Coinbase Review: Crypto Exchange Fees & How to Buy/Sell/Trade

5 min read

Coinbase accounts allow anyone to easily purchase up to 100 cryptocurrencies using easy payment methods like debit, credit, and PayPal. The Coinbase Pro app is for advanced traders and uses a maker-taker fee model to calculate account fees.

What is Coinbase?

Based in San Francisco, California, Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange broker in the US. With over 30+ million members spread across 103 countries around the globe, Coinbase now boasts a cryptocurrency trade total of over $150 billion.

Under the management of CEO Brian Armstrong, Coinbase was launched in 2012 with broker activity taking up the core trading activity. Today, the lion’s share of their clients are inexperienced traders in crypto markets looking to open their first digital wallet.

All Coinbase members can easily buy, sell and trade up to 100 different cryptocurrencies using everyday payment methods such as debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers.

Coinbase also offers a Pro membership designed for experienced traders that is similar to most other cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

Buy Bitcoin from just $10

Jumpstart your crypto portfolio today so you can easily buy and sell popular digital currencies on Coinboase or schedule daily, weekly, or monthly purchases.

With FDIC insurance on balances up to $250,000 and secure offline storage, Coinbase is one of the world’s most trusted cryptocurrency wallets.

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When cryptocurrency trading in small amounts, the fees Coinbase charges can be somewhat confusing. The transaction and trading costs range from 0.5% to 4.5% with variances depending on the type of cryptocurrency being purchased, market volatility, payment method, and transaction size.

The Coinbase platform also has a minimum flat fee of $2.99 per transaction which comes into play when variable fees do not meet the minimum. Basically, you pay whichever transaction fee is greater, with the lowest being $3 per.

For example, if you can buy $100 of Bitcoin via a U.S. bank account debit purchase, the higher flat fee of $2.99 will be charged instead of the lower 1.49% variable fee ($1.49). If you purchase $300 of Bitcoin, however, you’ll pay the variable fee ($4.47) because it is greater than the $3 flat fee.

The regular Coinbase platform offers basic crypto trading services with a transaction minimum of $2. Since you’d have to pay a $3 flat fee to make a purchase this small, however, it’s best to make a cryptocurrency purchase of $200 or more to reduce your transaction fees losses.

In exchange for higher minimum purchase limits some other cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken, and Binance offer lower fees than Coinbase.

Maker Taker

When trading cryptocurrency on Coinbase Pro, they use a maker-taker fee model that is based on trading volume and asset liquidity at the time of purchase. The taker fee is applied when you’re able to purchase crypto immediately, while the maker fee is applied when orders require the buyer to wait for purchase availability.

  • Maker fees range from 0% to 0.5% per trade
  • Taker fees range from 0.04% to 0.50% per trade

The Coinbase Pro platform also requires a bank account to make deposits, withdrawals, or wire transfers. Unfortunately, credit card purchases can only be made in regular Coinbase accounts.

Direct Deposit

Crypto investors located in the United States can make direct deposits from their paychecks in any amount, in any cryptocurrency, or USD. Also, you can get paid in crypto by having Coinbase convert your paycheck without transaction fees from USD to the cryptocurrency of your choosing.


When comparing Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro is regular app is more suited to new investors looking for an easy-to-use crypto exchange. You can purchase small amounts from as little as $2 up to a total of $25,000 per day.

Both the regular and Pro membership allow you to complete simple tasks checking your account balance, along with buying and selling over 250 cryptocurrencies and crypto tokens.

The Coinbase Pro app, however, is an elaborate trading platform that is more suited to experienced traders. The number of advanced trading features may seem overwhelming to a novice user, but for those with market experience, there’s almost everything you need. Pro users are eligible for discounted Coinbase fees based on trading volume.

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro users are both equally covered with FDIC insurance protection up to $250,000 per individual. This, however, is only pass-through FDIC insurance at banks where clients have their crypto wallets stored as cash. The insurance cover bank failure and loss of bank cash.

Coinbase Pro

The Pro app for Coinbase users has an interface geared toward professional traders who buy like to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies and crypto tokens in large volumes. The app includes several charting tools, market feed data, and real-time order books.

The Coinbase Pro platform has trading fees for exchanging digital currencies in bulk that uses a maker-taker system. For amounts less than $100,000, there is a taker fee starting at 0.25% of the trading volume. The minimum of 0.05% applies only for amounts reaching $1 billion or more.

The maker fees for crypto transactions under $100.000 is 0.15%, while trade volumes exceeding $100 million or more, have no fees at all.


Regular members can purchase up to $25,000 of cryptocurrency per day. While Coinbase Pro members enjoy unlimited trade and balance levels.

In Coinbase Pro, withdrawals are regulated with an initial limit of $25,000 a day, which can be increased with time, via request.


Think of it as being a Coinbase USD wallet that is a cryptocurrency stable coin matched 1-to-1 with the US dollar. There is a 0.15% APY level for USDC users’ holdings.


The Coinbase Wallet is a standalone app that allows you self-custody of your digital purchases. Through this feature, Coinbase users have access to numerous decentralized applications or dapps. The wallet can also hold over 4,000 cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and crypto tokens.

It is the responsibility of the crypto wallet user to personally protect their 12-word recovery/seed phrase. Since Coinbase does not safeguard this security information, the only way to restore your wallet is to make sure you don’t forget it.


An upgrade to the wallet option, the Coinbase Vault offers a 48-hour hold on all account withdrawal requests. Notices are sent via email letting users know a withdrawal has been made, and you will then have a 48-hour interval to safely cancel it.

Visa Debit Card

You can also get a Coinbase Card that allows you to spend cryptocurrency in any location worldwide that accepts Visa. For each purchase, it’s also possible to earn up to 4% back in crypto rewards.

Your visa debit card balance is funded by your crypto account balance and comes with a match mobile APP for IOS or Android. With this card, you can make contactless payments, PIN payments, and ATM withdrawals from your crypto balance.


Coinbase Earn is a feature where you can view short educational videos, take small quizzes, and earn free crypto assets. Users of this system have the chance to earn Flexa Network’s Amp tokens, Graph’s GRT tokens, Stellar Lumens, etc.