DEGIRO vs ActivTrades

If you're in search of a broker, you've probably come across DEGIRO and ActivTrades as potential options. In this DEGIRO vs ActivTrades article, we will compare both brokers and examine the products they offer, the markets they operate in, their cost structures, platforms, and many more.

Our goal is to help you decide whether DEGIRO or ActivTrades is better suited for your specific needs. Let's start by understanding what DEGIRO and ActivTrades are and how they work.

DEGIRO vs ActivTrades: what are they and how do they work?

It's crucial to know who you're investing with to ensure your funds' safety and implement your strategy successfully. Rest assured, both of these brokers are properly regulated and considered safe.

How does DEGIRO work?

DEGIRO is a highly popular broker, mainly due to its low costs and its recent introduction of zero-cost ETFs.

DEGIRO was founded in the Netherlands in 2008 initially catering to professional clients but later expanded its services to individual investors. It gradually grew to become one of Europe's well-known brokers for stock investors.

In 2020, DEGIRO became part of the Flatex Group after being acquired by a German online broker. The merger was completed in 2021, creating the largest online broker in Europe with a banking license. Following this, Flatex also went public and is now one of the 160 largest listed companies in Germany.

How does ActivTrades work?

ActivTrades has been around longer than DEGIRO, though it might not be as familiar to European retail investors.

This London-based platform was established in 2001 as a forex broker but expanded its offerings over time to include various investment products (CFDs or spread betting). Today, ActivTrades is an international company with clients worldwide, known for its innovative approach and commitment to new technologies. It offers automated trading strategies and is recognised as one of the top brokers for scalping.

Main features of DEGIRO vs ActivTrades

What sets these brokers apart? To simplify things, we've summarised the most important characteristics of DEGIRO and ActivTrades in the following table.

FeaturesDEGIROActivTrades
Regulation FCAFCA
Access to markets (countries)+30+160 and 10 stock markets
Financial assetsStocks and ETFs, options, futures, bonds, and warrantsForex, shares, indices, commodities, bonds, ETFs
Minimum Deposit€0.1£0
Account Types4 (Basic, Active, Trader, Day trader)3 (Individual, professional and demo)
PlatformDEGIRO (proprietary)ActivTrader, Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5
Demo AccountNoYes
Customer ServicePhone, emailPhone, email, live chat
More informationDEGIRO reviewActivTrades review

Which broker is safer and more reliable, DEGIRO or ActivTrades?

Both DEGIRO and ActivTrades are reputable brokers, backed by robust regulatory oversight and a lengthy industry presence, spanning over a decade.

Regulation of DEGIRO

Following its merger with Flatex, DEGIRO now operates as the Dutch branch of flatexDEGIRO Bank AG, headquartered in Germany. Consequently, it falls under the regulatory purview of the German financial authority, BaFin.

In the UK, DEGIRO is licensed by the FCA – the national authority that oversees and regulates brokers.

Is DEGIRO reliable?

DEGIRO is a trustworthy broker with regulatory oversight. Furthermore, its stock exchange listing provides an extra layer of transparency and security as its financial statements are public.

It is worth noting that clients' funds are not protected by the FSCS (which offers up to £85,000 per client in case of bankruptcy). However, clients' funds are compensated by the German Investor Compensation Scheme (maximum of €20,000, or up to 90% of assets in the unlikely event that the segregated assets cannot be returned to clients).

Regulation of ActivTrades

ActivTrades adheres to one of the most stringent regulatory frameworks in both Europe and globally, thanks to its oversight by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Is ActivTrades reliable?

ActivTrades is indeed a reliable broker. Client investments are covered up to £1,000,000 (more than the minimum FSCS requirement of £85,000).

Product and market offerings of ActivTrades vs DEGIRO

This is what sets the two brokers apart. On the one hand, ActivTrades is a CFD and spread betting broker ideal for trading. On the other hand, DEGIRO is more suitable for long-term investment strategies as it provides access to real assets.

Products and markets available with DEGIRO

DEGIRO has a wide range of financial products:

  • Stocks: more than 50 exchanges and over 30 countries.
  • ETFs: more than 5,000 different funds at highly competitive rates.
  • Futures and options
  • Bonds: a wide range of fixed-income assets from different countries and companies.

The platform provides access to major global markets across Europe, America, and Asia.

Products and markets available with ActivTrades

ActivTrades offers a diverse range of products and markets via CFDs and spread betting, including:

  • Stocks
  • Forex
  • Indices and Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Commodities

Which broker offers better account types, DEGIRO or ActivTrades?

Both DEGIRO and ActivTrades offer a variety of accounts suitable for different types of investors. However, there is a notable distinction: DEGIRO does not offer a demo account, whereas ActivTrades does.

DEGIRO account types

DEGIRO provides access to four primary account profiles:

  • Basic: This is the standard account that allows access to all available products. However, it does not permit short positions in shares, derivatives, or the use of leverage. You can upgrade it to other types of accounts.
  • Active and trader accounts: You can upgrade your basic account to an active and/or trader account. These allow leverage and short-selling.
  • Day Trader Profile. Designed for highly active traders, this account extends trading hours and allows for greater market exposure.

In summary, to access all available features, you would need an Active, Trader, or Day Trader account with DEGIRO.

ActivTrades account types

ActivTrades offers three primary types of accounts:

  • Individual account: This account provides access to all markets and features of ActivTrades and is suitable for retail traders.
  • Professional account: This is an account for institutional clients.
  • Demo account: As the name suggests, this is a practice account with virtual funds, designed for users to familiarise themselves with the platform's features.

DEGIRO vs ActivTrades cost structure

Now, let's delve into the cost comparisons between DEGIRO and ActivTrades.

DEGIRO fees

DEGIRO stands out for its competitive cost structure, particularly for shares. Here are some of its fees:

Shares

MarketCommissionHandling fee
UK£1.75£1
US€1€1
Europe€3.90€1

ETFs

TypeCommission + handling fee
Selected ETFs€0 + €1
Other ETFs€2 +€1

Options and futures

Options€0.75 per contract
Futures€0.75 per contract

ActivTrades fees

ActivTrades charges zero commission, but you need to cover spreads instead. These spreads are variable fees that depend on the underlying asset – as mentioned above, ActivTrades is a CFD and spread-betting broker; in CFD trading, you don't own the underlying assets.

Keep in mind that the spreads in the next sections are target spreads. When trading in real time, spreads fluctuate based on different factors (such as asset chosen, market volatility, and more).

Forex spreads

PairTarget spread
EUR/USD0.50 PIPS
EUR/GBP0.80 PIPS
EUR/CHF1.10 PIPS
EUR/JPY1.00 PIPS
EURCAD1.90 PIPS

Indices and bonds spread

SymbolTarget spreadAverage Spread (in points)
USA5000.23Normal: 0.36 Night: 0.37
UK1000.45Normal: 0.97 Night: 3.85
GER300.45Normal: 1.35 Night: 4.31
EURO500.90Normal: 1.50 Night: 2.35
ESP350.95Normal: 2.31

ActivTrades vs DEGIRO: Minimum deposit and account opening process

Opening an account with both brokers is a straightforward and entirely online process. Let's take a look at how it works:

Open an ActivTrades account in 5 steps

These are the steps you need to take to start investing with ActivTrades:

  1. Access the ActivTrades website and click to open a new account.
  2. Provide personal information, trading experience, and financial details.
  3. Configure your account preferences, select your trading platform, and choose the assets you wish to trade.
  4. Verify your identity and residence using your ID and a utility bill or bank statement.
  5. Activate your account and begin trading.

Minimum deposit at ActivTrades

There is no minimum deposit required to start trading with ActivTrades.

Open an account with DEGIRO in 3 steps

The account opening process with DEGIRO is also quick and straightforward. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Visit the website and fill out the form with your personal details.
  2. Verify your account as per the KYC requirements (ID and proof of residence).
  3. Make a deposit and start trading.

Minimum deposit at DEGIRO

There is no minimum deposit required. However, the broker will verify your bank account before trading (which is why the cost of €0.1 is mentioned).

DEGIRO's platform vs ActivTrades

The trading platform plays a pivotal role in your investment activities, and its significance can vary based on your investment strategy.

In this regard, ActivTrades holds a certain advantage by offering one of the most well-known platforms, MetaTrader, but also its own proprietary trading platform.

On the other hand, DEGIRO is suitable for beginners and long-term investors alike thanks to its intuitive proprietary platform.

DEGIRO's platform

DEGIRO's proprietary platform is known for its user-friendliness and simplicity. It encompasses all the essential features expected from a beginner-friendly platform and supports various order types. Additionally, the platform features prominent news highlights and grants access to an economic calendar.

DEGIRO also offers a mobile app that has received accolades in the UK:

ActivTrades platforms

ActivTrades offers three distinct trading platforms, including its proprietary platform, ActivTrades, as well as MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. The proprietary platform, ActivTrades, is more streamlined but exceptionally fast and practical. It complements the technical analysis tools available on MetaTrader.

Its rating is 4.1 out of 5 on Google Play.

Deposits and withdrawals with DEGIRO vs ActivTrades

In this section of the DEGIRO vs. ActivTrades comparison, we examine the methods and associated fees for depositing and withdrawing funds.

DEGIRO's deposit and withdrawal policy

DEGIRO permits deposits and withdrawals via bank transfer without charging any fees. The broker accommodates deposits in up to nine different currencies. Withdrawals are processed using the same method and do not incur additional fees.

ActivTrades' deposit and withdrawal policy

ActivTrades accepts a wider range of deposit methods, including bank transfers, Neteller, Skrill, or Paypal, all without imposing any fees.

Withdrawals at ActivTrades are free of charge.

Customer service: DEGIRO vs ActivTrades

We now shift our focus to one of the most highly regarded aspects within the investment community: customer service. Ultimately, a broker's customer service quality often determines whether investors choose to stay or move on.

Customer service at DEGIRO

DEGIRO's customer service is straightforward but effective, with the following characteristics:

  • Phone:
  • Email:
  • Live chat:

For any inquiries, you can contact DEGIRO via email or phone during office hours seven days a week. To address common questions, DEGIRO offers a FAQ section and an educational section.

Customer service at ActivTrades

ActivTrades provides comprehensive customer service with the following features:

  • Phone:
  • Email:
  • Live chat:

According to ActiveTrades' own data, the customer service team responds in under 27 minutes, with a satisfaction level of 95%. However, the drawback is limited information on their website regarding operations and common queries.

ActivTrades vs DEGIRO: user reviews

What do users have to say about DEGIRO and ActivTrades? In general, both brokers receive positive feedback regarding their platforms and trading conditions.

ActivTrades has a score of 4.2 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot and DEGIRO stands at 4.3 out of 5.

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Summary: ActivTrades vs DEGIRO

Is ActivTrades or DEGIRO the superior option? Both brokers are reputable, but they cater to different needs. ActivTrades targets more advanced and experienced traders who employ technical analysis in their strategies. On the other hand, DEGIRO is geared towards individual investors, particularly those interested in stocks, funds, and ETFs.

If you require professional tools for your trading operations, you'll find them with ActivTrades. However, if your goal is to invest directly in stocks, following a dividend investing strategy, for example, DEGIRO offers more favourable conditions.

Pros and cons of DEGIRO vs ActivTrades

Here's a final summary of both brokers, covering all the points discussed:

DEGIROActivTrades
Strong points✅Competitive costs
✅Real assets
✅ Intuitive platform
✅ Ideal for long-term investment
✅Highly regulated broker
✅Access to MetaTrader
✅ Many assets via derivatives (CFDs and spread betting)
✅Competitive spreads
Weak points❌ No demo account❌No real assets

FAQs

Can I trade leveraged products with DEGIRO and ActivTrades?

Yes, both DEGIRO and ActivTrades offer leveraged trading. DEGIRO allows leveraged trading with its Active, Trader, and Day Trader accounts, while ActivTrades offers leveraged trading options through its accounts.

Are there any differences in the mobile trading apps provided by DEGIRO and ActivTrades?

DEGIRO offers a mobile app that has received awards in certain regions, known for its user-friendliness. ActivTrades provides its proprietary app, as well as compatibility with MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 mobile apps.

Do ActivTrades and DEGIRO offer educational resources for beginners?

Yes, both brokers offer guidance and educational resources for beginners.

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