Find the best CFD brokers and platforms with our comparison tools and list. From the cheapest trading costs, to the top platforms, we explain how to compare CFD brokers. So whether you are looking to use CFDs to trade forex, stocks or cryptocurrency – we will guide you on how to select the best CFD broker for you.
How to Compare Brokers
- Spread / Commission
- Leverage and Margin Requirements
- Trading Platform
- Deposit and Withdrawal options
- Additional features
- Mobile App
We cover each section in detail below.
Spread or Commission
The spread or commission hits every trader and every trade. It represents the ‘cost’ of making the trade. It is therefore key to compare one broker to another. Direct comparison may not be simple however. The spread will differ between assets, and may also change day by day if an asset is volatile. So a broker may have the smallest spread for Forex pairs, but the largest for indices – and the figures might change the next day.
Depending on the asset, a broker might be the cheapest choice – or the most expensive. So when comparing brokers and the spread, ensure you are checking the spread on the assets you will be trading most.
Leverage and Margin
The margin represents the funds that a trader must deposit (and commit) in order to open a trade. So a £1,000 trade on the GBP/USD currency pair may only require £50 to open.
That trade though, has exposed the trader to £1,000 worth of risk (the risk of losing the entire investment is extremely small, but that is the value of the position) – hence the warning attached to CFD trading “losses can exceed your initial deposit“.
Margin is also referred to as ‘leverage’. Where this is the case, the leverage is often illustrated in terms of multiples – so 200:1 would indicate leverage of 200 times the deposit. The equivalent margin would be 0.5%.
So when comparing brokers, a low margin requires smaller deposits. This will be important to some traders, but less so to others.
Trading platforms might be thought of as broadly the same. This can be a mistake if a trader finds a particular platform difficult to use. Yes, most platforms will have similar functions – but the usability and look and feel can vary – and some will not suit every trader.
It is vital to be trading on software that is familiar and easy to use. Traders can miss prices, or worse, make mistakes trading, because the trading platform did not suit them for whatever reason.
The trading buttons might be very clear to some users, but if you are the trader that ended up entering a large trade by mistake, you might wish you had based a broker choice on the clarity of the platform. All of the brands listed here offer demo accounts – try before you buy.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
This is becoming less important as more and more payment methods are added by brokers – but if you have ever had problems making payments or receiving money from a broker because they have a restricted list of withdrawal methods – you will know how important it can be to check first.
From bankwire to e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller and Paypal – you want to use your preferred method.
Features (Charts, Technical Analysis, Research)
If you plan to research your trades via your broker or their software, you want to ensure you have the best research tools available. Charting standards do differ significantly. Some brokers offer the best charting facilities, with a range of technical analysis tools that will satisfy even the most ardent technical analysis experts.
Some brokers however, assume their traders either do not do research, or do it elsewhere. Their tools lag behind some rivals. So again, take a look via a demo account and see if the broker delivers to a standard you need.
Other factors that enable new traders to compare CFD brokers might include the quality and availability of a mobile trading application. As ever, trading on the move will be important to many traders – others will be happy to not use a mobile app.
Regulation should be a key criteria for any broker. Only regulated CFD brokers are included on these pages. This is less of a comparison factor than a prerequisite.
Bonuses can sometimes sway a trader. Terms and conditions are always important with any bonus deal. They can often cause a new customer to over trade. However, where used correctly, a bonus can mean more funds to trade with, or a couple of risk free trades – so they can be useful. Just remember that a short term bonus is not going to make up for expensive spreads in the long run.
Our reviews cover all of the factors required to compare CFD brokers, and as mentioned previously, all of the CFD brokers listed on our pages provide demo accounts. So traders can take their time, read the detailed review, and try out the platforms themselves before making a choice. Once you have all the information, you can then decide the best CFD broker for you.
Find The Best CFD Brokers
Use these steps to make an informed decision about the best broker for you and your unique investing style;
- Consider your own trading style. For example, What assets do you trade, how frequently? How large is each trade, what is your overall trading aim etc.
- Shortlist the cfd brokers that suit your trading style and strategy
- Take advantage of demo accounts. Compare each trading platform you shortlist.
- Use and trade on each platform – then make the best choice for you.
- Deposit real money, and trade
Remember: Traders can use any number of broker accounts, and use those with the best terms for specific trades or assets. Trade Gold with one firm, but US Stocks with another. Use whichever account offer you the best deal for that particular trade.