Plus500 calls itself the World’s Trading Machine. It boasts millions of customers from around the world. It’s also one of the most reputable companies around: an FTSE 250 company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for Listed Companies. Over 430,000 customers are active on the platform, trading over 1700 billion dollars by opening over 82 million positions a year.
It’s been around since 2008, which means it has the kind of outstanding longevity we like to see in a brokerage. They’ve also won a couple of awards, including the Daytrading.com “Best Overall Broker 2020 Award” and the Daytrading.com “Best Trading App 2019” award.
Plus500 states that it believes in transparency, professionalism, and staying in touch with the human side of its business.
They’re the sponsors for several teams across the globe, an initiative they take under the motto “Play Fair,” which seems to sum up the way they do business as well. They sponsor Legia Warsaw, the BSC Young Boys, Atlético de Madrid, Atlanta B.C., and the Brumbies.
Should you add Plus500 to your team? Here’s what you need to know.
Account Types Offered
There’s only one standard account type for all Plus500 retail level clients. There is also an account for a professional-level account that offers higher leverage but fewer protections.
Trade Types Offered
Plus500 lets you trade on shares, indices, Forex, and cryptocurrencies. All together they offer over 2000 financial instruments. Diversification is easy and quotes happen in real-time.
Their cryptocurrency offerings are impressive. You’ll find Bitcoin, Ethereum, the Crypto10 Index, Litecoin, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, and Cardano available for trades. These are, of course, Crypto CFDs rather than direct buys of cryptocurrencies.
As for indices, Plus500 offers some of the world’s most popular. You can access the USA 500, US-Tech 100, and the France 40, just to name a few. As for shares, you’ll find some of the world’s largest companies on the list, including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and others. EFTs include VXX Volatility, SPDRUSA500, the UNG Gas fund, and more.
There are plenty of Forex pairs on offer, including EUR/USD, EUR/GBP, and more.
Commodities include oil, gold, silver, coffee, and palladium.
Plus500 is also one of the few platforms to offer options trading and does so with 1:5 leverage, which can be a significant advantage for traders who understand what they are doing with this instrument.
Traders who really love this platform cite the huge variety of financial instruments as one of the major benefits of doing business with them.
Trading Platforms & Tools
When you trade with Plus500 you’ll be using their own proprietary platform instead of the more commonly used MetaTrader platforms you’ll find operated by most of their competitors.
The Plus500 platform is available on Android App, iPhone app, Windows 10, and via Web Trader accessible on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Explorer. Their proprietary phone app is one of the best-rated apps on both the Android and the iPhone app stores.
Plus500 offers a variety of advanced tools and features designed specifically to gain pinpoint control over your trades. Traders who know what they’re doing should have no trouble limiting their risk, as they can take advantage of stop limits, stop losses, and trailing stops, along with guaranteed stops and negative balance protection.
Plus500 users also get free email and push notifications about significant market events which might impact their trades, as well as alerts on price movements and changes in trader sentiment.
Traders may also take advantage of an economic calendar, as well as an on-site news and market insight page.
Some tools are missing. You won’t find auto trading tools, nor will you find a trade journal. This may be an issue for traders who rely heavily on those tools.
Plus500 sets itself apart by offering 24/7 customer support in an industry that usually only offers 24/5 support. It’s available via email or live chat. There is no telephone support, which is not exactly a point in Plus500’s favor. Sometimes customers need to be able to speak to a live human to resolve their issues, and they need to be able to do so in real-time.
Some users reported that it felt like a chatbot was answering some of their initial questions on the customer service chat. We don’t love that either, not for a Fintech company handling people’s money in an environment where time is often crucial.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Customers can deposit or withdraw funds with credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Skrill, or bank transfers. It takes 3 days for Plus500 to process your withdrawal request and you can only withdraw to the same payment method you used to deposit the funds.
Spreads, Commissions, & Fees
Plus500 offers tight spreads and zero commissions. They’re committed to keeping their fees and charges competitive and straightforward, with no surprises. There are no fees for deposits, real-time quotes, charting, live share prices, opening or closing trades, or even for rolling your position overnight, a feature that truly sets them apart.
Occasionally, traders will incur currency conversion fees if trades are on instruments denominated in a currency different from the currency on your account. You will also pay small fees on guaranteed stop orders.
Finally, you do have to watch out for inactivity fees, which are only $10 a month and only become active if you go three months without trading.
Plus500 is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is the regulator for financial services firms and financial markets in the UK. It is one of the tougher regulators out there, which is something we like to see when evaluating any broker platform.
They’ve regulated in Australia and New Zealand as well, holding AFSL #417727 issued by ASIC and FSP No. 486926 issued by the FMA in New Zealand. South Africa regulates them under the FSCA (provider #47546).
They’re also authorized and regulated by the less impressive CySEC (license 250/154), as well as the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (#SD039).
Despite the strong regulation and the excellent features, Plus500 has been the subject of numerous complaints and legal actions. For example, the FCA recently found that Plus500 did not secure the proper Anti-Money Laundering (AML) identity documentation for customer accounts on file and got hit with major fines as a result. This spawned a huge wave of customer complaints.
In 2018 they ended up caught up in a class-action lawsuit. In 2017 the Belgian FSMA ordered them to shut down in Belgium. In 2016 the FPA Traders Court voted against Plus500.
In October 2012 they were fined over 200,000 GBP.
Their reviews on Forex Peace Army are anything but promising. Here’s what one reviewer had to say.
“Plus500 can isolate accounts to ensure they have ‘technical difficulties.’ This is the evidence that has now gone to the police. Customer 1. This person was trading oil on 21/04/2020. Their positions were in profit but they could not close them as the buy and sell button was frozen. Submitted a complaint. Plus500 stated that oil was not available for trading for most of the day due to volatility. Customer 2 and Customer 3. Both of these people were trading oil, also on 21/04/2020. Both these people would not close their positions also due to the buy and sell button being frozen. Losses incurred as a result: 25,000 and 40,000. Plus500 denied that they could not close their positions yet told Customer 1 that oil was not available for trading for most of the day. Customer 4. This person was also trading oil on 21/04/2020. This person was looking at the screen all day and said oil was available to trade all day. This person was available all day. This person was trading in small amounts of money so obviously, Plus500 are not bothered to manipulate when the amounts are low. Customer 1: this customer, then, went to support to seek answers and requested a screen print-out of the times that oil was frozen on 21/04/2020. They told this customer there was no record of them trading oil that day. What was done to the records? Plus500 can isolate accounts for manipulation. That is pure fraud.”
Their reputation on sites like Trustpilot isn’t much better. They have a 2.2-star rating across over 1,157 reviews. Only 40% of those reviews are rated “Excellent” while 34% of them are rated “bad.” Those that like the platform do enjoy the ease of use, but at times traders do report additional problems trying to buy and sell. Here’s one example, from a two-star review.
“This platform has a mind of its own. It will not let you open any position unless the position is to its liking. The reason given is the position exceeds the maximum allowable amount of the underlying asset. But it does not have to be a huge amount. In fact, today, I tried to open up a small short position in Bitcoin. The system refused to do so. Same with Gold options, and many other things. They try to restrict your moves and you end up losing.”
Here’s another worrisome review.
“Their VIX product is a total fraud. It deviates from the actual index by several percentage points. This is an example of how they siphon off points from their customers. I’ve submitted a tip to the SEC. Hope they investigate further.” -Victor
And a third that is also concerning:
“This site is a scam. I have invested over 4000 in money, must have not into at least 40 different instruments and I’ll tell you every single time, I mean every single time an instrument goes into profit it totally nosedives, rises to like 10 pounds in profit within 20 minutes you’re minus forty so on every time. Why can’t you ever get profit? Scam artists. Stay well clear. Their notification to tell you you’re nearly at your margin call is not on time funds have gone before they make you aware. Rip off.”
All told these are not excellent signs.
You can trade with Plus500 in many different countries, including:
- The UK
- South Africa
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
You may not use Plus500 in these countries:
- The United States
- Cote D’Ivoire
- The Cayman Islands
- The Philippines
Compare Pepperstone and Forex.com for more reputable platforms with comparable instruments and features.
Bonuses & Promos
Plus500 offers a robust affiliate program that allows customers to earn money by promoting Plus500 on their websites. Other than that there are no other bonuses and promotions thanks to the various regulatory requirements Plus500 is operating under.
Is Plus500 a safe, legitimate trading platform?
As it is listed on the London Stock Exchange Plus500 is about as safe and legitimate as it gets: it’s already been through rigorous checks into its financials and practices to earn that right, and it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon.
It is also regulated by the FCA, which means that you’ve got plenty of recourse if something goes wrong because you’ll be able to reach out to the UK Financial Ombudsman. They’re regulated in five other countries as well, which means they’ve submitted to substantial oversight.
Like all reputable brokers, Plus500 keeps your money in a segregated account. They’re never using your funds for their operating expenses.
They’ve also been in business since 2008. We like to see that kind of longevity because it indicates a company that isn’t going to just disappear into the night.
What we don’t love is the reputation hits they’ve been taking. While we wouldn’t go so far as to call them a “scam” we would say that you might be using this platform at your own risk. They’ve seen a lot of problems over the years, their customer base is not happy, and we’re not seeing a lot of indications that they’re overhauling any of their procedures to solve any of the problems they’ve encountered. Plus500 also limits its exposure to the parent company and does not provide deposit insurance, two more moves we found to be serious red flags.
What is Plus500’s minimum deposit?
You can get started with Plus500 for as little as $100.
Is Plus500 good for beginners?
Plus500 puts its Demo account front and center on the home page where beginners can easily find it. They also offer a free video guide to help traders understand the basics of CFD trading.
What it does not do is make a wide variety of educational resources available to novice traders. Newcomers who want to learn how to trade are on their own and will have to seek their information elsewhere if they want to work with Plus500. It offers a newsroom, but that’s about it.
Couple this weakness with its reputation problems and we would not recommend this platform to a newcomer to day trading.
What leverage does Plus500 offer?
Plus500 overs leverage of up to 1:300 on many of its financial products. It offers 1:5 leverage on binary options.
Who owns Plus500?
Plus500 is a trademark of Plus500 Ltd. It is an Israeli company that operates subsidiaries around the world. The subsidiaries are the ones registered with the different regulatory bodies while the parent company remains unregistered.
David Zruia is the CEO. He’s been working his way through the company since 2013, where he began as a senior manager in the marketing department. He moved on to become the Chief Operations Officer and finally the CEO of the company. He was educated at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology.
He’s obviously a loyal and stable member of the company and can take credit for any number of Plus500’s successes and failures alike.
Is Plus500 a market maker?
Yes. While this allows them to offer low initial deposits for trading this does mean they’re profiting every time you lose out. Some clients are concerned that this represents a conflict of interest.
Is Plus500 right for me?
We like the features, the strong regulating structure, and the straightforward fee structure. We’re not crazy about the reputational problems that Plus500 is up against. It’s difficult to suggest this platform to our readers as a result. To an extent, almost every broker struggles with unhappy customers as losses are common, but we find the unhappiness aimed at Plus500 to be above and beyond what we’d expect or feel comfortable with.
If you try it, we suggest monitoring your experience closely for signs of any irregularities and keeping your deposits modest until you’re sure you can trust them. You might try another platform at the same time just so you can compare your trading experiences. Plus500 does have some happy customers, after all, which means there are people who have no problems with the platform whatsoever. Make sure you’re one of them before you devote yourself wholeheartedly to this broker.