Best Day Trading Platforms

5 platforms for high-frequency trading.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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Day traders deal with financial markets in the same way as a buzzing auction house. 

Assets are bartered and exchanged in a constant flow. Traders hold onto gold, currencies, stocks and more, one moment. And the next they sell off, hopefully at a profit (high losses could occur as well). And it all happens digitally across an exchange, sometimes with algorithmic robo-advisors helping to shear off every second for maximum efficiency.

In this guide, we cover some of the most popular day trading platforms.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76%-80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with these providers. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Plus500★★★★★Click Here
2. XTB★★★★★Click Here
3. eToro★★★★★Click Here
4. AvaTrade★★★★Click Here
5. BlackBull Markets★★★★Click Here

At a Glance, pros and cons

There are many interesting aspects to day trading. But is it the right choice for you? For a quintessential summary of the advantages and disadvantages of day trading, have a read through this section.

Pros

Paragraph explaining. 

No overnight threats. You don’t have to worry about your money disappearing overnight because all of your orders have been closed during the previous day. You get a peaceful night’s slumber.

Faster pace and earnings. Day trading suits those who are adrenaline junkies. It’s a life of constant ups and downs and looking for the razor-edge margin advantage – like a race car driver. You don’t have to wait for months, or even years, in order to reap profits (or loss).

Opportunities are abundant. Daytrading is arguably a game of reflexes and pattern recognition. Rather than dealing with fundamentals which are based on slow-moving processes, you are exploiting the market patterns and rhythms themselves. So there theoretically are always opportunities.

Cons

❌️ High expenses. Sure, you make money faster, but there are more fees to stack up from doing many more orders than a long-term trader. 

❌️ Lots of network noise. High probability moves may end up failing. Support and resistance levels may be more obscure compared to weekly charts. And you are in a race against artificial intelligence-powered machines.

❌️ High stress. Overall, you are in a race. You’re in a fight. So this kind of trading suits people who are very aggressive and come to life when they are at war, rather than those who prefer peace and stability. There is reportedly a high quitting rate.

Top day trading platforms: Overview 

1. Plus500 

Minimum Deposit: £100

Assets: Currencies, commodities, global shares, options, ETFs (all the instruments are available for trading only through CFDs)

2. XTB

Minimum Deposit: n/a 

Assets: 1900+ CFD-based currencies, shares, commodities, cryptos and ETFs

3. eToro 

Minimum Deposit: $50

Assets: 2700+ stocks, 40+ currencies, 50+ cryptocurrencies, 10+ indices, 30+ commodities, 260+ ETFs

4. AvaTrade 

Minimum Deposit: £100

Assets: 50+ currency/pairs, global stock indexes, trade shares, cryptocurrencies, commodities (for instance, silver, gold, wheat, oil), ETFs

5. BlackBull Markets 

Minimum Deposit: £150

20,000+ assets, deep access to world markets, high leverage 

5 Best day trading platforms

Without further ado. Here are the top-five day trading platforms. Each is available on the UK market.

1. Plus500 – One of the top CFD trading platforms for experienced traders

80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This platform is based on contracts for differences.

As you should know, CFDs allow traders to amplify their positions. Each time you make a trade, you are borrowing money (which is called ‘leverage’) from the broker in order to make a bigger bid than you can actually pay for outright.

The most important thing you should know about CFDs is that it heightens the potential damage you could do to your capital, as well as increases your potential upside. The ‘negative balance protection' feature blocks the platform from making trades larger than the size of funding in your account.

That said, this platform lets day traders amplify their decisions. Plus500 platform has exposure to multiple markets. 

You can use this platform on your mobile (iOS and Windows), or on your desktop. The platform tries to amalgamate essential information into a single screen, so you can make decisions. On the interface, check out the changing market value, view charts, read reports and make your orders. You can also add and withdraw funds.

In terms of reporting, reports combine recent transactions with previous ones. This allows you to track how your orders have ordered themselves across today. Although the charts are quite basic, they allow you to view multiple periods of time, although not at once. A few key features relevant to top day trading platforms that you might want to take note of are the following:

☑ Economic calendars: view a simplified calendar of key events due to happen. (In today’s crazy world full of wars and suspicious market occurrences, it seems that there are a million events happening at once). You can also filter business events according to the type of event, scheduled time and more.

☑ Notifications: be alerted of a trading event at the push of an email, SMS or other notifications. Be alert for a change in price, change in sentiment or percentage changes. 

☑ Tutorials: geared at beginners, rather than seasoned professional day traders. These provide very simple video sets offering lessons about how to trade and also include tests reviewing how much you absorbed.

☑ Risk mitigations: things like close at profit and close at a loss, guaranteed stops, etc.

Pros

✔️ Popular trading tool

✔️ Exaggerate your trades

✔️ Well-regulated in the UK – Plus500UK Ltd authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909)

Cons

❌ CFDs are very dangerous

❌ Indirect handling of stocks

2. XTB – Top day trading platform for competitive fees

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% 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.

The cut and thrust of XTB is that it gives you access to thousands of tradable instruments at competitive rates, attuned to day trading.

It’s a pretty aggressive platform, which mostly gives you exposure to the market through CFDs, other than the forex which you can reportedly participate in directly.

It’s not big on fundamentals, but there are some offerings such as an economic calendar so that you hear first when Tesco Bank closes due to losses, despite favourable customer ratings. And the technical indicators are pretty strong with well-designed charts that are useful.

You can either use the proprietary platform or integrate with MT4. none of this needs to be installed, as there is a web-based version. This should be compatible with all major browsers. The actual XStation5 software has won awards. It’s a propriety interface designed by the broker. And the software supports a wide range of assets – it reportedly facilities more than MT4 allows. 

Overall, this means the platform is usable on multiple interfaces and devices (MT4, XStation5 as well as smartphones). To repeat, XTB seems to be not very strong on fundamental data, which means there won’t be much information for holding long positions.

But does seem to be very dense with minute-to-minute, second-to-second technical tools, necessary for day trading decisions. These extend beyond indicators and charts. 

You can write stop-losses and take-profits directly on charts, for instance. There is a native calculator that shows you potential takeaways and losses. The company itself reportedly analyses the day’s happenings and offers its take on useful signals, in order to help its users.

You can check in on how other traders are behaving acting, filtered according to the instrument or sentiment. Further features: 

📊 Test strategies: this allows you to back-test systems to see how they would have played out in the past 

📊 Customize: tweak your indicators or purchase custom once with simple installations 

📊 Automations: these include things like the faster specification of take-profit and stop-loss 

To stand out, XB has offered its users the ability to open up accounts without a minimum deposit. In terms of options for adding funds: credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Paysafe and bank wire.

We can fund your account through the British pound, Euro and USD. One source claims that it costs £250 to set up an account. But this wasn’t true, last we checked. 

A few final words… Relevant to day trading, XTB reportedly has speedy orders, a strong network of technical indicators as well as a plethora of drawing tools. You can probably expect fees that are quite competitive for forex. 

Pros

✔️ Advanced day trading offerings especially indicators

✔️ Magnify your trades

✔️ Regulated in the UK

Cons

❌ Relatively smaller name

3. eToro – Popular day trading platform

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. {etoroCFDrisk}% 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.

We all know what eToro stands out for.

Get access to thousands of professionals on the network, all of whom can be imitated at the click of a button, in real-time.

And the interface is designed to the intuitive. eToro’s users access different interesting systems that let them automatically copy top trades. We can also copy multiple traders, by using the CopyPortfolios feature.

It’s hard to deny that they’re basically the trendsetter for consumer-level trading. Robinhood app is another worthy mention. But eToro has been ahead of the rest with its offerings of passive trading features. The social trading platform operates on the assumption that crowd wisdom, when harnessed, can be used to boost the financial stability of everyday people.

eToro logo

Copy Trading does not amount to investment advice. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.

Access individual trader profiles. Participate in community streams. Do this on a network that has 0% commission. This doesn’t mean that there are no fees at all. But it has opened up the market to retail investors. The margin difference is very important when it comes to how profitable day trading is. 

eToro’s headquarters are in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since their founding, they’ve grown to be regulated in an immense number of countries around the world, including the UK. 

One of the portfolios that passive day traders might be interested in is ‘Market Portfolios’. This features a breadbasket of nuanced CFD-based shares, commodities and ETFs. The other kind is ‘Top Trader Portfolios’. Here, you will find a selection of experienced traders who have allegedly proved their merit. Finally, you’ll be able to tweak your portfolio in line with a market strategy; for the sake of this article, day trading.  

Let’s end by talking about fees. eToro facilitates something called “fractional shares”. This means you can trade using only a piece of a full share. And it greatly reduces the starting deposit needed to begin trading. Indeed, this is one reason that eToro has been adopted by so many people.

(For full definition: a fractional share is a fraction of one share of stock. So it is less than one share. This only became possible in 2019. It happened when Interactive Brokers started offering it as a service).

Pros

✔️ Straightforward trading tool

✔️ Copy and social trading

✔️ Highly regulated 

✔️ Learning portal

Cons

❌ Can’t fund your account with cryptocurrency

❌ Questionable if beginners can make a stable ROI

4. AvaTrade – Top day trading platform for experienced traders

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.

AvaTrade is a less approachable trading platform that can be used for day trading. It offers you a bunch of different interfaces to use its system on. That includes its proprietary AvaTrade platform, MT4 and MT5. Each is available for iOS and Windows.

And rather than having to install it, you can use this day trading tool on your web browser. Alternatively, choose to install it on your phone using its app.

Let’s take a bit of time to explore AvaTrade’s mirroring and copying functionalities. AvaTrade actually can be integrated with DupliTrade and ZuluTrade.

We are talking about day trading, which is really something only professionals should do, but I’ll still mention that its copy-trading integrations are not nearly as beginner-friendly as eToro’s. That platform has essentially dominated the social trading space.

When we last checked, the following were some of the most popular instruments that users were trading on AvaTrade:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Tesla
  • Goldman Sachs Group
  • Netflix

And in terms of the most popular currencies:

  • GBP/USD
  • EUR/USD
  • USD/JPY
  • EUR/CHF
  • EUR/GBP

It’s worth having a look at AvaTrade’s homepage. The list out a bunch of user activity metrics. Suggest that they really try to have a social trading focus. If you want, have a look at the most popularly traded securities according to their class and location.

There’s also a list of the biggest risers and fallers. AvaTrade also gives users lots of technical tools and support features to explore market and business fundamentals. This includes things like tutorials, news reports, analytics and social streams. 

And in terms of user reviews, while it is very hard to find any sources that are trustworthy, we can have a quick peek at Trustpilot (TP). AvaTrade really does dominate here. You will be hard-pressed to find a top day trading platform that has more positive reviews. The last time we checked, they averaged 4.7 stars out of 5. More than 6,000 users shared their reviews, according to TP. 

Pros

✔️ Offers social trading

✔️ Provides shared user metrics

✔️ Strong selection of tradable assets

✔️ Learning portal 

Cons

❌ Not as beginner-friendly as eToro

❌ Higher account deposit minimum, of £100

5. BlackBull Markets – Top day trading platform for fundamentals

Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange, you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and, therefore, you should not invest money you cannot afford to lose. You should make yourself aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any questions or concerns as to how a loss would affect your lifestyle.

This day trading tool had a mixed focus, BlackBull Markets reportedly also features solid fundamentals. This can mean it’s better suited for day traders who have a mixed bag that includes long and short breadbaskets.

BlackBull Markets can be used for day trading purposes. It offers you a good range of technical and filtering tools. Use these to do advanced orders, specialised windows watching markets and plenty of integrations for third-party tools. Also note, BlackBull Markets became fully integrated with TradingView in 2021.

This is a relatively new company that has been on offer since 2014, however, has found itself at professional-grade levels. With headquarters in New Zealand, BlackBull Markets is fully regulated in Britain by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In terms of exposure to assets, you get exposure to major global markets, including forex and commodities.  

CFDs are offered for more high-risk traders. There are strong offerings for advanced traders, including customizable MetaScript. Other offerings include the ability to deal with multiple types of orders, as well as more than two dozen technical indicators right out the box when you sign up with BlackBull Markets. 

All in all, BlackBull Markets is a relatively non-day trading platform that is capable of facilitating efficient orders, offering many trading and technical tools and indicators. You’ll also be able to gain the use of systems there are specialised in hedging and doing pend orders. Overall, it appears to suit both day traders and those in the mid and long range.

Pros

✔️ Advanced trading offerings 

✔️ Amplify your trades with CFDs

✔️ British regulated by the financial conduct authority

Cons

❌ Relatively new

Best day trading platforms – Buying Guide

This section could come in handy if you want to learn more about the ins and outs of how the most popular day trading platforms work. 

What is a day trader?

Time is your greatest adversary.

Maverick, Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Day traders proactively and aggressively trade stocks, bonds, futures, options, forex, crypto, commodities and more. It may be a combination of these or just one.

Day traders stand out from the pack by playing hot potato with these financial tickets – orders are placed and unplaced by the hour, by the minute… or even, in some cases (sometimes involving AI-powered computers), multiple orders are handled by the second. 

Before the day closes, each item is typically returned back into the market like a wild fish released back into the ocean. Hence the name ‘day trader’, which means that all of the attention and stress that a day trader faces happens during the day. Once a day in the world of money is over, everything resets; he survived or die. 

For a day trader, Time is his biggest consideration…He can’t wait for the market to prove itself in days or weeks or months. Everything that happens is in the present, in a single day.

So, like a jet fighter manoeuvring against enemy aircraft, they develop highly-attuned, respond-and-react muscles that work reflexively. And because day traders trade in the margins, they are also finely attuned to balancing profit potential against market and platform commissions. However, it is important to note that high losses could occur as well.

Overall, they are very time-sensitive, very finger on the trigger and decisive. Day traders have to be good at balancing risk-to-reward ratios.

One per cent rule 

10 million was wired to your account in Montenegro, with the contingency for 5 more if I deem it a prudent investment.

Vesper Lynd, James Bond (2006)

We don’t all have millions of pounds readily waiting to be wired to our personal banking accounts at a single phone call. 

For this reason, professional traders normally have some kind of concrete percentage rule, governing how much of their total pot they are willing to use for speculation on the markets, at any given time. So day trading isn’t quite the same as in the movie… with Bond bluffing the house on a strong hunch. Traders stay alive by being more disciplined than their competition.

A common number you may have heard of before is the 1% rule. This system recommends that traders risk no more than 1% of the total portfolio’s value in any given single trade. For example, let’s say you have a total of £35,000 in the kitty. Your highest single trade would be £350.

This kind of discipline is vital to stay alive as a trader. It’s particularly true in day trading, where emotions can run high and a few bad moves could lead to a wipeout. 

Also used to mitigate things is setting profit-taking and stop-loss points. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of things and makes it easier to develop a system or strategy based on statistical probabilities and clearly defined processes.

Typically, the trader will develop their system over many years of hard-won experience and study. The goal is to let small wins accrue into larger ones.

Top day trading platforms: The Verdict 

Day trading is not a hobby or a part-time gig. It requires intense focus, sometimes a team of other professional connections and years of commitment in order to develop a working strategy.

The top day trading platforms in this guide offer demo accounts that allow you to get a feel for the process. Demo accounts let you invest virtual money in the real, live market.

Related Guides:

FAQs

What is algorithmic day trading?

How much do day traders earn on average?

How successful are day traders?

Are day traders self-employed?

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