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Review of Plus500
Plus500 is a trading platform offered by the UK subsidiary of Plus500 Ltd: a company founded by six alumni of the Israel Institute of Technology in 2008. The company now has subsidiaries in Cyprus, Australia, Bulgaria, and Singapore as well as the UK, and provides CFDs across over 2,000 securities and assets. Plus500UK Ltd is fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer CFD trading, and the company aims at becoming the leading provider of this form of trading across the globe.
Pros & Cons
Risk Warning. 76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. You must learn first.
What can I do on Plus500?
Plus500 allows CFD trading with cryptocurrencies, alongside many other assets and securities, such as commodities, forex, indices, stocks, and ETFs. Contract For Difference (CFD) trading, is a popular trading technique where you trade against changes in value without really owning the underlying asset, check our CFD guide to learn more. This allows you to trade with leverage (although leverage offered on crypto trading is much lower than with other options). Trading cryptocurrencies with leverage can help maximise your profits, but it will also lead to increased losses if the market moves against you.
This means that something you can’t do on Plus500 is buy cryptocurrencies – if you actually want to own the coins you will have to use an exchange or a cryptocurrency broker. The platform allows you to make quick trades relating to the change in value of a range of different coins It also allows you to use many techniques and tools to capitalise on the market, which are covered in more detail below.
Which cryptocurrencies can I trade on Plus500?
Plus500 pairs cryptocurrencies against the dollar and you can trade these as one of the assets covered by CFDs. You can trade against the value of the following cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Monero (XMR)
- XRP (XRP)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- NEO (NEO)
- IOTA (MIOTA)
- EOS (EOS)
Plus500 payment methods
You can choose from several deposit and withdrawal methods on Plus500:
You can fund your Plus500 account through a bank transfer. However, in order to do this, you will have to request that an email is sent to you with the details (done through the ‘bank transfer’ tab in the ‘deposit’ menu) and follow the information. Funds may take up to 5 days to show up in your account. You may also be asked to upload a photograph or scan of a bank statement to prove the payment has gone through.
You can make deposits with Visa or Mastercard. When doing this, you may be asked to upload a scan or photo of your card statement to prove your identity. Deposits made using this method are typically instant, and withdrawals depend on the processing time of your bank and can take between 1-4 days. You cannot use a corporate credit card – the card must be registered to your own name.
You can fund and withdraw from your Plus500 account with PayPal and Skrill. As with debit or credit card, deposits made this way are typically instant. Withdrawals, however, take 3-7 business days to come through.
What devices can I use Plus500 on?
The broker uses two basic platforms: their website and mobile app. These platforms are easy to navigate around, even for a new trader, and since they support several operating systems such as iOS, Windows and Android, you can use Plus500 on:
- Desktop computers
- Mobile phones
How easy is it to use Plus500?
Plus500 features a simple, easy to navigate design, and is available in over 32 languages, meaning the user experience is great no matter who you are. Since the web-based platform does not need any installation or software download, it’s easily accessible from most countries around the world.
What’s more, Plus500’s mobile trading platform is available both as a web-based option and a mobile trading app. The app is more tailored to make trading easier on your phone, but visiting the mobile optimised site is far from difficult.
With regard to the actual nature of CFD trading, if you are new then you may see the need to take your time to understand how everything works before you delve into live trading. This is why Plus500 offer the ability to set up a demo account so you can learn how the process works before investing your money.
Plus500 is available in over 50 countries. These include:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- Qatar Romania
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
Plus500 operates through several subsidiaries and each of these is regulated under that country’s relevant jurisdiction:
- Plus500UK Ltd is authorised and regulated by the FCA (#509909). This is the relevant regulation if you are trading within the UK. The FCA ensures that all client funds are safely held in a segregated client bank account. It also offers a compensation scheme where you can be eligible for up to £50,000 of compensation if the company shuts down (although this offers no coverage if you lose money through your trades).
- Plus500CY Ltd is under the authorization and regulation by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (#250/14). Apart from holding funds in a segregated client bank account, CySEC may provide up to €30,000 in compensation in case the platform collapses.
- Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), licensed by: ASIC in Australia, AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026; Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa, FSP #47546. As much as it may not have a compensation plan yet, it holds your funds in a segregated client banks account.
Plus500 account verification
Registering for Plus500 is a simple process, but you need to verify your account before you begin trading. You need to provide proof of your identity and address, and also give proof of the source of your funds.
To help you in identity verification, you will need to provide a government-issued ID that clearly shows the following (a passport or driving license are the easiest):
- Full Name
- Identity Number (if relevant)
- Date of Birth
- Date of Expiry
To verify your address, you’ll need to provide one of the following:
- Bank statement
- Electricity bill
- Credit card statement
- Water or gas bill
- Tax letter
- Council tax bill
- Television services bill
- Phone bill
- Internet bill
You may also be asked to verify the source of your funds by providing one of the following documents:
- Bank or Credit card statement
- The front of your debit/credit card
Plus500 customer support
Plus500 offers customer support 24/7 through email and live chats. Their email support is available in multiple languages, giving you a greater variety to choose the most comfortable for you. If for any reason the live chat is not available you can still reach them through its ‘Contact Us’ form. Plus500 does not have telephone support, so if you need a faster response than email, their live chat is the best option.
Plus500 CFD platform
Plus500’s platform is pretty intuitive with clearly labelled sections, simple enough to be understood by first-time users. The design makes it easy to navigate through to find the Crypto CFD section that is available both on the drop-down menu under instruments as well as a clickable section right on the homepage.
The trading screen has been partitioned into 3 basic sections whereby the menu functions are found on the left side of the trading screen. The upper part, on the other hand, shows the available trading assets while the lower section has the trading charts that you can view either as a line or bar chart.
Overall the interface is intuitive for new users, while offering experienced traders all the information they need to know.
What currency pairs can be traded?
You can trade the following cryptocurrency pairs on Plus500:
Are there any trading fees on Plus500?
Plus500 does not charge any commissions to trade since its income solely depends on the spread applied. Spread is the difference between the bid (buying) and ask (selling) price of the cryptocurrency in question.
However, there are other notable non-trading fees that apply:
- Inactivity fee. In case you stay inactive for 3 consecutive months, you will be required to pay a quarterly fee of $10.
- Withdrawal fee. For bank transfers, you will incur a 6 USD withdrawal fee. For other methods, you get 5 free withdrawals a month. Beyond that, you will be required to pay 10 USD per each withdrawal. Additionally, a 10 USD fee will apply if you withdraw under the minimum withdrawing amounts except for cases of using a credit/debit card.
- Currency conversion fee. When making trades involving financial instruments denominated in a different currency, Plus500 will charge a currency conversion fee of up to 0.5%. This fee is charged at the point when a trade’s profit or loss is realised, and it is displayed in real time on the platform in relation to the unrealised profit and loss of any open trades.
- Overnight fee (Financing Cost). This is also called a ‘premium’ as per the Plus500 platform. A premium fee is always applied whenever a position remains open after a certain period (close of the market). Simply put, the overnight funding is either subtracted or added to your account when holding a position after the close of markets. The maintenance margin level requirement is usually specific for each cryptocurrency. In cases where this margin is not maintained, the position closes automatically.
What is the minimum spread?
The spread is the difference between the ask and bid price, the closer these numbers are, the better. Plus500 is not too transparent on the specific spreads for each cryptocurrency, although it promises ‘tight spreads’. However, you also need to take into consideration the fact that spreads can be dynamic and move based on market trends.
Can I trade cryptocurrencies with leverage?
Yes you can trade cryptocurrencies with leverage on Plus500. However, like other brokers, crypto trading on Plus500 features limited leverage, currently set at 1:2. This may limit your ability to capitalise on market surges, but also protects you from the volatility synonymous with cryptocurrencies potentially causing severe losses very quickly.
What are the margins required?
The margin is the minimum amount of money you need to put in in order to open a leveraged position, so you only put up a fraction of your exposure if trading with leverage. Plus500’s margins are liable to change, but currently, the initial margin for crypto is currently 50%, with a maintenance margin of 25%. Any change in margin rates will only affect positions opened after the change has been made.
Can I open long and short positions on Plus500?
Yes, this being a CFD trade, you can open long and short positions. This basically means you can go short (sell) in instances where you project the prices to go down or go long (buy) in case you believe the prices are set to soar high. You can set positions to sell or buy automatically when a specific coin hits a certain price.
Are there withdrawal and deposit limits?
Yes, Plus500 has specified withdrawal limits on its User Agreement. For Paypal and Skrill payment, the withdrawal limit is 50 USD, or equivalent value of the currency chosen. On the other hand, credit cards and bank transfers have a minimum withdrawal limit of 100 USD. In case you need to withdraw lower then the minimum stipulated, you will incur a fee of 10 USD. You have up to a maximum of 5 free withdrawals per month (as long as they’re above the minimum), and any additional withdrawal after this will attract a 10 USD fee.
For deposits, Plus500 allows a minimum deposit or 100 units equivalent of the local currency depending on your country. If you are trading cryptocurrency in the UK for instance, then your minimum deposit will be a minimum of 100 GBP. On the other hand, the maximum limits will be dependent on your source of deposit, with bank transfers offering the highest deposit limits.
Summary of Plus500 CFD trading
Plus500 is one of the best-known names in online trading, and for good reason. The platform is best suited to experienced traders, as CFDs are complex financial instruments which require time and practice to understand fully. Traders who wish to use the platform will find the tight spreads and leveraged trading options an attractive proposition, however.
This is not to say that beginner traders should stay away from Plus500 altogether, just that they should avoid trading with their money until they have got to grips with the process. Users can learn the ropes with Plus500’s free, unlimited demo account, which simulates the market and allows you to place trades on a practice basis with no real money involved. Educational resources are scarce, but users can read up on CFD trading elsewhere and use the platform’s demo account to hone their skills before opening a full trading account.
Remember, that with a CFD broker you do not own any underlying cryptocurrency but just a derivative on it. As such, you cannot buy cryptocurrency and expect to withdraw it, as you can from an exchange. However, you can’t find the ability to trade with leverage on an exchange.
Extra Plus500 Features
Plus500 offers two basic account types: demo and live accounts. While a demo account can be opened for free and allows you to test the platform without risking money, a live account requires that you deposit at least 100 USD. There are also other features also offered by the platform:
- Close at profit. Helps you automatically close a trade the moment it reaches the assigned profit level.
- Close at Loss. Helps you automatically close a trade once it gets to a designated stop loss level.
- Guaranteed stop. This tool puts an absolute limit on the potential of your losses regardless of a slippage. This is a specifically useful tool for the cryptocurrency markets that is known to be volatile.
- Price alerts. This warns you in case a trade reaches a certain price. Unlike a stop order that closes a trade, a price alert simply works as a tool to help you keep track of market developments and make a decision on up-to-date information.
Looking at what the platform has to offer to cryptocurrency traders, it is safe to conclude that this is one of the best crypto trading platforms around. Plus500 is a reputable company regulated by the FCA, and offers a very user-friendly interface that allows you to trade a variety of cryptocurrencies using CFDs. It also, unlike some other platforms, allows you to trade crypto with leverage of 1:2.
Plus500 stands out with the proprietary software that makes it possible for its users to experience an intuitive interface to make trades across multiple markets right from one screen. The ability to switch between different trading positions, coupled with live streaming quotes of financial assets makes Plus500 a solid option for CFD trading.
The broker has done its best to remain transparent considering the load of information that has been kept visible to traders. This includes spread percentage, maintenance margin and minimum trade amount. Considering the fact that most brokers tend to hide this information or change most of its trading conditions without notice, this is a positive gesture from Plus500.
The main downside of the platform is the lack of telephone support, something that may be a turn off for traders who need prompt communication. However, their live chat is available at all hours and offers useful answers to any question you have.
How to open an account with Plus500
Decided to register a Plus500 account? Great, here’s how it’s done:
- Download the proprietary trading account from its official website. You can do this by going to the homepage and clicking on the download button for the software. Otherwise, you can simply go to the signup button on the web-based platform.
- Once you complete the download process, you will be redirected to the ‘create account’ option where you either create a real Plus500 account right away or switch to a demo. For the live account, click on the real money option and fill in your details that involve your email and password. Click on ‘create account’.
- Verify your phone number and identity. This is a requirement by the FCA and is meant to prove that you are who you say you are. To verify your identity you will need to provide ID to prove your name and address. You can do this by simply clicking on ‘verify phone number’ on the next page that pops up after creating your account.
- The next step will be creating your initial deposit. You can do this by going to the lower left-hand corner of your interface and clicking on ‘Funds Management’, and then selecting your preferred deposit method.
- Once the funds show up on your Plus500 account, you can now start trading cryptocurrencies live.