign up with Google. You will be required to set up 2-factor authentication and choose an offline authenticator app (recommended as it is more secure), Authy App or SMS codes. The last two options are linked to your phone number, therefore they are considered less secure. Coinbase users also report problems with receiving SMS codes. Do not panic if there are delays due to a massive influx of transactions. Wait for your authentication code and contact the support team if you don’t get one after several hours.


2. Verify your identity by uploading a photo of a passport, a driver’s license or another valid state-issued ID. Please note that non-US users must use a mobile camera or a laptop/desktop webcam as scanned images won’t be accepted. Identity verification usually takes 2 or 3 minutes, but in some cases up to 1 business day.


3. Choose “Credit/Debit Card” as your payment method and enter the payment details. Coinbase will temporarily debit two small sums from your card for verification purposes. Find these amounts in your online banking statement and enter their amounts on Coinbase.


4. Your Bitcoin purchase will be charged a fee (about 4%, depending on your country of residence). Some web resources say that debit card purchases are free of charge on this exchange, however Coinbase states otherwise). The minimum possible purchase is 2 units of your local currency (e.g. 2 dollars or 2 euros). Any currency other than USD or EUR will be converted with possible conversion fees charged by the card issuer.


5. The rate is locked at the time of purchase, which means you will get the BTC amount you have ordered despite any rate fluctuations.


6. You will get the Bitcoins instantly, but this transaction won’t be visible on blockchain. A Coinbase account is not actually a wallet; your cryptocurrencies are held in the exchange’s wallet on your behalf, and you don’t really control them. It is not recommended to keep your BTC on Coinbase due to possible access problems and slow support. However, if you withdraw your Bitcoins or other coins to an external wallet, you will be charged a 1% miner’s fee.


Lifehack: Coinbase also runs a cryptocurrency exchange called GDAX where users can trade without any fees. However, it lacks Coinbase’s simplicity and requires some experience. As soon as you get the hang of things, you can switch over to GDAX to save your money.

Warning: Coinbase has received regulatory approval for staying in compliance with US anti-money laundering legislation. For many users it meant forcible account closure and loss of cryptocurrencies due to suspicious activity. If you withdraw your BTC and use it for illegal online gambling (or any other illicit activities), Coinbase will track your transactions on blockchain and terminate your account. It is usually a good habit to withdraw your Bitcoins to an external wallet soon after purchase.

Key Features of Coinbase

Registration Required
Identity verification Required
ID verification time From 2-3 minutes to 1 business day
Documents for ID verification A passport (for non-US citizens), a driver’s license or another valid state issued ID
Card verification Required
Card verification method (card photo/phone code/CVC or CVV code) Two small amounts charged from your card

CVV/CVC code

SMS code sent by your bank

2-factor authentication Required
2FA options Web authenticator (Google Authenticator, Duo, 1Password)

Authy app

SMS codes

2FA quality (judging by feedback) Sometimes SMS codes are lost
Internal/External wallet Internal
First purchase limit Calculated automatically depending on a variety of factors (country of residence, payment method, etc.)
 Other limits  Minimum purchase $2 or €2
 How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins?  Instantly
 Standard fees ~4% for debit card purchase

1.49% fee for buying or selling BTC

No fees for internal transfers

1% miner’s fee for external transfers

 Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price)  —
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Do not use credit cards to avoid extra fees charged by your bank.

Use a debit card in the supported currency to avoid conversion fees

You can trade BTC on GDAX exchange without fees, but it requires some experience

Buy Bitcoins at Coinbase

 


Buy Bitcoins at Coinmama

Coinmama.com is a cryptocurrency broker that supports over 180 countries worldwide. It allows users to buy Bitcoins with a debit or credit card, but in all cases you must verify your identity. Many traders choose this broker due to its very simple and straightforward purchase process, though its fees are considered to be on the higher side.

Coinmama supports USD and Euro, all other currencies will be converted (with a possible fee applied by your bank). As for cryptocurrencies, on Coinmama you can buy Bitcoins, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Qtum and Ethereum Classic. Selling them is not an option. The account on Coinmama does not come with a wallet, so you should provide an outside wallet address. Similar to Coinbase, Coinmama has established purchase limits depending on the amount of personal information in your profile. You get Level 1 and a $15,000 limit as soon as your identity is confirmed.

How to Buy Bitcoins with a Debit Card at Coinmama


1. Register your account.


2. Verify your identity by uploading two photos of your driver’s license, another valid state-issued ID or one photo of a non-US passport. Besides, you will need to upload a selfie holding the ID and a paper note with the current date and the word “coinmama.” It usually takes about 60-90 minutes to get verified.


3. Order Bitcoins (either one of the available packages or a specific amount). The minimum purchase amount is $60 or its equivalent in euros. The order limit is $5,000.


4. Enter your wallet address. If you don’t have one, Coinmama lets you create one at binance.com.


5. Submit your card’s payment details. You will be charged a 5% fee for debit card purchases. Besides that, a 5.9% premium is included in the sales price. The rate is locked at the time of purchase.


6. The purchased Bitcoins will appear in your wallet as soon as the transaction is confirmed on the blockchain (this usually takes several minutes).


Key Features of Coinmama

Registration Required
Identity verification Required
ID verification time 60-90 minutes (sometimes up to 1 business day)
Documents for ID verification A passport (for non-US citizens), a driver’s license or another valid state issued ID
Card verification Required
Card verification method (card photo/phone code/CVC or CVV code) CVV/CVC code

SMS code sent by your bank

2-factor authentication Not supported
2FA options
2FA quality (judging by feedback)
Internal/External wallet External
First purchase limit $15,000
Other limits Minimum purchase $60 or its equivalent in euro

Order limit $5000

$5,000/day

$15,000 Level 1 account limit

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? 5-30 minutes
Standard fees 5% for debit card purchase
Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price) 5,90% premium included into the sales price
Pitfalls / lifehacks / warnings Mind the premium

Use a debit card in the supported currency to avoid conversion fees

Do not use credit cards to avoid extra fees charged by your bank

Buy Bitcoins at Coinmama


Buy Bitcoins at CEX.io

CEX.io is a London-based exchange that was formerly a cloud mining provider. It provides worldwide coverage with the exception of a few countries and supports four fiat currencies: USD, EUR, RUB and GBP. It has built a trustworthy reputation due to its particular attention to security; that’s why it is officially registered in the UK, EU and the US and has strong relations with banks. However, due to compliance requirements CEX.io can suspend or terminate accounts that are considered suspicious.

It should be noted that currently there are no supported payment methods to withdraw fiat money from US-based accounts. The only option for US residents is to transfer their coins to another exchange that supports fiat withdrawal to US cards or bank accounts.

How to Buy Bitcoins with a Debit Card at CEX.io


1. Register an account or sign up using social media (Facebook, Google+, Vk.com, Github). You will be required to set 2-factor authentication via Google Authenticator or a similar app.


2. Add a Visa/Mastercard debit card as a payment method. It will be temporarily charged two small amounts for verification purposes (be patient, it may take some time).


3. Prove card ownership by uploading a photo of your ID next to the card (both sides of the ID next to front side of the card) and a selfie with the card. You can choose one of the following documents: a passport, a driver’s license, or another state-issued photo ID. If you use a virtual card then you should take a photo with a screen where your virtual card is clearly visible.


4. Warning: if you are allowed to buy Bitcoins before ID verification, you won’t see them in your wallet until your identity is verified.


5. Purchase BTC with your verified debit card. You will be charged a 3.5% fee + $0,25 for debit card transfer. There is also a 7% premium included into the sales price. The minimum purchase is $20, the first purchase limit is $1000.


6. Bitcoins will appear in your account wallet instantly. For security purposes (similar to Coinbase) it is recommended to transfer them to your personal wallet as external transfers are charged Ƀ0.00050000.


Key Features of CEX.io

 

Registration Required
Identity verification Required
ID verification time 30-90 minutes (sometimes up to 1 business day)
Documents for ID verification A passport (for non-US citizens), a driver’s license or another valid state issued ID
Card verification Required
Card verification method (card photo/phone code/CVC or CVV code) A photo of your card next to your ID

CVC/CVV code

SMS code sent by your bank

2-factor authentication Required
2FA options Google Authenticator

SMS codes

Voice calls

2FA quality (judging by feedback) Fair
Internal/External wallet Internal
First purchase limit $1000
Other limits $20 minimum purchase

$1000 daily limit

$3000 monthly limit

How soon will you get the purchased bitcoins? Instantly
Standard fees 3.5% fee + $0.25 for debit card transfer

0% to 0.25% commission on trade operations

Ƀ 0.00050000 for BTC withdrawal to an external wallet

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price) 7% premium included into the sales price.
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Mind the premium

Use a debit card in the supported currency to avoid conversion fees

Do not use credit cards to avoid extra fees charged by your bank.

Buy Bitcoins at Cex.io

 


Buy Bitcoins at Changelly

Changelly.com is an easy-to-use cryptocurrency exchange with worldwide coverage. It accepts 3D-Secure card payments in both USD and EUR for 35 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. Changelly does not provide an account wallet, therefore you will need an external one.

The reputation of this exchange is below par. According to user reviews, during transaction processing the rate is changed to a less profitable one (officially due to the rate fluctuations). Don’t be surprised to see a slightly different final amount, which will never be in your favor. Besides, the support team is said to respond rather slowly to tickets and inquiries.

How to Buy Bitcoins with a Debit Card at Changelly


1. Register or log in under a social media account (Google+/ Facebook/ Twitter).


2. Specify the desired BTC amount and provide your external wallet address. If you don’t have any, Changelly suggests creating a wallet at Freewallet.org. Here you will see the 5% fee charged by Changelly for debit card transfer and another 5% fee (min $10) charged by Simplex, the payment processor.


3. Provide your personal information and the billing address. At this step you will be required to verify your email and your phone number (which should be associated with the debit card).


4. You will be redirected to Simplex (Changelly’s payment processor) for checkout. Enter your Visa/Mastercard payment details. Only US dollars and euros are supported, and any other currency will be converted to USD or EUR. Bear in mind that Changelly’s hidden fees are very high (about 13%).


5. Verify your card ownership by providing a selfie with your debit card. No ID photo is required. Take into consideration that the rate is not locked at the time of purchase, and after the transaction is processed you will get fewer BTC than you expect.


6. Get your Bitcoins as soon as the transaction is confirmed on the blockchain (the official estimation is around 5-30 minutes). However, a considerable number of Changelly users report that their transactions took hours or days instead of seconds (with no help from the support).


Key Features of Changelly

Registration Required
Identity verification Not required
ID verification time
Documents for ID verification
Card verification Required
Card verification method (card photo/phone code/CVC or CVV code) A selfie with your card

CVC/CVV code

SMS code sent by your bank

2-factor authentication Supported, but not necessary
2FA options Google Authenticator
2FA quality (judging by feedback) Fair
Internal/External wallet External
First purchase limit $50-$200 depending on the country of residence
Other limits Min $50

Max $20,000

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? 5-30 minutes
Standard fees Debit card transaction: Changelly fee 5% + Simplex fee 5% (min $10)

Dynamic network fee — depends on the amount and the load of bitcoin blockchain (from 0.00085 BTC)

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price) 0.5% fee included into the sales price (officially)

Up to 13% extra hidden fee due to poor rates

Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Prepare for rate changes during transaction processing

Do not use credit cards to avoid extra fees charged by your bank

Use a debit card in the supported currency to avoid conversion fees

Buy Bitcoins at Changelly

 


Buy Bitcoins at Bitstamp

Bitstamp.net is an easy-to-use cryptocurrency exchange, that supports 85 countries. It allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin (as well as Ripple, Litecoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash) for USD using a Visa or Mastercard debit card. Launched in 2011, Bitstamp is currently the oldest existing cryptocurrency exchange (especially popular in the Eurozone, because it accepts SEPA euro deposits without any fees). In 2014 and 2015 it was hacked and had to suspend operations — however, these incidents did not affect Bitstamp’s popularity much.

Though Bitstamp is not officially regulated in the UK and does not have to comply with anti-money laundering legal requirements, it has introduced AML practices anyways. It means that user activity is monitored and any suspicious transactions can lead to account suspension or termination. If an account is blocked, Bitstamp’s support ignores any tickets or inquiries from its owner.

How to Buy Bitcoins with a Debit Card at Bitstamp


1. Create an account, which comes with a Bitstamp wallet.


2. Verify your identity by providing a photo of your ID (a national ID card, an international passport or a driver’s license) and a proof of residency (a bank account statement, a utility bill, a tax statement, etc.). Identity verification is slow and may take up to two days.


3. Select “Credit card” as the payment method on the deposit page. Choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy and the currency of payment (USD or euro). Specify the desired amount.


4. Enter your debit card details. The Bitcoin price is not locked and can change while the transaction is processed. You will be charged an 8% fee.


5. Bitcoins will appear in your account wallet instantly. It is recommended to transfer them to your personal wallet to avoid any possible losses (for example, due to AML-related account termination). BTC withdrawals to external wallets are free and usually take 5-30 minutes.


Key Features of Bitstamp

Registration Required
Identity verification Required
ID verification time Up to 2 days
Documents for ID verification A national ID card

An international passport

A driver’s license

Card verification Required
Card verification method (card photo/ phone code/ CVC or CVV code) CVV/CVC code

SMS code sent by your bank

2-factor authentication Supported, not necessary
2FA options Google Authenticator, Duo
2FA quality (judging by feedback) Fair
Internal/External wallet Internal
First purchase limit
Other limits Min $5 or €5

No maximum limits

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? Instantly
Standard fees 8% fee for debit/credit card purchase

0.1-0.25% trading fee depending on 30-days USD volume

0.05% deposit fee

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price)
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings The sales price can change while the transaction is processed

Use a debit card in the supported currency to avoid conversion fees

Do not use credit cards to avoid extra fees charged by your bank.

Buy Bitcoins at Bitstamp

 


Buy Bitcoins at Bitpanda

Bitpanda.com is a cryptocurrency broker that sells Bitcoins only to EU and UK residents (and buys BTC from worldwide users). Other supported coins are Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, BitcoinCash and Ripple. Users can make deposits in euros, dollars, British pounds, or Swiss francs using a variety of payment methods including Visa/Mastercard debit cards.

Bitpanda stands out with its identity video verification method, which is considered intrusive by many users. Nevertheless, this broker still attracts crypto novices thanks to its easy-to-use interface, responsive support system and comparatively reasonable fees. Bitpanda is said to cooperate with the authorities of the supported countries (that is why KYC and AML practices are introduced), but it is not officially licensed or regulated.

How to Buy Bitcoins with a Debit Card at Bitpanda


1. Register an account (or use a Facebook/ Google+ account).


2.  Choose the cryptocurrency you would like to purchase, the payment provider (Visa/Mastercard) and the amount to spend or receive (in BTC or in EUR). The minimum purchase is 25 euros.


3. Verify your phone number by entering an SMS code (this may take a while).


4. Pass video identification (within 3-5 minutes) via a webcam chat. You will need your passport/ID, a proof of residency (a bank statement or a utility bill), a device with a webcam, a microphone, and a steady Internet connection.


5. Check the exchange rate and confirm your order (you have 60 seconds to do that). An SMS or voice call verification is required.


6. Provide the payment details of your 3D-Secure debit card (within 10 minutes). The fee (not disclosed, about 4%) will be included in the sales price.


7. Bitcoins will instantly appear in your Bitpanda wallet. If you want to transfer them to an external wallet, you will be charged a fee of 0.00002300 BTC. By the way, Bitpanda is not known for frequent account blocking (unlike Coinbase).


Key Features of Bitpanda

Registration Required
Identity verification Phone verification by SMS code

Identity video verification

ID verification time 3-5 min of webcam chat
Documents for ID verification A passport/ID

A proof of residency

Card verification Required
Card verification method (card photo/phone code/CVC or CVV code) CVC/CVV code

Phone code sent by your bank

2-factor authentication Supported, not necessary
2FA options Google Authenticator

Authy

Authenticator+

2FA quality (judging by feedback) Ffair
Internal/External wallet Internal
First purchase limit €2,500 limit
Other limits Min €25

Gold level limits:

Daily €2,500

Monthly €300,000

Total €5,000,000

How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? Instantly
Standard fees Outside transfer fee depends on network congestion: ~0.00002300 BTC
Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price) ~3.8-5% premium included into the sales price
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Use a debit card in the supported currency to avoid conversion fees

Do not use credit cards to avoid extra fees charged by your bank

Buy Bitcoins at Bitpanda

 


Buy Bitcoins at Localbitcoins

Localbitcoins.net is a peer-to-peer trading platform, where Bitcoins can traded for local currency. The marketplace has an escrow system and a conflict resolution service. Sellers and buyers from all over the world post advertisements with the desirable exchange rate and payment methods (and pay a 1% commission fee for each transaction). They can choose counteragents judging by reputation and feedback.

The downside of Localbitcoins is that fraudsters can hide behind accounts with unsullied reputations. Nonetheless, if you buy BTC with a debit card, there is no real danger for you thanks to the escrow system. Problems usually arise when someone sells Bitcoins and accepts credit card payments (which can be easily cancelled).

How to Buy Bitcoins with a Debit Card at Localbitcoins


1. Register your account.


2. Verify your identity by providing a scan or a photo of an ID, a passport or a driver’s license. Verification is performed automatically and takes about 1 minute.


3. Filter the list of advertisements by your currency and payment method, then choose a reputable seller with a large amount of trades (avoid newly created accounts and sellers with negative feedback, but remember that good reputation does not guarantee honesty). You will see further information after clicking the button “Buy” button.


4. You should transfer the required amount during the payment window (usually 90 min), otherwise the system will cancel the transaction.


5. Make the payment, and then the Bitcoins will be in escrow until the trader verifies the payment.


6. The purchased Bitcoins instantly appear in your account’s wallet.


You can also create your own BTC purchase advertisements, but take into account that the platform’s 1% fee is paid by those who place ads.

Key Features of Localbitcoins

Registration Required
Identity verification Required
ID verification time 1 minute
Documents for ID verification A passport, a driver’s license or another valid state issued ID
Card verification Required
Card verification method (card photo/phone code/CVC or CVV code) A photo of your card next to your ID

CVV/CVC code

SMS code sent by your bank

2-factor authentication Supported, not necessary
2FA options Web authenticator app/ paper code
2FA quality (judging by feedback) Fair
Internal/External wallet Internal
First purchase limit Depends on the ad terms
Other limits Depend on the ad terms
How soon will you get the purchased Bitcoins? As soon as the seller verifies your payment
Standard fees 1% fee for each transaction (paid by ad creators)

Outgoing transfer fee: 0.00005 BTC

Hidden/extra fees (premium to the cryptocurrency price)
Pitfalls / Lifehacks / Warnings Watch out for fraudsters, and always check the seller’s reputation rating

If you are from Russia, you should use this link:
https://howtotoken.com/recommends/localbitcoins-rus/

Buy Bitcoins at Localbitcoins

 


Conclusions

The best sales price among the above-listed resources is offered by Coinbase: only a 4% fee for a debit card purchase, without any hidden surcharges. Bitpanda is a very close second with their 4-5% premium — however, users from outside Europe cannot benefit from that. Profitable deals can also be found on Localbitcoins — the platform’s fee is only 1%, and it is paid by ad creators.

The quickest buys are offered by Coinbase, Cex.io, Bitstamp and Bitpanda. They allow to for receiving the purchased Bitcoins instantly, which is convenient for trading. You should remember though that their account wallets are not secure enough and you don’t actually control them. If we include the identity verification into the total purchase time though, Changelly would be the fastest as there is no such step.

The most confidential option is Changelly, which requires no ID photo — just a phone verification and a selfie with your debit card. If you are not inclined to trust an online exchange with sensitive information, opt for Changelly. But are you ready to pay their outrageously high hidden fees to stay confidential?

The most legally compliant exchanges are Coinbase and CEX.io. Coinbase is known for their strict implementation of an anti-money laundering policy, it is registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN (USA), and it complies with the applicable laws of all supported countries. Coinbase also provides tax reporting information to help US customers fill in their tax declarations correctly. As for CEX.io, it is officially registered in the US, the UK and the EU, and has all the necessary licenses required by British legislation.

The post How to Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card – Ultimate Guide 2018 appeared first on The Ultimate Crypto How-to Guides.

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