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Binance vs. Coinbase: Which crypto exchange is right for you?

A picture of Binance and Coinbase apps on a phone
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Binance.US and Coinbase are two of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges around, so which should you choose? The answer depends on what exactly you need, which crypto coins you want to trade, how much you’re willing to pay and other key factors.

Coinbase and Binance.US are both major players among established cryptocurrency exchanges. In this article we’ll refer to Binance.US – the American arm of the larger Binance organization – as Binance. We’ll compare it to Coinbase Pro, which offers much lower costs than the basic Coinbase service, though we’ll refer to it as Coinbase.

Here’s how Binance and Coinbase compare on some of the most important factors to traders.

Binance vs. Coinbase: Cost

The most significant cost you’re likely to pay are your trading fees, and if you’re doing a lot of it, those can certainly add up. Fortunately, it’s the norm for most exchanges to offer discounts based on your 30-day trading volume. However, Binance even goes one better than that.

Both Coinbase and Binance use a maker-taker pricing structure, charging based on whether you add liquidity to the market (makers) or remove liquidity from the market (takers). So trading fees generally differ not only on your volume but also the type of trade you make.

Here’s how each exchange breaks down on its fees:

Binance trading fees

30-day volume Maker Taker
Less than $50,000 0.10 percent 0.10 percent
$50,000 – $100,000 0.09 percent 0.09 percent
$100,000 – $500,000 0.08 percent 0.09 percent
$500,000 – $1 million 0.07 percent 0.08 percent
$1 million – $5 million 0.05 percent 0.07 percent
$5 million – $10 million 0.04 percent 0.06 percent
$10 million – $25 million 0 percent 0.06 percent
$25 million – $100 million 0 percent 0.05 percent
$100 million – $250 million 0 percent 0.04 percent
$250 million – $500 million 0 percent 0.03 percent
$500 million and up 0 percent 0.02 percent

Coinbase Pro trading fees

30-day volume Maker Taker
Less than $10,000 0.50 percent 0.50 percent
$10,000 – $50,000 0.35 percent 0.35 percent
$50,000 – $100,000 0.15 percent 0.25 percent
$100,000 – $1 million 0.10 percent 0.20 percent
$1 million – $10 million 0.08 percent 0.18 percent
$10 million – $20 million 0.08 percent 0.18 percent
$20 million – $50 million 0.05 percent 0.15 percent
$50 million – $100 million 0.05 percent 0.15 percent
$100 million – $300 million 0.02 percent 0.10 percent
$300 million – $500 million 0 percent 0.08 percent
$500 million – $750 million 0 percent 0.06 percent
$750 million – $1 billion 0 percent 0.05 percent
$1 billion – $2 billion 0 percent 0.04 percent
$2 billion and up 0 percent 0.04 percent

The results are clear: All the way up and down the scale, Binance charges less than Coinbase, whether you’re doing small volume or large volume. On top of that, Binance will cut your fees a further 25 percent if you use BNB, its own in-house coin, to pay for trading fees.

For example, imagine you’ve placed $25,000 in trades in the prior 30 days and you want to place another $10,000 trade. At Coinbase you’d pay 0.35 percent as either a maker or taker for a total cost of $35. In comparison, you’d pay 0.10 percent at Binance for that trade, or a total of $10. Binance will cut that fee by 25 percent if you pay with BNB, so it comes to just $7.50.

And that price advantage continues all the way up the volume chart. For example, with $500,000 in volume, you’d pay a maker/taker fee of 0.10 or 0.20 percent at Coinbase on the next trade, compared to 0.07 or 0.08 percent at Binance (0.0525 percent and 0.06 percent with the discount).

When you trade more than $100 million in 30-day volume at Binance your maker price is zero percent for incremental trades (0.06 percent for takers). At Coinbase, you’re still paying 0.08 percent as a maker for incremental trades (0.18 percent for takers). And then there’s that Binance discount again that widens things still further.

Advantage: Binance offers a clear advantage on what’s likely to be the largest group of ongoing fees you’ll pay. Coinbase lags on this measure at every step along the way.

Binance vs. Coinbase: Supported cryptocurrencies

The straight numbers look to be in Coinbase’s favor in terms of how many total kinds of coins offered by each exchange. Coinbase gives traders access to 158 coins, while Binance offers access to 70, less than half the number of its rival.

But all that choice is like a buffet: If you don’t want to trade a specific coin, it doesn’t matter if it’s there or not. So how do these exchanges compare on the top 10 coins by market capitalization? A comparison there might tease out some differences. On that basis, Binance is slightly better, offering eight of the top 10 coins, compared to Coinbase’s seven. Both offer Bitcoin, of course, and the only difference is that Binance offers BNB, the coin powering Binance’s own ecosystem.

Advantage: Coinbase gets the edge here.

Binance vs. Coinbase: Staking rewards

Coinbase and Binance are close when it comes to staking rewards offered on their platforms. Staking rewards provide crypto owners a chance to receive income for supporting the token as part of the verification process. Typically, an exchange simply deposits your income, net of any fees, into your account. Coinbase takes a commission on your rewards, while Binance does not.

Coinbase allows staking on six coins, including Ethereum, one of the largest coins, as well as Algorand and Cosmos. Binance supports staking on seven coins, including Algorand and Cosmos. So you might prefer Coinbase if you’re looking to stake your Ethereum position.

As for how large those rewards are? On the latest numbers, Coinbase estimates that Cosmos and Algorand will earn 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively. On the other hand, Binance estimates those respective figures at 1.5 percent – 3 percent and 4.5 percent – 6.5 percent. So, when it comes to coins shared by both platforms, Coinbase wins one and Binance wins one.

Advantage: Coinbase edges out Binance on staking rewards, especially for those who hold Ethereum and want to stake it. For those who hold coins supported on one platform but not the other, though, a specific exchange may end up being better for them.

Binance vs. Coinbase: Deposit and withdrawal fees

Neither Coinbase nor Binance charges deposit or withdrawal fees for ACH deposits in U.S. dollars. On wire transfers, Binance does a bit better, with no charge for wire deposits and a $15 withdrawal fee for domestic wires. For its part, Coinbase charges $10 for wire deposits into its accounts and $25 for wire withdrawals.

Advantage: Binance offers a better fee structure here, both for ACH fees and even wire fees. However, if you plan to use wires frequently, Binance would be the clearly better outfit.

Binance vs. Coinbase: Customer support

Customer support at crypto exchanges seems to be mostly an afterthought, despite the soaring growth at exchanges. However, Coinbase has grown its efforts here recently, adding phone support, a much-needed feature to prior options that included only email and a support ticket. Plus, if you see suspicious activity, you can call customer support to lock your account (though it raises the question of why this feature is needed, when traditional stock brokers seem to have no such issues.)

Binance offers only support tickets, unfortunately, which perhaps is part of the price you pay for its very low trading costs.

Advantage: With a variety of support options, Coinbase looks like the clear winner here.

Bottom line

On what’s probably the single most important feature of an exchange – cost – Binance gets the win. Low trading costs played into Binance being named the best crypto exchange for beginners by Bankrate.

However, on the finer details, such as available coins, Coinbase wins outright or has a small advantage. In a comparison of Coinbase to Binance then, the true winner may be the exchange that fits your needs best — whether that’s low trading fees, widest selection or better support.

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Written by
James Royal
Senior investing and wealth management reporter
Bankrate senior reporter James F. Royal, Ph.D., covers investing and wealth management. His work has been cited by CNBC, the Washington Post, The New York Times and more.
Edited by
Senior wealth editor