plus500-review

Plus500 Review 2023

  • 9.4

Plus500 review summary

Plus500 is a global CFD broker, listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market and regulated by many authorities including the UK FCA and CySEC of Cyprus. Plus500 has a simple, easy-to-use site, with an especially well-designed mobile platform. The account opening process and customer support are great. During our account opening testing, our account was opened within a day. Plus500 also provides a demo account that can be opened immediately. On the negative side, Plus500 has standard research tools, like recommendations and fundamental data are not available. Also, CFD trading fees are average. BrokerChooser gave Plus500 a 4.7/5 rating based on analyzing 500+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

Plus500 is a regulated broker, it is overseen by top-tier financial regulators in multiple countries . Plus500 is also covered by investor protection in selected jurisdictions. We at BrokerChooser always test brokers with real money, including the withdrawal process.

You can't open an account at Plus500 if you live in Pakistan. See the best alternative available in your country.

Plus500 pros and cons

ProsCons
Easy-to-use platform Mediocre research tools
Great account opening Average CFD fees
Quick and helpful customer support 

Plus500 main highlights

🗺️ Country of regulationUK, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Israel, Seychelles
💰 Trading fees classLow
💰 Inactivity fee chargedYes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount$0
💰 Minimum deposit$100
🕖 Time to open an account1 days
💳 Deposit with bank cardavailable
👛 Depositing with electronic walletavailable
💱 Number of base currencies supported16
🎮 Demo account providedYes
🛍️ Products offeredStock, Futures, CFD
Our overall Interactive Brokers rating
  • 9.4

  • Fees
    8
  • Account opening
    10
  • Deposit and withdrawal
    10
  • Web trading platform
    9
  • Mobile Trading platform
    10
  • Markets and products
    8
  • Research
    6.6
  • Customer service
    10
  • Education
    7
Plus500 review

Fees

Plus500 has low stock trading fees and charges no withdrawal fee. There is an inactivity fee, but it’s charged only if you don’t log in to the platform. On the negative side, forex CFD fees are average.

ProsCons
Low real stock fees Average forex CFD fees
No withdrawal fee 
Inactivity fee applies only if you don’t log in to the platform 
Plus500 fees snapshot
AssetsFee levelFee terms
S&P 500 CFDAverageThe fees are built into the spread, 0.7 points is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
Europe 50 CFDAverageThe fees are built into the spread, 2 points is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
EURUSDAverageThe fees are built into the spread, 0.8 points is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
Inactivity feeAverage$10 per month after 3 months of inactivity. Inactivity means that you don’t log in to your account

The fees/spreads were collected on Nov 4, 20212 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. CET. Rates are subject to change. To see current rates, check Plus500’s website.

How we ranked fees

We ranked Plus500’s fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let’s go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Plus500 for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading, the most important fees are spreads, commissions and financing rates.

We also compared Plus500’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, eToro and Capital.com. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Plus500 alternatives.

To have a clear overview of Plus500, let’s start with its trading fees.

Plus500 trading fees

Plus500 trading fees are average.

We know it’s hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We selected popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone
  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stock index and stock CFDs and $20,000 for the forex transactions. The leverage we used was:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let’s see the verdict for Plus500 fees.

Stock CFD and stock index CFD fees

Plus500 has overall average CFD trading fees.

There is no commission: everything is included in the spread when trading CFDs with this provider, i.e. the difference between the ask and bid prices. However, fees are lower at the featured competitors.

Plus500 CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
S&P 500 index CFD fee$3.5$3.1$2.5
Europe 50 index CFD fee$3.3$3.2$6.0
Apple CFD fee$13.3$6.4$2.3
Vodafone CFD fee$17.0$4.2

Forex CFD fees

Plus500 forex fees are average. Again, there is no commission, and everything is included in the spreads.

Plus500 forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
EURUSD benchmark fee$18.7$15.6$13.1
GBPUSD benchmark fee$14.9$4.5$7.8
AUDUSD benchmark fee$12.6$9.6$9.4
EURCHF benchmark fee$11.4$12.5$3.2
EURGBP benchmark fee$15.5$16.4$12.4

Spreads for the above-mentioned assets were collected on December 13, 2021, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. CET.

Real stock fees

Plus500 has generally low stock commissions, especially in USA markets. 

Plus500 stock commission for a $2,000 trade
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
US stock$0.1$0.0$0.0
UK stock$2.3$0.0
German stock$2.0$0.0$0.0

The stock trading fee at Plus500 is volume-based: it’s calculated either per share or as a percentage of the trade value, with a minimum. 

Plus500 stock fees
MarketCommissionMinimum
USA$0.006 / share
UK0.045 % of the trade value£2
Germany0.045 % of the trade value €2
France0.045 % of the trade value€2
Italy0.045 % of the trade value€2
Spain0.06 % of the trade value€2
Portugal0.075 % of the trade value€6
Ireland0.075 % of the trade value€5.25
Finland0.045 % of the trade value€4
Sweden0.045 % of the trade valueSEK 25
Denmark0.045 % of the trade valueDKK 30
Norway0.055 % of the trade valueNOK 37.5
Austria0.075 % of the trade value€4
Netherlands0.075 % of the trade value€4
Australia0.0525 % of the trade valueAUD 4.5

Futures fees

Plus500 futures fees are generally low. Futures trading is only available for US citizens through the Trade Sniper platform.

Plus500 stock index futures commission of 10 contracts
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
US micro e-mini stock index futures$4.9

Non-trading fees

Plus500 has average non-trading fees. Plus500 charges no withdrawal, account or deposit fees.

On the other hand, there is an inactivity fee of $10 per quarter after 3 months of inactivity. However, you can get around having to pay the inactivity fee if you simply log in to the platform. At some other brokers, you have to trade in order to not be charged an inactivity fee, logging in is not enough. 

Plus500 non-trading fees
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
Account feeNoNoNo
Inactivity feeYesYesNo
Deposit fee$0$0$0
Withdrawal fee$0$5$0
Plus500 review

Account opening

Plus500 account opening is seamless, fast and fully digital. You can open your trading account within a day.

ProsCons
Fast None
Fully digital 
 Low minimum deposit 

79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Plus500 accepts customers from many countries all around the world. However, there are some notable exceptions: for example, residents of the US and Canada can’t open an account, and other countries such as Cuba, Iran and Syria are also excluded.

What is the minimum deposit at Plus500?

The Plus500 minimum deposit is $100 for debit/credit cards and electronic wallets and $500 for bank transfers.

Account types

Plus500 only offers one account type for most clients, which is often referred to as a Retail account.

You can apply for a Professional account only if you meet two of the following three criteria: 

  • Sufficient trading activity in the last 12 months
  • Financial instrument portfolio over €500,000 
  • Relevant experience in the financial services sector 

How to open your account

If you want an efficient and digital account opening process, Plus500 is the provider for you.

After the online registration, you have to verify your identity and provide proof of residency. You can upload a copy of your ID or passport to verify your identity, and a bank statement or utility bill to verify your residency. Alternatively, you can use a driving license or a residence permit for ID verification, or a toll taxes letter, salary slip or address card to verify your residency.

Plus500 review – Account opening

Our best alternatives to Plus500 are:

The highest ranking competitors are:

  1. eToro full review
  2. Capital.com full review
  3. XTB full review
  4. IG full review
Plus500 review

Deposit and withdrawal

Plus500’s deposit and withdrawal services are great. You have many options and the processes are simple and free of charge.

ProsCons
Credit/Debit card availableNone
Free withdrawal 
No deposit fee 

Account base currencies

At Plus500, there are several currencies available, even minor ones, but it is not transparent how many and which ones. The following account currencies are available for sure: USD, GBP, EUR, CHF, AUD, JPY, PLN, HUF, CZK, CAD, TRY, SEK, NOK and SGD. The default account currency is set based on your country of residency.

You need to contact support if you wish to change your base currency.

Base currencies at Plus500 vs similar brokers
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Number of base currencies1615

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don’t have to pay a conversion fee.

Plus500 will charge a currency conversion fee of up to 0.7% for all trades on instruments denominated in a currency different from the currency of your account. 

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. These usually offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Deposit fees and options

Plus500 charges no deposit fees.

As with other CFD brokers, there are a lot of depositing options at Plus500:

  • Bank transfer
  • Credit/debit card
  • PayPal
  • Skrill

Which e-wallet options are available depends on your region; not all options are available in every country. 

Plus500 deposit options
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
Bank transferYesYesYes
Credit/debit cardYesYesYes
Electronic walletsYesYesYes

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card and electronic wallets is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

Plus500 review – Deposit and withdrawal – Deposit

Plus500 withdrawal fees and options

Plus500 withdrawal is free of charge, but you can make only 5 withdrawals per month. If you exceed this number, Plus500 may charge you $10 for each additional withdrawal. There is also a minimum withdrawal amount, which is $50 for PayPal/Skrill and $100 for bank transfers and credit/debit cards.

The same withdrawal methods are available as for deposits.

Plus500 withdrawal fees and options
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
Bank transferYesYesYes
Credit/debit cardYesYesYes
Electronic walletsYesYesYes
Withdrawal fee$0$5$0

How long does it take to withdraw money from Plus500? We tested the debit card transfer withdrawal and it took more than 3 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

As with deposits, not all e-wallet withdrawal options are available in every country. 

Plus500 review – Deposit and Withdrawal – Withdrawal

How do you withdraw money from Plus500?

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Click the ‘Menu’ icon in the top left corner.
  3. Click ‘Withdraw’.
  4. Enter the amount you’d like to withdraw.
  5. Initiate the transaction by clicking ‘Open a Withdrawal’.
Plus500 review

Web trading platform

The Plus500 web trading platform is quite easy to use and also looks great. On the negative side, it cannot be customized.

ProsCons
 User-friendly Limited customizability for workspace
Clear fee report 
Two-step (safer) login 
Plus500 platforms to choose from
Trading platformScoreAvailable
Web
4.5
stars
Yes
Mobile
5.0
stars
Yes
Desktop


No

Plus500 has its own-developed web platform, called Web-Trader. It is available in quite a lot of languages.

Available languages at Plus500
ArabicBulgarianChineseCroatianCzechDanish
DutchEnglishEstonianFinnishFrenchGerman
HebrewHungarianIcelandicItalianLithuanianMalay
MaltesePolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSlovakian
SlovenianSpanishSwedishTraditional ChineseTurkish 

Look and feel

The Plus500 web platform has a clean, well-designed look and is easy to use. You can choose a dark mode as well.

On the downside, you cannot customize the platform.

Plus500 review – Web trading platform

Disclaimer: Illustrative prices.

Login and security

Plus500 provides a safer, two-step login. Google and Facebook authentication are also available, which is quite convenient.

Search functions

The search function is great, you will have no trouble finding anything. You can find the products categorized on the left or you can search by typing in the product name.

Plus500 review – Web trading platform – Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing stop
  • Guaranteed stop: this guarantees that your position will be closed even if there is a large market movement. However, if you use it, the spread will be wider. This is the extra cost of using this order type.

 

To get a better understanding of these terms, read our overview of order types.

These orders can be canceled at any time before they are executed, i.e. they are Good ’till Canceled (GTC). However, there are no other order time limits provided.

Plus500 review – Web trading platform – Order panel

Disclaimer: Illustrative prices.

Alerts and notifications

We liked the platform’s alert and notification functions. This is great, as investor accounts can easily lose money if they are not notified of sudden price changes. You can set up email, SMS and push notifications.

The alert lets you know if the price of an asset reaches a certain level or changes by a set percentage. Additionally, you can sign up to be alerted if the Plus500 Traders’ Sentiment (the percentage of buyers and sellers among Plus500 customers) reaches a certain level.

Portfolio and fee reports

Plus500 provides transparent portfolio and fee reports. It is clearly indicated how much you paid in overnight fees. The composition of your current portfolio is also made clear, which you can check in the bar at the top of the platform.

Multiple Charts

Plus500 clients can view up to 9 charts simultaneously on Web-Trader. To enable Multiple Charts on the web trading platform, look for a button with four quadrants on the chart’s toolbar.

79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Plus500 review

Mobile trading platform

The Plus500 mobile platform is well-designed and user-friendly.

ProsCons
User-friendlyNone
Two-step (safer) login 
Good search function 

The Plus500 mobile platform is very similar to the web platform. It has the same functionalities and is also user-friendly: same order types, same options for notifications. This is a great addition for investors trading CFDs, as they can be notified of sudden price changes in time.

You can download the trading app for iOS, Android and Windows. You can also use your smartwatch, but we stuck to a conventional smartphone and tested the mobile iOS app. It was great.

Plus500 provides a safe two-step login and you can also use biometric authentication, which is a convenient feature.

Plus500 review – Mobile platform

Disclaimer: Illustrative prices.

Plus500 – Mobile platform – Search

Plus500 – Mobile platform – Order panel

Disclaimer: Illustrative prices.

79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Plus500 review

Desktop trading platform

Plus500 does not offer a desktop trading platform.

79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Plus500 review

Markets and products

At Plus500 you can trade mainly CFDs (CFD forex, stock index, stock, ETF, commodity and crypto), stocks and futures. Further popular asset classes, like ETFs or options are not available. Futures trading is only available for US citizens.

Plus500 is a CFD broker. To learn more about CFDs read our CFD trading tips.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500 offers a good selection of CFDs, althought it falls short compared to some of its competitors. 
On the other hand, they offer a wide range of stocks, unlike their closest competitors.

Plus500 product selection
 Plus500eToroCapital.com
Currency pairs (#)6649138
Stock index CFDs (#)291626
Stock CFDs (#)1,9002,0005,430
ETF CFDs (#)96264150
Commodity CFDs (#)222448
Bond CFDs (#)
Futures CFDs (#)
Cryptos (#)1976490

Interactive Brokers has a great selection of products, with an exceptionally wide range of ETFs and bonds. IB also offers a couple of more exotic assets, such as warrants and structured products. It only lags behind its competitors in terms of FX pair and CFD selection.

IB provides access to roughly 150 exchanges worldwide, including its alternative services, such as Interactive Advisors. This is an asset management service that is a mix of robo-advisory and social trading.

Stocks and ETFs

Interactive Brokers allows you access to more stock markets than its competitors

This includes major stock markets like the NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE), as well as minor ones such as the Warsaw Stock Exchange or Mexican markets. In addition to regular stocks, penny stocks are also available. 

Besides stocks, you can also trade more than 13,000 ETFs at IB. This is an extensive selection compared to its competitors.

Interactive Brokers stock and ETF selection 
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Stock markets (#)835031
ETFs (#)13,0006,4005,400

Interactive Brokers provide the possibility of buying and selling fractional shares of a stock, which allows traders to invest small amounts and still diversify their portfolios. Fractional shares are available for US and European stocks.

Forex

The number of forex pairs available is average and a bit below what Saxo Bank offers.

Interactive Brokers forex selection
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Currency pairs (#)105190

Funds

Through IB, you have access to more than 250 fund providers, including big names like BlackRock and Vanguard.

Interactive Brokers mutual fund selection
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Fund providers (#)4001764

Bonds

Interactive Brokers gives you access to a massive number of bonds. Out of all government and corporate bonds available at IB, 1.4 million are so-called municipal bonds: these are fixed income investments issued by US local governments, cities, states and counties, but they are tradable only by US residents. The table below does not include municipal bonds in the overall number of bonds, but even so, the figure is  higher than at competitor brokers.

Interactive Brokers bond selection
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Bonds (#)1,065,0004,500649

Options

As with other product types, Interactive Brokers offers an extremely wide range of options markets

You can access the biggest ones, like the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) or the CME Group, as well as smaller markets, such as the Korea Stock Exchange (KSE) and the Mexican Derivatives Exchange (MEXDER).

Interactive Brokers options selection
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Options markets (#)342012

Futures

Interactive Brokers offers an extensive selection of futures products and markets. At the time of writing, there were 32 markets available, which is more than what competitors offer. Similarly to options, you will find both major and minor markets.

Interactive Brokers futures selection
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank DEGIRO
Futures markets (#) 32 28 14

CFDs

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 60.0% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Clients from the US are not eligible to trade CFDs. Compared to other products and competitors, IB offers an average range of CFDs, mainly stock and stock index CFDs.

Interactive Brokers CFD selection
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank DEGIRO
Stock index CFDs (#) 13 20
Stock CFDs (#) 7,100 7,800
ETF CFDs (#) 1,100
Commodity CFDs (#) 20
Bond CFDs (#) 8

Cryptos

At IB, you can trade cryptos the following ways:

  • Bitcoin and Ethereum ETNs are traded on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and the US OTC (Pink) markets
  • Bitcoin Index is available on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), on the CME Group and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)
  • Bitcoin futures are available on the CME Group
  • Through a partnership with Paxos, you can trade and custody cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash 

If you want to know more about crypto investing, we recommend our crypto blogpost.

Interactive Brokers crypto selection
 Interactive BrokersSaxo BankDEGIRO
Cryptos (#)432

Please note that the FCA banned the sale of crypto-derivatives by UK retail consumers from 6 January 2021.

Asset management service

Interactive Advisors is IB’s own asset management service, which allows you to copy professional portfolio managers and lets you automatically make trades as professionals do.

You can choose from among many portfolio managers to find the one that fits you best, with real-time portfolio performance available.

The minimum investment depends on the portfolio you want to invest in: the lowest investment amount starts at $5,000.

Interactive Brokers review

Research

Interactive Brokers has almost limitless research possibilities, but the user interface is not the most user-friendly.

ProsCons
Good interactive chart Not user-friendly
Trading ideas 
Data on asset fundamentals 

The quality of research available at Interactive Brokers is good and you can choose various third-party providers as well.

Recommendations

You can opt in to receive email communication from IB if there’s a new analyst buy or sell recommendation on the stock you hold or about upcoming dividends, upcoming options expiry and much more. We think this is a very useful feature for stock investors.

You can also opt in to get free daily ETF trading ideas from Trading Central. Both of the above options are free.

 Additionally, you can subscribe to research and recommendations provided by third parties like Morningstar via the Client Portal. To do so, select ‘Menu-Settings-User Settings’ and then ‘Research Subscriptions’. However, most are not free.

Fundamental data

Interactive Brokers provides a broad selection of fundamental data on all of its platforms. These include income statements for the past six years, a dividend calendar and peer group companies, to name but a few.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores from Refinitiv are also provided.

Interactive Brokers review – Research – ESG

For screening stocks, we recommend using IBKR GlobalAnalyst. It will create searchable and sortable tables so that you can compare companies grouped by region or country or industry at current prices in the currency of your choice.

In the picture below, we searched for US-listed consumer discretionary companies and sorted them so we see those with the highest earnings growth first.

Interactive Brokers review – Research – screener tool

Charting

The charting features are almost endless at Interactive Brokers. There are 127 technical indicators; however, similar to the platforms, the charting tool is not user-friendly. 

Interactive Brokers review – Research – Charting

Other special technical tools include:

  • Stock/ETF benchmarker: helps you compare your stock and portfolio to a selected benchmark
  • Mutual fund and ETF replicator
  • Volatility lab
  • Option probability lab: a group of option analysis functions
  • VaR, Sharpe: portfolio performance analyzers

News feed

You have access to:

  • News
  • Daily summaries
  • Multiple economic calendars

Interactive Brokers has its own news domain called ‘Traders’ Insight’. It also provides integrated third-party news and recommendations on the IB desktop platform.

Upon entering the platform, you can read daily market summaries through the ‘Daily Lineup’. This feature helps you keep up to date with the latest news and analyst recommendations. There is also an Earnings and an Economic Event Calendar that are helpful shortcuts to start off your day.

Interactive Brokers review – Research – News

The Economic Calendar informs you about upcoming events that will have an economic impact. This feature can be accessed separately any time from the menu, though the design could be better. If you are looking for an all-around economic calendar that includes upcoming national holidays, you can find it here on IB’s page.

Interactive Brokers review – Research – Economic calendar

Mutual Fund Search Tool

As of June 2020, Interactive Brokers has launched the Mutual Fund Search Tool on their website. This tool enables clients to browse and select international mutual funds by country, fund family and whether the fund charges extra commissions. With the ‘Fund Type’ filter, you can also search for funds based on their structure (e.g. only bond, only equity, or mixed investments).

Interactive Brokers review – Research – Mutual Fund Search

Investors’ Marketplace 

Another new addition available from June 2020 is the Investors’ Marketplace. This is an overall networking tool, helping investors, brokers and hedge fund account holders, as well as others, to connect. The purpose of the connection can range from education to career development, advisory, administration and technology. 

Tax Optimizer, Shortable Instruments and alternative news sources

US residents can take advantage of IB’s Tax Optimizer, which lets clients choose their best tax method based on IRS reporting rules after trading. This includes maximizing long-term gains or minimizing long-term losses. 

The Shortable Instruments (SLB) Search tool lists the available shortable securities within the web platform and the borrowing volume that is provided for these securities. (SLB stands for Securities Lending/Borrowing.) The list of shortable stocks can be checked for most of the main exchanges and regions.

Interactive Brokers review

Customer service

Interactive Brokers’s customer service could be better. You can contact them via phone, email, live chat and an automated ‘iBot’, and receive mostly relevant answers. However, waiting times can be long, especially on the phone.

ProsCons
 Phone support Slow support
Live chat 
Relevant answers 

You can contact Interactive Brokers via:

  • Live chat
  • Phone 
  • Instead of email, you have to use the ‘Message Center’ that is accessible from the Client portal

Customer service is available in several regions and languages, namely English, Russian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese.

Regional Service Desks and hours of operation
LocationNumberHours of operation (Time Zone)
United States1 (877) 442-2757 Toll free
1 (312) 542-6901 Direct dial
14:00 (Mon – Fri) – 02:00 (Tue – Sat) (Europe/Berlin)
19:00 (Sun) – 01:00 (Mon) (Europe/Berlin)
Canada1 (877) 745-4222 Toll free
1 (514) 847-3499 Direct dial
14:00 – 23:30 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Europe00800-42-276537 Toll free
+41-41-726-9500 Direct dial

+44 207-710-5695 Direct dial (United Kingdom)
09:00 – 18:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Russia8-800-100-8556 Toll free
+41-41-726-9506 (Russian)
08:00 – 17:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Hong Kong+852-2156-7907 Direct dial02:00 – 11:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Australia+61 (2) 8093 7300 Direct dial00:30 – 10:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
India+91 22 61289888 Direct dial
+91 22 39696188 Direct dial
02:30 – 14:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
China+86 (21) 6086 8586 Direct dial03:00 – 12:00 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)
Japan+81 (3) 4588 9700 Direct dial
+81 (3) 4588 9710 Direct dial (English)
01:30 – 10:30 (Mon – Fri) (Europe/Berlin)

Our experience with customer service was mixed.

In 2019, we tested the chat, email and phone support, three times each. Email responses arrived within a day. The wait time for a representative in a live chatroom was rather long (e.g. more than three minutes), but after they came online, the experience was smooth and we received relevant answers. The waiting time on the phone call was around one minute.

In January 2021, customer services collapsed for Europeans as lots of clients had to migrate from the UK entity to another one because of Brexit. Messages went unanswered for 5-10 days and it was not possible to contact IB by phone either.

Currently, the level of customer service is back to its baseline level, which is a bit below the industry average.

Interactive Brokers review – Customer Service

The platform to me is not user-friendly at all and very confusing. I have played around with many other platforms and all have been easier to use and customize. But my biggest issue was the customer service. Very long wait times. Agents have no enthusiasm, they don’t have much knowledge about their own processes and policies.

Rend777

Interactive Brokers review

Education

Interactive Brokers offers a wide range of quality educational materials and tools, including videos, courses, webinars, a glossary, and a demo account.

ProsCons
Demo account None
Trading platform tutorial 
Educational videos 

At Interactive Brokers, you can learn in the following ways:

  • Paper (demo) account
  • Online courses
  • Webinars
  • Educational videos
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • Glossary
  • News

Interactive Brokers review – Education

Once you set up a trading account, you can also open a Paper Trading Account. This is a demo account: all paper accounts start with $1,000,000 in virtual money, which you can use to experiment with IB’s platforms and trading services.

In addition to the above services, you can choose from multiple courses based on your trading skills. There is also a glossary that helps you understand technical terms, unfamiliar expressions and acronyms.

Interactive Brokers review

Safety

Interactive Brokers is regulated by several financial authorities, including top-tier ones like the SEC in the US and the UK’s FCA. Its parent company is listed on the NASDAQ exchange.

ProsCons
Listed on stock exchange None
Negative balance protection 
 Regulated by top-tier financial authorities 

Is Interactive Brokers regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities, like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Is Interactive Brokers safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

Interactive Brokers Group is an international broker, operating through multiple entities globally. This matters for you because Interactive Brokers provides negative balance protection, and the investor protection amount and the regulating authority differ from entity to entity.

Interactive Brokers provides negative balance protection for forex spot and CFD trading, but only for retail clients from the European Union. Professional and non-EU clients are not covered with any negative balance protection 

Interactive Brokers legal entities
Country of clientsProtection amountRegulatorLegal entity
UK£85,000 *Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited
USA$500,000 ($250,000 cash limit) **Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Interactive Brokers LLC
EU countries in Northern and Western Europe€20,000Central Bank of Ireland (CBI)Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited
EU countries in Central/Eastern Europe & Cyprus & Malta & Greece€100,000 ***Central Bank of Hungary (MNB)Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt.
CanadaCAD 1,000,000Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)Interactive Brokers Canada Inc.
AustraliaNo protectionAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)Interactive Brokers Australia PTY LTD
IndiaNo protectionSecurities and Exchange Board of India (BSE)Interactive Brokers (India) PVT. LTD.
JapanNo protectionFinancial Services Agency (FSA)Interactive Brokers Securities Japan Inc.
Hong KongNo protectionHong Kong Securities and Futures CommissionInteractive Brokers Hong Kong Limited 
SingaporeNo protectionMonetary Authority of SingaporeInteractive Brokers Singapore Pte. Ltd.

*If you are from the UK, the regulator and the protection amount also depends on the type of assets that you are trading:

  • If you trade forex, CFDs, non-US stock index options and futures, you are protected by the FCA, up to the amount of £85,000. 
  • If you trade stocks, bonds, funds and US stock index options, you are protected by the US investor protection (the protection amount is $500,000 with a cash limit of $250,000).

** In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment company shares, as well as other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.

*** Client accounts at IBCE are protected by Hungary’s Act CXX of 2001 on the Capital Market up to an amount of EUR 100,000. The amount paid by the insurance fund is:
100% up to the limit of the EUR equivalent of one million HUF (equivalent to EUR 2,800 on 12th December 2020),
Above one million forints: 1 million forints and 90% of the part above one million forints to a maximum of EUR 100,000.

Background

Interactive Brokers is based in the USA and was founded in 1977. During the last more four decades, IB managed to remain a leading force in the global brokerage market, despite multiple economic crises, which is a good sign for the broker’s safety.

Interactive Brokers Group (the holding company of the different entities) is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange. The listing makes the broker more transparent, as it has to publish financial statements regularly. 

Being a listed entity and rand the fact that it’s egulated by both the UK’s FCA and the US SEC are all great signs for Interactive Brokers’s safety.

In recent negative news, Interactive Brokers was fined $38 million by US regulators in August 2020 for not monitoring hundreds of millions of wire transfers that were potentially used for money laundering purposes. In addition, IB also failed to report some potential manipulations regarding microcap securities.

Is Interactive Brokers safe?

Yes, Interactive Brokers is considered safe because of the following:

  • Listed on stock exchange
  • Offers negative balance protection
  • Regulated by top-tier financial authorities
Interactive Brokers review

Bottom line

Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest US-based lowest spread brokers, regulated by several top-tier regulators globally. We recommend this broker both for advanced traders and for everyday investors who want to have access to many stock markets. On the plus side, IB offers very low fees, a vast range of markets and products, and diverse research tools. There are some drawbacks, though. We weren’t satisfied with the quaity of the customer service and the account opening process is complicated. Unlike the web and mobile platforms, the desktop platform is complex and hard to get a handle on, especially for beginners. If you have experience navigating complex platforms and enjoy transparent, low-cost trading, Interactive Brokers is a great fit for you.

A really excellent broker truly the most comprehensive that serves all US & most free markets advanced securities to UK & EU clients.

Simeon

Interactive Brokers review

FAQ

Does Interactive Brokers charge a monthly fee?

Interactive Brokers does not charge any recurring fees such as account maintenance fees or inactivity fees.

What is the minimum amount to deposit in Interactive Brokers?

To open an Interactive Brokers account, the required minimum deposit is $0. Meaning, there is no minimum deposit. To start trading you need to deposit at least $100.

Is Interactive Brokers free?

Yes, Interactive Brokers is freeif you are from the US and use IBKR LiteIBKR Lite charges $0, and provides US stocks and ETFs only. However, order execution quality is bad because of PFOF (payment for order flow).

What fees does Interactive Brokers charge?

US clients can trade US-listed stocks and ETFs for $0 per share with the IBKR LITE plan. If you choose IBKR Pro, you pay $0.005 per share with $1 minimum and 1% maximum for US-listed stocks and ETFs. Annual margin rates are also really favorable at Interactive Brokers: benchmark rate + 1.5% for IBKR Pro (3.08% as of the writing), and benchmark rate + 2.5% for IBKR Lite (4.08% as of the writing).

How long does it take to withdraw money from Interactive Brokers?

It takes 2 to 4 days to withdraw money from IBKR depending on your bank and location. You can make one withdrawal per calendar month for free.

Can I open a cash account with Interactive Brokers?

Yes, you can open a cash account at Interactive Brokers. When you use cash account, you’re not allowed to borrow from the broker, ie. you can’t use margin. Cash account limits the potential losses, you can’t lose more than the originally invested amount.

How long does it take to get an IBKR account?

To get a live IBKR account takes usually 2-3 days.

How is Interactive Brokers so cheap?

Apart from their most basic features, Interactive Brokers charges other, extra aspects of the service, from which they generate revenue. For example extra features include live market data & news subscriptions.

How do I buy stock in Interactive brokers?

  1. On the Client Portal hover to the ‘Trade’ menu and choose the product you like to trade with

  2. Click on “Enter symbol” and find the product of your choice. Some tickers may have alternative versions on different exchanges

  3. Choose how many shares / how big of an investment you’d like to make 

  4. Choose your order type, limit price and time-in-force (if needed)

  5. Submit your order

  6. You’ll see the status of your order in ‘Trade’ – ‘Orders & Trades’ once it’s filled

How long does it take for IBKR to approve?

It usually takes about two or three working days for Interactive Brokers to approve your account once you have completed the online application form and submitted all required documents.

Who can open an interactive broker account?

Interactive Brokers is present in almost all countries of the world, so unless you live in a politically or economically unstable or isolated country such as North Korea or Syria, you will be able to open an account. In most countries, you need to be 18 or older to open a Cash account, and 21 or older to be able to trade on margin.

How do I know if my IBKR account is approved?

You will be notified by email once your IBKR account is approved. This usually happens about two working days after you have completed your application. You can also log in through the “Complete Application” link you received earlier to view your application status.

How much do I need to open an Interactive Brokers account?

To open an Interactive Brokers account, the required minimum deposit for a basic Cash account is $0, meaning there is no minimum deposit. To actually start trading, you need to deposit at least $100. If you want to trade on margin (ie. use leverage), you must deposit at least $2,000.

How long does it take to open an account at IBKR?

It usually takes about 2-3 working days to get a live IBKR account. Completing the application form takes about 30+ minutes

How do I transfer money to Interactive broker?

The only way to deposit money to Interactive Brokers is via bank transfer. To initiate a deposit, log in to the Client Portal, navigate to the ‘Transfer & Pay’ menu and select ‘Transfer Funds’. Select the exact method and currency of your deposit, then follow the on-screen instructions.

How long does deposit take IBKR?

It takes around 2-3 business days using bank transfer.

Can I use debit card with Interactive Brokers?

Deposit by debit cards is only available to US customers.

Can I use PayPal to fund Interactive Brokers?

No, you can’t use PayPal to fund your Interactive Brokers account.

Can I transfer USD to IBKR?

Yes, you can transfer USD to your IBKR account.

Does Interactive Brokers have instant deposit?

No, Interactive Brokers does not have instant deposit.

What is ATS on IBKR? Is this a way to automate my investments?

Automation can mean multiple things, such as IBKR’s ‘ATS’ or Automated Trading System. ‘ATS’ is an algo trading service which is a complex order method primarily used to trade against incoming SmartRouted orders. If you’d like to use this feature, choose ‘IBKRATS’ in the ‘Destination’ field on the order panel using TWS. 

If you’d like to dwell in algo trading, Interactive Brokers has a Python native API to let you automatize your trades through Python codes.

Which language can you use for API trading on Interactive Brokers?

Interactive Brokers offers the following API programming languages: DDE, Java, C++ and ActiveX. These can be used to connect directly to the trading system.

What are fractional shares?

Fractional shares are a portion of a real share. It means that you own only a part of a share. Let’s say you need $1000 to buy a company’s stock but you only want to invest $400. You can then buy a fractional share and own 0.4 of the stock.

What is IBKR GlobalTrader?

IBKR GlobalTrader is a simple, easy-to-use mobile application dedicated to stock trading worldwide. Through this app, users all over the world have access to Stocks, Fractional Shares, ETFs, and Funds. Cryptos are available as well, but only in certain regions. For US clients, the service is commission free. Non-US clients are charged $0.0035 per share, which is considered low. 

If you’d like to read more  we have published a full review on IBKR GobalTrader, detailing more platform features like fractionals, stock swap, and the account opening process.

What is IBKR GlobalAnalyst?

IBKR GlobalAnalyst is a free analytical tool on the Interactive Brokers website. It helps to compare the relative value of global stocks by region, industry, market capitalization, and currency. The purpose of this tool is to help you find undervalued stocks around the world.

How to do taxes after I close my position?

Please bear in mind that the information provided here is only a general guideline and there are many exceptions.

If you sell a security with a profit (i.e. at a higher price than the purchase price), it will qualify as capital gains and will therefore trigger a tax liability. So after you close a position on IBKR, you have to declare any such capital gains in your annual tax returns. As a useful starting point, you can check the ‘Portfolio’ tab to view your realized and unrealized profit/loss positions at IBKR.

The precise rules, procedures and tax rates depend on the tax legislation of the country where you qualify as a tax resident.

A tax liability could also be triggered when you earn interest on bonds or dividends on stocks/ETFs/funds. To help you, we have written a piece to explain what happens in such situations.

Does Interactive Brokers have margin trading?

Yes, Interactive Brokers provides two types of margin accounts: a rule-based account named ‘Reg T’, and a risk-based account called ‘Portfolio Margin’. The difference between the two accounts is how margin requirements are calculated. The margin requirement is the percentage of your marginable portfolio that you must pay from your own funds.

For a ‘Reg T’ account, margin requirements are calculated by the US Federal Reserve Board by governing and controlling the amount of credit that broker-dealers may make available to customers.

For a ‘Portfolio Margin’ account, the requirements are calculated based on the Theoretical Intermarket Margin System (TIMS), which calculates the value of a portfolio given a series of hypothetical market scenarios and bases margin requirements on this information.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our Interactive Brokers fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the Interactive Brokers minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your Interactive Brokers account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the Interactive Brokers account opening.

How’s their trading app?

Here’s our expert view after checking the Interactive Brokers trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the Interactive Brokers customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is Interactive Brokers legit features all the key aspects you need to consider to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether Interactive Brokers is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on Interactive Brokers?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Interactive Brokers guide.

I want to trade options, are they available at Interactive Brokers?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Interactive Brokers?

What is the minimum account balance at Interactive Brokers?

Check out account balance requirements at Interactive Brokers in our What is the minimum account balance at Interactive Brokers article.

Looking for commission and fee data for Interactive Brokers?

We collected them in Interactive Brokers commission and fees.

How do you withdraw money from Interactive Brokers?

We tested it and collected the options and costs in How to withdraw money on Interactive Brokers.

Related articles

  • How to trade after hours on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to buy ETF on Interactive Brokers
  • Why is Interactive brokers so cheap?
  • Can you buy Bitcoin on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to use Interactive Brokers for Paper Trading
  • How to withdraw funds from Interactive Brokers
  • How to convert currency on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to change trading permissions on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to buy fractional shares on Interactive Brokers?
  • How to change the base currency on Interactive Brokers?
  • What is the cost of buying US stocks at Interactive Brokers?
  • How to transfer my portfolio to Interactive Brokers?
  • How do I see how much cash I actually have?
  • How to download Interactive Brokers’ TWS?
  • What is the Interactive Brokers debit card?

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