USDC Transaction Fee | How much does it cost to send USDC?

USDC Transaction Fee | How much does it cost to send USDC?

Robert McDougall 

January 9, 2024

Cryptocurrency

Similar to USDT, USDC is a stablecoin that is tied to the US dollar. In other words, one USDC will always cost one USD, no matter the state of the crypto market as a whole. It was created by Circle and Coinbase to provide crypto investors with a stable currency for trading and storing their assets.

But, similar to most other cryptocurrencies, sending USDC to a different wallet or account incurs a transaction fee. Depending on factors like your exchange of choice, these fees can add up over time and eat into your potential profits. 

In this article, we will discuss the fees involved in sending USDC and provide some tips on how to minimize these costs.

Factors that affect the cost of sending USDC

The total fee for a USDC transaction depends on two key factors; network fees and exchange fees. Here’s how they impact the final cost:

Network fees:

Whenever you make a crypto transaction, a small portion of the total amount is paid to miners or validators for verifying the transaction and adding it to the blockchain. This payment is called the network fee and is paid in the native currency of the network which will be Ethereum for USDC. How much you pay is determined by the congestion and gas price of the network and can vary on a daily basis. 

Network fee also depends on the exact blockchain you use for the transfer. For example, the Crypto.com exchange charges a 10 USDC fee on the ERC-20, but this fee goes down to 0.8 if you’re on the BEP-20 blockchain. 

Exchange fees:

Exchange fees refer to any charges that crypto exchanges make on top of the network fees. You can think of these charges as a service for using the platform to buy, sell or trade USDC. From our time with different crypto exchanges — like Binance, Coinbase, or Kraken — this fee can vary dramatically between platforms. 

Keep reading to find out how popular exchanges stack up against each other. 

Average costs of sending USDC 

Based on our research, you might have to pay anywhere between 0.29 and 25 USDC for each transaction. The average cost for USDC transactions comes out to around 3.67 USDC. 

Here’s how this average is spread between different exchanges, blockchains, and transfer methods:

Comparison of fees across popular exchanges:

Binance

We like using Binance for sending USDC due to its incredibly low fee of just 0.29 USDC. Though, it is important to note that this super-low fee is exclusive to the BEP-20 blockchain. 

You have to pay a slightly higher fee of 0.8 USDC on the SOL and TRC-20 blockchain, which is still lower than most exchanges. 

The highest fee on Binance is 3.2 for the Ethereum ERC-20 blockchain.

Coinbase

Coinbase does not have a fixed transfer fee for sending USDC, or any other cryptocurrency for that matter. Instead, this platform charges a flat 1% of the amount being transferred. This is great for sending small amounts (<100 USDC) but can add up quickly for any transfer above 1,000 USDC.

Kraken

Kraken offers USDC transfer on two blockchains with relatively similar fees. The cheaper of the two is TRC-20 with a total fee of 2.5 USDC. The Ethereum ERC-20 blockchain on Kraken, on the other hand, costs 3.55 USDC for each transfer. 

Comparison of fees for different methods of sending USDC: 

Direct transfer

Direct transfer is the most basic method of sending USDC. It involves sending the tokens directly from one Ethereum address to another. 

The cost of a direct transfer depends on the gas price of ETH which is at 0.94 USD per transfer at the time of writing. 

Through a wallet

Wallets like MetaMask or Trust Wallet allow you to send USDC directly from the wallet interface. The fee for this type of transaction is usually similar to those for a direct transfer on the Ethereum network, i.e. the gas price.

How to minimize costs when sending USDC

Finding the lowest transfer fees when sending USDC can help you minimize expenses and save your hard-earned cryptocurrency. Here are some factors to consider to help you reduce costs:

Crypto Exchange

The first step in finding the lowest fees is to do your research. 

Look up the transfer fees of the best crypto exchanges and compare them with each other. This should give you a clear indication of the average cost and help you choose the one with the lowest fees. 

Blockchain

Most top-tier crypto exchanges allow you to transfer your USDC tokens on different blockchains with different fees. For example, sending USDC through Crypto.com costs 10 USDC on the ERC-20 blockchain while it only charges 0.8 USDC on the BEP-20 option. 

Timing

USDC network fees depend on the ETH gas price which fluctuates based on supply and demand. So, if you’re going to transfer a large amount of USDC, waiting a few days for low gas prices can be worth it. 

Consolidation

With the exception of exchanges like Coinbase with a percentage-based fee system, USDC sending fees are charged per transfer. This allows you to save money by sending a large sum at once, instead of making a bunch of smaller transactions. 

Promotions

Many crypto exchanges offer promotions and fee discounts to their users on a regular basis. So, if you aren’t in a hurry to send the USDC, waiting for a low-fee promotion can help you make savings.

Conclusion

Sending USDC to a different account or wallet carries fees that eat into your funds. For instance, sending 1,000 USDC through Coinbase would leave you a full 10 USDC short of the starting amount. 

But, we know from experience that finding lower fees is both easy and practical. 

Just do your research and compare the transfer costs of different exchanges & sending methods with each other. This will allow you to decrease your expenses and maximize your savings in the short and long term.


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