Our Pepperstone vs Admiral Markets review found Pepperstone has 6 types of CFDs including 62 currency pairs, 3 trading platforms and 4 social trading tools. Admiral Markets offers 7 CFDs, including 50 forex pairs, 3441 stocks and 380 ETFs.
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Pepperstone offers two main account types to suit different traders needs – the Standard Account and the Razor Account. Both account types utilise no dealing desk execution and require a minimum deposit of $200.
The Standard Account is a spread-only account. This type of account is best for traders who are new to forex trading or prefer to hold positions over a longer time frame. This account has a flat 1.0 pip added to the spreads in place of commission costs. Average spreads for EURUSD range from 1.0 to 1.3 pips.
Two types of account options are available with Razor Account. Razor (MetaTrader) and Razor (cTrader)
The Razor Account is a commission-based account that offers ECN-type spreads from 0.0 pips with making this account popular with experienced traders, scalpers and algorithmic traders wanting to take advantage of low spreads.
If you are using Razor Account (MetaTrader) then commissions are $3.50 side trip / $7.00 round turn per standard lot. If you are using Razor (cTrader) then commissions are a 7 unit charge per lot in the first currency of the pair you are trading traded. e.g. AUDUSD = AUD$7 per lot traded. $7 will then be converted to your account currency using market rates.
Pepperstone low spreads are made possible by the use of Straight Through Processing (STP) trading execution. STP execution means there is no dealing desk involved in the execution process, this is because prices are sourced directly from liquidity providers such as tier-one financial institutions, hedge funds and large order traders where competition keeps prices down. Average spreads for EURUSD range from 0.0 to 0.3pips.
The following tool compares the costs to open a position with a range of brokers based on spreads plus commissions.
Pepperstone offers a premium service for high-volume traders. If you trade a minimum of 15 million a month, then you can qualify for exclusive features such as Active Traders rebate. If you trade 100+ lots, then you will receive a 10% rebate ($70-$140) and 200-500 lots will result in a 15% rebate ($200-$500).
For an in-depth look at the Pepperstone account, see our Pepperstone review
Admiral Markets accounts for trading forex are the Trade and Zero account. The Trade account is comparable to Pepperstone Standard account, as there are no commission costs. The Zero account is comparable to Pepperstone’s Razor account both use STP trading execution, but Admiral Markets commission structure slightly differs.
When choosing Admiral Markets accounts, you have a choice of MT4 and MT5 which denotes the types of trading platform you are choosing. MT4 stands for MetaTrader 4 and MT5 standard for MetaTrader 5. The only difference to note with each platform is the choice of financial instruments available.
The Trade account is Admiral Markets Standard account, which means no commissions. Admiral Markets advertises the following minimum spreads:
This difference can be explained by the fact 0.5 pip minimum is the average minimum across all Admiral Markets currency pairs.
While Admiral Markets minimum spreads are tighter than Pepperstones 1 pip minimum, traders should not place much weight on this. Admiral Markets are using the quote provided by the liquidity provider. As this is a standard account with no commission, Admiral Markets will widen this spread as they do not make a profit with spreads so tight. Instead, one should look at average spreads for more reliable guidance (see spreads section).
This account is similar to Pepperstones Razor Account (MetaTrader). It is a commission-based account using STP. If you want Admiral Markets tightest spreads, then this presents a solid option.
With this account, the more you trade, the less Admiral will charge in commissions next month. Commissions range from USD $3.00 Side trip / $6.00 round-turn to $1.8 side-trip / $3.2 round-turn.
Traders wanting the widest range of financial instruments to choose from are better to consider the Trader account. This is because the Zero account has a limited choice of financial instruments by comparison.
For a more in-depth review of Admiral Markets accounts, see our Admiral Markets review.
Overall, the choice of broker may come down to the type of trader and their level of experience. Spread costs play a vital role in trading performance, and as such, it is important to ensure these are kept low. For beginners, the Standard Account offered by Pepperstone may be suitable due to the range of financial instruments and the competitive spreads and no commissions associated. For traders with more experience, the Razor Account through Pepperstone may be a better option due to the tighter spreads, 500:1 leverage, and Expert Advisor compatibility. It is also more suitable for hedging, scalping, and algorithmic trading. As mentioned, tighter spreads are an ideal feature of a suitable broker, meaning the Pepperstone ECN account can be trusted to outperform other account types.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
Pepperstone and Admiral Markets use STP / ECN style execution. This type of trading execution means the brokers have no dealing desk involved in the quoting process as prices come from liquidity providers. This is different from market makers who are the counter-party to your trades.
The table below summarises a range of brokers and their spreads for the relevant commission-free accounts. We notice Admiral Markets tend to offer the best spreads for some currency pairs however are found to fare poorly on some other currency pairs. If you are trading currency pairs with JPY, then Pepperstone appears to be an excellent choice.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
Compare Brokers Spreads >>
The table below summarises a range of brokers and their spreads for the relevant commission accounts. You will find that Pepperstone nearly always superior spreads than Admiral Markets and often comfortably so. The only exception appears to be for EUR/USD and USD/SGD, where both brokers have similar spreads.
Compare All Brokers Spreads >>
If you are looking for commission free trading, then Admiral Markets is likely to be a better choice than Pepperstone. With a commission account, traders may be better off using Pepperstone due to the more competitive spreads.
The leverage provided for forex trading varies depending on what country you are trading from. Each broker has an entity based in several countries, and these entities need to abide by leverage requirements of the appropriate regulator.
Leverage is a useful tool to increase your gains with little upfront capital. Leverage (sometimes called margin trading) needs to be used responsibly unfavourable movements can lead to large losses.
Pepperstone tends to offer the maximum leverage permitted by the appropriate regulator. Regulation for each country is:
Admiral Markets leverage conditions are the same in Australia (ASIC), the UK (FCA) and Europe (CySEC) with low leverage caps. This is due to requirements by the local financial regulators to protect retail investor accounts incurring large losses when forex trading.
Leverage will depend on the relevant regulatory body of the region for Pepperstone, yet if you trade with its offshore entity you can access leverage up to 500:1, although this comes with high risk.
As international forex brokers, both Pepperstone and Admiral Markets come under several regulating bodies. While as a client, only the regulation of the broker’s entity you sign up with will apply to you, using a broker is multi-regulated is an indication of their legitimacy as a broker and that they will have top-level practices and policies in place to give you the best services as an investor.
The choice of broker will once again depend on the country and, as a result, the regulating body under which traders are confined. Pepperstone does offer a slightly more global service than Admiral Markets given they are regulated by an additional authority, as shown in the lists above.
Pepperstone offers leverage up to 500:1 on over 60 major, minor, cross, and exotic currency pairs for trading the forex market if you are trading with the SCB regulated branch, or 30:1 for majors and 20:1 for minors under ASIC, FCA and CySEC regulation.
Admiral Markets provides forex traders with access to over 50 forex major, minor and exotic currency pairs. Leverage is up to 30:1 in Australia, the UK and Europe.
The emerging market of cryptocurrencies is gaining interest from many traders and investors. The volatile nature of cryptocurrency trading has become appealing for traders wanting to take advantage of swing trading.
Admiral Markets offers a greater range of cryptocurrencies and crypto combinations (crypto vs crypto, crypto vs US/EURO) than Pepperstone, however, Pepperstone does offer the most popular currency pairs with high leverage.
Please note, if you are trading with a broker’s UK based subsidiary, you will not be able to trade cryptocurrency. The country’s regulator (FCA) recently banned retail traders from trading cryptocurrency products.
If you are looking for a greater choice of CFDs to trade with, you will find Admiral Markets offers a greater choice of products. Not only do they offer more choices, but they off spot and futures. Pepperstone only offers spot options.
Pepperstone and Admiral Markets both offer a range of tradable CFDs with leverage, tight spreads, and low commissions. With a closer focus on forex and cryptocurrencies, Pepperstone appears to outperform Admiral Markets by offering a wider range of pairs at more flexible leverage.
View Admiral Markets Review >>Visit Admiral Markets >>
Like with CFD trading, spread betting is a leveraged instrument that allows you to speculate on the price movements of underlying instruments. Unlike CFD trading, there is no contract since (as the name implies), it is a form of betting, not trading. For this reason, there are no capital gains taxes on your profits. Spread betting is only available in the UK.
Pepperstone offers spread betting for both retail and professional traders. Traders can bet with all Pepperstone CFD products and can choose from MetaTrader and cTrader.
Admiral Market does not offer spread betting.
Pepperstone offer spread betting for traders in the UK and Ireland, whereas Admiral Markets do not.
MetaTrader trading platforms are considered the ‘gold’ standard in the trading community.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) has been around longer than MetaTrader 5 (MT5) so has more users, is offered by more brokers and has a larger community and marketplace. These facts make MT4 a safe choice for your platform.
MT5 supersedes MT4, offering more features and ability to choose from a larger range of CFD trading products, so is a superior product overall. While MT4 has maintained its popularity, MT5 is the future as MT4 is in the process of being phased out.
MT4 and MT5 offer a comprehensive range of tools and time-frames required to perform the critical analysis necessary for making trading decisions. Both Pepperstone and Admiral Markets provide MetaTrader for mobile trading with iOS and Android trading apps, a WebTrader option online, as well as desktop versions for PC and Mac computers.
cTrader is another popular trading platform, equipped with direct access to inter-bank market depth to implement algorithmic-based forex trading systems, an interface that can be personalised with pre-set and detachable charts, as well as extensive back-testing facilities.
The cTrader platform provides enhanced modification options within the interface combined with advanced order placing options, also provided on iOS, Android, WebTrader, and desktop versions for PC and Mac.
The following table summarises the trading platforms, tools, and features offered by Pepperstone and Admiral Markets for retail investor accounts.
The MetaTrader Supreme Edition through Admiral Markets, which includes analysis indicators, global opinion widgets, advanced trade management tools and more, is similar to the Smart Trader Tool offered by Pepperstone, which includes EAs, automated trading robots, market scanner, and API technology. Both brokers offer a helpful range of trading platform tools and features for all types of traders.
Social trading tools such as MyFxBook, Mirror Trader, MetaTrader Signals, and DupliTrade are supported by Pepperstone on their trading platforms. The social trading tools available through Admiral Markets are limited to the MetaTrader Signals. As a feature growing in popularity, social trading is a strength in the favour of Pepperstone as they support this ability more than Admiral Markets.
Note: MyFxBook is offered by Pepperstone in Australia however, traders in the UK and Europe have access to Pelican, which is alternate social trading options.
In addition to the enhanced level of social trading tools, MetaTrader and cTrader are available through Pepperstone, however, only MetaTrader is available through Admiral Markets.
Given the extra platform option and range of social and add on features, Pepperstone’s platform option is superior.
In addition to standard risk management tools all brokers provide such as stop-loss, trailing-stops and take profit, there are a few risk management tools worth noting.
Guaranteed negative balance protection ensures you cannot lose more than the amount you have deposited should price movement against you. Such risk tools can make a big difference when trading with leveraged instruments which are high-risk tools that can lead to high losses.
Pepperstone only provides negative balance protection to clients in the UK and Europe, as this is required by FCA regulation. If you are trading as a ‘professional trader’, then you will not have this protection.
Admiral Markets provides a negative balance to all clients worldwide, this includes ‘professional traders’.
Admiral Markets employs a feature they call ‘volatility protection’ to help protect you against losses caused by fluctuating prices. Volatility protection allows you to set limits that will define the maximum slippage you are prepared to allow at the time you place your order.
Examples of volatility protections include:
These features are useful to ensure there are no big surprises when trading however they can eat into your profits as you pay for these features through wider spreads.
Both brokers use a margin/close-out system to help prevent your account from going into negative balances.
Pepperstone activates a margin call when the equity on your account falls below 90% and applies a stop-out policy when the margin level falls below 20% (meaning a trading account has dropped to 20% of the initial equity) for MetaTrader platforms. Using cTrader the close-out margin level is 50%.
Admiral Markets applied a margin call when the equity on your account falls below 130%. Closeout levels vary depending on if you are a client with Admiral Markets in UK/Europe or Australia and what account you are using.
In Australia (which applies for all clients outside the UK and Europe), Admiral Markets stop out is 30% if you are using the Trade account and 50% if you are using the Zero Account.
In the UK and Europe, Admiral Markets applies a 50% stop out for retail clients and 30% stop out for professional clients.
Admiral Markets has better risk management offerings than Pepperstone. Pepperstone only offers a basic range of risk tools while Admiral Markets offers negative balance protection and volatility protection for all clients.
The following table lists the funding methods available through both Pepperstone and Admiral Markets.
To open an account, Pepperstone has a minimum $200 deposit requirement however this is not enforced.
Pepperstone accepts a variety of fee-free funding options. Visa, MasterCard and Bank Transfer are available to all clients. POLi, BPay, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill and Union Pay are only available in selected countries. When withdrawing by bank wire there is a minimum USD 80 withdrawal amount and a $20 fee. When using PayPal, there is a USD 5 withdrawal and deposit requirement.
Pepperstone does not have any inactivity fees.
Admiral Markets has a flat $100 deposit requirement for major currencies. Traders can opt to open an account with other currencies such that have their own minimum requirement. These include:
Admiral Markets accepts a larger range of funding methods compared to Pepperstone including Bank Transfer, Klarna, Visa and MasterCard, PayPal, Bitcoin, SafetyPay, Przelewy, iBank&BankLink, and iDEAL. Funding can also be done using Skrill and Neteller for a small fee. Most currencies have a minimum deposit amount is typically around AUD$75/USD70.
Admiral markets have an inactivity fee of 10 AUD/USD/EUR per month
Traders have an array of funding options through Pepperstone and Admiral Markets. Both brokers are extremely transparent and informative regarding the options and restrictions for traders, as well as ease of deposit and withdrawal. Retail investors and traders who are new to the industry should note the minimum deposit amounts and inactivity fees associated with each broker. The difference here is relatively insignificant, however, Admiral Markets do offer more choice of funding methods as well as a lower deposit amount required to get started in trading.
Pepperstone offers 24/5 multilingual support across live chat, email, and phone for communication. A FAQ section is available which discusses common topics such as funding and payments, managing accounts and trading conditions.
Pepperstone offers a multi-award winning support team including winning “Best Client Relationship Manager Service at the Professional Trader award, Best Forex Trading Support – Europe at the Global Forex Award in 2019 and #1 for Customer Service at the Investment Trends award in 2017.
Admiral Markets contact service is based in Europe, meaning responses may be slow for traders in other areas of the globe. Admiral Markets offer a larger range of contact methods than Pepperstone including live chat Twitter, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. You can also email and submit a web query via their website.
Like Pepperstone, traders are provided with a range of FAQs relating to MetaTrader, general concerns, and retail and professional terms. The provision of a ‘trader’s glossary’ is a beneficial feature that allows clients to search and understand a variety of terms used by the broker with ease.
Pepperstone has its own in-house team of 5 market analyst who provides market analysis, news and insight on all things forex and CFDs. Pepperstone also makes use of research and education company FX Evolution to provide in-depth technical analysis.
Pepperstone also provides educational resources such as:
A comprehensive selection of free education tools is also available from Admiral Markets. While all courses are free, the best courses require a minimum account deposit of $5000 for pro features and $15,000 for advanced features.
Free education tools include the following:
With larger account deposits, once can access more interactive education features such as:
Premium analytics are also available from Admiral Markets, these analytics are powered by DOW JONES, Trading Central, Acuity and cover features such as live news, global sentiment widgets, and technical analysis.
Both brokers offer a great range of support, education and analytics tools. Pepperstone customer service team have been recognised for their excellence and can help you with all your needs while Admiral Markets provide more options for contact. Pepperstone has their own in-house team of analysts providing insights for all your trading needs, while Admiral Markets education tools are very extensive, especially if you can access the interactive features by meeting deposit requirements.
A detailed comparison shows that although both Pepperstone and Admiral Markets are exceptional CFD brokers, retail traders may find a better experience with Pepperstone. With similarities between the brokers in terms of account types, leverage, and regulation, Pepperstone outperforms with their spreads, financial instruments, spread betting, trading platforms, and customer services and support, while Admiral Markets proved the better broker for risk management and funding method options.
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.