Plus500 Introduction and Pros & Cons
Pro and Con
- Very competitive spreads
- No deposit or withdrawal fees
- Wide range of tradable instruments
- Highly regulated, trusted broker
Plus500 is a popular UK broker that proudly brands itself as ‘Europe’s #1 CFD Trading Platform’, a claim based on it having the highest number of new traders in 2018. It also claims to be ‘the UK’s No. 1 CFD Broker’ based on the total number of relationships with UK CFD traders.
Plus500 only offers CFDs, meaning you don’t actually own the underlying assets of any instrument you trade on the site. It was an impressively wide range of asset classes, including thousands of shares from around the world and a wide range of forex pairs, in addition to commodities, ETFs, indices, and options.
This broker is well known for having some of the lowest spreads on the market, and unlike many CFD brokers, all of Plus500’s spreads are variable rather than fixed. The broker also doesn’t charge any commissions, deposit or withdrawal fees, or rolling position fees.
Plus500 was founded back in 2008 and quickly rose to become one of the most popular “new age” trading platforms in the UK. Despite being a UK company, Plus500 is headquartered in Israel and has subsidiaries in the UK, Cyprus, Australia, Singapore and Bulgaria. As of 2019, the company had a revenue of $354.4 million. As of 2020, the broker has over 430,000 active users with over 84 million positions opened.
Fans of football may be familiar with Plus500, as it is the shirt sponsor of several high profile teams, including Atletico Madrid, Atalanta, Legia Warsaw and Young Boys.
Trading 212 Introduction and Pros & Cons
Pro and Con
- Zero commission stocks and ETFs
- Zero fee stocks and shares ISA
- Fractional shares
- Highly regulated, trusted broker
- Doesn’t offer cryptocurrencies
Trading 212 is another modern online broker that is arguably even more well known than Plus500 in the UK and around the world. This broker prides itself on being a cheap all-in-one option where you can trade CFDs, invest in stocks and other assets, and even invest in an ISA account.
This broker claims to be the number one trading app in the UK since 2016, based on statistics by App Annie. It also claims to have reached the coveted number one spot in Germany in 2017 based on the same statistics. The Trading 212 app has been downloaded over 14 million times, making it one of the most downloaded trading and investment apps.
Trading 212 also claims to be “the first zero commission stock trading service in the UK and Europe”, a model that’s now followed by popular brokers like eToro, as well as Robinhood in the US. It also offers fractional shares, allowing you to invest from just £1.
In terms of markets, Trading 212 is best known for its collection of over 10,000 stocks and ETFs that you can invest in with 0% commission. It also offers a zero fee stocks and shares ISA and stocks, forex, commodities and indices in the form of CFDs, meaning it has one of the most comprehensive asset libraries on the market.
Trading 212 has been around since 2004 and is now very popular globally. Like Plus500, it’s a UK-based business. Trading 212 is headquartered in the UK and also has an office in Bulgaria.
Plus500 vs Trading 212: Usability, Look and Feel
Plus500 has a characteristic blue and white colour scheme that strikes you as soon as you land on the broker’s website. The website is well designed, typical of modern online brokers, though the actual trading platform itself feels a little basic in comparison.
That’s not to say that it’s bad, because it isn’t, but it’s certain a no thrills platform in terms of design and look. One nice aspect of the Plus500 platform is that you can switch from a light to dark theme by clicking the icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Our Trading 212 vs Plus 500 broker comparison found that the Trading 212 platform feels a lot more vibrant and better designed than Plus500’s, although the actual trading platform is again quite basic in comparison to certain other broker platforms, such as eToro, using a simple white colour scheme with touches of blue.
The Plus500 platform is easy to use and navigate. All important links can be found down the left hand side, while live market prices are displayed in the middle of your screen along with the price chart of whatever instrument you’ve selected at the bottom, which is useful. You can easily access drawing tools, a range selector and multiple chart views and change the chart resolution from one minute to one week.
Trading 212 is also a well laid out site that’s very user-friendly. You can view large interactive price charts in the middle of your screen, with live market prices displayed on the left, and all key menu links to the left of that.
Trading 212 definitely feels more spacious than Plus500’s platform and is the more attractive platform in terms of visuals – Plus500 is ok, but it almost feels a bit squished, something that may not best suit beginner traders.
Plus500 vs Trading 212: Payments
PayPal is one of the most sought after payment methods by online traders, due to its unrivalled speed, ease of use, affordability and great security, so the fact that Plus500 accepts it for deposits and withdrawals is a big plus.
In addition to PayPal, Plus500 accepts debit and credit cards, bank transfer (direct bank to bank funds transfer), and Skrill. Overall, while some platforms offer a wider variety of methods, Plus500 payment options will suit most traders.
Our Trading 212 vs Plus500 comparison found that Trading 212 also accepts PayPal, but only for CFD trading accounts. On the other hand, it does offer a wider variety of payment methods than Plus500, including debit and credit card, bank transfer, instant bank transfer, Skrill, DotPay, Giropay, and Google and Apple Pay.
Instant bank transfers at Trading 212 are powered by TrueLayer, which allows you to securely link your bank account to your Trading 212 and deposit funds in minutes. It’s also nice to see that Trading 212 accepts Google and Apple Pay, as it means you can easily deposit from your phone in just a few taps.
Plus500 doesn’t have any charges whatsoever for deposits or withdrawals, which is a huge plus. Trading 212 doesn’t charge deposit fees until you have deposited £2,000 in total. After that, a 0.7% fee will be applied to payments made via debit/credit card, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Skrill, iDeal, DotPay, Giropay and Sofort.
At Plus500 the minimum deposit amount is £100, while the minimum withdrawal varies depending on your chosen banking method. At Trading 212, the minimum is £1 for both deposits and withdrawals, apart from for bank wires, for which it’s £10. At both brokers, the maximum deposit and withdrawal amounts depend on your account and chosen banking method.
Our Plus500 vs Trading 212 comparison found that both brokers process withdrawals in one to three working days. To see how this matches up to another popular UK broker, read our eToro vs Plus500 review.
Plus500 vs Trading 212: Customer Service
Plus500 offers customer service via two contact methods – live chat and email. Live chat support is available 24/7, which is always useful, and you can upload documents and screenshots into the email messaging system if you need to. Trading 212 only offers support via email and doesn’t indicate what opening times the customer support team works. Neither broker offers phone support.
The UK branch of Plus500 has mostly positive reviews on Trustpilot, earning a four star and ‘Great’ rating from over 1,000 user reviews. 61% of users rate the service as ‘Excellent’, which is very impressive, with just 18% rating it as ‘Poor’ or ’Bad’.
Positive reviews mention the platform as ‘brilliant service’, ‘true to their word’ and ‘fast and reliable’. As is usual, there are some negative reviews criticising the service, but overall the user feedback is positive.
Trading 212 has a slightly lower score on Trustpilot UK, with three stars and an ‘Average’ rating from over 12,000 reviews. Although 51% of users rate the platform as ‘Excellent’, 31% rate it ‘Bad’. There are some specifically negative reviews about the broker’s customer service, with one user claiming that they waited over a week for a response from the support team.
Our Trading 212 vs Plus500 comparison found that neither broker has any costs for using the customer service and both platforms offer support in a variety of languages.
Plus500 vs Trading 212: License and Security
Our Trading vs Plus500 comparison found that both are highly regulated brokers that hold multiple operating licenses. Both are licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the primary regulatory body for any trading platform operating in the UK. Plus500’s register number is 50909 and Trading 212’s is 609146.
In addition to its FCA license, Plus500 is licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and by the regulatory bodies of New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and the Seychelles,. This means Plus500 is a very strictly regulated broker that is safe to use.
Trading 212 only holds one other license – from the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission. However, this only means that it’s restricted to less countries than Plus500, and Trading 212’s FCA license means it’s still a very safe, trusted broker to trade and invest with.
Both Plus500 and Trading 212 hold client funds in segregated bank accounts, meaning your funds are protected in case either broker ever went bust. When trading at either broker, you’re protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to £85,000.
Each of these brokers also has measures in place, including Known Your Customer (KYC) checks to verify users’ identities and help prevent underage trading and financial crime like money laundering. You can read our eToro vs Coinbase guide to see how these other popular trading platforms match up in terms of security.
Plus500 is a publicly traded company and is a FTSE 250 company that’s listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for Listed Companies. This means it regularly releases transparent financial information. Trading 212 isn’t listed on any stock exchanges, so it releases only limited information.
Plus500 vs Trading 212: Spread
Plus500 only offers CFDs and the main fee it charges is the spread. It doesn’t charge commissions. This is the same for CFD trading on the Trading 212 platform.
Both brokers have variable spreads as opposed to fixed spreads, meaning they are constantly changing. This can be beneficial as it means spreads are generally kept tighter, although it isn’t suitable to all traders, such as scalpers. While Plus500 only has variable spreads, Trading 212 also has fixed spreads for some assets.
To give you a good idea of what each broker charges, let’s look at the spreads each broker charges for some popular assets.
At the time of writing, the spread for the GBP/USD forex pair on Plus500 is 1.3 pips while on Trading 212 it’s 2 pips. For Oil, Plus500 charges a spread of 4 pips whereas on Trading 212 it’s 5 pips. Finally, Plus500 charges a 2 pip spread for the UK 100 Futures CFD, while Trading 212 charges a 1.3 pip FTSE spread.
Overall, while the two brokers are fairly similar in terms of spread, on the whole Plus500’s spreads are generally slightly tighter than Trading 212’s.
Aside from the spread, other fees that Plus500 charges are overnight funding fees, currency conversion fees (if not depositing in GBP), guaranteed stop order fees (in the form of higher spreads) and an inactivity fee of up to £10 per month after at least three months of inactivity.
Trading 212 also charges overnight fees, but it doesn’t charge a currency conversion or inactivity fee, which is quite rare for online brokers.
Overall, both brokers are certainly very competitive when it comes to pricing, though the fact Trading 212 offers zero commission investing is a huge plus. To see how these match up to other brokers in terms of pricing, check out our eToro vs Robinhood comparison.
While Plus500 and Trading 212 are both similar in some ways, they are also very different platforms in other ways. As such, the best choice for you ultimately depends on what you’re looking for in a broker.
For example, if you’re looking to trade options, you’d need to choose Plus500 as they’re not available at Trading 212. On the other hand, Plus500 only offers CFDs, whereas Trading 212 allows you to invest in real stocks and ETFs without paying any commission whatsoever! Trading 212 also offers ISA investment options, so it may appeal to a wider range of traders and investors than Plus500.
The two are mostly similar in terms of fees, though there are some differences. For example, Trading 212 charges for deposits after you hit the £2,000 mark, whereas all deposits and withdrawals on Plus500 are always free. In contrast, Plus500 charges an inactivity fee whereas Trading 212 doesn’t.
If you’re looking for a trading platform that offers 24/7 support, you may be best off choosing Plus500 due to its round-the-clock live chat support. Trading 212 only offers email support and there are some negative user reviews that claim the service can be unresponsive.
Our Plus500 vs Trading 212 comparison found both of these brokers are FCA regulated and highly secure, although Plus500 is more so due to its higher number of licenses and its status as a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange.
Overall, we think you should use the information provided in this review to decide which broker is best suited to yourself based on your own trading and investing preferences. If you’d like to consider other options, we recommend reading our eToro vs IG comparison or checking out our latest Zeply review.
Plus500 vs Trading 212 FAQs
If you’re a beginner when it comes to online trading, you need a broker that’s user-friendly and has helpful educational resources. If you’re struggling to choose a broker, check out our latest review to see whether Plus500 or Trading 212 is best for new traders.
Is Plus500 or Trading 212 better for stocks?
Plus500 and Trading 212 both offer a range of stocks, but which one is best depends on what you’re looking for in a stock broker. We recommend reading our guide where we take an in-depth look at each broker’s stock offering to help you decide..
Is Plus500 cheaper than Trading 212?
There’s no simple answer to this question. You’d need to compare the different spreads/swaps both brokers charge for different assets, and bear in mind non-trading fees. You can read about Plus500’s and Trading 212’s fees in depth in our review.
What are the Plus500 vs Trading 212 trading hours?
It’s always worth checking a broker’s trading hours before signing up, as some offer extended market trading. If you’re stuck between Plus500 and Trading 212, read our latest review to find out about the trading hours for each market at the two brokers.
Is Plus500 or Trading 212 better for day trading?
Our Plus500 vs Trading 212 day trading comparison found that both brokers are suitable for day trading, as they both offer a wide range of CFDs at cheap rates, although Plus500 has a wider range of markets and offers instruments like options.