Robinhood Review – Should you use it to invest in 2024?

10 min Read Published: 19 Apr 2024

In this independent review, we take a look at Robinhood, a US-based trading platform that has recently launched in the UK. We look at Robinhood's key features, fees, pros and cons. We also take a look at possible alternatives including Interactive Investor*, Freetrade* and Trading 212.

What is Robinhood?

Robinhood is a US-based trading platform founded in April 2013. The company allows its US customers to trade stocks, ETFs, options and cryptocurrency. Margin trading is also available.

The platform soft-launched in the UK in November 2023, offering commission-free trading with no FX fees as well as the opportunity to earn 5% interest on uninvested cash. UK customers were added to a waiting list before being officially launched in the UK in March 2024, rolling all eligible customers off its waitlist and making its app available to everyone. To incentivise uptake, customers who sign up are eligible for a free share worth between $7 and $175.

In the UK, Robinhood customers can invest in over 6,000 global companies listed on US markets and trade fractional shares. However, some features available to US-based customers are not currently available to investors in the UK. This includes investing in ETFs and options trading. In addition, Robinhood doesn't have a Stocks and Shares ISA or SIPP option for customers wanting to benefit from a tax wrapper for their investments.

Despite this, the platform may be a particularly attractive proposition for traders looking for the lowest trading costs and those who wish to invest in the US market. At the very least, it creates more competition for existing investment platforms and further choice for UK investors.

What are Robinhood's key features?

  • Invest in more than 6,000 global companies listed on US markets
  • Invest in fractional shares
  • Earn a free share when you sign up
  • Commission-free trading
  • No inactivity fees
  • No account minimums
  • No FX fees
  • Robinhood 24 hour market
  • Robinhood Learn
  • $2.25mn protection for uninvested cash (versus £85,000 via FSCS)
  • Mobile app and web browser versions available
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Limited to individual stocks listed on the US market
  • No ISA or SIPP options

What products and services does Robinhood offer?

Robinhood UK offers a limited range of products and services at this stage. This includes the opportunity to invest in US stocks and fractional shares. The latter, in particular, has proved popular with the UK market. In fact, early data suggests that 70% of UK trades are for fractional shares while 30% are for whole shares.

Beyond commission-free trading, Robinhood also offers a range of features to its customers. This includes Robinhood's learning platform, as well as the 24 hour market feature and extended trading hours. We explore these in further detail below.

Robinhood 24 hour market

Typical trading hours in the US are between 9:30am to 16:00pm Eastern Time on Monday to Friday. The markets are closed outside of these hours. However, with Robinhood's 24 hour market, you can track and trade a certain number of selected stocks between Sunday 8pm ET and Friday 8pm ET. This is equivalent to Monday 1am BST and Saturday 1am BST.

To make use of the 24 hour market feature, head to the app or load Robinhood on the web browser of your choice, then select a stock in the 24 Hour Market list. Then:

  1. Click on Trade and select Buy or Sell.
  2. Select Dollars or Shares to view the order type options and choose whether you want to place a limit order or choose "trade now" to place a 24 Hour Market order.
  3. If applicable, set the limit price as well as trading hours when you want the order to execute, then select when the order should expire from the options available.
  4. Review the order and place it if you're happy with it.

The order should then execute based on your instructions.

Robinhood's extended-hours trading

Robinhood's extended-hours trading works slightly differently from the 24 hour market option. Extended hours last from 7am-8pm ET on days when the market is open. This gives you the opportunity to trade stocks for an additional 6 and a half hours outside of normal opening hours. You don't have to select from the 24 hour market stocks list, instead you can pick whichever stocks you like for the most part. However, keep in mind that not all stocks will be available for fractional trading during Robinhood's extended-hours trading period.

During extended hours, you'll see the stock's last price on the exchange. Some people opt to make use of extended hours as they can make decisions on buying or selling based on foreign markets activity which operate outside of US market hours but can have an impact on the prices on US markets.

However, there are risks with this type of trading. For example, there are risks of higher volatility with greater price swings during extended-hours trading. This could result in getting a lower price when buying, or even a failure to execute the order in the first place. For a full list of potential risks to consider, take a look at the Robinhood website.

Robinhood Learn

Robinhood Learn offers a range of free articles for beginner investors looking to learn the basics. These are split into various themes, ranging from Investing 101 which covers simple topics like explainers about stocks, to themes like options trading which covers topics like getting started with options and risk management. You can view the entire Robinhood Learn library for free and get started on your investment journey.

What can you invest in with Robinhood?

With Robinhood, you can invest in more than 6,000 US exchange-listed stocks as well as American Depositary Receipts  (ADRs) for more than 650 globally listed companies. You'll also be able to invest in fractional shares. Some of the stocks on offer include popular options like:

  • Tesla (TSLA)
  • Apple (AAPL)
  • Microsoft (MSFT)
  • Amazon (AMZN)

However, there are a range of assets that currently aren't supported by Robinhood UK, these include:

  • ETFs
  • Options contracts
  • Mutual funds

Currently, UK investors can invest solely in stocks and ADRs. However, Robinhood has hinted that it may introduce assets such as ETFs, UK stocks, and options trading further down the line, stating they've heard "loud and clear" that these assets are "important" and that "customers are eager to have access".

What is the minimum investment with Robinhood?

Robinhood allows you to start investing from as little as $1.

What are Robinhood's charges?

The table below breaks down the fees you can expect to pay if you choose to trade with Robinhood. Bear in mind that Robinhood will hold your funds in USD and as such, will be charged in USD. However, Robinhood has provided GBP equivalents for certain charges to help you gauge how much you're likely to pay. The exact amounts may vary as it will depend on the exchange rate at the time.

Fee description  Fee 
Commission fee (Robinhood) FREE
Regulatory Fee (Third party - for trades of $500 and above) £0.01 per £1,000 trade
Trading Activity (Third party - for trades of 50 shared and above) £0.02 per 100 shares
Funding (Third party) 0.03%
Withdrawals (Third party) 0.03%
Margin trading (Robinhood) 12% (equivalent to £0.33 per day on a £1,000 margin loan)

While Robinhood doesn't charge foreign exchange fees, there is a 0.03% third party fee levied on withdrawals and deposits. However, there are no account minimums or inactivity fees when trading with Robinhood. You can start investing from as little as $1.

How does Robinhood make money?

Robinhood doesn’t charge commission fees. The majority of fees you’ll pay when you trade with Robinhood will be third-party fees. To remain viable, Robinhood makes money in a few different ways. If you engage in margin trading, for example, Robinhood charges margin interest to lend you the money. Also, if you leave uninvested cash with Robinhood, they’ll invest this in interest-earning accounts. 

And, in the US, there is a premium version of Robinhood called Robinhood Gold which offers advanced investing tools in return for a monthly fee. These are just some of the ways that Robinhood makes its money.

How to open a Robinhood account

You could be eligible for a Robinhood account in the UK if:

  • You're aged 18 and above
  • You have a valid National Insurance number
  • You have a UK-based bank account
  • You have a UK-based home address
  • You're a UK resident for tax purposes
  • You're not a US citizen

To open an account, simply download the Robinhood app and submit an application. Alternatively, you can complete an application via the Robinhood website. You'll need to provide personal information like:

  • Your name and address
  • Your phone number (you'll need to verify it)
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your citizenship

Once you've completed the application, you'll receive an email within a few days to let you know whether your application has been approved. In some cases, you might need to submit additional documents to verify your identity. This might include utility bills, your driving licence or passport page, or proof of your national insurance number.

If you need to submit a document, you'll receive further instructions on how to do this securely via the Robinhood app or a secure file portal. It can then take up to a week for the Robinhood team to review your documents and approve your application.

Once you're up and running, you'll be awarded anywhere between $7 and $175 which you can then use towards buying a "free" share. You'll be able to choose from a list of 20 US companies and you can buy a fractional share if you want.

What are the pros and cons of a Robinhood account?

Below, we've summed up the key pros and cons of a Robinhood account to help you decide whether it's right for you.


  • Invest in more than 6,000 US stocks including fractional shares
  • No account minimums or inactivity fees
  • Free share when you sign up
  • $2.25mn protection for uninvested cash


  • No ISA or SIPP options
  • No ETFs or mutual funds
  • No UK stocks
  • Low Trustpilot reviews

Robinhood customer reviews

Robinhood has an overall score of 1.3 out of 5.0 on independent customer review site Trustpilot, based on more than 3,500 reviews. Only 2% of respondents gave the platform an "Excellent" score, while 96% gave it 1-star.

The few 5-star reviews speak about a seamless experience with the app and the free shares you get when you create an account. However, many of the 1-star reviews raise concerns about Robinhood freezing people's assets or restricting access to their accounts. There are also concerns raised about technical difficulties with logging in, as well as long holding periods before funds can be invested.

Robinhood FAQ's

Does Robinhood pay interest on cash held in its accounts?

Robinhood offers 5% interest on uninvested cash held with the platform. You can earn 5% AER on your uninvested cash in your Robinhood account, however the interest rate is subject to change.

Your uninvested deposits are also protected by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) deposit insurance up to $2.25 million. You don't get FSCS protection, however, some investors see this as a positive as FSCS protection only protects your deposits up to £85,000.

Is your money safe with Robinhood?

Robinhood is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. Apart from FDIC insurance which protects your uninvested cash up to a total maximum of $2.25 million, Robinhood also offers Securities Investor Protection (SIPC). This protects your securities up to $500,000 in the event that Robinhood goes out of business. In addition, Robinhood has purchased additional insurance for accounts held by Robinhood Securities which is designed to supplement the SIPC protection. This additional insurance kicks in if SIPC funds run out and provides a combined policy of up to $1 billion which can be used to further compensate customers.

Neither the additional insurance nor the SIPC funds are designed to offer individual protection against market losses. Instead, they offer protection in the event that Robinhood folds. Because Robinhood is a US-based firm, UK's FSCS protection doesn't apply. However, some customers prefer the higher limits offered by the FDIC and SIPC schemes.

Robinhood alternatives

There are plenty of alternatives to Robinhood that you should consider. Below, we take a look at Interactive Investor, Trading 212 and Freetrade, three platforms that offer relatively low (or no) cost trading and the option to invest in US stocks.

Interactive Investor

Interactive Investor* offers a flat pricing structure and the opportunity to invest in US stocks. Costs start at £4.99 per month in addition to £3.99 per trade for UK and US trades. While Interactive Investor doesn't offer fee-free trades, it does come with the option to invest via an Individual Savings Account (ISA) and some customers prefer investing via the tax wrapper. You can read more about Interactive Investor in our independent review.


Freetrade* is a UK-based platform that offers commission-free trading via a General Investment Account, Stocks and Shares ISA and a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). Investors wishing to access a Stocks and Shares ISA would need to upgrade to its standard plan charged at £5.99 per month and those wishing to invest via a SIPP would need to upgrade to the Plus plan charged at £11.99 per month. Unlike Robinhood, Freetrade does charge FX fees on its US and EUR stocks, however, these can be reduced to 0.39% by upgrading to the Plus plan. Freetrade also offers a signup bonus and investors can receive a FREE SHARE worth up to £100* when they deposit at least £50 into a Freetrade ISA (capital at risk) or Freetrade basic account (capital at risk). You can read more about Freetraade in our independent review.

Trading 212

Like Robinhood, Trading 212 allows you to trade US shares and fractional shares. You also get access to zero commission investing so there are no platform fees or charges for trading shares. There are also no FX fees and you can earn up to 5% interest for uninvested cash held in GBP. But, unlike Robinhood, Trading 212 comes with additional perks such as zero-fee stocks and shares ISAs for customers who want to trade within a tax wrapper. You can read more about Trading 212 in our independent review.

Robinhood Summary: Should you use it?

Robinhood is a good option if you're looking to invest in the US market and are primarily interested in holding fractional shares or stocks. It offers fee-free trading with no FX fees, as well as a wealth of learning resources for the beginner investor. Investors also benefit from enhanced deposit protection, as funds are protected by FDIC insurance up to $2.25 million. This could be attractive to those who find FSCS's £85,000 protection on the low side. Further, investors get 5% interest on uninvested cash which could appeal to those looking to earn interest on funds they're not ready to invest.

However, the platform is still in its infancy here in the UK, and therefore a lot of features that many investors expect as standard are not present. For example, ETFs and mutual funds are not available to UK traders. There are also no ISA tax wrappers on offer which could affect some investors' decisions to invest. Options like Freetrade* or Trading 212, which also come with commission-free trading and attractive interest on uninvested cash, or Interactive Investor*, which comes with a transparent flat fee structure, could work better for investors looking for more variety or the opportunity to invest via an ISA.



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