We previously covered buying cryptocurrencies with no fees using the Coinbase and GDAX method. If you live in the UK however there is an additional step you may wish to take to avoid the SEPA International banking fees. In this article we will discuss why these fees exist and how to work around them to buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as cheaply as possible.
What is SEPA?
The additional fees you will face as a UK resident are not from Coinbase but likely to come from your bank. This is because bank transfers into Coinbase use SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area transfers). SEPA is a fancy way of saying any bank transfers within the Eurozone will happen as simply as they would with a domestic transfer. However since the UK uses Pounds instead of Euros a transfer is likely to be seen as an international bank payment, resulting in a fee of around £15 depending on the bank.
Additional to the administration fee for the SEPA transfer, you will also be charged a currency conversion fee for changing Pounds into Euros since Coinbase operates in Euros. There is however a workaround to this using the Revolut app.
What is Revolut?
Revolut is a banking app available for both the Android and iPhone. This nifty little app allows currency exchange at the inter-bank rate and free SEPA transfers. The inter-bank rate is normally available only between banks, so this means you’re getting currency exchange rates at the absolute best rate. If you’re thinking this is too good to be true where’s the catch there isn’t one, Revolut make their money by offering a Premium service which you pay £6 a month for a number of additional services. However, you don’t need the premium version for the steps that are going to be described today.
Buying UK Cryptocurrency without the banking fees
Investing in cryptocurrencies should be fun, but be sure you understand this site is not financial advice and the risks involved.
In short the process is as follows sign up to Revolut, transfer money to Revolut and convert to Euros, transfer money to Coinbase. We will now run through the process to get the free transfers into Coinbase below.
1 Get Revolut app
2 Sign up for the service
- Open the Revolut app on your phone and it will walk you through the following steps to get signed up :
- Enter your phone number
- Create passcode
- Enter name and date of birth
- Enter email address
- Create a passcode
3 Activate Euro account
- Sign into the Revolut app
- Select top up
- Click on the displayed currency and select Euros (EUR)
- Click select top-up method, bank transfer and you should then be prompted to activate your account
- This page shows an animation of the process
4 Transfer money to Revolut
- Open the app
- Click on Top up. Like in the screenshot above
- Choose your GBP account
- Select top up method, and click Bank Transfer. In this screen take a note of your Revolut sort code and account number
- Login to your standard UK bank account and make a transfer to Revolut using the sort code and account details you made a note of in the last step
5 Exchange to Euros
- Open the app
- Click on Exchange
- Ensure the next screen shows an exchange between GBP and EUR, enter the number of pounds you wish to exchange and then click on exchange
6 Make transfer to Coinbase
- Logon to Coinbase. If you don’t already have a Coinbase account use this link and you will get an additional $10 worth of free Bitcoin when you buy $100 or more
- Then select accounts and your Euro wallet and click on deposit
- On the screen that appears make a note of the reference number and click continue
- Then enter the amount of Euros you will be sending across. You will be prompted to confirm that your bank account name is the same as your name on your Coinbase account. Make sure this is correct or the funds will not arrive, also make a note of all the recipient details. When you are happy click on continue
- Next head back to the Revolut app and click on the arrows button at the bottom of the screen labelled payments, then select send money to bank account and choose to add a beneficiary then select to a business
- Choose country Estonia and currency Euros. In the next screen add the beneficiary details and the verification code you took a note of
- Click on the Coinbase beneficiary you just created enter the value you want to send and add the reference number you took a note of and click transfer
- When you have sent it in Revolut, head back over to Coinbase and click I have sent the funds
- Deposits take about 2 days to hit Coinbase
7 Purchase Cryptocurrency
- We are going to use GDAX.com because it is cheaper than Coinbase fees
- Head on over to GDAX.com and click on sign in. Login with your Coinbase username and password. If you have two factor authentication setup use the same code as you would for Coinbase
- If you are logging in for the first time. It will then pop up with a box asking for your personal details. Name address, DOB etc and to confirm you agree to the conditons
- Depending on the ID you used to register for Coinbase it may then ask you for further ID.
- In GDAX click on the Euro exchange (BTC / EUR) at the top left of the screen where it says select product then click on deposit.
- Select Coinbase Account, enter the amount to transfer to GDAX and click deposit funds
- Select buy and enter the amount you wish to purchase in Euros and click place order this will cost 0.25%. This is a market order and is easiest and quickest
Getting started with Cryptocurrencies
Check out these articles to get you started on your journey into Cryptocurrencies: