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.
You can also use Binance to buy bitcoin cheaply in the UK. On this cryptocurrency exchange, you can deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer and buy bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) at the real exchange rate without paying high fees (up to 0.1%). The only downside is that Binance charges high bitcoin withdrawal fees – when I checked, they were about £15.
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*).
- Coinbase attracts animosity from segments of the crypto-sphere (for good reason).
- Beginners might struggle with Coinbase Pro’s interface.
Another cheap place to buy bitcoin in the UK is Binance. This platform allows you to buy bitcoin (and many more cryptocurrencies) with a UK bank transfer, debit card, or credit card.
If you use a UK bank transfer to deposit GBP into Binance, you won’t be charged any fees. There are no hidden fees in the exchange rate either – it’s the real BTC to GBP exchange rate. You’ll just pay fees of up to 0.1% when you buy bitcoin.
You can get lower fees if you buy Binance Coin (BNB) and hold some in your account and/or use it to pay your fees. This isn’t necessary, but you can find out more here.
But wait: if the trading fees are better than what’s available on Coinbase Pro, why is it ranked lower?
This is because Binance charges higher bitcoin withdrawal fees than Coinbase Pro. When I checked:
- Binance were charging 0.0005 BTC (about £15) to withdraw bitcoin.
- Coinbase Pro was charging 0.00003425 BTC (about £1) to withdraw bitcoin.
This means that Coinbase Pro will be the cheaper option if you’re purchasing small amounts of bitcoin and intend to withdraw it.
UK bank transfers are processed via the Faster Payments Service (FPS), which means GBP will usually be quickly credited to your Binance account. I’ve found that my deposits are usually credited within a few hours.
It’s cheapest to deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer onto Binance, but you can also use a debit or credit card. If you do, you’ll get access to the real BTC to GBP exchange rate, but you’ll pay a fee of 1.8% instead. This isn’t the cheapest way of buying bitcoin with a debit card, but it’s close.
- One of the cheapest ways to buy bitcoin in the UK with GBP.
- Access to the real BTC to exchange rate (no hidden fees).
- Maximum fees of 0.1% when you buy bitcoin with GBP deposited with a UK bank transfer.
- Reduced fees if you hold Binance Coin (BNB) and/or use it to pay your trading fees.
- Available via browser, but also has desktop and mobile apps.
- High fees to withdraw bitcoin from Binance to your own wallet (0.0005 BTC).
- It currently costs £2.81 to withdraw GBP from Binance.
- Browser interface may be difficult to use for beginners.
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.
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%, but you can reduce fees to 0% (yep, nothing) if you’re a market maker. 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 (0% maker, 0.2% taker).
- You will need to pay a dynamic fee to withdraw bitcoin to your own wallet.
- No fee to withdraw GBP to your bank account.
- You can’t use your debit or credit card to deposit GBP or purchase cryptocurrency.
4. OTC Services
Your fourth 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.
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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% 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).
5. 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 use option #1, #2, or #3.
- Cheap way to buy bitcoin in the UK (about 0.5% in fees).
- Revolut allows you to exchange currencies at the real exchange rate, with no fees for the first £1000 exchanges every month.
- Bitstamp seems well-recommended in /r/BitcoinUK threads.
- You only need to verify identity through two companies (Revolut and either: Bitstamp or Coinbase Pro).
- 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).
Binance seems like another cheap way to buy bitcoin in the UK with GBP, with maximum trading fees of just 0.1%. However, it has much higher bitcoin withdrawal fees. When I checked, it cost £15 to withdraw even a small amount of bitcoin to an external wallet.
What if you don’t want to use Coinbase Pro or Binance?
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 #3) 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 a 1% and a variable fee between 0.2% and 0.5% when buying or selling bitcoin.
Hardware wallets aren’t mandatory, but they are popular and well-recommended across the crypto-community.
Hardware wallets are small USB devices which 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 which 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?
Have a problem you can’t solve? Or a question you can’t find an answer to?
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.
Did I miss something? Or did I make a mistake?
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