Finding the best FX provider is critical when trading as it impacts the forex trading platform, spreads and features that impact a traders ability to capitalise on market movements. Based on 2021 forex provider data the best forex broker list was created.
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Based on the needs of traders we selected the best forex providers by category.
Pepperstone has tailored its offering for those with expert trading experience by providing:
Below compares the spreads for Pepperstone’s ECN-like account – The Razor Account. ECN-style accounts are the choice for advanced and high-volume traders looking to lower trading fees and gain access to Direct Market Access spreads.
Pepperstone charges competitive, low commissions, especially when you consider commissions are charged in AUD.
These commissions are even lower once you trade over 100+ lots and become an active trader for a month. These rebates on commissions start at 10% and for higher volume traders, meaning Pepperstone is the best forex broker when it comes to low fees.
Technically, Pepperstone has set a minimum deposit of $200 US Dollars (or the equivalent in the base currency chosen such as the Australian Dollar). Pepperstone supports 10 different account base currencies including British Pound (GBP), Euro (EUR), Japanese Yen (JPY) and some minor currencies. While is higher than some of the largest brokers, Pepperstone is open that this is not actively enforced allowing for smaller deposits to be made.
What sets Pepperstone apart is they don’t charge funding or withdrawal fees. Only some payment methods such as international transfers may see the financial institution themselves charge fee for money transfers. The funding methods include:
While most brokers would argue they have the most satisfied customers and best support, Pepperstone has the reviews and awards to back up their claim. A benchmark annual study by Investment Trends surveys active forex traders, recognising Pepperstone’s excellent customer service with various awards.
Another gauge of the forex broker reviews is from Trustpilot, which in 2020 gave the score for Pepperstone:
This is the highest of the forex broker reviews that have over 500 reviews.
Pepperstone is the best forex broker for expert traders looking for a low fee fx provider with strong customer service. They offer all major forex trading platforms including MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader. As well as an excellent selection of trading platforms, Pepperstone is regulated by top-tier authorities such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority (Registration Number 684312) in the UK.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
IC Markets was awarded the best forex broker based on the following features:
You can view the full IC Markets review or below goes through each of the six points in greater detail.
Forex broker fees have two main components. The first is similar to an exchange rate known as a ‘spread’ which is the difference between the buy and sell (bid/ask) rate of a currency pair. Most forex brokers offer a market-market trading account that has no commissions but high spreads and those closer to an ECN/STP broker account. Such accounts that mimic an ECN broker environment with no dealing desk allow for the lowest spreads but charge an additional fee of a set commission. Below compares the spreads on these accounts.
Foreign exchange is just one of the markets IC Markets offers access to. IC Markets is one of the few online brokers to offer Bond CFD trading. These movements are based on market sentiment and interest rate speculation. As interest rates movements are historically small, IC Markets offers 200:1 leverage on Bonds CFD trading (FSA entity). Two newer markets include cryptocurrency that offers Bitcoin to Ripple, as well as Futures markets across energy, metals and agriculture. Other core markets are shown below, including Indices, Commodities and Stocks. Hedging is allowed across these markets.
All three popular forex trading platforms are offered by IC Markets:
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
MT4 is the most popular forex trading platform worldwide based on key features, including:
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
MT5 is a platform suited for those looking for more than currency trading including:
cTrader is for experienced forex traders requiring advanced tools, with the forex trading platform focusing on:
IC Markets is ideal for intermediate forex traders looking for a low fee provider. With the leading spreads, IC Markets focuses on providing the basics for traders from the most popular forex trading platforms, decent customer service, ASIC certification and access to a range of markets. This ensures most traders’ needs can be met by the fx provider.
Markets.com is the best FX provider with advanced trading tool package based on the following features:
The key trading features offered by this FX provider will be broken down below. Additionally, you can view a comprehensive Markets.com review here.
You can give your trading a boost with the latest technologies that are built into Markets.com proprietary trading platform. The wide range of premium trading tools will give you a better capacity to act on the market trends in real-time.
The Related Instruments feature allows you to see which assets are correlated to those you trade. This tool will give you additional insight into “which assets other people who trade your instrument are buying.”
Markets.com also provides an advanced charting package and new trade tools upfront. Charts are customizable and include hundreds of technical indicators and oscillators like Elliott Wave, Fibonacci Retracement, Gann’s and so much more. Chart types include candles, area, bar, line, Renko, Kagi, Baseline, Point & Figure or Heikin-Ashi charts.
Markets.com provides 6 unique market sentiment tools and the ability to set alerts when there is a shift in the short-term sentiment of your favourite asset. You can follow insights from over 50,000 financial bloggers and turn their analysis into actionable trading ideas. In addition, it’s possible to download the Thomson Reuters Stock Report and have financial commentary provided by Forexlive.com directly inside the platform.
Markets.com is the best FX provider for technical traders and fundamental traders looking for a premium trading tools package. The proprietary trading platform MarketsX is the most powerful, but you can also access MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. A key strength offered by Markets.com is their chart application, advanced alerts and social sentiment investing tools.
View Markets.com Review >>Visit Markets.com >>
Plus500 is an internationally recognized online CFD trading provider with the best mobile trading app based on the following features:
The key trading features offered by this FX provider will be broken down below. Additionally, you can view a comprehensive Plus500 review here.
Plus500 grants access to seven different asset classes traded as CFDs. CFDs represent complex instruments that involve a high risk of rapid capital losses since high leverage ratios are used! 76.4% of retail investor accounts incur losses when trading CFDs with this broker.
The mobile trading app ensures access to:
All CFDs are traded with no commissions, while clients will pay an all-inclusive spread only.
With Plus500’s mobile app, clients are also able to practice CFD trading on a free demo account with no restrictions.
The mobile app allows easy access to global markets at any time, at any location, supporting 31 different languages.
Plus500’s mobile app for iOS and Android devices delivers the same functionalities as the broker’s web-based trading platform. The interface is kept clean, with all the tools needed to search instruments, place and manage a trade, or simply keep track of market movement being immediately visible. With this mobile app, retail clients can use a safe two-step login as well as take advantage of biometric authentication.
When it comes to trade order management, the broker has ensured several valuable tools, including:
Additionally, due to Plus500’s negative balance protection policy, retail investor accounts cannot lose greater amounts than the initial deposit. In case of a negative balance, the broker will restore clients’ account balance back to zero.
And finally, the platform’s trade alerts comprise another notable feature. Retail clients are able to receive real-time email, SMS and push notifications, based on:
With its simplicity and functionality, Plus500’s mobile trading app will certainly suit the preferences and financial objectives of beginners and intermediate retail traders. The easy access to trading accounts, monitoring of balance, margin and trading history, coupled with a plethora of trading instruments and good risk management features, including negative balance protection, surely improve retail clients’ trading experience. Yet, more sophisticated traders who crave advanced technical analysis tools and other features such as API functionality may find the broker’s offer too restrictive.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
FP Markets is among the leading CFD and Forex brokers, which we consider as the best choice for clients seeking low trading costs based on the following features:
By using Electronic Communication Network (ECN) technology, FP Markets has catered to modern traders’ requirements such as deep liquidity, price transparency, fast order execution and ultra-low spreads. Since FP Markets has a diverse liquidity mix and derives prices directly from top-tier, regulated financial institutions, it is able to offer its clientele some of the most competitive spreads globally across its entire product list on all of its trading platforms. With FP Markets, retail traders will never experience price manipulation or requotes.
During most liquid times, spreads on major and minor currency pairs as well as on Spot Gold can drop to as low as 0.0 pips on the broker’s Raw ECN account type. Yet, the broker’s average spreads also remain very competitive due to its liquidity mix:
In exchange for ECN trading conditions, the broker will charge a small commission of $6.00 per round turn for 1 Standard Lot traded on the Raw ECN Account. More details on FP Markets’ Raw ECN account type are presented in the following table.
Spreads on FP Markets’ Standard account type start from 1.0 pips on currency pairs such as EUR/USD, but there will be no trading commission charged. More details on FP Markets’ Standard account type are presented in the table above.
Along with the Standard and the Raw ECN account types, which offer clients a choice of MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 trading software, FP Markets also offers three more account types that grant access to IRESS, a platform with advanced functionality for sophisticated traders. More details on those account types can be observed in the following table.
IRESS allows for Direct Market Access (DMA) CFD trading in more than 10,000 Stocks as well as in Futures.
In addition to its ECN pricing model, FP Markets employs cutting-edge technology to deliver order execution of exceptional quality. With its MetaTrader servers located in the Equinix NY4 data centre, the broker ensures ultra-low latency execution of trade orders with speeds of less than 40 milliseconds.
The ECN trading conditions, offered by FP Markets, a multi-regulated and award-winning Forex provider, could best suit the preferences of scalpers, day traders and clients who employ automated trading strategies. FP Markets is also currently among the best low-cost Forex brokers in Australia.
View FP Markets Review >>Visit FP Markets >>
IG is among the most reputable Forex and CFD online service providers, regulated in multiple jurisdictions across the globe, which we consider as the best choice for people who are little experienced or totally new to the financial markets, based on:
The key trading features offered by this FX provider will be broken down below. Additionally, you can view a comprehensive IG review here.
IG has invested a lot of effort to establish a remarkable education section on its website, which includes online trading courses, live sessions (webinars and in-person trading seminars), a trading strategy centre, risk management and trading glossary.
Online trading courses are structured in three categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced, and include practical exercises and quizzes aimed to check clients’ understanding of a particular aspect of global markets and trading.
Live sessions are a way for beginners to access knowledge and trading ideas directly from IG experts. Whether in the form of live webinars or in-person seminars, live sessions feature a range of topics that may suit both novice and experienced traders.
IG’s trading strategy and planning section offer specialist insight into various trading techniques, which may prove useful to capitalize on market movement.
Novice traders can also learn about leverage and the risks and benefits it offers.
Last but not least, beginners are able to browse through the broker’s extensive glossary to find an in-depth explanation of terms related to financial markets and trading.
People who are planning to take up Forex trading for the first time are, naturally, in need of diverse and very specific information – from brokerage services, costs, account types, trading platforms to information about setting up an account or resolving particular issues. All this kind of information can be obtained from a professional at a broker’s customer support unit. Thus, providing relevant and precise answers to any inquiries inexperienced retail clients may have is of the essence.
With IG, beginners are able to take advantage of client support service 24 hours per day from 8 am Saturday to 10 pm Friday (UK time). They can get in touch with a representative from the company’s support team via several channels:
IG also tends to be quite competitive when it comes to required minimum funding amount. The broker requires a minimum deposit of $300 (or currency equivalent) when clients fund their trading account via a Credit or a Debit Card. At the same time, if they choose another payment method, such as bank wire transfer, there will be no minimum deposit requirement.
IG accepts 6 different base account currencies – USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, SGD and HKD.
We should note that funding via Debit Cards by Visa or MasterCard will be free of charge. The same is also valid for transfers to the broker’s Hong Kong-based HSBC account. However, funding via Credit Cards will be associated with a fee (1% for Visa cards and 0.5% for MasterCard).
We should also note that in case of no client trading activity for a period of 24 months, IG will charge an inactivity fee.
Since becoming a successful trader tends to be quite demanding and an ongoing process, a diverse education source such as IG Academy represents one good way to embark on such an endeavour. It offers not only the opportunity to learn at one’s own pace but also the opportunity to access expert insight into trading by participating in specialized live sessions. The broker’s professional customer support service only adds to an overall positive experience for beginners.
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG Markets >>
It has been over a decade since eToro introduced its innovative social trading feature and currently the broker operates one of the largest communities of traders and investors globally. We consider eToro as the best Forex provider for copy trading based on:
The key trading features offered by this FX provider will be broken down below. Additionally, you can view a comprehensive eToro review here.
eToro’s Copy Trader feature enables users to observe what others are doing in real-time and automatically copy their trading activity. It is a convenient way for inexperienced traders to earn a passive income, as well as for people who simply lack the time to closely track developments in a particular market.
Users are able to search through eToro’s vast client base and detect top-performing traders based on criteria such:
eToro users only need to allocate a portion of their free account balance to that trader. eToro requires a minimum amount invested of $200.
Users can copy up to 100 traders simultaneously and they are also allowed to pause or stop the copy, to add or to remove funds whenever they wish. More importantly, users will not have to pay any additional management fees or other hidden costs to use eToro’s Copy Trader.
eToro also offers benefits for traders, whose activity is being copied. They can sign up for the broker’s Popular Investor program, allowing them to earn a second income. To join the program, traders need to ensure:
The Popular Investor program is structured in four different tiers, each having specific requirements and offering particular benefits. To become eligible for a Cadet rank, every trader will need to ensure minimum equity of $1,000 and minimum value of allocated funds by copiers (Assets under Management) of $500. Note that in order to earn a monthly income (paid by the broker), traders need to obtain the rank of Champion at least.
What eToro offers is not simply a copy trading platform, but an opportunity to become part of a constantly growing community of traders and investors, where everyone is able to connect, share ideas and strategies and learn from the expertise of others.
Spread betting has become a popular way to trade global markets in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland because gains from such trades are not subject to capital gains tax. Additionally, clients are not obligated to pay stamp duty, because they simply speculate on the price movement of instruments and do not actually own the particular asset.
We consider ThinkMarkets as the best Forex provider for spread betting based on:
The key trading features offered by this FX provider will be broken down below. Additionally, you can view a comprehensive ThinkMarkets review here.
UK clients are able to spread bet on ThinkMarkets’ Standard Account by using MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 software. The broker will not charge any trading commissions, while clients will have to pay the bid-ask spread only.
Retail traders can spread bet on 27 major, minor and exotic Forex pairs by using the leverage of up to 1:30, while professional traders can take advantage of considerably higher leverage ratios – up to 1:500. Spreads start from 0.8 pips on EUR/USD and 1.0 pips on USD/JPY, USD/CHF and EUR/GBP.
Another asset class available for spread betting includes major Stock Indices (Cash). Retail clients can spread bet on 8 Stock Indices by using maximum leverage of 1:20, while professional traders can access leverage of up to 1:500.
Other instruments available for spread betting include:
ThinkMarkets offers a comprehensive CFD and Forex trading education section on its website, structured into three categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced. Among the 8 beginner guides, clients can find on the website is a guide focused particularly on spread betting. Yet, unlike some of the other education contents, this guide can be accessed upon subscription.
An alternative to CFD trading and share dealing, spread betting has certain benefits for clients, with trading conditions offered by ThinkMarkets being one of the most competitive on the UK market. Education content, MetaTrader package featuring additional tools such as the popular Autochartist and a professional 24/7 customer support service only complement the broker’s low costs.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
Founded in 2010, Pepperstone is the best forex broker due to low spreads starting from 0.0 pips on over 180 CFD instruments, real-time market quotes from leading liquidity providers, world’s most popular trading platforms (MT4, MT5, and cTrader), 30ms order execution speed, professional customer support as well as being regulated in 4 tier-one jurisdictions (FCA, CySEC, ASIC and BaFin).
We breakdown the complete Peppersone strengths and weaknesses to help you decide to sign up with this leading FX broker.
Metatrader 4 (MT4) by MetaQuotes Software earns our top spot for the best trading platform based on comprehensive charting package, easy-to-use interface, customizing charts, a wide range of technical tools and automated trading via Expert Advisors (EAs).
Plus500 is the best forex broker for beginners based on commission-free trading, fixed spreads, professional customer service 24/7 in 16 different languages, a user-friendly trading platform and FCA regulation. Pepperstone’s free educational resources can also help you with everything you need to know to start trading today.
FX trading occurs throughout the day, with no limitations on short currencies. If you believe a currency will fall, sell it and if you feel it will increase in value, buy it (buy low, sell high). A counterparty (either broker or liquidity markets) will take the opposite position. Trading forex is a complex instrument and comes with high levels of risk, with the potential to lose or gain money at any time. The fact that most traders concentrate on a few currencies means there is plenty of people trading. This makes it easy for you to get in and out of trades at any time you prefer. The liquidity available is deep and allows you to trade at high leverage to take advantage of market movements. However, you need to remember that it might increase your profits as well as your losses.
Low trading costs are another reason why there are plenty of Australian forex traders and brokers. Usually, there are no hidden mark-ups or charges associated with liquidity providers, with most trading accounts offering tight, ECN-like spreads with competitive commissions. Forex trading creates international exposure, with investors always looking for new opportunities to make net profits. Forex is the easiest way to invest in other markets without the need for financial statements and securities laws.
Forex describes the act of trading currencies often undertaken by speculators and investors in the foreign exchange market. For example, if the U.S dollar weakens in value relative to the Australian dollar, a trader will sell U.S dollars and buy Australian dollars. In case the AUD strengthens, the USD’s purchasing power increases. In such a case, the trader can buy more USD, thus making a profit, with the process similar to stock trading. Traders purchase stocks that they think will increase in value and sell stocks whose value is likely to depreciate in the future.
Since traders compare one currency to another, they are quoted in pairs on the forex market. Reading a quote is a straightforward method. For example, you compare the value of one Australian dollar to the U.S dollar. The first listed currency is known as the base currency, and the currency is quoted in this currency.
A ‘lot’ represents the number of units that are bought and sold when trading currency. FX accounts in Australia use ‘standard’ lots, made up of 100,000 units of currency. Other types of lots available include mini-lots which are 10,000 units and micro-lots which are 1000 units. You can trade as many lots as you wish, as long as they are in increments of the chosen lot. Ie: if you trade 5 standard lots, that will be 500,000 units.
One thing to look out for when trading lots is the cost charged by the broker per lot. Costs of trading with smaller lots may be more expensive, especially since a trader may need to buy or sell more lots to achieve the same volume as a single standard lot.
Online forex brokers and CFD brokers allow you to execute trades using borrowed money, allowing traders to take advantage of a margin. Leverage of 100:1 enables you to trade with $10,000 in the market by using $1000 dollars as a security deposit. This $1000 is known as the margin. You can take advantage of margins to control more money in the market than you have in your account. However, leverage comes with high risk and can also substantially increase your losses. FX trading is not a suitable venture for all investors who are not willing to take risks. A margin requirement is a specific amount a trader is required to keep aside to hold a position. It can be a good faith deposit expected to keep open positions. It is a part of your account equity allocated as a deposit and not a transaction fee.
Leverage and margins are fundamentally the same, except they are expressed differently. Leveraged products will usually be expressed as a ratio. Thus, leverage of 100:1 as mentioned earlier means you can trade $10,000 using $1,000 worth of funds as security. Margin or margin rate, on the other hand, is expressed as a percentage. Thus a 1% margin rate of $10,000 equates to a $1,000 margin requirement. Forex brokers such as OANDA have a low margin rate compared to brokers such as IC Markets or Pepperstone with offshore regulators.
It is the unit used to count losses or profits. Most currency pairs are quoted to four decimal places. The fourth value after the decimal point is what you use to count a pip. Anytime a point in the quote moves, it is counted as a pip of movement. For example, if the AUD/USD increases from 1.4011 to 1.4018, the AUD/USD currency pair has grown by seven pips.
Spread is similar to pip. The spread is the difference between the buy and sell prices (bid/ask price). For example, if the buy price is 0.83860 and the selling price of the foreign currency is 0.83855, then the spread equates to 0.83860 – 0.83855 = 0.00005 and can be expressed as 0.05 pips when rounded. The value of the bid-ask spread increase and decreases in tandem with the market volatility.
A social trading platform works like a social trading network where traders with different skill levels can interact with one another, learn from more experienced traders and copy their trades. Founded in 2007, eToro is the world’s biggest social trading network, home to over 13 million traders from over 140 countries. eToro offers a web-based trading platform also accessible via mobile apps, interactive charting solution, access to 0% commission trading in over 2,000 CFDs, video tutorials and so much more.
It is important when choosing a forex broker to consider signing up with a service provider that is licenced in your domestic market. In Australia, this means the broker must be granted an adequate Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to legally trade in Australia. Additionally, they monitor all foreign exchange contracts and derivatives to make sure they are legal and markets are competitive. To see if a broker is ASIC regulated, you will find the broker’s ASFL licence number published on their website.
There are also regulatory bodies in the UK (known as the FCA), Singapore (MAS), Japan (FSA) and Cyprus (CySEC). The USA is the world’s biggest financial hub, thus its regulatory bodies Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the NFA provides the safest environment for trading the financial markets.
Risk Disclaimer: The best brokers are always regulated, and any forex scams are almost always associated with unregulated forex brokers. When you start trading, check with the regulator’s site to make sure the broker holds a current licence.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.