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There’s been no shortage of excitement in cryptocurrency markets in recent months, with plenty of new investors interested in buying in.
But taking that first step to purchase a small amount of bitcoin or ethereum requires plenty of research beforehand: what type of crypto you want to buy, the most secure exchanges to use, and even how you’ll make the purchase. Because crypto transactions take place online, you might even consider using your credit card, like you would for many other online transactions to keep the purchase secure.
It is often possible to buy cryptocurrency using a credit card. But it’s costly, and can add to the risk you’re already taking by adding a volatile crypto asset to your portfolio. You’ll incur fees from your credit card issuer and the crypto exchange you use, and take on high interest debt if you don’t pay down your balance immediately.

“Crypto is still highly volatile without any guarantee of return, so when it comes to how much you invest it should be limited to how much you feel you can comfortably lose,” says Lauren Anastasio, CFP and director of financial advice at Stash, an investing, banking, and education platform. “I would hate to see anyone charging large deposits to their credit cards with the hopes of large returns on their crypto investment only to get burned by credit card interest and fees.”

Here are the details of buying crypto with a credit card, and what to know before you consider doing it.
It is sometimes possible to buy crypto with a credit card, but it ultimately depends on both the crypto exchange you’re using to invest and your credit card issuer. 
Some crypto exchanges, including Coinmama,, and Paxful do accept credit card payments. However, many exchanges, including ones like Coinbase and Gemini, which NextAdvisor includes among the best crypto exchanges, do not. Among the exchanges that do accept credit cards, terms and fees required for doing so can vary widely. As an example, crypto exchange Coinmama charges an additional 5% credit card fee on top of the transaction fees it charges to buy or sell cryptocurrency. At Binance, the fee for using a credit card is 2% on top of the extra fees your credit card charges.
Often, the fees are also higher than other forms of payment, including ACH bank transfer.
Transferring money to a crypto exchange from your bank account using ACH transfer can be a fast and less expensive way to purchase crypto.
The other thing to consider is whether your credit card issuer will allow a cryptocurrency purchase using your card. Most commonly, your purchase will be processed as a cash advance. 

Credit card issuers such as American Express, Chase, Capital One, and Citi all allow crypto purchases and treat them as a cash advance. “There are no known banks that do not charge a cash advance fee for purchasing cryptocurrency with a credit card,” says John Taylor Garner, founder of credit card rewards app Card Curator.
The vast majority of credit cards carry fees for cash advances, which typically range about 5% of the advance, with a minimum of $10. What’s more, cash advances incur higher interest and do not come with a grace period, meaning your crypto charges will begin accruing interest from the day you charge them — even if you planned to pay your credit card balance in full before your due date.

So, while buying crypto with a credit card may be possible, you’ll more than likely rack up numerous expensive fees from both the crypto exchange and your credit card issuer if you choose to pay this way.
If you want to buy crypto with a credit card, you should be aware of any and all fees that apply to the purchase beforehand, and be prepared to add that to to the cost of exchanging dollars for coins. This includes fees from both the crypto exchange and your credit card issuer.
If you do decide you don’t mind the cost and want to buy crypto with a credit card, here are a few steps to take so you are clear on the extra costs you’ll pay to do it this way:
The biggest benefit of buying crypto with a credit card is the convenience. Making ACH transfers from you bank account can be tedious, since you’ll need information like your routing and account number. If you typically have your credit card with you in your wallet, it can be easier than authorizing a bank transfer. 

Security could be another reason to consider using a card over a bank transfer, Anastasio says. “Anytime your information is compromised you can easily have your card reissued with a new number, which is much easier and less time consuming than trying to update your bank account information.”
Rewards may also be a potential benefits, but few credit card issuers allow you to earn points or cash back on cash advances. Plus, all the transaction fees involved in funding crypto with a credit card will quickly wipe out any benefit you get.
Crypto is risky in general. You can easily lose money, and people often do. 
If you’re looking to buy crypto with a credit card because have the cash on hand to buy it outright, it can become even more risky. We strongly recommend only investing in crypto with money you’re not afraid to lose. If you don’t have the cash in your bank account to fund your crypto investment, you might want to reconsider whether to buy it at all.
If you decide to invest in crypto, you should do so with the full knowledge that you could easily lose your investment in the short-term or the long-term. That’s because cryptocurrency is highly volatile. Nobody knows what will happen to crypto assets and their values over any length of time. It all depends on when you buy and when you sell, and adding credit card charges to the mix only reduces your chances of turning a profit.

Just as an example, a single bitcoin cost a little over $7,200 in Jan. 2020, surged to a new all-time high of over $68,000 in Nov. 2021, then dropped back down under $30,000 per coin as of May 2022.
Imagine if you bought a large amount of crypto with your credit card in Nov. 2021, paid all the required fees and interest, then watched the price of your investment drop by 50% during the subsequent six months. You would still owe the massive credit card bill, yet the value of your crypto wouldn’t come close to covering the full cost.
As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.
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Fortunately, you don’t have to buy crypto with a credit card, and if you want to invest there are less costly and less risky ways to fund your exchange account. Generally speaking, the lowest cost option is with a bank transfer, which means you’ll fund your crypto investment with cash you already have.
You can typically buy crypto this way through an ACH transfer or by connecting a debit card to your account. Just keep in mind, these methods may also carry fees fees for funding your account, and you’ll pay transaction fees when you ultimately buy crypto. 
These fees vary widely depending on the crypto exchange you use.

Make sure you compare all the best crypto exchanges before you decide to invest. From there, you’ll also want to make sure you settle on a method of crypto storage (like a crypto wallet) that will keep your digital investment safe from hackers and thieves.
Investing in crypto is risky enough without using a credit card, and we don’t recommend it. Mitigate your risk as much as possible by doing your research before you invest, don’t put any money in that you can’t afford to lose, and find the most cost effective — and secure — methods of exchanging your dollars for cryptocurrency.
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At NextAdvisor we’re firm believers in transparency and editorial independence. Editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our partners. We do not cover every offer on the market. Editorial content from NextAdvisor is separate from TIME editorial content and is created by a different team of writers and editors.
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