While Plus500 is a trusted global brand that offers an easy-to-use platform, it lacks research, trading tools, phone support, and educational resources desired by both casual and active traders.
Review Findings: 5 Takeaways
After spending several hundred hours testing 28 forex brokers over six months for our third annual forex broker 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. It is a trusted broker.
- The Plus500 web-based trading platform is our No. 1 choice for ease of use, making it excellent for less experienced forex and CFD traders.
- While the Plus500 trading platforms are easy to use, they lack in trading tools and features, offering only the basics. Copy trading is also not offered.
- Unfortunately, MetaTrader is not offered at Plus500.
- When it comes to pricing, Plus500 offers some spreads that were priced competitively, while spreads on other pairs were not. Plus500 is not a good choice for active or high-volume traders.
|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 93 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 60 currency pairs and over 2,000 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)||60|
|CFDs - Total Offered||2045|
|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.
In our analysis, some forex pairs had spreads that were priced competitively, while spreads on other pairs were not discounted as much. 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 4 pips, and NZD/USD at 3.6 pips.
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. During the month of August 2018, the average 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 difficult to compare Plus500’s prices to other firms at any given time.
Platforms & Tools
Available for desktop, web, and mobile, the Plus500 platform can be a great choice for casual investors due to its ease of use; however, MetaTrader is not offered and the Plus500 platform offers only the essential basic tools required for trading.
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. Charting offers over 100 optional technical indicators alongside the ability to save chart templates.
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, Plus500 does not currently offer any drawing tools for technical analysis. 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 offer social copy trading or any sort of social sentiment tools.
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.
While Plus500 offers an economic calendar powered by Dow Jones on its website, no economic calendar can be found on its platform, which is off given economic calendars are industry standard tools.
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. That said, the app lacks the advanced tools and all-around functionality to challenge industry leaders.
The Plus500 app allows users to set basic alerts and trade forex and CFDs. Charts come with 18 indicators; however, no drawing tools are provided. 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 a good choice for less experienced traders as the platform is very easy to figure out and its design is centered on making the trading experience simple throughout.
That said, client education materials are largely 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 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 are licensed 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.
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.