Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card in the UK (2021)

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Looking for the best way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK?

Although you’ll find that Coinbase is a popular and well-recommended option, it’s NOT the cheapest way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK. If you use this platform, you’ll be charged 4% in fees to buy Bitcoin (BTC) using a credit or debit card.

And if you’re not careful, you might end up paying even more than this – which is a complete waste of money.

In this post, I’ll quickly go through the cheapest ways that you can buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK.

Summary: Cheapest Places to Buy Bitcoin With Debit Card

Let’s get straight to the point.

Binance is currently the cheapest place to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a credit or debit card in the UK. On this popular cryptocurrency exchange, you’ll pay 1.8% in fees to deposit GBP with a Visa or Mastercard in the UK – which can then be used to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and any other cryptocurrency you want.

Wirex is the second cheapest option that I know about. In total, you’ll pay between 2% and 2.5% in fees when buying Bitcoin (BTC) with a credit or debit card on its platform.

Buy Bitcoin With Debit Card

1. Binance

Binance logo over their trading interface

Binance is currently the cheapest place (that I know about) to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK.

Founded in 2017 by Changpeng Zhao, Binance now has more than 15 million users and is the cryptocurrency exchange with the highest trading volume in the world (see here).

Although you can easily and quickly buy Bitcoin (BTC) directly with your credit or debit card, it looks like it’s cheaper to take a different approach:

  • Get a Binance account.
  • Complete verification (ID & address verification required).
  • Connect your Visa or Mastercard to your Binance account.
  • Deposit GBP with your connected Visa or Mastercard.
  • Buy Bitcoin (BTC) using the GBP you’ve just deposited on the BTC/GBP spot market.

You’ll be charged a fee of 1.8% to deposit GBP with a credit or debit card.

You’ll also need to pay up to 0.1% in trading fees when trading on any of the markets on Binance. You can get discounted trading fees if you pay them using Binance Coin (BNB) or are a high-volume user (find out more here).

In total, this means that you shouldn’t need to pay more than 1.9% in fees when buying Bitcoin (BTC) with GBP deposited with a debit card on Binance.

There is one downside to using Binance, though.

It’s currently charging HUGE fees to withdraw Bitcoin (BTC) you buy on its platform. At the time of writing, you have to pay a transaction fee of 0.0005 BTC (about £17.50).

Binance Website

2. Wirex

Wirex is the another place where you can cheaply buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK.

Established in late-2014 by Dmitry Lazarichev and Pavel Matveev, Wirex has more than 3 million users across the 150 countries that it supports.

It provides crypto-friendly currency accounts – which allow you to buy, sell, store, and transfer cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. It also provides one of the best crypto debit cards that’s available in the UK.

In total, you’ll be charged fees of between 2% and 2.5% when buying Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card on Wirex:

  • 1% of this is an ‘administration fee’. This is a fixed rate you’ll always be charged.
  • The remaining amount is included in the exchange rate that you’re quoted. This varies, but it’s usually between about 1% and 1.5% when I’ve checked.

This isn’t as cheap as it used to be, but it’s still not bad.

Creating an account and completing verification won’t take long (about 5-10 minutes).

Do I need to get a Wirex Card?

Wirex provides virtual and physical crypto debit cards that are connected to your Wirex account.

Wirex charges a £1/month maintenance fee to keep the account open. You do NOT need to get this. If you want to completely ignore this, it won’t impact your ability to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card.

However, you won’t be able to sell Bitcoin (BTC) back to Wirex without having one of their crypto debit cards.

Check your reference currency inside Wirex

When you’re buying Bitcoin (BTC) from Wirex, make sure you select ‘GBP’ as the currency you want to pay with. If you don’t, most banks will charge a non-sterling transaction fee (~3%) and a non-sterling purchase fee (usually a few pounds).

I managed to (somehow) screw this up the first time I tested out Wirex. Don’t make the same mistake!

To doublecheck this, go to Account > Preferences > General > Currency Account and make sure that British Pound (GBP) is selected as the reference currency.

Screenshot of 'Currency Account' settings in the Wirex web platform

What other cryptocurrencies can I buy on Wirex?

UK residents can currently buy the following cryptocurrencies on Wirex with a debit card:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Waves (WAVES)
  • Wollo (WLO)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Nano (NANO)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Wirex Token (WRX)
Wirex ReviewWirex Website

3. Crypto.com App

With the Crypto.com App, you can buy Bitcoin (BTC) and more than 90 other cryptocurrencies with a debit card in the UK.

At the time of writing, UK residents are being charged a fixed fee of 2.99% when using a debit card to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. There are no hidden fees either, as you’ll be quoted the real exchange rate (i.e., the index rate).

However:

For the first 30 days after you create a Crypto.com account, you’ll be able to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and any other cryptocurrency they support with a credit or debit card without paying ANY fees. Not bad at all! Find out more about this special offer here.

Crypto.com is much more than just an app which allows you to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency though. Amongst other things, it provides the crypto debit card with the highest cashback on your purchases (up to 8%) that I know about.

GBP Wallets on Crypto.com

If you decide you want to sell your Bitcoin (BTC) on Crypto.com, then it’s currently a little more difficult.

This is because they’ve temporarily suspended their GBP wallet, as well as GBP deposits and withdrawals. You can check out this help article for more information. I’ve been told that this functionality should be restored towards the end of March 2021.

The bottom line is that you’ll have to either:

  • Convert the cryptocurrencies you want to sell into stablecoins like Tether (USDT), transfer it to an exchange which supports GBP withdrawals, then sell it for GBP.
  • Sell it for EUR in the Crypto.com app and then use a SEPA bank transfer to withdraw it your GBP bank account.

The second option is a lot more convenient, but your bank will probably charge you additional fees to convert the EUR you’re trying to deposit into GBP (which is what the account is likely denominated in).

It’s not a great choice, but the first option is probably your best option if you really need to sell some cryptocurrency and don’t want to lose any profits to the bankers.

Tutorial: Buy Bitcoin With a Debit Card on the Crypto.com App

I’m going to quickly run you through how simple, easy, and quick it is to use the Crypto.com app to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a GBP debit card in the UK.

1. Download the Crypto.com App and Create an Account

You can’t currently access Crypto.com using a browser or desktop app. You need to download the app to your smartphone instead.

Click here to get started.

Once you’ve downloaded it, you’ll need to verify your identity with them (provide personal details and a form of ID). You can do this through your phone and it shouldn’t take long to get sorted out.

Enter your details to download the app to your smartphone.

2. Add Your Debit Card

Once you’re registered and verified yourself, you’ll need to add a debit card to your Crypto.com account.

To do this:

  • Select ‘Trade’ on the Crypto.com App homepage.
  • In the pop-up, select ‘Buy’.
  • On the next screen, select ‘Bitcoin (BTC)’.

You’ll then need to add a new debit card to your account by entering in the details.

3. Buy Bitcoin With Debit Card

Once you’re done with that, you’re ready to actually buy Bitcoin (BTC) with your debit card.

You’ll need to follow the same instructions as before, but then:

  • Select the card you’ve just added.
  • Insert how much Bitcoin (BTC) you’d like to buy.
  • Confirm this by clicking the blue button at the bottom.

It’ll confirm the fees and the exchange rate you’re being charged before it executes the trade.

There is a time limit on this, so you need to be quick to check over the details or you’ll have to refresh the offer! This is a bit of pain, as it doesn’t give you long.

And then you’re done! Simple as that.

Crypto.com ReviewDownload Crypto.com App

Other Ways to Buy Bitcoin (BTC) in the UK

There are some clear advantages to using a debit card to buy Bitcoin (BTC) in the UK:

  • It’s simple, easy, and usually means you’ll instantly be able to get your hands on some Bitcoin (BTC).
  • It’s a popular payment method that you’ll find supported in many places in the UK.
  • It’s not that expensive if you choose the right place.

But let’s be real.

You’d needlessly throwing money away if you use a debit card to buy Bitcoin (BTC).

I’ve explored loads of the best ways to buy Bitcoin (BTC) in the UK, and I’ve found that you’ll pay lower fees if you buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a UK bank transfer instead.

If these alternatives support Faster Payments (FPS), it should only takes minutes for GBP sent with a UK bank transfer to be processed and received by the place that you’re send it over to.

Bitcoin (BTC) Wallets

When you buy Bitcoin (BTC) using one of these services, your purchases will initially be stored in their web wallet.

This is a custodial wallet which they control. However, you can easily withdraw your funds to an external wallet that you control if you wish.

Hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano X, Ledger Nano S, and Trezor One are popular wallet choices that make it simple, easy, and affordable to securely store your cryptocurrency.

What’s the best hardware wallet?

If you decide not to withdraw the Bitcoin (BTC) you’ve bought on these platforms, then you should 100% enable all of the security features that are available to you. This usually includes two-factor authentication, anti-phishing codes, and passcodes.

Example: On Crypto.com, you can access these settings by clicking the cog in the Crypto.com app and scrolling down to the ‘Security’ section.

Any Questions?

Thanks for checking out this post about buying bitcoin with debit cards in the UK!

Have a question? Or want to share your thoughts?

Let me know in the comments section below!

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9 thoughts on “Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card in the UK (2021)”

  1. The costs are high when transferring from Wirex

    Transfer £10 worth of bitcoin and they charge £9!!!!

    So a £10 transfer costs £19

    That is horrendous

    Reply
    • Hi Tim,

      Most places seem to pass along the transaction fees when you send Bitcoin (BTC) from one place to another. This hasn’t been a problem for the last few years, but BTC transaction fees have increased dramatically in recent months. Check out this to see what I mean. Here’s another one which shows BTC transactions fees in USD over time.

      If you’re not happy paying these fees (I know I’m not!), then Solidi (when I last checked) give you a free withdrawal credit when you buy cryptocurrency using them – but it will take a while to arrive wherever you’re sending it. Flip side is that they only support UK bank transfers.

      Reply
  2. Is it just me or Wirex is not actually that cheap. On top of the the 1% fee that they advertise they are also having quite a big spread ( check https://wirexapp.com/live-rates?query=Btc ) and also their live rate is approx 100€ higher than Coinbase and Binance price. I was very excited to use Wirex but then after using it and seeing all the charges and the amount of crypto that I got in the end( much smaller than expected) I was actually quite disappointed because the advertisement of 1% fee is misleading, I ve been charged more like 3%

    Reply
    • Ioana, thanks for commenting!

      Surprised to hear this, but it looks like you’re right. At some point, they’ve added a fee into the exchange rate that they’re offering. That was about 1.4% for me. There’s also the 1% admin fee, which takes it up to about 2.4%.

      This is quite disappointing, but it’s still a decent place to buy BTC with a debit card. Most places charge about 4-5%. The only exception I know of right now is Crypto.com, which has waived fees for buying crypto with a debit card until September 2020 (it’ll then revert to 3.5%). I’ve got a Crypto.com review here if you want to know more.

      Anyway, thanks for letting me know about this. I’ll get my content updated over the next few days so that it reflects this change.

      Reply
  3. Hi!

    I need to buy over £200 worth of bitcoin. The site says the limit is thousands. However when I try to buy this amount of bitcoin. It says the limit is £39 a day. Is there a way around this ?

    Reply
    • Hi Anon,

      If you’ve just signed up, you probably need to verify your debit card before you can purchase more than a small amount. If that’s the case, you can find out more here on how to do that.

      If you don’t want to wait, then it might be worth checking out alternatives that I’ve reviewed like Solidi. They usually verify your identity quickly, and then it’s just a simple UK bank transfer to make a purchase. Bit higher fees than Wirex (around 1.5%, but it varies day-to-day).

      Reply
  4. Hi Dean
    Thanks for the great guide you’ve put up.

    Can I ask which Uk banks are friendly work with wirex to transfer GBP ie lloyds or natwest?

    Also once btc purchase on wirex platform so that it’s doesn’t stay on their platform longer than 1-2hrs how do you export from wirex to a trezor device, any step by step guides?

    Many thanks
    Greg

    Reply
    • Hi Greg,

      Glad you like this post!

      That’s a really good question, but one I can’t give you a definitive answer to. Of the two, you’ll probably have better luck with Natwest (who are part of the RBS group). However, I’d strongly caution against buying with your primary bank account (which you use for salary/bills) in case buying crypto causes any problems. It’s quick and easy to open an account somewhere else.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have a guide for this. Check out this guide for how to withdraw from Wirex and this guide for how to receive funds on your Trezor.

      If it’s the first time your sending/receiving cryptocurrency, then consider buying a small amount of a cryptocurrency with consistently low fees to play around with. Litecoin (LTC) is a good choice for this (fees are about 2p).

      Let me know if you have any other questions! If you want some free Dogecoin (DOGE), email me your receiving address and I’ll send you some to play with!

      Cheers!

      Reply

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