One of the biggest complaints about cryptocurrencies is that they are difficult to use for everyday purchases. Sure, there are easy ways to buy Bitcoin (BTC), but how can you spend your bitcoin if the store won’t take it?
The good news is that there’s a way around that — and some retailers and restaurants are willing to take your crypto. You can also make some lesser-known money moves to use bitcoin creatively.
So, what can you buy with bitcoin? Let’s take a look at some everyday things you can purchase with your bitcoins.
It’s been more than a decade since May 20, 2010, when the first commercial purchase was made using bitcoin. A man in Florida bought two pizzas using 10,000 bitcoin — which amounted to about $40 at the time.
Today, it’s still a little difficult to get a pizza place to accept your bitcoin, although it’s possible. Some local pizza places, like Mogio’s Pizza in Murphy, Texas, will let you pay in bitcoin, although you have to order through Menufy. In fact, there are places around the country that accept bitcoin when you order through Menufy.
As with pizza, finding someone willing to take your bitcoin (and other cryptocurrency) directly can be challenging. However, an app called Bakkt can help you use bitcoin to reload your Starbucks card. You can use Bakkt to convert your bitcoin to cash and then use that money to load your Starbucks card.
If you keep your bitcoin with the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, you can use their Pay product. When you go to pay at one of the 30,000 retailers that accept Gemini Pay, you simply use the app to bring up your payment method and the retailer, and then a QR code is generated. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is one of the retailers, allowing you to easily get your coffee fix with the help of crypto.
For more info, check out our Gemini review.
Burger King has accepted bitcoin purchases at overseas restaurants, but they don’t accept bitcoin directly anymore. Like many other outlets, getting your burger fix requires an intermediary step if you want to pay with bitcoin. You might need to go through an app like Flexa, which partners with Gemini and makes it easier to interface with restaurants.
Some Subway restaurant franchises allow you to pay directly with bitcoin, but they are few and far between. Instead, you can use a service like Bitrefill to purchase Subway gift cards using bitcoin and then use your gift card at Subway.
Depending on the outlet, you might be able to buy furniture with bitcoin. For example, Overstock.com has a partnership with Coinbase that allows you to use bitcoin to pay for purchases. All you have to do is select the “Pay with Bitcoin” option on the checkout page, and you’ll be walked through the steps needed to complete the purchase.
The company Eight Sleep, which offers smart beds, will accept your bitcoins and Ethereum (ETH) when you check out using the cryptocurrency option, which is powered by BitPay.
However, if you’re ordering a mattress online and there’s a PayPal checkout option, you might be able to pay with bitcoin. If you have a Personal or Premier PayPal account, you can use the “Checkout with Crypto” option. If you have a large enough crypto balance with PayPal to complete a purchase, you can use it when you checkout, with PayPal converting the amount to fiat currency on your behalf.
For more info, check out our list of payment apps you can use for cryptocurrency.
If you’re investing money with the Gemini crypto exchange, and you buy your electronics at one of the 30,000 retail locations that accept Gemini Pay, you might be able to make your purchase using crypto.
Newegg is one online electronics retailer that has accepted bitcoin since 2014. They used to allow direct purchases with bitcoin yet now go through BitPay. There’s a “Pay with BitPay” button that prompts you to select your wallet and choose your preferred cryptocurrency. Once the funds have been transferred, you’re able to finish the process.
Tesla made a big splash when it announced it would accept bitcoin for purchases. However, that move was short-lived as Elon Musk backtracked. However, Tesla is likely to revisit accepting bitcoin in the future.
You can also use the car platform BitCars to purchase a car. However, the company is based in Europe, so you might have to pay to have your car shipped across the ocean. Crypto Exchange Marketplace is another platform that allows you to buy and sell cars using bitcoin.
Crescent Tide, located in Minnesota, no longer offers in-person funeral services, but it does offer cremation and is one of the few places in the U.S. where you can pay for your services in bitcoin.
In general, you might have to see if the funeral home accepts payment through another service, such as PayPal, to use your crypto. Or, you could sell your cryptocurrency for cash and then pay for the service.
Even if your preferred hotel chain doesn’t accept bitcoin directly, the website Travala.com allows you to look for hotels and other stays and then pay using cryptocurrency. This third-party site can be a way to access more than two million options and then pay using your bitcoin.
Travala will also help you book flights using bitcoin. But Travala isn’t the only third-party travel site that allows you to use bitcoin. CheapAir was the first travel site to accept bitcoin back in 2013. Today, it’s possible to book travel using other coins, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dai (DAI), Ethereum (ETH), and even Dogecoin (DOGE).
You can also combine CheapAir with travel rewards to save when booking trips.
Tickets to events
Some venues, such as the Dallas Mavericks, have accepted bitcoin for years. Additionally, the Mavs also accept Dogecoin for payment. You can use this feature through BitPay.
At the end of 2021, movie theater chain AMC began accepting bitcoin for gift cards purchased online. So, if you want to watch a movie or buy concessions with bitcoin, you need to purchase an AMC gift card via BitPay and then swipe.
Finally, if an event allows you to pay with PayPal through Eventbrite, you can take advantage of PayPal’s ability to let you “Checkout with Crypto.”
For the most part, whether you can buy real estate with crypto depends on the seller. If they accept bitcoin, you can create an agreement and move forward with the transaction.
Some listing and escrow services, such as Bithome, allow you to find and purchase property around the world using bitcoin. Propy is another service that can help facilitate a real estate transaction using cryptocurrency.
The King’s College in New York became the first accredited college in the United States to accept bitcoin for tuition payments. There are other institutions worldwide, such as Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland and the American University of Paraguay, that accept cryptocurrency payments. So far, though, you’re still more likely to succeed in paying your tuition with crypto if you first sell it for fiat currency and then make your tuition payment.
If you want to pay for your DISH subscription with bitcoin, you can. If you’re streaming, it’s possible to pay for a streaming service, such as Hulu, if you buy a gift card using Bitrefill. As with many other transactions, sometimes you have to get creative in order to use your cryptocurrency to pay for various purchases.
Microsoft was one of the early adopters of bitcoin, allowing it as a payment method back in 2014 for Xbox games. Microsoft did briefly pause the ability to use bitcoin, yet you can once again use bitcoin to add to your Microsoft balance online (current as of February 2022). BitPay facilitates payment from your digital wallet.
As with other services, it’s also possible to use Bitrefill to buy gift cards for Sony’s PlayStation and then spend that money on the network to play games.
Flexa, which partners with Gemini Pay, has GameStop as one of its retailers. So, if you’re using Flexa or Gemini Pay, you should be able to use your crypto holdings to make in-store purchases.
One of the best ways to use bitcoin for everyday purchases is to buy a gift card. There are places like Gyft and eGifter that offer you access to hundreds of brands via gift card. You pay for the gift card with bitcoin or other accepted cryptocurrencies, and then spend the gift card at your favorite retailer.
Finally, if you use AT&T, you can pay your bill online with bitcoin through BitPay. Bitrefill also offers to let you buy Verizon and T-Mobile gift cards so you can reload your account. One way to see if you can use your crypto to buy a cell phone or pay for a plan is to hop on Bitrefill and see whether your carrier is on the list.
For now, bitcoin isn’t accepted as a daily way to pay at many places. You can learn how to buy cryptocurrency, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use it as a practical medium of exchange.
In order to use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you might need to use a third-party service to make it happen. Services like Gemini Pay allow you to access your crypto assets quickly and easily at participating retailers. You can also purchase gift cards using bitcoin.
Finally, keep an eye out for other payment methods. For example, Coinbase is getting ready to release a Visa debit card connected to your crypto assets. Others on our list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges are also trying to figure out how to make it easier to access your assets for daily living. But until crypto becomes more widely accepted, you’ll likely need to get creative if you want to use bitcoin for everyday purchases.