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If you’re ready to dip your toe into mobile trading, you’ll have plenty of apps to choose from. Two of the most popular are Freetrade and Trading 212 - but which is the right one for you?
In this guide, we’ll compare Freetrade vs. Trading 212 in terms of app features, fees and anything else you need to know.
We’ll even give you a money-saving tip for trading in multiple currencies - Wise. Open a multi-currency Wise account and you can fund and withdraw from your trading account. We’ll show you how later.
But first, let’s focus on the basics of using Freetrade and Trading 212.
The Freetrade app is award-winning, named ‘Best Online Trading Platform’ at the British Bank Awards 2020¹. From the app, you can choose to trade and invest in a wide range of EFTs, US and UK stocks and Investment Trusts.
You can open a General Investment Account, Stocks and Shares ISA or pay more for the perks of the Freetrade Plus premium account.
The independent London-based company prides itself on its transparent ‘freemium’ pricing model, and has ambitions to make investing ‘simple, beautiful and free’¹. With this in mind, it offers zero-commission trading and an attractive, user-friendly app.
Freetrade also runs on its own tech platform, built in order to carry out trades faster and cheaper than using other third-party systems.
Freetrade is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)¹.
Trading 212 is another London-based company, whose popular trading app has around 600,000 active daily users. Collectively, they make around 1.5 million stock trades per day².
With the user-friendly Trading 212 app, you can trade in stocks and EFTs, plus CFDs on stocks, indices, forex and more. Like Freetrade, there are no commission charges, and Trading 212 promises tight spreads and no limits.
Alongside the chance to trade thousands of real stocks from the world’s leading exchanges, there’s also a Trading 212 Stocks and Shares ISA.
Trading 212 is also regulated by the FCA, and also protects investor money using FSCS protection up to £85,000².
To help you choose the right trading app for you, let’s take a look at the key features on offer with both Freetrade and Trading 212.
You can do a lot with Freetrade’s ‘free’ General Investment Account in its simple, intuitive app, which offers the following features³:
- Unlimited instant, commission-free trades
- US Fractional shares - so you can own a portion of even the most expensive US shares
- Choice of thousands of UK and US stocks
- ETFs across global industries and exchanges
- Build and track custom portfolios
- Buy and sell with just a couple of taps
- Fast, friendly customer support.
Now, what does the Trading 212 app have to offer? Just like Freetrade, the app is intuitive, really easy to use and it’s a breeze to get started. Other features include⁴:
- A virtual trading ‘demo’ model, where you can practice trading with virtual money to see how your investment decisions would have panned out
- Commision-free unlimited trading
- Access to 10,000+ stocks from all over the world, including leading exchanges
- 3,000+ CFDs in stocks as well as forex, gold, oil, indices and more
- Easy-to-use charts for performance analysis
- Handy guides and educational videos available for new traders
- Live customer support available 24/7, where an advisor will respond within seconds.
Both Freetrade and Trading 212 are free to use, with zero commission charged on trades. But there are still a few other fees you need to know about:
|Trading 212 fees⁵
|None for bank transfersNone for credit/debit cards up to £2,000 (0.7% thereafter)
|0.15% - 0.5%
|Spot rate + 0.45%
With Freetrade, you can also choose its premium account, paying a monthly fee to access more benefits. Freetrade Plus is £9.99 a month⁶, but you’ll get:
- All the basic Freetrade account features
- 3% interest on cash up to £4,000
- Access to more stocks
- Limit orders
- Stop losses
- Priority customer service
- A Freetrade Stocks and Shares ISA (normally £3 a month).
Freetrade doesn’t have any minimum limits for deposits and withdrawals, although there is a minimum order limit of £2⁷.
Trading 212 has a minimum deposit and withdrawal amount of between £1 and £10, depending on whether you use Trading 212 Invest or CFD⁵.
Both Freetrade and Trading 212 have simple, intuitive apps, absolutely perfect for brand new traders. This is essential to help you get up and running quickly.
But when it comes to additional useful features for complete beginners, Trading 212 perhaps has the edge. This is because of its virtual trading feature, which allows cautious users to get used to trading before taking a risk with real funds.
There’s also a wider selection of informative guides and videos available within the Trading 212 app.
If you want to withdraw trading profits in currencies other than GBP, you may face a currency conversion charge - this is whether you use Freetrade, Trading 212 or another trading platform.
But there is potentially a way round this. Open Wise multi-currency account online and you’ll get access to local details for the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Euro countries and more. You can use these details to deposit and withdraw from trading apps in the local currency, so there’s no conversion needed.
You can then do what you like with the money once it lands in your Wise account. Spend it in one of 200+ countries using your international Wise debit card, hold it to fund future trading or withdraw to your bank. You’ll only pay a tiny fee for currency conversion, and it’ll be done at the real, mid-market rate - so you can make the most of your earnings.
And that’s pretty much all the essentials covered. We’ve looked at Freetrade vs. Trading 212 from numerous angles, including how the two compare on app features and fees.
It’s up to you to choose the perfect platform for you, just make sure you fully understand the risks involved in trading before diving in.
Sources used for this article:
- Freetrade website
- Trading 212 website
- Freetrade - General Investment Account
- Google playstore
- Trading 212 trading conditions
- Freetrade pricing
- Freetrade minimum order limit
Sources checked on 29-March-2021.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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