3 Cheapest Ways to Buy Bitcoins in Canada


Looking for cheap Bitcoins, huh? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

As of October 2017, there are three simple ways to save the most on your Bitcoin purchases with your Canadian bank account.

1.5% Exchange Fee with Interac Online

The absolutely cheapest way to purchase Bitcoins in Canada is through Interac Online on QuadrigaCX, at 1.5%. Coinsquare also provides this service, but at higher percentage (3.5%).

Interac Online is tricky to get. First off, your debit card needs to have the Interac Online logo, but without Visa debit. During an online transaction, your bank card will automatically differ to Visa debit over Interac Online, making it impossible to purchase Bitcoins using Interac Online. At the moment, only TD, Scotiabank, and RBC are the only major banks to still provide them, and in some cases, the branch will refuse to give you the debit cards without the Visa debit logo. There are credit unions that offer Interac Online as well – you may want to check here to see if it includes it, and follow up at your local branch.

It’s also important to note that you’ll need to verify your identity with QuadrigaCX and Coinsquare before being able to make this super inexpensive Bitcoin purchase. That means you’ll need to provide a copy of your Driver’s License/ID, proof of address (utility bills, etc), and a photo of yourself holding up your ID. It’s annoying, but necessary because of Canada’s anti-laundering laws.

The neat thing? Purchases using Interac Online are (typically) instant. I only say typically because there’s never a guarantee when dealing with the relationship between banks and exchanges.

2.5% Exchange Fee with Electronic Funds Transfer (E-Transfer)

The next inexpensive route for Bitcoin purchases are Electronic Funds Transfer (or E-Transfers). Probably one of the most popular ways to electronically transfer cash between Canadians, using E-Transfer to buy Bitcoins nets a 2.5% exchange fee with QuadrigaCX, and 5% on Coinsquare.

Without Interac Online, E-Transfer is your next best match – not without its own caveats. Verification is also required for this payment method, as well as an extra layer of verification from Equifax if signing up through QuadrigaCX.

It also takes 3-5 business days to receive your Bitcoins, which is a much slower route. But hey, if you’re looking to save a buck, it will always come at a cost in most cases.

4.49% Exchange Fee with Visa or Mastercard Debit

Okay, so in the above cases, there will be people who do not have access to an Interac Online compatible debit card, and either despite the heavy verification process or the payment delays of E-Transfers. Your next cheapest option is Coinbase.

While it certainly is the most expensive of the bunch, it’s still relatively easy. Coinbase allows Canadians to buy using their Visa or Mastercard debit without verification. You’re limited to $200 CAD per week of purchases to start, but there are plenty of ways to increase your limit.

However if you’re looking to sell your Bitcoin, you may want to look elsewhere. Coinbase doesn’t allow the sale of Bitcoins on their exchange, which means you’ll have to move your coins off to either QuadrigaCX or Coinsquare to sell it – after verification of course.

For the advanced users, I left out wire transfers and bank deposits. While I know they’re easily the cheapest-est way, I felt that those new to cryptocurrency may find the learning curve even more steep. Wire transfers from QuadrigaCX are free of fees with a 2-5 business day turnaround time, while Coinsquare is 0.5% with a 1 business day processing time. However neither including bank wire fees, which obviously need to be considered when purchasing.

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