Want to buy bitcoin without getting ripped off?
Although it’s simple and convenient to buy bitcoin with a debit or credit card, it’s NOT the cheapest way.
There are some exceptions, but most places will charge upwards of 4% in fees when buying bitcoin with a debit or credit card in the UK. That’s 100% unnecessary.
In this guide, I’m going to walk through some popular, well-recommended, and cheaper ways that you can buy bitcoin in the UK.
Remember: I’m not a financial advisor. Read my full disclaimer for more information.
Cheapest Place to Buy Bitcoin in the UK
The cheapest way to buy bitcoin in the UK is to deposit GBP into Coinbase Pro using a UK bank transfer. On this cryptocurrency exchange, you’re able to buy bitcoin at the real exchange rate without paying excessive fees (up to 0.5%). On top of this, it seems to charge lower bitcoin withdrawal fees than I’ve come across elsewhere.
Who is the Cheapest Bitcoin Seller?
When comparing bitcoin sellers in the UK, you’ll need to consider:
- How close is the asking price to the real BTC to GBP exchange rate?
- Are there any fees (for depositing, buying, or withdrawing)?
- Are you purchasing in GBP or EUR?
- Is there a minimum deposit?
If you don’t ask these questions, you’ll probably end up getting fewer bitcoins (or satoshis) than you otherwise could.
Cheapest Purchase Options
1. Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro (previously GDAX) is still one of the cheapest places to buy bitcoin in the UK.
Coinbase Pro was the first major bitcoin exchange to receive an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means Coinbase Pro accept GBP deposits through the UK Faster Payments Service . This means that all UK residents should be able to use a simple UK bank transfer to deposit GBP into Coinbase – without incurring any fees from their bank.
The bottom line?
- You can now send GBP to Coinbase and it’ll be credited within minutes.
- You’ll be able to buy bitcoin at the best possible rate and incur barely any fees (0.50%).
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- One of the cheapest way to buy bitcoin in the UK (0.5% above the real market rate).
- Coinbase supports UK bank deposits via Faster Payments Service.
- Reputable and trusted exchange (holds FCA e-money license).
- Don’t need to verify identity with multiple companies (just Coinbase).
- Lower bitcoin withdrawal fees than alternatives like Binance.
- High limits.
- Terrible Trustpilot rating (1.7*, with 4000+ reviews).
- Coinbase attracts animosity from segments of the crypto-sphere (for good reason).
- Beginners might struggle with Coinbase Pro’s interface.
CoinJar is another option that allows you to cheaply buy bitcoin with GBP via a UK bank transfer.
CoinJar supports Faster Payments, which means that that GBP deposits made with a UK bank transfer should be credited within hours to your CoinJar account.
In my experience, the initial deposit took about 3 hours to be credited – but subsequent deposits were credited within just minutes. This is awesome and what you should expect from a platform that supports Faster Payments, but isn’t the case in some alternative places I’ve tested out (e.g., Crypto.com app).
You’ll be charged nothing to send GBP over to CoinJar, but there is a fixed fee of 1% whenever you buy or sell bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency).
The BTC to GBP exchange rate you’re quoted is pulled from the CoinJar Exchange, which seems to vary between 0.2% and 0.5% above the real market rate. This means you shouldn’t expect total fees to be higher than about 1.5% when buying bitcoin with CoinJar (but it’s usually less).
Although it’s more complex to use, you could also use the CoinJar Exchange. This is similar to Coinbase Pro and is made for more experienced users.
The advantage of using this is that you’ll pay maximum fees of just 0.2% when buying bitcoin with GBP. When you get a CoinJar account, you’ll automatically get access to the CoinJar Exchange.
- Simple, quick, and convenient.
- Low buying fees (between 1% and 1.5%).
- After your initial deposit, GBP should be credited within minutes.
- Available via browser, but also has an easy-to-use mobile app.
- Lower fees available on the CoinJar Exchange (max 0.2%).
- Can also instantly buy bitcoin using a debit or credit card (2% + variable fee).
- You will need to pay a dynamic fee to withdraw bitcoin to your own wallet.
- No fee to withdraw GBP to your bank account.
3. OTC Services
Your third best option is to buy bitcoin through over-the-counter (OTC) services with a GBP UK bank transfer.
The table below shows the most popular and well-recommended options in the UK.
|Localbitcoins||Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Markets||–|
|Paxful||Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Markets||Paxful Review|
|Luno||Cryptocurrency Brokers||Luno Review|
|BC Bitcoin||Cryptocurrency Brokers||BC Bitcoin Review|
|Solidi||Cryptocurrency Brokers||Solidi Review|
|Bittylicious||Cryptocurrency Brokers||Bittylicious Review|
|CoinBurp||Cryptocurrency Brokers||CoinBurp Review|
While you won’t get the best possible price when using these options, they are still quite competitive. Most of these options are usually selling bitcoin at rates which are no more than 2% above the real BTC to GBP exchange rate.
This is still better than many options recommended across YouTube, Reddit, and other websites. (For example, Coinmama charges you 5.9% in fees when buying bitcoin.)
- Convenient, quick, and easy way to buy bitcoin in the UK (with GBP).
- Competitive prices (usually about 2 – 3% above the real exchange rate).
- Reputable and well-recommended, with (usually) better support than cryptocurrency exchanges.
- You’ll need to verify your identity (ID, bank card, and maybe more).
- Bitcoin prices will be above the real BTC to GBP exchange rate.
- Many options pass on blockchain fees to you (which can get high).
4. Revolut Route
Since mid-2017, this was a popular workaround used by UK residents to buy bitcoin as cheaply as possible. It was necessary as many cryptocurrency exchanges, like Coinbase Pro and Bitstamp, didn’t accept GBP deposits via a UK bank transfer.
In 2021, it’s not necessary to jump through all of these hoops to buy bitcoin cheaply. It is much easier, quicker, and convenient to just use options #1, #2, or #3.
- Send, spend, withdraw, and exchange (in a non-GBP currency) the first £1000 FREE every month. After that, you’ll pay a 0.5% fee for cross-currency transactions (Source).
- Revolut charges a 0.5% fee if you exchange currencies on a weekend.
- Transferring EUR to a cryptocurrency exchange can take up to 48 hours (but usually less).
- SEPA transfers are only processed on weekdays. If you send EUR on a weekend, it won’t be processed until Monday.
- No desktop version of Revolut is available.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about using this route to buy bitcoin in the UK.
What’s the Cheapest Place to Buy Bitcoin?
If you are looking at who offers the lowest overall fees, then Coinbase Pro seems like the winner.
- You can deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer without paying any fees.
- You can buy bitcoin at the real exchange rate, with maximum fees of 0.5%.
- After your initial deposit, money sent via a UK bank transfer seems to be credited within minutes.
- It charges low bitcoin withdrawal fees compared to alternatives (when I checked, it cost just £1).
What if you don’t want to use Coinbase Pro?
The other options I’ve mentioned are still competitive. In fact, the marketplace is only becoming more competitive – which is great for us!
For instance, CoinJar (listed in option #2) seems like a good option for beginners:
- Accessible via browser and an easy-to-use mobile app.
- Register and get verified quickly.
- Supports UK bank transfers (via Faster Payments). After your initial deposit, GBP I send to them is credited within minutes.
- Charges a fixed fee of 1% and a variable fee between 0.2% and 0.5% when buying or selling bitcoin.
- If you prefer, you can also instantly buy all supported cryptocurrencies with a debit or credit card (2% + variable fee).
Hardware wallets aren’t mandatory, but they are popular and well-recommended across the crypto-community.
Hardware wallets are small USB devices that help keep your hard-earned cryptocurrency secure.
I’ve reviewed nearly every hardware wallet on the market. Without a doubt, I think the Ledger Nano X is the best cryptocurrency hardware wallet that is currently available.
It’s reasonably priced, extremely easy to setup and use, and is Bluetooth enabled too (so you kind of use it on-the-go if you want). Check out my recent review to learn more about the Ledger Nano X.
Looking for something a little different?
Check out my quick rundown of the best hardware wallets on the market.
Have a Question?
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Comment below and let me know! I usually respond within 24-48 hours.
Anything to Add?
Thanks for reading this guide to cheaply buying bitcoin in the UK! I hope you found it useful.
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