eToro and Freetrade are popular options for individuals seeking a reliable investment plan.
I examine the two platforms in detail in this review.
Even though the platforms offer almost similar investment vehicles, they target different investors with various needs and goals.
Let’s investigate these two popular investment platforms in-depth and discern which is best for you.
Table of Contents
eToro is a social trading platform that gives customers a prime opportunity to participate in social investing.
The platform’s primary goal is to change how people invest while educating them on financial issues. It functions both as a trading and investing platform serving a global community.
It was founded in 2017 to provide a platform where individuals can trade and invest straightforwardly and transparently.
The platform has an investment community focused on investor education and social collaboration. It features various resources and tools that help investors grow their wealth.
The eToro online trading platform was introduced in September 2007. Trading is easy on the platform since it features graphic representations of various financial instruments.
In May 2009 eToro introduced Webtrader, a cutting-edge and intuitive trading platform.
The Webtrader is equipped with professional tools for novice and advanced traders. It granted traders the capability of trading various assets online.
In July 2010, eToro introduced the Open Book feature, the world’s first social trading and investing platform, giving everyone a chance to get more involved in the fintech revolution. Open Book received the 2011 Finovate Europe Best of Show award.
eToro continues to make remarkable improvements and innovations on its platforms to enhance the overall service delivery of the forum.
Some of the notable milestones achieved by eToro over the years include:
- eToro mobile app (April 2012)
- Introducing stocks (July 2013)
- Integrating Open Book’s social trading features and Web Trader’s online trading capabilities (October 2015)
- Introducing Smart Portfolios™ (formerly Copy Funds) (February 2016)
- Adding crypto (February 2017)
- US crypto platform (March 2019)
- Introducing 0% commission stocks to the world (May 2019)
- Launch eToro Money (November 2021)
- Stock investments in the US (January 2022)
The continuous commitment of eToro to social investing and trading is evident in its constant innovations. The eToro club allows members to get the most out of their trading experience on the platform. The club has five tiers, each accruing various benefits and features to the users.
All eToro current members fall in the bronze category, which isn’t part of the eToro club. Customers who meet the minimum requirements are automatically granted access to the higher tiers in the club: silver, gold, platinum, platinum plus and diamond.
Read my complete eToro review.
Freetrade’s primary goal is to simplify investing for everyone. The award-winning platform currently has more than 1.4 million users on its application.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates and authorises all the operations of Freetrade in the UK. All the customers’ accounts on the platform get Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) coverage.
Using third-party innovative solutions, Freetrade sustainably provides commission-free trading to its customers.
The platform offers ever-improving features that ensure faster, more efficient, and cost-effective trading activities. Customers have access to over 6,000 stocks and ETFs, which are commission free.
The platform doesn’t provide professional financial advice; therefore, customers make independent investing and trading decisions.
Currently, Freetrade has three investment products:
- General investment account (GIA)
- Stocks and shares ISA
- Freetrade pension (SIPP)
The London-based company currently has three pricing plans for its products. It also has plenty of educational resources for its customers, making it suitable for novice and advanced investors.
Timely market news is available on the platform featuring upcoming IPOs, UK and US financial markets. The thriving Freetrade community features industry experts and advisors who give detailed professional insights into the financial markets.
Read my complete Freetrade review.
eToro has a comprehensive list of investment pericytes for its clients.
The eToro customer has access to stocks, cryptocurrencies, indices, commodities, currencies, ETFs and NFTs.
The platform allows access to the above investment instruments via Retail or professional accounts.
eToro Retail account
All eToro clients open an account and automatically have the default status of Retail Client; they have access to all the trading resources and can trade manually or via copy trading.
Copy trading is available based on the suitability of the trader. The leverage of retail clients is restricted; they also receive protection from the Investor Compensation Fund, margin closeout restrictions and negative balance protection.
They also get recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Traders can upgrade their eToro Retail account to eToro Professional Account.
eToro Professional Account
eToro has a Professional Client status for experienced traders. The platform has a regulatory status for experienced financial professionals, and traders can employ advanced trading strategies when managing their portfolios.
Traders who want to join the eToro Professional Account must answer at least three of the following questions, which are available on the platform:
- Have you carried out transactions, in significant size, on the relevant market at an average frequency of 10 per quarter over the previous four quarters?
- Does the value of your investment portfolio exceed €500,000?
- Have you worked in the financial sector professionally for at least one year, which requires knowledge of the transactions or services envisaged?
Unlike the Retail account, which has more restrictions, the eToro Professional Account has minimal restrictions and thus less protection by law.
They are exposed to higher risks and have access to more trading resources and tools than the eToro retail account.
eToro Smart Portfolios
The Smart Portfolios eToro provides are long-term and innovative investment portfolios curated by eToro experts. Each portfolio has its unique investment strategy.
They are more diversified and give an easy way of accessing the financial markets. They are available in traditional, partners, technology, and regional categories, Web 3.0 and traders.
The minimum investment in intelligent portfolios is $500.
Freetrade has a product offering catalogue featuring ETFs, fractional shares, investment trusts, OTC stocks, SPACs, and REITs.
The product offering on Freetrade is available when customers open either one of the three accounts:
General investment account (GIA)
The General investment account (GIA) is the most popular account on Freetrade, available on all pricing plans.
Investors can invest as low as £2 and enjoy commission-free trades. The account has no limit to the amount a customer can invest.
It’s a flexible investment account with access to various investment vehicles, making it easier for customers to create a diversified portfolio. Customers can use the account to trade stocks and shares without using their ISA and SIPP accounts.
Customers are expected to pay dividend tax on profits over their allowances and capital gains tax (CGT). The amount they will be taxed is determined by the customers’ current income tax band and the size of the gains.
Opening a general investment account (GIA) with Freetrade takes a few minutes. The platform has plenty of resources to guide investors on how to make the most out of their investment when using the General investment account (GIA) account.
Stocks and shares ISA
The Stocks and shares Individual Savings Account (ISA) are tax-efficient and commission free. Investors can put their money in various investment vehicles, from funds, bonds and ETFs to stocks and shares.
UK investors enjoy tax-free UK dividends and capital gains from their investments. The annual ISA allowance for the 2023/24 tax year is £20,000.
The Stocks and shares Individual Savings Account are a viable long-term investment option with great potential for capital gains accrued, interest income, and dividends. The account also comes with less admin tax and friendly customer support.
Freetrade pension (SIPP)
The Freetrade SIPP account is a tax-efficient pension savings, which gives the investor ultimate control over his funds.
Customers can also transfer and combine pensions from other providers, making consolidating and managing their pensions from one place easy. The Freetrade SIPP account was awarded the best low-cost SIPP (Investors’ Chronicle).
Clients have the option of contributing up to 100% of their salary. They can get tax relief on contributions up to £40,000 per tax.
Additionally, they can choose how they would like their investment portfolio to look by selecting their most preferred investment products. The SIPP platform is user-friendly, granting customers performance tracking on their investments.
Freetrade offers unlimited commission-free transactions during the financial and stock market opening hours. The customer support is friendly and responsive. The platform plans on building a low-cost SIPP, and it’s included in the Plus plan for just £11.99 per month.
eToro and Freetrade offer investment products to various investors. While eToro focuses on social trading and investing, Freetrade focuses on curating investment products more suitable for individual investors.
Freetrade, however, doesn’t meet the needs of crypto investors and only has three primary accounts.
eToro has smart profiles which offer elevated investment services with customised investment strategies to the clients.
eToro stands out for being the ideal platform for investors who want to do more than just social trading from a platform, thanks to its diverse catalogue of investment vehicles.
Web Platform & Mobile Application
eToro has a functional and seamless website which is user-friendly.
Most of the activities, however, happen on the applications and not the browser version. The web version has easy navigation, with the most essential tabs strategically located.
The registration process is straightforward and speedy. eToro mobile application offers the same features as the web version, with added convenience.
The mobile application is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Investors can even enjoy customer support when using the mobile application, making it a more convenient and efficient way of using the eToro platform.
Freetrade has a functional website with a simple layout. The registration process takes a few minutes. Easy navigation facilitates speedy trading and investing when using the Freetrade platform.
Investors can access the platform via the website or the mobile application. The mobile application has enhanced mobile optimization, granting users access to the same features and benefits on the website.
The mobile application is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Investors can get the download link by scanning the QR code on the official website.
eToro and Freetrade have functional and simplified platforms which enhance the overall user experience. eToro has a 4.3/5 customer rating on Trustpilot with over 20,000 customer reviews.
Freetrade, on the other hand, has a 3.8/5 customer rating on the same platform with 3000 customer reviews.
Based on the Trustpilot rating, which focuses on the user experience, the eToro website and mobile application seem to have higher user satisfaction than Freetrade.
eToro provides new customers with a demo account. The virtual eToro account has $100K that one can use to create a virtual portfolio.
You can practise investing with various investment vehicles; stocks, crypto, commodities, currencies, indices and ETFs.
Customers also have access to all the resources and tools provided by the platform, discussing the best trading strategies with top-performing investors.
eToro has the following pricing plans for real accounts:
Account pricing plans
|Account Fees||Green: Non-club & Silver to Platinum Tier*||Black: Platinum + and Diamond Tier|
|Price Per Month||Free||Free|
|ATM||£650 p/m free – 1.5% after||£1000 p/m free – 1.5% after|
|FX||Market-leading exchange rates||Market-leading exchange rates|
|Card maintenance fee||Free||Free|
|Replacement card fee||£10||£80|
|1st Card delivery Regular||Free||Free|
|1st Card delivery Urgent||Free||Free|
|Replacement Card delivery regular||Free||Free|
|Replacement Card delivery urgent||Free||Free|
|Chargebacks – if fails||Free||Free|
|Chargebacks – if not fails||Free||Free|
Account activity limits
|Limit Template||Green: Non-club & Silver to Platinum Tier*||Black: Platinum + and Diamond Tier*||Transaction Count||Period|
|Daily Load Limit||£250,000||Unlimited||20||One day|
|Max Single Load Limit||£250,000||Unlimited||N/A||N/A|
|ATM Annual Limit||£36,000||£226,000||3600||365 days|
|ATM Monthly Limit||£3,000||£18,000||300||30 days|
|ATM Daily Limit||£1,000||£3,000||12||One day|
|Annual Spend Limit||£600,000||£1,200,000||18000||365 days|
|Monthly Spend Limit||£50,000||£100,000||1500||30 days|
|Daily Spend Limit||£10,000||£25,000||50||One day|
|Max Single Txn Value||£10,000||£25,000||N/A||N/A|
|Faster Payment In – Daily Limit||£250,000||£1,200,000||15||One day|
|Faster Payment In – Monthly Limit||£250,000||£14,400,000||150/300||30 days|
|Faster Payment In – Annual Limit||£3,000,000||£172,800,000||1800/3600||365 days|
|Faster Payment Out – Daily Limit||£25,000||£50,000||5/10||One day|
|Faster Payment Out – Monthly Limit||£250,000||£1,500,000||150/300||30 days|
|Faster Payment Out – Annual Limit||£3,000,000||£18,000,000||1800/3600||365 days|
Below is a list of the eToro-approved currencies for UK investors:
- Pound Sterling (GBP)
- Euro (EUR)
Freetrade has the following pricing plans for its accounts:
|Basic (£0.00/monthly)||Standard (£5.99/monthly or £59.88/ yearly)||Plus (£11.99/monthly or £119.88/yearly)|
|General investment account||General investment account|
ISA, Stocks and shares ISA
|General investment account|
ISA, Stocks and shares ISA
SIPP white, Self-invested personal pension (SIPP)
|Benefits include everything available on the Basic plan plus,||Benefits include everything available on the Standard plan plus,|
|Commission-free trades (other charges may apply.||Full range of over 6,000 US, UK and EU stocks and ETFs||3% on uninvested cash, up to a maximum of £4,000|
|Fractional US Shares||Automated order types||Priority customer service|
|Access to more than 1,500 stocks, including the most popular shares and ETFs||1% on uninvested cash, up to a maximum of £2,000||Freetrade Web beta|
|Advanced stock fundamentals|
Freetrade has a simplified pricing plan for its accounts. However, it doesn’t beat the expansive benefits which eToro provides to its account holders regardless of the pricing plan.
Additionally, eToro offers its clients a $100K demo account which they can use to learn more about trading and develop the best strategies.
Once investors have mastered the art of trading, they can move to the Retail account and start trading on real money.
eToro also provides more advanced traders with the eToro Professional Account, which offers them 100% control over their profiles and access to more advanced trading resources and tools.
eToro has a simplified payment structure. Opening an account is free with zero account manganese fees.
There is zero commission on stocks and no markup, stamp duty or ticketing fees.
Below is a breakdown of the current costs on the eToro trading platform.
|Stocks & ETF (minimum investment is $10)||$5 fee for withdrawals. FX fees apply on non-USD deposits and withdrawals. No rollover fees. No additional broker fees|
|Cryptocurrency||1% transparent fee for buying or selling crypto. The cryptocurrency conversion fee of 0.1%.|
|CFDs (spreads)||Currencies (from 1 PIP), Commodities (from 2 PIP), Indices (from 0.75points), Stocks and ETFs (CFDs) (0.15%)|
|CFDs (overnight fees)||eToro charges a small fee for CFDs which are kept open overnight. The cost is relative to the value of the CFD.|
|eToro money||Account/Card Fees for UK customers from £650 p/m free – 1.5% after to £1000 p/m free – 1.5% after. eToro card foreign exchange rates (0.25% to 0.50% above currency supplier rate)|
Additional fees charged by eToro include:
- $5 withdrawal fee, with the minimum withdrawal limit being $30
- Conversion charges are charged according to the PIPs
- $10 monthly inactivity fee for accounts active for over 12 months
Freetrade has various fees imposed on its customers based on the account type they have subscribed to:
|Basic (£0.00/monthly)||Standard (£5.99/monthly or £59.88/ yearly)||Plus (£11.99/monthly or £119.88/yearly)|
|Commission free trades||Available||Available||Available|
|1% interest on a maximum of £2k uninvested cash||Not available||Available||Available|
|3% interest on a maximum of £4k uninvested cash||Not available||Not available||Available|
eToro and Freetrade both offer free trades on stocks. Freetrade provides zero charges based on the payment plan opted for by the customer.
Unlike eToro, which features a lot of zero costs on the basic plan. Additionally, eToro has a comprehensive payment structure covering all the essential information regarding fees on the platform.
Freetrade doesn’t provide information regarding management and other general costs most investment and trading platforms have.
Research & Education
eToro has plenty of resources in its education section. Investors can access the various educational content from the following sections:
The eToro academy
It is the one-stop resource centre for investors providing them with essential knowledge on mastering the financial markets.
The main topics covered by the academy include investing, trading, stocks and crypto. Users can also access content in the guides, tutorials and Digest and Invest categories.
eToro Academy features written and video content and highlights some of the upcoming courses in the academy.
News and analysis
The section offers eToro customers timely information regarding the market. Industry experts provide the content, and it is mostly in written form.
Popular topics covered in this section include copy trader, crypto, eToro money, eToro updates, eToro exchange, investing, market insights, passion for investing, stocks and trading.
The content is provided by eToro experts and third parties who are experts in financial markets.
eToro plus in-depth analysis
Customers can get a more detailed analysis of the financial markets in this section. The section has daily, weekly and quarterly summaries of the markets and covers the latest market trends.
Digest and Ingest
Join a team of experts as they discuss the various aspects of financial markets. Users even get a chance to ask questions during the online live discussions.
eToro invites industry experts to host the Digest and Ingest podcasts. Investors can access the previous podcasts on the Digest and Ingest section while getting notifications of upcoming podcasts.
Freetrade keeps its traders and investors updated and informed using various content.
The platform has a Learn section which comprises two primary sub-sections:
Traders can get all the information about Freetrade investment products in this section.
The data is categorised into six main categories; dictionary, the basics, guides, ISA, pensions, and ETFs.
The section has all the information regarding the financial markets on the platform. The information ranges from company and sector news to reports on the stock markets.
Most of the content is in writing and provided by eToro experts and third-party financial experts.
eToro stands out with its educational content, which is more customer oriented. The eToro academy is more functional than the investment guide offered by Freetrade.
It allows novice traders to learn the art of trading on the stock markets while helping advanced traders hone their trading skills and strategies.
Besides the news sections, eToro also features Digest and Ingest and eToro Plus, which offer additional information on the financial markets from industry experts.
The eToro customer support is available via:
- Instant messaging
- Mail/ physical office: 24th floor, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf London, E14 5AB United Kingdom
Clients are advised to explore the Help Center section before contacting customer support via instant messaging.
The Help Centre features colossal information regarding clients’ various queries when using the platform.
eToro is also available on various social media platforms:
- Twitter (https://twitter.com/etoro)
- Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/etoro_official/)
- YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/etoro)
- LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/etoro/)
Freetrade has comprehensive customer support.
Customers can get professional help from the Freetrade team at the Help Hub or join the Freetrade community, composed of retail investors.
Freetrade customer support is reachable via:
- Chat in app
- Email (topic based)
- Phone (based on customer’s query)
The platform has a Here for You section, which features plenty of information about the Freetrade platform.
Customers can also contact the customer support team via various social channels:
- Twitter (https://twitter.com/freetrade)
- LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/freetrade/)
- Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/freetrade/)
- Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/freetradeapp)
The Freetrade customer support is very detailed and customer oriented. The phone option has been customised based on the needs and questions of the customers.
The platform also has a community and Help Hub, which entails industry experts and Freetrade professionals available to chat with the customers.
eToro, on the other hand, has a limited option when reaching their customer support. Both platforms have active channels on various social media platforms.
- An engaging and communal user experience
- Comprehensive educational tools and resources
- Rewards its loyal clients via the eToro Club
- Investors enjoy social trading
- Commission-free stock and ETF trading
- The account opening process is simple
- Simplified pricing structure
- Commission-free stock and ETF trading
- The basic plan is free
- Investors get interest on their cash balances
- Limited customer service
- Charges withdrawal fee
- Lacks cryptocurrency investment options.
- Limited research tools and resources
eToro vs Freetrade – Final Thoughts
eToro and Freetrade offer impressive perks and benefits to investors.
The two platforms target clients who share the same goal of making sustainable investments in the market.
However, eToro has become a more functional and reliable trading platform for its customers than Freetrade.
It has more educational resources and tools, making it a more helpful trading platform for beginners.
It also has a more diversified catalogue of investment vehicles, making it easy to create a diversified portfolio.
But, Freetrade is a worthy option for investors looking for investment deals using the Stocks & Shares ISA account.