Plus500 Review

Plus500 Review By Lawrence Pines

Lawrence Pines is a Princeton University graduate with more than 25 years of experience as an equity and foreign exchange options trader for multinational banks and proprietary trading groups. Mr. Pines has traded on the NYSE, CBOE and Pacific Stock Exchange. In 2011, Mr. Pines started his own consulting firm through which he advises law firms and investment professionals on issues related to trading, and derivatives. Lawrence has served as an expert witness in a number of high profile trials in US Federal and international courts.

Risk Warning: Your Capital is at Risk

In this guide:

Plus500 is a leading global Contract for Difference (CFD) brokerage firm and online trading platform. CFDs are derivative instruments that allow customers to buy and sell financial instruments without actually holding them in their account. Plus500 offers CFD trading in a variety of financial markets including commodities, cryptocurrencies forex, stocks, ETFs and market indices. Its trading platform is known for its simple design and ease of use.

Plus500 has received awards and recognition from industry watchers for its excellent service. Plus500 also has one of the highest rated CFD apps on the AppStore and Google Play.

We think the Plus500 trading platform is incredibly slick and one of the best on the market. Traders seeking a first-rate, professional online trading experience and access to a large number of CFDs in a variety of different asset classes should check out Plus500. Always remember that your capital is at risk and whilst Plus500 is a responsible broker and won’t allow you to lose more than you have invested in your Plus500 account, trading CFDs is for experienced traders.

This Plus500 review will cover all of the relevant details of the company and discuss the broker’s major advantages and disadvantages.

Quick Compare

 plus500logo
www.plus500.com
OverviewThe World's Trading Machine
Founded2008
Number of Customers260,000+ worldwide
ProductCFDs
MarketsCommodities
Cryptocurrencies
Stocks
Indices
ETFs
Countries Served50+ (Full list below)
Minimum DepositMinimum deposit varies according to payment method and the country where you are based.
FeesPlus500 is a no-commission broker. Plus500 makes money through the market bid/ask spread (See below). Plus500 charge an inactivity fee of $10 and some overnight fees may apply. There is also a withdrawal charge of up to $10 depending on the amount and method used. See here for full list of fees
Regulator(s)UK Financial Conduct Authority, Australian Securities and Investment Commission and The Cyprus Securities Exchange
Customer SupportEmail & Live Chat
AwardsPlus500 is one of the highest rated CFD trading apps on Apple's AppStore and Google Play
Demo AccountYes - a free demo account is offered and available even after opening a real account.

Background

Plus500 was founded in Israel in 2008 by six individuals who were alumni of the Technion Institute of Technology. One of the founders seeded the company with $400,000 of his own money. In 2013 the company raised $75 million through an IPO on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. By 2014 the company had a market cap of over $1 billion.

Plus500 is registered and located in Israel and has subsidiaries in the UK, Cyprus and Australia. Its subsidiaries are regulated as follows: Plus500UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909), Plus500CY LTD is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (Licence No. 250/14), Plus500AU Pty Ltd, ACN 153 301 681, AFSL # 417727, issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is authorized to issue these products to Australian residents. Derivatives issuer licence in New Zealand, FSP #. 486026 authorises us to issue these products to New Zealand residents. Plus500AU Pty Ltd, is also an authorized Financial Services Provider in South Africa, FSP 47546

Plus500 provides 24/7 email support in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish and Spanish. The firm also offers chat support in English 24/7 in most jurisdictions where it operates. In addition, traders can view the Plus500 website and mobile apps in 30 different languages. The company does not offer customer support by phone, which may be a problem if you lose your internet connection.

Countries of Operation

Plus500 is available in 50+ countries and in more than 30 languages.

See all the countries Plus500 operates in

  1. Andorra
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Bahrain
  6. Bulgaria
  7. Chile
  8. Costa Rica
  9. Croatia
  10. Cyprus
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Denmark
  13. Estonia
  14. Finland
  15. France
  16. Germany
  17. Gibraltar
  18. Greece
  19. Hungary
  20. Iceland
  21. Ireland
  22. Isle of Man
  23. Israel
  24. Italy
  25. Kuwait
  26. Latvia
  27. Liechtenstein
  28. Lithuania
  29. Luxembourg
  30. Malaysia
  31. Malta
  32. Mexico
  33. Monaco
  34. Netherlands
  35. New Zealand
  36. Norway
  37. Oman
  38. Poland
  39. Portugal
  40. Qatar
  41. Romania
  42. Saudi Arabia
  43. Slovakia
  44. Slovenia
  45. South Africa
  46. Spain
  47. Sweden
  48. Switzerland
  49. United Arab Emirates
  50. United Kingdom
  51. Uruguay

See All the Languages Plus500 Operate In

  1. English
  2. Arabic
  3. Bulgarian
  4. Croatian
  5. Czech
  6. Danish
  7. Dutch
  8. Estonian
  9. Finnish
  10. French
  11. German
  12. Greek
  13. Hebrew
  14. Hungarian
  15. Icelandic
  16. Indonesian
  17. Italian
  18. Japanese
  19. Korean
  20. Latvian
  21. Lithuanian
  22. Malay
  23. Maltese
  24. Norwegian
  25. Polish
  26. Portuguese
  27. Romanian
  28. Russian
  29. Serbian
  30. Simplified Chinese
  31. Slovak
  32. Slovenian
  33. Spanish
  34. Swedish
  35. Traditional Chinese
  36. Turkish

It is worth remembering that although the trading platform is available in over 30 languages, customer support is actually only offered in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

Can I Trust Plus500?

Yes, Plus500 is a trustworthy, publicly traded company regulated in multiple jurisdictions.

Plus500 is a safe and secure way to trade CFDs. Plus500 subsidiaries are individually regulated by the following agencies; Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Cyprus Securities Exchange (CySEC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

See the table below for exactly which regulator covers you in your country and what protection is offered.

RegulatorCountries CoveredProtection OfferedAdditional Protection Offered
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)UK, Ireland and GermanyAll client funds are held in a segregated client bank accountFinancial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) may cover up to £50,000 if Plus500 fails.
Cyprus Securities Exchange (CySEC)Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.All client funds are held in a segregated client bank accountThe Investor Compensation Fund may provide up to €30,000 if Plus500 fails.
Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)Australia, New Zealand and South AfricaAll client funds are held in a segregated client bank account

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The UK’s Financial Conduct Agency regulates Plus500’s activities in the UK, but through the FCA’s “passport out” system (which enables an authorised firm to provide financial products or services, set up a base, or run its permitted activities in another country in the European Economic Area (EEA)) the FCA also covers their activities in Ireland and Germany.

The fact that Plus500 is regulated by the FCA is a huge positive. The FCA and the UK is widely respected as a leader in financial regulation and in fact the UK scores highly in Transparency International‘s rankings of countries based on their corruption perceptions index meaning the UK is a pillar of anti-corruption.

Plus500 customers in the countries listed above are protected by the UK based scheme Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which was established to protect consumers when authorised financial services firms fail. In short, it steps in and pays compensation up to certain levels if a regulated firm is unable to pay. Up to £50k of funds deposited into Plus500 are protected by the FSCS if you are in one of countries that fall under the FCA jurisdiction.

For more information, Plus500’s Financial Services Register reference number is FRN 509909.

Cyprus Securities Exchange (CySEC)

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission is the financial regulatory agency of Cyprus. Cyprus is a European Union member and is a financial services industry hub. The country ranks well in the Transparency International league table of countries based on their corruption perception index.

This is reassuring if you’re in a country where your Plus500 activities are regulated by CySEC, although obviously it is worth remembering that the level of compensation available (up to €30,000 if Plus500 fails) is less than if you are in a country that falls under the jurisdiction of the FCA.

For more information, you can inspect Plus500’s CySEC membership details here.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission or ASIC covers Plus500’s activities in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

ASIC’s oversight of Plus500 means that client money is held in a trust and completely separate from Plus500’s own money. Unlike other jurisdictions however, if you are based in Australia or South Africa, there is no additional compensation scheme in place to cover your deposit.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t safe to deposit with Plus500 if you’re in Australia or South Africa it just means you are offered only the legal protection afforded by the Australian legal system. That being said, money held in trust in Australia is highly regulated covered by the Corporations Act, and given Plus500’s failure seems unlikely anyway we still feel happy recommending Plus500 in these countries.

You can see the details of Plus500’s registration on ASIC’s Licensee Register here.

Plus500 Trading Products

Plus500 offers customers access to trading six categories of financial instruments through the use of CFDs: indices, commodities, forex, cryptocurrencies and shares:

1) Indices:

  • Trade the most popular Indices around the world like USA 500, NASDAQ 100 and France 40 with leverage.

2) Commodities:

  1. Oil
  2. Gold
  3. Natural Gas
  4. Silver
  5. Cocoa
  6. Coffee
  7. Sugar

3) Forex:

  • Plus500 cover all the major currency pairs including EUR/USD, GBP/USD and EUR/GBP.

4) Cryptocurrencies

  1. Bitcoin
  2. Bitcoin Cash
  3. Ethereum
  4. Zcash
  5. Monero
  6. Ripple
  7. Litecoin
  8. Dash

5) Shares:

  • Trade CFDs of popular shares from the UK, USA, Germany and more

Plus500 Account Types

Plus500 aims to keep things simple and, therefore, only offers two types of trading accounts – a standard live trading account and a demo account. Opening an account is simple and straightforward. The signup page asks traders to choose between the live and the demo account. After making this selection, traders are taken to the registration page where they fill in some basic information and click the “Create Account” button.

It is worth remembering though that once you have an account, you will need to complete the Plus500 verification process (described in detail below) before you can place your first real trade.

There is no time limit for using the demo account. Traders in demo mode can easily toggle between the real account and demo account by clicking on the desired account in the main screen menu.

Plus500 Spreads and Fees

The relevant underlying financial instruments determine the Plus500 spreads offered to traders. Plus500 obtains the data from reputable third-party sources, which obtain the data directly from exchange feeds.

Plus500 receives its compensation through the market bid/ask spread. In addition to this spread (detailed below), customers may, however, incur the following Plus 500 fees:

Premium: This overnight Plus500 fee (or credit) is either added to or subtracted from a trader’s account when a position remains open past a certain period of time.

Inactivity Fee: Plus 500 charges traders a $10 inactivity fee if they don’t use the platform for a period of three months. This Plus500 fee only applies to real money accounts and only if the trader has sufficient funds in the account. Traders simply need to log in to their accounts periodically to avoid these fees.

Guaranteed Stop Order: Traders who want to guarantee that their position closes at a specified price may pay wider Plus500 spreads to execute these trades.

Rollover Adjustment: Plus500 makes adjustments to traders’ accounts whenever a futures contract expires and there is an automatic rollover to the next month expiration. The change in the price of the underlying instrument necessitates this account adjustment.

Traders pay the following Plus500 spreads on trades. The spreads are shown as a percentage of the underlying instrument’s price:

Indices

Plus500 Indices Spreads

SymbolSpread
UK100  0.0002
YM  0.0002
FDAX  0.0001
IBX  0.0007
NQ  0.0003
HSI  0.0006
NIY  0.0013
FCE  0.0005
ES  0.0002
FIBi  0.0004
ATX  0.0009
OBX  0.0036
TF  0.0007
WIG20  0.0012
FT  0.0008
FESX  0.0005
BUX  0.0015
SPI200  0.0003
FTASE  0.004
F2MX  0.0018
OMXS30  0.0015
FSM  0.0004
OMXC20CAP  0.0021

Commodities

Plus500 Commodities Spreads

SymbolSpread
CL  0.0004
XAU  0.0005
NG  0.001
EB  0.0018
XAG  0.0016
SB  0.0014
RB  0.0014
CT  0.0015
HO  0.0011
PL  0.0003
HG  0.0013
KC  0.0019
ZW  0.0012
PA  0.0021
ZC  0.0014
CC  0.0028
ZS  0.0008

Forex

Plus500 Forex Spreads

SymbolSpread
GBPUSD  0.0002
GBPJPY  0.0002
EURUSD  0.0001
DX  0.0003
EURGBP  0.0001
USDJPY  0.0001
GBPAUD  0.0001
AUDUSD  0.0002
GBPCAD  0.0001
EURNZD  0.0002
NZDUSD  0.0005
EURJPY  0.0002
USDCAD  0.0002
USDCHF  0.0002
EURAUD  0.0001
EURCAD  0.0005
USDZAR  0.0008
AUDCAD  0.0003
AUDCHF  0.0009
AUDJPY  0.0006
AUDNZD  0.0003
AUDSGD  0.0007
CADCHF  0.001
CADJPY  0.0005
CHFDKK  0.0004
CHFJPY  0.0003
CHFNOK  0.0008
CHFSEK  0.0018
DKKNOK  0.001
EURCHF  0.0003
EURCZK  0.0021
EURHUF  0.0021
EURMXN  0.0014
EURNOK  0.0007
EURPLN  0.0013
EURSEK  0.0008
EURSGD  0.0006
EURTRY  0.0005
GBPCHF  0.0007
GBPDKK  0.0009
GBPNOK  0.0014
GBPNZD  0.0005
GBPSEK  0.0009
GBPZAR  0.0009
NZDCHF  0.001
NZDJPY  0.0005
SEKNOK  0.0006
USDCNH  0.0003
USDCZK  0.0014
USDDKK  0.0003
USDHKD  0.0002
USDHRK  0.0015
USDHUF  0.0015
USDMXN  0.0013
USDNOK  0.0012
USDPLN  0.0014
USDRON  0.0028
USDRUB  0.0002
USDSEK  0.001
USDSGD  0.0004
USDTRY  0.0006

Cryptocurrencies

Plus500 Cryptocurrency Spreads

SymbolSpread
BTCUSD  0.0037
BCHUSD  0.03
ETHUSD  0.0078
ZECUSD0.013
XMRUSD  0.0259
XRPUSD  0.0199
LTCUSD  0.0131
DSHUSD  0.0316
NEOUSD  0.0176

Account Requirements

Plus500 serves 50 countries worldwide. The process of opening an account is largely the same in each jurisdiction. Before you can trade with Plus500 for the first time, you need to pass an identity and residential address verification as well as verifying the source of the funds. Don’t worry, the process is quite simple and we’ve found Plus500 to verify files quickly so there isn’t typically a long delay between signing up and being able to trade.

To pass their identity verification, you will need a Government issued form of identification e.g. a passport which contains the following:

  1. Photo
  2. Identity number
  3. Full name
  4. Date of birth
  5. Date of expiry

To pass their residential address verification, you will need to provide one of the following:

  1. Bank statement
  2. Credit card statement
  3. Electricity bill
  4. Water or gas bill
  5. Council tax bill
  6. Tax letter
  7. Phone bill
  8. Television services bill
  9. Internet bill

To verify the source of your funds i.e. to prove you are the legitimate owner of those funds, you may need to provide a scan of one of the following:

  • The front of your debit/credit card
  • A bank/credit card statement.

Traders can make deposits and withdrawals by major credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard, bank wire transfer, PayPal or Skrill. Deposits by wire transfer may take up to five days for funds availability, while deposits through Visa and MasterCard are the fastest.

Depositing money in an account is fast and simple. Traders click on the Funds Management tab on the main screen and select “Deposit.” Traders then select the deposit method of their choice, fill in the required information and click “Submit.” The minimum amount required to make a deposit starts at $100 but depends on where you are based and the method of funding.

Plus500 offers different amounts of leverage depending on the CFD product. Plus500 typically permits the customer to leverage up to 300:1 with forex products, around 100:1 with commodities, 10:1 with cryptocurrencies, 10:1 or 20:1 with shares. Please consult the Plus500 website for specific leverage allowances for each product.

Each CDF also has specific Plus500 margin requirements that traders must maintain. Traders who fall below the Plus500 margin requirements risk receiving a margin call and having their position closed prematurely.

Plus500 Withdrawal

Withdrawing your funds from your Plus500 account is easy. All account withdrawal requests are subject to a minimum withdrawal amount. The minimum withdrawal amount for PayPal and Skrill is $50USD (or equivalent in your currency).

The minimum withdrawal amount for bank transfers and credit cards is $100USD (or equivalent in your currency). Processing a withdrawal request of less than the minimum withdrawal amount will incur a fee of $10USD (or equivalent in your currency). However, where funds are returned via other methods (e.g. Bank Transfer, PayPal, etc.) a fee of $10USD (or equivalent in your currency) will be charged to your trading account.

All withdrawal requests are processed by Plus500 within 1-3 business days.

Withdrawl Limitations

All withdrawal methods have minimum amount thresholds, which can be found on the withdrawal screen on the trading platform.
Plus500’s stated policy, wherever possible, is to only return funds to the same payment method from which they originated.

Withdrawal Times

Listed below are the withdrawal methods Plus500 offers. Please note that some of the methods may not be available in your country:

Electronic wallets – PayPal or Skrill. Funds should be received in your e-wallet account in 3-7 business days after withdrawal has been authorized.
Bank transfer – direct bank to bank funds transfer. Funds should be received in your bank account within 5 business days from the authorization of the withdrawal. Withdrawals to a bank account may be subject to further delays sometimes depending on the banking institution and the jurisdiction in question.
Debit/Credit cards – funds should be received according to each issuer or bank’s refund processing time.

Plus500 WebTrader Review

The Plus500 platform is a well-designed platform with excellent features for both novice and veteran traders. The platform seems particularly well-suited to traders who want to navigate quickly between many different trading instruments. In fact, the platform’s main screen gives traders access to hundreds of different instruments without the need to pull up additional windows.

The main screen gives traders access to trade execution, pricing information, charting, positions and fund and balance information. The main screen is organized with a logical and intuitive structure:

Example Trade

Illustrative purposes only – not a recommendation.

Trade: On the very left side of the screen is the trade tab. Traders can click on each category and get a drop-down menu of items to trade. These drop-down folders contain all of the products on the platform and eliminate the need for traders to use a search engine or navigate to another page to find trading instruments. Traders can also set up a “favorites” or “most popular” section so they can quickly locate instruments to trade.

Clicking on an instrument creates the trade ticket shown above. The ticket offers a litany of sophisticated options for more advanced traders. Traders can choose the size of the trade and can add provisions to lock in profits or stop losses. Plus500 traders can also add trailing stops to orders and calculate leverage used and margin required for trades. The ticket is one of the features of the Plus500 platform that sophisticated traders will find very appealing.

Instruments Section: The top part of the screen allows the trader to populate a window with instruments they want to track or frequently trade. This section has a lot of attractive features that should appeal to active traders. The big buy and sell buttons next to each market allow for quick execution.

More importantly, however, this section integrates the trader’s existing positions into the list. For example, a trader can see his open positions and P&Ls. Plus500 traders can click “Close Position” to send a closing order. Unlike many trading systems that separate open positions from watch lists, this integrating feature is a nice time saver and an easy way to track open positions alongside other securities.

Open and Closed Positions: Traders can navigate to these tabs to keep track of their trading activity. The Plus500 platform allows the trader to search for activity by dates. In the closed position tab, traders can see reasons positions were closed, time of opening and closing, and P&L.

Example Trade

Illustrative purposes only – not a recommendation.

Charts: The charting functions offered by Plus500 are the most limiting and disappointing features of the platform:

The charts appear in the main window of the trading platform and graphically represent price movements for trading instruments. The platform allows traders to apply various technical indicators to the charts. However, the number of indicators and time frames that Plus500 offers pales in comparison to other more sophisticated trading platforms such as MetaTrader4. Traders have access to only about a dozen time frames and indicators.

The Plus500 platform does not support integration with MetaTrader4 or with any type of algorithmic trading. Also, traders can only pull up one chart at a time, which is a seriously limiting factor for active traders who want to compare multiple instruments or the same instrument using different charting tools. In sum, the chart function may be useful for novice traders who want a general idea of price movements in a financial instrument, but would likely be disappointing to sophisticated traders who need robust charting capabilities.

Funds: The bottom section of the Plus500 main trading screen shows available funds, equity and profits (or losses) for the account. The best part of this section is the ease with which traders can navigate to the deposit page to add funds to the account. Also, traders can toggle between their real money and their demo account easily, which allows them to test out practice ideas and, if successful, quickly implement them with live trades.


Plus500 Demo Account

Plus500 really stands apart from other brokers when it comes to their free demo account, even after you open your real account you can continue to use your demo account to test trading ideas you might have in future. Many other brokers will charge you for a demo account after an initial free period.

Plus500 doesn’t offer any educational courses, videos or market commentary on its website, which may be a problem for inexperienced traders. However, Plus500 offers traders a demo account where they can test ideas with virtual funds. The demo account is permanent, so traders have access to it even after trading in their real account. In fact, traders can easily and seamlessly switch back and forth between the demo and real money account.

When traders first sign up for an account, they see the following screen:

A trader can create an account in the demo mode and then see the same layout that a real money trader sees:

The demo account has all of the securities available to real money traders. A nice feature of this account is that traders can easily switch to real money trading by clicking the blue button at the bottom of the screen. Also, Plus500 replenishes funds in the demo account when traders fall below certain levels.

Does Plus500 Offer Sign Up Bonuses?

Unfortunately, due to new legislation, Plus500 is no longer able to offer a signup bonus.The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid) applies EU-wide and is being implemented to offer greater protection for traders and inject more transparency into markets. It impacts specifically on Plus500 because its subsidiaries are regulated in both the UK and Cyprus.

Plus500 is not alone here, any broker regulated in an EU country will be unable to provide sign-up incentives. It’s worth remembering that if a broker is offering a signup bonus after 3rd January 2018 then they are either A) Not regulated in an EU country and therefore your money may not be protected OR B) They’re not regulated at all and may well be operating illegally.

plus500