Whether you’re a veteran investor or a newbie trader searching for a new brokerage, Plus500 has most likely landed on your radar at some point in time. Plus500, based in Israel, was founded in 2008 and soon rose to become one of the industry’s top CFD brokers.
Their service is available in over 50 countries and more than 30 languages at the time of writing and offers a wide range of products, including forex, cryptocurrency, stock indices, ETFs, and options.
For all you crypto lovers out there, Plus500 was the first broker in the world to offer a Bitcoin CFD, which was way back in 2013. Amazingly, the price of Bitcoin was around $50 back then. Anybody got a time machine we can borrow?
Five years after its inception, Plus500 went public on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM (Alternative Investment Market) segment in 2013. As a result, the firm boasts many international regulators, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This makes it one of the safest brokerage options available, but how does it compare to the rest of the field?
In this Plus500 review, we’ll address everything you need to know about this CFD trading platform. Let’s have a look.
Range of Offerings
First things first, let’s take a look at the different investment options offered by Plus500. At the time of writing, the brokerage offers CFDs on over 2000 financial instruments, including cryptocurrency, forex, ETFs, commodities, and so on.
As far as cryptocurrencies go, you can trade them with up to 1:2 leverage, including the usual suspects such as Bitcoin, Ripple XRP, Ethereum, and more. Bear in mind, when trading on Plus500, you do not physically own the assets.
Instead, you are merely speculating on price fluctuations in the market without actually owning them in a private wallet. This generally benefits the people who want to capitalize on price swings while limiting their exposure to the potentially volatile nature of the crypto market.
*As of January 6, 2021, the FCA prohibited the sale of crypto-derivatives to UK retail customers, which means that crypto CFDs are not available for purchase on the platform for people located in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Commission and Fee Structure
In general, Plus500’s fees are in line with the industry standard; you will definitely find cheaper places to trade, but they are far from the worst. So how does their fee structure work? Well, the company generates most of its revenue from the spread. This means they don’t charge any commission and all of the fees are usually included within the bid/ask spread. However, there are some premium charges that sometimes come into effect, such as:
- Fees for holding positions overnight
- Account inactivity fee (longer than three months)
- Currency conversion costs
- Fees for “guaranteed stop-loss orders” (GSLO)
As for the non-trading fees, Plus500 does not charge for opening an account, and there are no charges for deposits and withdrawals.
*There are usually discounts given to high-volume traders.
Ease of Account Opening
Opening an account with Plus500 is very simple and straightforward, and you should be able to complete the process within a few short hours if you have the relevant documents to hand. As you might expect, the account opening procedure is fully digital and involves the following steps:
- Download Plus500 software
- Select real money account (retail or professional)
- Provide your personal details
- Identity verification
- Set up your deposit method
In the process, you will be required to upload some documents as part of the industry-standard KYC process in order to prove your identity (and residency), so make sure you have your passport, bank statement, or ID card handy. You will also have to verify your phone number as part of the account opening process.
*Plus500 is available to customers in more than 50 countries; however, there are some notable exceptions, such as the US and Canada.
Deposits and Withdrawals
The minimum deposit on Plus500 is $100, and they accept a wide variety of funding options in up to 16 different base currencies. The primary deposit methods include:
- Credit/debit card (only Visa or MasterCard debit/credit cards are accepted)
- Bank transfer
- Electronic wallets (PayPal, Skrill)
Plus500 does not charge a fee for deposits. There are currency conversion fees of a maximum of 0.5% for all trades and instruments, as mentioned earlier. However, these can easily be avoided by only trading assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency.
The minimum withdrawal amount on Plus500 is $100 for bank transfers and credit/debit cards and $50 for E-wallets (there are no fees involved).
*The time frame for processing a withdrawal request is normally 1-3 business days, and you can only deposit and withdraw money to accounts in your name.
Platform and Trading Experience
Plus500’s trading platform is user-friendly with a simple and uncluttered interface. However, More experienced traders may find that the platform is too limited and does not have the same degree of features as MetaTrader 4. Furthermore, Plus500 does not have an option to use features such as an API feed or advanced charting, which may be a deal-breaker for some as they cannot use platforms such as Meta Trader.
Aside from the lack of customizability, the overall look and feel of the platform are up there with the best. They have an intuitive design and offer a bunch of handy tools that make your life easier as a trader, such as a responsive search function, alerts and notifications, multiple charts, watchlists, and over 100 technical indicators.
It’s quick and easy to place traders, and you can typically enter/exit a trade within just a few clicks. You can also place guaranteed stops on some markets, but they do come with an increased spread.
As you would expect, you can place both market and limit orders when trading any of the financial instruments, and you can also place a take profit or stop loss when entering into each position.
One of the best features of Plus500 is the functionality of their mobile applications. They actually work! Most other brokerages out there offer lousy apps that are buggy and intermittent at the best of times. However, Plus500’s apps offer all of the same functionality available in the desktop application and can be found on Android, iPhone, and most tablets.
If you’re new to trading and you’re looking for a place to get your feet wet, Plus500 does a decent job at providing you with some resources to get you started. They have plenty of educational videos and articles that explain all of the basics and everything you need to start your trading journey. However, many people claim their content is hard to follow and could be structured better. They also offer a reasonably detailed FAQ section that should be sufficient to answer any basic queries.
One great feature of Plus500 is its demo account. This gives you a chance to try out their interface and trade financial assets using their platform without risking your capital. Setting up a virtual account is simple. All you need is an email address to create an account, and you’re good to go.
Unfortunately, Plus500’s support certainly leaves a lot to be desired, with many people complaining of long waiting times and frustrating interactions with support staff. On top of this, their customer service options are pretty limited, with only email and live chat being offered on their site. There is no phone support.
However, you can usually get answers to your queries relatively quickly when using live chat and email. The typical response time is between 1-3 hours for non-complex questions, which is very fast compared to other brokers. Furthermore, their support service is available 24/7, so you can get assistance no matter what time of day it is.
Regulation and Security
One of the most important factors when choosing your broker is whether or not your money will be safe. After all, many people invest large quantities of cash through their broker, so security is paramount. With that in mind, how does Plus500 compare to the rest of the pack? The answer: it’s about as safe and secure as it gets.
Plus500 is registered with the relevant regulatory authorities throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, such as Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA).
In other words, means that the brokerage is extremely safe. The company controls several subsidiaries, and the one to which you will be attributed depends on your region and place of residency. This also means that the level of investor protection you are given depends on where you are based.
For example, traders in the UK who suffer a shortfall of funds up to £85,000 may be compensated for under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). In contrast, someone living in Australia will have zero protection.
Furthermore, Plus500 also offers negative balance protection, which means that customers cannot lose more money than they deposit into their financial accounts, but this is only available to retail clients from the European Union.
Plus500 is a beginner-friendly brokerage that gives traders access to a wide range of financial instruments via a sleek, easy-to-use interface. Their commission-free trading and low deposit requirements make the platform attractive to many investors. However, those looking for advanced functionality and API integrations may need to look elsewhere.
Additionally, Plus500 is a great place to trade crypto without needing to expose your capital to the volatility of the market; as you can speculate on price fluctuations without the need to physically own any of the assets.
Finally, with the company being listed on the London Stock Exchange, it is one of the most heavily regulated brokers in the industry, giving traders peace of mind that their funds are secure.
Absolutely. Plus500 is a perfectly legitimate broker that is heavily regulated by a multitude of financial authorities. Additionally, the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, which means it must be transparent with its finances.
Yes! Plus500 offers traders access to various cryptocurrency CFDs, including Bitcoin, Ripple XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin, Stellar, and Cardano.
As with any online broker, there is a potential for both profit and loss when trading financial instruments. 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider and are considered high risk, especially when leverage is involved.
The minimum deposit on Plus500 is $100.
It is free to open an account on Plus500, and there is no commission for trades. All of the fees are found within the bid/ask spread unless you hold your position overnight or exchange currency.
Plus500 offers a variety of education and training resources that are beneficial to newcomers. One of their best features is the demo account that allows beginner traders to test out the waters before opening a real account and putting their capital at risk.
Total Pug Score3.8/5 Good