CFD trading has been growing at a rapid rate in recent years, but this additional demand makes the search for the best CFD brokers that much more complicated. Searching for a needle in a haystack comes to mind!
We are going to simplify that search with what we believe are the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker for CFD trading, as well as sharing a list of 12 of the best CFD brokers.
The Best CFD Brokers List
- Plus500 is regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, MAS.
- All assets listed with Plus500 are tradeable as CFDs. Stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, forex, commodities
- Custom proprietary trading platform and Webtrader with no download.
What makes Plus500 stand out as one of the best CFD brokers
If you’re looking for a top CFD broker relatively with a global reputation for excellence, Plus500 is a great choice. They offer a wide range of assets to trade, including forex, commodities, indices, cryptocurrency, stocks, and more. Plus500 also has some great features and benefits, such as tight spreads, a user-friendly custom platform, and fast order execution.
One potential downside is that they don’t offer any option to trade on known trading platforms like MT4, or MT5 if you already have experience with these. That being said, the Plus500 CFD trading platform on mobile and desktop is easy to use, and all this with a broker that has an excellent track record in the market, along with a trusted background of regulations from across the globe.
Plus500 is a strong broker, publicly listed on the LSE (providing great transparency), and sure to be on every list of best CFD brokers out there.
- Regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, MiFID, FinCEN
- CFDS on stocks, indices, crypto, forex, commodities, CFDs, social trading
- Proprietary trading platform and award winning app
Why choose eToro as one of the top CFD brokers
eToro is another great choice that most will likely have seen before, if you’ve looking for the best CFD broker for longer than a few minutes. With over 12 million users, eToro are one of the largest social trading platforms in the world and offer a wide variety of assets to trade including forex, commodities, indices, cryptocurrency, stocks, as CFDs.
eToro also has some great features to add to mix, including their social trading platform, which allows you to copy the trades of other successful traders with minimal fuss. They also have improved spreads in recent periods, and charge no commission fees on stock CFDs.
One potential downside to consider for those wanting to integrate certain other tools is that they don’t offer any option to trade on MetaTrader platforms like MT4 or MT5, as everything is traded on the proprietary eToro trading platform. Overall, eToro is a great choice for those looking for a user-friendly and trusted CFD broker that keeps itself at the forefront of innovation.
- Regulated by CBI, FSCA, ASIC, BVI, FSC, JFSA, FRSA
- Trade CFDs on stocks, indices, crypto, forex, commodities, social trading
- AvaProtect brings innovation to risk management
More about what makes AvaTrade a good CFD broker choice
AvaTrade is a CFD broker that offers traders the ability to trade a variety of financial instruments including forex, commodities, stocks, and indices. AvaTrade is regulated is many different jurisdictions as you can see, which is a huge bonus to users around the world seeking a safe place to trade.
With a range of benefits including a wide selection of tradable assets, competitive spreads, a growing social trading platform, and an award winning trading app; AvaTrade are here to stay as one of the best CFD brokers on the market today.
- Regulated by FCA, CySEC, FSCA, FSC
- Forex, CFDs, indices, commodities, copy trading
- MT4, MT5 or FXTM Trader trading platforms
- Usually offer deposit bonuses for specific non EU countries; check here for latest
Where does FXTM excel as a CFD broker?
FXTM is one of the top CFD brokers in the industry, but particularly for those more interested in trading forex as a CFD. Whilst they offer a wide range of products and services, and have a very user-friendly platform, forex is the instrument that is best catered for with FXTM.
One of the best things about FXTM is that they try to make trading available to everyone; with a low minimum deposit of $5, and a free and unlimited demo account so you can try out their platform before committing to a real money account.
Another advantage when trading CFDs with FXTM is that they offer a very generous flexible leverage of up to 1:500. Whilst this means that you can trade with a lot more money than you have in your account, it also means that you can lose a lot of money very quickly, so you need to be careful with leverage.
Although FXTM are regulated in Europe with offices there; it is in other regions such as South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Kenya, and India that this broker is gaining the most interest amongst CFD traders. FXTM remain one to keep on the shortlist, but keep an eye out for the instruments available in case you are looking for something unsupported.
- Regulated by CySEC
- Stocks CFDs, indices, commodities, forex, crypto. options
- Custom platform and trading app
- Trading competitions at various intervals depending on your country of residence
IQ Option CFD trading details
IQ Option is a broker that has had to pivot more than most in the trading industry in recent years. Having been more of a binary options trading platform in the past, IQ Option are now firmly seen as one of the top CFD brokers, supporting users from a very wide range of countries.
You will find a wide range of derivative assets to trade, including currency pairs, commodities, indices, crypto, although with spreads that are slightly higher than that of some of the other top names featured on this list.
A very easy account opening process, a minimum deposit of just $5, and a huge number of active traders, means IQ Option remains deserving of inclusion amongst the best CFD brokers
- Pepperstone is regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, DFSA.
- Trade Forex, CFDs, Indices, Commodities.
- Offers MT4, MT5, cTrader & Tradingview trading platforms.
The transition from local to global CFD broker is complete – read more
Pepperstone are definitely up there as one of the best CFD brokers in the world; with low fees, a large selection of assets, and excellent customer service. One potential downside to consider is that the demo accounts they offer are limited by time if you do not go on and open a real account so you have 30 days in order to decide if you want to move forward for real.
It is worth noting that Pepperstone have a very user-friendly range of the best trading platforms in the industry from MetaTrader, cTrader, and TradingView, ably supported by an extensive education center to help new traders learn the ropes.
Having originated in Australia more than 10 years ago, Pepperstone have gone on to gain regulation in UK, Kenya, UAE, and Germany; and seem perfectly poised to remain on the list of best CFD brokers for many years ahead.
- Libertex is regulated by CySEC
- Trade CFDs on Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities.
- Feature rich trading app
A growing range keeps Libertex among the best CFD brokers out there…
Libertex is one of the most rapidly growing CFD brokers in the market. They offer a variety of features and benefits that make trading with them a great experience. One of the best things about Libertex is that they are continually adding new products to the mix. This includes stocks, commodities, indices, and more. They also offer a variety of different account types to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits your needs.
- Admirals is regulated by FCA, CySEC, ASIC, EFSA, IIROC
- Trade CFDs on Forex, ETFs, Stocks, Indices, Commodities.
- 20+ years of award winning history
What keeps Admiral Markets in the conversation of best CFD brokers
Admiral Markets is a CFD broker that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, along with ASIC, CySEC, JSC and more recently, IIROC. Offering over 6,000 different instruments to trade including forex, indices, commodities, shares, and more, Admirals has a huge range to choose from. Depending on the account type you choose, Admiral Markets offer tight spreads from 0.0 pips on major currency pairs and leverage of up to 1:500. With a free demo account so you can try out their trading platform before depositing any money, Admiral Markets is a great choice for both beginner and experienced traders.
- Tickmill is regulated by LFSA, FCA, CySEC, FSCA
- CFDs on Forex, ETFs, Stocks, Indices, Commodities.
- Low fees, 0% commission on CFDs
Where do Tickmill excel in their CFD trading offer?
When it comes to online trading, regulation is always an important consideration. You want to be sure that your broker is regulated by a reputable authority and that they adhere to strict financial standards.
Tickmill is a leading CFD broker that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, along with many other global regulators. This means that they are held to high standards of financial regulation and that your money is safe with them.
Another advantage of trading CFDs with Tickmill is their low fees. They charge no commission on CFD trades, and their spreads are very competitive. This can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if you trade frequently.
Tickmill also offers a wide range of markets to trade, including forex, stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. So no matter what you’re interested in trading, you’ll likely be able to do so with Tickmill.
- IC Markets is regulated by ASIC, CySEC, FSA
- Trade CFDs on Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities.
- Feature rich trading platform
Read why IC Markets made the list
IC Markets offers one of the best trading platforms on the market with a wide range of features and benefits that make CFD trading easier. With access to a broad choice of markets, including forex, indices, commodities, and more, IC Markets provide a variety of account types to suit different traders’ needs. In addition, IC Markets provides excellent customer support and educational resources to help traders learn more about CFD trading.
- Regulated by FCA, CySEC, KNF, & IFSC
- Trade CFDs, stocks, indices, commodities, forex, crypto
- Award winning Xstation 5 platform and trading app
- Publicly listed
Are XTB the best publicly traded CFD broker?
If you’re looking for the best CFD brokers, then XTB is a one to put on the shortlist for due diligence. XTB offers tight spreads on major currency pairs, as well as access to a wide range of markets including indices, commodities, shares and more.
As one of very few publicly listed CFD brokers, XTB holds regulations with FCA, CySEC, KNF, & IFSC, so you can be sure that they are held to high compliance standards and that there is proper oversight, and transparency on the business.
You will find that XTB offers a free demo account so you can try out CFD trading without risking any real money on a range of award winning trading platforms, including their own xStation5 . XTB also offers a very good mobile trading app, so you can trade on the go from wherever in the world you find yourself.
- Regulated by MFSA, BVI
- Forex, CFDs, indices, commodities, stocks
- MT5 and DTrader trading platforms
Where Deriv feature alongside the best brokers
Deriv is one of the more innovative CFD brokers in the industry in terms of new product creation. They offer a wide range of assets to trade, including forex, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
The Deriv platform is user-friendly and their customer service is excellent. One downside is that they don’t have as extensive a regulatory framework as some of the other names on this list, and as a result tend to be more one for those located outside of Europe, Australia, and the US.
Criteria For Choosing The Right CFD Broker Trading Platform
When looking for the best CFD brokers, it is important to consider a number of different factors in order to find the best one for you. We have listed the top 12 criteria that we are using as main rating points below, but there are many other smaller variables that will also come into the equation depending on how, and what you are trading.
1. Demo account
It is important that the best CFD brokers offer a demo account so that potential clients can try out the trading platform, and you can see if it suits your needs before committing to real trading. Demo accounts, or paper trading, is also a vital part of a traders’ toolkit in as much as it allows you to test out new trading strategies in theory before moving on to your real account. There are a variety of CFD brokers out there now that provide this as a standard, so this is an essential part of the broker product offering.
2. Minimum deposit
The minimum deposit required by a CFD broker should be reasonable and affordable, so as not to deter potential clients who may only have a small amount of capital to trade with. Some brokers have very high minimum deposit requirements, which can be a hindrance to those just starting out in trading and as a result hinder their chances of acquiring more clients.
3. Spreads and commissions
This one is an absolutely essential piece of criteria to consider in the mix of CFD trading, where you are likely executing multiple trades per day. The best CFD brokers will offer tight spreads and low commissions, so that your trading costs are kept to a minimum. This is an important consideration, as the spreads and commissions can quickly eat into your profits if they are too high.
4. Flexible leverage
Flexible leverage to give choice to traders is an important aspect to consider. Leverage is a double-edged sword in that it can help you to make bigger profits, but it can also magnify your losses. The top CFD brokers will offer a range of different leverage options so that you can choose the one that best suits your trading style.
5. Trading platforms
The trading platform you interact with during your CFD trading can be really important in how the whole trading experience looks and feels. Some of the most innovative CFD brokers have built their own trading platforms to be as easy to use as possible, although they do not always hit the mark on every level.
The best CFD brokers will offer a feature rich trading platform, with tons of technical indicators, charting options, and tools available so that you can choose the one that gives you what you need to trade at your best. Some brokers offer proprietary trading platforms, while others offer popular third-party platforms such as MetaTrader 4 (MT4).
6. Execution speed
The CFD brokers that offer fast execution speeds so that you can get your trades done quickly and efficiently should be well rewarded in return. This particular aspect is often overlooked, but is important as it can be the difference between making a profit or a loss on a trade.
7. Customer service
This is a standard rating criteria for any business in the modern world, as it shows how much they care about their customers, and how they are treating people. The best CFD brokers will offer excellent customer service, across a good choice of languages and platforms, so that you can get the help and support you need when you need it. This includes at least one way to gain access to 24/5 customer support.
This is one of the most important criteria you need to consider when choosing any type of broker or financial product. The best CFD brokers will be properly regulated by a reputable financial regulator, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, or the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia. This ensures that the broker is operating within the law and that you are taking appropriate precautions to trade safely and protect your funds from scams.
9. Account selection
The best CFD brokers will offer a range of different account types so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs. There is no one size fits all approach in CFD trading, so this category is more about having a selection that caters to different types of traders. Whilst some brokers only offer standard accounts, others offer ECN, STP, Islamic accounts, and accounts for professional traders.
10. Bonuses and promotions
Offering a suitable range of different bonuses and promotions, so that you can get the best value for your money is a positive, but not authorised in many regions. It is important that an incentive is suitable, and does not encourage to trade recklessly or without proper risk management.
Promotions typically include deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, welcome bonuses, and other promotional offers. Whilst these types of incentives are not available to those in Europe or Australia due to regulatory restrictions, for those of you in other Countries, making use of broker bonuses can be a great way to get extra value in your trading account.
11. Choice of CFD trading instruments
Almost all financial products that are on the market these days can be traded as CFDs, with the flexibility of derivative products providing a boost to online trading enthusiasts.
The best CFD brokers will offer a wide range of different instruments so that you can choose the ones that best suit your needs. This includes forex pairs, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies, options, ETFs, and individual stocks and shares.
12. Selection of supported payment methods
It is of no use having the best CFD platform, and the best range of instruments, if your users are unable to fund and withdraw from their account effectively. The best brokers for CFD trading offer a wide range of different payment methods so that you can choose those that fit your requirements. You will likely want to see a range of methods supported, including bank wire transfer, credit/debit card, e-wallets, and potentially prepaid cards.
What is CFD Trading about?
A Contract for Difference (CFD) refers to an agreement that tracks the underlying asset’s performance. CFD trading means that you are speculating on the price movements of an underlying asset without owning it. CFD trading can be done on various assets like forex pairs, commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
How Risky is CFD Trading?
CFD trading involves inherent risks, like any other financial activity. However, with CFD trading, you can use leverage to increase your buying power, making the risks higher than if you were to own the underlying asset on a x1 leverage or unleveraged basis.
Who is the World’s No 1 CFD Provider?
Plus500 have a strong argument to say they are the world’s number 1 CFD provider, but the reality is that the best CFD provider to you may mean something different. Take a look through each of the top CFD brokers’ pros and cons and see which one might match up best to your own goals and preferences.
Is CFD Trading Good for Beginners?
Yes and no. CFD trading is suitable for beginners because it doesn’t require you to have a substantial capital outlay and can use leverage to increase your buying power. However, it is vital to proceed with caution and only trade with what you can afford to lose. As a beginner, you are more likely to lose than if you are experienced in the markets, so amplifying your results may not be the best idea. That being said, being new does not mean you are without knowledge of the markets. Before investing, ensure you have a good understanding of the market trends, make sure you have a well-thought-out trading plan and strategy.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start CFD Trading?
You don’t need a lot of money in relative terms to start CFD trading. Most CFD providers typically allow you to open an account for as little as $50. This low investment entry point allows you to start trading, get familiar with the market, and develop your trading skills at a manageable pace.
Can CFD Trading Make You Rich?
CFD trading has the potential to make you rich, but it is not a guaranteed source of income and many more people lose than win. You need to manage your risks well, have a good trading strategy, and constantly adapt to the changing market conditions. Focus on making small, consistent profits, and grow your capital over time but do not expect to become rich with CFD trading.
Is CFD Like Gambling?
No, CFD trading is not the same as gambling but there are risks involved that are not too dissimilar to those who do not know their way around the markets yet. CFD trading requires sound knowledge of the markets, good analysis of market trends, and appropriate risk management strategies to make informed decisions. Unlike gambling, CFD trading allows you to make well-calculated risks and rewards.
Can You Lose More Money than You Invest in CFD Trading?
This depends on the regulator that your broker or trading platform is governed by, but it should not be the case. Since regulation changes, brokers are required to provide negative balance protection to all those trading in Europe and Australia, and many markets outside, but you do need to take care with the broker you use. Without negative balance protection, a trade can take a sudden turn and move against you, causing significant losses, and leaving you with a negative account balance if you have taken out too much leverage. This is why it is important to always use tight stop losses, and ensure you are trading with a safe broker.
What is the Easiest CFD to Trade?
Among the many CFDs available, forex CFDs are relatively easier to trade since forex markets are the world’s most liquid markets. Forex markets are open 24 hours a day and are less volatile relative to other asset classes like stocks. The other market that has a lot more stability is gold CFDs, where the moves are usually significantly less volatile than others. There is no easy market to trade however, so you are best off practicing with a demo account and learning how to manage risks, understand charting, and perform technical analysis to identify potential opportunities.
Best CFD brokers in South Africa