Freetrade review summary
Freetrade is a UK fintech startup offering a wide selection of commission-free stocks. Freetrade provides free stock and ETF trading. Account opening is seamless, fully digital and really fast. The mobile trading platform is well-designed and user-friendly. It is a good choice for beginner investors. At Freetrade, you can only trade stocks and ETFs. Research options cover only basic charting tools. Debit cards are available only for deposits, otherwise no credit/debit card withdrawal is available. BrokerChooser gave Freetrade a 4.7/5 rating based on analyzing 500+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.
Freetrade is a regulated broker, it is overseen by a top-tier financial regulator in the UK . Freetrade is also covered by investor protection and it offers negative balance protection in selected jurisdictions. We at BrokerChooser always test brokers with real money, including the withdrawal process.
You can't open an account at Freetrade if you live in United States. See the best alternative available in your country.
Freetrade pros and cons
|• Free stock and ETF trading||• Basic product portfolio|
|• Easy and fast account opening||• Limited research tools|
|• Great mobile trading platform||• Debit card only for deposits|
Freetrade main highlights
|🗺️ Country of regulation||UK|
|💰 Trading fees class||Low|
|💰 Inactivity fee charged||No|
|💰 Withdrawal fee amount||$0|
|💰 Minimum deposit||$0|
|🕖 Time to open an account||1 day|
|💳 Deposit with bank card||Available|
|👛 Depositing with electronic wallet||Available|
|💱 Number of base currencies supported||1|
|🎮 Demo account provided||No|
|🛍️ Products offered||Stock, ETF|
At Freetrade, you can trade stocks and ETFs free of charge. Also, there are no account, inactivity or withdrawal fees. However, there is a high, 0.45% fee for converting your funds to USD.
|• Free stock and ETF trading||• High currency conversion fee|
|• No inactivity fee|
|• No withdrawal fee|
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|US stock||Low||Zero commission|
|Mutual fund||-||Not available|
|Inactivity fee||Low||No inactivity fee|
How we ranked fees
We ranked Freetrade'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 Freetrade for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.
We also compared Freetrade's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, DEGIRO and Revolut. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Freetrade alternatives.
To have a clear overview of Freetrade, let's start with the trading fees.
At Freetrade, you can invest in stocks and ETFs for free. However, you need to choose the Freetrade Standard (or Freetrade Plus) account if you want to invest in non-UK stocks. This account has a monthly fee of £4.99 (Plus has a monthly fee of £9.99).
Also, there is a high FX conversion if you invest in stocks other than your account currency.
Besides UK stocks, you can invest on the following markets:
- NASDAQ, NYSE, Xetra, Euronext Amsterdam, Euronext Brussels, Euronext Lisbon, Helsinki, NASDAQ Stockholm, Wiener Borse AG
Freetrade has low non-trading fees. It doesn't charge an inactivity fee. On the other hand, you should consider the following fees:
- The currency conversion fee is the FX spot rate +/- 0.45%. Freetrade offers only GBP as a base currency, so a currency conversion fee is charged when you trade stocks/ETFs denominated in other currencies, e.g. USD or EUR.
- There is no fee for the Freetrade Basic account. Freetrade Standard and Freetrade Plus have a monthly fees of £4.99 and £9.99, respectively. Compare the different accounts.
- A withdrawal fee is charged only if you choose same-day withdrawal. In this case, there is a £5 fee.
Account opening at Freetrade is fast, fully digital and user-friendly, and there is no minimum deposit. You can choose from 3 different account types.
|• Fully digital|
|• No minimum deposit|
Can you open an account?
What is the minimum deposit at Freetrade?
The required Freetrade minimum deposit is $0.
Freetrade provides the following 3 accounts, which differ in pricing, available stocks/ETFs, availability of tax-advantaged accounts, interest on cash, etc.:
- Freetrade Basic - standard account for stock and ETF trading, part of all the subscription plans
- Freetrade Standard - provides more assets, ISA, more order types, and 1% interest on cash
- Freetrade Plus - provides more assets, ISA & SIPP, more order types, and 3% interest on cash
|Freetrade Basic||Freetrade Standard||Freetrade Plus|
UK and international stocks/ETFs
UK and international stocks/ETFs
|Interest on cash||No interest||1% interest (up to £2k)||3% interest (up to £4k)|
At the time of the review, all account types were available only to UK residents, with plans in progress for global expansion. Clients from other countries, like the Netherlands, France, Germany, Australia, Canada, etc. can request an invite to get the app first when Freetrade launches in their country.
How to open your account
Freetrade's account opening is user-friendly and fast. It took around 10-15 minutes until our account was set up.
The 6 steps of opening an account at Freetrade:
- Download the app on your mobile phone.
- Provide your email address, where you'll receive a confirmation link.
- Give your personal details, like name, date of birth, NI (national insurance) number.
- Add your address and nationality.
- Select the account type.
- Let Freetrade check your identity automatically.
If your digital verification process failed, you will have to upload your documents to verify your ID and residency. Passport, driving license or national ID are all accepted as proof of identity. You can use a tax bill, utility bill, bank statement or HMRC/DWP correspondence as proof of address.
Deposit and withdrawal
Deposits and withdrawals are user-friendly and free. On the negative side, no credit cards are accepted and the only available base currency is GBP.
|• Free withdrawal||• Only one account base currency|
|• No deposit fee||• Debit card available only for deposits|
At Freetrade, only GBP is available as a base currency.
|Number of base currencies||1||8||1|
If you have a personal bank account in a currency other than GBP, then you will be charged 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 takes only a few minutes on your phone.
Deposit fees and options
Freetrade charges no deposit fees. You can use bank transfer, Apple Pay and Google Pay as deposit and withdrawal options. But you need a UK bank account and go through verification through a bank transfer before you initiate a withdrawal. You can fund your account using a debit card, but credit cards are not accepted.
A bank transfer can take several business days. You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.
Freetrade withdrawal fees and options
Freetrade charges no withdrawal fees if you choose 'non-same-day' withdrawal. Same-day withdrawals have a £5 fee.
For withdrawals, you can only use bank transfers and electronic wallets.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Freetrade? We tested the bank transfer withdrawal and it took 2 business days.
You can only withdraw and transfer money to accounts that are in your name.
How do you withdraw money from Freetrade? Simply follow these steps:
- Log in to the mobile trading platform.
- Go to the 'Account' tab.
- Click on 'Withdraw'.
- Enter the amount you wish to withdraw.
- Initiate the withdrawal.
Web trading platform
At Freetrade, you can only trade through a mobile platform, while desktop platform is not available, and web platform is available in beta version only for Freetrade Plus subscribers.
Mobile trading platform
Freetrade has a user-friendly and well-designed mobile trading platform, with an efficient search function. However, there are only two order types and you cannot set price alerts.
|• User-friendly||• Limited order types|
|• Two-step (safer) login||• No price alerts|
|• Good search function|
Freetrade offers an in-house developed mobile trading platform with a superb design.
The mobile trading platform is available in English on both iOS and Android. We tested the platform on Android.
Look and feel
Freetrade's mobile trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed. You'll be familiar with the platform within seconds.
Login and security
You can log in to Freetrade's platform by typing in a four-digit password or using biometric authentication, like TouchID. There is a two-step (or two-factor) authentication option.
The search functions are good. You can search by asset name or asset class, like stock ETFs or bond ETFs. We liked the categorization as well. You can browse assets by popularity, company type, industry or country (UK, US).
Freetrade offers only two order types on Freetrade Basic:
- Basic order – the orders placed at 3 p.m. GMT, no fee is charged
- Instant order – the orders placed immediately, no fee is charged
There are more order types if you choose Freetrade Standard or Freetrade Plus:
- order types available for UK stocks:
- Basic order
- Instant or market order
- Limit order
- Stop loss
- order types available for US stocks:
- Basic order
- Instant or market order
- Limit order
- Triggered order
- Triggered stop loss
You can't use order time limits.
If you are not familiar with the order types, read this overview.
Alerts and notifications
You can't set alerts and notifications on Freetrade's mobile platform, although it would be a great feature.
Desktop trading platform
Freetrade does not have a desktop trading platform.
Markets and products
Freetrade has a limited product portfolio that covers only stocks and ETFs. There are no other asset classes available, like mutual funds, bonds or options.
This selection falls behind competing brokers. Both Trading 212 and eToro offer more stock markets to trade on.
Stocks and ETFs
At the time of the review, you can trade UK, US, and European stocks. However, US and EU stocks are available only to subscribers
|Stock markets (#)||11||15||17|
Freetrade provides access to the following markets:
- UK stocks: LSE and AIM
- US stocks: NASDAQ and NYSE,
- European stocks: Xetra, Euronext Amsterdam, Euronext Brussels, Euronext Lisbon, Helsinki, NASDAQ Stockholm, and Wiener Borse AG
Freetrade's research tools are limited, with no analyst recommendations or fundamental data. Charting is also poor, showing only the most basic information.
|None||• Limited interactive charting|
|• No trading ideas|
|• No fundamental data available|
Trading ideas and fundamental data
Freetrade does not provide trading ideas or fundamental data.
Although there are some feature updates, like a graph scrubber or a one-day graph filler, Freetrade has poor charting tools. There are no major technical or charting tools, such as a trendline editor.
Freetrade has an efficient live chat in its mobile app and its website. Email support is great, but we missed phone support and 24/7 availability.
|• Live chat||• No phone support|
|• Fast response time||• No 24/7 support|
|• Relevant answers|
You can contact Freetrade via live chat or email.
The live chat works great, we received fast answers within minutes. They were useful and relevant but the service isn't available 24/7. You can also contact Freetrade via email, which they usually answer in a few minutes.
However, we missed the option to contact the broker via phone.
Freetrade has useful and quality educational articles and a great community on its own blog. On the other hand, there are no educational videos or webinars.
|• Invest HUB blog||• No educational videos|
|• Educational content in a newsletter||• No webinars|
Invest HUB, Newsletter, Blog & Community
Freetrade has an Invest HUB section on the site. When you click on the top menu bar, you can check the latest news, tips on how to get started or you can learn new expressions in the dictionary.
Beside the content on the site, you can also sign up for more educational materials, including a newsletter and weekend reads. The previous blog and the community is still active and really useful. The 'Which crowdfunding companies have you invested in?' chat, for instance, has some really good discussion topics. It is worth taking a look!
There is still room for improvement however, as there are no webinars or educational videos, but hopefully these will be added with time.
Freetrade is regulated by the UK's FCA, providing up to £85,000 of investor protection. On the negative side, it is not listed on a stock exchange and doesn't hold a banking license.
|• Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority||• No negative balance protection|
|• High level of investor protection||• Does not hold a banking license|
|• Not listed on stock exchange|
Is Freetrade regulated?
Yes, it is regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Is Freetrade 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
At Freetrade, all customers are covered by the UK investor protection scheme, called FSCS.
|Country of clients||Protection amount||Regulator||Legal entity|
|All countries||£85,000||Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)||Freetrade Limited|
The FSCS protects against the loss of cash and securities in case a broker goes bust. The limit of FSCS protection is £85,000. This amount is substantially higher than the amount most national investor protection schemes provide.
Freetrade is a relatively young company, established in 2016. The longer the track record of a broker, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.
Freetrade's annual report is audited by PwC, and it is also regulated by a top-tier authority that provides a high amount of investor protection. These are all great signs for Freetrade's safety.
We recommend Freetrade for long-term investors on the hunt for low fees and focusing on the uk and us markets.
Below you can find links to all aspects of Freetrade in this comprehensive collection.
Lower fees, lower costs?
We detailed this in our Freetrade fees article.
What about the minimum deposit?
Our ultimate guide to the Freetrade minimum deposit is updated regularly.
How to start your Freetrade account?
Look no further than our evaluation of the Freetrade account opening.
How's their trading app?
Here's our expert view after checking the Freetrade trading app.
Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?
All you need to know about the Freetrade customer service.
Legit or scam?
Is Freetrade legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.
Free or premium? Or both?
A glance at actual costs and whether Freetrade is really free.
Is this broker good for beginners?
We checked it in Is Freetrade good for beginners.
Should you buy your silver bullets on Freetrade?
Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Freetrade guide
I want to trade options, are they available at Freetrade?
We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Freetrade?
What is the minimum account balance at Freetrade?
Check out the current account balance requirements at Freetrade in our What is the minimum account balance at Freetrade article.
Looking for commission and fees data for Freetrade?
We collected them in Freetrade commission and fees.
How do you withdraw money from Freetrade?
We tested it and collected the options and costs in How to withdraw money on Freetrade.