Although it's free to get started on Patreon, it charges a certain percentage once creators start earning on Patreon, plus an industry-standard rate for processing payments from their patrons.
Currently, Patreon offers 3 subscription plans taking 5-12% of the monthly income creators earn on Patreon:
- Patreon Platform Fee: 5% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon + payment processing fees
- Hosted creator page
- Patreon communication tools
- Patreon workshops
Competing platforms allow you to offer different support tiers to patrons while just charging a 5% platform fee. Nonetheless, you have to let Patreon take 8% of your monthly income to have access to this common crowdfunding feature.
- Patreon Platform Fee: 8% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon + payment processing fees
- All the features in Lite, plus:
- Membership tiers
- Analytics and insights
- Special offers promo tool
- Creator-led workshops
- Unlimited app integrations
- Priority customer support
- Patreon Platform Fee: 12% of the monthly income you earn on Patreon + payment processing fees
- All the features in Lite and Pro, plus:
- Dedicated partner manager
- Merch for membership
- Team accounts
What are payment processing fees?
Payment processing fees cover the cost of all the things behind the scenes to collect payments from patrons securely and reliably.
The current pricing:
- Standard rate: 2.9% + USD 0.30 per successful payment over $3; or
- Micropayment rate: 5% + USD0.10 per successful payment $3 or less
Should I use Patreon for my creator business?
My answer is no if you are playing a long term game. It is very difficult to switch from Patreon to another platform as your creator business grows and the number of patrons increases - you have to pay 5-12% of the monthly income regardless of the amount of income.
When the number of patrons grows from 10 to 1,000, not only does your income grow 10x, the platform fee you need to pay also increase 10x.
When you want to switch from Patreon to a cheaper tool, it is already too late. A significant number of your fans subscribed to your membership on Patreons already. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to ask all your patrons to switch to a new platform. That is why you should think twice before using Patreons as your membership platform.
I share more details in this article.