Best Forex Trading Platforms

The best forex brokers offer a range of CFDs and currency pairs, low spreads, strong customer support and the top forex platforms from MetaTrader 4 to cTrader with fast execution speeds and a free trading platform demo account.

View the top fx brokers to trade foreign exchange regulated by a mix of FCA, ASIC and CYSEC.

By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Monday, January 06th, 2020

Best Forex Trading Platform Background

Best Forex Trading Platforms 2020Top 8 Forex Brokers By Trading Platforms

The best forex brokers based on their CFD trading platforms and features are:

  • Pepperstone – Best MetaTrader 4 + 5 Forex Broker
  • IC Markets – Best Forex Broker For cTrader
  • eToro – Best Social Trading Platform With Crypto
  • Plus500 – Best Forex Trading Platform For Beginners
  • Swissquote – Best Proprietary CFD Platform
  • FXCM – Best App and Mobile Platform
  • CMC Markets – Best Stock + Forex Trading Platform
  • IG – Largest Retail Forex Exchange Broker

Broker Reviewed

PepperstoneIC MarketseToroCMC MarketsPlus500
Our Rating
9.17
8.67
7.17
7.17
5.83
Pepperstone Review IC Markets Review Review Of eToro CMC Markets Review Review Of Plus500
Further Active Trader Discounts Low Spread Broker Best for social trading Trade with CFDs and on Stock Market Range of risk management tools

Regulations and Licenses

FeaturePepperstoneIC MarketseToroCMC MarketsPlus500
ASIC (Australia)
FCA (UK)
FSCA (South Africa) Pending
CYSEC (Cypus)

Brokerage

FeaturePepperstoneIC MarketseToroCMC MarketsPlus500
No Commission Account Spreads From (EUR/USD): 1.0 1.0 3.0 0.7 0.6
Commission Account Spreads From (EUR/USD): 0.0 0.0
Commission (per 100k traded side trip) AUD/USD$3.50 USD $3.50
Minimum Deposit AUD/USD $200 USD $200 USD $200
$0
Volume Commission Rebates
Has Islamic Account
No Inactivity Fees
Funding Methods 16 15 6 6 3
No Deposit/Withdrawal Fees

Markets and Instruments

FeaturePepperstoneIC MarketseToroCMC MarketsPlus500
Forex Currency Pairs CFDs 66+ 65+ 47+ 339+ 60+
Cryptocurrency CFDs 4+ 10+ 98+ 12+ 10+
Index CFDs 2+ 16+ 13+ 46+ 67+
Share CFDs 5+ 100+ 2000+ 9000+ 1816+
Commodities CFD 4+ 19+ 12+ 111+ 17+
Retail Maximum Leverage 500:1 500:1 400:1 500:1 30:1
Professional Maximum Leverage 500:1 500:1 400:1 500:1 300:1

Trading Platforms + Tools

FeaturePepperstoneIC MarketseToroCMC MarketsPlus500
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
cTrader
Proprietary Platform
Automatic / Robot Trading
MetaTrader 4 only
Social + Copy Trading
Standard Stop Loss
Guaranteed Stop Loss Order
Guaranteed Negative Balance Protection ESMA regulated territories only ESMA regulated territories only ESMA regulated territories only Only in ESMA regulated territories
Demo Account
Unique Feature 1 Smart Trader Tools ECN Pricing CopyTrader functionality for automated trading Offers both CFD and Stock trading Trade cannabis index and share CFDs
Unique Feature 2 Fast Execution Speed Range of markets Social trading interface across CFDs Trade treasury notes Guaranteed stop loss trading option

Overall

Why Pepperstone Is The Best For MetaTrader 4 + MetaTrader 5

YouTube video

Pepperstone is the best MetaTrader forex broker based on the following eight key factors:

  1. Market-Leading spreads from 0.0 pips
  2. Low Commissions from $3.50 and an active traders discount
  3. The best MetaTrader execution speeds of ~30ms
  4. Additional MetaTrader indicators and expert advisors
  5. Advanced demo account with $50,000 in virtual funds
  6. 150+ instruments across a range of markets
  7. Award-winning customer service
  8. Markets leading leverage up to 500:1

Our Rating

The overall rating is based on review by our experts

9.17
Spreads
10 / 10
Leverage
10 / 10
Trading Platform
10 / 10
Risk Management
7 / 10
Range of Markets
8 / 10
Customer Service
10 / 10


Top 3 Reasons To Choose Pepperstone For MetaTrader 4

1) MT4 Low Commissions And ECN Broker Spreads

Pepperstone offers the lowest commissions for MetaTrader 4 which vary by the base currency chosen including per lot:

  • US Dollar base currency = $3.77 USD
  • Euro base currency = EUR $2.61
  • Pound base currency = GBP £2.29

Forex traders who FX volume exceeds 100 lots are eligible for the active traders discount which is 10% off the commission rates below. For volumes between 200-500 lots the discount increases to 15% while further discounts are available for higher-volume traders

Pepperstone MetaTrader 4 Commission 2020

The Pepperstone Razor account type spreads are ECN broker set with straight-through processing (STP). This means that spreads are primarily set by the market with no dealing desk interface. Pepperstone is able to offer clients some of the tightest real-time spreads available in the world due to their access to tier 1 liquidity from some of the largest banks in the world.

Average Spreads
(02/01/2020)
EUR/USDUSD/JPYAUD/USDGBP/USD
Pepperstone0.16*0.25*0.27*0.49*
IC Markets0.1*0.2*0.2*0.4*
IG Markets0.263*0.293*0.512*0.992*
CMC Markets0.8050.8790.7512.793
AxiTrader0.44*0.62*0.42*0.85*

Overall, the ECN broker spreads offered by Pepperstone combined with the low commissions (that can be further discounted for active traders) is why Pepperstone is the leader when it comes to MetaTrader 4 trading costs.

2) The Fastest MT4 Execution Speeds Less Than ~30ms

Forex Trading Platform Servers

In addition to the 12x execution speeds mentioned earlier a further 10x reduction in latency has been achieved through fibre optical connections to interbank servers in New York City. The company also introduced one-click foreign exchange trading not too long ago. This is an incredible feature to have in today’s volatile currency markets where every single second count; making or breaking a trade.

With Pepperstone’s best forex trading platform you can be certain that all trades are settled electronically and directly from bank servers. Unlike some of Pepperstone’s competitors, no part of the trading process is manual or involves a dealing desk. In our Pepperstone review, we found incredible pricing efficiency when trading thanks to their ECN venues and banking systems. This pricing accuracy minimises slippage and ensures retail traders are not losing precious capital unnecessarily.

3) Global-Regulation And Funding Methods

Pepperstone was founded in 2010 originally based in Australia with Australia Securities And Investment (ASIC) regulation. The broker is now also regulated in the UK with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is in the process of receiving an FSB licence in South Africa. All client deposits and funds are segregated into ‘tier 1’ banks such as the National Australia Bank.

Pepperstone FCA + ASIC Regulation

Pepperstone has the most comprehensive range of payment methods with most offering instant funding options to start trading faster. Most funding and withdrawal methods are also free of fees. Pepperstone minimum deposit requirement is $200 or for UK residences it’s GBP £200. There are no funding requirements to open a MetaTrader 4 demo account.

Currency Platform Funding Options

Summary Of Why Pepperstone Is The Best MetaTrader 4 Forex Broker

Pepperstone offers the most advanced MT4 trading environment from fast execution speeds, enhanced features to indicators supported with award-winner customer support. With the online broker offering one of the lowest MT4 spreads, commissions and no deposit/withdrawal fees, Pepperstone is the best choice for those looking to trade with MetaTrader 4.

Open MT4 demo account >>Visit Pepperstone >>

Top 3 Reasons To Choose Pepperstone For MetaTrader 5

1) Low MT5 Commissions And ECN Spreads

MetaTrader 5 (MT5) commissions are lower than MT4 with Pepperstone for those choosing the US dollar as their base currency. The per lot commission is USD $3.50 for MT5 compared to $3.77 for MT4. The active traders program that provides discounts from 10% is also applicable for higher-volume traders.

Pepperstone MetaTrader 5 Commission 2020

Most forex traders choose MT5 over MT4 based on the range of CFDs that can be traded. Below shows the spreads for the main CFD categories including indices, metals, cryptocurrency and energy. These spreads are lower than competitors due to the ECN style environment with top-tier banks, institutions and dark liquidity pools. It should be noted that the tables below are not exhaustive with more CFDs tradable including the commodity category.

Pepperstone MetaTrader 5 CFD Spreads

2) Pepperstone Offers High Leverage Of Up To 500:1

Leverage offered by Pepperstone is determined by regulation and the broker itself. Traders located in Europe choosing Pepperstone Limited (FCA regulated) are limited to 30:1 for a retail investor account. Only professional traders who meet the Financial Conduct Authority requirements once approved can receive the maximum leverage offered by Pepperstone of 500:1. Other traders who open an account with Pepperstone Group Limited such as those located in Australia can receive the maximum of 500:1.

It should be noted that internationally, any leveraged trading exceeding 200:1 is considered high risk and should be only considered by advanced Australian forex traders. Pepperstone offers forex traders to choose the level of leverage that suits their level of risk appetite and experience. This occurs when they look for the best foreign exchange trading platform for their needs. In 2020 only ThinkMarkets, CMC & IC Markets matched Pepperstone’s leveraged trading ratio with 500:1. When trading forex markets at such levels it’s critical to understand the risks involved with currency trading.

3) Award-Winning Customer Service

Pepperstone is one of the most awarded CFD brokers when it comes to customer support with past awards including:

  • Professional Traders Award – Best Client Relationship Manager Service
  • Global Forex Awards – Best Forex Trading Support – Europe
  • UK Forex Awards – Best Forex Trading Support
  • Australia Investment Trends – #1 for Customer Service

While ASIC and FCA requirements set minimum training standards, most Pepperstone staff are actually traders with detailed knowledge of financial markets, CFDs and complex instruments. They have detailed knowledge of the MetaTrader 5 platform and features and can be contacted via the call centre, live chat or e-mail. Experienced traders can also receive a dedicated account manager and information seminars at their UK and Australia offices.

Pepperstone Customer Support Awards

Conclusion Of Why Pepperstone Was Chosen As The Best MetaTrader 5 Forex Broker

Pepperstone was chosen for MT5 based on the brokers low trading costs not just for currency trading but also for CFDs. The high leverage, customer support and low minimum deposit levels are other key criteria that led to this recommendation. MT5 traders also will benefit from the Smart Trader Tools the assist with technical analysis when trading complex markets.

Open MT5 demo account >>Visit Pepperstone >>

Why IC Markets Is The Best cTrader Forex Broker

IC Markets is the recommended forex broker for those considering cTrader based on the providers:

  • Low spreads, commissions an brokerage
  • ECN trading experience with low latency
  • Range of financial instruments
  • Range of forex pairs
  • Mobile trading setup including trading apps
  • Forex training from webinars to tutorials
  • No fee funding and withdrawal methods
  • ASIC Regulation and reputation

Top 3 Reasons To Choose IC Markets For cTrader

1) Low Spreads And cTrader Commissions

Comparing the top cTrader brokers average spreads in 2020 IC Markets was the clear winner as shown on the table below. This data came from each provides own website in January 2020. These low spreads are considered ECN broker levels which means they are set by the market with the provider’s main source of income from commissions.

Average SpreadsEUR/USDUSD/JPYAUD/USDEUR/JPYGBP/USD
IC Markets0.10.20.20.30.4
Pepperstone0.130.160.140.220.44
XTB0.190.180.190.460.4
IG0.170.240.290.670.59
FXTM0.40.50.70.80.7
Saxo Markets0.40.40.30.40.4
City Index0.690.770.731.91.22
Forex.com111.22.11.7
FXCM1.31.412.11.9

cTrader, unlike MetaTrader, charges a USD commission for each side for every $100,000 USD traded. For IC Markets the commission rate is $3 USD per side. This is similar to competitors such as Pepperstone who charge a 3.5 unit charge per lot. To understand how the USD commission is converted to a trader’s base currency an example is provided below.

cTrader Commission

2) The Best Broker Execution cTrader Speeds

cTrader execution speeds are critical when traders with IC Markets average cTrader speeds under 40ms. This is considered one of the fastest speeds in the industry. To achieve this the IC Markets cTrader service is located at the LD5 IBX data centre in London. This is where 600+ buy/sell firms and other service providers are located. By having the server in this central location IC Markets offers STP, low-latency pricing fees and no dealing desk.

IC Markets Execution Speeds cTrader

The cTrader server IC Markets utilises has under 1ms latency. This applies to the largest VPS providers of nearby data centres dedicated lines or through the LD5 IBX data centre itself. This is why scalping and high-frequency forex traders consider IC Markets the best broker.

3) A Range Of Tradable CFDs Through The cTrader Platform

IC Markets offers the most CFDs to be traded through the cTrader platform. This ranges from cryptocurrency, bonds to indices. Maximum leverage, spreads and commissions range by the CFD traded. The only CFD that can’t be traded with cTrader is stocks which are exclusive for the MT5 platform.

IC Markets CFDs Trades

Summary Of Why IC Markets Is The Best Broker For cTrader

IC Markets was primarily recommended for cTrader based on their lowest brokerage rates with low spreads (0.1 pips average for EUR/USD), commissions and no funding costs. The technology platform for cTrader is market-leading and a plethora of CFDs can be traded. The forex provider is ASIC regulated and was established in 2007.

Full Review Of IC Markets >>Visit IC Markets >>

eToro Offers The Best Social Trading Platform

eToro specialises in Social Trading and Copy Trading with a platform specifically designed for trading CFDs. The online broker was recommended for social traders based on the platform functionality, number of copy traders online and depth of CFD trading options.

eToro Social Trading

The eToro Trading Platform

When opening an eToro trading account a demo account is automatically created. This has $100,000 of virtual funds which traders can experiment with and practice using the platforms full functionality. The demo account includes the research feature from eToro investors and industry experts sourced from financial institutions.

There are a variety of trading platform options from the web platform to mobile app for iPad, android and iPhone devices.eToro Mobile App

The eToro Trading Community

eToro has millions of traders but more importantly, it has the most traders engaged in social trading. These traders allow their trades to be copied in real-time by other traders because of a unique popular investors program. Below shows how this works with traders rewarded based on the size and the number of other traders copying their positions.

eToro Copy Trading

Other key social trading features include live news feeds allowing traders to discuss strategies and share strategies.

Financial Markets That Can Be Traded With eToro

In 2020, 47 currency pairs can be traded with eToro. Other key financial markets include 17 cryptocurrencies (including bitcoin), 145 EFTs, 13 commodities and 13 indices. The biggest financial market unique to eToro is share trading with the ability to trade more stocks in most markets as a contract for difference.

eToro Financial Markets

Summary Of Why eToro Is Best For Social Traders

When it comes to copy trading, size matters. eToro has over 10 million clients with the largest number offering to copy their trades due to a unique incentive system. The platform was designed around social trading and most financial markets can be traded especially cryptocurrencies. eToro is registered in Europe under CySEC (Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission) with licence 109/10 and in the UK by FCA FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) licence 7973792. It also has multiple other licences such as with ASIC but does not available for US residences it does not have a licence with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Open a demo account >>Visit eToro >>

Which Forex Trading Platform Is The Best?

It’s critical to understand that the top forex trading platforms by popularity are MetaTrader 4 and cTrader due to the number of international and Australian forex brokers that offer it. You may feel that the top forex trading platform is IG, EasyMarkets etc but this makes is more difficult down the track to switch currency brokers. As a rule of thumb, when deciding which forex trading is the best, you should consider the popularity of the platform as a long-term consideration.

Recommended Forex Trading Platform For Beginner Forex Trading

easymarkets deal cancellation

The EasyMarkets platform is recommended for beginner forex online traders based on the ability to:

  • Undo trades within 60 minutes through Deal Cancellation
  • Implement free guaranteed stop-loss orders to avoid slippage
  • Trade knowing the fees with fixed spreads applied to trades
  • Keep a demo version for an unlimited time-frame

Recommended Foreign Exchange Platform For Advanced Forex Trading

metatrader award

MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex trading platform and recommended for advanced/expert traders based on the:

  • Execution speeds especially when integrated with servers such those Pepperstone uses
  • Ease of use with ‘one-click’ trading to speed up the time taken to make quick trades
  • The ability to use Expert Advisor to automate their trading based on fixed strategies
  • Trading Signals, mobile apps and market integration to enhance currency trading.

What Is The Best Automated Forex Trading Platforms?

cTrader AlgocTrader by Spotwear offers CAlgo integration which combines to offer seamless trading from manual to automated trading. The retail forex platform share accounts as well as templates making it easy to access either when trading. The powerful trading platform also allows foreign exchange trading features including:

  • Detachable Charts
  • Templates that can be saved and shared between cTrader and cAlgo
  • Custom indicators that can be used in manual or automated trading
  • Level II Pricing allowing full market depth from the leading liquidity providers
  • Automated Trading orders filled through ‘Volume Weights Average Price’

The latency and features are what led to this automated forex trading platforms recommendation.

Recommended Combined Online Financial Trading Platform

IG's best forex trading platformIG’s platform is recommended Australia traders for those looking for an ‘all-in-one’ foreign exchange trading platform with options to:

  • Trade Shares
  • CFDs & Forex Online Trading
  • Indices Trading
  • Bitcoin and Binary Trading
  • EFTs & Commodities

Best Forex Trading Platform For Mac Users

MT4 For Mac Trading PlatformMetaTrader 4 (MT4) is widely considered the best forex trading platform for Mac as you can read in our full Mac review with the following features:

  • No requirement for a windows emulator
  • Pre-installed forex indicators
  • Fast latency speed
  • A plethora of order types
  • Pre-installed indicators

List Of Forex Trading Platforms

View the top forex trading platforms based on popularity, usability executions speeds, features and more are displayed below. For a full list of forex trading platforms we will be making a new page in 2018.

FOREX TRADING PLATFORMBEST FORPRODUCTS TRADEDPRACTICE ACCOUNTHIGHLIGHTS
MT4 PlatformAdvanced TradersCurrencies
CFDs
30 DaysMT4 is the the most popular forex worldwide trading platform with automated (EA) functionality
cTrader PlatformChartingCurrencies
CFDs
30 DayscTrader has Click-and-drag functionality to open and close trades from graphs
ig platformCFDs TradingCurrencies
CFDs
Shares
Bitcoin
Commodities
$20,000 virtual fundsAll-in-one CFDs currency and share trading platform to access 10,000 markets
easymarkets platformBeginner TradersCurrencies
CFDs
Commodities
Indices
UnlimitedDealCancellation To Undo Currency Trades within 60 minutes
fxcm platformSell-side AnalysisCurrencies
CFDs
Indices
Commodities
$50,000 virtual fundsReal Volume indicators and good till date trading feature
oanda platformMarket Transparency Currencies
Indices
Commodities
Bonds
UnlimitedAccess to CFDs and forex market sentiment and open orders/positions held by OANDA's clients

How We Chose The Best Forex Brokers

The stars above came from ten criteria that all forex traders should consider when currency trading:

  1. Spreads And Fees: There are two main fees charged when forex trading. Spreads are the difference between currency pairings (the margin between the ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ while commissions are a set rate charge based on the volume of funds traded. Some accounts are a mix of these while others only charge a spread. These costs add-up when currency trading so it’s important to compare these fees prior to choosing a forex broker.
  2. Forex Trading Platform: There are generic forex trading platforms such as MetaTrader and cTrader which are offered by a plethora of forex brokers. These are the most popular fx trading platforms making it easy to change forex brokers with minimal disruption and share insights with other currency traders. Other fx brokers have their own platform which can have unique features to enhance online trading.
  3. Advanced Trading Tools: Most forex brokers offer enhancements to existing platforms allows for improved charting, sentiment indicators, alarm managers to enhanced automated trading. These tools can provide greater insights into currency markets or make placing and closing an order easier.
  4. Execution Speeds: Speed is everything when currency trading. The best forex trading platforms allow for ‘one-click’ trading but often a forex broker’s infrastructure can lead to trading delays. Delays can lead the price to be realised to differ from the price quoted known as slippage. Ensuring the forex broker has the right setup to maximise execution speeds can be critical in turbulent markets such as during rate decisions.
  5. Leverage: Currency markets and CFDs traditionally move by small amounts daily. To make it worthwhile to trade currency leverage is offered by all forex brokers to amplify these movements. Higher leverage can be critical for advanced forex trading strategies and can differ from 50:1 up to 400:1 so this can be a critical variable used to determine the right forex broker. It should be noted forex traders usually can request lower leverage.
  6. Risk Management Tools: Leverage explains above increases the risks of forex trading. For traders with a low-risk tolerance of those new to forex trading, it’s recommended to consider a foreign exchange broker that offers risk management tools. These can include guaranteed stops, where a maximum loss amount can be locked in. Another is minimum balance protection which guarantees a currency trader loss can’t exceed their deposit.
  7. Financial Products Traded: All forex brokers offer the major currencies to be traded but there are many currency pairings (exotics) that only a limited number offer. Many online brokers also offer trading of CFDs, indices, commodities and even cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Some even include share trading allowing traders to have an all-in-one trading solution rather than multiple brokers and platforms.
  8. Customer Satisfaction: Customer service varies significantly between forex brokers. While most will have a call centre that is open 24 hours during business days, only some offer services such as live chat. A limited number also offer dedicated account manager which can be useful for those new to currency trading or those that required support for advanced trading systems.
  9. Minimum Deposit: Different forex brokers have deposit requirements that can range from just $25 up to $10,000. Many online traders don’t want to deposit large quantities so this is an element that can help determine the right currency broker. Funding options can also range between brokers from Paypal, direct deposit to credit cards. Some also charge deposit and withdrawal fees which should be considered.
  10. Reputation And Regulation: The sad truth about forex trading historically is there have been forex scams. These have almost always been done by overseas forex brokers that are not locally regulated and have a poor reputation. It’s worth viewing review websites such as Trust Pilot prior to selecting an online broker and making sure they are regulated by ASIC.

Types Of Forex Trading Platforms

The most popular forex platform is MetaTrader 4 by Metquotes. Most leading forex brokers offer this trading platform including Pepperstone, IG and CMC Markets offering fx trading on the following devices:

  • Desktop + Laptops (including Mac)
  • iPhone and iPad
  • Android

You can view our review of Pepperstone which is the best fx broker for the MT4 platform.

A good forex broker is regulated (ideally in your local market), has low brokerage (commissions, spreads, overnight holding costs) and offers a forex platform that meets your needs.

The best starting point is our forex broker shortlist which details the best brokers by category.

Beginner traders benefit from fx brokers that have fixed spreads, an easy to use fx trading platform, risk management tools such as guaranteed stop-loss orders and customer service training tailored for novices.

We recommend Plus500 which offers these features and offers a range of CFDs including cryptocurrency trading.

Leverage is determined by the forex broker chosen and your local regulator. For example, in the UK the Financial Conduct Authority sets the maximum leverage at 30:1 for retail investor accounts. Other regulators allow higher leverage in their jurisdiction such as the FSCA in South Africa. The best leverage for experienced traders who use automation can be 500:1 which is offered by IC Markets.  Beginner forex traders should consider a demo account or selecting lower leverage such as 50:1 due to the high risk involved with leverage.

The best platform to trade forex is MetaTrader 4 based on the number of forex brokers offering the software and the fact it’s the most used platform in the world. You can view a list of MT4 brokers that offer the platform which is further broken down by brokerage, features and customer service.

How Compare Forex Brokers Determined The Best Forex Broker

The Compare Forex broker team has compared CFD providers and their platforms for over five years. This fx platform comparison is for international CFD traders while you can also view country-specific comparisons for:

To determine the most popular forex trading platform and best forex broker a list of providers and reviews were created leading to the best forex trading platform comparison table above. Many fx brokers were reviewed but didn’t make the table including IG Markets, GO Markets, AVAtrade, FXCM, EasyForex, ThinkMarkets, AxiTrader and Forex.com. The key factors that led to these brokers not been included were the forex platform they used, spreads and leverage.

The best forex broker table was updated in 2020 based on the currency trading provider websites and product adjustments. Currency traders should consider the contents on this site in combination with the most up-to-date content on CFDs providers websites.
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View Our Reviews Of The Top Forex Brokers