Plus500 is a trusted global brand that offers online traders an easy-to-use trading platform and a thorough selection of CFD instruments. However, Plus500 trails industry leaders in market research and advanced trading tools desired by active traders.
Top Takeaways for 2021
Here are our top findings on Plus500:
- Founded in 2008, Plus500 is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: PLUS) and is part of the FTSE 250 Index. Plus500 is regulated in three tier-1 jurisdictions and four tier-2 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for online trading.
- I found the Plus500 web-based trading platform to be extremely user-friendly, making it excellent for beginner traders. Beginners aside, the Plus500 platform offers only basic features, making it far less attractive for active traders. Disclosure: A trading platform recommended for beginners does not make it easy to make money. Trading is risky.
- When it comes to pricing, Plus500 appears to offer spreads close to the industry average on most of its major forex pairs. That said, discounts are not available to active traders or VIP clients.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is Plus500 Safe?
Plus500 is considered low-risk, with an overall trust score of 98 out of 99. Plus500 is publicly traded and does not operate a bank. Plus500 is authorised by three tier-1 regulators (high trust), four tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). Plus500 is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||Yes|
Offering of Investments
Unlike brokers who offer underlying forex pairs, all forex trading at Plus500 is via CFD products. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to Plus500 clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g., buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available to retail traders from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents.
Plus500 offering of investments:
|Tradeable Symbols (Total)||1896|
|Forex Pairs (Total)||71|
|US Stock Trading (Non CFD)||Yes|
|Int'l Stock Trading (Non CFD)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||No|
Commissions and Fees
Overall, Plus500's pricing is in line with the industry average but trails the best forex brokers when it comes to active trader pricing (see IG or Saxo Bank for comparison). Plus500 does not provide discounts to active traders or VIP clients.
Spreads: For the EUR/USD, the Plus500 platform displays a dynamic spread of 0.00008, which is 0.8 pips. During August 2020, the average spread from Plus500 for the EUR/USD was 0.8 pips.
Plus500 pricing summary:
|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|
|Execution: Agency Broker||No|
|Execution: Market Maker||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
The Plus500 web trading platform, WebTrader, is an excellent choice for casual investors due to its ease of use and focus on providing just the essential, necessary tools required for trading.
Ease of use: For newer traders, the Plus500 WebTrader (browser-based) platform is a great place to start before graduating to a more advanced platform. WebTrader is cleanly designed and focuses on simplicity. The few advanced features available within Plus500's flagship platform include trailing-stops and guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLO), which can be helpful risk management tools for casual traders.
Desktop platform: For desktop, the Windows 10 version is no longer available and did not work during our testing, even after updating the already installed desktop software. That said, the web version meets the requirements of a progressive web app and is installable as a Chrome app. This tells me that the future for Plus500 is the web browser over desktop trading.
Charting: Plus500's WebTrader platform provides proper charting, offering 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.
MetaTrader, algo trading, copy trading: Because Plus500 offers a proprietary trading platform, MetaTrader is not offered. Also, both algorithmic trading and social copy-trading are not supported at Plus500.
Plus500 trading platform:
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||No|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||No|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||No|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||110|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||21|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||No|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||9|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
As far as investment research goes, Plus500 leaves much to be desired, especially when compared to research leaders such as CMC Markets, Saxo Bank, and IG. Plus500 does not offer basic research features such as daily market commentary, forex news, or weekly webinars.
News and research: Research is nowhere to be found within the Plus500 trading platform beyond basic sentiment data, a link to Yahoo Finance for exchange rates, and an economic calendar from Dow Jones. There is also no technical or fundamental analysis content.
Alerts: Plus500 allows you to place alerts on a percentage change in client sentiment data. I found this to be creative and a step above basic price alerts.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||No|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
Plus500 does not offer an extensive array of educational content for traders when compared to education leaders such as City Index, IG, or CMC Markets. No question, Plus500 should expand its offering of educational content to improve its score in this category.
Video: For example, the Plus500 is starting to roll out educational video content under its Trader's Guide series more than a year ago, yet there are still only six videos available, and each one is barely a few minutes long.
Feature Plus500 Has Education - Forex or CFDs No Client Webinars No Client Webinars (Archived) No Videos - Beginner Trading Videos Yes Videos - Advanced Trading Videos No Investor Dictionary (Glossary) No
The Plus500 trading app offers a seamless transition from the WebTrader browser platform, which is great to see. The look, feel, and functionality is all similar.
That said, like WebTrader, the Plus500 trading app lacks the advanced tools and all-around functionality to challenge industry leaders. For example, Plus500 charts from the web do not sync on mobile, as they do on the trading apps available at Saxo Bank and TD Ameritrade (US residents only).
Trading tools: While Plus500 has significantly improved its charting (109 indicators and over 20 drawing tools), the trading app still has plenty of room for improvement in terms of the number of features it can add. News, research, and advanced trading tools are all lacking.
Plus500 mobile trading:
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||110|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||No|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||No|
Despite a clear lack of educational content, Plus500 is a winner for less-experienced traders who desire ease of use and simplicity. In 2021, Plus500 finished Best in Class across three categories, including Ease of Use (1st place), Trust Score, and Beginners (1st place).
On the downside, active traders will be left wanting more as research is mostly absent and advanced tools are nowhere to be found. For a more robust trading experience, consider eToro, IG, and CMC Markets.
With over 2,000 CFDs available (70 of which are forex pairs) alongside a low minimum deposit to open a live account, Plus500 provides new market entrants an easy way to explore the world of online trading.
Founded in 2008, Plus500 is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange's (LSE: PLUS) and is part of the FTSE 250 Index. Plus500 serves online traders through its regulated subsidiaries that hold licenses in major financial hubs, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Singapore. In 2019, Plus500 serviced over 200,000 active customer accounts that opened 35 million positions, totaling $1.31 trillion in traded value. For more on the company, see Plus500's Wikipedia page.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.
Each broker was graded on 108 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure (read about Trust Score here).
As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.
Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with 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.