How to Buy Bitcoins With a SEPA Transfer

Last updated: 6/10/19

SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is a fast and cheap payment method that allows transferring of Euros between EU residents’ bank accounts. In this post I’ll review the most popular Bitcoin exchanges that accept SEPA deposits.

How to Buy Bitcoin With SEPA Summary

It is highly recommended to use SEPA if you are in the EU, since most exchanges will charge you little to no fees. Also, some exchanges will give you a much higher buying limit, since they are not concerned with chargebacks.

Here’s how to buy Bitcoin with SEPA:

  1. Visit Coinmama.
  2. Choose which cryptocurrency and the amount you want to buy.
  3. Enter your Bitcoin address
  4. Choose “Bank Transfer” on the payment method page
  5. Send funds to Coinmama’s bank account
  6. The coins will be sent to your wallet once the transaction is confirmed

If Coinmama doesn’t work for you, here’s a list of exchanges that allow you to buy Bitcoin with SEPA:

Coinmama
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
CEX.io
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Coinbase
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Bitpanda
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Coinbase Pro
Deposit fees:
€0.15
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating
Bitstamp
Deposit fees:
€0.15
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating
Kraken
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating
Luno
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating
CoinCorner
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
4 Star Rating
LocalBitcoins
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
3.5 Star Rating
Cubits
Deposit fees:
0%
Overall rating:
3.5 Star Rating
itBit
Deposit fees:
€1
Overall rating:
3.5 Star Rating

That’s buying Bitcoins with SEPA in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed explanation keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Why Should I Use SEPA?
  2. Coinmama
  3. CEX.io
  4. Coinbase
  5. Bitpanda
  6. Coinbase Pro
  7. Bitstamp
  8. Kraken
  9. Luno
  10. LocalBitcoins
  11. CoinCorner
  12. Cubits
  13. ItBit
  14. Conclusion

1. Why should I use SEPA transfer?

One of the main issues exchanges are concerned with are chargebacks.

To address this issue, many exchanges charge high fees on credit and debit card purchases. By charging such high fees they cover their risk of selling Bitcoins and not getting paid.

However, SEPA transfers are virtually irreversible, which makes them a popular option among exchanges. With SEPA, exchanges will allow you to buy large amounts of bitcoin, as they are not worried with chargebacks.

By extension, due to the low risk, the fees you pay when you buy with SEPA transfers are very low, with some exchanges not charging deposit fees at all.

All of the above make SEPA transfers a great alternative if you don’t have any access to credit or debit cards or if you wish to pay very low fees.

To give one example, if you buy € 1,000 worth of Bitcoins from CEX.io using a credit card, up to %8 of that purchase will be charged in fees. That’s € 80 worth of Bitcoins. However, CEX.io charge no fees at all for SEPA transfers, which means you’ll get your full € 1,000 money’s worth.

As with everything, SEPA transfers have their downsides. Every transfer has to be cleared by several banks on its way to the exchange. Due to this, they take significantly longer time to be executed than other, more convenient payment methods.

A word about fees

Most exchanges charge three different types of fees – Deposit fees, trading fees (aka processing fees) and withdrawal fees. In this part I will focus mainly on the deposit fees since that is where using SEPA transfers has the most effect (reducing them most of the times to zero).

Keep in mind that even if an exchange charges 0% on deposit fees it may still charge a fee for the transaction itself (i.e. converting fiat to Bitcoins).


2. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Coinmama

Pros: Good support, respectable company, fast service

Cons: Relatively high transaction fees

Coinmama is a leading cryptocurrency broker. They charge a premium fee for their services, and they do not limit you to a maximum amount of bitcoins that you can buy.

One of Coinmama’s strongest sell points is their fast and professional support.

Coinmama has a daily upper limit of around €10,250 for purchases done via SEPA transfers. They also charge a 5.90% processing fee for each transaction.

Visit Coinmama     Read review    

3. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through CEX.io

Pros: No deposit fees, wide selection of cryptocurrencies

Cons: Relatively high fees on brokerage service (avoid by using trading platform)

CEX, established in 2013, is one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges around.  The company offers both a brokerage service and a trading platform. Newbies will find the brokerage service much easier to use than the trading platform.

Having said that, transaction fees on the brokerage service are extremely higher. Therefor, if you have the know-how, it’s best to use the trading platform to receive the best price.

When using SEPA, CEX.io charges nothing for deposits, and €1 for withdrawals.

Visit Cex.io     Read review

4. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Coinbase

Pros: Low fees, high buying limits

Cons: Slow support, slow time to execute purchase

Coinbase, established in 2012, is one of more respectable and established companies in the Bitcoin community. They offer a brokerage service, which sells Bitcoins and other altcoins directly at a premium (for a cheaper alternative take a look at Coinbase Pro).

Coinbase’s services are available to 28 EU countries. When using SEPA, Coinbase charges nothing for deposits, and €0.15 for withdrawals.

Visit Coinbase     Read review    

5. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Bitpanda

Pros: Brokerage service, Friendly UI, low fees

Cons: Fees are unclear

Bitpanda, founded in 2014, is based in Vienna, Austria. Bitpanda is perhaps the biggest brokerage services supplier for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies inside the Eurozone.

Bitpanda’s fees tend to be a little unclear since the price you pay already incorporates the transaction fee. However, depositing funds via SEPA is free of charge.

Visit Bitpanda     Read review

6. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Coinbase Pro

Pros: No fees, high buying limits

Cons: More suitable for advanced users, slow time to execute purchase

Coinbase Pro is a trading platform (not to be confused with Coinbase’s brokerage service). The platform allows users to trade BTC and several other altcoins.

Coinbase Pro is targeted towards more advanced users, making it not too user friendly. When using SEPA, Coinbase Pro charges €0.15 for both deposits and withdrawals.

Visit Coinbase     Read review    

7. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Bitstamp

Pros: Reputable exchange, low deposit and trading fees

Cons: Does not offer SEPA brokerage services, not beginner friendly

Bitstamp, founded in 2011 and located in Slovenia, is perhaps the oldest exchange on this list. Along with their great reputation, Bitstamp charges no fees at all for deposits made via SEPA transfers.

The company offers trading services worldwide. Similarly to other trading platforms, using Bitstamp’s services requires some knowledge of trading and to know your way around the UI in order to use the site properly.

Bitstamp charges €0.15  for deposits and €0.90 for withdrawals, when using SEPA.

Visit Bitstamp     Read review

8. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Kraken

Pros: Good reputation, very low fees for SEPA deposits and trading

Cons: Does not offer brokerage services, unstable website and app

Kraken, headquartered in San Francisco, is the largest Bitcoin exchange in terms of liquidity and Euro volume, at least so they claim.

Kraken operates in the European Union, Canada and across the United States (with the exception of New York due to the BitLicense).

SEPA deposits are free of charge, withdrawals fees are €0.09

Visit Kraken Read review

9. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Luno

Pros: Supply both brokerage and a trading platform services, instant buy/sell option

Cons: Confusing fee structure

Luno was founded in 2013 (originally under the name BitX). The exchange is known for offering services to developing countries as well as EU countries.

Luno’s fees for SEPA deposits are free of charge, withdrawals fees are €0.3

Visit Luno Read review

10. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through LocalBitcoins

Pros: Sellers are a plenty, Very friendly UI

Cons: A higher possibility of scam when buying from individuals

LocalBitcoins allow you to buy and sell bitcoins via their peer-to-peer marketplace.

As expected of a marketplace, LocalBitcoins allows you to trade with a variety of sellers and to pay in your preferred payment method.

One crucial thing to look out for when buying Bitcoin using LocalBitcoins is choosing the right sellers by their reputation. Since now you are conducting business with individuals rather than with a company,  there’s a much greater chance for getting scammed.

The only way to mitigate this risk is to do a thorough check of the seller’s reputation before sealing a deal.

This rule applies to buyers’ too i.e. sellers are concerned with buyers with little or no reputation at all. Due to that, you might be forced to “start out small” and gain reputation before anyone would agree to sell large amounts of Bitcoin to you.

Buying and selling using SEPA at LocalBitcoins is possible, assuming both parties are within the SEPA area. As with any other payment method, apply the necessary precautions when conducting business in LocalBitcoins.

Visit LocalBitcoins     Read review    

11. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through CoinCorner

Pros: Reputable UK based company, responsive customer support

Cons: Relatively high deposit and trading fees

CoinCorner was founded in 2014 and is based in the Isle of Man. The company offers brokerage services, as well as their own software wallet.

As for their fees, CoinCorner charges no fees at all for deposits done with SEPA, and €1.5 for withdrawals.

Visit CoinCorner     Review coming soon 

12. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through Cubits

Pros: Beginner-friendly trading platform

Cons: Relatively high trading fees, limited variety of coins, some complaints over customer service

Cubits, based in the UK, is a Bitcoin exchange founded in 2014 by Julian Mautner, Tim Rehder and Andreas Lehrbaumand. The company offers trading services, as well as their own software wallet.

Cubits’ downside is their limited variety of trading options, which is BTC, BCH & LTC only. However, their service is intuitive and basic, which makes it a good exchange if you’re new to the world of trading.

Cubits charge €1.3 withdrawals fees, and no deposits fees at all.

Visit Cubits     Review coming soon! 

13. Buy Bitcoins with SEPA through itBit

Pros: Highly secured, OTC trading option,

Cons: Slow verification process, only trade BTC

itBit, launched in 2012, proclaims to be “America’s first regulated crypto asset exchange”.

itBit provides global Bitcoin exchange services as well as OTC (Over The Counter) trading services, via which users can buy large amounts of Bitcoin.

As for their trading fees structure, you’ll pay 25 Euros for small taker orders of 0-550K. The fee gets smaller for larger orders, with the minimum being 5 euros for orders of 55M and up. itBit charges no fees for maker orders.

itBit’s fees for SEPA users are €1 + intermediary charges (if any), for both deposits and withdrawals

Visit itBit     Review coming soon!

14. Conclusion – How do I Know Which Exchange to Use?

Deciding which exchange to chose can be quite hard, as there are many options. Some more reputable than others, some have lower fees and some have great support which is crucial.

In my opinion the best way to find the best exchange is through trial and error. Pick an exchange (any exchange), deposit a small amount with them and evaluate the overall experience you’re getting.

If it’s not good, just move to the next exchange in line.

Alternatively, you can choose to avoid micro-analyzing and from the get go choose an exchange that you know will give you great service even if they will charge more.

Finally, remember that SEPA transfers usually take longer than credit card or debit card purchases, which might be downside for some users.

If you have any more questions or comments about the methods I just described, feel free to leave me a comment below.

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