Freetrade: Free trades, yes. But cheap? No.

Freetrade is a UK-based digital-only investing app that offers SIPP, ISA and general investment accounts. Launched in 2016, the company operates a ‘freemium’ pricing model, with no fees or commissions charged for basic stock trading.

The following dataset includes the performances of ready-made portfolios/funds offered by investment platforms and may include both actively and passively managed ready-made portfolios/funds. Performance indicated is also net of all fees to 31st January 2024, unless stated otherwise; any tiered fee structure will be disclosed. Ready-made portfolios/funds that include cryptocurrencies or any other securities outside cash and equities are not included in the dataset. The dataset only includes ready-made portfolios/funds which are explicitly advertised by their respective platforms as being for ‘beginners’, and which are exclusively offered by the platform itself. Funds which are managed by other providers and may be identically offered across multiple platforms were not included in this dataset. For example, the Vanguard UK All Share Acc. ETF was offered by Plum, but as it is not directly managed by Plum and customers could reasonably access it on multiple platforms, it was not included for the purposes of this research. Other discretely advertised securities or investments are not included.
Avg. 5-year performance across all Freetrade ready-made portfolios
The industry average is the median average of all fund/ready-made portfolio performance figures we collated from 23 investment providers. To see the full dataset, visit X page.
Industry avg.
Deposit at least £50 and get pointA free share worth between £10 and £100 (T&Cs apply) Open an ISA and transfer or top up at least £10,000 pointGet a free share worth £200 (T&Cs apply)

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By Clare West

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Deposit at least £50 and get pointA free share worth between £10 and £100 (T&Cs apply)
Open an ISA and transfer or top up at least £10,000 pointGet a free share worth £200 (T&Cs apply)

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Clare's view:

The Verdict

Freetrade is a great entry point to investing.

You can only trade UK, US and European stocks, ETFs and investment trusts, so you won’t get access to quite the range of investment assets that you’ll find with a traditional big-name broker.

However, there are 6,100+ to choose from on the higher-tier, fee-paying accounts, and - a big draw for those who are starting small - access to fractional shares which makes buying a tiny slice of a big name US stock possible for as little as £2.

There’s a social aspect to Freetrade too, with a lively community forum that provides answers to questions and inspiration for those looking for ideas on how to invest. Remember, however, all investing involves risk and it’s possible to lose everything.

It’s a pretty-looking, multi-award-winning platform that makes account management very easy. And while Freetrade isn’t without its weaknesses, it does what it set out to do; make investing more accessible and affordable to those who might traditionally have felt excluded from the markets.
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  • Commission-free trading
  • Fractional US shares
  • No inactivity or withdrawal fees
  • No minimum deposit
  • Great app
  • Community forum


  • Only US, UK and EU shares
  • Limited to stocks, ETFs and investment trusts
  • Basic research tools
  • Outdated and limited educational materials
  • Relatively high FX fees
  • Interest rates on cash have a ceiling
  • No tax certificates available
  • Verdict4.5
  • Fees3.5
  • Trading Platform3.5
  • Research2.5
  • Safety5.0
  • Education2.0
  • Customer Service3.5
  • Corporate Actions3.0
  • Portfolio View
  • Promotions

Clare's view:

Who do I recommend it for?

arrow-down-orangeRead more


  • Commission-free trading
  • Fractional US shares
  • No inactivity or withdrawal fees
  • No minimum deposit
  • Great app
  • Community forum


  • Only US, UK and EU shares
  • Limited to stocks, ETFs and investment trusts
  • Basic research tools
  • Outdated and limited educational materials
  • Relatively high FX fees
  • Interest rates on cash have a ceiling
  • No tax certificates available
  • arrowVerdict
  • arrow Fees:
  • arrowTrading Platform:
  • arrowResearch:
  • arrowSafety:
  • arrowEducation:
  • arrowCustomer Service:
  • arrowCorporate Actions
  • arrowPortfolio View
  • arrowPromotions



February 2024 Freetrade raises interest rates on uninvested cash to up to 5% AER

June 2024 New ISA offer – Open an ISA and transfer or top up at least £10,000 to get a free share worth £200

Who do I recommend Freetrade for?

If you’re new to investing, Freetrade could suit you well. The good-looking and well-designed app does a great job of paring things down and translating the bewildering world of investing into something relatable, digestible and enjoyable.

That said, as Freetrade doesn’t offer ready-made portfolios and there is no ‘robo-advice’ type of help with investment decisions, this is a DIY platform for those who feel confident enough to make their own investment decisions. That means understanding the basic principles of investing (building a diverse portfolio, understanding risk and your tolerance to risk, and the importance of thinking long-term) and being comfortable undertaking your own research into which stocks/ETFs to invest in. Freetrade does also provide some beginner guides to help you learn and the social trading element of Freetrade is a great resource.

More experienced investors looking for a greater choice of assets, instruments, and sophisticated research tools will want something more than Freetrade offers. You can’t short-sell on Freetrade, for example, as you can on eToro and Trading 212.

If you decide to move onto a more complex platform or branch out into more regular trading, try a broker that offers a demo platform where you can hone your skills with virtual money first. Again, eToro and Trading 212 offer this.
Freetrade is, therefore, best suited to those comfortable and excited to choose their own stocks, but not looking to over-complicate things.

One other thing to note: if you want to invest through an ISA or SIPP, you’ll need to pay for your account (general investment accounts are free). As Freetrade charges flat fees, that could work out more expensive than using a provider which charges a percentage of your account value, if the value of your investments is small. Use our calculator to get the most accurate recommendation for your circumstances and goals.


Account types and assets


At Freetrade, you can invest through an ISA, self-invested personal pension or general trading account.

Here’s how that measures up against other comparable trading platforms:


The first thing to note with Freetrade is that it doesn’t offer ready-made portfolios within any of its products, meaning this is a platform solely for those happy to make their own investment decisions.

If you’re comfortable building your own portfolio for your ISA, SIPP or general investment account, Freetrade offers access to a selection of:

  • UK shares
  • US shares (inc fractional US shares)
  • European shares
  • ETFs
  • REITs
  • Investment trusts
  • Treasuries (a form of UK government bond)
  • Over the Counter (OTC) shares

Freetrade offers investors a choice of 6,100 stocks, ETFs, and investment trusts. While that sounds like plenty to choose from, some of these assets are only available on the top-priced plan (see Fees section for details of which assets are available with each plan ).

If you were just planning to take advantage of the free Basic plan, do a search for the assets you want to invest in before signing up to check if they are available. I had a look for International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) which owns British Airways, and it wasn’t listed, despite the fact that it’s a FTSE 100 listed company.

Freetrade does make a point of saying they are always looking at suggestions from users for new stocks to add and have stated that their long-term vision is to make all listed companies globally available within the Plus plan. However, British Airways shares were promised some time ago by Freetrade and they have still failed to materialise.

With Freetrade, you’re getting an uncomplicated platform with fewer assets and fewer complex instruments than professional trading platforms like Interactive Brokers, Saxo Markets, and IG. As such, it doesn’t offer access to options, CFDs, cryptocurrencies or forex.

However, Freetrade does offer access to some leveraged ETFs through the Standard and Plus accounts. As leveraged ETFs are classed as ‘complex instruments’, Freetrade will ask you to take an appropriateness test, which you’ll need to pass before being able to trade these securities – something that’s required by regulators.

Freetrade has done an impeccable job of designing the menu of assets on offer. It’s a visual feast.

  • FreeTrade Discover second page

The opportunity to buy fractional shares will make Freetrade an attractive proposition to those looking to hold stock in some of the biggest US companies but who don’t have the budget for whole shares. It also gives Freetrade an advantage over some of the bigger, more established names (including interactive investor) who don’t currently offer them.

Stocks and Shares ISA

The Freetrade ISA received the best score in the Investors' Chronicle’s ISA rankings and Freetrade was also voted Best ISA Broker for 2022 by Brokerchooser.

A Stocks and Shares Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-efficient investment account that enables you to put up to £20,000 into stocks, funds, bonds, ETFs and other assets. ISAs are exempt from tax on savings interest, dividends or capital gains tax on funds. Withdrawals are also not subject to income tax. Read more about ISAs here.

To access Freetrade’s ISA account, you’ll either need to pay for a Standard account (from £4.99 per month), or upgrade to a Plus plan (from £9.99 per month), as it’s not available to those on the free Basic account.

It’s free to make a transfer if you already have an ISA somewhere and want to transfer it over. You’ll need to complete a form but Freetrade takes care of the rest for you. The transfer process typically takes four to six weeks.

Junior ISA

Freetrade does not offer a Junior ISA product.

Cash ISA

Freetrade does not offer a cash ISA.

Lifetime ISA

Freetrade does not offer a Lifetime ISA.


The Freetrade self-invested personal pension (SIPP) pension account was voted the best low-cost SIPP platform by the Investors' Chronicle, receiving the highest rating for website and app accessibility, value for money and customer service.

You’ll have to open a Plus plan (from £9.99 per month) to start saving into a SIPP as it’s not available on either the free Basic account or the Standard plan. You’ll also have to be confident enough to pick your own investments with Freetrade’s SIPP, and adjust your exposure to risk as you approach retirement age, as there are no ready-made portfolios here.

Freetrade won't charge you to transfer a pension to them, but you may incur fees from your existing provider which Freetrade doesn’t unfortunately offer to refund, unlike a few other providers. (AJ Bell, for example, will cover up to £500 of transfer costs.)

Cash savings account

Freetrade does not offer a cash savings account.

Company account

Freetrade does not allow for accounts to be opened in limited company names so you can’t take advantage of more favourable capital gains tax rates or offset losses against personal income, as you can when investing through a limited company.

Joint accounts

Freetrade does not facilitate joint accounts


Corporate actions

Voting rights

This is something to be aware of with Freetrade. Currently, voting rights are only supported on proxy voting for US securities and mandatory voting on some takeovers.

Corporate actions are events which may have an impact on shareholders and/or a company’s share price, so this may be something that you want a say on.

Unfortunately, Freetrade doesn’t guarantee they can support the ability to vote in all elective corporate actions, and even on mandatory voting events, Freetrade says that it “does not guarantee customers will receive information on all corporate actions ahead of the effective date”. They state they are exploring how they can support this in the future, but don’t yet have a timeframe to share on this.


If the company you're invested in pays dividends, Freetrade will ensure you receive the cash into your account once dividends are paid out, or, if the company performs a stock dividend payout, then you'll receive the extra shares.

Freetrade is pretty good at paying out dividends quickly. You'll usually receive them either on the payment date or within one working day.


Trading Platform

Mobile platform

Freetrade is a mobile-first company. As such, you’d expect their mobile app to be first-class… and it is. So good, in fact, that it’s been awarded the title of ‘Best Online Trading Platform’ for five consecutive years at the prestigious British Bank Awards.

A lot of thought has clearly gone into making the app as simple, intuitive and user-friendly as possible – and it’s paid off. It gifts a fantastic user experience.

The app is available on iOS and Android and has a 4.3-star rating at the time of writing in the Google Play Store. Users are generally very positive, although some comments relate to niggles.

App security is strong, with biometric login enabled for users.

Web platform

Freetrade has developed an online desktop version of its platform which is currently only available to Plus account members in its beta form. That’s a shame but hopefully, it’ll be rolled out soon.

As this is a beta product in testing, if you do have access to it, you still won’t be able to fund or make investments at this stage, but you can view and sort your portfolio and the instruments you’ve invested in. Freetrade has promised to continue adding more features in time to make it a real alternative to the app.



First, what Freetrade doesn’t charge:

  • Commission
  • Spreads
  • Trading fees

So far, so good. But they have to make their money somehow. So where are you paying for Freetrade’s services?

Freetrade operates a ‘freemium’ business model. That means, while it’s possible to access their basic trading account services free of charge, you’ll need to pay if you want to tap into their more advanced features and other investment products.

The three account types are:

Basic Account

This is a free account.

A Basic account gives you have access to:

  • A general investment account
  • Commission-free orders
  • Choice of 4,800+ stocks on the UK 350, US stocks, OTC stocks, all Vanguard, iShares and Invesco ETFs, AIM 100, and all the major European indices
  • US fractional shares
  • FX fees at 0.99%
  • Interest rate of 1% on cash up to £1k

The fact that you can sign-up for a free account gives Freetrade an edge over those platforms that charge monthly account management or platform fees. Combined with the commission-free trades, it makes for a great low-cost provider for beginners.

Having said that, watch those foreign exchange fees which are a bit steep at 0.99%. At that rate, commission-free US stocks aren’t quite as free as they might initially sound. Interest on uninvested cash that stops at £1k is also poor.

Standard Account

£4.99 per month (if paid annually; price rises to £5.99p/mo when paid monthly)

A Standard account gives you access to:

  • A general investment account
  • Stocks and Shares ISA
  • Commission-free orders
  • US fractional shares
  • Choice of 6,100+ stocks on the UK 350, US stocks, OTC stocks, all Vanguard, iShares and Invesco ETFs, AIM 100, and all the major European indices, plus 1,100+ additional securities
  • Advanced stock fundamentals (metrics to help you measure a stock’s value)
  • Limit Orders and Stop Losses
  • 3% interest on cash up to £2k
  • FX fees at 0.59%

You’ll get more choice and lower currency conversion fees with a standard account, along with access to the Stocks and Shares ISA so you can start building your tax-free savings.

Plus Account

£9.99 per month (if paid annually; if paid monthly, the cost rises to £11.99p/mo).

A Plus account gives you access to:

  • A General Investment Account
  • Stocks and Shares ISA
  • SIPP
  • Commission-free orders
  • US fractional shares
  • All stocks listed in the standard plan, plus London-listed (main market + AIM market), S&P SmallCap 600, OTC shares, all other ETFs (including some FTSE 100 ETFs managed by HSBC), and all other European stocks
  • Advanced stock fundamentals (metrics to help you measure a stock’s value)
  • Limit Orders and Stop Losses
  • 5% interest AER (4.88% gross) on cash up to £3k
  • Access to Freetrade’s beta desktop version
  • Curated stock collections
  • Priority customer service
  • FX fees at 0.39%

You get more for your money: availability of a SIPP, more choice of investment assets, and more tools, plus lower foreign exchange fees. But again, for smaller portfolio holders, those flat fees can work out costly. Check out Dodl for a comparison with a provider that uses percentage fees.

At 5%, that interest rate on uninvested cash is highly competitive. BUT, you won’t receive it on anything over £3k, which is definitely not competitive.

Fee examples:

A flat fee of £4.99 or £9.99 per month is a lot if you don’t have a large portfolio. Here’s how those fees work out with different amounts invested, and FX fees included on non-GBP trades.

You’ll notice it becomes more economical to have a Plus account on anything over £2k. This is, of course, on non-GBP stocks. If you’re only invested in UK stocks, then it always pays to have a free Basic account. If you want to invest through a stocks and shares ISA or SIPP, however, that isn’t possible; you’ll need to pay for an account, which causes an issue as you're no longer getting those stocks for free.

Tip: Account fees are 17% higher if you choose to pay monthly so opt to pay annually in one lump sum if you can.

FX fees

An FX fee is charged on all US and European orders and varies by plan:

Basic plan: Exchange rate + 0.99%
Standard plan: Exchange rate + 0.59%
Plus plan: Exchange rate + 0.39%

That’s pretty high at the top end, although cheaper than eToro’s 1.5%. For overall market comparison:

Other fees

An additional fee may be charged by Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Investment Trust providers for managing the product and other associated costs.

Some fund managers charge performance fees when a fund exceeds a benchmark set by the fund manager.

Inactivity fees

You won’t face inactivity fees at Freetrade, which makes it a good match for ‘buy and hold’ investors. For comparison, you’ll find no inactivity fees either at Dodl, but eToro charges $10 per month after 12 months of inactivity.

Withdrawal fees

There is no charge for standard withdrawals (in contrast to eToro’s $5 per withdrawal) although Freetrade charges £5 for same-day withdrawals, so try to avoid those.

Deposit fees

There is no charge to deposit funds into your account.

Minimum deposit

There is no minimum deposit on Freetrade.


I’ve referenced the rates of interest in the commentary on the plans above. Since Freetrade raised their rates in March 2024, they’re certainly more competitive. However, keeping a ceiling on how much cash you can claim on, means you’ll only be looking at pennies when it comes to payments, so keep that cash moving.

For comparison, there are no ceilings on interest payments on the following platforms:


Research & Tools

Research and analysis tools are rudimentary, pitched mainly at the level of new investors and those who would find a more advanced trading platform too complex and overwhelming.

You’ll find charts showing the stock’s performance over different periods of time, and stats, all annotated with helpful explanations, that are designed to aid smart decision-making among those new to investing.

Crucially, your account type will determine the specific tools you have at your disposal over and above the basics.

Everyone, even those on a free account, has access to some financial data, provided by the experts at IEX. One thing I really liked was that each metric is explained in layman’s terms (explanations are available within one click and they don’t take you away from the page you’re on) to make understanding quick and easy for the uninitiated.

  • Freetrade Discover Nvidia

On all accounts, you can view data on:

  • Beta
  • P/E (price-to-earnings) ratio
  • P/B (price-to-book) ratio
  • Market cap
  • Dividend yield
  • Previous choose
  • Open price

With a Plus account, you can gain access to ‘Enhanced stock fundamentals’ including:

  • P/S (price-to-sales) ratio
  • PEG (price-to-earnings-growth)
  • PS (price-to-sales)
  • Analyst ratings

Analyst ratings are valuable as they give you the experts’ opinion on whether to buy, sell or hold a particular stock. That said, it’s easy to find that information for free elsewhere online so probably not a reason to upgrade alone.

  • Freetrade Analyst Ratings


John Choong

Senior Equity Analyst

You’ll find decent data on the free version of Freetrade when it comes to researching stocks: there’s enough data for the average investor to form a sufficient view of whether a stock is good value. However, it lacks context and is not as comprehensive as some other platforms. That said, there is a forum for each stock which can be really useful in getting more insight.

The premium version of the app has more comprehensive ratios, with more data (albeit not full data) on earnings and company financials along with analysts’ estimates. This definitely helps an investor make a more informed decision. Still, the lack of regulatory news, or even news itself on the markets/stock isn’t very helpful.


Social Investing

Freetrade has a lively community forum (also open to non-customers). It’s a good place to post your questions or ask for help, and compensates to some degree for the lack of education and news service.

You’ll find stock discussions, reading suggestions, ideas, ask-me-anything opportunities to quiz experts, and you can make stock requests to the Freetrade team.

Always remember, however, that tips, insights and ideas gained from a community forum do not constitute regulated, professional financial advice. You should consult an independent, qualified financial adviser if you are unsure what investment strategy could be right for your specific circumstances, goals and appetite for risk.

  • Freetrade Discover EasyJet



When selecting a provider for your investments, it is very important to first ensure they meet certain minimum safety standards. We judge Freetrade to meet the threshold for a ‘safe’ provider because:

  • It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
  • It is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, meaning that in the unlikely event of Freetrade failing, the value of your assets (both cash and investments) are protected up to a maximum of £85,000.
  • Freetrade holds all of your money and assets under the FCA’s CASS rules, which means they are held in segregated accounts, separate from the company’s money.
  • The company is annually audited by Deloitte.
    Freetrade is a member of the London Stock Exchange.

Freetrade has faced some controversy though. In December 2022, the FCA ordered Freetrade to delete certain social media promotions after flagging problems with the company’s partnership with a personal finance influencer. The influencer had not complied with FCA rules regarding the way she promoted products. Freetrade complied with the instructions and the ban on using influencers as a means of promotion remains in place at the company.

Always remember that investing involves risk. The value of your investment can go up as well as down, and you could get back less than you put in.

Account security

Biometric login is facilitated on Freetrade, which can help protect your account from account takeover.


Trade execution

Buying and selling on Freetrade is kept very simple. You can only buy and sell shares so there is no short selling. You’d need a platform like Trading 212, or eToro to get into derivatives.

  • Freetrade Discover PayPal

Order types

Instant Orders (for immediate execution during trading hours) and Basic Orders (placed out of trading hours, but for immediate execution when trading commences) are available to all customers. If you are a Standard or Plus account holder, you’ll also get access to:

  • Limit orders
  • Recurring orders (automated trading)
  • Stop loss orders

These types of orders allow you to limit the risk of losses and limit the risk of missing out on optimal pricing, so are well worth understanding if you plan to trade often. Freetrade does a great job of explaining order types on their website if you want more information.




The ‘Learn’ section of Freetrade’s website has some guides and articles on the basics of investing and how to build a portfolio. It is just the basics, however, so I would advise topping up with resources from elsewhere if you want a more of a comprehensive understanding of ISAs, SIPPs and the principles of investing.

There are also some ‘Market News’ pages under the Learn menu but these are next to useless. The UK Stock Market News, US Stock Market News webpages and Invest Hub news pages haven’t been updated in more than a year and the IPO listings page has been abandoned since 2021.

Education from Freetrade is lacking but it isn’t hard to find good quality videos, guides, courses and workshops for free elsewhere online so it isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker. Always choose educational materials from a reputable source that are designed to inform rather than influence you. Start here with our impartial guides to investing, trading, ISAs and SIPPs.


Account opening

Account opening

Opening an account is made as quick and simple as is possible with Freetrade. It took me five minutes to complete the fully digital process and all I needed was my National Insurance number and bank account details (No money was taken during application – I could decide when to deposit funds once I was comfortable with the platform).

Closing and transferring an account

Requesting a transfer into Freetrade is done via an online form which you can access from the app. It’s free to do and you can monitor the progress of your transfer in the app.

If you want to transfer out, you don’t need to let Freetrade know – your new provider should take care of everything. Freetrade doesn’t charge a fee for transferring out or closing your account.


Freetrade provides a selection of ways to deposit cash into your Freetrade account:

  • Instant transfer from a bank account
  • Direct Debit
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

You cannot make a deposit using a credit card. Payments made using Google Pay / Apple Pay must be linked to a debit card too, not a credit card. There’s a £2500 lifetime limit on these payment methods.

The minimum amount you set up a Direct Debit for, is £25 per month, per account. If you don’t want to commit to regular deposits, then you can pay using one of the methods above and pay on an ad-hoc basis.


Transferring into either a SIPP, ISA or general investment account is very easy.

For a SIPP: Once you’ve opened your Freetrade SIPP, simply head to the Account page in-app and tap ‘Transfer a pension’. You will then be asked to provide details of the pensions you’d like to transfer.

For an ISA: You can transfer any current year’s, or previous year’s, cash ISA, Stocks and Shares ISA, or innovative ISA to Freetrade. It is free to make a transfer.

All you need to do is open an ISA in the Freetrade App and submit a transfer request using the form on this page. Make sure you have to hand your National Insurance number, existing provider’s ISA reference number and the approximate transfer value.

You should always check you will not lose valuable guarantees by transferring an ISA and that you are aware of any transfer charges that your existing provider may apply.

One thing to be aware of: you cannot transfer any shares not listed by Freetrade. In that circumstance, your provider could sell those investments on your behalf, and transfer across the cash from the sale, along with the shares that are supported by Freetrade.


Standard withdrawals typically take 2-3 working days to reach your linked bank account but can take up to 5 working days. Standard withdrawals won't cost you anything. It is possible to request a same-day withdrawal, but beware; you will incur a £5 fee. That's a hefty charge if you're only withdrawing small amounts.


Customer Service

Support at Freetrade is available via:

  • Help Hub on the website – a search box which leads you to pre-written questions and answers. I found this very detailed and contained the answers to most of my questions.
  • In-app FAQs
  • In-app chat
  • Email – hello@freetrade.io

If you are a Plus plan member, you’ll have access to priority customer service – this includes faster response times from the dedicated Plus Support Team and longer support hours from 6:00 am – 9:00 pm.

Priority customer service is not the same as having a personal account manager, which you might expect to get at the higher tiers of a traditional brokerage like Hargreaves Lansdown or interactive investor. Freetrade is very much a DIY platform so those ‘premium service’ extras, such as personal account management, or the option of in-house financial advice, aren’t part of the package.

Freetrade has a ‘Great’ score on Trustpilot – 4.1 at the time of writing – based on 3,600+ reviews.


Freetrade vs eToro

eToro and Freetrade both entice new users with offers of 0% commission on straightforward long trades. In both cases, you’ll need to watch out for the extra costs that can mean those trades aren’t quite as free as they might initially appear.

Both providers charge quite hefty foreign exchange fees: eToro tops out at 1.5% and, as eToro’s default currency is USD, that means you can’t escape the currency conversion fees. Freetrade’s top FX fee is 0.99% but it drops to a more palatable 0.39% if you’re on the Plus plan. There are no withdrawal fees to worry about with Freetrade. eToro is less generous here, charging $5 per withdrawal.

On platform fees, well, you can trade using a general investment account for free with Freetrade, but you’ll need to pay to add an ISA or SIPP. And, as they’re flat fees, that can work out expensive for small portfolio holders. With eToro, there are no platform fees to use the general trading platform. We can’t compare the ISA or SIPP as there is no SIPP with eToro, and although there’s an ISA, it’s actually managed by Moneyfarm so you’ll need to pay Moneyfarm’s management fees of between 0.75% – 0.35% for that. We can therefore only really compare the costs of eToro’s and Freetrade’s general trading platforms. Neither charges a platform fee, making them both low-cost options, and neither charges commission on real stocks and ETF trades. eToro charges an added spread on CFD trades and for trading crypto, you won’t be able to trade crypto or use CFDs on Freetrade any way.

Overall, eToro is the more advanced platform. Freetrade is far more basic; you can buy and sell shares, EFTs and REITs, and that’s it. With eToro, you can short trade by using CFDs, buy and sell crypto, and there are more stocks to choose from in total.

Freetrade is great for those looking to keep things simple; eToro is for those with more trading ambition. And of course, even with Freetrade’s community forum, you can’t beat eToro for social investing. The copy-trading functionality is worth its weight in gold if you’re wanting to ride on the coattails of others’ success and learn how to imitate it. eToro also offers the chance to make money if you’re successful enough for others to want to copy you.

Another difference worth noting; ready-made portfolios are available on eToro, something Freetrade doesn’t offer. The fact that eToro’s ready-made ‘Smart Portfolios’ are available for no additional cost, makes eToro a great place for novice traders to start out. And they have industry-average-busting rates of return when you look at past performance.


Freetrade vs Dodl

Both Freetrade and Dodl are ‘neobrokers’ offering a low-cost, low-effort investment app and access to a GIA, ISA and SIPP.

Freetrade feels like a step up in terms of your options as an investor. There are more stocks to choose from – UK, US and EU stocks compared to Dodl’s UK and US only – and other types of investment opportunities such as IPOs, ETFs and REITs. There are more order types to choose from (Dodl doesn’t give you a choice), and more comprehensive data to help you research different stocks and funds. Freetrade also offers fractional shares which means you get the chance to jump on board with big-name stocks even if you have a small budget. Given Dodl’s intended ‘beginner’ audience, it’s a real shame they don’t offer this too.

Freetrade launched at the end of 2018 and has more than a million customers, which is a testament to its popularity and cheapness.

So, how do the two compare on fees? There’s the option to have a free account with Freetrade, something you can’t get with Dodl, but Freetrade’s currency conversion fees on non-GBP stocks are higher than Dodl’s at 0.99% for a free Basic account (0.59% for a Standard account, 0.39% for a Plus account) vs AJ Bell’s FX fees of 0.75% – 0.25%.

Here’s how the costs work out in different scenarios. All fees are per annum. (If paid monthly, Freetrade’s fees would be 17% higher.)

The cheapest fees are highlighted in green.


Dodl does work out cheaper than Freetrade in some limited circumstances – if you have an ISA or SIPP, for example, and therefore need to subscribe to a paid account with Freetrade (£4.99 for a Standard, £9.99 for a Plus account), but have under £2k invested and are invested entirely in non-GBP investments so need to pay FX fees. Otherwise, Freetrade is cheaper.


Freetrade is considered a safe trading platform as it is regulated by the UK FCA, client assets are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and all client monies and assets are held in segregated accounts.

Yes, you will own your shares. When you buy a share of a stock or ETF on Freetrade, you are the “beneficial owner” of those shares. These shares are then held in a nominee account on your behalf.

It depends on what you want to do. Buying and selling shares is commission-free but you will need to pay currency conversion fees if trading in non-GBP assets. If you upgrade to a paying account, there will be account fees to pay, too.

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This review is the result of my first-hand experience as an account holder at Freetrade and in no way represents financial advice.