- Unfortunately, you cannot easily buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency coins by using your American Express card.
- There are alternative ways through which you can purchase cryptocurrencies in Australia.
- By using a Visa, Mastercard or direct bank transfer instead, you can easily bypass these Amex card restrictions.
Buying cryptocurrencies from Australia can seem difficult at first, especially when you are not quite sure of what to expect. However, during the past few years many crypto exchanges and brokers have emerged, allowing multiple Fiat deposit methods with the goal of making it a lot easier to buy Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies, coins and token.
Unfortunately, American Express do not readily support this. However, there are other ways through which you can buy, sell, or trade Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Ripple (XRP), or Solana (SOL).
Read on to learn how to get around Amex crypto restrictions.
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Ways to bypass the Amex card restrictions
Use your Visa or Mastercard instead
The main method that comes to mind when an American Express card isn't accepted is to just use an alternative card. Luckily, there are two alternatives that are supported on many exchanges or brokers that accept FIAT deposits.
These are Visa and Mastercard. If you do not already have either of these card types, picking one up might be a smart idea, as it would open the cryptocurrency world for you and allow you to buy Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrency tokens with ease.
Fund your cryptocurrency exchange account by bank transfer
This method is highly dependent on the rules set by each cryptocurrency broker or exchange. You will need to check whether your chosen platform accepts FIAT deposits by a direct bank transfer option, such as:
- Online bank transfer
- Osko by BPAY
- Australia Post
A bank transfer option should be available at many exchanges or brokers currently available in the cryptocurrency marketplace.
Find an exchange that accepts American Express
In order to buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency via your American Express card, you will first need to find a cryptocurrency exchange platform or broker that accepts Amex as a payment method.
If you are a beginner, this might be a challenge, as there are so many brokers and exchanges, and many will not accept any type of credit card as a payment method, while even fewer will accept Amex. Do your research well before you make a decision to sign up for an account.
But if you do find a platform that accepts Amex cards but has limited cryptocurrencies available, you could always open an account there, buy the available crypto tokens, and then put those tokens in your private cryptocurrency wallet.
After this, you can just go to another exchange and trade your tokens directly from your cryptocurrency wallet, to exchange them for the cryptocurrency tokens you were interested in getting in the first place.
Find an exchange that accepts PayPal
Some crypto exchanges accept PayPal as a funding method. This means you can link your PayPal account with your American Express card, then use PayPal to fund your exchange account. However, not many of the local Australian exchanges accept PayPal. Several of the larger international exchanges — eToro, Coinbase, etc. — do.
Looking to buy crypto?
Crypto exchanges that accept Amex
Fees you can expect
There are multiple kinds of fees that you might be charged when you use a card or direct bank transfer to fund a cryptocurrency purchase.
- Credit card cash advance fees. Some card issuers treat cryptocurrency purchases as cash advances, which incur a cash advance fee.
- Credit card cash advance interest charges. If your crypto purchase is deemed to be a cash advance, you will also incur interest charges at the high cash advance interest rate, calculated from the transaction date because there are no interest-free days on cash advances.
- Credit card surcharge fees. Brokers who accept credit cards as a funding method may apply a surcharge simply because you are using a credit card.
- Brokerage fees. These will apply no matter what funding method you use, unless your broker charges no trading commission. With many brokers you can expect to pay anywhere from 4% to 6% of your transaction amount.
- Currency exchange fees. Many crypto exchanges require you to fund your account in USD. In this case you will pay a currency conversion fee to either the credit card issuer, or to your bank or the broker if you fund via a bank transfer.
- Spread fees. The bid-ask spread is the difference between the quoted market price and the price you actually pay when buying cryptocurrency, or receive when selling. It typically works out to be an additional cost of 0.2%-1.5% of your transaction amount.
While American Express is a popular card, it is rarely accepted as a payment method by cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers.
Luckily, there are many other payment options, and each of them will have its own fees and rules. You won’t get away with paying no fees at all, but you can limit your costs if you do thorough research into crypto exchanges.