Forex broker Pepperstone offers ECN broker pricing with a commission of $3.50, MetaTrader 4, 5 or cTrader trading platforms and social trading. Plus500 is a market maker with no commission and a large choice for trading CFDs with 9 cryptocurrencies.
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When Compare Forex analysed Pepperstone vs Plus500 as best forex brokers in the category of spreads, it is apparent Plus500 spreads are much wider. A wider spread means you will pay more in transaction costs.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
Compare Standard Account Spreads
Our data from the table above comes from each brokers account that offers its best spreads. Plus500 only offers a single trading account and do not provide their average spreads.
Features of the Pepperstone Razor Account include
Pepperstone offers a choice of two other accounts. These are:
Designed for novice traders, this account offers all the same features as the Razor Account but without commission. In place of commission at least 0.6 pips are added to the spread.
If you’re unsure what account is right for your circumstances you can view the Pepperstone razor vs standard account comparison page.
This account is exactly the same as the Razor account but in place of an overnight holding fee or rolling interest, there is a small admin charge. This account has no swap fee which means it is compliant with sharia law which forbids Muslims from receiving or paying swaps. To be eligible for this account, you must be able to prove you are Muslim.
If you are a high volume trader, Pepperstone can offer you rebates through their Active Trader program. If you trade at least 100 lots a month then you can receive rebates which will be paid directly into your bank account.
Pepperstone uses an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) pricing. As Pepperstone is the issuer of their own products, they cannot be called a true ECN broker in a strict sense of the word. Pepperstone connect you with liquidity provider via ECN and have no dealing desk, requotes or price manipulation meaning they can provide ECN pricing as they pass prices directly to you.
We recommend the Razor account as this account offers the narrowest spreads.
Plus500 only offers 1 type of Account with the following features:
Plus500 is a market maker or dealing desk broker. In practice, this means that Plus500 set their own prices for which they will commit to buy or sell for each currency pair. Market makers hold security and use this to play the role of the other side of the trade. That is if you want to place an order to buy a currency pair, Plus500 will sell you the security they have. If you want to sell a forex pair, Plus500 will buy the security off you.
Spreads which are the difference between the buy and sell price of the currency pair are wider because the broker will add 1-5 pips (percentage in point) into the spread for their services. This is how a market maker such as Plus500 make their profit.
While Plus500 does not charge commission there do have other fees. These include:
When deciding between each account you will need to consider between 2 basic features these are
From our perspective we consider Pepperstone to offer better value as being an ECN trader means their costs are more transparent.
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Plus500 offers one of the most diverse ranges of CFDs among all foreign exchange brokers in the markets. Unique offerings when trading CFDs extend to soft commodities such as lean hogs, live cattle and feeder cattle. We have not seen other brokers allow you to buy and sell securities of these types.
They also offer several cryptocurrencies, Shares CFD, Options and ETF round out their trading suite which is also not necessarily available with other brokers.
The diverse range of instruments is why Plus500 has specifically designed its platform so users can take advantage of all these instruments without being overwhelmed with data.
Pepperstone offers a solid range of CFDs for trading. These include the following:
Trading cryptocurrencies has emerged as a popular option for traders in recent years. Trading cryptocurrency is exciting because it is so volatile which means opportunities for large rewards.
Plus500 offers one of the largest range of cryptos of all online forex brokers. Not only do they offer the more common ones like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin but they offer some rare ones like NEO, Monero, IOTA and EOS.
These cryptos are available with leverage from 1:2-1:20 depending on the Plus500 branch you are signed up to.
The collection of cryptocurrencies Pepperstone offer is also broad and includes Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin.
All Cryptos are available with leverage of 1:20 under FSA regulation or 2:1 under ASIC or CySEC.
Note: Under new FCA guidelines, UK traders are no longer able to trade cryptocurrencies.
Plus500, when compared with Pepperstone, offer a larger range of CFDs. If you are looking for a broker that offers a great range of different trading options then we recommend Plus500.
In our review of the available trading platforms, each broker offers different trading platforms with different features. All Pepperstone platforms offer Webtrader to use in browsers and can be used with iOS, Android tablets and mobiles and Mac and Windows PCs.
MetaTrader 4 offered by Pepperstone is our favourite forex trading platform. MT4 is the world’s most popular forex trading platform and includes features such as:
Smart Trader Tools is Pepperstone own an add-on enhancement tool for MT4. There are some 13 features that can lead to better and more successful trading.
This platform is an upgrade on MetaTrader 4. Not only does it offer all the features MetaTrader 4 offer, but improves on many of these features. While MT5 is as popular as MT4, it is growing and it is expected that MetaTrader might phase out MetaTrader 4 support in the future.
cTrader is a popular alternative to the MetaTrader platform. Many people find the platforms clean and uncluttered interface better than what MetaTrader offer. This makes it a great option for those new to trading. It is also popular as it offers advanced charting features.
Some key differenced include:
Plus500 have their own custom proprietary trading platform and do not offer MT4. In our review of the ‘Plus500 Trading Platform” we found the platform to be a very user-friendly and intuitive platform thanks to clutter-free with a minimal button interface.
Available for desktops, browser, mobile and tablets the ‘Plus500 Trader Platform’ is not feature-rich but still manages to make you feel that you have the tools you will need at your disposal when needed. From the main window, you can see 4 sections each with a different purpose. The key feature that you can see a range of CFDs along with open positions, pending orders and quotes and price movements without needing to open different windows. Given Plus500 offer around 2000 trading instruments which can be overwhelming, this simplicity is very useful. The main windows also contain charts that can show graphical representations of price movements.
One big plus is the platform is integrated with the trading section on the brokers’ website. This means you can trade without installing the platform once you have signed up. There are, however, a few limitations with the platform. No scalping or EAs are allowed, and it does not have a social trading feature. With simplicity comes a lack of advanced features that can help with trade management, decision making, and execution.
Plus500 Trading Platform in our opinion is great for beginners or for those looking to trade with a wide variety of CFDs. The platform, however, is ideal if you are looking to use EAs and advanced tools. Check out our full Plus500 review when compared to IG Markets.
We believe MT4 provides is a proven platform for both beginner and advanced users. The Smart Trader Tools offered by Pepperstone allow users a wealth of trading tools you can use EAs, hedging and scalping which are not available or allowed with Plus500, therefore we are recommending Pepperstone when it comes to platforms.
In our review, we found Pepperstone offer superior Customer Service when we compare it with Plus500. Pepperstone customer service has won numerous awards by the CFD industry, a reflection of the excellent service they offer.
Plus500 got the thumbs up from us because their live chat available 24 hours a day for all 7 days of the week Pepperstone only offer this service during business hours Monday to Friday. We felt that Pepperstone customer support was superior in all other ways. For example, Pepperstone offers phone and email support in a range of different countries. Plus500, on the other hand, do not offer phone support at all. We found it surprising Plus500 does not offer phone support given this type of service is a basic expectation from clients.
Another example is Pepperstone provide email contact of all the individual departments you might want to address a question to. Plus500 integrate their email system directly into their web portal so we don’t actually know who we are addressing our questions to.
Unlike phone and email support, live chat is available with both brokers. We put the live chat feature of each broker to the test and found Pepperstone was able to answer some complex questions in a timely manner and professional manner. Plus500 struggled with some of our technical questions and the waiting time seemed to be longer.
When it comes to education tools, Pepperstone has a large library of educational tools including a glossary of trading terms, webinars, trading guides and FAQ. Plus500 did not seem to offer any education of note.
Both brokers offer a demo account that is free to use for an unlimited time. This can be an invaluable tool for learning forex trading until you gain the confidence and experience needed for successful trading.
We believe the customer service of Pepperstone is among the best on offer in the industry. We, therefore, recommend them over Plus500.
Except for bank wire withdrawals, Pepperstone does not charge fees for its funding services. This means you can make deposits using a method such as debit cards and credit cards using Visa or MasterCard, Digital wallets such as Paypal, Neteller, Skrill, the Australian e-wallets BPAY and POli and Chinese merchant Unionpay without any fees from the broker. If you make your withdrawal before 7 am AEST then you can receive your funds on the same day. After this time and you can receive your funds a day later. Your account must be in your name and linked with your Pepperstone account. If you are using bank wire, your fund can take 3-5 working days to show in your account. Bank wire withdrawals will incur a fee of USD $20.
Making a deposit or withdrawal does not incur fees from Plus500 however your payment merchant may charge fees.
With Plus500 you can deposit money with the following methods
Plus500 advise you can expect fees from the merchant for the following situations:
Withdrawals generally take about 3-7 days to process but this will vary depending on the method you have used for payment.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide who you prefer to use as your payment issuer and investigate what charges with issuer has from their end. Pepperstone offers zippy deposits and withdrawals. Plus500 offers some funding methods not available with Pepperstone.
Pepperstone is regulated in the following regions:
*Under new FCA guidelines, UK traders are no longer able to trade cryptocurrencies.
Plus500 have the following regulation:
Trading with speculative stock can be high risk, it is therefore important to choose a broker that is regulated by a tier-one authority. These regulators can help protect your funds by requiring that the broker keep your funds in a tier-1 bank account, that the broker provides a product disclosure statement (PDS) and establish a complaints process.
In our review of execution speeds, we found that Pepperstone offers excellent execution speed while Plus500 don’t publicise their execution speeds. Instead, Plus500 offers a range of risk management tools which may help manage the risks of slippage.
Pepperstone is very active about promoting the quality of its execution technology and execution speeds on their website. The broker claims an average execution speed of <50ms and a maximum speed of 240ms. This infrastructure helps ensure risks associated with ‘slippage’ are minimised as they use variable spreads. This exceptional speed is achieved via the following methods
Lag time resulting in ‘slippage’ can potentially be costly. Pepperstone, therefore, promise extremely fast execution speeds. This means the price the client opens their trade should be the final price. Despite the low risk, Pepperstone does not give any guarantees slippage won’t occur. This means your account can still go negative.
Plus500 is a market maker so the quoted buy and sell price at the time of execution should occur. Slippage may still occur if the broker does not hold enough liquidity at the time of order. If this happens then your position will go to the next available order. Slippage can also occur if the market is very volatile and the broker’s quotes are not up to date when you place your order. Plus500 offers a range of risk management tools that can help manage your profits and losses when trading CFDs that carry a high level of risk.
“Slippage” can result in a large difference between your expected profit/loss and your actual profit or loss. While Plus500 provides a range of risk management tools there is a lack of transparency in the liquidity they hold and their methods for obtaining quotes. For this reason, we prefer the tight spreads and fast execution offered by Pepperstone when managing slippage.
Leveraged products offered by Pepperstone is 500:1 offshore and 30:1 via its tier-1 regulated branches, while Plus500 offers 300:1 offshore and 30:1 or less elsewhere. Unless the forex market is very volatile, changes in currency pairs tend to be minimal, it is for this reason, traders may like high leverage as higher leverage can mean greater profits for minor forex changes. On the flip side, it can just as easily mean more dramatic losses.
Many regulators around the world (such as in America) are starting to reduce available leverage. Experienced traders also don’t tend to use large leverage. While using large leverage does come down to individual preference and risk tolerance we recommend Plus500 because it does not allow excessive leverage. You don’t have to use the maximum available leverage however, you are free to reduce the leverage lower if you wish.
Both Pepperstone and Plus500 offer a program that gives you bonuses for signing up with them. Depending on your need, the bonus may add some value to your account.
Plus500 has first deposit bonus program which rewards you with extra funds to trade with. The more amount of funds you make on your first deposit, the more funds Plus500 will reward you with. To earn the bonus, you will need to achieve a minimum number of trades. Please see screenshot for a summary of each bonus level.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.