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11 Best CFD Brokers and Trading Platforms for 2024

Searching for the top CFD broker to trade with? Through our hands-on analysis, we’ve narrowed down the 11 best options tailored to diverse trading needs. Practical tips from our experts are included.

By:
Dan Blystone
Reviewed By:
Ola Alder
Updated: Jun 10, 2024

List of Top CFD Brokers

Competitive fees. Good selection of CFD instruments. MT4 and MT5, ProTrader. Lots of deposit and withdrawal options. Excellent research materials.

Regulated by FCA and CySEC. MT4 available across desktop, web, and mobile. MT4 MultiTerminal for managed accounts. VPS Hosting. STP and ECN accounts.

Rock bottom fees. MT4 and MT5, cTrader. 1700+ CFDs. Trading Central and AutoChartist.

12,000 CFDs on shares. MetaTrader 4 and IRESS platforms. Low spreads and fees. Fast execution. Dividends paid on CFDs on shares and indices.

ActivTrader, MT4, MT5, TradingView platforms. Tight spreads in popular instruments. 1000+ CFD instruments. Ultra-fast order execution. Lloyds of London insurance up to $1M.

1200+ tradable instruments. Raw spreads and low commissions. Easy-to-navigate mobile app. Multiple regulations.

MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView platforms. Third-party tools such as Capitalize.ai and Autochartist. Competitive fees. Reliable customer support.

FCA and CySEC regulated. Excellent educational and research materials. TradingView and Agena, MT4 and MT5, proprietary mobile app.

Multiple top-tier regulations. Over 100 crypto CFDs. Low spreads and commissions. TradingView, Capitalise,ai, and FlashTrader platforms.

10,000+ CFD instruments. Competitive spreads. MT4 and MT5, cTrader, proprietary mobile app, WebTrader. Autochartist, VPS, Myfxbook. MAM/PAAM.

Multi-regulated broker. 15+ years of experience. Diverse range of instruments. Reliable support. Live webinars. Educational video series. Beginner-friendly platform.

What should you know about CFD trading?

CFD trading has major benefits and significant risks. It provides flexibility in that you can easily go long (buy) or short (sell without owning) – meaning that it is possible to profit in both rising and falling markets. CFD trading is highly leveraged, which allows you to take a substantial position in the market with a small initial deposit. When using leverage, both profits and losses are magnified.

CFD trading also has the advantage that you can trade a vast range of instruments from a single account. Most leading CFD brokers provide access to forex, indices, commodities, shares, and cryptocurrencies – all from one trading platform. Typically, the required minimum deposit is minimal, which creates a low barrier to entry for trading in global financial markets.

How did FXEmpire select the Best CFD Trading Brokers and CFD Platforms?

FXEmpire's Methodology

We carefully considered the needs of CFD traders and focused on the qualities that benefit this group the most.

  • We researched the regulations of each broker and assessed their level of trustworthiness, reliability, and financial strength.
  • We focused on brokers with low spreads and swap fees, which keeps trading costs minimal for CFD traders.
  • We reviewed available software for CFD trading, focusing on platforms with robust charting, diverse order types, 1-click trading, watchlists, alerts, and an intuitive interface.
  • We checked the availability of a strong variety of tradable CFD instruments, including forex, indices, commodities, shares, and cryptocurrencies.
  • We looked for fast, responsive, and helpful customer support across the phone, live chat, and email.
  • We verified the availability of a good variety of deposit and withdrawal methods, making it fast and easy to move money in and out of your account.
  • We examined the available leverage for CFD trading. Leverage allows you to trade without paying for the full value of your position upfront.
  • We checked the available account types for CFD trading and whether they can cater to both beginners and advanced traders.
  • We looked for insightful research and educational content to enhance traders’ understanding of the financial markets, develop effective trading strategies, and make informed decisions.

Our team of experts has identified brokers’ strengths and weaknesses using FX Empire’s comprehensive methodology. Here’s how we test.

Now let’s go through the selected brokers.

Best Overall

Trading derivatives carries significant risks. It is not suitable for all investors and if you are a professional client, you could lose substantially more than your initial investment. When acquiring our derivative products, you have no entitlement, right or obligation to the underlying financial assets. Past performance is no indication of future performance and tax laws are subject to change. The information on this website is general in nature and doesn't take into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances, or needs. Accordingly, before acting on the advice, you should consider whether the advice is suitable for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. We encourage you to seek independent advice if necessary. Please read our legal documents and ensure that you fully understand the risks before you make any trading decisions.
  • Min Deposit
    $50
  • Tradable Instruments
    935
  • Fees
    Low

Vantage is an award-winning CFD broker headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Since launching in 2009, Vantage has grown to acquire over 50,000 active clients worldwide, according to its website. Clients have access to CFDs on forex, commodities, indices, shares, and cryptocurrencies. I confirmed that Vantage is regulated by ASIC and CIMA. All client funds are held in segregated custodial accounts with an AA-rated Australian Bank.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: ASIC (1:30 leverage), FSCA (1:500 leverage), VFSC (1:1000 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, ProTrader by TradingView, Vantage App
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 1.2 pips, Dax 40 from 0.05 pip (Standard STP Account)

I judged Vantage a well-rounded broker thanks to its high performance in all our review categories. When evaluating the ProTrader by TradingView platform, I was dazzled by its intuitive design and range of powerful features. The popular MetaTrader is also available to clients; an ideal platform for advanced traders and automated strategies.

In my hands-on tests, I recorded spreads of 26 pips in gold – better than average for the industry. WTI crude oil came in closer to average compared to its peers at 4 pips. Vantage earned a perfect score in the education category of our review. Live webinars led by industry experts and high-quality analysis guide clients toward achieving their goals in the markets. While exploring available tools, I saw that Vantage also offers sentiment data – a powerful indicator reflecting the percentage of buyers and sellers for a given instrument.

Pros
  • Strong selection of available trading platforms.
  • Broad range of tradable assets.
  • Excellent research materials.
  • Competitive spreads.
  • 24/7 support.
Cons
  • Users must navigate the chatbot before reaching a live agent.

Best MT4

Our products are traded on margin and carry a high level of risk and it is possible to lose all your capital. These products may not be suitable for everyone and you should ensure that you understand the risks involved.
  • Min Deposit
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    321
  • Fees
    Medium

Founded in 2010, IronFX is a global forex and CFD broker with an impressive range of tradable instruments, tools, and account types. My examination showed that the Cyprus-based broker has entities regulated by top-tier CySEC and FCA and an unregulated Bermuda entity.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: CySEC (1:30 leverage), FCA UK (1:30 leverage), an unregulated entity registered in Bermuda (1:1000 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, IronFX Web Trader, IronFX Mobile App
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 0.9 pip, Dax 30 from 4.5 pips (Standard Account)

I verified that IronFX clients can access the popular MT4 platform via desktop, web, and mobile. A detailed user guide covers everything from getting started to auto-trading and custom indicators. In my hands-on tests, I recorded spreads of 6 pips in WTI crude oil and 38 pips in gold.

While checking benefits for professional traders, I noted that the Personal Multi-Account Manager (PMAM) platform allows clients to manage multiple MT4 accounts simultaneously. I also confirmed that free VPS hosting is available, providing fast connectivity and improved stability for IronFX clients.

Pros
  • MetaTrader 4 for desktop, web, and mobile.
  • Seven accounts to choose from.
  • Multiple deposit and withdrawal options.
  • Wide range of tradable instruments.
Cons
  • Limited research materials.

Best Low Spreads

Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, and seek independent advice if necessary. A Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into a transaction with us. Raw Spread accounts offer spreads from 0.0 pips with a commission charge of USD $3.50 per 100k traded. Standard account offer spreads from 1 pips with no additional commission charges. Spreads on CFD indices start at 0.4 points. The information on this site is not directed at residents in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.
  • Min Deposit
    $200
  • Tradable Instruments
    2251
  • Fees
    Low

Founded in 2007, IC Markets is a veteran of the forex and CFD industry. With over 180,000 active clients worldwide and US $1.2 trillion in trading volume (March 2023), it has emerged as a market leader. The Sydney, Australia-based broker provides access to trading in CFDs on currency pairs, commodities, indices, shares, ETFs, futures, and cryptocurrencies. I verified that IC Markets is overseen by two top-tier regulators: CySEC and ASIC.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: ASIC (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), FSA Seychelles (1:500 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, IC Social
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 0.6 pip, Dax 40 from 0.5 pip (Standard Account)

Rock-bottom trading costs are a hallmark of this broker. I experienced spreads as low as 2.2 pips in GBP/JPY, 18 pips in gold, and 3 pips in crude oil – providing an edge for active, short-term traders. Advanced and systematic traders can take advantage of the full suite of MetaTrader platforms along with cTrader, which I rated as having a better-designed interface.

IC Markets earned a perfect score in our Deposits and Withdrawals category. I learned that 15 funding and withdrawal methods are available, including bank wire, credit cards, and digital wallets, making it easy to transfer money in and out of your account.

Pros
  • Low cost of trading.
  • Fast order execution.
  • Robust platforms and tools.
  • 24/7 support.
Cons
  • Platforms may require a learning curve for beginners.

Best for Share CFDs Trading

4.2
80.26% of retails CFD accounts lose money.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    10107
  • Fees
    High

Sydney, Australia-based TMGM launched in 2015 and has since established itself as a leading CFD broker with attractive trading conditions. I confirmed that TMGM is regulated by top-tier ASIC, helping it to receive a high trust score in our review. Several platforms and account types are available, catering to different trader profiles.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: ASIC (1:30 leverage), New Zealand FMA (1:200 leverage), VFSC (1:500 leverage).
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, IRESS
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 0.9 pip, Dax 40 from 0.4 pip

TMGM traders are spoiled for choice when it comes to CFDs on shares. I took note of the impressive range of 12,000 shares from the world’s major exchanges, from New York to Hong Kong.

CFDs on shares can be traded via the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and the institutional-grade IRESS platform. IRESS provides advanced features like access to genuine exchange pricing and market depth. In my live tests, I recorded competitive spreads: as low as 13 cents in Apple and 22 cents in Tesla.

Pros
  • 12,000+ CFDs on shares.
  • Fast order execution.
  • Competitive fees.
  • Dividends paid on share CFDs.
Cons
  • Limited educational content.

Best CFD Trading Platform

4.2
80.26% of retails CFD accounts lose money.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    10107
  • Fees
    High

London-based ActivTrades was founded in 2001 and now serves traders in over 170 countries worldwide. The multi-regulated broker offers trading in CFDs on forex, indices, commodities, shares, ETFs, bonds, and cryptocurrencies from a single log-in.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: FCA UK (1:30 leverage), CMVM Portugal (1:30 leverage), CONSOB Italy (1:30 leverage), CVM Brazil (1:200 leverage), Bahamas SCB (1:200 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: ActivTrader, TradingView, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader5
  • Number of tradable CFD instruments: 1,000+
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 1 pip, Dax 40 from 1.7 pips
  • Minimum initial deposit: $0

ActivTrades’ clients have a superb range of platforms to work with: MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, cutting-edge TradingView, and the intuitive ActivTrader platform. Better-than-average order execution speeds and tight spreads in popular instruments like gold help active traders maximize gains.

With over 1000 CFDs across 7 asset classes, ActivTrades offers a wealth of tradable instruments. Traders can feel a sense of security as ActivTrades provides insurance on their funds for up to $1M. Reliable customer support and high-quality research and analysis materials round out a strong overall offering.

Pros
  • Ultra-fast order execution
  • Robust platform offering
  • Exclusive MetaTrader add-ons
  • Lloyds of London insurance up to $1,000,000
Cons
  • Lloyds of London insurance up to $1,000,000

Best CFD Trading App

4.4
Online Forex/CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading Online Forex/CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. It is the responsibility of the Client to ascertain whether he/she is permitted to use the services of Exinity Capital East Africa Ltd based on the legal requirements in his/her country of residence.
  • Min Deposit
    $200
  • Tradable Instruments
    593
  • Fees
    Medium

FXTM, which was founded in 2011 and offers more than 1200 tradable instruments across different asset classes, is tightly regulated by the FCA in the UK and FSC in Mauritius. It offers traders a choice of platforms and competitive trading fees. Following my thorough review of FXTM, one of the standout features of the broker’s offering was its versatile mobile app.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: Mauritius FSC (1:200 leverage), FCA, CySEC, and FSCA (1:30 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 0.0 pips, Dax 40 from 0.7 pips

I executed several trades on the FXTM mobile app, which has an easy feel to it. The app’s intuitive design makes it extremely easy to navigate, and even newbies can quickly make their way around it. The greatest advantage of the app is that it eases order execution. Traders can get in and out of positions in several seconds, which could prove crucial in times of heightened market volatility.

I would recommend going for FXTM’s MetaTrader 5 platform for desktop or web trading. It features more than 80 analytical tools and chart configurations, which can be used to carry out basic technical analysis. Additionally, algo traders can automate their strategies via MetaTrader’s Expert Advisors (EAs) feature.

I also discovered that FXTM offers below-average trading fees. The combination of raw spreads (from 0.0 pips) and a $5 round-turn commission per traded lot (100,000 units) on the Advantage account is geared toward the needs of high-frequency traders. Those may include day traders and scalpers.

Pros
  • Versatile mobile app
  • Choice of platforms
  • Competitive trading fees
  • Copy trading feature
Cons
  • No proprietary web/desktop platform

Best CFD Trading Tools

"DFSA: Pepperstone Financial Services (DIFC) Limited is registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (‘DIFC’) and is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (‘DFSA’) under license number F004356 to arrange deals in investments. Pepperstone Financial Services (DIFC) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pepperstone Group Limited which is licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission under AFSL 414530. Pepperstone Group Limited is the product issuer. All client money is held by Pepperstone Group Limited in segregated accounts in accordance with ASIC regulations. By clicking ""Register"", you agree to the terms of the DIFC Privacy Policy and the AU Privacy Policy. Already a client? Login here. CMA: Risk Warning: Trading FX and CFDs is risky. For more information please see our legal documents here. Pepperstone Markets Kenya Limited is registered at 2nd Floor, The Oval, Ring Road Parklands, Nairobi, Kenya and is licensed and regulated by the Capital Markets Authority, Licence No 128. By clicking ""Register"", you agree to the terms of the Privacy Policy. Already a client? Login here."
  • Min Deposit
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    1181
  • Fees
    Medium

Aussie CFD industry giant Pepperstone was founded in 2010 by a team of experienced traders. It now has a global presence and is licensed by multiple Tier-1 regulators. Traders can work with a fabulous range of platforms, from the popular MetaTrader 4 and 5 to the more intuitive cTrader and cutting-edge TradingView.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: ASIC (1:30 leverage), BaFin Germany (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), DFSA (1:30 leverage), FCA UK (1:30 leverage), SCB Bahamas (1:200 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, TradingView
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 1 pip, Dax 40 from 0.9 pip (Standard Account)

I found Pepperstone an exciting broker to test thanks to its advanced technology, user-friendly client portal, reliable customer support, and first-class education and research materials. My tests showed that this broker’s fees are kept to a bare minimum with no inactivity fee and no fees for deposits and withdrawals.

Pepperstone offers an impressive range of tradable instruments, including CFDs on forex, stocks, ETFs, stock indices, currency indices, and cryptocurrencies. Within commodities, you can trade instruments as varied as rough rice and high-grade copper. Spreads in the standard account are good overall, and more competitive trading costs can be accessed via the Razor account type.

Pros
  • High trust rating.
  • Great selection of trading platforms.
  • Third-party tools such as Capitalize.ai and Autochartist.
  • Strong educational resources.
  • Wide range of tradable instruments.
Cons
  • Some Standard Account spreads slightly lag industry leaders.

Best for Beginners

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with Tickmill UK Ltd. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs, or any other of our products work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    747
  • Fees
    Low

London-based Tickmill performed well in all major categories of our hands-on tests. This versatile broker was founded in 2014 and provides access to a wide selection of CFDs, futures contracts, and options. Among trading platforms, CFD traders can choose between MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5. I confirmed that Tickmill is regulated by top-tier FCA and CySEC.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: FCA UK (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), FSCA South Africa (1:500), Labuan FSA (1:500 leverage), FSA Seychelles (1:500 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 1.6 pips, Dax 40 from 0.9 pip (Classic Account)

The Classic Account can be opened for just $100. I also noted that Tickmill offers trading micro-lots, which helps beginners minimize their risk when trading live. Over two weeks of exhaustive testing via phone, live chat, and email, our team experienced strong customer support.

Tickmill excels in another critical area for new traders: education. I found the live webinars guided by industry experts to be especially valuable. Similarly, their research materials are rich, earning the broker a perfect score in this category. While evaluating costs, I experienced spreads as low as 18 pips in gold, and 5 pips in WTI crude oil.

Pros
  • Solid customer support.
  • Live webinars.
  • Diverse account types.
  • Tight spreads.
Cons
  • No proprietary platform.

Best for Crypto CFD Trading

CFD’s are complex instruments come with a high risk of losing your money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74%-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    763
  • Fees
    Low

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Australia, Eightcap is a multi-regulated forex and CFD broker with licenses from several top-tier regulatory bodies. It is authorized to serve traders globally and adheres to some of the most stringent safety requirements in the industry.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: ASIC Australia (1:30 leverage), CySEC Cyprus (1:30 leverage), FCA UK (1:30 leverage), SCB Bahamas (1:500 leverage), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (unregulated, 1:500 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, TradingView
  • Spreads: Floating from 1.0 pips, Raw from 0.0 pips

Eightcap features over 100 crypto CFDs. It also incorporates Capitalise.ai, a system used to automate trading strategies easily. This helps crypto traders to position themselves with precise entries and exits in and out of the market. Another available tool is FlashTrader, which helps traders by automatically adding stop and target orders.

Eightcap incorporates the renowned MetaTrader 4&5, which I consider beginner-friendly but somewhat rugged and inflexible. The broker also provides access to the seamless TradingView with its markedly more versatile design and professional-grade charting solutions offering traders far greater flexibility to exploit various trading opportunities.

I opened a Raw account with the broker, which I consider to have better conditions for crypto trading. It features raw spreads from 0.0 pips and a $3.5 round-turn commission per standard lot (100,000 units). This pricing mechanism falls below the industry average, and I found it especially suitable for trading volatile instruments like crypto CFDs.

Pros
  • Tightly regulated.
  • Multiple crypto CFDs.
  • Choice of trading platforms.
  • Competitive prices.
  • Lots of supporting tools
Cons
  • Hedging not allowed.

Best for Professional Traders

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are leveraged over-the-counter derivative products and carry a high level of risk to your capital. You should only risk capital that you can afford to lose. In certain circumstances, due to fluctuations in market value you may not get back your initial investment amount. You may not only lose your initial investment but you may incur a liability to pay a further amount to cover losses. This means you can lose more money than you have invested.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    8977
  • Fees
    Low

Sydney, Australia-based FP Markets was founded in 2005. I verified that it has entities regulated by top-tier CySEC and ASIC. With over 10,000 CFD instruments across stocks, indices, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, traders can work with an exciting range of markets.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: CySEC (1:30 leverage), ASIC (1:30 leverage), FSCA South Africa (1:500 leverage), an unregulated entity registered in St. Vincent & the Grenadines (1:500 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader, FP Markets App
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 1 pip, Dax 40 from 0.8 pip (Standard Account)

FP Markets offers competitive trading costs: in my live tests, I experienced spreads of 14 pips in gold and 4 pips in crude oil. Speed is the name of the game at this broker – made possible with low latency trade execution delivered from the Equinix NY4 facility server cluster. I also confirmed that scalpers and algorithmic traders can be more confident of having a stable trading environment thanks to free VPS hosting.

The FP Markets’ selection of platforms, including MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader, is robust and can cater to the most sophisticated traders. I noted another important feature for professional traders: MAM/PAMM accounts that allow money managers to trade multiple accounts simultaneously from a master account.

Pros
  • Extremely low spreads on CFD shares.
  • Advanced platforms.
  • Fast order execution.
  • Flexible account types.
Cons
  • No proprietary platform for web and desktop.

Best for Trading Education

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.1% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    506
  • Fees
    High

Markets.com launched in 2009 and has become a significant player in the forex and CFD industry. The London-based broker provides trading in forex, shares, commodities, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, indices, and bonds. According to the company’s LinkedIn page, Markets.com has amassed over 4.3 million traders on its platform. I rated Markets.com as a trustworthy broker due to the extensive regulation of its global entities, high transparency, and lengthy operating history.

Broker Features

  • Regulation: BVI FSC (1:300 leverage), FSCA (1:300 leverage), FCA (1.30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), ASIC (1:30 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Proprietary Markets.com platform
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 0.7 pip, Dax 40 from 1.2 pips

When it comes to education, Markets.com has covered all bases. Traders can refer to the Education Center, which features helpful content broken down into Trading 101, How to Guides, and Definitions. The Traders’ Clinic Podcast, hosted by market veterans Charlie Burton and Ali Crooks, offers a great way to develop your mindset. I found their stories and anecdotes relatable and insightful. Webinars led by industry experts are another excellent way to learn. Markets.com offers live webinars that go in-depth, covering practical topics like how to use trendlines.

Clients can access various innovative technical and fundamental tools via the Markets.com proprietary platform. These include the Related Instruments feature, showing which assets correlate with the ones you’re already trading and what other traders who share your existing positions are doing. I also noted that Markets.com offers sentiment analysis, a powerful indicator of potential trend reversals.

Pros
  • Tight spreads in EUR/USD.
  • Insightful and diverse educational content.
  • User-friendly in-house trading platform.
  • Sentiment data.
  • Research from Thomson Reuters.
Cons
  • Lacks 24/7 support.

How to Choose a CFD Broker?

When looking for a CFD broker, you should pay special attention to the following points.

Can I trust the broker?

To be authorized and regulated, brokers must undergo audits, meet capital requirements, and provide segregated accounts and negative balance protection. You can search the regulator’s website to confirm the broker’s status and check for any disciplinary action. The broker’s size and operating history are also worth considering. You can usually find these on the company’s LinkedIn page.

Read more about Best regulated forex brokers.

What fees to consider when choosing a CFD broker?

It’s important to understand and compare the fee structures of different brokers before deciding which one to use. When choosing a CFD broker, there are main types of fees that a trader should consider:

Spreads: The spread is the difference between the buying and selling price of a financial instrument. It’s the main way CFD brokers make their money. Lower spreads generally mean lower trading costs. Discover Best lowest spread forex brokers and Best zero spread forex brokers.

Commissions: Some brokers charge a commission on trades in addition to spreads. This is often a fixed fee per trade, or it can be a percentage of the total trade volume.

Overnight or Swap Fees: If you hold a CFD position open overnight, you might have to pay a fee, known as an overnight or swap fee. It’s a fee that you pay or receive depending on the interest rate difference between the two currencies involved in the pair and whether you are long or short. Read more about Best low swap fees brokers.

Inactivity Fees: Some brokers charge inactivity fees if you don’t make a certain number of trades within a specified timeframe.

Withdrawal Fees: Some brokers may charge you for withdrawing money from your account. Check the fee structure and withdrawal methods before choosing a broker.

Not all brokers charge fees in the same way. Some charge a commission per trade, while others earn through the spread. Some may also include hidden charges like inactivity fees or withdrawal fees. It’s crucial to understand these fee structures to make an informed comparison.

How to choose a CFD trading platform?

An intuitive, easy-to-navigate platform will allow you to launch into the trading world with minimal hitches. The most user-friendly platforms are typically browser-based platforms created by the broker. Look for easy-to-implement features such as watchlists, trading from the chart, search, news, and a customizable interface. MetaTrader and cTrader platforms have advanced features like backtesting, automated trading, and a wide range of order types, though are less user-friendly.

There are a variety of trading platforms available to forex traders. Here are a few that you may want to consider for gaining great trading results.

MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are two of the most popular and widely used forex and CFD trading platforms, offering a good range of features and tools, such as advanced charting tools, automated trading through expert advisors, custom indicators and expert advisors, one-click trading and portfolio management. Check out our dedicated guides on best MT4 brokers and best MT5 brokers.

TradingView is another growing and popular charting platform that makes it possible to track almost all markets, and describes itself as a “supercharged super-charting platform and social network for traders and investors.” TradingView has over 50 million users. Explore best TradingView brokers.

cTrader, developed by Spotware Systems, is a strong platform for high-frequency day traders of the forex market. It specializes in providing an algorithmic, social trading community for the financial market. Read more about best cTrader brokers.

ZuluTrade is a social forex and CFD trading platform that allows you to easily follow and copy other traders. As Zulutrade has a more social approach, tools for charting and technical analysis are limited.

Check out our dedicated guide on best forex trading platforms.

What is the minimum deposit?

The minimum deposit required by a CFD broker varies widely and depends on the individual broker’s policies. Typically, the minimum deposits at CFD brokers are relatively low. For example, among the brokers listed in this article, minimum initial deposits range from $0 in the case of FlowBank to $200 in the case of IC Markets.

What account types are available?

A broad range of account types helps a broker cater to different trader profiles. For example, a simple STP account may be the best for beginners in the markets, while an ECN/Raw Spread account can help sophisticated, active traders keep their costs to a minimum.

Here are some of the most common account types offered by CFD brokers:

Standard Accounts: These are the most common types of accounts that CFD brokers offer. They usually provide access to a wide range of financial instruments, including indices, commodities, shares, and more. The minimum deposit requirement for standard accounts can vary greatly between brokers.

Mini or Micro Accounts: These accounts are designed for beginners or traders with smaller account balances. They often allow trading with smaller contract sizes, which can be a way to manage risk, especially for new traders learning the ropes. Discover Best brokers with micro accounts.

VIP or Premium Accounts: These accounts are designed for high-volume or professional traders. They often come with lower spreads or commissions, a dedicated account manager, and other perks like free access to premium research or advanced trading tools. However, they usually require a higher minimum deposit. Check out Best brokers with big accounts.

Demo Accounts: Almost all CFD brokers offer demo accounts where traders can practice their strategies with virtual money before risking real money. This is a great way to get to know the broker’s platform and test your trading skills. Read more about Best demo accounts.

Islamic Accounts: These are swap-free accounts that comply with Islamic law, which prohibits earning or paying interest. They are designed for traders of the Islamic faith. Explore Best Islamic accounts.

What is the available leverage?

The available leverage at CFD brokers is a significant benefit when trading CFDs. The amount of leverage you have available depends on where your broker (or broker entity) is situated. For example, if you have an account with a UK-based FCA-regulated broker, the maximum leverage available is 1:30. Offshore brokers typically offer higher leverage, often 1:500 or even more in some cases.

Beware of using excessive leverage, even if it is tempting. It’s an enthralling feeling to control a large position in the market. But when markets are moving fast, and you are holding a highly leveraged position, there is a very high risk of losing money. Accounts can get wiped out in seconds.

Check out our guide on Best high leverage forex brokers.

Is customer support reliable?

Having solid support on hand is essential. Check the hours of availability, for example, whether help is on hand 24/7 or only during business hours. Chat support is the most convenient, so look for an easy-to-access chat window built into the broker platform. In the case of a platform outage, it is also important to be able to contact support via phone.

What to avoid when choosing a CFD broker?

Opening an account with an unregulated offshore broker entails substantial risk. In some instances, brokers with offshore entities purchase private insurance from Lloyds of London to mitigate the risk for clients. Be sure to check what kind of account insurance is available to safeguard your account – whether a compensation fund is provided in association with a regulator or private insurance.

Another important area to check is trading costs and fees. Some brokers may have very wide spreads making it expensive to get in and out of trades. In some cases, for example, when trading CFDs on shares, commissions may also be added. Among account-related fees, find out if there is an inactivity fee – many brokers charge a sum each month after your account has been dormant for a set period. If you take a break from the market and are unaware of this, you could be surprised to find your account balance lower when you return to trading.

How to avoid forex and CFD scams?

High-Return Guarantees. A common scam in the forex and CFD industry involves vendors offering a trading strategy that guarantees an outlandishly high return in little time. These may involve automated trading using bots or a signal service where trades are shared via chat or social media. Nobody can guarantee returns with certainty, and it is more likely that such strategies will lose money. When assessing strategy or signal providers, you should look for a live track record audited by a third party and be conscious that past performance does not guarantee future results.

Lack of Protection. Traders should also be cautious about opening an account with an unregulated offshore broker. Such brokers may offer a straightforward account opening process, bonuses, and high levels of leverage, but client funds are typically not protected. Meanwhile, brokers regulated by top-tier authorities must undergo regular audits and are held accountable for misconduct. Traders can also benefit from having their funds held in segregated accounts, negative balance protection, and a compensation fund in the event of broker insolvency.

Our Methodology

In selecting the best CFD brokers we used the results of our advanced proprietary methodology. All of the brokers listed were among the leaders in our tests.

FXEmpire has been reviewing brokers since 2010 and has pioneered the in-depth evaluation of CFD brokers. Our process has taken years to refine and involved hundreds of reviews. We’ve gone to a granular level – with over 250 data points in our analysis of each broker – so you can feel confident in selecting the right platform.

To provide the most comprehensive view, we break down the brokers according to nine different categories:

  • Trust
  • Fees
  • Platforms and tools
  • Tradable instruments
  • Customer service
  • Deposit and withdrawal
  • Account types
  • Research
  • Education

In our individual broker reviews, we explain complex areas like regulatory status, so you can easily understand the safety of your funds and the benefits you are guaranteed.

Data is gathered through live testing, research, detailed questionnaires, and in-person broker demonstrations. An account is opened with each broker, focusing primarily on the services of one entity and testing using the most standard account type and platform. We conduct live tests of spreads and measure overnight swap fees and account-related costs.

Our side-by-side analysis reveals whether a broker is competitive in relation to the industry as a whole. Trading platforms take time to master, but we have already done the legwork for you and our evaluations highlight their important features and usability.

FX Empire abides by strict guidelines for editorial integrity. Scoring is based on objective criteria and mostly measurable data, so our reviews cannot be swayed by individual preferences or biases. The review process is independent and follows a strict protocol. In addition, all facts are carefully checked and rechecked, as reviews are continually updated. Read more about our review process here.

In this guide, we focused on well-regulated, trustworthy, and financially stable brokers. Our evaluation included spreads and swap fees, prioritizing brokers with lower costs, and the user-friendliness and functionality of their trading platforms.

We preferred brokers with a broad range of CFD instruments and diverse account types suitable for various trader levels. Customer support responsiveness, deposit and withdrawal convenience, and offered leverage were also key considerations.

Additionally, brokers that offered comprehensive research and educational materials were favored, as these resources help traders understand the markets, develop strategies, and make informed decisions.

Meet our Writers

The team of forex and CFD analysts and editors at FXEmpire is comprised of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists. Our experts are published on leading financial websites such as Investopedia and Forbes. In addition, they all have extensive trading experience.

Get to Know Our Authors

Dan BlystoneBroker Analyst

Dan Blystone began his career in the trading industry in 1998 on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later Dan gained insight into the forex industry during his time as a Series 3 licenced futures and forex broker. He also traded at a couple of different prop trading firms in Chicago. Dan is well-equipped to recommend the best forex brokers due to his extensive experience and understanding of the brokerage industry.

Jitan SolankiBroker Analyst

Jitan Solanki is a professional trader, market analyst, and educator. He day trades major currency and index markets and focuses on swing trading US equities and commodities. A qualified Market Technician, Jitan also works with trader education and brokerage companies on various projects. These include market analysis, live trading events, and broker reviews. As an experienced trader and educator, Jitan brings all his qualities in action when reviewing and recommending brokers.

Plamen StoyanovBroker Analyst

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

Vladimir ZernovBroker Analyst

In more than 15 years of trading in the financial markets, Vladimir dealt with a wide range of brokers and financial instruments. His career as a day-trader at a proprietary trading firm goes back to 2007. Later, Vladimir turned to longer time frames and became an independent trader and analyst managing his own portfolio. Using his experience, he helps traders find the best broker in his reviews.

A Contract for Difference (CFD) is a popular type of derivative trading. CFD trading enables you to speculate on the rising or falling prices of fast-moving global financial markets (or instruments) such as shares, indices, commodities, currencies, and treasuries.
CFDs are financial instruments that are linked to the price of an underlying asset. Stocks are securities that represent actual ownership of a small part of the issuing company. While buying stocks means purchasing actual ownership in a company, CFDs are contracts set up with a broker to speculate on price movements, with no direct ownership involved. CFDs allow for trading on margin, leading to potentially higher profits or losses, while stocks involve full upfront payment.
Forex trading specifically involves trading one currency against another, aiming to profit from changes in exchange rates, whereas CFDs can be based on various financial markets, including stocks, commodities, indices, and even Forex pairs. Both allow short selling and leverage, but Forex usually offers higher leverage and typically doesn't involve separate commission fees, unlike some CFD trades.
CFD trading is available across a wide range of instruments including forex, indices, commodities, shares, ETFs, and bonds.
No, you cannot trade CFDs without a broker. CFDs are a type of derivative product that is created and offered through financial institutions – typically online brokers. These brokers serve as the counterparty to your trade and offer the platform, tools, and leverage you need to trade CFDs.
No, CFD trading is not allowed in the United States.
We judged that FlowBank has the best trading platform for CFD trading as it is easy to navigate and suitable for beginners and advanced traders.
We experienced the lowest spreads at IC Markets. Our tests showed spreads as low as 2.2 pips in GBP/JPY, 18 pips in gold, and 3 pips in crude oil.
We ranked TickMill as the best broker for beginners thanks to the micro-lots trading, strong customer support, and quality educational materials.
We judged that FP Markets is the best broker for professional traders due to over 10,000 CFDs, advanced platforms, and fast order execution.
Negative balance protection is a feature offered by some brokers that protect traders from incurring a negative account balance. In CFD trading, it is possible to lose more money than you have in your account due to leverage, which magnifies gains and losses. With negative balance protection, the broker guarantees that the trader's account balance will never go below zero, even in the event of a sudden and significant market move that results in a large loss. If the trader's account balance falls to zero, the broker will close out their positions and absorb the loss, rather than requiring the trader to cover the negative balance.
To verify whether your broker has negative balance protection, you can review the terms and conditions of your account agreement, which should outline the broker's policy on negative balance protection. This information is usually available on the broker's website or can be obtained by contacting their customer support team.
A compensation scheme is a type of investor protection program that provides financial compensation to investors who have suffered losses as a result of a broker's insolvency, fraud, or other misconduct. In most countries, compensation schemes are established and regulated by the government or financial regulatory agencies. These schemes typically have specific eligibility requirements, such as a maximum level of compensation per investor or per claim, and may only cover certain types of financial instruments or transactions.
To verify whether your broker is a member of a compensation scheme, you can check their regulatory status and the terms and conditions of your account agreement. Compensation schemes are typically established and regulated by government or financial regulatory agencies, and brokers are required to be registered with these schemes to offer protection to their clients. You can also check the website of the compensation scheme in your country or region to see if your broker is listed as a member.
A segregated fund refers to the practice where brokers hold their clients' funds separate from their own operational funds. This is done to protect clients' funds in the event of the broker's bankruptcy or other financial difficulties.
To verify if a broker offers segregated funds, you can check their website, contact them directly, review their regulatory filings, look for independent reviews, or consult with a financial advisor.

About the Author

Dan BlystoneBroker Analyst

Dan Blystone began his career in the trading industry in 1998 on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later Dan gained insight into the forex industry during his time as a Series 3 licenced futures and forex broker. He also traded at a couple of different prop trading firms in Chicago. Dan is well-equipped to recommend the best forex brokers due to his extensive experience and understanding of the brokerage industry.

Why you can trust FX Empire

At FXEmpire, we strive to provide unbiased, thorough and accurate broker reviews by industry experts to help our users make smarter financial decisions.

Why you can trust FX Empire

FXEmpire was founded in 2011, making us one of the first forex broker review sites. You can trust FXEmpire because of our thorough and unbiased review process. With over a decade of experience, we have a team of industry experts who conduct rigorous tests to ensure our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Our reviews are designed to bring clarity and confidence to the process of choosing a broker, and are based on objective criteria and measurable data. Our editorial team is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists, who ensure that our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Additionally, our review system is based on 9 core categories and over 250 distinct variables, which ensures that all aspects of a broker are considered before giving a final rating. So, you can trust FXEmpire to provide you with honest and informative reviews that will help you make an informed decision on which broker will best enable you to reach your financial goals.