Ethereum (Ether) launched mid-2015 but quickly surpassed the market cap of all other cryptocurrencies–except for Bitcoin. At the start of 2017, the price of 1 ETH was less than $10. Since this time, the price at one point reached higher than 40 times its 2017 starting price.

This incredible growth in price, combined with a wider understanding of the Ethereum’s potential, has many new investors looking to buy Ethereum.

How to Buy Ethereum

The easiest way to purchase Ethereum is through an online cryptocurrency exchange. There have been many new businesses that offer services to facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies, as they have seen a rise in popularity.

With so much choice our goal to help you choose the right exchange . This guide will explain the differences among exchanges and link to reviews and user guides for each one.

The Best Ethereum Exchanges

Rank Site Review Beginner-


Buy Options Available


Fees Trust Rating Visit Site


Coinbase Coinbase Review Bank Transfer,

Credit Card

BTC, ETH, LTC Higher A+ 4.6 Visit Coinbase



Gemini Review Bank Transfer BTC, ETH Very


A+ 4.4 Visit Gemini
3 BlockFi BlockFi Review Bank Transfer BTC, ETH, + more Low A+ 4.6 Visit BlockFi


Bittrex Bittrex Review Cryptocurrency 250+ Trading Pairs Very


A 4.2 Visit Bittrex


Celsius Celsius Review Cryptocurrency BTC, ETH, and more Very


A 4.5 Visit Celsius


Kraken Kraken Review Bank Transfer BTC, ETH, LTC, DASH,

XRP, 10+ More



A 4 Visit Kraken


Coinbase Pro Coinbase Pro Review Bank Transfer BTC, ETH, LTC Very


A+ 4 Visit GDAX
8 Robinhood Robinhood Review Bank Transfer BTC, ETH, LTC Low A 4.6 Visit Robinhood
9 Voyager Voyager Review Bank Transfer BTC, ETH, LTC Low A 4.5 Visit Voyager

Although all these exchanges facilitate buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, they work in different ways. We have outlined three types of cryptocurrency exchanges to make it easier for you:

Group A: Fiat to Crypto Onramps

This first group of exchanges lets users trade fiat currencies (USD and EUR, GBP, etc.).

This first group of exchanges allows users to trade fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP etc.) and cryptocurrencies on an unregulated market. These sites work in the same way as traditional forex and stock markets, allowing users limit, market, stop, stop and margin trades.

These sites offer limited deposit and withdrawal options for fiat currencies. They most often offer bank wires and bank transfer.

Although these sites can be confusing for new users, they usually have the lowest fees of any group.

Exchanges include Gemini and Kraken, GDAX & CEX.IO. (CEX.IO also has group B offerings).

Group B: Ease of Use

The second group of exchanges operates more like an “online cryptocurrency retail store”. They facilitate the purchase and selling of cryptocurrency directly with their users, rather than having them trade on a market. This creates a more beginner-friendly process than group A exchanges.

These exchanges allow users to make purchase with debit or credit cards , as well as bank wires/transfers.

Although these sites are often regarded as the easiest way for beginners to purchase and sell Ethereum, they also charge higher fees that Group A exchanges.

Exchanges within Group B include Coinbase and CEX.IO as well as Coinmama.

Group C: Best for Trading

This last group of exchanges works similarly to Group A, but offers cryptocurrency trading. This means on these exchanges you can only trade cryptocurrencies for other cryptocurrencies. This group doesn’t offer the possibility to trade cryptocurrencies for fiat currency.

Exchanges within Group C include Bittrex (we don’t recommend Poloniex).

3 Beginner Friendly Methods for Buying Ethereum

Many startups have sprung up to assist customers in buying and selling cryptocurrencies. There are many places you can buy Ether, and these are the top three most trusted and recommended for beginners.

1) Coinbase

Coinbase are our top recommendations for beginners who want to buy Ether. Coinbase has functions that can be used as a training wheel for newcomers.

With its initial launch in 2012, Coinbase aimed to create an easier way to buy and sell Bitcoin. Coinbase facilitates cryptocurrency exchanges directly to its users, unlike traditional cryptocurrency exchanges. There are many advantages to Coinbase’s site over other exchanges.

  • Your guaranteed price and fees are clearly stated at the time of your order. This eliminates the need to deal with complex market interfaces.
  • You can lock in prices for your first order faster on Coinbase than on most exchanges. Coinbase locks your price immediately you place an order. After your deposit clears, you will be credited with the cryptocurrency purchased.
  • You can use credit and debit cards for instant Coinbase purchases, although your limits will be substantially lower than if using a bank transfer.

Sensing an increase in demand for Ether, Coinbase added Ethereum support in 2016. The Ethereum service now comes with the same benefits and benefits as the original Bitcoin service.

Buy Ethereum on Coinbase

While we recommend storing cryptocurrency in a wallet that you have full control over, Coinbase does offer one of the most secure online wallets. Your Coinbase wallet can be used to store, send and receive Ethereum.

Coinbase is a trusted name in cryptocurrency. The company is based out of San Francisco, California and has received numerous investments from big-name venture capitalists, and is notably valued at $1.6 billion. The company is a U.S.-based exchange for digital assets. It adheres to all applicable laws and regulations. Coinbase has helped over 11 million users in 32 countries exchange more than $20 billion in digital currency.

You can sign up for Coinbase or learn more in our complete Coinbase Review and User Guide.

2) Gemini

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss founded Gemini in 2015. The New York State Department of Financial Services regulates the company. They have a strong reputation despite being less established than other competitors.

Gemini is a traditional cryptocurrency exchange. Users can trade on the website with other users in their market. It functions as a Forex or traditional stock exchange.

Gemini Ether Exchange

Gemini customers can trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and USD. Unfortunately, withdrawals and deposits can only be made via bank transfer or bank wire. The site allows you to trade while your deposits are still being processed. This allows users to lock in purchase prices much faster than traditional exchanges. Gemini still offers the very affordable that are associated with “Group-A exchanges”.

While we think Gemini is a bit less user-friendly than Coinbase, the team behind it has done an amazing job creating an interface that’s simple to use.

You can learn more by reading our Gemini review or you can sign up to Gemini here.

Based in London, CEX.IO is another trusted method to buy cryptocurrency.

The company was initially started in 2013 as both a Bitcoin exchange and cloud mining service provider. In 2016, the company added Ethereum to its platform and ended its cloud mining service. Recently, they added Zcash and Dash to their platform.

CEX.IO allows you to exchange your currency and also offers easy buy/sell options. This site allows you to deposit and withdraw with bank transfers and credit cards. The site also offers higher credit limits to verified members than Coinbase.

Buy Ethereum on CEX.IO

The downside to CEX.IO, compared to Coinbase, is its potential higher fees. CEX.IO can still be a viable option for those who want to make large purchases using credit cards ,, or users in other locations that are not supported by Coinbase.

You can learn more in our CEX.IO review or sign up there now.

More Exchanges

For the majority of people reading this, one or more of the three listed exchanges are the best options for purchasing Ethereum.

  • Coinbase – Most widely trusted and easiest to use exchange.
  • Gemini – Very low fees, while still being relatively beginner-friendly.
  • CEX.IO – Very high credit card purchasing limits compared to alternatives.

We understand that everyone has different needs so we have included more options.


Bittrex offers trading of cryptocurrencies for other currencies only, as previously stated. Bittrex does not offer the ability to deposit fiat currencies. Bittrex is not recommended for anyone who is buying cryptocurrency for the first time.

Bittrex Ethereum & Bitcoin trading pair

Bittrex is a leading exchange for serious traders. The site offers over 250+ trading pairs, denominated in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether markets. Bittrex allows you to trade Bitcoin for Ethereum or other lesser-known altcoins if you already have Bitcoin. It is a popular choice for cryptocurrency traders and speculators.

Bittrex is located in the United States and was founded in 2014. They provide excellent customer service and have very low fees.


Coinmama offers another option for people who want to purchase large amounts of Ethereum with their credit cards. Users can purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum on the Slovakian exchange.

Unlike Coinbase and CEX.IO, Coinmama does not offer a wallet service, meaning you will have to provide an Ethereum address from a separate wallet where your Ether can be sent. We view it as less user-friendly than the other competitors.

Buy Ether on Coinmama

Coinmama charges high fees, similar to CEX.IO which has high credit card purchase limits. You can compare credit card fees between exchanges in the credit card section below.


GDAX are both owned by the same company as Coinbase. GDAX, an exchange for serious traders, is a more advanced offering than Coinbase.

The site allows users place limit, stop, and market orders for the following trading pairs


You can fund your account via bank wires and wire transfers, or via your Coinbase account. To learn more about the differences between GDAX and Coinbase, read our GDAX vs Coinbase comparison.


Kraken, another exchange option, allows you to trade fiat currencies in order to buy Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. They allow users to deposit fiat currencies via bank wires and bank transfers, just like Coinbase and Gemini. This site offers more altcoins than its competitors. We recommend that you choose between Poloniex and Kraken as they are the best options.

kraken buy & sell orders

Although Kraken doesn’t offer as many cryptocurrencies as Bittrex to trade, they offer the following cryptocurrencies for trade:

Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero, Zcash, Dash, Ethereum Classic, Gnosis, Iconomi, Melon, EOS, Augur, Tether, Dogecoin, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash

Established in 2011, the company has built a solid reputation in the cryptocurrency community over the years. However, they seem to have more complaints regarding slow customer service than their competitors. Their poor user interface is another common complaint.

Buy Ethereum with a Credit Card

Many cryptocurrency novices hope to use a credit-card to make their first purchase. Unfortunately, not all exchanges accept credit cards. Credit cards are open to fraud, chargebacks and high fees for those that accept them.

There are a few cryptocurrency exchanges that accept credit cards. Click on each review to learn more about the site.

*CEX.IO fees are estimates for “Buy/Sell FOK orders.” When trading is done on their exchange, fees are generally lower.

Ethereum Buyer’s Guide FAQ

Unfortunately, we do not have enough time to answer every individual question readers have when it comes time to make their first Ether purchase. We have listed many of the most frequently asked questions by Ethereum newcomers.

What’s the difference between Ethereum and Ether?

Ether refers to the currency of Ethereum. Although technically, the currency is not known as Ethereum. However, it is used interchangeably to refer both to the network and the currency. To avoid confusion and keep our readers informed, we also use “Ethereum” interchangeably.

For a deeper understanding, we recommend our Beginners Guide to Ethereum .

Do I have to Buy an Entire Ether?

No! Ether is divisible to 18 decimal places. You can purchase Ether from any exchange. 000000000000000001 Ether (worth a fraction of a US cent), most will allow you to deposit as little as $10.

How Does CoinCentral Rate Exchanges?

We aim to answer all the questions that cryptocurrency traders have when rating and reviewing exchanges. We therefore focus on the following:

  • Beginner Friendliness
  • Customer Support
  • Community Sentiment
  • Fees
  • Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
  • Available Cryptocurrencies

It is important for our readers to understand that the final rating number is a combination all six of these factors. Bittrex is not the best exchange, but it may be more highly rated than GDAX. Bittrex’s rating has been boosted by the availability of cryptocurrencies to trade. However, they are lower than GDAX for deposit and withdrawal options because they don’t offer fiat payment options. To get the best out of our reviews, it is important that you actually read them in order to make informed decisions.

We have a few reviewers who write our reviews. Although our reviewers try to be objective and provide facts, it is impossible to guarantee that all reviews are factual.

How Should I Store My Ether?

It is not recommended to store large amounts on any cryptocurrency exchanges long-term. Two main reasons are why this is so.

  1. Whenever a cryptocurrency wallet or exchange account is hosted online, it creates an opportunity for hackers to breach the account. Use a secure password and enable 2-Factor authentication (2FA) to protect your account. Not recommended: SMS text 2FA is not recommended. Apps like Google Authenticator or Authy are considered to be safer.
  2. Most online exchanges are controlled by central authorities (businesses). Because you don’t have access to your wallet keys, these businesses control your cryptocurrency wallets. It is recommended that you store your cryptocurrency in a wallet you have complete control of.

You can learn more in our Ethereum Wallet Guide.

Should I Buy / Is it too Late to Invest in Ethereum?

Whether you should invest in Ethereum, is ultimately up to you. You should research the market and only invest what you can afford to lose.

With that said, Ethereum’s potential would far exceed current prices if it ever achieves its full potential. The development of cryptocurrency as a whole is still in its early stages.

Where Can I Buy Other Cryptocurrencies?

While all the exchanges mentioned above can be used for buying various cryptocurrencies, we have created guides to help you find the right coins: