- You can easily buy Bitcoin and other crypto coins using a credit card.
- The availability of this option depends on the cryptocurrency broker and card issuer.
- Learn about fees from both the credit card issuer and the crypto broker or exchange.
Buying cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be a bit intimidating for a lot of people just getting into the world of crypto. However, over the past few years, both exchanges and brokers have made this process a lot more convenient for users by accepting credit cards.
This guide has everything you need to know about buying crypto with a credit card, what fees you can expect to incur, and how it compares to alternative funding methods.
In this guide
Can I buy crypto with a credit card in Australia?
Yes. Unless you have a card issued by CommBank or their subsidiary, Bankwest, you should be able to use your card to buy, sell, or trade Bitcoin, as well as many other cryptocurrency tokens (and even this is changing).
However, finding an exchange that supports Amex can be a lot harder, as they are quite rare. Visa and Mastercard are more widely accepted.
Is it legal to buy crypto with your credit card?
Yes, you can legally buy, sell, or trade cryptocurrencies in Australia using a credit card.
Credit card vs. bank transfer or PayID
Funding your account through a credit card is fast as the transaction is funded with cleared funds, which means you can start buying cryptocurrencies the moment the transaction is processed.
Using a credit card is typically easier than a bank transfer or PayID since you don't need to log into your online banking app. It also removes the risk of sending funds to the wrong account.
Credit card vs. debit card
One of the main benefits of funding with a credit card is the line of credit. Using a debit card means the money will be deducted from your account immediately.
However, the benefit of using a debit card is that you can only spend money you already have and are willing to lose, which is quite possible given the volatility in crypto valuations. Using a credit card could mean incurring debt you can’t actually afford to repay.
In terms of functionality, there is really no difference between using a credit card or a debit card.
- Cash advance fee and interest. Many issuers treat cryptocurrency purchases as a cash advance. If this is the case for your bank, you may incur a cash advance fee and be charged the cash advance interest rate, which is charged from the transaction date (since interest-free days do not apply to cash advances).
- Brokerage fee. The platform you buy crypto from is likely to charge a brokerage or transaction fee, which is typically in the range of 4% to 6%.
- Credit card surcharge. You may be required to pay a surcharge because you are funding your account with a credit card, which could increase the amount lost to brokerage further.
- Currency exchange fee. If you are using an Australian credit card on an overseas exchange, you could incur a currency conversion fee imposed by either the credit card issuer or the Bitcoin exchange. However, there are cards with no foreign transaction fee.
Keep in mind that much of this is dependent on the issuer of the card and whether a cryptocurrency purchase is considered a cash advance.
Many cryptocurrency exchanges are starting to roll out their own cryptocurrency-based credit cards that reward users who take full advantage of them for everyday purchases.
Risks to keep in mind
Fees aren’t the only thing you should be concerned about when buying cryptocurrencies with a credit card.
Volatility and potential losses are another big factor that you need to take into consideration. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency tokens have experienced large price swings ever since they came into existence.
Big losses from crypto purchases funded with a credit card could lead to a large credit card debt you can’t afford to repay at once. As a result you could carry a credit card debt from month to month at a high interest rate.
Alternative ways to fund crypto purchases
If you’d rather not use a credit card, there are other ways to fund your crypto account.
- Bank transfer. Fund your trading account with a transfer from your AUD bank account. It’s a fast process if you’re using a broker that operates in AUD , but this will take longer than using a credit card if you are transferring to an exchange located overseas, plus you’ll pay a large bank transfer fee and currency conversion fees. You’ll also need to wait for your funds to clear before you can begin trading.
- POLi / PayID / OSKO. These are very similar to a bank transfer in terms of their ease of use, speed, and cost. Most of the local cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia will offer these as a payment method.
- BPAY. This is usually a slower transfer method, and not as widely accepted.
- Australia Post. If you use Bitcoin.com.au, you can pay for Bitcoin purchase transactions over the counter at Australia Post, using Post Billpay.
Crypto exchanges that accept credit cards
A growing number of brokers and exchanges accept credit cards. However, you may run into difficulty finding an exchange that supports American Express credit cards.
If you do choose to buy crypto with your credit card, be mindful of associated fees and potential debt from losses.