We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.
How to buy bitcoin with cash: 3 different ways
Quick and easy ways to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash.
If you have a leather wallet full of cash and want to turn it into a digital wallet full of bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, you have a few different options.
How to buy cryptocurrency with cash
|How it works||Platforms to use||What to consider|
|Peer-to-peer||Meet a seller near you in person, and buy bitcoin with cash in hand or any other payment option you agree on.||Both the buyer and seller can be nervous about this kind of transaction. Make sure you only meet in a public place, and try to only deal with sellers that have a good reputation on the site.|
|Prepaid cards you buy with cash||Buy a prepaid card with cash at a grocery or convenience store. This can then be widely used to buy bitcoin.||It’s a convenient way to buy anonymously and with cash in hand, but your options may be limited. It’s typically not very cost-effective, and you might be limited to relatively small individual transactions.|
|Cash transfer at banks||Go to a bank and pay with cash over the counter for the bank to pass on to the coin provider’s account.||This is a good way of turning cash into bitcoin with minimal fees. However, different coin providers might have their own requirements.|
|Bitcoin ATM||Deposit cash into a machine which will then deposit bitcoin into your wallet.||See if there’s a bitcoin ATM near you.||If there’s a bitcoin ATM near you, then this might be a quick and convenient way of getting bitcoin deposited to your wallet. However, it might involve significant fees.|
|Pay cash at a money transfer service||Go into a Western Union or MoneyGram branch (or equivalent), and pay the cash for transfer to the specified recipient.||A wide range of providers accept this payment method, and it might be one of the only ways of making cash deposits on exchanges, rather than simply as a way of paying cryptocurrency sellers. As long as there’s a branch near you, this is a very easy way to pay cash for the service of your choice. The downsides are that you lose some anonymity and you might get caught by fees.|
What are the pros and cons of buying cryptocurrency with cash?
Like most things, paying with cash has both benefits and downsides. Depending on your preferred method above, you might experience the following.
- Typically not the most cost-effective option
- You will generally be limited in the amount you can buy
- Your platform options will be more limited
What are the fees relative to other payment methods?
Your fees will vary depending on your exact cash payment method. You’ll also find different standard commissions and fees depending on your method. For example, you can generally expect premium prices and relatively high commission fees for the convenience of paying with a prepaid card.
- Peer-to-peer cash in hand. Zero fees other than what’s included in the transaction cost.
- Prepaid cards. The cost of the card itself, which is usually around $5.
- Cash transfer at banks. This might have no or low fees, while the cheap transfers might also help you find more competitive rates from bitcoin sellers.
- Bitcoin ATM. The fees and costs will vary between ATMs, but you can probably expect them to be relatively high compared to the most affordable options.
- Money transfer service. The fees will depend on which service you use, and whether there are also currency exchange fees involved. You can compare Western Union fees vs MoneyGram fees here for an example of how much they vary.
Before buying, you’ll need to set up a place to put your cryptocurrency, which means getting a cryptocurrency wallet.
You don’t need to have it on your computer either. By paying for bitcoin with cash and using a hardware wallet, you can buy bitcoin almost entirely offline.
Ask an Expert