For European investors, high fees and commissions have long been an unwelcome nuisance. But not any more. Several major brokers across Europe are now offering commission-free stock trading to give their customers more freedom when it comes to investing. With these new trading platforms, inspired by Robinhood and other US sources, Europeans can trade while saving money on commission costs. By trading for free, rather than paying hefty sums that could be spent elsewhere, investors can keep more of the profits for themselves.
If commission-free stock trading sounds like a good idea to you, you are not alone. These days, free stock trading is more popular than ever and there are many brokers in Europe offering this type of investment account. There are many benefits to commission-free trading, but it’s important to choose the right broker if you want to avoid hidden fees and get the most out of your investments.
Best brokers for commission-free stock trading in Europe
Here are the best brokers and trading apps for commission-free stock trading in Europe, based on years of research:
The five best brokers for commission-free stock trading in Europe eToro, DEGIRO, XTB, Firstrade, and Bitpanda.
Recommended for: Zero-commission stock trading (EU & UK)
Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.
Best for: Beginners and passive investors
Investing involves risk of loss.
Recommended for: Combining investing and active trading
83% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
Recommended for: Investor protection & zero-commission options
Recommended for: Investor protection & zero-commission options
Detailed list of the best brokers in Europe for free trading
When you’re looking for a broker, there’s no shortage of options. But how do you know which is the best? We’ve done all the hard work and testing so we can give you an unbiased review. We compare and contrast them to find out. First we do some experiments on different platforms, then we look at user reviews from different sources like Reddit, before we come up with our own list, which includes customer service reviews and fee comparisons. So whether it’s iOS or Android-based devices that you prefer to trade stocks for free, or the desktop version, stay tuned to find out what makes each platform great (or not).
Commission: $0 on real stocks
Minimum deposit: $50 – $1,000
Monthly fee: $0
Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees.
US citizens please note: This content is not intended for residents or citizens of the US.
Electronic trading company eToro was founded in 2007 and has since grown to a global leader with more than 20 million clients worldwide and offices around the world.
eToro offers investors based in Europe commission-free trading of real stocks. As such, you can invest in the world’s biggest brands with zero trading commissions. For CySec/FCA-regulated accounts, most stocks available on the eToro platform are zero-commission.
Zero commission means that no broker fee will be charged when opening or closing a position. Zero commission does not apply to short or leveraged positions.
The commission-free trading account is available to investors from the EU and UK who have the required minimum deposit in their eToro investment account and who have completed their account verification process, which includes uploading a copy of an ID or passport as well as proof of address.
eToro is regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), meaning EU investors are protected up to €20,000, and UK clients up to £85,000. However, eToro offers EU and UK additional insurance up to 1 million EUR/GBP for their funds. The insurance is given automatically to all eToro clients.
eToro charges no fees for opening or closing regular stock trades (non-leveraged positions). There are no mark-ups, no ticket fees, and no management fees involved. This means clients can enjoy a large amount of commission-free stock trades with few restrictions. One downside is that eToro only offers USD-based accounts. There is also a flat withdrawal fee of $5. This means if your deposit is not in USD, eToro will convert it against a fee.
Special offer: Try with $100,000 in virtual funds
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74% 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.
Past performance is not an indication of future results. Trading history presented is less than 5 complete years and may not suffice as basis for investment decision.
Copy Trading does not amount to investment advice. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.
Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro.
Commissions: €0 on US stocks and ETFs from DEGIRO’s Core Selection (other fees may apply)
Minimum deposit: €0
Monthly fee: €0
Investment options: Stocks, ETFs, Bonds, Options, Futures
DEGIRO is a low-cost online broker headquartered in the Netherlands and Germany, focusing on European retail investors. Over the years, DEGIRO has built up a solid reputation among retail customers and now have around two million European customers trading with them.
DEGIRO is famous for its selection of commission-free ETFs (called the “Core Selection”). This selection includes well-known ETF names such as the iShares MSCI World and Vanguard FTSE All-World, among others, which, aside from connectivity and currency fees, can be traded at no commissions.
DEGIRO also made its name by being one of the first brokerages to have no minimum deposit requirement and by introducing some of the lowest trading fees available in the market.
To qualify for commission-free trading on DEGIRO, you need to reside in an eligible country and have completed the account verification process by uploading an ID or passport as well as proof of address. To see if your country is supported, click here.
Strong track record
The company began as a local brokerage in 2008 by a group of Amsterdam traders. Since then, it has expanded aggressively throughout Europe and attracted around two million investors. In late 2019, the German mega-broker flatex AG bought 100% of DEGIRO’s shares. Under the new name flatexDEGIRO, the broker is now regulated supervised by the German financial regulator BaFin.
DEGIRO separates its clients’ assets into separate entities and protects them in case DEGIRO becomes insolvent. DEGIRO is part of the German Investor Compensation Scheme, compensating up to 90% of non-returned assets with a maximum amount of EUR 20,000 per person. Customers who deposit their money in one of DEGRIO’s Cash Accounts at flatxDEGIRO Bank AG are covered up to 100,000 euros (EUR).
DEGIRO is a discount broker that offers some of the lowest trading fees in Europe. They offer monthly commission-free ETF and US stock trades. They’re 100% online, which helps them keep costs down. Here are the current costs for the “Basic Account” on DEGIRO, which will take effect on December 20, 2021 (for previous fees until December 20, 2021, please go to DEEGIRO’s website). Also, keep in mind that costs vary depending on where you live.
- Non-trading and account fees: When it comes to fees for withdrawals, deposits, etc. DEGIRO is very competitive. In many cases, they don’t charge anything at all. DEGIRO has no withdrawal, deposit, custody, or inactivity fees. Furthermore, no minimum deposit is required and no fees for opening, closing or maintaining an account; however, there is a conversion fee if a deposit or withdrawal is made in another currency than the account’s base currency.
- Commission-free ETFs: DEGIRO is famous for its commission-free ETF offer. Each month, clients can buy or sell a number of popular ETFs commission-free, regardless of the order size. This offer only applies to ETFs from DEGIRO’s Core Selection, and currency fees/connectivity fees may also apply. See the list of included ETFs and the terms here.
- Stocks and ETFs: Trading international ETFs, aside from the commission-free ones, typically incurs a fee of around €2. US stocks are commission-free to trade for most users; fees for trading on international stocks vary depending on the exchange and your location but typically start from around €3.90 on European exchanges. Certain nationalities can trade stocks and ETFs on their home country exchange with €0 commissions. Additionally, there’s a fixed order “Handling” fee of €1.0 per trade, except on trades via Tradegate; other fees may apply.
- Currency conversion: Trades on instruments denominated in a foreign currency than the currency of your base currency will incur a conversion fee. Currency exchanges via the “Auto FX trader” incur a 0.25% spread on the converted amount; manually traded currencies incur a fee of €10 + 0.25%.
Disclaimer: Investing involves risk of loss.
Commission: €0 on ETFs, stocks, crypto
Minimum deposit: €0
Monthly fee: $0
Investment options: Stocks, ETFs, Forex, Cryptocurrencies
XTB has offerings for all types of investors, such as stocks and ETFs, both as real assets or as CFD derivatives. To buy real stocks on XTB, you must check if you live in a qualifying jurisdiction as not all countries are supported. Currently, the following countries are supported: the Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal, Poland, France, Spain, and Slovenia.
Those customers who are eligible to join can trade around 3,000 real shares and 250 ETFs with low transaction fees and no commissions, making it an excellent option for investors. Suppose you want to play around with leverage. In that case, XTB zero-commission portfolio also includes CFDs on stocks and ETFs up to 1:5, as well as for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, so it could be an attractive choice if you are looking to do occasional trading.
UK residents should note that cryptocurrency trading at XTB is not available to them anymore due to FCA restrictions.
Special offer: Try XTB with $100K in virtual funds
Excellent trading platforms
XTB delivers a great all-around package for active traders thanks to its beginner-friendly trading platform suite, the xStation 5. The trading platform is responsive and has an easy to use interface that is great for beginners. The platform also offers a variety of educational tools, such as webinars, podcasts, tutorials, videos and articles in order to help new traders learn the basics. The mobile app covers all the basics, from portfolio tracker to price alerts to free real-time market data to market news. It also offers personalized watchlists and charts for research purposes.
XTB offers a simple pricing model for customers on the Standard Account type: no commissions on indices, forex, or cryptocurrencies (apart from Equity CFD and ETF CFD trades) but slightly wider spreads. For customers who qualify to trade real stocks and ETFs, there are no commissions.
For CFD trades, the Standard Account keeps things simple by avoiding calculating commission for each trade as it instead charges a spread at min. 0.35. Besides the commission-free products, XTB offers CFDs on stocks and ETFs from as little as 0.08% per lot.
85% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
Commission: $0 on stocks and options
Minimum deposit: $0
Monthly fee: $0
Investment options: Stocks, Options
Firstrade is an established US broker that has existed since 1985 and offers $0 trading of US stocks. They accept European customers from a select number of countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Firstrade presents a robust alternative to its Europe-based competitors in several aspects. Besides its long track record, Firstrade is strictly regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and international investors enjoy protection from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) up to $500,000 – far surpassing the EU’s mandatory compensation scheme of only €20,000.
Firstrade is also great if you want to trade options. They charge $0 per trade per contract and $0 in exercise and assignment fees, which is unusual among options brokers.
Options trading is an investment option for stocks that allows investors to buy or sell shares at a specific price, called the strike price. Selling options is also known as “going short,” and buying options is known as “going long.” Options trading can be used to make money by either using a call or put option. A call option would allow you to buy a stock at the specified price, whether it’s above or below the market price. Or, if you’re more conservative, you might want to use a put option that lets you sell a stock without owning it.
Firstrade’s mobile app is impressive. It has a clean design and beginner-friendly layout with numerous order types for those looking to trade on their phones or tablets. The best part is that everything syncs across your devices, so you can keep up anytime, anywhere.
The Firstrade website isn’t too fancy these days – in fact, some parts are downright old school compared to what’s out there now – but the company does make an effort at keeping things streamlined and functional.
High investor protection
Firstrade is one of the oldest and most trusted stock brokers in America. Firstrade’s strict regulatory measures are designed to protect investors at all costs, including up to $500,000 for international customers – far surpassing Europe’s mandatory compensation scheme, which only covers €20,000.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) offers protection from its members’ losses if a member fails due to fraud or theft. This insurance policy extends as high as $500k per customer across their global networks while the European Union mandates just €20K.
Firstrade offers international customers the opportunity to trade US stocks and options with no fees. There are no minimum deposit, inactivity, or account maintenance fees for equities. However, outgoing international transfers cost $50, which is something to keep in mind. There is a $50 fee when transferring money from your account, so this might be something you need to keep in mind if trading often or sending transfers back home.
Commission: €0 on ETFs, stocks, crypto
Minimum deposit: €25
Monthly fee: $0
Investment options: Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Gold, Silver
Bitpanda is a stock broker and cryptocurrency exchange based in Austria that offers €0 trading of stocks and ETFs and trading for all major cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether, ripple, litecoin – all managed in one platform.
The company has been around since 2014 is regulated by Austrian law (Finanzmarktaufsicht) and the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA).
What really sets Bitpanda apart is its combination of cryptocurrencies with traditional equity, as well as the ability to trade between these two assets. Another unique feature is that you can own fractions of shares from little as €1, making it much easier to build a well-diversified portfolio.
A multi-asset broker
Bitpanda offers five different ways to invest in crypto: Savings, Metals, Swaps, Plus, and Pay – all with their own set of benefits.
In 2021, Bitpanda launched a new product called Bitpanda Stocks, which offers investing in fractional or whole shares of stocks and ETFs. You can invest with as little as €1 and have 24/7 access to trading – also outside market hours. Fractional shares mean that you can invest in companies without buying a whole share. While these shares are synthetic, they are backed by real assets in Bitpanda’s custody bank.
You can also diversify into precious metals, like gold and silver, as well as crypto-to-crypto swaps. There are no limits on the transaction size for swapping one cryptocurrency for another.
Low all-around fees
There are no ongoing account fees, deposit fees, commissions, and other costs. The platform is quite competitive when it comes to prices in the market (especially with regards to Bitcoin). So if you’re looking for a place where you can trade both stocks and crypto without too much about commissions or fees, Bitpanda might be worth checking out.
The spread on the platform will be determined based on your trading amount, current market situation, what currency you buy and sell under – so it’s going to vary depending on a number of factors.
My trading experience
BitPanda’s mobile app is excellent, but their desktop platform leaves much to be desired–compared with its competitors we’ve reviewed today. The free standard account also lacks advanced features like real-time charts and sophisticated portfolio analysis tools, which more advanced investors may desire.
You can also invite friends to join Bitpanda and earn €10 for you and €10 for your friend if they make a fiat deposit of at least €25 and trade a minimum of €25. The referral program is only available in Europe, but it’s an incentive that might be worth considering when deciding whether or not to open an account with Bitpanda.
What is commission-free stock trading?
Commission-free stock trading is a fee you don’t have to pay when buying or selling stocks. Traditionally, brokers typically charge $5-$50 per trade – this commission can be avoided with commission-free trades.
Stock traders are increasingly looking at commission-free investing as an attractive option since it reduces fees by up to 70%. The price quoted by an online brokerage firm should include commissions and fees taken out by the said company as well as taxes levied by local authorities (such as stamp duty).
How does free stock trading work?
Commission-free trading platforms allow investors to buy and sell stocks without a commission. The brokerage will then automatically execute the trade at the best price possible, which is usually near the last traded share price on that stock’s exchange.
How do brokers make money on commission-free trades?
Commission-free trades are all the rage, but they may come at a price. Since the commission is eliminated, brokers need to make money in other ways. For example, they can charge customers a monthly subscription fee or offer some of their services at an additional cost, such as withdrawing funds and transferring balances between accounts.
However, brokerages primarily make money on commission-free trades through payments for order flows – which brokers charge to have their orders filled by exchanges and market makers on behalf of clients who want access to free trading services. Payments for order flow can lead to slower executions with marginally higher buy prices or lower sell prices depending on what type of trade you’re making (buyer or seller).
What are the benefits of free stock trading?
Commission-free trading offers some advantages, including:
- No commission on trades
- Better prices due to competition among brokers
- No account fees
- No inactivity fees
- No annual account fees
What are the drawbacks of free stock trading?
The drawbacks of free stock trading are:
- Brokerages might charge you other hidden fees
- Some services may cost more than usual
- Trades are usually slower to execute
- Increased spreads
- Slower customer support
How to choose a commission-free broker in Europe
Whether you’re an active trader or buy-and-hold investor, there are several things to consider before choosing a broker. In some cases, ‘Commission-free’ brokers in Europe can be expensive to use if the overall costs are not assessed appropriately.
Although it may not seem so from the surface, commission-free trading in Europe is never completely free. While the price for opening or closing a position is generally lower than with traditional brokers, the companies offering these services still need to make money.
They charge some kind of fee, be it for exchanging currency, withdrawing funds, or something else. Commission-free trading in Europe often means that the costs are incorporated in the spread. Also, low-cost brokers often lack the breadth of products, charting, news streaming, or advanced tools offered by heavy-weight firms.
Step 1: Watch out for exchange fees
When topping up your account, some brokers automatically exchange your funds into a different denomination than you deposited, often USD. However, larger brokers usually accept local currency deposits.
These are then subsequently exchanged into the denomination of the asset you purchase, either automatically or manually. In return for this service, the broker will charge a flat fee, percent of the exchanged amount, or give a less attractive exchange rate than the one you find on Google (the so-called Inter-Bank Exchange Rate).
Step 2: Mind the spread
A spread refers to the difference between a security’s sell (bid) and buy (ask) price. When trading stocks, most brokers use market spreads, meaning they match the bid and ask price on the market. For this, they charge a fee for every trade. Commission-free brokers might incorporate these fees into the spread, which is perceived as less transparent.
Step 3: Find out if they’re licensed
Choosing an unlicensed broker is never a good idea. Frankly, it’s a great way to walk headlong into a scam. Only trust a licensed broker with your money, as these are overseen and regulated by national regulatory bodies. Meaning they have to comply with strict rules and perform AML and KYC verification.
Equally important, client funds are protected through compensation schemes in case the company goes bankrupt.
For serving European clients, a lot of brokerages settle on Cyprus as their base. Cyprus has a low corporate tax rate of only 12.5%. At the same time, the country is a member of the EU and has fully implemented the Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), meaning they’re allowed to sell their financial services, customers, in all EEA member states.
How do I find the right broker for me?
A good place to start would be by contacting the brokerage directly; if you don’t qualify for commission-free stock trading, then look at our website for information about different types of brokers and what each offers in terms of commission-fee rates. Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking for a stock broker:
- Is it worth using a discount broker for some assets but not others?
- What are your thoughts on the latest developments in trading commissions at discount brokers?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of commission-free stock trading?
- Have you ever switched to another type of broker because they offer more benefits in terms of serving your needs as an investor?
- If so, what are those advantages or disadvantages that you found during your research before or after deciding to make the switch?
- What is your favorite service offered by a commission-free brokerage company because you find it most useful, and why do they offer that specific service?
- Do you think that paying for the advancement of research will have an impact on shareholders in the future, or do you think these discounts as they stand now are enough to compensate them for their financial contribution?
Tips for investing wisely with no commissions or fees
- Always research brokers before investing with them
- Compare coffers and prices
- Avoid trading high volume stocks since they are more expensive to trade
- Make sure you have the necessary funds available so that you don’t get charged fees for insufficient fund transfers or overdrafts.
- Do not use free stock trades as a form of day trading.
- Don’t trade stocks on margin – which means you borrow money from a broker to buy stocks.
How we test stock brokers: Methodology
We hope you found our rankings helpful in making your decision about which European brokers are right for you. We spent months conducting research and coming up with this list. You can trust that it was done using a multifaceted and iterative approach, so the rankings are based on an objective review process. If you have any questions about how we rank brokers or would like us to evaluate a brokerage provider that isn’t listed here, please let us know.
Choosing a stock broker is not easy. There are so many brokers out there, and it’s hard to know which one will be the right fit for you.
Before investing with any company, take the time to do some research first. A little investigation might help you avoid getting involved in something that could potentially cost your money or damage your future.
Don’t be afraid to ask the company for information; if they don’t provide it, chances are you should not invest with them. Make sure that your broker is licensed to operate in your jurisdiction – this ensures optimal protection and makes it easier to file a complaint if something goes wrong.
A brokerage is required to register with a regulator in their home country. You can contact the local regulator and ask if there have been problems with this brokerage in the past and to confirm their financial license number.
Even if you can find out if this particular company is regulated, go with one that has been around for more than 20 years. This will give you some peace of mind as you will know it has survived past financial crises without going bankrupt.
Number of tradable assets
Some brokers only offer a limited number of securities, while others may have hundreds. If you’re looking to invest in international stocks, or want to trade futures and options, make sure your broker has the right products for you.
The bottom line: do your research before getting invested with any company to make sure you are opening an account in the right place.
How important is reputation for brokers?
A broker’s reputation is crucial in this day and age. The only way to know if you’re dealing with a reputable brokerage company or not is by doing your research.
Most brokers have online reviews that you can easily find on the internet; these will provide some insight into what past customers are saying about their experiences investing with them.
Expert Tip: A good rule of thumb is to avoid companies who offer high-risk products – such as penny stocks and leveraged funds – unless they fit within your portfolio strategy.
As with any financial company, brokerages are a target for cyberattacks. However, most brokers have been able to protect their client’s data by implementing robust cybersecurity measures and investing in state-of-the-art technologies.
Some brokers offer security tokens or two-factor authentication to their clients as a way of protecting them from potential hacking threats. These are physical devices that can be activated if there is any suspicious activity on the account; they provide an extra layer of protection by requiring you to enter a PIN code every time you want to access your brokerage account online or use mobile trading apps.
If you have a question or concern, it’s essential to know how responsive your broker is. Are they available by phone, email, and in-person? Are they contracted out for customer service? Be sure to find out before investing any money with them.
Some brokers offer online chat functionality, which allows you to quickly ask questions and provide feedback without having to wait on hold for any length of time. It’s also beneficial if you are investing internationally as you can chat with a representative in their native language at any given time.
As customer support largely depends on the number of customers the brokerage company has, be careful not to invest with brokers who only offer telephone support during regular business hours.
Frequently asked questions
What is a commission?
A commission refers to the fee charged by a brokerage for handling sales or purchases of securities on your behalf.
What is a spread?
A spread is a difference between two prices, usually the buy versus sell price. In equity trading (stocks, ETFs), the spread refers to the difference in price between the bid and sell orders on the market. However, some brokers incorporate their fees into the spread which is considered less transparent.
What are spreads in trading?
In forex and CFD trading, the spread can be thought of as the brokerage fee for executing a position. When buying, the price will always be higher than the real market value, and when selling it will be below it.
What are CFDs?
A CFD (‘contract for difference’) is a financial derivate used to speculate on price movements of financial markets like shares, crypto, forex, commodities, and indices.
Choosing the right broker for a commission-free trading account can be an overwhelming process. There are so many different factors to consider and it’s easy to get lost in all of the choices available. Save yourself time by reviewing our list of brokers before you make your decision. We provide information on how each company offers commission-free trades, as well as their terms and conditions which may include hidden fees associated with opening accounts at some firms. Which of these brokers do you think would offer customers the most benefits