Welcome to the Trading Apps review of the Freetrade app. I have to say, I really enjoyed reviewing the Freetrade app and believe that they are changing the investor landscape for good, free trading is here. Anyway, let’s get on with the review!
|Languages||English, French, German, Dutch|
|Trading Platforms||Mobile App|
|Minimum Deposit||0 GBP|
|Maximum Leverage||No Leverage|
What is Freetrade?
Freetrade is a modern FCA-regulated share/stock trading app which aims to remove the high entry cost associated with typical brokers so that anyone can trade shares with as little or as much capital as they like. The app launched in October 2018 and became quickly popular within the Fintech sector as it provides a unique way to trade the financial markets and makes it much easier than typical investment methods. Freetrade was a crowdfunded venture which raised a huge £3.7M (379% of goal), which just goes to prove the insane amount of demand for this kind of product – people want fee-free share trading facilities! If you’ve already made your mind up and would like to go ahead and download the app, visit freetrade.io to claim your free share (up to £200) upon sign up. On the other hand, if you’d like to learn more about the app, keep reading!
Is it really free?
You’d think with a name like Freetrade that you’d be able to trade for free right? Well, the answer is: yes, you can trade shares on the Freetrade app with 0 fees. On the other hand, there are some paid extras which I’ll get into later on in this review, but for now, Let’s take a look at how they can offer free trading, as it is a little mind-boggling at first.
Fees & Pricing
Freetrade can offer fee-free trading because they execute all trades at 4 PM each day, which reduces administration costs and means that they can offer it as a free service. Even though it is free to make the trade, there is a main drawback to this which is that the price of the stock/share you decide to buy/sell could change before the trade is processed at 4 PM, meaning that you could pay under/over for the stock or share. This is a comprise you have to make if you want to trade with 0 fees. This aspect can work both in and out of your favour and isn’t a problem for the majority of long-term investors.
As a for-profit business, they naturally have to monetise the service in one way or another. One way in which Freetrade generates revenue is by offering something called ‘Instant Trade‘ which costs £1 per trade (not a lot if you ask me). This means that you can buy/sell the stock or share at exactly the price you decide rather than waiting till 4 PM to see if you paid over/under the going rate. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t do anything other than an instant trade if I was using anything above £50 to trade with, it’s worth £1 to get the price you want in my opinion.
The next way Freetrade makes money is by offering a Stocks & Shares ISA with a monthly cost of £3. This is like any other Stocks & Shares ISA which allows you to invest in multiple companies with lower risk aversion. I think this is a pretty low monthly rate and well worth it to be able to monitor your portfolio in a more in-depth manner than traditional ISAs. You can even transfer in your existing external ISA without much hassle or any fees and claim a free share for doing so.
Finally, Freetrade also charges 0.45% for FX conversions and £5 for express (same day) bank transfers, but they are free if you don’t mind waiting a little longer. All in all, Freetrade is a cost-effective way of trading the financial markets and doesn’t have any hidden fees or surprises you need to worry about. If you like what you see, sign up for a free account on the official Freetrade website and claim your random free stock with a value of up to £200 – will you be the lucky person who gets a big one? You have to be over 18 and be a UK resident to claim this offer. Full terms at Freetrade.io.
Is Freetrade safe?
I can’t stress how important it is to do your due diligence on trading apps to see whether or not they are safe to use. There are plenty of scammers out there looking to grab money from you at any opportunity. For this reason, I did some research into the safety features and regulation of the Freetrade app to help you asses whether or not it is a safe place to invest/trade your money.
As I’ve mentioned above, Freetrade Limited is a registered FCA compliant firm (Reference number: 783189) and is also listed under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – a government initiative which protects you up to £85K if they were to go bust. For these reasons, you can use Freetrade with little to no worry for the security of your financial assets – it’s as safe as they come in my opinion.
If you’re looking for some proof of these claims, here is the official documentation:
You can verify this information yourself by visiting fca.org.uk and searching for ‘Freetrade‘ if you wish to do so.
Funding your Freetrade account
Getting your money onto the Freetrade app is pretty simple and easy, but unfortunately, there aren’t many different options when it comes to depositing methods. This is to be expected and shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience for most traders & investors.
There are 2 main deposit methods on the Freetrade app which you can use to fund your account at any time of the day. I’ll also cover how long it takes for your deposit to show in your account below. The deposit methods available on Freetrade are:
- Bank Transfer
- E-wallets (Google Pay, Apple Pay etc.)
The aforementioned are the only available top-up methods on Freetrade at the moment, according to their blog post, they couldn’t justify the cost of adding credit/debit card support with their low-fee business model, which is fair enough, I don’t mind making a sacrifice like this for fee-free trading.
Another thing you need to note about depositing onto Freetrade is that you cannot use banks like Revolut or Monzo to top-up, unfortunately. I’d love to see them add support for modern banking apps like this in the future.
Some of you may also be wondering if you can use PayPal to fund your Freetrade account, the answer is: no, you cannot use PayPal to deposit on Freetrade.
To summarise, Freetrade could improve on the number of deposit methods available on the app, but it is completely understandable as they are trying to keep end-user costs as low as possible, it’s the price you pay for free share trading.
What’s the top-up time on Freetrade?
It all depends on when you make the transaction. If you make the bank transfer to your Freetrade account between 7 AM & 4 PM Monday to Friday you’ll be able to use it in the app within 2-4 hours. If you make the deposit on a weekend, you will have to wait till 9 AM on Monday morning. Take this information into account when depositing on the Freetrade app. I did a test deposit on the Freetrade app for the purpose of this review and it arrived around 2 hours after making the bank transfer – pretty impressive really.
Is there a minimum deposit?
This is where Freetrade trumps many other share trading apps, you can deposit as little or as much as you like; there is no minimum deposit on Freetrade whatsoever. I find it pretty amazing that you can trade shares for the same cost as a 99p ice cream on the Freetrade app.
Making a Withdrawal
Regardless of whether or not you make/lose money trading on Freetrade (hopefully the former!), you’ll almost definitely want to get your money out so that you can spend it at some point. In this section, I’ll be looking at what it is like to withdraw on the Freetrade app. Some of the questions I’ll be answering are; ‘Is it easy?‘, ‘How long does it take?‘ & most importantly, ‘Is it free?‘
There is only one withdrawal method available on Freetrade and that is bank transfer. This is not a bad thing and it keeps things simple, but I would like to see them add some more withdrawal methods in the future like PayPal or credit/debit card.
If you used an e-wallet like Apple Pay to deposit on the Freetrade app, you’ll have to add your bank account details before you can make a withdrawal.
How long do withdrawals take on Freetrade?
Standard withdrawals take 2-3 working days on Freetrade, so if you want to get the money by the weekend, you need to do the withdrawal by Tuesday at 4 PM ideally. On the other hand, you can pay £5 and get your money on the same day so long as you do it by PM. To make an express withdrawal just make a regular withdrawal and then tell them that you’d like to speed it up in the Live Chat support on the app.
Are there any withdrawal fees?
Freetrade doesn’t charge any withdrawal fees for regular withdrawals, however, you can pay extra (£5) to speed up your transfer.
How to withdraw on Freetrade
Before you can make a withdrawal on Freetrade, you first need to make sure that you have linked your bank account. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to make a withdrawal from your account. To withdraw on Freetrade:
- Open the Freetrade app
- Login to your account
- Go to the ‘Account‘ tab
- Tap ‘Withdraw‘
- Enter the amount you’d like to withdraw and click ‘Submit‘
- You should now see a pop-up confirming that your withdrawal was successful and is on the way
Supported Countries & Currencies
You’re most likely wondering where Freetrade is available and which currencies you can use to deposit & withdraw on the app.
Freetrade is currently only available in the United Kingdom although they do have plans to expand their services to Ireland, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
With regards to currencies, the only currency you can use on Freetrade is GBP (£). If you need to exchange other currencies to GBP for Freetrade, I suggest using an app like Revolut which is much cheaper than high-street banks.
Having a fast & comprehensive support system is important for the success of any business and for the customer’s welfare. In this part of the review, I’ll be focussing on the support available on the Freetrade app – it’s especially important since you’re trusting your money with this company.
Freetrade has an in-app Live Chat, Knowledge Base in addition to a Community Forum. I like the channels they provide to get in touch, although I know that many people will be thinking; ‘what about a phone number?‘. Freetrade doesn’t have any phone support whatsoever. Some could say, including me, that this is more of a change we see as a result of digitalisation rather than an oversight. It means that Freetrade can offer a more efficient support process as well as freeing up time to focus on other aspects of the product. It doesn’t both me at all that Freetrade doesn’t have telephone support.
On the flip side, I was able to find the contact details for Freetrade should you need to get in touch with them urgently:
|Phone||+44 20 3488 2539|
The official Freetrade app is 100% free to download and takes less than a few moments to do. Even if you don’t want to sign up for Freetrade just yet, you can download the app and do it at a later date. To download Freetrade, use the following instructions.
Freetrade for IOS
If you have an iPhone, iPad or any other IOS compatible device, you’ll need to download the Freetrade IOS app from the Apple App Store. You’ll also need a valid internet connection and an Apple ID account.
- Sign up for a Freetrade account at freetrade.io
- Verify your ID by uploading the required documents (Proof of ID & Address)
- Open the App Store on your IOS device and search for ‘Freetrade’
- Click ‘Get‘
- You’re all done, you can now login to the app and use all the features
Freetrade on Google Play (Android)
Got a Google Play or Android device? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the Freetrade experience.
To download the Freetrade app on Google Play/Android, use the following steps:
- Register for a Freetrade account on their official website here
- Go to the Google Play Store and search for ‘Freetrade‘
- Install the app
- Once it’s completed, sign in, deposit and then you can start trading