Regarding processing fees

BAD, BAD change, especially notified so suddenly. You’re actively trying to make it so this platform and the entire culture of artist crowdfunding is as confusing as possible for newcomers who have a LOT of skittishness about becoming patrons.

On top of all these confusing terms (Pay per Creation, Pay per Month, Charge-up Front, Charge Posts for Pay per Creation, Max. Monthly pledge) a lot of people don’t even know just how many times their cards are run due to me posting. I’ve spent weeks upon weeks meticulously explaining to my patrons (and the rest of my followers) how it all works. During a time that I couldn’t apply for Charge-up Front, I’ve had to come up with my own system within the confines of Pay per Creation system to combat fake patrons and piracy – and I’ve had to warn every single patron of mine to set their Max. Monthly Pledge just once. Sure, it makes sense that a page labeled Pay-Per-Creation can charge you multiple times the same amount in a given month: But that’s simply what patrons firsthand expect when they first come into this platform to support their favorite artists. These are the kind of stuff that will give them cold feet, and pump less money to the service in the end.

These are not the kind of information that the patrons are supposed to calculate and wonder about. They’re in here to pay for a creator a set specific amount, for the creator to bring in something back to the community. Creator’s the one responsible to wrestle with the nitty gritty.

I’m a creator. I’d love to pay the processing feeds on behalf of my patrons. I won’t even lose that many patrons: I’m not even concerned about that - I care about what they’re paying in total and if I’m delivering what they pay for. Please do not enforce this. I understand the good will and intent on behalf of Patreon – This new system affects the wallet of a patron at around .35 cents to 2 bucks in its most extreme, whereas it used to amount to 50 bucks a month for a creator with a reasonable enough pledge count at the very least. That being said, a lot of patrons do in fact pledge to several if not dozens of creators at the same time – and the fees will pile up immensely.

However well-intended this change might be, it just doesn’t work. It muddies the waters for those who would reasonably prefer to know less about the inner workings of a system that concerns the creators moreso.

EDIT: At the same time, the given excuse for this doesn’t even make much sense: The intent of bringing a creator a more stable income. That… is not an ideal that’s even achievable on a platform like this. Patrons come and patrons go. If you’re getting a really specific, set amount every month; that only means you are backed with very close friends or family. I know people were complaining about how many cuts were taken from a creator’s pledge count, but at the same time everyone accepted it as a necessary evil. I just don’t think anybody really asked for this.


It comes down to this: if you REALLY want to improve creators’ incomes, MAKE IT EASIER FOR US TO ATTRACT PATRONS. Find ways to cater to potential patrons who are on the fence about signing up. Not to scare them away. There are umpteen threads detailing what kind of changes we need, and you go ahead and come up with the most terrible possible scheme that none of us want. Focusing on creator experience is the wrong end of the stick! We can learn, we can adapt, it’s our JOB to do so. You don’t need to sell the site to us, WE need to sell the site to outsiders who Don’t. Trust. Patreon.


I really appreciate that you guys were thinking about us…

But I would much rather have the option of covering these fees on behalf of my patrons as I always have been. Webcomics by nature tend to draw younger readers from lower income brackets due to being free, so webcomic people will be hit especially hard. Most of my readers are college age. A lot of my patrons are stretched really thin and still somehow finding a way to support me with $1 or $2, and I think this will be upsetting to them. Taking home a higher percentage of each pledge is great, but I think I’ll also end up taking home fewer pledges overall when people drop/decrease their pledges.

Also, it sounds like a patron who pledges $1 each to 10 or 20 different creators will end up paying several dollars extra in fees. They’ll probably end up dropping many of their pledges and only pledging to their very favorite creator, and chances are that’s not me.

Are these plans set in stone? Is there any way they might not be implemented?


It makes no sense to charge a flat $0.35 per pledge. You should be able to calculate how much to charge a given patron, and you can divide the money yourself to the different creators. If I have 3 pledges:

Pledge A at $2
Pledge B at $5
Pledge C at $10

That’s $17 total and the 2.9% fee is $0.50 (rounding up) with a single fee of $0.35 for a total of $0.85. I am charged a total of $17.85. Then you split and send the appropriate amount to each creator.

That is fair.

My understanding is you are charging $0.50 for the fee and then $0.35 per creator, which is an additional $0.70 so I am charged $18.55 total. If I can only allocate $18 to Patreon every month, I will have to drop at least one pledge.

There’s no reason to charge cards separately for every pledge as far as I can tell.


I agree that this is an awful idea. Please roll it back. I’d much rather take the income hit so I don’t suddenly lose all my single dollar patrons, who often only have that single dollar to give.

I’ve said it a billion times: I’d much rather have 1000 $1 patrons than one $1000 patron. There’s a lot more safety in large numbers of lower-paying patrons than there is in trying to attract the handful of people who can give you a bigger sum every month. If you lose one of those big tippers, it hurts a lot more than if you lose a handful of the smaller fish. I’ve built my entire strategy about attracting large numbers of those low-sum patrons… and now you’re going to punish them for their generosity. :confused:

(I should also note that this was brought to my attention by my patrons, who are very upset. I didn’t even see the email until after they wanted to know why this was happening.)


Yep. I have two $30 patrons, one of whom is already paying VAT. I dread the day when she decides, after three years of support, that she just can’t afford it any longer. When a $1 patron leaves, it’s a little sting. When a $30 patron leaves, that’s my monthly fill up at the gas station gone.


I’ve found my way here as a creator just to comment on this particular issue. Please reconsider this fee structure change. Many of us who rely on a lot of micropledges are going to see significant losses which will harm our businesses and livelihoods. I am fine with shouldering the entirety of the fees as is every creator I’ve spoken to today about this. It’s a long-acknowledged and accepted cost of doing business, and we treat it as a business expense. If patrons must shoulder this new fee, it will absolutely cause many to reduce or end their pledges. This won’t just hurt individual creators, but Patreon itself.


Another question: The graph in the email makes it unclear if Patreon is still charging 5% for its services or not. Can you clarify what Patreon is charging vs what the credit card processing fees are?

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Creators still pay the 5% for patreon fees.
Our patrons would pay the 2.9% + $0.35 for their pledge.

Wow, please don’t do this. The way to serve me as a creator is to keep my patrons happy. I would much rather cover these fees myself, so my hundreds of patrons have a predictable experience.

If you’re lowering your cut, that’s fine - you can do that without grabbing additional money from patrons, no?

Telling me to try to convert my $1 patrons into $2 patrons is not being creator-focused. This looks like a slimy revenue grab, frankly.


Actually, there’s some funny math here.

Old method, patron is charged $1. I take home somewhere between .80 and .88. Let’s be conservative and call it 80%.

New method, patron is charged $1.38. (%1 + 2.9% of $1, plus $0.35). I take home $0.95 of that. That means I’m taking home 68% of what the patron is paying.

Patrons now pay more, and I get a smaller percentage of what they pay. Who is this helping? Oh, that’s right, Patreon!


Currently, this really depends on how they are paying and if they are paying with the same method to multiple creators, which lowers the fee cost to you. As with the example at the top of the thread, if the person is paying by credit card and they are only pledging to you, you only get ~$0.38 of that $1 pledge thanks to the credit card 30cent flat rate. (This is if you are transferring out to paypal.) You will get more if they are paying by paypal because their flat rate is less, etc. There are many factors currently including your location, how you payout, etc. So the math is different for every scenario.

All the current fees (initial and transfers from your patreon to your bank/paypal) can be found at

It specifically says in the email that “A new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 will be paid by patrons for each individual pledge” so it penalizes patrons with multiple low pledges. In the FAQ it also states:

"Q: What other payment options are there for me on Patreon?

A: Patreon will continue to have the option of paying via credit card or Paypal for their memberships. Since the service fee has been standardized, it will remain at 2.9% + $0.35 regardless of their selections."

My most popular tier is $2, with this change it actually will go up to $2.40. That’s a 20% increase, that’s a lot.

I don’t think this is a smart move and will especially hurt creators who rely on a lot of small pledges.

I’m asking my community about it right now but I have a feeling they will be even more upset over it. (A few have already responded and are very against the change.)

In my case as well, my fees already rarely go above 5%. But, I would rather pay 4-6% more in fees than risk losing 10-20% of my patrons.

Additionally charging the flat fee per creator really harms patrons with a lot of pledges. A few patrons of mine have commented that they will need to scale back cause of the fees.

And to be honest I’d rather see the fees included in the displayed pledge.

One option may be to have pages able to opt-in to the system, so individual communities can implement the change when they have agreement on it, as well as for new pages by default.

If I wanted to keep my patrons’ costs the same, if my patrons were all in the $2 and I were to adjust the tier so it’s $2 after their new fees, I’d have to reduce the cost by 20%, reducing my overall income by 20%. This would be a far greater hit to me than the gain of removing the 5% fees I normally deal with.


Yes, i said “currently”, addressing the -current- math used right now, as that was what @michaelprescott was discussing in the post i replied to. (Not this new thing that isn’t even implemented yet.) (I realize these forum are not great as replies are not always noted, so i apologize if my post was misleading because of the weirdness of this forum type.)

I agree the “new” part in the email patreon sent out is a bit misleading, however it was clarified earlier in the thread, by Carla, that Creators will only be paying the 5% and that this “new” charge is the only thing being charged to patrons outside of VAT.

Just a few thoughts from my community:

  • They feel like it’s being stuck with a sales tax. This is a pretty universal statement I’m seeing.
  • If it is $0.35 + 2.9% PER CREATOR as the infographic implies, it seriously hurts many of them and will definitely result in a few dropping their pledges to some people. Their monthly payment becomes 2.9% + 0.35*n, where n is the number of pages they support. Someone who pledges to 10 pages would be charged a flat fee of $3.50. That’s a lot if those pledges are just in the $1-$2 range.
  • If it is $0.35 + 2.9% for the overall monthly transaction, then it’s much more agreeable. If I wished to I could compensate my pledge tiers a little to minimize their impact without having a significant effect on my earnings.
  • Patrons who pay a VAT are exceedingly unhappy with this change.
  • A few patrons do like seeing the fees scaled back for creators, but they explain their complaints are mitigated by the fact that they only pledge to me.

Regarding the patron visibility into the fees: after December 18th, when a person pledges it will be clear that there is the pledge + the service fee in the confirmation page. The monthly summary will include this information broken out as well.

Again, thank you for the specific examples and for the education you’ve already done with your patrons. Super helpful to understand how you’ve communicated with them in the past and some of the challenges.

We expected a variety of responses to this change, so we spent months researching it with lots of creators and patrons. After running tests with both creators and patrons, we settled on a fee that would impact patrons in the smallest way possible, considering both the amount they pledge and the likelihood that they’ll keep supporting you on Patreon.

With that, it’s possible that some patrons will leave while the service fees rollout, however, the best step to take is making sure your patrons are fully educated on the benefits of this change for creators. We are sending an email to all patrons tomorrow.

We’ll be sharing some more information on the blog this afternoon too, in prep for that, and I’ll make certain that is posted here too.

And to answer a few of you, there’s not a way for creators/patrons to opt out of this service fee. As a reminder it won’t impact any new pledges until December 18th.

If you have more specific questions relevant to your own account, please do touch base with Community Happiness directly.

I let my tribe know the change is coming a few hours ago. I just lost a longtime $1 patron.

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You say “the best step to take is making sure your patrons are fully educated on the benefits of this change for creators.” Frankly, this is disturbing - you’re asking us individually as creators to cover for you and Patreon as a whole making a decision that we do not want. I’m not going to lie to my supporters and tell them a change that is likely to drive many of them away is somehow “better for me.” By pushing forward and not even considering the feedback here, via the helpdesk, and across social media, Patreon is clearly demonstrating it is only interested in its own private goals and not those of its creators and users. I will keep that in mind when choosing where to take my business and supporters in the future.