Buying Bitcoin with a Credit Card (2020)

The first course of action many people take when they decide to purchase Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency for the first time is they attempt to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card. While credit cards and debit cards are definitely an option when purchasing cryptocurrency online, they come with some drawbacks as a payment option due to the stark differences between these traditional payment rails and the land of cryptocurrencies.

Pros & Cons of Buying Bitcoin with a Credit Card

The Benefits PRO's
  • Purchases are processed instantly
  • Credit cards and debit cards are what most people are used to using for online payments
  • Sometimes this is the best option for those who are new to cryptocurrency
The Downside CON's
  • Buying cryptocurrency with a credit card comes with high fees
  • You will need to provide more personal information to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card
  • There are oftentimes hidden fees with credit cards
  • Buying cryptocurrency with a credit card comes with much lower limits

Our Favorite Exchange That Accepts Credit Cards

Coinbase

  • User-friendly
  • Great customer service
  • Low services fees
  • Diverse and consistently updated choice of coins

History of Credit Cards and Cryptocurrency

Most people remember the Diners Club Card as the first real credit card created back in 1950, but the reality is there were a number of banks and department stores that had issued similar card systems in years prior. The first real credit card was released in 1958 by Bank of America. This was the first major card that allowed its customers to roll their balance over to the next month in exchange for a financing charge.

There have been many innovations in the credit card industry since those early days, and most of this progress has been focused around fraud prevention. If credit card companies are able to lower instances of fraud, then they’ll be able to charge lower fees to merchants who accept these cards as payment.

Fraud prevention is especially important in terms of cryptocurrency purchases because this is a high-risk industry. Since cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, a person with a stolen credit card could simply purchase some cryptocurrency if they wish to profit from their credit card theft. While a victim of credit card theft will oftentimes be able to reverse the fraudulent purchase on their card, there will be no recourse for the exchange to get back the cryptocurrency they sold to the criminal.

Credit cards aren’t solely useful for buying Bitcoin either. You can also buy popular alt-coins like Ethereum, Litecoin or Stellar with a credit card. It usually depends on the exchange you use for crypto purchases.

The Advantages of Credit Cards for Cryptocurrency

There aren’t really any advantages of using credit cards to buy cryptocurrency online, unless you’re completely new to the crypto space. While platforms for purchasing cryptocurrency with a credit card are usually some of the most user friendly options on the market, it will usually be better to find an alternative option that has lower fees. Having said that, buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a credit card can be a beneficial option, despite the fees, if you need quick access to cryptocurrency.

The Disadvantages of Using Credit Cards for Cryptocurrency

As mentioned previously, the key disadvantage of using credit cards for cryptocurrency purchases comes down to the fees. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are an easy target for online fraudsters due to the fact that crypto-based transactions are not reversible. While innovations have been made in order to cut down the large amount of fraud that can be found with these sorts of transactions, the fees involved with buying cryptocurrency with a credit card are still much higher than other options.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Author

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson is an award-winning writer and editor who hails from the Pacific Northwest. His career began in traditional news media but he transitioned to the online arena in the mid-2000s and has written extensively about the online poker boom and the rise of cryptocurrency.