How to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with an American Express card from the USA

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 2nd September 2022

American Express credit cards and charge cards can be used to buy Bitcoin — and other cryptocurrencies — but there are important considerations before you whip out your card.

What follows is a comprehensive guide to buying Bitcoin with an American Express card, including the pros, cons, and details on fees.

Unsure about what exchange to use?

Where to buy Bitcoin with an American Express card

eToro Crypto

On eToro's website

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."

eToro Crypto

Highlights

  • Buy $100 worth of crypto and get a bonus of $10.
  • Trade and stake a range of crypto assets with low fees.
  • Copy successful traders. Practice with a demo account.
  • eToro is regulated by CySec, FCA and ASIC.

Pros

  • The user-friendly website and app make it easy to trade from anywhere.
  • Trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 60+ other crypto assets.
  • With its CopyTrader feature, you can replicate the moves of other investors.
  • Start trading with just $10.

Cons

  • There is a 1% fee that is added to the market price.
  • Other exchanges have more selections of crypto coins and tokens.
Coinbase

On Coinbase's website

Finty may be compensated when you click on the link.

Highlights

  • Get $5 in Bitcoin after your first trade on Coinbase.
  • Buy and sell popular digital currencies, keep track of them in the one place.
  • Invest in cryptocurrency slowly over time by scheduling buys daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Maintains crypto-insurance and all USD cash balances are covered by FDIC insurance, up to a maximum of $250,000.

Pros

  • Get access to a wide variety of altcoins.
  • Start trading with as little as $2.
  • Offers Coinbase card which allows you to spend crypto anywhere.

Cons

  • Fees are higher compared to other exchanges.
Binance

Binance

Highlights

  • Trade over 50 cryptocurrencies with low trading fees.
  • Uses state-of-the-art storage technology to protect your cryptocurrency and USD assets
  • Earn rewards for holding coins and tokens.

First time buying?

How to buy Bitcoin with an American Express card

Step 1: Pick an exchange

The first step is to sign up with an exchange that accepts American Express cards as a payment method. Unfortunately, American Express is not accepted as widely as Visa and Mastercard (a problem you’ve probably already bumped into). All of the exchanges listed on this page accept deposits made with American Express.

When deciding which exchange to use, pay close attention to credit card processing fees, brokerage/spread, trading fees, and withdrawal fees.

Although you may mostly be interested in buying Bitcoin now, check what other features are available on the platform, like the ability to stake for a reward, lending against your Bitcoin, or trading NFTs.

Step 2: Verify your identity

After you have set up your account, you’ll typically need to confirm your identity. You’ll probably be asked to produce photographic ID such as your driver’s license or passport. It isn’t uncommon for an exchange to ask for a selfie of you holding the ID.

Step 3: Decide how much to allocate

Bitcoin’s price is influenced by many different factors. Supply and demand, government regulations, media hype, investor sentiment, and what Elon Musk tweets about all play a role. Needless to say, it is a very volatile asset class. Be clear about what you’re getting yourself into and carefully decide how much to allocate to this investment.

Step 4: Fund your exchange account

The next step is to add funds to your account with your American Express card.

  • American Express allows crypto purchases. However, they limit how much you can buy each day and overall for the month.
  • American Express classify crypto purchases as a cash equivalent, which means they incur the cash advance interest rate. Note that this means interest will begin to accrue from the date of the transaction (if you aren’t using a charge card).
  • Most exchanges charge a fee to process deposits made with a credit card. This fee is in addition to the interest charged. It may be higher than you would pay using a Visa or Mastercard.
  • Deposits made with an American Express card are typically available in your account immediately.

Step 5: Configure an order

After depositing funds to your account, you can place an order and buy Bitcoin.

Market orders require very little configuration and execute at the next best market price. They are the easiest and fastest way to buy.

Trigger orders are configured to execute at a set price and can be used to carry out a trading strategy, i.e. buy at a certain price in the future.

Some exchanges may also let you set up a recurring order to buy Bitcoin regularly, provided that you have adequate funds in your exchange account.

Step 6: Buy

Once you decide which type of order you want to place, fill out the order form and submit it. Your Bitcoin will be available in the exchange wallet shortly after.

Still not sure?

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Deposits from American Express cards are processed quickly. Funds will be available to use immediately.
  • Fraud protection. You may feel safer buying with American Express because of their fraud protection.

Cons

  • There’s a limit on how much you can buy. Some may argue that this is as beneficial as it is a drawback.
  • You’ll be charged the cash advance interest rate. American Express will apply the cash advance rate to crypto purchases. Interest will begin to accrue from the date of the transaction.
  • There’ll be a cash advance fee too. This is charged in addition to the interest.
  • Deposit fees may apply. Crypto exchanges may charge a fee to process deposits made with an American Express card. It’s worth checking before buying.
  • You probably will not earn points. Because buying Bitcoin — or crypto in general — is classified as a cash equivalent transaction, you will typically not earn points.
  • Not as widely accepted. Not all exchanges will accept American Express.

Extra help

FAQs

How long does it take for funds to transfer using American Express?

Funds are available in your exchange account immediately when you make a deposit using an American Express card.

Can I buy Bitcoin with American Express anonymously?

You can use American Express cards to buy Bitcoin on some decentralized peer-to-peer exchanges. However, users on those exchanges may require buyers to have passed KYC.

Can I buy other cryptocurrencies with American Express?

Yes, you can buy other cryptocurrencies with an American Express card. Once you have deposited funds in your exchange account, you can select the desired cryptocurrency on the order form and execute the transaction.

Will buying Bitcoin earn points?

You will not earn points if the deposit is classified as a cash advance.

What interest rate will be charged on crypto purchases?

If the deposit is classified as a cash advance, it will incur the cash advance interest rate. A one-off cash advance fee may also be charged.