Ethereum has become one of the most popular assets among cryptocurrency investors and for good reason – Ethereum currently processes more transaction value (measured in USD) than all other blockchains combined. Ethereum is the only blockchain to have demonstrated real world value beyond simple peer-to-peer payments and a means to store value. As a result, many investors are now looking to purchase Ethereum using a credit card – leveraging their position and maximizing their potential gains.
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Coinbase is recognized as one of the most popular exchanges for users to buy and sell Ethereum. The exchange is open to many countries in Europe as well as the United Kingdom and USA. Residents in Australia are able to purchase Ether at Coinbase, but another exchange must be used to sell the cryptoasset for AUD.
Changelly is a rapidly growing exchange which allows users to buy dozens of cryptocurrencies using a credit/debit card or other cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum has seen a meteoric rise since its inception in the summer of 2015 and many industry experts believe its rise will continue as institutional investors and real-world applications enter the market. Despite the widespread optimism in the market, Ethereum and other cryptoassets are extraordinarily risky and buying the currency does not guarantee a positive return. Investors who choose to buy Ethereum on credit are strongly encouraged to pay off their debt each month. A negative swing in the price of ETH could have harmful consequences for an investor who has “leveraged” (borrowed) their position.
Education is key, read our guide on “what is Ethereum” to learn more about Ethereum and its potential for growth.
The above list of Ethereum exchanges all accept credit card deposits. Alongside each listing are details of whether the platform will charge a fee on credit card deposits. Some exchanges also allow instant deposits via credit card – these exchanges are listed alongside a lightning bolt icon. Finally, use the country filter at the top right of the table to update the listings; this will ensure that you only find exchanges that accept credit card depositors in your country.
If you are familiar with using a credit card to purchase goods and services online then you should have no trouble picking up the process in which to buy Ether. However there are some key differences to be aware of when buying Ethereum, most notably the way in which the cryptoasset is stored once purchased.
Unlike traditional investments, Ethereum is not protected by a regulator or middleman. If an Ethereum transaction goes awry then there is often no route for recovery. For this reason it is essential that those who wish to buy Ethereum with a credit card are also familiar with Ethereum wallets and storage. Those who would prefer not to go through the trouble of securing Ethereum in this way can opt for a CFD platform such as eToro. These platforms allow investors to effectively bet on the price movement of Ethereum without actually purchasing the currency – this removes the risk mentioned above and allows new investors to buy ETH on credit card without the same concerns about security.
The following steps to buying Ethereum on credit card use the eToro exchange as an example:
Registering an account with eToro takes just a few seconds and customers can be ready to purchase Ethereum with their credit card in minutes. Depositors from the United States are not currently accepted, please consider visiting another exchange listed above.
These checks require some details about your address and personal identification. If you have the documents to hand then this step can be completed within minutes. Alternatively, it is possible to deposit Ether via credit card without completing KYC and AML – this will only be required on withdrawal.
At the bottom left of the eToro screen is a button to deposit funds. From here you can select the amount you wish to deposit (and in what currency) as well as the payment type. For the purposes of this example, we are selecting “Credit Card” and will simply need to enter the necessary details to purchase Ethereum. eToro does not charge a fee for purchasing Ethereum with a credit card.
Once a deposit has been made it will arrive instantly in the investor’s exchange wallet. You will now have funds available in your account to buy Ethereum in just a few clicks. The screenshot above shows the Ethereum pair listed in USD; the price on the right (“B”) is the buy price, and the price on the left (“S”) is the sell price. The difference between the two is called the “spread”. The smaller the spread the better as an investor can buy and sell their position without incurring a significant loss.
With the “B” button clicked, we are now given further details about the order. The investor simply selects the amount to spend and clicks “open trade” at the bottom (not displayed in this screenshot). It is also possible to setup “stop losses” and “take profit” limits, these two options allow the investor to specify points at which to close the position (based on losses or profit).
The top 3 Ethereum exchanges which accept credit card deposits vary in their suitability to different individuals. Investors are free to use multiple exchanges for buying and selling of Ethereum and often an experiment between platforms is a good way to understand each one’s suitability. Here is a brief overview for the exchange platforms we have listed on this page, and which type of investor they are most suited to.
eToro is an extremely user-friendly platform for new investors and a great place to begin trading Ethereum. Whilst the “spread” (trading fee) is higher than an exchange like Coinbase, the process of opening and closing trades is highly accessible to all investors. On top of this, eToro has a social trading platform which allows users to copy successful traders – mimicking their portfolio accordingly and reaping the same rewards. Trades can be opened and closed at any time and existing positions can be closed automatically if the price of Ethereum increases or decreases by a user-specified amount.
Other than Ethereum, eToro allows users to buy several other cryptocurrencies with their credit card. New cryptocurrencies are regularly being added to eToro’s repertoire. The current list of available cryptoassets (including Ethereum) are as follows:
eToro host regular investor webinars to help users learn more about trading cryptocurrencies and other assets on the platform. The platform also allows investors to setup watchlists, price alerts and there are a range of charting tools for those more interested in technical analysis.
eToro has had no critical issues with security in the past and funds are stored securely in fiat (USD, EUR, GBP etc). Users do not buy and sell real Ethereum, instead they bet on the market price and as a result, do not need to be concerned about cryptocurrency hacks or thefts. eToro is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Coinbase allows users to easily buy Ethereum with a credit card. The limit of purchasing Ethereum at Coinbase is much lower than eToro and so those looking to make a larger investment may wish to visit elsewhere. Once purchase, the Ethereum tokens are stored securely on the Coinbase platform. The fees for purchasing Ethereum are lower than eToro, however there is a fee on deposits with credit cards. This fee ranges from 1.49% to 3.99% depending on where the user is based. For example, the United Kingdom has a 1.49% fee whilst Singapore has a 3.99% fee.
Coinbase has plans to extend its cryptocurrency offering to include any coin/token that meets a strict set of criteria. At this point in time, Coinbase has listed:
This list is expected to grow extensively over the course of 2018.
Coinbase is not a typical trading platform and does not provide detailed charting software for users interested in technical analysis. However, Coinbase does provide price alerts and will allow users to create recurring transactions (useful for “dollar-cost averaging”).
Coinbase puts security above all else. The company deals with billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency on a weekly basis and as such they require stringent security measures. Users are able to store Ethereum in a “Coinbase Vault” which moves the cryptocurrency into cold storage and provides additional security features. Unlike eToro, the Ethereum bought on Coinbase is real. For relatively small sums of Ether, users should feel comfortable storing it on the exchange. Those who wish to take full control over Ethereum should read our explainer on Ethereum wallets and security.
Plus500 is one of the most well known CFD platforms for trading cryptocurrencies. Users at Plus500 can also open a Demo Account; allowing the investor to become familiar with the platform before depositing through a credit card. Plus500 also provides traders with the option to leverage their position (up to 300 times). This comes with much greater risk – a risk which is compounded through the use of a credit card – and so appropriate caution must be taken.
On top of a wide selection of cryptocurrencies measured in USD, Plus500 also offers an ETH/BTC pair which can be bought and sold. Other cryptocurrencies include:
Plus500 provides all the professional charting tools and price alerts that you might expect from a top online broker. They also have an economic calendar which marks significant industry events, however at this stage this calendar is largely focused at traditional markets and not crypto.
As with eToro, Plus500 does not deal with real cryptocurrencies, instead they operate as a “Contract For Difference” (CFD) broker and allow investors to speculate on Ethereum without the need to physically store it. For this reason, Plus500 avoids the security risks that come with handling cryptocurrencies. Plus500 is authorized and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other major regulators around the world.
Credit card fees vary from platform to platform. The cost of buying Ethereum is invariably cheaper with a bank transfer or debit card purchase than it is with a credit card. However there are some platforms (listed above) which do not charge any fees at all on credit card purchases.
Fees will also vary from country to country. Users in the United Kingdom and Europe will typically find themselves with lower credit card fees than those in Asia or Australia. Each platform will provide details of their credit card fees within an FAQ or support section of the website.
It is also important to note that while some trading platforms will not charge fees on credit card purchases, they may charge a fee on credit card withdrawals. Be sure to read the broker’s terms and conditions before buying Ethereum. Doing so will allow you to withdraw your funds through the lowest cost channel available.
If you are planning to buy Ether with a credit card then you will rightly be concerned about the ROI versus your interest repayments. Ethereum has historically provided an extremely high return for investors however past performance is not an indicator of future success.
It is important that someone looking to invest with a credit card does the necessary risk assessment on Ethereum. It is possible that the currency will drop significantly in value (a 20-40% decrease is not rare) and for that reason it is essential for investors to consider risk tolerance before investing. With a credit card purchase, it is also highly recommended that the amount spent can be paid off within a month to ensure interest payments are minimized or wiped out entirely. Credit card interest is likely to place undue pressure on an investor’s need to “cash in” regardless of loss or profit – such a decision is likely to be made in a poor state of mind.
If you are unsure of when or how much to invest in Ethereum then further reading is recommended. EthereumPrice.org provides a number of articles to help you make these decisions. Other sources of information are also necessary for a diverse perspective.
The price of Ethereum is volatile and will increase and decrease (often dramatically) on a daily basis. Over the short term it is very hard (if not impossible) to predict what the price of Ethereum will be. Deciding whether to buy Ethereum based on short term gains is a route that is likely to end in disappointment.
However, if you believe in the long-term impact of Ethereum’s technology then the best time to buy is now. Ethereum has the potential to fundamentally improve economic, political and societal structures; providing greater transparency, more trust between parties, cheaper and faster transactions as well as better access to finance in developing nations. If you have read the Ethereum White Paper and can genuinely see a future built around this new technology, then you are probably in a good place to know when to buy Ethereum.
Unfortunately, every decision to buy Ethereum – whether through a credit card or otherwise – is a highly personal choice. It is impossible to say whether Ethereum is over or undervalued today, and if the fundamental change which it promises can even be made possible. Then there are the risks of government attacks, technical corruption or a single black swan event which could sink the project in its entirety. For these reasons (and others) risk exposure to Ethereum should be minimized, and if a credit card purchase is the result of not having enough available funds then it is time to reconsider. On the other hand, if you understand these risks as well as the technology, then you may well be in an incredible position to benefit from the seemingly inevitable rise of cryptocurrencies.