Prepaid cards have, for a long time, been a nifty way for people to pay for goods and services. Today, the use of prepaid cards has expanded into the realm of cryptocurrencies. Platforms are quickly adopting these cards as a way for people to buy bitcoin as an alternative to credit cards. While buying bitcoin with a prepaid card may not necessarily be the cheapest way to acquire the world’s largest digital asset, there are some benefits for the buyer.
This article will explain how to buy Bitcoin with a prepaid card and what exchanges support such purchases.
To buy Bitcoin using prepaid cards, follow these steps:
- Create an account with a crypto exchange. Find and compare the best crypto exchanges and trading platforms that allow prepaid cards to be used to buy Bitcoin. An example of a suitable platform for prepaid Bitcoin purchases is eToro.
- Complete ID verification. Prepaid cards are considered cash and therefore subject to strict requirements to verify the identity of the purchaser.
- Deposit funds with a prepaid card. Link the card to the platform or select prepaid cards from the available payment methods. Decide on the amount to spend and fund the account.
- Buy Bitcoin. Select BTC from the asset list and use the funded account to buy Bitcoin.
It is possible to buy Bitcoin with a prepaid gift card. There are several cryptocurrency exchanges that support using a prepaid card to buy Bitcoin safely in a few simple steps. Paxful is an example of a trading platform that lets users use prepaid cards to buy Bitcoin. Prepaid cards, otherwise known as everyday cards, are similar to debit and credit cards, however, the difference is prepaid cards do not rely on a bank or financial institution. Cardholders can load the prepaid card with cash, purchase Bitcoin and add funds when it's running low on money.
There are numerous options that support purchasing Bitcoin with a prepaid card. Below, we review some of the best crypto exchanges that allow individuals to purchase Bitcoin with a prepaid card.
1. eToro - Best for Low Fees
eToro is a global fintech platform that offers a comprehensive crypto trading solution through three products; a trading platform, an advanced cryptocurrency exchange, and a crypto wallet. Crypto beginners and seasoned coiners can open an account within minutes. They just need to create a username, provide an email address, and create a password. To access all of the platform’s supported features, users need to verify their identity and address.
Besides supporting over 120 cryptocurrencies, eToro also provides access to other markets, including Stocks, Commodities, ETFs, Indices, and Forex. eToro provides a virtual portfolio function that holds $100,000 in a demo account. Use this demo account to simulate real market trades. The platform also offers a social trading feature that lets users connect with 25+ million users globally and find top-performing traders whom they can copy.
To buy Bitcoin or other assets, users need to fund their accounts through any of the available deposit methods including debit or credit cards. eToro also supports Maestro prepaid cards that are owned by Mastercard. The minimum and maximum debit card deposit amounts per transaction are $10 and $40,000 respectively. Moreover, the supported fiat currencies using a prepaid card are
USD, GBP, EUR and AUD.
On eToro, users can buy Bitcoin with prepaid card in the following steps:
- Sign up to open an account and complete the verification process.
- Link your prepaid card account and transfer funds.
- Buy Bitcoin. eToro also lets users buy a fraction of a Bitcoin.
The trading fees that will be incurred using a prepaid card on eToro is a flat 1% charge plus the spread. While the fees are not the cheapest, the platform is easy to use and available to use in multiple countries. For instance, eToro has different regulatory bodies depending on the jurisdiction. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) regulates eToro in Australia. Other regulatory bodies include FCA in the United Kingdom and CySEC in Europe. To learn more about eToro, read the full review.
2. Coinbase - Best For Beginners
Headquartered in San Francisco, Coinbase was founded in 2012 to provide a seamless way for people to buy, sell, and store bitcoin. Today, Coinbase operates as a publicly-traded crypto exchange. It is also geographically decentralized and currently available in more than 100 countries.
Coinbase’s standout feature is its user-friendly interface that provides a seamless trading experience for beginners and experienced traders alike. Because of being an easy-to-use platform and its support for a wide range of assets, Coinbase is now the go-to platform for many beginner crypto buyers. The exchange boasts a worldwide reach of more than 30 million customers.
Buying Bitcoin with a prepaid card is simple since the exchange supports the use of both Visa and MasterCard debit cards. Follow these steps to add a prepaid card:
- Go to Payment methods > select Add payment method > Prepaid card
- Provide your card information.
- Two small, temporary debits are applied to your card.
- Check your card’s banking activity to find the two amounts.
- Enter the two amounts on Coinbase to complete the addition and verification of your card.
To buy Bitcoin with their prepaid card, users need to select their card on the payment methods menu of the Buy page. Note that Coinbase currently doesn’t support prepaid cards or other cards that lack an associated billing address. In most cases, users undergo a mandatory photo ID verification before adding a prepaid card.
Coinbase lets users buy a portion of Bitcoin, starting with as little as $25. Coinbase charges 0.50% per trade and 3.99% for prepaid card purchases. There may be other costs involved, read our Coinbase review for more information.
Lastly, Coinbase insures the digital assets stored in its wallets on behalf of the users. U.S. dollar balances are also insured with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to prevent the loss of user funds in case of a breach.
3. Binance - Best For Gifting Prepaid Cards
Binance ranks as the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume and liquidity. As of the close of business on May 17, 2022, Binance recorded a 24-hour volume of close to 16 billion U.S. dollars, more than double the second-ranked exchange. Established in 2017, Binance is a safe and secure platform to purchase and sell cryptos using a streamlined process. According to Binance, users are only three steps away from owning their first Bitcoin; register for an account, verify their identity and buy BTC.
Besides using prepaid cards to buy Bitcoin, Binance offers an array of payment options to buy Bitcoin, including bank transfers and cash. The exchange supports deposits in a wide range of fiat currencies, including AUD, USD, EUR, INR, CNY, and RUB among others. It also supports the use of stablecoins like Binance USD (BUSD), Tether (USDT), and Coinbase USD Coin (USDC) to buy cryptocurrencies.
Binance even has a unique feature to create prepaid cards that can be used as a gift. The prepaid cards can be redeemed on the Binance platform and used to fund a wallet with the deposited funds. Moreover, Binance prepaid cards can be used to spend crypto at several retail outlets.
Binance has generally low fees when using a prepaid card. Users can expect to pay a 0.10% spot-trading fee and a 4.5% fee for debit card purchases. They can also buy a fraction of one Bitcoin for a mere $15. Read our Binance review for more information on the fees.
4. Crypto.com - Best App To Buy Bitcoin With Prepaid Card
Crypto.com was established in 2016 and ranks among the leading global crypto exchanges with over 10 million users worldwide. Currently available in 90 countries worldwide and supporting over 250 cryptocurrencies, Crypto.com is an excellent mobile crypto exchange app since it offers an extensive digital asset trading and investing ecosystem accessible from a mobile device. Its digital asset ecosystem comprises its own blockchain, Crypto.org Chain; a native token known as CRO; a crypto visa card; and more.
The platform is one of the best crypto apps to buy Bitcoin and other digital assets while on the move. There are a variety of payment methods that include debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards. For those looking to buy Bitcoin with a prepaid card, Crypto.com provides a seamless, user-friendly interface.
Simply add a prepaid card as a payment option, verify it, and the app can be used to buy Bitcoin. Find BTC and click “Trade”. Enter the dollar amount of Bitcoin to buy and the purchase will reflect in BTC wallet.
Crypto.com also offers prepaid Visa Cards that users can use just like their normal bank credit cards. The Crypto.com Visa Card lets individuals build and earn rewards through everyday spending like paying their Spotify subscription, booking an Airbnb, or spending overseas. All rewards are paid in CRO, Crypto.com’s native token, and deposited into a Crypto Wallet. Users can top up their crypto card using a fiat wallet, crypto wallet, or debit/credit card in the Crypto.com mobile app. To learn more about Crypto.com VISA cards, read our full review.
5. Coinmama - Best For Gift Cards
Coinmama was founded in 2013 and set out to simplify how people buy Bitcoin. Since then, the exchange has grown to serve over 3 million users across 190 countries worldwide. Today, users can purchase Bitcoin using a debit card, credit card, or wire transfer from their bank account. To buy Bitcoin with a prepaid card, users first need to register for a Coinmama account, get verified, and set up a cryptocurrency wallet.
Coinmama provides an intuitive and user-friendly trade experience but the crypto options are quite limited. The platform doesn’t support crypto-to-crypto trading, and users can only sell Bitcoin exclusively through the platform. From a security perspective, Coinmama doesn’t hold user funds on the platform. Users need a crypto wallet to initiate any funds transfer.
Coinmama lets users buy and sell cryptocurrency with an array of payment methods, including Fedwire, SWIFT, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Skrill, and more. Users can also buy Bitcoin using a Visa or Mastercard credit card, debit card, prepaid card, virtual card, or gift card. However, users incur a 5% express fee when they use this payment method. To calculate the total cost incurred, simply take the amount to purchase and multiply it by 1.05. For more informtation, read our Coinmama review to see if it's the right option.
6. CEX.IO - Best For Payment Card Types
CEX.IO is a great platform to buy Bitcoin with a prepaid card or 70+ cryptocurrencies available on the platform. There are a variety of prepaid and bank cards to choose from. To get Bitcoin with a prepaid card, users need to register an account, link a payment card, and pass the identity verification. With all this set, users can go to the Buy/Sell page and choose a currency in the Buy drop-down list. There are typically four boxes with the most popular amounts of digital assets customers buy. Enter the amount and the fiat equivalent is calculated to deposit with a prepaid card. The CEX.IO website provides a full guide on adding a prepaid card that can be read here.
After choosing the amount, users can click the Buy button to see all the transaction details, including price, amount, the number of fiats to pay, and the deposit commission. After confirming the purchase, the Bitcoin appears on the CEX.IO account. Users can always check their balance on the Finance page.
The fees charged by CEX.IO follow a maker/taker model. A maker order adds liquidity to the market and can’t execute immediately. The fee for such orders ranges from 0% to 0.16% based on the trade volume. Taker orders remove liquidity from the market and orders are executed immediately. Fees range from 0.1% to 0.25% depending on trade volume. A deposit of up to 2.99% applies when using Visa or MasterCard.
7. Paxful - Best For P2P Prepaid Purchases
Paxful is a popular Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading platform that lets people trade crypto directly with others. It connects buyers and sellers, who can use over 350 different payment methods including prepaid card. To buy or sell Bitcoin, users need to check offers posted by other people and pick the best one for their needs. Paxful protects every trade with an escrow account and funds are only released after payment is confirmed.
Related: What are the best P2P platforms?
Paxful supports the purchase of Bitcoin with a prepaid debit card. Start by registering an account, which automatically comes with a Bitcoin wallet at no cost. Choose a prepaid debit card as the payment option and browse the available offers from other vendors. Users need to verify their identity before completing a purchase successfully.
Paxful doesn’t charge a fee for buying cryptocurrencies. However, sellers incur a fee that varies depending on the payment method. With most payment methods, the fee ranges between 0.5% and 1%. This fee could go as high as 5% when users opt for using an Amazon gift card to buy Bitcoin.
The comparison table below has rated each of the supported exchanges that allows buying Bitcoin with a prepaid card. To find out more, read the individual reviews on each platform.
|Exchange||Crypto Assets||Trading Fees||Rating||Promotion||Website||Review|
|$5 BTC bonus (USA only)||Visit Coinbase||Coinbase Review|
|20% off trading fees||Visit Binance||Binance Review|
|None available at this time||Visit eToro|
eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Archived, "Virtual currencies are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk."
|250+||None (3.5% surcharge for credit card)|
|None available at this time||Visit Crypto.com||Crypto.com Review|
|100+||0.25% / 0.15%|
|None available at this time||Visit CEX.IO||CEX.IO Review|
|7||2% to buy|
|None available at this time||Visit Coinmama||Coinmama Review|
|3||Varies on seller|
|None available at this time||Visit Paxful|
Buying Bitcoin using a prepaid card can provide certain advantages over other payment methods. Some of the benefits include:
- Buy Bitcoin Instantly: The fast processing time for prepaid cards means that users will receive Bitcoin in their wallets almost instantly. For obvious reasons, this is a major advantage over payment options such as bank transfers where it may take up to five days for the transaction to be completed.
- They are beginner-friendly: Prepaid cards are incredibly easy to use and beginner-friendly compared to other payment methods. Simply provide the card details, verify the card, and it's ready to make a first Bitcoin purchase.
- Prepaid cards are easy to obtain: Prepaid cards are easier to obtain compared to traditional debit or credit cards. In most cases, users need to undergo a credit check to qualify for a conventional card, not forgetting the entire process can be tedious. To get their hands on a prepaid card, users only need to fill out the requisite forms and fund the card as required.
- More responsible spending: Prepaid cards let users spend the money that’s currently on their card. This means that users can’t overdraw their cards since spending is limited to the card balance.
Using prepaid cards to buy Bitcoin has its fair share of drawbacks as follows.
- Not supported by all issuers: Some prepaid card issuing institutions are not crypto-friendly. In fact, many banks avoid or even ban operations connected to digital coins since they are viewed as a threat to the traditional banking system.
- Higher fees: Buying Bitcoin with a prepaid card may be higher than other payment methods. On CEX.IO, for instance, the deposit fee for a bank transfer is $0 while it costs 2.99% with a prepaid card. Coinmama also charges a 5% express fee for using a prepaid card.
- Fewer platforms: The use of prepaid cards to buy Bitcoin isn’t supported on many exchanges. The use of gift cards is also less common in most exchanges.
- No anonymity: The idea behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is to maintain anonymity. Unfortunately, buying Bitcoin with a prepaid card gets rid of this privilege since KYC (Know Your Customer) is often required.
- Limited purchase: Most platforms won’t let users use prepaid cards to buy large amounts of Bitcoin. Large purchases are often designated for bank transfers.
As prepaid cards make their way into the crypto space, a common question that is asked is - how do I buy Bitcoin with a prepaid card? This section will outline the steps for buying Bitcoin using prepaid cards using eToro as an example.
Step 1 - Create an account with a crypto exchange
Users should start by creating an account with their exchange of choice. They need to create a username, provide their full name, email address, and telephone number, and create a password in most cases. After signing up, a prompt to verify the email associated with their new account is sent.
Step 2 - Complete ID verification
Upon verifying the email address, users need to pass other verification checks. First, they may need to verify their phone number. The exchange or platform will send a verification code to the phone number linked to the account. Users also need to verify their identity by providing a valid government-issued ID, which could be a driver's license, passport, or any other form of ID. As part of the identity verification, users also need to provide proof of address, often in the form of a utility bill.
Step 3 - Deposit funds with prepaid card
After successful verification, the account is now ready for its first deposit. Most platforms will offer multiple funding options for their accounts, including a bank transfer, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, Credit/Debit card, and more. In this case, users need to choose the Credit/Debit card option since they’re looking to buy bitcoin with a prepaid card. They need to link the prepaid card account with their exchange to transfer funds. Users must complete another mandatory verification process to confirm that the card is actually theirs. They can then proceed to fund their account.
Be sure to check the minimum opening deposit requirement. Some platforms have a specific amount users must deposit to start trading while others have no set minimum.
Step 4 - Buy Bitcoin
Once the account is funded, users are now ready to buy bitcoin. Just search Bitcoin, put in the amount of bitcoin you want to buy, and hit buy. Most exchanges will let users buy a fraction of the current value of bitcoin.
Users will need to submit personal information to verify their identity and complete Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures before using a prepaid card. This is a mandatory process that cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms that required to complete to adhere to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) regulations.
Buying Bitcoin with a prepaid card is almost instant. Just provide your card details, verify the transaction, and your Bitcoin reflects in your account or wallet instantly.
Several crypto exchanges support the use of prepaid cards as payment methods to obtain Bitcoin. A prepaid card may certainly not be the cheapest way to buy Bitcoin, however, the fast transaction speeds, simplicity, and convenience will appeal to Bitcoin aficionados.