Buy Me a Coffee vs Patreon: Which one is better and why?

Buy Me a Coffee Vs. Patreon - Which one is better and why?

If you are looking for ways to monetize your blogs or other types of digital content, then both these platforms cater to your needs. However, choosing one platform over the other can often confuse creators since both work on a similar model. To help you pick between Buy Me a Coffee vs Patreon, we will navigate you to all the features of both. Let’s begin!

Content creation is a thriving market. Approximately 2 million content creators earn their living by showcasing their skills online. However, gone are the days when content creators were dependent on their income shares from Google, Youtube, or other platforms. Nowadays, it’s a different tale as platforms like Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee let you easily monetize your writeup and digital creation.

Whether you are a blogger, artist, streamer, podcaster, musician, or content creator, you can utilize these platforms to make money from your audience directly.

Both Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee provide business tools and creative ways of supplementing your fanbase without too much confusion about running a subscription service.

You can generate revenue by offering perks and incentives to your subscribers. But how do you decide which one is better as both work on a similar model? In which aspects does one outperform the other? Don’t worry! We will help you choose the right one to get accurately paid for your efforts.

What is Buy Me a Coffee?

buy me a coffee - What is Buy Me a Coffee?

BMC or Buy Me a Coffee is an American crowdfunding corporation that has more than 3,00,000 content creators who are monetizing their craft in the form of a cup of coffee (hence the name). It is a platform for creators that let them accept yearly, as well as monthly support, in the form of small gifts or donations from their subscribers. This platform is very easy to use for both creators and subscribers.

You can easily receive monthly rewards from your fans. Buy Me a Coffee serves as a link between artistic minds and people who are interested in their creations.

Although this platform doesn’t charge any fees for their service, they take a 5% commission from your income (“coffee”) that you get from your supporters or fans. For context, Limey‘s highest commission level caps at 4%.

Buy Me a Coffee is best for all types of content creators including musicians, gamers, developers, artists, writers, and podcasters. Whether you are looking for a full-time business or a side hustle, you can utilize this platform and earn money while pursuing your passion.

This platform lets you monetize your content while building a direct relationship with your fans and subscribers.

How do the membership tiers on Buy Me a Coffee work?

Buy Me a Coffee membership screenshot

You can set multiple membership tiers easily on the Buy Me a Coffee platform. You can send and receive direct messages from your supporters. This is one of the best ways to send personal thank notes, deliver rewards, and know more about your most loyal supporters. With the different membership tiers, creators can provide different levels of access to perks and benefits to their subscribers.

Creators can charge according to the exclusivity of the content. They can easily add a name, reward, price, and description on the tier to help their fan know what to expect inside.

You can offer rewards for opting in for any specific membership level. Creators can offer digital goods such as digital portraits, letters, documents, or other types of collectibles.

You can also limit the number of members who can opt-in for a level. This feature is very useful when creating rewards takes time or involves complexities, such as custom or personalized content. Lastly, you can generate welcome messages for every new subscriber. This will help you build a good rapport with your supporters.

How does Buy Me a Coffee work?

Buy Me a Coffee - A supporter is worth a thousand followers. Accept donations. Start membership. Sell anything like. It's easier than you think.

Buy Me a Coffee is an excellent platform for creators and for supporters who want to back their favorite artists. Users can easily discover new creators and their work via the search bar. This site comes with different sections for image galleries, blogging, and audio files (podcasts) to involve audiences.

Content creators can earn a good amount of money through yearly or monthly subscriptions to their fans. Creators can set the membership levels at different pricing and offer additional perks. For instance, creators can offer access to selected content or email alerts for new posts that interest their subscribers.

Bonus: Memberships or providing different perks are only one of the ways to earn revenue on Buy Me a Coffee. This platform enables its users to take commissions, receive donations, or even sell products, like e-books, art commissions, event tickets, or exclusive videos called “Extras”. As a creator, you can also get monetary gifts from your loyal fans known as coffee on this site.

Benefits of using Buy Me a Coffee

buy me a coffee - benefits

Other than earning from your online craft, utilizing the Buy Me a Coffee platform offers the following benefits:

  • Safe transaction of money
  • Simple interface for creators as well as subscribers
  • Options for setting up membership rewards, subscription plans, and selling products
  • Social buttons for supporters to share their favorite artist’s pages on different channels
  • The ability for creators to easily modify the “coffee” value
  • The ability for creators to change “buy me a coffee” to “buy me a salad” or anything else in your profile
  • The ability for supporters to pick any tier from the multiple memberships according to their financial comfort.
popular artists on buy me a coffee

Kevin Wilson — a 30-year-old student priest in San Diego, well known as “Chai Guy”

MaremiSmallArt — a digital artist and paper creator

Sharleen Joynt — a content creator and blog writer

Johnnathan Cordy — a guitarist offering useful lessons and demos

Boring Books for Bedtime Sleep Podcast — a sleep podcast to overcome insomnia, anxiety, and stress

Trials Report — a website builder for gaming

What is Patreon?

Patreon - What is Patreon?

Launched in May 2013, Patreon is a crowdfunding and membership platform based in San Francisco, which now has approximately more than 3 million active subscribers. This site enables creators to easily run subscription services for any type of created content and connects different content creators with their fans (“patrons”).

Supporters and fans can easily subscribe to their favorite artist’s channels and access their preferred content just by paying a few bucks. For creators, Patreon offers a predictable flow of income for their craft.

Unlike other crowdfunding sites, like Indiegogo, which offers monetization options for services and products that don’t exist, Patreon is a platform for content that is already created or published.

Patreon has erased the need to set up your own website and payment platform. This site lets creators launch a customized page in just a few minutes. The key motive of this platform is to provide artists with a sustainable income while rewarding patrons with extra perks or additional content at different levels of subscriptions.

How does Patreon work?

Patreon - How does Patreon work? - Creativity powered by membership

Patreon gives a platform for artists to make money from their creativity. This site enables supporters to reward and financially support content creators through a monthly subscription. It helps artists, writers, musicians, podcasters, and other creators earn income by offering perks and rewards to their subscribers in exchange for their content.

The content creators can easily set up different membership levels with a range of rewards. This makes it easy for patrons to support their favorite creators while staying within their personal budget.

This platform offers a different set of tools to creators for managing their patrons, interacting, tracking money, and getting it credited to their personal bank accounts.

The monetization of content works in this way—patrons or subscribers pay a fee to access their preferred artist’s work. Patreon charges 9% to 12% on the content creator’s income. This platform is utilized by writers, musicians, artists, videographers, podcasters, and other content creators who post online frequently.

How do the membership tiers on Patreon work?

patreon membership levels

As mentioned earlier, Patreon allows creators to set up different membership tiers for their supporters. It is up to the creators to choose how many numbers of tiers they want to set up or the rate of a subscription.

Fans can pay as little as $1 or as much as $100.  Higher tiers grant subscribers access to more premium and exclusive content.

The membership tiers on Patreon are optional and flexible. Some choose a single tier to minimize the burden of handling rewards. Other creators set up their tiers in such a way that they can avoid the hassle of creating, binding, and sharing exclusive content. Creators can easily track their balance within this site and effortlessly disperse the amount to their bank account.

Benefits of using Patreon

Benefits of using Patreon - buy me a coffee vs patreon

Other than getting paid for your passion, these are some benefits that Patreon offers to its users.

  • Creators can easily manage different levels of membership tiers.
  • Multiple tiers make it comfortable for supporters to pick any according to their financial comfort.
  • Communication between creator and fans is very convenient.
  • Patreon supports RSS feed which is great for podcasters.
  • Creators can post image, text, video, and poll content on their page.
  • Safe and transparent monetization.
  • Ease of delivering rewards and perks to the supporters.
popular artists on patreon

Ross Draws — an art illustrator who offers character design tutorials.

Felix Colgrave — creates moving cartoon pictures.

Drawfee — an artist who creates illustrated art and captivating videos.

Pet Foolery — an illustrator who creates imaginative comic art.

Fran Meneses Frannerd — an artist who creates innovative illustrations.

Chibird — an artist who creates animations and positive comics.

Comparing Buy Me a Coffee and Patreon

buy me a coffee vs patreon

When it comes to releasing content or videos on a daily basis, Patreon has a stronger emphasis on frequent memberships. However, when we talk about ease of interacting with your supporters, then Buy Me a Coffee is the undeniable winner.

Although both platforms can create public or member-only posts, Patreon offers more options including live-streaming, video, audio, text, and polls.

If we talk about the price of both platforms, then both Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee allows users to create an account for free. They only charge their share once you start earning. Buy Me a Coffee takes a 5% share whereas Patreon charges between 5% and 12%.

However, when it comes to payout, Patreon holds your payment for 30 days, whereas Buy Me a Coffee offers instant payment. If you pick Buy Me a Coffee you can easily integrate WordPress, Zapier, Giphy, and much more on your page, but this is not the case with Patreon. So, if you are a freelancer, creator, or influencer, Buy Me a Coffee would be the right pick.

Final Verdict – Buy Me a Coffee vs Patreon

Using both Buy Me a Coffee and Patreon can turn your growing audience into paying subscribers. Both platforms are great for creators as well as supporters. Before choosing between the two, you need to look at the features each platform offers, both to your subscribers and to you.

Although both sites work on a similar model, they have some key differences. If you like simplicity in communicating with your supporters and want a simple tip jar, then choose Buy Me a Coffee.

Whereas if you want to offer multiple membership levels to your fans, then pick Patreon. You can also consider using Limey, which allows creators to accept payments. (Bonus: Limey’s Buy Me a Coffee solution offers a lower service rate, so creators keep more of what they earn!)

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Figure out your needs, and decide which platform can fulfill these best. When it comes to your digital craft, you deserve the best!

What are the primary differences between Buy Me a Coffee and Patreon?

Buy Me a Coffee offers a simple setup for one-time donations, while Patreon caters to creators with ongoing content and rewards.

Can I use both Buy Me a Coffee and Patreon at the same time?

Yes, using both Buy Me a Coffee for one-time donations and Patreon for ongoing support can diversify income. However, managing both effectively is crucial to avoid confusing supporters.

How do fees compare between Buy Me a Coffee and Patreon?

Both platforms charge fees on funds raised: Buy Me a Coffee typically takes 5%, Patreon's fees range from 5% to 12% based on your plan, and Limey is more competitive with a maximum rate of 4%.

Buy Me a Coffee Creators Patreon


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