Bitcoin Cash promises faster transaction speeds and lower prices than Bitcoin, making it a better option for use as a payment currency than Bitcoin itself. Of course at current rates, a single BCH coin trades for more than $887 — not exactly cheap, but a fraction of Bitcoin’s $8195 price. This guide will help you decide which exchange is your best option for buying Bitcoin Cash with a credit card.
How to Buy Bitcoin Cash with a Credit Card
Where did Bitcoin Cash come from?
For several years, the developers responsible for sustaining Bitcoin’s underlying code debated over the cryptocurrency’s future. One faction felt the digital currency was better served by increasing the blockchain’s block size — the number of transactions that could be processed at one time. In their view, this would speed up the rate that transactions were processed and reduce the fees everyone pays to use Bitcoins.
The debate hit an impasse in 2017 so this faction decided to “fork” Bitcoin, that is, to take the original source code and develop it along a different path. Over the course of a few days in May 2017, everyone who owned Bitcoin found themselves owning the same amount of the new currency, Bitcoin Cash. The two currencies have followed separate paths ever since.
Best for Americans
Abra offers the lowest fees thanks to its American Express-based purchases, but you can’t withdraw Bitcoin Cash directly.
Best for Europeans
Bitstamp’s low 5% fee for Visa and MasterCard purchases make this the most affordable option for residents of more than 90 countries, including the European Union member-states.
Best global support
Credit card purchases through CoinMama is available in 180 countries. The combined service and processing fees, however, are much steeper at a combined 10.9%. In addition, foreign exchange fees will apply if your card-issuing bank does not use euros or dollars.
One of the leaders of the movement to fork Bitcoin was Roger Ver. A co-founder of the Bitcoin Foundation, Ver is also the CEO of digital wallet company Bitcoin.com. (Not to be confused with the Bitcoin Foundation website bitcoin.org.) With Ver at the helm, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Bitcoin.com actively promotes Bitcoin Cash over the original Bitcoin.
“The Bitcoin Core (BTC) network is in trouble due to high fees and slow transaction times. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the upgrade that solves these problems.”
The Bitcoin.com site tries to be a complete portal for everything Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. You will find everything from news reports to tutorials to trend charts and more. You can also get the Bitcoin.com wallet, apps for smartphones and desktops that securely hold your Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash assets.
In mid-April 2018, Bitcoin.com rolled out its Buy Bitcoin Cash Portal. The website lets you purchase Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with little effort. “Not only is our Buy Bitcoin Cash web portal easy and accessible,” Bitcoin.com chief operations officer Mike Tokay said in the announcement, adding that “it offers a safe way to purchase digital currencies using a credit card.”
However, the global service had to skip the United States. The company that processes the credit card transactions, Simplex, is licensed only to convert US dollars to Bitcoins but not to Bitcoin Cash. Getting the license is a state-by-state process.
You will get hit with two fees totaling 7.5% when using a credit card to buy Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin.com will charge you a 2.5% fee and Simplex will charge you a 5% fee.
Simplex imposes a $20,000 daily limit and a $50,000 monthly limit on credit card purchases. The limits include Simplex’s fees. Placing a $20,000 order, for example, will result in a $21,500 charge to your credit card, which Simplex will reject.
Using Bitcoin.com to buy Bitcoin Cash is as simple as buying anything else online. First, you go to the buy.bitcoin.com website and enter the amount of Bitcoin Cash you want to buy. If necessary, click the drop down to change the fiat currency your credit card uses. Finally, enter your Bitcoin Cash wallet address.
Caption: Residents of the United States will only see an option to buy Bitcoin
The checkout page will ask for your credit card details. In most cases, that is all that’s needed. Some people may get emails asking for additional verification information.
Bitcoin.com and Simplex claim that most orders get processed within an hour but leave enough wiggle room for blockchain congestion delays of up to 24 hours.
American Express cardholders in the United States can use Abra to buy Bitcoin Cash. This smartphone-only digital wallet lets you trade between US dollars, euros and more than 70 cryptocurrencies.
The nice thing about Abra is that it’s a truly decentralized means of exchanging currencies. Abra does not hold your coins on centralized servers, leaving everything in the app instead. This approach minimizes the risk of a targeted hacker attack on Abra and makes your cryptocurrency investments more secure.
The way Abra works is also a little different from other exchanges. When you fund the app’s US dollars account using your American Express card, the app doesn’t actually hold any dollars. Abra uses a system of “synthetic currencies” and smart contracts to calculate your balances. Under the hood, however, Abra funds everything with Litecoins.
This “virtual” system gives Abra a lot of flexibility. Adding new coins to the peer-to-peer exchange is relatively easy. And since all of its customers’ holdings are actually Litecoins, Abra can implement some sophisticated hedging strategies to ensure neither it nor its customers get hurt by market volatility. Throughout the rapid rise in crypto prices in 2017 and the 2018 decline, the balances in Abra’s accounts stayed protected.
There is one catch. The only cryptocurrencies Abra supports natively are Bitcoin and Litecoin. While you can buy and sell synthetic Bitcoin Cash in the Abra system, you can’t transfer those coins out of the Abra wallet. You must convert them to Bitcoin or Litecoin and then make your withdrawal.
You have to pay the American Express “convenience fee” which adds 4% of your purchase to the total charge. That’s important to know because American Express imposes some strict limits on how much you can charge: $1,000 per month and $200 per day. If you try to deposit the full $200 into Abra, your card will get charged $208 with the fee and put you over the limit.
Abra does not charge transaction fees beyond the normal network fees needed to get the transaction recorded to the blockchain.
Abra is only available as mobile apps for iPhones and Android phones. When you first launch the app, you will need to enter your contact information. For most people, the confirmation code that Abra texts to your phone will be the only validation you need.
The main interface shows you the “balances” in your fiat and crypto holdings. Tapping the Add Money button followed by the American Express button will let you make your first deposit. After that, place an order to buy Bitcoin Cash using your USD balances.
If you want to learn more about Abra’s synthetic currency system and its founders’ vision of a more inclusive financial system, check out the full review linked below.
Bitstamp takes a more “traditional” approach to cryptocurrency trading. The centralized exchange lets you buy Bitcoin Cash — actual Bitcoin Cash, not a synthetic financial instrument — with a credit card. Bitstamp’s credit card system is available in more than 90 countries, including the United States, European Union, South Africa, Brazil, Japan and Australia
As one of the oldest exchanges, and the largest European exchange, Bitstamp is stable, highly liquid and well-integrated with the European financial system.
You should keep in mind that, as a centralized exchange, Bitstamp and its customers are targets for malicious hackers. Bitstamp does keep most of the assets it holds in secure cold wallets, which reduces some of the risks.
You will have to pay a 5% credit card processing fee when buying your Bitcoin Cash with either a Visa or MasterCard. That’s half what you would pay through Bitcoin.com.
Bitstamp also has higher daily and monthly limits on the amounts you can charge to your credit card. The limits for US dollars are $5,000 per day and $20,000 per month. For euros, the limits are €5,000 and €20,000. Note that if your credit card issuer is based on another fiat currency, you will have to pay foreign exchange charges.
When it comes time for you to withdraw your Bitcoin Cash from Bitstamp, the only fees you pay will be the network processing fees.
All Bitstamp asks for when setting up a basic account is your email address.
You won’t be allowed to make credit card deposits, however, until you’ve gone through the Bitstamp verification process. That process takes a few days once you upload a government-issued ID, proof of residency and proof-of-identity selfie.
Once you’re granted full access to the Bitstamp exchange, you can enter your credit card information and purchase as much Bitcoin Cash as the credit card limits allow.
Check out our full review of Bitstamp to find out the pros and cons of this centralized exchange.
CEX is a centralized exchange that targets advanced traders, especially in Europe. American customers should be aware that CEX does not make it easy to withdraw fiat currencies — the only way is to use a credit or debit card issued by a bank outside the United States.
The range of trading tools CEX offers, however, makes it a popular exchange. A 3-click process called Instant Buy lets you convert one of four fiat currencies into one of the eight cryptocurrencies CEX supports. More advanced traders can place limit orders, take margin positions and get volume discounts on their trading fees.
When buying Bitcoin Cash with a Visa or MasterCard, your processing fees and purchasing limits will vary depending on the currency you use and your verification level.
US dollar purchases cost 3.5% plus $0.25. CEX limits the daily and monthly deposits unverified customers can make from all sources: $1,000 per day and $3,000 per month. Customers at all verification levels can deposit as much as they want from all funding sources.
The credit card companies, however, impose their own limits. Unverified accounts can only charge $1,000 per day and $3,000 per month. For the first verification tier, the limits rise to $3,000 and $30,000. Customers with the second verification tier can charge $10,000 per day and $100,000 per month.
Euro purchases cost 3.5% plus €0.24. The daily and monthly limits use the same numbers as for US dollar transactions but with the different currency symbol.
Purchases made in British pounds incur fees of 3.5% plus £0.20. Unverified accounts can only deposit £800 per day and £2,000 per month from all sources. The credit card limits are £800/£2,000 for unverified accounts, £2,000/£20,000 for tier-1 verified accounts, and £7,500/£75,000 for tier-2 verified accounts.
Bitstamp customers who pay in Russian rubles will get hit with 5% + ₽ 15.57 in fees. Deposits from all sources are limited to ₽60,000 per day and ₽180,000 per month for unverified accounts and to ₽600,00/₽6,000,000 for tier-1 verified accounts. Credit card limits for ruble purchases are ₽60,000/₽180,000, ₽180,000/₽1,800,000 and ₽600,000/₽6,000,000 for each of the verification levels.
Creating an unverified account on CEX.io is a simple matter of entering your email address or linking your social media accounts. Once you create the account, you can initiate the verification process which may take a few days to complete.
Regardless of your verification level, buying Bitcoin Cash with a credit card starts at the Buy page. Use the drop-down button to select Bitcoin Cash and your fiat currency. CEX will calculate the current exchange rate and show you totals for $200, $500 and $1,000 one-click purchases. Alternatively, you can enter a specific amount of fiat currency to charge your card.
Keep in mind that CEX locks the exchange rate for two minutes. In a volatile market, the actual exchange rate will have changed by the time you initiate the purchase. CEX will cancel the order if it can’t supply you with the quoted amount of Bitcoin Cash. If the exchange rate fluctuations work in your favor, however, you will get the bonus coins.
Our full review of CEX.io goes into its origin story, zero hacks security record and more details about this full-featured exchange.
CoinMama is one of the oldest exchanges in the crypto industry — it was founded all the way back in 2013. The founders’ vision was to create a simple, flexible way for people to enter the cryptocurrency world without the complicated interfaces and terminology of a “professional” exchange.
Five years later, CoinMama operates in more than 180 countries. Within the United States, however, CoinMama only serves 23 states. You can check CoinMama’s availability help page for the current list.
An alternative approach to currency exchanges does add some complexity to setting up a CoinMama account. The exchange does not hold your assets. Instead, you need a digital wallet for each cryptocurrency you want to trade on CoinMama.
CoinMama only lets verified account holders make credit card purchases. Once verified, however, your purchase limit is $5,000 or €5,000 per day and $20,000 or €20,000 per month.
When you do make a purchase, the price CoinMama quotes on its order form includes a 5.9% fee. The credit card processor will add another 5% fee. As mentioned before, all of these fees apply to the daily and monthly limits. If you try to buy $5,000 worth of Bitcoin Cash, the additional fees will push you over the limit and your order will get rejected.
Creating a basic CoinMama account is straightforward: enter your full name, email address and country of residence.
Before you can make a credit card purchase, however, you must submit verification documents. Anyone outside of the United States can get a level one verification by submitting scans of their government-issued ID and an identification selfie. Americans must also submit scans of a second government-issued ID and proof of residency.
CoinMama should email your confirmation within a few days, at which point you can start buying Bitcoin Cash. From the CoinMama home page, click on the New More Coins drop-down and select Bitcoin Cash
Now click on your desired fiat currency. CoinMama will calculate the exchange rate and quote you pricing at different levels or for a custom amount. In US dollars, you will see options (rounded up five cents) of $100, $500, $1,000 and $5,000. Don’t pick that last option! The price quotes include CoinMama’s fees, but not the credit card processing fees, which means the full $5,000 option will break the spending limits.
Check our full review for more details about how to make the most of CoinMama’s cryptocurrency exchange service.
Changelly promotes the simplicity of its trading system. However, that simplicity comes at a cost, both literally and figuratively. The combined fees for placing a credit card order are almost as high as CoinMama’s. In addition, Changelly only allows direct purchase of Bitcoin with a credit card. Getting Bitcoin Cash requires an extra step of placing a trade order through Changelly’s system.
Rather than building its own exchange, Changelly searches other exchanges like Bitstamp and Poloniex and then places the order on your behalf wherever it finds the best rate.
Another nice feature of Changelly’s system is that it does not hold its customers’ assets on a central wallet. You only give Changelly your cash or coins when you place the order. Within milliseconds, the money moves to the third-party exchange. Once the trade completes, your money moves almost instantly through Changelly’s system and into your wallet.
You can use Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode cards to purchase Bitcoin through Changelly’s system. If your card isn’t registered to one of these 3D Secure systems, Changelly will reject your purchase.
Transactions incurs two 5% fees, one from Changelly and one from its credit card processor. Once you have Bitcoin in your wallet, you can use that to buy Bitcoin Cash. Changelly will charge another 0.5% on that transaction.
Changelly’s credit card processor applies even more complicated purchasing limits on new customers. Once they get past the limit period, there are no limits on credit card purchases.
The first purchase made by residents of the United States, Canada and Australia must be less than $50 (including fees). They must wait at least four days to place their second purchase which can be no more than $100. Purchases made in the first week are capped at $500.
People who live in Russia and other CIS countries can only buy $200 on their first payment, $2,000 in their first week and $10,000 in their first month.
Everyone else is limited to a $100 first payment and a $200 second payment which can only be made after four days of the first payment. The first week is capped at $500.
An email address or linked social media account will let you create a Changelly account.
From there, clicking the home page’s Buy Bitcoin With Credit Card button opens a new window where you can make US dollar or euro purchases of Bitcoins.
With your Bitcoins fully loaded, you can go to Changelly’s trading page to order your Bitcoin Cash.
You can find out more about Changelly in our full review.
Given Bitcoin Cash’s lower price against the dollar and tendency to track with Bitcoin pricing, many people view the cryptocurrency as a more affordable way to enter the crypto market. On top of that, you will find more options for buying BCH with a credit card thanks to Bitcoin Cash’s origins in the original Bitcoin project. It’s much easier for exchanges to justify listing such a popular cryptocurrency.