Our Pepperstone vs XTB comparison found Pepperstone offers lower spreads with EUR/USD at 0.13 vs 0.30 for XTB. Pepperstone and XTB commission rate is $3.50 but Pepperstone offers rebates up to 15% for active traders.
Pepperstone and XTB are no dealing desk (NDD) brokers that both offer two main account types with either a commission or commission-free pricing structure. While account types are discussed in more detail in the next section, average forex spreads offered by XTB and Pepperstone are compared below.
XTB and Pepperstone both offer two main account types:
Commission-free spreads and accounts are convenient for those wanting to avoid complex fee calculations due to lack of experience or time. While spreads are generally wider than commission-based accounts, XTB and Pepperstone both offer competitive spreads to standard account holders.
As shown in the table below, Pepperstone offers the tightest standard spreads for the majority of major currency pairs (AUD/USD, AUD/JPY, EUR/JPY and USD/CAD) when compared to XTB and other top forex brokers. While XTB provides lower average spreads for the GBP/USD fx pair, it is only 0.04 pips less than Pepperstone spread of 1.44 pips.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
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Many traders prefer commission-free pricing as it allows them to trade institutional grade spreads that are much narrower than what is offered to standard account holders.
Both brokers offer ECN-like spreads to those signed up to a Razor Account (Pepperstone) or Pro Account (XTB). As spreads are low, traders pay flat-rate commission fees to compensate the broker for their services. Overall, Pepperstone charges lower commission fees, meaning Pepperstone clients are able to achieve greater net profits with lower trading costs than XTB traders.
When comparing XTB and Pepperstone’s average spreads for Pro and Raw account types, Pepperstone clearly offers significantly tighter spreads for the EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY and EUR/JPY. For those wanting to focus on the GBP/USD, there is little difference between the average spreads offered by Pepperstone and XTB.
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Although both brokers offer competitive spreads for commission and no commission accounts, Pepperstone wins overall by providing access to the tightest average spreads for the majority of currency pairs. With both standard and ECN-style pricing, Pepperstone offers the lowest spreads for all but one of the major forex pairs listed above. As well as lower spreads, Pepperstone wins this round as its commission fees are also lower than XTB’s.
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XTB and Pepperstone offer a similar choice of account types, with a commission-free or commission account type available. As well as standard and ECN-style accounts, both brokers allow traders of Islamic faith to sign up to XTB’s Islamic account, or Pepperstone’s Swap-Free Account.
Apart from spreads and commission fees, Razor and Standard Accounts offer similar features in terms of minimum deposit requirements, leverage limits and account fees.
Regardless of account type, no minimum deposit is enforced by Pepperstone, although the broker recommends depositing $200 initially. When setting up your Razor or Standard Account, you can choose one of the following base currencies: GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, JPY, CAD, CHF, SGD and HKD.
As a Pepperstone customer, the maximum leverage you can trade with depends on the subsidiary you are registered with:
As with Pepperstone, the key difference between XTB’s Standard and Pro account types are spreads and commission costs.
XTB minimum deposit requirements differ depending on where you are located. UK traders are required to make an initial minimum deposit of £250, after which they can deposit any amount.
XTB customers located elsewhere are not required to initially deposit a specific amount. When setting up your XTB trading account, only four base currencies are available, being the EUR, GBP, USD and HUF.
As mentioned above, the XTB subsidiary you are trading determines the leverage you can use when trading forex. Those registered with XTB’s UK, European, Spanish or Polish branches will be offered maximum leverage of 30:1 while international traders signed up to the IFSC regulated branch are offered up to 500:1.
Traders following Islamic finance practises where interest cannot be accrued or paid may require a swap-free or Islamic account types when trading forex and CFDs. Both brokers offer a swap-free account type, with XTB charging flat-rate fees to Islamic traders and Pepperstone providing a no commission swap-free option.
XTB offers an Islamic Account option although spreads are wider and commission fees much higher than Standard and Pro account types. While Islamic traders incur no swap rates, commission fees are $10 per side, significantly higher than the broker’s Pro account type. Likewise, minimum spreads start from 0.7 pips, wider than the XTB’s no commission standard spreads. As well as high trading costs, XTB’s Islamic account holders face the restriction of not being able to trade Cryptocurrencies.
Pepperstone’s Swap Free account type was designed for those who cannot pay or receive swap rates for religious reasons. Similar to the broker’s Standard pricing, the interest-free account offers average spreads of 1.0-1.2 pips and no commission fees.
When setting up a swap-free account, traders can choose from fewer base currencies than Pepperstone’s other accounts, with only AUD, GBP, USD and the EUR available. As with Pepperstone’s Standard and Razor accounts, swap-free accounts incur admin charges when positions are held open for longer than 10 days.
For those wanting tight ECN-like spreads with low commission fees, Pepperstone’s Razor account is a great option. Whether you want to run EAs, implement scalping strategies or take advantage of 0.0 pip minimum spreads, Pepperstone offers instutional-style trading conditions and pricing.
Compared to market maker brokers that fill orders internally with its own liquidity, no dealing desk (NDD) brokers such as Pepperstone and XTB offer Straight Through Processing(STP) to connect traders directly to external liquidity sources without a middleman. While market makers often set their own prices, NDD brokers pass on prices from multiple institutional sources, allowing traders to access ultra-tight spreads and excellent trading conditions.
As an NDD broker that executes orders with straight-through-processing, Pepperstone processes customers trades with no dealing desk intervention. To fill customers orders, Pepperstone utilises 22 top-tier liquidity providers. With no intermediary and multiple sources of liquidity, the potential for experiencing delays and lags is greatly reduced when trading with Pepperstone.
XTB is an NDD broker that uses both STP and electronic communications network (ECN) execution. As an NDD STP/ECN broker orders are filled by external liquidity sources similarly to Pepperstone. In XTB’s case, liquidity is delivered via X Open Hub, a white label liquidity provider for institutional market participants such as brokers and banks.
As well as tight spreads and STP execution with no dealing desk, Pepperstone offers ultra-fast order processing with the majority of trades executed in less than 30 ms. With Equinix servers located in New York and London, Pepperstone traders are efficiently connected to the interbank network while experiencing minimal slippage and lag.
The broker’s quick average execution speeds combined with its top-tier liquidity providers create ideal trading conditions if you are using expert advisors or implementing day trading or scalping strategies.
As well as providing liquidity, X Open Hub ensures XTB’s orders are executed quickly with low latency. XTB promotes no requotes with orders executed at an average speed of 33 ms.
While both Pepperstone and XTB are no dealing desk (NDD) brokers that provide excellent trading conditions with ECN-style pricing, Pepperstone’s execution speeds are significantly quicker than XTB’s. As Pepperstone processes orders faster and seeks its prices from 22 top-tier liquidity providers, overall Pepperstone offers the best trading conditions with low spreads and fast order execution.
Both brokers offer a wide range of financial instruments with the ability to trade forex, cryptocurrencies* and shares, among other asset classes. The maximum leverage offered by XTB and Pepperstone varies depending on the financial instrument you are trading as well as where you reside (certain financial authorities such as ASIC, the FCA and CySEC enforcing leverage caps).
*NOTE: Under new FCA guidlines, UK retail traders are no longer able to trade cryptocurrencies.
Pepperstone offers low-cost trading on a number of asset classes. With over 150 financial instruments to choose from, traders can easily develop well-diversified trading strategies that can include forex, index, commodity, cryptocurrency and share CFDs.
For those wanting to focus on forex trading, Pepperstone provides over 61 major, minor and exotic currency pairs. As discussed above, maximum leverage depends on your location while spreads differ between Pepperstone account types.
In addition to standard currency pairs, customers gain market access to three currency index CFDs (US Dollar Index, Euro Dollar Index and Japanese Yen Index) that are measured against a basket of currencies. For instance, the US Dollar Index (USDX) is measured against six major currencies such as the EUR, JPY and GBP.
Pepperstone offers six major cryptocurrencies with no commission fees. When trading Bitcoin, spreads start from $10.00, while minimum spreads for Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum and Dash range from $1.00-4.00.
MetaTrader 5 users gain access to over 60 share CFDs. As the broker doesn’t widen bid/ask prices for stock CFDs, traders pay a low commission fee of USD 0.02 per side per share when opening or closing a position.
As well as forex, share and cryptocurrency CFDs, Pepperstone clients can trade commodities such as precious metals, soft commodities, energy products and indices from global stock exchanges.
In particular, Pepperstone’s precious metal offering is excellent. As well as gold and silver against the USD, customers can also trade gold and silver crosses against the EUR, AUD, GBP and CHF.
XTB offers impressive market access with over 1,500 financial instruments. Although XTB offers an extensive number of CFDs, the broker provides significantly fewer forex pairs compared to the best brokers.
XTB offers a limited selection of forex products with only 49 currency pairs available. Unlike Pepperstone, the broker does not offer any currency index CFDs.
XTB traders gain impressive access to Cryptocurrency markets with nine crypto CFDs and 16 crypto crosses available. Individual cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ripple Etherclassic and Bitcoin Cash, while examples of crosses are Tron/Ethereum, Litecoin/Bitcoin and Bitcoin Coin/Bitcoin.
Through xStation 5, XTB customers can access a wide range of equities and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the form of CFDs. Over 1772 share CFDs and 60 ETF CFDs are available with commission costs starting from 0.08%. XTB clients using MT4 will not be able to trade share or ETF asset classes.
In addition to forex, cryptocurrencies, shares and ETFs, XTB offers 22 commodities and 42 indices. Commodity CFDs are derived from products such as oil, gas, softs, metals and t-notes while index CFDs include the US500, FTSE and AUS200 among many others.
Pepperstone and XTB both provide excellent market access to a range of asset classes, yet XTB’s extensive collection of cryptocurrency and share CFDs means they offer the best CFD product range. Although XTB offers a larger collection of CFDs overall, if you are wanting to focus on forex trading Pepperstone is better suited as they provide access to a greater number of currency pairs.
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Pepperstone traders based in Europe or the United Kingdom have the option of spread betting rather than trading CFDs. At this stage, XTB fails to offer any spread betting services.
Spread betting is a form of speculation where you bet on a range of different outcomes regarding whether an assets price will increase or decrease. When spread betting, you decide on the stake you want to take along with how much you want to bet per price movement.
Although both CFD trading and spread betting involve speculating on whether an assets price will rise or fall one of the key differences between trading styles is tax liabilities. While both trading styles are exempt from stamp duties, profits from trading CFDs are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) while spread betting is not CGT liable and therefore more tax efficient.
Pepperstone’s FCA regulated subsidiary offers spread betting to those residing in Europe and the UK. Trading conditions are similar to CFD trading with low spreads and fast execution, with MT4, MT5 and cTrader available as trading platform options. When spread betting with Pepperstone traders pay no commission fees on top of the spread. As well as forex, spread betting is commission-free for indices, shares and commodities.
While XTB does not offer spread betting, UK and European Pepperstone customers can execute forex, share, commodity and index spread betting strategies. Spread betting with Pepperstone is commission-free with profits exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT), making it a tax-efficient style of trading.
View Pepperstone UK Review >>Visit Pepperstone UK>>
Both brokers provide clients with a choice of trading platforms that suit different traders needs and preferences. Pepperstone offers the three gold standards trading platforms for retail traders: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader. XTB, on the other hand, provides access to either MT4 or its proprietary platform, xStation 5.
MT4, MT5, cTrader and xStation 5 are available on the following devices:
Pepperstone offers the three top retail trading platforms currently on the market, being MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader. Advanced technical analysis, automated trading and risk management tools are available on all platforms, although there are key differences to consider when choosing your Pepperstone platform.
Predominately a forex trading platform, MT4 is still popular with those wanting to develop trading strategies that focus on forex. Although MT4 provides a wide range of trading tools sufficient for many investors, unlike MetaTrader 5 (MT5), MT4 users are not able to access and trade share CFD markets.
MetaTrader 4 key features include:
As well as a wide range of preinstalled trading tools, MT4 and MT5 users can download Pepperstone’s Smart Trader Tools. The add-on package includes 28 different EAs and indicators such as an alarm manager, sentiment trader and mini terminal.
MT5 offers a significant number of improvements over its predecessor. As mentioned above, traders can trade a wider range of asset classes including share CFDs, a feature favoured by many Pepperstone customers. MT5 provides the same trading tools as MT4 as well as the following enhancements:
cTrader is a user-friendly forex trading platform suited to those wanting an institutional-grade trading environment. As with MetaTrader platforms, algorithmic trading strategies known as cBots can be developing using the C# programming language. cTrader trading tools and features include:
As an XTB customer, traders can choose between MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and the broker’s proprietary platform, xStation 5.
XTB’s MetaTrader 4 offering is very similar to Pepperstone’s with the same charting and automated trading tools available. As Pepperstone’s Smart Trader Tools are a proprietary package of add-ons, XTB customers cannot install these additional EAs and technical indicators.
As MT4 is predominately a forex, index and commodity CFD trading platform, XTB customers are restricted to a limited CFD range when using the platform, with no stocks or ETFs available.
XTB’s proprietary software, xStation 5, is an easy-to-use trading platform with full access to the broker’s extensive product range, including shares and ETFs. As well as customisable charting and analysis tools, xStation 5 users can utilise the following features when trading:
While both brokers offer excellent trading platforms, Pepperstone is the only broker to offer MetaTrader 5 (MT5). As well as the ability to trade shares and cryptocurrency, MT5 users gain access to a wider range of technical analysis features and enhanced algorithmic trading tools. With multi-currency backtesting for EAs, greater market access and more order types, MT5 and Pepperstone win this round.
Both XTB and Pepperstone are overseen by multiple top-tier regulators around the globe. While the level of investor protection you receive varies between jurisdictions, trading with a regulated broker is strongly recommended to reduce the high risk of trading.
Most financial authorities in countries such as the United Kingdom, Dubai, Australia and Europe require broker’s to follow strict guidelines, i.e segregating client funds, to ensure retail traders account balances are protected while brokerage services are fair and competitive.
Traders are able to register with one of three Pepperstone subsidiaries:
The level of investor protection you receive depends on the subsidiary you are trading with. European Union traders receive protection via the FCA’s investor protection fund, where retail investor accounts receive up to £85,000 in the unlikely event Pepperstone becomes insolvent.
Overseen by five financial authorities, XTB is viewed as a highly regulated broker and with additional transparency due to the broker being listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. XTB regulators include:
As with Pepperstone, the level of investor protection you receive depends on where you reside and the XTB entity you are trading CFDs with:
With oversight from multiple top-tier financial authorities and investor protection for many regions, XTB and Pepperstone are both viewed as safe, trusted brokers and therefore tie this round.
As trading complex instruments such as forex and CFDs come with a high risk of losing money, you can utilise a broker’s risk management tools to reduce your exposure. Regulatory requirements such as negative balance protection can assist traders to minimise losses, yet not all locations are provided with such protection.
Additionally, order types can be used as useful risk management tools and are available to all traders, regardless of location.
When trading with Pepperstone, the order types available depend on the trading platform you are using. As well as basic market orders where a CFD is bought or sold at the current market price, pending orders can be placed for a financial instrument to be bought or sold at a predefined price in the future. If you are executing trades on MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or cTrader, the following pending order types can be placed:
Pepperstone clients who have chosen MetaTrader 5 as their trading platform are also able to use the following pending order types to manage risk:
Pepperstone’s European and UK traders registered with the broker’s FCA regulated subsidiary are provided negative balance protection, as required by UK financial regulation.
Negative balance protection (NBP) ensures customers cannot lose more than they deposit into their trading account by automatically closing all open orders if a traders account balance falls to zero. This allows customers to trade forex and CFDs knowing that they cannot end up owing Pepperstone money. As NBP is an FCA requirement yet not enforced in locations such as Australia or Dubai, only UK and European Pepperstone clients are protected by NBP.
Practising trading on a demo account is an incredibly useful risk management tool, regardless of whether you are a novice trader or experienced investor. As demo accounts provide access to current market conditions, trading strategies can be tested and optimised against real-time data. Additionally, beginner traders can familiarise themselves with the platform features such as technical analysis tools and order types in a risk-free environment.
Pepperstone offers a free demo account where users are provided with a virtual trading balance of $50,000, with access granted for 30 days.
To reduce the high risk when trading CFDs and forex, XTB customers can use different pending order types on MetaTrader 4 and xStation 5. As with Pepperstone MT4 traders, limit orders and stop-loss orders are available for XTB MT4 users. xStation 5 traders gain the additional pending order type of trailing stop-loss orders, yet these are not available on the xStation mobile app.
As with Pepperstone, those based in the European Union are provided negative balance protection by XTB, yet traders residing outside the EU do not receive such protection.
When practising trading forex and CFDs via an XTB demo account, you are provided with a virtual account balance of $100,000 and four weeks of access. Demo accounts are available on both xStation 5 and MetaTrader 4 with 24/6 customer support.
XTB and Pepperstone offer a similar selection of risk management features. Both brokers provide negative balance protection to European and UK customers, with a range of order types available to all traders. Limit and stop-loss orders can be placed on MT4, with trailing stop-loss orders available on both MT5 and xStation 5. As both brokers offer the same order types and NBP, they tie in regards to risk management tools.
Pepperstone charges no deposit fees for bank transfer, credit card, debit card and e-wallet payment methods. Depending on where you reside – Visa, Mastercard, bank transfer, Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, POLi, BPay and UnionPay payment options are available. The same methods are available for withdrawing funds, yet if you are based outside Australia or Europe, a $20 withdrawal fee will apply.
XTB offers credit card, e-wallet and bank transfer payment options when depositing and withdrawing funds from your trading account. Depending on the deposit method you choose, the following fees will apply:
When funding your XTB trading account, certain e-wallet payment methods may not be available.
Both XTB and Pepperstone offer a great range of traditional and e-wallet payment methods to make deposits and withdrawals. As funding via e-wallets is fee-free when trading with Pepperstone, while XTB incur funding fees, Pepperstone offers the best funding methods overall.
Pepperstone offers award-winning customer that is available 24 hours a day, Sunday to Friday. You can contact Pepperstone via live chat, email and phone, with the multilingual customer service team consistently providing quick and relevant responses.
Email, phone and live chat contact methods can be used to get in touch with XTB, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Although phone and live chat are efficient, emails are not often replied to. If you are based in Europe customer support is restricted to 24/5, while anyone outside of Europe can contact the broker 24/7.
To expand your forex trading knowledge, Pepperstone offers live webinars, tutorials, extensive articles and a trading glossary. Live webinars are frequently uploaded to the broker’s Youtube channel, covering topics such as technical analysis, strategy development and risk management.
For those new to trading, an introductory MetaTrader 4 course is freely available online, The MT4 course explains how to use the platform, place orders and install the broker’s Smart Trader Tools.
As well as an excellent collection of educational resources, Pepperstone offers tools for fundamental analysis such as an economic calendar, market news and financial market analysis conducted by the broker’s inhouse analysis team.
XTB’s online ‘Trading Academy’ consists of a wide range of educational resources. Trading platform tutorials, webinars, ebooks, articles and videos are available and designed for beginner and intermediate traders, with advanced resources coming soon.
As with Pepperstone, XTB offers fundamental analysis and research resources such as an economic calendar as well as market sentiment and news.
When Pepperstone and XTB’s customer support and education are compared, Pepperstone offers the best customer service overall. As well as award-winning and efficient customer support, the broker offers an extensive range of educational resources, including webinars, training courses and articles developed by experts.
XTB and Pepperstone are regulated brokers offering similar pricing structures, trading platforms and risk management tools. When the two top brokers go head to head, Pepperstone wins overall due to its ECN-style spreads that can be as low as 0.0 pips plus low commission fees. To supplement its institutional-grade pricing, Pepperstone provides access to excellent trading platforms, customer support, educational resources and fee-free funding methods.
In addition to low-cost CFD trading, Pepperstone clients based in the UK or Europe have to option of spread betting, a tax-efficient style of trading that is not subject to capital gains tax.
Pepperstone’s best features include:
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.