Which share trading platform has the lowest fees in NZ?

We compare Sharesies vs Hatch vs Stake vs ASB vs Jarden Direct vs Tiger Brokers vs Superhero to find out which is the cheapest for fees.

Home > Share trading

Updated 18 June 2023

The breakdown

  • We factor in transaction fees and currency conversion fees to find the cheapest option across a range of trade types..
  • The fee you pay depends on the amount you want to invest and the share market you’re investing in.
  • Micro-investing apps tend to have lower fees than more traditional platforms.
What's in this guide?
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Author: Kevin McHugh, Head of Publishing at Banked.

    There has been a lot of change among share trading platforms open to NZ investors recently. Sharesies and other platforms upped their fees in early 2023, while platforms like Tiger Brokers and Superhero have entered the market with very competitive fee structures.

    But which now has the lowest fees? To find out how these platforms compare for trades of different sizes on the US, New Zealand, and Australian share markets, we ran a comprehensive comparison.

    Remember: This is a comparison of fees only. It doesn’t factor in other important factors to consider when choosing a share trading platform such as product features and customer service.

    The contenders

    Sharesies logo

    Sharesies

    Very popular among new investors, Sharesies offers easy access to shares, ETFs, managed funds, and soon a KiwiSaver scheme.

    But the share trading platform upset some customers when it upped its fees in January 2023. Does it still offer a good deal to Kiwi investors?

    Fees

    • Transaction/brokerage fee: 1.9%, capped at
      • US$5 for US shares
      • NZ$25 for NZ shares
      • AU$15 for Australian shares.
    • Currency conversion/FX fee: 0.5%

    Available markets

    • US
    • New Zealand
    • Australia

    See our Sharesies review.

    Hatch logo

    Hatch

    Another Kiwi trading platform success story, Hatch lets customers invest in US shares and ETFs. It also has one of the simplest fee structures thanks to its use of a flat fee for trades, (rather than a percentage).

    Fees

    • Transaction/brokerage fee: US$3 for between 0 and 300 shares. There is an additional US1 cent for any shares beyond that.
    • Currency conversion/FX fee: 0.5%

    Available markets

    • US
    See our Hatch review.

    Tiger Brokers logo

    Tiger Brokers

    While Tiger Brokers’ fee structure is a little more complicated than the competition, its fees are competitive. The share trading platform offers a wider range of available markets and investment options and is one of the few trading platforms in New Zealand that provides access to Asian markets.

    Fees

    The following fees reflect Tiger Broker’s fee update on 17 June 2023.
    • Transaction/brokerage fee: Varies with market and investment type. For US shares, a flat rate of USD $2 for up to 200 shares (plus USD $0.01 for every additional share) and 1% of the trade value for US fractional shares. Trades on the ASX include a flat fee of AUD $5 for buys up to AUD $20,000 (plus 0.025% for any additional value). See our full review for details of fees for other markets and investment types.
    • Currency conversion/FX fee: 0.35%

    Available markets

    • US
    • Australia
    • Hong Kong
    • Singapore
    • China
    See our Tiger Brokers review.

    Superhero logo

    Superhero

    Superhero is a super simple share trading platform that has low fees and gives investors access to US and Australian shares (with NZ shares incoming).

    But the platform’s major point of difference is $0 brokerage fees for US shares. However, its currency conversion fee is a markup on the exchange rate rather than a percentage of the trade value, which can mean involve a higher cost at certain trade volumes.

    Fees

    • Transaction/brokerage fee: No fee for US shares and ETFs, AUD $5 flat fee for Australian shares and ETFs.
    • Currency conversion/FX fee: 50 basis points (BPS) added to the exchange rate, which equates to USD $0.005 or AUD $0.005 per dollar.

    Available markets

    • US
    • Australia

    See our Superhero review.

     

    Stake logo

    Stake

    Stake used to be the only platform with no brokerage fees (albeit with a higher-than-average currency conversion fee), but that changed in February 2023 when it introduced a flat fee for trades.

    Like Hatch, Stake lets customers invest in shares and ETFs from US stock markets. It’s also one of the only platforms to provide access to over-the-counter (OTC) shares.

    Fees

    • Transaction/brokerage fee: US$3 for all trades up to US$30,000 (0.01% is charged for all trades above that)
    • Currency conversion/FX fee: 1%

    Available markets

    • US

    See our Stake review.

     

    ASB Securities

    With a minimum brokerage fee of NZ$15, ASB Securities can’t compete on small investments, but does it provides a good deal on larger trades?

    ASB also offers over-the-phone trading which has a different fee structure.

    Fees

    • Transaction/brokerage fee: For buying NZ or AU shares online – NZ$15 up to $1,000, NZ$30 for trades between $1,000 and $10,000, and 0.3% for trades greater than $10,000.
      A 0.6% fee (with a minimum fee of $50) applies to US, UK and Canadian stock market trades made over the phone (the only option for these markets. An agency fee of 0.4% (with a minimum fee of $40) also applies to phone trades.
    • Currency conversion/FX fee: There is no separate currency exchange fee, but ASB Securities does use a less favourable exchange rate than other platforms. We found this difference in the exchange rate on average would equate to an FX fee of around 2%.

    Available markets

    • NZ
    • Australia
    • US
    • UK
    • Canada

    Jarden Direct

    With a stronger emphasis on customer support and trading data than the platforms that offer fractional share trading, Jarden Direct feels like a more ‘grown up’ option.

    The Kiwi trading platform provides access to shares, funds and bonds in a number of markets.

    Fees

    • Transaction/brokerage fee: Ranges NZ$29.90 per trade up to NZ$15,000 (plus 0.20% for any amount over that), up to the greater of £69.50 or 0.60% for UK shares.
    • Currency conversion/FX fee: A margin of up to 1.5% is added to the mid-market exchange rate. At the time of writing (and the figure used for our comparison) this margin is 0.89%.

    Available markets

    • NZ
    • Australia
    • US
    • UK

    How we did our comparison

    A calculator

    All share trading platforms have different fee structures, which makes a direct comparison difficult for all circumstances and trade amounts tricky.

    To keep things as simple as possible, our comparison factors in the transaction/brokerage fee for each trade plus any currency conversion fee that might apply (for markets that don’t use the New Zealand dollar).

    We look at trades at six different amounts, starting with $5 at the lowest end and $10,000 at the highest. We also compared fees for investing in three different markets: the US, New Zealand and Australia.

    The lowest fee for each trade amount is highlighted in green.

    Other notes:

    • We have not taken into optional subscription fees, such as Sharesies monthly plans or the Stake Black plan.
    • Sharesies, ASB Securities, and Jarden Direct, apply the currency conversion to the amount you want to trade plus its transaction fee. For platforms such as Stake and Hatch, the currency conversion is applied to the amount you deposit.
    • For US whole shares, fees for Tiger Brokers depends partly on how many shares are purchased, rather than the total value of the trade. Therefore to calculate fees for US whole shares, we chose a price per share of USD $200. At the time of writing (5 June 2023), the average price of a stock on the S&P 500 was US $174.
    • Superhero charges its FX fee as a 50 BPS markup on the exchange rate. To account for this, we used the exchange rate at the time this article was updated (18 June 2023).
    • ASB Securities does not charge a separate currency conversion fee, however, its currency conversion rate is higher than that used by other platforms. We calculated that ASB’s rate results in a return that is approximately 2% worse so for balance we have applied a 2% margin to its fees in our comparison.
    Let’s get started!

    Cheapest for buying US shares

    The USA flag

    Home to many of the world’s biggest companies, the US share market is the most accessible for Kiwis

    Most NZ share trading platforms let you buy shares in companies floated on the NYSE,  NASDAQ, and more. But which offers the lowest fees?

    Amount (USD) Sharesies logo Sharesies Hatch logo Hatch Stake logo Stake ASB-Logo-400x250 ASB Securities jarden-direct-logo-400x250 Jarden Direct Tiger Brokers logo Tiger Brokers Superhero logo Superhero
    $5 $0.12 $3.03 $3.05 $91.90 $70.16 $0.07 Below minimum
    $20 $0.48 $3.10 $3.20 $90.20 $70.30 $0.27 $0.16
    $100 $2.41 $3.50 $4 $93.80 $71.01 $1.35 $0.80
    $500 $7.53 $5.50 $8 $101.80 $74.57 $4.79 $4.01
    $1,000 $10.03 $8 $13 $111.80 $79.02 $5.54 $8.01
    $10,000 $55.03 $53 $103 $302 $159.12 $37.25 $80.10

    The winner: Tiger Brokers and Superhero

    It’s two newer entries to the New Zealand share trading market that share the honour of having the lowest fees for US shares.

    Superhero offers slightly better value for smaller trades (up to $500) when compared to Tiger Brokers. However, Tiger Brokers comes out on top for trades of higher value and can be significantly cheaper than the opposition.

    It’s important to bear in mind that, for US shares,  Tiger Brokers’ fees vary with the number of shares purchased, rather than the total value of the trade (as is the case with many other platforms). As a result, offers much better value on fees when purchasing higher-value shares such as Apple, Amazon, Tesla, and so on.

    Cheapest for buying New Zealand shares

    The New Zealand flag

    The New Zealand Exchange (NZX) can’t compete with the US markets when it comes to choice, but there are certainly advantages to buying shares in local companies. 

    Note that several share trading platforms don’t let customers buy NZ shares.

    Amount (NZD) Sharesies logo Sharesies Hatch logo Hatch Stake logo Stake ASB-Logo-400x250 ASB Securities jarden-direct-logo-400x250 Jarden Direct Tiger Brokers logo Tiger Brokers Superhero logo Superhero
    $5 $0.10 N/A N/A $15 $29.90 N/A N/A
    $20 $0.38 N/A N/A $15 $29.90 N/A N/A
    $100 $1.9 N/A N/A $15 $29.90 N/A N/A
    $500 $9.5 N/A N/A $15 $29.90 N/A N/A
    $1,000 $19 N/A N/A $15 $29.90 N/A N/A
    $10,000 $25 N/A N/A $30 $29.90 N/A N/A

    The winner is: Sharesies

    Without platforms such as Tiger Brokers, Superhero, or Hatch to contend with, Sharesies takes this one without too much bother. 

    ASB Securities is cheaper for trades of $1,000, but for all other amounts, Sharesies has the edge.

    Cheapest for buying Australian shares

    The Australia flag

    The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is home to a wide range of mining companies, the big Australian (and NZ) banks, and many more investment opportunities.

    Once again, Hatch and Stake don’t provide access to the ASX for Kiwi customers.

    Amount (AUD) Sharesies logo Sharesies Hatch logo Hatch Stake logo Stake ASB-Logo-400x250 ASB Securities jarden-direct-logo-400x250 Jarden Direct Tiger Brokers logo Tiger Brokers Superhero logo Superhero
    $5 $0.12 N/A N/A $15.40 $29.30 $5.03 Below minimum
    $20 $0.48 N/A N/A $15.70 $29.44 $5.10 Below minimum
    $100 $2.41 N/A N/A $17.30 $30.15 $5.41 $5.55
    $500 $7.53 N/A N/A $25.30 $33.71 $6.92 $7.76
    $1,000 $20.08 N/A N/A $35.30 $38.19 $8.82 $10.53
    $10,000 $65.08 N/A N/A $230.60 $118.26 $43.02 $60.29

    The winners are: Tiger Brokers and Sharesies

    Sharesies proves to be cheaper for small trades as a result of Tiger Brokers’ flat fee of AUD $5 for all trades up to $20,000. But our comparison shows that Tiger Brokers is significantly cheaper for those making investments that are a little larger.

    Superhero also tends to be cheaper than Sharesies for higher value trades.

    Conclusion

    Our research shows that the cheapest share trading platform for you can depend on how much you invest and what you want to invest in.

    While it was already competitive, Tiger Brokers’ recent fee update has made it even cheaper for Kiwis to invest in stocks, funds, and more. Learn more about Tiger Brokers in our review.

    New entrant to the market, Superhero, is also very competitive for fees and proved to be the cheapest option in our comparison for smaller US trades. 

    Despite the criticism it received in January 2023 for upping its fees, Sharesies also remains a strong option — especially for small trades and for those that want to invest in the NZX.

    We hope this guide sheds some light on what fees to expect when trading and helps you choose the platform that’s cheapest for how you invest.

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin McHugh

    Kevin is the founder and Head of Publishing at Banked. With years of experience working in personal finance, insurance, and related areas, Kevin created Banked to help Kiwis make better financial decisions.