Forex broker Saxo Markets are a market maker who offer 2 custom trading platforms, 9000 CFDs including 675 ETFs and 105 forex currency pairs and Stocks but no Cryptocurrencies, Pepperstone offers 5 Cryptos, 61 forex pairs, MetaTrader 4 and cTrader platforms along with ECN + STP style execution.
Saxo Capital Markets (Saxo Markets) and Pepperstone are both globally recognised top forex brokers. Saxo Markets is owned by Saxo Bank Group, A Danish company regulated by 10 different top tier regulators, while Pepperstone is an Australian broker, regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission) and DFSA (Dubai).
In this comparison, we review the two brokers’ different pricing structures, trading platforms and market access to determine which is the best broker for retail forex traders.
When comparing Saxo Markets and Pepperstone’s spreads, it is important to note the different commission and pricing structure each broker offers.
Pepperstone is a leading No Dealing Desk (NDD) broker that allows clients to trade with fixed spreads (Standard Account) or variable spreads (Razor Account) in an STP/ECN-like trading environment. You can view the Razor vs Standard account table if you want to understand the difference between the two account types.
On the other hand, Saxo Markets is a Market Maker and therefore only offers fixed spreads, and these spreads can vary from current market prices. Saxo Markets and Pepperstone’s fixed spreads are wider yet inclusive of commission, while Pepperstone’s variable spreads are tighter and incur a flat rate commission fee. Both brokers provide market access to a comprehensive selection of currency pairs, with Pepperstone offering over 61 and Saxo Markets 182 fx pairs.
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The table below shows the fixed no commission spreads offered by Saxo Markets, Pepperstone and other major online brokers. Saxo Markets offers narrower spreads for EUR/USD and AUD/USD currency pairs, while Pepperstone is more competitive with USD/CAD, GBP/USD and EUR/JPY. The data has been taken from the broker’s website and is updated each month.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
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In the following table, Pepperstone’s ECN-type Razor account is compared to top forex brokers with No Dealing Desk execution and flat-rate commission. As Saxo Markets only offers no-commission fixed spreads, the online broker is not included in this comparison. Like with the spread only table, data is taken from the broker’s website and checked and updated each month.
Pepperstone offers the narrowest spread in four out of five major currency pairs listed below. While brokers such as IC Markets and FP Markets provide access to spreads as low as 0.10 pips on the EUR/USD forex pair, Pepperstone is a fraction behind offering spreads of 0.13 pips. Although customers are paying round-turn commission fees, the institutional-grade spreads mean even with a flat-rate fee, trading is cheaper than when paying all-inclusive fixed spreads.
When trading no commission spreads with Saxo Markets or Pepperstone, commission charges are included in the spread, meaning there are no additional commission fees.
For those wanting to trade Pepperstone’s ultra-tight ECN-style spreads, orders carry a round-turn commission charge starting from AUD $7 round-turn per 100k traded when using MT4 or MT5. If you are using cTrader, commission costs equate to 0.0035% of the base currency being traded (i.e. €3.50 if you are trading 100,000 units of the EUR/USD).
Swap Rates, or overnight financing fees, apply to all spreads and commission fee structures for positions held longer than one day. For traders of Islamic faith, swap-free accounts are offered by both Pepperstone and Saxo Markets. In accordance with Sharia Law, Islamic account holders pay a flat-rate financing fee rather than paying and receiving interest.
When trading with Saxo Markets, clients can choose between a Classic, Platinum and VIP account type. All tiers offer fixed forex spreads, with high-volume active traders being rewarded through lower trading costs. Platinum traders will pay lower fees and tighter spreads than Classic account holders and receive priority customer support. While VIP clients receive Platinum benefits plus direct access to Saxo Markets customer service team and trading experts, as well as the brokers VIP network and exclusive events.
Unlike Saxo Markets, Pepperstone customers can only choose between a commission-free Standard account or an ECN-type Razor account.
A Standard account is suited to new traders as commission charges are included in spreads, simplifying fee calculations. When trading through a Pepperstone Razor account, customers gain access to ultra-tight spreads and pay a $7 round turn commission fee per 100k traded. While the pricing structure varies, both account types offer the same customer support and trading platform options.
For active traders’, Pepperstone’s premium account service provides rewards to those trading high volumes (over USD $15 million per month). Benefits include a dedicated account manager, investment advice, premium rebates, invites to VIP events and advanced trading tools.
When comparing the different account types, Pepperstone’s comes out on top. The forex broker’s Razor account offers institutional grade spreads and low commission fees, while Saxo Markets clients’ pay much higher spreads with limited Platinum and VIP benefits.
Initial minimum deposit requirements differ dramatically between Pepperstone and Saxo Markets. When trading with Pepperstone, both a Standard account and Razor account type require an AUD $200 minimum deposit. When compared to Pepperstone, Saxo Markets minimum deposit requirements are much higher. To open a Classic account, an initial deposit of USD $10,000 is required, ruling out the online broker as an option for many new forex traders. To open a Platinum account, an initial deposit of USD $200,000 is needed, while a VIP account requires USD $1 million.
Pepperstone and Saxo Markets clients gain access to very different trading platforms. When trading with Saxo Markets, clients can choose either desktop, web or mobile versions of the broker’s proprietary platform, while Pepperstone customers can trade using one of the 3 largest platforms worldwide – MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 or cTrader.
Saxo Markets’ proprietary platforms offer a range of advanced trading tools and order types. The SaxoTraderGO platform is suitable for all levels of experience and is user friendly for those new to trading while also offering advanced trading tools required by active traders. The SaxoTraderGO platform is available as a Webtrader platform or as a mobile trading app, compatible with iOS and Android devices.
SaxoTraderPRO is designed for experienced traders wanting a multi-screen desktop interface. With multiple order types and in-depth analysis tools, complex trading strategies can be developed and executed in a professional environment. Beginner traders are better suited to use Plus500’s web-based trading platform, which has a user-friendly interface.
Pepperstone clients can choose from the 3 best trading platforms available to retail investor accounts. When choosing between cTrader, MT4 and MT5, Pepperstone customers need to consider what account type and asset classes they want to trade.
cTrader is only available to Razor account holders and offers an institutional-grade trading environment.
Both Standard and Razor account holders can use either MetaQuotes platform. MT4 is the gold standard of retail trading platforms and is highly regarded for its advanced technical analysis tools, Expert Advisor (EA) features, Smart Trader Tools and Autochartist.
While MT4 is the most popular platform amongst forex traders, MT5 allows Pepperstone customers to trade Share CFDs, which are not offered on MT4.
cTrader, along with both MetaQuotes platforms, are available as Webtrader interfaces or trading apps compatible with Android and iOS devices.
Pepperstone’s trading platform options are hard to beat as the broker offers the 3 most popular platforms available across all devices(MAC, Windows, mobile Apps). Although Saxo Markets proprietary platform is comprehensive, MT4, MT5 and cTrader provide the most advanced automated trading and technical analysis tools for forex traders. Therefore, Pepperstone is the winner.
While Pepperstone’s product range focuses on forex pairs, clients can also trade Index CFDs, Share CFDs, Commodities, Currency Index CFDs as well as Cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, Saxo Markets offers some of the most diverse market access available to retail investor accounts.
Both online brokers operate multiple subsidiaries throughout the world, and the leverage you can trade with depends on the local authorities’ regulation. If you sign up to Pepperstone’s global branch regulated by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB), you’ll gain access to the highest leverage offered by the broker. For forex, this is 500:1 for Pepperstone’s SCB firm, and 30:1 or less for Saxo subsidiaries in Europe and the UK, as well as Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
Pepperstone’s (SCB) leverage caps are lower for indices. But with no commission fees and leverage up to 200:1, Pepperstone clients can easily diversify their investment portfolios with access to 14 different Stock Index CFDs. For traders who prefer a Currency Index, clients can trade the USDX with a maximum leverage of 100:1.
While Pepperstone clients’ pay lower commissions fees, Saxo Markets customers’ gain access to an extensive product catalogue. Traders can choose from thousands of CFDs derived from assets such as Commodities, ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), Futures, Bonds, Listed Options and Mutual Funds.
Unlike the rest of Pepperstone’s product range, to trade Share CFDs Pepperstone clients are restricted to the MetaTrader 5 trading platform. When using MT5, traders gain access to over 60 different stocks with commission fees as low as USD $0.02 per share.
When trading with Saxo Markets, customers gain access to over 8,800 Stocks. Commission fees vary according to the location of the exchange, for instance, ASX (Australia Securities Exchange) Shares carry a 0.10% commission fee, while SGX (Singapore Exchange) commission fees are 0.20% per trade.
Pepperstone offers access to 5 cryptocurrency CFDs with tight spreads and no commissions. Clients can trade Dash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, yet due to the high-risk nature of Cryptocurrency markets, financial authorities cap leverage at different levels.
Pepperstone’s SCB regulated entity offers crypto leverage of 5:1. But, Saxo and Pepperstone’s ASIC regulated subsidiaries can only offer a maximum leverage of 2:1 for cryptocurrency, while the UK’s FCA does not allow crypto trading at all for retail investor accounts.
Saxo Markets offers two cryptocurrencies as Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) – Bitcoin and Ethereum. The high risk of Crypto CFD trading is reduced as ETNs are not traded on leverage.
Disclaimer: In accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) ban on crypto CFD trading, both forex brokers have stopped offering cryptocurrency trading to UK retail clients. However, clients from the rest of the world where there are no such restrictions are still welcomed to speculate on the price movement of various crypto assets.
While Pepperstone clients gain access to more than enough asset classes and products to develop diversified trading strategies, Saxo Markets wins this round due to the CFD brokers catalogue of thousands of financial instruments.
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Pepperstone offers users’ a range of social-copy trading tools to automate trading. The third-party providers allow clients to copy trades and strategies of popular traders, reducing time spent conducting analysis and developing strategies.
Unlike Pepperstone, Saxo Markets does not offer social-copy trading tools for automated trading strategies. With Saxo Markets offering no such service, and Pepperstone providing five different third-party providers, Pepperstone is the clear winner of this round.
Pepperstone and Saxo Markets both charge no deposit and withdrawal fees for the majority of the broker’s funding methods.
Although Saxo Markets does not charge deposit fees, unfortunately, the broker does not offer electronic wallet deposit methods, with traders restricted to funding their accounts via bank transfers and credit or debit cards (Visa or Mastercard). To withdraw funds, Saxo Markets clients are limited to bank transfers, Saxo Markets do no charge fee for this.
On the other hand, Pepperstone a diverse range of deposit and withdrawal methods consisting of bank transfer, credit card and e-wallet methods. Withdrawals and deposits can be made free of charge, except for International Transfers that carry an AUD $20 fee. Funding methods include Bank Transfer, Visa, Mastercard, Union Pay, POLi, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal and BPay.
Both brokers offer a wider range of base currencies than competitors. While Pepperstone allows customers to set up a trading account with one of 9 currencies, Saxo Markets offers 19 different currency options.
While Saxo Markets provide a wider range of base currencies to choose from, Pepperstone offers a far greater selection of deposit and withdrawal methods, making them the winner of this round.
Pepperstone is known for its award-winning multilingual customer service, with the forex broker offering 24/5 assistance via live chat, phone and email. As well as customer support, Pepperstone provides a range of educational materials, including online webinars, courses and training guides.
Although Saxo Markets offers also offers 24/5 support in multiple languages, the service is limited to phone and email. The lack of live chat is a major flaw in Saxo Markets’ customer service, with the chatbot FAQ less helpful than direct contact through a Saxo Markets representative. Like Pepperstone, Saxo Markets provides customers with a range of educational resources such as webinars and the Saxo Academy.
When comparing Pepperstone and Saxo Markets, Pepperstone provides superior customer service due to offering a wider range of contact methods and educational materials.
Yes, by all industry standards, Pepperstone is considered to be a safe forex broker. Headquartered in Australia, Pepperstone is a leading global forex broker regulated in 5 tier-one jurisdictions (ASIC, FCA, CySEC, BaFin, and DFSA). Pepperstone offers the most popular trading platforms (MT4, MT5, cTrader), an award-winning customer support service, great educational content and fast and easy funding methods.
USD 200 is the minimum deposit recommended by Pepperstone. However, Pepperstone doesn’t enforce a strict minimum deposit policy and clients are welcomed to fund their account with less than USD 200. Pepperstone supports 9 different funding (credit/debit cards, bank transfer, PayPal, Skrill, POLi, etc.) and withdrawal methods to make it easy for clients to fund their live trading account.
Yes, Pepperstone is considered to be a true ECN broker that sources its bids/asks prices from tier-one liquidity providers. Pepperstone Razor account can boast competitive spreads starting from 0.0 pips and lightning-fast speed execution of 30ms. The ECN model used by Pepperstone eliminates any conflict of interest as client orders are matched directly with the liquidity providers.
Compare the best ECN forex brokers 8 Best MT4 ECN Brokers 2021 Guide to help you choose an ECN broker.
When Pepperstone and Saxo Markets go head to head, Pepperstone is the clear winner in the majority of categories. Pepperstone is one of the best forex brokers due to its tight ECN-like spreads, low trading fees, and an excellent selection of trading platforms (MT4, MT5 and cTrader).
For those wanting to explore a brokers’ features and platforms prior to trading with real money, demo accounts are available with both Pepperstone and Saxo 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.