So as mentioned you can look at the calculator for a basic cost comparison between HL, AJ Bell, and ii Compare our plans | Freetrade
It doesnt however take into consideration some other factors including regular trades of specific stocks and funds.
The calculator takes into consideration the maximum fees but there are these few things to consider
HL offer a £1.50 trading option with ‘regular investing’, this is by Direct Debt and applies to all funds, FTSE-350 and specific trusts and ETFs
AJ Bell offer almost exactly the same service, £1.50 FTSE 350, 2000 funds and a number of trusts and ETFs
ii similar theme regular investing is £0 in all funds, FTSE 350 and trusts and ETFs
These cane be compared to Freetrades free account i think as follows
Trading fees for regular investments~:
| Platform | Type | Investment availability | cost |
| Freetrade| Basic Account| FTSE 350 (including trusts), AIM 100, ETFs (all Vanguard, iShares, Invesco)| £0|
|HL| Regular Investment (monthly DD)|FTSE 350, all Funds, Specific Investment Trusts and ETFs| £1.50 fee per trade, min. £25 per trade|
|AJ Bell| Regular Investment (monthly DD)|FTSE 350, 2000 Funds, Specific Investment Trusts and ETFs| £1.50 fee per trade, min. £25 per trade|
|ii| Regular Investment (monthly DD)|FTSE 350, all Funds, Specific Investment Trusts and ETFs| £0 fee per trade, min. £25 per trade|
|T212|Basic/Regular account|All available|£0
Some extra caveats. HL have no dealing fee for funds; ii offer one free trade per month
Trading fee on ad hoc trades
| Platform | Cost per trade |
| Freetrade| £0|
|HL| £11.95, reducing depending on number of trades per month; Funds are free to trade|
| AJ Bell|£9.95, reduced if trading 10 or more times a month; £1.50 for funds|
|ii| £7.99; £7.99 for funds; £19.99 other international shares (ex. US)|
Platform fees are more difficult
In simple terms. HL, AJ Bell are percentage based fees. They charge a percentage based on the value of your holdings. the fee is only on funds not shares, and has caps depending on the account type.
Freetrade and ii are fixed fee platforms
Freetrade has no fee for a basic GIA account , £3 for an ISA, £10 for a SIPP, or £10 for Plus which includes an ISA and GIA or £17 for Plus + SIPP
ii is £10 for GIA and ISA, £20 for a GIA, ISA and SIPP
212 offers a GIA and ISA for no cost
and just to note on exchange rate costs, Freetrade is 0.45%, HL is 1%, AJ Bell is 1%, ii is 1.5%, 212 is 0%
It really starts to depend on your specific requirements because while they all have different fees you can see how for example if you only invest monthly into common stocks that HL can actually be quite cheap and cheaper than Freetrade to an extent.
But. 212 wins surely? its free for everything. Well it depends.
There are other factors to consider
Access to exchanges
dealing options (e.g. phone)
Terms and conditions
The fuzzy trust one
They all have their benefits and drawbacks but presumably your wanting to know which of two Freetrade of 212?
Theres a few factors in my mind.
- Freetrades terms and conditions are imo more favourable and safer than 212 due to how 212 word the handling and ownership of assets.
- Freetrades handling of the last few weeks which saw a lot of volatility and a lot of issues accessing platforms was a big plus. Unlike other platforms (including 212) it never went down.
- The trust factor is iffy since its hard to quantify but personal interactions with 212 have led me to decide that they’re OK for small investments but not for long term ones. I’ve had the opposite experience with Freetrade.
- Freetrades Plus account assuming you maxed out the interest rate would actually be free through the accumulated interest on the account which nullifies some of the fees.
- Freetrade will offer a SIPP in 4 days.
The fact of the matter is you cannot offer a service for free forever. Theres a reason robinhood pulled out, and theres a reason no one else offers free everything. Im sure 212 will monetise the hell out of their customers at some point.
But honestly and the end of the day it comes down not to how cheap something is but if you’re actually happy with how the investment platform is handling your money and investments, that should imo be one of the primary factors when looking at a platform to use.
See here on my main concern about (how i understand) their terms and conditions An Honest Critique of FreeTrade - #91 by Eden
Thats not exactly a cheat sheet sorry. I could give 5 different answers to whats the best platform to 5 different people depending on their needs.