For American traders, the broker eToro is cut out for one thing – trading cryptocurrency – though investors outside the U.S. can also trade stocks commission-free. eToro offers a blend of trading and social media, allowing you to see what others are trading and even copy them instantly at no additional charge. It’s a cool feature that puts you in touch with the site’s best traders. The broker has a low account minimum and dozens of cryptocurrencies available to trade, making it an attractive option for traders who are just getting started in the crypto world.
Those looking for cheaper commissions could turn to Crypto.com, FTX.US or Bittrex, each of which are outfits focused solely on cryptocurrency. If you’re looking to trade crypto in addition to other traditional financial products, then have a look at Robinhood and Interactive Brokers, both of which offer a range of products, including stocks, ETFs and options.
- Cryptocurrency trading
- Following other traders’ moves
- Social investing
eToro at a glance
|Minimum balance:||$0; $10 minimum trade size|
|Securities tradable:||63 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash and more|
|Cost per trade:||Commission-free, but spread mark-up of 1 percent|
|Customer service:||Email and support tickets, chat for eToro club members.|
|Account fees:||$10 per month inactivity fee after 12 months of not logging in|
|Mobile app:||The eToro mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store|
|Promotion:||$50 bonus with referred friend offer|
Top features you’ll love
One of the more innovative features at eToro is the ability to automatically copy the trades of some of the broker’s most popular traders. With CopyTrader, you’ll select the traders you want to mimic, and then you’ll instantly replicate their trades. “When they trade, you trade,” as eToro says.
CopyTrader shows you fellow traders involved in the program and the returns they’ve stacked up over the last year, so you can make your selection. If you’re not ready to copy their trades, you can follow along on the trader’s social feed, see their monthly performance stats and check out their holdings. It’s social media meets crypto trading, helping traders connect with others.
CopyTrader doesn’t cost anything extra, and it actually offers income to top traders as part of eToro’s Popular Investor Program. Clients can sign up, attract followers and earn extra income as they trade. But you’ll need at least $200 in your account to copy traders.
If you’re new to crypto trading and looking to get your feet wet before you plunge in, eToro will allow you to set up a virtual account and start trading with $100,000 in virtual money. With a quick flip to virtual trading, you’ll be able to transact as if you were doing the real thing. It’s a solid add-on that should help newer investors get going and help them navigate the site.
Pros: Where eToro stands out
The big draw at eToro is cryptocurrency trading, and it’s also the only draw if you’re an American trader. (Those outside the U.S. can also trade stocks commission-free.) The broker charges no commissions but makes money on a spread mark-up (more below).
The broker gives you access to 63 different cryptocurrencies, including some of the most popular, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Solana and dozens more. The trading layout is easy to use and navigate around on the website interface, and you’ll see all trading options presented cleanly.
eToro Club membership
Traders may also find the recently introduced eToro Club benefits useful. You’ll receive special perks such as a dedicated account manager, a quarterly analyst newsletter, streaming webinars, a portfolio tracking app, priority customer service and more to come.
The level of benefit depends on what eToro calls your “realized equity,” which is basically the amount of money you’ve deposited or traded into a realized profit. The more you hold with eToro, the higher your level in the program, ranging across five levels from silver to diamond.
Social media feed
The social media feed on eToro and each of its cryptocurrency portals could be a useful way for traders to communicate with other traders. It’s a natural complement to the “copy trade” feature. Not only will you be able to follow specific cryptocurrencies, but you’ll also be able to track the moves of the site’s most popular traders, those who participate in its Popular Investor Program.
This melding of crypto trading and social media makes eToro feel like an innovative choice.
You’ll be able to access 63 of the most popular cryptos, and that compares favorably to many rival brokers, where traders can access just a handful of cryptocurrencies, typically Bitcoin and a few others. This selection even beats some crypto exchanges, which focus entirely on digital currencies.
If you’re looking to trade anything besides cryptocurrency at eToro, you’re out of luck, at least if you’re in the U.S. While traders in other countries can access commission-free trading on stocks, Americans are restricted to cryptocurrencies. So if you’re looking for anything besides crypto, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you’re just starting out trading cryptocurrency, it won’t take much to get started at eToro. Your first deposit must be a minimum of $10. That’s what it takes to get you into the game, and from there you’ll need to trade at least $10 per transaction.
So eToro is accessible to any size trader looking to get started in cryptocurrency trading. That said, if you don’t at least log in to your account once every 12 months, the broker will start hitting you with a $10-per-month inactivity fee. So if you have money in it, don’t forget your account.
Cons: Where eToro could improve
Like other brokers — such as Robinhood — that advertise “commission-free trading,” eToro actually makes money on the spread between bid and ask prices. That is, it adds an extra layer of cost, so the bid-ask prices you see on your eToro screen may differ from prices that you see in the actual market itself. This is a fairly common way to price currency trades and now many crypto brokers are using it as well. So while brokers may honestly tout that they’re commission-free, they’re ultimately taking a cut somewhere else.
The broker does a good job clearly laying out its spread pricing, which is 1 percent for all cryptocurrencies. That pricing actually compares favorably to pricing at some brokers such as Coinbase, which takes a minimum of 1.99 percent on each trade, and the fees can take an even higher percentage bite on trades at smaller dollar volumes.
However, eToro’s fees are much higher than what traders would pay at crypto exchanges, where the commissions could start at 0.35 – 0.40 percent and fall with higher volumes. Binance.US, one of the cheapest here, gets you started with commissions that are a tony 0.10 percent.
If you’re interested in trading crypto, it can be worthwhile to check out some of the best brokers.
A typical broker might have an extensively developed trading platform with tons of tools and charts to analyze the pricing action and help predict where the security might trade. Or you might have order entry right off the platform that gets your trade into the market immediately. But that’s not the case with eToro, where it’s all stripped down and perhaps a bit too gamified.
The trading “platform” at eToro consists largely of buy buttons (corresponding to each crypto) that you can mash when you’re ready to trade. You can quickly input your trade value in dollars and then your order is routed to the market — making it tremendously simplistic at this level.
But click elsewhere on each crypto’s tab and you’re taken to the social media feed for each, and you can access charts and other research that may help you figure out how you want to trade.
This trading platform is far from those of other full-service brokers such as Interactive Brokers and even other brokers that do allow crypto trading such as Webull.
Like other finance app start-ups, customer service is not the highest priority here. But it’s important to know that coming in so you don’t expect the full-service experience.
Here you’ll get customer support via support tickets and email. A help page provides answers to frequent questions, while you wait for your official response. If you’re a member of the eToro Club (based on your equity balance), you’ll be able to access customer service via live chat.
You’re trading cryptocurrency at eToro, not investing for the long term. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the broker only offers an individual taxable account. No IRAs, no joint accounts, no custodial accounts or any other kind, for that matter.
This won’t be a dealbreaker for those who are focused on exactly what eToro promises, but it also means that eToro is also not the right fit for many other kinds of investors.
If you’re a trader residing in the U.S, the broker eToro is fit for one purpose – trading major cryptocurrencies:
- The broker’s CopyTrader feature is a solid addition to the space, allowing you to hitch your wagon to a star trader and potentially ride your way to wealth.
- The range of cryptocurrencies is strong, but those looking for even rare crypto coins will have to look elsewhere.
- The all-in cost of trading here may be higher than it is at other rivals, especially crypto exchanges, which are competing furiously on price.
Those looking for even more available trading options or lower pricing should check out Binance.US, Bittrex or Kraken. These exchanges are focused exclusively on crypto, though, so if you want a traditional broker that does both, you might opt for Webull or Interactive Brokers.
How we make money
Bankrate is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. This compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear. Bankrate does not include all companies or all available products.