Best Commission-Free Trading Apps in the UK
A trading app allows you to monitor your investments and carry out transactions on the go.
Using your phone or any mobile device, a trading app will generally allow you to carry out the majority – or even all – of the tasks that are available to you on your computer or when dealing directly with a broker.
The benefits of using a trading app come down to three factors:
- Immediacy – Of particular interest to traders who invest in markets that are volatile or on the brink of an expected change in direction or a steep climb/descent.
- Access – Trading on the go opens up access to your investments wherever you are; no longer must you be at your desk to discover how the markets are behaving.
- Ease of use – The majority of trading apps are designed to simplify interaction with your investments, charts and market news.
Interested in trading but unsure whether you are fully prepared? Read Signs You Are Ready To Live Trade.
What Does Commission-Free Mean?
Commission-free trading means that you will not be charged a fee when you buy or sell assets such as cryptocurrency, shares or commodities. However, the ‘commission-free’ claim of many trading apps may not apply to all trades – for instance, short positions, leveraged transactions or specific trading assets.
An increasing number of brokers offer commission-free trading, but find plenty of other ways to profit from their customers:
- Interest on leveraging
- Fees to withdraw or deposit funds
- Fees for upgraded services
To find out who the companies are behind the trading apps, read Top 16 Trading Platforms in the UK.
What to Look For in a Broker and a Commission-Free Trading App
There is a wide range of trading apps available in the UK. What should you consider when deciding which one to use?
Which Assets Can You Trade?
One of the main considerations when choosing a broker is what assets and markets they provide. If you want to trade forex, for instance, there is no sense in using a broker that only allows you to trade in shares and commodities.
Find out what assets you can trade through a particular broker and their app, and make sure they are a match with your needs before you sign up.
Trading Fees, Commission and Other Charges
A broker may promote itself as commission-free, but find out the full extent of that claim and what other fees may be charged.
It may be that the commission-free element only covers basic trading, and not high-volume transactions or an investment over a set price limit.
Trading fees may be applied in certain situations, such as holding a position overnight or taking a short position.
What about leveraging? What are the fees to obtain leveraging through the broker and what level of interest do they charge?
Finally, there may be non-trading fees, such as when you make a withdrawal or where your account has remained inactive for a number of months.
Before signing up with a broker, get a full picture of the type of fees you may face.
Some trading apps are intended for use by more experienced traders, whereas others are suitable for traders of all levels of expertise.
Make sure that the trading app is intended for a knowledge level that matches your own.
Extent of the App Service
Does the trading app offer the exact same level of service as the computer version or that you would receive when dealing directly with the broker?
- Are you able to carry out all, some or no transactions?
- Can you access all of the charts and metrics tools?
- Do you have full access to customer service?
- Can you view your full profile, portfolio and record of transactions?
- Can you access the broker’s newsfeed?
The importance of the service offered by the app will depend on how you wish to use it, as a full trading tool or simply to monitor the performance of your portfolio.
Our Top 10 Trading Apps in the UK
Now that you know what to look out for when choosing a broker and trading app, here is our list of the best commission-free trading apps in the UK for 2021.
Best for: Traders who are interested in social copy trading
Assets and markets: Cryptocurrencies, stocks, ETFs, CFDs
Account types: Retail Client, Professional Client, Demo
eToro is an online stockbroker, operating in the UK and globally. Its trading app offers the same functionality as the computer version and is suitable for traders at all levels of expertise.
The most popular features offered by eToro are social copy trading through their CopyTrader service, the eToro news and analysis offering, and the community of traders who use the platform.
It is free to trade through eToro. However, an initial deposit is required when opening an account.
For a retail client account, the minimum deposit is $200. There is a fee when withdrawing money from your account, and a fee may also be charged to maintain a position overnight.
Should you take up the option of leveraging, interest fees will apply.
Best for: Traders interested in forex CFDs
Assets and markets: CFDs in forex, indices, shares, commodities, ETFs, crypto
Account types: Standard, Razor, Active Trader Razor, Demo
Pepperstone is an Australian CFD stockbroker, active in the UK and globally. It has created a trading app for each of the platforms it provides – MT4, MT5 and cTrader.
The Pepperstone cTrader app is recommended for those new to trading or still finding their investment footing. The cTrader app provides the same trading experience that you would experience in the computer version.
Like eToro, Pepperstone offers social copy trading, but unlike its competitor, you may only trade CFDs with this broker.
The standard account is commission-free, whereas Razor account holders are subject to commission charges. There is no minimum deposit, but Pepperstone recommends £500.
Withdrawal fees are charged to customers outside the EU and Australia.
Best for: Traders interested in CFDs who are happy to do their own research
Assets and markets: CFDs in indices, forex, commodities, shares, ETFs
Account types: Standard Demo
Plus500 is a UK broker offering CFDs across a range of markets. You may not, however, buy the actual assets. The Plus500 app is straightforward and allows you to trade on the go.
However, research and analysis tools are limited.
Trading is commission-free and there is no charge to withdraw money. There is a £100 minimum deposit when opening an account. Plus500 does charge a currency conversion fee, and your account will incur a fee should it be inactive for a number of months.
4. Trading 212
Best for: Experienced traders who are willing to take a higher risk
Assets and markets: Stocks, ETFs, CFDs, ISAs
Account types: Invest, CFD, ISA, Demo
Originating in Bulgaria, Trading 212 is registered to operate in the UK. It offers CFDs in a range of markets, ETFs, and stocks and shares. It also offers the option to open an ISA account for tax-free investment.
The Trading 212 app is compatible with all three types of accounts and offers a full trading service.
Trading is commission-free, with the opportunity to begin with a £1 investment for the Invest and ISA accounts, and £10 for the CFD account. Charges you may face include deposit fees once you have paid in over £2,000, and currency conversion fees.
5. Fineco Bank
Best for: Traders interested in a diverse range of assets
Assets and markets: Shares, ETFs, and CFDs
Account types: Individual, Joint, Demo
This Italy-based broker operates in Italy and the UK and offers a wide range of trading assets.
Fineco Bank also offers CFDs. The bank’s trading app provides a full trading service, but the technical analysis offering is limited.
The commission-free aspect of trading with Fineco Bank is restricted to CFDs only. UK customers trading in shares and ETFs will incur fixed commission fees.
There is no minimum deposit amount, no inactivity charge and no withdrawal fee, but there are high fees for holding CFD overnight positions.
Best for: Traders interested in the latest trading tech
Assets and markets: CFDs in shares, indices, commodities, forex
Account types: Standard, Premier, Plus
Capital.com is relatively new to the brokerage industry but has made its mark, landing Winner of Most Transparent Brokerage Service Provider 2020 (The European) and Best Online Trading Platform 2020 (Shares Magazine).
Its app has followed suit, winning Best Forex Trading App 2020 (UK Forex Awards).
The Capital trading app is AI-powered, easy to use and offers a full CFD trading service.
CFD trading is commission-free, but there is a minimum deposit for opening an account: up to $3,000 for the standard account, $3,000 for the Plus account, and $10,000 for the Premier account.
There are no deposit or withdrawal fees, but Capital will charge for holding overnight positions.
Best for: Traders interested in shares and ETFs
Assets and markets: Shares and ETFs
Account types: General Investment, ISA, Plus, SIPP
Freetrade is an app-based UK brokerage that is currently seeking to expand its reach into Europe and Ireland. The app offers a full trading service and is straightforward to use.
Freetrade provides a decent offering of research and analysis resources and a useful community forum where you can chat to and learn from other Freetrade customers.
The commission-free aspect is limited to the General Investment account. There is no charge for withdrawing funds, but there may be a currency conversion fee.
8. City Index
Best for: Traders interested in competitive spreads
Assets and markets: Forex, cryptocurrency, CFDs
Account types: Trader, Premium Trader, Professional, Demo
City Index is a well-established global CFD and forex broker. Its mobile app offers a full trading service, including extensive charting and technical indicators, and an up-to-date news feed.
The commission-free element applies to CFD trading, except for CFDs in shares. Forex trading incurs low level fees.
There is no withdrawal fee. However, should your account remain unused for more than 12 months, you will be charged an inactivity fee. There is no minimum deposit.
Best for: Traders interested in trading CFDs and spread betting on the go
Assets and markets: Forex, CFDs in forex, shares, indices, commodities, crypto
Account types: Individual Standard, Individual Active Trader, Joint, Corporate, Demo
Forex Capital Markets (FXCM) is a UK forex and CFD broker. FXCM offers copy trading through its ZuluTrade service.
One added advantage of its Trading Station mobile app is that it not only supports trading forex and CFDs but also allows spread betting.
Trading is generally commission-free, although high-volume trading may incur fees. The minimum deposit is £300, and you will be charged for an inactive account and to withdraw funds.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% 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.
Best for: Traders starting out who want to do everything online
Assets and markets: Cryptocurrency, metals, US stocks
Account types: Standard, Premium, Metal
Revolut is a fintech company offering banking, payment and investment services. Its range of assets and markets is more limited than many of its competitors. Revolut’s mobile app is straightforward to use and provides a full trading service.
The commission-free element only applies to trading US stocks. Trading cryptocurrencies and precious metals will incur fees. There is no minimum deposit amount, but you may be charged bank transfer fees when making a withdrawal.
The mobile apps in this article generally offer the same trading elements but will suit traders of different levels of expertise.
When deciding which broker and app to use, begin with your own needs:
- What do you want to trade?
- What is your level of trading expertise?
- How much money do you have to invest?
- What level of trading do you want to carry out on the go?
Make sure you do your research before you decide on the right app for you.