Freetrade hikes monthly fees for its Standard and Plus customers just months after introducing new pricing structure
- Freetrade introduced a three-tier subscription plan last summer
- It raised prices for its Standard customers by 66%
- Now customers are facing a further monthly hike, as well as higher FX fees
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DIY investing app Freetrade will soon increase its monthly fees, just months after introducing a new three-tier plan which hiked prices for its Standard customers.
Last summer, Freetrade introduced three subscription plans – Basic, Standard and Plus – which saw Standard customers face a 66 per cent hike in fees.
But despite raising prices, the popular platform will remain free to use for those opting for its most basic service, which does not offer a stocks and shares Isa.
Freetrade’s* basic plan remains unchanged and is free for all with access to a general investment account, commission-free trades and access to over 1,500 global stocks and ETFs.
The standard subscription, which includes an Isa, will now go from £4.99 to £5.99 per month, while the Plus plan, previously £9.99, will cost £11.99 per month.
Going up: Freetrade’s Standard and Plus customers will have to pay more each month if they don’t opt for annual billing
But Freetrade customers will be able to keep the original lower cost if they pay an upfront annual fee of £59 or £119 for the Standard and Plus plans respectively. The changes will come into effect from customers’ May billing date.
The investment platform previously told This Is Money there were no plans to increase fees, but chief executive Adam Dodds said the environment had changed.
‘When you spoke to us [in 2021], it was before we had revamped our plans. I don’t think the interest rate environment was the same as what it is now,’ he said.
‘It seems pretty reasonable in today’s environment that you would see a bit of a increase in this plan.
‘And then we give an option to our customers to maintain their current rate if they don’t mind paying upfront, because that gives us obviously more certainty as a business around the revenue so it’s a bit of a win-win that way.
‘If you want to maintain your current tariff, sign up for annual billing… Your annual charge doesn’t change.’
The steepest new Freetrade charges will come in the form of FX fees, as foreign exchange fees for buying overseas stocks are known. Basic customers are facing a hike from 0.45 per cent to 0.99 per cent.
The average order made by a Basic customer is about £30 in size, meaning that customers will pay around 30p instead of the current rate at 14p.
The fee for Standard customers will be raised from 0.45 per cent to 0.59 per cent, and Plus customers’ FX fee will be lowered to 0.39 per cent.
These changes will come into effect on 11 April.
Freetrade scooped up customers with its offer of fee-free investing and saw major growth in the lockdown trading and investing boom. Its free model, alongside rival investment apps such as Trading 212 and eToro*, shook up the DIY investing market.
In response, established players have tweaked their offerings over the past year. AJ Bell* launched its own cut-price investing app Dodl, while Interactive Investor* recently introduced a new lower £4.99 a month option for those with less than £30,000 invested.
How does Freetrade compare? Read our guide to the best investing platforms.
Compare the best DIY investing platforms and stocks & shares Isa
Investing online is simple, cheap and can be done from your computer, tablet or phone at a time and place that suits you.
When it comes to choosing a DIY investing platform, stocks & shares Isa or a general investing account, the range of options might seem overwhelming.
Every provider has a slightly different offering, charging more or less for trading or holding shares and giving access to a different range of stocks, funds and investment trusts.
When weighing up the right one for you, it’s important to to look at the service that it offers, along with administration charges and dealing fees, plus any other extra costs.
To help you compare the best investment accounts, we’ve crunched the facts and pulled together a comprehensive guide to choosing the best and cheapest investing account for you.
We highlight the main players in the table below but would advise doing your own research and considering the points in our full guide linked here.
>> This is Money’s full guide to the best investing platforms and Isas
Platforms featured below are independently selected by This is Money’s specialist journalists. If you open an account using links which have an asterisk, This is Money will earn an affiliate commission. We do not allow this to affect our editorial independence.
|Admin charge||Charges notes||Fund dealing||Standard share, trust, ETF dealing||Regular investing||Dividend reinvestment|
|AJ Bell*||0.25%||Max £3.50 per month for shares, trusts, ETFs.||£1.50||£9.95||£1.50||£1.50 per deal||More details|
|Bestinvest*||0.40% (0.2% for ready made portfolios)||Account fee cut to 0.2% for ready made investments||Free||£4.95||Free for funds||Free for income funds||More details|
|Charles Stanley Direct||0.35%||No platform fee on shares if a trade in that month and annual max of £240||Free||£11.50||n/a||n/a||More details|
|Fidelity*||0.35% on funds||£45 fee up to £7,500. Max £45 per year for shares, trusts, ETFs||Free||£10||Free funds £1.50 shares, trusts ETFs||£1.50||More details|
|Hargreaves Lansdown*||0.45%||Capped at £45 for shares, trusts, ETFs||Free||£11.95||£1.50||1% (£1 min, £10 max)||More details|
|Interactive Investor*||£9.99 per month, or £4.99 under £30k holdings, £12.99 for Sipp||£5.99 per month back in free trading credit (does not apply to £4.99 plan)||£5.99||£5.99||Free||£0.99||More details|
|iWeb||£100 one-off||£5||£5||n/a||2%, max £5||More details|
|Etoro*||Free but no Isa or Sipp||Investment account offers stocks and ETFs. Beware high risk CFDs in trading account||Not available||Free||n/a||n/a||More details|
|Freetrade*||Free for Basic account, £4.99 per month for Standard with Isa||Freetrade Plus with more investments and Sipp is £9.99/month inc. Isa fee||No funds||Free||n/a||n/a||More details|
|Vanguard||0.15%||Only Vanguard funds||Free||Free only Vanguard ETFs||Free||n/a||More details|
|(Source: ThisisMoney.co.uk Jan 2023. Admin % charge may be levied monthly or quarterly|