Fretrade and Trading 212 are big fish of the UK's broker industry known for their low-cost investment scheme. They offer investors commission-free investment, user-friendly apps, investment guides, tools, and necessary tools to aid investment yield.
But how do they differ? Which is better and, more importantly, which one should you choose?
If you're looking for these answers, this Freetrade vs. Trading 212 comparison review is for you. Here, we will compare the two brokers' differences, similarities, pros, and cons.
Freetrade vs Trading 212: What Are They and How Do They Work?
How Does Freetrade Work?
Freetrade is an award-winning online-based financial platform that offers investors access to over 6000 US and UK stocks and ETFs. It was established in 2016 and carries out its activity in London, UK.
The Financial platform offers a freemium business model that provides investors with commission–free trades, although other fees may apply.
Freetrade works with a three-investment service distributed across three pricing plans. The investment service includes a General Investment Account (GIA), a Stocks and Shares ISA, and the Freetrade Self-invested Personal Pension (SIPP). These investment services are available on the zero-cost basic plan and the flat plan fee Freetrade's Standard and Plus plan.
Another highlight of the Freetrade platform is the access to buy fractional shares, which allows you to trade US shares.
Currently, Freetrade is only available for UK residents but has plans to enter other European markets.
Overall, Freetrade is an excellent online platform with a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate mobile app that makes the user's experience swift. Also, their freemium model is one of the most competitive financial platforms in the country.
How Does Trading 212 Work?
Trading 212 Limited is one of the leading fintech in the UK, known for its commission-free trading and investment in currency pairs, stocks, and shares.
Trading 212 is a European broker established in 2004 in Bulgaria and has expanded to move its market to the UK and Cyprus. It centralizes its financial market on a free, innovative, and user-friendly app that allows investors to trade Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Commodities, and CFDs.
Over the years, the company has grown to manage up to 2 million funded accounts with over £3.5 billion in client assets and cash.
Trading 212 works based on its account types. It provides investors with a free account offering stock and share investment, tax-free investment options, and a platform for Contract For Difference (CFD) trading.
Although this platform offers zero commission on buying and selling with no fee for the account types, it's not a completely free platform. For example, Trading 212 charges 0.7% of deposits via cards, Google Pay, and Apple Pay after a cumulative deposit of £2,000/$2,000.
In addition, the fintech provides Pies and Auto Invest programs that allow you to build a diversified portfolio. With this feature, you can choose thousands of Stocks and ETFs that will be slices of your pie.
Overall, Trading 212 is an excellent platform that came to the limelight as the first commission-free investment platform. It has since then carved a niche for itself in the financial industry. Also, it owns a user-friendly mobile app and web platform.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Main Characteristic
|Freetrade is regulated by the Financial Conduct Academy (FCA) in the UK (FRN: 738189)
|Trading 212 is authorized and regulated by UK's FCA Cyprus' CYSEC), Bulgaria's FSC
|Market and Assets
|Stocks, Fractional shares, ETFs, investment trusts, OTC stocks, SPACs, REITs, IPOs
|Stocks and Shares, ETFs, indices, commodities, Forex
|Up to £85,000
|Up to £85,000 for UK's FSCS and up to 90% (but limited to 20,000 Euros) for ICF Cyprus and Bulgaria compensation
|GIA, ISA, and SIPP
|Standard Investment Account, ISA, and CFD account
|Basic plan (free), Standard Plan (£5.99 monthly or £59.88 annually), and Plus Plan (11.99 monthly or £119.88 annually)
|No pricing plan. All accounts are free.
|£0/$0 (£10 for CFD account)
|Bank transfer, debit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay
|Bank transfer, debit and credit card, Apple/Google Pay, Instant Bank transfers, OnlineBankingPL, Giropay, Carte Bleue, Blik, Direct eBanking, and iDEAL
|Deposit and Withdrawal Fee
|Deposit is free until you have deposited 2,000 GBP/EUR. After this limit, there is a 0.7% fee. Zero withdrawal fee
|Proprietary in-app trading platform on mobile devices and web service
|Proprietary in-app and web trading platform on mobile and desktop
|Currency Exchange Fee
|0.99% fx fee for Basic plan 0.59% fx fee for Standard Plan 0.39% fx fee for Plus plan
|0.15% FX fee
|GBP, USD, CHF, DKK, NOK, PLN, SEK, CZK, RON, BGN, and HUF
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Regulation and Reliability
A critical point of choosing which broker is best for you depends on the security regulations and reliability of the financial institution. Let's look at both Fintech companies in terms of investment security and reliability of the platform.
Investment in Freetrade Limited is authorized and regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority. As an FCA-authorized financial institution, they must obey all rules and regulations of the body to conduct business.
Per FCA requirements, all client's funds are kept in a segregated bank account. This implies that Freetrade cannot mix investors' funds with their money and cannot use it to cover any of their business expenses or pay creditors.
Also, Freetrade-listed stocks are protected by its nominee account in the UK and a third-party custodian in the US. The Freetrade Nominee is a non-trading company that keeps all UK-listed stock. For US-listed stocks, they are protected by the US's Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)
In addition, Freetrade activity is regulated by the Financial Service Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in case the company fails. This implies the value of your asset in the Financial institution is protected up to £85,000 if the company cannot safeguard your asset anymore.
Is Freetrade Reliable
As an FCA-regulated and authorized platform with FSCS backing in case of liquidity, Freetrade is a reliable platform to safeguard your investment. Also, the mobile app is secured with a 4-digit PIN you provided when you opened your account.
Overall, Financial experts, investors, and financial regulation bodies consider Freetrade as a reliable financial platform.
Regulation of Trading 212
The Trading 212 company is regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority, and it's obligated to all its rules and regulations, including segregation of client funds from the company's bank account.
Also, you're doubly covered by the company's membership with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The membership protects your investment up to £85,000 in the UK if the company collapses.
Also, since Trading 212 is available in Cyprus and Bulgaria, its investment market is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC) and the Bulgaria Financial Supervision Commission (FSC).
For investors' safety in these countries, Trading 212 Market Limited keeps all client's funds in a segregated bank account and are covered by Cyprus and Bulgaria Investors Compensation Fund (ICF), which can provide up to 90% (but limited to EUR 20,000) of client's fund in an unlikely event of company's default.
Is Trading 212 Reliable
With a satisfactory regulatory status in all countries Trading 212 operates, it is safe to consider the platform a reliable financial institution that protects its investors. Therefore, in an unlikely case of bankruptcy, the client's funds will be safely returned as they are kept in a segregated bank account.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Products and Assets
Both fintech companies are known for their diverse array of investment instruments. Therefore, choosing which is best for you also depends on the type of asset you want to invest in.
Here, we will analyze each broker's products and provide information about them.
Products and Assets available with Freetrade
|Products and Assets available with Freetrade
|Products and Assets Available with Trading 212
|Stocks and Shares – Freetrade provides access to over 6,000 US and UK stocks.
|Stocks, Shares, and ETFs Including Fractional shares– Trading 212 provides investors access to over 12,000 stocks, shares, and ETFs in the UK and US and across all European stock exchanges.
|Fractional shares – With Freetrade you can buy part of a full company's and enjoy a fraction of your purchase as dividends
|Indices (stock exchanges) – A stock exchange is a group of shares representing a stock exchange. With Trading 212, you have access to trade over 35 stock exchanges.
|ETFs – Freetrade offers over 400 commission-free Exchange-traded Fund (ETF) investments.
|Commodities – These are real products such as oil, agricultural products, renewable energy, gold, silver, etc. Trading 212 allows you to invest in a wide range of commodities.
|Investment trusts – Freetrade allows you to choose from over 150 investment trusts to diversify your portfolio.
|Forex (Currency Pairs) – Currency pair trading, mostly called Forex Exchange (Forex), simply implies you're trading a currency for another. On Trading 212, you have access to trading over 180 currency pairs.
|Bonds – On Freetrade, you have access to buy both government and Company's bond ETF on all pricing plans
|Commodities – As a Freetrade investor, you can trade US and UK commodities such as metals, oil, gas, agriculture, and renewable energy.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Account Type and The Broker With Better Account Offer
1. Stock and shares ISA
The Freetrade ISA account is a tax-free and zero-commission account that allows you to invest in several stocks and shares. This account allows you to invest up to £20,000 on assets in the 2023/2024 tax year.
With the Freetrade Stocks and Shares ISA account, you can access over 6,000 US and UK assets with no commission on purchase, access to fractional shares, and no income tax on dividends.
Freetrade Stocks and Shares ISA Charges
|Overseas share dealings
|Exchange rate +0.59%
|Exchange rate +0.39%
|Transfer in (Deposit)
|Transfer out (Withdrawal) – UK stock or cash
|Transfer Out – US stock
|£17 per holding
|£17 per holding
2. Self-invested Personal Pension (SIPP)
The SIPP is a tax-free pension/retirement plan that allows you to take control of your pension by growing it with investment. You can contribute to your pension during your service year directly or through your employer.
You can only access the money from age 55. Then, you can decide to grow part or all of the pension pot by investing it in any asset.
With the Freetrade SIPP account, you have access to a broader range of investment options, allowing you to contribute up to 100% of your salary. You're eligible to receive tax relief on contributions less than £40,000 annually.
Freetrade SIPP Charges
|Overseas share dealing (Currency Exchange)
|Exchange rate +0.39%
|Transfer in (Deposit)
|Transfer out (Withdrawal)
|US stock transfer out
|£17 per holding
3. General Investment Account (GIA)
The GIA is an investment account for buying, selling, and managing your investment portfolio. With this account, you will be charged the Capital Gain Tax (CGT) on every dividend you receive or profit you make on trades. The tax amount depends on the profit size.
The Freetrade GIA account is available on all Freetrade pricing plans so that you can trade up to 6,000 stocks on GIA, depending on your pricing plan. You can only trade on about 1,500 financial instruments with the free GIA.
Trading 212 Account
1. Trading 212 Contract For Difference Account (CFD)
A CFD account is one in which you trade asset prices instead of buying or selling the asset. With this type of trading, you can make a profit in either direction, that is, selling (to short) or buying (long) the asset price.
With the Trading 212 CFD account, you have a full range of investment options, including stocks, commodities, and currency pairs (CFD). The minimum deposit for the Trading 212 CFD account is £10.
2. Trading 212 Invest
Like the Freetrade General Investment Account (GIA), the Trading 212 Invest account has no tax-free benefits for buying stock, shares, or funds. And you pay Capital Gain Tax (CGT).
With the Trading 212 Invest account, you can invest in thousands of stocks with zero commission. However, Trading 212 charges for transactions made in currencies other than the platform's base currency.
3. Trading 212 ISA
Like all ISAs, Trading 212 ISA is not different. It allows you to save with no tax up to £20,000 in the 2023/2024 tax year. With these funds, you can invest in stocks and other financial instrument to make profit. You will enjoy your dividend and profit without Capital Gain Tax.
4. Trading 212 Pro Account
The Trading 212 Pro account is only available for experienced traders meeting two of its requirements. The requirement account includes:
- You must have placed on average, a minimum of 10 significantly-sized trades each quarter within the last year.
- You have a financial instrument (asset) portfolio of over £500k
- You have worked in the financial sector in a position requiring knowledge of leveraged trading for at least a year
5. Demo Account
This is a free training account for novice investors to learn the nature of the market and how Trading 212 works. The platform provides demo account users with £50,000 virtual money to invest and try out strategies without risk.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Pricing Plan and Broker Fee
As an investor, commissions and fees are factors to consider while choosing an investment platform. You must understand the pricing plans, regulation fees, and other charges included on the platform.
Let us discuss the financial commission of both Freetarde and Trading 212:
Freetrade Pricing Plan and Broker Fee
The Freetrade broker has three pricing platforms: the Basic, Standard, and Plus. Below are the differences between the plans.
|£0.00 per month
|£5.99 per month, £59.88 billed annually
|£11.99 per month, £119.88 billed annually
|Number of Assets
|1,500 stocks, including popular shares and ETFs
|Full range of 6,000+ US, UK, and EU stocks and ETFs
|Full range of 6,000+ US, UK, and EU stocks and ETFs
|General Investment Account
|General Investment Account Stocks and Shares ISA
|General Investment Account Stocks and Shares ISA Self-invested Personal Pension
|Range of Stocks
|U.S Fractional shares
|Automation Order Types
|Exchange rate fee
|Exchange rate +0.99% FX fee
|Exchange rate +0.59% FX fee
|Exchange rate +0.39% FX fee
|1% interest on uninvested cash up to £2,000
|3% interest on uninvested cash up to £4,000
|Advanced stock fundamentals
|In-app Freetrade Web beta
Trading 212 Pricing Plan and Broker Fee
The Trading 212 platform has no plan, and all account types are free to open. However, the platform charges for some services. The charges include:
|Free up to £2,000/$2,000 0.7% after £2,000/$2,000
|UK stamp duty
|French Financial Transaction Tax
|$0.000145 per share
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Trading Platform
The broker's trading platform is another noteworthy feature in comparing Freetrade and Trading 212. Let's proceed to discuss the trading platforms.
Freetrade Trading Platform
Freetrade Limited owns a proprietary online trading application compatible with iOS and Android devices. The trading app lets you buy, sell, and manage all transactions you want to make Freetrade.
The trading app is user-friendly and easy to navigate, and it won the best Online trading app in the UK for three years in a row.
Freetrade has no desktop app but owns a web platform you can asses on any device. You can only trade on the web platform if you're a Plus plan customer.
Trading 212 Trading Platform
Trading 212 has a proprietary trading platform just like Freetrade. The trading platform includes a mobile app and web platform equipped with multiple charts and several technical indicators to help experienced traders make trading decisions.
With the mobile app and the web platform, you can trade and invest in any Trading 212 Financial instruments. In addition, the platform has other built-in tools such as alerts and notifications, portfolio and commission reports, accrued interest, and other valuable data.
Also, Trading 212 has a plugin for Google Chrome, which makes it easy for you to access the platform from the browser. You can add it as a Google Chrome extension from the Chrome web store.
Over the years, the Trading 212 mobile app has gathered more than 14 million downloads over all platforms, making it one of the most popular trading apps in the world. Also, since 2016, Trading 212's app has been the UK's number one trading app.
All of these point to the excellent dominance of Trading 212's app in the UK.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Deposit and Withdrawal Policy
Freetrade Trade Deposit and Withdrawal Policy
Freetrade provides straightforward depositing and withdrawal methods
Deposit Options and Charges
- Bank Transfer – You can link a UK-authorized bank account to your Freetrade account.
- Debit Card Transfer – You can deposit with a debit card
- Apple and Google Pay – You can deposit funds directly to Freetrade with Google or Apple Pay. The deposit is instant, and this method has a £250 lifetime limit. The default billing address in the Google or Apple Pay Settings must match the Freetrade address.
Generally, Freetrade does not charge a deposit fee, although other additional fees, e.g., exchange rate, may be included.
Withdraw Options and Charges
You can only withdraw from Freetrade through bank transfer, and it typically takes 2-3 business days to reach the linked bank account and sometimes up to 5 business days.
Trading 212 Trade Deposit and Withdrawal Policy
Deposit Options and Charges
Trading 212 accept a wide range of fund deposit account into your account. They include:
- Ban Transfer
- Instant Bank Transfer
- Credit and Debit Card Payment
- Carte Bleue
- Direct Banking
- Apple and Google Pay
You can opt for any payment from the options available. Notably, Trading 212 deposit is free until you deposit up to £2,000/$2,000. After this benchmark, you will be charged 0.7% of your deposit as a deposition fee.
Withdraw Options and Charges
For fund security reason, Trading 212 send your funds through the same payment method you used when you funded the account.
If you've funded your account with multiple deposit methods, you will see a list of all of them, and you can make a payout from anyone you want.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Customer Care Service
Freetrade Customer Service
Freetrade offers customer-dedicated customer service through the ‘Help' section on the website and app. There are several alternatives to contacting customer service support:
- Help Hub and Community – The Help Hub contains answers to questions you may ask. So you don't have to text customer support and wait for responses. Also, you can visit the Freetrade community of investors to look for solutions, support, and advice.
- Social Media – The Freetrade customer support is active on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You can use these channels to complain through the chatbox and get updates about the broker, the latest news, and market updates.
- Email Support – You can email Freetrade customer support through firstname.lastname@example.org. You should expect a response from the team in less than 24 hours.
- In-App Chat – The Freetrade app has a live chat feature that lets you speak with a customer service representative. It's the quickest and the most convenient way to get help with any issue or question.
Trading 212 Customer Service
Trading 212 provides customers with efficient and quick customer service. They provide you with several alternatives, they include:
- Trading 212 Community – The community forms a forum where different individuals and investors rub their minds together, and Trading 212 representatives answer their questions.
- Live Chat – With the ‘Chat with us‘ button on your Menu, you have access to Trading 212 representatives on the subject matter your inquiry is about. The live chat team is available 24/7.
- Email – You can contact the Trading 212 customer support service via email@example.com to make your complaint, and you will receive responses.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: User Opinions and Reviews
What current customers say about the brokers' services is vital in choosing any of these online fintech. Are the investors satisfied with their current service?
We will look at the Trustpilot Investment community, a reputable website investors use to provide honest ratings and comments. In addition, we will check the Google Play Store and Apple Store to see what app users say about the broker's mobile apps.
Freetrade User Opinions and Reviews
The Freetrade platform has over 3,000 reviews and ratings on the Trustpilot investment community, rating 3.7 out of 5. The major complaint of investors is the inability to trade CFDs and cryptocurrencies.
Similarly, the Freetrade mobile app is seemly perfect, rating 4.4 out of 5 on the Google Play Store and 4.3 out of 5 on the Apple App Store.
Trading 212 User Opinions and Reviews
On Trustpilot, Trading 212 has over 21,000 reviews and ratings, with 75% of ratings a five-star. Most investors enjoy the ability to trade stock and foreign exchange as CFDs and comment on how swift and easy their customer support service has helped them navigate the platform.
On the Google Play store, Trading 212 app and service score 4.2 out of 5 with over 130,000 reviews.
Also, the Trading 212 app rate on the Apple App Store is 4.6 out of 5, showing that most customers enjoy their service.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: Our Opinion
Freetrade and Trading 212 have comparable services and have proven their capability to offer investors commission-free investment plans in their various project plans. However, they surpass each other in different aspects.
Firstly, Freetrade and Trading 212 are fully regulated by the UK's top-tiered Financial Conduct Authority, showing that they are safe and reliable to keep investors' money. However, since Trading 212 is available in other countries (Cyprus and Bulgaria), their financial activity is also regulated in these countries.
Regarding products and financial instruments, Freetrade is more beginner-centered in that it only provides stock and shares, ETFs, bonds, and commodities, which generally are of lower risk. They allow investors to select their stocks. On the other hand, Trading 212 accommodates experienced investors who use Technical analysis methods to trade the market base on price differences with its CFD system.
Also, in terms of fees, there are significant differences in the charge pattern of both platforms. While Freetrade charges by pricing plans and paying all fee charged by product regulating bodies behind your plan system, Trading 212 give freedom for all their product regulating bodies to charge you as you purchase the financial instruments. The choice of which you should choose depends on what you feel is better for you.
In addition, both brokers have an efficient, user-friendly, and informative proprietary platform for investors to trade and manage their investments. Although the Freetrade app may be considered too basic for experienced traders because of its few technical analysis indicators, it meets their customers' needs.
Overall, both Freetade and Trading 212 financial companies have different customer targets and have grown in their niches to meet their needs. While Trading 212 focuses on Experienced traders who can make risky financial decisions, Freetrade focuses on beginners willing to learn the art with minimum risk to make financial breakthroughs.
Freetrade vs. Trading 212: FAQs About Freetrade and Trading 212
Is Freetrade a Good Broker?
Freetrade's freemium model of business allows the trading of fractional shares with a user-friendly mobile trading app, and the educational offering is of good quality. Research and range of investments are limited, however, and its web trading platform is still in beta and not available to all customers.
Can I Transfer Shares on Trading 212?
No. Trading 212 does not support shares and assets transfer. To make such a transaction, you need to sell the shares. Conservely, they accept and complete ISA cash transfers instead of asset transfers.
Can I Transfer on Freetrade?
The broker accepts asset and cash transfer from other brokers at no fee. Also, if you decide to leave Freetrade, you can transfer your assets to other brokers with no fee.