Some Coinbase Customers Were Overcharged; Card Issuers and Coinbase Disagree on Cause

Understanding the Additional Charges or Credits Some Coinbase Customers Saw

A Coinbase blog post confirmed rumors that some customers were overcharged for Coinbase purchases. Specifically, additional charges or refunds occurred when some customers purchased cryptocurrency with a credit or debit card.[1]

UPDATE: Long story short. The overcharge was real, but the problem was not on Coinbase’s end. Coinbase, Visa, and Worldpay are all working to ensure customers are credited for erroneous charges. See the “join statement” below from Coinbase’s Twitter.

Coinbase is in the process of correcting the problem but has requested that anyone affected can contact Coinbase’s support team at so they can address the issue in the meantime.

Consider the following excerpts from the Coinbase blog:

Coinbase will ensure that each affected customer will be refunded in full for any erroneous charge. Our processor confirmed that any erronious charges will be refunded over the next few days; however, if you believe you were affected by this issue or believe you experienced additional, unreimbursed fees or charges, please contact Coinbase’s support team at so we can address your issue….

…. Card issuers and banks recently requested that the MCC for digital currency purchases be changed by a number of the major credit card networks. As a result, purchases that occurred between January 22nd, 2018 and February 11th, 2018 may have been refunded and reprocessed—resulting in erroneous charges. Some customers might experience a delay between the issuance of the new charge and the offsetting refund, but ultimately customers should only have a single charge on their card statement.

We deeply apologize for any frustration this may cause. We are actively working with banks, processors, and networks to improve the digital currency purchasing experience.

With that covered, it is important to note that if you got too big a refund, don’t spend it. Likewise, if you didn’t get enough, were overcharged, or saw additional charges, Coinbase is working to fix the problem.

The worst cases are the ones where the extra charges resulted in bank fees for people or left people tight on funds. In all other cases, it is just a matter of waiting for the problem to be rectified.

Whose fault is this? Coinbase has blamed the card issuers (Credit Card companies and banks), and they meanwhile blame Coinbase. It is unclear whose fault it is. For more details on that, see TechCrunch’s Coinbase blames Visa for glitch that overcharged users.

Will Coinbase credit overcharge fees? This is not an official answer by a long shot. However, I am fairly sure that Coinbase will credit accounts with Bitcoin to at least partially make good for the inconvenience caused to customers. This has been what they have done in the past in similar situations (for example, once I had a transaction take forever and they sent me a few Satoshis for my troubles). That is just an educated guess based on personal experience with Coinbase; there is no official word yet.

TIP: To be clear, if you get money deposited into your account that isn’t yours, don’t touch it. If a bank deposits a trillion dollars in your account by accident and then you spend it, you owe the bank a trillion dollars. That is how it works. It’s the same deal with Coinbase; if Coinbase randomly credits you with too many dollars or cryptos, don’t touch it. Wait for them to correct the mistake. If the funds are sent to you on purpose, you’ll get an email or some other notification explaining why you got the funds.

Article Citations
  1. Update on credit and debit cards.

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele has been working in the cryptocurrency information space since 2015 when was created. He has contributed to MakerDAO, Alpha Bot (the number one crypto bot on Discord),...

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