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How to Buy Crypto With a Credit Card

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You can buy cryptocurrency with a credit card, but the process can be difficult. Some credit cards allow crypto purchases, and some don’t. Likewise, some cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to buy crypto with a credit card, and some don’t. Below we’ll cover everything you need to know.

Key takeaways

  • You can buy crypto with a credit card, depending on your issuer’s policies and the policies of the exchange.
  • Most crypto exchanges that allow you to use a credit card charge a lot of fees for the privilege.
  • You may also have to pay credit card fees, including a hefty cash advance fee.

In this guide:

Can you buy crypto with a credit card?

Buying crypto with a credit card is possible, but it all depends on your credit card and the cryptocurrency exchange you want to buy from. For example, the crypto exchange, Coinbase, does not allow you to buy crypto with a credit card. You’ll have to check with your credit card company first to see if they allow the purchase. Make sure you understand any fees that are associated with buying Bitcoin or any other crypto with your credit card.

Crypto exchanges that allow you to buy with a credit card

Just as card issuers might block you from buying crypto with your credit card, many crypto exchanges have their own sets of regulations. Here are some crypto exchanges that allow you to use your credit card for purchases:

  • Coinmama. You can buy Bitcoin with a credit card on Coinmama, but there is a 5% fee charged for each transaction.
  • CEX.io. You can buy crypto on CEX.io using a Visa or a Mastercard credit card. There is a minimum $20 deposit and fees, including a 2.99% deposit fee for both card networks. If you’re using a Visa, you’ll also pay a service charge of up to 3% plus $1.20, and a commission of up to $3.80. If you’re using a Mastercard, you’ll pay a service charge up to 1.8% plus $1.20, and a commission of up to 1.2% plus $3.80.
  • Paxful. Paxful allows you to use major credit cards to buy crypto, but charges a 1% fee when selling.
  • CoinSmart. You can use your credit card to buy crypto on CoinSmart. The site charges a processing fee of up to 6%.
  • Kraken. Kraken allows you to buy crypto with a credit card. There is a purchase fee of 3.75% plus 25 cents and a separate processing fee of up to 1.5%.

Just as some crypto exchanges allow credit card use, some do not. Here are a few sites that won’t let you use your card:

  • Coinbase
  • Gemini
  • WeBull

How to buy crypto with a credit card

If you’re ready to use your credit card to buy crypto, the process is fairly straightforward. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide.

  1. Make sure your card allows crypto purchases. You should first research your credit card issuer. Read the fine print in the card agreement to make sure the card won’t block your purchase. If you can’t find a definitive answer, call a customer service rep and ask them.
  2. Find an exchange that allows credit cards. Once you know you can use your credit card to buy crypto, find an exchange — like those listed above — that allows this type of transaction.
  3. Enter your card info and purchase. Head to the crypto exchange and enter your credit card information. Once that is stored, pick your desired crypto and how much you want to buy.
  4. Pay off your card. Just like with any credit card purchase, make sure you’re paying off the balance each month. You don’t want interest fees to rack up due to your crypto investing.

Fees associated with buying crypto with a credit card

While you might be able to use your credit card to buy crypto, that doesn’t mean you should. There are fees that come along with this process and — as always — stacking up debt that you can’t pay off each month is a bad idea. Here are some fees you should look out for if you do decide to use a credit card:

  • Cash advance fee: Your credit card will likely treat your crypto purchase as a cash advance, and that means paying a cash advance fee. This fee is charged each time you make a transaction. For example, Capital One’s cash advance fee is $10 or 3% of the cash advance. You’ll also want to be careful with cash advances, as they can end up hurting your credit score.
  • Cash advance APR: Cash advances have higher APRs than regular transactions and the interest starts building immediately. The average cash advance APR is between 17% and 29%. And, note, unlike most credit card charges, which typically come with a grace period before you begin accruing interest, cash advances immediately accrue interest.
  • No credit card rewards: If you use your credit card to buy crypto you will often not reap the credit card rewards that come with typical purchases.
  • Foreign transaction fees: Depending on where the crypto currency exchange is based, you could get hit with a foreign transaction fee. These fees typically range between 1% and 3% of the purchase.

As you can see, there are many fees that come with using a credit card to buy crypto. And those are just the ones via the credit card issuer. There can also be fees for using a credit card via the crypto exchange. If you’re using Coinmama, the site charges a 5% service charge if you use a credit card.

If you want to avoid these fees, you might want to consider using an electronic wire transfer from your bank instead.

Pros and cons of buying crypto with a credit card

ProsCons

  Quick access to funds to invest. Using a credit card will allow you to access your funds instantly. There's no waiting for the funds to transfer, so you can get to investing right away.

  You can invest if you don't have cash on hand. If you're short on cash but want to buy crypto, a credit card is your way around that obstacle.

  You could earn rewards. If your credit card offers rewards for crypto, you can rack up points easily.

  May be charged a cash advance fee. The fees that come from using a credit card can add up quickly.

  May not qualify for credit card rewards. You'll miss out on credit card rewards if you use a card that doesn't count crypto purchases in its benefit program.

  Low regulations. Crypto exchanges are ripe with scammers, so you could end up with a fraudulent purchase.

  Your credit could take a hit. If you rack up debt with your credit card, your credit score will likely be hurt.

Alternative ways to buy crypto with a credit card

    • BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Card: Some credit cards offer rewards in crypto or rewards for using the card to purchase crypto. When you use the BlockFi Visa, you’ll get 1.5% back in bitcoin. There’s also no foreign transaction fees.
    • Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa®: The Upgrade also has no foreign transaction fees and will kick you back 1.5% in Bitcoin when you make payments. The card also comes with $0 fraud liability.
    • Abra Crypto Card: This upcoming card from American Express will offer crypto back on any purchases from any category. Those rewards are then tradeable on more than 100 crypto exchanges.
    • Brex credit cards. Brex allows you to redeem points for crypto. However, Brex limits you to Bitcoin or Ethereum.
    • Cash back credit cards: You could use the cash back you earned on your credit card to buy crypto. Just make sure you choose a good cash back card before you get started.

The information related to BlockFi Rewards Visa® Signature Card, Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa® and Abra Crypto Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

 

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