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Buy Me A Coffee: Fees & Pricing Fully Explained

By Matthew Vultaggio

February 17, 2022

If you want to know exactly what the fees are for using Buy Me A Coffee to accept donations and tips for your art and content, I’ve thoroughly researched and made this article to help you out.

Buy Me A Coffee has no monthly fees and is free to sign up and get started. A 5% cut of anything you earn on Buy Me A Coffee is paid to Buy Me A Coffee, and standard payment processing fees are paid to their payment processing provider.

Buy Me A Coffee uses Stripe to handle all payment processing fees and credit card data take an additional 2.9% cut and a $0.30 flat rate for each transaction.

With Buy Me A Coffee, you have the choice of choosing between your supporter paying extra for that payment processing fee or for it to be taken from the amount that you are meant to receive.

To learn more about how Buy Me A Coffee’s fees work in detail, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

Buy Me A Coffee’s Fees

Although Buy Me A Coffee is free to sign up for and get started, any creator planning on using Buy Me A Coffee will need to pay a 5% transaction fee and any payment processing fees for anything that you earn on Buy Me A Coffee.

There is no monthly fee to use Buy Me A Coffee which means that you never have to pay these fees directly and instead will have these fees automatically deducted from any transaction you make on Buy Me A Coffee.

So, just like with most Patreon alternatives, it is free to create a Buy Me A Coffee account and you only give a cut to them when you are actually making money.

The fees to use Buy Me A Coffee can be easily divided into 2 categories:

  1. Buy Me A Coffee’s Transaction Fees: a 5% cut of anything you earn on Buy Me A Coffee that is to be paid to Buy Me A Coffee
  2. Payment Processing Fees: a 2.9% cut and $0.30 flat rate for each transaction that is paid to Buy Me A Coffee’s payment provider which is Stripe

When setting up your Buy Me A Coffee account, you have the choice of choosing between your supporter paying extra for that payment processing fee or for it to be taken from the amount that you are meant to receive.

If you are offering something in return for a donation, you should also keep in mind that you will have to pay for any costs associated with actually delivering on whatever you offer in your different tiers. (ie: cameras, video editing, merch, etc).

What Getting Paid With Buy Me A Coffee Looks Like

Once someone donates to you on Buy Me A Coffee, you instantly get paid with a direct transfer to your Stripe or bank account.

The amount you get paid will be the donation amount minus Buy Me A Coffee’s 5% fee and any payment processing or banking fees which are usually another 3%.

Your supporters are able to pay for their donation with all major credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

All credit card data is and payment processing is handled by Stripe (who has a PCI Compliance Level 1) and Buy Me A Coffee runs on Amazon infrastructure with Cloudflare security.

This, in hand with the fact that they have been around since 2018, makes Buy Me A Coffee is safe to use for anyone that wants to sign up as a creator or wants to sign up to support creators.

Completely Free Alternative To Buy Me A Coffee

If you are interested in finding an alternative to Buy Me A Coffee that has no transaction fees at all, then you will want to take a look at Ko-Fi.

Ko-Fi creator accounts are free to set up and they take 0% platform fees on any one-off donations that come your way.

…so what is Ko-Fi?

Both Buy Me A Coffee and Ko-Fi are the same in the way that they can be viewed as an “online tip jar” where supporters can give donations to creators for what they are already creating without asking for too much in return for that donation.

In addition to this, you can go beyond the “online tip jar” approach with Ko-Fi by offering memberships, shop purchases, and commission sales.

However, Ko-Fi will take a 5% cut on the income you earn from any membership, shop purchase, or commission sale transactions.

With that said, you can actually have the 5% cut removed if you subscribe to Ko-Fi Gold for $6 per month (which will also give you access to some extra features like analytics and customizations).

…so which of these 2 platforms is right for you, then?

If you want to pay less and offer more then Ko-Fi is likely better for you and if you don’t want your supporters to have to create an account to donate to you then Buy Me A Coffee is likely the platform for you.

To learn more about the differences between these 2 platforms and which is right for you, check out my article called Ko-Fi vs Buy Me A Coffee. 🙂

Premium Alternative To Buy Me A Coffee

If you are looking for a more premium alternative to Buy Me A Coffee that can allow you to create multiple membership tiers and offer a bit more to your supporters, then you will want to take a look at Patreon.

The main difference between Buy Me A Coffee and Patreon is that Patreon focuses on recurring membership tiers while Buy Me A Coffee focus on offering a simple way for supporters to donate or make a purchase with less commitment.

Although Patreon may seem appealing since you can offer more, you should know that this focus on recurring memberships makes it ideal for creators that have specific and ongoing projects like releasing videos or content on a regular basis.

Patreon is a lot less laidback than Buy Me A Coffee, and you will need to commit to offering more content and value for all of your different membership tiers.

While Buy Me A Coffee has a much more laidback focus on offering a very simple way for your supporters to say thank you and show support by donating without having to commit to a monthly membership or even signing up for an account.

After comparing them, you may even find that you may want to use Patreon for more serious recurring memberships tiers and compliment that page by using Buy Me A Coffee for one-off donations and shop purchases.

To help you make the right choice:

I’ve created a guide that compares Patreon against several of its competitors that you can check out here: Patreon Alternatives: How To Pick The Right Membership Platform.

In addition to this, you can check out these specific comparison articles I’ve made:

With that said…

Once you’ve found the right platform, the truth is that is actually where the real work begins…

What To Do After You’ve Picked A Platform

Regardless of whether you choose Buy Me A Coffee, Ko-Fi, or Patreon…

Deciding which platform you want to use to run a membership program, accept donations or simply monetize your art is really only the first step.

The next step is to learn how to get supporters and build an audience that wants to support you.

If you want to offer different tiers of access or content for your supporters, you will also need to learn how to create effective membership tiers that they actually want to join.

And regardless of whether you want to offer tiered memberships or simply offer donations, you will need to learn how to deliver on your promises to make sure supporters keep coming back for more.

If you don’t have an audience of supporters, no one will ever see your membership or Buy Me A Coffee page.

If you don’t have membership tiers that your supporters are interested in, no one will ever join your membership.

If you don’t deliver on your promises and consistently publish new content, then your supporters will stop coming back to your membership and will eventually stop paying for it altogether.

This is exactly why the next sections of this article are completely focused on showing you how to make sure you are on top of the above 3 tasks. 🙂

How To Get Supporters & An Audience That Supports Your Art

Whether you use Buy Me A Coffee or one of its many alternatives…

You will need to have an audience that actually wants to support you if you want to make money on either platform.

The best way to get Buy Me A Coffee supporters is to first build an audience and community around your art or creative endeavor off of Buy Me A Coffee and to freely provide that audience and community with overwhelming value.

Remember that most memberships don’t have any discovery features so they won’t bring in new fans. Instead, they simply allow your current fans the opportunity to choose to support you financially.

When you have an audience with an engaged community, only then will you be able to successfully grow your membership by offering them membership tiers that they actually want to join.

To learn how you can get more supporters by growing an audience and community and exactly how you can make effective offers, check out my article called How To Get Patreon Supporters. 🙂

How To Create Effective Membership Tiers

At the end of the day, the main reason that anyone in the world is going to sign up for your membership is if:

  • They completely understand how being a member benefits them
  • They feel like they are getting overwhelming value for the cost

The best way to create highly effective tiers for your Patreon or membership is by leveraging a concept used in marketing called ‘Marketing Funnels’ or Funnel Mapping.

By leveraging a marketing funnel, you can simplify what you offer and organize it in a way that is very easy for both you and your potential patrons to follow.

For a closer look at each of these funnel steps in more detail below and what you can consider offering for each specific level, check out my full guide to tiers, perks, and rewards called Patreon Ideas For Artists & Musicians. 🙂

How To Build A Content Plan For Your Membership That Keeps Supporters Coming Back

If supporters don’t feel like they are getting any use out of your membership because you aren’t posting enough or aren’t posting things that they enjoy, it is no secret that they will eventually stop paying for it.

The best way to build a successful membership program is to consistently release new content by combining a recurring content strategy with a content calendar.

Recurring content allows you to build your audience, optimize your membership tiers, and make sure your supporters keep coming back for more.

To learn how you can start publishing regular content that builds your audience and keeps your supporters happy without completely stressing you out, check out my article called Patreon Content: Ultimate Guide To Ideas & What To Post. 🙂

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Facebook Ads For Spotify Success

Although Facebook Ads can be a real pain to get working properly, there is no denying that they are incredible for growing Spotify streams and getting your music in front of real fans.

This is why I’ve put together a completely free course that you can check out called Facebook Ads For Musicians’ Spotify Streams. 🙂

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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