Looking to buy Bitcoin with a prepaid card? Well, read on. Though not the most common way of getting a hold of your favorite crypto, many places who accept Visa and Mastercard also accept this option. Prepaid cards are somewhat different than normal debit cards, because they’re typically not linked to bank accounts. Many banks provide overdraft facilities for traditional debit cards meaning that you can, in effect, use them as credit cards.
Prepaid cards on the other hand only allow you to buy goods or services with money you actually have. You may wonder why people use them in the first place, but consider this man who decided to take out an equity loan on his house to buy around 191 Bitcoin last year. If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now – buying cryptocurrency on credit is a risky business!
In the early days, getting ahold of some Bitcoin was a bit trickier. There were only a few exchanges who offered it, or you could grab some if you had the technical chops to mine it yourself. Thankfully, it has become a highly sought-after commodity and is widely available today. We’ll link to some detailed articles below if you’re looking for the steps on how to buy Bitcoin with a prepaid card at a specific exchange. The process is more or less the same as with any debit or credit card. If you’re interested in buying Bitcoin with cold hard cash head on over to that article for some insights. Otherwise, let’s get to it.
Exchanges That Support Prepaid Cards
CoinMama was established in 2013 in Israel and now operates out of Slovakia in the EU. It was one of the first exchanges to provide cryptocurrency purchases via debit and credit cards. Prepaid cards will also work with the service as long as they are Visa/Mastercard supported. All of the major coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple are supported, including some alternatives like Cardano, Qtum, and Ethereum classic. For a deeper look into the platform take a look at our CoinMama review.
User-friendly for beginnersExcellent customer supportMulti-language supportPayment optionsAvailable in over 220 countries
No cryptocurrency selling options available, only purchasesExpensive trade (5.9%) and card fees (5%)Bank transfers limited to Eurozone countries
Coinbase is a well-established name in the crypto space and has been operating since 2012 out of the US. The company is heavily-regulated, which may concern some users who value their privacy. They do, however, provide good options when it comes to payment cards.
The fees are also noticeably lower here than with CoinMama, which is a distinct advantage if you plan to buy on a regular basis. Coinbase is in the process of adding to their list of cryptocurrencies, which is also a good sign. Support for lesser-known options like ZeroX and Basic Attention Token have recently been added. Find more in our Coinbase review.
User-friendly for beginnersInstant buy featureReasonable trade (± 1%) and card fees (3.99%)FDIC insured
Country supportCustomer supportAccount censorship
CEX is a European exchange that operates out of the financial capital of London. They’ve been around since 2013 and have become known as one of the cheapest places to purchase crypto when paying by card. Available currencies include Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ripple, ZCash, and Stellar.
Many enthusiasts are attracted to the lower card fees found on CEX. Unfortunately, they only cater in Dollars, Pounds, Euros, and Rubles right now, which means you’ll have to pay additional conversion costs if you’re transferring with another fiat currency. For more info, follow along with our CEX review.
User-friendly for beginnersLow trade (± 0.25%) and card fees (± 3.5%)Good exchange ratesCustomer support is responsive
Help center can be confusingHigh instant buy/sell fee (± 7%)US clients not accepted
LocalBitcoins is different from the exchanges mentioned above as it’s more of a peer-to-peer service. The company was created in Finland in 2012. There are a whole host of alternative payment options including things like iDEAL, PayPal, Western Union, and Amazon gift cards to name a few.
You’ll have to consider security with any physical payment method, so it’s best to stick to prepaid cards where serial numbers can be transferred electronically. It’s highly recommended to start with smaller transfers so you get used to the process before going big. There is also an escrow service to mediate between buyers and sellers in the event of a dispute. Follow along with our review here.
No limits on transfersAvailable in many countries with local currency supportMany payment optionsEscrow serviceFlat 1% fee on buys and sells
High spreads – buyers and sellers set the rates and are often not in line with rates on centralized exchangesReported cases of fraudLow liquidity – there may not be that many buyers/sellers in your regionNeed to consider safety when trading in person