Even though Bitcoin is now regarded as a serious investment and accepted as a method of payment by a wide range of businesses, cryptocurrency users still face some hurdles when it comes to acquiring Bitcoins. This is especially the case for those who want to buy Bitcoins instantly without having to leave their home or office.
Most Bitcoin exchanges accept a wide range of payment options, but credit and debit cards are usually excluded. The main reason behind this limitation is that cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible and anonymous, which makes exchanges a huge target for fraudsters looking to “cash out” stolen credit card numbers.
Another issue that Bitcoin exchanges face is that it’s quite difficult for a business in the cryptocurrency industry to obtain a merchant account that allows them to process credit card payments and many third-party payment processing services specifically forbid the use of their services to sell virtual currencies. Despite this, there are a few popular and legitimate services that let you use a debit or credit card to buy Bitcoins online.
What to Consider When Using a Credit or Debit Card to Buy Bitcoin Online
While there are some exchanges that allow credit/debit card purchases, the amounts you can buy tend to be lower than when using other payment methods, especially if you’re a new customer. This is done as a way to reduce the exchange’s exposure to risk. Some exchanges will raise your purchasing limits if you complete a verification procedure.
When using a credit card, be aware that some issuers treat the purchases of “cash like” items, such as Bitcoins, as a cash advance. As a result, you may be charged the usual fees associated with cash advances.
Another issue you may face is that some banks disallow the purchase of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin with credit/debit cards. This is notably the case of Chase, Bank of America and Citi in the US. If you notice that your purchase has been declined, you can contact your bank to see if they have a policy of banning cryptocurrency purchases with their payment cards.
The Top Websites That Accept Credit/Debit Cards For Bitcoin Purchases
Coinbase lets you buy not only Bitcoin, but also Litecoin and Ethereum with Visa branded credit and debit cards. The only drawback is that the service is only available to US customers. To buy coins using a credit/debit card, you’ll first need to register the card details with Coinbase. Then two small transactions will be made, the amounts of which you’ll have to enter on the payment page to verify the card. Once this is done, you can use the verified card to make purchases.