During the first years of Bitcoin’s existence, it was virtually impossible to invest in the digital currency with real-world money. Although there were a couple of online platforms that allowed you to deposit funds with a bank account, the end-to-end investment process would often take a number of weeks.
Fast forward to 2020 and it now super-easy to buy Bitcoin with a debit card. In fact, there are heaps of platforms serving UK clients, some of which are regulated by the FCA.
In this guide, we explain the ins and outs of how you can buy Bitcoin with an everyday debit card. Crucially, we explore what you need need to look out for prior to using a new broker, exchange, or trading platforms – such as regulation, fees, and withdrawals.
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Fees to Buy Bitcoin With a Debit Card
Before we to the ins and outs of how to choose an online broker, let’s explore some of the fees that you will need to take into account when using your debit card. Take note, the specific fees will vary from broker-to-broker, so be sure to check this before opening an account.
🥇 Deposit Fees
The first fee that you need to look out for is a potential charge for using a debit card. Unlike a credit card, your debit card issuer will not charge you for using the card to buy Bitcoin, as it’s processed in the same way as any other transaction. With that said, some third-party brokers will charge you a transaction fee for using your debit card.
If they do, this is charged as a percentage against the amount that you wish to deposit.
- A prime example of this is the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase – which now has a UK office.
- The platform charges a staggering 3.99% when using a debit card.
- So, if you were to buy £1,000 worth of Bitcoin, you would end up paying £39.99 in deposit fees.
- And that’s before you even get to the platform’s trading commission and spread!
This is why we would suggest sticking with a broker that allows you to deposit funds with a debit card for free. In fact, all of the brokers that have been recommended on this page do just that.
🥇 Trading Commission
The next fee that you need to make considerations for is that of the platform’s trading commission. In a nutshell, this is a commission that the cryptocurrency broker charges when you place a trade.
This is also expressed as a percentage, only this time against the amount that you wish to trade. Furthermore, you will need to pay this fee at both ends of the trade – meaning you’ll get charged when you place a buy order and a sell order.
- Coinbase charges a trading fee of 1.5%
- If you wanted to buy £1,000 worth of Bitcoin, you would pay a commission of £15
- This would leave you with just £985 worth of Bitcoin
- A few months later, your Bitcoin is now worth £1,500, so you decide to cash in your profits
- At a commission of 1.5%, your £1,500 sell order results in a fee of £22.50
Once again, most of the Bitcoin brokers that we have listed on this page allow you to trade cryptocurrencies without paying any commissions. Instead, the only fee that you need to take into account is the spread – which we explain in the next section.
Whether you are investing in stocks and shares, commodities, ETFs, or indices – you will always pay an indirect fee known as the spread. Buying Bitcoin is no different. For those unaware, the spread is the difference between the ‘buy’ price and the ‘sell’ price of an asset.
This gap in pricing is how brokers ensure that they always make money – regardless of which way the markets go.
In the case of buying Bitcoin, the spread is important as it immediately puts you at a disadvantage In Layman’s terms, you need to make gains that are equal to the spread just to break even. As such, the higher the spread, the harder it is for you to make money.
- The real market price of Bitcoin is £7,000
- The broker offers a ‘buy’ price of £6,860
- The ‘sell’ price amounts to £7,140
- The difference between the two prices against the market price is £140
- This amounts to 2%, meaning that the spread is 2%
So, if you were to buy £2,000 worth of Bitcoin from a broker that charges a spread of 2%, you would need to make a profit of at least 2% just to break even. In other words, if you bought Bitcoin and then immediately decided to sell it, you would lose 2%.
Withdrawing Your Bitcoin Investment
If you’re looking to buy Bitcoin with a debit card, then there is a good chance that you are doing so because you think that it will be worth more in the future. In fact, this is the primary reason why people invest in Bitcoin, as the general consensus is that the digital currency is still worth just a fraction of its long-term potential.
With that being said, you need to think about how you intend on keeping your Bitcoin safe. This is the stage of the investment process that often puts newbie investors off, not least because Bitcoin is decentralized – meaning that you are required to take full responsibility for your coins.
This is the general process required to buy and store Bitcoin:
- You buy Bitcoin from an online broker
- You download a digital Bitcoin wallet
- You then withdraw the Bitcoin from the broker by entering your unique wallet address (usually 36 alpha-numeric characters)
- 10 minutes later, the Bitcoin arrives in your digital wallet
- The Bitcoin remains in your wallet until you decide you want to sell it
- You then need to transfer the coins back to a broker and exchange it for cash
As you can see from the above example, the process of buying, withdrawing, storing, and then selling your Bitcoin is not only cumbersome but extremely time-consuming. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly – if your digital wallet was hacked – or you made a mistaking by entering the wrong wallet address – your Bitcoin would be gone forever.
This is why you are best advised to buy Bitcoin with a regulated online broker. In doing so, there is no requirement to withdraw your coins out, nor do you need to worry about storage. Instead, your investment remains at the regulated platform for as long as you wish to keep it there.
Cashing Your Bitcoin Investment Out to a Debit Card
As noted above, not only is the process of withdrawing and storing your Bitcoin in a private wallet fraught with risk, but it’s a big hassle when it comes to cashing out your investment. However, by using a regulated broker that offers institutional-grade security, the cashout process could not be easier.
Here’s an example of how the process would work when using a debit card.
- You buy £1,000 worth of Bitcoin from a regulated, commission-free CFD broker
- The Bitcoin remains in your brokerage account
- 12 months later, Bitcoin is worth 60% more than the price you paid for it, so you decide to cash out your investment
- By placing a ‘sell’ order, your Bitcoin is immediately turned into real-world currency (pounds, dollars, euros, etc) on a commission-free basis
- You then request a withdrawal back to your debit card
- The funds arrive on your debit card 1-3 working days later
As you can see from the above example, one of the overarching benefits of using a regulated CFD broker is that you will be able to cash your Bitcoin investment out at the click of a button.
Choosing a Broker to Buy Bitcoin With a Debit Card
So now that you know the ins and outs of what it takes to buy Bitcoin with a debit card, we are now going to discuss the process of choosing an online broker. This is no easy feat, are there now dozens of Bitcoin brokers that allow you to make an investment with real-world money.
Nevertheless, we would suggest reviewing the following metrics prior to parting with your money.
With much of the Bitcoin industry operating in an unregulated manner, this makes the investment process risky. Crucially, you would have nowhere to turn in the event that the broker engages in malpractice.
As such, you should only use a broker that is in receipt of a regulatory license. In the vast majority of cases, this will be with a tier-one licensing body like the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), or CySEC (Cyprus).
In fact, some of the brokers listed on this page hold licenses with multiple regulatory bodies.
✔️ Supported Debit Cards
Although the broker might host debit card deposits, you still need to check whether or not your specific card is supported.
For example, we have come across online brokers that accept Visa, but not MasterCard.
This step is particularly important if you are using a card issued by Maestro or AMEX, as support is less common in comparison to Visa or MasterCard.
✔️ Fees, Commissions, and Spreads
It’s super-important that you have a firm understanding of the fee structure employed by the broker. As we covered earlier in our guide, some brokers charge a transaction fee on debit card deposits.
Moreover, you need to explore whether or not the broker charges trading commissions. Most of the brokers listed on this page allow you to trade on a commission-free basis.
On top of deposit fees and trading commissions, you also need to explore how competitive the broker is in the spread department. This can make all the difference when investing in Bitcoin – especially if you are planning to engage in short-term trading.
Just because your chosen broker holds a regulatory license, this isn’t to say that it’s security controls are up to scratch. This is crucial, as you’ll want to ensure that your investment account remains safe at all times.
At the forefront of this is a cryptocurrency broker that employes institutional-grade security. This includes the likes of two-factor authentication – which requires you to enter a unique code that is sent to your phone every time you log in to your account.
We also expect the broker’s website to have SSL encryption. This ensures that your personal data does not get into the wrong hands.
✔️ Leverage and Short-Selling
While most you might be looking to buy Bitcoin with a debit card for the sole purpose of holding on to your investment in the long-run, some of you might be looking at the short-term game.
If so, and you’re looking to apply leverage to your trades, be sure to check whether or not the broker supports this. Don’t forget, if you’re based in the UK and you’re not deemed to be a professional trader, you’ll be capped to leverage of 2:1 on cryptocurrencies.
On top of leverage, you might be interested in short-selling Bitcoin. If so, this means that you are speculating that its price will go down. Ultimately, you will need to use a regulated CFD broker if leverage and/or short-selling is what you are after.
✔️ Customer Support
It is also important to use a Bitcoin broker that offers top-notch support. This usually comes in the form of live chat or email, although some brokers also offer a telephone support line.
Furthermore, be sure to check what hours and days the customer service teams. Industry-standard is 24/5, meaning support is unavailable during the weekends.
How to Buy Bitcoin With a Debit Card
If you’ve never purchased Bitcoin before and you want some guidance, follow the step-by-step walkthrough outlined below.
🥇 Step 1: Choose a Broker That Supports Debit Cards
Your first port of call will be to choose an online broker that supports debit card deposits and withdrawals. As per the section above, you now have the required tools to find a broker that meets your personal requirements.
If you don’t have time to research a broker yourself, you’ll find our five top-rated Bitcoin brokers listed at the bottom of this page. Each broker has an excellent reputation in the online trading space, so your money is safe at all times.
🥇 Step 2: Open an Account and Upload Some ID
As you will be using a regulated broker, you will be required to open an account. The process rarely takes more than a couple of minutes and simply demands some basic personal information.
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Home Address
- Contact Details
You will then be required to verify your identity. Most of the brokers listed on this page allow you to do this in an automated manner. Simply upload a clear copy of your government-issued ID (passport or driver’s license) and the system should validate it straightaway.
🥇 Step 3: Use Your Debit Card to Deposit Funds
Once you’re ID has been verified, you will then be able to deposit some funds with your debit card. Head over to the banking page of your chosen broker and select the debit card option.
Then, enter the 16 numbers on the front of your card, alongside its expiry date and CVV. Enter the amount you wish to deposit in your local currency and confirm the transaction.
🥇 Step 4: Buy Bitcoin
Now that your brokerage account is funded, you can proceed to buy Bitcoin. Head over to the cryptocurrency section of the site and look out for Bitcoin. Take note, most brokers will price Bitcoin in US dollars, as this is industry-standard.
Enter the amount of Bitcoin that you wish to buy, and then confirm your order. If you’re looking to place a more sophisticated trade – such as applying leverage or short-selling, enter your requirements before confirming your order.
Top 5 Brokers to Buy Bitcoin With a Debit Card
If you’re keen to buy Bitcoin with a debit card, but you’re not sure which broker to do this with, check out our top five recommendations below.
1. Skilling – Best All-Round Trading Platform of 2020
Launched in 2019, Skilling has emerged to become one of the best trading platforms in the industry. The provider is regulated by CySEC and strictly confirms to their stringent codes of practice. Skilling focuses on forex, along with other financial instruments such as stocks, indices, and commodities.
Both the trading platform and app have simple features, making it suitable for beginners and professionals. If you are new to trading, the Skilling Trade Assistant can help you with resources and guides.
With over 800 different instruments, Skilling allows you to speculate with a low initial investment of just $100. The signup process is simple, fast, and straightforward.
- Trade with leverage
- Super-competitive fees
- Heaps of supported payment methods
- Relatively new in the brokerage scene
2. Capital.com – Zero Commissions and Ultra-Low Spreads
Capital.com is an FCA-regulated online broker that offers heaps of financial instruments. All in the form of CFDs - this covers stocks, indices, commodities, and even cryptocurrencies. You will not pay a single penny in commission, and spreads are super-tight. Leverage facilities are also on offer - fully in-line with ESMA limits.
Once again, this stands at 1:30 on majors and 1:20 on minors and exotics. If you are based outside of Europe or you are deemed to be a professional client, you will get even higher limits. Getting money into Capital.com is also a breeze - as the platform supports debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and bank account transfers. Best of all, you can get started with just 20 £/$.
- Zero commissions on all assets
- Super-tight spreads
- FCA regulated
- Does not offer traditional share dealing
3. eToro – Best Bitcoin Broker for Beginners
eToro is ideal if you are buying Bitcoin for the very first time. You can open an account in minutes, and the broker supports both debit and credit cards. There are no fees to deposit funds with a debit card, and all Bitcoin trades are commission-free.
As such, it's only the speed that you need to keep an eye on. Crucially, eToro is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC - so your remains remains safe at all times. You can cash out your Bitcoin gains back to your debit card, albeit, a small fee of $5 will apply.
- Supports all credit card types
- No trading fees other than the spread
- Fast registration and KYC process
- Accounts are denominated in USD only
4. AVATrade – 2 x $200 Forex Welcome Bonuses
The team at AVATrade are now offering a huge 20% forex bonus of up to $10,000. This means that you will need to deposit $50,000 to get the maximum bonus allocation. Take note, you'll need to deposit a minimum of $100 to get the bonus, and your account needs to be verified before the funds are credited. In terms of withdrawing the bonus out, you'll get $1 for every 0.1 lot that you trade.
- 20% welcome bonus of upto $10,000
- Minimum deposit $100
- Verify your account before the bonus is credited
5. EuropeFX – Great Fees and Several FX Trading Platforms
As the name suggests, EuropeFX is a specialist forex broker. With that said, the platform also supports CFDs in the form of shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. You will be able to trade via MT4, so you can choose from desktop software, or a mobile/tablet application. If you want to trade via your standard web browser, the broker also offers its own native platform - EuroTrader 2.0. In terms of fees, EuropeFX offers super-tight spreads on major pairs. Your money is safe at all times, not least because the broker is authorized and licensed by CySEC.
- MT4 and native trading platforms
- Super-low spreads
- Great reputation and licensed by CySEC
- Premium account has a minimum deposit of 1,000 EUR
We hope that by reading our guide from start to finish, you now have a good understanding of what it takes to buy Bitcoin with a debit card. As you now know, the process couldn’t be easier. Simply open an account, upload some ID, enter your debit card details and that’s it – you’ve bought Bitcoin in less than 10 minutes.
However, the most challenging part of the process is finding a broker that best meets your needs. As we have discussed extensively, you need to look out for metrics surrounding regulation, commissions, deposit fees, customer support, and more.
To help you along the way, we have listed our top five brokers that allow you to buy Bitcoin with a debit card. This saves you the hassle of having to perform your own in-depth research, as all of our recommended platforms have been pre-vetted.
LongHornFX – Best Forex Trading Platform
- UK traders our chosen broker is Alvexo
- Super-low commissions and tight spreads
- Trade forex, crypto, commodities, and indices
- Fully supported by MetaTrader 4
Is it possible to buy Bitcoin with a pre-paid debit card?
Yes, as long as the broker supports the card issuer (Visa, MasterCard, etc.), then you should have no issues using a pre-paid debit card to buy Bitcoin. With that said, you need to check whether or not withdrawals can be processed back to the card.
What is the minimum deposit when using a debit card to buy Bitcoin?
This will vary depending on which broker you use. This usually sits within the £50-£100 range, albeit, be sure to check this before opening an account
Why do I need to upload ID to buy Bitcoin with a debit card?
In order to remain compliant with their license issuer, regulated Bitcoin brokers must verify each and every user that signs up to its site.
What deposit fees do I need to pay when using a debit card to buy Bitcoin?
If a deposit fee is charged, it's usually charged as a percentage against the value of your purchase. With that said, heaps of brokers allow you to deposit funds with a debit card for free.
Will my bank allow me to use my debit card to buy Bitcoin?
You should have no issued using your debit card to buy Bitcoin - especially if you are using a regulated broker.
Can I withdraw back to my debit card?
Yes, although if you used a debit card to deposit funds at your chosen broker, you will need to withdraw your profits back to the same card. This is to counter the threats of money laundering.
Can I short Bitcoin?
If you want to use your debit card to short Bitcoin, you will need to use a regulated CFD broker. There are hundreds active in the UK space, so choose wisely.