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 by depositing GBP into Coinbase, then transferring the funds over to Coinbase Pro (where you can buy at the real exchange rate, with low fees). However, this route is slow. You’ll have to wait 5 days before you can complete the entire process.
My preferred way of buying bitcoin in the UK is through Wirex.
With Wirex, you can:
- Create a Wirex account and get verified quickly (within a day).
- Fund your account with a debit card or UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments).
- Get wholesale exchange rates with low fees (approx. 1% above the mid-market rate)
- Complete the buying process within just a few hours (not days).
- Buy bitcoin via an easy-to-use interface.
Buying bitcoin through Wirex is more expensive. But it’s much more convenient.
|Purchase (£)||Fee (£)||Fee (%)|
With Wirex, you will pay about £5 more in fees per £1000 you spend.
Because of all this, I’ve switched to buying bitcoin through Wirex.
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 buying & 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
Option #1: Coinbase Pro
Coinbase Pro (previously GDAX) is the cheapest place 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 they now 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 in less than 2 hours
- You’ll be able to buy bitcoin at the best possible rate and incur barely any fees (0.50%)
But there’s a catch.
Coinbase has recently started holding GBP funds deposited via UK bank transfer for 5 days.
Until your funds COMPLETELY clear, you can’t use your deposited GBP to buy bitcoin on Coinbase Pro (as it restricts internal transfers from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro during this time).
If you want to buy bitcoin cheaply and quickly, then skip down to ‘Option 3’ now. This option is slightly more expensive, but still very competitive (about 1% above the spot price) and supports debit cards, credit cards, and UK bank transfers (via the Faster Payments Service).
When you signup to Coinbase through this link, you’ll receive a £7 bonus (paid in bitcoin) when you buy more than approx. £77 of bitcoin.
If you signup through this link and bought £100 worth of bitcoin on Coinbase (not Coinbase Pro), you’d actually end up with £107’ish worth of bitcoin.
It’s an absolute no-brainer.
Want to see how it works? Check out these guides.
FYI: All images can be enlarged by clicking them.
- The cheapest way to buy bitcoin in the UK (0.5% above real market rate).
- Withdrawals are free!
- Coinbase supports UK bank deposits via Faster Payments Service.
- Reputable and trusted exchange (recently awarded FCA e-money license).
- High limits.
- Don’t need to verify identity with multiple companies (just Coinbase).
- Terrible Trustpilot rating (1*).
- Coinbase attracts animosity from segments of the crypto-sphere.
- Beginners might struggle with Coinbase Pro’s interface.
- You won’t be able to complete this entire process until the 5-day hold has passed.
Option #2: Revolut Route
Your second option is a popular workaround which has been used by UK residents to buy bitcoin as cheaply as possible since mid-2017.
This isn’t as convenient as option #1, but it is faster.
Option #1 cannot be fully executed for 5 days, while this second option allows you to buy at equivalent rates in just 2 days.
- Cheap way to buy bitcoin in the UK (0.5% above real exchange rate).
- Revolut provides an interbank exchange rate, with no fees for the first £5000 exchanged every month.
- Bitstamp EUR deposits are free.
- Quicker than option #1 (2 days vs. 5 days on weekdays)
- Bitstamp seems well-recommended in /r/BitcoinUK threads.
- You only need to verify identity through two companies (Revolut and Bitstamp).
- Send, spend, withdraw, and exchange (in a non-GBP currency) the first £5000 FREE every month. After that, you’ll pay a 0.5% fee for cross-currency transactions [Source].
- Transferring EUR to a cryptocurrency exchange can take up to 48 hours (but usually less).
- If you make a EUR payment on the weekend, it won’t begin processing until Monday.
- No desktop version of Revolut is available.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about using option #2 (the Revolut route) to buy bitcoin as cheaply as possible in the UK.
Option #3: Wirex
Wirex allows you to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with debit cards, credit cards*, and UK bank transfers at excellent rates – usually about 1% above the real exchange rate.
It’s not the absolute cheapest way to buy bitcoin in the UK. Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase Pro and Bitstamp allow you to buy bitcoin at the real exchange rate with low trading fees (0.5% or lower).
However, Wirex allows you to buy bitcoin MUCH quicker than either option #1 or #2. Once you’ve registered and verified yourself, this entire process takes (at most) just a few hours.
Wirex supports UK bank transfers (via the Faster Payment Service), which means that deposits are usually credited to your account in less than an hour.
You can also just fund your wallet with a GBP debit card – which credits to your account instantly. You can deposit up to £5000/€5000/$5000 per day with a debit card. If you want to deposit more than that, you’ll have to use a UK bank transfer instead.
I think the slightly higher fees are 100% worth it for the convenience and speed which you can buy bitcoin on Wirex.
- My preferred way of buying bitcoin in the UK.
- Quick and convenient (takes hours, not days).
- Low fees (about 1% above the real exchange rate).
- Fund account with a debit card or UK bank transfer (via Faster Payments Service) without paying any fees.
- Unlimited account balance.
- Browser-based and mobile apps available.
- You need to pay a £1 account management fee to deposit GBP with a UK bank transfer.
- You’ll also need to pay withdrawal fees to send your bitcoin elsewhere.
Option #4: 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.
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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 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 more than 10% in fees when buying bitcoin. That’s somehow shocking, insulting, and amusing all at the same time.
- Convenient, quick, and easy way to buy bitcoin in the UK (with GBP).
- Competitive prices (usually less than 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).
Which Option Is Best?
If you want to buy bitcoin at the best possible price, then you’ll want to use a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase Pro or Bitstamp (using option #1 or #2).
But neither of those two options is quick or easy.
At best, you’ll be waiting at least 2 days before you can buy bitcoin. That really sucks.
If you don’t want all that faff? Check out Wirex (option #3).
- You can buy bitcoin at excellent rates – usually about 1% above the real market rate.
- You can deposit GBP with a debit card, credit card, or UK bank transfer.
- GBP deposits via UK bank transfers are usually credited in <1 hour
- It’s the quickest way to buy bitcoin in the UK without getting ripped off.
What if you don’t want to use Coinbase Pro, Bitstamp, or Wirex?
The other options I’ve mentioned are still competitive. In fact, they’re only becoming more competitive with popular exchanges.
For instance, Localbitcoins remains a fantastic option:
- Get verified quickly.
- Supports UK bank transfers (via Faster Payments).
- Usually has rates that are about 1% above the real exchange rate.
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, 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 can use it on-the-go if you want. I think it’s 100% worth the investment to keep your cryptocurrency safe.
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?
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