Plus500 is an extremely popular UK stock broker. This platform offers contracts for differences (CFDs) for more than 2,000 financial instruments in total, including hundreds of shares from around the world.
Even better, Plus500 is 100% commission free and keeps its spread fees relatively low, making it an excellent choice for traders looking for a low-cost brokerage option. In addition, the broker is considered very trustworthy since it’s regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and trades publicly on the London Stock Exchange.
So, is Plus500 the best UK broker for your share trading? Our Plus500 review will cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
- 1 What is Plus500?
- 2 What Shares Can You Buy on Plus500?
- 3 Plus500 Fees & Commissions
- 4 Plus500 Platform and Trading Tools
- 5 Plus500 Demo Account
- 6 Research and Analysis at Plus500
- 7 Plus500 App
- 8 Payments at Plus500
- 9 Customer Service at Plus500
- 10 Is Plus500 Safe?
- 11 Plus500 Pros and Cons
- 12 The Verdict
- 13 Plus500 – Trade Share CFDs with No Commission
- 14 FAQs
What is Plus500?
Plus500 was founded in Israel in 2008 to offer a low-cost, online alternative for traders. At the time, Plus500 was one of only a small number of brokers that enabled commission-free share trading. In addition, Plus500 was the first major broker in the world to introduce Bitcoin CFD trading in 2013.
Today, Plus500 offers trading on more than 2,000 financial instruments through CFDs. It offers not just share trading, but also forex, commodity, cryptocurrency, and index trading. All CFDs can be traded with leverage, meaning you can borrow money from Plus500 to increase the effective size of your positions.
Plus500 is publicly traded on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange and currently has a market capitalization of £1.73 billion. The platform operates in more than 50 countries around the world. Importantly, Plus500 discloses its finances and has held up to scrutiny from regulators and financial analysts. So, it is considered one of the most trustworthy online brokers in the UK.
The list of financial instruments you can trade through Plus500 is quite long. In fact, the broker offers trading on more than 1,800 shares from exchanges in the UK, US, and around the world, which is one of the most impressive collections we’ve seen among CFD brokers.
It’s important to note that all trading on Plus500 is conducted through CFDs. You do not own the underlying shares when trading stock CFDs; instead, you’re simply speculating on the price. However, there is little practical difference for most investors, as you’re still eligible to collect dividend payouts if you own the CFD the day before the ex-dividend date.
In fact, CFDs provide more flexibility in important ways. You are able to easily short any shares by selling contracts, meaning you can speculate on prices going down. You can also apply leverage to your trades to increase the effective size of your positions. Unlike other CFD brokers, Plus500 offers negative balance protection when trading with leverage. That means that you can never lose more money on a bad trade than you have put into your trading account.
Plus500 offers CFD trading on 1,800 global shares. You can trade nearly all companies in the FTSE 350 as well as the majority of companies on the New York and Nasdaq Stock Exchanges in the US. That means that many of the best shares like Amazon, Netflix, Royal Mail, and Tesco can all easily be traded through Plus500.
During our Plus500 UK review, we found that the broker also enables you to buy shares CFDs on 21 additional exchanges in Europe, Asia, and Africa:
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
Notably, Plus500 offers trading on several cannabis stocks for US and Canadian companies that are not available at many brokers. If you’re looking to get exposure to this popular industry, Plus500 may be a good choice.
For all share CFD trades, Plus500 gives you the option of applying leverage at a 5:1 margin.
Plus500 also offers CFD trading for 33 stock indices. The majority of these covers individual countries – for example, you can trade the FTSE 100 index to get exposure to UK stocks or the Japan 225 to get exposure to Japanese stocks. In addition, there are five sector-specific indices you can trade that cover cannabis, cryptocurrency, tech, battery development, and real estate.
Plus500 enables you to apply leverage up to 20:1 for stock index CFDs.
You can trade any of 92 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) through Plus500. This is a slightly small selection compared to other brokers, but Plus500 does a nice job curating its offering. You can get exposure to a number of individual countries through the ETFs that Plus500 offers, as well as broader baskets that cover emerging economies or industries.
ETFs can be traded on margin up to 100:1.
Plus500 Fees & Commissions
Plus500 is 100% commission-free, which makes it extremely attractive to any traders looking for a low-cost alternative to traditional brokers. Most Plus500 fees are baked into the trading spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask price of a CFD contract.
So, you might expect that spreads at Plus500 are high, to make up for the absence of commissions. But in fact, this broker’s spreads are lower than the industry average almost across the board. Spreads for share and stock index CFDs at Plus500 are generally less than 0.1% to 0.2% of your total trade cost. That makes this one of the most inexpensive share brokers on the market today.
Plus500 does offer guaranteed stop losses for some instruments. If you use this order, Plus500 generally increases the spread significantly since the broker is taking on much more risk of a loss.
It’s also worth looking closely at the interest fees that Plus500 charges, given that many traders turn to this platform to trade CFDs with leverage. The overnight funding rate is -0.0288% for most UK and US shares, major indices, and ETFs. For a £2,000 trade leveraged at 5:1, the total amount in fees – including the spread – after a week is typically just a few pounds.
|Charge per Trade||Monthly Fee||Inactivity Fee||Deposit/Withdrawal Fee|
|Plus500||£0||£0||£10 after 3 months||£0|
|eToro||£0||£0||£10 after 12 months||£5|
|IG||£3 for UK shares|
£0 for US shares
|£0||£10 after 24 months||£0|
Notably, Plus500 does charge some account fees, although most of them are easy to avoid. You get up to five free withdrawals each month, but if you need more they are £10 each. You will also be charged £10 per withdrawal if you transfer less than the £100 minimum. There’s also an inactivity fee of £10 per month after three months of inactivity. But you only need to log into your Plus500 account to avoid this charge – you don’t actually need to place a trade. Most traders, then, should never be hit with any of these account fees.
Plus500 Platform and Trading Tools
Plus500 offers its own proprietary web trading platform that’s easy to love. The platform’s layout is simple and streamlined, with a left-hand menu to toggle between asset classes and charts that can be kept in view at the bottom of the screen. The only downside we found to the trading platform is that the layout isn’t fully customizable – although this is hardly a problem unique to Plus500’s web-based platform.
In addition, there are a handful of small but very useful tools baked into the Plus500 trading platform. To start, you can easily set up price alerts. These can be created for specific price thresholds or based on percent change. Alerts can be sent by email or SMS, or they can be pushed to your smartphone if you have the Plus500 mobile app installed.
The platform also has a handy Traders’ Sentiments tool built-in. This shows you the percentage of investors on Plus500 buying an asset versus selling it, giving you a quick gauge of whether other traders think the asset will rise or fall in price. If you find this metric helpful, you can even use it as the basis for setting alerts.
When it comes to placing an order, Plus500 covers all the essential order types. You can create market, limit, stop loss, and trailing stop orders. While there are no complex order arrangements – like one cancels the other orders – the addition of guaranteed stop loss orders is a huge benefit for risk-averse traders.
After your portfolio is set up, you can clearly monitor your current holdings within the platform. Plus500 also does a nice job of displaying the results of every trade, including clearly laying out how much you paid in fees and what those fees were for.
Plus500 Demo Account
Plus500 offers a demo account that you can use to explore the platform and learn how to invest in stocks without any financial risk. The demo account is very generous, as there’s no time limit and the balance is automatically replenished whenever it drops below 200 EUR. It also offers the full functionality of the real money Plus500 option, so it’s a great choice if you’re trading for the first time.
Research and Analysis at Plus500
Trade analysis at Plus500 is centered around technical charting. The platform doesn’t offer any fundamental data on shares nor a full news feed.
The charting interface is integrated with the rest of the trading platform, and it is impressively capable for a brokerage-based software.
Plus500’s charts come with 107 different technical indicators and there is no limit to how many you can overlay on a single chart at one time. Our Plus500 review revealed that there are also several useful drawing tools for picking out trendlines and annotating your charts. Any chart can be saved to return to in the future, which is a nice bonus.
That said, Plus500’s interface doesn’t offer the level of customization that you would expect from a dedicated charting software. You cannot build your own indicators and there is no way to backtest a strategy with the technical studies included. So, the charting is good enough for everyday use, but not necessarily enough for highly advanced technical traders.
Plus500 doesn’t offer a full news feed, but it does offer an economic calendar. This is a useful tool for staying on top of important releases like earnings reports and government economic forecasts. You can actually filter between corporate and government releases, and Plus500 offers a simple rating system to give you an idea of the expected market impact of an upcoming report.
Plus500 offers a mobile app for iOS and Android that offers much of the same functionality as the web-based platform. You can access the charting interface and the economic calendar, and Plus500 did a nice job of laying out the app so that it never feels overly crowded. Even technical analysis is possible on the Plus500 app since you can easily zoom in and out of charts to look more closely at overlaid indicators. Overall, it’s one of the best stock trading apps we’ve seen.
Payments at Plus500
Plus500 UK makes it extremely easy to fund your account. You can make a bank transfer, use an e-wallet like Skrill or PayPal, or pay by credit or debit card. Card and e-wallet payments are instant, enabling you to start trading right away. Just note that the Plus500 minimum deposit is £100 when you first open an account.
Withdrawals can be made using any of these same payment methods, and withdrawals are free up to five per month. The minimum amount you can withdraw is £100 for all payment methods except PayPal, for which the minimum is £50. Making a withdrawal is straightforward and the transaction typically clears within two business days.
Customer Service at Plus500
Our Plus500 review found that it’s easy to get answers to your questions if anything goes wrong with your Plus500 account. The customer service team is available by live chat and email 24/7.
The lack of a phone number was concerning at first, but we consistently got a human support agent in the chat box within a few minutes of submitting a question. Email responses were speedy, too – we typically got answers within an hour. That’s much faster than most other brokers and further boosts our confidence in this platform.
Is Plus500 Safe?
Plus500 is considered one of the most trustworthy online brokers in the UK. The company is regulated not just by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority – widely regarded as the best financial regulator in Europe – but also by regulatory authorities in Australia, South Africa, Cypress, Switzerland, Israel, and elsewhere. There are a lot of eyes on Plus500, and none of them have raised any concerns about the company’s practices.
On top of that, Plus500 is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. That means that it is required to publicly disclose its finances, which are closely scrutinized by financial analysts.
In the unlikely event that something does go wrong at Plus500, UK trading accounts are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. That covers up to £85,000 in losses if the company goes bankrupt.
On an individual level, Plus500 also does its part to keep your account secure. The web and mobile platforms both support two-factor authentication and integrate with Google authenticator. That’s a much greater degree of account security than most other brokers currently provide.
Plus500 Pros and Cons
Plus500 stands out as one of the top stock brokers in the UK. It offers a comprehensive platform with trading on more than 1,800 shares from around the world, as well as stock index and ETF trading. Best of all, trading with this brokerage is commission-free and spreads are far below the industry average. Based on cost and share selection alone, Plus500 is certainly worth a closer look.
Our Plus500 UK review found the trading platform is very user-friendly and includes a range of tools to make trading easier. While the lack of fundamental data and a news feed may be less than ideal for some traders, there’s a lot to like about the charting interface. Plus500’s charts include 107 built-in technical indicators, which is far more comprehensive than what most other brokerage platforms provide.
On the whole, Plus500 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to trade UK, US, and international shares without paying high commissions or fees. It’s also suitable for more aggressive traders who want to take advantage of leverage and who can put the broker’s advanced technical charts to good use.
Think that Plus500 is the best share broker for you? Simply click the link below to sign up for an account today and get started trading commission-free.
80.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Does Plus500 offer educational tools for new traders?
Plus500 includes a couple of trading videos and tutorials for first-time CFD traders, but it lacks a well-developed library of educational guides. You can open a demo account within Plus500, which is helpful for learning how to invest in stocks with no financial risk.
What is the spread and how does it work at Plus500?
The spread is the difference between the price you can buy a share for and the price it sells for. The difference is pocketed by your broker. Plus500 has some of the lowest spreads in the industry, which saves you money every time you trade. Share CFD spreads are typically less than 0.1%.
What is negative balance protection?
Plus500 offers negative balance protection for every account. This means that the most you can ever lose on Plus500 is the amount you deposit into your trading account. No matter how badly a leveraged trade goes, you will not owe Plus500 money.
How do guaranteed stop losses work at Plus500?
Plus500 offers guaranteed stop losses for some share CFDs. If you choose this order type, Plus500 will guarantee you the stop loss price you set for your trade, even if the trade is filled below that price. Guaranteed stop losses typically have significantly higher spreads, since Plus500 can take a loss if the trade is filled below the guaranteed price.
Can you collect dividends when trading CFDs with Plus500?
Yes, you are still eligible for dividends when trading share or ETF CFDs even though you do not own the underlying asset. When a dividend is paid out, Plus500 will automatically transfer the money to your account in the form of a balance credit.
Is Plus500 good for beginners?
Plus500 doesn't offer lots of educational materials, but it does have a demo account and a user-friendly platform, so it can be used by beginners as long as you're aware of the risks of trading CFDs.
How do I withdraw money from Plus500?
You simply need to select your preferred withdrawal method, enter the amount you wish to withdraw and confirm. You can withdraw via debt/credit card, bank transfer, PayPal or Skrill.
How long does it take to withdraw money from Plus500?
It generally takes 3 to 7 days to receive your funds. PayPal and Skrill are generally the quickest options.
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