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ActiveTrade
9
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Summary

Recommended for forex and CFD traders looking for low fees and great deposit/withdrawal conditions

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ActivTrades is a global forex broker founded in 2001. It is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB).

ActivTrades is considered safe because it has a long track record and it is regulated by a top-tier financial authority, the FCA.

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

ActivTrades pros and cons

ActivTrades has low trading fees, while deposits and withdrawals are free. Customer support is great and the broker has excellent education tools, including webinars and market analysis.

ActivTrades’ product portfolio is slim and its research tools are basic. The minimum deposit is high, at $/€/£/CHF 1,000.

ProsCons
 Low trading fees Slim product portfolio
 Free deposit and withdrawal Basic research tools
Good customer support and education services        . High minimum deposit        .
ActivTrades main features and highlights 
🗺️ Country of regulationUK, Bahamas
💰 Trading fees classLow
💰 Inactivity fee chargedYes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount$0
💰 Minimum deposit$1,000
🕖 Time to open an account1 day
💳 Deposit with bank cardAvailable
👛 Depositing with electronic walletAvailable
💱 Number of base currencies supported       .4
🎮 Demo account providedYes
🛍️ Products offeredForex, CFD
Overall Rating 9

Fees

4.5

ActivTrades has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. It’s great that the broker charges no deposit and withdrawal fees in most cases.

ProsCons
 Low trading fees Inactivity fee
No withdrawal fee     .
ActivTrades fees snapshot
AssetsFee levelFee terms
S&P 500 CFDLowIndividual Account: The fees are built into the spread, 0.23 points is the spread cost during peak trading hours.
Europe 50 CFDLowIndividual Account: The fees are built into the spread, 1.3 points is the spread cost during peak trading hours.
EURUSDLowIndividual Account: the fees are built the into the spread, 0.5 pips is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
Inactivity      . feeLowIf the account is not used for over 1 year and there is a remaining balance, they will charge a fee of £10 per month.

How we ranked fees

We ranked ActivTrades’s fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

First, let’s go over some basic terms related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

  • Trading fees occur when you trade. These can be commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees.
  • Non-trading fees include charges not directly related to trading, like withdrawal fees or inactivity fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of ActivTrades for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading, the most important fees are spreads, commissions and financing rates.

We also compared ActivTrades’s fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, HYCM and CMC Markets. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of ActivTrades alternatives.

To have a clear overview of ActivTrades, let’s start with the trading fees.

ActivTrades trading fees

ActivTrades trading fees are low.

We know it’s hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We have selected popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone
  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stock index and stock CFDs and $20,000 for the forex transactions. The leverage we used was:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let’s see the verdict for ActivTrades fees.

CFD fees

ActivTrades has generally low CFD trading fees.

ActivTrades CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week
$1.0$1.0$1.5
$0.7$0.9$1.9
$3.2$4.7$21.5
$5.5$25.2

Forex fees

ActivTrades’ forex fees are low.

ActivTrades forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
$7.5$7.1$8.0
$5.9$8.2$7.1
$6.3$10.1$7.5
EURCHF benchmark fee$4.6$9.4$9.2
$8.8$11.5$8.9

Non-trading fees

ActivTrades has average non-trading fees.

If the account is not used for over 1 year and there is a remaining balance, they will charge a fee of £10 per month.

ActivTrades non-trading fees
Deposit fee

 

Account Opening

3.8

Account opening at ActivTrades is seamless and fully digital. The whole process took less, than five minutes. Our account was verified within one business day. On the downside, the minimum deposit is high.

ProsCons
 Fast Minimum deposit is $1,000        .
 Fully digital
User-friendly     .

What is the minimum deposit at ActivTrades?

The required ActivTrades minimum deposit is $/€/£/CHF 1,000, depending on the currency of the account.

Account types

ActivTrades offers various account types for retail and corporate clients as well as Islamic accounts.

  • individual account – – account is owned by a retail investor
  • institutional account – account is owned by a legal entity
  • Islamic account – it has no overnight rollover interest, nor additional rollover commissions

How to open your account

The account opening process was fully digital, fast, and easy. The account was verified within a day.

The account opening process starts with selecting your country of residence and adding basic personal information, including your name, email address, and password. Then you have to go through a four-step registration process.

  • Account holder information: personal details, tax residency, home address
  • Trading experience: over what period have you been trading CFDs, the number of trades, the average lot size per trade
  • Financial and account information: employment status, income and savings, source of funds, trading preferences
  • Trading account setup: choose your trading platform, base currency

Finally, you have to add some documents (ID or passport, bank statement or utility bill, etc) and a photo for client verification.

 

Can you open an account?

Select your country of residence to see if you can open an account at ActiveTrade!

Deposit and Withdrawal

4.5

ActivTrades offers free deposit and withdrawal options, including traditional methods such as bank transfer and credit card, as well as various e-wallets. On the other hand, minor currencies are not accepted.

ProsCons
Credit/Debit card available        . Minor account currencies not available     .
 Free withdrawal
 No deposit fee

Account base currencies

At ActivTrades, you can choose from four base currencies. The available base currencies are: EUR, USD, GBP, CHF

ActivTrades’ account base currency range is narrow, as minor currencies are not accepted.

Base currencies at ActivTrades vs similar brokers
           4      6            10

 

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don’t have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. These usually offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates, as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Deposit fees and options

ActivTrades charges no deposit fees for bank transfer and electronic wallets.

Credt/debit card deposits are charged with 1.5% in the European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA countries, and 0.5% for UK clients. EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Beside bank transfer and credit/debit cards, the following electronic wallets can be used:

  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Paypal*
  • Sofort*

SOFORT and PAYPAL are only available for clients under ActivTrades Plc, the UK-based entity.

ActivTrades deposit options
YesYesYes
YesYesYes
YesYesYes

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant.

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

ActivTrades review – Deposit and withdrawal – Deposit

ActivTrades withdrawal fees and options

ActivTrades charges no withdrawal fees for credit/debit cards, electronic wallets and bank transfers in currencies other than USD. In turn, USD bank transfers cost $12.50 per withdrawal.

ActivTrades withdrawal fees and options
YesYesYes
YesYesYes
YesYesYes

How long does it take to withdraw money from ActivTrades? We tested the debit card withdrawal and it took more than 3 business days.

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from ActivTrades?

  • Go to ActivTrades Personal Area
  • Click on ‘Make a withdrawal’ under Transactions
  • Choose the account and the amount
  • Click ‘Proceed’

Trading Platform

3.8

ActivTrades has its own web trading platform called ActivTrader. It’s highly customizable, available in several languages and has a clear fee report. On the flip side, the platform lacks a two-step login and price alerts.

ProsCons
 User-friendly No two-step (safer) login     .
 Clear fee report
Good search function        .
ActivTrades platforms to choose from
Trading platform        .Score         .Available   .
Web3.8Yes
Mobile4.3Yes
Desktop3.4Yes

ActivTrades-offers the following trading platforms:

  • ActivTrades’ own trading platform, called ActivTrader
  • Third-party platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5

We’ve tested ActivTrader’s own platform for this review.

The web trading platform is available in Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Look and feel

ActivTrades’ web trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed.

Customizability is average, some features cannot be moved around on the platform. The search bar and the portfolio report features are, for instance, fixed.

ActivTrades review – Web trading platform

Login and security

ActivTrades provides only a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be more secure.

Search functions

The search functions are good. You can search for the name of the asset and there are search categories, too, like forex, cash index, etc.

ActivTrades review - Web trading platform - Search

ActivTrades review – Web trading platform – Search

Placing orders

You can use the following basic order types:

  • Market order
  • Limit order
  • Stop order

To get a better understanding of these terms, read our overview of order types.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good ’til canceled (GTC)
  • Good ’til time (GTT)

ActivTrades review – Web trading platform – Order panel

Alerts and notifications

There’s no price alert. Notifications on the changes to your account, when, for example, an order is executed, are available. However, there are no alerts for major news.

Portfolio and fee reports

ActivTrades has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can see the commission, swap fees and the performance of your portfolio.

A right click on the ‘History’ tab will take you to a website, where, you can download the reports, but only in HTML format.  An Excel or CSV format would be preferred.

Mobile trading platform

ActivTrades has its own great mobile trading platform. It is well-designed and user-friendly with a good search function. However, it lacks a safe login.

ProsCons
 User-friendly No two-step (safer) login       .
Good search function      .
 Price alerts

Similarily to the web platform, ActivTrades has its own mobile trading platform besides MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. In this review, we tested ActivTrade’s own platform.

The mobile platform’s design and functionality is exactly the same as the web platform. There’s only one-step login and the search function and the order types are the same, too. There’s no price alert.

ActivTrades review - Mobile trading platform

ActivTrades review – Mobile trading platform

Desktop trading platform

ActivTrade’s desktop trading platform is provided by MetaTrader. It is highly customizable, has a clear fee report and you can set price alerts. On the other hand, it lacks a two-step login and the design is outdated.

ProsCons
 Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login     .
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)       . Poor design
 Price alerts

ActivTrades doesn’t have an in-house developed desktop trading platform, it uses the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. They are third-party trading platforms. We’ve tested MetaTrader 4 because it’s more popular.

MetaTrader 4 is available in an exceptionally large number of languages:

ActivTrades desktop trading platform languages
ArabicBulgarianChinese
(Simplified and Traditional)    .
CroatianCzechDanish
DutchEnglishEstonianFarsiFrenchGerman
GreekHebrewHindiHungarianIndonesian   .Italian
Japanese   .KoreanLatvianLithuanianMalayMongolian
PersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbian
SlovakSlovenianSpanishSwedishTajikThai
TurkishUkrainian  .UzbekVietnamese   .

Look and feel

ActivTrades’ desktop trading platform has great customizability. It is easy to change the size and position of the tabs.

However, the platform feels outdated and some features are hard to find. For example, it took some time until we found how to add an asset to the watchlist.

ActivTrades review – Desktop trading platform

Login and security

ActivTrades provides only a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be more secure.

Search functions

The search functions are OK. You can find the assets in categories. However, categorization is a bit confusing as there are several forex categories. We also missed the usual search function when you can type in the asset names manually.

ActivTrades review – Desktop trading platform – Search

Placing orders

Here, you will not find very sophisticated orders like one-cancels-the-other. The following order types are available:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Trailing Stop

Trailing Stop is available only in the MT4 desktop platform

If you are not familiar with the various order types, read this overview.

There are also order time limits you can use:

  • Good ’til canceled (GTC)
  • Good ’til time (GTT)

ActivTrades review – Desktop trading platform – Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts and notifications in the form of email, push notifications to mobile, or notification to the desktop platform.

To set email or mobile notifications, you have to add your email address and your mobile MetaQuotes ID (it can be found in the MT4 app’s settings). You can add them if you go to ‘Tools’ and then ‘Options’.

Portfolio and fee reports

ActivTrades has clear portfolio and fee reports. It is easy to find your profit-loss balance and the commissions you paid. These reports can be found on the ‘Account History’ tab. Nevertheless, we didn’t find a way to download them.

Markets and Products

1.4

At ActivTrades you can only trade forex and other CFDs. Popular asset classes, such as real stocks, bonds, mutual funds and options are not available.

ActivTrades is a CFD and forex broker. If you’re not familiar with CFDs, read this article.

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

ActivTrades has a limited product portfolio. You can trade mainly CFDs and forex products.

ActivTrades product portfolio:

  • selection of stock and ETF CFDs is relatively high
  • range of stocks index and commodity CFDs is average
  • ActivTrades offers fewer currency pairs than its competitors and bond CFDs lag behind competitors
  • futures CFDs and cryptos are not available

 

ActivTrades product selection
Currency pairs (#)4870338
Stock index CFDs (#)272892
Stock CFDs (#)660658,000
ETF CFDs (#)500201,000
Commodity CFDs (#)        .1517136
Bond CFDs (#)556
Futures CFDs (#)
Cryptos (#)6415

You can change leverage levels, which is great. Changing the leverage is a useful feature, when you want to lower the risk of your trade. Be careful with forex and CFD trading, as the preset leverage levels are high.

ActivTrades offers access to nine stock CFD markets. This is an average selection compared to its competitors.

Research

3

ActivTrades’ selection of research tools is average, but the tools are user-friendly. Charting and other technical tools, like APIs, are great. On the flip side, there are no trading ideas, fundamental data, and news.

ProsCons
 Good interactive chart No trading ideas
 User-friendly No fundamental data available   .
Good set of analytical tools      . No/poor quality news flow

Research tools are available on the website and on the trading platform. We’ve tested the research tools only on ActivTrades’ own platform.

Trading ideas

ActivTrades does not provide trading ideas. There are some short market analysis pieces on the website. These are commentaries rather than deep insights into certain developments, like Brexit-related events. They don’t include clear trade ideas or recommendations.

Fundamental data

ActivTrades does not offer fundamental data.

Charting

ActivTrades has good charting tools and they offer 28 technical indicators. This is not a lot compared to its competitors as there are several platforms with 100+ technical indicators.

ActivTrades review – Research – Charting

News feed

There is an economic calendar on the website, under the ‘Markets’ tab. The calendar helps clients monitor the most important events all over the world. You can filter the news by countries, even types, and impact. On the downside, there’s no historical data to these events. You cannot look up, for example, historical US inflation data.

Other research tools you will enjoy

There are other technical tools, like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which help implement an automated trading strategy. APIs allow traders to directly connect their screening software with their broker account to place orders.

You can see the number of long/short (buy/sell) positions in the search bar. This is a good sentiment indicator to gauge the market mood.

ActivTrades review – Research – Market Sentiment

Customer Service

4.5

ActivTrades offers several customer service channels and we found the live chat to be the fastest and most relevant. Emails are typically answered within 24 hours and the answers were relevant. The only thing we missed is the 24/7 availability.

ProsCons
 Phone support No 24/7 support     .
 Live chat
Fast response time     .

ActivTrades providers several customer service channels. You can contact them via:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email

ActivTrades has a fast live chat. The relevance of the answers was satisfactory.

ActivTrades’ phone support was fast and we got relevant answers. The agent was very helpful, he gave detailed answers to our questions and even sent a follow-up email.

In email, we got quick and relevant answers.

We missed 24/7 availability.

ActivTrades review – Customer Service

Education

5

ActivTrades has great educational content. They provide webinars, education manuals and you can test your skills with a demo account. There is one to one training where you can chat with an expert.

ProsCons
 Demo accountNone
Trading platform tutorial        .
 One to one training

ActivTrades provides the following learning tools:

  • Demo account
  • One to one training
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars and seminars
  • Quality educational articles

We think that the demo accounts are the most useful because they allow you to become familiar with the platform and its features without any risks.

ActivTrades provide one to one training, where you can chat with an expert online. This is a personalised education session to help you understand the main features of the trading platform. This is a very special service, individual coaching is not at all common at other brokers.

ActivTrades review – Education

Safety

ActivTrades is regulated by several financial authorities, including the top-tier FCA. On the downside, they are not listed on any stock exchange and their financial information is not publicly available.

ProsCons
Negative balance protection        . Does not hold a banking license
 Regulated by top-tier FCA Not listed on stock exchange
Financial information is not publicly available      .

Is ActivTrades regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB).

Is ActivTrades safe?

To be certain if a brokerage is safe, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

ActivTrades has two entities and is regulated. Investor protection depends on where you open an account.

ActivTrades investor protection
Country of clientsProtection amountRegulatorLegal entity
UK and EEA£85,000Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)AcitvTrades PLC
Other counties     .Other counties      .The Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB)ActivTrades Corp (Nassau)

ActivTrades provides negative balance protection. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will be protected.

In addition to the protection retail investors get by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), ActivTrades has purchased, at no direct cost to clients, separate insurance protection from Lloyd’s of London insurers that provides up to £1,000,000 per client additional coverage. Lloyd’s of London is an insurance and reinsurance market in the UK.

Background

ActivTrades was established in 2001. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Being regulated by the top-tier FCA and being in operation for a long time are all great signs for ActivTrades’s safety.

Bottom Line

All in all, ActivTrades is a good CFD/forex broker.

ActivTrades has low trading fees, while deposits and withdrawals are free. Customer support is great and it has excellent education tools, including webinars and market analysis.

On the downside, its product portfolio is limited to just a few products, as it offers mainly CFDs and forex instruments. The research tools are basic, and there are no trading ideas or fundamental data. The minimum deposit is high, at $/€/£/CHF 1,000, depending on the currency of your account.

As the trading fees are low and your account will be ready quickly, feel free to try ActivTrades.

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Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a HIGH LEVEL OF RISK, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. You could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.

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