Plus500 Review 2019

4.4 4 stars · Dec 2018
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Plus500 logo

Plus500 is a CFD broker, established in Israel. It is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Plus500 subsidiaries are authorized and regulated by different regulators, including top-tier regulators like the FCA from the UK.

Plus500 is considered safe because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Plus500 is a CFD and forex broker. 80.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Daytraders!: At Plus500 scalping is defined as "A trading strategy where a significant portion of the customer's positions are opened and closed by him/her within 2 minutes." If Plus500 believes you were following this strategy, your account might be blocked and closed. Therefore, if you plan to execute trades within 2 minutes, Plus500 is not your broker

Recommended for experienced traders looking for an easy-to-use platform, with great user experience.

Pros
  • Easy to use platform
  • Low spreads
  • Listed on AIM section of the London Stock Exchange
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio, only CFDs
  • High financing rates
  • Minimal research tools

Plus500 pros and cons

Plus500 has a simple, easy to use trading platform, the mobile one is especially well designed. The account opening process is fully digital and seamless. Spreads are competitive, and Plus500 has some innovative solutions, such as cryptocurrency CFDs.

Plus500 has limited product portfolio, provides only CFDs. It has high financing rates. Some standard research tools, like recommendations, fundamental data, or news feeds are missing from the Plus 500 platform.

Compare to other brokers

Plus500 review
Fees 4 stars

Plus500 has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. Financing rates are very high.

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
  • Inactivity fee
  • High financing rate
  • Financing rate calculation is non-transparent

Plus500 Fees snapshot
AssetsFee levelFee terms
US stock feeLowThe fees are built into spread. 0.51 spread is the spread cost
EURUSD feeLowThe fees are built into spread, 0.6 pips is the spread cost
US tech fund fee-Not available
Inactivity feeAverage$10 per quarter after 3 months of inactivity

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

We compare Plus500 fees with its peers, eToro and XTB.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

Plus500 trading fees are low. There is no commission, everything is included in the spread, the difference between the ask and the bid prices.

It is super hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. What we did at Brokerchooser? Instead of quoting long fee tables, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for three assets.  

For the assets we chose cleverly and arbitrarily:

  • Apple, a large US stock
  • Vodafone, a large European stock
  • EURUSD, a popular currency pair

The typical trade means buying a position, holding for one week, and selling it. For the volume we chose a $2,000 position for the stocks and $20,000 for the EURUSD.

This super catch-all benchmark includes spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.

Here is the verdict. Plus500 both stock CFD and forex trading fees are low.

Plus500 fees benchmarked
  Plus500 eToro XTB
Apple benchmark fee $8.9 $3.6 $18.1
Vodafone benchmark fee $7.6 $3.6 $24.4
EURUSD benchmark fee $17.6 $19.1 $17.1

 

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Financing rates

Plus500's yearly financing rates are high.

Brokers charge financing rates if you hold a leveraged position for more than one day. Plus500 financing rates are only published on the trading platform, and the calculation method is not transparent. Plus500 can also change the rates anytime at its discretion. This can influence your trading fees very much if you tend to hold positions for longer.

Plus500 yearly financing rates
  Plus500 eToro XTB
Apple financing rate 13.9% 8.9% 6.0%
Vodafone financing rate 12.1% 8.9% 3.1%
EURUSD financing rate 4.5% 3.7% 4.1%

Non-trading fees

Plus500's non-trading-fees are average. Plus500 withdrawal fee is good. There are five free withdrawals per month. After that it is $10 or if it is less than the minimum withdrawing amount. Bank transfer withdrawals are always $6. Inactivity fee is high, after 3 months there is a $10 quarterly fee.

Plus500 non-trading fees
  Plus500 eToro XTB
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $25 $0

Plus500 review
Account opening 5 stars

Plus500 account opening is seamless, fast and fully digital. You can open your trading account within a day.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Can you open an account?

Plus500 accepts customers from all around the world. There are only a few exceptions. E.g. you can't open account if you are a resident of US, Canada, Cuba, Iran, Syria, etc. 

Minimum deposit

Plus500 minimum deposit is €100 for debit/credit cards and €500 minimum for bank transfers.

Account types

Plus500 has one live account type, and it only serves individual accounts, no corporate accounts are offered.

How to open your account

If you want a fast and digital account opening, Plus500 is your broker. You can easily open your trading account within a day.

After the online registration, you have to verify your identity and proof of residency. You can upload a copy of your ID/passport for verifying your identity, and a bank statement/utility bill for verifying your residency. Plus500 review - Account opening

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Plus500 review
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

Plus500's deposit and withdrawal are both great. You have many options, the process is easy-to-do and usually free of charge.

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
  • Five withdrawal per month is free
Cons
None

Account base currencies

You can open your account in several base currencies. It is not transparent what currencies are available, but according to the customer support even minor currencies are supported (we could open a Hungarian Forint account, too). You need to contact the support in case you want to change your base currency. Make sure you do this before you deposited money to your account.

Why does this matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged. 

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fees can be to open a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. The account opening only takes a few minutes on your phone.

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Deposit fees and options

Plus500 deposit is free of charge.

As other CFD broker, there are a lot of options at Plus500:

  • Bank transfer
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Skrill
  • PayPal
Plus500 deposit options
  Plus500 eToro XTB
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

The bank transfer can take more business days, while electronic wallets and credit/debit cards are instant.

Plus500 review - Deposit and Withdrawal - Deposit

You can only deposit money from sources which are on your name.

Withdrawal fees and options

Plus500 withdrawal is free of charge for up to five per month. Beyond that, it is $10 for one withdrawal. This is competitive since many other brokers, like eToro, charges withdrawal fee. 

There is also a minimum withdrawal. It is $50 for Paypal and $100 for bank transfer and credit/debit cards. If you want to withdraw a lower amount, $10 charge will be applied.

For withdrawal, you can use the same channel as at deposit. This offer is much better than at XTB, and in line with eToro.

Plus500 withdrawal fees and options
  Plus500 eToro XTB
Withdrawal fee Yes Yes Yes
Withdrawal Time Yes Yes No
Electronic Wallets Yes Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $25 $0
Withdrawal Time 2 days >3 days 1 day

Plus500 provides only that the withdrawal can take a few business days. We tested credit/debit card withdrawal and it took 3 business days.

Plus500 review - Deposit and Withdrawal - Withdrawal

You can only withdraw money from sources which are on your name.

Compare to other brokers

Plus500 review
Web trading platform 4 stars

Plus500 trading platform is very easy-to-use and also looks great. On the flip side, it cannot be customized. 

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • Available in several languages
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Plus500 Platforms to Choose From
Trading platformScoreAvailable
Web4 / 5 starsYes
Mobile5 / 5 starsYes
Desktop-No

Plus500 has an own-developed web trading platform. It is available in 30 language which is great.

Plus500 trading platform languages
Arabic Bulgarian Chinese Croatian Czech Danish
Dutch Estonian Finnish French German Greek
Hebrew Hungarian Icelandic Italian Latvian Lithuanian
Malay Maltese Norwegian Polish Portuguese Romanian
Russian Slovakian Slovenian Spanish Swedish Turkish

Look and feel

Plus500 web trading platform is clean, well-designed, and easy to use. As such, even a first-timer could navigate the app with ease.

On the flip side, you cannot customize the platform.

Plus500 review - Web trading platform

Login and security

The login process is safe since you can use a two-step authentication. Plus500 also provides Google and Facebook authentication, which is quite convenient.

Search functions

The search function is great. You will find easily everything. You can find the products categorized on the left or you can search by typing manually the product name.

Plus500 review - Web trading platform - Search

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Illustrative prices

Placing orders

Plus500's order management is mid-range:

  • Market order
  • Limit order
  • Stop-loss order
  • Trailing stop
  • Guaranteed stop-loss

You can find a short explanation of the order types in our guidebook.

Plus500 review - Web trading platform - Order panel

                                                                                                      Illustrative prices

Alerts and notifications

We also liked the alert and notification function. You can set up email, SMS and push notifications.

The alert let you know if the price of an asset reaches a level or changes x%. Additionally, you can also set up an alert if the Plus500 Buyer/Seller sentiment changes.

Portfolio and fee reports

Plus500 provides transparent portfolio and fee reports. It is clear how much overnight fees you paid. The status of your current portfolio is also clear from the upper bar of the platform.

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Plus500 review
Mobile trading platform 5 stars

Plus500 mobile trading platform is well designed and user-friendly.

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
Cons
None

At Plus500's mobile platform you will find the same functionalities as in the web version.

You can download the mobile app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. You can also use your smartwatch, but we stuck to a conventional smartphone and tested the mobile iOS app. It was great.

Plus500 review - Mobile trading platform

                                                                                                      Illustrative prices

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Plus500 review
Markets and products 2 stars

At Plus500 you can trade only with CFDs and forex. There are a lot CFDs, you can choose from almost 2,000.

Plus500 is a CFD and forex broker. To learn more on CFDs read our CFD trading tips.

80.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500 offers sufficient CFDs. It is wider than eToro's and in line with XTB's. There are some cryptos, but less than at eToro or XTB.

Products and markets
# of CFDs Plus500 eToro XTB
Currency pairs (#)     59 47 48
Stock index CFDs (#) 23 13 34
Stock CFDs (#) 1,800 1,300 1,600
ETF CFDs (#) 80 83 87
Commodity CFDs (#) 17 6 21
Cryptos (#) 9 14 16

Based on the customer support answers, you cannot change the default leverage level of the products. We think you should be in control of this.

You can also trade with options on a few stock and stock index CFDs. 

Compare product portfolios

 

Plus500 review
Research 1 stars

Plus500 provides limited research tools. It has good charting tools and a well-designed economic calendar. But, recommondations, fundamental data, and news are missing.

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
Cons
  • No analyst recommendations for stocks, bonds, etc.
  • No fundamental data available
  • No/Poor quality news flow

Charting

The charting tool has good quality. There is a lot of indicators and editor tools. You can also save the charts.

Plus500 review - Research - Charting

News feed

You will find a well-designed economic calendar, but will not find news or newsletter.

We liked that you can filter for macro events, company earnings, etc.

Plus500 review - Research - News feed

Other research tools you will enjoy

You can use the market sentiment tool which shows the proportion of the buyers and sellers at Plus500.

Plus500 review - Research - Traders sentiments

Compare research pros and cons

Plus500 review
Customer service 5 stars

Plus500 has a great customer support. Both the live chat and the e-mail support are quick and reliable. Furthermore, they are available 24/7.

Pros
  • Live chat
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
  • 24/7 availability
Cons
  • No phone support

You can contact the customer service via live chat and email. There is no phone support.

We tested the Plus500 live chat several times. It was always quick and reliable. For example asking about fees, they revealed all relevant fees, including the financing rates. After the conversation, you can rate your customer agent instantly, a good way to give feedback. 

The email customer support was also fine. They replied within one hour which is extremely fast in comparison with other brokers. The answers we got were relevant.

On top of the customer service's quality, they are available 24/7. Not very common at other brokers.

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Plus500 review
Education 2 stars

Plus500 only provides a demo account where you can practice trading before opening a real account.

Pros
  • Demo account
Cons
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
  • No educational videos

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Plus500 review
Safety

Plus500 is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and is regulated by top-tier financial regulators like the FCA.

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • Listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is publicly available
Cons
None

Plus500 is an Israeli broker established in 2008 serving clients from all over the globe. Is Plus500 safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes south and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

Plus500 operates a bunch of subsidiaries and depending on your residency, one of these subsidiaries will serve you. The investor protection amount you get depends on the subsidiary's country you are signing up with.

For example, if you come from the UK, you will sign up with Plus500UK Ltd and get a £50,000 investor protection. Plus500UK Ltd is regulated by the FCA, the UK regulator.

Plus500 legal entities

Client country

Investor protection amount Regulator Legal entity
EEA countries (EU, Switzerland, Norway) €20,000 Authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (#250/14) Plus500CY Ltd
UK

£50,000

Authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (#509909) Plus500UK Ltd
Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa No protection Licensed by the ASIC (AFSL #417727), Financial Markets Authority (FSP #486026), and AFSP (FSP #47546) Plus500AU Pty Ltd
Singapore No protection Licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (#CMS100648-1) and the IE Singapore (#PLUS/CBL/2018) Plus500SG Pte Ltd

Plus500 also provides negative balance protection.

Background

Plus500 is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, which is a big plus when it comes to security. Other aspects, such as ownership, company profitability, regulatory compliance, etc. are all transparent, clearly documented, and can be accessed in Plus500’s annual report.

A financially strong parent company is a plus since it can supply the online broker with additional capital if this is needed. As of 9 March 2018, the biggest owners of the company were mostly big investment banks and asset management companies, like JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley. The biggest owner, Brighttech Investments had a 9.99% stake. Alon Gonen, one of the founders, was also among the biggest owners through Sparta24 Ltd.

Plus500 was established in 2008, so it has 10 years track record. The longer the track record, the better. Longer track record means the company was able to manage financially tough times, like the financial crisis.

Plus500 operates on a market maker model. This means, when you are trading on Plus500's platform, Plus500 is your counterparty. If Plus500 defaults, it may happen that it cannot pay you and you can rely only on the investor protection. On the other hand, if you trade with exchange-traded products, like real stocks, your counterparty risk is eliminated by the stock exchange.

Being listed, being regulated by top tier regulator, like the FCA are all great signs for Plus500's safety.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

Plus500 review
Bottom line

Plus500 is a good broker. It is for traders aware of the risks of CFD trading.

Is plus 500 safe? It is considered safe because it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the FCA. If you are not from the UK, you will be most likely served by Plus500 Cyprus, and hence the Cypriot investor protection will apply.

Daytraders! At Plus500 scalping is defined as "A trading strategy where a significant portion of the customer's positions are opened and closed by him/her within 2 minutes." If Plus500 believes you were following this strategy, your account might be blocked and closed. So if you plan to execute trades within 2 minutes, Plus500 is not your broker.

On the bright side, Plus500 platform is easy-to-use with a great user experience. Even the first time user can navigate the app with ease. Spreads are competitive, but there are really high financing rates. Therefore, fees can be really high. For this fee level, some research tools would have been nice. 

As there is no minimum balance, no withdrawal fee above $100, withdrawal and inactivity fee only kicks in after three months, feel free to try it out.

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Plus500 logo

Plus500 is a CFD broker, established in Israel. It is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Plus500 subsidiaries are authorized and regulated by different regulators, including top-tier regulators like the FCA from the UK.

Plus500 is considered safe because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Plus500 is a CFD and forex broker. 80.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Daytraders!: At Plus500 scalping is defined as "A trading strategy where a significant portion of the customer's positions are opened and closed by him/her within 2 minutes." If Plus500 believes you were following this strategy, your account might be blocked and closed. Therefore, if you plan to execute trades within 2 minutes, Plus500 is not your broker

Recommended for experienced traders looking for an easy-to-use platform, with great user experience.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 4 stars

Pros
  • Easy to use platform
  • Low spreads
  • Listed on AIM section of the London Stock Exchange
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio, only CFDs
  • High financing rates
  • Minimal research tools

Fees 4 stars

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
  • Inactivity fee
  • High financing rate
  • Financing rate calculation is non-transparent

Account opening 5 stars

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
  • Five withdrawal per month is free
Cons
None

Web trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • Available in several languages
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)

Mobile trading platform 5 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
Cons
None

Markets and products 2 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Forex
  • CFD
  • Crypto

Research 1 stars

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
Cons
  • No analyst recommendations for stocks, bonds, etc.
  • No fundamental data available
  • No/Poor quality news flow

Customer service 5 stars

Pros
  • Live chat
  • Fast response time
  • Relevant answers
  • 24/7 availability
Cons
  • No phone support

Education 2 stars

Pros
  • Demo account
Cons
  • No trading platform tutorial videos
  • No educational videos

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • Listed on stock exchange
  • Financial information is publicly available
Cons
None

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

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

METHODOLOGY

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

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