Coinbase says credit card fees are piling up on crypto sales

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Financing cryptocurrency purchases on a credit card keeps getting harder.

Coinbase Inc. said customers are now getting slapped with “cash advance” charges when using credit cards to buy Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The announcement in a blog post Tuesday came just days after several big banks said they’re starting to block the transactions entirely.

At issue is how card networks and banks that continue financing purchases of cryptocurrencies classify the exchanges that sell them. Depending on how financial firms code the transactions -- and whether they treat buying digital coins as akin to buying a currency -- different fees come into play. Some buyers started noticing higher fees last week, Coinbase said.

“Unfortunately we don’t have a way of knowing when they might be charged or how much they might be,” Coinbase wrote. “If you were charged additional fees, we recommend contacting your bank as you may be able to have these waived or receive information about switching to a card with lower fees.”

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