While Plus500 is a trusted global brand that offers an easy-to-use platform, the broker lacks competitive research, trading tools, and comprehensive educational resources.
Top Takeaways for 2020
After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, here are our top findings on Plus500:
- Founded in 2008, Plus500 is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE: PLUS) and is part of the FTSE 250 Index. Plus500 is regulated in two tier-1 jurisdictions and three tier-2 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
- The Plus500 web-based trading platform is extremely user-friendly, making it excellent for beginner forex and CFD traders. Beginners aside, the Plus500 platform offers only basic features and, overall, lacks in depth when it comes to trading tools and research. Lastly, MetaTrader is not offered.
- When it comes to pricing, Plus500 appears to offer competitive spreads on most of its major forex pairs, while minor pairs are a mixed bag. Discounts are not offered to active traders or VIP clients.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platform & Tools|
Is Plus500 Safe?
The bottom line is that Plus 500 is regulated, licensed, and is a safe broker to trade forex and CFDs with. Plus500 is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 97 out of 99. Plus500 is publicly traded but does not operate a bank. Plus500 (or one of its subsidiaries) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909), Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (Licence No. 250/14), ASIC (AFSL #417727), FMA in New Zealand (FSP No. 486026), FSCA in South Africa (Provider #47546), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (License No. CMS100648-1).
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Plus500 offers 50 currency pairs and 2033 CFDs, which is slightly higher than most forex brokers. Plus500 allows cryptocurrency to be traded as a CFD, but not as the actual asset with wallet storage.
|Forex: Spot Trading||Yes|
|Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)||50|
|CFDs - Total Offered||2033|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as actual||No|
|Cryptocurrency traded as CFD||Yes|
Commissions & Fees
Plus500 has a minimum deposit of €100 and does not give discounts to active traders or VIP clients. Plus500 appears to offer competitive spreads on most of its major forex pairs, while minor pairs are a mixed bag.
Forex pairs: In our analysis, some forex pairs had spreads that were priced competitively, while spreads on other pairs were more expensive. For example, in August 2018, the USD/CAD seemed to be priced competitively at Plus500 with an observed spread of 1.3 pips. Meanwhile, other pairs offered, such as the USD/CHF and NZD/USD, had higher spreads than some competitors, with the spread on USD/CHF at four pips, and NZD/USD at 3.6 pips.
Spreads: On the EUR/USD, the spread in the platform was listed as fixed at 0.00006, which is 0.6 pips, yet it is essential to note that while fixed spreads are not variable, they are subject to adjustments. During October 2019, the spread from Plus500 for the EUR/USD was 0.6 pips. Because Plus500 doesn’t publish “average” spreads, which can help traders get an idea of what spreads are like at a broker, it is challenging to compare Plus500’s prices to other firms at any given time.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||€100|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||0.6 (as of Aug 2018)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||N/A|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||No|
Platforms & Tools
Available for desktop, web, and mobile, the Plus500 platform can be an excellent choice for casual investors due to its ease of use; however, MetaTrader is not offered, and the Plus500 platform provides only the essential, necessary tools required for trading. The few advanced features available within Plus500's flagship platform include trailing-stops and gaurunteed stop-loss orders (GSLO), which can be helpful risk management tools for traders.
Ease of use: If you have never traded before, the Plus500 WebTrader (browser-based) platform could be a place to start before graduating to a more advanced platform. Both the desktop and web-based versions of the platform are cleanly designed and focus on simplicity. Note: For desktop, a Chrome app version of the Plus500 platform is available, whereas the Windows 10 version was no longer available and did not work during our testing even after updating the already installed desktop software.
Charting: Plus500's WebTrader platform provides robust charting with offers over 100 optional technical indicators alongside the ability to save chart templates. Also, there are 21 drawing tools in the charts to aid in technical analysis.
Default watchlists: Plus500 continues to make small improvements to its WebTrader and desktop platform, such as the addition of default watch lists including a Risers & Fallers and Popular assets category, to help traders identify trending markets.
Advanced trading: Unfortunately, MetaTrader is not offered at Plus500 (see: Best MetaTrader Brokers 2019). Also, Plus500 is not built for active traders as the range of research and trading tools trails most other multi-asset brokers. For example, both algorithmic trading and social copy-trading are not supported at Plus500. See: Best FX Brokers for Copy Trading 2019
As far as forex and CFDs research goes, Plus500 leaves much to be desired. Plus500 does not offer basic research options such as daily market commentary, forex news, or weekly webinars. Also, Plus500 does not provide social copy trading tools. The broker is, however, starting to roll out educational video content under its Trader's Guide series.
News and research: It was surprising to see there is no research shown within the Plus500 demo. For example, there are no 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.
Forex calendar: I was pleased to see that Plus500 incorporates an economic calendar powered by Dow Jones on its WebTrader platform, and which is also available on the broker's website. Plus500 also shows trader sentiment data, which can be useful to gauge consensus.
Consistent theme: The Plus500 mobile app is similar to the web and desktop versions, with a consistent look and feel and simple design and platform layout. That said, the app lacks the advanced tools and all-around functionality to challenge industry leaders.
Trading tools: The Plus500 app allows users to set basic alerts and trade forex and CFDs. Charts come with 18 indicators; however, no drawing tools are available. Unfortunately, the mobile app has plenty of room for improvement in terms of the number of features as news, research, and trading tools are all lacking.
Plus500 can be an ideal choice for less-experienced traders as the platform is straightforward to figure out and designed to making the trading experience simple throughout. In 2020, Plus500 finished Best in Class across three categories, including Ease of Use, Trust Score, and Beginners (1st place).
That said, client education materials are mostly 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 50 forex pairs, together with a low minimum deposit to open a live account, Plus500 provides new market entrants an easy way to test the world of online forex and CFDs trading.
Founded in 2008, Plus500 is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange’s (LSE: PLUS) and is part of the FTSE 250 Index. The broker serves forex and CFD traders through its regulated subsidiaries that hold licenses in major financial hubs, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Singapore.
Plus500 offers over 2,000 tradable products, including forex pairs and CFDs on shares, indices, commodities, ETFs, options, and digital assets. For trading its product offering, clients at Plus500 can choose between desktop, mobile, and web-based trading platforms.
Plus500 Trading Features
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||No|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||No|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||103|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||21|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||No|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||10|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Plus500 Research Features
|Daily Market Commentary||No|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||No|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||No|
Plus500 Mobile App Features
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Trading - Forex||Yes|
|Trading - CFDs||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||18|
|Charting - Draw Trend Lines||No|
|Charting - Trend Lines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
2019 Review Methodology
For our 2019 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 28 international forex brokers over a six month time period. Each broker was graded on 81 different variables and, in total, over 60,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, 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 related instrument. 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.
About the author: 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. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.