Plus500 Review 2021 - The Good and the Bad

Updated Aug 24 2021

Plus500 Review 2021 - The Good and the Bad

Plus500 is an international CFD Broker headquartered in Israel with offices in the United Kingdom,  Cyprus, Singapore, Australia and Bulgaria. Plus500 is regulated by some of the world’s most respected financial regulators such as the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission, MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) and CySec (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission).

The biggest selling point of Plus500 is being a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange, this amazing achievement comes with the obligation of disclosing their financials on a quarterly basis for the whole world to see, this gives an extra layer of safety for traders that choose them as their CFD provider.

Plus500 in a Nutshell

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Overview

Plus500 is an international broker specialised in CFD trading with a big range of assets including CFDs based on American options

Best For
  • Intermediate traders looking to trade short term
  • Experienced traders looking to speculate using CFDs based on options
Trust
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The Good
  • CFDs on american options offered
  • Low minimum trade sizes
  • Propietary platform with multi-charting tools
The Bad
  • No ability to remove leverage
  • All instruments are CFDs, you can't buy underlying assets (real stocks or cryptocurrencies)
Status
Operational
Recent News
N/A
Key Data
Account Opening Time 1 day
Documents Required
  • Valid identity document (Passport, ID Card, etc)
  • Valid proof of residence document (Bank statement, utility bills)

All documents must be under the account holder's name.

Financial Regulators
Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Financial Conduct Authority
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Year Founded 2008
Minimum Deposit $, €, £ - 100
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
Bank Transfer
Paypal
Skrill
Account Base Currencies 16 - USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, AUD, JPY, PLN, HUF, CZK, CAD, TRY, SEK, NOK, SGD.
Available to U.S Citizens No
Restricted Countries US, CA, CU, SY, IR.
STP Account Yes
DMA Account No
ECN Account No
Assets
Available Assets
Stocks
Currencies
Cryptos
Commodities
ETFs
CFDs
Indices
Options
Stocks 2000+
Currency Pairs 70
Commodities 25
Indices 26
ETFs 95
Cryptocurrencies 14
Bonds N/A
Options Option CFDs (Calls and Puts) on: Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, DeutscheBank, Snap, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Tesla and NIO along with major indices and EUR/USD.
Futures N/A
Notes All Plus500 assets are CFDs.
Trading Experience
Minimum Stocks Trade Size Varies by Stock (Eg: 0.05 units of Tesla)
Minimum ETFs Trade Size Varies by ETF (Eg: 0.5 units of XLK)
Minimum Crypto Trade Size Varies by Crypto (Eg: 0.001 BTC)
Minimum FX Trade Size $1,000
Minimum Commodities Trade Size Varies by Commoditty (Eg: 0.2 Troy ounces of Gold)
Minimum Bonds Trade Size N/A
Minimum Futures Trade Size N/A
Minimum Options Trade Size Varies by Option (Eg: 5 contracts of Tesla Calls)
Retail Leverage Up to 1:30
Professional Leverage Up to 1:300
Customisable Leverage No
Deleveraged Trading No
Demo Account Yes
IOS App Yes
Android App Yes
MetaTrader 4 No
MetaTrader 5 No
Web Trader Yes
TradingView Platform No
Propietary Platform Yes
Multi-chart tools Yes
Copy Trading No
Social Trading No
Guaranteed Stop-loss Yes
Trailing Stop-loss Yes
Fees
Inactivity Fee Yes, $10 every 3 months
Deposit Fees No
Withdrawal Fees No
Commissions No
Spreads
EUR/USD Dynamic - From 0.8 Pips
SP500 Dynamic - From 70 Pips
GOLD Dynamic - From 30 Pips
TSLA ( Stock CFD) Dynamic - From $5.2
XLK (ETF - CFD) Dynamic - From 7 Pips
BTC Dynamic - From $136
Research and Analysis
Watch Lists No, only allows setting an individual favourites list
Stock Screener No
Economic Calendar Yes
Integrated Newsfeed No
Reuters Feed No

Here’s what we’ll talk about during our review:

Is Plus500 safe or a scam?

Financial Regulator

Plus500 is regulated by several financial regulators, let's go over a few of their top licenses with a direct link to the license provider:

Aside from the licenses, we tested them and found that they don't engage in any bad practises such as misleading clients or sharing any type of financial advice.

They only provide support via chat and they never attempt to establish contact in order to encourage you to open trades or become engaged, this is a great point in favour, the less your broker calls you, the better.

Thanks to the reasons mentioned above, we conclude that Plus500 is a safe choice.

Opening an Account with Plus500

Opening an account with Plus500 is done simply by registering using your email and creating a password, the system will redirect you automatically to the trading platform where you'll be able to switch between real money or demo money mode with the click of a button. 

To be able to start trading with real money you'll have to complete the following steps:

New traders tend to get confused with having to answer the questionnaire, this is simply a step designed by financial regulators to check the experience and knowledge of potential new traders to ensure if CFDs are suitable for them or not. 

Answering the knowledge questions the wrong way will result in Plus500 not allowing you to trade with real money but rather with Demo practise virtual funds. 

Residents of the following countries will not be able to open an account with Plus500 due to regulatory restrictions on CFDs:

Plus500 Deposit Options

Plus500 has the following options for depositing or withdrawing funds:

The minimum amount to deposit via Credit or Debit Card, Paypal and Skrill is: 100 Euros, Dollars or Pounds. The minimum deposit using Bank Transfer is 500 Euros, Dollars or Pounds.

Plus500 Deposit Options

There are no fees for depositing funds into the platform and for all cases except bank transfers, deposits are processed immediately. In the case of bank transfers it can take from 48 to 72 hours. 

Plus500 Withdrawal Options

Withdrawals in Plus500 have different thresholds according to each withdrawal method (they will also be adjusted in your account currency):

Plus500 Withdrawal Page

Withdrawals in Plus500 can take anywhere from 1 to 4 business days for the funds to arrive back to you. A very important point to note is that Plus500 always chooses to return funds directly to the source of origin, for example: 

It's a standard practise of most brokers to refunds back to the source of funds. Personally we tested withdrawing from Plus500 using a Revolut Mastercard and it took us 2 days to receive the funds. 

Plus500 Fees

Plus500 charges spread, overnight funding, guaranteed stop-loss premium and inactivity fees. Thankfully they do not charge in and out commisions on each trade, data fees or any of the other common fees you see in other brokers. Let's go over each fee:

Spread: the difference between buy and sell prices when you open a trade.

Click on any of the below links, you’ll go directly into each asset page of Plus500 where you’ll be able to see the spread for each asset class.

Plus500 is a CFD market maker, hence their spread is not that competitive when compared to other market players. Their offering is not suited for high volume professional traders but rather for the retail investor that requires the leverage with the low threshold for opening positions and for this type of investor, Plus500 spreads make sense.

Plus500 Available Assets to Trade

Plus500 offers more than 2000 CFDs on several asset classes such as: 

The most attractive offer from Plus500 is definitively option CFDs, a product that almost none of their competitors are offering nowadays. Option CFDs are double derivatives as the Contract for Difference is based on the underlying asset which is an option, also a derivative. 

Plus500 provides the possibility to trade options on major stocks, commodities and indices. Bear in mind that options are extremely risky and are not a product suitable for beginners.

Plus500 Web Trading Platform

Plus500's web platform has undergone a massive transformation in 2020, they went from having a very old-fashioned look to a modern dark-themed futuristic look. Also a lot of the user interface elements were changed and clearly some major upgrades in the area of responsiveness took place.

Before we discuss each feature, the most important recommendation we can give you is, do not switch the platform's theme using the little moon icon on the bottom left corner, it will go back to the awful looking blue design they had for several years. 

Home Screen

The starting window of Plus500's trading platform gives you access to the following:

Plus500 Web Platform Home

We can't think of a good reason for this design with a chart layed out on the bottom, it produces some sort of visual distortion that it's really uncomfortable to look at. It's not recommendable to use the bottom chart for any prolonged analysis but rather click on the full screen icon to ensure you can fully look at each chart. 

Notifications

The notifications centre is accessible by clicking on the top right corner of the platform, it will glow on a bright color when there is a pending notification. Usually the notifications involve any major market movements that occured recently. 

Plus500 Web Notifications Centre

Sadly this notifications centre is not customisable and only Plus500 decides which notifications go there, so you can't fix the right information for your needs. If you're a trader only interested in commodity markets then you cannot arrange a particular set of notifications dedicated to commodity prices, for that you'd have to manually create price alerts. 

Placing an Order

Placing a trade or an order on Plus500 is a clear winning feature, they've managed to do it much better than some of their competitors. To open the panel below simply click on buy or sell on any asset of your choice (you can do it from the home explore view or from the chart of an asset itself). 

Plus500 Web Platform Order Placement

The order placement window provides valuable information and features like:

Leaving aside the oversimplification of their trading orders terminology, Plus500's order placement panel is a well made feature. The MOST important feature no matter how simple this sounds, is that they only have one option on the panel, it's either BUY or SELL. If you clicked on buy, then you need to click outside this panel on the asset to activate sell and a new panel will deploy with the sell button only.

This saves a lot of confusion in comparison to platforms like eToro where the colours of the buttons are almost the same and you could accidentally push the wrong one. 

Multi-chart Tools

One of the most important features on any trading platform is the ability to open multiple charts to study an asset on several timeframes or to study correlated assets. In Plus500's latest update they finally added this feature. To activate it look on top of the chart for the options menu and click on the 4 small squares, this will allow you to open up to 9 charts at the same time. 

Plus500 Web Platform Multi-chart Feature

Despite having the multi-charting option, we would definitely love a customisable workspace where we could fit in 2 charts and a news feed for example. 

Open Positions

To view your open positions, look on the left panel for an icon with two arrows up and down, we have it selected and shines on a bright blue color in our image below: 

Plus500 Web Platform Open Positions

The greates advantage of Plus500's platform is avoiding major layout shifts and simply pulling useful panels out of each side, in this case clicking on our open trade gave us the ability to quickly edit the stop-loss or take-profits we set before and confirm the action through the update button.

Trading History

To access the trading history window, click on the briefcase icon on the left panel and the platform will open all your old trades within a particular time range. You can change the preset timeframe and get a full report of all your executed trades and send automatically a copy via email to yourself. 

Plus500 Web Platform Trading History

Clicking on any of your trades in the trading history will deploy a small window on the right side that contains all the information of your past trade for your own analysis purposes.

A very well appreciated feature is the total values at the bottom of the trading history view so we can calculate if we were profitable or not during a particular period of time. 

Price Alerts

To acces the price alerts option, click on the top left corner of your platform in the hamburguer icon (3 lines) and a big menu will appear where you'll see the option "alerts".

Plus500 Web Platform Price Alerts

You can configure as many alerts as you want to get notified of all sorts of price movements, changes in percentage and all of this on several timeframes such as daily, hourly, etc.

Plus500 alerts can be delivered to you via push, email or SMS.

Web Research & Education Tools

This is the department where Plus500 lacks the most, their only useful tools are the economic calendar and a couple guides on their main website. 

For some this can be a dealbreaker but for our particular philosophy we don't really care much about educational tools, we don't need a market maker educating us on trading (that's an irony), we need research and analysis tools such as stock screeners for example. 

Plus500 Web Platform Economic Calendar

We're looking forward to Plus500 developing new tools that help traders research the assets they want to trade. 

Final thoughts about Plus500 Web Trading Platform

Out of both platforms, Plus500's web trading platform is the best. We found it responsive, fast, intuitive and has a lot of safety features to avoid confusions for non experienced traders. For professional traders while these failsafe features are not a deal breaker, they're also not a great selling point as professionals like their usual terminology when it comes to trading orders and customisable layouts of their platforms.

Plus500 Mobile Trading Platform

Plus500's mobile trading platform also went through a major overhaul in UI/UX during the year 2020 with major improvements on speed and easeness of use, yet their charting tools leave a lot to be desired when compared to some of their strongest competitors. The mobile platform also comes with the option to change the colour theme to a dark version, we do not recommend this at all, their current dark theme is not a well designed one.

Home

The home screen of Plus500's mobile trading platform gives you acces to the following options: 

Plus500 Mobile Platform Home

The bottom chart layout is the same inconvenient design as the one in the web trading platform, also when dragging it shows a little bit of unresponsiveness and delays to load, we're not big fans of this idea.

Asset View 

Here is where Plus500 starts winning the race against their competitors, by clicking on a particular asset on buy or sell you'll deploy the asset window where you'll be able to either scroll down to see more information or to activate the full screen charting mode by clicking on the left icon with the two opposite facing arrows.

Plus500 Mobile Platform Asset View

Plus500 provides really good information from this view such as the price change divided by 3 different timeframes along with the possibility of creating price alerts by clicking on the small bell icon. 

Asset View Info

If you continue scrolling further down, you'll notice how the buy or sell options maintain themselves on top of your mobile device so you're able to look at current prices while you read all the relevant information of the asset such as the overnight fees, margin requirements, etc.

Opening a Trade

We believe that the best mobile view to open a trade definitively belongs to Plus500. This is by far the cleanest interface for placing an order on a mobile platform we've ever looked at. 

Notice how the required margin is shown in 2 different currencies: the one that is being used to trade the asset and the one of our own account. 

Plus500 Open Trade Settings

For each control there is a clear switch to activate each order and prices will be displayed automatically on 3 different values: percentage, amount and price. Definitively the most convenient mobile order placement window out there.

Open Positions

The open positions window has a very interesting feature, being able to visualize on the chart when did you enter and what is the current price. This is the only useful situation for Plus500's lower chart design. 

Plus500 Mobile Platform Open Trades View

Clicking on the small arrow to the right of your position will open a window with all the information of your trade along with the ability to quickly edit values such as the stop-loss, take profit, etc.

Plus500 Open Position Details

One of the best things of this view is the small information icons next to each item, for unexperienced traders it's great to be able to see what each value means with a brief explanation.

Charting Tools

Plus500's mobile charting tools leave a lot to be desired: 

Plus500 Mobile Charting tools

Still against all forecasts, it's possible to do some quick technical analysis and apply indicators through the mobile interface. 

Notifications

Plus500's mobile notification centre is a larger replica of the one located in the web platform.

Plus500 Mobile Notifications Centre

The notifications are still dependant only on Plus500's criteria and there's no ability to customise the information received to your preferences.

Settings

The reason we included settings of the mobile app in our review was to show you where you can find the economic calendar, it's hidden inside the settings/tools option. 

For the rest, each option provides you basic account management features being the most important:

Plus500 Mobile Platform Account Settings

To switch between demo and real mode, simply access the settings view and click on the icon that resembles a small stack of bills that reads the opposite mode of the one that you currently have active. 

Research and Education Tools

Just like the web trading platform, Plus500 leaves a lot to be desired on this subject, the only analysis tool available on your mobile platform is the economic calendar which is hidden inside the settings. 

Plus500 Mobile Economic Calendar

We're looking forward to see improvements by Plus500 on their research, education and analysis tools.

Verdict

Plus500 developed a well crafted trading experience for both their web and mobile trading platforms. While trading with them during volatile periods the execution received was within industry standards and all of their user interfaces were responsive and very intuitive. 

Plus500 clearly has a neutral appeal when it comes to their marketing strategy, they're not selling themselves as a beginner friendly solution neither a fully fledged professional trading suite, we can definitely categorize them in the middle grounds for intermediate traders. 

For anyone looking to trade stocks under a low cost and with medium sized volume, Plus500 makes perfect sense as it will also give traders the possibility to hedge themselves using their CFDs on options.

What we're really lacking on Plus500 to consider them a perfect solution would be:

Leaving this missing features aside, the strongest selling point of Plus500 is clear: safety and reliability by trading with a large international company that is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, heavily audited and well regulated by the world's leading financial regulators.

Our favourite feature of Plus500 for the web trading platform was the newly incorporated multi-chart view. Our favourite feature for Plus500's mobile platform is the opening a trade view, we believe it's the most organised, friendly and simple of all platforms out there.

Author

Stefano Treviso

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72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.