XTB Review: Does It Really Have The Lowest Commissions?

Josep Garcia

10 July, 2021

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.

The XTB Trading platform originates from Poland, although it has a presence (offices) in more than 13 countries, including the UK, Spain, Chile, France, Germany and Poland. The platform is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 522157) and many other similar bodies, and is regulated by CySEC in Cyprus. It has also been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2016.

Undoubtedly, since XTB was founded in 2002, it has grown to become one of the most popular brokers in Europe, even using José Mourinho’s image to promote its platform – not sure how much José knows about trading though.

But its growing popularity doesn’t guarantee that XTB will be a good trading platform for your profile, you’ll need to make sure you understand what assets they offer, how they operate (e.g. order types), and what their commissions are.

Note: Please, be aware that XTB is available in most European countries like the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany or Poland. But if you’re based in the US, you won’t be able to trade with them, check out other alternatives.

XTB Opinions: The Overview

XTB is a trading platform that is duly registered and regulated by several countries (including Cyprus, UK, Spain, Germany, Uruguay, etc.). Its platform is very flexible, full-featured for investors/traders (even advanced ones), and its commissions are generally adjusted.

You can trade CFDs on stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, indices and commodities. XTB also offers the possibility to invest in real stocks and ETFs in some European countries like Spain, Poland, Germany, France or Italy, but not in the UK; have a look at DEGIRO for that.

I have to say that it’s not the easiest solution to use. You can’t adjust the leverage (e.g. to reduce it), and its demo account is only available for 30 days (unless you’re a client, then it’s unlimited). Take a look at eToro or DEGIRO if you’re looking for simpler online brokers.

Let me give you my opinions of XTB in this review and tell you when it’s appropriate to use it, so you can find out if it’s a good solution to manage your investments.

Pros & Cons Of XTB

Before I unveil all the features of XTB, I want to tell you about its advantages and disadvantages and who should open an account with XTB.

Pros of XTB:

  • Good charting: They have one of the more rounded systems for interacting with full charts. It’s possible to draw on these, compare asset prices with others (e.g. S&P500) and apply analysis to the chart (e.g. Bollinger Bands or Moving Averages).
  • News feed and economic calendar: They offer a section where you can find economic and financial news relevant to your investments, and an economic calendar to remind you of the most important (economic and financial) events (e.g. macroeconomic data releases).
  • Tight spreads: The spreads offered are competitive.
  • Set up your account in GBP, EUR or USD: It’s possible to trade with XTB with your account set up in GBP, EUR or USD. This will depend on which currency your linked bank account is in.
  • Flexible Alerts and Notifications: Its alert and notification system is flexible, you can request to be notified each time a position is opened or closed in your account, deposits or withdrawals are made, and you can receive asset price alerts. These notifications can be received by email, live on the platform or on your phone.
  • Registered under the FCA: This is an entity of European origin and registered by many governmental bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 522157) in the UK, CNMV in Spain, CySEC in Cyprus, BaFin in Germany or AMF in France.
  • Fast account opening: Opening an account with XTB is easy, all you have to do is give them an email address and password and upload the personal information they ask for (e.g. your ID and phone number). The process is 100% online.
  • CFD and equity trading: It’s possible to trade CFDs (assets suitable for traders), and stocks and real ETFs (instruments more suitable for medium to long-term investors). Be aware that if you’re based in the UK, your XTB account won’t let you trade stocks or ETFs.

The Cons are:

  • Not the easiest: XTB certainly offers a very complete platform, you won’t miss a single option. But this makes it not the easiest broker to use at the moment. However, the design is modern and looks good.
  • Information is hard to find: Sometimes the information about its fees or how to trade is not clear as its offer changes depending on your country of residence.
  • Demo account limited to 30 days: XTB’s demo account is very limited, surely XTB could be a little more generous with this and offer a demo account with no expiry date. If you’re a client you’ll have unlimited access to the demo account.
  • Withdrawals by bank transfer only: This is not a big problem, but you’ll only be able to withdraw money to a bank account (that is in your name). For example, it’s not possible to use PayPal or other online systems to receive withdrawals.
  • It’s not possible to trade without leverage: Unfortunately, you cannot change the leverage when trading derivatives. Personally, I like the flexibility that eToro offers with leverage levels.

Who Should Use XTB?

XTB is a world-class broker that offers a decent range of assets and markets, its spreads are tight, and its platform is very comprehensive and comes with many order types. It also has many extra features such as:

  • Many instruments to trade
  • Comprehensive news
  • Economic calendar
  • Customisable alerts

But as it’s somewhat complex to use, and you cannot trade without leverage when trading derivatives, it may not be a good option for all profiles. For UK and US users, there is also no option to invest in real shares or ETFs (you’ll always have to trade CFDs), unless you’re a resident of one of the EU countries where they operate.

XTB In Detail

Criteria Comment
Country and regulation
UK, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany, Latin America, etc.
XTB operates in some twenty countries including the UK, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Latin America and Vietnam. Please note that XTB doesn’t accept traders from the USA.

Regulated by countries such as Cyprus, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. In addition, XTB UK is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 522157) in the UK.

Deposits









It’s possible to add funds to your XTD account using a debit or credit card (Mastercard, Maestro or VISA) or by bank transfer; these don’t incur any commissions. It’s possible to use Skrill or PayPal, but these deposits have a 2% commissions on the amount deposited. A minimum initial deposit of

$250
is required.

Your account can be set up in British Pounds, Euros or US Dollars, depending on the current account you link.

Demo account









It’s possible to access a demo account where you can practice with the XTB platform. Unfortunately, if you’re not a client, this account is only available for 30 days. You have $/£/€100k of virtual funds to practice with without risking your capital.
Products & trading
Stocks: Over 2,000 shares from around the world for some European clients, but UK clients cannot buy real shares, only CFDs.

Some clients from EU countries can invest in shares in major markets such as UK, US, Spanish, German, French, British, Swedish, Polish or Swiss.

ETFs & Funds Some European clients will be able to invest in more than 200 ETFs, but not in mutual funds. Unfortunately, UK clients cannot trade ETFs, only CFDs.
Forex It’s possible to trade around 48 currency pairs, using CFDs. For example, EUR/USD, EUR/GBP, USD/MXN or USD/JPY.
CFDs XTB has a wide range of CFDs (Contracts for Difference) on offer. In addition to Forex (48 pairs) and Cryptocurrencies (25 available) it’s possible to trade around 20 CFDs on commodities (such as gold or coffee), 40 CFDs on indices (e.g. SPA35, EU50 or US100). And if all that is not enough, CFDs on shares and ETFs are also available.
Cryptos It’s not possible to trade cryptocurrencies on XTB. It’s possible to trade derivatives (CFDs) of some cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash or Litecoin – you would not be buying cryptocurrencies, but a derivative product on them.
Other products You won’t be able to trade derivatives such as options or warrants. It’s also not possible to invest in fixed income securities with XTB.
Types of orders









With XTB you can place market orders, buy and sell limit orders, stop loss and take profit. The truth is that there are many options, but its system is not the easiest to understand, so make sure you understand how its orders work before you start buying and selling. You can trade long and short positions.
Leverage









Depending on your country of residence they will offer different leverage ratios. For clients from Europe and the UK they offer the maximum levels per regulation. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to change the leverage levels when trading (e.g. reduce them by).
Fees
Trading In countries where stocks and ETFs can be traded, they charge 0% commissions. CFD trades have a spread between the bid and ask price in favour of XTB, as all market makers do.
Overnight fees If you leave a position open from one day to the next, you’ll face financing commissions for the money that XTB “lends” you when you trade with leverage. These are not very high but as they are percentages of the amount invested, and are charged on a daily basis, they can add up to a pretty penny.
Inactivity fees If your account remains inoperative for 1 year, you have to pay a fee of $/£/€10.
Other fees If you want your transaction information sent to you on paper, you’ll have to pay $/£/€75. But who wants paper these days, in digital format it’s easier to store it.
Platform features
Available platforms









XTB has its own (xStation 5) trading platform, which you can access from any modern browser. It’s possible to set the platform to a dark or light mode, personally I like the light mode better. It also has apps for Android and iOS.
Charting









Charts can be configured to show candlesticks, lines or bars. You can adjust the time horizon of your charts and draw on them to perform your analysis.

Comparing the chart of an asset with other assets (e.g. its benchmark) is possible and easy. In addition, you can also apply indicators such as seasonal trends or moving averages to your chart.

Research









It has a news feed so you can keep up to date with information about your investments. You can apply filters to this feed to adjust the results to what you’re interested in.

It also has an economic calendar with dates of relevant events that could affect your positions (e.g. announcement of financial results, etc.).

Education and guides









In its knowledge centre you’ll find its “Trading Academy” where there are dozens of articles explaining concepts (e.g. Forex) and tutorials on its platforms. It also has many videos.
Alerts









You can set up notifications with XTB to be sent to your email, or on the platform itself (which will make an annoying sound). Notifications will also be sent to your phone (if you have the app installed). The alerts available are for notifications of important events, deposits and withdrawals, open and close positions and price alerts.
Support









XTB can be contacted by email, chat or telephone. Customer service hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM. Occasionally, it may take some time to get back to you.
Overall rating









XTB is certainly a very complete trading platform that offers all the basic (and not so basic) functions for trading. It would be nice if they could offer more assets such as ETFs and stocks in all countries, and if the leverage could be adjusted. More advanced traders will like XTB very much.

Is XTB Safe?

I get the impression that XTB’s platform is secure; actually, you can set up its notifications so that you get alerts on your mobile phone or email every time a position is opened or closed, or when funds are withdrawn. This way, you’ll be informed of any suspicious action.

xtb notifications and alerts

XTB notifications

On the other hand, withdrawals can only be made to a bank account that is in your name, I imagine this might provide some extra security.

I have to say that I would like to see a 2-step authentication system that would allow you to confirm access to the XTB platform with a code sent to your phone (e.g. by SMS or in the app).

Who Regulates XTB?

XTB is a trading platform of European origin (Poland), and it’s regulated by a lot of countries; as I have already told you, also by the UK through the Financial Conduct Authority.

But XTB is not only registered with the FCA, it’s also regulated/registered by other agencies in other countries such as:

  • ACP of the Banque de France
  • German BanFin
  • Spanish CNMV
  • The Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom
  • KNF of Poland
  • National Bank of the Czech Republic
  • Or the CMVM of Portugal
  • Central Bank of Uruguay

It also has offices in 13 countries, including the UK, Spain, Poland, Germany, France and Chile.

XTB's Fees & Commissions

As you may already know, the commissions you face when investing can have a big (negative) impact on your profits.

For example, imagine you have average commissions of 1% per year on your investments. If you invested £10,000 over 25 years, you would pay around £9,200 in commissions.

But if the commissions were higher and you paid 1.50% on average, you would have paid around £11,750 in commissions at the end of 25 years (assuming compound interest).

Traders have to deal with a lot of commissions (more specifically spreads), as they follow the market trend and open and close positions very frequently. That is why the difference between a low-fee broker and an expensive one can mean a lot of money.

You will face 2 types of commissions: operational; related to opening and closing positions, and non-operational.

Non-Operational XTB Fees

There are several commissions you may have to pay when you have an XTB account. Here are the details:

  • Inactivity: If you don’t trade with XTB for 12 months you’ll have to pay $/£/€10. Trading is defined as opening or closing positions.
  • Withdrawal: Withdrawing funds from XTB is free if your withdrawal is more than $/£/€60. If the amount you withdraw is less than $/£/€60, there is a commissions fee.
  • Deposits: There are generally no commissions for deposits you make. You may face a commissions fee if you use an electronic payment method such as PayPal and Skrill – charged by the payment processor and not XTB.

It’s positive that with XTB there are no commissions for opening or maintaining an account.

XTB’s Operating Fees

On the contrary, every time you trade a new position, you’ll face commissions (and/or spreads). Generally XTB has quite competitive commissions, the following are the commissions for the Standard account, if you have a Pro account these may be a bit lower.

  • Commissions on asset purchases: In 2020 XTB started to offer the possibility to buy stocks and ETFs without commissions, but as we have said, these assets are only available in some European countries (not in the UK).
  • Spreads: If you end up trading CFDs you’ll not have a commissions fee, but you’ll have to deal with the spread. This is the difference between the bid price and the ask price at XTB, which is how derivatives brokers are usually funded.
  • Exchange rate commissions: Your account can be in euros, pounds or US dollars, if you make deposits in other currencies you’ll have to pay an exchange rate commission. Similarly, if you invest in an asset that is traded in a currency other than your account currency you’ll also face a commissions fee, which in most cases is 0.5%.

Example Of Commissions With XTB

As an example, I will compare XTB’s commissions with some of its alternatives to give you an idea of how much it will cost you to trade with them.

XTB Spread XTB Daily Swap Points
GBPUSD 0.00022 -3.664 (long)

-3.138 (short)

US30 2 N/A
UK100 1.1 N/A
Oil 0.04 N/A
Gold 0.3 -8.197 (long)

-7.192 (short)

Apple 0.08%

(min. £8)

-2.62725% (long)

-2.37275% (short)

Barclays 0.08%

(min. £8)

-2.52675% (long)

-2.47325% (short)

More information www.XTB.com

* Please note that commissions fluctuate, the table above refers to commissions as of 24 January 2021.

Products You Can Trade With XTB

The fact that XTB has low commissions and is a platform with one of the best chart analysis and news feeds is very positive, but if XTB doesn’t allow you to trade the assets you’re interested in, XTB is not a viable option for you, is it?

In the following paragraphs, I will break down which assets you can invest in using XTB, and which markets it will give you access to:

CFDs (Contracts For Difference)

One of the most popular products with XTB are CFDs, or Contracts For Difference. The price of these are derivative financial assets that are linked to the price of another asset (called the underlying).

Technically, we could have CFDs on any asset. For example, if you and I were to agree, we could create a CFD on the price of bread or even the price of a bus pass.

They are generally used by advanced traders to invest with low commissions, trying to capitalise on short-term market trends. Honestly, if you don’t know what a CFD is, I would recommend that you don’t invest with them until you understand how they work; they are even riskier when trading with leverage.

Invest in cfds with xtb

CFD investing with XTB

Let’s see which CFDs you can invest in with XTB:

  • Stocks: With XTB you can invest in real stocks, or you can do so with the CFD version of these. You can trade CFDs on major companies in the US and Europe.
  • ETF: On the other hand, it’s also possible to invest in CFDs of the ETFs mentioned above.
  • Forex: Surely currency pairs trading is one of the most popular CFDs. XTB have a lot available, about 50 popular pairs (e.g. EUR, USD, MXN JPY or GBP), but they also have some less common currencies like BRL or TRY.
  • Indices: Another way to trade CFDs is to trade entire indices, which is also possible with XTB. You can trade the main European indices (e.g. SPA35 or UK100), American indices (e.g. US30 or BRAComp) and other regions such as Japan, Hong Kong, Australia or South Korea. In total, they have more than 20.
  • Commodities: With XTB you can trade CFDs whose underlying asset is linked to a commodity. There are many available in various sectors: agriculture (e.g. sugar or coffee), energy (e.g. natural gas or oil), precious metals (e.g. gold or palladium) and industrial metals (e.g. zinc or copper).
  • Cryptocurrencies: With the boom in cryptocurrencies, many market makers (such as XTB) have started to offer CFDs linked to the price of these assets. With XTB you can buy CFDs on around 25 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash or Ripple.

Shares

XTB allows you to invest in real stocks and ETFs in some European countries (not in the UK); this is suitable for investors who want to trade the securities of certain companies over the medium to long term.

You will be able to choose from over 2,000 stocks from many different markets. For example, you’ll find shares of the most important companies in the United States and major European countries such as Switzerland, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the Nordic countries.

XTB is one of the brokers I have used with the most varied selection of ETFs. They have more than 200 ETFs that you can trade from many reputable managers such as iShares, Vanguard, SPDR and Lyxor.

What Assets Can You Not Find On XTB?

Unfortunately, there are a number of assets that you’ll not be able to work with XTB, the most important of which would be:

  • Equities and ETFs outside some countries in Europe (e.g. not in the UK).
  • Investment funds
  • Cryptocurrencies: check eToro for cryptocurrencies
  • Fixed income assets
  • Derivatives (other than CFDs) such as warrants, options or futures.

How Does XTB Work?

In order to use XTB you’ll need an internet connection and a computer or mobile device to use its platform. Simply log in and perform the operations or queries you wish to make.

How To Open An Account With XTB?

Opening an account with XTB is a fairly easy process, but I want to guide you through the process so that you’re clear on how to do it:

Open an xtb account

  1. Go to www.XTB.com and click on “Demo” – I would always suggest you start by taking a look at the demo account to get familiar with it.
  2. Add your email address, country of residence and read and accept the terms of use.
  3. Enter your personal details (name and phone number), select the platform you want to use, the type of account and specify your password.

That’s all, now you can access the XTB demo account and start to get familiar with its interface and options.

If after a couple of days you feel ready to start investing with real money, open a live account by following these steps:

  1. Log in to your XTB Demo Account and click on “Open Real Account.” If you don’t have a demo account go to www.XTB.com and click on “Become a client.”
  2. Add your email address, read and accept XTB’s terms of use.
  3. Add your personal details – this time you’ll need to provide your date of birth and other information.
  4. Specify your postal address.
  5. Answer the questions about your investor profile.
  6. Confirm your email address, phone number and send any documents XTB may ask for (typically your passport) – uploading a photo online is sufficient.
  7. Make your first deposit and start investing.

Tax Management With XTB

They may withhold taxes on the profits you make, depending a little on the country you trade from and the type of asset you invested in.

XTB stores your trading information, so you should be able to compile your profits and losses for tax purposes. But remember, you’re responsible for all of this.

XTB Review: Final Thoughts

Alright, after this detailed guide and telling you my opinions of XTB you should have a pretty good idea of when it’s appropriate to use this trading platform.

But let me give you a brief summary of the most important points to consider:

  • It’s an ideal broker for those who want to exchange and trade CFDs. Its spreads are competitive and cover many markets. Among others: Forex, indices, cryptocurrencies or commodities.
  • It’s an FCA registered platform, so you can be sure that they are not a financial scam. They are also registered with other European regulatory organisations.
  • XTB’s platform has one of the most useful charting tools I’ve ever seen; you can even draw on these.
  • It’s possible to invest in CFDs on stocks, ETFs, indices, cryptos and commodities.
  • Opening an account with them is easy.

But of course, it’s not all positive aspects:

  • It’s true that it’s possible to invest in real stocks and ETFs (in some countries), but for these assets other brokers such as DEGIRO are more suitable.
  • Its platform, although very complete, can be a bit complex to use for beginners, as it has many options.
  • If you trade CFD’s you’ll not be able to reduce leverage, this means that your losses may be greater due to the effect of indebtedness, please make sure you understand this concept.
  • The XTB demo account is limited to 30 days of practice (unless you’re an existing client).

Alright, that’s all I wanted to tell you about XTB, but if you still have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll try to answer them.

Review updates:

26 Apr 2021 – Affiliate disclosure added

18 Mar 2021 – Initial Review

10 July 2021 – XTB Review moved to upskillwise.com

 

 

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are leveraged financial assets and carry a high level of risk to your capital as prices may move quickly against you. Losses can exceed your deposits and you may be required to make further payments. These products may not be suitable for all clients therefore ensure you understand the risks and seek independent advice. 80% of retail accounts trading CDFs at XTB lose money, so make sure you understand how it works before you start.

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.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x