Whether you want to trade bitcoin or use it as a paying method, you’re going to have to buy it first from one of the exchanges or P2P platforms.

This means you’re going to have to pay fees. These fees are usually paid in cryptos, so it’s not always easy to understand how much you’re actually paying.

We decided to look into that. We’ve picked the most popular exchanges and use a lump sum of $1000 to give you samples of the fees. It means you have $1000 and you want to buy some cryptos. It’s also important to realize that once you start trading actively, you will be paying fees for every trade you make. While 0,2% might look low for one or two trades, the sums you pay for fees will grow substantially once you execute, for example, 40 trades a day. Hence, if you’re an active trader, the fee structures of your preferred exchanges are extremely important.

To make the fee structure easier to understand, you’ll need to know what is the maker/taker concept:

Every trade occurs between two parties: the maker, whose order exists on the order book prior to the trade, and the taker, who places the order that matches (or “takes”) the maker’s order. Makers are so named because their orders make the liquidity in a market. Takers are the ones who remove this liquidity by matching makers’ orders with their own.

GDAX

Fee system:

Maker Fee: 0% (all volumes)
Taker Fee: 0.25% (volume-based discounts can drop this fee to as little as 0.1% for traders who trade more than 113,432 BTC in a 30 day period)

So, unless you’re a market maker, you’ll pay $2,5 to buy $1000 worth of Bitcoin. Keep in mind that you pay that fee for every trade, so it’s not an one-off expense.

What’s interesting is that GDAX is owned by Coinbase and their fees are a lot better compared to Coinbase itself. However, if you want to deposit your fiat directly to GDAX, it will take you to Coinbase.

Coinbase

The cheapest that you pay on Coinbase is 1,49% and most you pay is 3.99% – which is huge. For example, if you want to buy $1000 worth of bitcoins with your credit card, you end up paying $40, which is a lot. These are deposit fees, bear in mind. How much you pay for depositing the money depends on your location and the method you use to deposit the fiat currency.

Plus, you pay withdrawing the funds as well.

If you want to do day trading, then you can do it on GDAX, which is a Coinbase owned exchange.

Coinbase US based clients fee structure:

 

Click this link to find information about your location (Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapor: https://support.coinbase.com/customer/portal/articles/2109597-buy-sell-bank-transfer-fees 

Kraken

Kraken is one of our favorite exchanges, but what are the fees?

Fiat Deposits:

  • EUR SEPA Deposit (Free)
  • EUR Wire Deposit (Fidor: €5, SMBC: €10)
  • USD(Domestic) Deposit ($5)
  • USD SWIFT deposit ($10)
  • JPY Domestic Deposit (Free, ¥5,000 deposit minimum)
  • CAD Wire Deposit (Free)

Dependent on the way you wish to deposit your money, you might pay up to $/€10 fee.

What about buying cryptos? Kraken has the taker/maker fee model, similar to GDAX, but both pay a percentage on the transaction. All transactions below $50 000 are charged 0.16% on the maker side and 0.26% on the taker side.

If we were going to buy cryptos for $1000, we would pay $1,6 as a maker and $2,6 as a taker. Again, these fees apply to all the trades that you’ll make.

Maker Taker Volume
0.16% 0.26% < 50,000
0.14% 0.24% < 100,000
0.12% 0.22% < 250,000
0.10% 0.20% < 500,000
0.08% 0.18% < 1,000,000
0.06% 0.16% < 2,500,000
0.04% 0.14% < 5,000,000
0.02% 0.12% < 10,000,000
0.00% 0.10% > 10,000,000

Poloniex

Poloniex has some coins that we like, so we’re looking into their fee structure as well. What are the fees we’re going to have to pay once we start trading?

Their fees are calculated on your 30 day volume.  I will copy here their explanation:

Every 24 hours, we will calculate the last 30 days of trading volume on your account (spot and margin combine) and dynamically adjust your fees according to the following schedule:

Maker Taker Trade Volume (trailing 30 day avg)
0.15% 0.25% < 600 BTC
0.14% 0.24% ≥ 600 BTC
0.12% 0.22% ≥ 1,200 BTC
0.10% 0.20% ≥ 2,400 BTC
0.08% 0.16% ≥ 6,000 BTC
0.05% 0.14% ≥ 12,000 BTC
0.02% 0.12% ≥ 18,000 BTC
0.00% 0.10% ≥ 24,000 BTC
0.00% 0.08% ≥ 60,000 BTC
0.00% 0.05% ≥ 120,000 BTC

If you’re just starting out, it’s very likely you’ll stay within the highest level of the fee bucket. Fees are very similar to Kraken – you’d pay $1.5 as a maker and $2.5 as a taker for a $1000 trade. And this for every trade.

You should be aware that you can’t deposit fiat on Poloniex. It means you’ll need to deposit USD/EUR/CAD etc on another exchange, and then transfer cryptos to Poloniex for trading.

Bittrex

Bittrex has a really easy fee structure for all the market participants – 0.25% fee for all the trades. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a taker or a maker. Following our previous examples, for a $1000 trade it would mean $2.5 paid in fees. Currently, you can not deposit fiat on Bittrex. They do say that wire transfers will be opened again, but we’re not sure when it will happen.

CEX.IO

CEX fees are pretty attractive – makers pay 0% fees for all the trades, regardless how big or small the trade is. Highest fee for takers is 0,2%. Trade volume is calculated in 30 day periods.

Trade Volume 30d, BTC Taker Maker
≤ 5 0.20% 0%
≤ 30 0.19% 0%
≤ 50 0.18% 0%
≤ 100 0.17% 0%
≤ 200 0.16% 0%
≤ 1000 0.15% 0%
≤ 3000 0.13% 0%
≤ 6000 0.11% 0%
> 6000 0.10% 0%

So, for each $1000 trade, the highest fee you pay is 2 bucks. However, we also have to take depositing and withdrawal fees into account. Let’s see what’s happening here.

Currency Payment method Deposit Withdrawal
USD
VISA 3.5% + $ 0.25 $ 3.80
MasterCard 3.5% + $ 0.25 1.2% + $ 3.80
Bank transfer $ 0 $ 50.00
Crypto Capital $ 0 1%
EUR
VISA 3.5% + € 0.24 € 3.50
MasterCard 3.5% + € 0.24 1.2% + € 3.50
Bank transfer € 0 € 25.00
Crypto Capital € 0 € 0
SEPA € 0 € 10.00
RUB
VISA 5% + ₽ 15.57 2.5% + ₽ 30.00
MasterCard 5% + ₽ 15.57 2.5% + ₽ 30.00
GBP
VISA 3.5% + £ 0.20 £ 2.90
MasterCard 3.5% + £ 0.20 1.2% + £ 2.90
Bank transfer £ 0 £ 30.00
Crypto Capital £ 0 £ 0

For some reason, the table is little out of sync and I can’t get it in order, but I hope it’s understandable as it is. The depositing and withdrawal fees can be pretty high on CEX. What’s positive is that bank transfer deposits are €/£/$0, so that’s a viable option. Credit card fees are quite high though – for a $1000 deposit you would pay 35 bucks in fees, which isn’t attractive at all. It’s even worse for rubles – 5%. Dependent on the sum and currency you’re withdrawing, the fees vary as well. 50 bucks for USD bank transfer withdrawal doesn’t sound too good for me, same for British pounds. That said, we still find CEX.IO to be a good option for an active trader, as the trading fees are the ones that matter the most.

Bitfinex

Currently, Bitfinex is the second highest volume exchange out there. They, too, have a maker-taker fee structure. As with previous example, your fee percentage is calculated in a 30 day period. Trading fees are not too high, with the highest being 0,2% or a $2 fee for a $1000 trade.

Order execution fees:

EXECUTED IN THE LAST 30 DAYS (USD EQUIVALENT) MAKER FEES TAKER FEES
$0.00 or more traded 0.100% 0.200%
$500,000.00 or more traded 0.080% 0.200%
$1,000,000.00 or more traded 0.060% 0.200%
$2,500,000.00 or more traded 0.040% 0.200%
$5,000,000.00 or more traded 0.020% 0.200%
$7,500,000.00 or more traded 0.000% 0.200%
$10,000,000.00 or more traded 0.000% 0.180%
$15,000,000.00 or more traded 0.000% 0.160%
$20,000,000.00 or more traded 0.000% 0.140%
$25,000,000.00 or more traded 0.000% 0.120%
$30,000,000.00 or more traded 0.000% 0.100%

What about depositing cryptos and fiat to your Bitfinex account? Sending cryptos to your Bitfinex account is free, but you will need to pay 0.1% for depositing fiat, with minimum fee being $20.00.

Bitcoin FREE
Ethereum FREE
Bcash FREE
NEO FREE
Litecoin FREE
OmiseGO FREE
Iota FREE
Zcash FREE
Ripple FREE
EOS FREE
Ethereum Classic FREE
Dash FREE
Monero FREE
ETP FREE
Santiment FREE
TetherUSD FREE
Bank wire 0.100% of the deposit amount, with a minimum fee of $20.00

Not too bad I would say. But hold on, there’s one important fee we haven’t checked yet. How are things with withdrawals?

Bitcoin 0.0005 BTC
Ethereum 0.01 ETH
Bcash 0.0005 BCH
Neo FREE
Litecoin 0.001 LTC
Omise Go 0.1 OMG
Iota FREE
Zcash 0.001 ZEC
Ripple 0.02 XRP
Eos 0.1 EOS
Ethereum Classic 0.01 ETC
Dash 0.01 DSH
Monero 0.04 XMR
Etp 0.01 ETP
Santiment 0.1 SAN
TetherUSD 5.0 USD
Bank wire 0.100% of the withdrawal amount, with a minimum fee of $20.00
Express bank wire (within 24 hours on business days) 1.000% of the withdrawal amount, with a minimum fee of $20.00

You can see that you’ll pay your fees in cryptos when you withdraw cryptos. Logical, but the actual amount is not easy to understand unless converted into fiat. Using their fee table and our current rates (NB! We don’t know when you’re reading this, so make your own calculations), withdrawing any amount of BTC would cost you $2.16. Not bad. Withdrawing fiat is 0,1%, minimum fee $20.00. Whether it’s good or bad depends on the amount you’re withdrawing. If you want to take $40.00 out, then $20.00 in fees is way too much.

Bithumb

Bithumb has the biggest volume of all exchanges. It’s almost always better to trade on exchanges with high volumes, as there are more sellers and buyers. But what about Bithumb fees?

Both maker and taker pay 0.15% fee to Bithumb. For every trade.

items Commission (Maker Fee / Taker Fee)
basic commission 0.15 %

What about deposits and withdrawals?

Assets Deposit commission (Deposit Fee) Withdrawal commission (Withdrawal Fee)
Withdrawal in Bithumb Withdrawal
KRW Free Free 1,000 KRW
Bitcoin(BTC) 0.0005 Bitcoin
Ethereum(ETH) 0.01 Ethereum
Dash(DASH) 0.01 Dash
Litecoin(LTC) 0.01 Litecoin
Ethereum Classic(ETC) 0.01 Ethereum Classic
Ripple(XRP) 1 Ripple
Bitcoin Cash(BCH) 0.005 Bitcoin Cash
Monero(XMR) 0.05 Monero
Zcash(ZEC) 0.001 Zcash

Withdrawal commission is always fixed amount, as you can see in the right column. Now, you might be asking what is KRW. It’s South-Korean Won. Their fiat. $1 equals to 1,142 KRW, currently. So the withdrawal fee is below $1, which sounds really cheap. It seems there’s no option to deposit USD or EUR on Bithumb.

Conclusion

The fees seem to be pretty similar at first glance, but it’s definitely reasonable to choose wisely as you can save considerable amount of money, especially if you operate with larger sums. 3,5% might not sound too much if you’re depositing 100 dollars, but it’s $350 when you deposit $10 000. Which exchange is the most favorable for you is also dependent whether you’re a hodler or a day trader. If you’re a hodler (buy and hold), then depositing fees have higher importance. If you’re a day trader, then the trading fees are the most important, by far.

Fees aren’t everything though. Some cryptos you want are only listed in maybe one or two exchanges which charge higher fees. You just don’t have an option and you’ll need to pay them. Also, security and ease of use are other two factors that you should take into account. Some exchanges listed here charge higher fees, but they are the ones that we love to use the most.

If you love reading those articles, feel free to support us by making a small contribution here (don’t forget to share, tweet and comment as well):

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