Best Places To Buy Bitcoin

Cheapest Exchanges for Buying Bitcoin as of April 16 2024
Published: January 5, 2024   |   Last Updated: February 9, 2024
Written By:
Eric Huffman
Eric Huffman
Staff Writer
Edited By:
Shannon Ullman
Shannon Ullman
Managing Editor

Best Places To Buy Bitcoin

You can buy Bitcoin online through a crypto exchange. But with so many exchanges, it can be difficult to pick the right one. We’ve rounded up the best exchanges to buy BTC so you can easily compare:

  • Kraken: Most Established Bitcoin Exchange
  • Coinbase: Safest Way To Buy Bitcoin
  • GeminiBest Bitcoin Exchange For All 50 States
  • Nexo: Best for daily payments
MarketplaceMinimum DepositTransaction FeesMargin Trading
Kraken0.0001 BTC0.16% maker fee0.26% taker fee (Kraken Pro)Variable fees for Instant BuyYes, for qualified accounts
Coinbase$20.60% taker fee0.40% maker fee (Coinbase Advanced)Higher fees for basic tradesYes, for certain locations outside the United States
GeminiNoneBasic fees: up to $2.99 flat fee (under $200) or 1.49% (over $200)Active Trader 0.4% taker fee or 0.2% maker feeNo
NexoNoneNo-fee trading for standard swaps (Nexo uses a spread), 0.40% Taker 0.30% Maker fees for Nexo Pro (lower fees for 30-day trading volume above $10,000)Yes, for certain locations outside the United States

Kraken

Review
4.7
Fees
0% to 0.26%
Availability
Worldwide
Supported Blockchains
ETH, ADA, SOL +More

Pros

  • Free Bitcoin Lightning Network withdrawals supported
  • Low minimum crypto purchase of $5
  • Free cash deposits with a $1 minimum (Intermediate and Pro accounts)

Cons

  • 0.0005 BTC minimum withdrawal
  • 0.0002 BTC withdrawal fee
  • Not available in NY or WA
  • High Instant Buy fees

  • Low Fees For Kraken Pro: Kraken’s low fees available with Kraken Pro make it one of the best places to buy Bitcoin. Pay just a 0.16% maker fee or 0.26% taker fee for trading volume up to $50,000, with additional discounts available for higher trading volumes.
  • Proof Of Reserves: Log in to your account to verify Kraken’s crypto assets and ensure your holdings are included in the totals.
  • Multiple Funding Methods: Kraken is one of the few exchanges to offer credit card crypto purchases (outside the US). Buy Bitcoin with a credit card or debit card, or fund your account with your bank account.

In an industry where centralized exchanges haven’t been time-tested, Kraken has weathered both bull and bear markets since 2011, making Kraken one of the most trusted Bitcoin investing sites. Fees for Instant Buys are higher than some competitors, but If you use the Kraken Pro, just a click away from the home screen, you’ll enjoy some of the lowest trading fees available.

Coinbase

Best For Beginners
Review
4.6
Fees
0.5% – 4.5%
Availability
Worldwide
Supported Blockchains
BTC, ETH, SOL, MATIC + many more

Pros

  • Easy to use for crypto beginners
  • Low trade minimums
  • Bank account or PayPal funding, including PayPal business accounts

Cons

  • Higher advanced trading fees than other exchanges
  • High fees for simple trades (Buy & Sell box)

  • Multiple Funding Methods: Buy BTC with your bank account, debit card, or PayPal. If you’ve been wondering how to get Bitcoin with PayPal, Coinbase is one solution. Yes, PayPal business accounts are supported as well, but not PayPal business debit cards.
  • Large Selection Of Blue-Chip Cryptos: If you need to diversify beyond Bitcoin but want to stay in the safe-ish lane, you’ll find proven names in the space, like ETH, ADA, LINK, and much more.
  • Fee-Free Trading Available: With a Coinbase One subscription, priced at about $30 per month, you can buy Bitcoin with no fees, up to $10,000 in monthly trading volume.

Coinbase is one of the most trusted names in crypto, and being a publicly traded company brings more transparency than you’ll find with many other exchanges. Coinbase fees can be high if you use the Buy & Sell box, but with a few clicks, you can get those fees under control with Coinbase Advanced or if you subscribe to Coinbase One.

Gemini

Review
5
Token
Fees
$0.99–1.99%
Availability
Worldwide
Supported Blockchains
BTC, ETH, USDC +More

Pros

  • Bank account or PayPal funding (personal PayPal accounts only)
  • Competitive BTC buying fees with Active Trader interface
  • Low minimum order

Cons

  • Higher fees for Gemini basic, up to $2.99 flat fee (under $200) or 1.49% (over $200)
  • $10 minimum withdrawal to an external wallet
  • Fewer cryptocurrencies than some exchanges

  • Easy-To-Use Trading Interface: Gemini Basic makes buying BTC or other cryptos a snap, but you’ll save on fees by using the Active Trader interface.
  • Limited Insurance Coverage: Gemini maintains crime insurance coverage, protecting against hacks to the Gemini platform, theft by employees, and unauthorized transfers initiated by Gemini.

Gemini isn’t the cheapest exchange in the space when it comes to fees, but the NY-based exchange remains competitive if you use the Active Trader platform, available at no extra charge. It’s also helpful that Gemini is available to traders in all 50 states.

Nexo

Best For Daily Payments
Review
4
Token
Fees
No trading fees + 0.30%-0.40% Maker/Taker fees
Availability
Europe
Supported Blockchains
ETH, BTC, +More

Other Ways To Buy Bitcoin

If you want to buy Bitcoin outside of an exchange, there are several ways to own the most popular digital asset. Here are six common ways to buy Bitcoin:

Purchase Shares In A Bitcoin ETF

Spot Bitcoin ETFs were approved on January 10th, opening up a new and convenient way for investors to gain crypto exposure. In short, ETFs allow you to gain exposure to an asset without directly owning it.

This can be beneficial for investors who want crypto exposure from the comfort of their brokerage account. It also can benefit those who don’t want to learn the process of buying crypto itself or getting started with a wallet.

On the flip side, buying ETF shares will not allow you to self-custody your digital assets. This prevents you from engaging in DeFi with your Bitcoin and also contradicts one of the main goals Bitcoin’s founding: decentralization.

Buy Bitcoin With A Credit Card

It’s possible to buy Bitcoin using a credit card as long as your credit card issuer and crypto exchange allow it. This means you can buy crypto even when you don’t have cash. However, transaction fees can be very expensive because crypto purchases are often considered cash advances.

You’ll also pay a higher fee to deposit compared to ACH bank deposits, which are usually free. And relatively few crypto exchanges support credit cards.

Buy Bitcoin With A Debit Card

Like credit cards, you can buy Bitcoin with a debit card. As long as your card has sufficient cash, you can link it to your crypto exchange, and you’re good to go. Transaction fees for debit cards are lower than for credit cards in many cases, but be sure to research funding costs before you confirm the transaction.

Buy Bitcoin With Your Bank Account

If you’ve ever used your bank account to pay a bill online, you’ve used ACH (Automated Clearing House). You can use this online banking system to buy Bitcoin on most crypto exchanges, often with no deposit fees. One downside of using ACH is that some banks may limit the amount you can send or the number of transactions you can make each month.

Buy Bitcoin With A Wire Transfer

When you need to fund your account quickly or need to transfer a larger amount of money, wire transfers can be a better option than ACH transfers. Typically, the bank will charge an outgoing wire transfer fee, and many exchanges also charge an incoming wire transfer fee.

Buy Bitcoin With PayPal

You can buy Bitcoin through PayPal’s website or app, but some crypto exchanges also support PayPal deposits. For example, Coinbase and Gemini both support PayPal purchases for Bitcoin and other cryptos.

Buy Bitcoin With Bitcoin ATMs

Another option is a Bitcoin ATM. A Bitcoin ATM allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using cash or a debit card. However, you may need a Bitcoin wallet to make a transaction. In addition, transaction fees can be high.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to buy Bitcoin with a credit card on Kraken.

Note: Kraken does not support credit cards in the US (debit cards accepted).

Step 1: Log in to your Kraken account and select “Buy Crypto.”

Choose your BTC purchase amount and add a payment method.

Buying BTC

Step 2: Enter your card details.

Complete your card information and confirm the purchase.

Buy BTC with a credit card

  • Here are the steps to buy Bitcoin with a debit card on Gemini.

    Step 1: Log in to your Gemini account and click “Make a Trade.”

    Then choose “Add Payment Method.” If you already have a payment method set up, click on the existing payment method to open the option to add a new one.

    Adding a payment method when buying BTC with a debit card

    Step 2: Verify your payment method and purchase amount, then confirm.

    Buying BTC with a debit card

  • You can buy Bitcoin directly through the PayPal website or app. You can also use PayPal to fund your crypto exchange account. Here’s how to buy Bitcoin with PayPal on Coinbase.

    Step 1: Log in to your Coinbase account.

    Signing into Coinbase on PayPal

    Step 2: Add a payment method to link PayPal to your account.

    Choosing a payment method to buy BTC on PayPal
    • Step 3: Enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to buy and then confirm the transaction.
    Buying BTC on PayPal

Consider Dollar-Cost Averaging

As an alternative to trying to time your entry, you can use a tried and true method called dollar-cost averaging.

Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is an investing strategy where you invest a fixed dollar amount at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly. This allows you to average out your cost basis and avoid worrying about short-term market fluctuations.

Dollar-cost averaging has several notable benefits:

  • Prevents imprecise market timing
  • Helps take emotion out of investing
  • Can be automated

As with any investment strategy, DCA has downsides too:

  • Higher transaction costs due to more frequent purchases
  • Possibly lower returns because you’re holding cash rather than investing in a lump sum

Dollar-cost averaging your Bitcoin investment means you’re buying less when prices are higher and more when prices are lower. This can be effective in removing the emotion and guesswork from investing.

Where To Store Your Bitcoin

In the same way you keep your cash or credit cards in a physical wallet, you can store Bitcoin in a crypto wallet. A crypto wallet can either be “cold” or “hot.” Your account on an exchange would be considered a hot wallet, although, in this case, the exchange provides custody of your Bitcoin.

If you don’t want to worry about storing your Bitcoin, you can also consider Bitcoin ETFs, which track the price of Bitcoin and can be held in a normal brokerage.

Many BTC investors prefer to move their Bitcoin to a self-custody wallet.

Hot WalletsCold Wallets
Best ForShort-term storage, smaller amounts of BTCLong-term storage, larger amounts of BTC
SecurityPrivate keys are generated on a device connected to the internetWallet’s private keys are generated offline and stored on a device not connected to the internet
Loss ProtectionRecovery and backup options are available and can be accessed on multiple devicesRecovery and backup options are available to restore recovery phrase on a new device
Ease Of Transfer To ExchangesVery easy to transfer digital assets, provided there’s an internet connectionTransferring digital assets on cold wallets requires an extra step, such as plugging into a USB port or connecting via Bluetooth
PriceFree, but some may charge fees for crypto swaps or buying crypto from within the wallet appYou must buy an external storage device in most cases; prices start at about $50

A hot wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet that allows you to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies. You can access a hot wallet on devices such as phones, tablets, and computers, provided there’s an internet connection.

While hot wallet wallets allow you to access your digital assets anywhere, the private keys are generated on an app connected to the internet. For this reason, hot wallets are ideal for storing small amounts of digital assets.

Here are the top three hot storage wallets:

  • Coinbase Wallet (mobile)
  • Electrum
  • BlueWallet

Pros

  • Convenient access without extra devices
  • Low cost (typically free)

Cons

  • Susceptible to software bugs or vulnerabilities
  • Potential for private keys to become compromised

In contrast to hot wallets, cold storage wallets are not connected to the internet when the private keys are generated. Instead, digital assets are secured by a hardware device, adding an extra security layer from potential attacks.

Here are the top three cold storage wallets:

Pros

  • Portable
  • Less vulnerable to online attacks
  • Easy to recover crypto assets

Cons

  • Can be costly
  • Transfers between cold storage devices can be cumbersome

To Sum It Up

Crypto exchanges are typically the best places to buy Bitcoin, including exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken. To buy BTC on an exchange, you must register and fund your account. Keep in mind that the trading fees and trade minimums vary by exchange. Once you’ve purchased your Bitcoin, ensure you store it in a digital wallet and safeguard your private key.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can buy Bitcoin through a wide range of payment apps, including PayPal and Cash App, but often the best place to buy Bitcoin is through a crypto exchange. Crypto exchanges like Coinbase usually have lower fees and allow you to move your Bitcoin off the platform into a self-custody Bitcoin wallet.

Beginner-friendly exchanges like Coinbase walk new users through the process with helpful articles and on-page tutorials. Take your time, and be sure to note the fees on the confirmation screen before your commit to the trade.

Transaction fees for Bitcoin vary based on the crypto exchange and the amount that you are purchasing. Some exchanges, like Coinbase, offer breakpoints to lower the fee if you are trading larger amounts.

Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has outperformed every major asset class, including gold, major stock indices, and real estate. No one can predict exactly what the future will hold, but many of Bitcoin’s metrics look promising.

We encourage readers to do their own research on Bitcoin and read the Bitcoin Whitepaper before making any buying decisions.

To buy BTC in the safest way, choose a trusted exchange and make your purchase — but don’t leave your Bitcoin on the exchange indefinitely. Several exchanges have closed down over the years, leaving investors unable to withdraw their Bitcoin stored on the exchange. After you’ve made your purchase, consider withdrawing your Bitcoin to a self-custody wallet for safekeeping.

The primary fees you’ll pay when buying Bitcoin are trading fees, but you may encounter other costs as well.

  • Deposit Fees: Depending on your payment method and the exchange you choose, you may have to pay a deposit fee. Typically, ACH transfers are free, whereas debit and credit card transactions can be costlier.
  • Trading Fees: On most exchanges, expect to pay a small percentage of the transaction or a flat fee based on the purchase amount.
  • Withdrawal Fees: In most cases, you’ll pay network fees to withdraw your Bitcoin to another wallet. However, if you sell your Bitocin, in many cases, you can withdraw to your bank account with no additional fees.
  • Wallet Costs: Most Bitcoin wallets are free, but if you decide to invest in a hardware wallet like a Ledger device, you’ll have to purchase the wallet. Bitcoin hardware wallets can be as affordable as $60, but more advanced ones may cost you a few hundred.
Eric Huffman
Eric Huffman
Staff Writer
Eric Huffman is a staff writer for MilkRoad.com. In addition to crypto and blockchain topics, Eric also writes extensively on insurance and personal finance matters that affect everyday households.
Shannon Ullman
Shannon Ullman
Managing Editor
Managing editor working to make crypto easier to understand. Pairing editorial integrity with crypto curiosity for content that makes readers feel like they finally “get it.”

Skip Ahead