Founded in 2008, Plus500 has since grown to become a leading online retail forex and CFD brokerage, surpassing two million monthly transactions by its third year of operation in 2011. Just a few years later, in 2014, Plus500 became listed publicly on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange and reached unicorn status when its market capitalization surpassed a valuation of $1 billion.
The Plus500 brand serves forex and CFD traders through its regulated subsidiaries that are licensed in major financial hubs in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and Australia.
Plus500 offers over 2,000 tradable products, including forex pairs and CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, ETFs, options, and digital assets. In 2017, Plus500 launched cryptocurrency CFDs on Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and IOTA. For trading its product offering, clients at Plus500 can choose between desktop, mobile, tablet, and web-based trading platforms.
Trading with a forex broker that traders can trust is crucial to success. Forex fraud and scams are, unfortunately, common in the industry.
Here at ForexBrokers.com, we maintain the largest independent regulatory database available on the web. Using 28 different variables, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (higher the better) of overall trustworthiness, which we call, Trust Score. Is Plus500 safe? Here’s our trust summary.
|Publicly-Traded Company (Listed)||Yes|
|Regulated in Major Hub||Yes|
|Regulated in Emerging Hub||Yes|
|Authorised in the European Union||Yes|
|CFTC Registered (USA)||No|
|FCA Regulated (UK)||Yes|
|IIROC Authorised (Canada)||No|
|FINMA Authorised (Switzerland)||No|
|ASIC Authorised (Australia)||Yes|
|SFC Authorised (Hong Kong)||No|
|MAS Authorised (Singapore)||No|
|FSA Authorised (Japan)||No|
|FMA Authorised (New Zealand)||No|
|CySEC Authorised (Cyprus)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
The following table summarizes the different investment products available to clients of Plus500.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||€100|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||60|
|CFDs - Total Offered||2045|
|Exchange Traded Securities: US||No|
|Exchange Traded Securities: International||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
In terms of commissions and fees, Plus500 offers competitive spreads on most of its major forex pairs. On the EUR/USD, the spread in the platform was listed as fixed at 0.00006 which is 0.6 pips, yet it is important to note that while fixed spreads are not variable, they are subject to adjustments. Bottom line, this was not an official “average” spread from Plus500.
With only a 0.6 pip fixed spread shown in the platform for the EUR/USD, we would like to see Plus500 periodically publish its average fixed spreads for key currency pairs.
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||N/A|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or Premium/VIP||No|
It is important to note that Plus500 doesn’t offer formal phone support; instead, it focuses all its customer service support resources on a ticket-based email support system and a fully staffed 24 hour-a-day live chat operation during the trading week. There are, however, extraordinary circumstances in which phone support may be provided, but that would be a very rare situation, as explained by Plus500 staff.
What Plus500 lacks in its phone support it makes up by having an efficient ticket-based email support system and 24/7 live chat. That said, phone is an important customer service channel which many clients prefer. While I was impressed with the overall quality of the Plus500 experience, the lack of a formal phone service negatively impacted the broker’s score in this category.
For our 2018 Forex Review, 129 customer service phone tests were conducted over three months. The data collected is institutional grade. On average, three questions were asked for each test. To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience.
- Average Connection Time: >5 minute
- Average Net Promoter Score: 1 / 10
- Average Professionalism Score: 0 / 10
- Overall Score: 0.8 / 10
- Ranking: 41st (43 brokers)
It was surprising to see there is no research shown within the Plus500 demo in terms of any top-tier news headlines from providers such as Dow Jones, Reuters, Bloomberg, or even technical-related analysis content from the broker itself or third-party sources.
Plus500 did add an economic calendar powered by Dow Jones in 2017, which is a sign that the broker is starting to build out its research; however, this tool is on the site and not yet integrated into the platform. Make no mistake either, economic calendars are industry standard and should be expected by forex traders.
Plus500 does link to Yahoo Finance in the information section of each instrument or to the underlying futures index that that a CFD aims to track. Also, the notification center displays headlines, but these are far and few in between and simply redirects back to the instrument instead of a news story.
While sentiment data is also shown and charting tools have improved, adding news headlines and tools such as pattern recognition alongside integrating the economic calendar into Plus500’s trading experience would greatly boost the broker’s research offering.
Overall, Plus500 left us wanting much more, and it was no surprise to see the broker finish 42nd out of 43 brokers for Research in our 2018 Review.
|Daily Market Commentary||No|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||No|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||No|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||No|
|Calendar Includes Forecasts||No|
|Economic News Sentiment||No|
|Trade Ideas - Backtesting||No|
Platforms & Tools
Available for desktop, web, and mobile, the Plus500 platform can be a great choice for casual investors due to its simplicity, as some platforms are very advanced or too complicated for users who either have little trading experience or want software that is easy to navigate and understand.
This positive characteristic of platform simplicity is simultaneously Plus500’s biggest drawback when it comes to the platform’s features, as not much is available beyond the most essential tools needed for trading.
The desktop version of the Plus500 platform running on Windows 10 was a smooth experience from installation through logging in for the first time, and the layout was simple and neatly organized into four tabs.
After exploring the default tabs as well as the upper toolbar categories, it was clear the Plus500 platform is very light and not rich with features usually found on the desktop platforms of industry peers.
The simplicity of the design but lack of depth continues across the platform. If you have never traded before, the Plus500 desktop platform could be a place to start before graduating to a more advanced platform. However, for advanced traders there is little here to love beyond the clean user interface.
Moving to the web version of the platform, the Plus500 WebTrader platform combines Java and html features within a sleek user interface design, adding a more streamlined layout than the desktop version – one that is consistent in its overall look and range of features.
WebTrader has an improved design and feels as if everything is packaged more neatly in the layout versus the desktop version. Compared to our review last year, charting saw a nice boost as over 100 new indicators were added along with the ability to save chart templates.
All in all, the web version of the Plus500 platform would be my preferred choice over desktop, despite both being cleanly designed and user-friendly. Plus500 has done very well in focusing users’ attention on the process of trading. However, Plus500 is not built for active traders and the range of research and trading tools remains smaller compared to other multi asset brokers.
Plus500 finished 38th out of 43 brokers for Platforms & Tools in our 2018 Review.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Mac)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||No|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||0|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||103|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||10|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
The Plus500 mobile app is similar to the web and desktop versions, with a consistent look and feel and a simple design and platform layout.
Like the rest of Plus500’s trading platforms, the simplicity of the layout helps first-time users focus on one thing – trading.
Consistent with the desktop and web platform, Plus500 does well in keeping the mobile app light and easy, while there is still plenty of room for improvement in the mobile app in terms of the number of features, including news, research, and drawing tools for the charts.
Like the rest of Plus500’s trading platforms, the simplicity of the layout helps first-time users focus on one thing – trading. This theme was consistent in the desktop version and web platform, and seems more strategic than coincidental, as we found it very easy and natural to place and manage trades on all of the Plus500 platforms, including the mobile app.
Charts come with 18 indicators and no drawing tools. One nice feature is that any indicators added to a chart are automatically saved as the default, allowing for efficient analysis across multiple instruments.
Overall, like the desktop and web platforms, Plus 500 does well in keeping the watch list, alerts, and trading functionality easy to access and manage. However, the experience is basic and lacks the advanced tools and all-around functionality to challenge industry leaders.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||No|
|Charting - Can Turn Horizontally||No|
|Charting - Technical Studies/Indicators||18|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
In addition to being regulated in Cyprus, Plus500 is licensed in two major regulatory hubs, the UK and Australia, and was applying for a license in Israel around the time of our research in October 2016. It also subsequently received a license from the FSB in South Africa ahead of our review in 2017.
In 2017, Plus500 expanded the number of cryptocurrency CFDs it offers to seven different pairs, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and other popular digital assets to cater to growing demand.
Plus500 can be a good choice for first-time market entrants as the platform is very easy to figure out and its design is centered on making the trading experience simple throughout.
However, client education materials and research content are absent from the Plus500 offering, and the trading platforms available are very light compared to Plus500’s competitors.
Considering the range of tradeable instruments, with over 2,000 CFDs available, including nearly 60 forex pairs, together with a low minimum deposit to open a live account, Plus500 provides new market entrants many choices and an easy way to test the world of online trading.
For our 2018 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 43 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 140 variables. Learn more.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to foreign exchange trading, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or currency pair. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Learn more.
Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Over the past 19 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.
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Commissions & Fees
Because Plus500 doesn’t publish “average” spreads, which can help traders get an idea of what spreads are like at a broker, it is difficult to compare Plus500’s prices to other firms at any given time.
Nonetheless, some forex pairs had spreads that were priced competitively, while spreads on other pairs were not discounted as much.
For example, USD/CAD seemed to be priced competitively at Plus500 with an observed spread of 1.3 pips, comparable to OANDA for the sample period we reviewed.
Meanwhile, other pairs offered, such as the USD/CHF and NZD/USD, had higher spreads than the company’s industry peers, with the spread on USD/CHF at 4 pips, and NZD/USD at 3.6 pips, using the random sample period we looked at using streaming forex rate quotes from Plus500.
Pricing in “major pairs” is also relevant for clients trading “cross-pairs” because spreads in the major pairs directly affect how related cross-pairs are calculated. For example, cross-pairs that include either the NZD currency and/or CHF currency will be affected by higher spreads in the underlying majors, resulting in higher spreads.
For example, using the data we sampled from Plus500, the USD/JPY pair was competitively priced at 1.6 pips, yet because the USD/CHF pair was priced at 4 pips during our observation, this caused related cross pairs, such as the CHFJPY, to be higher because the CHFJPY bid rate is the quotient of ask prices for USD/JPY ÷ USD/CHF.
For example, a USDJPY ask price of 103.636 ÷ by a USDCHF ask price of 0.99564 = a CHFJPY bid price of 104.080, while USDJPY bid 103.620 ÷ USDCHF bid 0.99524 = CHFJPY 104.123 which results in a bid/ask spread of 4.3 pips on the CHF/JPY pair (bid 104.080/104.123 ask) using the above sample prices we obtained from Plus500.