In a nutshell
Uphold is a great place to buy and store crypto. It’s one of the safest and trusted platforms out there, and it’s super easy to use. There’s a good range of coins, and you can hold local currencies (e.g. GBP, USD and EUR), with low currency conversion fees. There’s also a business account option too. And, there’s a debit card to spend your crypto in shops too. Overall, it’s a solid 4 stars from us.
cracked open 🥥
Uphold is one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world. They’ve been going since 2015 (which is old for crypto) and have over 10 million customers across pretty much every country out there – and it’s getting very popular in the UK and across Europe.
They’re primarily a cryptocurrency exchange, which is a place to buy and sell cryptoassets (e.g. bitcoin and ethereum), but also aim to help people across the world with access to financial services (e.g. banking and money transfers), with their great mobile app and wallet.
They have a focus on safety and security, with a wide range of security features in place (we’ll cover that more below), making it one of the safest places to store your crypto.
There’s also a good range of coins to buy and trade, and you can even buy and receive local currencies (such as Pounds, Euros and Dollars), perfect for businesses trading internationally who want to benefit from an international account and low currency conversion fees (fees to swap one currency for another).
You can also open a business account (if you own a company) to buy and hold crypto, which has a few benefits for yourself and your business. We’ll cover this in detail below.
You can also stake your crypto and earn interest (rewards) up to 13% in return. We’ll also cover that in detail.
If you’ve heard enough already, here’s the Uphold website¹ to get started. If not, we’ll run through Uphold in more detail below.
Note: we’ll use the terms crypto, cryptocurrency, crypto asset, token and coin – they all mean the same thing, which is the cryptocurrency itself (e.g. bitcoin).
Is Uphold good for beginners?
Yep! Uphold is great for beginners – it’s super easy to get started and buy your first bit of crypto, and there's quite a range of coins too (we’ve covered them below).
You’ll be guided through every step of the way, it's super easy. And if you’ve already got crypto stored elsewhere, you can send it over to Uphold too.
Alternatively, you can buy crypto directly with your debit card if you like (although there will be a fee), or directly by linking your bank account (it's free this way). It’s quick, and only takes a few minutes, and then you’ll have crypto in your account (trading fees apply, more on these below).
They’ll also set up a wallet for you too – that’s where your crypto will be stored, with a personalised wallet address, and where you can send and receive crypto directly, or swap one coin for another.
Setting up a wallet can be fairly complicated on your own outside of a crypto platform (a place to buy and sell crypto) like Uphold, and there’s a lot of responsibility looking after your private keys (similar to a password with crypto).
Nuts About Money tip: we recommend setting up your own wallet at some point, however, for beginners, it’s pretty handy to have Uphold create one for you.
There’s also some great articles to help you learn a bit more about crypto, and the technology behind it. You don’t need to sign up either, just head to the Uphold website¹.
How Uphold works
Uphold is a straightforward crypto platform, you can simply buy, sell and hold crypto. It’s suited to investors, who typically want to buy crypto easily, and hold it for the long-term, rather than crypto traders who want to buy and sell constantly throughout the day – there’s more advanced trading platforms for that, which you can find with our best crypto exchanges.
They’ve got a great website and mobile apps on both Apple and Android, that make buying and holding crypto as easy as it can be. The apps are highly rated, with great reviews, and both 4.5 out of 5 on the Apple App store and Google Play store.
And, you can open a business account if you like too (more on that below).
There’s an advanced feature for placing orders, and that’s limit orders – you can set the price you want to buy at, and your order will only go through if the price of the token reaches that price.
It’s a feature common on advanced platforms, but having this on a more simplified exchange is pretty cool, as you can set your own price rather than having to buy at the current price.
Range of cryptocurrencies
On Uphold, there’s a good range of coins to buy, hold and trade. There’s over 250, and of course includes the biggest coins, such as bitcoin, ethereum, and a range of altcoins (alternative coins), from some of the largest, such as Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, to a range of smaller ones. There’s new ones added regularly too.
Uphold don’t list every coin out there (there are 100,000s), as there can be a lot of unsafe coins, and scams. They list coins they believe are legitimate projects, and review each one before listing. However, this doesn’t mean a project or token is legitimate, it’s best to do your own research before investing.
They also offer a wide range of stablecoins – these are crypto tokens that represent a local currency, for instance US Dollars (USD). USDT (Tether) is one of the most popular stablecoin for US Dollars, although there are others, and other currencies around the world.
These are a great way of holding local currencies on a blockchain (a crypto network), rather than exchanging your money into the actual local currency – so easily accessible if you need it (e.g. to make future trades), and potentially save on currency conversion fees, and possibly tax.
However, with Uphold, you can actually hold a range of local currencies too (not stablecoins) – more on that below.
More than just crypto, you can also hold and exchange local currencies, such as Pounds (GBP), US Dollars (USD) and Euros (EUR) in your account too – and you can actually exchange currencies directly too (e.g. swap Pounds for Dollars).
If you want to, you can use Uphold just for this, without even going near crypto. And benefit from holding and transferring local currencies from across the world – more on using this for international trade below.
The fee is just 0.20% for individuals, and swapping most of the major currencies (e.g. GBP to USD), and 0.65% for businesses.
With Uphold, you can also open a business account. If you have got your own business or limited company, you’ll realise how great this option is. This isn’t a common option with most crypto exchanges.
It means you can buy and invest in crypto using your business funds, and use your business bank account, rather than your personal money. This means you don’t need to withdraw cash and pay tax personally, before investing.
However, this does mean your company owns the crypto rather than you personally, which can be a positive or a negative depending on your personal circumstances.
Your business can then benefit from the security of an Uphold account (if you want to keep your crypto on the platform), rather than managing the security yourself with your own wallet. Although you can simply send the crypto to your company’s wallet if you have one and if you want to.
An option for international trade
Ignoring crypto for the moment, as you can hold foreign currencies in your account (e.g. Euros), you can receive payment from customers in a range of currencies directly into your Uphold account.
With a typical business bank account, you can’t do this, and traditionally, you’d have to open bank accounts in every country you operate in, in order to receive local currency payments.
Uphold has even created a payment widget (an online tool) for your customers to use to pay you. And offer an API for you to create your own payment system and automated payments in various currencies (don't worry if you don't understand this, we're just geeking out).
And, as the currency conversion fee is pretty low between local currencies (for businesses it’s 0.65% for major currencies) – you can swap currencies to your local currency (e.g. convert everything back into Pounds) to withdraw to your bank account if you want to (most banks have higher fees to do this), although they might be hidden.
Uphold also offers a payment debit card, either a physical card (a real plastic card) or virtual card (to just use online), that allows you to spend your crypto when you’re out and about (or online). It works the same as a card from your bank, it’s a normal Mastercard, and you can spend it anywhere you like.
This provides a way for you to spend your crypto if you want to. Although you can’t spend crypto directly (yet), you can spend any local currency you like (e.g. Pounds or Euros), after converting it on the Uphold platform. Pretty cool right? And as mentioned, the currency conversion fees are low.
This also means that you can spend your money abroad for very low cost, all you need to do is convert your cash or crypto to the currency you’d like (e.g. Dollars or Euros), and that’s it. There’s no fees after converting it.
This is typically much cheaper than using your bank card – most banks have high fees when using them abroad.
You can also withdraw cash if you want to, although there’s a $2.50 fee for ATMs in the UK, and $3.50 for ATMs abroad (which is pretty expensive).
4% cashback in XRP
And when you purchase something using your card, you’ll get 4% cashback in the token XRP. We won’t go into what the XRP token is now (if you’re not sure), but it’s hugely popular across the world, and one of the major coins out there. You can learn more on the Ripple website.
You can also stake your crypto with Uphold, and it’s a great way of earning interest on your crypto.
Staking is where you deposit your coins to support the running of a blockchain, and in return you get paid rewards. These rewards are typically a percentage of how much you stake (deposit), and the amount you get depends on the blockchain and can range from 4% to 13% per year.
If we look at Ethereum, the most popular blockchain, in order for it to run, it must process transactions – and these are processed by validators across the world (machines running the software).
In order for these validators to process transactions, they must pledge (stake) ether (the Ethereum token) to be recognised as legitimate and having good intentions – if they perform any bad activity, they’ll lose their ether (which is called slashing). And in return for their services, they get paid regular rewards (paid in ether).
That got pretty complicated, but anyway, the process is called Proof of Stake (PoS). You can learn lots more about it on the Ethereum website.
When you stake your coins with Uphold, you are effectively partnering with a validator and earning rewards. You can normally withdraw your tokens when you want to, but not always.
There’s a range of blockchains and tokens you can stake – in fact, the range is really good.
When it comes to fees Uphold is on the higher end for crypto platforms, but overall pretty reasonable for the ease of use, and the fees are completely transparent. Depending on how you want to deposit, you might pay a fee, and then you’ll pay a fee to buy or sell crypto.
If you’re depositing cash from a bank account, it’s completely free, and almost instant.
However, if you want to deposit from a credit or debit card, you’ll pay a fee of 3.99% for a credit card, and 2.49% for a debit card. It’s also 2.49% if you want to use Google Pay or Apple Pay.
It’s free to deposit crypto to your Uphold account (meaning moving crypto over from another place to Uphold).
When you buy or sell, there will be a trading fee, and with Uphold, this is called a spread fee.
It works a bit different to simply paying out a fee (the fee is instead included in the price) – Uphold effectively adds a markup to the price, rather than charging a separate transaction fee.
This is pretty common with trading platforms (not just crypto, but with traditional investing), as it simplifies the trading process a bit and shows you how much of the asset you’ll actually get.
You’ll see the exact fee when you buy crypto, and this can vary depending on which token you want to buy as it’s all about how much volume there is in the market (other people buying and selling). However, with bitcoin and ethereum, the spread fee is 1.5%.
For a crypto exchange offering simple buying and selling of crypto, this is fairly reasonable.
And if you’re buying crypto for less than $250 per transaction, you’ll also be charged a $0.99 transaction fee (this doesn’t apply when using the Uphold card).
To compare with Coinbase¹, another popular crypto trading platform, you’ll be paying around 1.99%, which is a 1.49% transaction fee and 0.50% spread fee. And with eToro¹, a very popular crypto exchange that also offers traditional investments, you’ll pay a fair bit less, 1%.
However, if you’re looking to make lots of trades, you can save money by using an advanced crypto exchange, where the fees can be much lower, anywhere from 0.10% to 0.60%.
For business customers, the fees are a bit lower, and for bitcoin, it’s 1.05%.
It’s free to withdraw money to a bank account. If you want to withdraw crypto, there’s a very small fee, and it’s free for ethereum, although you’ll pay a network fee, which is part of how ethereum works (this is normally very small, but can change depending on the transaction volume on the network). Don't worry if this doesn't make sense, it's clearly displayed when you withdraw money.
For business customers, there is a fee for withdrawals, which is $2.99 to withdraw crypto and $3.99 for bank transfers (however much you transfer).
Currency conversion fees
If you want to swap local currencies between each other (e.g. GBP to USD), there’s a currency conversion fee (also called a foreign exchange fee), and this is 0.20% for all the major currencies.
This is very reasonable. With banks and other investment platforms, these can be considerably higher (e.g. 1.5%).
For business customers, the currency conversion fee is typically 0.65% for major currencies (e.g. USD), and 0.95% for most other currencies.
The customer support is pretty good.
There’s a help centre with pretty much every question you could think of covered – and if you need more help, you can send in an email and get a fairly quick response.
Unfortunately there’s no call centre support, so you can’t speak to anyone over the phone. And there’s no live-chat support, so you can’t chat online either.
Is Uphold safe?
Uphold puts safety and security as one of their top priorities, and they’ve got some great security measures in place – in fact, some security technology is created and patented by them (meaning they own the technology).
They are regularly reviewed by auditors (specialist security and financial companies), to ensure everything is in order and customers' money is stored securely. In fact, there’s a real-time balance of customers' money (called reserves) on their transparency page.
100% of customer’s money (or cryptoassets) is kept as it is (100% backed), and never loaned out, like they are with banks. So fully withdrawable if all their customers wanted to take their cash out at the same time.
They’ve also been reviewed and approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer crypto services in the UK. The FCA are the people who make sure financial companies are looking after their customers and their money.
However, this doesn’t mean you are protected if they go out of business, unlike financial services like pensions, where you typically are.
And this is the same across the world, Uphold has the correct permissions from regulators across Europe, in the USA and other international countries.
Uphold customer reviews
Customers rate Uphold pretty highly. On the popular reviews website Trustpilot, it’s got a score of 3.3 out of 5. That’s classed as average, however for a crypto company, that’s pretty good.
Crypto exchanges, and financial companies in general, tend to get lower scores as the security is quite strict (for instance, Coinbase is rated 1.6 out of 5.). Usually, this is because you need to verify your identity before you can use them – and some people aren’t keen on doing this, or run into issues – and this means you can’t use the platform until you’re verified (been approved).
Aside from the negative reviews of people unable to open an account, the majority of reviews are positive with people saying how easy Uphold is to use, and the customer service being great. It’s mostly either 5* reviews or 1* reviews.
And as a recap, Uphold has a great rating on the Apple store and Google Play store – both 4.5 out of 5.
Uphold pros and cons
Here’s a quick recap and the pros and cons of Uphold:
- Super easy to use
- Great mobile app
- Safe and secure (and transparent)
- Good range of cryptoassets
- Stake your crypto
- Business account
- Buy and hold local currencies
- Low currency conversion fees
- Debit card (with 4% cashback)
- Crypto fees are on the higher side
- Not suited for frequent traders
- Not much else!
At Nuts About Money we're big fans of Uphold. It makes buying and selling crypto super easy, both on their website and mobile app, it has everything you need, and provides a safe place to store your crypto and cash too.
It’s perfect for beginners and one of the best places to start, and continue, with crypto. Uphold has all the major coins, such as bitcoin and ethereum. And over 250 of the most ‘trusted’ coins.
However, it’s not really suited, or intended for, more advanced traders who are looking to trade regularly, or to trade lots of different coins – there’s better places for that (check out the best advanced crypto exchanges).
You can also stake your crypto and earn interest while your crypto is sitting in your account, which is pretty great, and this ranges from 4% to 13%.
Another great plus is that you can have a business account (if you own a company), meaning not only can you benefit from buying and holding crypto, but you can send and receive local currencies from across the world (for instance Dollars and Euros), and all for a low fee.
With the fees in general, they’re on the high side for crypto exchanges, however, this should be expected for a platform that provides a simple and easy option to buy and sell, and it’s definitely not the most expensive out there. Having said that, we’re going to knock it down a star for the fees.
Overall, an awesome platform, and a great place to buy, hold and sell crypto – one that’s safe and secure, and trusted. We’re giving it a solid 4 stars. To get started or learn more, check out the Uphold website¹.
Uphold has asked us to provide some legal information for our readers, and here it is:
Uphold Disclaimer: Uphold offers Cryptoasset investing within the EU/UK (by Uphold Europe Limited) USA (by Uphold HQ Inc). Capital at risk. As with any asset, the value of cryptoassets can go up or down and there can be a substantial risk that you lose all your money buying, selling, holding or investing in cryptoassets. Your cryptoassets are not subject to protection. You should carefully consider whether trading or holding cryptoassets is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. Uphold makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilising publicly available non-entity specific information about Uphold.