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Freetrade vs eToro

Which is better, eToro or Freetrade? We compare them in detail below.

Freetrade and eToro are share trading platforms where you can buy and sell investments such as stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Freetrade’s suited to beginners, while eToro is better suited to intermediate investors or confident beginners. Both have an app and both offer commission-free stock trading. When we tried them out, we concluded that Freetrade is easier to use, but eToro is far more comprehensive. In this guide, we’ve pitted them against each another, comparing the investments available, fees and features. In each section, we’ve scored and highlighted the main aspects and said which platform we believe is better.

Freetrade vs eToro: Vital stats

FreetradeeToro Free Stocks
Finder score★★★★★★★★★★
Customer satisfaction survey★★★★★★★★★★
Stocks and shares ISA available?
FSCS protected?
Costs score★★★★★★★★★★
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money
More InfoGo to site
More Info

At first glance, these providers look similar, with both getting a good overall Finder score in our analysis. One major benefit of Freetrade over eToro is that it offers an individual savings account (ISA), so you can invest up to £20,000 in each tax year without having to pay capital gains tax on your profits. However, the Freetrade ISA comes with a £5.99 monthly fee. eToro does not offer ISAs, so you could be liable to pay capital gains tax on profits over £3,000 in each tax year.

eToro is a Share Dealing Innovation winner and was highly commended in our ESG innovation category in the Finder Investing & Saving Innovation Awards 2023.

Both Freetrade and eToro are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects your deposits by up to £85,000 if the platform were to go bust.

Round 1: Fees

FreetradeeToro Free Stocks
Costs score★★★★★★★★★★
Minimum deposit£1£50
Standard trading fee£0£0.00
Best trading fee£0£0.00
Foreign exchange fee0.59%0.5%
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money
More InfoGo to site
More Info

Both eToro and Freetrade are commission-free for share trading, so there’s no brokerage fee for buying or selling stocks. There are other fees that might be applicable with both providers, though. One is the foreign exchange (FX) fee, which you’ll pay to change your currency if you were to trade overseas shares. A really key point to know about eToro is that funds held in your account have to kept in US dollars. That means that when you deposit pounds sterling, they’re immediately converted to dollars and you’ll incur that 0.5% FX charge. If your plan is to invest in US stocks, then it’s less of an issue, but if all you wanted to do was buy UK stocks, it’s a fee we think you shouldn’t really have to stump up. Freetrade’s foreign exchange fee is 0.59%, while eToro’s is 0.5%.

eToro has additional fees, such as for withdrawal and inactivity. If you want to invest in an ISA with Freetrade, you’ll need to pay £5.99 per month.

Winner: Freetrade

Compare fees for buying shares on eToro vs Freetrade

Pick a stock, select a quantity and our calculator will give you a guide to the total cost of that trade on each of these platforms. We regularly check fees, but bear in mind that stock prices, exchange rates and spreads fluctuate in real-time.

Stock

Quantity of shares

10
Platform Finder score Account fee Min. initial deposit Trade cost Link
eToro Free Stocks logo
4.39 ★★★★★
£0 $100 £1,340.53
Go to siteCapital at risk

Full comparison of share dealing platforms

Round 2: Stock exchanges

FreetradeeToro Free Stocks
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 mindCapital at riskCapital at risk. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money
More InfoGo to site
More Info

Both Freetrade and eToro have access to the main stock exchanges, such as the London Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The main exchange that Freetrade doesn’t have is the Toronto Stock Exchange.

But as anybody who’s been using Freetrade for a few years will tell you, not all stocks are available in Freetrade’s freemium version (AKA “Freetrade Basic”). We’ve seen Freetrade withholding more and more features for paying customers only, as it looks for ways to be a profitable business. In fact, “Basic” gives you access to around a quarter of the stocks available through its paid plans. That’s not a problem if you’re just investing in the big brands, but if you’re following through on an obscure tip, you might be disappointed.

Winner: eToro

Round 3: Types of investments

FreetradeeToro Free Stocks
Financial instruments score★★★★★★★★★★
Shares
ETFs
Bonds
Funds
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money
More InfoGo to site
More Info

Freetrade and eToro both let you invest in shares and ETFs. With both providers you can also access ETFs that invest in bonds. Neither Freetrade or eToro offers funds. An added bonus of eToro is that it also offers cryptocurrencies.

Winner: eToro

Round 4: Mobile and web features

FreetradeeToro Free Stocks
Features rating★★★★★★★★★★
iPhone app
Android app
Desktop/web app
Notifications
Watch lists
Community or forums
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money
More InfoGo to site
More Info

The main benefit of eToro over Freetrade is that it lets you trade on desktop, although this is something that Freetrade has started to offer in beta with its paying members. Both Freetrade and eToro have mobile apps with notifications and watch lists, as well as forums to allow users to chat between them, either to get support or investment ideas.

Winner: eToro

Round 5: Learning resources

FreetradeeToro Free Stocks
Resources rating★★★★★★★★★★
Guides
Videos and walkthroughs
Demo account
In-depth learning tools
Keep in mindCapital at riskCapital at risk. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money
More InfoGo to site
More Info

Learning resources can be a great way for beginners to learn how to invest along the way. One of the best resources we’ve found are demo accounts. These give you a set amount of virtual funds, which can be reset if you run out. This way, you can have a go at investing without using real money. eToro offers a demo account, while Freetrade does not.

Both eToro and Freetrade have guides to help you learn and eToro has videos to help you out. Freetrade has a great range of in-depth tools to help investors learn how to get started.

Winner: eToro

Our verdict: Is Freetrade better than eToro?

We’d say that eToro is better than Freetrade as it’s a lot more comprehensive, offering a fantastic web trading platform and a demo account where you can make mistakes with pretend money! Plus eToro’s not constantly trying to get you to upgrade to a paid version (think of Freetrade Basic as being a bit like the free version of Spotify). eToro’s inactivity and withdrawal fees are admitedly a bit of a shocker, and the FX fees could also add up, but you’ve really got to hold these up against the monthly fees on Freetrade’s Standard plan, which is a closer equivalent.

But Freetrade is a platform that’s much more suited to beginners. It’s really easy to use and puts everything into plain terms. If you’re just starting out, perhaps use Freetrade Basic to see if the amateur trader’s life is for you!

There are a few clear scenarios where you’d just want to opt for Freetrade: 1. you’d like to invest in an ISA (eToro doesn’t offer one), and 2. you only plan to trade UK stocks (eToro converts all deposited funds to US dollars).

Finally, it’s worth noting that you could just open accounts with both. The potential downside to this is eToro’s inactivity fee if you don’t place a trade for over a year. Provided you aren’t going to get hit by that, you could open both and enjoy the best bits of each.

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