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?

If you’re not cautious, then you might find that you’re unnecessarily paying fees that are in excess of 5%. That’s 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.

CoinJar is currently the cheapest place to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK. Since May 2021, you’ll pay 2% in fees to instantly buy Bitcoin (BTC) and other supported cryptocurrencies with a Visa debit card in the UK.

The Crypto.com mobile app is the second cheapest way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK. You’ll normally pay 2.99% in fees when instantly buying Bitcoin (BTC) and other supported cryptocurrencies with a Visa debit card in the UK. However, these fees are waived for the first 30 days after you’re fully verified. 

Buy Bitcoin With Debit Card [UK]

1. CoinJar

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

Founded in May 2013 by Asher Tan (CEO) and Ryan Zhou (COO), CoinJar is “one of the longest-running digital currency exchanges in the world”. They’ve been registered as a UK limited company since 2014 and currently have temporary registration with the FCA.

You can instantly buy Bitcoin (BTC) using a debit card (Visa) or credit card (MasterCard) in the UK on CoinJar (since May 2021). If you do this, you’ll be charged 2% in fees. When compared to popular alternatives like Coinbase, this seems like a competitive offer.

What cryptocurrencies can I buy with a debit card on CoinJar?

UK residents can buy any of the cryptocurrencies which CoinJar supports.

This currently includes:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • 0x Token (ZRX)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Bancor (BNT)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Curve DAO Token (CRV)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • OMG Network (OMG)
  • Paxos Standard (PAX)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • SushiSwap (SUSHI)
  • Synthetix (SNX)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Yearn.finance (YFI)

Importantly, card transactions made by UK residents on CoinJar will be processed in GBP. Some alternatives will process transactions in a non-GBP currency (e.g., EUR or USD), which means that anyone using a GBP debit or credit card would be charged a currency conversion fee by their card issuer (this varies, but I’ve previously been charged about 3%). With CoinJar, you don’t have to worry about this.

There’s one downside, though. You won’t be able to withdraw any Bitcoin (BTC) or cryptocurrency that you buy with a debit or credit card on CoinJar for 14 days. You can still sell it – but you can’t move it outside of CoinJar until that 14-day period has passed. I don’t think that’s a huge deal, but it’s something to be aware of.

You can also buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a UK bank transfer on CoinJar. Although your first GBP deposit might take some time to be processed, I’ve found that subsequent deposits from the same bank account have been credited in minutes. It might not be instant, but you’ll pay lower fees (about 1%) when buying Bitcoin (BTC).

CoinJar WebsiteCoinJar Review

2. Crypto.com App

With the Crypto.com App, you can buy Bitcoin (BTC) and more than 100 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. Unfortunately, I’ve also found that the prices you’re quoted when buying Bitcoin (BTC) using a debit card are consistently higher (by 1% or more) than the real exchange rate (i.e., the index rate).

However: For the first 30 days after you create a Crypto.com account and verify your identity, you’ll be able to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and any other cryptocurrency they support with a credit or debit card without paying ANY fees to them.

Not bad at all! Find out more about this special offer here.

Crypto.com is much more than just an app that 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. I think that’s it’s one of the best crypto debit cards that’s available in the UK (right now).

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.

Download Crypto.com AppCrypto.com Review

3. Coinbase

Coinbase Twitter header

Founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong (CEO) and Fred Ehrsam (Board Director), Coinbase is a well-known brand in the cryptocurrency space. It has more than 56 million verified users across the 100+ countries where it’s available and was publically listed on the Nasdaq in April 2021. At the time of writing, Coinbase has a market capitalisation of over $50 billion.

Coinbase has been a popular choice amongst the UK crypto-community for years – especially once they received an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and began to support bank deposits via Faster Payments (FPS).

You’ll be charged two different fees when buying Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card on Coinbase:

  • Coinbase Fee: You’ll pay 3.99% in fees if you buy more than the equivalent of $200 in Bitcoin (BTC) in a single transaction. If you buy less than this, then you’ll be charged a fixed fee (which works out more expensive).
  • Spread: Coinbase includes a spread of about 0.5% in the exchange rate whenever you buy or sell cryptocurrency on its site. However, the actual spread you’re charged might vary.

This effectively means that you’re being charged at least 4.49% in fees when buying Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card on Coinbase.

This isn’t cheap. However, it remains a popular option for beginners due to how simple and easy they’ve made it to get started.

Coinbase Website

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 take minutes for GBP sent with a UK bank transfer to be processed and received by the place that you’re sending 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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