How to buy Ethereum (for the first time ever)

Feel confident enough to try yourself in crypto? Figure out where you stand and click through the table of contents!

I am ready to invest in ETH, or am I?

I want to buy ETH with my credit card

OMG, I am about to trade my first ETH on a real crypto exchange

I am ready to invest in ETH, or am I?

Hi there, Mr. Enthusiastico! You remember that haste makes waste, don’t you? Down below you will find all the wrong reasons to invest in ETH.

  • I’ve heard of the 2017 hype in crypto markets and I’m about to become an overnight millionaire. Yay!
  • I am a bright young thing and need ETH to go shopping online
  • Crypto is an improved version of traditional banking. I want to convert all my money to crypto!
  • Cryptocurrencies? Please. I’ve traded assets on traditional venue platforms, there’s nothing new under the sky.
  • Hey, in comparison to all those dorks showing off out there, I’m a serious person. I am not rich. I need to invest in crypto to make both ends meet.

Important! => If one of the reasons listed above sounds even a little bit like you, please, stop reading this piece and do some research first, OK? For example, you might want to explore our blog on the story of crypto in only 10 words. And just so you know, we’ve all have begun somewhere, we get it. You’ll see for yourself when you’re ready to buy your first ETH! Good luck for now!

Down below you will find all the right reasons to invest in ETH.

  • I’ve airdropped a certain amount of ERC-20 tokens and want to convert it to fiat
  • It would be nice to transfer money to another country and to pay low fees
  • My colleague/friend/business partner has got an ICO, I’d like to invest
  • ETH looks like a trust-worthy crypto asset to invest in on a long-term basis
  • I want to make my first trade on an exchange and I am ready to lose one or more ETH for educational purposes

I want to buy ETH with my credit card

If you’re an ultimate beginner who wants to buy and then transfer ETH to another wallet for the first time, really, you don’t have much of a choice.

Coinbase is the easiest and safest option for you to go. The platform is designed to be very intuitive and convenient for all new-comers. Still and all, that convenience comes with the price tag, namely, high fees.


  • Say, you’re in the USA and want to buy $1000 worth of ETH with the bank transfer. That would charge you with $14,90 or 1,49% fee. Meaning, you will have to pay $1,014.
  • If you want to buy $1000 worth of ETH with a credit card, that would charge you with $39 or 3.99% fee. Meaning, you will have to pay $1,039.

Pros include: easier to use than an exchange; faster than most exchanges; responses from support within 24-72 hours; backed up by Blockchain Capital (VC) and Alexis Ohanian (Reddit Co-Founder); there is also the mobile app.

Cons include: verification up to 10 business days; the website monitors how you spend your crypto, thus, if you use DarkNet, Coinbase might easily block you.


  • USA: Bank Account (ACH), Credit & Debit Card, Wire Transfer
  • Europe: SEPA Transfer, 3D Secure Card

But what if you’re a newbie and yet, Coinbase doesn’t operate in your country? CEX.IO is the best way for you to go.


As soon as you get engaged with USD, EUR etc, you’re obliged to comply with KYC/AML regulations. CEX.IO, as much as Coinbase, is not an exception to this rule. That’s why both exchanges require such an extensive verification procedure. So don’t be surprised.

Important! => To verify your account in the easiest way possible, start using CEX.IO by installing mobile app.

  • If you trade on their exchange, the fee to buy ETH would be 0-0.25%
  • If you want to facilitate an instant buy, that would cost you 7% (this is a pricey, yet, a highly recommended feature for ultimate beginners)

Pros include: beginner-friendly, verification up to 2-3 business days, much larger deposit limits when using your credit card than with Coinbase.

Cons include: higher fees than with Coinbase; some parts of the USA might be restricted.


  • Credit card: deposit fee ~3,5%; withdrawal fee ~ $3.8 + 1.2%;
  • Bank transfer: deposit fee ~ 0%; withdrawal fee ~$50;

OMG, I am about to trade my first ETH on a real crypto exchange

If you want to educate yourself on crypto trading and ready to lose two or three ETH, these three venues would easily help you  get short of cash:

  1. Gemini is good to go if you want to withdraw/deposit with bank transfer/wire transfer and live in the U.S., Puerto Rico, The U.K., South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore.
  2. Kraken is good to go if you don’t live in Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, Tajikistan. When using international wire transfer or SEPA bank transfer, you can basically trade from everywhere.
  3. Coinbase Pro (former GDAX) is only available in Europe, the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, Singapore

We don’t have a crystal ball (not yet) and cannot say if you’re from the States or India, but let’s say Gemini is your choice of preference. Assuming that you’re an ultimate first-timer, this is a good spot to start.

Gemini offers clear visuals and beginner-friendly interface, good to go either it’s your first trade with ETH or BTC. Check this out.


Courtesy of Investing Apps TV

  • Want to buy more than $50 worth of crypto? That would cost you 0.5%
  • If you want to grab a hold of more than $500 worth of crypto, that would cost you 0.25%
  • Have some money to spend? More than $5000 worth of crypto would cost you 0.15%

Important! => Note that the Gemini fee system favours those who make lots of trades rather than those that just want to make one buy order. It will work for you if you plan to trade more often.

Pros include: user-friendly; customer support; first 30 BTC withdrawals made each month are free;

Cons include: goes offline at times of extremely high volume; only ETH or BTC; tiring verification process.

Final thoughts

Before rushing into anything and investing huge amounts of money, sleep on it. But let’s say, you’ve chosen one venue that suits you fine. What’s next? First of all, watch at least 3 YouTube tutorials on this venue, then, read FAQ and, finally, go google for a couple of comments on Reddit. That would give you a picture of what’s happening out there.

With that said, good luck to you and keep it real!

The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice


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