How to Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 16, 2022

Want to jump straight to the answer? You can buy Bitcoin with a debit card on Uphold!

Elon Musk’s Tesla acquired $1.5 billion of Bitcoin and at least 2 U.S. banks have revealed plans to extend bitcoin services to customers. This unprecedented momentum and prodigious adoption of cryptocurrency has seen more services emerge as avenues from which you can purchase your first bitcoin or at least a fraction of it.

Debit cards have become a payment method for buying bitcoin on most exchanges. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to use your debit card to buy bitcoin and which platforms allow you to do so.

Disclosure: ²Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts

Steps to Buying Bitcoin with a Debit Card

  1. Choose your broker.

    You may want to buy bitcoin through a crypto exchange but it's now much easier and safer to buy bitcoin using an online broker — just as you would with your favorite stock. A brokerage account lets you place requests to buy and sell bitcoin through market orders submitted through the platform. Your broker then fills your buy order on your behalf, sometimes at the expense of a commission.

  2. Open an online account.

    Just like a stockbroker, a cryptocurrency broker will piece together a few details to create your online account. Some great options that allow you to use a debit card to purchase Bitcoin are eToro and IBKR Crypto. Brokers have different requirements for the information they collect but you can expect to provide your legal name, contact information (phone number and email address), your Social Security number and physical address.

    Only after providing this requisite information will a broker approve your account. You may also need to provide a scanned photo ID (such as a passport or driver’s license) to verify your identity and access more brokerage offerings.

    You can then add your portfolio holdings, track your profits, convert between cryptos and from crypto to fiat and prepare accurate crypto tax returns for tax season.

  3. Link your debit card.

    You’ll need a form of payment method to fund your brokerage account. Linking a bank account has been the most popular option for years, but brokers now accept debit cards as a payment method. Most brokers now support Mastercard and Visa payment cards. Link your debit card by entering your card number, cardholder name, expiration date and the CVV/CVC code.

  4. Get a wallet (optional).

    Cryptocurrency wallets — both hardware and software — provide both a safe haven and a way to send and receive your virtual currencies. While both types of wallets serve the same function — storing the information that grants access to your digital assets — some work better than others, depending on how you intend to use your crypto.

    Hardware wallets and physical gadgets that often resemble a USB drive offer a more secure option if you don't plan to trade regularly. Popular hardware wallet names include Ledger Nano X, Ledger Nano S and Trezor.

    A software wallet or hot wallet, an application you download onto your mobile device or desktop computer, leverages encryption to protect your digital assets. Online platforms offer crypto wallet options that you can access through your internet browser without downloading an application.

  5. Buy your bitcoins.

    Once you have an account with a cryptocurrency broker and have a wallet address, you can make your first bitcoin purchase. Place a bitcoin buy order with your broker, then wait for your order to fill. 

Where You Can Buy Bitcoin

  • Coinbase
    Rating:
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    Best For:
    Coinbase Learn
    securely through Coinbase's website

    Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts.

  • Plus500
    Rating:
    Read Review
    Best For:
    Mobile Users
    securely through Plus500's website
  • Kraken
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    Best For:
    Crypto futures traders
    securely through Kraken's website
  • Webull Crypto
    Rating:
    Read Review
    Best For:
    Low Minimums
    securely through Webull Crypto's website
  • Robinhood Crypto
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    Best For:
    Buying & selling Dogecoin
    securely through Robinhood Crypto's website

Where to Store Bitcoin Safely

While holding bitcoin on a cryptocurrency exchange can be relatively safe if you use a reputable platform like Coinbase, the best option to secure your digital assets is with a cryptocurrency wallet. Cryptocurrency wallets are typically either software or hardware wallets; both offer distinct features and many traders use both types of wallets. Hardware wallets are physical devices that store your assets offline, offering the best possible security. Software wallets hold your crypto on a computer, making it easy to use decentralized applications with your wallet. However, software wallets are typically less secure than hardware wallets.

Hardware Wallet: Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S provides a fortress for anyone who wants to store digital assets. The device offers the best of both worlds for convenience and security with features like two-factor authentication, a PIN to confirm transactions and an LED display to validate payments. The wallet also runs on the BOLOS proprietary operating system, which supports Windows 7+, Linux and Mac OS 10.8+.

What You Can Do with Your Bitcoin

Here's what you can do next with your bitcoin:

  • Store/hold bitcoin. If you have a crypto wallet, you can hold your Bitcoin anticipating that its value will increase. You can store your Bitcoin in a crypto wallet app if you don't want to trade very often.
  • Trade bitcoin. You can trade bitcoin for hundreds of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies through a secure exchange.
  • Send bitcoin. Yes, your cryptocurrency wallet should let you easily transfer bitcoin around the world fast. Send bitcoin to anyone and anywhere through a crypto wallet address.
  • Spend bitcoin. You can now pay for goods and services with bitcoin across millions of merchant outlets worldwide. Bitcoin is now a mainstream payment method among retailers and vendors.
  • Donate bitcoin. Some charities accept bitcoin donations for their global projects.

Security on Buying Bitcoin

When buying bitcoin, ownership is just as important as security. Bitcoin and other digital assets have cryptography built into their protocol — they use robust encryption to verify transactions and guard against hackers trying to manipulate the system. Bitcoin is also open and honest — its public nature lets you see every transaction that was ever made.

Even so, security is still a major concern for any aspiring bitcoin owners. Your private key — the key that gives access to your bitcoin — is what really matters. Anyone with access to this key really owns the bitcoin associated and can do whatever they want.

When you buy bitcoin online, you don’t own this private key — the exchange does, which means:

  • You do not remain in control of the Bitcoin you buy since you don't serve as the crypto’s true owner — the exchange does. For this reason, they can restrict your activity with bitcoin, such as the maximum or minimum withdrawal limit.
  • You may face hacks since you rely on the exchange for security. While you can secure your account with two-factor authentication, you really have no control over the platform’s security.

You must take back control of your cryptos to correctly control and protect them. Owning the private keys delivers absolute freedom and security over your bitcoin. You can do this with a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano X. 

Commissions and Fees

You can expect to pay a commission or fee for each buy transaction when you sign up with an online broker to trade digital assets. Exchanges will also charge you a fee for each exchange transaction you make. While there’s technically no way around fees and commissions, you can find a trading platform with reasonable trading charges.

Monitor Your Bitcoin

The world of virtual currencies is dramatically volatile — price swings can hit double-digit percentages on a weekly basis. That’s why you must always keep tabs with the status of your bitcoins. If you own Bitcoin alone, you can easily monitor its progress through your online broker. If your cryptocurrency holdings spread across multiple platforms, a crypto portfolio tracking app can help you monitor your investments.

Will You Use Your Debit Card?

Since your debit card connects to your personal finances, you must use a safe platform when linking your card.

Also, most platforms let you buy a fraction of the currency. You can then send your newly bought crypto to the safety of your wallet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Which debit cards allow Bitcoin purchases?

A

You can use a debit card to buy Bitcoin on exchanges that accept debit cards as a payment option. Some debit cards that allow Bitcoin purchases include the Binance debit card, Coinbase debit card, Wirex debit card and BitPay debit card, just to mention but a few.

Q

Is it safe to buy Bitcoin with a debit card?

A

Yes, buying Bitcoin with a debit card offers a fast and secure way to acquire the world’s most popular crypto. Thanks to blockchain technology, your buy transaction is completely private and secure.

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