Bitrefill is slightly different from your average cryptocurrency website. The aim of the website is simple: to make living with cryptocurrency as easy as possible.
Right now, making purchases from cryptocurrency is rather difficult. Sure, more and more websites are accepting crypto payments every day, but there is still a long way to go. Bitrefill attempts to solve this problem by letting you purchase gift cards from cryptocurrency.
So, does the site work as intended? What about the fees? And should you use this website from a privacy and security standpoint? We cover all this and more in our Bitrefill review.
Summary: What is Bitrefill?
The primary purpose behind Bitrefill is to make everyday life easier for crypto users. There are still thousands of major websites out there that do not let you pay in crypto. For those that are fully invested in it, this can be a pain as they may need to convert the crypto into USD before making the purchase.
With Bitrefill, the process is streamlined a little bit. You can directly purchase a gift card from a supported store and use that gift card to make further purchases.
When it comes to the catalog of gift cards available, it is doubtful that you will have any trouble with Bitrefill. Almost everything is available. Not only can you shop on massive stores such as Amazon, but you can also purchase cards for smaller stores (and even games such as PUBG Mobile). Just remember that the gift cards you can purchase depending on the country that you belong to, and the selection may be limited in select countries.
From purchasing flights to purchasing food, Bitrefill can essentially make it easy for you to live without fiat currency. It also has a lightning network that can allow you to open a channel between you and another person (e.g. an online seller) and transfer crypto almost instantaneously to them.
The amount of cryptocurrencies that Bitrefill supports is not that high, but it supports the major ones. You can make purchases on the platform using Bitcoin, LiteCoin, Ethereum, Tether ERC20, Dash, and Dogecoin.
Of course, using the service is not free. Bitrefill charges between 2-3% of the amount spent on each transaction as a service fee. It is up to you to determine whether the convenience that you get with Bitrefill is worth spending the service charges on. In our opinion, it is!
Before we dive into the details about the legitimacy and security of the website, let’s take a look at everything you can do on the Bitrefill website:
- Purchase gift cards from thousands of stores (depending on your country).
- Pay your phone bill directly to the carrier.
- Use the lightning channels to instantly send and receive crypto (remember that you will need a lightning wallet).
- Orders are processed instantly (as soon as the payment is confirmed).
- Support for multiple cryptocurrencies and over 170 countries.
- iOS and Android apps to make purchases on the go.
Remember that you cannot purchase cryptocurrency on the Bitrefill website. This is just a store where you can purchase various services and pay for them using one of the supported cryptocurrencies.
Is Bitrefill Legit?
Reading some of the online user reviews of the platform, we wouldn’t blame you if you thought that Bitrefill is a scam. A lot of users complain about not getting their gift cards, or getting the wrong gift card instead.
However, that could not be farther from the truth. In our experience, all of the gift cards that we purchased worked incredibly well and without any hiccups.
The transactions were confirmed as quickly as you would expect them to be confirmed. Unless there was a network slowdown, we had the gift cards that we needed within a few minutes. This was confirmed by many online reviews as well, as users who had been experiencing the service for years said they had not experienced any slowdowns.
Furthermore, another proof of Bitrefill being legit is the fact that the gift cards offered by the service are not purchased from an online retailer. Instead, the company partners with companies and stores whose gift cards it sells. Considering the fact that it is currently partnered with over 1600 stores, it is difficult to think of Bitrefill as a scam.
Bitrefill Supported Countries
When Bitrefill initially launched, it was supported in 113 countries. The number has been growing constantly as the developers have worked to add support for more and more countries. Today, the total number of countries supported by the platform is over 170, and the number is still increasing.
While you can use Bitrefill virtually no matter where you are in the world, what you can purchase may vary. For example, if Amazon doesn’t support the country where you live, you will not be able to purchase an Amazon gift card through Bitrefill in that country either.
Amazon is not alone in this regard. Those living in smaller countries may only be able to purchase gift cards from a handful of stores, whereas those in developed nations will have access to over a thousand stores (at the very least).
The platform also supports numerous languages. Currently, it supports English, Spanish, Russian, French, Deutsch, Vietnamese, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean. The list of supported languages has also been increasing since the inception of the platform in 2014, so more languages will almost certainly be added in the future.
Privacy: Is Bitrefill Anonymous?
Since 2014, Bitrefill has not reported a single data-breach or hack. On top of that, they stay true to the nature of crypto websites by not collecting any more data than they need to at the time of registration.
The best part about the platform is the fact that you do not even need to register to make purchases. You can simply make the payment to the specified address and receive your gift card.
However, registering with Bitrefill does allow you access to extra features, and makes certain things such as accessing customer support a lot easier. Based on what we have seen, Bitrefill does not do anything fishy with your data, and it is safe to register on their website.
There are no requirements for any KYC or AML compliance because Bitrefill does not function as a financial institution. Instead, it is just a store that adheres to the same guidelines that other stores are required to adhere to in the European Union (the company is based in Stockholm, Sweden).
Those guidelines specify that a store cannot divulge the personal details of its customers. As such, it is highly unlikely that Bitrefill is sharing any of your personal info even if you create an account.
When it comes to supported stores, Bitrefill has pretty much everything you could think of. Sure, you may not find a local store or a small chain on the platform, but it is hard to imagine that you won’t be able to make almost all of the purchases that you usually make through Bitrefill gift cards.
Apart from supporting major retailers such as Amazon, you will also be able to find gift cards for individual stores such as Adidas.
Not only that, but it is also easy for you to purchase groceries, auto parts, and almost anything else that you may need during the course of your day. Need to purchase a card for your favorite game? Bitrefill has it! Looking for a place to sleep when traveling? Bitrefill has you covered as it partners with Airbnb too.
As stated earlier, the only thing that you should be worried about is the services that Bitrefill supports in your country. If you live in the US, Canada, or the European Union, this will not be a problem as Bitrefill will allow you to access almost the entire catalog of its supported stores.
However, those living in other areas such as the Middle East, India, or Africa may want to look at the list of supported stores before they begin using Bitrefill. Simply head over to the Bitrefill homepage and enter your country on the top left of the page to see which gift cards you can purchase with the service.
Lastly, the maximum buying limit also varies across various stores. For example, the maximum limit of a single purchase of the Amazon.com gift card is $2000, whereas it is £5000 for the Amazon.co.uk gift card. Thankfully, these are just transactional limits, and you can make multiple transactions if you wish.
How to Use Bitrefill
Using Bitrefill is incredibly simple. However, you need to first decide if you want to register with the service or not (read the aforementioned section on privacy).
If you register with the service, you will need to provide some basic info such as your e-mail address. Create your username and password and confirm your e-mail before moving ahead with your first purchase.
Regardless of whether you register an account or not, the method of using the service is the same. Go to the Bitrefill website and click on the gift card that you want to purchase. Click to confirm your order, after which you will be taken to the payment page.
Remember that due to the volatility of the currencies, your rate is locked in for 15 minutes only. After that, you will be offered a different rate which could be higher or lower. There will be a 2-3% markup by Bitrefill for their services, and this does not include the transaction fees that will be charged to send the crypto.
Lastly, remember that you can send the Bitcoin either through the Lightning channel or through the standard Bitcoin network. The Lightning network will be much quicker, but it will also require a lightning wallet. The standard network will usually still get you the first confirmation within 10 minutes (in the case of Bitcoin, the timing of other coins will vary as per their network speeds), but the transaction could be delayed for up to 24 hours in the case of a network slowdown.
For the longest time, this has been the one flaw in an otherwise great service. In fact, if you read the online reviews, most of the people giving negative reviews on Bitrefill did not have a problem with the service itself, but rather how long it took for the customer support team to solve their queries.
The major problem is with the time it takes for you to receive a reply. In our experience, the customer support team even failed to reply to one of our queries entirely (well, it has been a week and we have not heard back). This can lead to problems, especially when you consider that people are spending large amounts of money on Bitrefill and it is possible for them to lose those funds if things go wrong.
That said, not everything is terrible here. Queries do eventually get resolved, even if they take a little bit of time. On top of that, Bitrefill has a very detailed FAQ that can help you get started with using the service and any basic problem that you may be experiencing.
Lastly, you also have the option to request a product to be added to the Bitrefill catalog. Bitrefill does not guarantee that they will add the product, but they do state that they use the requests for their research on how to make the service better.
Bitrefill Review: Conclusion
Overall, Bitrefill is a great service that can help you complete the switch from fiat currency to crypto. The service is quick, reliable, and very useful. As long as you keep two things in mind, Bitrefill will be able to make life a lot simpler for crypto enthusiasts.
The first thing that you must do is make sure that the service supports major retailers in your country. If it doesn’t, then you may need to hold onto fiat currency for just a little bit longer. Secondly, you should completely understand the process of using the service so that you don’t make any mistakes. This is mainly because the support will probably take a long time to fix any problem that you may have.
Barring these two problems, Bitrefil is a completely safe and anonymous (especially if you don’t register) way for you to purchase gift cards from over 1600 retailers. The fees are moderate, and you can also use their lightning network to quickly transfer Bitcoin if you wish.