Easy Ways to Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card
Master File of Debit Card Bitcoin Buying Options for Canadians.
Paxful is an established and popular trading platform for Canada. More than just a Peer to Peer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers, they act as a bitcoin-wallet, and interface with the major Canadian banks. They describe themselves as “PayPal + Uber and the peoples Wall Street”. Buy Bitcoin in Canada instantly and Securely at www.Paxful.com *
*(Paxful.com provides two-factor authentication (2FA) and a US regulated P2P marketplace that is now open to Canada. Legal & secure.)
The world is filled with Crypto skeptics. It always has been. Since the dawn of Bitcoin, the majority of people have scrutinized, criticized, and challenged the legitimacy of cryptocurrency. Its lack of tangibility is often to blame. And yet, it’s impossible to deny its immense value.
Countless people all over the world have gained enormous wealth investing in Bitcoin. Many have lost money, too. Its vacillating price is virtually impossible to predict. But the one pattern that can be assessed from the last 10+ years is Bitcoin’s value always goes back up, climbing to unimaginable heights. This impression has left more than a few Canadians wondering, what’s the easiest way to buy Bitcoin with a debit card?
Debit Card Bitcoin Buying Options for Canadians
We’ve done a great deal of research into this topic, and it turns out you can purchase Bitcoin with just about any type of debit card. Not just the bank-issued variety, either. Virtually any gift card or prepaid cards, bought online or in person, in physical, virtual or voucher format. If it represents money, you can probably exchange it for cryptocurrency. In fact, there are some websites that let you buy Bitcoin with branded gift cards (Amazon, GameStop, Nike, Wal-Mart, etc.)
Bitcoin isn’t the only crypto you can buy with a debit card, either. We say Bitcoin because, let’s be honest, there’s no crypto out there that’s more valuable, popular, or universally recognized. But the truth is, there are hundreds of other cryptocurrency options. We call these ‘altcoins’, short for ‘alternate coin’, or more realistically, ‘alternative to Bitcoin’.
Learn more: World’s Top Cryptos – Bitcoins and Altcoins
Master File of Debit Cards You Can Use to Buy Bitcoin
Don’t let the term “Master File” scare you. There’s not all that many types of debit cards in existence. Card issuers, yes – there are hundreds of banks and credit unions in Canada – but they all issue from the same stockpile of card brands. Furthermore, debit cards come in three distinct varieties – bank issued debit cards, prepaid debit cards, and single-use gift cards.
Click the one you want to learn more about, or just keep scrolling to learn more.
Bank Issued Debit Cards
The most common type of debit card is, of course, the bank issued variety. These debit cards are a natural extension of any bank account. Having such a card is one thing. Using it over the internet – well, that’s not something everybody is comfortable doing. If you’re among the more apprehensive, you may want to skip on down to our Prepaid Cards or Gift Cards sections.
With today’s security measures, so long as you’re purchasing crypto from a reliable source and maintaining strong passwords, you shouldn’t have to worry about your card details ever being compromised. If you do run into problems, your bank should be there 24/7 to help you out, and ensure the return of any lost funds.
How to Buy Bitcoin with a Bank Card
Bank issued debit cards provide the easiest method of purchasing Bitcoin. However, there are a number of places you can purchase from, including an online crypto exchange, Bitcoin ATM, retail location, or direct from a seller (P2P).
Online/Mobile Crypto Exchange: When purchasing from a crypto exchange website or mobile app, simply register an account, log in, and select the option to Buy Bitcoin. When asked how you’d like to pay, choose the Debit Card option, and the brand logo on your debit card (Visa, Mastercard, Interac, etc.) Follow the instructions provided to enter your card details, and you’re all set.
Bitcoin ATM: There are special Bitcoin ATMs all over Canada; 1,600+ that we know of. Use this link to find one near you. You’ll need a Bitcoin Wallet with a QR access code. Insert your debit card, follow the instructions on the screen, and scan your wallet’s WR code when prompted.
Retail: A number of Bitcoin retail locations are available throughout the country. Every Canada Post offers Bitcoin buying through MyBTC.ca. You can also buy in person through Netcoins, available in over 170,000 retail locations.
Peer-to-Peer Trading: It’s also possible to buy and sell Bitcoins directly with other traders; a method known as peer-to-peer, or P2P trading. There are plenty of P2P trading services online. Just make sure you’re using a reputable platform, like Paxful, and that you trust the person you’re buying from.
My Debit Card Won’t Let Me Buy Bitcoin
This is, unfortunately, a big problem throughout Canada. A lot of banks and credit unions will reject a Bitcoin or altcoin purchase because they consider it to be an investment, and have policies in place to prohibit unregulated investments.
Being a decentralized, and therefore unregulated currency, the difficulty in tracking Bitcoin buyers raises a huge red flag for them. This is, of course, one of the main reasons so many people want Bitcoin, because it’s unregulated and – depending how you buy/store it – untraceable.
So, if your financial institution won’t let you buy Bitcoin with a bank card, you have two options. Get a new bank, or get a new card; one that’s not issued by your bank (i.e. prepaid card or gift card).
List of Canadian Bank Debit Cards
Canadian banks, credit unions and other financial institutions deal in just four types of debit cards. Each and every one can be used to purchase Bitcoin. They include:
Debit Card Types
Visa Debit Card
Visa is the most universally accepted debit card brand in the world. It is the brand of debit card issued by most Canadian banks, as well. You can buy Bitcoin with Visa Debit the same as you would buy anything else over the internet. Best of all, every Bitcoin seller welcomes this brand.
Mastercard Debit Card
It seems like Mastercard is has been slowing transitioning to a ‘less debit cards / more credit cards’ business model for years. There are still a few banks that issue Mastercard debit cards, and you can certainly use these to buy Bitcoin on the right exchanges. But you won’t find it available as a crypto purchasing option everywhere.
Interac Debit Card
Ahhh, good old Interac – the Canadian-born debit card we all know and love. Interac has been facilitating domestic payments for decades. In recent years, it’s also become a viable option for purchasing from international websites, but the acceptance rate is limited. This is why so many Canadian banks are shifting from home-grown Interac debit cards to Visa.
Discover Debit Card
Discover is cutting out the middle-man (the bank) and letting you take control of your money, your way, with absolutely no monthly fees. It’s an online banking service that’s absolutely free, and comes with your very own Discover Debit Card, perfect for buying anything, anywhere Discover is accepted. You’ll even get 1% cash back on all purchases. Only problem is, we have yet to find any exchange that allows you to buy Bitcoin directly with Discover debit.
What you can do, however, is purchase a MoneyPak Gift Card with Discover Debit, then use the MoneyPak to purchase Bitcoin on websites like Paxful.
Prepaid Cards – Reloadable
Prepaid cards are a good way to purchase Bitcoin and other online items and services, without giving up any personal banking details. A prepaid card can be used once, or multiple times, but is not connected in any way to your financial accounts. You can reload it with money as much as you like, or if it’s ever compromised, you can cut it up and throw it away.
How to Use a Prepaid Debit Card to Buy Bitcoin
Purchasing Bitcoin with a prepaid card is similar to buying with a bank card, except for two things. First of all, you may not need to enter nearly as many details, since a lot of prepaid cards are not connected to the user directly. Secondly, the payment is far less likely to be rejected due to ‘lack of crypto regulations’; again, because most prepaid cards are not issued by financial institutions.
You can use a prepaid card at most online and mobile crypto exchanges, as well as retail locations. To buy crypto online with a prepaid card, you’ll need to log in and choose ‘Prepaid Card’ as your method of payment, or search the list of payment options for your exact brand of prepaid card. Then follow the instructions provided to complete the purchase. To use the card in a retail location, simply swipe or insert the card in the machine when prompted.
List of Prepaid Debit Cards Eligible for Buying Bitcoin
There are a lot of different prepaid cards to buy Bitcoin with in Canada. Some are issued only by bank branches, such as CIBC and Scotiabank, while others are offered by the card companies themselves (Visa, Mastercard, and Amex). The following list details all known prepaid Bitcoin buying options available in Canada.
Prepaid Card Types
AmEx Serve Cards
American Express is generally known for its credit card services, but they also offer a prepaid card service known as “Serve”. It’s available on multiple levels. The original AmEx Serve prepaid card is blue, and comes with a monthly fee of $6.95, plus a reload fee of $3.95 per fill-up. Upgrading to a green AmEx Serve debit card offers the same perks, with free reloads. The AmEx Serve Cash Back is a silver card for high-volume users. It has a higher monthly fee of $7.95, but awards 1% cash back on most purchases.
AccountNow Prepaid by Visa
Here’s another Visa-branded prepaid card option that allows users to register a virtual, online banking account for their card. AccountNow cards are sold through GreenDot, and can be reloaded by direct deposit, or at any Green Dot location, Western Union, MoneyGram, or Visa ReadyLink. There are some pretty high fees to contend with, including a $9.95 monthly fee, $5.95 cash reload fee, $9.95 bill payment fee, and more. It may not be the best option, but it is an option.
BMO Prepaid Mastercard
Bank of Montreal (BMO) account holders can get a prepaid Mastercard and load it with funds anytime by simply transferring money from a BMO account, online or with the BMO mobile app. There’s a $6.95 annual fee. Shop anywhere Mastercard is accepted with no interest fees on purchases.
Canada Post Prepaid Visa
You can buy this reloadable prepaid card at any Canada Post Office. You must be 16 or older, and have a photo ID with you. You can load up to $500 on the card at time of purchase. From there, you need to call the number on the back to activate the card and set up a PIN. From there, you can use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa
If you already have a CIBC account, you can get a free CIBC Smart Prepaid Visa for all your retail and online spending needs. Use your CIBC Smart Card to buy Bitcoin and pretty much anything else, as the card is accepted anywhere the Visa logo is displayed. You’ll be able to load and reload the card from your CIBC account, and like everything else on the planet these days – there’s an app for that!
MyVanilla Prepaid by Visa
From the card brand everyone trusts comes a prepaid option that caters to anyone, anywhere. MyVanilla Prepaid Debit by Visa is liking having a virtual bank account, instead of a physical one. It comes with the same perks, like direct deposit for pay cheques and tax refunds. You can buy a MyVanilla Prepaid Card at most retail locations, then go online later to set up the full account. Your temporary card will work indefinitely until you receive a full account card in the mail.
If you choose not to register the card, you can still use it online and at retail locations. However, you will not be able to reload the balance or use any of the online banking features without registering. There are also monthly fees to be considered, but if its universal acceptance you seek, it doesn’t get much better than MyVanilla by Visa.
The Mastercard Prepaid Debit requires no bank account or credit checks, and can be purchased at retail stores and cheque-cashing locations all over the country. You’;ll need to activate the card to use it, and it does require personal identification. Once completed, you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted, and have lots of options for reloading it as needed.
Mogo Visa Platinum Prepaid
Mogo is the prepaid card with a heart for the environment. For every CA$ spend with your card, Mogo will offset one pound of C02 to help save the Amazon Rainforest. How? I’m not really sure, but that’s their claim, and I like it. You can reload your Mogo card at any Canada Post. There are no purchasing restrictions (i.e. you can buy Bitcoin with Mogo), and no monthly fees. All you need is the card and the Mogo app. Plus you’ll get unlimited 2% cashback on all purchases.
Scotiabank SCENE Prepaid Visa
If you have an account with Scotiabank, you can get a SCENE Prepaid Visa for use anywhere Visa is accepted. Sure, you probably already have a Scotiabank debit card, but if you’d rather not share its details, this prepaid option is a good alternative. Reloads are free, plus, you’ll earn SCENE Points that can be used towards free stuff like movie tickets. There is a $10 purchase fee, $10 annual fee, and the balance is capped at $2,400.
STACK Prepaid Mastercard
A STACK prepaid card and the STACK mobile app is all you need to start buying Bitcoin online. The biggest benefit of the Stack Prepaid card is that there are no regular monthly fees attached. The app comes with a digital card, digital wallet, and reload your balance with an Interac e-Transfer (among other options). Not only are there no fees, you can actually earn money with this prepaid card, by sharing your purchases on the Stack World Stream and/or referring your friends.
Gift Cards – Non-Reloadable
Gift Cards aren’t just great for gift-giving. They provide the perfect medium for buying just about anything online, including Bitcoin. They can be purchased in a wide range of denominations, and their value never expires (unless otherwise specified – read the fine print!).
The biggest difference between a prepaid debit card and a gift card is that you can’t load additional funds on a gift card. Once it’s all used up, you simply throw it away.
How to Buy Bitcoin with a Gift Card
The process of using gift cards to buy Bitcoin will depend greatly on where and who you’re buying it from. With a traditional crypto trading platform, you’ll choose your gift card from the list of payment methods, enter the card details, and confirm he purchase.
If you’re using a P2P trading platform like Paxful, once you’ve chosen your gift card from the payment list, you’ll be shown a list of sellers who accept your type of gift card. If none are available, you can initiate a trade by offering up your card as payment. If anyone is interested in trading Bitcoin for your gift card, they can take you up on the offer. The good news is that hundreds of gift cards are elgiible (see Specialty Gift Cards for Buying Bitcoin at Paxful below). The bad news is, you may or may not get any bites.
List of Gift Cards You Can Buy Bitcoin With
The following is a list of all known gift cards that can be used to purchase Bitcoin and other altcoins. I’m not providing descriptions for these, because they all pretty much work the same way. I am, however, splitting this into two sections.
The first, and remarkably smaller section, refers to gift cards that you can use to buy Bitcoin at pretty much any crypto exchange. The second is a list of gift cards specifically available for users of the popular Paxful.com Crypto Exchange. Paxful accepts over 400 methods of payment, including standard (first list) and brand-centric (second list) gift cards (i.e. Paxful accepts both lists.)
Standard Gift Cards for Buying Bitcoin Online
Specialty Gift Cards for Buying Bitcoin at Paxful
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About the Author
Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.