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If you want to invest in cryptocurrency, you will find Coinbase as an attractive option to buy cryptocurrencies. But if you start using Coinbase without digging deeper, you’re going to incur fees that can add up over time.
Trying to understand what Coinbase fees are can be somewhat difficult, not to mention avoiding them. This guide is all about that: an overview of Coinbase’s fees and what you can do to maximize your investments.
What types of fees does Coinbase charge?
There are several fees that Coinbase applies to trades: margin or spread fees and what the platform calls the Coinbase fee. Here’s a look at each type:
Margin or spread costs: The margin (or spread) is explained by Coinbase as a service charge of up to 2.00% which is added to the exchange rate on Coinbase Pro. This is the name of the Exchange owned by Coinbase that processes all transactions.
Coinbase Fee: The Coinbase Fee is the one that tends to get confusing because there are so many factors at play. The user pays a fixed amount or a variable percentage of the transaction, depending on the region, product and payment method.
The fixed fees that Coinbase charges are as follows:
Total transaction amount
$10 or less $0.99 More than $10, less than or equal to $25 $1.49 More than $25, less than or equal to $50 $1.99 More than $50, less than or equal to $200 $2.99
Here are the variable fees for US users:
Payment method for purchase or payment method for sale
Effective rate of conversion fee (after exemption)
US Bank Account 1.49% Coinbase USD Wallet 1.49% Debit Card Purchase 3.99% Instant Card Withdrawal Up to 1.5% of every transaction and a minimum fee of $0.55
Coinbase takes both costs into account when you preview a transaction. For example, a US customer making a purchase over $204 will have the reimbursement assessed at the rate of 1.49% up to the maximum purchase amount.
You can verify this by initiating a purchase on Coinbase.com and previewing the purchase for $205. Keep in mind that the fee simply grows with the amount purchased up to your maximum.
As you might imagine, these costs make up quite a bit of funds that you would have invested otherwise. This begs the question: how do you avoid fees on Coinbase?
How to Minimize Coinbase Fees
The key to minimizing fees on Coinbase is understanding the link between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.
What is Coinbase Pro?
Coinbase Pro, formerly known as GDAX, is the preferred trading platform used to fulfill orders placed through Coinbase. It is a platform designed for crypto enthusiasts and aims to provide a more granular view of the cryptocurrency markets, enabling traders to make more informed decisions.
Since both are owned by Coinbase, transfers between them are instant and free. This is important because the fees for the same promotions are much lower on Coinbase Pro than on Coinbase.
The breakdown of these trades is a bit more technical. They follow the so-called maker-taker model. Here’s an overview of the types of trades you could make:
Customer orders: Orders placed at the market price and executed immediately are considered “buyer” orders and a fee between 0.04% and 0.50% will be charged.
Maker’s orders: Orders not fulfilled immediately will be placed on the books and referred to as ‘maker’ orders with costs between 0.00% and 0.50%.
partial orders: Partial orders are when part of the order is fulfilled immediately while the rest is left in the books to be filled at a later date. If this happens, the first part is judged on the “taker” side. The rest is filled as a “maker” order.
Keep in mind that with Coinbase Pro, fees are based on the amount of the transaction, so you’re actually paying less to trade more:
Less than $10K 0.60% 0.40% $10K to $50K 0.40% 0.25% $50K to $100K 0.25% 0.15% $100K to $1M 0.20% 0.10 % $1M to $10M 0.18% 0.08% $10M to $50M 0.15% 0.05% $50M to $100M 0.15% 0.05% $100M to $300M 0.08% 0 .02% $300M to $500M 0.05% 0.00% $500M and above 0.04% 0.00%
How to Use Coinbase Pro to Minimize Coinbase Fees
Now that you understand what Coinbase Pro is and how the fees work, the lure for trading should be obvious. Here are the steps to do this:
Use your Coinbase credentials to log in to Coinbase Pro. Select “deposit” under the Wallet Balance section. Choose the type of currency you want to transfer (USD, BTC, etc.). Select the Coinbase.com option.
At this point you will be able to see the available balance in your Coinbase wallet for the currency you have chosen. Again, transfers between the two platforms are free and instant, and there is no deposit limit for digital assets.
Transactions with Coinbase Pro are not as intuitive as on Coinbase – you have to use exact amounts rather than trade the equivalent volume of USD – but the trade-off is that the fees are significantly lower.
The process for withdrawing your assets to Coinbase is identical except that you select ‘withdraw’ under the ‘wallet balance’ section instead of ‘deposit’. Wire transfers are instant, but there is a standard daily limit of $250,000. If you regularly need to withdraw more than this, you can request to increase the limits via the limits page on your profile.
Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro
To see a real-life example, let’s say you wanted to buy $2,000 worth of bitcoin. Why $2,000? Because that’s the default daily limit on both platforms that use ACH transfers.
On Coinbase, that purchase would cost 1.49%, or $29.36. With Coinbase Pro, you can complete the same purchase and pay just $10 – about a third of the fees charged on Coinbase.
You can also use a debit card to make purchases on Coinbase. But again, you’re conveniently paying for the convenience. The fee for using debit cards on Coinbase is 3.99%, bringing the total to $76.74 for a $2,000 purchase.
Are Coinbase Fees Worth It?
For those who are only casually interested in cryptocurrency or those just learning about it, the price may be worth it in return for the ease of trading a fiat currency and using a very intuitive interface.
It is easy to minimize costs using the Coinbase network. It just takes some knowledge. For most novice traders, the limits set on your Coinbase Pro account are more than generous enough to allow for normal operations. It may look intimidating, but using Coinbase Pro is a great way to deepen your understanding of the cryptocurrency space and gain experience as a trader.
How much does Coinbase charge per transaction?
The amount you pay in fees with Coinbase varies based on the transaction type and payment method. For a more detailed view, see the section on Coinbase Fees†
Are Coinbase Fees High?
Coinbase’s fees are somewhat high compared to similar crypto platforms, which is why so many users are looking for ways to avoid or minimize them.
What are Coinbase fees for?
When you use Coinbase to transact, you pay for the convenience of trading without the need for an actual exchange. You can also trade USD, which is much easier to conceptualize than the raw decimal numbers that cryptocurrencies are subdivided into.
Do I need Coinbase Pro?
Coinbase Pro is a more advanced platform that is not optimized for the common user. Anyone can learn to use it. However, those who make many or large trades will get the most out of it.
Can I have multiple Coinbase accounts?
Does Coinbase Report to the IRS?
Beginning with tax year 2022, you will receive a 1099-MISC if you:
Are a Coinbase customer Are required to pay US taxes $600 or more earned in rewards or fees from Coinbase Earn, USDC Rewards and/or Strike in 2020
All capital gains and losses must be reported on Form 8984.
Why Are Investors Interested In Crypto And Coinbase?
People all over the world are increasingly interested in cryptocurrency, and the appeal is clear. Traditional investing in stocks or other assets may have seemed off-limits or uninteresting to some investors. However, crypto is an exciting, volatile asset with values changing daily and a general trend that appears to be going up.
Many believe that cryptocurrency is the answer to the problems created by centralized financial institutions. Others believe in the underlying technology. Still others just see the activity and don’t want to miss a chance to make a quick buck.
There are several ways to get involved in the crypto space, but centralized exchanges like Coinbase are an entry point for many people because of their simplicity, easy access, and ability to trade the more popular coins like Bitcoin and Ether.
The data is correct as of May 20, 2022 and is subject to change.
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The information is correct as of May 20, 2022.
About the author
Branford Shaw is a freelance writer and web developer based in the Washington DC area with a background in sales and scientific research. He earned a BS in biology from Hampton University, where he honed his skills as a technical writer. With a wide range of interests and experience, he is able to learn quickly and write on as many diverse topics, but his areas of expertise are technology, travel, personal development and freelancing/entrepreneurship.