Paying with bitcoin for US Purchasers using Circle

Discussion in 'Purchase and License Keys' started by Sabertooth, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

    Edit by Ivan 2016-12-07: Circle is out of business, so this guide does not work any more.
    Please stay tuned, we are working on a new guide. Thank you.

    Circle changes to Spark blockchain. On December 6th, 2016, Circle announced that they will no longer be involved with buying and selling bitcoin. Read about it here.

    If you'd like to try out bitcoin for your new AnyDVD HD license purchase, then I can recommend Circle for a reasonably pain free experience. Circle is based in Boston, MA. and has some major backing including Goldman and Barclays. I was able to set up an account with minimal information and no ID verification with a $300 limit/week. In some cases an ID verification may be required, see here for details. You can link a credit card, debit card or bank account. Debit Cards and Bank Accounts don't have any fees but credit card use is considered a cash advance so fees apply. I linked a debit card.

    Complete the create a new account sign-up, email verification and 2 factor cellphone authentication setup first. Link your preferred funding method. The key to using Circle for a single purchase like this, using bitcoin, is to set the account to deal in bitcoin not dollars. To do this, (after logging in) click your login name at the top right and select settings. Select currency on the left then click the radio box next to bitcoin and accept the conditions/warning (i.e., market risk) and convert to bitcoin. Since I had a zero balance anyway, no big deal. If you already use Google Authy for 2-factor authentication, you can enable that in the settings area under Security at this time also.

    Next, off to in a new tab on your browser is easiest. Follow through the steps to make your purchase, when it comes to your personal information, it's up to you. I used a valid email address so I'll get the update notifications but I just made up the rest. Be sure to select bitcoin and continue. You'll get a review page, accept the terms and then place your order. Next, you'll see a page with a QR code, the payment address and the bitcoin total due.

    Now back to Circle (select it's tab or open a new tab or browser instance). If you're not on the account page, click Account on the menu bar at the top of the page. Since you changed to bitcoin as the currency default you should see a Buy bitcoin button and click it. I used copy and paste to copy the information from Redfox back to Circle. Purchase the exact amount of bitcoin from the redfox Order Pending page. There is no fee for making the purchase, however the exchange rate was a bit high at $584.16/bitcoin. I purchased 0.15405173 BTC for exactly $90 US (compared to $99.20 purchasing with a credit card from Redfox directly). Finally, you have to send the payment to Redfox, click Send Money on the menu at the top. Fill in the address and bitcoin amount from the Redfox Order Pending page. Continue to 2 factor verification to complete sending.

    Head back to the Redfox Order Pending Payment page and hit the refresh button to reload the page. You should see a order completed and order number and a link to download your license key.

    You can actually skip the separate purchase step above and use your payment option to purchase and send the bitcoin in one step from the Send Money page but I included the purchase step for better clarity. In fact, with one more step we can make things really easy, go back in to your settings on Circle, click on Advanced on the left and under Bitcoin Payment URLs, click the button Enable Link Handler. With this enabled, you can simply click the QR code on the order pending payment page and you'll be taken to Circle with everything (the payment address and amount) filled in for you including the order number in the comments. You may want to right click the QR code and select the option Open in new tab or Open link in new tab so that you can return to the Redfox order pending payment page after you send your payment and download your new license right away without waiting for an email.

    I spent several hours checking out numerous other wallets and exchanges looking for something simple and Circle was it. Plus I saved a few dollars. Hopefully, relating my experience will make it easier for others to give it a try.

    After thoughts: Funny, but after looking at some of the issues others are having with using credit cards for their purchase, I actually feel like paying with bitcoin was more secure. You see my credit information is only with Circle which is in the USA. There are no issues with asian credit card processors, fraud alerts or the like. Feels like a big plus.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  2. aaronwt

    aaronwt Well-Known Member

    Sounds like I should have tried this one instead of Coinbase. COinbase works great but there is a 3.75% fee for debit cards. It would have been nice to use this Circle option to avoid the fees.

    EDIT: I took a look and I see why there are no fees. It says they determine a buy/sell price for their customers so I guess the fess are made that way instead of charging the exact market price of the bitcoin. Although I don't see how much they inflate the price.
  3. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean, some I checked out had fees for depositing dollars to the account then more fees for purchasing and sending. Geez! I was having trouble keeping count.

    Circle was by far the most user friendly with no driver license required and a reasonable limit. I wasn't able to locate their exchange rate till I made the purchase but I was happy with the bottom line which was in line with a 10% discount (offered by Redfox for using bitcoin) with reasonably low transaction cost. IOW, I wanted to get most (if not all) of the 10% discount. If you don't mind the hassle and learning curve, you could probably save more but, for most first time and possibly only time users, they are great and the savings were in line with the discount offered so I'm not complaining.

    Plus no chance of credit card fraud using bitcoin.

    Edit: Google gave me todays rate as $581.45/bitcoin for comparison. I estimate it worked out to about 72¢ (around 0.81%) for my purchase of a single AnyDVD HD license based on 10% off of $99.20 or $89.28US.

    Edit 2: I estimate my cost to use coinbase at $89.57 to purchase 0.15405173 BTC @ $581.45/BTC plus a fee of $3.36 for depositing $89.57 with a debit card @ 3.75% of deposit or a total of $92.93 or $2.93 more than with Circle even with their higher exchange rate.

    Edit 3 on Jun 15, 2016:For the record, the recent spike in bitcoin prices has no real effect on the cost of an AnyDVD HD purchase with bitcoin. AnyDVD HD is priced in Euros not bitcoin. Here's the math:

    Todays bitcoin exchange rate is 1 BTC = $680.23US = 607.32€ (Euro) from Google. Todays euro to usd exchange rate is 1€ = $1.12 from Google. Using the bitcoin exchange rates, we can calculate a bitcoin based exchange rate between euros and usd as a comparison. $680.23/607.32€ = 1.12. It's exactly the same exchange rate. This means that no matter what the price of bitcoin at the moment of your purchase, you will still pay the same amount of dollars whether you pay in bitcoin or dollars. When you go to make the purchase with bitcoin at the higher rate, Redfox will simply ask for less bitcoin. When I made my purchase at the rate of $584.16, I was asked for 0.15405173 BTC. Today, I was asked for 0.12932719 BTC.

    Only if you purchase and hold the bitcoin will you be affected by changes in the exchange rate (currency speculation). Redfox is making out pretty good with the bitcoin I paid assuming they are holding bitcoin and not converting to euros right away.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  4. GlimmerTwin

    GlimmerTwin New Member

    Thanks again for this. I created my Circle account a few days after you posted this. Today I went ahead and purchased my license using Circle and my first bitcoin transaction. The whole process took less than 5 minutes with my key waiting for me after I refreshed the last purchase page. Also received an email with the key at the same time.
    RedFox 1 likes this.
  5. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

    Sounds like things went just like they were supposed to. Happy you found the information useful.
    whatever_gong82 and RedFox 1 like this.
  6. @Sabertooth - thanks very much for this. I really appreciate you taking the time to document this. I'd never bought anything using Bitcoin before and wanted to do it with a credit card from a reliable place. Your post helped me tremendously. Thank you again!
    nebostrangla likes this.
  7. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

    Congrats on getting your new license. Let us know if everything went as expected or if you had any challenges that weren't expected?

    This was my first time using bitcoin also and I felt just like you trying to figure out the bitcoin stuff. I now have several bitcoin wallets and accounts that I'll probably never use left over from the search. I figured many were like us and inexperienced with this and hence the guide was born. I'm happy you found it useful.
  8. Everything worked just as you described in your original post! I had no problems at all (other than the ~$3 cash advance fee that I had to pay because I chose to use a credit card ;-). Thanks again for taking the time to post this.
    nebostrangla likes this.
  9. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

    Since I used a debit card I didn't have this piece of information. Thanks for contributing.
    nebostrangla likes this.
  10. Arkoon

    Arkoon Member

    Thanks for the guide. My Visas didn't get past the payment provider. RedFox really Really REALLY wants customers to pay with $B.
    Thanks again, success finally!
  11. zent

    zent Well-Known Member

    Circle appear to not accept my Mastercard neither, from Australia.
  12. Ch3vr0n

    Ch3vr0n Translator NL

    Cause you're not in the USA, which the title of this topic specifically states.
  13. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

    I saw another person mention CoinJar for bitcoin in Australia. I'm afraid you'll have to do you own due diligence but they indicated that within Australian law the transaction went fairly smoothly, though it did take a day or two to complete.
  14. RedFox 1

    RedFox 1 Super Moderator

    PLus you get an additional 10% discount with Bitcoin, no brainer. Plus alot of people now have more knowledge about Bitcoin, learning something new is always good.
  15. StuCF

    StuCF New Member

    I made my purchase with Bitcoin using Circle (1st time using either) after reading this thread (hey, another 10% off? Heck yeah!), but my experience with Circle definitely wasn't smooth. I signed up and added my debit card a few days ago to go ahead and have that ready. I was ready to purchase today, so I followed your directions (for the most part) Sabertooth; unfortunately it didn't go as described. Once I checked out and everything and was at step 4 (given QR code/payment info) I went to my Circle account, copied the amount due into the "buy bitcoin" section and then waited. The site said it could take up to 2 hours for the purchased Bitcoin amount to appear in my account. 2 hours came and went when I finally got an email saying that it may take longer due to my account status. Shortly after that the attempt failed, no Bitcoin. I was going to try again, but all that came up was a message that my account had to be reviewed and that it could take up 5 business days! No point in keeping the Redfox purchase page up anymore, so I cancelled the payment. I called the 1-800 # for Circle and they pretty much told me the same thing the message said, but that they were all caught up on reviewing peoples accounts so "hopefully" it shouldn't take that long.

    I decided to give it a day, but I didn't get my hopes up. Luckily it didn't take that long because I got another email a couple hours later saying that they just needed to verify some more info from me, then my account will be ready to use. The info they needed, however, was a government picture ID and a selfie. Great! (sarcasm) I tried doing it on my desktop, but the site wouldn't let me submit a photo file for my selfie (even though it let me do that for my driver's license) and I don't have a webcam. So by this point I'm really starting to get pissed not to mention a bit suspicious about wanting all this extra info. I realize they want it for security purposes, but still...OK, whatever, anyway, moving on. Now I had to download and install their app on my phone to finish this, which I really didn't want to do. Oh well, gotta do what you gotta do. So I sign into my account through the app, and pick back up the process and take a picture of my DL (front & back). For my selfie, I submitted a picture with me flipping them the bird (like I said, at this point I was pissed). Circle spun it's logo for a couple minutes saying that my info is being submitted and verified, then it came back saying that the pictures I submitted weren't accepted. (Ha ha ha, I wonder why!?) So then I redid the pictures and sent a non-bird flipping selfie this time and it was accepted, my Circle account is now ready to use! Halle-freakin'-lujah! So I went back to the Redfox site, checked out again, copied the purchase amount and bought the Bitcoin amount and it went through just like that! Then I used the QR code from the Redfox site and bing-bang-boom, my purchase was sent off and done...FINALLY! All together from the time I tried the initial purchase, to jumping through hoops, to finally getting the purchase completed...around 5 hours. (Not too bad I guess, all things considered)

    I just wanted to submit my experience and let everyone know that it may take some time to get things working/make your purchase. I'm assuming it's due to the fact that this was my first attempt using Circle for buying/sending Bitcoin; well for anything really. Next time (if ever) shouldn't be a problem. I'm not trying to turn anyone off from doing this, hopefully you'll have a better experience than I did, maybe not. Just be prepared for the possibility that it may not be the smoothest transaction.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
    m3tam3ta likes this.
  16. zent

    zent Well-Known Member

    I did find about Coinjar, thanks for mentioning it. I wish Chevron would stop replying to my posts about payment problems. I don't know why it bothers them so much. I seem to be in limbo though, I'm at the approval stage with Coinjar. That seems to be now at pre-approved, but I have to wait for business days to get the money to transfer from my bank account, so I'm not sure if I'll make the date for the discount. Though with the time difference from wherever, I will get some time into 25 July.
    Circle mentions UK payers as well, so I don't know how Chevron would think about them showing up to this thread where UK isn't mentioned.
    In fact Coinjar doesn't accept credit cards either, but does accept them from UK users, so there is something going on there.
    I think someone like me who has no idea at all about bitcoins, can learn from this thread. I was still arbitrating between my own wallet or an online one.
    If I annoy Chevron enough and I don't get the discount, maybe redfox can pay the difference to them for all their hard work.
  17. Ch3vr0n

    Ch3vr0n Translator NL

    First of all, your posts didn't annoy me. No clue what made you think they do.

    Second, I replied to you because you said it didn't accept your cc's. Both in the title as well as the op is it clearly stated that circle only works in the USA. The website also states UK, but NOT aus. That's your reason right there why it didn't accept your cc's. You're in the wrong country, plain and simple. You need to use an Australian solution like coinjar which is posted.

    As far as the discount goes, I have no control over any type of payment or discount. And if you plan to annoy me, you're going to have to do a lot better.
  18. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

    It's basically Chevron's job as a moderator to be a busybody and get in to everyone's business. He's trying to be helpful and most people think he is so just smile and wave, "Hi, Chevron" and everybody will be happy. I'm sure you'll get the bitcoin situation sorted out. I know it's confusing which is why I posted this thread for US purchasers. I hope you will provide the benefit of your due diligence and report back with the best method for your area and the right steps to take so others will have it easier in the future.

    Someone else had mentioned the ID verification so I had adjusted the first post to link to them where they have posted screenshots of what you described basically. Sorry your experience wasn't as straight forward as mine. I have no idea what their criteria are for the ID check to kick in. Let us know if you can find out. Glad to hear you were finally successful and hopefully you saved at least a few dollars with the discount.
    RedFox 1 and whatever_gong82 like this.
  19. StuCF

    StuCF New Member

    I'm guessing (only guessing) that it has to do with the individual persons bank. My debit card is with a federal credit union, so since it's federal, there are probably extra security measures for certain purchases/vendors (like Circle) that aren't typical transactions. I was never contacted by my bank for my attempts (and they have in the past, like when I had purchased my Slysoft AnyDVD HD license in early 2015). If anyone has any solid info on why this is though, I'd like to hear it. But yeah, with all the discounts (30% total) it only ended up being $87.66 USD; so pretty good savings!
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
    Sabertooth likes this.
  20. m3tam3ta

    m3tam3ta Member

    Thanks StuCF, this has been my experience with Circle as well, I had to upload front and back of my ID (driver's license) as well as take a selfie with a webcam (a bit awkward, since there's no countdown to adjust myself before taking the selfie). I have a debit VISA card from my local credit union, so maybe that has something to do with the extra security measures. Now, I just need to wait until there's a 20% discount again to purchase!