Both eToro and Plus500 offer affordable trading with a user-friendly interface.
But which one of these platforms is best for you?
In this review, I will compare both by looking at their cost structure, investment options, research features, education features, customer services, and their pros and cons.
By the end, you’ll know which platform suits you best.
Table of Contents
eToro is a popular trading platform that boasts its social trading feature.
This means the site can give you insights from other traders, just like a timeline on social media platforms. The plus point of this feature is that you can emulate their investments to gain similar profits.
The platform offers forex, CFDs (Contract for Difference), cryptos, and real investment products such as stocks and ETFs.
This platform suits both beginners and experienced traders. The social trading feature is a great way for beginners to learn trading on this platform, while professional traders will appreciate the huge range of investment options that eToro has.
Read my complete eToro review.
Plus500 is one of the most popular brokers in the UK that offers CFDs on forex, cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities, ETFs, options, and indices. The platform doesn’t offer real stock or ETF trading to UK customers, only CFDs.
Plus500 has a free lifetime demo account feature that lets you practice trading before using real money, which is a perfect way for new traders to learn. Although it’s considerably affordable, this platform has an inactivity fee, so it’s more suitable for active traders.
Their streamlined interface is easy to navigate, but this might turn off some experienced brokers who want more comprehensive functions and features.
The same goes for their research feature, the simplicity may leave experts longing for better tools that can help them make decisions.
Read my complete Plus500 review.
Both eToro and Plus500 offer affordable trading for their customers, and they have no commission fee. But one fee that they both charge is the spread fee, which is based on the difference between prices for buying and selling.
Because eToro uses dollars as its currency, then you will also be charged conversion and withdrawal fees. The conversion fee is 0.5% and the withdrawal fee is $5 per transaction.
On the other hand, the conversion fee on Plus500 costs 0.7%, but your first 5 withdrawals every month are free and $10 per transaction afterward.
Another fee that both platforms charge is the inactivity fee. Plus500 will charge you a $10 fee per month after 3 months of inactivity, while eToro will charge you a $10 fee per month after 12 months of inactivity.
Which is why they’re not an ideal platform for those who tend to buy and hold.
Better cost structure: Plus500
In terms of their investment options, both platforms have similar product offerings, such as indices, ETFs, forex, cryptos, and commodities. But only eToro grants you access to real stocks trading, while Plus500 offers them through CFDs.
eToro offers more products to trade, and Plus500 is better for day traders who are looking for low fees on CFDs.
Better investment options: eToro
eToro has a clean-looking trading platform design that’s easy to navigate and available on mobile and the web. Some features on the trading platform are search, placing orders, alerts, charting, and notifications.
The platform also offers copy trader and copy portfolio features. With the CopyTrader feature, you’ll be able to copy the portfolio of successful eToro users, while a Smart Portfolios review allows you to invest in two main types of portfolios: top traders and market portfolios.
There’s an additional benefit for popular traders: they can get an annual payment of 1.5% of assets under copy.
Plus500’s trading platform is also well-designed and available on mobile and web versions. It has similar features offered in eToro, except for the CopyTrader and Smart Portfolios. eToro is ahead when it comes to trading platform functionality.
Better trading platform: eToro
eToro has a decent level of technical analysis, with great information provided on stocks such as average price targets and analyst reports.
The platform also provides a great news feed feature that works like social media. Popular investors will offer thoughts on stocks, but the downside is they only offer recommendations on a limited number of stocks.
The research feature in Plus500 has a helpful economic calendar, charting tools, and market analysis. Unfortunately, the platform fails to provide newsletters, recommendations, and fundamental data.
In terms of research features, eToro is ahead thanks to its recommendations, news feed, and copy trading features.
Better research tools: eToro
Both platforms offer demo trading accounts that you can use to learn about trading and to familiarise yourself with the platforms.
In addition to the demo account, eToro has videos in their trading school that provide information on financial markets, trading, placing trades, and managing goals.
Plus500 also has an extensive Trading Academy for people who need to improve their knowledge. The educational centre has eBooks, a video traders guide, and FAQs for new traders.
While both have decent content on their education feature, Plus500 pulls ahead as it’s more convenient to navigate. Especially when you’re trying to find answers to specific questions without having to go through videos.
Better educational resources: Plus500
Safety & Security
Both platforms are safe since they’re authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means UK residents are eligible for up to £85,000 in compensation should anything happen to the platforms.
Better safety and security: Draw
In terms of their customer service review, eToro pulls slightly ahead with 4.3 out of 5 compared to Plus500’s 4.0 on Trustpilot.
Most complaints toward eToro were about withdrawal system errors, which they promptly responded to. On the other hand, Plus500’s customers complained about slow or unsatisfactory responses from the customer service team.
eToro and Plus500 provide support across channels and are available 24/7, and when I tested their services they were swift, reliable, and helpful. But due to the small difference in their reviews, eToro wins this round.
Better customer service: eToro
Alternatives to eToro & Plus500
Whilst eToro and Plus500 are great trading platforms, there may be other options that suit you better.
Here are some of the best eToro and Plus500 alternatives:
- Hargreaves Lansdown: The platform is slightly more expensive than eToro and Plus500, especially the cost per trade. But it offers a much more robust range of funds and product range, and it’s ideal for people who want to save for retirement. Read my Hargreaves Lansdown review.
- Pepperstone: The platform offers trading in forex and CFDs, but one plus point of Pepperstone is it has no minimum deposit amount. This makes it easier for traders to try the platform without risking too much money. Read my Pepperstone review.
- Trading 212: Similar to Plus500, the platform focuses on offering CFDs in a range of markets. It also offers commission-free trading and low deposit amounts at £1 for the invest and ISA accounts and £10 for the CFD accounts. Read my Trading 212 review.
Pros & Cons of eToro and Plus500
eToro and Plus500 are affordable trading platforms that have their selling points.
To recap, the following are their strengths and weaknesses.
- Free stock and ETF trading
- Social trading feature
- Better product range
- One account base currency
- Withdrawal charge
- Inactivity fee
- Great education feature
- Free 5 withdrawals per month
- Free lifetime demo account
- Limited product range
- The research tools could be better
- Inactivity fee
eToro vs Plus500 – Final Thoughts
To conclude, eToro is better in investment options, research tools, and customer service.
On the other hand, Plus500 has a better cost structure and educational features.
But in the end, what you choose should depend on what you’re trying to achieve and your level of experience.
eToro is suitable for people who want a wider investment selection and advanced traders who want to gain profit from the CopyTrader feature. Plus500 is better for active CFD traders who want a streamlined trading experience.