Head To Head Forex Broker Comparison Of Pepperstone vs AxiTrader
Pepperstone and AxiTrader are ECN forex brokers from Australia. Regulated by FCA and ASIC each offers MetaTrader 4 trading platform. Pepperstone also offers MetaTrader 5 and cTrader 64 currency pairs and 5 cryptocurrencies vs Axitrader with 80 and 6. Spreads begin at 0.0 pips for EUR/USD.
There are significant differences when viewing Pepperstone vs AxiTrader based on their most popular accounts ‘Razor’ vs ‘Pro’ account’. The table below shows Pepperstone and AxiTrader along (with other traders) and average spreads.
Average Spreads (02/01/2020)
When we compare currency pairs for the brokers ‘ECN style’ account type, one can see that spreads on AxiTrader are wider than Pepperstone spreads each currency pairs in the sample.
In our table, EUR/USD is 0.12 pips wider which means you will pay $1.2 more for each standard lot. While AxiTrader is wider on average for the period sampled, if a sample was done for a different period, the result might be different.
While neither broker is a ‘true’ ECN broker, both Pepperstone and AxiTrader offer ECN pricing. This means the spreads are sourced directly from a deep pool of liquidity providers, this allows the broker to offer you low spreads as they do not requote, involve a dealing desk or manipulate prices.
This is different from market makers who will be your counter-party when you trade with them.
Pepperstone Razor Account
If you are using MetaTrader 5. the Pepperstone Razor account has low commissions of $3.50 per $100k USD side trip. This commission will vary depending on what currency your account is in:
Japanese Yen – JPY 303 Euro – EUR 2.61 Pound Sterling – GBP 2.29 Swiss Franc – CHF 3.30 New Zealand Dollar – NZD 4.75 Singapore Dollar – SGD 4.55 Hong Kong Dollar – HKD 28.17 Canadian Dollar – CAD 3.50
*Commission is side-trip. Round-turn will be double. This means you pay a commission when you buy and again when you sell.
If you are using MetaTrader 4, the commission will be the same except for USD where you will be charged $3.76 per $100k USD.
Other features include:
$200 minimum deposit (when opening an account however this is not enforced) Choice of lot sizes for trading – Mini, Micro, Standard Leverage up to 500x the deposit (500:1 in Australia and internationally and 30:1 in the UK and Europe or 500:1 with professional account) Scalping Hedging Expert Advisors (EAs)
Pepperstone further reduces prices with their Price Improvement Technology. This technology applies the better price in the event spreads change to be more favourable for the trader during execution.
Pepperstone also offers two other trading account types. These are the Standard account and Islamic account
The Standard account widens your spread by 1 pip in place of commission. Spreads will be 1 pip wider if you trade in standard lots. This is equal to $10. If you trade in micro-lots then the pip value will be 0.10.
See our comparison of Standard and Razor account, in this comparison, we explain how charges for lots of work.
The Islamic account
The Islamic account is not listed on the Pepperstone website however is available on request. This account has no swap fees which are also known as rolling or overnight fees. To be eligible for an Islamic account, you will be required to prove you are Muslim.
AxiTrader MT4 Pro Account
AxiTrader has an ECN account similar to Pepperstone’s Razor called the MT4 Pro account. It has the following features
The commission is USD $3.5 commissions per 100k side-trip. As the commission is in USD, commission may be higher once the currency is converted to your base account.
No minimum deposits to open an account but you will be required to have enough funds to meet margin requirement to open a position.
Other features include:
Leverage up to 400x the deposit (400:1) Choice of lot sizes – Micro, Mini, Standard Scalping Hedging Expert Advisors (EAs)
AxiTrader also has a Positive Price Improvement Program which is the same as Pepperstone’s Price Improvement Technology.
Trading Spreads And Commission Conclusion
For the lowest spreads and fees, we recommend Pepperstone. This is one of the reasons we consider Pepperstone to be the best Australian forex broker.
Comparing The Fx Trading Platforms
Pepperstone and AxiTrader both offer MetaTrader 4 (MT4). Despite increasing competition including the introduction of MetaTrader 5, MetaTrader 4 remains the most used forex platform worldwide. MT4 is the worlds most popular forex trading platform and using the platform means you can easily switch to other brokers that use the same platform. MetaTrader 4 is designed for traders of all levels. Both Pepperstone and AxiTrader offer tools that will be of benefit to basic and advanced users.
Key features of MetaTrader 4 include:
Available in 30 languages
Compatibility with Android and iPhone iOS for mobile trading
Can be installed on Windows and Mac
Webtrader for use in Browsers
Comes with 30 technical indicators
23 analytical objects
MT4 Expert Advisors (EAs)
4 types of Execution
AxiTrader vs Pepperstone Add-On For MetaTrader 4
Smart Trader Tools is the Pepperstone Add-On while AxiTrader has MT4 enhancement tool. Both offer the same 10 features including:
An Alarm Manager that alerts traders when a trigger is reached
Connect (Pepperstone) / Economic Calendar (AxiTrader) offering RSS news, guides and an economic calendar.
Correlation tools to find similarities to other markets including the Correlation Matrix.
Smart Trader Tools andNexGen give traders using MetaTrader 4 the tools to make a trading decision. Market sensitive data is also sent to traders to alert them to events that impact market volatility.
While MT4 remains the most popular trading platform, MetaQuotes now offers an upgraded platform known as MetaTrader 5 (MT5). MT5 offers everything MT4 does and more. If you are new to trading, you may wish to consider MT5 over MT4 as MT5 will cease having support in future and new brokers may stop offering it.
MetaTrader 5 offers the following:
21 timeframes based on 1-minute intervals and higher. Timeframes can be used simultaneously.
22 analytical objects
46 graphical objects
New order type – Stop limit order
Depth of market
Expert Advisors including new improved programming language (MQL5)
cTrader Forex Trading Platform
cTrader is an alternative platform for MT4. This is offered by Pepperstone only. Its main difference is the ability to personalise the interface for personal preference. Benefits include a more modern and attractive interface compared to MT4. This interface that can be customised and has detachable charting options.
Forex Platforms Conclusion
Both Pepperstone and AxiTrader online brokers offer the same range of features on the MT4 platform. Pepperstone, unlike AxiTrader, also offer MetaTrader 5 and cTrader. MetaTrader 5 in time will supersede MT4 so in time is likely to become the premier trading platform. For this reason, we recommend MT5. Overall, our best forex trading platform comparison found Pepperstone to be stronger in this area.
ECN Forex brokers are heavily reliant of fast execution speeds to provide you up to date quotes from liquidity markets. Lag issues when obtaining quotes and the execution of trades can lead to ‘slippage’ which means prices may have changed from the time of your order. Pepperstone and AxiTrader use different solutions to overcome ‘slippage’ issues.
An optic fibre connection for Enhanced Execution can achieve a potential maximum speed of 240ms. This is an improvement of 12x previous Pepperstone execution infrastructure.
Equinix Servers in New York next to liquidity pools to increase tenfold latency reduction. This is by minimising the distance between MT4 servers and other providers.
Pepperstone uses the most advanced infrastructure to achieve the best execution speeds. This means traders in can be confident ‘slippage’ risks are very low.
AxiTrader Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
In addition to solid infrastructure to obtain currency quotes and fast execution Axitrader offers VPS solutions. VPS allows traders access to their own (virtual) servers close major financial centres where liquidity providers are located. This helps overcome latency issues of ‘slippage’ caused by the distance between trader and liquidity provider. Traders can also benefit from VPS because the servers are running 24/7. No downtime is especially handy for traders using automation tools in order trade at all hours.
VPS providers offered by AxiTrader include ForexVPS, Metatrader VPS, Commercial Network Services, BeekSFX. Deals with each of the VPS providers are offered if trades reach a certain volume per month. AxiTrader will credit $35 each month more than 20 lots are traded towards ForexVPS or Commercial Network services.
The speed AxiTrader providers are suitable for most everyday forex traders. It’s only those these trade high volumes or uses automation that should consider using a VPS to maximise execution speeds helping avoid slippage and delays in filling orders.
Both Pepperstone and AxiTrader offer excellent solutions to achieve fast execution. AxiTrader use of a VPS gives is a slight edge while our best forex broker comparison found IC Markets to be the category leader. In reality, most ECN forex brokers have fast execution speed in a Pepperstone vs AxiTrader head-to-head, AxiTrader may have a slight edge on speed.
AxiTrader vs Pepperstone Leverage & Risk Management
Maximum leverage will vary depending on if you are trading from Europe and the UK or outside this region. Both Pepperstone and AxiTrader fall under the regulation of two jurisdictions. These are the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom (FCA).
Leverage for clients in the UK and Europe
If you are a retail client from the UK or Europe then you are going to trading with Pepperstone UK or AxiTrader UK. Both entities are compliant with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means the following maximum leverage is permitted
30:1 for major forex pairs and 20:1 for other currency pairs
Retail traders with FCA regulation will have guaranteed negative balance protection.
Leverage for clients outside the UK and Europe
If you join from outside the UK or Europe then you will likely be signing up with Pepperstone AU or AxiTrader AU. With Pepperstone you get 500:1 leverage and AxiTrader will give you a leverage of 400:1.
Pepperstone and AxiTrader use automated ‘margin call’ (also sometimes called ‘minimum balance protection‘). MT4 has a feature which seeks to exit forex traders before their account balance goes into negative. There is however no guarantee traders will be able to exit before the account goes into negative. Conservative and inexperienced traders will want to avoid forex trading when the forex market appears extremely volatile.
Both Pepperstone and AxiTrader also offer a stop loss feature within the MetaTrader 4 platform. A stop-loss order is an instruction to close your forex position when the forex reaches a set price. This can minimise a trader’s losses if the forex market does not move in their favour. Like with minimum balance protection, this is not guaranteed. easyMarkets offer guaranteed protection.
Lastly, both Pepperstone and AxiTrader have a take-profit option. Similar to stop losses this feature works on the same principle but in reverse. This means exiting after a position has been hit at a favourable pre-determined level.
Both Pepperstone and AxiTrader offer the same ‘default’ features that are available on the MT4 platform. Neither brokers offer specialised risk management tools such as guaranteed negative balance protection. If you require guaranteed protections then consider brokers such as easyMarkets and Plus500.
Conclusion On Leverage And Risk Management
Pepperstone and AxiTrader have the same risk management features. Pepperstone on the other hand, have a higher leverage level of up to 500:1. A trader though can request a lower leverage level. Based on this Pepperstone was the recommended broker.
Contract For Difference (CFDs) Comparison
When trading CFDs (contracts for difference) in our Pepperstone vs AxiTrader review both brokers were found to offer the following Contracts for Difference following:
Indices trading –
Axitrader – Choice of 17 Indices with all with 4% margin (China 50 has 12%)
AxiTrader – Choice of 14 futures with a margin ranging from 1 to 5%
Pepperstone: Choice of 14 Indices with leverage of 200:1 (0.50% margin)
AxiTrader – Choice of 3 commodities with a margin of 3%
Pepperstone – choice of 5 commodities with a margin of 2%
Precious metals – Gold/silver
Axitrader – Gold/Silver have 1% margin requirement, copper 3% margin. USD only
Pepperstone – Gold/Silver have a mix of 5 crosses with 0.2% margin, Platinum and Palladium 0.2% margin
AxiTrader – US and UK Crude with 4% margin, Brent Oil/WTI Oil /Gas – 1% – 3% margin
Pepperstone – Choice of 2 oils and 1 gas. Margin requirement is 0.2% to 1%.
AxiTrader – Choice of 6 cryptocurrencies with 80% margin requirement
Pepperstone – Choice of 5 cryptocurrencies with 20% margin (20:1 leverage)
Pepperstone also offers some CFDs that AxiTrader does not. These include:
Shares CFD – Choice of 60+ stocks on NYSE with leverage of 20:1 (5% margin) and cost of 0.02c per share.
Currency Index CFD – USDX basket with leverage of 100:1
AxiTrader vs Pepperstone Conclusion – Other CFDs
When we compared Pepperstone and AxiTrader for their CFDs offering we can make the following basic conclusions:
Pepperstone offers a wider range of CFDs than AxiTrader though AxiTrader does offer a few more options within each type of CFDs
Pepperstone margin (or leverage) requirements are more generous than AxiTrader
For this reason we feel that Pepperstone present a better option when it comes to choosing an online broker for CFDs.
Customer Service Comparison
A head-to-head Pepperstone vs AxiTrader on the surface seems to be a tie, with both offering:
The difference comes to the quality of the service provided with Pepperstone having a reputation for its outstanding customer service. In 2016 and 2017 their outstanding customer service was recognised when ‘Investment Trends’ awarded them number #1 for this category. Pepperstone customer support team consists of real traders therefore, they can help answer questions from both beginner and expert traders.
atoZforex.com found AxiTrader was the winner when it came to the 2017 industry award for the most reliable forex broker. This highlights the strong customer service offering provided by AxiTrader. Below shows some other awards and key dates since AxiTrader was founded in 2007.
AxiTrader vs Pepperstone Conclusion – Customer Service
While this category may seem close, the fact that Investment Trends which is judged by real Australian forex traders consistently awards Pepperstone as the leader for customer service led to them been awarded first.
Deposit and Withdrawals
Our Pepperstone vs AxiTrader comparison found Pepperstone having a greater range of financial providers for deposits and withdrawals. While both brokers offer POLi, Skrill, bPAY, Visa, Bank transfer, and MasterCard for debit cards and credit cards only Pepperstone offers PayPal and Union Pay.
When it comes to funding costs, with the exception of a $20 fee for bank wire with Pepperstone, neither broker charge fees for deposits or withdrawals
When a withdrawal request is made before 7:00 am it will process the amount the same day. After this time-slot, the forex trader will need to wait until the following working day. Withdrawals need to be made to the same account that funded the account. Withdrawals can take up to five working days to clear and be sent overseas.
AxiTrader doesn’t offer same-day withdrawals, rather all transfers will take one to two days to clear. International accounts like with Pepperstone can take up to five business days. Funds can only be withdrawn back into your account via Neteller or directly into the bank account you used to fund it.