Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro: Which one to choose?

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Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro: Which one to choose?

With cryptocurrencies making waves globally, many people now look for ways to convert their fiat currencies into popular cryptos like Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, etc., on different crypto exchanges. Today, more than 300 crypto exchanges are available, and it can be daunting to know which to choose. One of the most popular exchanges with over a million users is the Coinbase exchange. This guide will take a detailed look at Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro; exploring their similarities, differences and ultimately explore which of the two might be best, depending on the investor’s needs. So let’s dive in.

What is Coinbase?

• Very high liquidity
• User-friendly interface
• A good variety of altcoins
• High trading fees when compared to Coinbase pro
• User doesn’t control wallet keys
• Fewer payment options

Coinbase was created in 2011 by Brian Armstrong; it is a user-friendly crypto exchange for trading and storing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. The platform aims to create an open financial system for the world. This crypto exchange platform also offers custodial accounts for financial institutions.  It is a licensed cryptocurrency exchange that supports all U.S. states except Hawaii, and it has high liquidity.

Coinbase has fewer payment options than Coinbase Pro. Furthermore, users don’t have control over their tokens’ private keys; instead, the exchange controls it. Coinbase has higher transaction fees of 1.49% on transactions made using a bank account and 3.99% on debit and credit card transactions.  Also, it doesn’t have as many altcoins as some other exchanges have.

Coinbase has higher transaction fees thank Coinbase Pro

What is Coinbase pro?

• Low trading fees
• Better features
• High volume and liquidity
• Only suitable for advanced traders
• Not offered in many regions as Coinbase
• An overwhelming interface that can be cumbersome for newbies

Coinbase has a simple on-ramp to cryptocurrency investments for novice users, but Coinbase Pro offers a more robust trade experience.

Users can buy cryptocurrencies by means of market orders that have high trading fees compared to other crypto exchanges. With that in mind, Coinbase decided to create a platform (Coinbase Pro) for its experienced users to be practical in their trades. Coinbase Pro allows its users to place stop limits, market, and stop orders with low trading fees. Users can save and invest in their cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, Coinbase Pro offers its users margin trading of up to 3x on USD pairs, and it has better charting abilities. Users can use overlays like Exponential Moving Averages (EMA) and line charts.

Even though the standard Coinbase exchange is a medium to understand how crypto-trading works, Coinbase Pro has more advantages, and is better for traders who want to invest and trade at low trading fees.

Coinbase Pro offers margin trading

Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro: Main Differences and Commonalities

When comparing any cryptocurrency exchanges, doing a fair amount of research is imperative. Knowing what distinguishes one platform from the other and common features between the two will help narrow down one’s choice.


One of the main advantages Coinbase has when it comes to Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro comparison is the fact that it caters to beginners and first-time buyers in the crypto-space.  Nevertheless, it is a platform for everyone (both beginner and experts) to trade cryptocurrencies easily. When compared to its Pro counterpart, Coinbase has a simpler interface and offers fast transaction time for verified accounts with a high percentage fee.

On the other hand, Coinbase Pro caters to more experienced users.  The platform is an insure-backed digital asset exchange. Furthermore, Coinbase Pro has a more complex interface, which might be worth learning how to navigate, since it offers lower trading fees and a better range of cryptocurrencies, pairs, and margin trading. There are commonalities and differences when it comes to Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro comparison. Let’s take a quick look at them.


Coinbase owns Coinbase Pro and both platforms are used for trading cryptocurrencies. What’s more, it is free to sign up on either platform. It is also good to keep in mind that Coinbase is more of a cryptocurrency wallet platform. Coinbase Pro supports various cryptocurrencies, and you can use your information on Coinbase to log into Coinbase Pro. Furthermore, your cryptocurrencies are insured by the FDIC, whether you use Coinbase or Coinbase Pro.

Coinbase Fees vs Coinbase Pro Fees

There is a substantial difference in fees when looking at Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro fees. Users on the Coinbase exchange platform incur high fees, unlike Coinbase Pro users. The cost of trading on Coinbase is steep. But novices in the crypto-space might overlook this.

As stated before, if you use your bank account as a payment means, Coinbase charges a flat rate of 1.49%. If it is from a debit card, the platform charges a flat rate of 3.99%.

Another feature to note in this Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro comparison is that Coinbase charges variable spreads on every purchase and trade. The platform says they charge 0.5% for the purchase on the sale of cryptocurrencies below $10,000 in value.

The fee decreases on the sale of cryptocurrencies in value between $10,000 and $50,000 (0.35%). However, the fee gradually reduces with every pricing tier until maker-taker costs get to 0.00% and 0.04% for $500,000,000 and higher.

There is also a “Coinbase fee” added to the spread; this charge depends on the purchase’s value and the country you are purchasing from.

Coinbase Pro fees

Taking a look at the charges between Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro is crucial to know which platform is suitable. As previously highlighted, Coinbase Pro charges lower fees. On the platform, cryptocurrencies and ACH transfers are free on every deposit and withdrawal.

Trading experience

Another factor worth keeping in mind in the Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro comparison, is the trading experience on both platforms. Besides the charges, Coinbase Pro shines over Coinbase. On Coinbase Pro, you can do the following:

Market Order

Market Order is the price at which you are willing to buy or sell a cryptocurrency instantly, and it means you are aware and happy with the price the cryptocurrency is trading at. It is a good feature to consider when it comes to Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro as it does not allow you to sit all day monitoring where the market would go every minute. Coinbase pro allows users to place Market Order on digital assets.

Limit Order

Limit Order is a way to trade a cryptocurrency with a set price in mind. On the Coinbase Pro, there is the Coinbase Limit Order to set the amount of the digital asset you want to sell and the price you would like to sell it. Your asset may or may not be filled through a limit order, which means that it may linger for days or even months.

Stop Order

Stop Order functions much the same way as a Limit Order. You could place a stop order if you are concerned that the price of your cryptocurrency may fluctuate at any point. This method allows traders to put their minds at rest when trading.


One feature to be considered when it comes to Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro is API. Moreover, API is a feature that allows a user to link their account with other apps. It is possible to get Coinbase Pro API keys to get a better trading experience. Coinbase Pro’s trading API provides a better way for developers to build cryptocurrencies and offer related functionalities.

How to transfer from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro

An important factor we need to consider in this Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro comparison is how to transfer funds.

Even though your accounts on both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are linked, both platforms have separate wallets. But transfers between the two are free and practically instant.

To transfer your funds from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the Coinbase Pro’s trading page and select Deposit under the Wallet Balance;
  2. After you’ll see a pop-up window that allows you to choose the currency type (i.e., BTC, ETH, XRP) that you would like to upgrade from the standard to Coinbase Pro.
  3. Then, select ‘Coinbase Account’ and enter the amount you would like to deposit to Pro from Coinbase. It is important to know that you can only deposit the available amount in your Coinbase.
  4. Choose ‘Deposit’ at the bottom of the window.

If you want to transfer your funds from your Pro wallet to your Coinbase wallet, all you need to do is the following:

  1. Go to the Coinbase Pro trading page and choose to Withdraw under ‘Wallet Balance’ – a pop-up window will appear.
  2. Then select ‘Coinbase Account’ and input the amount you would like to withdraw from Pro to Coinbase.
  3. Finally, the ‘Withdraw’ option found at the bottom of the window must be selected.

How to use both platforms

It is possible to use both platforms. If you already have a Coinbase account, all you need to do is use the same email address of your Coinbase account for your Coinbase Pro account, and you will be linked automatically. By doing this, you can transfer funds of any currency from your Coinbase to Coinbase Pro for free, and, instantaneously. For a detailed step-by-step, please visit our Coinbase review here.

If you have already created an account and logged in to, you will be asked to accept all terms and conditions on the Coinbase Pro, and you might also be asked to give additional personal details for verification.

Coinbase wallet (Photo credit:

It is important to note that a single user can only create and operate one account on both exchange platforms. If you already have an account on and you would like to create an account on Coinbase Pro, use the same login details.

Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro: Final verdict

Coinbase is an ideal tool for newbies in the crypto space who do not have prior knowledge of crypto trading and investment. Even though the crypto wallet is overpriced, it has good features like its Learn Program to enable new users to participate in the crypto space without having difficulties.

For experienced individuals, Coinbase Pro seems to be the better choice when researching between Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro. Moreover, unlike Coinbase, the fact that its Pro counterpart does not have exorbitant charges makes it the better choice in the long run, especially for seasoned traders or investors who have taken the time to do a fair amount of research on the two.

We hope this guide was insightful. If you’re looking to compare Coinbase with other cryptocurrency exchange platforms, we recommend you checking our guide to some of the best alternatives to the Coinbase platform. However, Coinbase has managed to deliver two strong platforms for both novice traders and professionals. Depending on your experience, Coibase and Coinbase Pro are good choices in the crypto world.

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