Are you new to cryptocurrencies and want to learn more about buying Bitcoins? Or have you bought Bitcoins in the past but would like to know the best platform to use currently? If you answered yes to either question and you want to learn more, you’re in the right place! We completed this guide by analyzing various platforms to offer you the best advice for either of those questions.
Our research covers the available options for making deposits, security, ease-of-use, fees, mobile and desktop availability, as well as the options provided for purchasing or trading other cryptocurrencies and tokens than Bitcoin. There are several excellent platforms available listed in our guide. Determining the best choice to match your preferences will depend on your investing or trading goals, so be sure to read our complete guide to discover your top choice.
Quick answer: Where You Can Buy Bitcoins
Based on the comparisons given in this guide, Coinbase Pro is probably the best platform to use to buy Bitcoin. It offers a low fee for ACH transfers, FDIC insurance, and allows you to use a credit or debit card as well. The small learning curve to use the exchange is well worth the lower fees compared to its sister exchange, Coinbase. It also lists other popular cryptocurrencies and tokens and is adding more of them all the time. Not to mention, you can also transfer your Bitcoin or other cryptos to an external digital wallet of your choice.
What to Know on How to Buy Bitcoins
Choosing the right exchange for buying Bitcoin will depend on your personal preferences. If your objective is to buy Bitcoin and hold for the future, you may be willing to pay a slightly higher fee, especially if high-security or insurance is protecting the account.
You might also have the objective of buying other cryptocurrencies and holding or trading them.
Either way, it will certainly help to define your short and long-term goals for buying Bitcoin before you get started.
Before we compare the best places to buy Bitcoin, here are 10 things you should consider when purchasing cryptocurrencies:
1. How Is the Security of the Platform
Using an online platform to buy Bitcoin requires trust. It’s essential to make sure the platform you use utilizes high-security methods. This can include 2FA authentication and storing users’ coins off-line or offering insured accounts. The Bitcoin platforms covered in this guide offer some of the best security in the space.
2. Securing Your Coins
There are a few methods you can use to secure your coins. The first is to keep them on the platform you use to purchase cryptocurrency if it’s offered. A second way is to use a digital wallet. Storing your coins in a digital wallet requires you to download an app and transfer your Bitcoin to the digital wallet address. There are several of these apps available on the internet, which comes with different features. You also have the option of using cold storage or a hardware wallet, which helps increase security.
3. Available Payment Methods
Most Bitcoin exchanges offer ACH transfers from a bank account. Four of the platforms in this guide allow you to use a credit or debit card to make a purchase. It’s essential to look at the fees charged if you are buying larger quantities of Bitcoin and want to use a credit card.
4. When is the Right Time to Buy
Bitcoin trades 24/7. If you’re new to cryptocurrencies, it may help to locate a Bitcoin price chart online and see where BTC has traded in the past few years and months. Unless you’re a sophisticated trader, it can be challenging to know the right time to buy. Taking advantage of a dip in price by averaging in on a low is one method you could use to accumulate more Bitcoin.
5. Exchange Rates Fluctuate
You won’t find an official value for Bitcoin. Its price fluctuates and differs slightly between exchanges as it trades 24/7. When buying Bitcoin using any of the platforms listed in this guide, you should find similar trading prices in the same period.
6. Maximum Limits You Can Buy Each Day
You’ll find different maximum limits on the amount of Bitcoin you can buy each day from exchanges. If you are going to purchase a large number of coins, it’s probably best to use ACH transfer as its usually free. You’ll find some of these platforms available for review in the next section of this guide.
7. Various Fees
It’s critical to check both deposit and withdrawal fees when using a platform to buy Bitcoin. These figures can vary greatly depending on the deposit method you use or the platform. It’s also essential to check the fees charged if you want to exchange BTC with other cryptocurrencies. You’ll find all of the maker and taker fees listed for each platform covered in this guide.
Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to pay for items online. If you’re going to use a credit or debit card to buy Bitcoins, it’ll make the process quicker. However, you will be revealing some of your private financial information. Using a bank account also requires ID verification, which reveals private information. The only real way to keep your information private is to pay cash, which requires other methods or the use of a Bitcoin ATM, which can be expensive.
9. Buying Partial Bitcoins
Each Bitcoin can be divided. This allows you to own lesser amounts as small as 0.00000001, which is known as a satoshi. Most platforms allow you to buy increments of Bitcoin worth as little as $10.
10. Why Even Buy Bitcoin?
There are several reasons why it can be beneficial to buy Bitcoin. Peer-to-peer transactions do not require a bank and can be performed quickly and inexpensively. Bitcoin can also be used to purchase services or products from different companies. Cryptocurrency is also an emerging asset class, which may become more popular as time goes by and possibly replace fiat currencies like the dollar
Best Places to Buy Bitcoins
Finding the best place to buy Bitcoin depends on your personal preferences. There are exchanges available where you can use a bank account, credit or debit card to get started. If you’re aiming to acquire this digital currency and not trade it frequently, using Coinbase to buy Bitcoin may be the best choice. If you’re interested in exchanging it with several other cryptocurrencies, you may want to utilize Binance. Below is our selection of best exchanges to buy Bitcoins, each with their pros and cons. The list will make it easy for you to reach the right decision on where to buy your Bitcoins:
Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. It supports over 100 countries and has one of the most straightforward ways to buy Bitcoin. Utilizing the platform allows you to purchase not only Bitcoin but over 20 other cryptocurrencies, ranging from Litecoin and Ethereum to Chainlink and Ox. We recommend this exchange for anyone new to buying Bitcoin.
Signing up to the exchange and attaching your bank account allows you to transfer fiat in, buy Bitcoin and store it in a digital wallet located at the exchange. Purchasing Bitcoin in the United States using your bank account or Coinbase USD wallet will cost you 1.49 percent. Purchasing crypto with a credit or debit card includes a 3.99 percent fee. If you use a credit card, you may incur other charges from your bank.
Safety is a crucial concern, and this crypto exchange takes seriously. Using a Coinbase wallet via their mobile app or website requires you to use two-factor authentication. They also take extra precautions to backup user data by keeping both paper and digital copies of essential information. The company insures cash balances up to $250,000, which protects against theft from your Coinbase wallet.
Pros of Coinbase:
- Intuitive platform makes it easier for beginners to buy Bitcoin
- Insured deposit
- 2FA helps prevent unauthorized access to your account
- Online and mobile wallet availability
Cons of Coinbase:
- Support can be slow
- Deposits and withdrawals can be delayed and take a few days to clear
- Fewer cryptocurrencies are supported than other exchanges
- The site has gone down during extreme times of volatility
Coinbase Pro, which was formerly known as GDAX, is a crypto exchange catered more towards individuals who want to trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As a partner with Coinbase, you can transfer your BTC to Coinbase Pro for free after purchasing Bitcoin or buy Bitcoin utilizing the Coinbase Pro platform. Using Coinbase Pro and a verified bank account offers a way to buy Bitcoin with zero fees via an ACH deposit, which takes around 3 to 5 business days to clear.
When using Coinbase Pro, you’re also able to use a bank wire transfer to purchase Bitcoin as a customer who has an account utilizing US dollars. It’s essential to complete your wire deposit before a specific time to help ensure it gets completed that same day. You may be required to pay an additional $10 on top of the wire fee you pay to the bank.
One of the main reasons to use Coinbase Pro is its low fee structure for trading. Taker and maker fees are capped at 0.50 percent for trades up to $10,000. Higher trade amounts have lower taker and maker fees, depending on the amount. If you’re buying Bitcoin for the first time, this platform may look a little overwhelming. Experienced traders or beginners who are used to learning quickly may want to take advantage of the lower fees.
Security is a top priority at Coinbase Pro. Regular IT security checks are conducted as well as financial audits. You’re also protected by FDIC insurance for US dollar balances equaling up to $250,000. Trading on this exchange backs your funds by the US government, which may be a factor that helps provide peace of mind.
Pros of Coinbase Pro:
- Lower fees than Coinbase to buy Bitcoin
- FDIC insured
- Available for desktop and mobile
- 2FA Security
Cons of Coinbase Pro:
- Delays for deposits and withdrawals
- Steeper learning curve for beginners to use the platform
- Fewer cryptos available to trade than some exchanges
- Higher trading fees than a few other exchanges
If one of your main goals in purchasing Bitcoins is to begin trading with other cryptocurrencies, you may want to use the Binance exchange. You’ll find over 100 cryptocurrencies and tokens available to hold or trade on the exchange. It should be noted, Binance has two platforms available. One is for United States residents (Binance.US), while the global platform is used for other countries (Binance.com). Information in this review is for the Binance.US platform.
One of the advantages of using Binance is its low fees for trading. It charges 0.10 percent for maker and taker fees if the amount of Bitcoin being bought or sold is less than $50,000. Higher amounts have even lower trading fees. You can also save up to 0.025 percent for trades by utilizing their BNB token. It has popular cryptos available, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Stellar Lumens, Ripple, and Ethereum Classic, plus several other names you can research.
Buying Bitcoin on the Binance platform can be done by utilizing ACH, wire transfer or debit card. The deposit fee for using a credit card is 3.5 percent or $10, whichever is higher. If you’re using a bank account to buy Bitcoin, you can link your account and routing numbers by using Plaid, which is free. Wiring money from your bank to Binance is also free, except for the wire fees you’ll pay to the bank.
As for security and insurance coverage, Binance had a few irregular trades detected in March 2018, which were reversed. This exchange does not provide FDIC insurance coverage, which might be a dealbreaker for some individuals if you’re planning on leaving your funds in a digital wallet on the exchange.
Pros of Binance:
- Low fee for bank account transfers
- Large number of cryptocurrencies available for traders
- 2FA authentication
- Desktop and mobile availability
- Low trading fees
Cons of Binance:
- Higher learning curve for beginners
- No FDIC insurance coverage
- Not available in 13 US states
Coinmama is a brokerage service where you can buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without having to use a trading platform to facilitate an exchange on the open market. Using this process makes buying Bitcoin more efficient than some other types of platforms as you don’t have to search for a buyer. However, the fees at Coinmama are more expensive due to this convenience.
The platform allows you to buy cryptocurrency with a SEPA or SWIFT bank transfer. SEPA bank transfers have a 0 percent processing fee and a maximum daily buy limit of $50,000. You should receive your crypto within 1 to 2 business days via this method. SWIFT bank transfers must be done by using GDP, take 1 to 3 business days and are free on orders above US$1000. Buying with a credit or debit card will cost you a 5 percent fee, but you’ll receive your funds instantly, which are capped at $7500.
You can buy Bitcoin at Coinmama as well as nine other cryptocurrencies, such as Cardano, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Over 2 million people throughout the world in 190 countries use Coinmama to buy and trade crypto. If you’re just getting started in the space, the interface will make it easier for you to buy Bitcoin. Drilling down on Coinmama trading fees is more complicated than other exchanges, as it depends on the specific situation. There is a commission fee as high as 3.9 percent for buy transactions and as high as 0.9 percent for sell transactions. Depositing funds with a credit card requires a 5 percent processing fee, which is higher than other platforms.
Pros of Coinmama:
- Fast way to obtain cryptocurrency with a credit card
- Intuitive, easy-to-use platform
- They don’t store your bank information
Cons of Coinmama:
- Higher fees and less transparency
- Less availability of other cryptos
- No FDIC insurance
- Users can’t store crypto on the platform
Robinhood is another platform where you can purchase Bitcoin via your bank account without paying any fees. Unlike the other exchanges in this guide, traders use it for buying and selling stocks. After signing up and connecting your bank’s routing and account number, you’re able to buy Bitcoin for free. The exchange is available for desktop users as well as individuals who prefer using their tablet or smartphone. Unfortunately, you are not able to buy crypto with a credit or debit card using this platform.
Robinhood is available for residents of most US states and provides an intuitive platform, which makes it easier for new crypto enthusiasts to buy Bitcoin. However, one of the differences between buying cryptocurrency on Robinhood and other exchanges is the inability to withdraw your coins to an offline wallet. Using Robinhood requires you to trust their security measures and hope they keep your coins safe.
Robinhood Crypto is not a member of FINRA, which means your Bitcoin is not protected if theft occurs. While each crypto you’ve purchased shows up in an account alongside any stocks you might own, you don’t have the same type of insurance coverage that you do with stocks. To keep your coins safe, Robinhood uses a mixture of cold and hot storage, which means they’ll store your assets both on and off-line.
Pros of Robinhood:
- Low fees
- Quick availability
- Easy-to-use platform
Cons of Robinhood:
- Inability to withdraw any of your Bitcoin
- Crypto assets are not insured
- Fewer cryptos are available than other platforms if you want to exchange with them
- Can’t deposit via a credit card
The eToro platform is designed for individuals who want to trade what eToro considers the top cryptocurrencies. If you’re investing in Bitcoin, you’re able to purchase it by using a bank account or via wire transfer. After signing up and providing your bank account information or wiring funds, you will be able to buy Bitcoin 24/7. It currently has a 0.75 percent spread, which is the least expensive when compared to the 14 other cryptos that are available for purchase. Crypto to crypto conversion fees are 0.1 percent, and there are no fees for receiving or sending crypto transactions.
Using the platform to buy or trade Bitcoin is relatively intuitive. However, if you’re buying crypto and want to use it to pay for a service or product, you’ll need to sign up for the eToro wallet. It’s important to note that you’re not able to transfer any crypto back into your eToro portfolio once it’s been removed.
If your main priority is to buy Bitcoin and use it to trade, eToro is another safe option you can use. Signing up is relatively straightforward and should take less than 10 minutes. You won’t need to verify your identity when you use this platform. However, they do want to know your employer, investment level, and income, which is typically standard with the Know Your Customer (KYC) process.
This exchange also has a social element. New traders can mimic top crypto traders by utilizing eToro’s CopyTrader feature, which allows you to leverage the expertise of other crypto traders. There are no management fees when you use this system as the top traders get paid by eToro to offer their knowledge and experience. You’re also able to view the portfolios risk scores and stats of other traders on the platform. You can discuss strategies and even chat with them.
Pros of eToro:
- Easy to sign up and use
- CopyTrader lets you mimic top traders
- Collaborative community
- Availability via mobile and desktop
Cons of eToro:
- No credit card deposits
- Higher fees than some exchanges
- You won’t find some of the lesser-known cryptos
CEX.IO allows you to buy Bitcoin by using a Visa or MasterCard. Choosing this option will give you access to your BTC coins quickly. The service is a fast way for beginners to buy Bitcoin and hold it for long-term or trade periodically. You’re also able to provide bank account information. However, doing this will slow down the timeframe for receiving your Bitcoin due to the verification process. You’re able to trade Bitcoin using their website interface or mobile app.
Other then Bitcoin, there are close to 25 supported cryptos available for purchase. Transaction fees for the exchange vary based on trade volume. If you’re trading less than 5 BTC, you’ll pay 0.25 percent or 0.16 percent for taker and maker fees. Buying Bitcoin with a Visa or MasterCard will cost an initial 2.99 percent to deposit your funds. Investigating their “fee schedule” page is advised as they only offer free withdrawals when using the ACH method.
While getting started is fast for this exchange, it may be best used by a person who wants to get their feet wet with smaller amounts of Bitcoin. The intro daily deposit amount is $500, and withdrawals are capped at $100 daily. Going through an identification process will allow you to increase your daily deposit limit to $3000, and your daily withdraw limit to $10,000. Providing an address increases these amounts to $10,000 for a deposit and $50,000 for withdrawals, respectively.
Pros of CEX.IO:
- 2FA security features
- Supports several fiat payment methods
- Credit card deposits
- Mobile app availability
Cons of CEX.IO:
- Charges withdrawal fees if ACH isn’t used
- Limits on fiat deposits and withdrawals initially
- ID verification process is required to deposit and withdraw higher limits
Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the veteran exchanges where you can buy Bitcoin inexpensively as their maker and taker fees are 0.16 percent and 0.26 percent. These fees go even lower if you purchase more BTC in the same 30-day period.
Funding options and withdrawals are available for US dollars, Euros, and Canadian dollars, which can be made by utilizing domestic, wire, SWIFT and SEPA transfers. These transactions can take anywhere from one to five business days to process. Kraken offers 19 other cryptocurrencies besides BTC, which range from ADA and ETH to XTC and LTC.
Kraken’s platform is similar to Coinbase Pro. Beginners may find this exchange a little more intimidating, but the low fees can provide a high incentive to use the platform. Other features for this exchange include margin trading, account management, and OTC service. This exchange is also placing a high emphasis on support, which may be handy if you’re new to crypto.
The global team at Kraken takes security seriously when storing your funds. 95 percent of deposits made by users are kept off-line geographically. Their servers have 24/7 surveillance and strict access controls in place to help ensure your privacy and funds stay safe.
Pros of Kraken:
- Low fees
- Focus on providing good support
- Funding options for three currencies
- 2FA for trading and withdrawals
Cons of Kraken:
- No credit card deposit
- You won’t find the lesser-known cryptos
- No FDIC insurance
Frequently Asked Questions when Buying Bitcoin
Where can I buy Bitcoins with cash?
Using an exchange to buy Bitcoin can be slow if you are required to wait for funds to clear out of your bank account. If you’ve got cash and want to buy Bitcoin, you may try using a trusted friend or an escrow in-person trading service, such as Paxful or Mycelium Local Trader. Be sure to use a secure location, like a bank lobby or police station foyer, if you use this option. You can also try using a Bitcoin ATM if one is in your vicinity.
Where can I buy Bitcoins with a debit or credit card?
Using a credit or debit card to buy Bitcoin can make it easier for buyers to get started and help keep your banking information private. To use this option, exchanges will require you to verify your identity and charge a fee, which will be anywhere from 2.99 percent or higher. The following platforms in this guide make it possible to purchase crypto using a credit or debit card: Coinbase, Binance, Coinmama, CEX.IO
Where can I buy Bitcoins with PayPal?
Most exchanges won’t allow you to use PayPal to purchase Bitcoin. If you’re interested in utilizing this option, you may be able to use a marketplace, such as LocalBitcoins, but this method comes with high fees and a higher chance of getting scammed. Using a service like xCoins or Paxful will allow you to buy Bitcoins with PayPal. You can probably expect to pay a high exchange rate with either of these options. While using PayPal is possible, the process you’ll need to follow will be more challenging and include hefty fees.
Get your feet wet and buy some Bitcoin!
Arming yourself with information is one of the best ways to make a confident decision. Congratulations! If you read this guide, you’ll understand much more about buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and the factors you should consider. Hopefully, the information presented here has answered the questions you have. The next step is to dip your toes, get started, and have fun in this new digital space.