Buying Bitcoins with PayPal versus Credit Card

Buying Bitcoins nowadays is much easier than it was in 2011, but it still has its bundle of challenges. It’s so easy to get scammed when you know little about how things work in the industry. Finding a trading platform that accepts PayPal or credit card can be hard work but not impossible.

Easiest Ways to Buy Bitcoins

If you want to buy Bitcoins instantly and benefit from price movements, you have several options:

  • Cash- some exchanges like allow users to meet up and trade Bitcoins for cash. The Bitcoins are held in an escrow account to ensure both sides honor their end of the deal.
  • PayPal alternatives- some PayPal alternatives like PerfectPay and LavaPay are easily accepted by exchanges because they do not allow chargebacks. They are instant and safe.

Frankly speaking, there is no such thing as an instant Bitcoin transaction. The cryptocurrency network was designed so that transactions are verified after every ten minutes. In most Bitcoin exchanges, the quickest payment method will get you Bitcoins within 15 minutes.

Some exchanges, like, work together with sellers so that you receive Bitcoins instantly after paying instead of waiting for the Bitcoin network to confirm the transaction which can be time-consuming. A majority of exchanges have also come up with ways to enable buyers to get their coins fast while using PayPal or Credit Cards.

How to buy Bitcoins with PayPal

There are several ways to buy Bitcoins using your funds in PayPal

  • Virwox-

Virwox is a Bitcoin exchange that works in a unique way to enable people with money in PayPal to buy Bitcoins easily. As a new member, you create a Virwox account for free and fund it using your PayPal funds. Once your cash reflects, you convert them to the company’s currency, Linden SLL. You then use your SLL dollars to purchase Bitcoins on the exchange. This way, asking for a PayPal chargeback is more difficult.

For first time buyers, the process can take up to 48 hours. Additionally, the process can be expensive. Virwox takes a commission when you convert your PayPal funds into their SLL dollars. When buying Bitcoins, they also charge another commission. There is also a commission paid when withdrawing Bitcoins into a personal wallet. Expect the whole process to cost you up to 20% of your PayPal funds.

Using PayPal Alternatives

Bitcoin exchanges shy away from PayPal but are open to PayPal alternatives that do not enable money chargebacks. To avoid scammers who would request for Bitcoins and go back to PayPal to demand refunds, most exchanges would rather not deal directly with PayPal.

However, here are PayPal alternatives accepted by exchanges. These payment methods are like accounts that you fund your PayPal or credit cards.

  • LavaPay
  • OkPay
  • Perfect Money
  • BitcoinPay

Additional Ways to buy Bitcoins with PayPal

  • Etoro- allows non-US members to buy Bitcoins with PayPal, but you don’t own the Bitcoins. You only benefit from Bitcoin’s price movements and sell them in real cash when you want to.
  • Paxful- works in the same way as You can find a Bitcoin seller willing to accept PayPal and make a trade

Get an in-depth analysis of all the ways to buy Bitcoins with PayPal here.

Buying Bitcoins with Credit/Debit Cards

Although asking for a chargeback when buying anything with credit cards is easy, Bitcoin exchanges are more likely to accept credit cards than PayPal. Most exchanges are still wary when dealing with credit card payments, and they will likely charge you higher amounts than when you buy using regular bank wire transfers.

Top Exchanges that Accept Credit Card Payments and the amounts to fee you are likely to pay.  Note that each exchange sets a limit for buying Bitcoins using credit cards.

Exchange Credit Card Fees Buying Limits
Coinbase 3.99% $150 per week
Coinmama 6% 5000 euros per day
BitPanda 3-4% 2500 euros per day 3.5%% $400 per day 8%- 10% 200-5000 euros per day

Buying Bitcoin with PayPal vs. Credit Card Compared

Advantages of PayPal

  • Fast- sending PayPal funds to a payment method accepted by exchanges is instantaneous.
  • Easy- buying Bitcoins with PayPal on exchanges like is easy and require few identification details
  • Chargebacks– it’s easy to ask for a chargeback in case you find out the exchanges have hidden charges

Advantages of Credit Cards

  • Accepted by several major Bitcoin trading platforms
  • Fast- it takes an average of 2 days to complete which is faster than using wire transfers
  • Buying limits using credit cards can be as high as $20,000
  • Easy to complete a purchase

Disadvantages of Buying Bitcoins with PayPal

  • Not accepted by regular exchanges
  • The process of using PayPal funds to buy Bitcoins is time-consuming
  • Expensive- the process of completing a Bitcoin payment using PayPal funds often cost more than 10% in fees
  • Easy to get scammed- some people will ask PayPal for a chargeback at your expense

Disadvantages of Credit Cards

  • High fees-like with PayPal, completing credit card transactions can be high, though not as high as PayPal’s.
  • Can be risky when completing payments on exchanges where your private information is revealed
  • Hidden fees may make trading with credit cards much more expensive
  • It takes 1-2 days to complete which can be inconvenient when buying a volatile cryptocurrency like Bitcoins

Verdict: PayPal vs. Credit Cards

Like making any other transaction, you will often have to evaluate the pros and cons of using any of the accepted payment methods before going ahead with the transaction. In the case of using either PayPal or credit cards:

  • PayPal is faster and better when buying Bitcoins directly from a trusted person
  • Credit cards are accepted in several globally accepted exchanges
  • Credit cards generally attract lower transaction fees compared to PayPal


Buying Bitcoins in any part of the world is increasingly becoming easy. More and more exchanges are accepting credit card payments. Buying cryptocurrencies with almost any payment method is possible. However, each method will have its own advantages and disadvantages. Always review each payment method before buying Bitcoins.

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