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The Best Crypto On-ramps To Purchase Crypto

Compare the best crypto on-ramps, and learn how, when and why to use them!

Patrick Manfra
Optimize Your Family Savings Account

Cryptocurrency On And Off Ramps: The Complete Guide

If you want to buy crypto but don’t want to use a centralized exchange, there is another option: buying through a crypto on-ramp. While centralized exchanges are accessible, they hold your crypto in custodial accounts that are not ideal for some users.

This is where on-ramps come in. An on-ramp is a service that allows you to convert your fiat currency into crypto quickly and often with less hassle than an exchange. They also usually enable more payment options, including PayPal and credit cards, while most exchanges will only allow you to deposit money through a bank.

When you buy crypto through an on-ramp, it is sent directly to your private wallet rather than being stored in a custodial account. This gives you direct control of your tokens and allows you to interact with decentralized applications directly.

There are many different types of on-ramps available. Some are geared towards beginners and offer simple solutions, others are for businesses, and some provide complex features for advanced users. 

Given there are many on-ramps you might use, let’s discuss some common questions that you may have about using them.

What is an on-ramp?

An on-ramp is a service that lets you buy crypto with fiat currency. This process is called “on-ramping.” The reverse process of turning crypto into fiat is called “off-ramping.” On and off-ramps are typically faster than exchanges but may cost slightly more. Some major on-ramps include Moonpay, Changelly, Transak, and Ramp, which we will discuss more in-depth later. These services differ in various ways, including the fees they charge, cryptocurrencies they offer, and payment methods they support. 

Their benefit over traditional exchanges is that they allow you to bypass custodial accounts and send your coins directly to a private wallet. They are also much faster. While it may take five or more business days to transfer money into an exchange, a good on-ramp can have cryptocurrencies in your private wallet in 10 minutes or less.

You may also see on-ramps on various crypto-related sites. For example, some websites integrate crypto on-ramps into their website to make it easier for you to use their product. Websites with on-ramps have widgets that allow users to purchase crypto directly on their site.

Why would I want to use an on-ramp?

The cryptocurrency world moves fast. The price of your favorite cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, may fall 10% in an hour just to go back up overnight. In moments like these, an on-ramp becomes useful.

When you use an on-ramp, you can get into the market more quickly than if you tried to buy the cryptocurrency through an exchange. Some exchanges have built-in on-ramps, while others allow you to use a third-party service like Moonpay or Transak. On-ramps are also very easy to use compared to typical centralized exchanges.

The Best Crypto On-ramps

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When it comes to an application handling your money, the most important thing is that it works. Onramps do have fees, but that shouldn't scare you away, and you shouldn't necessarily always shop for the cheapest option.

While it does make sense to save on fees if you can, the most important part of a crypto on-ramp is that it delivers on its promise. Therefore, you will want to stick with a reputable on-ramp that has good reviews and a demonstrated history of success.

The most popular crypto on-ramps are:

Each of these on-ramps is run by a professional organization with a reputation they want to uphold. While you can expect to incur fees through these on-ramps, you can trust that you will receive the tokens you purchase quickly.

How To Buy Crypto With an On-ramp

The answer to this question may vary slightly based on which on-ramp you are using, but generally, they all follow the same process.

First, select your on-ramp of choice, then enter the amount you want to spend. Most on-ramps typically have daily or weekly limits, but you can verify your identity to increase these limits. This is because once you verify your identity, there is less risk in selling crypto using your credit card since they know it is your card and you are the one authorizing the transaction. 

Next, choose which crypto you want to buy. Generally, all on-ramps support Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC, but many also support dozens more. 

Finally, enter the wallet address where you want to receive the tokens. Unlike centralized exchanges, onramps do not hold your crypto for you. Instead, they send it directly to your own private wallet. The most common wallets include Metamask, the Coinbase wallet, and Electrum. Once you have set up a private wallet, you can use it with a crypto on-ramp.

After this, you can continue buying crypto seamlessly. If your payment is successful, the on-ramp will send your crypto to your wallet and charge your card. 

What is the cheapest on-ramp?

The cheapest on-ramp will depend on the payment method you use. For example, Transak is among the cheapest if you buy with EUR or GBP, but Changelly is more affordable with USD.

Here is a list of the most popular on-ramps and their associated fees. Click on the links to see more details about the fees charged. 

MoonpayBelow $140 purchase: $4.99 + 3.5% ; Above $140: 7% 
Transak3.5% for EUR & GBP, 5.5% for other currencies
Ramp2.9% fees on credit card purchases, 1.9% on bank transfers
Wyre2.9% + 30c
Onramper1% plus underlying platform fees

As you can see, the fees vary depending on which on-ramp you use and how their service works. Onramper, for example, is not actually an on-ramp; it is an on-ramp aggregator (or a search engine for on-ramps). They take your search parameters and find the best on-ramp for your purchase. This makes them an ideal choice if you don’t mind which service you use and have a compatible payment method.

Are on-ramps safe?

On-ramps are generally safe. Most are registered companies, so they have no reason to scam you. However, checking out their website and social media presence is always essential to ensure that the on-ramp you chose is legitimate. You should also read their reviews to see if customers are generally satisfied with their service.

The on-ramps listed above are vetted and have been in service for years. Other services not found here may be cheaper or offer more variety, but be careful with unknown on-ramps. They could be unsafe or have hidden fees. 

Once you receive your cryptocurrency in your wallet, there is no more risk. On-ramps have no way of hacking your private crypto wallet, so they are safe to use if you trust them enough to give them your credit card number.

Should you use an on-ramp to buy crypto?

On-ramps can provide an easy way to get cryptocurrencies on-chain but frequently have higher fees than exchanges. Compared to CoinbaseBinance, or Kucoinwhere fees are usually around 0.6%, on-ramps have their tradeoffs.

An on-ramp is an excellent tool if you want to purchase cryptocurrencies quickly, want an effortless experience, or don’t want to use a custodial account. However, if you don’t mind waiting and don’t want to have a private wallet, centralized exchanges may be a better option for you. They are also usually cheaper.

Most on-ramp services are reliable and quick, making them good options for many users. They also support credit card payments, which many exchanges don’t support. In short, on-ramps are versatile tools many investors may want to take advantage of. If you decide to purchase crypto through an on-ramp, shop around or use Onramper for the lowest prices!

Patrick Manfra
Co-Founder & CEO

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