Moving on with our series of CFD, forex and cryptocurrency brokers comparisons, we will do a thorough examination of Plus500 and AvaTrade and how they fare in a direct duel.
Here is an article about AvaTrade, that answers how safe and legit is the platform.
Both brokers are big names in their industries with more than a decade of providing services for traders worldwide. Together with eToro and IQ Options, they represent the most prominent brands of retail trading brokerages.
So let’s crack on with the Plus500 vs AvaTrade comparison.
AvaTrade vs Plus500 at a glance
Please make sure to read the following disclaimer and objectively consider if CFD trading is for you. You might be better of by buying actual stocks and ETFs without leverage, something you can easily do via eToro.
CFDs are complex financial instruments and come with a high risk of losing money quickly due to leverage. You should stop and think through whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
|Instruments||CFDs of Stocks, Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Options, Indices, ETFs||Forex, Forex Options, CFDs of Stocks, Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Options, Indices, ETFs|
|Regulator||ASIC, FSP, FCA, CySec||ASIC (Australia), IIROC (Canada), FSP (S Africa), FSA (Japan), CBI (EU), FSRA (Middle East)|
|Mobile apps||iOS, Android and Windows||iOS, Android and Windows|
|Trading Software||WebTrader||MT4, MT5, WebTrader, AvaOptions, AvaTradeGO, DupliTrade|
|Base currency||GBP, USD, EUR, AUD||GBP, USD, EUR, AUD|
|Deposit/withdrawal methods||Bank Wire, VISA, MasterCard, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill||Bank Wire, VISA, MasterCard, Boleto, DinPay, FasaPay, gCard, Neteller, PaySec, SafeCharge, Skrill, VoguePay, WebMoney|
|Social Trading||No||Yes, via integration of external providers like ZuluTrade and DupliTrade.|
|Trade Signals||No||Yes, via MQL5|
|CFDs Spreads||Variable||FTSE 0.5pt|
GBPUSD 1.0 var
Stocks 0.13 Abv Market
|Forex Spreads||Variable||GBPUSD 1.0 var|
EURUSD 0.7 var
EURGBP 1.7 var
|Cryptocurrency||Offers only Crypto CFDs with tight spreads, ideal for speculators||Offers only Crypto CFDs with tight spreads, ideal for speculators|
|Spread on Crypto CFDs||BTC 0.5%, ETH 1%, LTC 1%||BTC <1%, ETH 2%|
|Coins||BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, IOTA, NEO, EOS, XMR||BCH, BTC, BTG, ETH, LTC, XRP, EOS, DASH|
AvaTrade vs Plus500: General info
Plus500 is an international financial brokerage firm which provides online trading services in contracts for difference (CFDs) across more than 2,000 securities and multiple asset classes including commodities, options, ETFs, forex, shares, and cryptocurrency.
And ever since Plus500 listed cryptocurrency CFDs that can be traded on a margin, it awakened the interest of crypto enthusiasts and comparisons between Plus500 and other cryptocurrency margin trading platforms. For this reason, we will do a thorough Plus500 review – so keep on reading.
Plus500 is regulated in 7 different countries and have been in business since 2008. They are headquartered in Haifa, Israel. Here are their official regulatory licenses: Regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 509909) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (License No. 250/14). 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.
Below is a quick tabular overview of Plus500 broker.
|?️ Country of regulation||UK, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Israel|
|? Trading fees class||Low|
|? Inactivity fee charged||Yes|
|? Withdrawal fee amount||$0|
|? Minimum deposit||$100|
|? Time to open an account||1 day|
|? Deposit with credit card||Available|
|? Depositing with electronic wallet||Available|
|? Number of base currencies supported||10|
|? Demo account provided||Yes|
|?️ Products offered||CFDs on Crypto, Commodities, Forex, Indices, ETFs, Options|
AvaTrade is a platform that has provided brokerage services since 2006, amassing a respectably-sized user base of more than 200 thousand individuals with its straightforward, fair business values and practices.
This fully regulated broker is located in Dublin, Ireland and has a presence in Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, British Virgin Islands, Australia and Japan. The platform mostly deals with forex and CFDs on stocks, commodities, indexes, forex, and cryptocurrencies. AvaTrade records monthly trade volumes of cca. 2 million trades, through which traders exchange around 60 billion pounds during that same timeframe.
AvaTrade is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and licensed by MiFID in the European Union. It is also regulated by ASIC in Australia, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan, as well as by the B.V.I Financial Services Commission in the British Virgin Islands.
As of 2016, AvaTrade is part of the South African market under the name “Ava Capital Markets Pty Ltd”, regulated by South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA No.45984). The company also has sales centers in Dublin, Paris, Milan, Sydney, Tokyo, Madrid, Mongolia, Beijing, Nigeria, Santiago, and Johannesburg.
Who has better fees and spreads: eToro or AvaTrade?
Fees charged by the broker can be classified into two groups: trading and non-trading fees. Plus500 fees are low to average and put them in the more attractive group of brokers when it comes to this criteria.
Plus500 will charge a currency conversion fee of up to 0.3% for all trades on instruments denominated in a currency different to the currency of your account.
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|S&P 500 CFD||Low||The fees are built into spread, 0.45 is the average spread cost.|
|Europe 50 CFD||Low||The fees are built into spread, 1 is the average spread cost.|
|EURUSD||Average||The fees are built into spread, 0.6 pips is the average spread cost.|
|Inactivity fee||Low||$10 per quarter after 3 months of inactivity|
However, all spread fees on Plus500 are variable and subject to change with time so you will need to check before every trade what are the current calculations of the broker and how much will they charge you for the service.
Based on our limited testing, Plus500 appears to be competitive with their spreads on most of its major forex pairs, while exotics are a hodgepodge. Discounts are not offered to active traders or VIP clients.
Plus500 also charges a variable overnight/rollover fees that are also variable and depend on the trading instrument.
As for the non-trading fees, Plus500 does charge the inactivity fee – $10.00 / month after 3 months of no logins.
Their cryptocurrency CFD spreads are around industry average – 0.50% for BTC, 0.80% for ETH and increases incrementally with other smaller coins like NEO which is traded at a 4.40% spread.
AvaTrade offers competitive fees that are, however, subject to frequent changes so it is best you make use of their calculator to see how much will your pay in fees for your position held on AvaTrade. They are transparent about this which is a big plus.
|• Low trading fees||• Inactivity fee|
|• No withdrawal fee||• Administration fee|
All trading on AvaTrade can be subject to charges and fees. AvaTrade reserves the right to cancel any excess trades or exposures that exceed the outlined threshold limits, all cancelled trades will be closed at their opening rates.
Below is a tabular overview of fee terms:
|Assets||Fee level||Fee terms|
|S&P 500 CFD||Low||The fees are built into spread, 0.5 is the average spread cost.|
|Europe 50 CFD||Low||The fees are built into spread, 1 pips is the average spread cost.|
|EURUSD||High||The fees are built into spread, 0.9 pips is the average spread cost.|
|Inactivity fee||High||$50 per quarter after 3 months of inactivity|
The platform also reserves the right to modify its threshold limits, affected clients will be notified in advance and may be required to reduce their exposure.
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Trading fees on platforms such as AvaTrade are influenced by the instrument you trade, leverage you use and duration of your contract. Depending on these three factors, you pay varying amounts of commission to the platform.
Overnight or swap or rollover fees are also charged on AvaTrade for the leveraged positions. NOTE: these fees can sometimes be positive and your account gets debited with funds instead of being charged. This depends on the assets you trade and if your position is long or short.
You can use the following formula to calculate your Overnight Interest amount:
Trade Size x End of Day Market Price x Daily Overnight Interest = Daily Overnight Interest Charged/Paid*
The important thing to note is that AvaTrade is very transparent about their fees and spreads and you can find calculating formulas or use their calculator to find out the fee your will be paying.
Minimum deposit & buying limits on eToro and AvaTrade
Plus500 has an industry average minimum deposit requirement of $100. Since it offers 3 additional base currencies: GBP, EUR and AUD – minimum deposit is 100 units of any of these currencies.
Plus500 also supports other minor currencies, but you will need to communicate this with their support and wait for their green light before depositing your local currency that is not one of the 4 above mentioned.
One important note is that deposits made with wire/bank transfer require a minimum deposit amount of $500. For all other payment methods the minimum deposit remains $100.
AvaTrade has 4 base currencies that you can use to fund your account and the minimum deposit amount is set at 100 units of each currency:
Deposit Via Credit card, Wire Transfer or E-wallets:
USD account – USD $100
EUR account – €100
GBP** account – £100
AUD** account – AUD $100
There are no maximum deposit limits on AvaTrade outside the limitations imposed by the banks and payment processors.
Deposit & Withdrawal methods
Deposit methods on Plus500 are numerous, similarly to other top brokers and include:
- Debit or Credit Card
- Bank / Wire Transfer
- Electronic Wallets: PayPal, Neteller, Skrill
AvaTrade offers a broad range of deposit methods that vary from country to country. Credit cards and wire transfers are default methods available to all users, globally. There are other deposit ways for certain regions such as e-payments like Skrill, WebMoney and Neteller. This is however, not available to the EU and Australian clients.
Same methods can be used to withdrawals but bear in mind that you will need to use the same method for deposit and withdrawal processes. The payment option you choose will need to be under your name.
Leverage & margins
Plus500 offers very high leverages, higher than the majority of other similar brokers:
- up to x300 for major currency pairs (such as EUR/USD)
- up to x20 for non-major currency pairs (such as EUR/NZD), Gold and major indices
- up to x150 for commodities other than Gold and non-major equity indices
- up to x10 for CFD stocks and ETFs
- up to x20 for cryptocurrency
Leverages on AvaTrade go from 2:1 to 400:1, depending on the asset CFD you choose to trade.
Cryptocurrencies are limited by the ESMA regulations to 2:1. Stock, bonds&treasuries and ETF CFDs can be traded with a 20:1 leverage.
Indices CFDs can be traded with a whopping 400:1 leverage. Leverage on commodities CFDs can go as high as 200:1.
What can you trade on Plus500 or Avatrade?
Plus500 is strictly a CFDs platform – they do not offer spot trading of any instrument listed on their platform. Their stocks, forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies etc are all in the form of CFDs.
These are the types of more than 2,000 financial instruments that can be traded on Plus500 (in the form of CFDs):
AvaTrade offers several types of tradable assets on the platform. Forex and Forex options can be traded with real assets while all others are in the form of CFDs:
Trading platforms on AvaTrade and Plus500
Plus500 has its own trading solution and is not using popular platforms like MT4 or MT5. The platform can be downloaded to your device or used via web-browser or mobile apps.
The platform is pretty solid but not too advanced: few advanced features available within Plus500’s flagship platform include trailing-stops and gaurunteed stop-loss orders (GSLO), which can be helpful risk management tools for traders.
The platform is newbie-friendly and features over 100 technical indicators and 21 drawing tools – more than sufficient for an average Joe.
However, the platform is not a good fit for experienced, power users as it has very limited research tools. It also has no integration with external signalers or copy traders.
The AvaTrade platform itself offers four types of trading software:
MetaTrader 4/5 and WebTrader – popular trading platform which gives the individual all the tools he needs to start trading.
AvaOptions is a FX Options trading platform that provides streaming prices of call and put options for major currencies along a diverse set of strike prices and dates. The platform provides users the ability to trade plain vanilla options or enter complex hedging strategies.
Automatic trading platforms like ZuluTrade/DupliTrade – Automated trading platforms enable traders to copy signals or mirror complete strategies in order to profit from the experience and knowledge of successful traders.
AvaTradeGo – This is the in-house built mobile application of the platform. Provides users with trading experience on the go, letting them trade more than 250 instruments all in the palm of their hand. Lets you manage multiple MT accounts and switch between demo and real accounts. AvaTradeGo comes enhanced with a feature called “Market Trends” which lets you track community behavior and gives the platform a social dimension.
Plus500 accepts traders from Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Qatar and most other countries.
Traders can not use Plus500 from the United States, Belgium, Iran, Canada, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Cameroon, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Egypt, Pakistan, France, Cayman Islands, Philippines.
Avatrade accepts traders from Australia, Thailand, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Qatar and most other countries.
Traders can not use Avatrade from the United States, Belgium, Zimbabwe, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan.
Plus500 offers chart and email support systems for their clients with no telephone number. Don’t be to surprised if the answers to your initial questions you put into their chat seem artificial and bot-like. They will probably be answered by an automated chatbot that will try to find a solution for you from their FAQs.
If it fails to do so, an actual support agent will take over and help you out with your issue.
“Customer support is available by email, phone, or live chat. Support is available in multiple languages and local numbers are available in many areas.”
AvaTrade prides itself for its multi-lingual customer support provided in 14 languages, so no matter where you are, you are probably covered. Customer support is available via email, phone, or live chat on the AvaTrade website.
In fact, AvaTrade offers local phone numbers you can call for countries all across the globe.
Trust and reputation
Plus500 is regulated in couple of juristidictions where it has to comply with the fund protection provisions as well. In the event of insolvency of Plus500 or their custodian funds, users are protected up to $50k and $85k respectively, under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Plus500 also offers a negative balance protection, which is another mandatory stipulation by the regulators.
Security and Safety
When you open an account with Plus500, they are obliged by the UK Financial Conduct Authority to hold their client money under strict protection rules and in segregated bank accounts.
Just like with many other brokers, there are a lot of complaints about the broker on popular forex rating sites but that is a mix of inexperienced traders falling prey to their own temerity and negligent behaviour and complexity of the offered financial instruments. Also, we do not want to absolve the broker of their responsibility as they do have a lot of pitfalls in the fine print and everybody is strongly advised to meticulously read the terms and agreements before signing up.
AvaTrade is in business for more than 12 years and claims to have 200,000 registered customers globally executing more than two million trades a month. The company’s total trading volumes surpass $60 billion per month.
It has a decent 4.2 average rating score on Trustpilot out of 2500 reviews. However, it has a terrible 1.9 score on the forex ratings platform ForexPeaceArmy.
There are definitely a lot of polar opposite testaments about the platform and their service: from outright scam accusations to marveling and applauds. Our advice is always not to put large sums of money on these platforms, keep it under your pain threshold, so you can easily swallow a potential loss caused by a platform fault.
Users from EU are protected via the ICCL Investor Compensation Company Ltd, which is an Ireland’s statutory ‘fund of last resort’ for customers of authorised investment firms. The protection is valid for amounts up to €20k.
Clients from other regions are not under any compensation scheme which something to bear in mind, especially if you hold larger sums of money on the platform.
Traders with crypto CFDs have no protection, no matter the region they come from since cryptocurrencies are not regulated in any jurisdiction across the globe.
Education & research
It is fair to say that Plus500’s education and research segment is not their strong suit. They offer almost no research articles or videos, no news feed aside of a handy economics calendar and traders sentiment – you can see it in a form of a bar that shows how many buyers/sellers are there for certain trading pair/instrument.
Their platform is solidly equipped for charting – there are all advanced indicators and tools for efficient technical analysis.
AvaTrade focused a lot on this segment of their platform with Sharp Trader, the premium educational website with exclusive content for AvaTrade customers. Sharp Trader offers a comprehensive range of videos, articles, daily news and trading tools, taking you from trading fundamentals to the advanced strategies of leading professional traders.
AvaTrade provides an economic calendar and limited research through sharptrader.com as well. AutoChartist intra-day updates feature short-term technical signals and there are sections for economic news, fundamental analysis of assets etc.
Special features on Plus500 & AvaTrade
Plus500 offers no special features such as external trading signals or copy trading, PAMM or MAM (special integrations where you can manage other people’s funds or let someone else manage yours). Plus500 obviously puts focus on the basics, making it simple and easy for relatively new traders to buy CFDs of their choice with no super advanced options.
AvaTrade can access third-party platforms like ZuluTrade for copy and social trading. There is also support for automated trading platform DupliTrade which is a MT4 compatible platform that allows traders to automatically follow experienced traders’ signals and strategies in real time. Another MT4 integrated service is MQL5, a signal service that has thousands of external signal providers you can use when trading.
Final thoughts: who is better in the end – Plus500 or AvaTrade?
In the end, we can safely say that AvaTrade is the better platform overall.
While Plus500 has a broad offering of markets and instruments, their platform is not too advanced and has no special features like trading signals or copy trading options. AvaTrade has both of these features as they use external providers for signals and platforms for copy trading.
Additionally, Plus500 has no integration with MT4/5 trading softwares and their fee/spread structure is less transparent than the one of AvaTrade. AvaTrade has a handy calculator that informs you about your fees prior to position opening.
AvaTrade also puts much more focus on education and research segment by cooperating with external providers of news, analysis, charts and signals.
All in all – a winner of this Plus500 vs AvaTrade competition, by a solid margin, is AvaTrade.
Before we wrap it up, here are other guides and comparisons that might be of interest to you:
CaptainAltcoin's writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CaptainAltcoin.com