Buy Me A Coffee VS Patreon – Which is Better?

buy me a coffee vs patreon

In today’s digital age, creators have more opportunities than ever to monetize their content and earn a side reward. Two popular platforms that facilitate this are Buy Me a Coffee vs Patreon. Both offer unique features, pros, perks, and benefits for creators, but which one is the best choice?

I will show you each option’s bright and dark side and leave the decision for you. Sorry, no, I won’t do it. I will explain every bit of Buy Me A Coffee VS Patreon and help you choose the best one for your business. After all, you’re a very hardworking creator!

What is Buy Me a Coffee?

Buy Me a Coffee is a platform that allows creators to receive support from their audience through one-time payments, better call it “coffees.” As of 2021, Buy Me a Coffee reported having over 300,000 creators using its platform to receive support from their audience.

Well, the concept is simple: instead of asking for ongoing monthly subscriptions, creators can encourage their supporters to buy them a virtual coffee as a gesture of appreciation for their work.

Creators can showcase their projects, share updates, and reward their supporters. It’s an easy win-win situation: you support the interest of your followers, and in return, they support your work.

Want to read a detailed Buy me a coffee review? I have got you covered.

buy me a coffee

Benefits of Buy Me a Coffee

Buy Me a Coffee is simply a tip jar that prioritizes simplicity and one-time donations. Creators set personalized goals, express gratitude through messages, and offer optional rewards like shoutouts or early access to content. However, this tip jar has some other benefits too.

As simple as it sounds

Buy Me a Coffee offers a straightforward approach to receiving support from your audience. The platform allows creators to accept one-time payments, eliminating the need for complex subscription models. Even a 10-year-old can use the user-friendly interface and simple donation process as a breeze.

This simplicity makes it easy for both creators and supporters to engage with each other. There are no barriers to entry for supporters who want to show their appreciation for your work without committing to a recurring subscription.

Flexibility for both

Most supporters are hesitant to support a creator on a monthly basis. But the good news is that Buy Me a Coffee is not like a monthly tip. Rather, creators can receive support in the form of “coffees,” which are essentially one-time payments from their audience.

This flexible funding model allows supporters to contribute at their own discretion. Creators can benefit from spontaneous donations, as supporters can contribute whenever they feel inclined to do so.

This can result in a steady income stream without pressure to meet monthly subscription targets. There is no pressure on supporters. Plus, the creator has the flexibility to set any price for their “coffee,” offering granular control over sweet offerings.

bmc say thanks

No Hidden Charges

Buy Me a Coffee (BMC) hides nothing from its hard-working creators. Seriously, this is one the biggest reasons why you can see a Buy Me A Coffee sign at the sharp lower right corner of your screen. I mean, I chose to accept a sweet reward through Buy Me A Coffee to maximize my direct income.

BMC has a transparent fee structure, charging a small fee per transaction. Creators know exactly how much they’ll receive from each donation, making it easier to manage their finances. Now, creators can accurately forecast their earnings without worrying about hidden fees or unexpected deductions.

It not only helps the creator feel loved but also builds trust between creators and their audience, fostering a supportive relationship. Aww!

Direct Communication with Supporters

Here comes the best part. Buy Me a Coffee is ideal for newbie creators seeking initial support and testing the waters. How? The platform facilitates direct communication between creators and their supporters.

Creators can engage with their audience through personalized messages, updates, and acknowledgments. This direct line of communication allows creators to build stronger connections with their supporters.

By engaging with their audience on a personal level, creators can foster a sense of community and gratitude, encouraging continued support. Trust me, acknowledgment and appreciation are the best motivation behind every creator.

bmc widget

Reflect Your Creativity

In my blog, Best Buy Me A Coffee Alternatives In 2024, I explained how customization can help businesses earn more rewards than static donations.

The good thing about BMC is that creators can customize their Buy Me a Coffee page to reflect their brand identity, showcase their projects, and outline the benefits of supporting them. A customizable creator page enables creators to make a strong and targeted first impression on potential supporters.

By highlighting their work and offering enticing rewards, creators can attract more people and differentiate themselves from others on the platform.

What is a Patreon?

Summing up in one sentence, Patreon is a membership platform that enables creators to earn recurring revenue by offering exclusive content and perks to their patrons in exchange for monthly subscriptions. The sentence got a little longer, didn’t it?

Anyways, the creators can set up different membership tiers with varying benefits, such as first-come-first-serve, exclusive behind-the-scenes updates, birthday specials, and personalized shoutouts.

Fans choose from different tiers, offering increasing value and gaining access to exclusive content, community interaction, and early access to releases.


Benefits of Patreon

I would say that Patreon is like a fan club on steroids, where dedicated supporters pledge monthly subscriptions to unlock exclusive perks. But other benefits of Patreon are as follows.

Repetitive Reward

Unlike BMC, Patreon focuses on providing creators with recurring revenue streams by offering subscription-based memberships to their audience.

Supporters pledge a monthly amount to access exclusive content and perks. This technique offers creators predictable and stable income, allowing them to confidently plan their finances and invest in their creative endeavors. Who wouldn’t like to get monthly pocket money?

Tiered Membership Levels

Besides a monthly acceptor, Patreon allows creators to set up multiple membership tiers with different benefits and rewards. Supporters can choose a tier that aligns with their budget and interests, unlocking access to exclusive content based on their level of support.

Tiered membership levels provide creators with the flexibility to cater to their audience’s diverse needs and preferences. This approach encourages supporters to pledge to access additional perks at higher tiers, thereby increasing revenue potential.

We’re Related Moments

Patreon offers features for creators to create patron-only communities, such as private Discord servers or forums. These spaces allow patrons to interact with each other and the creator more intimately. The audience can relate to the content and build a community.

Patron-only communities provide patrons with a sense of belonging and access to additional opportunities for engagement, enhancing their overall experience.

creator on patreon

Integrate and Thrive

Along with building a community on Patreon, the creator and its audience can interact outside. Patreon integrates with various platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, and WordPress.

Creators can leverage these integrations to offer exclusive content to their patrons across different channels and streamline their membership management. Integration with other platforms enhances the visibility of creators’ Patreon campaigns and makes it easier for existing followers to become patrons.

It also simplifies managing memberships and delivering exclusive content across multiple platforms. Plus, Patreon has got you covered. The platform provides creators with resources, guides, and support to help them succeed on the platform. It ensures creators have the tools and knowledge to thrive on the platform.

Enough Endorsement For Buy Me A Coffee VS Patreon

Besides all these magical, beautiful, and charming benefits of Buy Me A Coffee and Patreon, these platforms have some dark sides. By dark, I mean drawback.

Drawbacks of Patreon

Affordability For Supporters

Most supporters have other monthly bills to pay rather than donating to a particular creator every month. So, naturally, a lot of supporters hesitate to support even when they are willing to.

Back in my dog days, there was a creator whose work I used to admire. I wanted to support him, but the monthly subscription was a nightmare for me. So naturally, a monthly payment can be scary for some dedicated supporters.

The fear of being unable to fulfill their monthly donation commitments can deter potential supporters from pledging on Patreon. This hesitation may result in creators missing out on potential patronage from individuals who would otherwise be willing to support their work on a one-time donation just like Buy Me A Coffee.

Additionally, existing patrons may cancel their pledges if they experience changes in their financial circumstances, leading to fluctuations in creators’ income levels.

Platform Fees and Payout Processing Time

Patreon charges fees on pledges made by supporters, typically ranging from 5% to 12%, depending on the membership tier and payment processing fees. Additionally, creators may experience delays in receiving payouts, as Patreon processes payments at the beginning of each month.

This whole process can reduce the amount of revenue creators receive and introduce uncertainty into their cash flow. Just a hint: this is not the case with BMC since it’s absolutely free!

Too Much Competition

I mentioned earlier that Patreon is a community-based platform. This also means you can find other creators on this platform. However, over the past few years, Patreon has become increasingly popular among creators across various industries, leading to competition for patrons’ attention and financial support.

As the platform becomes more saturated, it can be challenging for creators to stand out and attract new patrons. Creators may struggle to differentiate themselves from others on the platform and convince potential patrons to support their work.

Limited Control Over Payment Processing

Patreon handles payment processing on behalf of creators, including collecting pledges from patrons and distributing payouts to creators. While this streamlines the payment process, creators have limited control over payment methods, currencies, and payout schedules.

Creators may encounter issues with payment processing, such as transaction failures, currency conversion fees, or delays in receiving payouts. For your information, many supporters find even the smallest donation too expensive due to currency differences.

Additionally, creators may prefer more flexibility and control over how payments are processed and distributed to meet their financial needs better.

I would also recommend reading Landing Page Vs Sales Funnel: Which One To Choose? to grab the right audience for your business.

Drawbacks of Buy Me A Coffee

No Monthly Tip

As we know, BMC is not a monthly pocket money. While flexibility in pricing is great, the lack of recurring memberships reduces the potential for steady income and community building.

Although it offers monthly membership options, but the platform’s emphasis and user experience lean more towards encouraging spontaneous, one-off donations rather than building a consistent, subscription-based income stream.

It is not a big drawback, but the creators looking to establish a predictable, stable income might find the platform less effective than others focusing on recurring revenue.

bmc membership
My advice: Buy Me A Coffee is still better than Patreon because one-time donation doesn't scare the supporters from monthly subscriptions.

Lower Visibility for New Creators

BMC offers less in terms of discovery features for new creators compared to Patreon. The emphasis is on creators to drive their existing audience to their BMC page rather than being discovered through the platform itself.

New creators or those without a large following might struggle to grow their support base through BMC alone. This necessitates a stronger effort on marketing and audience-building activities outside the platform to attract support.

Pro Tip: Newbies can attract an audience through social media, websites, or forums. And tell you what, it works!

Lack of Built-in Community

Now, this is where things get a bit serious. One notable limitation of Buy Me a Coffee is its lack of built-in features specifically designed to foster a sense of community among supporters.

Unlike platforms like Patreon, BMC focuses more on the transactional aspect of support, i.e., donations and memberships, without an integrated space for ongoing engagement and interaction within the platform itself.

This fragments the audience and increases the effort required to maintain active engagement across multiple platforms.

The lack of a centralized community feature might also impact the creator’s ability to foster loyalty and long-term support among their audience, as engaging directly with supporters is key to building strong relationships.

Which Platform To Choose: Buy Me A Coffee VS Patreon

Alright, now we know enough about both platforms. The two popular options, Buy Me a Coffee and Patreon, offer distinct approaches, benefits, and negative points to creator support, leaving many wondering: Which platform should I choose?

Here, I have identified some factors that will help you choose the best option for your case.

Community BuildingNoYes
One-time donationYesNo
Coupon codes for memberships, donationsYesNo
Need to be actively workingNoYes
Membership levelsYesYes
Customizable widget to add on creators’ websiteYesNo
Automated reward link send on start of membershipYesNo
Exclusive content for membersYesYes

Type of Content

If you primarily create one-off projects or content that doesn’t require ongoing support, Buy Me a Coffee may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you produce regular content and want to cultivate a community of dedicated supporters, Patreon might be a better fit.

Revenue Model

Deciding your donation flow is totally your choice because the options don’t end at Patreon and BMC. So, consider whether you prefer one-time payments or recurring subscriptions. If you prefer the stability of recurring income,

Patreon might be the way to go. However, if you’re more interested in receiving random support from your audience, Buy Me a Coffee could be the better option. Remember, it is never guaranteed that your monthly subscribers will keep supporting you till death.

Engagement and Community Building

Both platforms offer tools for engaging with your audience, but Patreon’s membership tiers and patron-only content features may provide more opportunities for community building and fostering deeper connections with your supporters.

BMC may lack community building, but if you’re an influencer on YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, or any reputable platform, you get a good chance to build community outside these donation platforms.

Fees and Payouts

Take into account the fees associated with each platform and how they impact your earnings. While Buy Me a Coffee has transparent transaction fees, Patreon’s fees may vary depending on your membership tier and payout method.

Tutti-Frutti Solution

If you’re not convinced about using a single option, tell you what: mixing and matching is an option! Utilize Buy Me a Coffee for “virtual coffee tips” while offering exclusive content for Patreon patrons. There are even benefits to using both platforms, depending on your goals and content type.

Here’s how you can combine the best of both worlds!

Various Audiences with Varying Revenues

By using both BMC and Patreon, creators can diversify their income sources beyond traditional advertising or sponsorship revenue. BMC allows for one-time donations or “coffees,” while Patreon offers recurring monthly subscriptions.

It also offers supporters more flexibility in supporting the creator, catering to different preferences and financial situations. You can cross-promote your platforms by mentioning your BMC on your Patreon page and vice versa.

Community Combined with Creativity

By now, we all know that Patreon offers robust community features such as comments, polls, and patron-only posts, but BMC lacks built-in community features. This approach allows creators to create a centralized hub for community engagement on Patreon, where patrons can connect with each other and the creator.

At the same time, BMC can serve as a platform for showcasing projects, sharing updates, and receiving spontaneous support from supporters who may not want to commit to a monthly subscription.

Cross-Promotion and Marketing

Creators can cross-promote their BMC and Patreon campaigns to maximize visibility and reach. For example, creators can include links to both platforms in their social media profiles, YouTube videos, or blog posts, encouraging supporters to choose the platform that best suits their preferences.

Cross-promotion helps creators reach a wider audience and attract support from individuals who may be more active or engaged on one platform over the other. It also reinforces the creator’s presence across multiple channels, increasing overall brand awareness and recognition.

Do you know there is another such platform known as ko-fi? Well, I did a detailed blog on ko-fi vs Buy me a coffee.

Trendy FAQs: Buy Me A Coffee vs Patreon

How can using BMC and Patreon altogether help me monetarily?

Using both BMC and Patreon allows creators to experiment with different pricing models, reward structures, and engagement strategies to optimize their monetization efforts.

Does Patreon offer any built-in marketing tools?

While Patreon doesn’t have direct marketing tools like ads, it offers helpful features to promote creators, like Search & discovery tools and community features. Also, it runs limited-time fundraising campaigns to attract new patrons.

What payment methods are supported by each platform?

Buy Me a Coffee (BMC) Integrates with Stripe, PayPal, Payoneer, Braintree, iDEAL, and Direct bank transfers. Patreon primarily uses Stripe for all transactions. But it also accepts and processes payments in various currencies, catering to a global audience.

Which platform is better for short-form content like blog posts or videos?

Buy Me a Coffee (BMC) is best in this case. You can add the widget to your blogging website or add a link to your video to receive a sweet reward.

Conclusion: Buy Me A Coffee vs Patreon

By leveraging the strengths of each platform, creators can maximize their earning potential, engage with their audience more effectively, and build a sustainable and thriving creative business. If you ask me, I would suggest Buy Me a Coffee as your top choice.

You can even use both platforms together! Offer “virtual coffee tips” on BMC alongside Patreon for exclusive content access. Experiment and see what works best for your audience and content style.

Bahaar Abdullah

Juggling words and coffee cups, I'm the content executive behind the Hustlers Guide — crafting magic that entertains, educates, and caffeinates your hustle!

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