Our Pepperstone review found the broker offers a superior trading experience vs IC Markets across MetaTrader and cTrader. IC Markets offers lower spreads on the EUR/USD vs Pepperstone who offer lower AUD/USD currency pair spreads.
Both Pepperstone and IC Markets offer ECN broker account types. This allows straight-through processing (STP) of orders with no marked-up spreads. A commission is added to trades based on the volume traded. They both offer a standard account as well but this results in higher overall trading fees (similar to a market maker) and is not compared below.
Currently, IC Markets has the lowest spreads of any forex broker worldwide. This is based on the published April 2021 average spreads as shown in the comparison table below.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
While neither forex broker adds a markup, IC Markets may have superior spreads due to a larger network of liquidity providers from financial institutions to deep pools. This included the more traded EUR/USD currency pair. The global network, volume and technology are key reasons leading to them becoming the lowest spread forex broker.
Both brokers charge similar commissions on their ECN accounts. Pepperstone Razor Account
Pepperstone a standard and razor account. The Razor account is superior with:
IC Markets offer a standard and raw spread account. The Raw account is superior with:
IC Markets is the lowest spread forex broker worldwide. This is based on their published average spreads which combined with low commissions gives them lower fees vs Pepperstone. The calculator below which also factors current forex crosses supports this conclusion.
Both Pepperstone and IC Markets offer MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), and cTrader. These solutions are suitable for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android as desktop or web trader platforms as well as mobile apps.
MT4 is the most commonly used forex platform in the world. Since most brokers offer this platform, there are low barriers to switching brokers. MetaTrader 4 has an:
Smart Trader Tools is a Pepperstone MT4 enhancement which boasts 10 main features such as:
Overall, Smart Trader Tools offers Pepperstone traders using MetaTrader 4 with decision assistance combined with sophisticated trade management and execution. Market data is also transmitted to traders, while alarms help notify traders of key market events.
Advanced Trading Tools in our IC Markets review was IC Markets answer to Smart Trader Tools with 20 features. Advanced Trading Tools contains all the features Smart Trader Tools offer but includes additional features:
Overall, we found Pepperstone was the best MetaTrader4 broker and completed a full MetaTrader 4 comparison detailing why this is the case.
Compare MetaTrader 4 Brokers >>
MetaTrader 5 is designed for CFD trading. Both Pepperstone and IC Markets offer Share CFD trading and therefore offer MT5. Below is a table comparing the differences:
Compare MetaTrader 5 Brokers >>
Our MetaTrader 5 comparison found that IC Markets was the best broker for this CFD platform.
Both brokers offer MT Webtrader which is MetaTrader platform for mobile trading. WebTrader offers many of the features available on MT4 but designed to better handle the natural limitations mobiles will have due to size.
cTrader is an alternative trading platform for MetaTrader. The platform is generally considered to have superior technical charting options than MetaTrader along with offer faster execution. Key features of cTrader include
If you are looking to trade other derivatives than forex pairs then cTrader might not be the best option. This is because cTrader is not designed for CFD and cryptocurrency trading. Its strength is in forex.
Both brokers offer a range of social, copy and mirror trading platforms. Pepperstone offers MyFxBook, ZuluTrade, MirrorTrader, RoboX, MetaTrader Signals and DupliTrade. IC offers MyFxBook AutoTrade and ZuluTrade.
Pepperstone is the winner for the forex platform category based on the unique software features offered, fast execution speeds and additional trading platform enhancements.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
Both IC Markets and Pepperstone achieve the fastest execution speed in the industry by using dedicated fibre optic cable. Faster execution speeds help prevents ‘slippage’ occurring.
Pepperstone Edge Technology when it comes faster and better-trading consist of the following:
Overall, Pepperstone has very solid features when it comes to execution speeds. Use of dedicated cables and best technology will give traders confidence transaction processing will not suffer delays or lags.
IC Markets technology is very similar to Pepperstone’s. Both use very similar fibre optic technology and have the same one-click trading feature, but the low latency technology differs.
Overall IC Markets offer an excellent range of advanced technology to achieve very fast order execution speeds with low latency on major currency pairs. IC Markets state on their website they 100% guarantees their execution.
Our tests found Pepperstone had the fastest market order execution speeds.
Pepperstone Limited published that most trades were executed in less than 30ms. Based on this and test results, IC Markets slippage will be higher making Pepperstone superior for high-speed traders (eg scalping traders/automation).
Both Pepperstone and IC Markets boast a vast array of Contracts for Difference (CFDs) on top of forex. This is not the same as share trading, which you can compare on the Pepperstone vs IG page. IC Markets’ range of CFDs is greater however, Pepperstone is not an ‘all in one’ financial broker and therefore offers a more limited range when compared with IC Markets. Both ECN style providers offer:
Both Pepperstone and IC Markets offer these cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin while IC Markets also offers Ripple. Both brokers offer leverage of 5:1. See our comparison with Plus500 for a broker with a large range of CFDs.
IC Markets, unlike Pepperstone, also offers the following:
Crude oil and many other commodities can be traded with fast execution speeds and low spreads.
IC Markets are an All in One Broker. If having access to all types of CFDs is important, then IC Markets is likely our preferred broker when looking at CFDs in isolation. Click the button below if you want to discover trading CFDs with a leading CFD provider.
Open a demo account >>Visit IC Markets >>
Both brokers are considered safe and trusted due to being regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities. Each financial regulator and jurisdiction enforce different rules for retail CFD and forex trading.
IC Markets cater to a global client base with subsidiaries in 3 major financial hubs:
Pepperstone operates 7 different subsidiaries in the following jurisdictions:
When choosing a CFD and forex broker, there are many features to consider, one of which is the financial jurisdiction the broker is located. If you want to trade forex with high leverage, you may not receive investor protection policies such as negative balance protection (as discussed below). See the video below to learn more about choosing a forex broker.
While both online brokers are overseen by multiple top-tier financial regulators, Pepperstone is the clear winner with 7 subsidiaries compared to IC Markets 3 branches. Both brokers have a strong presence in Europe and Australia with CySEC and ASIC financial services license, yet Pepperstone also operates in the UK under FCA regulation as well.
Pepperstone and IC offer risk management feature in the form of order types and investor protection policies. As both brokers operate multiple subsidiaries, the level of investor protection you will receive varies depending on where you reside and the branch you are trading with.
Regardless of the broker or subsidiary you sign up to, your trading account balance will be held in a bank account that is segregated from the broker’s operational capital. Segregated client funds protect your money in the case a broker becomes insolvent and is common practice throughout the world.
Those trading with IC Markets CySEC regulated branch, and Pepperstone’s CySEC, BaFIN and FCA regulated branches will receive negative balance protection (NBP). NBP ensures your trading account balance can not enter a negative balance if the market moves against you. This means you will never end up owing money to IC Markets or Pepperstone, as your open positions will automatically be closed before your balance hits zero.
While NBP is only required in European and UK financial jurisdictions, ASIC is introducing stricter CFD and forex trading rules including NBP from April 2021.
Both Pepperstone and IC Markets lack premium pending order types. However, there are standard order types like limit and stop orders available on all trading platform options. I.e:
It should be noted that CFDs are complex instruments involving high risk due to leverage. Retail investor accounts can lead traders to high losses even with risk management features such as stop-loss orders in certain trading conditions. It’s important to understand the risks before trading.
Both brokers focus on intermediate to advanced traders and lack risk management tools that some beginner brokers offer (while charging higher fees). From a reputation standpoint, Pepperstone has the most sort after top-tier regulation with the FCA in the UK and CySEC in Europe that both enforce negative balance protection.
Both Pepperstone and IC Markets boast live chat, phone and email customer support. Pepperstone’s customer service is award-winning, while IC Markets has a 24/7 server and a greater range of help desk tools.
Pepperstone Pepperstone has developed a strong reputation for excellent customer service. “Investment Trends” have awarded Pepperstone as number #1 for customers services. Pepperstone customer service team in Australia consists of individuals who trade themselves. This means clients can have confidence that support understands issues and concerns for all types of traders. This customer service level has helped Pepperstone reviews achieve a score of 4.4 out of 5 on TrustPilot from 595 respondent.
Pepperstone award-winning customer support is complemented by excellent trading education resources that include trading guides, webinars, MetaTrader 4 course, forex trading course, market news and more.
IC Markets customer support team have 3 offerings that Pepperstone don’t have. These are:
Pepperstone has superior customer service based on our analysis and the number of third-party rewards (such as Investment Trends) over the past five years. While structurally both brokers have similar contact points, the quality of the customer service team at Pepperstone makes them the best forex broker globally for the category.
Our review found both forex brokers were the same in this category. Neither Pepperstone nor IC Markets charge fees for deposits or withdrawals, but international institutions may charge a fee. Both brokers have very similar funding policies the main difference is the hours one can place a withdrawal request and expect to receive the payment the same day.
Pepperstone Minimum Deposit
The minimum deposit is $200 for Pepperstone. This applies to their Standard, Razor and Islamic Account.
If a withdrawal request is received before 7:00 am AEST, then the withdrawal will be processed the same day otherwise. If received after 7:00 then the withdrawal will be processed the next day. Any bank account connected to a Pepperstone trading account will receive the funds (this needs to be first-party).
A credit card can also be used for withdrawals if the amount matches or is less than the deposited amount. If a withdrawal is more than deposited amount then an alternative withdrawal method will be needed. Bank wire transfers take on average 3 to 5 business days to settle.
IC Markets Minimum Deposit
The minimum deposit is $200 for IC Markets. This applies to their Standard, Raw and Islamic Account.
If a client wishes to receive a withdrawal of funds on the same day, then a request must be submitted before midday Australian Eastern Standard Time. If a withdrawal request is submitted later than this time then funding will be deposited into clients the next business day.
Both IC Markets and Pepperstone accept similar payment methods. This includes Skrill, Paypal and Neteller. Traders who select AUD base currency (in Australia) can use bPay for fast free transfers. Both brokers offer UnionPay, but IC Markets only offer it when RMB base currency is selected. IC Markets also offer Rapidpay and Klarna for GBP base currency accounts only.
Some base currencies including NZD, JPY, CAD and CHF have the most limited deposit and withdrawal options so it’s worth viewing the broker site first before opening an account.
The overall winner is Pepperstone, who is recommended for those considering the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader5 or the cTrader platform. This was based on their trading platforms, execution speeds and superior customer service. Pepperstone is also regulated in more locations including the UK, Australia and Dubai with several pending regulation certifications.
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.