Coinbase vs. Binance Fees… A Game of Inches 🏈

bitcoin and computer keyboard with buttons buy & sell

Vince Lombardi once said that American football is a “game of inches.” Over the course of a game, an inch here and an inch there add up to valuable yards that can determine whether you win or lose. 

It’s a volatile game, and the team that best manages the unpredictable situations wins. An inch here and there often determines who wins. 

Cryptocurrency trading works the same way. Crypto is volatile, as seen by the wild swings in Bitcoin prices over the past month. You may wake up on Monday and see experts debating how high it will go...and then on Friday, those same people will debate how low it will drop. 

Trading crypto, like football, is a game of inches. Small gains create big results in the long term, but there’s a catch: you have to understand the fee structures of the sites you do business on before you start to invest. Most fees don’t seem bad, but they can have a serious impact on your profit. 

Two of the most used exchanges are Coinbase Pro and Binance. While both offer great service, we’re going to look at Coinbase vs. Binance fees and give you our recommendation on which one you should use if you're looking for long-term profits. 

Coinbase Buying / Deposit Fees

Coinbase charges a spread of around 0.50% for each purchase you make, although this percentage can change depending on market fluctuations. They’ll confirm the price of the transaction fee before you complete your purchase. 

They also charge a Coinbase fee, which is the GREATER of either:

  1. The minimum flat fee
  2. The variable fee

This amount will vary based on the method of purchase and your location. For anything over $200, the variable fee will always be higher. 

If you’re in the U.S., the flat fee is:

Amount PurchasedFee
Up to $10$0.99
$11-$25$1.49
$26-$50$1.99
$51-$200$2.99

For anything over $200, the variable fee will always be higher. 

Then, there are the deposit fees. In the U.S, ACH transfers are free. If you use a U.S. bank account or the Coinbase wallet, you’ll pay 1.49%. A wire transfer costs a $10 flat fee and using a debit card costs 3.99%. Debit cards are the most expensive option, but the funds become available immediately.  

For example, if you buy $300 in Bitcoin using a debit card, you’ll actually receive $288.49 (The 3.99% plus the spread). Over time, these fees add up.

How Much Does it Cost to Buy Or Transfer Coins With Binance

You can deposit funds on Binance for free using an ACH or wire transfer. You can also use your debit card, but you’ll pay a 4.5% deposit fee. 

This seems like a lot, but there are a few options you can use to get around these fees. 

The good news is that once you buy coins on Coinbase, Binance won’t charge you a fee when you transfer them to their exchange. Also, there are no limits on the number of coins you can deposit into your Bitcoin account. 

Basically, you have a couple of options. If you find a cheaper debit card fee, you can buy coins using that option and then transfer those coins into your Binance wallet. You can also use an ACH or wire transfer to buy coins for free. 

Coinbase Trading Fees 

Coinbase is one of the most popular exchanges, and for good reason. Its interface is very user friendly, particularly for new traders. 

The problem that many people have with Coinbase is that while their interface is easy to understand, their terms and conditions and fees aren’t. 

Whether you are a buyer or seller, there’s a fee for everything you do in the exchange.

Coinbase uses the maker/taker fee structure and determines what you pay based on your volume over the past 30 days. Basically, the more you trade over the course of a month, the less you pay in fees. This is great for established traders, but for new traders or those that want to explore crypto trading, it can be a drag. 

In the chart below, you’ll notice that there are taker and maker fees. 

For example, let’s say that you post an order at market price. If that order happens immediately, you’re the taker and will pay that fee. 

If your order isn’t immediately matched, it goes into the order book. From there, if someone else matches your order, you’re the maker. Sometimes, this means you’ll pay a lower fee. Note that this only occurs if you trade over 50 million USD over the course of 30 days. 

Price Tier (Volume / 30 Days) Taker Fee Maker Fee
Up to 10k  0.50% 0.50%
10-50k 0.35% 0.35%
50-100k 0.25% 0.25%
100k-1M 0.20% 0.20%
1-10M 0.18% 0.18%
10-50M 0.15% 0.15%
50-100M 0.10% 0.0%
100-300M 0.07% 0.0%
300-500M 0.05% 0.0%
500M-1B 0.04% 0.0%
Over 1 Billion 0.04% 0.0%

When you look at this chart, a few things stand out. First, the fees go down the more you spend, which encourages high-volume trading. The more you spend, the less you pay, so ideally you’ll reach the higher limits. The problem, however, is that most people aren’t going to get to the 50 million mark. 

Keep that 50 million mark in mind when we talk about Binance’s fees. 

Understanding Binance Trading Fees 

There are a few advantages to using Binance over Coinbase regarding fees.

For Binance, you’ll pay .1% for both maker and taker fees. That fee drops to .02% for makers and .04% for takers when exchanging futures. You also get a 25% discount when using BNB, which is Binance’s crypto token. 

This means two things. First, you’ll save A LOT of money, whether you’re a new trader just wading into the waters or a high volume trader. Remember earlier when we said to keep the 50 million dollar mark in mind? 

You’d have to trade over 50 million in 30 days on Coinbase to reach the tier that allows you to pay Binance-level fees. Considering that most people don’t trade that much, chances are you’d be better off trading on Binance. 

Of course, if you are a Bitcoin billionaire, you may better off trading with Coinbase…after throwing me a few coins, of course. 😂

Binance also has the advantage of keeping things simple.

If you need an MIT education to understand how much you’ll have to pay in fees, it’s best to steer clear of a service. Binance keeps things simple and upfront with pricing. Coinbase…not so much. 

You can trade more coins with Binance for less money, increasing your profit margin substantially. 

Binance Coin aka BNB

Earlier, we mentioned that you get a pretty substantial discount when you use the Binance Coin, BNB. 

BNB is based on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that it follows the same technical guidelines of the popular ETH. 

By buying these coins and using them for trading, you can cut your costs, which will allow you to see some serious long-term gains. The best part about these coins is that they offer you discounted trading, and in the future, they’ll gain value!

There’s a trading supply of 200 million coins, and once those coins are gone, they’ll stop making more. They’ll become more valuable over time because of their limited availability and practical use. 

Over the past two months, the value of BNB has grown from $28 to $45 (as of Jan. 18, 2021), making it an excellent investment long-term. 

Even Without Considering the Difference in Fees, Binance is the Best Trading Platform

When looking at Coinbase vs. Binance fees, it’s clear that Binance is the better platform. They have lower fees that are easier to understand, so you’ll make more money over time. 

Even if you take the fees out of the equation, Binance is still a better platform for both new and experienced crypto traders. 

Binance offers more coins on their platforms, allowing you access to more opportunities to make money. You’ll also have the option of selecting between two interfaces: beginner and advanced. 

The advanced interface has tools that allow you to do technical analysis and make more informed decisions that go beyond historical trends. It also has three levels of identity verification. Each level comes with a higher withdrawal limit.

Even if Binance adopted Coinbase’s fees tomorrow, I’d still recommend that you sign up for Binance. Luckily for you, you can have all the advanced features of Binance while also saving money on fees!

Also, please do make sure to get a secure hardware wallet to store your cryptocurrency off exchanges when you’re holding mid or long-term. I recommend the Ledger Nano X since it’s so easy to use and very safe, but here’s a massive guide about the best crypto wallets I just wrote: Best Cryptocurrency Wallets

If you’re already holding coins, I suggest learning about BlockFi & Celsius to earn interest on your coins like me.

Lastly, if you don’t like Binance, check out this article comparing Gemini vs. Binance.

If you have any questions or scenarios you’d like to run by me, just leave a comment below and I’ll personally reply back.

About Crypto Ryan 46 Articles
Hi, I'm Ryan. I started investing in cryptocurrency in early 2015. Naturally, I want everyone to have the chance to learn about the crypto world so I created this blog! I hope my articles help you understand blockchain and cryptocurrency. Cheers!
  • Hi Ryan, do you know if Binance is available in the UK? I looked on their site and it said about them having a base in Jersey for the UK, but the website for that is no longer active.

    • Hey Tom,

      Currently, Binance.com.uk is in development.

      There some strange laws in the UK right now (especially after leaving the EU so the withdrawal of funds can be complicated).

      I’ll have to get more into the best options for my UK users vs. just the US/EU – I wish I could help more.

  • Hi there Ryan, Thankyou for that very well done explanation of both Platforms and Exchanges. It has cleared up a load of queries that I had all in one place, but I do have another query. I’m in UK using Coinbase, I s it possible/better to open a US Binance Acct, instead of a UK Acct? because I was thinking of getting someone to do some remote access trades for me. Do I need a VPN first? because otherwise I get sent straight to the UK Binance Site please? Would it work out cheaper to load a Binance US Acct up with enough dollars than to keep converting my £ to a USDT or BTC or another Crypto to send to the US Binance Exchange. Which is the cheapest way to do it please? Coinbase UK doesn’t let me convert £ to USD so I’ve been buying and hodling BTC & altcoins in Coinbase not knowing which way to go about it.
    Also, can you do all this and make an API key or something from your phone on Binance please? Or does it have to be done on a laptop?
    A simple list of To Dos would be great if possible please.

    Thankyou in advance. X

    • Hi Shirley,

      It’ll be pretty tough to create a Binance.US account due to the KYC laws in the US. You’d need an ID of some sort in the US to do so.

      Some people get ‘crafty’ and create a Binance.com account while using a VPN. Once you’d have a Binance.com account setup it’s super easy to create an API key to connect with some trading bots or someone to do remote access trades (without always using the VPN).

      Here’s a potential to-do list:

      1. Get a VPN (I use NordVPN) and login from an approved country.
      2. Create a Binance.com account.
      3. Follow this guide to create your API. You can do this from a browser on your phone, but I don’t think you can do this in the app.
      4. Start trading!

  • Hi thank you for all of the information. I am pretty new and late to the game of cryptocurrency. Any advice you can give on what to buy or how much for a first time person would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Lillian,

      I would stick to a DCA (dollar cost averaging) type of investment plan. Simply purchase your preferred coins weekly or monthly for the same mount continuously over time – and never stop! Which coins, I personally stick with BTC, ETH, ADA, DOT, LINK, XLM and a variety of others (maybe just keep your eye on the top 20 in market cap). Now, you will want to always research every project to make sure it’s something you want to support (do your due diligence). Right now the market is booming so I would be very careful considering we may see some big dips over the next months.

      I find Benjamin Cowen on Youtube to be a great resource of knowledge and very level headed (never pumps coins). You should subscribe and watch his videos – here’s his page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRvqjQPSeaWn-uEx-w0XOIg

      Also, I am not a financial advisor so do not take my advice for investments.

  • The thing not mentioned here about Binance.US is that (as I understand it) if you withdraw your BTC to an external wallet they are going to charge you 0.0005 BTC for that move, which is $25, at the current range of prices. That seems like a lot of money. Any thoughts on that aspect of trading???>

    • Hey Stephen,

      The fee is steep compared to other platforms, but the fees you save on trading will, without a doubt, keep Binance.us at an overall lower cost than CB/CBP.

  • Hi Ryan, I am looking into trading. I just want a safe platform where I can withdraw my money at the end of the day since I am not planning on doing it everyday. However coinbase has big fees. For instance I try to buy 25K worth of bitcoin and the fee was 367, now there is a selling fee and a transfer fee so that will add up close to 1k. Can you recommend a platform where my money will be safe from scams or hacks.

    • Hi Mag,

      Coinbase is probably the safest platform for cryptocurrency trading, but for that safety and convenience, you pay for it in fees.

      Binance.us has extremely low fees and is still very safe. I trade on Binance.us without any issues. The only downside to Binance.us is its cryptocurrency withdrawal fees aka network fees (they’re a tad higher than Coinbase *sometimes*), but you’ll still win out BIGTIME against the trading fees from Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.

      Without a question, in the US, Binance.us is your best option.

      Please use my referral code if you do sign up: https://accounts.binance.us/en/register?ref=35021014

  • I don’t have a wallet yet. I bought/use Coinbase. It seems like it charges me a fee for just looking at my balance. Am I being charged a fee?

    • Hi Darla,

      Coinbase definitely has a fee for nearly anything, but if it’s just sitting in your account, no there’s no fee. Once you try to sell it or move it, you will be charged fees.

  • Hi Ryan,
    Can you say a few more words about how I’d move coins from Coinbase to Binance? When you do that you’re sending to a new public address, right? And that’d mean the usual bitcoin transaction fees for recording in the blockchain. Is it totally free to go between coinbase to coinbase pro (a book keeping change for them vs. an actual blockchain transaction)? Also, I’m currently staking some Algo at Coinbase, and maybe some ETH down the line too. They give me 75% of the payout from that, will Binance. Finally, I’m new at this and I know you say not to keep your coins on the exchange but the idea of storing potentially big bucks in my house where it can be destroyed (in fire) or stolen, or that I have to grab and take with me if I were ever to have to flee my home (vs just taking some login info) makes me nervous. Therefore, the coinbase/ pro insurance had me thinking I’d just keep it there (and use the vaults). Your thoughts?

    • Hey Matt,

      You’d be moving coins from Coinbase’s public addresses to Binance’s. The fee is estimated by Coinbase and just set as flat vs. what the network work is asking at that moment.

      And It is completely free to move from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro.

      I can definitely understand your fear! Cryptocurrency truly allows you to be your own bank (your wallet/blockchain) vs. needing a bank (Coinbase). When you are your own bank, you have all the responsibility AND all the power. By having your coin in a personal wallet, you own the keys to your crypto – so you ACTUALLY OWN IT. If it’s on an exchange, you don’t have that power – the exchange does. Here’s a good article to read: Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins: What Are The Best Crypto Wallets?

      There are a TON of strategies out there to keep your coins safe (you can see some in my article). For example, big time holders may actually store their 24 word (or 12) passphrase across multiple locations to keep it safe and loss proof. Say 12 words at grams house and 11 words at your parents house and then the last word in your memory! Also, you could have multiple hardware wallets (and cassette capsules like in my wallet review article) that are all the same exact address – stored in different places. Regardless, the only way to lose you coins is to lose your backup passphrase – otherwise, if all you wallets blow up today the coin will still be on the blockchain waiting for you.

      I recommend watching some videos by Andreas – he breaks it down really well:https://aantonop.com/workshops/

      Also, this video explains the power of having your own keys (Trace Mayer is the man, BTW): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwmpMKWAJAg&t=152s

      BUT at the end of the day, Coinbase is SUPER SUPER SUPER SAFE. I highly doubt anything will ever happen. But if you’re really into crypto, you’ll love the feeling of having your own keys and ‘unbanking’ yourself.

      Cheers! Thanks for the question, Matt.

  • Hi Ryan – great info! I have a question that’s only somewhat related. How is it that Coinbase can refuse to let you transfer your bitcoin to a cold wallet? Yes, REFUSE is the right word. I bought some BTC with a bank transfer, everything was fine, until I wanted to transfer my coin to a cold wallet. Coinbase then informed me that my account was locked and I couldn’t do this. No explanation on their part though I asked them a number of times to please explain. Any comment? Thanks.

    • Hi Ellen,

      It’s sad to say, but this is not the first time I heard a story like yours. Coinbase basically operates as a bank so they can do this for any reason they determine (for whatever risk factors they use). Reddit has a lot of stories like this – you may find a solution there.

  • Nice article, but after reading a lot about this issue, I wonder why two important topics seem to be missing from your assessment; the first issue is the overall category of security, compliance, and integrity. The second issue is withdrawal fees. Why gloss over these critically important issues?

    • Hey Crusty (😉),

      Binance.us and Coinbase play under the same exact rules/licenses in the US. So personal, I trust them just as equally since US regulations are very serious. Now, international platforms are a totally different story since regulations can vary quite drastically across the world.

      The withdrawal fee difference between Coinbase and Binance.us is quite minor of a difference. Both sites have reasonable withdrawn fees (network fees per withdrawal) and I would say neither really have the upper hand.

      Binance.us trading fees are so low that even platforms like Gemini that offer 10 free withdrawals per month still cannot compete when you add up all costs/fees!

  • Hi Ryan,

    Can you explain the strategy to (and benefit of) trading between currencies? I just started, and have a little bit of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Aren’t I better off just letting them sit and grow, rather than trading them for other coins?

    Also can you explain the logic behind the Dollar Cost Average investment plan? If things are generally going up, aren’t I better off buying low as I can with the lump sum I want to invest, and then watching that grow (while potentially adding more along the way if I have the means and want to)?

    Lastly, what is the strategy behind withdrawing for cash from crypto? How much and how often do you pull?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Noah,

      The main reason to trade between ETH and BTC is when ETH is hot move to BTC and when BTC is hot move to ETH. You can then keep earning more of each coin to increase your bag. However, you could just let them grow, and then you’ll have fewer taxable events (if you’re in the US).

      DCAing is usually the safest route for new investors. But usually, the best way to make the biggest earnings is through a lump sum. There are a lot of competing case studies out there talking about this in particular. I suppose it comes down to your risk tolerance and strategy.

      I usually pull out cash whenever I hit ‘life-changing’ returns. I then put them towards more traditional investments like a brokerage account. But a lot of my crypto investment are simply house money at this point.