CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80.5% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation.
We recommend this broker for advanced traders, looking for a reliable and trustworthy platform.
Plus500 was founded in 2008 by six Israeli entrepreneurs with the purpose of providing a high-tech trading platform to retail investors around the world.
These subsidiaries allow this trading platform to offer its services to investors in many corners, making it one of the safest choices for retail investors and amateur traders.
Here’s a list of the companies that Plus500 operates in different latitudes:
Plus500SG Pte Ltd
Plus500AU Pty Ltd
Additionally, Plus500 is a publicly-traded company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Plus500 main features:
Country of regulation
UK, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Israel
Trading fees class
Inactivity fee charged
Withdrawal fee amount
Time to open an account
Deposit with credit card
Depositing with electronic wallet
Number of base currencies supported
Demo account provided
CFDs on more than 2000 instruments
Plus500 is one of the world’s leading providers of Contracts for Difference (CFD). These innovative financial vehicles allow retail investors to take both long and short positions on a wide variety of financial instruments including, but not limited to, stocks, foreign currency pairs, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and indexes.
CFDs are an agreement in which the trader benefits from the price movement of the underlying security without taking actual possession of the underlying asset (CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money). If the trader takes a long position, profits come from upward price movements, while short positions generate gains if the price of the underlying security goes down.
All of the financial instruments offered through this platform are traded through CFDs.
These CFDs are commonly meant for day-trading and not for long-term investments, as there are certain additional costs associated with holding these contracts for a period longer than one day.
Why should you read this Plus500 review?
- 1 Platform Overview
- 2 Why should you read this Plus500 review?
- 3 Is Plus500 Safe?
- 4 What’s best about Plus500?
- 5 How to Open an Account with Plus500?
- 6 Funding your Account
- 7 Markets & Products Offered by Plus500
- 8 Trading Platform
- 9 Order types
- 10 Trading Fees
- 11 Research Tools
- 12 Educational Tools
- 13 Customer Support
- 14 Withdrawals
- 15 Other Important Information About Plus500
- 16 Plus500 Review Summary
- 17 Bottom Line
Choosing a trading platform is an important step for anyone who wants to become an active trader. Since there are a lot of trading platforms out there that offer a wide variety of financial instruments, fee structures, research tools, educational material, and other important elements that comprise their user trading experience, traders may find the task of choosing the right broker a bit overwhelming.
To help you out in this endeavor, we have come up with a comprehensive review of Plus500 to help you in understanding how its trading platform works, which are its main advantages and downsides, and what can you expect from trading through it.
This review covers the following topics:
- How safe it is to trade with Plus500.
- Main advantages of trading with Plus500.
- Opening an account with Plus500.
- Depositing and withdrawing money with Plus500.
- Financial products offered by Plus500.
- Trading experience and features of Plus500’s trading platform.
- Trading fees charged by Plus500.
- Research tools available for Plus500 traders.
- Plus500 customer service review.
- Educational materials are available.
Is Plus500 Safe?
To address this question I will explain two different perspectives about how safe it is to trade CFDs through Plus500.
How safe is it to trade CFDs?
First, we will approach the matter of safety from the perspective of how safe your investment is.
According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial regulatory body, and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), investors who trade CFDs are exposed to a high risk, as trading CFDs involves taking very short-term positions – usually overnight – in highly volatile financial instruments.
In fact, research shows that more than 80.5% of investors who trade CFDs through Plus500 lose money when trading as the high costs associated with these transactions, the amount of leverage used, and the inherent volatility of the markets tends to evaporate their account balances.
In March 2019, ESMA decided to renew a restriction that forbids the marketing, distribution, and sale of CFD products to retail clients in Europe for a period of three months starting on May 1, 2019.
These restrictions included a limit on the degree of leverage that a client could take on various types of CFDs, the minimum required margin that would trigger a margin call, and a restriction on the incentives offered to trade CFDs.
Additionally, the institution enforced the publication of risk warnings that seek to inform investors about the potential of losing money when trading.
Therefore, before you trade CFDs with this provider, you should make sure you understand CFDs.
Furthermore, investors are also advised to invest money they can afford, as the money will be exposed to high risk, either entirely or partially.
How safe it is to trade with Plus500?
Now that we have covered the matter of how safe are CFDs, we can now move forward to review how safe Plus500 is as a trading platform.
Overall, Plus500 is considered to be a safe broker due to the fact that it is regulated by various top-tier financial authorities including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom (traders are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)),the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Plus500CY Ltd is authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14). You can check out our guide if you are looking for the best broker in Australia. We also ranked the best forex brokers in Australia.
Additionally, Plus500 is a publicly-traded firm listed at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) which adds a significant degree of transparency to its operations, especially when it comes to the company’s solvency and liquidity, which is crucial to protect the money it holds for its investors.
The fact that Plus500 is regulated by different institutions around the world lowers the risk of relying on this broker to make trades, as these regulatory bodies promote transparency and a certain degree of reliability to the company’s operations.
That said, a large percentage of Plus500 accounts lose money due to the inherent risks associated with CFDs and these regulators do not provide any cushion to traders who lose money when trading these financial instruments.
Finally, Plus500 has a Trustpilot score of 4.
Balance Protection Amount
Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909)
South Africa, New Zealand and South Africa
No balance protection
ASIC (AFSL #417727), Financial Markets Authority (FSP #486026), and FSCA (FSP #47546)
Plus500AU Pty Ltd
EU, Norway, Switzerland (EEA)
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (#250/14)
No balance protection
Israel Securities Authority (#515233914)
No balance protection
Monetary Authority of Singapore (#CMS100648-1) and the IE Singapore (#PLUS/CBL/2018)
Plus500SG Pte Ltd
What’s best about Plus500?
The main competitive advantage of Plus500 is the easiness with which customers can register with the platform to start trading securities almost instantly.
In a nutshell, the best things one can highlight about Plus500 are:
- Traders can open an demo account in only a few minutes through a process that’s 100% online (real money accounts need to be verified – time-frame depends on workload).
- Fees are on the low-end of the industry.
- This broker is considered safe due to the extensive regulatory coverage that it has.
- The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
- Plus500 trading platform is very user-friendly and a good fit for advanced traders.
How to Open an Account with Plus500?
Opening an account with Plus500 is fairly easy and it only takes a few minutes to register and complete the steps required by the system.
Even though Plus500 accepts investors from many corners of the world, there are a few locations that are forbidden from registering including Cuba, Iran, and Syria, to name a few.
Additionally, the US and Canada investors are not permitted to open an account with Plus500 as these countries have banned the sale of CFDs to retail investors.
Excluding those minor exceptions, traders can open an account with Plus500 with a minimum deposit of USD$100 – if the deposit is made using a debit card, credit card, or electronic wallet – and $500 if the deposit is made through a bank transfer.
On the other hand, there are two types of accounts that traders can open with Plus500 and the step-by-step process to open both can be summarized as follows:
- Finish the online registration
- Provide proof of residency and documents to verify your identity (national ID, passport, utility bill, etc)
- Deposit funds to start trading
Both accounts – Retail and Pro accounts – are the same in most aspects. The main difference between them is that the retail account features lower leverage ratios compared to the Pro account.
These accounts were designed to navigate through the limitations imposed by regulators in the UK and Australia regarding the degree of leverage that Plus500 can offer traders in their respective countries.
In order to be eligible for a Pro account, the trader has to have a certain minimum amount of net assets or a certain minimum amount of income. Additionally, traders have to answer a few questions to verify that they understand the risks involved in using higher leverage ratios including that most accounts lose money when trading this popular form of derivative trading.
Funding your Account
One of the best things about Plus500 is the fact that deposits can be made without incurring any fees and they offer up to five free withdrawals per month, allowing traders to take out their money if needed without incurring additional costs.
Additionally, Plus500 offers around 10 different base currencies for their accounts, even though the exact list of currencies available is not disclosed. That said, you can find out if they offer an account for your specific currency by contacting the Customer Support department.
This feature is great for investors seeking to save money on conversion fees, which are applied in case you withdraw money from an account with a different base currency than your domestic currency.
As I said earlier, there are no deposit fees with Plus500 and you can fund your account by using one of the following payment methods:
- Bank transfers
- Credit or debit card
- Electronic Wallet
That said, bank transfers may take several days to be cleared while deposits made through debit cards, credit cards, and electronic wallets are usually credited to the account instantly.
All the instructions required to make your deposits are available in the Funds Management section of Plus500 trading platform.
Markets & Products Offered by Plus500
The portfolio of financial products and markets covered by Plus500 is one of the elements that limit this platform’s appeal to some traders, as the range of their offerings is fairly limited compared to its rivals.
Plus500 offers only two financial products: CFDs and spot foreign currency pairs. This means that stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, and other financial assets cannot be traded directly through this platform, as they are only available through CFDs.
As we have warned earlier, around 80.5% of traders’ accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider, which means that you should only consider Plus500 as an alternative if you are willing to take the high risk of exposing your portfolio to the significant volatility and high fees associated with this.
On the other hand, from the perspective of the range of CFDs offered by Plus500, their portfolio is fairly diversified compared to its competitors.
Here’s an overview of the number of securities covered by Plus500’s CFDs:
- 1,800 Stock CFDs
- 33 Stock Index CFDs
- 92 ETF CFDs
- 22 Commodity CFDs
- 14 Cryptocurrency CFDs
Additionally, Plus500 offers 70 different spot currency pairs for its traders.
Plus500 offers traders a web-based trading platform and a mobile trading app through which they can browse through the platform’s available financial securities, research materials, and charts to buy and sell CFDs and currency pairs.
The web-based platform has a user-friendly interface that enjoys positive 4+ ratings from most of its users and provides an extra layer of security through two-step logins.
Additionally, Plus500’s trading platform provides reports on fees, historical transactions, positions, and other important information regarding the user’s trading account.
The negative side of the Plus500 platform is that it is not customizable. This is a deal-breaker for experienced traders, as it does not feature advanced charting tools and it has significant limits as to how much you can play around with the items within the screen.
That said, it is important to note that Plus500 was designed primarily for amateur retail traders. This means that the platform was conceived to facilitate the analysis of charts and other indicators without including highly-complex tools or technical indicators that may not be useful for beginners.
The search function works alright and it allows traders to easily find the security they wish to trade. Additionally, Plus500 gives traders the possibility of receiving e-mail, SMS, and even push notifications about transactions that have been triggered or variations in the price of a certain asset.
Plus500’s mobile trading app features most if not all of the tools and options available within the web-based version including its charting tools, search module, and reports.
The mobile trading app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone operating systems and it also sends push notifications to smartwatches if you have one. Biometric authentication is also available for extra security.
Placing orders through Plus500’s mobile app is very easy and traders can buy and sell securities in a matter of seconds by taking advantage of all its features.
Plus500 trading platform has made available four different types of trading orders:
- Market order – this order is executed at the current market price of the security
- Limit order – a limit order sets a maximum price at which you are willing to buy the securities or a minimum price at which you are willing to sell the securities. The order will only be executed at the limit price or better.
- Stop order – a stop order limits losses in case the market price falls below the stop price. The order will become a market order once that price is reached.
- Trailing-stop order – a trailing-stop order allows traders to gain from any favorable price movement until the trend reverses and the price falls by a certain percentage or down to a certain price.
While limit, stop, and trailing-stop orders work by setting a limit or stop price Plus500 does not guarantee that the order will be executed at that exact price due to slippage.
Slippage occurs when the market price of a security experiences significant volatility and the broker is unable to secure the price established in the order.
While the platform will do its best to fulfill the order based on those price targets, if it is unable to do so they cannot be held responsible for any slippage occurred in the process of buying and selling the securities.
Plus500 is known for being a low-fee trading platform compared to several of its rivals including eToro and Saxo Bank. Also the fact that they don’t charge a withdrawal fee on the first 5 withdrawals made each month is a plus for traders with small amounts of capital.
According to Plus500 they don’t charge commission fees or trading fees as they benefit from the bid/ask spread of the CFDs they sell and the currency pairs they offer.
The spread means that you’ll pay a certain amount above the quoted price for buyers or receive a bit less than the price quoted based on the average spread cost per asset.
This is a referential table that features the average spread charged for some of the financial instruments available:
- S&P500 CFDs – average spread cost 0.45.
- Europe 50 CFDs – average spread cost 1.
- Forex transactions – cost per EUR USD trade is typically 0.6 pips.
It is a bit difficult to list all the costs per trade based on the information that Plus500 has made available, as the spreads vary per each of the financial instruments the trading platform offers.
However, based on hypothetical calculations that include assumptions on the degree of leverage used, the amount of capital invested, and the type of position held, the average cost per trade at Plus500 is on the low-end of most trading platforms available.
Finally, Plus500 charges an inactivity fee for customers who have not logged into the account for more than 3 months. The fee is $10 per quarter after this 3-month period has passed.
The good new is that the inactivity fee is triggered for not logging in rather than not trading, which is the actual trigger for most trading platforms.
Leverage levels available for traders vary depending on where they are located and the particular laws that regulate trading activities within their respective countries.
In most cases, leverage levels are the following for retail accounts:
- Stock index CFDs – 20:1 leverage
- Stock CFDs – 5:1 leverage
- Forex – 30:1
These levels mean how much you can borrow per each $ committed to the transaction. A 30:1 level means you will be able to borrow $30 per each $1 committed.
That said, one of the downsides of Plus500 is that leverage levels are fixed, they cannot be modified, which is a disadvantage in case the trader wants to reduce the risk associated with the position.
Traders are also charged for holding a security for longer than a day. These charges are known as overnight funding fees (info).
These fees are calculated as a percentage of the amount of leverage associated with the position and the percentage is quoted right next to the price of each financial asset.
Finally, any trade that involves a different currency than the account’s base currency will be subject to a 0.3% currency conversion fee.
The research tools available within Plus500’s trading platform are fairly limited compared to what other platforms are currently offering even though its charting tools are good enough, especially for beginners.
There are 107 technical indicators that can be applied to the charts through both the web-based app and the mobile app of Plus500, even though the aspect of the charts in the mobile trading app may not look as nice as in the web-based platform due to the lack of space.
Charts can be saved after the trader has applied all the indicators to it, which is nice considering the high number of different securities a day-trader may analyze during a single session.
There’s also a news feed comprised of an economic calendar and a corporate events calendar while no real-time news feed featuring major news outlets such as Reuters or CNN Money are available within the platform. That’s definitely a downside for Plus500 traders.
A “Trader’s Sentiment” tool is also embedded within the overview section of the different assets offered by Plus500 and it indicates the percentage of traders that are buying/selling the security during the session ie. 41% sellers vs. 59% buyers.
Another negative point for the Plus500 platform is that no data on the fundamentals of each of the stocks are available for traders, which means that they have to do their own research outside the trading platform.
Also, none of the research tools provided by Plus500 actually point to potential trading ideas or signals.
Education and training are without a doubt not one of the strongest points of Plus500, even though the company has made available a demo account for traders who want to first try out the platform before they deposit any money into it.
In most cases, experimenting with the demo account before making a deposit is a good idea, especially for beginners who have not been exposed to a trading environment in the past.
That said, Plus500’s website has a section called “Trader’s Guide” featuring 6 short videos that cover the following topics:
- Slippage when opening a position
- How to trade with Plus500?
- Popular trading strategies
- What is a Rollover?
- What are options?
These videos are mostly tutorials on how the trading platform works rather than educational tools for traders who are seeking to enrich their knowledge to boost the performance and results of their portfolios.
Additionally, the company has a Risk Management section that explains how each of the types of orders available within the platform can help the trader in preventing large losses.
Furthermore, there’s also a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that covers the following topics:
- Account verification process
- Fees & Charges
- Financial instruments
- Opening an account
- Submitting identification documents
To sum up, while there are certain materials designed to guide the trader in understanding how the platform works, none of the educational resources provided by Plus500 help traders in improving their skills.
Plus500 customer support enjoys positive reviews from traders within their platform.
The Plus500 platform has live chat customer service and e-mail customer support and representatives are available 24/7 to help traders in solving any potential issues they may encounter during their trading activities.
Users have reported that e-mail responses take up to an hour, even though response times may vary depending on the complexity of the issue.
Additionally, traders also report that this broker is very transparent with disclosing their rates and fees if asked.
One downside of Plus500 in terms of customer support is that this broker does not provide phone customer service.
An upside of Plus500 is that they allow traders to take money out five times a month without incurring any fee. This is contrasting with other similar trading platforms that often charge a withdrawal fee on all transactions.
After those 5 free withdrawals are used, there’s a standard $10 fee per each additional withdrawal.
Additionally, there’s a minimum withdrawal amount of $50 for PayPal withdrawals and $100 for bank transfers.
If the withdrawal amount is lower than that, a $10 fee will be applied.
In general, withdrawals made towards a credit/debit card and bank account are received within 2 business days.
Other Important Information About Plus500
You should understand the risks associated with trading and whether you can afford to take the losses resulting from doing so.
Plus500 provides a comprehensive overview of how risky it is to trade with these instruments in its Risk Disclosure notice, which warns traders regarding the following risks:
- Margin trading may lead to magnified losses if no limit or stop-loss orders are in place for each trade.
- CFDs are not a suitable financial vehicle for long-term investments due to the costs associated with holding these instruments over a long period of time.
- Investors have no right over the underlying asset when holding a CFD.
- CFDs are not suitable for investors seeking a source of stable income.
- There are no guarantees that stop-loss and limit orders will be executed at their target price due to slippage.
Plus500 Review Summary
- Plus500 is a publicly-traded company listed at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and headquartered in Israel.
- The company has subsidiaries in many countries around the world including the UK, Singapore, and Australia.
- They are regulated by various top-tier institutions including ASIC (Australia) and the Financial Conduct Authority (UK).
- Plus500 only offers CFDs.
- CFDs are very risky financial instruments.
- More than 80% of Plus500 accounts lose money.
- A CFD contract does not give the holder possession of the underlying asset.
- Opening an account with Plus500 can be done 100% online in a matter of minutes.
- All accounts must go through an identity verification process to be activated.
- Certain countries are banned from registering with Plus500 including Cuba, Syria, the US, and Canada.
- The minimum deposit with Plus500 ranges from $100 to $500 depending on the payment method.
- Retail and Pro accounts have the same features, the only difference between them is the leverage ratios that traders can use to conduct their trades. Professional clients do not have ICF rights
- Plus500 does not charge any deposit fees.
- Deposits can be made through Credit and Debit Cards, PayPal, Skrill, and Bank Transfers.
- Credit, debit cards, and electronic wallet deposits are cleared instantly while bank transfers may take a few days to be cleared.
- Plus500 offers different base currencies for their accounts.
- Plus500 offers thousands of CFDs for a wide range of financial products including stock indexes, stocks, ETFs, and commodities.
- This broker offers a web-based and mobile trading app.
- There are four different types of orders featured by Plus500 including a guaranteed stop-loss order that can be set at an additional cost.
- Plus500 does not charge trading fees or commission fees. They earn from the bid/ask spread of each of the financial instruments they offer.
- There’s a $10 inactivity fee for accounts with no logins during a period of 3 months.
- There’s a 0.3% conversion fee for trades that involve a currency different than the base currency of the account.
- Overnight funding fees apply if the securities are held for more than a day (info)
- Research tools provided by this broker are limited and they don’t help traders in identifying trading ideas or signals.
- Educational materials are limited to basic tutorials on how to use the Plus500 trading platform.
- Plus500 customer service is excellent according to traders registered within the platform.
- Representatives from this broker can be reached out via live chat or e-mail.
- Plus500 offers five free withdrawals per month after which the extra cost per withdrawal is $10.
- Withdrawals are commonly processed and received in 2 business days.
- The minimum withdrawal goes from $50 to $100 depending on where the money will be sent.
Plus500 is, overall, an excellent online broker for advanced traders who are seeking to trade CFDs.
The fact that Plus500 is a publicly-traded company and that it is regulated by tier-1 agencies should provide enough assurance to traders that this broker is safe enough to consider trading securities using their services.
Plus500 is also considered to be on the low-end when it comes to trading fees and the user interface of its web-based and mobile platforms are great for those who are just starting out in the trading field.
Additionally, minimum deposits required are low and the Pro account provides significant levels of leverage that are particularly useful for those who seek to engage in forex trades.
On the other hand, since CFDs are highly risky financial vehicles that lose money for a high percentage of the traders registered with Plus500, traders should define how much losses they can afford to take before they deposit any money into the account.
Plus500 is probably among the best platforms available and this Plus500 review should provide enough details for you to know what to expect when you sign up for their trading platform.
Final caution: Around 80.5% of Plus500 accounts lose money when trading CFDs.