How to Avoid Coinbase Transaction Fees

How to Avoid Coinbase Transaction Fees

Cryptocurrencies
by Julian Lopez-Acosta
398
Are you buying crypto for the first time? Or maybe you trust companies to handle your crypto transactions over Internet strangers on DeFi—either way, Coinbase is one of the most popular options for purchasing cryptocurrency.
Avoid coinbase fees

If you’ve used Coinbase in the past, you’ll know that it is paramount that you avoid Coinbase fees as much as humanly possible. Slowly but surely, fees will add up in your account, leaving you with more debts than profits. Not the scenario we’re looking for in the crypto realm.

If you’re reading this article, you’re in luck! One method to avoid Coinbase fees is to use Coinbase Pro, Coinbase’s advanced trading platform. We’ll get to that in a bit. But before diving into the solution to avoid Coinbase fees, let’s take a look at the confusing fee structure.

Is Coinbase free of fees?

Unfortunately, Coinbase has a vast array of fees applied to deposits, withdrawals, and transactions (trading) on the platform.

On top of this, the fees fluctuate depending on the amount of cryptocurrency you wish to purchase, payment type, and region where you made the purchase. So buckle in as we get into the nitty-gritty of the platform’s fees.

Coinbase deposit fees

There are four different types of deposit fees for bank transfers:

  1. ACH: Free
  2. Wire (USD): $10 USD
  3. SEPA (EUR): €0.15 EUR
  4. Swift (GBP): Free

So if you’re depositing money directly from your bank account onto Coinbase, you won’t be required to pay a deposit fee. If you’re a Canadian, you’re out of luck: Coinbase only allows for credit/debit crypto purchases.

Coinbase withdrawal fees

Do you want to withdraw your hard-earned cash from the exchange? Coinbase will charge you a 1.49% network fee for their troubles. Also, if you’re using any of these methods to withdraw, you may have to pay an additional withdrawal fee:

  1. ACH: Free
  2. Wire (USD): $25 USD
  3. SEPA (EUR): €0.15 EUR
  4. Swift (GBP): £1 GBP

Coinbase trading fees

Coinbase runs on two trading fees applied to each transaction: a Coinbase fee, which is the greater of either a variable or flat fee, and a margin or spread fee, totalling around half a percent for each trade. 

The Coinbase fee is displayed in the Order preview pop-up when purchasing cryptocurrency. It has two fee structures but chooses one depending on the size of the transaction and the payment type.

The flat fee structure ranges from $0.99 to $2.99:

  • $0.99 for transactions under $10 
  • $1.49 for transactions between $10 and $25
  • $1.99 for transactions between $25 and $50
  • $2.99 for transactions between $50 and $200

The variable fee is 3.99% for credit/debit cards and 1.49% for bank transfers in Europe, the UK, and the USA. Other regions aren’t required to pay the 1.49% for bank transfers.

In Canada, you can only purchase with a credit/debit card, meaning you’ll either pay a flat fee (generally for smaller transactions) or a variable cost of 3.99% for larger transactions. Take a look at the comparisons below:

In the first image, I previewed an order of $10 CAD. As you can see, Coinbase automatically charged me a flat fee of $0.99 for the order. Therefore, I would receive $9.01 CAD in BTC if I went through with this transaction.

I previewed an order of $201 CAD in the second larger trade. Here, Coinbase opted for a 3.99% variable fee. So if you take the $193.29 CAD purchase price, multiply it by 3.99% and add the remainder, you’ll get a total of $201 CAD.

You’ll be required to pay around 0.5% post-transaction for margin or spread fees. Beware: it’s a hidden cost, and you cannot see it under the Order preview pop-up. Also, if you’re order is more than $10,000 USD, you’ll probably pay a higher margin fee than the regular 0.5%.

Are Coinbase fees too high?

Coinbase fees are notoriously high for their offered services, ranging from 1.5 to 4%. Other exchanges will charge you a much lower commission, perfect for cryptocurrency traders.

Can you use Coinbase without fees?

There isn’t a single exchange that doesn’t have fees. It’s how the people running the platform earn a living and maintain the network. In some ways, fees are healthy for the crypto trading ecosystem.

It’s impossible to avoid Coinbase fees, but you can mitigate them.

How do I avoid fees when buying crypto (on Coinbase)?

To avoid Coinbase fees as much as possible when buying crypto, hop on to the platform’s advanced trading software: Coinbase Pro.

Although the advanced software is quite intimidating at first, it’s completely free and connected to your standard Coinbase account—in other words; there’s no need to create a new user profile and password. Instead, Coinbase Pro uses a separate wallet from your Coinbase account.

Now to the crux of the matter: deposit, withdrawal, and trading fees on Coinbase Pro. By using Coinbase Pro, you’ll avoid a handful of high trading fees.

No, I’m not kidding. The only time you’ll have to pay high fees is when you deposit or withdraw, though it shares the same fee structure as Coinbase. 

What does this mean? You’ll still pay for wire transfers and the all-mighty network fee when withdrawing from your account.

A quick note: Coinbase Pro does not offer card purchases like its older sibling, Coinbase. Therefore, you will avoid all credit/debit fees applied to transactions since you can’t even use this payment method. 

For trading fees, Coinbase Pro opts for a less complicated commission structure based on the maker-taker fee system. 

In short, this is how the system works:

You’re deemed a “taker” if you place an order at market price that gets matched on the spot with a buyer or seller. As a taker, you will pay a fee between 0.05% and 0.60%… not bad if you ask me.

If your order doesn’t get filled immediately, it will be shuffled into the order book, awaiting another order to match it. Once this occurs, you are considered a “maker,” and you’ll pay a fee between 0.00% and 0.40%.

The variable percentage depends on how much transaction volume you incur over a month. So if Jake has transacted over $100M USD on Coinbase Pro, he’ll pay less in commision than his amatuer friend Jenny, who only spends $10,000 USD a month.

Is it free to transfer from Coinbase to Coinbase Wallet?

Let’s say you’re ready to move your crypto off the Coinbase exchange and into your Coinbase Wallet.

If you wish to do this, you’ll have to pay the 1.49% network fee if you sent it to an address. Other than that, emails and phone numbers are completely void of this fee.

Summary

To avoid Coinbase fees, use Coinbase Pro for trades and transactions. Also, if you’re in a region that supports direct deposits (ACH), choose this option. You won’t have to pay for any withdrawal or deposit fees once you switch crypto to fiat or vice-versa. 

If you’re transferring crypto from Coinbase to a cryptocurrency wallet, use an email or phone number instead of an address.

And last but not least, if you want to avoid Coinbase fees altogether, use another exchange like Kraken. Coinbase charges high commissions because of its streamlined user experience and ease of use. Other exchanges charge much less, especially on DeFi.