If you’re based in the UK and looking for the best online trading platform for your needs, you might have come across eToro and Plus500. After all, these two FCA-regulated platforms offer heaps of assets – all of which can be traded on a commission-free basis.
But, you only need one brokerage account to trade online, so which platform should you pick?
This eToro vs Plus500 comparison will explore everything there is know about the two popular trading sites. This includes key metrics like tradable assets, fees, tools and features, payments, and safety.
- 1 eToro vs Plus500 – Instruments, Fees and Payments Compared
- 2 What are eToro & Plus500?
- 3 eToro vs Plus500 Tradable Assets
- 4 eToro vs Plus500 Account Types
- 5 eToro vs Plus500 Fees & Commissions
- 6 eToro vs Plus500 User Experience
- 7 eToro vs Plus500 Mobile App
- 8 eToro vs Plus500 Trading Tools, Education, Research & Analysis
- 9 eToro vs Plus500 Demo Account
- 10 eToro vs Plus500 Payments
- 11 eToro vs Plus500 Customer Service
- 12 eToro vs Plus500 Safety & Regulation
- 13 eToro vs Plus500 – The Verdict
- 14 eToro – Best UK Stock Broker 2021
- 15 FAQs
eToro vs Plus500 – Instruments, Fees and Payments Compared
Before we get properly into our eToro vs Plus500 comparison, you can use this table to compare the key aspects of each broker.
What are eToro & Plus500?
Put simply, both eToro and Plus500 are online trading platforms that allow you to buy and sell financial instruments at the click of a button. All you need to do is open an account with your chosen platform, make a deposit, and you then will have unfettered access to several trading markets.
For example, both eToro and Plus500 cover stocks, indices, commodities, forex, and ETFs. However, it must be noted that there is a fundamental difference between the two platforms. While Plus500 specializes exclusively in CFDs (contracts-for-differences), eToro also offers traditional assets.
This means that at eToro you can buy shares, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies – and retain full ownership of the asset in question. But at Plus500, you are merely speculating on the future value of the financial instrument. More on this latter. Nevertheless, both platforms are relatively straight forward to use and allow you to easily deposit funds with a debit/credit card.
Both eToro and Plus500 allow you to trade online or via a dedicated investment app. In terms of the fundamentals, eToro and Plus500 are regulated by the FCA – so safety should be of no concern. eToro is now home to an impressive 17 million clients, while Plus500 is now a publicly-traded company – with its shares listed on the London Stock Exchange.
eToro vs Plus500 Tradable Assets
As noted above, it is important to remember that Plus500 is a CFD broker – meaning it does not offer traditional investment assets. With that said, in the sections below we discuss each asset class that each platform offers – with a specific focus on how the financial instrument can be traded.
Stocks and Shares
Starting with eToro, the platform offers over 2,400 stocks, including all of the best shares. Not only does this include hundreds of shares listed on the London Stock Exchange, but 16 other marketplaces. For example, you can buy shares in companies listed in the US, Hong Kong, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and more.
Crucially, eToro allows you to buy each and every supported stock in the traditional sense. This means that you will be a ‘stockholder’ once you complete the investment and thus – be entitled to certain perks. At the forefront of this is being entitled to dividends as and when the company in question makes a payment.
It is also important to note that all 2,400 shares and 17 stock exchanges at eToro can also be accessed in the form of CFDs. For example, if you place a buy order and do not apply leverage, you will be purchasing the stock outright. However, if you decide to go short on the stock via a sell order or apply leverage, then the asset will translate into a CFD.
In the case of Plus500, all of its shares are repressed by stock CFDs – meaning the underlying asset does not exist. Instead, you are simply speculating on whether the stock will increase or decrease in value. Nevertheless, Plus500 also gives you access to an abundance of stock markets.
Once again, not only does this include stocks listed in the UK, but heaps of international exchanges. This includes major exchanges based in the US, Europe, and Japan – as well as less liquid marketplaces like South Africa and Singapore. This allows you to gain exposure to countries that traditional stock brokers in the UK do not cover.
Much like its stocks and shares department, eToro also allows you to invest in ETFs in the traditional sense. What we really like about the ETF department on eToro is that the minimum investment is usually just $200. This means that you can invest in a full basket of stocks and bonds without needing to break the bank.
In total, eToro is home to just over 250 ETF markets. This number appears to be growing, as recently this figure stood at just 150-ish. Most of the ETFs on offer at eToro are backed by well-known providers – including the likes of SPDR, Vanguard, and iShares. Once again, by investing in an ETF at eToro, you own the instrument and thus – are entitled to quarterly dividends.
In the case of Plus500, the platform does offer a good selection of ETF markets. But, these are, of course, in the form of CFD instruments. As such, the main purpose here would be to trade the value of the ETF in the short run. You can choose from a buy and sell order too, meaning that you can short-sell the ETF if you think it’s over-valued.
If you have a slightly higher appetite for risk, then you might be considering an investment in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. If this is the case, you should know that since January 2021, cryptocurrency CFDs are no longer legal in the UK.
This was a ruling initiated by the FCA as a means to protect retail investors. As such, this means that Plus500 no longer any cryptocurrency trading markets. The good news is that buying and selling digital currencies in the traditional sense is not only 100% legal, but this marketplace is growing at a rapid pace.
As such, you’ll be pleased to know that eToro allows you to invest in 16 different cryptocurrencies at the click of a button. In fact, as we cover shortly, you can complete the process in a 100% commission-free manner. Once you buy your chosen cryptocurrency, you can leave it stored at eToro until you decide to cash out.
If forex trading is more your thing, our eToro vs Plus500 comparison found that both platforms stand arm-in-arm on this asset class. This is because both brokers offer dozens of currency pairs across the three main categories – majors, minors, and exotics. Both brokers offer commission-free forex orders and tight spreads too, so there’s not much to separate the two in this respect.
Both eToro and Plus500 offer a comprehensive commodity trading department. Irrespective of which platform you opt for, you will be trading commodities via CFD markets. This is industry standard, as you wouldn’t want to take physical ownership of gold bullion or barrels of oil.
In terms of supported markets, our eToro vs Plus500 comparison found that both brokers cover:
- Hard metals like gold, silver, and copper
- Energies like oil and natural gas
- Agricultural products like wheat and cocoa
With that being said, eToro does beat Plus500 in the commodity department – as it also allows you to invest in several assets via an ETF. For example, if you wanted to invest in the long-term value of gold without being hammered by daily CFD fees, you could opt for the SPDR Gold ETF.
As you are investing in an ETF, you can keep the position open for as long as you want at eToro without worrying about ongoing fees.
eToro vs Plus500 Account Types
In this section of our eToro vs Plus500 comparison, we explored what account types are on offer. Put simply, both eToro and Plus500 offer just one account type.
This makes things really convenient, as you can access any market of your choosing without needing to open up several different accounts. Both platforms allow you to open an account in minutes and there is no ongoing fee.
eToro vs Plus500 Fees & Commissions
Most investors in the UK will look to choose a broker based on fees. That is to say, you’ll want to keep your trading costs to an absolute minimum. Not only does this include commissions and dealing fees, but other potential charges related to deposits/withdrawals and overnight financing.
With this in mind, below we compare the eToro fees and Plus500 fees.
Share Dealing Fees
Plus500 doesn’t offer traditional shares or ETFs, so this section is aimed exclusively at eToro. In a nutshell, eToro is a 100% commission-free broker. This means that you can invest in stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies without paying any dealing fees whatsoever.
As such, if you want to build a portfolio of assets with the view of creating a long-term investment plan, eToro is without a doubt the cheapest option in the market.
CFD Trading Commission
Once again, if you trade CFDs at eToro, you will not be charged any commission. This is the case across all of its asset classes. Over at Plus500, you can also trade CFDs without incurring any commissions, meaning that both platforms are ideal for day traders and swing traders.
If you buy shares that are listed on the primary London Strock Exchange, you need to pay stamp duty on the purchase. This amounts to 0.5% and it is unavoidable. Well, not unless you use eToro that is.
This is because the FCA-regulated broker waivers the 0.5% stamp duty tax. Sure, HMRC will still need to collect the tax from eToro. But, the broker covers this itself – meaning that it won’t be taken from your account balance.
There is no stamp duty to pay at Plus500 either, as you will be trading CFDs.
Currency Conversion Fee
Both eToro and Plus500 charge a currency conversion fee of 0.5%. However, when you pay this fee varies considerably across the two platforms. For example, Plus500 charges a 0.5% FX fee on any market that is not denominated in GBP. For example, if you were trading commodity CFDs at Plus500, then the FX fee will come into play.
This is because commodity trading markets like gold, silver, oil, and natural gas are priced in US dollars. We actually had to do quite a lot of digging to find out this information, so it is somewhat disappointing that Plus500 isn’t a bit clearer on when the FX fee kicks in.
Over at eToro, it doesn’t matter which marketplace or currency the asset in question is linked to – you will still pay a 0% commission. However, you will pay a 0.5% currency conversion fee when you initially make a deposit. When we performed the calculations ourselves, we found that this actually works out a lot cheaper in the long run.
Sure, you’ll get hit with the 0.5% fee straight away, but you can then place as many trades as you wish without needing to worry about constant conversion costs. Over at Plus500, you’ll pay this on each and every trade – unless the asset is denominated in GBP.
Here’s a break down of the main fees charged by both eToro and Plus500:
|Dealing Fee||CFD Commission||Inactivity Fee||Platform Fee||Stamp Duty Tax on UK Shares|
|eToro||FREE||0%||$10 per month after 1 year||None||None|
|Plus500||N/A||0%, but 0.5% on non-GBP markets||$10 per month after 3 months||None||N/A|
All in all, both trading platforms offer a low-cost way to buy and sell financial instruments from the comfort of your home. However, eToro is more cost-effective when you consider the 0.5% FX fee that Plus500 charges on non-UK markets.
eToro vs Plus500 User Experience
In terms of the user experience, our eToro vs Plus500 comparison found that the former is much better suited to those of you with little to no experience of online trading. This is evident the very second you access the eToro website for the first time. For example, there is no financial jargon or difficult-to-understand trading terminology.
On the contrary, everything is laid out clearly and concisely – making it ideal for newbie investors. This is also the case when searching for your chosen asset. All you need to do is enter the name of the market in the search box and eToro will bring up a list of relevant results.
Crucially, the user experience on eToro is especially good when it comes to placing an order. For example, if you were looking to buy stocks, all you need to enter your stake. In other words, you don’t need to calculate how many shares you can afford to buy, as eToro offers fractional ownership. For example, if you want to buy exactly $50 worth of Facebook stocks, this isn’t a problem.
Over at Plus500, our verdict is that the platform is better suited for experienced traders. After all, you will be engaging in a short-term day or swing trading strategy – which requires a deeper understanding of order types. We also found the Plus500 filter bar a little clunky – meaning that finding our chosen market was at times slightly cumbersome.
eToro vs Plus500 Mobile App
Both eToro and Plus500 allow you to trade assets via a native mobile app. This is available on both iOS and Android devices – which should cover the vast majority of you. In terms of the user experience, this pretty-much mirrors the sentiment that we discussed in the section above.
That is to say, we found the eToro stock trading app is a lot more user-friendly – especially when it comes to navigating the platform on a small mobile screen. In the case of Plus500, we once again found the navigation process a little bit cumbersome. Nevertheless, both the eToro and Plus500 app provider all of the same account features as found on the main desktop website.
For example, you can deposit funds with your debit/credit card at the click of a button, search for your chosen asset, and then place buy and sell orders. You can check the value of your portfolio and the status of outstanding positions, too. Perhaps the best feature offered by the eToro and Plus500 apps is that you can set up mobile alerts.
This is really useful if you want to be kept in the loop about ongoing trades. For example, you might have a position open on gold – whereby you have both stop-loss and take-profit orders pending. When one of your orders is matched by the respective markets, the app will send a notification to your phone in real-time.
eToro vs Plus500 Trading Tools, Education, Research & Analysis
So far in our eToro vs Plus500 comparison – we have focused on key metrics such as tradable markets, fees, and the overall user experience. In this section, we are going to look at what core tools and features both the providers offer.
If you’re a seasoned pro that likes to take full control over your trading endeavors – then this particular tool likely won’t be of interest.
However, if you’re a newbie with no know knowledge of how to trade online or you simply don’t have the time – then automated trading is potentially up your street. By ‘automated trading’, we mean that you will be able to actively place buy and sell orders without needing to lift a finger.
Now, over at eToro, the broker offers an innovative feature called ‘Copy Trading’. The main concept here is that you can select an experienced trader that you like the look of and then elect to mirror all future buy/sell positions like-for-like.
For example, if the trade risks 5% of their capital on a gold buy order, you will do the same. The beauty of the eToro Copy Trading tool is that not only do you need to invest a minimum of just $200, but you can add or remove assets to your portfolio as you see fit. It is also possible to automate your trades via the third-party platform MT4.
This is achieved by obtaining a trading robot software file and installing it into the platform. However, neither eToro nor Plus500 is compatible with MT4, as both brokers offer a proprietary trading platform that was built in-house. Nevertheless, if automated trading is of interest, the eToro Copy Trading tool is well worth considering.
If you’re looking to trade CFDs with leverage, this is available at both eToro and Plus500. Unless you are a professional client, you will be capped by the limits imposed by the FCA. This stands at 1:30 on major currency pairs, 1:20 on minors/exotics and gold, 1:10 on indices and non-gold commodities, and 1:5 on stocks.
If you are a newbie that is looking to learn the ropes of how to trade online, eToro offers a highly comprehensive educational facility. The platform offers everything from guides and explainers to how-to videos and webinars.
In the case of Plus500, all we could find was a small selection of video guides. Although really useful for newbies, we wanted just 8 videos in total.
Research & Analysis
When it comes to research, eToro offers market statistics on major stocks. You can also view market sentiment – which is displayed as a buy/sell percentage on all assets. For example, at the time of writing, eToro notes that 97% of traders are long on Bitcoin, while just 70% feel the same way about the S&P 500.
Over at Plus500, the platform offers market insights that are published by the team of in-house traders. In terms of frequency, there appears to be a new article every 2/3 days.
We should make it clear that if you’re a seasoned trader that relies on advanced chart reading tools and technical indicators, neither eToro nor Plus500 will be suitable. This is because the chart arena is relatively basic on both platforms. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of analysis tools, you’ll likely be better suited for a broker that is compatible with MT4.
eToro vs Plus500 Demo Account
Demo accounts are useful for traders of all shapes and sizes. For example, if you are just starting out in the world of online trading, demo accounts allow you to practice in a 100% risk-free environment. If you’re a seasoned pro, demo accounts are great for testing out new strategies.
Our eToro vs Plus500 review found that both platforms offer a free demo account facility that comes pre-loaded with paper trading funds. On eToro, this amounts to $100,000 while at Plus500 it’s £20,000. Either way, this is more than enough to get to grips with each platform before trading with real money.
eToro vs Plus500 Payments
Once you have opened an account with eToro or Plus500, you will be able to make a deposit instantly. Both providers support debit and credit cards – covering both Visa and MasterCard.
At eToro, you can choose from a selection of e-wallets too – which includes Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller. Plus500 also supports e-wallet deposits, but the only option is Paypal. You can also opt for a bank transfer at both eToro and Plus500, but this can delay the process by a day or two.
The minimum deposit at eToro is $200 while at Plus500 – it’s £100. In terms of fees, Plus500 charges nothing on deposits and withdrawals. eToro charges the previously discussed 0.5% FX fee on deposits. For withdrawals, this will cost you just $5.
|Minimum Deposit||Deposit Fee||Processing Time||Withdrawal Fee|
|eToro||$200 (about £160)||0.5%||Instant, apart from bank transfers||$5 (about £4)|
|Plus500||£100||FREE||Instant, apart from bank transfers||FREE|
eToro vs Plus500 Customer Service
Our eToro vs Trading 212 comparison found that both brokers offer a good level of customer support. At the forefront of this is that both platforms allow you to obtain assistance via the live chat facility. This avoids the need to pick up the telephone. You can also elect to send an email to eToro/Plus500.
In terms of opening hours, the eToro customer support team can be contacted 24 hours per day during the week. Plus500 operates a 24/7 support service, which includes weekends.
eToro vs Plus500 Safety & Regulation
When choosing a broker to trade with, the most important metrics that you need to consider is that of safety. It will likely come as no surprise to learn that both eToro and Plus500 are heavily regulated. In fact, both platforms are licensed in multiple jurisdictions.
For example, not only are the two brokers regulated by the FCA, but CySEC (Cyprus) and ASIC (Australia), too. Plus500 also holds licenses with MAS (Singapore) and a number of other bodies.
Crucially, when using eToro and Plus500, you will benefit from client fund segregation. This means that both brokers must keep client money in separate bank accounts.
In other words, they can’t use your funds to meet their own debt obligations. Most importantly, both eToro and Plus500 are covered by the FSCS protection. This means that if a brokerage collapsed occurred, the FSCS would over your funds up to the first £85,000.
eToro vs Plus500 – The Verdict
This eToro vs Plus500 comparison has discussed everything there is to know about the two brokers. We covered tradable markets, supported payment types, customer support, fees, regulation, and more. As such, you should now be able to make an informed decision as to which trading platform is best suited for you.
With that said, we carried out an in-depth eToro review and Plus500 review, and we found that eToro is by far the better broker of the two. For example, while Plus500 only supports CFD markets, eToro also allows you to buy stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies in the traditional sense. eToro also supports automated trading services and overall – its fees are more competitive.
As such, if you want to get started with commission-free broker eToro now, simply click the link below!
eToro – Best UK Stock Broker 2021
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Is eToro better than Plus500?
Although Plus500 is a notable platform for trading CFDs, eToro is a better all-round broker. This is because you can invest in traditional assets and trade CFDs commission-free. Plus, eToro offers a Copy Trading service and is generally more user-friendly than Plus500.
What shares does Plus500 offer?
Plus500 gives you access to heaps of UK and international stock markets. However, the platform only supports CFDs, meaning that you will not own the underlying stock.
Does Plus500 offer cryptocurrencies?
Plus500 no longer offers any cryptocurrency markets. This is because the FCA put a blanket ban on crypto CFDs in January 2021. If you want to buy cryptocurrencies online, eToro offers 16 digital coins to choose from.
What happens if eToro goes bust?
If the unlikely happened and eToro went bust, as a UK resident you would be covered by the FSCS. This means that the first £85,000 is covered.
Does Plus500 support MT4?
No, the trading platform at Plus500 was created in-house. As such, it is not compatible with MT4 - or any third-party trading platform for that matter.
What is the Plus500 currency conversion fee?
Plus500 charges a 0.5% currency conversion fee when you trade a CFD asset that isn't priced in GBP.
Does eToro offer leverage?
Yes, eToro offers leverage on all of its CFD trading markets. Your limits will be capped as per FCA rules - meaning the most you can get is 1:30 on major forex pairs, and less on other assets.