Up until lately, Circle was one of the easiest ways to buy Bitcoins with your credit card. However, on December 6th the company announced that it will no longer allow customers to use its services in order to buy Bitcoins. This left Bitcoiners who want to buy Bitcoin with they credit card 2 main options – Coinbase and Coinmama.
- click this link to see what countries are available33 countries
- ID, credit charges
- This company is well known throughout the Bitcoin communityGood
- Users have reported long waiting times for customer service responsePoor
The two companies have been around for almost 4 years and have built quite the reputation. I have reviewed Coinmama and also Coinbase on several occasions however I’ve never directly compared the two.
Today I want to do just that.
I’m going to see how far will $150 go if you buy Bitcoins with your credit card at either of these exchanges. The reason I chose $150 is because that’s the amount you can buy Bitcoins without verification at Coinmama and it’s also the weekly limit for instant buy on Coinbase.
Update: Coinbase now let’s you buy up to $500 weekly.
Coinbase – currently the more reputable Bitcoin exchange accepts customers from 33 countries around the world.
Coinmama – Accepts buyers worldwide excluding some high risk countries. If you live in the US however, Coinmama is only available in these states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Coinbase – In order to buy Bitcoins with you credit card at Coinbase you’ll need to:
- Supply a photo id for verification
- Verify two small charges made by Coinbase to your card
The photo id verification is an automated process and can be completed relatively quick, having said that some users are experiencing issues with it. Also the mini charges on your credit card may sometimes take a few days to show up on your credit card balance. To sum it up, it doesn’t seem like you’ll be able to get your Bitcoins instantly if this is the first time you’re buying at Coinbase.
Coinmama – If you’re buying up to $150 worth of Bitcoins you don’t need to upload any documents for verification. You will however need to supply a physical address and verify your email address. So the process at Coinmama is much quicker and will take around 1 hour.
Coinbase – Depending on where you live Coinbase will charge a service fee (3.99%). This means that $150 are effectively only $144.15.
Coinmama – There is a 5% credit card processing fee that is charged by Simplex, the company handling the credit card transactions for Coinmama. This means that your $150 is effectively $142.5.
This is probably the biggest difference of them all. At the time of writing this post the exchange rate on Coinbase is $770 for 1 BTC, on Coinmama on the other hand it’s $855, that’s 11% more!!
So while $150 on Coinbase will get you 0.18720779BTC, on Coinmama they will get you only 0.16666667BTC.
Throughout the last few years I’ve heard complaints about support from both companies, however I can say from first hand experience that Coinbase’s support is indeed as bad as it gets. You receive as a response usually within 3 days and even then it will probably be some canned response without any reference to your specific case. For more information about my experience with Coinbase read this post. With Coinmama I’ve managed to get my issues resolved in a timely manner.
The verdict – Coinbase or Coinmama?
I think there’s no straight answer for this, as both companies have their strong suits and weaknesses. In the end it boils down to what you value most.
If you’re looking for a quick transaction without the need to verify your identity and for small amounts of money then I’d go with Coinmama. If on the other hand, value for money is the most important aspect I’d go with Coinbase. Both companies have been around long enough to prove they are here to stay, the call is yours.
One final (and very important) thing. If you value your privacy I’d definitely stay away from Coinbase. The company has been known for tracking user funds and also banning accounts if they think the fund are being used for questionable purposes. You can read more about this phenomena here.