Best CFD Brokers and Trading Platforms of 2023

Searching for the top CFD broker to trade with? Through our hands-on analysis, we’ve narrowed down the 10 best options tailored to diverse trading needs. Practical tips from our experts are included.

By: Dan Blystone
Reviewed By: FX Empire Editorial Board
Updated: Oct 29, 2023
Advertising DisclosureListings that appear on this page and/or on this website are of products / companies / services from which this website may receive compensation. This may impact how, where and which products / companies / services we review and write about. This page may not include all available products, all companies or all services.
While we adhere to strict editorial integrity, this page may refer to products from our partners. Here's how we make money.

List of Top CFD Brokers

  • Vantage – Best Overall
    Competitive fees. Good selection of CFD instruments, including 43 cryptocurrencies. MT4 and MT5, ProTrader. Lots of deposit and withdrawal options. Excellent research materials.
  • IronFX – Best MT4
    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.
  • TMGM – Best for Share CFDs Trading
    12,000 CFDs on shares. MetaTrader 4 and IRESS platforms. Low spreads and fees. Fast execution. Dividends paid on CFDs on shares and indices.
  • FlowBank – Best CFD Trading Platform
    Regulated by Swiss FINMA. 50K+ instruments. Proprietary FlowBank platform for desktop and mobile, MT4 and MT5. Wide range of research tools.
  • FP Markets – Best for Professional Traders
    10,000+ CFD instruments. Competitive spreads. MT4 and MT5, cTrader, proprietary mobile app, WebTrader. Autochartist, VPS, Myfxbook. MAM/PAAM.
  • BDSwiss – Best CFD Trading App
    User-friendly BDSwiss Mobile App. 250+ instruments, including 26 cryptos in the app. Plenty of deposit and withdrawal options.
  • Tickmill – Best for Beginners
    FCA and CySEC regulated. Excellent educational and research materials. TradingView and Agena, MT4 and MT5, proprietary mobile app.
  • – Best for Education
    Multi-regulated broker. 15+ years of experience. Diverse range of instruments. Reliable support. Live webinars. Educational video series. Beginner-friendly platform.
  • AvaTrade – Best for Copy and Social Trading
    Variety of copy and social trading options. Low fees for major instruments. Over 1,250 CFD instruments to trade.

What should you know about CFD trading?

CFD trading has major benefits and at the same time 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, making a low barrier to entry for trading global financial markets.

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

We carefully considered the needs of CFD traders and focused on the qualities which 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 Forex and CFDs involves significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose and should ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. Trading leveraged products may not be suitable for all investors. Before trading, please take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary. Please read our legal documents and ensure that you fully understand the risks before you make any trading decisions.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

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.

  • 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.

  • Strong selection of available trading platforms.
  • Broad range of tradable assets.
  • Excellent research materials.
  • Competitive spreads.
  • 24/7 support.
  • 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
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

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.

  • 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.

  • MetaTrader 4 for desktop, web, and mobile.
  • Seven accounts to choose from.
  • Multiple deposit and withdrawal options.
  • Wide range of tradable instruments.
  • 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
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

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.

  • 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.

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

Best for Share CFDs Trading


The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Investing in CFDs and Margined FX Contracts carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You may lose more than your initial deposit. You don’t own, or have, any interest in the underlining assets. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure fully understand the risks involved before trading. It is important that you read and consider disclosure documents before you acquire any product listed on the website. The information and advertisements offered on this website are not intended for use by any person in any country or jurisdiction where such use is contrary to the local laws and regulations. Products and Services offered on this website is not intended for residents of the United States.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

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.

  • 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.

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

Best CFD Trading Platform

CFDs are complex instruments and are not suitable for everyone as they can rapidly trigger losses that exceed your deposits. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

Flowbank launched in 2020, making it a relative newcomer to the world of forex and CFD trading. The Geneva-based online bank provides an appealing offering quite different from most CFD brokers. I verified that FlowBank is regulated by top-tier FINMA.

  • Regulation: Swiss FINMA (1:200 leverage).
  • CFD Trading Platforms: FlowBank Pro, FlowBank App, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 1.4 pips, Dax 30 from 0.9 pip

The broker offers trading via its in-house FlowBank Pro trading platform. My hands-on tests showed that its browser-based version is easy to navigate and suitable for beginners and advanced traders. FlowBank’s clients can access over 50,000 instruments – CFDs, stocks, ETFs, bonds, futures, options, and cryptocurrencies – all from a single log-in.

During my evaluation, I noted that the platform has some rarely seen features, such as a market depth tool that shows underlying trading volume. While testing the FlowBank Pro platform I experienced spreads as low as 23 pips in gold and 3 pips in WTI crude oil – better than average for the industry.

  • Excellent in-house trading platform.
  • Strategy development and backtesting capabilities.
  • Strong licensing by FINMA.
  • Over 50,000 instruments.
  • Limited educational materials.

Best for Professional Traders

This material on this website is intended for illustrative purposes and general information only. It does not constitute financial advice nor does it take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Commission, interest, platform fees, dividends, variation margin and other fees and charges may apply to financial products or services available from FP Markets. The information in this website has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the information in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs before making any decision about whether to acquire or dispose of any financial product. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are derivatives and can be risky; When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets. FP Markets recommends that you seek independent advice from an appropriately qualified person before deciding to invest in or dispose of a derivative. A Product Disclosure Statement for each of the financial products available from FP Markets can be obtained either from this website or on request from our offices and should be considered before entering into transactions with us. First Prudential Markets Pty Ltd (ABN 16 112 600 281, AFS Licence No. 286354). FP Markets is a group of companies which include, First Prudential Markets Ltd (registration number HE 372179), a company authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC License number 371/18, Registered Address: Griva Digeni, 109, Aigeo Court, 2nd floor, 3101, Limassol, Cyprus. FP Markets does not accept applications from U.S, Japan or New Zealand residents or residents from any other country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to those local laws or regulations.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

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.

  • 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.

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

Best CFD Trading App

This website is for general information purposes only and is operated by BDSwiss AG. BDSwiss AG is the BDSwiss Group’s Holding Company domiciled in Grienbachstrasse 11, 6300, Zug, Switzerland. BDSwiss AG does NOT offer any financial products or services.
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

BDSwiss was established in 2012 and has since grown to provide services for over a million clients worldwide. I verified that trading is available in over 1,000 instruments across forex, commodities, shares, indices, cryptocurrencies, and ETFs. Clients can access the markets via their user-friendly proprietary platform or MetaTrader.

  • Regulation: FSA Seychelles (1:500 leverage), FSC Mauritius (1:500 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, BDSwiss WebTrader, BDSwiss Mobile App
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 1.5 pips, Dax 40 from 0.7 pip (Classic Account)

For trading on the go, clients can use the BDSwiss mobile app, which I found intuitive and easy to navigate – a refreshing change from the dated feel of the MetaTrader 4 app. Traders can use watchlists, keep track of open positions, make trades, and fund their accounts. I noted that popular features such as trading from the chart and 1-click trading are also available, making it a snap to stay on top of the market while on the move.

In my live tests, I recorded spreads as low as 23 pips in gold and 4 pips in WTI crude oil. Another area of strength at BDSwiss is its customer support. After rigorous testing across live chat, phone, and email, our team concluded that this broker rises above the competition in this category.

  • Intuitive, well-designed app.
  • Tight spreads in CFDs on indices.
  • Wide range of deposit and withdrawal options.
  • Strong educational resources.
  • Limited regulatory oversight.

Best for Beginners

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% 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
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

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.

  • 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.

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

Best for 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
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees
    High 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, has amassed over 4.3 million traders on its platform. I rated as a trustworthy broker due to the extensive regulation of its global entities, high transparency, and lengthy operating history.

  • 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 platform
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 0.7 pip, Dax 40 from 1.2 pips

When it comes to education, 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. 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 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 offers sentiment analysis, a powerful indicator of potential trend reversals.

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

Best for Copy and Social Trading

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider
  • Min Deposit
  • Tradable Instruments
  • Fees

AvaTrade was founded in 2006, making it an early mover in the forex and CFD industry. The Dublin-based broker has grown tremendously since then and now provides services to 400,000 traders globally. I verified that AvaTrade is regulated by top-tier ASIC and CySEC, helping it to earn a high score in our trust category.

  • Regulation: CBI (1:30 leverage), ASIC (1:30 leverage), FSCA South Africa (1:400 leverage), Japan FSA (1:25 leverage), FSRA Abu Dhabi (1:500 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), ISA (1:20 leverage)
  • CFD Trading Platforms: AvaTrade WebTrader, AvaOptions, AvaTradeGo, AvaSocial, MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5
  • Spreads: EUR/USD from 0.9 pip, Dax 40 from 2 pips

In evaluating the copy trading tools offered by AvaTrade, I was impressed that clients can choose to use three leading platforms: AvaSocial, DupliTrade, and AvaSocial and DupliTrade enable traders to find successful traders and automatically copy their trades. I discovered that cutting-edge allows users to easily create, test and automate trading strategies using simple English rather than code.

AvaTrade offers competitive trading costs, for example, I recorded spreads of 3 pips in WTI crude oil and 29 pips in gold. I also noted that AvaTrade excels in their account types offering – clients have the opportunity to open CFD, Spread Betting, Professional, Islamic, and Options accounts.

  • Multiple copy trading platforms.
  • Tight spreads in forex and commodity CFDs.
  • Great range of tradable instruments.
  • Strong research and education resources.
  • Inactivity fee.

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 selecting the best CFD brokers, we prioritized well-regulated companies known for their trustworthiness and financial stability. We evaluated the spreads and swap fees of these brokers, favoring those that kept these costs low. We also assessed their trading platforms for a rich set of features and user-friendliness.

Brokers offering a wide range of tradable CFD instruments and a diverse selection of account types to cater to traders of varying experience levels were preferred. We also took into account the responsiveness of customer support, the convenience of deposit and withdrawal methods, and the leverage offered by different brokers.

Finally, we gave preference to brokers providing valuable research and educational resources, with the aim of empowering traders to gain a robust understanding of the markets, develop effective trading strategies, and make well-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 Blystoneauthor

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 Solankiauthor

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 Stoyanovauthor

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 Zernovauthor

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.

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.

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.

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.

Read more about best lowest spread forex brokers.

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.

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.

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.

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 forex 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.

Read more about Best Islamic forex 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.

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.


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 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.