South African Forex traders can reduce brokerage by choosing an ECN forex broker with STP that has low spreads, commissions and no funding costs. The lowest spread brokers below offer the best forex trading platforms such a MetaTrader 4 and are regulated by FSCA, ASIC, FCA or CYSEC.
By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
See the complete top 7 low spread forex brokers in South Africa 2020. The lowest EUR/USD spread can start from 0.0 pips and zero commission on CFD trading:
IC Markets – Lowest Spread Forex Broker
Pepperstone – Lowest Commission Forex Broker
City Index – Low CFDs Broker Costs
Plus500 – Best Beginner Forex Trading Platform
FXTM – Best Currency Pairs Range
HotForex – Highest Leverage Forex Broker
CMC Markets – Best Share and Foreign Exchange Broker
Our team of experts at Compare Forex Brokers is regarded as the go-to authority on broker review content. Below we’ve put our expertise at work to find the best South African Forex Brokers with low spread, low commissions and overall low total trading costs.
In South Africa, IC Markets is one of the lowest spread forex brokers. Trading CFDs and the currency pairs can be done with tight spreads as low as:
0 pips on the commission-based account (aka the Raw Spread account)
1.0 pips on the Standard account
In total, IC Markets offer 3 account types for SA traders:
Raw Spread Account on cTrader platform
Raw Spread Account on MetaTrader platform
Standard Account (with variable spread)
IC Markets Raw Spreads Accounts
The first two trading accounts are commission-based, where forex traders pay a round-turn commission of $3.5 per 100,000 units traded respectively $3.0 per standard lot. While these IC Markets trading accounts advertise zero spread, the truth is that you still have to pay the interbank market spread. In this regard, the real trading costs include the ”per lot” commission and a fixed spread. Additionally, South African residents need to factor in the inherent slippage. There is no guarantee that your order will be filled at the desired price when trading conditions aren’t normal.
Below we’ve listed the average spreads on the most popular currency pairs:
EUR/USD average spread of 0.1 pips
GBP/USD average spread of 0.4 pips
USD/ZAR average spread of 23.9 pips
EUR/ZAR average spread of 442.5 pips
Comparing Spreads with other South African Forex Brokers
IC Markets (RAW)
IC Markets Variable Spread Account
The Standard Account can be considered a type of variable spread account. IC Markets can offer low spreads on the Standard account due to its wide network of tire one liquidity providers. In total IC Markets source its quotes from over 25 different liquidity providers. Unlike the ECN pricing model, the standard account comes with markup spreads.
The lowest spread on EUR/USD is 1.0 pips but the average spread is 1.1 pips. At the same time, the USD/ZAR minimum spread is 1.0 pip while the average spread is 24.9 pips. You can view below a more detailed picture of the lower spreads that come with IC Markets trading accounts.
The bid-ask spread, which is the difference between the buy price and sell price is higher on the Standard Account. That is how IC Markets is able to generate a profit. You can view it as the cost of doing business in the foreign exchange market.
Summary of IC Markets Spreads
South African residents can trade with IC Markets’ competitive spreads on over 232 financial instruments including Forex currency pairs, indices CFDs, commodities CFDs, stocks CFDs, bonds CFDs, futures CFDs and cryptocurrencies CFDs. Additionally of being a low spread broker, IC Markets offers SA traders the following advantages:
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
10 / 10
10 / 10
9 / 10
5 / 10
Range of Markets
8 / 10
10 / 10
Pepperstone Is the Lowest Commission Forex Broker
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Pepperstone is the biggest Australian-based broker regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Besides being an ASIC regulated broker, Pepperstone has its FSCA license in pending mode (FSP number 49497). Our team of industry experts surveyed dozen low spread brokers and concluded that in terms of the commission charged, Pepperstone ranks as the best forex brokers in South Africa.
If you’re looking for the lowest commissions in the Forex industry, South African residents can choose between two account types:
Standard Account – with zero commission feature
Razor Account – commission-based account
The standard account gives you commission-free trading on over 150+ instruments. The minimum trading commission starts from $3.5 per 100,000 units traded or $7 round-turn on Forex currency pairs. For trading CFDs on shares, the commission starts from as low as $0.02. Below you can discover the market-leading commissions and fees charged by Pepperstone across three powerful trading platforms:
MetaTrader 4 platform comes with $3.5 per 1 standard lot traded
MetaTrader 5 platform comes with $3.76 per 100,000 units traded
cTrader platform comes with a flat fee of 7 units per 1 standard lot
Compare below the lowest spreads offered by Pepperstone trading account types(Spreads calculated from July – September 2019).
Minimum Spreads (19/12/2019)
Pepperstone Razor Account
Pepperstone Standard Account
The commission-based model offered by Pepperstone provides ECN trading style. Pepperstone price engines connect South African traders to multiple liquidity sources without dealing desk intervention. Pepperstone aggregates the price quotes from 22 tier-one liquidity providers. The deep network of liquidity providers allows Pepperstone to provide lightning-fast order execution as low as 30 milliseconds. For active traders that enjoy scalping, the execution speed can be an extra edge.
When assessed the best forex brokers in South Africa suitable for scalping Pepperstone came in first mainly due to two trading features:
A small difference between the ask price and the bid price
Fast order execution
Earning Rebates with Pepperstone
South African Forex traders have the options to reduce the commission paid through the Active Trader program. Only SA traders that can generate a minimum monthly volume of 200 lots can qualify for the program. Not many forex brokers can save you in Forex commissions up to 15% or $200 – $500 typical monthly rebate.
Summary of Pepperstone Commissions
The Pepperstone commissions vary by the trading platform being used. Additionally, Pepperstone offers competitive spreads 24/5 even during low volume trading conditions. Overall, our team of experts recommends forex trading with Pepperstone’s award-winning trading platforms. Grab your free demo account by clicking the button below and start trading under the same market conditions without risking your hard-earned money.
The total costs of CFD trading can add up over time and eat from your profits. Among the South African forex brokers, the most competitive commissions on CFD trading are offered by City Index. Regulated across three continents, Citi Index abides by the standard norms imposed by the ASIC in Australia and FCA in the UK. When conducted our review, our team of experts couldn’t attach an FSCA license to this brand name. The main disadvantage of lacking FSCA license is that it won’t be able to offer ZAR accounts.
City Index offers SA traders a transparent pricing model. You’ll know upfront the total trading costs before opening a trade. Below you can see an unbiased review of the CFD spreads and commissions charged by City index.
Commission Free CFD Trading
Using Contract for Difference (CFD) to trade financial instruments like Forex currency pairs, indices, commodities, and bonds come with no commissions. However, South African traders need to pay the fixed and variable spreads offered by City index. Like all the low spread brokers, City Index keeps the difference between the bid price and the ask price very tight.
City Index offer access to 84 major and minor currency pairs with minimum spreads starts from 0.5 pips on EUR/USD. At the same time, the average spread on USD/ZAR is quite high at 170.2. On the negative side, we’ve noted a limited number of ZAR crosses among the available instruments through City Index.
Shares CFD Trading
Trading Shares CFDs require paying a commission. City Index’s shares CFDs commissions are contingent two factors:
The market traded
The overall value of the trade
The CFD commissions are a double way street. Basically, CFD brokers will charge you a fee when you open a share deal as well as when you close a share deal. South African traders can gain access to over 4,500 global shares from across 3 continents (Europe, Asia and America).
For example, when trading US shares you’ll either be charged a minimum commission of $25 or a flat fee of 0.15%. City Index will charge you the one CFD commission that is greater between the two.
Overnight Financing Commissions
All low spread forex broker passes on to the retail investors additional charges if South African forex traders want to hold an overnight position. The financing rate or swap rates are set using the interest rate benchmarks LIBOR +/- 2.5%. Below you can view an example of how to calculate the swap rate.
Additional Costs of CFD Trading
When you short CFD shares, a borrowing cost is charged on your live account. Compared to other brokers, City Index charges SA traders with a borrowing cost for holding overnight stock CFD positions. It’s important to mention that some stocks are shortable without incurring the borrowing charge.
Summary of City Index CFD Costs
With over 35 years of trading experience serving clients all over the world, City Index offers decent commissions and fees. South African traders may find better financial services elsewhere if they are looking to trade South African equities. Test City Index by opting for a FREE demo account with no strings attached.
Plus500 Has The Best Beginner Forex Trading Platform
Our team of experts at Compare Forex Brokers awarded Plus500 for offering the best beginner Forex trading platform. This online CFD provider developed a user-friendly proprietary trading platform that caters to beginner forex traders. Plus500’s beginner trading platform gained the most points in our scoring system because of the following reasons:
Regulated platform by tier-one agencies (ASIC, CySEC, FSCA and FCA)
Top-of-the-line copy trading platforms
+2,000 financial instruments
Guaranteed Stop – helps beginners minimize risk
Zero commission trading
A rich educational resources
All the above-mentioned advantages are attractive trading features that can guide South African beginner traders in the foreign exchange market. Additionally, the easy-to-navigate trading app is available at no extra cost.
Plus500 Commission-Free Trading
Trading with Plus500 has the advantage that of zero-commission trading, including zero fees on:
Open and close a trade
Real-time forex quotes
Free forex charts
At Plus500, the company makes money by simply charging the bid/ask spread. Compared to other South African forex brokers, the spreads can be seen quite high. For example, the EUR/USD currency pair can have a low spread of 0.6 pips, while the USD/ZAR average spread is 85 pips.
Summary of Pluss500 Beginner’s Trading Platform
The big attraction for Plus500 is the prestige of being listed on the London Stock Exchange LSE. With customer support available even during the weekend, novice traders can get help around the clock 24/7. South African traders can gain access to a wide range of CFD products with a minimum deposit of Rand 1,500 for debit and credit card. If you want to investigate the key elements of Plus500 fees and commissions, our team of experts has spent countless hours to break down for you the Pluss500 pricing structure.
Out of all forex brokers surveyed, ForexTime FXTM is probably the most exclusive in terms of its range of currency pairs offered for trading. FXTM is the forex broker with the most currency pairs available for South African traders. SA traders can speculate on the Forex market through the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. Here’s a look at the most popular currency pairs offered by FXTM:
Major currency pairs (EUR/USD, GBP/USD and AUD/USD)
Minor currency pairs (AUD/CAD, AUD/CHF and EUR/GBP)
Exotic currency pairs (GBP/SGD, USD/MXN and USD/ZAR)
ForexTime can be classified in the category of low spread forex brokers operating in South Africa. Our devoted team of investment and business professionals reviewed below the impressive advantages that come with an FXTM live account.
Reduced Spreads – Up to 65% Discount
Since the beginning of 2018, FXTM offered on the ECN MT5 account institutional-grade spreads. South African traders can gain access to the low spread currency pairs only if they can afford a minimum deposit of $25,000. The second disadvantage is that the $25,000 account balance threshold need to be maintained at all times to benefit from the low spreads. For example, the average live spreads for the USD/ZAR pair is 62.9 pips. Below you can compare the reduced spreads offered by FXTM.
Fast Order Execution Speed
The No Dealing Desk (NDD) technology supported by FXTM ensures record-breaking execution speed. Many of the South African forex brokers we evaluated can provide fast execution. However, the FXTM ECN Pro Account is able to boost order speed as fast as 53 milliseconds. Pepperstone’s lightning-fast order execution of 30 milliseconds remains unbeatable. Below you can compare the average execution speed across the different FXTM account types.
Positive Slippage 95.50% of the Time
The latest data compiled in November 2019, shows that most FXTM clients benefited from positive slippage. FXTM’s price technology can offer South African forex traders the following 2 advantages:
95.50% of the take-profit orders have been triggered at better prices
4.50% of stop-loss orders received reduced negative slippage
Only 2.79% of Rejected Orders
FXTM connects SA traders to a wide network of liquidity providers that keeps the bid and ask prices very tight. Coupled with the STP (Straight Through Processing) technology of matching orders, this ensures that you will rarely receive requotes. Below you can study the re-quote rate over the past year.
Summary FXTM’s Best Range of Currency Pairs
All statistical data have been backed and measured by one of the world’s largest auditing firm PwC. Additionally, FXTM is a globally regulated and licensed forex broker by the local regulatory body FSCA, CySEC, IFSC, FCA and registered in over 18 EU countries. South African traders can trade across 6 different ECN accounts while their funds are protected by the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF).
HotForex Has The Highest Leverage
One of the major forex brokers operating in South Africa with high leverage is HotForex. Forex traders in South Africa can trade the forex exchange market with leverage of 1000:1. Additionally, the HF Markets list of products also includes Contracts For Difference CFDs on a wide range of assets including:
Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple)
Spot Metals (Gold and Silver)
Energies (Crude Oil)
Commodities (Coffee and Cotton)
Indices (US SPX500, Australia 200)
Bonds (US 10-year Treasury Note)
Stock Shares (Google, Amazon, Apple)
We also investigated if the maximum leverage differs on the markets being traded. Our team of experts took the review process one step forward and broke down the different types of leverage compared to other SA forex brokers.
IC Markets Leverage
IG Markets Leverage
25:1 to 200:1
Retail investors in South Africa have the options to open a live trading account across 5 different account types with variable spreads that can be as low as 0.1 pips for EUR/USD. The minimum deposit is also on the low side. SA traders only need to deposit $50 equivalent in the domestic currency Rand.
Zero Spread Account
HF Markets offer a low-cost trading solution through its Zero Spread Account. Forex traders in South Africa can gain access to Raw spreads with EUR/USD spread starting at 0.0 pips with a minimum deposit of $200 or equivalent in South African Rand. For a complete review of the top South African forex brokers that support ZAR deposit read our full review here: Forex Brokers With Zar Accounts.
Below you can review the type of commission charged on the Zero Spread account.
Summary HotForex The Highest Leverage FX Broker
Trading leveraged products involve a high risk of losing money. However, your funds with HotForex are protected due to the negative balance protection policy. HotForex is able to offer a high level of leverage because FSCA follows relaxed leverage regulations. HotForex only manages to offer superior leverage for Forex trading. At the same time, the CFD trading leverage is very poor. South African traders are better trading CFDs with other SA regulated brokers.
List of the Best SA High Leverage Forex Brokers
SA Forex Broker
CMC Markets Has The Best Share And Foreign Exchange Facilities
CMC Markets is a UK-based online CFD provider listed on the London Stock Exchange LSE. As an FCA-regulated broker, CMC Markets offers South African residents access to thousands of CFD instruments directly through their own proprietary trading platform Next Generation. SA forex traders can go long or short on the following CFD contracts:
Forex Currency Pairs (over 330 Spot and Forward pairs)
Stock Indices (90 indices instruments)
Cryptocurrencies (12 digital currency pairs)
Commodities (30 instruments)
Shares (+9,400 stocks)
Treasuries (over 45 treasury CFDs)
The minimum spread on the EUR/USD pair is 0.7 pips while the USD/ZAR bid-ask spread is 85.0 pips. At the same time, the CFD shares commissions start from 0.1%. Additionally, there are also some extra CFD costs associated with holding costs, market data fees, commissions, GSLO charges and dormant account charges.
Next Generation Platform – award-winning, in-house developed by CMC Markets’ experts
MetaTrader 4 – the world’s most popular trading platform
The software tech solution and trading tools offered by CMC Markets are diverse and tailored to suit the needs of new traders as well as for advanced traders. Our experts investigated the platform-tools and the most unique features include:
Client Sentiment Tool – Help you gain insights in real-time of CMC Markets’ clients long and short positions. You have the option to filter the sentiment ratio and only view the data from the most successful forex traders.
Multiple Layouts – The Forex trading platform can be organized more efficiently with multiple layouts (up to 5 layouts).
Pattern Recognition Scanner – This platform trading tool can recognize over 120 chart patterns.
Price Projection Box – This unique tool will highlight potential stop loss and take profit levels based on each individual price pattern.
Advanced Order Execution – This tool gives you flexible options to manage your risk. More advanced features include a guaranteed stop-loss order, partially close trades, go long and short at the same time, boundary orders, execution alerts and account close-out.
Summary CMC Markets Best Foreign Exchange Platform
The award-winning trading platform and tools offered by CMC Market are available across all devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) including a browser-based Webtrader platform. CMC Markets offer a competitive solution to develop your personal trading strategy through its industry-leading charting package. The only downside is that you can run your Expert Advisors (EAs) since the MetaTrader 4 platform is not offered by CMC Markets.
Low Spread Broker FAQs
Which Brokers In SA Have Low Spreads With No Commission?
IC Markets is South Africa’s lowest spreads broker with no commission. The Standard account offered by IC Markets comes with low variable spreads across 232 instruments and tight spreads 24/5. South African traders can enjoy minimum low spreads of 1.0 pips on most currency pairs.
Which Broker Has Low Spread And Allows Same Time Withdrawals?
ForexTime FXTM offers South African residents, instant withdrawals through the QIWI Wallet. Additionally, most other E-wallets solution (Neteller, Skrill, Dotpay, etc.) supported by FXTM has a low processing time of 2 hours. Credit card withdrawals are also processed during the same business day.
Which Forex Broker Has The Lowest Spread?
The lowest spread Forex broker in South Africa is Pepperstone. SA traders can enjoy tight spreads that start at 0.0 pips on the EUR/USD pair. The Papperstone Razor Account offers the lowest USD/ZAR spread – the minimum spread is 10 pips.
Final Verdict – Lowest Spread Forex Brokers in South Africa
Our team investigated the top 20 forex brokers in South Africa and around the world and put together this list of lowest spread brokers operating in South Africa. For this review, our industry-leading experts also evaluated brokers like Oanda, Forex.com, FxPro, Dukscopy, Alpari, EXNESS, Oanda or Octafx but they didn’t make the cut into the lowest forex spread brokers in South Africa. You can view our South Africa best forex broker list for our overall best brokers.
Not all forex brokers that advertise low spreads are able to provide you with lower trading costs. Our best-in-industry methodology also factored in the hidden trading costs that may come in the form of:
Higher swap rates (overnight financing rate)
Higher rollover rates
Percentage commission fees
Higher borrowing costs on selling shares CFD
Every South African forex broker, we surveyed went through our proprietary star scoring system of evaluating the top forex brokers. Our team of industry-professionals hand-check for accuracy the spreads and commissions offered by all South African FX brokers’ names listed through this review.