Looking for the best way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit or credit card in the UK?
Although it’s a popular and well-recommended option, Coinbase is NOT the cheapest way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK. You’ll be charged 4% in fees to buy using a debit card.
In this post, I’ll quickly highlight the absolute cheapest way (about 2.5% in fees) to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK.
Remember: I’m not a financial advisor. Check out my full disclaimer.
Cheaply Buy Bitcoin with Debit Card in the UK
Let’s get straight to the point.
If you want to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK, you should be using Wirex. Compared to Coinbase (the cheapest alternative) you’ll save approximately 1.5% in fees if you buy Bitcoin (BTC) using Wirex.
In total, Wirex charges about 2.5% in fees. This beats every other option which allows you to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK. You can also use Wirex to buy other cryptocurrencies, like Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH), with a debit card.
Although Wirex fees aren’t as competitive as they used to be (previously 1%), they’re still the best place to buy Bitcoin with a debit card in the UK.
How is Wirex so cheap?
I reached out to Wirex about how they’re able to price themselves so competitively. This was their response:
Most companies work with third party providers – but we have our own platform and implement most of the payment logic in house, which results in cost efficiencies. We also Integrate with the biggest exchanges and OTC traders, which means we are able to get the best possible real-time rates.
Our favourable rates are here to stay – we have been building our platform for over 4 years and we are constantly refining it along with our products and services. As we add more liquidity providers we are anticipating that our fees will get even cheaper.
While they did drop their rates down to 1%, it looks like they recently added a hidden fee in the exchange rate that you’re offered. This means you’ll now pay about 2.5% in fees when using Wirex.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Quick verification (<5mins)
- Fast and convenient.
- 4.4 out of 5 Trustpilot Rating (more than 6000 reviews).
- The cheapest way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK (approx. 2.5% fees).
- Verification required (i.e. cannot purchase anonymously).
- Only supports 3D secure debit/credit cards (you can’t use Revolut or Monzo)
- Cannot sell Bitcoin (BTC) without buying a virtual or physical card (£1/month fee).
- You can buy Bitcoin (BTC) cheaper through alternative methods.
Purchase with GBP
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 (~2.75%) and a non-sterling purchase fee (~£1.25).
I managed to (somehow) screw this up the first time I tested 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.
Your Bitcoin (BTC) purchases are initially stored in their web wallet.
I’d recommend you withdraw it ASAP to your own Bitcoin (BTC) wallet.
If you haven’t already, consider getting a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano X.
Check out my Ledger Nano X review to find out more about it.What’s the best hardware wallet?
It looks like Wirex set network fees to guarantee entry into the next block. This means that your withdrawals should usually complete within an hour.
If you’re not transferring the cryptocurrency you’ve bought on Wirex to your own wallet, at least enable 2FA in Wirex’s account settings.
Wirex charges a £1/month maintenance fee to keep the account open. You do NOT need this. If you want to completely ignore this, it won’t impact your ability to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card.
However, you’re not able to sell Bitcoin (BTC) back to Wirex without having one of their crypto debit cards.
Want to learn more about Wirex 3.0? Check out my hands-on Wirex review.
Other Supported Cryptocurrencies
In addition to Bitcoin (BTC), you can also buy the following cryptocurrencies with a debit or credit card on Wirex:
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Waves (WAVES)
- Wollo (WLO)
- Dai (DAI)
- Nano (Nano)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Wirex Token (WRX)
Although Wirex has recently increased their fees to about 2.5% (from 1%), it’s still the easiest and cheapest way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a debit card in the UK.
However, you’ll find more competitive prices if you buy Bitcoin (BTC) with a UK bank transfer. Because most UK bank send GBP via the Faster Payments Service (FPS), it’s usually only a little slower than buying with a debit card.