How much does it cost to buy crypto on robinhood

Robinhood Crypto makes it easy and secure to learn and trade cryptocurrency.

Commission-free trading

Buy and sell cryptocurrencies commission-free on Robinhood Crypto. Other crypto exchanges charge up to 4% just to buy and sell crypto. We charge 0%.

Start with as little as $1

Buy as little as a dollar’s worth of crypto and grow your holdings over time. With the exception of Dogecoin, which has a minimum of 1 DOGE, there’s no need to buy or sell a full coin on Robinhood Crypto. For example, you can buy as little as 0.000001 BTC.

Instant deposits

If you have a Robinhood Instant account, you will typically get instant access to your funds up to $1,000 to trade cryptocurrency.

If you have a Robinhood Gold account, you typically have instant access to your funds up to your Gold tier amount, and any additional funds will land in your account after normal settlement times.

Note: Robinhood Crypto might limit access to instant deposits at any time. We’ll communicate with those affected if and when updates to instant deposit are available.

Secure and trusted platform

We protect your cryptocurrency with industry-leading security, with nearly all of your crypto held in cold storage. We don’t lend it or leverage against it and we perform regular audits.

Once you purchase cryptocurrency on Robinhood, Robinhood believes you are the legal owner of the cryptocurrency and that you have all the rights and benefits of ownership, including the rights to appreciation and depreciation of the cryptocurrency.

The main difference between Coinbase and Robinhood is that Coinbase is a full-service crypto exchange, while Robinhood is a traditional stockbroker that also offers a limited — though expanding — set of cryptocurrency options.

Long story short: If you want advanced digital asset options such as crypto-to-crypto trades and staking, Coinbase has a wider selection of options. But if you want access to other asset classes such as stocks in the same place you’re trading crypto, then Robinhood offers a serviceable, low-cost alternative to dedicated crypto exchanges.

Here are some of the key points for crypto users to consider when deciding between Coinbase and Robinhood.

Fees

One advantage Robinhood has over Coinbase is the cost to purchase cryptocurrencies. On Robinhood, it’s free. You can buy and sell crypto as frequently as you want with no fees whatsoever (and pattern day trading rules that exist for stocks don’t currently exist for crypto). You’ll still have to pay a spread (the difference between the bid and ask price).

It’s worth noting that in 2020, a Securities and Exchange Commission order found that Robinhood provided “inferior trade prices,” costing customers $34.1 million. The SEC investigation was about Robinhood’s marketing and execution in general and not crypto trades specifically. Robinhood agreed to pay $65 million to settle the charges.

Coinbase, meanwhile, has a widely varying fee structure, depending on the amount you’re buying in U.S. dollars and how you’re paying for it.

Coinbase does not disclose fees until just before your purchase, making comparison difficult, but NerdWallet set up a handful of test transactions to get a sense of the range. Generally, if you’re buying $100 in Bitcoin with a linked bank account, the fee would be a flat $2.99. Coinbase also charges a spread of about 0.5% for cryptocurrency sales and purchases; that spread may change depending on market fluctuations.

If you toggle over to the “Advanced Trade” section of your Coinbase account, you can trade for lower, volume-based fees.

Overall, fees at Coinbase can get confusing, and frankly, it feels a little outdated to pay per trade when other brokerages have been moving away from that for years.

However, in early 2022, Coinbase did roll out a direct deposit feature that allows users to allocate a portion of their paycheck (either USD or the crypto of their choice) to land in their Coinbase account each pay period. This service is completely free of fees, and users can set how much of their paycheck they want distributed to Coinbase, either as a dollar amount or as a percentage. Coinbase users can also avoid trading fees by paying for a monthly membership to the Coinbase One service, which costs $29.99.

Fees winner: Robinhood.

Cryptocurrency selection

Robinhood has stepped up its crypto offerings in 2022, though its options remain limited compared with Coinbase. On Coinbase, there are more than 170 tradable cryptocurrencies, and even more that can be added to price watch lists. And, Coinbase adds new tradable cryptocurrencies fairly often.

Robinhood, on the other hand, currently lists 16 cryptocurrencies .

Cryptocurrency selection winner: Coinbase.

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Nerdy Tip

Looking for more detail? Read our full reviews of Robinhood or Coinbase.

Crypto capabilities

This is another category that Coinbase should win by default: Robinhood is a stockbroker that dabbles in converting USD into cryptocurrency, while Coinbase is a cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange that also offers a hosted wallet — and a personal wallet if you want it.

What does that mean? With Coinbase, you have the option to buy crypto with cash, then store those coins on Coinbase’s hosted wallet. Or, you can send those coins to your own Coinbase Wallet, which is completely separate from Coinbase the app. You can also send them to your own, non-Coinbase wallet.

» Learn more: These are the top crypto wallets.

Coinbase also has some advanced capabilities such as staking, which allows you to earn rewards as high as 5.75% just by holding certain cryptos. And you can trade cryptocurrencies for one another, a capability that Robinhood does not offer.

In short, Coinbase is a really good onramp for new crypto users, offering users many of the capabilities cryptocurrencies were created for in the first place.

Robinhood in 2022 introduced a feature that allows users to withdraw crypto to their own wallets, but the service still lacks much of the functionality offered by Coinbase and its peers.

Crypto capabilities winner: Coinbase.

Ease of use

Both apps are intuitive, fast, clean and easy to use, and that makes sense: Both companies earn a large portion of their revenue through transaction volume. The more people are buying and selling, the more money they make. So it’s in their best interest to create a product that entices buying and selling, even in small amounts, and reduce every bit of friction that exists on the way to pressing the “buy” button.

The end result is a product that’s excellent for beginners in the sense that the buy and sell process is stripped down to the basics; though some argue that it actually shouldn’t be this easy for beginners to trade in risky, speculative assets like cryptocurrency.

The Advanced Trading features on Coinbase may involve more of a learning curve, so if you’re not ready to wade into that, the basic Coinbase platform remains extremely easy to use, as long as you’re OK paying those fees. With Robinhood, you’ll never really come across anything that resembles an advanced crypto trading platform.

Ease of use winner: It’s a draw. They’re both extremely well-designed.

So which is better, Robinhood or Coinbase?

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, Coinbase is the clear winner here. While its fees can be confusing and high, the option to trade on Coinbase Advance once you have a little experience can bring those fees down. Robinhood’s free trading is nice, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of crypto capabilities and the short list of cryptocurrencies to invest in.

If you value trading stocks and crypto on the same service, or if you want to start with a small, more curated selection of digital assets, then Robinhood could be a better fit, given the free trades.

Some of this calculus involves choosing whether you want to work with a stock broker or a dedicated crypto provider. If you’re willing to do some more comparison shopping in one of those categories, keep in mind that Robinhood and Coinbase both have a handful of formative competitors that might better suit your needs.

Robinhood CryptoCoinbase

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula for online brokers and robo-advisors takes into account over 15 factors, including account fees and minimums, investment choices, customer support and mobile app capabilities.

NerdWallet rating 

NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula for online brokers and robo-advisors takes into account over 15 factors, including account fees and minimums, investment choices, customer support and mobile app capabilities.

Learn MoreRead review

Fees

$0

per trade

Fees

0% – 3.99%

varies by type of transaction; other fees may apply

Account minimum

$0

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion

Get $5 in Bitcoin

when you make your first trade. Terms Apply.

Crypto Exchange PlatformsCoinbase RobinhoodMain platform featuresUser-friendly apps, available in more than 100 countries, can withdraw crypto to PayPal or a digital wallet and choose from a variety of coinsIntuitive applications and supports purchases of crypto, stock, ETF, and optionsFees0.50% per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases, and 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchasesNo commissions, but pay an order flow fee that varies by tradeNumber of cryptocurrencies supported 1397Security features2-step verification, cold storage, biometric fingerprint logins, insurance in the event Coinbase is breached, FDIC-insured USD balances, AES-256 encryption for digital wallets2-step verification, FDIC-insured USD balances, cold storage, SIPC coverage for ETF, stock, and cash funds, insurance against crypto platform breachesTypes of transactions supportedBuy, sell, send, receive, and exchangeLimit orders, buy, and sellMaximum trading amountLimits vary based on your payment method and regionNo limits, but must wait for ACH funds to clear

New and Notable

On April 7, 2022, Robinhood announced that it rolled out Crypto Wallets to every eligible person on the WenWallets waitlist of more than two million people. According to the company, all eligible customers who signed up for the waitlist will be able to send and receive any of the cryptocurrencies currently available on Robinhood. 

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Features

Robinhood and Coinbase offer user-friendly applications with just the right amount of features for new investors. Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange available to users in over 100 countries, including all 50 states except for Hawaii. In comparison, Robinhood is an online brokerage company for U.S. users in 48 states. But, the differences don’t end there. 

With Coinbase, investors can:

  • Buy crypto using a credit or debit card
  • Learn about cryptocurrency through educational videos and tutorials
  • Track trends by watching Coinbase’s online newsfeed
  • Set price alerts for crypto to receive a notification in your app or smartphone
  • Make crypto to crypto trades on the Coinbase platform
  • Withdraw currency to your hot wallet or PayPal account
  • Earn cryptocurrency from watching short videos
  • Use the standalone Coinbase wallet with or without trading on the exchange

Unlike Coinbase, Robinhood doesn’t offer a digital wallet. You also can’t buy currency using a debit or credit card. However, the largest difference between the platforms is that users can’t move their coins from their accounts until it’s sold for cash. But you can use your coins to purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Robinhood, and the platform accepts limit orders. Coinbase investors must use the Coinbase Pro account to place limit orders. 

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Supported Currencies

Coinbase supports far more currencies than Robinhood, with 139 crypto options, and they’re always adding more. By comparison, Robinhood only offers seven coins, and you can also buy these on Coinbase, including Dogecoin:  

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Bitcoin SV (BSV)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)

Investors turn to Robinhood because you can purchase stock, ETF, and options. Robinhood accepts only USD fiat currency, while Coinbase supports USD, EUR, and GBP. Both platforms let you buy coin fractions. 

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Security

You’ll find similar security features on Coinbase and Robinhood, such as two-factor (2F) authentication and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance on USD balances. For FDIC insurance through Robinhood, users must “opt into Cash Management.” However, Coinbase has a slight edge. Coinbase keeps 98% of currencies in air-gapped cold storage and holds an insurance policy to cover potential breaches of coins in hot storage. 

Robinhood also stores coins in cold storage but doesn’t provide specifics. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) covers your ETF, stock, and cash funds if Robinhood goes under. 

For Coinbase digital wallet users, an encrypted 12-word recovery phase protects your currencies. Robinhood offers device management, so you can disconnect them from your account if you see any unknown devices. 

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Fees

At first glance, Robinhood’s lack of fees on purchases of crypto or stock is preferable to Coinbase’s hefty fee list. However, commission-free trading doesn’t mean zero costs. Robinhood earns money as a brokerage by collecting a percentage of the trade when it’s executed by market makers, meaning you may pay a higher market rate for crypto. Unlike Coinbase, Robinhood doesn’t disclose charges for order flow, so it’s hard for investors to figure out which platform is cheaper when buying cryptocurrency. 

You’ll pay up to 3.99% per trade on Coinbase, which is one of the highest rates for crypto exchanges. The exact fee depends on your payment method. But, you can use Coinbase Pro at no additional cost and benefit from slightly lower prices. 

FeesCoinbaseRobinhoodBank account1.49%0% feeWallet1.49% N/ADebit/credit cards3.99%N/A ACH transferFreeFreeWire transfer$10 deposit, $25 withdrawalN/A Crypto conversion0.50%N/A Purchases0% to 0.50%N/A Trades0.50%N/A Other fees$0.99 to $2.99 based on the amountN/A 

Coinbase vs. Robinhood: Ease of Use

Although Coinbase and Robinhood differ in many ways, both are incredibly user-friendly and built for first-time investors. It’s slightly quicker to sign-up and trade on Coinbase because it accepts debit or credit card payments, whereas Robinhood only allows ACH transactions. Both applications provide mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, with the Coinbase app receiving higher ratings.

You’ll find a knowledge base and articles about trading on both sites. Still, Coinbase goes a step further by offering videos and opportunities to earn small amounts of crypto for watching short video snippets. 

Both companies offer customer service via email, and responses aren’t always timely, so regardless of which platform you use, you may not get an immediate reply to your question. 

What Are Coinbase and Robinhood?

Coinbase and Robinhood provide platforms for investors to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Coinbase is a crypto exchange, so you can make crypto to crypto trades and withdraw your coins to PayPal or your Bitcoin wallet. In contrast, Robinhood is a brokerage. Although you can withdraw cash funds, you can’t transfer crypto coins out of your account. However, Robinhood also offers stock, options, and ETF trades, whereas you can only buy or sell crypto on Coinbase. 

How Do Coinbase and Robinhood Work?

Both platforms function in similar ways, allowing users to create an account using an easy sign-up process and similar verification measures to ensure security. Robinhood gives your trade to a market maker for execution and charges investors an order flow fee. Once you connect your bank account, you can purchase crypto, but you can’t access your coins or move them to a digital wallet until you sell them for cash. 

By comparison, Coinbase is an online cryptocurrency exchange. You have complete control over your coins and can withdraw them to your digital wallet or cold storage at any time. 

Can I Transfer Crypto From Coinbase to Robinhood?

You can’t transfer any coins into or out of Robinhood. To use Robinhood, you must purchase crypto using the USD fiat currency via a connected bank account. You can’t move your coins unless you sell them for cash. Coinbase provides a digital wallet for users, so you can transfer supported currencies to your Coinbase wallet and use it to make crypto to crypto trades. 

Who Should Use Coinbase or Robinhood?

First-time investors and people who want to invest small amounts find Coinbase and Robinhood extremely user-friendly. Both platforms are excellent for beginners. However, Coinbase fees can take a chunk out of your investment, whereas Robinhood doesn’t charge a commission, so users may pay less per trade. 

People who don’t want to withdraw crypto and prefer a single platform to trade crypto, ETF, stock, and options use Robinhood because you can only trade crypto on Coinbase. But if you want to remove your coins or have more cryptocurrency choices, Coinbase’s 51 coins and digital wallet offer a better solution.

How We Evaluated Coinbase vs. Robinhood

We put Coinbase and Robinhood side-by-side and looked at the mobile applications and web-based platforms to see what types of features best support new users. Since both platforms are geared towards beginners, we considered ease of use and attributes that make trading easy and help users learn more about investing. Furthermore, we reviewed supported transaction types, currencies, and fees. Lastly, we examined unique features and security measures provided by each platform.

Written by Jane