Exchanges

Beginner’s Guide to CEX.IO: Complete Review

CEX.io is a Well Regulated Exchange with Lots of Payment Options and Fiat Trading
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CEX.IO was launched in 2013 in London and initially operated both as a Bitcoin exchange and cloud mining service.

At one stage its mining pool, known as Ghash.io, was one of the largest on the Bitcoin network, holding 42% of total mining power of the Bitcoin network.

However, in January 2015 the website closed its mining services which means that it now operates solely as a cryptocurrency exchange, allowing users to purchase and sell Bitcoin and a variety of other cryptocurrencies with credit or debit cards instantly.

The CEX platform offers cross-platform trading via website, mobile app (which is available on Android and iOS), WebSocket and Rest API.

CEX is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges currently operating. One of the primary reasons its popularity is that its website provides users with a very easy to use interface, making it ideal for beginners.

It also provides a multi-level account system that is customizable and suitable for both Bitcoin beginners and institutional traders.

The CEX Website

Visit CEX

How to Register on CEX

CEX is incorporated as a private limited company in the UK and is registered with the ICO in the UK and with FINCEN in the US.

It applies KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) policies, which requires users to verify their identity with CEX upon registration.

This verification involves providing CEX with an email address, telephone number, setting up a password and then verifying both the telephone number and the email address before going to upload supporting ID documents.

CEX Signup

CEX provides for a two-factor authentication system, using either SMS, automated phone call or through the Google Authenticator app.

How to Purchase

CEX accepts VISA, MasterCard or virtual credit cards. Once registered and having verified their identity with CEX, users can buy Bitcoin or Ethereum using a credit or debit card, a wire transfer or, if they are in the EU, a SEPA transfer.

It is then simple for you to add your credit card or debit card to your account. Credit and debit card verification can take up to 48 hours but, once completed, you can purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum instantly through your CEX account.

Card verification requires users to take a selfie with their credit card, with the photo including a clear image of the user’s face and the relevant credit / debit card.

This photo should be in colour, of high resolution, and the file size should be no more than 15MB. Users should beware that if the quality of the selfie isn’t good enough for the CEX compliance officer, another selfie may be requested.

Buying Bitcoin
Buying Bitcoin

CEX does not disclose which external agencies they use to verify users’ identification.

However, they do state that user ID’s and credit card details are stored for at least five years after accounts are deleted. Once credit cards details are submitted, CEX submit a small verification charge to the credit or debit card.

ID Verification

In order to verify the card, users are required to enter the exact amount of this charge in USD. This charge is automatically refunded to users after verification is complete.

Users can also transfer funds by bank transfer. CEX currently accepts US dollars, Euros and Rubles. Fees for bank transfers in USD / EUR are a flat rate of $/€ 10.

CEX.IO clearly explains how its service works, with the below providing a summary of how to purchase cryptocurrency through the platform:

  • Once a trade is entered, CEX calculates the price of the trade and freezes that price for two minutes. Users then input how much (in fiat currency) Bitcoin or Ethereum they want to purchase at that price and are shown how much cryptocurrency they will receive.
  • Once users have pressed the Buy / Sell button, the CEX system will check the user’s account to ensure that they have sufficient funds to complete the transaction.
  • Once this process has been completed, CEX will complete the transaction, provided that the order can be fulfilled on conditions not worse than those agreed on.
  • Therefore, if the market has gone down, the trade will continue at the more favourable rate.
  • However, if the exchange rate has spiked in the intervening period since the trade is entered, the transaction will not be executed and the user will be notified.

How to Trade

Alongside easy purchasing of crypto, CEX also offers a more advanced trading screen for people who prefer to buy or sell that way.

Trading Screen
Trading Screen

It’s not advanced as some other exchanges but it’s easy to use and lets’ you trade in and out of crypto using fiat currencies: USD, EUR, GBP.

CEX Fees

CEX charges 3.5% plus $0.25 / £0.20 fees for credit card deposits to user’s accounts. Credit card purchases should be processed instantly once the card is verified. Some users have complained that these additional fees amount to ‘hidden charges’.

However, CEX states that the reason for this premium is to ensure that they will always be able to fulfil their orders, as they operate on a different premise to most exchanges in that they will fulfil orders at the offered rate with no exceptions (otherwise referred to as Fill-or-Kill orders).

The advantage of this format is that users are guaranteed that they will receive whatever has been agreed immediately and in full. However, other exchanges such as Bitstamp for example, require users to wait until a seller is willing to sell Bitcoin to the purchaser at the requested price. The upside is of CEX is therefore the guarantees and instant nature of the transaction, but these guarantees are subject to a premium price.

In addition, CEX charges a 7% service charge, which is included in the price of the cryptocurrency being offered on the exchange. However, this service charge is only applicable when users are purchasing directly from CEX. If a user is availing of the trading services, different fees are applicable.

Trading Fees

The basic fees for trades made on the CEX platform start at just 0.25%. However, higher fees are applicable if using credit or debit cards or making withdrawals to bank accounts.

They use the Taker / Maker model for trades on the platform, with the fees decreasing on volume as follows:

Trade Volume 30d, BTCTakerMaker
≤ 50.25%0.16%
≤ 300.23%0.15%
≤ 500.21%0.13%
≤ 1000.20%0.12%
≤ 2000.18%0.10%
≤ 10000.15%0.08%
≤ 30000.13%0.04%
≤ 60000.11%0.00%
> 60000.10%0.00%

 

Commentators have estimated the CEX’s exchange rates are within the mid-market rate, and is reasonable compared with other cryptocurrency exchanges (aside from the service charges).

Deposit / Withdrawal Fees

Fees for deposits and withdrawals are dependent on your chosen method and break down as follows:

CurrencyPayment methodDepositWithdrawal
USD
VISA 2.99%
Service charge:
up to 3% +$ 1.20
Commission:
up to $ 3.80
MasterCard 2.99%
Service charge:
up to 1.8% +$ 1.20
Commission:
up to 1.2% +$ 3.80
Bank transfer $ 0
0.3% +$ 25.00
ACH $ 0
$ 0
EUR
VISA 2.99%
€ 0
Service charge:
up to 3% +€ 1.50
Commission:
up to € 3.50
MasterCard 2.99%
Service charge:
up to 1.8% +€ 1.50
Commission:
up to 1.2% +€ 3.50
Bank transfer € 0
0.3% +€ 25.00
SEPA € 0
€ 0
GBP
VISA 2.99%
Service charge:
up to 3% +£ 2.10
Commission:
up to £ 2.90
MasterCard 2.99%
Service charge:
up to 1.8% +£ 2.10
Commission:
up to 1.2% +£ 2.90
Bank transfer £ 0
0.3% +£ 25.00
Faster Payments £ 0
£ 0
RUB
VISA 2.99%
Service charge:
0.5% +₽ 20.00
Commission:
2.5% +₽ 30.00
MasterCard 2.99%
Service charge:
0.5% +₽ 20.00
Commission:
2.5% + ₽ 30.00

CEX Limits

CEX offers users a range of different accounts, each of which provide different transaction limits. Upgrades can be a long process, but subsequent purchases with verified accounts are much quicker. The range of accounts available are as follows:

  • Identity Tier: per 1 transaction: min $ 20.00 / max $ 1,000.00 / daily up to $ 1,000.00 / monthly $ 3,000.00
  • Address Tier: per 1 transaction: min $ 20.00 / max $ 3,000.00 / daily up to $ 3,000.00 / monthly $ 30,000.00
  • Enhanced Tier: per 1 transaction: min $ 20.00 / max $ 10,000.00 / daily up to $ 10,000.00/ monthly $ 100,000.00
  • Corporate Tier:  per 1 transaction: min $ 20.00 / max $ 10,000.00 / daily up to $ 10,000.00 / monthly $ 100,000.00
Payment method limits
Payment method limits

In terms of withdrawals, CEX is one of the few exchanges that allow users to withdraw funds onto a credit or debit card. Their limits break down as follows:

Deposit limits

1

Commission:
2.99%
 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 1,000.00

daily up to $ 1,000.00

monthly $ 3,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 3,000.00

daily up to $ 3,000.00

monthly $ 30,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 10,000.00

daily up to $ 10,000.00

monthly $ 100,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 10,000.00

daily up to $ 10,000.00

monthly $ 100,000.00

2

Commission:
No commission
 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 300.00

max $ 200,000.00

daily $ 200,000.00

monthly $ 500,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 300.00

max unlimited

daily unlimited

monthly unlimited

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 300.00

max unlimited

daily unlimited

monthly unlimited

3

Commission:
No commission
 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 200,000.00

daily $ 200,000.00

monthly $ 500,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max unlimited

daily unlimited

monthly unlimited

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max unlimited

daily unlimited

monthly unlimited

 

Regarding withdrawals, here are there limits for each type:

Withdrawal Limits

1

Service charge:
up to 3% + $ 1.20
Commission:
up to $ 3.80
 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 1,000.00

daily up to $ 1,000.00

monthly $ 3,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 3,000.00

daily up to $ 5,000.00

monthly $ 30,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 5,000.00

daily up to $ 10,000.00

monthly $ 50,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 5,000.00

daily up to $ 10,000.00

monthly $ 50,000.00

2

Service charge:
up to 1.8% + $ 1.20
Commission:
up to 1.2% + $ 3.80
 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 1,000.00

daily up to $ 1,000.00

monthly $ 3,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 3,000.00

daily up to $ 5,000.00

monthly $ 30,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 5,000.00

daily up to $ 10,000.00

monthly $ 50,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 5,000.00

daily up to $ 10,000.00

monthly $ 50,000.00

3

Commission:
0.3% + $ 25.00
 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 300.00

max $ 50,000.00

daily $ 50,000.00

monthly $ 300,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 300.00

max $ 200,000.00

daily $ 200,000.00

monthly $ 1,000,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 300.00

max $ 200,000.00

daily $ 200,000.00

monthly $ 1,000,000.00

4

Commission:
No commission
 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max $ 200,000.00

daily $ 200,000.00

monthly $ 500,000.00

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max unlimited

daily unlimited

monthly unlimited

 

Recommended limits
per 1 transaction:

min $ 20.00

max unlimited

daily unlimited

monthly unlimited

Is CEX Safe?

CEX claims to use offline cold storage to store users’ funds, although it does not provide additional detail on where or how it undergoes this process. As stated previously, the platform offers two-factor authentication to ensure account protection which, although troublesome for some users, does ensure that accounts are secure.

CEX has suffered at least one hacking incident, although this occurred in 2013 when the exchange was in its infancy. The vulnerability was patched at that time, and there have been no reported security incidents since that time.

Supported Countries & States

CEX operates in most countries worldwide, other than those stated below:

  • The following countries are restricted for credit card purchases: Iceland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
  • The following countries are restricted from buying with bank transfer: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

CEX is registered in 24 US States, but is NOT supported in the following States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

CEX Customer Support

CEX is generally well-regarded for its customer support, which is not a traditional strongpoint of cryptocurrency exchanges.

It offers customer support through email as well as an extensive FAQ section.

Although many complaints can be found online about CEX’s customer support, it would appear from a number of tests we carried out that they are relatively responsive and do take the time to respond to criticism online.

Conclusion

In the past, CEX has had a mixed reputation within the cryptocurrency community, with it often being the target of bad publicity and poor reviews. Most of these negative comments result from complaints about perceived hidden fees in the service, the difficulties that some users have with verifying their identity or customer support issues.

Since we have updated this guide in 2020, their reputation has only increased with lots more favorable reviews online.

CEX is a well trusted exchange in our eyes, we have used them for years now with no problems and they are also well regulated – with the FCA in the UK and FINCEN in the US which should provide reassurance for people wishing to use them.

It’s user-friendly interface is ideal for beginners and it provides a quick and easy entrance into the world of cryptocurrency. It’s cross-platform application makes it easy to keep track of your account on the go.

CEX have continued to innovate with the addition of new cryptocurrencies, a more advanced trading platform and they are soon looking to add margin trading to the platform.

The account verification process can be a little cumbersome, but that is true with all top tier exchanges these days as regulations and laws around the world have tightened. This should also be seen as a plus point as you can be sure that they are abiding by the laws as any top exchange should do.

Although the main downside to CEX are the higher fees, it does remain a reliable exchange for purchasing and selling Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

They are one of a few exchanges that provide credit / debit card and fiat withdrawal options so if you are looking for this functionality you should definitely take a look at CEX.

Visit CEX

CEX

8.6

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Reputation

8.0/10

Fees

8.0/10

Customer Support

9.0/10

Payment Methods

9.0/10

Pros

  • Good Support
  • Easy to Use
  • Accepts Credit / Debit Cards
  • Easy Verification
  • Well Established

Cons

  • Higher Fees
  • Limited Currencies Available

CryptoCard

Avatar
Author

Andrew is a blogger and Technology and Corporate lawyer qualified in the UK and Ireland. He has extensive experience advising clients on Fintech, data privacy and intellectual property issues. He holds a Masters in Corporate Law and currently works with a fast-growing e-commerce company in Ireland, as well as advising other start-ups in the Fintech space. Contact andrewn@blockonomi.com

18 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Mark K Cohen Reply

    I have purchased bitcoin from them
    and they will not allow me to put those funds
    in a bitcoin wallet. I have emailed them 40x
    and spent sleepless nights not getting my
    money back do not work with them.

    • Avatar
      Oliver Dale Reply

      Have you tried tweeting them about your support ticket, they look to be pretty active on there and make sure you include your user ID – https://twitter.com/cex_io/with_replies

    • Avatar

      Hi Mark, have you had a response from CEX.IO, I like you and many others are having similar nightmares!

  2. Avatar
    Vladimir Kjahrenov Reply

    UPDATE: on 15.01.2018 WITHDRAW is still NOT ACCEPTED by cex_io e.g. it is 9 days and 6 days in pending mode (2 withdrawals). Somebody tell me that is so hard to check so many days ? So i wrote to support to cancel this withdraw but no answer at all !

    So my story again is the same: If you deposit from any source such as crytpo currency or fiat money anyhow 1-2 days later all deposited to your account BUT withdraw is not working not any way and any source! Withdrawal for fiat money does not work: i have tried VISA (estonia, on december worked well) , bank trasnfer (SEPA/SWIFT) and CryptoCapital do not accepted for withdrawal more than 9 days !!!! So money goes in but never leave cex_io! I

    My user id: up108968826

  3. Avatar

    NO WITHDRAW TO BANK ACCOUNT MORE THAN 20 DAYS!!!
    UPDATE: on 25.01.2018 WITHDRAW is still NOT REACHED MY BANK ACCOUNT !!! TOTALY SCAM !!!!
    I just visited my bank office and they said that they also cannot get this company by phone also they have been caled to the bank office in latvia (cex _ io have bank account for SEPA transfers) but latvian bank also can do nothing because company do not answer emails nor phone !
    UPDATE: on 15.01.2018 WITHDRAW is still NOT ACCEPTED by cex_io e.g. it is 9 days and 6 days in pending mode (2 withdrawals). Somebody tell me that is so hard to check so many days ? So i wrote to support to cancel this withdraw but no answer at all !
    So my story again is the same: If you deposit from any source such as crytpo currency or fiat money anyhow 1-2 days later all deposited to your account BUT withdraw is not working not any way and any source! Withdrawal for fiat money does not work: i have tried VISA (estonia, on december worked well) , bank trasnfer (SEPA/SWIFT) and CryptoCapital do not accepted for withdrawal more than 9 days !!!! So money goes in but never leave cex_io! I
    My user id: up108968826

  4. Avatar
    PAMPLONABRIT Reply

    Based on this review and others, I decided to use CEX.IO to start investing in cryptocurrencies. I did an initial £25 investment using a credit card and this worked well. I then did a further test, on 22nd April 2018, making a bank transfer of £1,000 from my bank in the UK to CEX.IO’s bank in Portugal. This money never arrived in my CEX.IO account. Since then I have sent numerous emails to CEX.IO’s support department. I received immediate and polite replies to all of my emails. However they did not actually do anything to find my money and I still do not have it. I also asked my bank to trace the remittance. My bank received no answers to their trace requests from CEX.IO’s bank.

    The reference numbers from CEX.IO are 779629 and 790791.

    I am reluctantly being forced to the conclusion that I am the victim of a scam and that CEX.IO have no intention of returning my money. I advise others to think carefully before using this exchange.

    • Avatar

      Dear PAMPLONABRIT,

      We are sorry to hear that the issue with your wire transfer still was not solved.

      We would like to emphasize that CEX.IO doesn’t use its own bank accounts and a payment should go through several financial institutions to be processed. Besides, the nature of cryptocurrency is still an unregulated feature within the bank industry and such transactions are subject for additional verifications. Thus, they are not always immediate.

      We do totally understand how frustrated you are. But we can tell for sure that our Finance team is working on your case and we put a high priority tag for your request in order to speed up the process. Please be sure that we remember about your issue and we will not give up your case until you receive your funds. we would like to highlight that such requests should be processed by the relevant department in order to guarantee the highest level of security of your personal data.

      Kindly advise you to wait for the email reply from our concerned department.

      Sorry for all the inconveniences.

  5. Avatar
    Senbernard Reply

    Have a pending bitcoin deposit since 2 weeks – they don’t even respond to my emails – very bad company ! They might be finished soon with there operations – time to get out !!

  6. Avatar

    Dear Senbernard,

    Thank you for your post.

    We are sorry to hear that you have an issue with bitcoin transaction.

    We would like to state that we are not planning to stop our activity

    Please be so kind to provide your user ID or ticket number, we will locate your case and try to help you.

    Waiting for a reply from you.

  7. Avatar

    I’ve never left any feedback in my life and this is my first one) about cex.io.
    I have been working with Cex.io since 2014. Think, 48 months is enough to share my experience with them. I started to work with cex.io when they had a mining service and GHS to trade and bitcoin cost $370. I had mining contracts, made deposits and withdraw a different amount of fiat and cryptocurrency (from several satoshis and USD, till 4 digit amounts). And never faced with any problem with this platform/xchange. Even used my cex.io wallets to keep crypto.
    I really appreciate their work and consider this exchange as one of the best and trustworthy crypto-related platforms.

    • Avatar

      Dear Art.Nik,

      We are very happy to hear about your feedback.

      We are trying hard to improve our platform and make it more suitable for customers so we really appreciate for sharing your experience.

      In case you will have any questions – feel free to contact us.

    • Avatar

      Dear Art.Nik,

      We are very happy to hear about your feedback.

      We are trying hard to improve our platform and make it more suitable for customers so we really appreciate for sharing your experience.

      In case you will further questions – feel free to contact us.

  8. Avatar

    They have serious problem with their Withdraw service for several months.
    Only high commission service is available!
    Please check their website and see if the service is Working before putting your money there otherwise you have to pay alot to get it back.
    Not recommended.

  9. Avatar

    Dear mas,
    Thank you for your post.

    We are sorry to hear you have faced a difficulty with withdrawing your funds.

    Please allow us to emphasize that the payment options are available on our platform, but some of them may be temporarily unstable. However, it doesn’t mean that they are not working at all.

    We would be glad to assist you with your concern, please provide us with your user ID or ticket number. You may also consider contacting our Help Centre via the following link: https://support.cex.io/hc/en-us/requests/new – our Support Agents work 24/7 for you.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  10. Avatar

    Hello,
    I invested around 4k eurs in Ripple when it was 0.30 cent and sold it when it was 3 dollars.
    There was no any problem, received money to my bank account in 24 hours.
    After that – CEX.io is my best option.

    Thanks to CEX for thit opportunity.
    Hope you all will get good experience with them.
    Regards,

    • Avatar

      Dear Alex,

      Thank you for taking time and sharing your positive feedback here.

      We highly appreciate that you find our exchange to be reliable.

      It is a pleasure for us to know our work has brought a positive result and you have good experience using CEX.IO

      Your recognition is the best reward for us.

      In case you need our help or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us via email support@cex.io or Help Centre – https://support.cex.io/hc/en-us/requests/new

      We will happily assist you.

  11. Avatar

    I would like to invest but but when i look at the comments about withdraws i wonder if it can happen to me,how can u reahshore me it can work for me?

    • Avatar

      Dear George,

      Thank you for your interest in cooperation with CEX.IO.

      First and foremost, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that our team is continuously working hard to improve the services we provide. We do our utmost to make our platform as comfortable and safe for use as possible.

      Regarding payment options, we work in close cooperation with payment providers to grant the quality and swiftness of payments that our customers expect.

      For some time, we had maintenance of fiat withdrawals. However, let us assure you that throughout that period we worked on upgrading and improving the payment services on our exchange. At the present, deposits and withdrawals of fiat funds are stable and smooth.

      Nevertheless, kindly be advised to check our Limits and Commissions page – https://cex.io/finance/limits-commissions to make sure that fiat payments are not restricted for your country.

      We will be happy to see you among our users and hope that in the nearest future you would become one of our regular customers.

      We do hope for your understanding.

      Please note that if you have any particular questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via support@cex.io or our Help Centre – https://support.cex.io/hc/en-us/requests/new

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