Summary

Recommended for forex and CFD traders who looking for low fees and great deposit/withdrawal

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades is a global forex broker founded in 2001. It is regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB). 

ActivTrades is considered safe because it has a long track record and it is regulated by a top-tier financial authority, the FCA.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Overall Rating
4.4
Fees
4.3
Account opening
3.8
Deposit and withdrawal
4.5
Trading platform
3.9
Markets and products
1.4
Research
3.0
Customer service
4.5
Education
5.0

ActivTrades pros and cons

ActivTrades has low trading fees and deposits and withdrawals are free. Customer support is great and it has excellent education tools, including webinars and market analysis.

ActivTrades' product portfolio is slim and its research tools are basic. The minimum deposit is high, at $/€/£/CHF1,000.

Pros Cons
Low trading fee Slim product portfolio
Free deposit and withdrawal Basic research tools
Good customer support and education High minimum deposit
ActivTrades main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation UK, Bahamas
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged Yes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $1,000
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with bank card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 4
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Forex, CFD
Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Author of this review

Krisztián Gátonyi

Author of this review

Krisztián has 10+ years of experience in proprietary trading in the interbank currency market as a foreign exchange risk manager. He is interested also in real estate and dividend growth investing. His purpose is to help people find the best investment provider.

Krisztián Gátonyi

Senior Broker Expert

Krisztián has 10+ years of experience in proprietary trading in the interbank currency market as a foreign exchange risk manager. He is interested also in real estate and dividend growth investing. His purpose is to help people find the best investment provider.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

ActivTrades review
Fees

4.3
To know more about trading and non-trading fees, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. It's great that the broker charges no deposit and withdrawal fees in most cases.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees Inactivity fee
No withdrawal fee
ActivTrades fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
S&P 500 CFD Low Individual Account: The fees are built into the spread, 0.23 points is the spread cost during peak trading hours.
Europe 50 CFD Low Individual Account: The fees are built into the spread, 1.3 points is the spread cost during peak trading hours.
EURUSD Low Individual Account: the fees are built the into the spread, 0.5 pips is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
Inactivity fee Low If the account is not used for over 1 year and there is a remaining balance, they will charge a fee of £10 per month.

How we ranked fees

We ranked ActivTrades's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let's go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of ActivTrades for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading, the most important fees are spreads, commissions and financing rates.

We also compared ActivTrades's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, HYCM and CMC Markets. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of ActivTrades alternatives.

To have a clear overview of ActivTrades, let's start with the trading fees.

ActivTrades trading fees

ActivTrades trading fees are low.

We know it's hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We have selected popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone
  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stock index and stock CFDs and $20,000 for the forex transactions. The leverage we used was:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let's see the verdict for ActivTrades fees.

CFD fees

ActivTrades has generally low CFD trading fees.

ActivTrades CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week
  ActivTrades HYCM CMC Markets
S&P 500 index CFD fee $1.0 $1.0 $1.5
Europe 50 index CFD fee $0.7 $0.9 $1.9
Apple CFD fee $3.2 $4.7 $21.5
Vodafone CFD fee $5.5 - $25.2

Forex fees

ActivTrades' forex fees are low.

ActivTrades forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
  ActivTrades HYCM CMC Markets
EURUSD benchmark fee $7.5 $7.1 $8.2
GBPUSD benchmark fee $5.9 $8.2 $6.4
AUDUSD benchmark fee $6.3 $10.1 $7.5
EURCHF benchmark fee $4.6 $9.4 $8.3
EURGBP benchmark fee $8.8 $11.5 $9.0

Non-trading fees

ActivTrades has average non-trading fees.

If the account is not used for over 1 year and there is a remaining balance, they will charge a fee of £10 per month.

ActivTrades non-trading fees
  ActivTrades HYCM CMC Markets
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

ActivTrades review
Account opening

3.8
To experience the account opening process, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
Account opening at ActivTrades is seamless and fully digital. The whole process took less, than five minutes. Our account was verified within one business day. On the downside, the minimum deposit is high.
Pros Cons
Fast Minimum deposit is $1,000
Fully digital
User-friendly

Can you open an account?

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

What is the minimum deposit at ActivTrades?

The required ActivTrades minimum deposit is $/€/£/CHF 1,000, depending on the currency of the account.

Account types

ActivTrades offers various account types for retail and corporate clients as well as Islamic accounts. 

  • individual account - - account is owned by a retail investor
  • institutional account - account is owned by a legal entity
  • Islamic account - it has no overnight rollover interest, nor additional rollover commissions

How to open your account

The account opening process was fully digital, fast, and easy. The account was verified within a day.

The account opening process starts with selecting your country of residence and adding basic personal information, including your name, email address, and password. Then you have to go through a four-step registration process. 

  • Account holder information: personal details, tax residency, home address
  • Trading experience: over what period have you been trading CFDs, the number of trades, the average lot size per trade
  • Financial and account information: employment status, income and savings, source of funds, trading preferences
  • Trading account setup: choose your trading platform, base currency

Finally, you have to add some documents (ID or passport, bank statement or utility bill, etc) and a photo for client verification. 

ActivTrades review - Account opening

ActivTrades review
Deposit and withdrawal

4.5
To find out more about the deposit and withdrawal process, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades offers free deposit and withdrawal options, including traditional methods such as bank transfer and credit card as well as various e-wallets. On the other hand, minor currencies are not accepted.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Minor account currencies are not available
Free withdrawal
No deposit fee

Account base currencies

At ActivTrades, you can choose from four base currencies. The available base currencies are: EUR, USD, GBP, CHF

ActivTrades' account base currency range is narrow, as minor currencies are not accepted.

Base currencies at ActivTrades vs similar brokers
  ActivTrades HYCM CMC Markets
Number of base currencies 4 6 10

 

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. These usually offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates, as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

ActivTrades charges no deposit fees for bank transfer and electronic wallets.

Credt/debit card deposits are charged with 1.5% in the European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA countries, and 0.5% for UK clients. EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Beside bank transfer and credit/debit cards, the following electronic wallets can be used:

  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Paypal*
  • Sofort*

SOFORT and PAYPAL are only available for clients under ActivTrades Plc, the UK-based entity.

ActivTrades deposit options
  ActivTrades HYCM CMC Markets
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

ActivTrades review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

ActivTrades withdrawal fees and options

ActivTrades charges no withdrawal fees for credit/debit cards, electronic wallets and bank transfers in currencies other than USD. In turn, USD bank transfers cost $12.50 per withdrawal.

ActivTrades withdrawal fees and options
  ActivTrades HYCM CMC Markets
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from ActivTrades? We tested the debit card withdrawal and it took more than 3 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from ActivTrades?

  • Go to ActivTrades Personal Area
  • Click on 'Make a withdrawal' under Transactions
  • Choose the account and the amount
  • Click 'Proceed'

Compare to other brokers

ActivTrades review
Web trading platform

3.8
To try the web trading platform yourself, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades has its own web trading platform called ActivTrader. It's highly customizable, available in several languages and has a clear fee report. On the flip side, the platform lacks a two-step login and price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report
Good search function
ActivTrades platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 3.8 stars Yes
Mobile 4.3 stars Yes
Desktop 3.4 stars Yes

ActivTrades-offers the following trading platforms:

  • ActivTrades' own trading platform, called ActivTrader
  • Third-party platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

We've tested ActivTrader's own platform for this review.

The web trading platform is available in Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Look and feel

ActivTrades' web trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed.

Customizability is average, some features cannot be moved around on the platform. The search bar and the portfolio report features are, for instance, fixed.

ActivTrades review - Web trading platform

Login and security

ActivTrades provides only a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be more secure.

Search functions

The search functions are good. You can search for the name of the asset and there are search categories, too, like forex, cash index, etc.

ActivTrades review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following basic order types:

  • Market order
  • Limit order
  • Stop order

To get a better understanding of these terms, read our overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til time (GTT)
ActivTrades review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

There's no price alert. Notifications on the changes to your account, when, for example, an order is executed, are available. However, there are no alerts for major news. 

Portfolio and fee reports

ActivTrades has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can see the commission, swap fees and the performance of your portfolio. 

A right click on the 'History' tab will take you to a website, where, you can download the reports, but only in HTML format.  An Excel or CSV format would be preferred. 

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
Mobile trading platform

4.3
To try the mobile trading platform yourself, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades has its own great mobile trading platform. It is well-designed and user-friendly with a good search function. However, it lacks a safe login.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function
Price alerts

Similarily to the web platform, ActivTrades has its own mobile trading platform besides MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. In this review, we tested ActivTrade's own platform. 

The mobile platform's design and functionality is exactly the same as the web platform. There's only one-step login and the search function and the order types are the same, too. There's no price alert.

ActivTrades review - Mobile trading platform

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
Desktop trading platform

3.4
To try the desktop trading platform yourself, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrade's desktop trading platform is provided by MetaTrader. It is highly customizable, has a clear fee report and you can set price alerts. On the other hand, it lacks a two-step login and the design is outdated.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) Poor design
Price alerts

ActivTrades doesn't have an in-house developed desktop trading platform, it uses the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. They are third-party trading platforms. We've tested MetaTrader 4 because it's more popular.

MetaTrader 4 is available in an exceptionally large number of languages:

ActivTrades desktop trading platform languages

Arabic

Bulgarian

Chinese
(Simplified and Traditional)

Croatian

Czech

Danish

Dutch    

English

Estonian

Farsi

French

German

Greek

Hebrew

Hindi

Hungarian

Indonesian

Italian

Japanese

Korean

Latvian

Lithuanian

Malay

Mongolian

Persian

Polish

Portuguese

Romanian

Russian

Serbian

Slovak

Slovenian

Spanish

Swedish

Tajik

Thai

Turkish

Ukrainian

Uzbek

Vietnamese

   

Look and feel

ActivTrades' desktop trading platform has great customizability. It is easy to change the size and position of the tabs.

However, the platform feels outdated and some features are hard to find. For example, it took some time until we found how to add an asset to the watchlist.

ActivTrades review - Desktop trading platform

Login and security

ActivTrades provides only a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be more secure.

Search functions

The search functions are OK. You can find the assets in categories. However, categorization is a bit confusing as there are several forex categories. We also missed the usual search function when you can type in the asset names manually.

ActivTrades review - Desktop trading platform - Search

Placing orders

Here, you will not find very sophisticated orders like one-cancels-the-other. The following order types are available:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing Stop

Trailing Stop is available only in the MT4 desktop platform

If you are not familiar with the various order types, read this overview.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til time (GTT)
ActivTrades review - Desktop trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications in the form of email, push notifications to mobile, or notification to the desktop platform. 

To set email or mobile notifications, you have to add your email address and your mobile MetaQuotes ID (it can be found in the MT4 app's settings). You can add them if you go to 'Tools' and then 'Options'.

Portfolio and fee reports

ActivTrades has clear portfolio and fee reports. It is easy to find your profit-loss balance and the commissions you paid. These reports can be found on the 'Account History' tab. Nevertheless, we didn't find a way to download them.

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
Markets and products

1.4
To dig even deeper in markets and products, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
At ActivTrades you can only trade with forex and other CFDs. Popular asset classes, such as real stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and options are unavailable.

ActivTrades is a CFD and forex broker. If you're not familiar with CFDs, read this article.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ActivTrades has a limited product portfolio. You can trade mainly CFDs and forex products. 

ActivTrades product portfolio:

  • selection of stock and ETF CFDs is relatively high
  • range of stocks index and commodity CFDs is average
  • ActivTrades offers fewer currency pairs than its competitors and bond CFDs lag behind competitors
  • futures CFDs and cryptos are not available
ActivTrades product selection
  ActivTrades HYCM CMC Markets
Currency pairs (#) 48 70 338
Stock index CFDs (#) 27 28 92
Stock CFDs (#) 660 65 8,000
ETF CFDs (#) 500 20 1,000
Commodity CFDs (#) 15 17 136
Bond CFDs (#) 5 - 56
Futures CFDs (#) - - -
Cryptos (#) - 64 15

You can change leverage levels, which is great. Changing the leverage is a useful feature, when you want to lower the risk of your trade. Be careful with forex and CFD trading, as the preset leverage levels are high.

ActivTrades offers access to nine stock CFD markets. This is an average selection compared to its competitors. 

ActivTrades review
Research

3.0
To check the available research tools and assets, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades' selection of research tools is average, but the tools are user-friendly. Charting and other technical tools, like APIs, are great. On the flip side, there are no trading ideas, fundamental data, and news.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart No trading ideas
User-friendly No fundamental data available
Good set of analytical tools No/poor quality news flow

Research tools are available on the website and on the trading platform. We've tested the research tools only on ActivTrades' own platform.

Trading ideas

ActivTrades does not provide trading ideas. There are some short market analysis pieces on the website. These are commentaries rather than deep insights into certain developments, like Brexit-related events. They don't include clear trade ideas or recommendations.

Fundamental data

ActivTrades does not offer fundamental data.

Charting

ActivTrades has good charting tools and they offer 28 technical indicators. This is not a lot compared to its competitors as there are several platforms with 100+ technical indicators.

ActivTrades review - Research - Charting

News feed

There is an economic calendar on the website, under the 'Markets' tab. The calendar helps clients monitor the most important events all over the world. You can filter the news by countries, even types, and impact. On the downside, there's no historical data to these events. You cannot look up, for example, historical US inflation data. 

Other research tools you will enjoy

There are other technical tools, like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which help implement an automated trading strategy. APIs allow traders to directly connect their screening software with their broker account to place orders. 

You can see the number of long/short (buy/sell) positions in the search bar. This is a good sentiment indicator to gauge the market mood.

ActivTrades review - Research - Market Sentiment

Compare research pros and cons

ActivTrades review
Customer service

4.5
To find customer service contact information details, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades offers several customer service channels and we found the live chat to be the fastest and most relevant. Emails are typically answered within 24 hours and the answers were relevant. The only thing we missed is the 24/7 availability.
Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat
Fast response time

ActivTrades providers several customer service channels. You can contact them via:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email

ActivTrades has a fast live chat. The relevance of the answers was satisfactory. 

ActivTrades' phone support was fast and we got relevant answers. The agent was very helpful, he gave detailed answers to our questions and even sent a follow-up email. 

In email, we got quick and relevant answers.

We missed 24/7 availability. 

ActivTrades review - Customer Service

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
Education

5.0
To check the available education material and assets, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades has great educational content. They provide webinars, education manuals and you can test your skills with a demo account. There is one to one training where you can chat with an expert.
Pros Cons
Demo account None
Trading platform tutorial
One to one training

ActivTrades provides the following learning tools:

  • Demo account
  • One to one training
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars and seminars
  • Quality educational articles

We think that the demo accounts are the most useful because they allow you to become familiar with the platform and its features without any risks.

ActivTrades provide one to one training, where you can chat with an expert online. This is a personalised education session to help you understand the main features of the trading platform. This is a very special service, individual coaching is not at all common at other brokers. 

ActivTrades review - Education

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

ActivTrades review
Safety

To find out more about safety and regulation, visit ActivTrades
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM
ActivTrades is regulated by several financial authorities, including the top-tier FCA. On the downside, they are not listed on any stock exchange and their financial information is not publicly available.
Pros Cons
Negative balance protection Does not hold a banking license
Regulated by top-tier FCA Not listed on stock exchange
Financial information is not publicly available

Is ActivTrades regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB). 

Is ActivTrades safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

ActivTrades has two entities and is regulated. Investor protection depends on where you open an account. 

ActivTrades investor protection
Country of clients Protection amount Regulator Legal entity
UK and EEA £85,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) AcitvTrades PLC
Other counties Other counties The Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) ActivTrades Corp (Nassau)

ActivTrades provides negative balance protection. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will be protected.

In addition to the protection retail investors get by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), ActivTrades has purchased, at no direct cost to clients, separate insurance protection from Lloyd’s of London insurers that provides up to £1,000,000 per client additional coverage. Lloyd's of London is an insurance and reinsurance market in the UK. 

Background

ActivTrades was established in 2001. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Being regulated by the top-tier FCA and being in operation for a long time are all great signs for ActivTrades's safety.

Find your safe broker

ActivTrades review
Bottom line

Visit ActivTrades if you are looking for further details and information
Open account 76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: HYCM

All in all, ActivTrades is a good CFD/forex broker.

ActivTrades has low trading fees, while deposits and withdrawals are free. Customer support is great and it has excellent education tools, including webinars and market analysis.  

On the downside, its product portfolio is limited, with just a few products. They offer mainly CFDs and forex instruments. Their research tools are basic, there are no trading ideas or fundamental data. The minimum deposit is high, at $/€/£/CHF1,000, depending on the currency of your account.

As the trading fees are low and your account will be ready quickly, feel free to try ActivTrades.

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Share

Comments

Open account
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
×