Kraken vs. Coinbase: Which Is Better for You?

Kraken comes out very slightly ahead of Coinbase in terms of fees, even though they are pretty similar. This is partly because its trading fees are lower, and also because its fee structure is transparent and clearly displayed. If you’re new to crypto investing, the quicker you can get used to the advanced platforms, the less you’ll pay in crypto trading fees. It costs much less to use the pro platforms (Kraken Pro and Advanced Trade), particularly if you can deposit money fee-free. In the interest of a fair comparison, we’ve put the pro and basic options side by side.

Kraken Instant Buy vs. Coinbase

Kraken’s Instant Buy feature has a lot in common with Coinbase’s entry level exchange. Both platforms make it very easy to buy or sell crypto, particularly for new crypto investors. To buy Bitcoin (BTC) worth $100 on either platform, it would cost at least $1.50 in fees, more on Coinbase.

  • Kraken charges 1.5% to buy or sell crypto, and 0.9% for stablecoins. There may be additional fees, depending on what payment method you use.
  • Coinbase charges between $0.99 and $2.99 on purchases or sales below $205, plus a variable spread. It charges 1.5% plus the spread on larger transactions. There may be additional fees, depending on your payment method, such as using PayPal or a debit card.

READ MORE: Full Kraken review

Kraken Pro vs. Coinbase Advanced Trade

Both advanced platforms charge a tiered maker/taker fee that gets reduced for investors with higher trading volumes.

  • The highest maker/taker fees on Kraken Pro are 0.26% / 0.16% for low volume traders. On the other extreme, this fee is reduced to 0.00% / 0.10% for investors who trade more than $10 million a month.
  • The highest maker/taker fees on Coinbase Advanced Trade are 0.60% / 0.40% for low volume traders. This fee is reduced to 0.05% / 0.00% for the top level investors who trade $500 million a month.

READ MORE: Full Coinbase review

When checking fees on cryptocurrency exchanges, think about how you plan to use the platform — particularly how you want to deposit money, how often you will buy and sell, and how you might withdraw your funds. Both platforms offer free ways to deposit money. Depending on which country you are in, it is mostly free to deposit money to both Kraken and Coinbase via bank transfer. However, the cost of using your debit card can add up. There’s a fee of 3.75% + 0.25c for debit card payments on Kraken, while Coinbase charges up to 3.99% for debit card purchases.

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