Commission-Free trading is popular with beginner traders. Our XM vs FOREXTIME (FXTM) forex broker comparison found both brokers offer trading accounts with spread-only conditions.
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XM and FXTM are regulated CFD brokers that offer a range of trading instruments, platform options, and account types. With different business structures (market maker vs no dealing desk) there are key differences between the two brokers that traders should be aware of before they open an account and start trading.
XM is a market maker broker that sets its own bid-ask prices and uses internal liquidity to fill orders. Unusual for a market maker, XM offers the guarantee of no requotes, will 100% of trades being processed with no orders rejected.
FXTM is a no dealing desk (NDD) broker with orders processed using straight-through-processing (STP). No dealing desk brokers fill orders using external liquidity providers and therefore do not set their own bid-ask prices. Instead, prices are sourced from multiple liquidity sources, allowing traders to access institutional trading conditions with ECN-like pricing.
Both brokers offer the choice of commission-free and commission account spreads. Commission-free spreads tend to be wider as compensation for the broker’s services are included in the spread, while no commission accounts provide access to ECN-like spreads with traders paying flat-rate commission fees. As explained in the section below, XM and FXTM offer a significant number of account types with different spreads depending on a traders location and the trading platform they use.
For those wanting a simple pricing structure with no additional commission fee charges, XM and FXTM offer multiple commission-free account options. Although not available to traders based in Europe or the UK, XM’s Ultra Low Account type provides access to some of the tightest no commission spreads available to retail investor accounts. Averaging 0.80 pips for the EUR/USD fx pair, XM’s Ultra Low spreads are half of what is offered to XM Standard and FXTM’s Standard and ECN Zero account holders, making the pricing similar to ECN-spreads when commission charges are included.
As well as the EUR/USD, XM’s Ultra-Low Account offers the best spreads across all major currency pairs shown below (AUD/USD, USD/JPY and EUR/GBP) with better pricing than some of the worlds best brokers such as Pepperstone and IC Markets. The account types are shown in the following order:
Commission-Free Average Spreads EUR/USDAUD/USDEUR/GBPEUR/JPYUSD/CADAUD/JPYGBP/USDUSD/JPYUSD/SGD EUR/USDAUD/USDEUR/GBPEUR/JPYUSD/CADAUD/JPYGBP/USDUSD/JPYUSD/SGD EUR/USDAUD/USDEUR/GBPEUR/JPYUSD/CADAUD/JPYGBP/USDUSD/JPYUSD/SGD EUR/USDAUD/USDEUR/GBPEUR/JPYUSD/CADAUD/JPYGBP/USDUSD/JPYUSD/SGD EUR/USDAUD/USDEUR/GBPEUR/JPYUSD/CADAUD/JPYGBP/USDUSD/JPYUSD/SGD 0.80 1.10 1.10 1.20 1.20 1.70 1.80 2.00 2.30 2.20 1.90 2.00 2.40 2.30 2.50 2.10 2.10 2.40 2.40 2.70 2.40 2.50 3.00 2.90 3.10 2.10 2.10 2.70 2.50 2.80 0.69 0.77 1.27 1.30 0.95 0.62 0.77 1.27 1.30 0.85Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
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When XM and FXTM’s commission account types are compared, XM’s Zero Account (UK and Europe only) provides more competitive spreads for the EUR/USD and GBP/USD currency pairs, with FXTM’s MT4 ECN account providing tighter spreads for the USD/JPY. For instance, traders using an XM Zero Account are offered average spreads of 0.10 pips for the EUR/USD, FXTM ECN accounts using either MT4 or MT5 are offered 0.40 pips.
As spreads are much narrower than standard account spreads, traders pay round turn commission fees of $7 when trading with XM and from $4 when trading with FXTM. While XM and FXTM provide reasonable ECN-style spreads, brokers such as Pepperstone and IC Markets offer better pricing with tighter spreads and low commission fees across all major currency pairs.
The spread table below shows XM’s Zero Account, FXTM’s MT4 ECN account, and FXTM’s MT5 ECN account compared to other top brokers.
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As well as spreads and commission fees, XM and FXTM traders will incur swap fees for positions held open for longer than one day. Also known as overnight financing fees, swap rates are derived from interest rates for each currency pair involved in the trade.
If you trade infrequently, another trading cost to consider is inactivity fees. If you do not make a trade for a specific length of time, XM and FXTM will charge your trading account an $5 inactivity fee.
With tight no commission spreads as well as competitive ECN-style spreads, XM traders gain access to better pricing and trading conditions than ForexTime. Although a market maker, XM’s Ultra-Low Account type (not available to EU/UK traders) provides spreads similar to ECN pricing when commission costs are accounted for, while the broker’s Zero Account (UK/EU only) offers ECN-style spreads. Additionally, XM promotes a no requote guarantee, meaning traders are certain their orders will never be rejected.
View XM Review >>Visit XM >>
Both brokers offer a choice of commission or commission-free account types, although availability is dependent on your location and the broker’s local regulator.
Commission-free account types are ideal for beginner traders wanting a simple pricing structure along with those who trade infrequently. Although spreads are wider than ECN Accounts, traders only pay the spread with no additional commission costs incurred. Both XM and FXTM offer multiple no commission account types with different lot sizes and minimum deposits.
XM’s Micro Account requires a low minimum deposit and allows traders to make more precise trades with smaller contract sizes. Traders pay no commission fees, with minimum spreads of 1.0 pip on major forex pairs.
XM’s standard account provides minimum spreads of 1.0 pip. Although spreads are wider, traders do not pay any commission fees, with the simple fee structure suiting beginner traders or those who do not trade forex regularly.
For those residing outside of Europe and the United Kingdom, XM’s Ultra-Low Account is a commission-free option with tighter spreads than the broker’s Standard or Micro Accounts. Contract sizes are flexible with both standard and micro lot sizes available.
Minimum spreads are as low as 0.6 pips and with no additional commission costs on top of the spread, overall trading costs are similar to an ECN trading account.
The broker’s Cent Account is a great option for those wanting to trade smaller volumes due to lower account balances or inexperience. With minimum spreads of 1.5 pips, pricing is less competitive than ECN-style accounts, yet traders pay no additional commission fees on top of the spread.
When placing orders, Cent Account holders have increased control over their trade sizes and can choose between micro-lots (0.01), mini lots (0.1) or standard lots (1).
FXTM’s Standard Account offers commission-free spreads as low as 1.3 pips. When signed up to the broker’s standard account, customers are required to use the MT4 trading platform.
The broker’s ECN Zero Account is similar to its pure ECN Account, except traders pay no commission fees on top of the spread. Due to this, minimum spreads are higher, starting from 1.5 pips. As with FXTM’s Cent Account, the ECN Zero Account smaller offers contract sizes for more precise trading.
Those wanting an ECN-style trading environment may prefer XM’s Zero Account or FXTM’s ECN Account. The commission accounts offer access to ultra-tight spreads, with traders paying a flat-rate commission fee as compensation to the broker. With low spreads and commission fees, the ECN-like accounts are excellent choices for those using Expert Advisors or executing day trading and scalping strategies.
XM’s Zero Account is similar to an ECN account with minimum spreads of 0.0 pips, and as with all account types, XM guarantees no requotes on all orders. As traders gain access to ECN-style spreads, commission fees are $3.5 per side per $100,000 traded.
FXTM’s ECN Account allows customers to trade tight spreads similar to institutional-grade pricing. Although the account type is available when using MT4 or MT5, different commission fees apply for each platform. While MT5 users pay a flat rate commission fee of $4 round-turn, those using MT4 pay commission fees based on their equity levels and trading volume as shown below.
Both XM and FXTM offer Swap-Free Accounts for traders following Islamic finance practices. As Islamic traders can not pay or receive interest, swap-free accounts do not charge interest based overnight financing fees (aka swap fees).
XM provides Islamic Account options for Micro, Standard and Ultra-Low account types. While some of the best brokers widen Islamic Account spreads to compensate for the loss in swap fees, XM promotes no widened spreads or hidden fees.
FXTM offers swap-free options for Standard, Cent, ECN and ECN Zero Accounts. When trading with FXTM, swap-free account holders are required to use MT4, with no access granted to MT5. Additionally, you are only able to trade major and minor currency pairs, with no exotic fx pairs available to swap-free accounts.
Leverage for traders in Australia and Europe is in line with the requirements of the regulator ASIC, FCA and CySEC.
This means leverage will range from 2:1 to 30:1 depending on the derivative you are trading.
Traders outside these regions can use a leverage ratio of up to 1:888 as the IFSC have more relaxed leverage requirements.
FXTM offers a tiered system that is also dependent on an order’s value, yet the leverage offered is fixed.
As with XM, FXTM traders based in the UK and Europe are only offered leverage of 30:1 as required by the FCA and CySEC.
FXTM clients residing elsewhere are offered much higher leverage than most brokers offer, with a maximum of 2000:1 on major currency pairs. As shown below, the value of your order determines your leverage. For instance, if the value of your trade equates to more than $2M, you are confined to a leverage limit of 200:1.
As leverage enhances gains and magnifies losses, clients should be aware of the high risk of trading with such significant leverage.
With low minimum deposits, tight spreads plus flexible commission and contract sizes, XM offer the best range of account types with both commission-free and ECN-style pricing available. Although XM’s Zero account is only available to traders based in Europe or the UK, traders outside of this area can still access ECN-like spreads via the broker’s Ultra-Low account.
XM and FXTM both offer the choice of either MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5). The trading platforms are two of the most popular worldwide due to their algorithmic trading capabilities using Expert Advisors.
MT4 and MT5 are compatible with a range of devices, with desktop and webtrader platforms available, as well as mobile trading apps for Android and iOS devices.
Designed to facilitate forex trading for retail investor accounts, MT4 offers a range of trading tools to help users conduct analysis and develop strategies. Although the gold standard of forex trading platforms, market access is limited when compared to MT5 as share trading is not permitted.
Key features include:
While MT5 provides a similar trading environment to MT4, there are certain benefits over its predecessor, such as wider market access, improvements to EAs and more trading tools:
As both XM and ForexTime offer MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5), the brokers tie this round. Regardless of whether you choose XM or FXTM, you are able to automate trading using Expert Advisors and conduct advanced research on the platforms. Most traders prefer MT5 as it offers greater market access along with several improvements over MT4 such as improved backtesting and more charting tools.
View FXTM Review >>Visit FXTM>>
XM and FXTM are both overseen by multiple top-tier financial authorities. As regulation varies between jurisdictions, the investor protection you receive depends on the subsidiary you are signed up to.
When trading forex with XM, customers can sign up to one of five different subsidiaries that are regulated by different financial authorities:
ForexTime operates four different subsidiaries around the world:
Following FCA and CySEC regulation, traders receive investor protection up to £85,000 and €20,000, respectively. The investor protection insurance schemes ensure that in the case that XM or FXTM become insolvent, traders can receive a certain amount of compensation to cover losses. If you are trading with FXTM or XM outside of Europe and the UK, you will not receive protection via investor compensation schemes.
As both XM and FXTM are overseen by multiple top-tier financial authorities, they are viewed by the forex trading community as well-respected and trusted online brokers. The level of investor protection you receive when trading with XM or FXTM depends on your country of residence and the subsidiary you are signed up to, with European and UK traders receiving the strongest protection worldwide.
Both brokers offer various tools to reduce the high risk of CFD and forex trading. In addition to policies such as negative balance protection, order types can be used to minimise losses and maximise profits on individual trades.
Money management is the most important aspect of trading. Having a sound money management system will make a huge difference in your profits. It will help improve your performance and minimize your losses. – XM
As XM and FXTM customers have a choice of either MT4 or MT5, the same trading platform risk management tools are available with both brokers. While neither broker offers premium orders such as guaranteed stop-loss orders (GSLOs), traders are able to place the following pending order types when using MetaTrader platforms:
While brokers regulated by the FCA and CySEC are legally required to provide traders with negative balance protection, all XM customers receive NBP regardless of their location or the subsidiary they are trading with.
Negative balance protection (NBP) is a policy that protects traders from becoming indebted to a broker if their account balance falls below zero. When markets are volatile and an account balance enters a negative balance, XM will close all open positions, eliminating the risk of traders losing more money than they initially deposited.
If you are an EU or UK trader, FXTM will provide negative balance protection. Yet, unlike XM, this is not applicable to traders residing outside of Europe. Although not all FXTM traders receive negative balance protection, the order types explained above can be used to minimise the high risk associated with forex and CFD trading.
In addition to trading with a regulated broker and using order types to manage risk, traders can utilise the demo accounts offered by XM and FXTM as risk management technique.
Demo accounts provide a risk-free environment to practice and optimise trading strategies against real market conditions, allowing traders to build confidence and experience before trading with real money. As CFDs and forex are complex instruments, even the most experienced traders can benefit from testing strategies with demo accounts.
As XM offers negative balance protection to all their customers, not just those required by FCA and CySEC regulation, they provide the best risk management tools when compared to FXTM. With MT4 and MT5 order types and NBP, XM traders are offered an excellent selection of tools to manage the high risk that comes with trading forex and CFDs.
XM and FXTM are CFD brokers that provide market access to a range of asset classes in addition to forex. Both brokers offer a diverse range of trading instruments, with Share CFD trading available on MetaTrader 5 only.
As well as trading forex with XM, customers can develop trading strategies that include equity indices, commodities and share CFDs.
As an FXTM customer, you can trade CFDs on commodities, equity indices, precious metals, stocks and cryptocurrencies.
While FXTM offers cryptocurrencies, traders based in the UK and trading with the broker’s FCA regulated subsidiary will not be able to access cryptos. The FCA recently banned UK retail traders from accessing cryptocurrency markets.
Overall, XM and FXTM tie this round. Both brokers offer a great range of CFDs, each having a key strength and weakness in regards to market access. XM customers are provided with access to over 1,000+ Share CFDs, yet fail to offer any Crypto products. On the other hand, FXTM provides access to five major Cryptocurrency markets but fewer Shares and Forex pairs than XM.
XM customers can get in touch with the online broker via live chat phone or email. Customer support representatives are available 24 hours a day, 5 days.
FXTM provides prompt service, yet customer support teams are only available 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. The broker can be contacted via live chat, phone, email and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
With a free forex education course, live webinars and a range of videos available online, XM offer excellent educational resources for beginners to advanced traders.
XM offers a vast collection of fundamental research tools providing a research centre with market analysis that includes:
FXTM offers educational materials suitable for all levels of experience, including e-books, webinars, tutorials and a glossary. As well as the wide range of resources available at www.forextime.com, the broker hosts live seminars in countries where FXTM has offices.
When researching financial markets, traders can use FXTM’s market outlooks, forex news, and an economic calendar to find trading opportunities.
XM offers the best customer support with 24/5 customer service, excellent educational resources, and research tools. Beginner to advanced XM customers can increase their knowledge of financial markets via webinars, Q&As and courses, as well as using a range of tools to conduct market analysis.
When trading forex with XM, customers can withdraw and deposit funds using:
Although a wide range of funding methods are offered by XM, availability varies depending on your location. The majority of payment options are fee-free, yet if you transfer less than $200 by bank transfer you will incur a $20 fee.
When making withdrawals, XM will transfer the funds via the same methods they were deposited. For instance, if you use Bitcoin to make deposits, you are only able to withdraw funds via Bitcoin.
Depending on your XM account type, you will be able to choose one of the following base currencies when setting up your trading account:
To deposit and withdraw funds from your FXTM trading account can use credit card, e-wallet or bank transfer payment methods.
FXTM’s funding methods are fee-free, although third party fees may apply. For Skrill and Neteller e-wallet options, VIP programs are available where the e-wallet providers charge reduced transaction costs.
To start trading, FXTM requires traders to choose a trading account base currency. When based in the UK or Europe, customers can select either the EUR, USD or GBP, with Cent accounts using the US Cent, EU Cent or GBP Pence. For those residing outside of Europe and the UK, the additional option of NGN (or NGN Kobo) is offered as a base currency.
Both brokers offer a range of traditional and e-wallet payment options that are mostly fee-free. With a substantially larger selection of base currencies to choose from, XM offers the most convenient funding methods overall.
Although a market maker with dealing desk execution, XM offers tight spreads and guarantees no requotes. In combination with negative balance protection for all traders, top-tier oversight plus a range of trading accounts and CFDs, XM’s excellent trading conditions are better overall when compared to FXTM. Although XM wins overall when the two brokers go head to head, an advantage to trading with FXTM is that the broker offers Cryptocurrency CFD trading, while XM does not.
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.