Plus500: Is this Trading Platform Right for You?

Josep Garcia

10 July, 2021

Plus500

72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.Upskillwise.com is fully supported by its readers. If you open an account or make an investment using our links, we may receive a commission.

This Israeli-based (CFD) broker was founded by 6 students over a decade ago. Since then, its popularity has grown steadily, and Plus500 is now listed on the London Stock Exchange – a milestone for them.

plus500 review

They claim to have about 330,000 active customers whilst offering a transparent platform where they don’t charge for almost anything (e.g. deposit and withdrawal of money).

But is all this true?

So let’s find out all there is to know in this detailed Plus 500 review and answer any questions you may have.

What Type of Broker Is Plus500?

Plus500 is a market maker, meaning that you trade directly with them and not with the market. In other words, you don’t have to wait for someone in the market to buy or sell before you trade.

For this risk that Plus500 takes, they charge a spread (they sell more expensive and buy cheaper than the market). Their spread is very competitive and is one of the lowest in the market – more on this below.

plus500 cfd broker review

When you invest in a CFD you don’t buy an actual share, but you have an agreement on the price of the share (in this case with Plus500). Your profit or loss is determined by the difference between the price at which you bought and the price at which you sold (or the other way around if you short an asset).

If you are new to the world of finance, you should be aware that you can lose large amounts of money due to the effect of leverage.

Plus500 allows leverage, meaning that you don’t have to pay out your entire investment, but only have to put in funds to cover a portion of it. This is very useful for those who want to trade large volumes of trades without needing to put down all the money.

The downside of Plus500 is that it’s not possible to trade without leverage, something that can (possibly should) scare off beginners. Leverage with Plus500 ranges from 1:30 for Forex to 1:2 for cryptocurrencies (availability subject to regulation) – if you have a professional account you’ll be able to access higher leverage.

Plus500 Pros & Cons

But you are probably wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of using Plus500, so let’s check them out below and see if it’s right for you.

plus500 economic calendar

Plus500 Economic Calendar

The main benefits are:

  • Tight spread: The spread with which they operate is tight and very competitive.
  • Full graphics: The graphics are complete with many options for customisation.
  • Design: Plus500 has certainly put a lot of effort into creating a well-designed system, its interface is straightforward and well-organised. Their demo account will help you get familiar with this broker.
  • A multitude of assets: You can trade over 2,000 different CDFs on ETFs, shares, currencies, commodities, options and cryptocurrencies.
  • Regulated: Operates on the London Stock Exchange, is supervised by various governmental bodies (e.g. Financial Conduct Authority) and has been operating since 2008. This means that they have to comply with certain regulatory requirements.
  • Economic calendar to keep abreast of upcoming events relevant to the financial sector (e.g. announcements of macroeconomic measures).

On the other hand, it has a couple of things that should be improved:

  • No news section in the broker: Even if Plus500 has a news section on their website, it’s not for now integrated with your investments (e.g. they don’t filter the news you get based on what you have invested in).
  • Lack of securities: You can only trade with CFDs, so if you are looking to buy (or own) securities such as stocks or mutual fund shares, you should look for an alternative to Plus500. You’ll also not find fixed income instruments such as bonds.
  • Education section: They could provide better content for investors to learn the basics of investing and trading.
  • It’s not possible to reduce leverage: If you would like to trade without leverage, there is no option. You can’t choose the level of leverage with Plus500 either, you’ll have to invest with the levels they offer.
  • Inactivity fee: If you don’t use Plus500 for a certain period of time, you’ll face an inactivity fee of $/£/€10 per month.

Who Should Use Plus500

Experienced traders who know how to trade CFDs, or are willing to educate themselves on trading. If you are going to use Plus500 you’ll need to be comfortable with leverage as it’s not possible to trade without it.

If you are a beginner or your investment profile is less risky, you could take a look at other products such as DEGIRO or eToro.

Opening a Plus500 Account

To open a Plus500 real account, all you need to do is:

  1. Visit the Plus500 website and click on ‘Start trading’
  2. Register on the platform
  3. In the left menu click on ‘Account’ and confirm your details
  4. Confirm your email address and phone number
  5. Send them the requested documents: passport copy, proof of residence (e.g. bank statement) and verification of your payment method
  6. Make your first deposit (minimum €/£/$100) and start trading

Requirements

Apart from completing the account opening process, there aren’t many other requirements with Plus500.

As mentioned above, you’ll have to provide some documents, and make a minimum deposit of €/£/$100.

You’ll need to reside in one of the many countries in which Plus500 operates. For example: the UK, Cyprus, France, Italy, Germany, Germany, Mexico, etc.

Types of accounts

plus500 professional account

Plus500 offers several types of accounts for its users:

  1. Demo account: If you are thinking of using Plus500, I would suggest that you first take a look at their demo account to test the waters. It’s very useful to see what CFDs you can trade and what their system is like. It’s also ideal for beginners who want to experiment with trading without risking real money.
  2. Plus500 account: Once you have tried their system and are ready to dive into the world of trading, you can open a (real) account with Plus500. Their standard account, as mentioned above, has a leverage ranging from 1:2 to 1:30, depending on the instruments you trade and your country of residence this may vary – leverage cannot be changed.
  3. Professional account: Plus500’s professional accounts are available to those users who meet the requirements, these accounts basically offer a higher level of leverage – so they have even more risk associated with them. To be eligible for this type of account, you’ll need to have made an average of 10 trades per quarter (of a certain value), have over $500,000 (or equivalent) in your investments and have professional experience in the financial sector.

Tip: Before opening a real money account with Plus500 take a look at the demo account they offer to make sure Plus500 is the right fit for you.

Plus500 in Detail

Criteria Comment
Country and regulation
United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Germany, France, Singapore, etc.
Plus500 is present in more than 50 countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and most European countries such as Italy, France and Germany. It’s also available in more than 30 languages.

It’s also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK, CySEC of Cyprus, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the FSCA of Australia among others *.

Deposits









Deposits can be made by card, bank transfer and even e-wallets such as Skrill or PayPal. There are no fees. Don’t deposit money until your Plus500 account is activated – after the verification process.
Demo account









The Plus500 demo account is a great way to get familiar with the Plus500 system. You can access it for free, and you’ll have $50,000 £/€40,000 to trade with.
Products & trading
Stocks: You cannot trade real stocks using Plus500, the only alternative would be to invest in stock CFDs (about 2,000) – although you have to bear in mind that you would not be buying the actual asset, but a derivative.
ETFs & Funds ETFs and investment funds are also not available at Plus500 – but via CFDs you can invest in ETFs (about a hundred of them).
Forex With CFDs you can trade around 70 currency pairs. Among others: EUR/GBP, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, EUR/CHF.
CFDs CFDs are the most popular instrument for trading with Plus500. You can trade CFDs on stocks, ETFs, currencies, cryptocurrencies, indices and commodities.
Cryptos It’s not possible to buy cryptocurrencies with Plus500, the only option with them is to trade CFDs of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar or IOTA – availability subject to regulation.
Other products It’s also possible to trade options with Plus500.
Types of orders









On the other hand, when trading you can use market orders, close at loss, close at profit, dynamic stop and sell if the price reaches a certain value. It’s possible to open positions with guaranteed stop loss orders, these are a bit more expensive.
Leverage









There is a maximum leverage of 1:30 (legally limited in some countries) for Forex; 1:20 for commodities and indices; 1:5 leverage for ETFs, options and equities; and 1:2 for cryptocurrencies, these may vary from country to country. Professional accounts can have higher leverage levels. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to set up your account to open positions without leverage.
Fees
Trading Plus500 charges a spread between the price at which it sells and the price at which it buys CFDs. These are more expensive for investors, which is how market makers such as Plus500 are funded.
Overnight fees You’ll be charged when you hold a leveraged position (when borrowing money from the broker) for more than one day.
Inactivity fees If you don’t use the platform for more than 3 months you’ll have to pay $/£/€10 a month.
Other fees If you make more than 5 withdrawals per month and the amount is less than $/£/€100 you’ll be charged a fee of $/£/€5.
Platform features
Available platforms









They have a web-based trading platform that is well-designed and looks modern. Generally, it generates good user experiences. The search function makes it quick to find the instrument you are looking for. It’s not possible to install their platform on your computer, you are ‘stuck’ with the web browser version. Plus500 offers free apps for Android and iOS. These are well valued among users with a rating of more than 4 out of 5.
Charting









The charting tool is flexible. You can choose from a number of chart types, combine several indicators and choose various time periods (from 1 min. to weekly charts). It’s possible to expand the charts to full screen for better analysis.
Research









There is no news section to keep up to date with everything related to your investments in the broker, there is one generic section about financial news. I recommend using Feedly and Google Alerts to make up for this. Plus500’s economic calendar is very interesting as it keeps you up to date with major economic events and gives an estimate (1 to 3) of the expected impact.
Education and guides









Although it has some instructional content, the truth is that they could have videos explaining their platform, and more detailed articles.
Alerts









Choose to receive notifications by email, SMS or notifications on your phone. You can be alerted when a position opens, closes, for alerts you set yourself and for margin (fund) cover requests.
Support









They offer support via chat (although it’s sometimes offline) or email. Unfortunately, there is no telephone support.
Overall rating









Plus500 is an ideal broker for experienced traders looking for a CFD trading platform with competitive rates. Suitable for traders and not investors looking to buy the underlying asset.

Is Plus500 a Scam?

Plus500 is not a scam. It’s a well-established company with offices in reputable countries (e.g. Cyprus, Australia, UK).

In order to be able to offer financial services in all the countries where they operate, Plus500 is subject to the oversight of a number of public bodies that audit its accounts, practices and operations – bodies similar to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

plus500 legal disclaimer

Plus500 legal disclaimers

In particular, it must comply with the regulations of the securities commissions of Cyprus, United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia and be duly registered in those countries. This is why investors (e.g. in the UK) are protected against losses caused by broker misconduct with compensation of up to £85,000.

Not bad, right?

Moreover, as I mentioned earlier, it’s listed on the London Stock Exchange, so it has to pass rigorous tests and comply with London stock exchange requirements.

Platform security

Plus500 offers you the possibility to create logins for its platform with your Facebook or Google account, or you can choose to log in with any email address you have.

plus500 2 step authentication

Plus500 2-step authentication

To add an extra layer of security, it’s possible to enable a 2-step authentication via your mobile phone. In addition to your username and password, Plus500 will require you to confirm your login with a code that will be sent to your phone.

Plus500 Fees and Commissions in detail

You can avoid some fees with Plus500 by following the steps below:

  1. Having the account inactive for more than 3 months. This can be solved by logging into your platform from time to time. The fee will be $/£/€10 each month if you don’t do so.
  2. For withdrawals below $/£/€100 US, the fee will be $/£/€10 for each transaction below $/£/€100.
  3. Withdrawing funds more than 5 times a month. The fee will also be $/£/€10 per extra transaction. Try to group your withdrawals together.

But of course, you may be wondering, where does Plus500 make its profits?

Excellent question.

Well, being a market maker and buying and selling CFDs from and to its users, the profit, to a large extent, comes from the spread: which is the difference between the buy and sell price (similar to an exchange house buying cheaper currencies and selling them more expensively).

plus500 spread examples

Example of spread with Plus500 (illustrative prices)

The spreads with Plus500 are some of the most competitive in the industry, but they don’t fully explain the methodology for calculating the spreads they set. Some instruments have fixed spreads (always the same) while others have dynamic spreads (they adjust as the market goes up or down).

Some real examples of the spread at the time of writing this analysis. Please note that they may change. Popular instruments you can find on Plus500 are:

CFDs Sell Buy Spread
Nikola Corporation $21.78 $21.88 $0.10
Pfizer $34.64 $34.80 $0.16
Alibaba $2,.60 $268.27 $0.67
AstraZeneca (UK) $7.42.25 $7,456.74 $33.49
Oil $59.66 $59.72 $0.06
Gold $1,823.46 $1,825.00 $1.54
Coffee $122.32 $122.52 $0.20
EUR/USD $1.21 $1.21 $0.00
EUR/GBP $0.87 $0.87 $0.00
EUR/AUD $1.56 $1.56 $0.00
UK 100 $6,556.50 $6,558.50 $2.00
ASX 200 $6,776.00 $6,779.00 $3.00
Germany 30 $14,062.50 $14,065.51 $3.01
USA 30 – Wall Street $31,417.00 $31,423.00 $6.00

These buy and sell prices are for February 14th 2021.

Note: All trades you place with Plus500 will start with a minimum loss due to the spread effect (buy or sell price Vs actual price).

Plus500: Available assets

It only takes a quick glance at Plus500’s main site to realise that contracts for difference (CFDs) are their thing. This is because this trading platform is only suitable for trading these types of derivative products (or in some cases options).

It does, however, have a lot of markets and different CFD available. Here’s what you can find with Plus500.

Please note that CFDs are complex derivative products where you aren’t buying a real asset, but rather a contract that is a reference to the price of an asset. In other words, when trading a CFD on Amazon shares you aren’t buying the shares of this popular ecommerce platform, but a product (derivative) that is a reference to the price of this share.

Stock CFDs

Plus500 has a lot of CFDs on stocks to trade. They are undoubtedly one of the platforms with the widest range on offer.

plus500 stock cfds

Plus500 stock CFD (illustrative prices)

Obviously, it has CFDs on the most popular stocks such as Apple, Tesla, Google or Amazon, but it stands out for offering many other options.

For example, it’s possible to trade CFDs on the shares of companies on stock exchanges in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

ETF CFDs

In addition to CFDs on shares, it’s also possible to trade ETF CFDs. At the time of writing this Plus500 review, they offer around 100 ETFs to trade.

Forex

One of the most popular instruments among traders are currency pairs, and with Plus500 you’ll have access to a lot of CFDs on these pairs.

Plus500 forex cfds

Plus500 illustrative prices

In particular, there are more than 70 Forex CFDs available, e.g. EUR/USD, EUR/GBP, EUR/AUD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/JPY, etc. etc. etc.

Index CFDs

Another investment instrument among traders is indices. At Plus500 you can find indices of all kinds, such as country indices (e.g. Germany 30, USA 500, Italy 40, Europe 50 or Spain 35).

plus500 indices cfds

(illustrative prices)

Plus500 users can also trade 2 CFDs on sector indices such as the NYSE FANG+ Index (of technology companies) and the Real Estate Giants Index (index of US real estate companies).

Commodity CFDs

Plus500 offers investors around twenty commodity CFDs to trade. Among others, it’s possible to trade CFD on commodities such as oil, silver, gold, sugar, copper, coffee, cocoa and corn.

Cryptocurrency CFDs

Plus500 has also jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon, and it’s possible to trade cryptocurrency CFDs.

plus500 crypto cfds

(illustrative prices)

They don’t have the largest variety, only 8 CFDs, but it’s possible to trade CFDs of cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or Stellar. As a curiosity, there is also an Ethereum / Bitcoin pair to trade with – availability subject to regulation.

Education and Analysis with Plus500

Having a broker that is easy to use, has hundreds of assets to trade, and charges low commissions is a trader’s dream.

But the truth is that to be successful with your investments you’ll also need a good system to analyse your investments, and to inform yourself about what is going on in the market.

That’s why I want to take a look at Plus500’s information options, economic calendar, tutorials and charts with you.

News feed

There is a basic news feed that you can check from Plus500 website, however, it’s not the most rounded feature. I’d recommend using a news aggregator like Feedly and some sort of news alerts such as Google Alerts.

Economic calendar

On the other hand, Plus500 does offer a comprehensive economic calendar with the dates of major economic and financial events and announcements. This is very useful to take into account possible market fluctuations in response to these events, so you can prevent possible impacts or predict profits for your portfolio.

plus500 economic calendar

Plus500 economic calendar

For example, in Plus500’s economic calendar you can find the events that are expected during the week: earnings announcements or macroeconomic communications from the main countries (e.g. unemployment in the US or the UK) among others.

In addition, this economic calendar has an indicator that shows the expected intensity of these announcements, and which instruments are likely to be affected. This makes it easier to organise trades and define trading strategies.

Educational resources

On Plus500 you can find videos that are very well done explaining, in a very brief way, some basic concepts. It has to be said that there are only about ten videos available. Plus500 could make more effort in this area. These videos are currently only available in English.

plus500 support article

Plus500 support article

You can find a FAQ section that tries to explain how Plus500 works. It’s possible to find almost a hundred articles, and some of them are accompanied by explanatory videos.

Plus500 Charts

It’s noticeable that Plus500 has put emphasis on creating a platform that provides users with good visual tools to analyse investments through charting.

Compare instruments with plus500

Compare asset prices with Plus500

The first thing to note is that Plus500 allows you to visually compare assets side by side to assess, and analyse investments and the price of the instruments you want to invest in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible to overlay the price of other instruments (or indices) on the same chart.

With Plus500 it’s possible to choose from more than 10 types of charts, so you can tailor your charts to the type that suits you best. Amongst others, it’s possible to choose from candlestick, bar, Renko, Kagi, etc. charts. – I really didn’t know there were so many chart types.

plus500 types of charts

Plus500 types of charts

Plus500 also allows you to annotate these charts, manipulate the time horizon of these charts (ranging from 1 minute to 1 week), make annotations, add elements such as shapes (e.g. rectangle) or draw manually with the mouse. And of course, you can save the charts for later reference.

Plus500 also allows you to add financial analysis indicators such as Moving Averages, Bollinger, Balance of Power and Aroon Oscillator.

Alternatives to Plus500

Plus500 focuses on one thing, derivatives (via CFDs only). You may not be interested in investing with these products, or you may simply be looking for an alternative to Plus500 for any other reason. Here are 3 alternatives to Plus500.

eToro

eToro is one of those platforms that is everywhere. They certainly have a good marketing and advertising budget. But the truth is that it has a couple of features that are unique (or almost unique) among investment platforms.

etoro is an alternative to plus500

Unlike most CFD brokers, with eToro you can decide whether you want to trade with leverage or not, which may appeal to some users. It should be noted that eToro, in addition to CFDs, allows you to buy stocks, ETFs and real cryptocurrencies.

On the other hand, it has a feature whereby investors using eToro can automatically copy the portfolios of other eToro users (be aware that this doesn’t eliminate the risk of trading). On the other hand, I have the feeling that eToro’s spreads aren’t the tightest you’ll find.

XTB

XTB‘s platform, conditions and services are very similar. It’s primarily a broker for CFD trading, although in some EU countries (e.g. not in the UK or USA) it’s possible to invest in real shares.

xtb is an alternative to plus500

XTB’s commissions also seem very tight. What is not so good is that their demo account is only available for a limited time, unless you are already a client.

DEGIRO

DEGIRO is a broker of Dutch origin that is characterised by offering very low commissions for those who want to invest in real stocks and ETFs (among other products). This Dutch broker is not so focused on derivatives trading. For example, it will not give you the option to trade CFDs.

DEGIRO Website

Unfortunately, there is no demo account where you can practice and see how the platform works, but you can always open a live account. More than 600,000 users trust this broker, which is present in more than 18 countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is the Owner of Plus500?

Plus500 is a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, so anyone can own shares in this company. The following are the largest shareholders of Plus500 (as you can see there are many investment funds).

Investor % ownership
Odey Asset Management LLP 8.8%
Invesco Asset Management Ltd. 4.7%
Acadian Asset Management LLC 4.4%
Ninety One UK Ltd. 3.7%
Vanguard Global Advisers LLC 3.7%
Morgan Stanley Securities Ltd. (Market-Maker) 3.0%
Norges Bank Investment Management 2.6%
Schroder Investment Management Ltd. 2.5%
Rathbone Investment Management Ltd. 2.3%
BlackRock Fund Advisors 2.3%

Source: MarketScreeners

How Do I Cancel a Plus500 Account?

To cancel your Plus500 account you’ll need to contact the support team.

Can I Use an External Trading Platform with Plus500?

If you intend to use an external platform and connect it to Plus500, such as MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5, I am afraid this is not possible. You’ll have to use the web-based broker that Plus500 makes available to you.

Plus500 Review: Final Thoughts

Plus 500 is a platform for investors who want to trade CFDs on a regular basis.

This trading platform offers competitive spreads. Opening an account with them is quick and the process is 100% online. It has a wide variety of derivative assets (CFDs) that you can trade, and more than 2,000 instruments.

You can’t decide how much leverage you want to trade with, and you are forced to trade with the maximum at all times; this can be a setback for some investors. There are some tutorials and learning resources, although they could be more comprehensive. The news section is a bit too basic, although you can access an economic calendar with the dates of the most relevant economic and financial events.

Plus500 is a regulated broker in several countries and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, so its accounts are public.

72% of retail investor accounts lose money in CFD trading with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take a high risk of losing your money.

 

Plus500 Review Updates:

26 Apr. 2021 – Affiliate disclosure added

24 Apr. 2021 – Compliance changes

19 Mar. 2021 – Initial Plus500 review

10 July 2021 – Plus500 review moved to upskillwise.com

 

* Plus500UK Ltd authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909). Plus500CY Ltd authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14). Plus500SG Pte Ltd, licensed by the MAS (#CMS100648-1) and IE Singapore (#PLUS/CBL/2018). Plus500SEY Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Licence No. SD039). Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), licensed by: ASIC in Australia, AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026; Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa, FSP #47546. You do not own or have any rights to the underlying assets.

Josep Garcia

I am Josep Garcia, I live and work in Barcelona. I have a fulfilling 9 to 5 job as a digital marketer, but I also have several side gigs I enjoy working on. When I decided to launch my own website (in 2016) I took on the challenge of learning how to program, as I wanted my site coded from scratch. I have to say that finding online educational resources (I used Lynda at the time) was a blessing.
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