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IC Markets Review 2024

By:
Dan Blystone
Updated: Mar 4, 2024
Overall Rating
4.5
  • Trust
    4.1
  • Fees
    4.8
  • Platforms and Tools
    4.1
  • Tradable Instruments
    4.7
  • Customer Support
    4.5
  • Research
    5
  • Deposit and Withdrawal
    5
  • Account Types and Terms
    4.9
  • Education
    4.4
  • How Did We Test and Rate This Broker?
    When trading forex and CFDs, understanding a broker's strengths and weaknesses is essential. We developed a proprietary rating system, which is the result of extensive research and hands-on evaluation by our expert reviewers. With a rigorous approach, our reviewers manually assess each broker, investing more than 50 hours per review, checking and testing the broker while analyzing over 250 variables to simplify the broker selection process for you. The categories we evaluate include trustworthiness, trading platforms, customer support, regulatory oversight, spreads, fees, the variety of instruments offered, education, and research tools. This unique rating system is specifically developed to ensure that the assessment is based on firsthand knowledge and experience. By dedicating a significant amount of time to each review, our team of experts can provide in-depth insights and help you make well-informed decisions when choosing the broker that best suits your trading goals.
    Chart

    Our Take on IC Markets

    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 over 2250 CFDs on currency pairs, commodities, indices, shares, ETFs, futures, and cryptocurrencies.

    From my research, IC Markets is popular among traders using automated strategies 60% of all trades are algorithmic at this broker.

    Recommended in 8 best broker guides: 
    Forex | CFD | Platforms | Low Spreads | Crypto | Regulated | MT5 | Automated Trading

    IC Markets Pros and Cons

    Pros Cons
    • Low cost of trading
    • Fast order execution
    • Robust platforms and tools
    • Strong variety of tradable instruments
    • Free VPS
    • $1M insurance via Lloyds of London
    • No inactivity fees or withdrawal fees
    • Trading platforms have a learning curve
    • Global entity has light regulatory oversight

    IC Markets Highlights for 2024

    • Safety and Reliability: With a 16-year operating history and regulation by top-tier agencies ASIC and CySEC, IC Markets can be considered a safe and reliable broker.
    • Competitive Pricing: Our multiple live tests across various account types and instruments have shown that IC Markets offers highly competitive spreads and commissions.
    • Diverse Trading Options: IC Markets offers an extensive range of instruments, including CFDs on futures, ETFs, bonds, and soft commodities like wheat, catering to a wide range of trading preferences.
    • In-Depth Research Tools: The depth and quality of IC Markets’ resources are impressive, featuring in-house research and third-party tools like Trading Central and Autochartist, which provide real-time trading ideas.
    • Advanced Trading Platforms:  IC Markets integrates the renowned MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, along with the intuitive cTrader platform, and provides free VPS hosting, enhancing the trading experience.

    What Sets IC Markets Apart?

    IC Markets has gone the extra mile in providing low trading costs for clients. I found the trading fees, such as spreads and commissions to be better than the industry average. The broker has also made fast order execution a priority, with average execution speeds of under 40ms.

    A better-than-average range of tradable instruments, 24/7 customer support, and strong research and education resources also distinguish the Australian brokerage giant.

    Who is IC Markets for?

    With low trading costs and robust platforms, IC Markets is a good fit for advanced traders and those using automated strategies. The order matching engine located in the New York Equinix NY4 data center processes over 500,000 trades per day, with most trades coming from automated trading systems. Meanwhile, beginners can find a suitable home at IC Markets thanks to weekly webinars, platform tutorials, micro-lot trading, and reliable customer support.

    IC Markets Video Review

    We performed tests with Standard and Raw Spreads accounts using the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 desktop/web platforms and the MetaTrader 4 mobile app. We opened accounts with the Raw Trading Ltd entity of IC Markets, regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA). Some features and services may vary depending on where you reside.

    IC Markets Main Features

    ☑️ RegulationsFSA (Seychelles), ASIC (Australia), CySEC (Cyprus)
    🗺 Supported Languages
    English, Russian, Indonesian, Portuguese, Thai, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese
    💰 ProductsCurrencies, Stocks, ETFs, Crypto, Bonds, Indices, Commodities, Futures
    💵 Min Deposit$200
    💹 Max Leverage1:500 (FSA), 1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC )
    🖥 Trading Desk TypeECN, No dealing desk
    📊 Trading PlatformsMT5, cTrader, MT4
    💳 Deposit OptionsPoli, Local Deposit, PayPal, Wire Transfer, Skrill, Neteller, Credit Card, Union Pay, Klarna, Bpay, Broker to Broker, Visa, Mastercard
    💳 Withdrawal OptionsWire Transfer, Neteller, Skrill, Credit Card, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Union Pay, Bpay, Broker to Broker, Poli, Klarna, Local Transfer
    🤴 Demo AccountYes
    🗓 Foundation Year2007
    🌎 Headquarters CountryAustralia
    Risk DisclosureCFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

    IC Markets Full Review

    Trust

    4.1
    How Did We Test the Broker's Trustworthiness?
    Assessing a broker's trustworthiness with your funds is vital. To help you make the right decision, we carefully checked each broker's regulatory license and examined how well they protect traders. Moreover, we looked at the broker's stability by studying their business history, corporate structure, and industry experience. Finally, we thoroughly reviewed all of the broker's legal documentation, including terms, conditions, and fees, and evaluated their transparency based on our analysis. Our hands-on approach ensures that even novice traders have the knowledge they need to make smart decisions.
    trust chart

    IC Markets is overseen by two top-tier regulators: CySEC and ASIC. The offshore (global) entity is regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA). With a substantial operating history of over 16 years, IC Markets is a well-established broker. All client funds are fully segregated from company funds and held in highly rated international banks. My research showed that IC Markets has high transparency and trustworthiness.

    Raw Trading Ltd. on the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) website
    IC Markets (EU) Ltd on the CySEC register of regulated entities
    International Capital Markets Pty Ltd on the ASIC register

    In our trust category, we place the most importance on how a broker is regulated. This section will cover how the different entities of IC Markets are regulated and how this impacts you as a trader. We rate regulators on a scale of 1 to 3, with 1 reflecting the highest level of trust.

    Why is it important to know where your broker subsidiary (entity) is regulated?

    Different regulators provide different levels of protection. For example, IC Markets clients in the European Union benefit from the oversight of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Under CySEC regulation, clients are mandated to have negative balance protection, ensuring that the traders cannot lose an amount exceeding their initial deposit.

    In addition, when trading with a broker authorized by the CySEC, client funds are protected by the CySEC investor compensation fund (ICF) up to €20,000 if a firm becomes insolvent. A trader working with a broker entity regulated offshore would not necessarily have these benefits. In the case of IC Markets, client accounts at the offshore entity are privately insured for up to $1 million. You can view the certificate here.

    The table below lists the protections and benefits by entity, regulator, and region.

    Entity Raw Trading Ltd International Capital Markets Pty Ltd IC Markets (EU) Ltd
    Website icmarkets.com/global/ icmarkets.com.au/ icmarkets.com/eu
    Country/Region Global Australia EU
    Regulation FSA Seychelles ASIC CySEC
    Segregated Funds Yes Yes Yes
    Negative Balance Protection No Yes Yes
    Compensation Scheme No No ICF up to €20,000
    Private Insurance Up to US$1,000,000 per client (Lloyd’s of London). No No
    Maximum Leverage 1:500 1:30 1:30

    Regulatory requirements are subject to change. I gathered the data listed above in May 2023.

    Is it Safe to Trade With IC Markets?

    • I assessed that the EU and Australian entities are relatively safe to trade with due to the protections guaranteed by CySEC and ASIC. Negative balance protection, segregated accounts, and a compensation fund for EU traders provide a degree of security.
    • Clients with the offshore entity have fewer protections guaranteed by the Seychelles FSA. However, accounts are privately insured by Lloyds of London for up to $1 million. Clients of FSA-regulated entity are not protected from having a negative balance.

    Stability and Transparency

    In our tests for the Trust category, we also evaluate factors relating to stability and transparency. Here, we focus on how the broker’s longevity in business, company size, and the level of transparency they provide with readily available information.

    IC Markets has a long operating history of 16 years, placing it among the older forex and CFD brokers. According to its LinkedIn page, the company is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and has 51-200 employees.

    In my research, IC Markets showed good transparency in its regulatory status, with a clear explanation on the Regulation page. The regulator is also listed in the footer of the website.

    Spreads and commissions of different financial instruments are detailed on the Spreads page. Traders can see the minimum and average spreads across all assets and the commissions for each account type. The Terms and Conditions legal document is provided in the footer of the website.

    The About IC Markets page thoroughly covers the company history, mission statement, and regulatory compliance. Overall, I rate IC Markets as having a high level of transparency, better than the average for the industry.

    To conclude, I regard IC Markets as a stable and trustworthy broker due to the following factors:

    • Regulated by two Tier 1 agencies.
    • Holds client money in client-segregated trust accounts with Westpac and National Australia Bank (NAB).
    • Lengthy operating history of 16 years.
    • Good level of transparency.
    • Accounts with the Raw Trading Ltd entity are insured for up to $1M by Lloyds of London.

    Fees

    4.8
    How Did We Test the Broker's Fees and Commissions?
    Broker commissions and fees can be challenging to understand. To simplify this for you, we carefully examined all the broker's fee-related documentation and presented it in a clear, easy-to-understand format. Furthermore, we conducted hands-on tests on spreads and commissions for the most common instruments during both London and New York trading sessions. We then compared these real-time test results to the market benchmark we've established through our extensive experience evaluating the industry.
    fees chart

    IC Markets offers very tight spreads in both the Standard Account and the Raw Spread account. Commissions in the Raw Spread account are also competitive. These low costs can be critical for achieving profitability, particularly for active, short-term traders. Swap fees and inactivity fees are average for the industry.

    Trading Fees

    I tested the spreads at IC Markets across different asset classes using the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms at 8:00 a.m. GMT and 4:00 p.m. GMT on 27 May 2023. I measured the spreads at two different times of day to allow for a greater perspective. 8:00 a.m. GMT is the London open when there is high liquidity in the forex market and tighter spreads in currency pairs. 4:00 p.m. GMT is during the New York trading session.

    Standard Account

    Instrument Spread AM Spread PM
    EUR/USD 0.7 Pip 0.6 Pip
    GBP/JPY 2.2 Pips 2.2 Pips
    Gold  18 Pips 20 Pips
    Light Crude Oil  3 Pips 3 Pips
    Apple n/a 1 cent
    Tesla n/a 3 cents
    Dow 30 1 Pip 1 Pip
    Dax 40 0.5 Pips 0.5 Pips
    Bitcoin $7.32 $8.99

    MetaTrader 4 Raw Spread Account

    Instrument Spread AM Spread PM
    EUR/USD 0 Pips O Pips
    GBP/JPY 1 Pip 1.3 Pips
    Gold  10 Pips 9 Pips
    Light Crude Oil  3 Pips 3 Pips
    Apple n/a 1 cent
    Tesla n/a 3 cents
    Dow 30 1 Pip 1 Pip
    Dax 40 0.5 Pip 0.5 Pip
    Bitcoin $7.32 $8.49

    Commissions

    MetaTrader 4 Raw Spread Commission Rates

    Account Base Currency Micro Lot Commission (0.01 or 1,000 base currency) Standard Lot Commission (1 or 100,000 base currency)
    US Dollar USD 0.035 (USD 0.07 round turn) USD 3.50 (USD 7.0 round turn)

    cTrader Raw Spread Commission Rates

    The commission charged on the cTrader platform is $3 per side ($6 round turn) per 100,000 USD traded. The USD commission amount is converted to the base currency of an account at the current spot rate.

    Note: In the Raw Spread accounts commissions are only charged in forex, metals, and shares.

    Standard and MetaTrader 4 ECN Account Comparison

    Account Type EUR/USD Commission EUR/USD Spread
    Standard  $0 0.7 Pip
    MetaTrader 4 ECN $3.50 0 Pips

    Using the data above from our tests, trading a full-sized lot of EUR/USD would cost you $3.50 per side with the ECN account and $7 with the Standard STP account.

    Swap Fees

    Swap fees (the cost of holding a position overnight) were average at IC Markets.

    In the table below, you can see the Swap Long (the cost/credit of holding a buy position overnight) and the Swap Short (the cost/credit of maintaining a sell position overnight) for one full-sized contract. A full-sized contract is 100,000 units of the base currency (the first currency quoted in the pair). I recorded the data on 29 May 2023.

    Instrument Swap Long Swap Short
    EUR/USD Charge of $7.50 Credit of $4.60
    GBP/JPY Credit of $15 Charge of $17.20

    Non-Trading Fees

    IC Markets does not charge any account maintenance fees or inactivity fees.

    Are Fees at IC Markets Competitive?

    In both the Standard and ECN accounts, spreads are highly competitive. They are especially competitive in some forex pairs such as EUR/USD, and indices—for example, the Dax 40 with an average spread of 0.5 pips. Commissions in the ECN account are also low.

    As shown by the comparison table, the costs for trading some instruments, such as currency pairs, can be much lower when using the Raw Spread account. In multiple tests, I experienced a cost per side of $3.50 for EUR/USD, far better than the industry average.

    Platforms and Tools

    4.1
    How Did We Test the Broker's Trading Platforms?
    We understand that platforms play a crucial role in your trading experience. That's why we spent many hours testing the broker's web, desktop, and mobile trading platforms to gain a real understanding of their usability, functionality, and overall performance. From experimenting with different order types to testing execution speeds, charting, and other features, we thoroughly examined every aspect of these platforms based on our trading expertise, helping you make an informed choice.
    platforms chart

    IC Markets offers the popular MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms and the better-designed cTrader platforms. These platforms provide robust charting and a wide range of order types and can cater to algorithmic traders. This is a strong lineup of platforms, but catering more to advanced traders than to beginners or casual traders.

    IC Markets Platforms Walkthrough

    MetaTrader 4 Desktop

    MetaTrader 4 Desktop Platform
    MetaTrader 4 Desktop Platform

    IC Markets offers MetaTrader 4 for desktops, which includes advanced functions such as copy trading and automated trading.

    Traders can access the platform in 39 different languages, from Arabic to Vietnamese. Here are some of its essential features:

    • Alerts. This feature updates traders when an instrument reaches a specific price level.
    • Watchlists. Traders can create a list of their favorite instruments and follow live quotes in a market watch panel.
    • One-Click Trading. This feature allows traders to execute orders with a single click and no secondary confirmation. It enables traders to operate faster and is especially useful for short-term traders.
    • Trading from the Chart. MT4 also allows users the convenience of trading directly from the chart.
    Order Entry on the MetaTrader 4 Platform
    Order Entry on the MetaTrader 4 Platform

    MetaTrader also delivers when it comes to the range of available order types. The platform offers the following order types:

    • Market Order. Traders use market orders to buy or sell an instrument at the best current price.
    • Limit Order. Traders use limit orders to buy or sell an instrument at a specified price or better.
    • Stop-Loss Order. Traders use stop-loss orders to buy or sell an instrument when its price reaches a specified level.
    • Trailing Stop Order. Traders use trailing stop-loss orders as a stop-loss order at a defined percentage or dollar amount away from an instrument’s current market price. This order type allows traders to secure profits when they are in a winning trade while not having to exit the position.

    Charting features are robust. MetaTrader 4 offers:

    Charting on the MetaTrader 4 Platform
    Charting on the MetaTrader 4 Platform
    • 30 Technical Indicators. These include classic trend indicators, volume indicators, and oscillators.
    • 23 Analytical Objects. These include lines, channels, Gann, and Fibonacci tools.
    • 9 Time Frames. Traders can choose from nine time frames, from one minute to one month.
    • 3 Chart Types. Traders can use Bar Charts, Japanese Candlestick Charts, and Line Charts.

    MetaTrader is also popular due to its copy trading and automated trading features.

    • Trading Signals. Signals in MetaTrader 4 allow users to copy other traders’ activity in real-time.
    • Automated Trading. MetaTrader 4 allows users to develop, test, and apply Expert Advisors (EAs). EAs are programs that monitor and trade markets using algorithms.

    The MetaTrader 4 desktop platform is one of the most feature-rich and popular trading platforms. It does not have a slick interface and requires some time and effort to learn, but that is typical of advanced platforms.

    MetaTrader 4 Web

    MetaTrader 4 WebTrader
    MetaTrader 4 WebTrader

    The MetaTrader Web Platform (Web Trader) is a slightly stripped-down version of the desktop platform. It allows you to trade without any additional software, only an internet connection is required. The Web Platform allows users to trade directly from any browser and operating system.

    Popular features include

    • One-click trading
    • Trading from the chart
    • Watchlists with real-time quotes
    • Trade History
    • Advanced charting with 30 indicators for technical analysis

    Copy trading and automated trading are also only available on the MT4 desktop platform.

    MetaTrader 4 Mobile App

    MetaTrader 4 Mobile App
    MetaTrader 4 Mobile App

    IC Markets offers the MetaTrader 4 mobile app for mobile trading, which is available for Android and iOS. The app offers popular features such as alerts, 1-click trading, and trading from the chart.

    The MetaTrader 4 mobile app also provides many order types, including pending and stop orders. However, trailing stop-loss orders are only available from the desktop. From my experience, to change the language of the MT4 app, you must change the language for your entire phone. As with the desktop and web platforms, the interface is not highly intuitive, but the MT4 app offers an above-average range of features.

    cTrader

    cTrader is a platform with an intuitive interface that can cater to beginners and advanced/algorithmic traders. It is designed to replicate an institutional trading environment, with features such as Level 2 DoM (Depth of Market). The depth of market feature shows incoming liquidity from liquidity providers.

    One-click trading and trading from the chart are available via cTrader. Another popular feature is alerts. The platform can alert you when the market reaches a set price. Market sentiment data is available and displayed below the QuickTrade buttons. Market sentiment indicates the percentage of client accounts that are long (buyers) or short (sellers). The information is collected from all available cTrader servers across multiple brokers.

    Various order types are available, including market, limit, stop loss, stop limit, and trailing stop. Time-in-force conditions such as Good ‘Til Canceled (GTC) are available for pending orders.

    Charting via the desktop platform is robust, with 26 available time frames, four chart types, 76 indicators, and more than ten drawing tools. A news feed and integrated economic calendar are built into the platform.

    cTrader can be used for automated trading and strategy backtesting. cBots are automated trading robots that can automate your trading strategies in cTrader. To use a cBot, you can simply drag and drop it on the symbol you want to trade and set your preferred parameters (initial volume, stop loss, and take profit). Any cBot built-in cAlgo will automatically be available in cTrader, and custom robots can also be downloaded from the cTrader website. cAlgo is a programming language that enables you to build cBots and custom technical indicators using C#.

    To conclude, cTrader has many of the advanced features of MetaTrader within what I judged to be a better-designed and more user-friendly interface.

    Tradable Instruments

    4.7
    How Did We Test the Broker's Tradable Instruments?
    For this section, we examined the broker's market offering, assessing the variety and depth of instruments and asset classes available for trading. Through our proprietary database, we then compared the results with other brokers. This comprehensive analysis allows you to determine if the broker offers the specific instruments and trading options you're looking for.
    tradable_instruments chart

    IC Markets excels in the breadth of available CFD instruments. As well as offering a robust number of assets within forex, metals, energies, indices, shares, and cryptocurrencies, the broker provides less commonly found CFDs, including bonds, ETFs, futures, and soft commodities like sugar.

    CFDs (Contracts for Differences) are financial derivative products that allow traders to speculate in various markets without owning the underlying assets. I found the range of tradable instruments at IC Markets to be better than average. Here are the major categories of tradable assets available at IC Markets:

    • 61 Currency Pairs. A currency pair combines two different currencies, with the value of one currency quoted against the other. For example, EUR/USD, which reflects the value of the euro measured in dollars.
    • 44 Commodities. Commodities are raw products, such as gold and oil.
    • 2100 Global Stock CFDs. IC Markets offers trading in stock CFDs from exchanges ranging from the NASDAQ to the Hong Kong stock exchange. A stock is a security that represents partial ownership of a corporation.
    • 25 Indices. Available instruments range from Japanese to UK stock indices. An index is a basket of trading instruments that are used to gauge a market sector, stocks within an exchange, or the economy of a country.
    • 21 Cryptocurrency CFDs. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are digital currencies that are secured by cryptography.

    *Keep in mind that when trading CFDs, you are speculating on the price of an asset without actually taking ownership of the underlying asset.

    In the tables below, you can see a selection highlighting the variety of CFD instruments available at IC Markets:

    Forex Major Forex Minor
    GBP/USD | USD/CHF | USD/JPY | EUR/USD CAD/JPY | AUD/CHF | EUR/GBP | NZD/CAD
    Forex Exotic Indices
    CHF/SGD | EUR/TRY | GBP/DKK | USD/THB India 50 | Japan 225 | Canada 60 | Spain 35
    Metals Energies
    Silver | Gold | Platinum | Palladium Brent Oil | Natural Gas | Crude Oil
    Soft Commodities Crypto
    Corn | Cotton | Orange Juice | Sugar Dogecoin | Cardano | Moonbeam | Ethereum
    Bonds Futures
    Euro Bobl | UK Long Gilt | US T-Note | Japan JGB US Dollar Index | Volatility Index
    Stocks ETFs
    Boeing | Rolls-Royce | L’Oreal | Electronic Arts Invesco QQQ Trust | iShares India 50 | iShares 20+ Years Treasury Bond

    Customer Support

    4.5
    How Did We Test the Broker's Customer Support?
    Traders often underestimate the importance of customer support, yet it proves to be a critical aspect during times of crisis. We put the broker's customer support to the test ourselves using all possible channels, such as chat, phone, and others. Our evaluation focused on the accessibility of live agents, as well as the helpfulness and professionalism of their responses. This way, we provide you with comprehensive insights into whether a broker can deliver full support when you need it most.
    customer_support chart

    I experienced a good level of customer support at IC Markets overall. My email inquiries were answered almost immediately, and the 24/7 live chat support was reliable. The agents I worked with were helpful and knowledgeable. I could not get through to an operator by phone, however.

    IC Markets Live Chat
    IC Markets Live Chat

    IC Markets provides support 24/7 via email and live chat. I grilled support with dozens of questions over two weeks, covering themes such as fees, regulations, platforms, and account types. Responses were fast: same day for email and within a minute or two via live chat. On any channel, I received thorough and satisfactory responses.

    Though, the general support phone number for the global entity (+248 467 19 76) did not work, and I repeatedly got a recorded message saying, ‘The party is not answering, goodbye’. Despite this, I still rate the support at IC Markets as better than average for the industry.

    Deposits & Withdrawals

    5
    How Did We Test the Broker's Deposit and Withdrawal Process?
    The deposit or withdrawal process can be tricky since you may encounter hidden fees or longer than expected processing time. To assess the broker's offerings, we examined their deposit and withdrawal options and conditions. Using our proprietary database, we then compared these results with those of other brokers.
    deposit chart

    With 15 funding and withdrawal methods, including bank wire, credit cards, and digital wallets, IC Markets makes it dead easy to transfer money in and out of your account. Withdrawal requests are processed internally within 24 hours, which is relatively fast. Finally, there are no fees charged by IC Markets for deposits or withdrawals. These factors combined to earn the broker a full score in this category.

    In the tables below I break down the fees and processing times for each deposit and withdrawal method.

    Deposits

    Deposit Method Fees Accepted Currencies Processing Time
    Visa $0 AUD USD JPY EUR NZD SGD GBP CAD Instant
    Mastercard $0 AUD USD JPY EUR NZD SGD GBP CAD Instant
    Wire Transfer $0 AUD USD JPY EUR NZD SGD GBP CAD CHF 2-5 business days
    PayPal $0 AUD USD JPY EUR NZD SGD GBP CAD HKD CHF Instant
    Neteller $0 USD AUD GBP EUR CAD SGD JPY Instant
    Neteller VIP $0 AUD GBP EUR CAD SGD JPY Instant
    Skrill $0 AUD USD JPY EUR SGD GBP Instant
    UnionPay $0 RMB Instant
    Bpay $0 AUD 12 – 48 hr
    Broker to Broker $0 AUD USD JPY EUR NZD SGD GBP CAD CHF HKD 2-5 business days
    POLI $0 AUD Instant
    Thai Internet Banking $0 USD 15 – 30 min
    Rapidpay $0 EUR GBP Up to 2 business days
    Klarna $0 EUR GBP Up to 2 business days
    Vietnamese Internet Banking $0 USD Instant

    Withdrawals

    Withdrawal Method Fees Processing Time
    Visa $0 24 business hours
    Mastercard $0 24 business hours
    Wire Transfer $0 24 business hours
    PayPal $0 24 business hours
    Neteller $0 24 business hours
    Neteller VIP $0 24 business hours
    Skrill $0 24 business hours
    UnionPay $0 24 business hours
    Bpay $0 24 business hours
    Broker to Broker $0 24 business hours
    POLI $0 24 business hours
    Thai Internet Banking $0 24 business hours
    Rapidpay $0 24 business hours
    Klarna $0 24 business hours
    Vietnamese Internet Banking $0 24 business hours

    Once a withdrawal is processed, it may take several business days to receive funds, depending on your withdrawal method.

    • In the case of bank wires, once IC Markets have processed the withdrawal request, it can take up to 3-5 business days for funds to arrive in your account and up to 14 days in the case of international transfers.
    • Credit/Debit Card withdrawals can take 3-5 business days to reach your credit card after being processed by IC Markets.
    • Paypal, Neteller, and Skrill withdrawals must be made from the same account from where the funds were sent initially. These transactions are processed free of charge and are instant once processed by IC Markets.

    Account Types and Terms

    4.9
    How Did We Test the Broker's Account Types and Terms?
    When it comes to achieving your trading goals, choosing the proper account is essential. We initiated our evaluation by personally opening an account with the broker, which allowed us to gain firsthand experience of the process and accurately asses, how fast and easy it is. In addition, we carried out an in-depth analysis of the account types and features offered by the broker, including spreads, maximum leverage, minimum deposits, and more. For a comprehensive comparison, we turned to our proprietary database and examined how this broker's account offerings and processes stacked up against other brokers.
    account chart

    Opening an account at IC Markets is a breeze. The process is fully digital, and I completed the application via the broker’s website within 10 minutes. IC Markets offers three main trading account types: Standard, MetaTrader Raw Spread, and cTrader Raw Spread. Each account type has unique features suitable for different trader profiles.

    IC Markets Application
    IC Markets Application

    Account Application

    To open an individual account at the Raw Trading Ltd entity, prospective clients must provide the following information.

    • Basic background info: country of residence, name, email, date of birth, and address.
    • Account type: individual, joint, corporate.
    • Preferred Trading platform: MT4, MT5, cTrader.
    • Account type; Standard, Raw Spread.
    • Base currency: AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, NZD, JPY, SGD, CAD, HKD.
    • Employment and income: employment status, investment amount, nature of transactions, annual income, net worth.
    • Trading knowledge and experience.
    • Government ID and proof of residence.
    Identity Verification within the Client Portal
    Identity Verification within the Client Portal

    Account Types

    The table below breaks down the main features of each account type.

    Account cTrader Raw Spread Standard
    Trading Platform cTrader MetaTrader MetaTrader
    Commission (per side, per lot) $3.0  $3.5  $0.0
    Spreads from (pips) 0.0 0.0 0.8
    Starting Deposit  $200 $200 $200
    Leverage 1:500 1:500 1:500
    Server Location London New York New York
    Micro-Lot Trading  Yes Yes Yes

    Demo Accounts

    IC Markets offers demo accounts for MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. Demo accounts are especially important for beginners as they allow them to practice their strategies and get comfortable with the trading platform without risking real money.

    The demo account features live quotes and simulates live market conditions in assets such as forex and CFDs on commodities, indices, and stocks. Once users are up to speed on a demo account, they can easily switch to a live version.

    Islamic Accounts

    IC Markets offers a swap-free Islamic account that adheres to the principles of Sharia law.

    Leverage

    One of the reasons that traders are attracted to the forex and CFD markets is the high degree of available leverage. Leverage is the use of borrowed funds to increase the size of your trading positions beyond what would be possible using only the cash in your account.

    The maximum leverage at the global entity of IC Markets is 1:500. This means that with an account of $1,000, you can control up to $500,000 worth of positions in the market. Leverage is often described as a ‘double-edged sword’ as it can hurt you as much as it helps you. Traders must remember that it can amplify both their profits and their losses.

    Order Execution

    IC Markets considers itself a forex provider offering the ECN pricing model, as pricing is sourced from external unrelated liquidity providers. These prices are passed on to clients with no dealing desk intervention. IC Markets does not offset every position with its liquidity providers.

    Supported Countries

    IC Markets takes clients from the majority of countries globally. However, clients are not accepted from the following restricted and/or sanctioned countries and states:

    Abkhazia, Afghanistan, American Samoa, Angola, Bolivia, British Columbia (Canada), Burma, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Chatham Island (New Zealand), Cuba, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo – Brazzaville, Congo – Kinshasa, Cook Islands, Diego Garcia, Gambia, Guam, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Israel, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Martinique, Mayotte, Nevis, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue Northern Mariana Islands, Ontario (Canada), Puerto Rico, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Tokelau, U.S. Virgin Islands, United States of America, Wake Island, Wallis and Futuna, Yemen, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe.

    Research

    5
    How Did We Test the Broker's Research Tools?
    Research options offered by brokers may not be seen as the most important feature for some traders, but they can provide a competitive advantage. To assess the broker's research offerings, we personally explored and tested both proprietary and third-party tools and content, such as Fundamental and Technical Analysis, Market News, educational videos, and webinars. After evaluating the availability and quality of the overall research offering, we compared the results with our benchmark to provide a comprehensive analysis of the broker's research capabilities.
    research chart

    IC Markets delivers in the research category with a blend of helpful in-house research and the popular third-party tools Trading Central and Autochartist. Materials are accessible to both beginners and advanced traders and contain actionable trading ideas. I rate the research offering at IC Markets as above average for the industry.

    IC Markets got a perfect score in this category thanks to its regularly updated technical and fundamental research and practical trading ideas via Trading Central and Autochartist.

    The Information Hub for Serious Traders on the website posts regular market reports, which help to orient traders for the day. The Fundamental Forecast covers key news events and what reaction can be expected from various instruments. Meanwhile, the Technical Outlook and Review help traders stay on top of major support and resistance levels across different markets. I assess the reports as insightful and easy to digest.

    IC Markets offers award-winning content from Trading Central, which combines automated investment analytics and analyst research. Key features of Trading Central include:

    • Analyst views: this covers trading ideas, technical updates, support/resistance levels, and ideas across forex, stocks, commodities, and indices.
    • Featured ideas: this lists opportunities and provides direction for your trades.
    • Technical insights: after choosing your preferred technical indicators, candle patterns, or oscillators, Trading Central scans the markets to find opportunities that match your criteria.

    IC Markets also provides free trading signals from third-party provider Autochartist. Autochartist automatically identifies chart patterns and key price levels, using this information to predict the most likely direction of the trend.

    Education

    4.4
    How Did We Test the Broker's Education Offering?
    Gaining knowledge about trading in the financial markets can make the difference between success and failure. To assess the broker's educational offerings, we personally tested and evaluated the quality of the content provided, considering its relevance for both novice and experienced traders. We explored the range of materials available, such as articles, videos, webinars, and courses. After evaluating the content's volume, update frequency, and overall quality, we compared the results with our benchmark to provide a well-rounded analysis of the broker's education offerings.
    education chart

    IC Markets provides robust educational materials, including extensive articles, tutorial videos, and live webinars. Both beginners and advanced traders can benefit from a rich library of content, which I rate as better than average.

    IC Markets Education
    IC Markets Education

    IC Markets checks all the boxes in the education category. The Information Hub for Serious Traders has an excellent range of educational articles covering topics like trading psychology, general market analysis, and forex. Coverage of advanced material, such as Algorithmic Trading, is also available. The layout of the Information Hub could be improved as you have to dig a little to find the different categories of educational articles.

    I liked the platform tutorial videos that help novice traders to use MetaTrader 4 which is not the most intuitive platform. Regular webinars from industry experts cover topics like trend trading and how to set up a trading journal. A recent addition is YouTube live streams such as the Sunday Pre-Market Analysis with Desmond, which guide traders in planning and preparing for the upcoming week.

    IC Markets Video Tutorials
    IC Markets Video Tutorials

    The Bottom Line

    IC Markets has earned a place among the world’s top forex and CFD brokers for good reason. I consider its trading costs to be among the very lowest available in the industry. With cutting-edge trading platforms, low latency connectivity, and ample liquidity, I can confidently say that IC Markets’ trade execution is nothing short of first-class. While the regulatory oversight may be light at the offshore entity, I found great reassurance in the fact that IC Markets provides $1M account insurance coverage from Lloyds of London.

    What sets IC Markets apart is the extensive range of trading instruments they offer, providing traders with a diverse array of markets to work with. From my thorough examination, the broker’s available platforms and tools are robust enough to cater to market professionals, while newcomers can also get up to speed quickly, thanks to reliable customer support and extensive educational resources.

    To conclude, I firmly believe that IC Markets is a well-rounded broker that offers an exciting mix of low costs and high technology. Serious traders, like myself, can undoubtedly benefit from their exceptional services and seize valuable opportunities in the market.

    FAQ

    IC Markets is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
    I rate IC Markets as relatively safe because two entities are governed by top-tier regulators. Meanwhile, traders at the offshore entity benefit from $1M insurance from Lloyds of London.
    IC Markets profits from spreads, commissions, and swap fees.
    Traders can deposit funds using various methods including bank wire, credit cards, and digital wallets.
    The minimum deposit is 200 USD. This amount is to be considered the same under any currency.
    Clients can withdraw funds via bank wire, credit cards, and digital wallets.
    There are no fees charged by IC Markets for deposits or withdrawals.
    Once processed, bank wires and credit card withdrawals usually take 3–5 business days. Withdrawals via digital wallet are instant after they have been processed.
    Under the CySEC and ASIC regulated entities, the maximum leverage for retail traders is 1:30. Under the FSA Seychelles entity, the maximum leverage is 1:500.
    You can open an account in just a few minutes through the Start Trading tab on the broker’s website.
    IC Markets offers the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader platforms.
    I consider IC Markets a suitable broker for beginners due to the solid customer service and good educational materials.
    Yes, demo accounts are available via MetaTrader 4 and cTrader.
    With tight spreads, low commissions, and average execution speeds of under 40ms, we rate IC Markets as a strong choice for scalpers.
    Yes. IC Markets offers two of the best platforms for automated trading: MetaTrader and cTrader. They also offer VPS hosting and fast order execution, which are especially important for algorithmic traders.
    Yes. IC Markets has a strong range of tradable instruments that can be used for hedging purposes.
    No, IC Markets does not offer spread betting.
    Yes. VPS hosting enables traders to run automated trading strategies 24/7 with the fastest possible connectivity to the IC Markets trading servers.
    Trading hours vary by instrument. For example, trading hours for all currency pairs are between 00:01 server time to 23:59 server time during weekdays (23:57 on Friday), while gold can be traded between 01:02 server time to 23:57.
    IC Markets describes itself as offering the ECN pricing model, as pricing is sourced from external unrelated liquidity providers. Trades are executed automatically without any human intervention from a dealing desk.
    No, IC Markets is purely a broker and does not operate a bank.

    See IC Markets Full Information

    Headquarters CountryAustralia
    Foundation Year2007
    RegulationsFSA (Seychelles), ASIC (Australia), CySEC (Cyprus)
    Publicly TradedNo
    Number Of Employees101
    Trading Desk TypeECN, No dealing desk
    Trading PlatformsMT5, cTrader, MT4
    Restricted Countries
    Bolivia, Congo, Cote dIvoire, Cuba, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Namibia, Mali, Niger, Iran, Guinea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Senegal, United States, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Togo, Yemen, Botswana, Syria, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Gambia, Tanzania, Libya, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Canada, Central African Republic, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cook Islands, Guam, Israel, Lebanon, Mayotte, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan
    Supported Languages
    English, Russian, Indonesian, Portuguese, Thai, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese
    Min Deposit$200
    Max Leverage1:500 (FSA), 1:30 (ASIC), 1:30 (CySEC )
    Deposit OptionsPoli, Local Deposit, PayPal, Wire Transfer, Skrill, Neteller, Credit Card, Union Pay, Klarna, Bpay, Broker to Broker, Visa, Mastercard
    Withdrawal OptionsWire Transfer, Neteller, Skrill, Credit Card, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Union Pay, Bpay, Broker to Broker, Poli, Klarna, Local Transfer
    Time to Withdrawal2
    Time to Open an Account7
    Crypto
    Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin, peercoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, EOS, Ethereum, Dogecoin
    Products
    Currencies, Stocks, ETFs, Crypto, Bonds, Indices, Commodities, Futures
    Demo AccountYes
    OCO OrdersNo
    Offers HedgingYes
    Automated TradingYes
    API TradingYes
    Guaranteed Stop LossYes
    Guaranteed Limit OrdersYes
    Guaranteed Fills / LiquidityNo
    Economic calendarYes
    Trading From ChartNo
    One-Click TradingYes
    Expert AdvisorYes
    Social TradingYes
    AutochartistYes
    Trading SignalsYes
    Platform Languages
    English, Russian, Hindi, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Thai, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese
    24 Hours SupportYes
    Support During WeekendsYes
    Live ChatYes
    Daily Market CommentaryYes
    News (Top-Tier Sources)Yes
    WebinarsYes
    Deposit FeeNo
    Withdrawal FeeNo
    Inactivity FeeNo

    About the Author

    Dan BlystoneBroker Analyst

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

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    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.