Stake review summary
Stake is an Australia-based fintech startup that offers commission-free stock trading, regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the FCA. Stake provides free stock and ETF trading on US markets. The account opening process is fully online and fast. The trading platforms are user-friendly and well designed. It is a good choice for beginner investors. On the negative side, Stake only offers stocks and ETFs limited to the US market. The customer service channel offering is substandard. We missed educational tools and materials to help clients get a better understanding of capital markets and trading. BrokerChooser gave Stake a 4.5/5 rating based on analyzing 500+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.
You can't open an account at Stake if you live in United States. See the best alternative available in your country.
Stake pros and cons
|• Free stock and ETF trading||• Basic product portfolio|
|• Fast and fully digital account opening||• Limited availability of customer service|
|• Easy-to-use trading platforms||• Lack of educational tools|
Stake main highlights
|🗺️ Country of regulation||Australia, UK|
|💰 Trading fees class||Low|
|💰 Inactivity fee charged||No|
|💰 Withdrawal fee amount||$0|
|💰 Minimum deposit||$50|
|🕖 Time to open an account||1 day|
|💳 Deposit with bank card||Not available|
|👛 Depositing with electronic wallet||Not available|
|💱 Number of base currencies supported||1|
|🎮 Demo account provided||No|
|🛍️ Products offered||Stock, ETF|
Stake offers free stock and ETF trading on US markets. There is no inactivity fee, which is a big plus. On the negative side, deposit and withdrawal are not free of charge.
|• Free stock and ETF trading||• Forex conversion fee on deposit/withdrawal|
|• No inactivity fee|
|• Transparent fee structure|
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|US stock||Low||Commission-free stock trading|
|Mutual fund||-||Not available|
|Inactivity fee||Low||No inactivity fee|
How we ranked fees
We ranked Stake'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 Stake for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing the most important fees are commissions.
We also compared Stake's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Freetrade and Alpaca Trading. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Stake alternatives.
To have a clear overview of Stake, let's start with the trading fees.
The trading fees at Stake are low. We appreciated the fully transparent fee structure.
Stock fees and ETF fees
Stake has generally low stock and ETF commissions.
Australian stocks are available for Australian users only.
Stake has low non-trading fees. The deposit and withdrawal fees below are calculated for $2,000 transfers.
Stake charges no inactivity fee and the basic account has no monthly fee. Clients can choose a premium plan called Stake Black for a monthly fee of $9 (or a yearly fee of $90), which offers some additional services but has a similar fee structure.
Though there is no deposit or withdrawal fee as such when you deposit in your own currency, Stake charges other non-trading fees, e.g. currency exchange fee, U.S. tax form fee, etc., as described below:
|FX fee for deposit and withdrawal (min. $2)||0.5%||spot rate plus 70 basis points||1%||1.6%|
|Express deposit||0.5% (min. $2)||0.5% (min. $2)||0.5%||0.7%|
|Non Stake USD Transfers||NA||$5||NA||$5|
|Bank processing fee on withdrawals||-||-||$2||-|
|Debit card deposit||NA||NA||2%||NA|
|Credit card deposit||NA||NA||3%||NA|
|U.S. Tax Form Fee||-||$5||$5||$2|
- Express deposit means that you will have access to your USD funds:
- immediately after the confirmation of the deposit funding request for UK customers,
- during the next US trading day for Australian customers,
- immediately after the confirmation of the deposit funding request for New Zealand customers,
- immediately after confirming the exchange rate of your transfer, if it is before 2 pm (Brasilia time) for Brazilian customers.
- There is a minimum withdrawal amount of $10 in New Zealand
Stake has a very simple and easy account opening process. It takes only a few minutes to open an account.
|• Fully digital|
|• Low minimum deposit|
Can you open an account?
At the time of the review, Stake's services were only available in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the UK.
What is the minimum deposit at Stake?
Stake requires a minimum deposit of AUD 50 from Australian clients and £50 from UK clients. That is definitely low compared to some other brokers where the minimum deposit can be $2,000 or more.
At Stake, clients can choose from two account types. Besides the standard account, you can open a Stake Black account for a monthly fee of $9 ($90 when charged annually). Both types offer an unlimited number of commission-free trades. Stake Black has the same fee structure as the standard account but it also offers a few premium services:
- you can promptly re-invest the proceeds from the sale of your stocks;
- access to detailed fundamental data (company financials, analyst ratings and price targets);
- around 100 OTC stocks to trade.
How to open your account
Clients can open an account on Stake's website or download the Stake App on their phones first.
The process is simple, straightforward and takes only a few minutes. You need to enter your personal data and some additional info (e.g. income and employment details).
Deposit and withdrawal
There is no deposit/withdrawal fee for most of the clients. However, you can only withdraw your money in your local currency and you will be charged a conversion fee at deposit and withdrawal.
|• User-friendly||• Only one account base currency|
|• Credit/Debit card available only for customers from New Zealand|
At Stake, the only available base currency is USD.
|Number of base currencies||1||1||1|
If you have a personal bank account in a currency other than USD, 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 only takes a few minutes on your phone.
Deposit fees and options
- An FX fee, which is 0.5% or minimum $2 for UK customers and the sport rate plus 70 basis points or minimum $2 for AU or NZ clients.
- An extra 0.5% is charged for express top-up, which guarantees that the deposited amount will arrive to your account by the next business day.
- If you transfer USD funds directly to Stake, it will cost you $5 per transfer.
A bank transfer can take several business days, however there is an option to use express top-up, but it costs more. Credit/debit card deposit is only available for customers from New Zealand.
You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.
Stake withdrawal fees and options
Stake charges a $2 withdrawal fee for New Zealand clients, otherwise withdrawal is free. However, expect the same FX fees as charged when you deposit.
*Calculated for a $2,000 withdrawal.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Stake? It could take up to 4 business days.
You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.
How do you withdraw money from Stake? Follow the steps described below:
- Go to 'Wallet'
- Click on 'Withdraw'
- Set the amount and the target account
- The FX rate and all applicable fees will appear on the screen before you initiate the transaction
Web trading platform
Stake's web platform is simple and easy to use with a user-friendly design. However, it lacks some important features like price alerts or workspace customizability.
|• User-friendly||• Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)|
|• Clear fee report||• No price alerts|
|• Two-step (safer) login|
Stake's web trading platform is available in English and Portuguese.
Look and feel
The Stake web trading platform is well-designed, simple, and user-friendly. You can find all functionalities quickly and easily. On the negative side, the platform is not customizable.
Login and security
Stake provides a safe two-step login (two-factor authentication). Bear in mind that this is not set by default, you need to download an authenticator app first and enable the feature on your profile page.
The search functions are OK. It is easy to find individual stocks and ETFs, however, the search function lacks any additional features (e.g. filters).
You can use the following order types:
To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.
For now, clients cannot set order time limits. Limit orders expire at the end of the U.S. trading day (Stake plans to roll out Good-Till-Cancel orders in the near future). Stop orders expire after 90 days if not executed.
Alerts and notifications
You cannot set price alerts and notifications.
Portfolio and fee reports
Stake has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can find these reports if you click on 'Account' followed by 'Reports & Activity'.
Mobile trading platform
Stake has a simple and user-friendly mobile trading platform, with Touch/Face ID login. However, you cannot set price alerts on the mobile platform.
|• User-friendly||• No price alerts|
|• Two-step (safer) login|
|• Touch/Face ID login|
Stake has an in-house developed mobile trading platform. It is simple and easy to use. The platform is available in English and Portuguese.
Look and feel
The Stake mobile trading platform is straightforward and user-friendly. You can easily find all the features it provides.
Login and security
After the first log-in, you can use the app without providing any credentials.
To get more security you can set up a passcode and enable Face/TouchID on a compatible device, which is a convenient feature. Two-factor authentication is also available. You receive a one-time-password via email to be used in addition to your personal password when logging in.
The platform's search functions are easy to use; simply begin to type an asset's name or ticker to view relevant hits. You can also search for companies based on key-words (e.g. 'Oil Refineries', 'Banks', etc.), a feature we liked quite a bit.
One thing we missed was categorization. It would be great to filter companies based on market capitalization, price level, etc.
You can use the following order types:
At the moment, you cannot set order time limits. Limit orders expire at the end of the U.S. trading day (Stake plans to roll out Good-Till-Cancel orders in the near future). Stop orders expire after 90 days if not executed.
Alerts and notifications
You cannot set alerts and notifications on the Stake mobile platform.
Desktop trading platform
Stake does not offer a desktop trading platform.
Markets and products
Stake's product selection covers US stocks, ETFs, and US-listed ADRs. Australian users can trade Australian stocks too. However, other popular asset classes like mutual funds, bonds, cryptos or options are not available at Stake.
Stake specializes in US stocks, ETFs, and ADRs.
Stocks and ETFs
Stake is specialized in the US market. You can trade more than 6000 stocks, ETFs and ADRs. Stake's team is adding new stocks continuously to the platform.
|Stock markets (#)||2||4||5|
A great service at Stake is the possibility to buy fractional shares. Instead of buying a whole share, you can buy only a fraction of it; a handy feature for stocks that cost several hundred dollars apiece.
Stake offers live market data. In addition, it provides company fundamentals, analyst ratings and price targets, but only for premium account holders. On the negative side, other research tools are either very basic or missing.
|• Data on asset fundamentals||• Limited interactive charting|
|• User-friendly||• No/limited set of analytic tools|
|• Live market data||• Some research tools available only for premium account holders|
For Stake Black users, Stake provides equity analyst ratings from various research houses. If you have a base account, you will not have access to these data.
Paid plan (Stake Black) users have access to a detailed overview of ratings and price targets.
Stake offers some very basic fundamental data, like market cap, P/E ratio and dividend yield.
Stake Black users have access to detailed company financials.
Stake has poor charting tools. There are no technical indicators, and some other editing tools are also missing, such as a trendline editor.
You can only use a basic chart and view some limited key information, such as changes in the stock price during a given period and the trading range.
Stake provides news feed from third-party news providers, like Bloomberg or CNBC. If you click on an asset, you'll find the relevant news to that asset. It's great.
Stake's customer support could use a facelift as customer support channels are limited. There is no live chat or phone support. Our e-mails were answered fast by Stake's helpdesk, but the answers were not always relevant or complete.
|• Fast response time||• No phone support|
|• No live chat|
|• No 24/7 support|
You can contact Stake via e-mail or you can submit a ticket on the website or in the app. We received fast responses to our e-email inquiries and the answers were more or less OK.
We missed the 24/7 availability though.
All in all, there is certainly room for improvement in Stake's customer service options.
Stake offers a limited set of written educational materials. They do not provide any educational or tutorial videos and you can not open a demo account.
|• Easy to understand||• No demo account|
|• No trading platform tutorial videos|
|• No educational videos|
You can find a few short educational articles on Stake's website in the 'Stake Academy' section. Besides that, the only educational tool you have is under the 'Support' section of the webpage. There is a selection of easy-to-understand articles about the platform and how the US stock market operates (e.g. market hours, settlement time, taxation, etc.)
We missed other educational tools, like webinars or videos.
Stake is overseen by top-tier Australian and UK regulators. However, it is not listed on a stock exchange and does not disclose its financial information.
|• Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority||• Does not hold a banking license|
|• High level of investor protection||• Not listed on stock exchange|
|• Financial information is not publicly available|
Is Stake regulated?
Yes, it is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Is Stake safe?
To be certain, 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
Stake transmits client orders to DriveWealth LLC, a company that provides brokerage and execution services to Stake and its customers.
DriveWealth falls under US federal regulation overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Stake's clients are protected up to $500,000 (including up to $250,000 cash) under the Securities Investment Protection Corporation's (SIPC) insurance.
Stake is a young company, established in 2017 in Australia. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.
Being regulated by multiple top-tier authorities is a sign that Stake is safe.
We recommend Stake for beginners and investors looking for free us stocks/etfs and a simple, easy to use trading platform.
Below you can find links to all aspects of Stake in this comprehensive collection.
Lower fees, lower costs?
We detailed this in our Stake fees article.
What about the minimum deposit?
Our ultimate guide to the Stake minimum deposit is updated regularly.
How to start your Stake account?
Look no further than our evaluation of the Stake account opening.
How's their trading app?
Here's our expert view after checking the Stake trading app.
Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?
All you need to know about the Stake customer service.
Legit or scam?
Is Stake 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 Stake is really free.
Is this broker good for beginners?
We checked it in Is Stake good for beginners.
Should you buy your silver bullets on Stake?
Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Stake guide
I want to trade options, are they available at Stake?
We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Stake?
What is the minimum account balance at Stake?
Check out the current account balance requirements at Stake in our What is the minimum account balance at Stake article.
Looking for commission and fees data for Stake?
We collected them in Stake commission and fees.
How do you withdraw money from Stake?
We tested it and collected the options and costs in How to withdraw money on Stake.