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eToro vs Trading 212

Both of these platforms let you trade without paying commission so which is better?

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 67%-76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

eToro is a trading platform that you can use to buy and sell stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), cryptocurrencies, commodities and currencies. It offers low-cost investing and an OpenBook trading platform. Trading 212 allows you to trade over 3,100 cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities and currencies.

With the current market volatility and poor returns on cash savings, it’s no surprise that people are turning to investing with the hope that stocks will bounce back in due course.

So, how do eToro and Trading 212 compare?

eToro vs Trading 212: Vital statistics

eToro Free StocksTrading212
Finder rating★★★★★★★★★★
Customer satisfaction rating★★★★★★★★★★
Stocks and shares ISA available?
FSCS protected?
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
Keep in mind68% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Both eToro and Trading 212 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which means your deposits are protected by up to £85,000 if either provider were to go bust. This doesn’t protect your investments if they go down in value.

Trading 212 lets you invest in an individual savings account (ISA). This means that you can use your ISA allowance each year to invest tax free. The allowance for the 2021/2022 tax year is £20,000. eToro does not have an ISA available, so you may have to pay capital gains tax on any profits over £12,300 in each tax year.

You can’t use your ISA allowance to trade CFDs.

We surveyed both eToro and Trading 212’s customers in December 2020. eToro’s customers liked that it was low cost, as it offers zero commission, and think it’s easy to navigate and easy to use. Customers didn’t like that it has some additional fees, and feel that they add up.

Trading 212’s customers found it to be easy to use and liked that it also offers commission free trading. Customers praised its new pie feature, which helps you balance your portfolio and invest in other people’s balanced portfolios.

Round 1: Products

eToro Free StocksTrading212
Stocks and shares ISA available?
Lifetime ISA (LISA)
Contracts for difference
Pension
Keep in mind68% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Neither eToro nor Trading 212 let you invest in a pension product or a lifetime ISA. Trading 212 lets you invest in an ISA, which means that you can use your annual ISA allowance.
  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 2: Financial instruments

eToro Free StocksTrading212
Forex
Shares
Options
ETFs
Keep in mind68% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Both eToro and Trading 212 let you trade shares, commodities, forex and indices. eToro also lets you trade ETFs and options, which aren’t available with Trading 212.

  • Winner: eToro

Round 3: Stock exchanges

eToro Free StocksTrading212
Exchanges covered score★★★★★★★★★★
UK - London Stock Exchange
US - NASDAQ
US - New York Stock Exchange
Canada - Toronto Stock Exchange
Japan - Japan Exchange Group
Euronext
Germany - Deutsche Börse
Keep in mind68% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Trading 212 lets you invest in more of the biggest stock exchanges than eToro, including UK shares, US shares, Canadian shares and European shares. eToro still gets you access to some of the largest stock exchanges, including UK shares, US shares and most European shares.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 4: Costs

Logo
FREE TRADES
eToro Free Stocks
Trading212
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
Minimum deposit£50£1
Standard trading fee£0.00£0
Best trading fee£0.00£0
Keep in mind68% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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It’s difficult to compare the costs of both of these platforms, as they’re both commission free trading platforms. Trading 212 only has a foreign exchange fee, which is 0.15% as well as restrictions on withdrawal and deposit amounts, eToro does have a couple of charges.

Basic trades are free with eToro, but there is a withdrawal fee of US$5 and an inactivity fee of US$10.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 5: Features

eToro Free StocksTrading212
Features rating★★★★★★★★★★
Desktop or web access
iPhone app
Android app
In-app news and research
In-app top-up
Keep in mind68% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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When it comes to features, both eToro and Trading 212 have web, iPhone and Android apps. You can set up notifications or alerts, access news and research and create or view watch lists. Trading 212’s company details and research is better than eToro’s.

  • Winner: Trading 212

Round 6: Learning resources

eToro Free StocksTrading212
Resources rating★★★★★★★★★★
Guides
Videos and walkthroughs
Demo account
In-depth learning tools
Keep in mind68% of retail CFD accounts lose money76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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Both eToro and Trading 212 have pretty decent learning resources, which would be helpful for beginner investors or those that want to understand investing more. You can read guides and access videos or walkthroughs with both providers.

Both of these platforms have demo accounts available, meaning you can practise trading without using real money. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can try it out for real!

eToro’s demo account can only be accessed after signing up, while Trading 212 lets you have a go without even giving up an email address. Of course, if you want to keep an eye on your imaginary stocks for days, weeks or months, you’ll have to sign up.

On both platforms, there is no obligation to go ahead and trade real money. You can make imaginary trades for life, if you want.

  • Winner: Tie

Overall winner: Is eToro better than Trading 212?

As it goes, these are both good options for free trading and they are very similar. Both of these platforms offer a huge range of stocks, commission free trades and no trading limits. There aren’t any pre-made portfolios available though, so if you’re not keen on creating your own, neither of these would be suitable for you.

These are both great for beginners, as they allow you to give it a go for free and with fake money, making them both pretty good educational resources, too.

The only thing that really puts Trading 212 in the top spot is its ISA. It’s completely free, which is a rarity.

  • Winner: Trading 212

If you are interested in more than just traditional investing, then look at eToro's crypto trading platform. This brings all social trading features of the eToro platform to crypto investing.

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

Cryptocurrencies aren't regulated in the UK and there's no protection from the Financial Ombudsman or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your capital is at risk. Capital gains tax on profits may apply.

Cryptocurrencies are speculative and investing in them involves significant risks - they're highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and sensitive to secondary activity. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. Before you invest, you should get advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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