Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro: Fees & Differences

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If you want to dive into the exciting world of cryptocurrency trading, two of the first platforms you‘ll come across are Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.

With over 89 million verified users, Coinbase is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. Coinbase Pro, launched in 2018, is Coinbase‘s trading-focused platform made for active crypto traders.

So what‘s the difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro, and how do you decide which one to use?

I‘ll compare these two leading crypto trading platforms across fees, features, user experience and more. My goal is to provide a detailed guide to help you determine whether Coinbase or Coinbase Pro is better suited for your needs as a cryptocurrency investor or trader.

Let‘s get started!

Overview of Coinbase and Coinbase Pro

First, let‘s look at the basics of what Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are:

Coinbase is a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange that launched in 2012. The platform markets itself as the easiest place to buy, sell, and manage cryptocurrency. Coinbase aims to make crypto accessible to the average consumer.

The exchange has an easy-to-use interface designed for beginner crypto traders and investors. You can fund your account via bank transfer or debit card, and easily trade 100+ cryptocurrencies against USD, EUR, and other fiat currencies.

Coinbase Pro originated as GDAX in 2015 and was rebranded to Coinbase Pro in 2018. It‘s a robust trading platform owned and operated by Coinbase that targets active crypto traders with tools and features like:

  • Advanced trading charts and market analysis
  • Lower trading fees compared to Coinbase (more details below)
  • More order types like limit, market, and stop orders
  • Access to Coinbase‘s liquidity pool and wallet infrastructure

While aimed at different users, Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are run by the same company. You can instantly transfer funds between the two platforms free of charge.

Next, let‘s look at some key metrics between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro:

Coinbase Coinbase Pro
Founded 2012 2015
Headquarters San Francisco, California San Francisco, California
Company Coinbase Global Coinbase Global
Verified Users 89 million+ Not disclosed
Supported Currencies 100+ Around 50
Available Countries 100+ Around 60
Trading Volume $327 billion (Q2 2022) $142 billion (Q2 2022)

Coinbase has a much larger user base, but Coinbase Pro facilitates higher trading volumes amongst active crypto traders.

Now let‘s do a deeper comparison between these two leading crypto trading platforms.

Key Differences Between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro

While Coinbase and Coinbase Pro share an underlying platform, there are some important distinctions when it comes to fees, features, user experience and more.


One of the biggest differences is the fee structure on each platform. Coinbase uses a straightforward fee schedule based on transaction size. Coinbase Pro uses a volume-based maker-taker fee model common amongst advanced trading platforms.

Let‘s break down the fees on each platform.

Coinbase Fees

Coinbase charges a spread fee of about 0.50% for cryptocurrency conversions. For direct fiat purchases and sales, fees are based on the transaction size:

  • Small transactions (under $10) – $0.99 fee
  • Medium transactions ($10 – $25) – $1.49 fee
  • Large transactions (over $25) – 1.49% of transaction amount

For example, a $50 Bitcoin purchase would cost $0.99 on Coinbase while a $100 purchase incurs a $1.49 fee.

Coinbase also charges the following fees for payment methods:

  • ACH bank transfer – Free
  • Wire transfer – $10 deposit fee, $25 withdrawal fee
  • Debit card purchase – 3.99% fee

Coinbase Pro Fees

Instead of fixed fees, Coinbase Pro uses a variable maker-taker fee model:

  • Maker fees – Charged for adding liquidity to the market via limit orders. Ranges from 0.04% to 0.50% based on 30-day trading volume.
  • Taker fees – Charged for removing liquidity via market orders. Ranges from 0.04% to 0.50% based on 30-day trading volume.

Here is the 30-day volume-based maker-taker fee schedule for Coinbase Pro:

30-Day Volume Maker Fee Taker Fee
$0 – $50k 0.50% 0.50%
$50k – $100k 0.35% 0.35%
$100k – $1M 0.25% 0.25%
$1M – $10M 0.15% 0.20%
$10M – $50M 0.10% 0.18%
$50M+ 0.04% 0.16%

As you can see, fees start at 0.50% for lower volume traders but drop to 0.04% with high monthly trading volume. This tiered structure gives active crypto traders a way to significantly reduce their trading fees.

Coinbase Pro also has lower bank transfer fees compared to Coinbase:

  • ACH transfer – Free
  • Wire transfer – $10 deposit, $25 withdrawal

So in general, trading fees are much lower on Coinbase Pro compared to regular Coinbase, especially for high volume traders.

Trading Interface

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro also differ significantly in their trading interfaces and overall user experience.

The Coinbase interface is clean and simplistic. The trading page prominently shows:

  • Your portfolio balance
  • Crypto prices in your local currency
  • Simple buy/sell interface
  • Transaction history

Everything is neatly laid out for easy purchasing and trading of cryptocurrencies. But advanced charting and trading tools are lacking.

Coinbase Pro, on the other hand, offers a much more robust trading interface that active crypto traders expect, including:

  • Customizable charting tools with indicators and drawing tools
  • Order book showing current liquidity and price spreads
  • Depth chart for visualizing orders and liquidity
  • Customizable trading view with crosshairs, indicators, and more
  • Detailed list of your orders and positions

The Coinbase Pro interface provides advanced analytics for researching and actively trading cryptocurrencies. The tradeoff is that it has a steeper learning curve than the streamlined Coinbase experience.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase supports over 100 cryptocurrencies that can be traded against USD, EUR, and other fiat currencies. Some of the major coins available include:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Filecoin (FIL)

Coinbase Pro supports around 50 cryptocurrencies overall:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Polygon (MATIC)

The selection includes most major coins, so you‘ll find most cryptocurrencies you‘ll want to trade on Coinbase Pro. But some more obscure altcoins may only be available on regular Coinbase.

Account Types

Coinbase has no account tiers – all users have access to the same functionality. Your trading limits depend on your verification level.

Conversely, Coinbase Pro has three account tiers based on 30-day trading volume and activity:

  • Basic – under $10k monthly volume
  • Intermediate – $10k to $100k monthly volume
  • Pro – over $100k monthly volume

The Pro account tier unlocks some benefits like increased instant trading limits. But overall, the core trading features are available to all users regardless of volume or account type.

Ease of Use

Coinbase prioritizes simplicity and ease-of-use in its design. The streamlined interface makes purchasing, trading, and managing your cryptocurrency portfolio straightforward.

Coinbase Pro packs more features at the cost of having a more complex interface. The charts, trading tools, and order types make it better suited for advanced traders but less beginner-friendly.

So Coinbase offers a smoother on-ramp for casual crypto investors, while Coinbase Pro appeals more to experienced active traders. It comes down to your comfort level trading cryptocurrencies.

Who Should Use Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro?

Based on the key differences, who should use Coinbase compared to Coinbase Pro? Let‘s outline some recommendations.

Coinbase Is a Good Fit For:

  • Beginner cryptocurrency traders and investors
  • Anyone new to crypto looking for an easy on-ramp
  • Casual traders making occasional transactions
  • Traders who value simplicity and convenience
  • Anyone wanting to buy/hold crypto or make periodic transactions
  • Those looking for an easy-to-use mobile app

Coinbase Pro Is a Good Fit For:

  • Experienced, active cryptocurrency traders
  • High-volume traders to take advantage of lower fees
  • Traders wanting access to advanced order types and charting
  • Those who value trading capabilities over user experience
  • API users and developers

Here is a quick comparison:

Coinbase Coinbase Pro
Best For Beginners Active traders
Fees Higher Lower trading fees
Trading Interface Simple Advanced trading capabilities
Order Types Market, limit Market, Limit, Stop
Mobile App User-friendly Geared towards trading

In summary, Coinbase targets simplicity while Coinbase Pro focuses on functionality. Pick the platform that best aligns with your experience level and needs as a crypto trader or investor.

Pros and Cons

Let‘s summarize some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using Coinbase over Coinbase Pro:

Coinbase Pros

  • Beginner-friendly, simple interface
  • Educational content to learn about crypto
  • Supports credit/debit cards and Paypal
  • Higher liquidity for most trading pairs
  • More cryptocurrencies available to trade
  • Streamlined mobile app

Coinbase Cons

  • Much higher trading fees, especially for larger volumes
  • Lacks advanced trading features and analysis
  • Lower liquidity on some trading pairs

Coinbase Pro Pros

  • Significantly lower trading fees with high volume
  • Advanced trading charts and analytics
  • More order types like limit and stop orders
  • Professional trading interface
  • High liquidity for major trading pairs

Coinbase Pro Cons

  • Complex interface with steep learning curve
  • Less educational resources for beginners
  • Fewer payment methods supported
  • Fewer cryptocurrencies available

How Do Fees Compare?

To summarize the fee structures, here are examples of how Coinbase and Coinbase Pro fees compare for popular transaction sizes:

Transaction Amount Coinbase Fee Coinbase Pro Taker Fee
$50 $0.99 $0.25 (0.50%)
$200 $2.99 $1.00 (0.50%)
$500 $7.48 $2.50 (0.50%)
$2,000 $29.92 $10.00 (0.50%)
$10,000 $149.00 $50.00 (0.50%)
$50,000 $744.00 $250.00 (0.50%)
$100,000 $1,499.00 $500.00 (0.50%)

For larger transaction amounts, Coinbase Pro offers significant fee savings compared to regular Coinbase. The savings are especially noticeable for high volume traders.


Coinbase and Coinbase Pro both offer excellent platforms for cryptocurrency trading. Coinbase is ideal for beginners looking for an easy entry into crypto investing and trading. Coinbase Pro meets the needs of advanced traders with its sophisticated tools and discounted fees.

Here are some final recommendations based on your cryptocurrency experience level:

  • New Crypto User: Start with Coinbase to easily buy your first Bitcoin or Ethereum. Use the educational resources to learn.

  • Occasional Trader: Stick with Coinbase for its simplicity and your existing account. Fees are reasonable for periodic transactions.

  • Active Trader: Use Coinbase Pro for lower fees, advanced trading tools and to take advantage of liquidity rebates.

  • Pro/API Trader: Utilize Coinbase Pro‘s API capabilities for automated trading.

Both platforms make it easy to transfer funds back and forth. This lets you seamlessly progress from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro as your trading skills grow.

I hope this detailed guide helps you decide whether Coinbase or Coinbase Pro is best suited for your cryptocurrency trading needs! Let me know if you have any other questions.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.