Forex demo accounts are great for beginners to practise trading and test platforms such as MetaTrader 4 and 5. Demos’ are also good for experienced traders to do backtesting. Below we look at the top brokers with the demo accounts for 2021.
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The 2021 forex demo account review focused on test trading platform features, easy of use and customer service.
Pepperstone has one of the best demo accounts as it allows you to practice with MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) or cTrader forex trading platforms.
MetaTrader 4 is the best choice of platform for a demo trading account, as it is considered the gold standard when it comes to trading platforms. This platform offers all the essential trading tools to familiarise yourself with trading such as 30 indicators, 31 graphical tools, 9 timeframes, automated trading and social trading.
With over 60 currency pairs to choose from, all with ECN-like tight spreads, Pepperstone will help you minimise your trading costs. Pepperstone is known for its lightning-fast execution speed of 30ms on average which will help you avoid slippage and its award-winning customer service team, many of who are traders themselves. Traders can choose from their commission-free standard account and razor account with $7.00 commissions round-turn per lot.
Pepperstone’s demo trading account is ranked first due to the ease of setting up an account, a balance of virtual money to simulate live trading and access an environment similar to ECN trading. You can view a complete review of Pepperstone. After familiarising themselves with the platform and forex broker, users can sign up for a real money account and start trading forex and cryptocurrencies. Key Strengths Of Pepperstone’s Forex Demo Account:
Note: Pepperstone Limited (UK) does not offer crypto products due to FCA forex broker compliance requirements. Crypto trading is available with all other subsidiaries.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
IC Markets demo account offers virtual forex trading on the world’s top trading platforms (MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader). Unlike most brokers which limit the virtual cash and time you can use the demo account, IC Markets allows you to choose how much virtual cash you wish to trade and the account will only be closed after 30 days of inactivity. IC Markets demo account is free, you don’t need to open an account (which requires a $200 deposit) to practice trading.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is the successor to MetaTrader 4 (which is widely considered the gold standard for platforms). MetaTrader 5 offers more technical indicators, graphical tools and faster processing than MT4. One notable difference is that MT5 is designed for decentralised and exchange-traded CFDs such as stocks. In time, this platform will because the world’s most popular platforms as MT4.
IC Markets offers 64 currency pairs and an ECN-like environment with fast execution speeds and high leverage. Traders can choose between their standard account and raw spreads account which has commissions of $3.50 side trip.
Key Strengths Of IC Markets Forex Demo Account:
Plus500 is one of the world’s largest CFDs providers. Plus500 have designed their platforms to help traders take advantage of the wide range of CFDs available with ease. CFDs available in addition to the usual forex and indices include an extensive range of commodities including some rare options such as lean hogs, cattle and 13 cryptocurrencies. Traders can also trade options, stocks and indices for sectors such as cannabis, lithium and real estate.
Plus500 does not charge commissions which means fees are included in the spread and include risk management tools such as negative balance protection and guaranteed stop-loss.
Key Strengths Of Plus 500 Demo Account:
Note: Plus500UK Ltd does not offer crypto trading due to FCA compliance requirements for forex brokers. Crypto is available with all other subsidiaries.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
Oanda’s offers a choice of their in-house developed platform OandaTrade which is available as a web trader, desktop and mobile version and MetaTrader 4. With both platforms, your demo account will have 100,000 virtual units for trade which never expires.
Choosing Oanda gives you a choice of 2 retail investor account, the Premium account which is a spread only product and Core account which has a commission of $7 per 1k round turn and ECN like trading execution.
The latest version of the brokers’ trading platform (Oanda trade v20) offers institutional-grade execution of less than 1ms, a guarantee of no requote or rejections and trading directly from the charts.
Key Strengths Of OANDA Markets Demo FX Account:
View Oanda Review >>Visit Oanda >>
FXCM allows you to choose from 4 trading platforms to demo. These include Trading Station, MetaTrader 4, Ninja Trader and TradingView. Trading Station is FXCM’s own proprietary trading platform which is the best option (along with MetaTrader 4)if you wish to use trading automation with FXCM automation and backtesting. NinjaTrader is the best option should you use to access advanced charting and trade management options. TradingView is the best option if you wish to practice social trading.
FXCM only offers one account, and this account is spread only meaning there are no commissions*. FXCM like to be open about their transparency, the broker publishes regular reports on their trading execution performance. In 2020 Q2 59.92% of orders had no slippage and 28.48% of orders had positive slippage. 73.24 of limit and limit entry order has positive slippage
Key Strengths Of FXCM Demo FX Account:
*FXCM can be compensated in several ways, which includes but not limited to adding a mark-up to the spreads it receives from liquidity providers and adding a mark-up to rollover etc. Commission-based pricing is applicable to Active Trader account types.
View FXCM Review >>Visit FXCM >>
eToro is a social trading platform which makes it different to most other platforms. So learning the eToro trading platform with a practice account is very handy. The eToro account is available for free and includes 100,000 if eToro virtual money and has no time limitations.
eToro’s biggest feature is its social trading component. Rather than conducting your own analysis and placing each individual order, social-copy trading platforms allow you to follow and copy the strategies of successful traders with a wealth of experience. Key features include:
Key Strengths Of eToro Demo FX Account:
IG Markets was founded in the UK in 1974 as a spread betting business and later renamed IG Group when listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2000. Being a UK company, IG is a solid option for UK forex traders for a demo account. By choosing IG as your demo account, you can benefit from CFD trading such as forex, options, ETFs, interest rates and bonds. If you are in the UK, you can also spread bet and binary trade. Some countries also have the possibility of trading stocks (not CFDs).
IG Markets allow you to use their own in-house IG Platform and MetaTrader 4 as demo trading platforms. With the IG platform, you will get access to their online trading platform, $20,000 of virtual funds and 17,000 markets. Choosing this platform means you will get free access to exclusive educational content on the IG Academy which new traders will appreciate and chart packages that may otherwise incur a fee.
If you prefer to practice using MetaTrader 4, IG gives you access to $10,000 in virtual currencies and 80+ markets to choose from. Choosing MetaTrader 4 also means you can practice with expert advisors and 18 free indicators and add-ons.
Key Strengths Of IG Markets Demo FX Account:
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG Markets >>
ThinkMarkets demo account allows you to practice with their ThinkTrader platform ThinkTrader is one of the best trading apps in the market for mobile trading. With a quad screen display, 80 indicators, 50 drawing tools, 14 chart types and 200 cloud-based alerts, Thinktrader is rated 5 stars by over 15,000 users in the Android and iOS mobile app stores.
ThinkMarkets trading includes 25,000 virtual currency and is available for use as long as you don’t leave it inactive for 30 days.
Key Strengths Of ThinkForex Demo FX Account:
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
A 30 day 100% free demo account is available with Axi (formerly AxiTrader). This broker offers access to MetaTrader 4 and $50,000 in virtual cash with no minimum deposit requirements to open an account.
The most unique feature of Axi’s demo account is the inclusion of a dedicated account manager in addition to their 24/5 client support. Axi customer support is award-winning and highly valued, as it means you can ask trading questions while you learn about forex trading and develop your trading style.
Key Strengths Of A GO Markets Demo FX Account:
View Axi Review >>Visit Axi >>
ThinkOrSwim is TD-Ameritrade’s proprietary trading platform and available to traders based in the United States as a desktop, web trader or mobile trading platform.
ThinkOrSwim provides a good range of features, with inbuilt tools for both automaton and charting.
To explore the ThinkOrSwim platform in a risk-free environment, TD-Ameritrade offers a demo account with full access to the software. A virtual trading balance of $100,00 is provided to practice trading with free access for 60 days.
TD-Ameritrade is one of the few brokers that offers forex trading in the USA. Choosing ThinkOrSwim means you can trade 70 forex pairs with no commissions and leverage of up to 50:1 for major pairs and 20:1 for minor pairs.
The most important element when looking for the best forex demo accounts is to consider the platforms offered. The trading platform is what you will be using to trade, so it is important to choose a platform you are comfortable using. Traders generally have a personal preference for MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 or cTrader trading platforms.
The second important factor is the features within the demo account that will replicate a real trading environment in the CFD and forex market. This includes what access how similar the spreads are to real markets, available leverage, customer service and risk management tools. Like choosing the best forex platform for you when forex trading, having the right features within the platform to suit your forex strategy can be critical to future success.
A third factor is execution speed which helps traders make fast trades with reduced slippage in higher volatility markets that can carry high risk. A demo account should simulate real trading conditions. This means taking spreads from real markets so you can learn how CFDs work in the real world.
The final factor is the expiration date of the demo account and how much virtual currency is available. Some demo accounts are only valid for one month while others are unlimited.
Trading financial instruments such as forex and shares is a high-risk investment, especially if you are exploring different forex and CFD markets for the first time. Forex and CFD markets such as cryptocurrency are high-risk environments, therefore traders should be cautious when taking on highly leveraged positions. Leverage is a complex instrument, so it’s important to understand there are risks of losing more money than you originally deposited in your trading account. It is important to get experience trading using a demo account, so you are well equipped to deal with the volatility and the high-risk nature of financial markets before signing up for a real account or live account.
Learning to trade forex can be achieved by reading and research as well as utilising forex brokers educational tools such as webinars, FAQs, eBooks, online courses. However, the most effective way is to practice trading via a demo account, allowing you to develop strategies and your trading style. Demo accounts allow users to familiarise themselves with various markets and trading platforms. Virtual money accounts are suitable for levels of experience, and we encourage you to practice trading with a forex broker listed above prior to trading with real money.
This demo account review was compiled and published in 2016 and was updated at the start of 2021. It was put together by the dedicated staff at Compare Forex Brokers who spent a significant amount of time researching the industry. As the market changes rapidly and brokers continue to offer new features all the time, please validate all information read above with the Forex broker’s dedicated website. We aim to update our analyses frequently, but sometimes inconsistencies can be found.
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.