Investing > eToro vs. Plus500

eToro vs. Plus500

We compare eToro and Plus500, tell you where each stands out, and which crucial area they both fall.

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Reviewed by
Updated September 08, 2021

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Unsure which broker will help you best navigate a market rattled by COVID-19? You want to choose a broker that can offer you the flexibility and accessibility to strengthen your portfolio in a wide range of assets. 

The Crypto market, specifically, is a mystery of its own, making it difficult to master – or at least we once thought. Before, many believed it was largely driven by a cluster of speculators with a fear of missing out. A recent report by eToro has torn this theory apart by laying out some neat findings that prove there are, in fact, some legitimate fundamentals driving the crypto market.

These findings show a road map supported by some key fundamentals that can lead you out of the fog and towards maximizing your profits. So, which broker will help you take advantage of this new information? 

And importantly, what kind of role do you want to play in your investments? Will you be an active investor, or will you follow the lead of more experienced traders?

In this review we will compare the investment selection offered by each broker: eToro and Plus500. We will highlight where each broker stands out, the fees you will be charged, and we’ll explain the one key area where both fall.

Curious to hear more? Let’s go through it all.

Overview & Summary

  1. eToro is more suitable for advanced traders looking to share their ideas for rewards, while Plus500 attracts CFD traders.
  2. eToro has a wide investment selection of CFDs, Forex, stocks, and ETFs, while Plus500 focuses on CFD instruments.
  3. Even without a commission fee, eToro does charge fees. Plus500’s fees, on the other hand, are low.
  4. eToro’s strengths include its Popular Trader Program and its copy trading platform. Plus500 stands out for its low fees and modern customer service.
  5. Both eToro and Plus500 fall when it comes to education. 

Quick Rating: eToro and Plus500

eToro and Plus500 both target different traders which is reflective through the fees, products and services offered by each. Here’s a quick highlight of how the two brokers compare:

Fees
Average spread EUR/USD standard

0.75

Varies

All-in cost EUR/USD - active

N/A

N/A

Minimum initial deposit

$50

€100

General
Total currency pairs

47

50

Demo account?
Social / copy trading?
Rating
Fees

Average spread EUR/USD standard

0.75

Varies

All-in cost EUR/USD - active

N/A

N/A

Minimum initial deposit

$50

€100

General

Total currency pairs

47

50

Demo account?

Social / copy trading?

eToro Risk Warning: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Plus500 Risk Warning: 72% 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.

Who is eToro Best for?

eToro is loved by both new traders and experts. Why? Because of its famous copy trading feature. With this, expert traders get to share their picks. Traders who are less active, or prefer to follow experts instead of making trades themselves, can program their account to “copy” the trades of experts they choose.

eToro rewards the experts who build the largest following and engage with the community the most. In this, eToro’s platform is a win-win for rookies and veterans.

eToro focuses on copy-trading and making trading accessible for all. 2019 proved to be a year of diversification, and success for the broker, as it surpassed 12 million users.

Fast Facts

  • Account minimum: $50 for US traders
  • Regulation: FINRA (USA), FCA (UK), ASIC (AUS), CySEC (Cyprus).
  • Asset Coverage: Cryptocurrency only for US traders. Stock, Forex, and CFDs available to traders outside the US
  • Demo Account: Yes
  • Best for: Highly experienced traders who want to share their ideas
  • Highlight: Copy-trading

Ratings

  • Commissions & Fees: 8/10
  • Investment Selection: 8.5/10
  • Account Options & Features: 9/10
  • Usability: 8/10
  • Educational Resources: 6/10
  • Customer Service: 7/10
  • Overall: 8.5/10
Visit eToro on eToro’s website

Risk Warning: 67% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Who is Plus500 Best for?

Plus500 is a great platform for CFDs. In fact, many agree that it when it comes to CFDs, Plus500 is the best platform available.

Not only is there a wide selection of CFDs available, but the fee structure is attractive as well. Moreover, Plus500 is regulated in several key jurisdictions, including the UK, Australia, and Cyprus.

The most notable tool in Plus500’s offer is the WebTrader platform. The browser-based software is powerful and surprisingly easy to navigate, and its mobile version is just as good.

Fast Facts

  • Account minimum: $100
  • Regulation: FCA (UK), CySec (Cyprus), ASIC (AU)
  • Asset coverage: CFDs on Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, Commodities, ETFs, Options, and Indices
  • Demo account: Yes
  • Best for: Traders who don’t use scalping and want a great platform with good prices.
  • Highlight: Low Fees

Ratings

  • Commissions & Fees:8.5/10
  • Investment Selection:8/10
  • Account Options & Features:6/10
  • Usability:7/10
  • Educational Resources:1/10
  • Customer Service:7/10
  • Overall:6/10
Visit Plus500 on Plus500’s website

Risk Warning: 72% 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.

eToro and Plus500: Investment Selection

First off, eToro serves up mainly CFDs and forex to investors. That said, you can also gain access to stocks, ETFs, and a few cryptocurrencies. To help with these, eToro has created a social trading platform and CopyPortfolio.

On the other hand, Plus500 is an all out CFD broker. It offers a strong selection, and has a bigger product offering than eToro. It does offer some cryptos too, but not as many as eToro, unfortunately.

Recent changes to Plus500 came in August when the company traded ex-dividend. This means that investors who bought shares after the 20th of August, won’t have received shares until November 11th. 

Investment SelectioneToroPlus500
Currency Pairs4770
Stock Index CFDs1326
Stock CFDs2,0421,900
ETF CFDs14595
Commodity CFDs1425
Cryptos1614

eToro Expands U.S. Influence

Meanwhile, eToro will be expanding across the U.S. equities market at the start of 2021, taking on its rival Robinhood for investors who are new to the game and looking for accessible and easy investing opportunities. This is a positive sign for the company, and shows its ever increasing influence on the global market.

Regulation: eToro and Plus500 Trader Eligibility

Before you consider your options, it’s worth finding out whether you can actually trade with either one. If the regulation doesn’t cover you, then it’s a no-go.

Let’s start with eToro. This broker was born into existence in 2006 after being created in Israel with the aim of making trading more accessible to us average Joes – like Robinhood, which we’ll get to soon!

eToro has rapidly gained world recognition for its social trading features that allow its users to learn from more experienced traders’ strategies. Some special features include newsfeeds, the popular CopyPortfolio and CopyTrader tools, effective tools for copying portfolios and trades from more experienced traders.

Because of this, eToro is suitable for beginners looking to take a more passive role in trading. As we speak (write) eToro is available to traders across the globe, including the U.S. and Australia.

However, if you reside in the US, you will see it referred to as eToro USA. Luckily, this broker is fully regulated by several high-end regulators like CySEC and ASIC, not to mention the FCA in the UK. And excitingly enough, eToro recently became a member of FINRA which allows it to offer stock trading to the expansive US audience.

⚠️ Helpful tip: Financial markets feature stringent regulation. If you’re interested in forex trading and you’re in the US, it’s imperative to become familiar with US forex regulations.

Now let’s swerve back to Plus500. This broker is well known for its huge range of CFDs and instruments. Its platform is well designed, easy-to-use and optimized for professionals.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you are (mostly), Plus500 is available to traders in most countries. That is, except if you are a resident in the US. 

The company is headquartered in Israel, and has some cosy subsidiaries in Australia, the UK, Singapore, and Cyprus. Each subsidiary is regulated and are the owners of several regulatory licenses, leaving you in safe hands.

Our research has placed eToro as one of the top forex brokers in all of Australia. The social-trading platform has seen popularity among traders of all experience levels.

As such, Plus500UK is regulated by the UK’s regulatory watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In the same sense, Plus500AU is regulated by Australia’s concerned regulatory authority, ASIC.

Even better, outside of this, Plus500 has another handful of regulatory licences to its name from the FSCA in South Africa, CySEC in Cyprus, and MAS in Singapore. This means that you’re (should be) safe and sound with Plus500.

eToro and Plus500: Fees Compared 💰

Understanding the fees charged by brokers should be an important part of your decision making process; they can significantly effect your profit margin, and some can benefit different trading styles more so than others. For example, some brokers offer tighter spreads for high volume traders. Let’s take a look at the exact fees charged by eToro and Plus500:

eToro’s Fees 💸

AssetsFee LevelsFee Terms
Europe 50 CFDLowFees are built into the spread with an average spread of 3 pips
EUR/USDLowFees are built into spread with an average spread of 1 pip
Inactivity feeLow$10 per month after one year inactivity

Commissions 

eToro shred its commission fees in 2019, making it one of the top trading platforms in the UK. However it still sits higher above competitors when you look at its spreads on forex, indexes and commodities that begin at about 3.0 pips and S&P 500 at 75.00 pips for the EUR/USD pair.

Inactivity Fees

eToro does charge an inactivity fee of $10 per month if there has been no trading activity after one year – pretty standard.

Withdrawal Fees

eToro has a withdrawal fee of $5 that might sting given that most CFD brokers do not charge a withdrawal fee. This means eToro is more expensive than competitors in this area. Furthermore, eToro has a minimum withdrawal of $30.

Deposit Fees

Thankfully, there will be no additional deposit fees, once the minimum deposit is paid, you’re off the hook. eToro’s deposit process is easy with some clearly carved steps along the way, although you need to use a payment method that has your name on it – for security reasons.

eToro accepts the following payment methods which you can use to make your minimum deposit transaction.

  • Debit or credit card
  • Online banking
  • E-wallets, like Skrill / WebMoney / Neteller / PayPal
  • Wire or bank transfer

⚡️ Quick tip: It’s important to have a strong understanding of all the potential commissions and spreads involved, especially with forex trading, before signing up with a broker.

Plus500’s Fees 💸

AssetsFee LevelsFee Terms
U.S. Stock feeN/AUnavailable
EUR/USD feeAverageFees are built into the spread: average spread of 0.7 pips
U.S. tech fund feeN/AUnavailable
Inactivity feeAverage$10 per month after 3 months of inactivity

Fees for Plus500’s platform sway on the low side, and actually, its fees are lower all around. There are also a lot of options for commission-free trading.

Commissions 

Plus500’s trading fees are generally lower. You won’t be charged a commission, and all your fees will be included in the spread. Forex fees with Plus500 are more so standard.

Withdrawal Fees

Plus500 has favorable withdrawal fees: traders can avail of five withdrawals per month, free of charge. However, there is also a hefty $10 fee for withdrawing less than the minimum withdrawal amount of $100. The price of withdrawals by bank transfer is set at $6.

Inactivity Fees

eToro does charge a higher inactivity fee of $10 each quarter after there has been no trading activity for three months. That said, you can avoid this fee by simply logging into your account. With other brokers, you need to actually make a trade before you can dodge an inactivity fee, logging in just won’t do it.

Deposit Fees

And another thing, Plus500 doesn’t charge traders any additional deposit fees when a deposit is made, so you can fund your account as much as your heart desires without worrying about additional charges.

The deposit process with Plus500 is pretty quick and clear-cut. It has a good selection of payment methods available to choose from, including credit card, bank/wire transfer, and electronic wallets.

However, deposits made through a bank/wire transfer have a minimum deposit amount of $500. All other payment methods have a minimum deposit of just $100.

Here are the payment methods accepted by Plus500:

  • Debit or credit card
  • Bank / wire Transfer
  • Electronic wallets: PayPal, Neteller, Skrill

Who Has the Lower Minimum Deposit: eToro or Plus500?

In most cases, eToro asks for a minimum deposit of $200. This is different for the following jurisdictions:

  • In Israel, it is a higher amount of $10,000.
  • Residents in Australia and the U.S., are required to deposit a lower amount of  just $50.
  • Residents in China,  Russia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, are required to pay a first-time minimum deposit of $500.
  • Bank transfers require a minimum amount of $500.

Plus500 has a more competitive first-time minimum requirement of just 100 of your base currency. Besides the US dollar, Plus500 accepts pounds (GBP) Euro (EUR) and the Australian Dollar (AUD), so the deposit amount would remain £100 or €100 for instance.

Do eToro or Plus500 Offer Demo Accounts?

Both Plus500 and eToro offer demo accounts. This can be a great way to get a feel for the trading environment of each broker. 

Primary Benefits of Each Platform

Both eToro and Plus500 have some unique benefits and highlights that differentiate them from each other, and make them more suited to some traders more than others, depending on your level, trading style, and needs. Let’s take a look at their key benefits.

The Best Aspects of eToro 🏅

Popular Investor Program

eToro Popular Trader Program
eToro’s Popular Investor Program can helps expert traders earn extra income.

First up is eToro’s Popular Investor Program where eager investors can earn some extra income. This program looks after successful traders who share their knowledge by rewarding them. Through regular engagement on the CopyTrader feature, you can grow a loyal following and rack up your earnings.

Etoro takes aim at helping clients who share their knowledge with the community get ahead. By developing interactive news feeds and encouraging traders to engage with each other, eToro has successfully led an effective social media platform for its clients.

CopyTrader

Time constraints and an understanding that not everyone has the experience to trade actively served as the impetus for the creation of the popular CopyTrader platform. CopyTrader allows clients to copy the trades of other successful traders and portfolios, ideal for beginners looking to take a more passive stance in investing.

eToro’s CopyTrader allows you to copy the trades of experts for a minimum investment amount of $200.
eToro’s CopyTrader allows you to copy the trades of experts for a minimum investment amount of $200.

With this, you simply allocate any amount you wish to another trader. Your trades then automatically copy your chosen traders’ moves until you decide you’ve had enough.

Even better, you can look at other traders’ performance history, portfolio, and risk score before deciding who’s trades to copy, to help you make the most informed decision possible.

Web-trading Platform

eToro’s web-trading platform is well-known for its ease of use.

Let us not forget eToro’s easy-to-use web-trading platform, an ideal option for less experienced traders. However, even more experienced traders can’t help but appreciate its ease-of-use and our research has placed it in the top cfd trading platforms in the industry.

eToro’s platform offers more than 2,000 tradable assets and has some handy features that both beginners and more advanced traders can benefit from. Features including charting, with a total of 66 indicators and a variety of drawing tools.

Traders can happily integrate into the eToro community to enjoy being part of a community, benefit from expertly-devised portfolios through CopyPortfolios, and access big data from the CopyTraders platform.

On the downside, there are no third-party alternatives available, like MetaTrader which some will find disappointing.

eToro Mobile

eToro’s mobile trading experience is quality and is designed in a similar fashion to its web-trading platform. That is: Clean and easy-to-use – sometimes simple is best.

eToro mobile apps open on iPhone and iPad
The eToro mobile app succeeds in offering clients the same tools available on the desktop version.

Through the app, users will gain access to cryptocurrencies, data, the eToro community, and 24/7 updates, nevermind the fact that all your information will be synced with other devices (it’s the little things).

We must note that there are just 5 charts on the app version, as opposed to the 67 charts available on the web platform. But, they are highly responsive. A disadvantage? No drawing tools.

📈 Did you know: eToro’s app is one of the most popular apps for forex trading.

Cryptocurrency Wallet

On top of the eToro mobile app, you will find an additional app called Crypto Wallet. This app was devised to help alleviate the stress of cryptocurrency trading by offering a place to safely and securely store and move your cryptocurrencies, held by eToro, from Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more.

Furthermore, users can exchange cryptos on the go, and easily buy cryptos through their debit card. This app has been designed pretty similarly to the eToro mobile app.

This platform was born to be accessible and easy-to-use It’s all very clear, and processes like making watchlists, and placing trades, are easy to do.

eToro Launches Staking-as-a-Service

eToro Staking
eToro recently launched staking-as-a-service.

And now for the newest addition. This month, eToro launched a dedicated staking service for its users, letting clients earn staking rewards from Tron (TRX) and Cardano (ADA). Users holding either one of these currencies will be rewarded monthly by the broker. eToro announced that it would introduce more assets later on too.

This system is fully automated and requires no input from its users, who can continue to trade assets as usual.

The Best Aspects of Plus500 🏅

Trading Platforms

Unlike eToro’s combo of platforms, Plus500 offers just one. And suffice to say…it’s actually pretty popular. The broker’s proprietary WebTrader platform is browser based, and the mobile version tops it. Want to see more about how this software can help optimize your returns?

Plus500's web trader platform with candlestick chart
Plus500 has just one platform, but it’s quite popular in the CFD world.

WebTrader

Again, in a not-too-distant way from eToro, Plus500’s WebTrader is sought after for its ease of use and accessibility. This platform helps beginner traders get a leg up through its intuitive design. 

That said, it does lack some more advanced features and the ability to customize which more advanced traders might feel a longing for.

The WebTrader platform is clearly laid out. The main screen shows the positions, pricing info, balance info, and enables users to quickly access charts and execute trades.

To find some specific functions and products, the search function works perfectly. The design helps everything about your trades run smoother. 

On the downside, the research tools offered by Plus500’s WebTrader are pretty standard, which means that advanced traders may not find the technical analysis tools they need to optimize their strategy.

WebTrader Mobile

Plus500’s mobile app is a highly effective arm to the WebTrader platform. Users can access the full suits of over 2,000 trading instruments, view account info, and make conditional orders.

Plus500 Webtrader Mobile
WebTrader Mobile provides world class trading tools with low prices.

Plus500’s charting tools retain over 100 indicators from the web platform, and the app is highly secure. The app uses a two-step authentication feature, and you can set it up fingerprint authentication too, if you prefer.

On the downside, this app suffers from the same disadvantages as the web platform. Namely, more advanced traders will be displeased with the lack of functions. More positively, the app is available across 36 languages  on iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

Customer Support

Last but not least, Plus500’s customer support needs a mention because of its uniqueness. There is no phone service provided but you can hit up the live chat directly on its website. Moreover, you can send across a quick WhatsApp message to the customer support team there.

The email and WhatsApp support team respond quickly, and resolve most issues in a matter of minutes. With this, the representatives are knowledgeable and friendly to deal with, placating any feelings about the lack of phone service. 

While there is no option to speak to a customer support representative face-to-face, you will find the email and WhatsApp services are enough to satisfy you.

Furthermore, the FAQs section is comprehensive, helpful, and information, so you will likely find the answers to most of your queries there, without even needing to go to a rep. The trading platform has a live chat function, if not. 

All in all, while Plus500 doesn’t win customer support of the year, it does score highly for its modern approach, quick responses, and reliable service. 

The Withdrawal Process Compared 💱

Plus500’s Withdrawal Process

To make a withdrawal with Plus500 simply click Funds Management – Withdrawal – Choose your preferred method – Fill in the fields and click Submit.

Withdrawal requests are processed within one to three business days, and within this time, the withdrawal request will pass through a few different stages.

🚨 Keep in mind: Each withdrawal will be charged a fee of $5. The minimum withdrawal amount of $30 must also be met.

eToro’s Withdrawal Process

eToro clients will need to wait 7 days after funds are deposited before they can withdraw them. After this holding period, the withdrawal can take up to two business days.

To make a withdrawal you will need to login to your eToro account and click Withdraw funds – enter the amount of funds you want to withdraw – Choose your payment method – Click Submit.

Educational Offerings: Don’t Count on it 📚

Okay, so both brokers have one key downside in common and that is: They do not provide educational material for clients. 

What eToro does offer, is focused on social trading. This can be surmised to be due to the fact that it wants to encourage clients to social trade, which means that educating clients would not be to its benefit.

Even worse, Plus500’s educational offering is nonexistent. There are no courses, blogs, quizzes, ebooks, or otherwise. There is a document titled “key information” but this is legally required. 

All in all, neither broker is an ideal option if you really want to learn more about investing.

How Has COVID-19 Impacted eToro and Plus500?

Plus500 Slows Down its Share BuyBack

Recently, BlackRock, the New York-based asset management company announced that it had diluted its stake in Plus500 after a sell-off, and now owns just 5% of the broker’s shares. In September 2018, it owned 7%. 

However, shares in Plus500 continued to drop, before moving to a steady bull run in  April last year.

Notably, shares have been showing signs of recovering and perhaps once again reaching the highs reached in August and Plus500 just announced that it is slowing down its share buyback. However, where the company usually buys back approximately 30,000 to 35,000 shares and spends almost $700,000 per batch, which varies occasionally. In total, the broker plans on rebuying shares with a combined worth of $67.3 million.

Which Broker is Right for You?

To start, both eToro and Plus500 are both highly regulated, making them equally safe options. To narrow it down, eToro is all about social trading, and largely attracts more advanced traders looking to share their trading ideas and become a part of a wider community, despite its higher fees and lack of other offerings, like customer service.

eToro’s growing influence across the investing community is evident, and our research has named it one of the top forex brokers across the globe.

eToro’s platform has a wider offering and is easy to use. On the other hand, Plus500 has the widest offering when it comes to CFDs and lower fees. Importantly, beginners looking to play a more active role in their trading will prefer Plus500.

Moreover, Plus500 offers a highly effective trading platform and mobile app for traders on the go. Its customer service also wins points for its more modern approach to communication.

That said, if education and learning is a priority for you, neither of these guys have much to offer.

eToro vs. Plus500: FAQs

  • Which is Better: eToro or Plus500?

    eToro has a lower initial minimum deposit, and a wider investment offering. Plus500 has a larger selection of CFDs, and lower commission fees. In the end, eToro is most suitable for advanced traders and beginner traders looking to take a more passive investing role. Plus500 is more suitable for beginners and those looking for a low fee option.

  • What’s a CFD?

    A CFD stands for Contract for Difference, and it is a contract between two parties, usually known as the “buyer” and “seller”, with the agreement that the buyer will pay the seller the difference between the current value of an asset, and its market value at the time the contract expires.

    To be successful, the buyer is betting that the price of the asset goes up in time, allowing it to make a profit.

  • Is eToro Really Free?

    If we’re talking about commission free, then yes. eToro is free when you buy an underlying asset. When buying stocks, you won’t pay any commission. When it comes to short selling or using leverage, there is a charge, but most investors will avail of a commission-free trading experience.

  • How Does eToro Make Money?

    If no commissions are charged, then how does eToro make money? Well, the answer is through the spread it applies to each trade. When a trader or a Popular investor opens a new position, the broker applies a commission automatically in the form of the “spread”.

  • Is eToro Better Than Robinhood?

    eToro has had a similar journey to Robinhood in that they both seem to have earned success in a similar way. But where Robinhood gained success by making trading accessible through its low-cost, simple trading app, eToro focusses on making trading accessible through copy-trading.

    However, with eToro’s recent FINRA membership, it is now looking increasingly likely that there will be a Robinhood versus eToro showdown for stock investors in the US. It could all come down to whether investors choose a more hands-on or passive approach.

  • Is eToro Good for Beginners?

    eToro is one of the leading forex brokers for beginners due to its easy-to-use social trading platform. Though, anyone looking to play a more active role in their trading, or learn more, will not benefit from eToro’s products and offering. Nor will they have access to a quality customer support team.

What’s Better: Plus500 or Avatrade?

Plus500

RegulationMinimum DepositAsset CoverageBest forOverall
FCA (UK), CySec (Cyprus), ASIC (AU)$100CFDs on Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, Commodities, ETFs, Options, and IndicesBeginners looking for low fees and a quality platform6/10

AvaTrade

RegulationMinimum DepositAsset CoverageBest forOverall
ASIC (Australia), JFSA (Japan), IIROC (Canada)$100CFDs, Forex, Crypto, Commodities, Spreads, StocksTraders looking for quality educational material8/10

AvaTrade charges through its spreads, allowing it to offer low-cost trading and keeping everything easy to follow. Plus500 also works its fees into its spread. Depending on the products you want to trade, Plus500 could work out cheaper.

However, if you are looking to learn more about investing, AvaTrade has a strong range of educational material for those looking to master their trading strategy.

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