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13 Best Forex Brokers for 2024

Searching for the best forex broker to trade with? Through our hands-on analysis, we’ve narrowed down the top 13 options to meet diverse trading needs. Practical tips from our experts are included.

By:
Jitan Solanki
Reviewed By:
Aviva Gurevich
Updated: Apr 2, 2024

List of Top Forex Brokers & Trading Platforms

Best brokers for US traders

CFTC registered, member of NFA. 80+ forex pairs. Competitive spreads. Excellent trading platform.

Cutting-edge WebTrader platform. Competitive commissions. Wide range of futures markets. Standard, Mini and Micro contracts. $100 minimum deposit.

Best brokers for international traders

Multiple account types. MT4, MT5, Exness Terminal. Competitive trading fees. Exness Academy and research.

MT4, MT5 platforms. ECN trading accounts. Signals from Acuity Signal Centre. FXTM Invest copy trading.

100+ cryptocurrencies. MT4, MT5, TradingView. Crypto Crusher dashboard. Zero commission, low crypto spreads.

Low spreads, low commissions. Zero requotes, no minimum order distance restriction. MT4, MT5, cTrader platforms. Trading Central, Autochartist.

Demo trading account. Commission-free trading account. Extensive educational materials. Regular live webinars.

MT4, MT5, Swissquote Advanced Trader platforms. Access Autochartist and Trading Central. Trade 3 million+ financial products. Real-time pattern recognition detector.

Trading App for iOS and Android. MT4, MT5, and cTrader mobile apps. Large range of exotic and emerging market currency pairs. 50+ technical indicators in the app.

MT4 fully synchronized with BDSwiss Web Trader. Trading Central and Autochartist MT4 plugins. Extensive educational materials. High leverage.

Autochartist, Acuity Trading, Signal Centre ideas and research. Market Sentiment dashboard for 80,000+ instruments. Trading signal plugin for MT4 and MT5. Tickmill Traders Club.

1,055 global share CFDs. Fractional shares available. Low minimum commissions. MT4, MT5, TradingView, ActivTrader platforms.

7 account types. Floating, fixed, STP/ECN accounts. Wide range of base currencies. IronFX Academy.

How did FX Empire choose the best forex brokers and forex trading platforms?

FXEmpire's Methodology

  • We only selected brokers that achieved an overall top score from our 250-point data broker reviews.
  • We checked the authorization and regulations of each broker.
  • We opened real trading accounts to test the live spreads for the broker’s tradable instruments.
  • We ensured the broker provided access to secure forex trading platforms.
  • We conducted hands-on testing of each forex trading platform, searching for the most user-friendly and feature-rich on the market.
  • We analyzed each forex broker to ensure they offer the maximum leverage allowed by its regulatory authority.
  • We researched the number of tradable instruments available to ensure a good selection.
  • We performed a live test of its customer support methods to test the broker’s response time and knowledge.

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

This analysis, combined with my personal trading experience, has led to the findings and research presented below. These highlight the best forex brokers across various categories, tailored to your specific trading needs.

Now let’s dive into the selected brokers.

Best Overall

General Risk Warning: CFDs are leveraged products. Trading in CFDs carries a high level of risk thus may not be appropriate for all investors. The investment value can both increase and decrease and the investors may lose all their invested capital. Under no circumstances shall the Company have any liability to any person or entity for any loss or damage in whole or part caused by, resulting from, or relating to any transactions related to CFDs.
  • Min Deposit
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    233
  • Fees
    Medium

If you’re interested in trading with a well-established, high-quality broker, then you should consider Exness. Founded in 2008, Exness is authorized and regulated by the UK FCA, CySEC, FSCA, FSC BVI, FSA Seychelles, FSC Mauritius, and CMA Kenya. You can trade more than 234 financial instruments from the MT4, MT5, and feature-rich proprietary Exness Web Terminal.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: the UK FCA (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), the FSCA South Africa (1:500 leverage), the FSC BVI (1:1000 leverage), the FSA Seychelles (1:500 leverage), the FSC Mauritius (1:500 leverage) and the CMA Kenya (1:2000 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 0.9 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, and Exness Terminal.
  • Unique features: Excellent in-platform research and education academy and trading signals from Trading Central.

During our live fee test, I found the spread for EUR/USD during the London and New York trading session averaged 0.9 pips. This is better than the industry average of 1.0 pips for a commission-free trading account.

While Exness does not provide services to retail clients in the UK or Europe, I found that international traders can open an account with Exness’s international entities, which provide access to higher leverage – in some cases up to 1:2000. This means you can open a position that is 2,000 times bigger than the capital you put up.

In my experience, this can lead to bigger profits, as well as bigger losses. Fortunately, I found there are some excellent tools in the proprietary Exness Terminal platform to help with risk management, such as the built-in sentiment indicator, which shows the percentage of traders who are long and short in a market.

I was impressed with the content in the Exness Academy as there are a variety of short video lessons and articles covering the basics of margin and leverage trading and technical analysis, which will be useful for beginner traders. You can also access trading signals from the Exness Terminal, provided by Trading Central.

With access to high leverage, multiple trading platforms, and a range of high-quality research tools, Exness is the best overall forex broker to consider this year.

Pros
  • Global regulation.
  • MT4, MT5, Exness Terminal.
  • High leverage.
  • Trading Central signals and research.
Cons
  • Not available for UK and European retail clients.

Best for Professional Traders

4.3
82% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Min Deposit
    $500
  • Tradable Instruments
    266
  • Fees
    Medium

If you’re a professional trader looking for an ECN broker offering interbank market spreads, then FXTM could be an option. Founded in 2011, FXTM is authorized and regulated by the UK FCA, CySEC, FSCA and the FSC Mauritius. Professionals can access commission-free ECN accounts from advanced trading platforms and become a strategy manager on its copy trading platform.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: UK FCA (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), FSCA (1:30 leverage), and the FSC Mauritius (1:1000).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 2.0 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, and FXTM mobile app.
  • Unique features: Trading signals three times daily from Acuity Signal Centre.

During our live fee test, the average spread for EUR/USD during the London and New York sessions was 2.0 pips on the commission-free Advantage Account. Professional traders might prefer the Advantage Plus Account, which offers spreads starting at 0.1 pips directly from the interbank market.

Although the Plus Account has more competitive spreads, it includes a commission of $2.50 per lot per side, still lower than the industry average of $3.50, making it an attractive option for high-frequency and active professional traders.

The FXTM Invest portal, the broker’s copy trading service, allows professionals to become strategy managers and earn extra income from followers. Managers can receive up to a 30% profit share on profitable trades from each investor following their strategy.

Pros
  • ECN trading accounts.
  • Competitive commissions.
  • Trading signals.
  • Earn profit as a strategy manager.
Cons
  • No proprietary web or desktop platform.

Best for Cryptocurrency 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

If you’re looking for a forex broker that provides an excellent range of cryptocurrencies and specific crypto trading tools, then Eightcap could be an option for you. Authorized and regulated by the UK FCA, ASIC, CySEC, and the SCB, Eightcap enables you to trade 100+ crypto CFDs that cover all the major coins and altcoins. Additionally, you can access the Crypto Crusher dashboard for daily trade ideas.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: CySEC (1:30 leverage), UK FCA (1:30 leverage), SCB (1:20 leverage), ASIC (1:2 leverage), unregulated entity (1:500 leverage).
  • Average spread for BTC/USD: 12 USD with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, and TradingView.
  • Unique features: Excellent third-party trading tools include Capitalise.ai and Crypto Crusher

During our live test, I found that while Eightcap is authorized and regulated by most of the world’s top financial regulators, you can only access crypto CFDs through the ASIC and SCB-regulated entities. Due to regulatory restrictions, the ASIC entity offers a maximum of 1:2 leverage, while the SCB entity offers a maximum of 1:20 leverage.

Most Tier-1 regulators, such as CySEC and the UK FCA, only allow a maximum of 1:30 leverage for retail clients trading forex, so the 1:20 leverage from the SCB entity is very good. The spread for trading BTC/USD also seems very competitive compared to other brokers.

Eightcap uses a third-party provider TradeProofer to showcase its spreads compared to other brokers. I discovered that the spread for BTC/USD was around 12 USD, which is significantly better than that of some other brokers that had spreads of 30 USD and, in some cases, as high as 84 USD.

Where I feel Eightcap really shines is through access to the Crypto Crusher dashboard. This provides real-time, daily crypto trading ideas, market analysis, and research all from one dashboard. On top of this, you can trade cryptos directly from the popular TradingView web platform, making Eightcap a top choice for crypto traders.

Pros
  • 100+ crypto CFDs.
  • 1:20 crypto leverage.
  • MT4, MT5, and TradingView.
  • Crypto Crusher dashboard.
Cons
  • Can only trade cryptos against USD.

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

If you prioritize ultra-low fees, raw interbank spreads, zero commissions, and zero requotes, then you should seriously consider IC Markets. Founded in 2007, IC Markets is authorized and regulated by CySEC, ASIC, the SCB, and the FSA Seychelles and is considered the ‘go-to’ forex broker for high-frequency, high-volume forex traders seeking ultra-low fees.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: CySEC (1:30 leverage), ASIC (1:30 leverage), the SCB (1:500 leverage), and the FSA Seychelles (1:500 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 0.65 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, and cTrader.
  • Unique features: ECN trading accounts with zero requotes, low latency execution, and no minimum order distance restriction.

During our live fee test, I found the spread for EUR/USD during the London and New York trading session averaged 0.65 pips on the commission-free Standard Account. This is much better than the industry average of 1.0 pips on a commission-free account.

You can also trade from an ECN raw-spread account which provides interbank pricing and spreads from 0.0 pips. However, there is a commission of 3.50 USD per lot per side when trading from MetaTrader or a 3.00 USD commission per 100,000 units of currency traded when trading from cTrader.

The commissions for the raw account using these platforms are in line with the industry average. I was particularly impressed with IC Markets’ policy of having no minimum order distance restriction. This means you can place orders at prices that are very close to the current market price – a unique feature among brokers.

As IC Markets is geared to high-frequency, algorithmic currency traders, it offers a low latency fiber optic connection to the Equinix NY4 server which provides execution speeds of less than 40ms and zero requotes on price fills, making it a top choice for serious forex traders.

Pros
  • ECN raw spread accounts.
  • Low fees, zero requotes.
  • MT4, MT5, cTrader platforms.
  • Ultra-fast execution.
Cons
  • Advanced features may overwhelm some beginners.

Best for Beginners

4.3
Forex margin trading involves substantial risks.
  • Min Deposit
    $25
  • Tradable Instruments
    230
  • Fees
    Low

OCTA provides an extensive range of research and educational materials useful for beginner traders who are just starting out. Founded in 2011, one entity is authorized and regulated by CySEC, and one entity is not regulated. Beginner traders can access a free demo trading account and a commission-free trading account to trade 80+ financial instruments.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: CySEC (1:30 leverage), unregulated entity based in St. Lucia (1:500 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 0.90 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, Octa Web Platform.
  • Unique features: Extensive range of webinars, platform guides, videos, articles, and market insights.

In my experience, one of the best tools a beginner trader can use is a demo trading account. This enables you to trade in a risk-free environment and is an excellent way to gain experience in using a trading platform and become more comfortable with a trading strategy.

Not only does OCTA provide a free demo trading account, but there is a wide range of useful educational materials. This includes video and article-based platform guides to using MT4 and MT5. While these are the ‘go-to’ platforms for forex traders, they do have a learning curve, so it’s well worth going through the guides. Alternatively, beginners can use the Octa Web Platform, which will be easier to get started with.

While there is a wide range of short educational articles covering different topics of trading the financial markets, most beginner traders may find more value from the regular live webinar sessions. These webinars are hosted by different speakers and cover live trading sessions, news trading sessions, forex basic lessons, practical workshops for beginners, and much more.

Pros
  • Free demo trading account.
  • Commission-free trading account.
  • Useful platform guides.
  • Regular webinars for all levels.
Cons
  • All of the research and educational materials are with the OctaFx unregulated entity based in St. Lucia.

Best Forex Trading Platform

Trading involves risks. Products and services of Swissquote are only intended for those permitted to receive them under local law.
  • Min Deposit
    $1000
  • Tradable Instruments
    506
  • Fees
    Medium

If you’re looking for one of the most powerful, proprietary forex trading platforms developed by a broker, then Swissquote could be for you. Founded in 1996, Swissquote is authorized and regulated by Switzerland’s FINMA, the UK FCA, DFSA, SFC, MFSA, MAS, CSSF and CySEC providing access to its Advanced Trader platform to trade on more than 3 million investment products using exceptional charting capabilities and automatic real-time pattern detection.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: FINMA (1:100 leverage), the UK FCA (1:30 leverage), DFSA (1:30 leverage), SFC (1:20 leverage), MFSA (1:30 leverage), MAS (1:20 leverage), CSSF (1:30 leverage) and CySEC (1:30 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 2.0 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, and Advanced Trader.
  • Unique features: Trading Central and Autochartist plugins.

After opening an account with Swissquote, I was impressed with the broker’s proprietary Advanced Trader platform. Having used nearly all of the trading platforms in the world over my 15-year trading career, I enjoyed how simple the Advanced Trader platform was but also all of the extra tools that are easy to access and very useful.

For example, the platform has an in-built real-time, automatic pattern recognition detector. This means you can easily identify candlesticks and chart patterns using AI technology. The layout of the platform is fully customizable and can be adjusted by using a drag-and-drop method. By saving the layout, I found it provides quick access to the different layouts I like to have for forex trading and stock trading.

During our live test, I discovered more than 50 charting tools and more than 80 technical analysis indicators, with all the most common indicators ready to use. I also discovered there are a range of order types that are not available on other platforms and some that are new to me.

This includes an IF-DONE order type, which is a two-step order where the second step can’t be executed until the first step is completed. I also found you can use OCO orders which can be useful in trading breakouts. This type of order combines a stop order with a limit order. Whichever one is executed first, the other order is immediately canceled.

With all the different features available in the platform, it is certainly worthwhile testing for yourself. One thing to bear in mind is that access to the full range of the 3 million investment products is only available with the entities regulated by FINMA, CSSF, and the DFSA.

Pros
  • MT4, MT5, Advanced Trader platforms.
  • 3 million+ investment products.
  • Unique order types available.
  • Automatic pattern recognition detector.
Cons
  • Higher minimum deposit than the industry average.

Best Forex Trading App

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

If you like to trade and manage positions from a powerful mobile trading app, then you should consider the FP Markets. Founded in 2005, the broker is authorized and regulated by CySEC, FSCA, and ASIC, with one entity unregulated based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The FP Markets forex trading app allows you to trade on more than 70+ currency pairs and access hundreds of shares, commodities, indices, and cryptos.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: ASIC (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), FSCA (1:500 leverage), with one unregulated entity based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1:500 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 1.1 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, and FP Markets’ proprietary mobile app.
  • Unique features: ECN pricing from MT4, MT5, and FP Markets’ mobile apps.

During our live test, I found that you can trade via the MT4 and MT5 mobile trading apps for Android and iOS devices. I find these are no-frill mobile apps and not very useful for technical analysis, but ok for managing positions and opening or closing a trade.

However, I was impressed with the FP Markets mobile app. You can download it on iOS and Android devices, and just need your account number and password to log in. Opening an account and accessing this app was surprisingly easy. You open and manage accounts from the FP Markets client portal area, which can also be accessed from the mobile app.

From the app, you can trade on a wide range of currency pairs, including majors, minors, exotics, and emerging market currencies. I was surprised you are able to trade currencies such as the Colombian Peso and Ugandan Shilling which I have not seen other forex brokers offer.

Another feature I was impressed with was the charting functionality. Clean and simple to use, I found you can access 1-month, 1-week, 1-day, 4-hours, 1-hour, 30-minute, 15-minute, 5-minute, and 1-minute charts on candlesticks, hollow candlesticks, Heikin Ashi, OHLC, HLC, line, area, dots, histogram, columns, and line and dots charts – a much wider selection than the industry average.

There are over 50 indicators available in the mobile app covering all the most well-known ones, such as Bollinger Bands and MACD, and other newer ones, such as the Stochastic Relative Strength Index. While there are no drawing tools in the app, it still provides a lot of features not found in other forex brokers’ trading apps and is well worth trying out.

Pros
  • MT4, MT5, and FP Markets mobile app.
  • Major, minor, exotic, and emerging market currency pairs.
  • 50+ technical indicators in the mobile app.
  • ECN pricing from all mobile apps.
Cons
  • No drawing tools in the FP Markets mobile app.

Best MT4

Your capital is at risk
  • Min Deposit
    $10
  • Tradable Instruments
    223
  • Fees
    High

If you’re looking to capitalise on the power of the world’s go-to forex platform MetaTrader 4, then BDSwiss could be an option for you. Founded in 2012, the broker is authorized and regulated by the FSC Mauritius and FSA Seychelles, providing access to more than 250 tradable instruments from the MT4 platform with additional plugins from Trading Central and Autochartist.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: the FSC Mauritius (1:500 leverage) and FSA Seychelles (1:500 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 1.4 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4 and MT5.
  • Unique features: Fully synchronized platforms between MT4, BDSwiss mobile app, and web trader platform.

The MetaTrader 4 platform is considered to be the go-to forex trading platform. With BDSwiss, you can trade more than 250+ financial instruments from the MT4 desktop, web or mobile device and have all of your trading activity fully synchronized between platforms.

While there is a learning curve to MT4, you can access more than 80+ inbuilt technical trading indicators, 30+ drawing tools, multiple chart and order types and algorithmic trading capabilities. One reason MT4 is the go-to forex trading platform is due to the number of additional plugins that you can use with it.

For example, during our live test, I found that BDSwiss offers Trading Central and Autochartist plugins. Trading Central provides a range of cutting-edge research tools, such as its own analyst views and trading ideas and technical analysis insights.

Having used Autochartist myself, I enjoy how it finds real-time technical analysis patterns across a wide range of markets and timeframes. I find it is an excellent way to speed up the research process. BDSwiss has also partnered with Autochartist to create the BDSwiss Trends Analysis tool to help spot some of the biggest trends in the market, and is certainly a tool worth exploring yourself.

Pros
  • MT4 fully synchronized with BDSwiss Web Trader.
  • Trading Central and Autochartist MT4 plugins.
  • BDSwiss Trends Analysis tool.
  • Educational materials to help with MT4.
Cons
  • The number of tradable instruments is not as large as some brokers.

Best Research Tools

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
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    747
  • Fees
    Low

If you’re looking for the best research tools to aid in your trading decisions, then look no further than Tickmill. Founded in 2014, Tickmill has entities authorized and regulated by the UK FCA, CySEC, FSCA and the Labuan FSA. You can access research tools such as Autochartist, Signal Centre, Acuity Trading, a Market Sentiment dashboard and the Tickmill Traders Club.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: the UK FCA (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), the FSCA South Africa (1:500 leverage), the FSA Seychelles (1:500 leverage) and the Labuan FSA (1:500 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 1.6 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, and Tickmill mobile app.
  • Unique features: Excellent range of research tools from AutoChartist, Signal Centre, Acuity Trading, Tickmill Traders Club and the Market Sentiment dashboard.

In my experience, having the ability to access a wide range of research tools can help to execute high-probability trades. As a trader, you want to research a market from all angles to avoid making trading decisions based on what you want to see or want to happen. This is where Tickmill really shines.

During our live test, I found that Tickmill offers an excellent and diverse range of research tools. One of my favourite research tools from Tickmill is its Market Sentiment dashboard which provides multi-asset news and sentiment visualization on more than 80,000 instruments. You can view the sentiment of an instrument on a daily or hourly basis and adjust the confidence levels on predicted sentiment levels.

Another interesting research tool provided by Tickmill is access to Signal Centre, which can be used as a plugin directly from the MT4 or MT5 trading platforms. Powered by Acuity, the tool provides market insights from an FCA-regulated signal provider across all asset classes. The signals include entry, stop loss and take profit levels and a detailed analysis of the trade idea, which I also think is an excellent learning tool for beginner traders looking to build their confidence.

Pros
  • Autochartist, Acuity Trading, Signal Centre ideas and research.
  • Market Sentiment dashboard for 80,000+ instruments.
  • Trading signal plugin for MT4 and MT5.
  • Tickmill Traders Club.
Cons
  • Beginners traders may over-leverage themselves with the sheer number of trade signals and ideas.

Best for Share CFD Trading

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 83% 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
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    1253
  • Fees
    Medium

Founded in 2001, ActivTrades is regulated by multiple authorities around the world and offers enhanced insurance to protect funds up to £1,000,000. ActivTrades offers competitive and low minimum commission, over 1,055 global share CFDs, and a range of trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, TradingView, and proprietary ActivTrader.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: FCA (1:30), SCB (1:400), CMVN (1:30), CSSF (1:30) and CVM (1:400).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 0.95 pip with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4, MT5, TradingView, ActivTrader.
  • Unique features: Fractional shares.

ActivTrades offers an excellent range of share CFDs from the U.S., Europe, the UK, Asia, South America, and other regions. In our live fee test, I found the spread for Apple averaged 0.04 points during the New York open which is better than the industry average.

When trading U.S. share CFDs, a commission of $0.02 per share applies, with a minimum $1 commission charge. The commission aligns with the industry average, but the minimum commission charge is much better than other brokers.

The broker also offers fractional shares. This allows you to purchase 1/10th of a share and is useful to trade stocks with a high share price benefitting those with small accounts. With a good range of trading platforms, ActivTrades is a top broker to consider.

Pros
  • Over 1,050 global share CFDs.
  • Multiple trading platforms.
  • Competitive and low minimum commission.
  • Trade in fractional shares.
Cons
  • Limited market research tools.

Best Account Offering

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

If you’re trying to find the best account to suit your trading needs, then the range of IronFX’s seven different accounts may be an interesting option for you. Founded in 2010, IronFX has entities authorized and regulated by the UK FCA, CySEC, the FSCA and one entity that is unregulated based in Bermuda.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: the UK FCA (1:30 leverage), CySEC (1:30 leverage), the FSCA South Africa (1:500 leverage), and an unregulated entity based in Bermuda (1:1000 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 1.0 pip with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4 and IronFX Web Trader App.
  • Unique features: 7 different account types covering the floating spread, fixed spread, and STP/ECN accounts.

During our live test, I found that IronFX provides access to seven different types of trading accounts. They categorize the accounts by the execution method. A fixed spread account means that the spread (the difference between the buy price and the sell price) is always the same. Floating spreads mean that the spreads are based on the underlying market. An STP/ECN account means that price quotes are sourced from the interbank market and are sent straight through to the market.

There are also some other differences regarding each of the account types, which include different leverage, base currencies, and fees. I have provided a brief summary of some of the accounts below:

Standard Account:

  • Leverage up to 1:1000
  • Commission: Zero
  • Spreads: Floating from 1.6 pips / Fixed to 2.0 pips

Live Zero Fixed Spread Account:

  • Leverage up to 1:500
  • Commission: From $13.50 per lot, per side
  • Spreads: Fixed to 0 pips

No Commission STP/ECN Account:

  • Leverage up to 1:500
  • Commission: Zero
  • Spreads: From 0.9 pips

Zero Spread STP/ECN Account:

  • Leverage up to 1:500
  • Commission: From $10 per lot
  • Spreads: From 0.0 pips

As you can see from a summary of four of the seven accounts offered by IronFX, there is a wide variety of differences. Many traders prefer to trade via an STP or ECN execution method, as your trades are sent directly to the market without any broker intervention.

I have found a good way to identify the best type of trading account is to use a demo trading account and test each one to see which one suits your own trading needs the most.

Pros
  • Multiple account types.
  • STP/ECN, floating and fixed spread accounts.
  • Wide range of base currency options.
  • High leverage on some accounts.
Cons
  • The sheer range of account types may overwhelm some traders.

Best Overall in the US

Forex trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.
  • Min Deposit
    $250
  • Tradable Instruments
    82
  • Fees
    Low

If you are based in the US and are looking for an industry-leading forex broker, then IG US could be the broker for you. Established in 1974, IG launched its US forex trading service in 2019 and is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).

Key Features:

  • Regulators: CFTC (1:50 leverage), NFA (1:50 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 0.9 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: MT4 and the IG Trading Platform.
  • Unique features: Cashback for high-volume traders with $50 million notional volume a month.

Forex traders from the US can trade on an excellent range of forex pairs with IG. This includes 80+ major, minor, Australasian, Scandinavian, exotic, and emerging market currencies. One of the best features for US traders is the ability to trade currency pairs up to 1:50 leverage.

This means that to trade currency pairs such as EUR/USD, you only need to put up 2% of the total trade size as collateral. This size of leverage is even better than what IG offers its European clients, which is around 3.33%. Furthermore, I found that US traders can access spread rebates.

If you trade $50 million or more in notional monthly volume, you can access a 5% spread cashback rebate which is the equivalent of $5 per million (USD) traded. This rebate can be withdrawn or used in the trading account to open new trades.

On top of competitive spreads and zero commission, IG offers its own proprietary IG Trading Platform. From my own experience, it is an excellent platform that is simple to use but has customizable layouts, more than 140 technical indicators and drawing tools, and five different chart options, including candlesticks, OHLC, Heikin-Ashi, line, and mountain charts.

Pros
  • CFTC registered, member of NFA.
  • 80+ forex pairs.
  • Competitive spreads.
  • Excellent trading platform.
Cons
  • Only forex pairs available for US residents.

Best Futures Trading Platform in the US

Trading with leverage comes with a high risk and may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    52
  • Fees
    Low

Fintech giant Plus500 has recently expanded into the United States to offer futures trading via its state-of-the-art WebTrader platform. US clients can access futures contracts on forex, indices, commodities, bonds, and cryptocurrencies.

Key Features:

  • Regulators: CFTC (1:50 leverage), NFA (1:50 leverage).
  • Average spread for EUR/USD: 0.8 pips with zero commission.
  • Trading platforms: Plus500’s WebTrader and Plus500 mobile app.
  • Unique features: Standard, mini, and micro futures contracts.

Plus500 US makes it simple for new traders to get started in futures trading with a low minimum deposit and its intuitive platform. WebTrader has a range of popular features, including watchlists, trading from the chart, and access to live chat support from within the platform. The design and UX are outstanding and really place it in a class of its own. I especially liked the ease with which you can flip between demo and live trading.

Traders can benefit from excellent educational materials covering the futures market in both text and video format via the Futures Trading Academy. Easy-to-digest materials help new traders orient themselves in the world of futures trading.

My hands-on tests showed that Plus500 US offers highly competitive trading commissions and minimal account-related fees. In addition to low costs, trading futures via Plus500 US has several important advantages: access to high leverage, ease of going short, and the ability to day trade with a relatively small account balance.

Pros
  • High trust rating.
  • Robust proprietary platform.
  • Wide range of futures markets.
  • 24/7 support via live chat and email.
Cons
  • No phone support.

How to Choose the Best Forex Broker?

Choosing a safe, well-regulated broker that has competitive fees and easy to access to the markets is essential to competing in the world’s foreign exchange market. On top of the factors already discussed in this guide, you should also pay attention to the following points outlined below.

How to find a safe forex broker?

The safety and trustworthiness of a broker should be the most important factors when choosing a forex broker with which to trade. After all, it is the broker who will hold your trading funds and execute your trades.

Choosing a regulated broker is essential to keeping your funds safe and ensuring your broker has no conflicts of interest in executing your trades. A regulated broker must adhere to strict rules, which, if broken, will result in fines or the loss of their license to operate.

In our broker rating reviews, we classify regulators under the following tiers:

  • Tier-1 financial regulators are those situated in well-known financial centers and include bodies such as the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), among others.
  • Tier-2 financial regulators are those situated in established but smaller financial centers and include bodies such as the Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand (FMA), among others.
  • Tier-3 financial regulators are typically situated in offshore countries and include the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC), among others.
  • Unregulated. Some brokers will base their company offshore in a jurisdiction where there is no requirement to be regulated or have a license and include brokers situated in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.

There is a growing list of brokers that will have multiple entities around the world, with each one regulated by a different financial body or not regulated at all. I would advise you to check which entity you are actually opening a trading account with and confirm what protections – if any – are available to you. This can be done by reading the broker’s terms and conditions document and confirming with customer support in writing. To save you time, we also created detailed guides on the best CySEC regulated brokers, best ASIC regulated brokers and best FCA regulated brokers.

Brokers regulated by Tier-1 financial regulators, the UK FCA, CySEC, and ASIC offer the highest level of protection as it is a legal requirement for them to segregate client funds from their own to ensure they are not using your funds to run the business and offer a negative balance protection policy to ensure your account does not go below zero from any adverse movements in the market.

The FCA and CySEC regulators take investor protection one step further and make it a legal requirement for brokers regulated by them to be part of a compensation scheme that protects your capital up to a certain amount in the event of the broker becoming insolvent.

From my own experience, I would recommend avoiding unregulated brokers at all costs. There is no legal recourse should they run away with your funds or handle your capital negligently.

What fees should you be aware of when choosing a forex broker?

There is a range of fees that you should be aware of and check when choosing a forex broker to trade with. The fees can be categorized into trading and non-trading fees.

Trading fees

These are fees charged for opening, closing, and holding a trade and include:

  • Spread. This is the difference between the buy price and sell price of a financial instrument, and should be as low as possible. In our broker rating reviews, we conduct a live spread test with each broker. A spread of less than 1.0 pip – with zero commission on EUR/USD is considered to be the industry average. See our guide for the best forex brokers with lowest spreads.
  • Commission. This is the cost of opening and closing a trade and should be as low as possible. In our broker rating reviews, we conduct a live fee test with each broker. A commission of $3.50 per lot, per side on MT4 and MT5 and $3.00 per lot, per side on cTrader is considered to be the industry average.
  • Swaps. This is the cost of holding a leveraged or margined, position overnight. The swap fee is based on the two different interest rates of the currency pair you are trading on, plus a broker’s markup. Discover Best low swaps forex brokers.

The best way to test the fees for yourself is to use a demo trading account or open a live account with the minimum deposit first. Alternatively, you can read the review of a broker from the FX Empire website, in which our team of analysts have tested the spreads for you.

Non-trading fees

Non-trading fees can include charges for account maintenance, account inactivity, deposits, and withdrawals. It is wise to review the deposit and withdrawal methods and their respective fees so you are not surprised by any high charges.

Many brokers will advertise fee-free deposits but then may charge for withdrawals. This information is usually found on the broker’s website, but you can also check with customer support.

How to choose a suitable trading account?

Most brokers will offer a variety of trading accounts which can be generally split into a commission-free account or a commission-based account with lower spreads. This is due to the different execution methods that the broker may offer you, which can include:

  • Dealing desk: Not as common anymore, but still around. This is where the broker takes the other side of your trade, expecting the majority of their clients to lose.
  • STP: Straight Through Processing is now more common among regulated brokers. This is where the broker sends your orders directly to their liquidity providers for at-market execution. Spreads are usually marked up by the broker but usually without any other commission. Check out the list of Best STP forex brokers.
  • ECN: Electronic Communications Network. This is where a wide range of different liquidity providers and banks compete for your orders in an anonymous network. As price quotes are sourced directly from the interbank market, these accounts typically have the lowest spread but usually charge a commission per trade. Explore our guide on the Best ECN forex brokers.

In my experience, each account type may come with a different minimum deposit. Generally speaking, the higher the minimum deposit is, the better the trading terms, products, and services will be.

Investigate each account type thoroughly to find the one that aligns with your needs the most. Usually, you can test each account first using a demo trading account before opening a live trading account.

How to choose a leverage level?

One reason foreign exchange trading has grown in popularity over the years is because of CFD trading accounts. A ‘contract for difference’ trading account allows you to trade long and short using leverage.

Leverage allows you to open a larger position using a smaller deposit and helps to amplify winnings but also losses. If a broker offers 1:30 leverage, this means you can open a position 30 times the size of the capital you put up. For example, you would only need $1,000 to open a $30,000 position.

The leverage amount offered by a broker depends on your categorization as a client with them (retail or professional) and which financial regulator the broker falls under.

In 2018, the MiFiD II European Market Act Directive legally required Tier-1 regulators to impose a 1:30 leverage restriction on retail clients trading foreign exchange. This is because, up until this point, many retail traders were wiping out their trading accounts using too much leverage.

Read more about Best MiFID regulated forex brokers.

If you are categorized as a professional trader, then brokers regulated by Tier-1 regulators can offer higher leverage, sometimes up to 1:200 on forex, but you may lose some other protections afforded to retail traders, such as negative balance protection.

Some brokers may advertise 1:1000 leverage or more. These brokers will be based offshore in low-regulated jurisdictions. There is a reason Tier-1 regulators imposed leverage restrictions on retail traders, so beware of brokers advertising very high leverage.

Explore Best forex brokers with high leverage.

How to choose the best forex trading platform?

Brokers offer a variety of forex trading platforms. Choosing the best one will depend on your individual trading style and level of experience. However, there are some ‘go-to’ forex platforms that are well-known for their reliability and excellent range of features.

Some of the most common trading platforms include:

  • MetaTrader 4: This platform is the ‘go-to’ forex trading platform known for its superior charting technical analysis and drawing tools. Discover Best MetaTrader 4 brokers.
  • MetaTrader 5: This is an updated version of MT4, which has more features such as extra timeframes and indicators. Discover Best MetaTrader 5 brokers.
  • cTrader: This platform is designed for high-frequency day traders and scalpers and comes with advanced algorithmic trading capabilities. Discover Best cTrader brokers
  • TradingView: This platform is fast becoming a leader in the industry as it is fully browser-based with advanced research tools and charting tools for all financial instruments. Discover Best TradingView forex brokers.
  • In-House Proprietary Software: Some brokers may invest in having their own proprietary trading software.

Check out our list of Best forex trading platforms.

What to avoid when choosing a forex broker?

It is wise to steer clear of brokers that aren’t regulated by a reputable authority, as there is no legal recourse if they take your capital and handle your funds fraudulently. Also, beware of brokers that promise high returns and that trading is easy.

Brokers regulated by well-established financial regulators have the highest level of investor protection and must follow strict rules to protect your capital. The safety of your funds should always be the number one priority.

How to avoid forex trading scams?

Unfortunately, there are many scam brokers out there nowadays. You can protect yourself by adhering to the following:

  • Always trade with a regulated broker from a well-established financial jurisdiction.
  • Ensure the broker has physical offices in a well-known country and city.
  • Speak to customer support to check they are easy to reach.
  • Use a demo trading account first.
  • Check the legal terms and conditions document carefully and the entity you are trading with.
  • When ready for a live account, start with a small amount of capital.

Our Methodology

In identifying the top forex brokers and trading platforms, we relied on the results of our advanced proprietary methodology. All of the brokers listed were among the leaders in our tests. Since pioneering the broker rating review industry, FX Empire’s review process has expanded and diversified over the years. It now includes 250 data points covering nine core categories which include:

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

Through opening live trading accounts and testing the broker’s products, services, and customer support, as well as drawing on my own personal trading experience, our team of analysts identified the best forex brokers to trade with this year. We also took the following factors into consideration:

  • The overall top score from our comprehensive 250-point data broker evaluation system.
  • The trustworthiness of each broker is substantiated by authorization from top-tier regulators.
  • Competitive spreads for the available tradable instruments.
  • Access to secure, user-friendly, and feature-rich trading platforms.
  • The maximum leverage allowed by the broker’s regulatory authority.
  • A wide selection of tradable instruments.
  • Efficient, reliable, and prompt customer support.

Meet Our Writers

The team of forex and CFD writers and editors at FX Empire is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists. Our writers have been 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 forex broker provides you with the ability to speculate on the price direction of currency pairs by providing a trading platform to route your orders to the forex market in exchange for a fee.
You can trade forex without a broker by going to a currency exchange. However, you would need to use physical cash to do this, which is not safe and not practical. Trading forex with a broker means you can trade on margin allowing your capital to go further.
The top 10 forex brokers in 2023 discussed in this article include Exness, FXTMEightcap, IC Markets, OCTA, Swissquote, FP Markets, BDSwiss, Tickmill, IronFX, and IG US.
The OCTA and IronFX entities regulated by CySEC have good offerings for beginner traders but beware of their unregulated entities, which provide lower investor protections.
FXTM provides an excellent range of products for professional traders with multiple platforms, a wide range of markets and research tools, and ECN trading accounts.
Swissquote has one of the most advanced proprietary forex trading platforms. The Advanced Trader and e-Trading platforms come packed with a wide range of technical trading indicators and access to more than 3 million investment products.
Eightcap provides an excellent range of 100+ crypto CFDs to trade on commission-free from three different trading platforms and access to crypto-specific research tools.
IC Markets is one of the brokers that has the lowest spreads. We found the spread on EUR/USD averaged 0.6 pips on a commission-free trading account which is much better than the industry average of 1.0 pips.
IG US is one of the best forex brokers for US traders. Established in 1974, IG US is a member of the NFA and registered with the CFTC.
A market maker broker is a broker who creates the market you trade in. An STP broker sends your trades directly to their liquidity, and provides with an at-market execution. An ECN broker sends your orders to a wide range of liquidity providers to compete for your price, providing the lowest spreads.
Forex brokers make money in a variety of ways. They can mark up the spread you trade with, which comes from the interbank market. They can charge a commission to buy and sell, and they can markup the overnight swap fee. They may also charge non-trading fees such as account maintenance and inactivity fees.
The spread is the difference between the buy price and the sell price of a currency pair. A pip is the most common unit of measurement used in the forex market, and for most non-JPY currency pairs, 1 pip is the equivalent of 0.0001.
A forex demo account allows you to trade in a risk-free environment without using any real money and is a useful way to practice your trading skills.
Yes, thanks to CFD leverage, you can start trading forex with a small amount of money.
Yes, forex trading, or the trading of foreign currencies, is legal in many countries around the world. However, the level of regulation and oversight can vary greatly from one country to another. However, there are countries where forex trading is either restricted or banned, and others where regulation is minimal or non-existent. It's also worth noting that while forex trading itself is legal, there are many scams associated with it. Potential traders should be wary of any scheme promising guaranteed returns or "no-risk" investments. Before getting involved in forex trading, it's important to thoroughly research the regulatory environment in your country and the reputation of the broker or platform you plan to use. It's also a good idea to seek independent financial advice.
A financial regulator will ensure a forex broker is adhering to strict standards regarding the safety of your capital and trade execution.
Negative balance protection is a policy in which your broker will close out your trades in a black swan event to ensure your account does not go below zero.
You can check the broker’s terms and conditions. If it is not written in it, then it is unlikely they will offer it. Brokers regulated by Tier 1 regulators such as the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC must legally provide a negative balance protection policy to retail clients.
A compensation scheme protects client funds up to a certain amount in the event a broker becomes insolvent.
You can check the broker’s terms and conditions. If it is not written in it, then it is unlikely they are part of a compensation scheme. Tier-1 regulators such as the FCA and CySEC make it a legal requirement for firms regulated by them to be part of a compensation scheme.
A segregated fund is where client funds are held separately from company funds. It ensures the broker is not using client funds to run their daily operations.
You can check the broker’s terms and conditions. If it is not written in it, then it is unlikely they segregate your funds from their own. Brokers regulated by Tier-1 regulators such as the FCA, CySEC, and ASIC have a legal requirement to segregate funds.

About the Author

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.

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.