Both GO Markets and IC Markets are a STP or ECN pricing model for trading execution. This means the forex brokers can offer tight spreads from 0.0 pips EUR/USD. Our Go Markets vs IC Markets comparisons review the key features the CFD brokers offer.
IC Markets and GO Markets are two top Australian online brokers that provide access to an ECN-like trading environment with ultra-tight spreads. In this review, we compare features such as average spreads, account types, trading platforms, products, investor protection, customer support and funding methods available to those trading Contracts For Difference (CFDs) with IC or GO Markets.
To establish which broker offers the tightest spreads, we will compare ECN-style spreads between GO Markets and IC Markets. As shown in the table below, both GO and IC Markets offer competitive spreads when compared with competing brokers.
Other than the AUD/USD and EUR/GBP forex pairs where the same spreads of 0.20 pips and 0.40 pips are offered, IC Markets tends to offer tighter spreads than GO Markets. For the most commonly traded currency pair, the EUR/USD, GO Markets average spread of 0.20 pips is double that offered by IC Markets, where traders gain access to spreads as low as 0.10 pips. For the GBP/USD forex pair, IC Markets provide the lowest average spreads when compared to GO Markets as well as other top brokers such as Pepperstone.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
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Unless traders are signed up to Standard Accounts where commission fees are included in the spreads, IC Markets and GO Markets ECN-style accounts charge a flat-rate commission fee.
In addition to commission fees, traders face overnight financing fees when leveraged positions are held open for longer than one day. Depending on interest rates, the amount of leverage used and the forex pair being traded, customers may either receive or pay interest charges on positions that do not have a set expiration date.
While both online brokers provide access to ultra-tight ECN-style spreads, IC Markets offers narrower spreads for EUR/USD, GBP/USD and AUD/JPY currency pairs. While commission fees charged by the two brokers are similar, IC Markets ECN-type spreads are generally narrower than GO Markets, therefore IC Markets are the winner of this round.
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GO Markets and IC Markets are similar to ECN brokers that can offer customers ultra-tight spreads in an institutional-grade trading environment. Unlike a Market Maker broker, true ECN brokers can provide access to the best spreads available to retail investor accounts due to the brokers’ multiple liquidity providers. Although ECN accounts are available with both IC Markets and GO Markets, the brokers also offer Standard account types for those willing to trade at wider spreads yet avoid commission fee calculations. You can view the IC Markets standard vs raw account article to understand more about the differences between these trading accounts.
IC Markets offer three account types depending on the pricing structure and trading platform a customer wants to use, while GO Markets clients can choose between two account types.
IC Markets and GO Markets standard account types pay no flat-rate commission fees when trading forex. Although spreads are wider than true ECN accounts, they are inclusive of commission. As trading cost calculations are simplified with all-inclusive spreads, standard account types are well-suited to those new to trading and looking to gain confidence trading forex. As an IC Markets standard account holder, traders gain access to forex spreads can be as low as 1.0 pips, while GO Markets standard spreads start from 1.1 pips.
Designed for high volume trading, scalping and Expert Advisors, GO Markets and IC Markets ECN-style trading accounts offer institutional grade spreads, ultra-fast execution and low commission fees. During times of volatility, both online brokers advertise spreads can be as low as 0.0 pips on major currencies, providing pricing similar to a true ECN account.
IC Markets offer two Raw account types, with the only difference being the trading platform available and commission fees charged. The cTrader Raw Account charges a $6 round turn commission fee per USD $100k traded, while customers using a MetaTrader Raw account pay a $7 round turn commission fee.
GO Markets ECN-type account is a welcome recent introduction to the Australian broker. Commission fees are on par with IC Markets Raw cTrader account, charging $6 round turn commission on a standard lot. A benefit of the GO Plus+ account type is that customers gain a dedicated account manager, receiving access to personalised customer support from the GO Markets team.
While GO Markets does not advertise an Islamic account option, IC Markets allows Islamic traders to establish a Raw or Standard account that follows Islamic finance practises and is swap-free. In accordance with Sharia Law, Islamic accounts do not charge or receive interest. Rather, traders pay a swap-free, flat rate overnight financing fee that ranges from $5-$50 per lot depending on the currency pair being traded. Islamic account holders should note that if positions are held open on Friday nights, flat rate overnight financing fees triple.
IC Markets and GO Markets both offer two pricing structures for traders to choose from – a Standard Account as well as an ECN-like Account type. Commission fees charged to Raw and GO Plus+ account holders are low, with ultra-tight spreads accessible through both ECN account options. While both brokers offer excellent account options with competitive spreads and commission fees, IC Markets wins this round as they also offer Islamic account options.
Customers trading CFDs with IC and GO Markets gain access to the best trading platforms available worldwide. Both brokers offer MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 as trading platform options, with IC Markets clients also able to use cTrader if preferred.
Choosing a suitable trading platform depends on the CFD products a customer wants to trade, as well as the trading tools they require to conduct technical analysis. For those focusing on forex trading with little interest in accessing Share CFD or Treasury products, MetaTrader 4 or cTrader can be used (share trading is restricted on both trading platforms). If a customer wants to access stock markets and develop trading strategies that include a diverse range of asset classes, MetaTrader 5 is better suited as it’s a multi-asset platform that allows Share CFD trading.
MetaTrader and cTrader platforms provide advanced trading tools to assist with technical analysis and risk management. To manage the high level of risk that comes with forex and CFD trading, investors can utilise features such as alerts and a range of order types (i.e. stop losses). Customers using MT4 or MT5 can also make use of the platform’s Autochartist feature. Autochartist is a pattern recognition software that allows traders to stay up to date with trading conditions while saving time researching different markets.
For trading wanting to save time conducting research and analysis, automated trading strategies can be developed on MT4, MT5 and cTrader using algorithmic trading tools or social-copy trading features. MetaTrader platforms are very popular for automated trading, as users can create or download Expert Advisors (EAs). Similarly to MetaTrader EAs, cTrader users can easily employ cBots that are created using the C# programming language.
Another way for customers to automate trading is through Myfxbook AutoTrade. GO Markets offers Myfxbook to both MT4 and MT5 users, while IC Markets customers can only access Myfxbook via MT4.
IC Markets and GO Markets customers are not limited to trading on webtrader and desktop platforms on Mac or Windows computers. MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader users can download mobile trading apps compatible with Android and iOS devices (iPad and iPhone).
At CompareForexBrokers we recommend choosing MetaTrader 5 as your trading platform when trading CFDs with IC Markets or GO Markets. MT5 users can trade multiple asset classes, including Shares, while utilising Expert Advisors and the platforms advanced technical analysis tools.
Both online brokers offer market access to a similar range of asset classes and financial instruments. Major, minor and exotic forex pairs are available to trade with the ECN-style brokers. IC Markets offers access to 60 currency pairs, while customers of GO Markets can trade 50 different fx pairs.
GO Markets commodity CFDs include Gold Silver, WTI Crude Oil and Brent Crude Oil, while IC Markets provide access to 19 different commodities, covering energies, precious metals and soft commodities. Both brokers offer a strong selection of popular Cash and Future Index CFDs with GO Markets offering 14 different Indices, while IC Markets provides access to 16 Index CFDs. Popular indices offered by both brokers include the US 500, ASX 200, HK 50, UK 100 and JP 225.
To trade GO and IC Markets range of Share CFD products, customers are required to choose MetaTrader 5 as their trading platform. GO Markets offers a more extensive range of Share CFDs, allowing customers to access over 200 ASX stock CFDs, with an additional 80 popular US shares. At IC Markets, over 120 ASX, NYSE and Nasdaq share CFDs can be traded.
IC Markets is well-known for its excellent selection of Cryptocurrency CFDs. As well as established and popular Cryptos such as Bitcoin, Dash and Ethereum, trading strategies can be developing with emerging cryptos, including PeerCoin and EOS. At GO Markets, customers are restricted to the 5 major Crypto products being Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.
When compared to GO Markets, IC Markets offers a larger range of CFD products across all asset classes. For traders wanting to develop multi-asset trading strategies that may include financial instruments such as Cryptos, Indices and Forex, IC Markets is the better online broker as it provides more currency pairs as well as superior market access overall.
Both GO Markets and IC Markets are Australian online brokers regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). While GO Markets is based in Melbourne, IC Markets operates from its Sydney HQ. Although IC Markets was established in Australia, its international subsidiaries are regulated by CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) and the FSA (The Seychelles Financial Services Authority), therefore different levels of investor protection are enforced by financial authorities around the globe.
To provide brokerage service to retail investor accounts online, brokers operating in Australia and overseen by ASIC are required to hold an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL). Additionally, client funds must be held in segregated accounts to ensure that brokers do not use traders’ account balances as operational capital. While ASIC is considered a top-tier financial authority globally, ASIC regulated brokers are not required to follow strict investor protections seen in other forex trading hubs such as Cyprus and the UK. In an attempt to reduce the high of risk that comes with forex trading, stricter regulation is expected to be introduced in Australia in the coming years, with changes forecasted to include leverage caps and close-out margins.
Those trading with IC Markets Cyprus subsidy receive investor protection such as negative balance protection in addition to segregated client funds. To reduce the high risk that comes with forex trading, leverage is capped at 30:1 on major forex pairs (while Australian brokers often offer 500:1), while CySEC regulated brokers are prohibited from offering any bonus promotions.
Both online brokers are seen as trustworthy by forex traders globally. As Australian-based brokers, IC Markets and GO Markets are regulated by ASIC and hold AFSLs. As IC Markets are also overseen by CySEC and the FSA where stricter investor protection is enforced, they are the winner of this round.
Unlike many other online brokers, IC Markets offer customer support via live chat, phone and email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. GO Markets, on the other hand, is available by email, phone, live chat and social media platforms 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Although IC Markets customer support is available 24/7, live chat response times can lag at times, yet email and phone support tend to be more efficient. All forms of customer service at GO Markets is quick and efficient, with the online broker winning various awards for the quality of its customer support.
Both IC Markets and GO Markets provide an extensive range of educational resources to help customers develop trading strategies and extend their knowledge of CFD trading. The online brokers provide demo accounts for prospective and existing clients. As forex trading is a high-risk activity, demo accounts allow investors of all levels of experience to test out trading strategies prior to executing them in a live account.
Although IC Markets does not have an in-house analyst team, IC’s ‘Trading Central’ resources provide ideas for trading strategies and analysis. GO Markets customers gain access to articles that the broker’s team of analysts have produced based on current news, events and market movements. As well as articles, traders can view daily market reports and news, weekly summaries, and an economic calendar.
For traders wanting to expand their understanding of forex and CFD trading, GO Markets forex education centre consists of the GO Trading Academy along with ebooks, training courses and video tutorials, ranging from beginner to advanced levels. IC Markets education centre is also a useful resource to traders of all levels of experience. Customers can utilise the broker’s high-quality materials that include webinars, articles, and trading platform tutorials.
IC Markets and GO Markets offer customers excellent customer support along with a range of educational resources. When IC Markets and GO Markets customer service and education are compared, the online broker’s tie. Customers of both brokers can access quick and efficient customer support as well as a range of educational resources including webinars, tutorials and demo accounts.
To open an account with IC Markets or GO Markets, regardless of account type, an initial minimum deposit of $200 is required. When establishing a trading account, a range of base currencies are available with both brokers:
In addition to traditional funding methods such as bank transfer and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard), GO Markets customers can deposit and withdraw funds using e-wallet services such as FasaPay, Neteller, POLi, BPay and Skrill. When trading CFDs with IC Markets, customers can use the following deposit and withdrawal methods:
Most deposit and withdrawal methods are free of charge with either broker. While every deposit and withdrawal method at GO Markets is free of charge, customers of IC Markets are charged AUD $20 if funds are transferred via international bank wire. View our IC Markets deposit page for more details for this broker.
Both GO Markets and IC Markets provide ECN-style account types with low commission fees and are seen as trustworthy by retail investors around the globe. Yet, narrower spreads and more diverse product range results in IC Markets being the best online broker overall when compared to GO Markets. As well as tighter spreads, IC Markets also offer unique features such as an Islamic trading account option, 24/7 customer support and emerging Cryptocurrency CFD products, making IC Markets the clear winner when compared to GO Markets.
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.