How to save money on crypto exchange fees

Fees are an unavoidable part of cryptocurrency trading- or are they? Charged by cryptocurrency exchanges on each trade or transaction on their platform, these fees can add up to quite a substantial amount, especially during the bull market when people are actively trading. Therefore, people are eager to find any way to save money on cryptocurrency trading fees, and to maintain competitiveness, many exchanges do offer discounts or perks for their loyal customers. In this article, we take a look at some of the ways in which you can lower or even have no trading fees, and the discounts offered by some cryptocurrency exchanges.

What are crypto exchange fees?

Cryptocurrency exchanges charge customers fees for transactions or trades done on their exchange. Some types of crypto exchange fees include:

Deposit/withdrawal fees

Exchanges are basically a platform for customers to trade cryptocurrencies, so they would need to deposit or withdraw cryptocurrency to the exchange platform in order to use it. Exchanges charge a fee when customers deposit or withdraw cryptocurrencies onto or from their platform.

Trading fees

This is charged by exchanges whenever cryptocurrencies are converted to other cryptocurrencies or fiat, and vice versa.

Most popular exchanges such as Binance charge trading fees based on a maker/taker structure with taker fees being higher than maker fees. Takers are when the user places an order that is able to trade immediately (whether partially or fully) before it enters the order books. They are known as “takers” because they “take” volume from the order books. On the other hand, maker fees are charged when the user places an order that goes onto the order book (whether fully or partially) i.e. “making” the market.

Interest/Borrowing/Liquidation Fees 

These fees are charged when users are involved in margin trading i.e. borrowing funds to increase your position. The amount of these fees usually depends on the amount borrowed on margin together with an interest rate. Margin trading however is very risky, and one of the reasons for this is because if the trade does not go your way you would become liquidated. When this happens exchanges also charge a liquidation fee.

VIP programs

Exchanges usually offer exchange fee discounts for their frequent users. This is usually based on a VIP tier structure where frequent users (based on their trading volume over 30 days) can qualify for higher VIP tiers which entitle them to cheaper fees. The requirements for the VIP tiers and discounts offered differ between exchanges.

Binance’s VIP program requires users to have a certain trade volume over 30 days and have a specified balance of their native token known as Binance Coin (BNB). For the first VIP tier, users must have a trading volume of 50 BTC or more and hold 50 BNB or more. Check here for more details.

Binance VIP tiers
Binance VIP tiers (Image credit: Binance)

Coinbase does not have a VIP program. However, Coinbase charges a fee for withdrawing from their platform and for transactions. The fees are calculated based on several factors such as the payment method, size of order and market conditions etc. The amount of such fees will be disclosed at the time of the transaction. Learn more about Coinbase fees and how you can avoid them.

Kraken does not publicise their VIP program but users can email them to enquire about their Account Management services.

Exchange token discounts

Many exchanges have their own native token, and holding their token entitles users to discounts.

Binance Token (BNB) is Binance’s native token. Binance allows users to pay for trading fees using BNB, and by doing so users can get 25% off both trading and margin trading fees, and 10% off futures trading fees.

Woo X for instance also has their native WOO token. Users can enjoy discounts on maker/taker fees by holding as little as 300 WOO tokens, and only 1,800 WOO tokens are required to reach 0% maker and taker fees. The WOO token can also be used for yield farming and as collateral for borrowing and lending on various DeFi platforms. Click here for more details.

Both Coinbase and Kraken do not have their own native token.

Discounts for staking exchange tokens

Some exchanges allow users to stake the native token i.e. to lock the token up for a specified period in return for additional rewards. Some rewards include fee discounts, additional tokens (i.e. yields), increased airdrop rewards and the ability to participate in the exchange’s initial exchange offerings (IEOs).

Binance also allows users to stake their BNB in their Vault in return for BNB yields. Whilst there are no direct perks for staking BNB, as mentioned previously Binance users get 25% off trading fees when they pay with BNB.

WOO X users are required to stake their WOO tokens in order to enjoy the trading fee discounts mentioned in the previous section. Other rewards for staking include eligibility for airdrops.

Neither Coinbase or Kraken offers staking in their exchange token.


Cryptocurrency exchange fees can add up especially when you are a heavy user. With the many exchanges out there, competition is fierce to attract users since they make money on each transaction you do. One of the major ways to do this is to offer discounts on fees for using the exchange. Most, if not all cryptocurrency exchanges offer discounts simply for frequent or high volume users with tiered VIP programs. Exchanges such as Binance are more creative, utilising their native token or having staking programs which boost users’ rewards. At the end of the day, the rewards offered are only one aspect to consider when deciding which exchange to choose, other factors include the number of cryptocurrencies supported and security etc. Intended users, especially those from the US, should also check carefully as some exchanges may have features that are not available to US citizens.

Further reading

Coinbase Fees-How to avoid them

Coinbase Review

Binance Exchange Review

Tips and tricks to save on your Ethereum gas fees

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency trading involves significant risks and may result in the loss of your capital. You should carefully consider whether trading cryptocurrencies is right for you in light of your financial condition and ability to bear financial risks. Cryptocurrency prices are highly volatile and can fluctuate widely in a short period of time. As such, trading cryptocurrencies may not be suitable for everyone. Additionally, storing cryptocurrencies on a centralized exchange carries inherent risks, including the potential for loss due to hacking, exchange collapse, or other security breaches. We strongly advise that you seek independent professional advice before engaging in any cryptocurrency trading activities and carefully consider the security measures in place when choosing or storing your cryptocurrencies on a cryptocurrency exchange.