Best trading platform for Europeans in 2019

Dec 2018
Top 2 trading platforms for Europeans
Saxo Bank DEGIRO
Best trading platform for Europeans in 2019

 

Choose the best trading platform, we did the research for you. We tested in-depth 20 quality online brokers available for Europeans. Evaluated fees, tested account opening, investigated deposit and withdrawal, compared online trading platforms, checked products and much more.

The best trading platforms in 2019 for Europeans:

 
Brokerchooser award - - - - -
Fees
Deposit and withdrawal
Account opening
Web trading platform
Markets and products

 

Not sure if available in your country? For a tailored broker recommendation, check out Brokerchooser's broker finder. Input your preferences and get a recommendation fitting your needs. To check whether an EU broker or an international trading platform is available for you, go for the same selection tool. 

European brokers can serve non-Europeans too.

Want to see more options for the best trading account? To compare all brokers, visit the broker comparison section.

 

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Best trading platform for Europeans
What makes the best trading platform?

An online broker and its trading platform can easily make or break anyone’s success in online trading. It greatly influences both your comfort and performance as a trader or investor. It is crucial to choose the online broker with the best trading  platform. 

We test online brokers along 100 criteria. A best trading platform in our definition means that the platform you use is great, and the broker is also good in other factors like fees, or markets and products. We will uncover the 5 most important criteria you should keep an eye on to find the best trading platform. 

5 important criteria for the best trading platforms in 2019
1. Fees The trading fee of a typical US equity trade can be 50 times higher at one trading platform compared to another. Worth to check the fees.
2. Account opening Some trading brokers require at least €50,000 to invest, others don't set a minimal first-time deposit. Check out what the best investment platforms require.
3. Deposit and withdrawal Time is money. The faster and cheaper you can transfer money, the higher your chances are on the trading floor.
4. Trading platform A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort.
5. Markets and products You want to invest in Amazon and Bitcoin? They might not be available. Check the product coverage before opening an account.

The broker’s safety is an extra important factor when selecting a trading platform. You can find more on this at the end of the article. 

Best trading platform for Europeans
Comparing the broker fees

Fees, fees, and fees. We bet this is on top of your mind when you want to select the best online trading platform. Let's kick off with fees than. 

To get things rolling, let's go over some broker fee lingo. You need to keep an eye on trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads and financing rates.
  • Financing rates or overnight rates are charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than a day. Leveraged position means that you borrow money from the broker to trade or you trade with leveraged products like forex or CFDs.
  • Non-trading fees are like withdrawal fee or inactivity fee.

You can compare the trading fees of the biggest markets, the annual financing rates and some non-trading costs below. Hold tight, this will be exciting.

TRADING FEES

Herer is the verdict: the Dutch discount broker, DEGIRO and eToro are the cheapest for stock trading, while Interactive Brokers has the best forex trading fees.

Best trading platforms - Trading fees of a typical trade
 
USA stock 30.18 USD 1.12 USD 2.18 USD 16.27 USD 1.64 USD
UK stock 23.77 USD 2.85 USD 9.09 USD 23.49 USD 1.77 USD
Forex 62.87 USD - 17.2 USD 19.91 USD 21.63 USD

We compared stock and forex fees since most trade with these. A typical stock trade means you make a $2,000 buy, hold it for one week and sell it. In the case of stockbrokers, like Saxo Bank and DEGIRO, we used real stocks, while for CFD brokers like XTB and eToro we used stock CFDs.  A typical forex trade means a $20,000 buy, hold it for one week and then sell it. The leverage is 30x. For the USA stock calculation we used Apple shares, for the UK Vodafone shares and for forex, the EURUSD cross.

There are huge differences between trading fees, even if you want to do a simple US stock trade. To find out more about how the fares compare between the different trading brokers, check out our ultimate comparison table.

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FINANCING RATES

DEGIRO leads the pack in stocks. In forex, Interactive Brokers gives one of the best financing rate offers.

Best trading platforms - Financing rates
 
Apple financing rate 6.00% 3.00% 4.00% 5.00% 7.00%
Vodafone financing rate 4.00% 2.00% 2.00% 3.00% 7.00%
EURUSD financing rate 0.15 % - 0.04 % 0.04 % 0.04 %

We calculated the financing rates for the most traded US and UK stocks, Apple and Vodafone, and for the most traded forex pair, the EURUSD.

NON-TRADING FEES

DEGIRO is unbeatable. It is the absolute fee champion.

The inactivity fee and the withdrawal fee can hurt the most your performance. Inactivity fee is interesting for buy and hold investors, while withdrawal fee for traders withdrawing their profits every month.

Best trading platforms - Non-trading fees
 
Inactivity fee
Withdrawal fee No No $10, but one free withdrawal per month It is only applied if you transfer below an amount threshold $25

Now that we compared the fees, trust us, you need to look into a bit deeper than just fees when selecting a broker. Let's investigate the best brokers one by one. 

Best trading platform for Europeans
SAXO BANK

6

 
Background Saxo Bank is a Danish investment bank that focuses on online trading and investments
Fee rating
Recommended for Investors aiming for a great research and trading platform with a broad access to the international markets

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Best trading platform for Europeans - Saxo bank - Web trading platform

1. Fees – 

Saxo Bank has high trading fees and average non-trading fees. There is a $100 inactivity fee if you don't trade for 6 months. The fee structure is transparent, you can easily calculate the costs. The high fees are mainly due to the high minimum fees. However, the fees differ from account type to account type. At Platinum and VIP accounts, there are lower fees. We recommend Saxo if you want to get a high-quality service and you are prone to pay a higher cost. If you want a bargain, there are discount brokers out there.

2. Account opening – 

Account opening is fully digital, however, you need to $2,000 at least. Almost all country citizens can open an account with Saxo Bank. There a few exceptions, e.g. the US and some Canadian residents Ontario, Newfoundland, and Labrador are also prohibited.

3. Deposit and withdrawal – 

Saxo provides multiple deposit and withdrawal options free of charge on a user-friendly interface. You can deposit bank transfer and credit/debit cards. Electronic wallets are missing. You can withdraw only with a bank transfer, similarly to Saxo's competitors.

4. Web trading platform – 

Saxo Bank's web trading platform is easy-to-use and well-designed. However, it doesn't provide a two-step login and the customizability is limited.

5. Markets and products – 

Saxo Bank has a great product portfolio. From stocks to CFDs, you will find everything except funds. Saxo has the most currency pairs and CFDs compared to its competitors. At stocks, ETFs, bonds, and futures it is also very competitive, but not the best. Options and crypto offers are average. 

CFDs carry risk.65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Compare to best alternative broker

Best trading platform for Europeans
DEGIRO

15

 
Background DEGIRO is a rising Dutch discount broker established in 2008. Its trading platform is simple and easy-to-use and offers a wide range of products.
Fee rating
Recommended for Price-sensitive buy and hold investors and traders looking for only execution

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Best trading platform for Europeans - Degiro - Web trading platform

1. Fees – 

DEGIRO's fees are low, one of the lowest in the market. In most asset classes it is the best. There is one free ETF trading per a month, a great offer for buy and hold investors. It also provides a discount for your domestic stock market. For example, if you open an account from the UK, you can trade on the UK market for 0.0058%+ £1.75 instead of 0.058% + €4. There is no account fee, inactivity fee, withdrawal fee, deposit fee, and custody fee.

2. Account opening – 

DEGIRO has an easy account opening process and there is no minimum deposit. But the account open takes more days. You can open an account with DEGIRO if you have a bank account in your name from one of the following countries:

  • EU countries except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Romania
  • Norway
  • Switzerland

3. Deposit and withdrawal – 

The deposit and withdrawal are free of charge via bank transfer and SOFORT. On the other hand, you cannot deposit with credit or debit card.

4. Web trading platform – 

The web trading platform is simple and easy to use. Even beginners can easily get around and to buy stocks. On the flip side, it can't be well-customized. 

5. Markets and products – 

DEGIRO has a great product portfolio. From stocks to CFDs, you will find everything except forex. At stocks, options, and futures DEGIRO is really competitive. The fund, bond, and CFD offers are average.

CFDs carry risk. 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Compare to best alternative broker

Best trading platform for Europeans
INTERACTIVE BROKERS

5

 
Background Interactive Brokers is a US market leader discount broker also serving non-US customers. IB is listed on NASDAQ and supervised by SEC
Fee rating
Recommended for Price is crucial and can trade in a professional trading environment

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Best trading platform for Europeans - Interactive Brokers - Web trading platform

1. Fees – 

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees and high non-trading fees. Its fee structure is transparent. The inactivity fee is $10 monthly which is high, especially compared other brokers. The withdrawal fee is $10 or equivalent in other currencies.

2. Account opening – 

The account opening process is fully digital, but slow, and complicated. Interactive Brokers is present in all continents. Hence you can most likely open an account. Only countries with really unstable political or economic backgrounds are excluded, like North Korea. In 2018 Interactive Brokers lowered its standard minimum deposit from $10,000 to $0.

3. Deposit and withdrawal – 

Interactive Brokers offers a lot of base currencies and one withdrawal per month is free. On the flip side, only bank transfer is available and the withdrawal can be slow.

4. Web trading platform – 

Interactive Brokers' web trading platform is good for execution, it has very advanced order management. However, it is not user-friendly and standard functions are missing or underdeveloped. The desktop trading platform is far better.

5. Markets and products – 

Interactive Brokers has the best markets and products coverage. It offers all product types from stocks to options. It also does a great job in markets you can access. Its stock, ETF, and bond coverage is exceptional. Only FX currency pairs and CFDs are not the most. In addition, you can use IB's asset management service which is a mix of robo advisory and social trading.

CFDs carry risk. 62% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Compare to best alternative broker

Best trading platform for Europeans
XTB

62

 
Background XTB is primarily a forex and CFD broker and in some countries, you can also trade with real stocks
Fee rating
Recommended for Forex and CFD traders looking for great funding and withdrawal processes and research tools

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Best trading platform for Europeans - XTB - Web trading platform

1. Fees – 

XTB has average trading fees and low non-trading fees. There are no inactivity fees, and the withdrawal is free above $100.

2. Account opening – 

XTB account opening is hassle-free and straightforward. Your account is ready for trading on the same day. However, the sales team is very pushy. XTB accepts customers from all over Europe, and also from most countries around the world. The required minimum differs from country to country. For example in Poland, there is no minimum deposit, while in Spain there is a required minimum of €1,000. Ask the customer service about the minimum balance of your country before you open your account. For UK citizens there is a required minimum account balance of $250/€250/£250.

3. Deposit and withdrawal – 

XTB's deposit and withdrawal are cost-friendly, fast, and can be done in several forms: bank transfer, credit/debit card, PayPal, Skrill. Fees for electronic wallet deposits are quite high.

4. Web trading platform – 

XTB's xStation 5 platform is user-friendly, can be customized, and a have good search function. On the flip side, we missed the two-step login, the leverage setting option, and the more sophisticated order types.

5. Markets and products – 

UK, Hungarian and non-European clients can trade only with CFDs and forex. All other Europeans can also trade with real shares and ETFs. XTB's market and product coverage is not the best, but it is competitive. XTB has the most cryptocurrency pairs. 

CFDs carry risk. In the UK, 79%, while in the rest of Europe 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Compare to best alternative broker

Best trading platform for Europeans
ETORO

14

 
Background eToro is a well-known fintech startup, an Israeli social trading broker established in 2007
Fee rating
Recommended for Beginner traders and those interested in social trading (copying other traders’ trades)

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Best trading platform for Europeans - Etoro - Web trading platform

1. Fees – 

eToro's trading fees are low, while non-trading fees are high. Inactivity fee exists, but it is ok. Currency conversion and withdrawal fees are quite expensive. eToro charges a conversion when you deposit or withdraw money from your account in a currency other than USD. 

2. Account opening – 

Account opening is enjoyable and super fast. eToro serves almost all countries except a few: USA, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Turkey, North-Korea, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria. The minimum first-time deposit is $200 for all countries, except for Israeli residents ($10,000).

3. Deposit and withdrawal – 

It is easy to deposit with a lot of options, including credit cards. However, there is a withdrawal fee, and only USD accounts are available.

4. Web trading platform – 

eToro’s web trading platform is nice looking and easy-to-use. Ok, we say it out loud: eToro's platform looks like a platform should in 2019. Getting your fee report is a bit of a pain.

5. Markets and products – 

At eToro you can trade with CFDs and forex. There are also real stocks and ETFs, and many cryptos. It also offers social trading and "CFD funds".

CFDs carry risk. 65% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider.

Compare to best alternative broker

Best trading platform for Europeans
Keep in mind - Safety

We recommend only quality brokers, so you can be sure none of the listed online brokers are scams. They are regulated by top-tier regulators. Some of them are also listed on an exchange, and some have a banking background.

However, also brokerage companies can go down. Remember Lehman Brothers? In these cases, it is important to know what happens with your securities and cash on your account. These are usually held in segregated accounts, so even in case of the bankruptcy of the broker, you are safe.

If everything goes very bad and for example, the broker steals your assets, then you have a last resort, the investor protection of the country where the broker is regulated.

The investor protection amount differs from country to country, so worth checking this before opening an account.

 
Account protection you get €100,000 for cash deposits and €20,000 for securities for most European countries € 20,000 £50,000 or $500,000 ($250,000 cash) in Europe depending on the assets you hold; $500,000 ($250,000) in the US £50,000 for UK clients; €20,100 for other European clients £ 50,000 for UK residents, € 20,000 for residents of non-UK countries
Country of regulation DK, UK,TR Netherlands UK, US, India, Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong UK, Poland, Cyprus, Belize UK, Cyprus
Listed on stock exchange
Banking background

In the US, futures accounts are not covered by compensation.

Best trading platform for Europeans
Bottom line

We hope, you managed to pick your favourite from the recommended best trading platforms. If you are still uncertain about the best trading platform for Europeans in 2019, this little summary might provide further clarity.

 

Saxo Bank has one of the best trading platforms in the market and it also offers great market and product coverage. Its trading fees are high.

 

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best-trading-platform-for-europeans-saxo-bank-logo

Price sensitive buy and hold investors and traders should consider DEGIRO with its low fees. Even beginners can handle its trading platform, however, deposit and withdrawal can be sluggish.

 

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best-trading-platform-for-europeans-DEGIRO-logo

Interactive Brokers is designed for advanced traders and investors. We like it since it has low trading fees, a desktop trading platform with tons of functions and the best markets coverage. However, the web trading platform is very disappointing. Stay away if you are a beginner.

 

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best-trading-platform-for-europeans-interactive-brokers-logo

You can have your XTB account ready for trading within a day. The deposit and withdrawal are also hassle-free. Its non-trading fees are low and the trading platform is good. However, there is only forex and CFDs. Plus in some countries stocks.

 

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best-trading-platform-for-europeans-xtb-logo

eToro's platform is one of the most user-friendly. The social trading function is also very exciting. You can open both a real or a demo account very fast.  Trading fees are also low. On the other hand, the customer service is not state of the art.

 

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best-trading-platform-for-europeans-etoro-logo

 

Still not sure? Get a personal recommendation.

 

 

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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