Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers have become a genetic technology of choice because of their automation and high precision of allele calls. In this study, our goal was to develop 94 SNPs and test them across well-chosen common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) germplasm. We validated and accessed SNP diversity at 84 gene-based and 10 non-genic loci using KASPar technology in a panel of 70 genotypes that have been used as parents of mapping populations and have been previously evaluated for SSRs. SNPs exhibited high levels of genetic diversity, an excess of middle frequency polymorphism, and a within-genepool mismatch distribution as expected for populations affected by sudden demographic expansions after domestication bottlenecks. This set of markers was useful for distinguishing Andean and Mesoamerican genotypes but less useful for distinguishing within each gene pool. In summary, slightly greater polymorphism and race structure was found within the Andean gene pool than within the Mesoamerican gene pool but polymorphism rate between genotypes was consistent with genepool and race identity. Our survey results represent a baseline for the choice of SNP markers for future applications because gene-associated SNPs could themselves be causative SNPs for traits. Finally, we discuss that the ideal genetic marker combination with which to carry out diversity, mapping and association studies in common bean should consider a mix of both SNP and SSR markers.