Plus500 vs Markets.com

Plus500 vs Markets.com Comparison Table 2019
Plus500 Markets.com
A trader with a Plus500 account can trade CFDs on underlying financial instruments such as Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Options and Indices. With tight spreads and no commission, they are a leading global brand. Markets.com offer CFDs across a huge range of assets from shares and indices to commodities and cryptocurrencies.
Traders from US not accepted
Traders from US not accepted
Awards
Best Overall Broker 2019 - DayTrading.com
Best Trading App 2019 - DayTrading.com
Bonus
None None
Instruments
Stocks, Options, CFD, Forex, Crypto Stocks, CFD, Forex, Crypto
Demo Account
Yes Yes
Minimum Deposit
$100 $100
Minimum Trade
Varies by asset $2
Regulator
FCA, CySec, ASIC Safecap regulated by FSB, CySec
MT4 Integration
No Yes
Mobile Apps
iOS, Android and Windows iOS, Android
Auto Trading
No No
Trade Signals
No No
Islamic Account
No Yes
CFD
FTSE Spread
Variable 1.2 pts
GBPUSD Spread
Variable 2 pips
Oil Spread
Variable 4 pips
Stocks Spread
Variable 0.1% Var
Forex
Plus500 Offer forex trading via CFDs with tight variable spreads and a range of well over 70 currency pairs.
GBPUSD Spread
Variable 2 pips
EURUSD Spread
Variable 2 pips
EURGBP Spread
Variable 2.5 pips
Assets
70+ 50+
Cryptocurrency
Plus500 accounts can trade CFDs on a range of cryptocurrencies, with competitive spreads (Just 1% for BTC). Leverage of 1:2 is also available. Trade 5 different cryptocurrencies via Markets.com feature rich platform. Leverage capped at 1:2 for EU traders.
Spread
BTC 1%, ETH 1.6% BTC 0.85%, ETH 2.95%
Coins
BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, IOTA, NEO, EOS, XMR BCH, DASH, ETH, LTC, XRP

Plus500 vs Markets.com Comparison

Israel-based Plus500 and Cyprus-based Markets.com are both global, publicly traded CFD-based online trading platforms offering trading on more than 2000 financial instruments.

Plus500 is a more recent introduction to the market having been launched in 2008, 9 years after Markets.com was introduced in 1999 (which originally launched as GFC Markets and rebranded in 2010).

The two online trading platforms offer a very similar but not quite identical services. So which is the better option for traders?

Strengths

Plus500’s most notable strength is its WebTrader platform which is incredibly simple, very user-friendly, and arguably much more straightforward than the more complex WebTrader, MetaTrader 4, and MetaTrader 5 platforms offered by Markets.com.

However, the offering of these MT4 and MT5 platforms by Markets.com will be highly attractive to many traders who are already familiar with the popular MetaQuotes software.

A further advantage of Plus500 is that the associated app, which is available for download for iOS, Android, and Windows, offers full WebTrader functionality, unlike the Markets.com app which features a more limited service than what is offered through the WebTrader platform, and is only available for iOS and Android.

Tools

Markets.com’s biggest strength is the vast number of tools and resources that are available to traders; something which Plus500 notably lacks.

Fundamental, technical, and sentimental analysis tools are included as standard with a Markets.com retail account, along with access to the large ‘Knowledge Centre’ which is filled with informative, educational resources for both new and experienced traders.

In terms of overall reputation, Markets.com, being the longer standing of the two, is perhaps more well known.

The brand also received a significant reputation boost in 2014 when it partnered with Arsenal FC, earning the title of ‘Official Forex and CFD Trading Partner’ for the popular London-based football team.

Markets.com platform vs Plus500
Markets.com Trading Platforms

Weaknesses

While Plus500 is very simple and easy to use, it is also very basic, lacking the array of tools and educational materials that are widely available through Markets.com.

The addition of the MetaTrader 4 platform to Plus500, like Markets.com has done, would be an effective method to enhance overall functionality, but to date the only options for Plus500 traders are the WebTrader platform, the Windows platform, and the app.

All platforms are closed, which means that traders cannot integrate additional tools, restricting system collaboration and severely minimising options for flexibility and customisation.

Markets.com has few weaknesses in terms of its platform, being the more comprehensive option for traders.

However, it appears to struggle to compete with Plus500’s watchlists and charting indicators and has not yet announced plans to expand app functionality or extend availability to Windows.

With Plus500 having initially launched on Windows 10, and introducing their Windows app in 2014, Markets.com has had significant time to enhance their offerings to remain at the forefront of the market.

While Plus500 has recovered well, it has experienced a few reputation blips since launch, including a £205,128 fine issued by the FCA in 2012 for failure to accurately report transactions over an 18 month period, and a failed buyout by Markets.com parent company Playtech in 2015. Playtech later sold its 10% shares in the business.

Fees

Perhaps the biggest difference between Plus500 and Markets.com is related to fees or spreads. Dynamic spreads for EUR/USD through Plus500 for example, normally come in way lower than the 1.90 pips through Markets.com.

Charges remain very similar otherwise, with neither platform charging trade commission and both making the majority of their profits through the spread.

Both advertise costs for overnight funding, calculated through the trade size x opening rate x daily overnight funding percentage, with Plus500 also stating that charges can be incurred through the guaranteed stop order. Both claim that there are ‘no hidden fees’ at all, and that all fees are communicated clearly to traders.

Inactivity Fees

Both Plus500 and Markets.com charge a $10 per month inactivity fee for periods of inactivity lasting more than three months, and have introduced a $100 minimum to keep an account open.

Markets.com also charges a 0.3% conversion fee when trading in alternative currencies than what has been deposited. Plus500 states that ‘most’ payment processing fees will be covered by the business, while Markets.com covers fees only for those it considers to be ‘VIP’ clients.

Markets.com also covers any external fees incurred by those depositing at least $2500 to their account at a time.

For withdrawals and deposits, both Plus500 and Markets.com support a wide range of banking options. Both accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards, PayPal, Skrill, and bank transfer. Markets.com also accepts wire transfer and Neteller.

No fees are charged for depositing and withdrawing money to accounts, and money is stored in ‘Tier 1’ banks, although neither brand have confirmed the exact bank that they use.

Spreads

Spreads are competitive at both firms. See the table above for some specific spreads listed side by side for comparison of trading costs.

Plus500 vs Markets.com Spreads
Plus500 Markets.com
GBPUSD Spread
Variable 2 pips
EURUSD Spread
Variable 2 pips
GBPEUR Spread
Variable 2.5 pips

Leverage

Leverage is similar for Plus500 and Markets.com: 1:30 for both. Plus500 offers greater leverage of 1:300 for traders holding a professional trading account with the brand rather than a standard retail account. Cryptocurrency leverage is similarly capped at 1:2 for both firms by the European regulator.

Support

As is becoming increasingly standard in the digital era, support is provided exclusively through email and live chat systems for both Plus500 and Markets.com, with neither offering a telephone support option.

While a telephone number for Markets.com can be found, it is not widely publicised through the brand website. The support offered by Plus500 is much more available and accessible, with customer support agents answering enquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In contrast, support by Markets.com is only available 5 days per week, although traders can get in touch with an agent at any time from Monday to Friday.

Plus500 also supports traders in many more languages than Markets.com.

Headquartered in Israel, and with subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Singapore, and Australia, as well as in the UK, Plus500 support staff speak a wide range of dialects, covering 32 languages in total. Markets.com communicates in 15 languages.

Plus500 Mobile App vs Markets.com
Plus500 Mobile Trading

Products

Both Plus500 and Markets.com offer a notably limited product portfolio, trading in contracts for difference (CFDs) only.

However, both do offer CFD trading on more than 2000 financial instruments (Markets.com has slightly more at 2085, compared to Plus500’s 2045) including Shares, Forex, Indices, Commodities such as gold, silver, and crude oil, ETFs, and Cryptocurrencies. Plus500 was actually the first platform to add Bitcoin to its lineup.

Markets.com trades Bonds, while Plus500 trades Options. Both offer a similar number of currency pairs — 55 for Markets.com and 60 for Plus500 — and there is only really a minimal difference between the two CFD trading platforms in terms of the range of the financial products they support.

The biggest difference in products between Plus500 and Markets.com is that Plus500 offers more comprehensive Cryptocurrency trading, allowing traders to buy or sell cryptocurrency CFDs in Bitcoin, Ethereum/Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, NEO, Ripple XRP, IOTA, Monero, Stellar, EOS, Bitcoin Cash ABC Cardano, and Tron.

In comparison, Markets.com supports only Bitcoin Futures, Ripple, Ethereum, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, making Plus500 a more versatile platform for trading cryptocurrencies.

Regulation

With Plus500 being headquartered in Israel and having global subsidiaries, it is regulated by 5 financial regulatory bodies across the world. These are:

  • the Israel Securities Authority (ISA),
  • the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS),
  • the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC),
  • the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC),
  • and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.

Markets.com is regulated by both the Financial Stability Board and CySEC, the latter of which severely restricts broker compensation to a maximum 20,000 EUR; something traders should keep in mind.

Financial Conduct Authority regulation is notably lacking for Markets.com, who have opted to adhere to European standards rather than applying for direct UK-based regulation.

While European standards are solid, a lack of UK regulation does act as a major deterrent for UK traders, especially as many other trading platforms accepting UK clients, such as Plus500, do adhere to FCA-published regulations.

Plus500 vs Markets.com Regulator
Plus500 Markets.com
Regulator
FCA, CySec, ASIC Safecap regulated by FSB, CySec

Conclusion

Both Plus500 and Markets.com are very similar, especially in terms of products. With each platform having its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, it is challenging to confidently state that one is better than the other. However, it is clear that the different platforms will better suit different traders.

Plus500, as the more cost-effective option, is the better choice for traders who prioritise low-cost trading and are content to use an easy yet basic online trading platform. Regulated by the FCA, Plus500 also offers an additional level of peace of mind to UK traders who want to know that their investments are in safe hands.

Plus500 is also a slightly better choice for traders who prefer to operate on-the-go, with a much more comprehensive mobile trading app that’s available across all of the major operating systems.

Markets.com is perhaps ‘technically’ better, and for traders who don’t mind paying more, the overall experience with Markets.com will generally be more well-rounded thanks to the additional tools, functionality, and educational resources, and the addition of the popular MT4 trading platform.

Additionally, Markets.com supports slightly more products, making it a more diverse trading platform.