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CEX.IO Review and Comparison Guide

By: Alexander Reed | Last updated: 2/20/24

CEX.IO is one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges around. The company offers both a trading platform and brokerage service for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a range of other cryptocurrencies. In this post, I’ll review the company and its services and compare it to other exchanges around.

Don’t Like to Read? Watch Our 2-Minute CEX.IO Review

CEX.IO Review Summary

CEX.IO is one of the more popular options for buying and selling Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies. The site offers a brokerage service as well as a trading platform that supports over 100 cryptocurrencies and more than 300 trading pairs.

If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended to use the brokerage option rather than the site’s trading platform.

That’s CEX.IO in a nutshell. For a detailed review, keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. CEX.IO Overview
  2. CEX.IO Services
  3. Currencies and Payment Methods
  4. Fees
  5. Buying Limits
  6. Supported Countries
  7. Customer Support and Reviews
  8. CEX.IO vs. Other Exchanges
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Conclusion

1. CEX.IO Overview

CEX.IO started out in 2013 in London as a Bitcoin exchange and cloud mining provider. At some point, its mining pool, known as, was so big that it held 42% of the total network mining power.

In October 2016, the cloud mining operations were shut down, and today CEX.IO operates solely as a cryptocurrency exchange.

Over time, CEX.IO has matured into a group of companies with licenses in multiple jurisdictions. CEX.IO LTD has been registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. CEX IO EU Limited provides card processing services to customers from the European Economic Area (EEA).

In 2019, CEX.IO also expanded its services in the U.S. with Money Transmitter Licences (MTLs) that can serve 32 states.

2. CEX.IO Services

CEX.IO allows you to buy cryptocurrency using your credit card, debit card, a wire transfer, SWIFT, SEPA transfer (if you live in the EU), or an ACH transfer (for US residents). The site supplies two ways to purchase crypto – a trading platform and a brokerage service.

CEX.IO Buy cryptocurrency page screenshot

CEX.IO Brokerage Service

CEX.IO’s brokerage service is a way for new users to buy cryptocurrencies through an easy (though somewhat more expensive) process. This means CEX.IO will trade cryptocurrencies for you at a premium.

CEX.IO brokerage transactions are based on Fill-or-Kill orders (also known as FOK). FOK means that orders are executed immediately and in full. This is different from placing your own order on the trading platform since different types of orders (i.e., market, limit, stop loss) will give you different results.

Bottom line – The brokerage service is a simplified way for beginners to get started with buying Bitcoin or any other crypto without needing to go through a complete course on trading.

The downside is that for this to work, CEX.IO has to charge customers a premium so that they will always be able to fulfill their orders, hence the higher exchange rate.

The difference between the brokerage service exchange rate and a normal trading platform exchange rate can reach up to a 7% difference. CEX.IO has a very clear explanation on their site about how this service works. Here’s a summary of it:

When you enter a trade, CEX.IO calculates the price and freezes it for 120 seconds.  You input the amount of money you wish to spend, and you see the amount of coins you can receive. After you press the Buy/Sell Button, the system checks to see that you have enough funds available.

If the situation on the market allows the execution of your order on conditions not worse than you agreed on, the order will be filled (The order can also be filled on more favorable conditions).

If there is a sudden spike in the exchange rate, preventing the execution of the order on the agreed conditions, you will be notified. After you confirm the trade, your order is matched to other orders on the exchange, and your balance is adjusted. Sometimes the amount can be even greater than agreed on, but it is never smaller.

CEX.IO Trading Platform

More advanced users can use CEX.IO’s trading platform. The upside of using the platform is that the fees are much lower. Just for comparison, while fees on a brokerage trade can reach up to 7%, fees on the trading platform reach 0.25% at max.

CEX.IO Exchange Plus platform

The trading platform is pretty advanced and supplies all of the features you’d expect, such as market and limit orders. The trading platform has decent liquidity, allows cross-platform trading (via a mobile app and several APIs), and supplies you with advanced reporting.

Bottom line – If you’re an experienced trader, CEX.IO’s trading platform is where you should conduct your transactions (as opposed to the brokerage service).

CEX.IO Margin Trading

In the past, CEX.IO allowed users to conduct margin trading straight from its trading platform. However, since 2019, CEX.IO opened a dedicated margin trading service called CEX.IO Broker.

CEX.IO Broker is a platform for cryptocurrency trading via CFDs featuring a variety of order types, technical analysis instruments, and advanced trading tools. It allows users to leverage their position and increase their profit possibilities (while also increasing the risk they are exposed to).

Margin trading is only recommended to experienced traders; when trading CFDs, you aren’t buying actual coins; you’re just speculating on a coin’s price. This means you won’t be able to withdraw profits in the actual cryptocurrency you’re trading, only in fiat or Bitcoin.

At the moment, margin trading on CEX.IO is available for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin only.

3. Currencies and Payment Methods

Some of the supported cryptocurrencies for buying via the brokerage service:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Tron (TRX)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Polygon (MATIC)

The supported currencies by CEX.IO include USD, EUR, GBP, and RUB.

Supported payment methods:

  • Credit/debit card
  • Wire transfers (including SEPA)
  • Domestic bank transfer (ACH)
  • Skrill (for EUR and GBP)

4. Fees

One of the biggest complaints users have about CEX.IO is the amount of fees and hidden charges the company has. For example, CEX.IO can take up to a 7% fee from the amount of fiat currency you pay for a service.

For example, if you buy $1000 worth of Bitcoin, you may get as little as $930 worth. This means that the high exchange rate you see on CEX.IO already includes the service fee within it, but no other fees will apply.

However, the fee stated above is only relevant to the instant-buy service. Different fees apply to the trading platform. In order to trade, you’ll need to fund your CEX.IO account with either a bank wire, SEPA transfer, Google or Apple Pay, Skrill, or Neteller. Debit and credit card fees can be up to 3.99%, with a service fee depending on the country. Withdrawal fees vary wildly depending on your chosen method. The full schedule of deposit and withdrawal fees on CEX.IO can be viewed here.

Transaction fees work on a maker-taker model. This means that the person who created the order (the maker) usually pays a lower fee than the person who fulfilled the order (the taker).

Depending on your side in the transaction, you’ll pay anywhere between 0.00%-0.25% at the most. A complete table of CEX.IO’s trading fees can be found here.

Margin trading on CEX.IO Broker is currently commission-free.

5. Buying Limits

There are four different account verification tiers on CEX.IO:

  • Identity
  • Address
  • Enhanced
  • Corporate

Identity-verified accounts can buy up to $1,000 worth of crypto per day. These users can only use a credit card to fund their purchases.

Address-verified accounts can buy up to $10,000 worth of crypto per day and withdraw $50,000 per day. Enhanced Corporate verified accounts have no limitations on the amount of crypto that can be bought.

In order to become verified, you’ll need to supply a government-issued ID and personal information about yourself. For a complete list of accounts and limits, visit this page.

6. Supported Countries

CEX.IO has strong worldwide support for most countries and states except for the following exceptions:

Countries not supported for credit card purchases:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Cuba, Algeria, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Iceland, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Also, MasterCard withdrawals for users from India are disabled.

Countries not supported for wire transfers:

Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, North Korea, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Vietnam, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

View the full and up-to-date list of restricted countries here.

7. Customer Support and User Reviews

Trustpilot gives CEX.IO a rating of “Excellent.”

For the Trustpilot reviews, it seems that the majority of dissatisfied user reviews are complaining about the hidden fees (i.e., high exchange rate), the identity verification process, or the site’s customer support.

The first two issues are usually related to people not understanding the fine print, and CEX.IO has made relatively clear how much you will pay for your coins. As can be seen below:

cex fee explanation

Regarding support, the main thing I can say is that CEX.IO is definitely making an effort to improve on this aspect. I say this mainly because of two things:

  1. I see their representatives continuously replying to angry commenters on 99Bitcoins and Trustpilot (you can look at the comment section below).
  2. While not too encouraging, the company’s Trustpilot rating used to be 3.9, and now it’s a 4.6 – that’s an 18% increase which is not something to take lightly.

While I can’t say the exchange is free from support issues, I can testify as an exchange user that whenever I had an issue in the past, I always received a relevant answer in a timely manner.

8. CEX.IO Compared to Other Exchanges

Here’s a short comparison of CEX.IO’s brokerage service compared to other popular services around.

Supported countries:
Supported countries:
Coinbase Logo
Supported countries:
100+ Countries*
Bitstamp Logo
Supported countries:
arrow-left arrow-right

IMPORTANT – The fees for credit card purchases can be pretty confusing. First, you have the exchange fee, and then you have the credit card clearing fee. In CEX.IO’s case, the credit card fee can reach 3.99% (plus a service charge, depending on the country), and the exchange fee is 7%, so it’s a 10%+ fee in total.

CEX.IO VS Coinmama

Coinmama charges between a 4.5% and 6.5% fee depending on currency used for credit card purchases which is a bit more than CEX.IO’s 3.99%. However, their credit card clearing fee is an additional 5%. Comparing the final price of the two exchanges, you’ll get more or less the same result. Read my Coinmama review here.

CEX.IO VS Coinbase

Coinbase charges a 3.99% fee for credit card purchases, which is higher than the 2.99% CEX.IO charges. However, Coinbase’s exchange fee is much lower than CEX.IO.

When comparing the actual cost of buying 1 Bitcoin through both companies, it turns out that Coinbase is 4% cheaper than CEX.IO and is probably the cheapest option of all of the compared exchanges in this post. You can read my complete Coinbase review here.

CEX.IO VS Bitstamp

Bitstamp is a respected Bitcoin exchange that supplies both a trading platform and a brokerage service for buying Bitcoin. Buying through Bitstamp with a credit or debit card, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or PayPal will incur a 4% charge, plus any additional fees charged by the card issuer. You can purchase up to $2500 a day or $20,000 monthly using your credit card.

You can read my complete Bitstamp review here.

CEX.IO VS Binance

Binance has partnered with Simplex to allow credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies on their site. Compared to CEX.IO, Binance purports to offer a card fee of up to around 2%. However, this does not take into account Simplex’s fees (i.e., credit card clearing) which I believe brings the final price to be more or less the same.

You can read my complete Binance review here.

9. Frequently Asked Questions

Is CEX.IO a Wallet?

No. CEX.IO is a cryptocurrency exchange. While you can hold your funds on the exchange’s web wallet, moving them to your own wallet is highly recommended.

Does CEX.IO require an ID?

Yes. All verification levels on CEX.IO require an international passport/national ID card/driver’s license. This document should be valid and internationally recognized.

How do I Buy Bitcoin on CEX.IO?

  1. Go to CEX.IO
  2. Click on “Buy/Sell”
  3. Choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy and your payment currency
  4. Choose an amount to buy
  5. Click on “Buy”
  6. Complete the sign-up process and verify your identity
  7. Enter your payment information
  8. Withdraw the coins to your wallet

10. Conclusion – Is CEX.IO Worth Using?

Until today, I have used CEX.IO several times and had no issues. I think it’s a solid exchange, with the only downside being the high fees they charge for their brokerage service. If you’re a more advanced user, you can cut dramatically on fees by using the trading platform and not the brokerage service.

In the past year or so, the exchange has leapfrogged forward and become one of the leading exchanges. The user interface is very intuitive, and even complete newbies can manage to buy cryptocurrency without much hassle.

Bottom line – you’re good to go, as long as you are aware of the fees and the verification process needed to buy more substantial amounts of Bitcoin.

If you’ve had your own experience with CEX.IO, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.





Ease of use







  • Established company reputation
  • Easy buying process
  • Fast support
  • Advanced trading options


  • Relatively high fees

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564 comments on “CEX.IO Review”

    1. Dear Customer,

      Thank you for your kind words about CEX.IO.

      We are glad to hear that you have had a positive experience using our platform.

      We appreciate your business and hope to continue serving you in the future.

  1. I have used Hong Kong credit card to deposit into CEX.IO before, but not successful in 2022 at all. But I do not think it has anything to do with the platform but political reason.

    1. Dear Wing L,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      We are sorry to hear that you have not had success using your Hong Kong credit card on our platform.

      We can assure you that our platform indeed accepts cart payments from your country on our side. Still, there might be some restrictions on your bank’s side.

      We hope that you will have a better experience using your credit card on our platform in the future.

      Thank you for your understanding.

  2. Stefan Petkovic

    Complete scammers. They just steal money from their custommers! Avoid at all cost, if you don’t want to lose all your nerves!

    1. Dear Stefan Petkovic,

      CEX.IO is a regulated cryptocurrency platform. You may check the details on our Legal and Security page:
      We should emphasize that such accusations like yours upon a licensed company must be supported by strong evidence, otherwise, could be the subject of legal action.

      Please contact the support team via live chat at if you face any issues with your account.

      Thanks for understanding.

        1. Dear Steven,

          Thanks for your question.

          Please clarify what you mean by “new coins issue period”.

          If some cryptocurrency is not temporarily available for the withdrawal, it’s stated on our Status page. You may subscribe to that page to get notified on maintenance taking place on the platform.

          Kindly let us know if you have any additional questions.

    1. Dear Nick Italia,

      Thanks for your interest.

      Unfortunately, we haven’t yet obtained a license to operate in New York. Still, we’re working on that.

      Stay tuned 🙂

      1. Dear Brian,

        Please contact us via chat at to clarify your particular case.

        We’ll gladly provide you with the clarifications and assistance if needed.

    1. We have been hearing about cases like this for a while, now. However, many crypto exchanges have experienced reduced staff due to the COVID pandemic and as a result, they have been slower to respond to messages. Our recommendation is that you give it a few more days before you jump into any drastic move. If you don’t hear back by then, try getting in touch again and see if there is a tech or customer support team you can contact.

    2. Hi!

      Thanks for sharing your concern here.

      Please note that the only communication channel with the team is chat at or any CEX.IO page in the bottom right-hand corner.

      Kindly submit your request via chat and you’ll be assisted with your withdrawal within 24-48 hours.

      Thank you for your cooperation.

Comments are closed.

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