The top forex brokers offer the lowest spreads and fees when trading CFDs through the best forex trading platforms such as MetaTrader 4 and cTrader with fast execution speeds, a range of currency pairings and markets such as cryptocurrencies and strong customer support.
View the top retail foreign exchange regulated brokers below.
By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Friday, January 10th, 2020
Top 8 Forex Brokers
Below are the best forex brokers in 2020 across each CFD trading categories:
IC Markets – Lowest EUR/USD Spread Broker
Pepperstone – Best Forex Trading Platform Offering
City Index (Forex.com) – Best Bitcoin + Cryptocurrency Broker
Plus500 – Best Beginner Demo Account
eToro – Best Copy Trader + Social CFD Broker
FXCM – Best Forex Trading Demo Account
IG Group – Largest Foreign Exchange Retail Broker
Interactive Brokers– Best FX Broker For Experienced Traders
Pepperstone Offers The Best Forex Trading Platforms
Pepperstone offers the three most popular forex trading platforms:
Forex traders benefit from choosing Pepperstone based on:
Execution speeds faster than ~30ms
MetaTrader smart trader tools
Social trading functionality
How Pepperstone Execution Speeds Less Than 30ms
Most orders Pepperstone forex traders make are executed in less than 30 milliseconds. This is the fastest execution speed achieved through the Equinix Capital Markets infrastructure. This includes servers in New York (for MetaTrader) and London (for cTrader). The Equinix data centre platform is the largest in the world for multi-asset trading with over 475 buy/sell-side firms and over 1,200 financial service institutions. The size and proximity of the data centre allow real-time exchange rate data for traders and Straight-Through-Processing (STP) of orders. With the Razor account offering no dealing desk the trading experience is ideal for expert forex traders, those running expert advisors or scalpers.
Why Pepperstone Is Ideal For MetaTrader 4 + MetaTrader 5
Pepperstone offers enhancements for both the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 forex trading platform. This is called Smart Trader Tools and includes both broadcast facilities and trading alarms that integrate into the fx platform. Below shows example expert advisors that can be incorporated into MT4 or MT5.
Other tools that can be added include 15 indicators such as “Gravity” that visualises support and resistance areas.
Pepperstone also offers Autochartist which is directly built into the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms. This market scanner tool identifies key markets events impacting focusing on technical indicators, data intervals across currency pairs. Only statistically significant price movements are identified through Autochartist and Pepperstone has built-in filters based on 6+ months worth of historical data. The tool also has a risk management tool with expected movements over 1 hour to 24 hours and provides trade volume recommendations to retain risk tolerance levels.
What Copy And Social Trading Facility Pepperstone Offers
There are five social trading options available with Pepperstone. DupliTrade is for MetaTrader 4 only and has copy trader functionality where an individual can choose from a large set of forex traders to duplicate when trading. Pepperstone requires a minimum deposit of $5,000 to access DupliTrade. The other social trading platform for MT4 is MetaTrader signals (this is also available for MT5) and unlike DupliTrade has no minimum deposit requirements. The other three copy trading and social trading platforms can be run in conjunction with MetaTrader of the cTrader forex platform.
Summary Of Why Pepperstone Wins The Category Of Forex Trading Platforms
Pepperstone not only offers the choice of the three best forex platforms but provides the optimal environment for performance. This includes the best technology, feature enhancements and add-on tools such as social trading. The continual focus on technology and performance is the key reason why Pepperstone is the fastest growing forex broker worldwide.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
10 / 10
10 / 10
10 / 10
7 / 10
Range of Markets
8 / 10
10 / 10
IC Markets Has The Lowest EUR/USD Spreads
IC Markets Raw Spread Account (formally known as the True ECN Broker Account) costs include:
EUR/USD Spreads From 0.0 pips
$3.50 Commission Per Lot
No Deposit/Withdrawal/Inactivity Fees
Key trading costs benefits with IC Markets are:
ECN Broker type spreads
Minimal Additional Trading Costs
EUR/USD ECN Low Spreads Offered By IC Markets
There are three forex accounts types offered with IC Markets with the cTrader and Raw Spread (formally True ECN) accounts offering the lowest spreads. 62% of the time the Euro/US dollar Raw Spread trading account EUR/USD spread was 0.0 pips. This is considered an ECN broker spread account type with STP. Below compares IC Markets Raw Spread account type to the best forex accounts of other top forex brokers worldwide. It highlights how IC Markets has the lowest EUR/USD spreads found on this forex broker review.
EUR/USD Average Spread
IC Markets Commissions For The Raw Spread Account
There are 10 base currencies offered by IC Markets. The actual commission for the raw spread account (for MetaTrader 4) is determined by the base currency set. Below shows the commissions across each base currency from Euro, USD, GBP to AUD.
Other CFD Broker Account Fees
When trading currency pairs of CFDs there are a number of fees a broker may charge in addition to spreads and commissions.
1) Deposit Fees
IC Markets doesn’t charge and additional fees when making a deposit. Payment methods include Paypal, Skrill, Credit Card, Bpay and FasaPay. A popular method is also Bank/Wire transfer but it should be noted that international transfers way incur a $20 AUD fee charged by the bank itself. The deposit method impacts the processing times with credit card, Paypal and debit card usually instant.
The minimum deposit amount with IC Markets if $200 USD.
2) Withdrawal Fees
Like deposits, there are no additional withdrawal fees charged by IC Markets. Only international transfers may lead to the addition $20 AUD fee charged. The withdrawal methods a forex trader will usually select was the deposit method made.
3) Inactivity Fees
Unlike some brokers, IC Markets doesn’t charge a penalty (inactivity fee) when an account isn’t used for a sustained period.
4) Rollover Fees
A rollover fee is also known as a swap and is charged by all CFD brokers. They are applied when a position is key open for the next trading day. These change regularly and on Wednesday night the charge for holding a currency pair is triple.
Summary Of Why IC Markets Has The Lowest EUR/USD Spreads And Fees
The purpose of the RAW spread account made by IC Markets is to offer STP using the MetaTrader or cTrader market maker platform to achieve ECN broker spreads. Our analysis showed that IC Markets has achieved the lowest EUR/USD spreads combined with low commissions and minimal additional trading costs. With a low minimum deposit of $200 they the best way traders can access ECN prices when trading forex markets.
City Index offers the most comprehensive CFDs including indices, shares, cryptocurrency, commodities, interest rates and options. This is the ideal broker for those looking to trade CFDs (not just currency).
1) Indices CFD Trading
City Index offers 21 Indices to trade across Europe, Asia and the USA. Trading CFDs in this class has fixed spreads from 1 point. Leverage can be up to 500:1 depending on your residence with the ability to trade contracts on options, futures and cash.
2) Share CFD Trading
City Index allows individuals to trade CFDs across over 4,500 shares. The commission on global shares is 0.09%. Due to the high-risk nature of CFDs and share fluctuations a stop-loss order is recommended. In some cases, a guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) order type can also be made to lock in the maximum loss of a trade. If your new to high-risk trading this should be considered as part of your trading strategy.
3) Cryptocurrency CFD Trading
City Index CFD trading is across the major crypto classes including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. As shown below in 2020 City Index has the lowest CFD costs when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
4) Commodity Trading
City Index allows trading on over 25 commodities from oil, coffee to wheat. This can be done with leverage which varies by the commodity chosen. The big advantage of commodity trading is the tighter spreads compare to other trading CFD markets.
5) Interest Rates And Options Trading
The final trading CFDs grouping is Bonds, Interest Rates and Options. These are commission-free with spreads only charged. Leverage is at the higher range making it a high-risk tradable CFD.
Summary Of City Index Range Of CFD Markets
Overall, City Index (also known as Forex.com) allows all major markets to be traded as a CFD from shares, indices to commodities. With high leverage and modest trading costs, it’s worth considering if you’re looking to not just be a currency trader.
Beginner forex traders should consider the Plus500 online trading account based on:
Negative Balance Protection
Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders
No Commissions And Hidden Fees
Mobile Trading Platform
1) Negative Balance Protection
Forex trading is high-risk due to leverage increasing exposure to the market. This means that if the market moves in the wrong direction losses can quickly accumulate and could exceed a trader’s deposit. When this occurs most CFD brokers will request the negative balance be paid back to get reach a zero balance.
Plus500 offers negative balance protection which means that if a trader goes into a negative balance that the broker will adjust the online trading account to $0. This means that if a fx trader places the minimum deposit with Plus500 of $100 (for a credit/debit card) that losses won’t exceed this amount.
2) Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders
A guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) order type is similar to negative balance protection but of individual trades. This means that when placing an individual trade a maximum loss amount can be set and Plus500 guarantees the trader’s loss will not exceed this level. This shouldn’t be confused with a standard stop-loss order which also allows a trader to set the maximum loss but losses can exceed this level due to slippage. It should be noted that when the GSLO order type is activated that the spreads will be wider for that trade.
3) No Commissions And Hidden Fees
Plus500 primarily makes its brokerage from the market-based spreads (the difference between the buy/sell price). This simplifies calculations for brokerage compared to other brokers who charge a commission, payment processing fees and forex platform usage fees. Some standard fees to take note is a $10USD inactivity fee if a trader doesn’t log into their account for 3 months and an overnight funding fee if market positions are held over a sustained period.
4) Easy To Use Mobile Trading Platform
Plus500 focus is primarily on mobile trading with trading apps on iPhone, iPad, Android and window. Mobile trading can also occur on the webtrader while a windows 10 trader exists for those using a desktop device. The mobile trading apps have full functionality with the ability to monitor markets and make live trades. These can also be accessed through the Plus500 demo account.
Summary Why Plus500 Has The Best Beginner Trading Account
Plus500 has over 300,000 active customers and is regulated by ASIC (Australia) and the FCA (UK). With a strong reputation, they are the recommended starting point for new CFD traders with risk management tools, transparent brokerage costs and an easy to use mobile trading platform and app.
eToro are the worldwide leaders when it comes to social trading/copy trading with:
eToro are the leaders when it comes to social trading with the trading platform having an inbuilt social news feed. The main feature used is copy trading where a trader can be selected based on their past trading activity. The social trading module displays key stats from past returns to the level of historical risk associated with the individual. eToro also rewards individuals who have their trades copied to maximise the number of individuals engaged in the platform.
Copy portfolio is similar to copy traders but combines similar individuals or markets (eg crypto). This can help to diversify risk from just copying one instrument or one trader. Options include market portfolios, top trader portfolios and partner portfolios.
Through its propriety trading platform that includes mobile trading and mobile apps CFDs can be traded. This includes share CFDs (stocks), crpytoassets (crypto), commodities, EFTs, indices and 47 forex pairs.
Why Choose eToro For Social Trading
eToro is quite different from all other online brokers and was built around social trading especially it’s mobile trading platform. With the largest number of copy traders worldwide thanks to the way the broker incentives traders, this is the best broker for those looking for this functionality.
Using the trading station platform, FXCM offers the best demo account with:
No Signups Needed
$5,000 US dollars of virtual money
Live prices and simulated trading
More Details Of The FXCM Trading Station Demo Account
FXCM offers the only demo account that doesn’t require the trader to provide their basic details. From any FXCM webpage, there is the option to “try demo” which launches the web demo platform. Virtual money up to $5,000 can be traded in the demo account with most order types supported except for stop/limit trades.
Like any demo account, FXCM replicates real markets but is still simulated. Differences can cause delays in pricing, liquidity restrictions and not all CFDs are tradable. Other factors from no slippage to rejected orders may not be present in a demo account. FXCM offers support for demo account users but you need to leave the trading platform for live chat etc.
Overall, the ease of opening a demo account anonymously and instantly with a simple tutorial to get you started is why FXCM has won this CFDs category.
Those looking to avoid a scam broker at all cost should consider IG as they:
Are the largest retail foreign exchange broker in the world
Have licences with most currency trading regulators
Have additional corporate governance safeguards
IG Markets (now known as IG Group) is one of the older brokers founded in 1974. They operate in 16,000+ foreign exchange market and have over 178,000 clients across the globe. This is the most of any broker which is why they make the claim that IG is the no.1 CFD trading and spread betting provider.
IG has a signatory of the FX code of conduct. These global currency trading guidelines help protect traders from scams occurring in future and protect traders funds.
IG is regulated by most ‘tier 1’ government authorities including ASIC (Australian Securities & Investment Commission), JFSA (Japanese Financial Services Authority) and MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore). Other regulators include FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority), CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), and FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) with is the successor of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The requirements of these regulators help mitigate the risk of forex Scams that past brokers have been known to have.
Expert Forex Traders Should Consider Interactive Brokers
Professional forex traders only should consider Interactive Brokers due to:
Very High minimum deposit requirements
High inactivity fees for low volume traders
Low Fees and ECN spreads
Most financial markets tradable including stockbroking
Trading Requirements Of Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is not designed for most traders. Only professional traders with high currency trading volume can trade with the broker. To qualify these traders the provider’s minimum deposit of $10,000 USD. There are also heavy penalties (known as maintenance fees) if commissions made don’t exceed $10k USD for the initial 8 months. This means real money volumes need to be traded consistently.
ECN Broker Spreads And Commissions
Interactive Brokers is a true ECN broker allowing trading directly with liquidity providers with no dealing desk. This is similar to IC Markets and Pepperstone. A key difference comes when to their commission which is lower only when an online trader’s volume is very high such as exceeding $5m USD.
Financial Instruments Available
Interactive Brokers offers the most financial markets of any foreign exchange broker. This is because in addition to CFDs they offer stockbroking, mutual funds and even hedge fund products. This allows high volume professional traders to have an all-in-one broker for all their financial requirements.
Overall, if you’re a professional trader looking to trade high-volume consistently in the future across a wide range of financial markets then Interactive Brokers is the best all-in-one solution that offers the lowest brokerage from spreads to commissions.
Based on the awards given out by investment trends Pepperstone was considered the best spread forex broker. This award is based on 13,000 investors and traders and includes the lowest spread category. The picture below shows how they also won several other categories in 2020. View the Full review of Pepperstone.
What Is the Best Forex Broker For Beginners?
Based on risk management tools and transparent trading costs easyMarkets is the best beginner forex broker with:
Negative Balance Protection ensuring losses can’t exceed a traders deposit
Guaranteed stops preventing slippage leading to losses exceeding limits
Simple to use forex platform for beginner traders
A low initial deposit of just $200
DealCancellation so a deal can be cancelled within 60 minutes
Those looking for an Electronic Communication Network (ECN broker) should consider IC Markets have the best Raw trading account. This account offers spreads similar to an ECN broker (market maker) based on a combination of:
High Leverage Of 500:1
Raw spreads from 0.0 pips (ECN broker type spreads)
The choice of MT4, MT5 or cTrader trading platform
Low latency through Equinix Data Center in New York & London
There are also over 10 advanced trading tools from an alarm manager, correlation matrix/trader, trade terminal, market manager, mini terminal to sentiment trader. These tools can help analyse the market and then make trades based on market movements.
What Is The Top Forex Broker For Bitcoin?
Those looking to trade cryptocurrency and forex markets should consider Plus500.
Unlike other online brokers that only offer Bitcoin, Plus500 also offers CFD trading of cryptocurrencies such as:
Bitcoin + Bitcoin Cash
Offering more than just Bitcoin is not the only feature of Plus500. They also offer up to 1:30 leverage when trading making them the best 2020 forex broker review for leverage. It’s these factors that make IC the top broker with bitcoin and other cryptos.
Pepperstone is the best MT4 broker. It was explained above in the spread section that this MT4 fx broker is a multi-award winner and when it comes to the MetaTrader 4 fx trading platform. One core reason is they offer ‘Smart Trader Tools’ for the MT4 platform. Based on a minimum $500 AUD equivalent account balance these tools include correlation trader and matrix, market manager, sentiment trader and session map.
The fx broker also offers no dealing desk which allows experienced traders to trade directly with currency markets. This applies to a wide range of forex markets. They have Australian Financial Services Licence 414530 and FCA regulation. View the full review of Pepperstone.
How We Compiled The 2020 CFD Broker List
The best forex broker comparison table has been created over the past 5 years comparing online brokers from the FCA and Australian Securities And Investments Commission foreign exchange providers. The forex account comparisons and the research were based on key fx broker principles with preference given to market makers. Other fees such as rollover rates impacted by the interest rate were also factored but not discussed in this comparison.
All brokers retail investor accounts compared needed to be available to the majority of experienced forex traders. Some other online brokers were received such as Global Prime, XTB, OANDA, and eToro but not shortlisted for the comparison. This page was not designed for USA trader who may require a broker with the National Futures Association (NFA) or the CFTC. Some trading platforms such as NinjaTrader were not considered when comparing fx platforms.
The team completed this currency broker comparison with the goal of providing forex traders with the best broker based on value and service. Both the final table and this best broker recommendation were made based on the data obtained on the trader’s website (which in some cases were validated by the providers). We focused on the biggest fx brokers with ASIC regulation to avoid issues that some smaller, lesser-known brokers have had historically. Some foreign exchange broker reviews like easyMarkets and FP Markets were completed but not found suitable for the comparison table. Such fx brokers and individual broker offers can be viewed on other pages. Learn more about selecting a CFD provider with our choosing article.
In the comparison, to review customer support we reviewed the rankings on third party award sites such as Investment Trends. The regulatory bodies were also assessed and their feedback on fx broker customer support, issue resolution and compliance issues including:
Third-party review sites were also reviewed for customer support reviews and other feedback from individual fx traders.
Data Integrity And Feedback
As the above 2020 best forex broker comparison table is compiled manually by our team and with no automation. The data may have some inaccuracies due to either the misinterpretation of data or due to Forex websites having updated their company details since (e.g. fees) of broker offers. As this is the case, the trading forex information provided on this broker comparison page and on this website should be used for indicative purposes only.
Once website users click across from this website to a broker they should review their content. Start trading only after reviewing the foreign exchange brokers product disclosure statements. This is to validate any information provided on this website and to ensure this product is suitable for them and since broker offers can change without warning.