How To Buy Bitcoins Online – Cryptocurrency Exchange Guide

The Ultimate Guide To Purchasing BTC With Credit Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer, and Bank Wire

Money and currency are as interchangeable as Gold and Silver. These days it has been all too difficult to discern real money from money that actually has value. We all know that Bitcoin is fast becoming an oft-used form of currency, Buy Bitcoinsboth in day-to-day monetary transactions and as a long-term financial vehicle.

No matter your skill level with the cryptocurrency space, it is simple to get started. All you really need is a form of payment and the willingness to take action. Once you purchase and obtain your first Bitcoins, you will soon realize just how transformative the potential of the blockchain can be. 

Owning and storing Bitcoins can be viewed in the same light as opening a Swiss Bank Account, except without the banking regulations involved.

How To Buy Bitcoins With A Credit Card or Debit Card

If you are in a rush and need to buy bitcoins quickly, you have the option of purchasing with either a credit card or debit card on these exchange platforms.

Abra Exchange Logo - Buy bitcoin instantly, with credit or debit card.

Abra

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

CEO: Bill Barhydt

Website: www.abra.com

Abra is an all-in-one cryptocurrency exchange and wallet app. While Abra is only available on smartphone devices, it provides a seamless and convenient experience. Setting up an account requires verification, however, it is fast and painless. Moving money into and out of the wallet is simple with the withdraw feature since it is combined with the instant exchange. Overall, Abra is a great app which covers all bases and makes the transaction process seamless and smooth. Have a look at the Abra mobile iOS or Android app here.

Bank ACH transfers and bank wire transfers are free on Abra. Visa and/or Mastercard transactions have an 8% fee while American Express transactions only have a 4% fee.

Pros: Amazing mobile interface. Easy to set up. Payment options.

Cons: Relatively high fees.

Overall rating: 9.6

 

Buy Bitcoin On Abra

 

Paxful

Paxful

Founded: 2015

Headquarters: New York, New York

CEO: Ray Youssef

Website: www.paxful.com

As the world’s largest Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin marketplace, Paxful gives customers an enormous selection of payment options to choose from to purchase BTC. They offer over 300+ ways to transfer money including credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, bank wires, iTunes gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, PayPal transfers, Western Union, and many, many more. With the Paxful platform, you essentially have your pick at how you want to redeem your money for Bitcoin. Read our full review here.

Sellers are charged a 1% fee on Paxful. Buyers are not charged any fees whatsoever for bitcoin purchases.

Pros: Low fees. Diverse funding options.

Cons: Clunky user interface.

Overall rating: 9.5

 

Buy Bitcoin On Paxful

 

Coinmama Logo

Coinmama

Founded: 2013

Headquarters: Slovakia

CEO: Brian Armstrong

Website: www.coinmama.com

Coinmama specializes in selling Bitcoin and Ethereum for Visa and MasterCard credit card and debit card purchases and is one of the most popular exchanges in the world. The platform is supported in over 180+ countries and operates in most U.S. States (see restrictions here). Getting started with verification on Coinmama only takes between 5 and 15 minutes, and is a terrific way for beginners to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash or Cardano quickly and securely. They also have a fast and responsive customer support team. Read our full review here.

Credit card and debit card transactions incur a 5% processing fee added on after choosing a method of payment. SEPA bank transfers have a 0% fee.

Pros: Great for large transactions. Excellent leadership and customer support. Fast and secure transactions.

Cons: High fees when purchasing with a credit card or debit card.

Overall rating: 8.5

 

Buy Bitcoin On Coinmama

 

CEX.io logo

CEX.IO

Founded: 2013

Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

CEO: Oleksandr Lutskevych

Website: www.cex.io

CEX.IO is a multifunctional cryptocurrency exchange that is trusted by millions of users worldwide and allows users to buy bitcoin with a credit card. The exchange is simple to get started on and boasts an easily navigable user interface. CEX.IO boasts multiple payment options, 24/7 customer support, and proven platform stability. There is also a mobile trading app for the CEX.IO exchange platform which is available on both iOS and Android. Read our full review here.

The platform charges between a 0% to 0.25% fee on each transaction (fee schedule), while credit card purchases are charged a 2.99% commission.

Pros: Simple credit card purchases. Low fees. Clean user interface.

Cons: Long verification process.

Overall rating: 8.8

 

Buy Bitcoin On CEX.IO

Coinbase

Coinbase

Founded: 2012

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

CEO: Brian Armstrong

Website: www.coinbase.com

Coinbase is one of the most well-known Bitcoin exchanges in the marketplace. For beginners and investors alike, Coinbase is a great platform to get your foot into the door with Cryptocurrency trading. The user interface is both colorful and accessible and there is even a mobile app available for Android and iOS. The platform incorporates both a marketplace alongside a constantly updating price ticker. Currently, users are able to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic and 0x.

Users can fund their accounts directly using bank transfers, credit card, debit card and even bank wire (Credit cards have a 3.75% fee applied). While bank transfers typically take a few days to complete, credit card and debit card transactions are nearly instant.

You will need to upload a government-issued ID in order to prove your identity before being able to buy bitcoins. Sign up for this wallet and get $10 worth of Bitcoin deposit into your new wallet for free. Read our full review here.

Pros: User-friendly interface. Established reputation.

Cons: Not available worldwide. Support takes time to respond.

Overall rating: 8.7

 

Buy Bitcoin On Coinbase

 

Square Cash Logo

Square Cash App

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Mountain View, California

CEO: Jack Dorsey, Jim McKelvey

Website: www.cash.app

The Cash App (formerly known as Square Cash) is a mobile payment service developed by Square, Inc. lead by Jack Dorsey, the original founder of Twitter, which allows users to transfer money to one another using a seamless mobile phone app. The interface presents a sleek, yet beautiful design for buying and selling Bitcoin. Following the footsteps of Venmo, Square Cash has introduced a unique username system, known as a $cashtag. This system allows users to transfer and request money from different users by simply entering their username, phone number or email. The Cash App is available on both the Apple iOS and Android Google Play store.

With Square Cash, there are no fees. When sending money to others your funds are transferred directly into users’ accounts.

Pros: Easy to use – works like email. Beautiful interface.

Cons: Few payment methods.

Overall rating: 8.3

 

Buy Bitcoin On Square Cash

 

How To Buy Bitcoins With PayPal

If you are the type of person who is always moving money around with PayPal, either mobile or online, then these exchanges are perfect for you. Here are a few exchanges where you can buy bitcoin using PayPal to make the purchase.

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins

Founded:  2012

Headquarters: Helsinki, Finland

CEO: Nicholas Kangas

Website: www.localbitcoins.com

LocalBitcoins is a person-to-person bitcoin trading platform which specializes in connecting buyers and sellers. With over 100+ payment options, no matter where you are in the globe, it is simple to get access to someone who wants to buy or sell bitcoin. As a seller, you are given full autonomy over how you want to create your listing, accept payment, and attract reviews. Overall, LocalBitcoins is one of the best places to get started with buying and selling bitcoins. Read our full review here.

On LocalBitcoins registering, buying, and selling Bitcoin is completely free. Users who create advertisements are charged a 1% fee for every completed trade.

Pros: Extremely diverse selection of buyers and sellers. Available worldwide.

Cons: Lack of cryptocurrency diversity.

Overall rating: 9.3

 

Buy Bitcoin On LocalBitcoins

 

Paxful

Paxful

Founded: 2015

Headquarters: Wilmington, Delaware

CEO: Ray Youssef

Website: www.paxful.com

As the world’s largest Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin marketplace, Paxful gives customers an enormous selection of payment options to choose from to purchase BTC. They offer over 300+ ways to transfer money including credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, bank wires, iTunes gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, PayPal transfers, Western Union, and many, many more. With the Paxful platform, you essentially have your pick at how you want to redeem your money for Bitcoin. Read our full review here.

Sellers are charged a 1% fee on Paxful. Buyers are not charged any fees whatsoever for bitcoin purchases.

Pros: Low fees. Diverse funding options.

Cons: Clunky user interface.

Overall rating: 9.5

 

Buy Bitcoin On Paxful

 

How To Buy Bitcoins With Cash

If time is a factor and you only have cash with you, and you need Bitcoins quickly you have a number of options at your disposal. Not only can you directly go to a Bitcoin ATM, but also you have a number of apps and services that can guide you as well.

Coin ATM Radar Logo

Bitcoin ATM

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Bulgaria

CEO: Matthew Hayes

Website: www.coinatmradar.com

Coin ATM Radar is an excellent resource for locating a Bitcoin ATM in your local area. This is one of the fastest ways you can obtain Bitcoins, and it is even possible to locate one within the same hour. The website has everything you need to know about starting a Bitcoin ATM business as well as how to search for a Bitcoin ATM in your local area to buy and sell Bitcoins.

As of October 26th, 2018, there are over 3,918 crypto ATMs listed on Coin ATM Radar in over 76 countries. If you are the owner of a Bitcoin or Crypto ATM and would like to get it listed you can submit it here.

If you want to find the closest Bitcoin ATM nearby, CoinATMRadar has an Android and iOS app for your smartphone.

Pros: Convenience. Physical kiosk with receipt and customer service.

Cons: Distance to travel.

Overall rating: 8.4

 

Search Coin ATM Radar

 

LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins

Founded:  2012

Headquarters: Helsinki, Finland

CEO: Nicholas Kangas

Website: www.localbitcoins.com

LocalBitcoins is a person-to-person bitcoin trading platform which specializes in connecting buyers and sellers. With over 100+ payment options, no matter where you are in the globe, it is simple to get access to someone who wants to buy or sell bitcoin. As a seller, you are given full autonomy over how you want to create your listing, accept payment, and attract reviews. Overall, LocalBitcoins is one of the best places to get started with buying and selling bitcoins. Read our full review here.

On LocalBitcoins registering, buying, and selling Bitcoin is completely free. Users who create advertisements are charged a 1% fee for every completed trade.

Pros: Extremely diverse selection of buyers and sellers.

Cons: Lack of cryptocurrency diversity.

Overall rating: 9.3

 

Buy Bitcoin On LocalBitcoins

 

Paxful

Paxful

Founded: 2015

Headquarters: New York, New York

CEO: Ray Youssef

Website: www.paxful.com

As the world’s largest Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin marketplace, Paxful gives customers an enormous selection of payment options to choose from to purchase BTC. They offer over 300+ ways to transfer money including credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, bank wires, iTunes gift cards, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, PayPal transfers, Western Union, and many, many more. With the Paxful platform, you essentially have your pick at how you want to redeem your money for Bitcoin. Read our full review here.

Sellers are charged a 1% fee on Paxful. Buyers are not charged any fees whatsoever for bitcoin purchases.

Pros: Low fees. Diverse funding options.

Cons: Clunky user interface.

Overall rating: 9.5

 

Buy Bitcoin On Paxful

 

BitQuick Logo

BitQuick

Founded: 2013

Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio

CEO: Jad Mubaslat

Website: www.bitquick.co

BitQuick.co is an instant buying and selling Bitcoin marketplace that allows buyers to connect directly to sellers via cash deposit or SEPA transfer. On the platform Buy dashboard, it is easy to locate and buy bitcoin from trusted merchants that only require a minimum purchase. You are guaranteed to receive your bitcoins within 3 hours of placing an order.

BitQuick charges a 2% fee to buy bitcoin while selling bitcoin incurs absolutely no fees.

Pros: Get paid within 3 hours. 256 bit SSL encryption. Simple user interface.

Cons: Lack of payment options.

Overall rating: 8.6

 

Buy Bitcoin On Bitquick

 

Wall Of Coins

Wall Of Coins

Founded: 2015

Headquarters: Sarasota, Florida

CEO: Genitrust, Inc.

Website: www.wallofcoins.com

Wall Of Coins simplifies the buying and selling process of Bitcoin by directly connecting merchants that are nearby one another. When you go to buy bitcoin with cash on the platform it searches nearby banks that will give you the best rate. They actually have some phenomenal rates for purchasing bitcoin on their offers page, but always remember to do your due diligence before making an investment or purchase decision.

There are no fees to purchase bitcoin with cash on Wall of Coins; however, there is a $5 minimum purchase requirement. They offer professional customer support via a toll-free number, live chat, and email if you have any questions or concerns.

Pros: Transparency. Rapid cold storage.

Cons: ID Verification not necessary.

Overall rating: 8.6

 

Buy Bitcoin On Wall Of Coins

 

How To Buy Bitcoins With Bank Transfers And Bank Wires

Purchasing Bitcoins with a bank transfer or wire may be the most secure route of doing business, in case anything ever happens during the purchase. Also, if you’re doing heavy quantities of volume through trades then you will definitely want to look into an exchange that offers more tools and flexibility.

 

Gemini Exchange

Gemini

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: New York, New York

CEO: Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss

Website: www.gemini.com

Owned by the Winklevoss Twins, Gemini boasts low fees and one of the cleanest user interfaces out of all the exchanges. The dashboard makes it easy for investors to view a snapshot of their holdings upon login. The platform allows you to purchase and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, and (soon) Bitcoin Cash with real-time market limit buy and sell orders. With Gemini, you have the computing power of Forex trading software with a simple, easy to use interface.

Transferring funds into Gemini is as simple as linking your bank account. Bank transfers and bank wires are completely free, although your bank may charge you a fee to wire money into your Gemini account.  In order to get started, you will need to be verified and accepted onto the platform. Apply now.

Pros: Ability to set real-time market limit orders. Great interface.

Cons: Exclusive to United States citizens.

Overall rating: 9.8

 

Buy Bitcoin On Gemini

 

Coinbase

Coinbase

Founded: 2012

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

CEO: Brian Armstrong

Website: www.coinbase.com

Coinbase is one of the most well-known Bitcoin exchanges in the marketplace. For beginners and investors alike, Coinbase is a great platform to get your foot into the door with Cryptocurrency trading. The user interface is both colorful and accessible and there is even a mobile app available for Android and iOS. The platform incorporates both a marketplace alongside a constantly updating price ticker. Currently, users are able to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic and 0x.

Users can fund their accounts directly using bank transfers, credit card, debit card and even bank wire (Credit cards have a 3.75% fee applied). While bank transfers typically take a few days to complete, credit card and debit card transactions are nearly instant.

You will need to upload a government-issued ID in order to prove your identity before being able to buy bitcoins. Sign up for this wallet and get $10 worth of Bitcoin deposit into your new wallet for free. Read our full review here.

Pros: User-friendly interface. Established reputation.

Cons: Not available worldwide. Support takes time to respond.

Overall rating: 8.7

 

Buy Bitcoin On Coinbase

 

Poloniex

Poloniex

Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Wilmington, Delaware

CEO: Tristan D’Agosta

Website: www.poloniex.com

Poloniex is ideal for those seeking a cryptocurrency trading platform with a large array of technical analysis tools. They offer a secure trading environment which provides advanced charts and data analysis tools for its customers. Those familiar with ForEx and stock trading will feel at home with the tools Poloniex offers. The margin trading feature gives traders the ability to set buy, sell and stop market limit orders. For those who want to view market prices, charts and buy cryptocurrency instantly on the go, Paxful has both an iPhone and Android app.

With over 100+ trading pairs, investors can trade among any cryptocurrency of their choosing. In order to encourage robust liquidity and tighter spreads, Poloniex employs a volume-tiered, maker-taker fee schedule. In order to provide the utmost security, Poloniex has a strict verification process for new users and tiered verification for those who want to increase their limits.

Pros: 100+ trading pairs. A multifunctional user interface for experienced traders.

Cons: Can be complicated for beginners and those new to market trading.

Overall rating: 8.1

 

Buy Bitcoin On Poloniex

 

Kraken Exchange

Kraken

Founded: 2011

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

CEO: Jesse Powell

Website: www.kraken.com

The Kraken exchange is one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges in volume and liquidity and is one of the most reputable exchanges in existence. The exchange has been around since the crash of Mt. Gox and has persevered since. Kraken is available only in the United States, Canada, European Union, and Japan. Not only is sign up on Kraken fast and simple, but also security is layered with 4 tier verification for those who want to deposit large volumes on a daily or monthly basis.

The following cryptocurrencies are available for trade: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, Stellar Lumens, Ethereum Classic, Augur, ICONOMI, Melon, Zcash, Dogecoin, Tether, Gnosis, and EOS. For fees on Kraken take a look at the fee schedule page.

Pros: Supports popular cryptocurrencies. Tiered verification process.

Cons: Moderate fees.

Overall rating: 8.7

 

Buy Bitcoin On Kraken

 

eToro

eToro

Founded: 2007

Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

CEO: Ronen Assia, David Ring, Yoni Assia

Website: www.etoro.com

On first glance, eToro seems like an incredible platform for making trades across asset classes. The service promises the ability to trade and invest in stocks, currencies, indices, and commodities. If you’re the type of person who loves to diversify investment assets then you will find countless options for monitoring your real-time data and performing transactions here. The great thing about being a social trading platform is that you can watch the financial trading activity of other users, copy them, and make more informed trades.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently the only two asset classes available for purchase on eToro as of this writing. It is possible to fund an eToro account using credit cards, bank wire and something called an e-wallet, which seems to be popular in Europe. The eToro user interface is clean and easily navigable. There is plenty of customer support if you should need it. In addition, eToro also has an iOS and Android app to make the platform more accessible for new users and experienced traders.

Pros: Can trade stocks, commodities, currencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Cons: Does not accept U.S. customers. Limited cryptocurrency and Fiat trading.

Overall rating: 9.0

 

Buy Bitcoin On eToro

 

How To Buy Any Cryptocurrency With Bitcoin

If you already have a stash of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies and you want to quickly trade between them then you may want to check out these exchanges.

Changelly Exchange Logo

Changelly

Founded: 2013

Headquarters: Prague, Czech Republic

CEO: Konstantin Gladych

Website: www.changelly.com

Changelly is an instant cryptocurrency exchange which supplies the best live rates on the market for every pair. The interface is colorful and simple to manage, and transactions are performed instantly. The Changelly robot is integrated from the trading platforms of Poloniex and Bittrex. Since the platform is purely a cryptocurrency exchange, in order to complete a transaction on Changelly, you will need to provide both a sender and recipient address. Changelly is a great option next to Shapeshift as a seamless cryptocurrency exchange.

Changelly charges a low commission fee of 0.5% and offers the best available rate at the moment the transaction is completed. Read our full review here.

Pros: Fast and simple to exchange cryptocurrency between one another.

Cons: Slightly higher fees than most exchanges.

Overall rating: 8.8

 

Buy Bitcoin On Changelly

 

Shapeshift

ShapeShift

Founded: 2013

Headquarters: Switzerland

CEO: Erik Voorhees

Website: www.shapeshift.io

Buy coins instantly! No account needed. Shapeshift.io is actually one of my favorite services and doesn’t require the use of an exchange or marketplace, just two wallets. This means you get to keep both your privacy and security and steer clear of another Mt. Gox event happening to your favorite exchange. There is a small transaction fee, however, the convenience of the service far outweighs the costs.

A plethora of cryptocurrencies can be converted to and from Bitcoin (and amongst one another) including staples like Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Ripple, and Monero. The company does not charge a specific fee and instead offers an exchange rate for each coin. In order to earn revenue by offering a profitable exchange rate, they typically charge in the range of 0.5% to 1% per transaction. One downside is that you can not fund your exchange with any type of Fiat currency, however, this can be easily remedied by first funding a Bitcoin wallet.

There are also Android and iOS mobile app versions of the Shapeshift service which work seamlessly. Highly recommended for those seeking privacy or speed and don’t mind the small fee.

Pros: Cryptocurrency exchange between over 40 cryptocurrencies. Available worldwide. Privacy. Speed.

Cons: A light fee charged on top of every transaction performed

Overall rating: 9.4

 

Exchange Cryptocurrency On Shapeshift
 

Binance Logo

Binance

Founded: 2017

Headquarters: Taiwan

CEO: Changpeng Zhao

Website: www.binance.com

The Binance exchange is one of the best exchanges for experienced traders who want a premier cryptocurrency marketplace to view real-time prices. The platform has options for both beginner and advanced traders. With over 166+ cryptocurrencies available, traders have a myriad of options for performing real-time trades. The Trust Wallet is owned by Binance, which also provides users with an iOS or Android app to enjoy the platform anywhere.

On the Binance platform, trades have a general 0.1% trading fee.

Pros: High volume exchange. A large number of cryptocurrency pairs.

Cons: Slow customer support response times.

Overall rating: 9.0

 

Buy Cryptocurrency On Binance

 

Recap

Here are our personal favorite bitcoin exchanges for each method of payment:

Buy Bitcoins With A Credit Card or Debit Card (Top Recommendation: Paxful)

Buy Bitcoins With PayPal (Top Recommendation: LocalBitcoins)

Buy Bitcoins With Cash (Top Recommendation: Bitcoin ATM)

Buy Bitcoins With Bank Transfers And Bank Wires (Top Recommendation: Gemini)

Buy Any Cryptocurrency With Bitcoin (Top Recommendation: Changelly)

 

BitcoinsConclusion: Before investing or buying Bitcoins remember to always do your own research. One big tip is to always store your Bitcoins inside of a wallet for safe keeping. Too much currency held inside of an exchange puts you at great risk. A cold storage wallet will keep your Bitcoins safe in any event. Some of the most popular portable cold storage Bitcoin wallets include the Trezor, Ledger Nano S and KeepKey.

Our top-rated exchange for buying bitcoins online: Gemini (view site).

 

Our Top Recommendation

9.8

Overall

9.8/10
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