I bought bitcoin at a 7-Eleven in Manila and compared how much BTC costs at Coinbase vs. Coins.ph.

Okay fine, you don’t really buy bitcoin from 7-Eleven. Nooooo. Don’t leave! This isn’t clickbait!

Really though, all you need to do is to fund your Coins.ph account through 7-Eleven, then buy bitcoin right away using that money! And by right away, I mean like… instantly. Because right when you pay at 7-Eleven, that money appears in your Coins.ph account within seconds.

Now that I’ve given my disclaimer for potential haterz, I can now cover essential information you need to know before trying this out.

The spread is pretty steep. Plus there’s a 2% transaction fee.

To give you a better picture of what I’m saying, I painstakingly put together a comparison table of how much BTC I’d get if I bought it from Coinbase, the most popular place to buy bitcoin in the US versus if I bought it from Coins.ph, the most popular place to buy bitcoin in the Philippines.

I’m using the same amount of money: ₱4,590 (because my smart self didn’t just buy a simple round number like ₱5,000) and the USD equivalent of it which is $91.8 with a USD/PHP rate of $1 = ₱50).

For reference, the prices below are based on my purchase date which was on January 2, 2018.

Coinbase Coins.ph
Bitcoin Price in USD as seen on their websites’ dashboards $13,621.95 $14,815
Buy Spread ~$80 (dashboard price vs. actual buy price) ~$1,400 (Coinbase’s actual buy price vs. Coins.ph’s dashboard price)
Transaction Fee ▪️3.84% for credit card buys worth $100 or more (instant)*
▪️2.99% for bank transfer buys (7-10 day delay)*
▪️2% fee for cashing in ₱101 – ₱20,000 via 7-Eleven
▪️Flat fee of ₱40 for amounts greater than ₱4,000 via bank transfer
(see more info re: Coins.ph fees)
Starting Fiat Amount $91.8 (₱4,590 in USD) ₱4,590 (₱4,500 + ₱90 for the 2% 7-Eleven fee)
How much BTC you’ll instantly get for $91.8 or ₱4,500 (USD/PHP at 50) 0.00644253
(With a 3.5% Coinbase fee*, your $91.8 is only able to buy $88.30 worth of BTC)
0.00607464
(Your ₱4,590 – technically just ₱4,500 because you gave ₱90 to 7-Eleven – is now just worth ₱4,319 because Coins.ph uses the sell price instead of the buy price after you’ve bought. That’s a ~₱30,000 spread)
Actual bitcoin price you’re getting including fees + spread $14,249.06 ($91.8 / amount of BTC) $15,112.00 ($91.8 / amount of BTC)

 

So really, the actual bitcoin price difference between Coinbase and Coins.ph for a $91 purchase is about $862.94 or 6%.

 

That’s like going to a currency exchange booth and seeing that your $1,000 is only worth ₱47,000 instead of ₱50,000.

Looking at both Coins.ph and Coinbase’s dashboard prices, you’ll assume the difference is about $1,193. But after all the fees and the buy spread that you don’t see right off the bat, the difference is actually not all that huge. Okay okay, it’s still a lot but at least it’s not over $1,000.

You can pay lower fees if you choose a cash-in method other than 7-Eleven.

I picked 7-Eleven as my method for cashing in because I wanted to be able to convert it to bitcoin immediately. That and my GCash account isn’t really set up yet.

However, if you already have GCash, this is your best option. It gets transferred instantly and only costs ₱40 for transfers worth ₱4,000 or more – unlike the 2% that 7-Eleven tacks on. Again, you can check out Coins.ph’s fees.

If you don’t have GCash but also want to pay the lowest amount of fees, another option is doing a bank transfer via UnionBank. Note that you don’t necessarily need a UnionBank account. You can just use the Cash Deposit option and they’ll give you the info you need (account number, name, account type) to take to UnionBank.

If you’re just about to create your coins.ph account, please use my referral code when signing up so you can get ₱50! I get ₱50, too!

Want to buy bitcoin at a 7-Eleven? Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A Coins.ph account. If you’re cashing in more than ₱2,000 and want to eventually cash out, you’ll need to verify your account. It takes about a day or so to get verified. And yes, it is safe and is only part of their KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) processes.
  2. Philippine pesos.
  3. Access to a nearby 7-Eleven branch.

Step 1: Using either the Coins.ph website or app, choose your cash-in method.

Pick 7-Eleven. Also, make sure you’re selecting your Peso Wallet and not your BTC wallet. Coins.ph currently doesn’t allow you to buy BTC directly.

Coins.ph Cash In Screen

Step 2: Add the amount you want to cash in.

Make sure to check how much money will end up in your account if you include the 7-Eleven transaction fee.

Coins.ph Confirmation Screen

Step 3: Print or take a screenshot of the 7-Connect barcode.

You can also just go to your Coins.ph app on your smartphone when you’re at the 7-Eleven branch but to be safe, take a screenshot in case you lose internet connection by the time you get to 7-Eleven. If you forgot to print or take a screenshot and can’t find the barcode, just go to the History section on your Coins.ph app/website dashboard.

Coins.ph 7Connect Barcode

Step 4: Go to your favorite 7-Eleven branch within the allotted time.

You only get a certain number of hours to complete your payment after you’re given the barcode. Go past it and your order will be cancelled so make sure to go within the time frame given to you.

Once you’re at the 7-Eleven branch, tell them you’re making a “7-Connect” payment. They will know what this is and will ask for your barcode and scan it.

7Connect Coins.ph
Here’s what you’ll see when the 7-Eleven staff scans your barcode

Step 5: Pay the amount.

You’ll get a receipt. Keep it as your souvenir.

7Eleven Coins.ph Receipt

Step 6: Once your money is in your Coins.ph account — which should be there in like a minute, go to your Coins.ph peso wallet and choose “Convert.”

Convert pesos to bitcoins

Step 7: Choose the amount you want to convert to bitcoin and voila!

Peso to BTC Conversion

Your pesos is probably worth less now lol.

But don’t worry, you still have the same amount of bitcoin from when you initially converted. It’s just that Coins.ph uses the sell price on your account after you’ve converted your pesos to bitcoin. The value was higher before you converted because they used the buy price. I checked and it looks like the buy/sell spread is around ₱30,000. Ouch.

Hopefully bitcoin rises so your money also grows!

If this story makes you feel any better, I bought my ₱4,590 worth of BTC (including the 7-Eleven fee) last January 2 and as of this writing it is worth ₱4,939.36. It could also be worth a lot less in the coming days.

Other ways of buying bitcoin?

The fees and the spread from Coins make it really expensive to buy bitcoin this way. I’ve read some people say that they’ve made so much money from their initial bitcoin purchase that they don’t really mind this.

But if this is something you’re concerned about, a lot of people have told me that the best option people go for nowadays is through peer-to-peer transactions. Other options I’ve seen people recommend include the bitcoin ATM (which I’ll be writing about soon!), buybitcoin.ph, and Abra.

If you’ve found cheaper ways to buy bitcoin in the Philippines, let me know in the comments section!

*The Coinbase rates change depending on age of account. On their website it says 3.99% but my account, which is a bit older, gets 3.84%. Please note that your transaction fee may be different.


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9 thoughts

  1. purchased my BTC and a side of Ripple on iqoptions.com using paymaya. Basically just loaded my paymaya account used that to transact. EZPZ

  2. I believe Cebuana charges a fixed P40.00 tx fee regardless of the amount to cash-in and is instantly credited to your account.

  3. Just found this post thru reddit and it really helps, thanks a lot!

    Btw, I love your posts here. Great finds indeed hahahaha! 🙂

    1. Haha! Para may silbi naman yung pinagaaksayahan ko ng oras at pera lol. (Talking about you, CryptoKitties!)

      Thank you for leaving a comment! Appreciate it! <3

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