Plus500 Vs Interactive Brokers

Category: Broker Guides | Author: Trading Brokers | Date: June 7, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of online trading platforms, the rivalry between industry giants Plus500 and Interactive Brokers has been a topic of much debate. However, for discerning investors seeking greater diversity, enhanced features, and distinct advantages, it is crucial to explore alternative platforms that may offer unique solutions to cater to individual trading styles and preferences. In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into the promising alternatives that stand ready to empower traders with cutting-edge technology, comprehensive asset offerings, and exceptional user experiences, enabling them to navigate the financial markets with confidence and astuteness.

Overview of Plus500



Plus500 is a renowned global fintech firm that specializes in providing a wide range of online trading services across multiple financial instruments. As an FTSE 250 company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market for Listed Companies, Plus500 has established itself as a prominent player in the industry.

With a commitment to fast and reliable order execution, the platform equips traders with advanced analytical tools, real-time quotes, and convenient global payment methods. Furthermore, Plus500’s adherence to regulatory standards is evident through its oversight by respected authorities, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) in Cyprus.

Pros of Plus500

  • Fast and reliable order execution, ensuring timely trade execution.
  • Advanced analytical tools and real-time quotes to aid in making informed trading decisions.
  • Multiple global payment methods for convenient funding and withdrawals.
  • Regulated by reputable authorities like the FCA in the UK and CySEC in Cyprus.

Cons of Plus500

  • Limited research and educational resources for traders seeking in-depth market analysis.
  • Inactivity fees may apply if an account remains dormant for an extended period.
  • No direct ownership of underlying assets when trading CFDs, exposing traders to additional risks.
  • Availability of certain financial instruments and features may vary based on users’ geographic location.
  • Customer support response times can sometimes be slow, affecting issue resolution efficiency.
  • In some cases, withdrawal processing times may be longer than desired.

Founded in 2008, Plus500 is a regulated and leading online trading broker providing a large range of 2,000+ CFD instruments for trading on their proprietary trading platforms with very competitive trading conditions.

80% 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.

Overview of Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers stands as a prominent global brokerage firm, offering a comprehensive range of online trading services encompassing stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds. As a Nasdaq-listed company with substantial equity capital and a high daily average of revenue trades, the platform boasts a reputation for reliability. With a focus on cost-effective solutions, Interactive Brokers provides low commissions starting from $0 and impressively low margin rates, significantly below industry standards.

Clients benefit from competitive interest rates of up to USD 4.58% on available cash balances and opportunities to earn additional income by lending their shares. Recognizing the diverse needs of investors, Interactive Brokers offers award-winning platforms tailored for users at every level, accessible across mobile, web, and desktop devices.

Access to a vast array of research and news providers, free trading tools, a rich selection of order types and algorithms, and comprehensive reporting further enhances the trading experience. Facilitating global investment in 150 markets spanning 33 countries and 26 currencies, Interactive Brokers empowers traders to navigate the financial landscape with efficiency and confidence.

Pros of Interactive Brokers

  • Wide selection of financial instruments, including stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds.
  • Competitive pricing with low commissions starting at $0 and notably low margin rates.
  • Opportunity for clients to earn interest on instantly available cash balances and generate additional income by lending shares.
  • Award-winning platforms catering to investors of all levels, accessible across mobile, web, and desktop devices.
  • Extensive access to research and news providers, free trading tools, 100+ order types, and algorithms for diversified trading strategies.
  • Global investment opportunities in 150 markets across 33 countries and 26 currencies.

Cons of Interactive Brokers

  • Complex platforms and tools may be overwhelming for novice traders.
  • Inactivity fees may apply if the account remains dormant for an extended period.
  • The platform’s abundance of features can result in a steeper learning curve.
  • Customer support response times may vary, occasionally affecting issue resolution efficiency.
  • Minimum balance requirements may limit access to some services.
  • Potential exposure to significant risk when trading leveraged products like futures and options.
Interactive Brokers Logo

Interactive Brokers provide leading online trading solutions for traders, investors and advisors, with direct global access to stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds.

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Plus500 Vs. Interactive Brokers: Choosing the Right Trading Platform

When comparing the prominent online trading platforms, Plus500 and Interactive Brokers, several crucial factors come into play. Let’s examine these factors in detail:


Plus500 is regulated by several authorities, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Interactive Brokers is also regulated by multiple top-tier regulators, such as the ASIC, CFTC, FCA, IIROC, NFA, and SFC.

Both Plus500 and Interactive Brokers are regulated by multiple authorities across different jurisdictions, including the UK, Australia, Cyprus, Singapore, and Japan. However, Interactive Brokers holds more global Tier-1 licenses, indicating a higher level of trust and safety. Additionally, Interactive Brokers possesses a bank license in the US, which sets it apart from Plus500.

Trading platforms

Both brokers offer user-friendly web-based and mobile trading platforms. However, Interactive Brokers goes a step further by providing a desktop platform as well. While the platforms of both brokers are customizable and intuitive, Interactive Brokers offers more advanced features and tools such as various order types, algorithms, portfolio analysis, and risk management.

Pricing and fees

Plus500 charges no commissions for trading CFDs on stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies. However, it does charge spreads, overnight fees, currency conversion fees, and inactivity fees. Plus500’s spreads are average compared to other CFD brokers. Interactive Brokers has two pricing plans: IBKR Lite and IBKR Pro. IBKR Lite offers commission-free trading for U.S. stocks and ETFs, while IBKR Pro charges low per-share or per-contract fees based on volume.

Interactive Brokers also charge low spreads for forex trading, low commissions for futures and options trading, and low margin rates. Interactive Brokers charges inactivity fees for IBKR Pro accounts with less than a $100,000 balance or less than $10 in commissions per month. Both brokers have low-cost pricing models, but Interactive Brokers offers more flexibility and transparency in its fee structure.

Broker type

Interactive Brokers operates as an ECN/STP broker, providing clients with direct market access and execution. In contrast, Plus500 functions as a market maker, acting as the counterparty to its clients’ trades. This distinction results in Interactive Brokers offering more liquidity and transparency but also potentially more slippage and requotes. Conversely, Plus500 provides less liquidity and transparency but also less slippage and requotes.


Both brokers offer leverage options, although the maximum leverage available varies depending on the product, account type, and jurisdiction. Generally, Interactive Brokers offers lower leverage than Plus500, particularly for forex and CFDs. For instance, in Europe, Interactive Brokers offers up to 1:30 leverage for forex CFDs. Plus500 offers fixed leverage for each instrument, which cannot be changed by the trader. The leverage levels vary depending on the instrument and the regulation.

Asset selection

Both Plus500 and Interactive Brokers present a broad range of financial instruments for CFD trading. However, Interactive Brokers boasts a significantly larger selection, offering over 8,500 products compared to Plus500’s products. Moreover, Interactive Brokers provides additional offerings such as bonds and cryptocurrencies, which are not available on Plus500.

Social trading

Neither platform offers social trading features, focusing instead on providing educational resources and market analysis to assist clients in honing their trading skills and knowledge. Both Plus500 and Interactive Brokers recognize the significance of educating their clients, empowering them to make well-informed trading decisions. Interactive Brokers, in particular, offers an extensive library of educational materials, including webinars, video tutorials, and written guides, covering various trading topics and strategies.

Minimum deposit

Interactive Brokers has no minimum deposit for IBKR Lite accounts, but it requires a $10,000 minimum deposit for IBKR Pro accounts. On the other hand, Plus500 has a minimum deposit of $100 for most payment methods, except for bank transfers which have no minimum requirement.

Withdrawal and deposit methods

Both brokers support multiple payment methods for depositing and withdrawing funds. However, Plus500 offers a wider range of options compared to Interactive Brokers, including credit/debit cards, e-wallets (such as PayPal and Skrill), bank transfers, and online banking. Interactive Brokers primarily supports bank transfers and checks for deposits and withdrawals. While bank transfers are a secure and widely used method, the limited options may be less accommodating for clients who prefer alternative payment methods.

Which Is Best for You?

Selecting the ideal online trading platform hinges on your unique trading preferences and objectives. If you’re someone who values a user-friendly interface and seeks a straightforward trading experience, Plus500 could be the best fit for you. With its intuitive platform, Plus500 offers an accessible and reliable option. On the other hand, if you prioritize advanced features, comprehensive tools, and direct market access, Interactive Brokers might be the superior choice. Its desktop platform, Trader Workstation, along with numerous order types, algos, and risk management tools, cater to seasoned investors seeking a more sophisticated trading environment. Additionally, Interactive Brokers’ vast selection of financial instruments, including bonds and cryptocurrencies, makes it an appealing option for those eager to diversify their investment portfolio. Ultimately, assessing your preferences for pricing, regulation, leverage, asset selection, and payment methods will lead to the optimal decision for your individual trading journey.


In conclusion, the best online trading platform for you depends on your specific trading preferences and needs. If you value simplicity and a user-friendly interface, Plus500 may be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you seek advanced features, comprehensive tools, and direct market access, Interactive Brokers could be the superior option. Carefully consider factors such as pricing, regulation, leverage, asset selection, and payment methods to make an informed decision tailored to your individual trading goals.

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