- No Frills CFD Provider with Low Transaction Costs
- Tight Spreads with EUR / USD at Only 2 Pips
- One of the Broadest Range of Instruments Including CFDs on Bitcoin, ETFs, and Index Options
- Strong Mobile Platform Including iOS, Android, and Windows Apps
- A Good Choice for Experienced Traders Looking to Keep Transaction Costs Low but note your capital is at risk.
- $30 Bonus to sign up for a real account.
- 20% Bonus up to $10,000 on initial deposits.
- Bonuses are subject to meeting minimum trade volume requirements and other terms and conditions.
Plus500 was founded in 2008 and quickly become one of the top CFD brokers. This Israeli company is listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange and has offices in London, Israel and Australia. What sets Plus500 apart from most of their competition is its tight spreads, keeping transaction costs low for active traders. Plus500 is also known for aggressively expanding its product palette to allow its clients to access all areas of the capital markets.
There is however some trade offs to selecting this low cost provider. Plus500 does not offer phone support, the Metatrader platform, or much in the way of market data and analysis and educational resources. It might not be the best choice for a novice trader requiring advice and support or a professional trader requiring advanced functionality such as automated trading or Metatrader. However, Plus500 is well suited for an experienced trader comfortable with a no frills platform who is looking to minimize expenses. As always, note that your capital is at risk.
Plus500 provides one of the broadest product palettes amongst its peers. In addition to the mainstays of FX majors, commodities and indices, Plus500 also allows you to trade CFDs on many FX exotics, 2 digital currencies, 81 ETFs, and over 1900 individual shares from over 20 countries. It is one of the only forex brokers to also offer index options.
One advantage of being able to access all areas of the capital markets on one platform allows you to more easily assess the performance of your overall trading portfolio. This may also reduce the frequency of margin calls as you may be able to offset, for instance, forex profits against equity losses. Plus500 also offers up to 294:1 leverage.
Market Analysis & Education
As a low cost provider, Plus500 does not offer much in the way of forecasts, news, real time market analysis, trading signals, etc… This will not hinder the experienced trader who can find this information free of charge from a variety of sources. Plus500’s software comes with a number of charting tools to allow you to perform technical analysis on your own. Plus500’s educational resources are also fairly limited with only a few basic articles on forex trading.
Plus500 does not charge any commission and offers some of the tightest spreads in the industry. For example, it’s USD / EUR spreads are set at 2 pips while other fixed spread brokers typically charge 3 pips for this pair. Plus500 doesn’t charge any deposit fees, but it will levy a $10 inactivity fee after 3 months.
Customers can open accounts with only USD/EUR/AUD 100. You can easily fund the account from your credit card, bank account and a number of online payment services like PayPal and Skrill. Plus500’s minimum trade size is 1000. To get a better idea of the product offerings and trading experience, you can also open a demo account free of charge.
Plus500 only allows customers to trade with its own proprietary trading platforms. It does not give you the option of using MetaTrader 4 like most brokers. Plus500’s software is very straightforward and is designed to be user friendly. One of the best features is the ability to set price alerts which sync across all of Plus500’s platforms and devices.
The customer has two options when trading on their PC. You can either download a PC application or use the web browser-based version. The downloadable version is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10. The web trader is compatible with Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Plus500 does not offer phone support but you can contact them via live chat or email. While this may seem a bit inconvenient Plus500 is known for having very fast response times to customer emails.
Safety and Security8
Playtech was set to acquire Plus500 in June 2015 at a price of GBP 460 million. Playtech is a London Stock Exchange listed FTSE 250 gaming software and services provider and the owner of Markets.com. They originally intended to integrate these brokers at some point in the future. However, Playtech decided to walk away from the acquisition in November 2015 after it failed to gain regulatory approval for the merger from the FCA.
Plus500 is subject to high regulatory standards from some of strictest regulators. Plus500 UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909). Plus500 CY LTD is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (License No. 250/14). Plus500AU Pty Ltd, AFSL #417727 issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is authorized to issue these products to Australian residents. Plus500AU Pty Ltd is an authorised financial services provider in South Africa by the FSB (License No. 47546)
Customer funds are segregated from company funds and customer deposits are insured up to GBP 50,000 under the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme. In comparison, investor compensation for brokers only regulated CySEC is capped at EUR 20,000 per customer.
The FCA recently took regulatory action against Plus500 for not performing stricter checks in its anti-money laundering procedures. While this not endanger safety of customer funds at any time, Plus500 was forced to freeze trading activity for some accounts until certain checks were completed. Plus500 was cleared to resume on-boarding new clients in January 2016. The FCA also fined Plus500 in 2012 for failing to report certain transactions and inadequate controls and systems.
Always keep in mind your capital is at risk with forex trading.