Can You Buy Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency with a Credit Card?

    by Benjamin Aronson
Updated November 30, 2021

Simply put, yes.

You can buy Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies with credit cards (and debit cards for that matter).

Risks of fraud, losses, and volatility in the cryptocurrency market have shaken some of America’s biggest credit card companies to back off the contingencies of Bitcoin.

With that said, the majority of credit card companies are skeptical and do not allow clients to purchase Bitcoin or Cryptocurrencies.

In this article, we are going to show you which banks allow the purchase of Bitcoin or Crypto with credit cards.

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What Credit Cards Have Banned Bitcoin Purchases?

While 2021 has absolutely changed the awareness of Bitcoin, there are still many credit cards that ban bitcoin purchases.

These bans are in place due to the fact that Bitcoin is after all a volatile asset and has been for years.

With that, many American banks have banned cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards.

Why?

  • Banks don’t see eye-to-eye with crypto enthusiasts. Although many Bitcoiners choose to HODL (hold on for dear life) with their Bitcoin, most banks don’t see cryptocurrency the same way.
  • They want to shield us from bad credit. One of the biggest worries banks have with people buying cryptocurrency with credit cards is that they’ll buy Bitcoin in hopes of making their money back then, if the market crashes, they won’t have enough to pay their credit card bill.
  • It prevents consumers from taking advantage of the system. Theoretically, someone could abuse the cash-back system by buying and then selling thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin right way. A cash-back return with little risk — too easy.

Here’s a list of some of the largest US credit card issuers with bans on buying cryptocurrencies:

  • Wells Fargo
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Chase
  • Citigroup
  • Bank of America
  • Capital One
  • Discover
  • American Express

What Credit Cards Allow Bitcoin Purchases?

Now since credit card companies have decided to crack down on Bitcoin, the American banks that still allow it is very limited.

However, if you’re determined, you could start an offshore account with a non-US bank that allows it.

What are the advantages of buying Bitcoin with credit cards?

  • The ability to earn rewards, the same reason most people use credit cards for other purchases. You could earn rewards from buying bitcoins. But, before you get excited, look into your own credit card company to make sure it doesn’t count it as a cash advance — you won’t earn rewards then.
  • You get the chance of profiting from big price swings. As long as your Bitcoin purchase is considered a purchase, you could use your line of credit to buy low and sell high. You could also fall into great debt this way if you play your cards wrong, so beware.

Major US-based banks that allow Bitcoin purchases with credit cards:

  • Ally Bank
  • USAA
  • National Bank of Canada
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Revolut
  • Barclays
  • Simple Bank
  • Fidor Bank
  • Monaize
  • Change Bank

Non-US banks that allow Bitcoin purchases with credit cards:

  • Fidor Bank
  • Change
  • Bankera
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TDB)
  • The Royal Bank of Canada
  • The National Bank of Canada

Over the past few months, banks, private companies, and fortune 500 companies have been slowly moving closer and closer towards Bitcoin adoption.

Bitcoin treasuries can now be found on balance sheets of private and publicly traded companies across the globe!

Where Can I Buy Bitcoin with Credit Card?

While some exchanges like Gemini have pushed away credit card users entirely, many exchanges allow it.

Because of the added risks with credit cards, the exchange will probably charge a percentage fee, usually ranging between 3-6%.

Here are some of the top cryptocurrency exchanges that accept credit cards:

  • Bitstamp
  • Dex.io
  • Coinmama
  • BitPanda
  • Kraken
  • Binance
  • CEX.io

Things to Consider When Buying Bitcoin with a Credit Card

Buying Bitcoin with your credit card sounds pretty simple right?

Well, it’s not as straightforward as you might think. Using your credit card with an exchange is going to have some drawbacks.

Keep these things in mind before your first Bitcoin purchase with your credit card:

It’ll affect your credit score. The more of your credit limit you use (credit utilization ratio) buying bitcoins, the lower your credit scores could go. Your credit scores will go back to normal once your debt is paid off. Just be mindful of this when you’re about to apply for a new mortgage, loan, or credit card.

There shall be exchange fees. Exchanges tack on percentage transaction fees for card users. Doing a bank transfer is usually the most affordable way.

Beware of foreign exchange fees. If you’re using an American-based credit card to buy Bitcoin from an exchange based outside of the US, you might get a charge for a foreign transaction fee. Usually, it’s a small fee of around 3%, but do your research for your card of choice first.

Credit card companies might consider BTC as a cash advance. If your bank considers cryptocurrency as a cash advance then, you’ll succumb to high-interest rates and obnoxious fees. On top of that — there are no rewards for cash advances.

You could be risking debt. If you have the money to pay off your credit card bill that month — no worries. However, if you’re buying bitcoins with credit and the market drops, you’ll be in some trouble if you don’t have the money to back yourself up.

Some Less Risky Ways to Buy Bitcoin

Now, if you’re trying to avoid some of those pesky credit card risks — remain calm.

You won’t be able to get cash-back or other rewards that credit cards offer, but you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your credit score, will be intact and you won’t have to deal with hefty cash advance fees.

Debit Cards

If you don’t have a credit card, a debit card is a great option. Debit cards are useable at pretty much all of the biggest crypto exchanges. Although, you’ll still have to keep transaction fees in mind.

Bank Transfer

Buying Bitcoin through bank wire or transfer always has the smallest transaction fee. A con to bank transfers is they take longer for your payments to process

Conclusion

Yes, it’s possible to purchase bitcoins with your credit card in 2021, but most major American credit card companies have banned Bitcoin purchases.

Do your own due diligence to make sure your credit card won’t count your Bitcoin purchase as a cash advance or choose an alternate form of payment.

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