Recommended for investors and traders speaking German and focusing on European securities
flatex is a Germany-based stockbroker, regulated by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). It was originally established as PRE.IPO AG in 1999 and received its banking and brokerage license in 2005, when the company was renamed flatex.
flatex is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, discloses its financials and is regulated by a top-tier authority.
In 2019, flatex AG acquired 100% of DEGIRO. Currently they operate as separate entities, with flatex strengthening DEGIRO's regulatory backbone.
Being a German broker, all of flatex's trading services are available only in German.
flatex pros and cons
flatex has low fees for popular asset classes like stocks and ETFs. It holds a banking license, is listed on several stock exchanges and has a strong parent company. Its educational tools are also varied and of high quality.
On the other hand, forex fees and margin rates are high. The account opening for non-German residents is overly complicated and can take even weeks. You can use only use bank transfer for deposits and withdrawals. Lastly, a good knowledge of German is required as the services are all in German.
|• Low stock, ETF, fund and bond fees||• High forex fees and margin rates|
|• Strong company background||• Complicated account opening for non-German residents|
|• Great educational tools||• Only bank transfer available for deposits and withdrawals|
|🗺️ Country of regulation||Germany|
|💰 Trading fees class||Average|
|💰 Inactivity fee charged||No|
|💰 Withdrawal fee amount||$0|
|💰 Minimum deposit||$0|
|🕖 Time to open an account||>3 days|
|💳 Deposit with bank card||Not available|
|👛 Depositing with electronic wallet||Not available|
|💱 Number of base currencies supported||4|
|🎮 Demo account provided||Yes|
|🛍️ Products offered||Stock, ETF, Forex, Fund, Bond, Warrants, Certificates, Turbos|
flatex has favorable pricing for trading stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds. On the negative side, forex fees and margin rates are high.
|• Low non-trading fees||• High forex fees|
|• Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading||• High margin rates|
|• Low fund fees|
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|US stock||Low||€5.9 + 0.00218% per order|
|EURUSD||High||The fees are built into the spread, 1 pip is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.|
|Mutual fund||Low||€5.9 per trade flat fee|
|Inactivity fee||Low||No inactivity fee|
How we ranked fees
We ranked flatex'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.
- Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
- Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.
In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of flatex for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.
We also compared flatex's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Comdirect and DEGIRO. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of flatex alternatives.
To have a clear overview of flatex, let's start with the trading fees.
flatex has average trading fees. Popular asset classes like stocks and ETFs have low fees, while more complex products like forex have higher fees.
flatex cut its stock and ETF fees in 2020. Currently, its stock and ETF fees are considered low in comparison with other brokers.
As flatex's name suggests, you pay a flat fee for stock trading, which is quite unusual since most European brokers apply volume-based pricing for stock trading. Flat fees are great if you trade in higher volumes.
|Germany, NYSE, NASDAQ, Vienna, Zürich||€5.9 flat fee + exchange costs*|
|Toronto, Euronext Brussels, Euronext Lisbon, Euronext Paris, Milan||€5.9 flat fee per trade|
*Exchange fees range between around €1-7 per trade in Germany, while on US exchanges it is a fixed 0.00218% of the trade value.
flatex also has a great ETF investment program, called ETF saving plans. With this, you can invest a fixed amount regularly in ETFs, with the base fee for these trades only €1.5 per trade, including around 250 selected ETFs, where it is free.
If you prefer stock trading on margin, you should check flatex's margin rates.
Trading on margin basically means that you borrow money from your broker and can purchase more shares than you could with just the available cash in your account. You have to pay interest on this borrowed money – the interest rate is called the margin rate. It can account for a significant portion of your trading costs.
flatex's margin rates are high.
|EUR margin rate||7.9%||4.0%||0.8%|
flatex's forex fees are high.
To have a clear picture on forex fees we calculated a forex benchmark fee for major currency pairs. This catch-all benchmark includes commissions, spreads and financing costs for all brokers.
|EURUSD benchmark fee||$17.2||$18.9||-|
|GBPUSD benchmark fee||$18.2||$18.2||-|
|AUDUSD benchmark fee||$22.2||$22.2||-|
|EURCHF benchmark fee||$19.5||$19.5||-|
|EURGBP benchmark fee||$22.1||$22.1||-|
flatex's fund fees are low.
flatex charges a €5.9 flat fee per trade for funds. However, if you invest in funds selected via flatex's savings plan, the fee is just €1.5 per trade.
Bond fees at flatex are low. Similar to fund fees, the bond fees are even lower than at competitors.
|US Treasury bond||$7.1||$34.5||-|
|EU government bond||$7.1||$30.9||$11.0|
A €5.9 flat fee is charged after every order.
flatex has low non-trading fees. There are no inactivity, account or withdrawal fees, which is great.
flatex has low non-trading fees. It doesn't charges account, inactivity, deposit, and withdrawal fee.
On the negative side, there is a 0.1% custody fee.
Account opening at flatex is easy and fully digital for German and Austrian residents, but complicated and long for other clients.
|• No minimum deposit||• Slow|
|• Fully digital account opening for German/Austrian clients||• Not fully digital|
|• Not user-friendly|
Can you open an account?
It is not fully transparent residents of which countries are eligible to open an account at flatex. We believe that most European clients can open an account. On the other hand, for clients who are not a resident of Germany or Austria, the account opening process is much more complicated.
Also, we recommend opening an account only if you speak German on at least an intermediate level as the account opening process and most of the trading platforms are in German. Customer service is hit or miss, but in our most recent test, they spoke English well.
What is the minimum deposit at flatex?
There is no minimum deposit at flatex. This is good news if you want to trade in smaller amounts.
Based on ownership, you can choose from three account types:
- joint or
- corporate account.
When you open an account at flatex, your account will be a cash and a securities account by default. Afterward, you can activate the forex accounts separately if you want to trade these assets.
|Account||Tradeable products||Trading platform|
|Cash and securities||Stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds||flatex WebFiliale
flatex Trader 2.0
As an extra, you can become a VIP Club member if you executed 500+ trades or had an average account balance of €75,000 over the last 12 months. VIP Club members get benefits like no custody fee and exclusive invitations to flatex events.
If you are from Germany or Austria, the account opening process is fully digital and convenient via video identification.
Account opening for non-German/Austrian citizens is rather complicated. For us, it took more than 2 weeks and involved notarial work. After registering online we had to send our notarized documents to flatex via mail.
After we were verified, flatex sent us our login credentials and an iTANCard by mail. The iTANCard is a security card that contains codes needed for trade execution and logins. Using the flateXSecure app can replace the functions of the iTANCard, but it is safer if you have both available when needed.
Deposit and withdrawal
Deposits and withdrawals at flatex are free of charge, but only bank transfer is available. This means the process can take a couple of days.
|• Free withdrawal||• Credit/Debit card not available|
|• No deposit fee||• Slow withdrawal - over 3 days|
At flatex, you can choose from 4 base currencies. The available base currencies are: EUR, USD, CHF, GBP.
|Number of base currencies||4||12||9|
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.
Deposit fees and options
flatex charges no deposit fees, but you can only add funds to your account by bank transfer.
You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name, and the process can take several business days.
flatex withdrawal fees and options
Withdrawals are also free of charge and again, you can only use bank transfer.
For us, it took 3 business days to withdraw our money via bank transfer. Withdrawals can only be made to accounts that are in your name.
How do you withdraw money from flatex?
- Using 'Client Login', log in to your flatex account.
- Click on 'Konto & Depot', and choose 'Überweisung' from the list.
- Choose your account (Aktuelles Konto), the recipient (Empfänger) and the withdrawal amount (Beitrag).
- Click 'Eingaben übernehmen' to send your request. You'll need to validate your request with flateXSecure.
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Web trading platform
flatex's web trading platform WebFiliale is well-designed, has several order types and a great search engine. However, there are no price alerts and it is only available in German.
|• User-friendly||• No clear fee report available|
|• Two-step (safer) login||• Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)|
|• Good search function||• No price alerts|
flatex has different trading platforms for different products.
|Tradable instruments||Trading platforms|
|Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and bonds||
We tested WebFiliale, flatex's own web trading platform which is only available in German.
Look and feel
flatex's web trading platform is simple and great for executing trades. It is well-designed, but the interface lacks customization options.
To log in to WebFiliale, the platform will only ask for your username and password. However, for every transaction, you will need either your physical iTAN card, or a one-time generated code through the flateXSecure app. This is also needed when you want to log in to the FX-Handelsplattform to trade FX.
WebFiliale's search engine works well: you just have to type in the name of the product you are looking for.
Clicking 'Alle Ergebnisse' (All results) will show you all related products ordered by type, e.g. shares, bonds, etc. The results will also tell you the stock exchange and currency of the product.
You can use the following order types, including some advanced ones:
- Stop Market
- Stop Limit
- Trailing Stop
- Trailing Stop Limit
- OCO (one-cancels-the-other)
- OCO Limit
To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.
There are also order terms to make your trading more convenient:
- Good 'til time (GTT)
- Fill or kill (FOK)
- Immediate or cancel (IOC)
- All or none (AON)
Additionally, you can choose between stock exchanges when placing an order. This is definitely a unique feature as it is not available at most brokers, except for some like Comdirect and Interactive Brokers.
Alerts and notifications
You cannot set price alerts and notifications.
Portfolio and fee reports
flatex has a clear portfolio report: just click on 'Steuerbuchungen' to see the profit/loss and the tax you have to pay.
On the other hand, you can't see how much fees you paid after your trades. This significantly decreases the transparency of flatex's fee structure.
Mobile trading platform
The flatex mobile platform is similar to the web platform in design and functionality: it is user-friendly with a great search function, but no price alerts and is only in German.
|• User-friendly||• No price alerts|
|• Two-step (safer) login|
|• Good search function|
Similarly to the web trading platform, we tested the flatex mobile trading platform which is for stock, ETF, bond and mutual fund trading.
flatex's mobile app is available on iOS and Android; we tested it on Android.
You can look at flatex's mobile app as a miniaturized version of WebFiliale: it is exactly the same as the web platform in terms of functionality and available assets. This is a positive thing, as many brokers seriously limit the functionality of their mobile trading platforms.
For this reason, we gave the mobile trading platform 4 stars instead of the three-star rating we gave to WebFiliale on the web, because we value user-friendliness higher when it comes to mobile platforms.
Desktop trading platform
flatex's own desktop platform 'flatex trader 2.0' is advanced, with many features and customizable options, but is recommend only for advanced traders.
|• Good customizability (for charts, workspace)||• Not user-friendly|
|• Good variety of order types||• No clear fee report available|
|• Two-step (safer) login||• Available only for a fee|
You can choose from two desktop trading platforms, but neither is free:
- flatex trader 2.0, which costs €15/month
- TeleTrader WorkStation, which costs €39/month
The difference among the desktop platforms is that TeleTrader Workstation has more charting indicators as well as real-time and delayed data from overseas exchanges.
In our review, we tested flatex trader 2.0, which is available only in English.
Look and feel
flatex's own trading platform is complex and poorly designed. However, with complexity comes high customizability: for example, you can set your own templates.
Login and security
The login process is the same as for the web trading platform: it is easy to log in with only your user name and password, but later either your iTAN card or flateXSecure is needed.
The search functions are OK but could be better. The filter settings are great if you know which asset type or specific exchange you're looking for. However, the most relevant results are not shown first: for example, if you search for Apple, the Swiss stock exchange appears first instead of the US NASDAQ.
flatex trader 2.0 has the same selection of order types and terms as the web trading platform.
Alerts and notifications
Unlike all the other flatex platforms, you can set up price alerts and notifications of your trades on flatex trader 2.0.
Portfolio and fee reports
flatex trader 2.0 does not have clear portfolio and fee reports. This is something we missed, as a clear fee report would go a long way toward helping to understand flatex's fee structure.
Markets and products
At flatex you can trade almost all product types except options, futures and cryptos. There are also special products like warrants, certificates and turbos. Most available exchanges focus on EU markets.
The product and market coverage of flatex is great. Almost every asset class is available, except for options, futures and cryptos.
flatex's selection of stocks and ETFs is OK.
|Stock markets (#)||22||27||30|
In addition to German exchanges, flatex provides access to multiple European and international stock markets.
|United States||NYSE Alternext US, NASDAQ, NASDAQ OTC|
On the US exchanges, you can also trade penny stocks.
You can also invest in hundreds of ETF savings plans. This means that you invest a fixed amount in ETFs regularly and flatex charges small or even zero fees.
flatex offers a great selection of tradeable currency pairs.
|Currency pairs (#)||71||72||-|
flatex's mutual fund selection is relatively narrow.
|Fund providers (#)||60||91||64|
Similar to ETFs, flatex also offers fund savings plans, where you can invest a fixed amount in funds regularly for favorable fees.
There is no information about how many bonds can you trade at flatex, but both government and corporate bonds are available. Within government bonds, you can also buy bonds of smaller countries such as Paraguay and Hungary. All of these suggest that there is a wide range of bonds available.
You can also trade special assets distributed by global flatex partners, which include investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. These are categorized as 'Platin', 'Gold' or 'Silver' partners and their offerings include special leveraged products like warrants, turbos and certificates with favorable fees. The favorable fees apply only above a certain order volume.
|Partner category||Fee per order||Min. order volume||Partners||Available assets|
|Platin||€0||€500||Goldman Sachs||Mini futures, OpenEnd & Term Turbos, Factor Certificates|
|Gold||€1.90||€500/€1,000||Morgan Stanley, UBS, Société Générale||Warrants and certificates|
|Silver||€3.90||€1,000||Vontobel, BNP Paribas, HSBC||Warrants and certificates|
Simply type the asset name or WKN/ISIN code in the search bar to find trade these products.
flatex also provides a social trading service called Wikifolio. This is a third-party online platform where traders publish and manage their trading ideas. You can purchase these trading ideas through WebFiliale, the web trading platform.
This selection falls behind competing brokers. Both Comdirect and DEGIRO offer more stock markets to trade on.
flatex's research tools are OK, with advanced charting tools and fundamental data available. On the other hand, the tools are not user-friendly and there are no trading ideas.
|• Good interactive chart||• No trading ideas|
|• Data on asset fundamentals||• No/poor quality news flow|
Research tools are available only on the flatex desktop trading platform, called flatex trader 2.0. However, as this platform has a monthly fee, the situation is that there are no advanced research tools available for free.
flatex does not provide any analyst recommendations or trading ideas.
flatex provides fundamental data available for equity trading. You can check income statements going back four years, the company's main shareholders, as well as valuation ratios.
On the negative side, finding these data is not easy. To access the search interface, you have to search with the 'Symbol search' feature. After finding the stock you are looking for, you have to right-click on the equity and open 'Profile'.
flatex has advanced charting with almost unlimited features. There are more than 200 technical indicators and editor tools. You can easily edit and save the charts, which is a great feature.
The quality of flatex's news feed is low. It has an outdated design, which makes the news hard to read. The news feed contains a mixture of German and English news, which is inconvenient.
flatex's customer support gives relevant answers, but there is no live chat option available and support is mainly in German.
|• Phone support||• No live chat|
|• Fast response time||• No 24/7 support|
|• Relevant answers|
You can contact flatex via:
flatex has great phone support, but German language is the standard. It is hit-or-miss whether the operator speaks English as well; we nevertheless had good experiences on this front. We connected to support within a minute and received helpful answers.
Email support also provided relevant answers. The response time was also great as we got answers within 1 day.
Customer service is available from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the GMT+1 time zone if you are already a flatex customer, but only until 8 p.m. if you are not yet a client. We missed 24/7 availability, and a live chat service would also be helpful.
flatex has various great, high-quality educational content, although we did miss educational articles.
|• Demo account||• No educational articles|
|• Trading platform tutorial|
|• Educational videos|
At flatex you can improve your knowledge in the following ways:
- Demo account
- Platform tutorial videos
- General educational videos
- E-book series
All these options help to boost your financial knowledge and familiarity with the trading platforms. The demo accounts are available on the FX-Handelsplattform and flatex trader 2.0. However, you need to request these separately after opening your account and they are available only for a limited time.
The e-book series has 5 parts and is available for free after registration.
All educational materials are available only in German.
flatex is regulated by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), a top-tier regulator. The broker is also listed on the stock exchange and has a banking background.
|• Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority||None|
|• Banking background|
|• Listed on stock exchange|
Is flatex regulated? Yes, it is regulated by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
flatex was originally established in 1999 in Germany as PRE.IPO AG. It started offering brokerage services is 2006, when the company was renamed flatex.
Is flatex 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
flatex provides its brokerage services under the entity flatex Bank AG since March 2019. Through this German entity, all European clients are eligible for the same amount of investor protection under BaFin regulation.
|Country of clients||Protection amount||Regulator||Legal entity|
|All countries||€20,000 for securities
€100,000 for cash
|Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)||flatex Bank AG|
flatex provides negative balance protection for forex spot trading, but only for retail clients from the European Union. Professional and non-EU clients are not covered with any negative balance protection.
flatex operates under its parent bank flatex Bank AG and as such, it is subject to tougher regulations than regular brokers. The bank's shares are listed on the Stuttgart Stock Exchange under the name flatex AG. This means that the broker has to publish financial statements regularly and transparently, which is a positive.
Having a banking license, being listed on a stock exchange, providing financial statements and being regulated by a top-tier authority are all great signs for flatex's safety.
In December 2019, flatex AG acquired 100% of rival broker DEGIRO's shares, a huge acquisition deal in the sector. Currently the brokerages continue to operate separately, but with the acquisition flatex has provided a banking regulatory backbone to DEGIRO.
flatex is great for those who are looking for long-term investments and have a good command of German.
Investing in stocks, funds, and ETFs is cheaper at flatex than at its German competitors. Also, it has extra savings and mutual fund plans for long-term investors. Because it is listed on the stock exchange, flatex's financials are clear and transparent. It also offers high-quality educational materials to help you understand trading with the broker's services.
On the negative side, forex fees and margin rates are high. The account opening for non-German citizens is complicated and you can only use bank transfer for deposits and withdrawals. We also missed the option to switch to English during account opening and on the web and mobile trading platforms. Despite this, most of the time customer service could help us out in English.
As there is no required minimum deposit or inactivity fee, feel free to go ahead and try flatex.