Admiral Markets offers 45 currency pairs compared to IC Markets 63 forex pairs. While Admiral Markets offers nearly 4000 CFDs, more than IC Markets 300, you need to be using the Trade Standard MT4 account. Otherwise, IC Markets have better products.
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Admiral Markets offers two account types: Trade Account and Zero Account. The Trade Account allows you to trade with no commission fees, while the Zero Account offers extremely tight spreads using straight-through processing (STP) trading execution. Admiral Markets also offers an Islamic Account for Islamic traders.
Admiral Markets Trade Account is a standard account, which means it has no commission costs. If you are new to trading, this type of cost structure may appeal as including trading costs in the spread means a simpler cost structure. This account has an average minimum spread of 0.5 pips (which is their average minimum spread across all currency pairs Admiral Market offers) however spreads are typically higher.
There are two types of Zero accounts. Trade.MT4 and Trade.MT5. Choosing MT5 means you will use the MetaTrader 5 Trading Platform and have access to a larger range of trading instruments.
The Zero Account differs from the Trade account in that it has a commission cost structure. This account has scaled commission costs, which mean if you are a high volume trader, you will pay less commission for each trade in the following calendar month. Commission costs range from USD $3.20 to $6.00 round-turn.
You may find the Zero Account more suitable if you are an experienced trader. Use of commissions means tighter spreads (than the standard account).
One limitation of the Zero Account is the range of CFDs less than with the Trade account.
The following table is a summary of the features associated with the Trade Account and Zero Account.
IC Markets, like Admiral Markets, also has two main account types: Standard Account and Raw Spread Account (ECN Account). The Standard Account charges no commission but does present larger spreads, while the Raw Spread Account uses electronic communication network (ECN) pricing with a small commission.
The Standard Account allows you to trade with no commission fees but offers larger spreads. A flat 1.0 pip is added to the spread for all currency pairs. The Standard Account is available on the MetaTrader 4 and 5 forex trading platform.
The Raw Spread Account uses an ECN pricing model to bring you IC Markets lowest spreads. To keep spreads ‘true’ to prices, liquidity providers are seeking, IC Markets charge commissions meaning the spread is not widened. These commissions costs are $7.00 round-turn for each standard lot you trade. If you are looking for IC Markets best spreads, then the RAW account is the choice we recommend.
IC Markets offers over 60 currency pairs and 6 other types of CFDs including commodities, indices, bonds, cryptocurrencies, stocks and futures. A far greater range than the Admiral Markets Zero account offers.
The following tool can be used to estimate the trading costs associated with using the IC Markets Raw Spread Account.
The table below summarises the features presented within the Standard Account and Raw Spread Account.
Both brokers offer standard and ECN-style account types, making them both suitable choices for traders of all levels of experience. If you are looking for a Standard account, then Admiral Markets is the recommended choice as their spreads are lower.
If you are looking for ECN pricing, then the decision is a bit tougher, IC Markets offers a greater choice of forex currency pairs and CFDs and these are available regardless of which trading platform you choose. The only reason one might choose Admiral Markets is if you are a high volume trader which presents the possibility of reduced commissions.
Admiral Markets offers competitive spreads against other brokers on its Trade Account starting from 0.5 pips, including the best EUR/USD spread of 0.6 pips.
IC Markets add 1 pip to its spreads for all currency pairs over the raw price. This means their spreads are slightly higher than what Admiral Markets offers.
It is interesting to note that while Admiral Markets do appear to offer better spreads for the main currency pairs, IC Markets does match and have lower spreads for some currency pairs such as AUD/JPY, EUR/JPY. Regardless of which broker you choose, you will note there are other brokers that offer better spreads for this type of account.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
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If you are after the lowest possible spreads, IC Markets is among the best of all brokers across many currency pairs. Spreads from IC Markets range from 0.2 to 0.8 pips superior to Admiral Markets. This is because IC Markets uses an ECN pricing model. What this means is IC Markets connect you with over 50 banks and a dark pool of liquidity providers and aggregates these prices to bring you the best possible spreads. This is known as “True ECN” as there is no dealing desk or human intervention even though IC Market makes their own market.
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For non-commission accounts, both brokers offer competitive spreads, with Admiral Markets only slightly outperforming IC Markets. For commission accounts, IC Markets offers some of the best spreads among brokers that use an STP or ECN pricing model. The comparison tables show the level of distinction between the broker spreads and indicate that IC Markets are superior in this area.
The leverage each broker makes available depends on the relevant regulatory body that you are trading with. Regulators set maximum leverage guidelines for trading financial instruments, and the entities for each broker must abide by these requirements.
Leverage is a useful tool to increase exposure on trades without a large amount of capital, meaning small movements in the market can result in large profits or losses however they are high-risk instruments, which means you should use them with caution. This is why some regulators have different leverage for retail traders and professional traders.
Retail traders in Australia, the UK and Europe can trade with 1:30 for major currency pairs and 1:20 for minor currency pairs. Professional traders can access leverage up to 1:500.
If you are trading from the UK or Europe, you can access leverage of up to 1:30 on forex, 1:20 on major indices, 1:10 on commodities, and 1:2 on cryptocurrencies. Leverage for Australians is similar:
The leverage offered will depend on the relevant entity through which the broker operates. Depending on the country you are trading from, different margin requirements will apply. Both brokers offer the maximum allowable leverage under each jurisdiction.
Both Admiral Markets and IC Markets are regulated across a range of entities. The following lists show the countries and relevant entities where regulation is present.
Admiral Markets Regulating Entities:
IC Markets Regulating Entities:
Both brokers are heavily regulated and are considered extremely safe, which is good for traders. The relevant entity will depend on the country you are trading from.
View Admiral Markets Review >>Visit Admiral Markets >>
Both IC Markets and Admiral Markets are MetaTrader 4 and 5 specialists however IC Markets also have cTrader and a greater choice of social trading tools.
MetaTrader 4 and 5 are a sophisticated trading platform developed by MetaQuotes. The MetaTrader platforms are available for download on PC or Mac as a WebTrader as well as mobile iOS and Android. MetaTrader 4 is widely considered the best forex trading platform around the world and has a wider community and marketplace, however, it lacks the variety of features and products that its successor MetaTrader 5 offers.
MetaTrader 4 is the most commonly used trading platform across the globe and is suitable for traders of all levels reasons to choose MT4 include
MetaTrader 5 is the updated version and is equipped with some additional extras, including:
cTrader is an alternative forex trading platform that is also extremely popular for trading the forex market. Along with superior technical charting options and faster trade execution, cTrader offers:
IC Markets offer a choice of social trading or copy trading platforms, some of which can be integrated with MetaTrader platforms. Admiral Markets do not offer any social trading tools however may allow you to integrate 3rd party platforms via API.
IC Markets offer the following social trading tools – MyFxBook AutoTrade and ZuluTrade, cTrader Copy, MT4 signals and MQL5 signals.
Admiral Markets offers the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms for trading, however, it does not offer cTrader. IC Markets connects to MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. Therefore, if you are trading on the MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 platform, either broker will do. However, if you are set on trading with cTrader, IC Markets is the more suitable choice.
A large variety of financial products is an important consideration when choosing a broker. It will allow you to diversify your trading and investment exposure to various global markets. Both Admiral Markets and IC Markets offer a good range of financial products.
Admiral Markets offer less than 50 forex currency pairs. Although this is relatively low, most of the commonly traded major, minor, and exotic currency pairs are available, such as USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, GBP, CHF, JPY, and NZD. IC Markets offers 64 forex currency pairs so if you are looking for a large choice of forex pairs to choose from, then IC Markets is the way to go.
The following table lists the available CFDs and complex instruments through Admiral Markets on both the Trade Account and Zero Account, including:
When choosing an account with Admiral Markets, it is important to consider if you prefer standard or ECN style trading and what types of platforms as the available CFDs will differ between accounts.
IC Markets have an advantage over Admiral Markets in that they allow all CFDs to be traded for both accounts and all trading platforms. CFDs available include:
Both Admiral Markets and IC Markets have an attractive range of financial products and would both be a suitable choice if you are looking for diversification with a CFD broker. With far more forex currency pairs and a slightly broader range of other CFDs, including crypto, IC Markets is more appropriate if you are looking to taking your trading to the next level.
Risk management tools are vital for trading. Without them, you may be at risk of losing your entire investment, and with the inclusion of leverage, this can happen very fast. Risk management tools are an effective method of ensuring you retain your capital should the market move against your favour.
As part of UK and European regulations, all Forex regulators such as CySEC (Europe) and the FCA (UK) require brokers to have negative balance protection for retail clients. Negative balance protection means your account will never be negative, which would leave you with large debts. Admiral Markets however also offer negative balance protection to all their clients, including professional and international clients.
Both brokers use a margin call system to help prevent the need to apply for negative balance protection. IC Markets have a higher stop-out level than Admiral Markets, presumedly because negative balance protection is not available for all clients.
Admiral Markets also provides some unique volatility protection features that allow you to use a greater range of order types and settings. These additions help reduce your risk in volatile trading conditions. Features include:
Admiral Markets has a greater focus on risk management than IC Markets. Although both brokers offer the standard range of tools, only Admiral Markets has volatility protection features and offers negative balance protection to all clients.
Admiral Markets offers a wide range of free funding methods with bank transfer, Klarna, Visa and MasterCard, PayPal, Bitcoin, credit card, SafetyPay, Przelewy, iBank&BankLink, and iDEAL. For a small fee, funding can also be done through Skrill and Neteller. Admiral Markets charges no additional fee for opening a trading account but charges an inactivity fee of 10 AUD/USD/EUR per month.
IC Markets also accept a variety of funding methods such as Skrill, PayPal, Neteller, Bpay (for AUD), UnionPay (for RMB), and Rapidpay, and Klarna (for GBP). Withdrawals have no fees attached to IC Markets and there is no inactivity fee.
When choosing a funding method, you will need to check this service is available in your country.
Admiral Markets requires a minimum deposit of USD 100 or equivalent for major currencies. If you have another base currency in mind, some of the minimum deposit amounts are listed below:
The minimum deposit amount with IC Markets is USD 200, or the equivalent of this if your base account currency is not USD.
Both brokers offer an exceptional range of funding methods including the most commonly used Visa and MasterCard, Skrill, PayPal, Neteller, credit card, and POLi. However, Admiral Markets only require a minimum deposit of USD 100 (or equivalent) whereas IC Markets accept a minimum amount of USD 200 (or equivalent).
Although it is not a significant difference, if you are looking to get started in trading, then a smaller deposit amount is always a nice option to have.
Admiral Markets offers very useful customer support features such as contact messaging, FAQ, and a glossary. However, the customer service is Europe-centric, meaning if you are not within the Eurozone you may potentially have to wait a while for a chat reply and support hours are only 25/5. As a global broker, Admiral Markets is contactable through Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram using multiple languages, emails and website inquiry submissions are also available.
IC Markets also have a sophisticated 24/7 support system with local support coming from Sydney, Australia. Clients can contact IC Markets customer support through email, Skype, or phone. The live chat is considerably responsive and the help centre covers a wide variety of queries.
Admiral Markets offers an array of educational resources and analytical tools to help clients understand how CFDs work. These include:
IC Markets also offer a comprehensive selection of useful tools and resources:
While Admiral Markets encourage learning and training, IC Markets are more renowned for their superior level of customer service and support. The additional features, trading tools, social trading, and analytical features also make IC Markets the better choice for an online broker.
If you are looking for a Standard type of account, then Admiral Markets Trade.MT4 and Trade.MT5 accounts are good choices. Spreads for this account are generally lower than IC Markets and offer Admiral Markets the best range of CFD products. With this, you also get negative balance protection tools such as Volatility Protection, which can be useful if you in volatile trading climates or if you lack trading experience.
If you are looking for the best spreads, then IC Markets Raw Spread account offer ‘True ECN’ trading with some of the best spreads on the market. When you compare the Raw Spread account to Admiral Markets Zero account, you will notice IC Markets have access to a larger range of CFDs, as Admiral Market offers fewer instruments for their Zero Accounts than Trade accounts.
IC Markets also offer other useful features such as social trading tools and 24/7 customer service, which Admiral Markets can’t match.
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.