Ko-fi vs Patreon – Which One is Best For You

Services such as Patreon and Ko-fi let creators make money from their content. Rather than depending on an easily demonetized revenue share from YouTube or Google ads. It’s now possible for bloggers, artists, cosplayers, streamers, and all types of creators in order to use these services to receive money directly from fans. Let’s now discuss Ko-fi vs Patreon – Which One is Best For You.

Most folks have heard of Patreon’s subscription model for creators. Patrons subscribe, pledging a monthly amount in order to access exclusive content. Many creators love Patreon, however, it isn’t right for everyone actually. The increasing fees and commitment to publishing a large quantity of content across multiple tiers have made some of the looks for a Patreon alternative.

Ko-fi vs Patreon – Which One is Best For You

If you guys are a content writer, YouTuber, musician, or also create webcomics. Then you need a dependable source of income where your fans and readers pay you a fixed amount each and every month. We recently clear the differences between Patreon vs Paypal and some of you also asks us about Ko-fi. So, now, let’s clear some air between Ko-Fi vs. Patreon as well.

Patreon was basically started by Jack Conte, a musician who wanted a platform in order to make money from YouTube videos. However, YouTube has a partner program that is used via millions of professional YouTubers. Patreon basically offers an additional revenue stream, even if you are in a niche market as well.

Ko-Fi (yes, the coffee metaphor) has just the same story where Nigel Pickles wanted to thank a creator who helped him along with a project. Wanting to buy him a coffee for the trouble, he actually created Ko-Fi so creators could be rewarded for their efforts as well.


Patreon basically supports a number of famous platforms right out of the box. If you guys are a blogger via WordPress then there is actually a plugin for you. Patreon has also an app directory where you can see a list of all the third-party platforms. That they support including, however, not limited to Discord bots, MailChimp, and Google Sheets.

Ko-Fi has no API to offer which means that you cannot add Ko-Fi everywhere. It is not developer-friendly. Rather, they offer javascript-powered buttons that you can add to your websites and pages as well. There is direct support for WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and also YouTube however, that’s it. You guys have to create a free Ko-fi page which you can share via the direct link, or via embedding the button code on your website actually. Lack of API is something that will then scare the web and app developers away in my opinion as well.

Well, Patreon also takes the lead whenever it comes to mobile apps. There is also a dedicated app for both the Android and iOS platforms so you can see and manage your subscriptions and projects on the go. Ko-Fi, at the time of writing this article, has no mobile apps in order to offer which is limiting.

Winner: Patreon


Ko-fi is the most cost-effective way in order to start making an income from fans of what you do. Unlike Patreon and all other services, Ko-fi does not really take a cut of your donations and we don’t really charge supporters extra either. The only transaction fee for donations is what the payment processors charge actually.

Patreon and many others charge creators a platform fee, 5–12% of the funds received via the creator. They also have to charge supporters taxes like VAT for EU supporters (mostly around 20%). Creators on Ko-fi can start for free with 0% taken from donations and they only have to charge tax if they themselves are needed to pay it, not everywhere just as Patreon has to charge tax everywhere actually.

Patreon has also taken over $200,000,000 in funding from Venture Capitalists (who will want a return on that money)actually. Ko-fi is an independent, profitable platform as well. It’s funded directly via Ko-fi Gold subscriptions, donations to the platform, and optional transaction fees for few features.

ko-fi vs patreon


PayPal is not cheap and it charges fees based on where you live. In the US, you have to pay 2.9%+$0.30 per transaction charge. Sadly, currency conversion charges are actually a topic of debate as you always get 2-3% lower than market rates whenever via PayPal (personal experience). Then there is also a fixed fee of $1 charged if you receive payments in foreign currency too. If you are using Virtual Terminal or PayPal Payments Pro in order to handle subscriptions. Then you will be paying an additional $10/month as well. In addition to PayPal, Patreon also supports Stripe that is no cheaper however, definitely more developer-friendly actually.

Ko-Fi is a lot cheaper than Patreon just because a) there is an absolutely free account and b) $6 is a lot cheaper than 5% especially if you guys have a large user base.

Winner: Ko-Fi


Well, fee structure and platform integration really matter. They are not the only thing that matters at the time of deciding a platform in order to start your business. Changing platforms after your business has taken off can be troublesome and in most of the cases, impossible. Imagine having to ask all of your fans and followers to change subscriptions and adopt a new model? You guys can end up losing a lot of supporters in the process that leads to a potential drop in your revenues.

Patreon comes along with a tier structure where you guys can pledge a certain amount towards your favorite creator and you will get rewards for the same as well. Ko-Fi doesn’t really offer a rewards structure. Upgrading to the Gold account does let you fix whatever you want in order to charge unlike in the free account. That is set to $3. Patreon has also a base price of $1 and there is no upper limit as well.

ko-fi vs patreon

Patreon does have a small percentage of fake supporters too. Let me explain that. Patrons, or supporters, pledge money for one month and get access to almost much all of the content on the page. They then go ahead and cancel the pledged money as well. However, the percentage of these freeloaders is small, it still exists as noted via many creators. On Ko-Fi, the money is directly paid to the creator deleting the opportunity to freeload. Well, this problem is commonly referred to as Dine and Dash in the patron community actually.

Both Patreon and Ko-Fi will basically let you communicate with your followers, build a community, and also keep them engaged.

The volume of Users | Patreon vs Ko-Fi

Since Patreon has been around for quite some time, the platform has also a large number of users if we compare it to Ko-Fi. Along with the large user base, Patreon is advantageous for creators who are just starting. Because the platform will act as an excellent marketplace in order to showcase your content.

Ko-Fi is absolutely free to use and depends on both a subscription-based or a one-time payment. Hence Ko-Fi is suitable for fans who are just on a stop by actually.

Patreon also offers a subscription-based model of payments that attract the dine and dash subscribers. But, it comes with its benefits just like a continuous flow of income. That comes along with tiers and rewards, supports multiple integrations, and also has a large user base.

Remember if you guys plan to switch to Ko-Fi, there is a high chance. That you will lose most if not some of your subscribers already on Patreon actually. So, weigh the advantages and risks and figure out the most appropriate way out. If you are already using Patreon and you have loyal subscribers too, then it is high time that you switch to Ko-Fi actually. However, prepare yourself to lack a mobile app, third-party integrations, tiers, and rewards as well.


You are good to go. If you have any queries and issues related to this ko-fi vs patreon” article then let us know in the comments section below.

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