Best CFD brokers in 2019

Dec 2018
Top 2 CFD brokers
XTB eToro
Best CFD brokers in 2019

Choose the best CFD broker in 2019, we did the research for you. We tested in-depth 20 quality online brokers. Five made it to the top.  We tell you the list, you pick your winner. And now, without further ado...

The top 5 picks for the best CFD brokers in 2019

  1. XTB is the best CFD broker in 2019. Good in everything. This put XTB to the top.
  2. eToro is number two, with the best social trading platform.
  3. IG is third. It has a great trading platform, it is also the best forex broker.
  4. Plus500 has good trading fees, and a great mobile platform. Place four.
  5. Number five is Markets.com, with its great research tools.

Best CFD brokers in 2019
Broker Info Score Best in
#1 Global CFD and FX broker 4.5
Best CFD broker
#2 Global social trading broker 4.4
Best social trading
#3 Global CFD and FX broker 4.5
Best FX broker
#4 Global CFD and FX broker 4.4
#5 Global CFD and FX broker 4.3

All five brokers are considered safe. All, except markets.com are regulated by the top tier regulator, the FCA. Some are listed on an exchange too.

What makes a good CFD broker?  We think fair fees. They should offer a lot of CFDs, and need to have a great platform. It must be easy to open an account and deposit. Easy to list, but hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers along ~100 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up.

Boring, but important stuff: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing 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. If you don't have a clue what a CFD is, start by reading more about CFD trading.

Not sure which broker? For a tailored recommendation, check out the broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with this detailed comparison table.

And now, let's see the best CFD brokers in 2019 one by one. Starting with the winner, XTB.

#1 Best CFD broker
XTB

4.5 5 stars
Best CFD broker
XTB logo

XTB is primarily a forex and CFD broker and in some countries, you can also trade with real stocks. XTB is a global broker, it has more than ten offices worldwide. In Europe, it serves clients by a UK or a Polish entity. We tested the UK entity, but will provide info on all entities.

XTB is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. A listed company is more transparent. It discloses its financials regularly. XTB is authorized and regulated by different regulators, including top-tier regulator, the FCA.

XTB is considered safe because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and is regulated by a top-tier regulator.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. In the UK, 79%, while in the rest of Europe 82% 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.
 

Recommended for forex and CFD traders looking for quick deposit and withdrawal, and advanced research tools.

Pros
  • Fast deposit and withdrawal
  • Fast and user-friendly account opening
  • Good research tools
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio, mostly CFD and FX
  • Sales team can be pushy
  • Missing 24/7 customer support

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#1 XTB
Fees 4 stars

XTB has average trading fees and low non-trading fees.

Pros
  • Low fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Low financing rate
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
None

XTB fees
Apple benchmark fee$18.1$1.6$34.9$8.9$5.6
Vodafone benchmark fee$24.6$2.6$30.7$8.7$7.8
EURUSD benchmark fee$17.1$19.1$12.3$17.6$28.6

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

XTB yearly financing rate
Apple financing rate6.0%8.9%5.8%13.9%7.9%
Vodafone financing rate3.1%8.9%4.0%12.1%6.0%
EURUSD financing rate4.1%3.7%2.9%4.5%6.6%

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#1 XTB
Markets and products 2 stars

UK, Hungarians and non-Europeans can trade only with CFDs and forex. All other Europeans can also trade with real shares and ETFs.

XTB CFD markets
Forex - number of currency pairs48 47 94 59 55
Stock index CFDs34 13 68 23 27
Number of stock CFD1,600 1,300 10,500 1,800 2,000
Number of ETF CFDs87 83 1,900 80 39
Commodity CFDs21 6 47 17 8
Number of Bond CFDs--13 --
Cryptocurrencies16 14 6 9 5

XTB real asset offering, beside CFD
StockYesYesYesNoNo
ETFYesYesYesNoNo

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#1 XTB
Account opening 5 stars

XTB account opening is hassle-free and straightforward. Your account is ready for trading on the same day. However, the sales team is very pushy.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Sales team pushy

XTB minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$250$200$300$570$100
Time to open account1 day1 day1-3 days1 day1 day

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#1 XTB
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

XTB's deposit and withdrawal are cost-friendly, fast, and can be done in several forms. Fees for electronic wallet deposits are quite high.

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Speedy funding and withdrawal -within 3 days
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • High fees for electronic wallets deposit

XTB withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoYesYesYesYes
Electronic walletsNoYesNoYesYes
Withdrawal fee$0$25$0$0$0

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#1 XTB
Web trading platform 4 stars

XTB's xStation 5 platform is user-friendly, can be customized, and a have good search function. On the flip side, we missed the two-step login, the leverage setting option, and the more sophisticated order types.

Pros
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Limited order types

Best CFD brokers - XTB trading platform

XTB trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score4 stars----
Can you set leverage manually?NoYesNoNoYes

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#1 XTB
Verdict

XTB is a good broker. It is regulated by more than 10 authorities globally, including the top-tier FCA and it is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. 

On the plus side, deposit and withdrawal are fast. We liked the seamless and hassle-free account opening. The research tools are easy-to-use.

XTB has some drawbacks though. Its product range is mainly limited to FX and CFDs, but there are real stocks too in some countries. When opening the account the sales team can be pushy. We also missed the 24/7 customer support.

We recommend XTB for clients preferring forex and CFD trading and aim for a fast account opening, cheap money withdrawal, and great research tools. Feel free to test it even via the demo account.

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#2 Best CFD broker
eToro

4.4 4 stars
Best social trading
eToro logo

eToro is a well-known fintech startup, an Israeli social trading broker established in 2007. eToro serves UK clients by an FCA regulated entity and Australians by an Australian entity. All other customers are served by a Cypriot entity. eToro is not listed on any exchange, does not disclose its annual report on its site and does not have a bank parent.

eToro is considered safe, because it's UK arm is regulated by a top tier regulator and it is a well known fintech startup.

eToro is primarily a CFD broker. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 65% 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.

Recommended for social trading, e.g. following other traders’ trades.

Pros
  • Enjoyable trading platform
  • Social trading experience
  • Seamless account opening
Cons
  • Poor customer service
  • Trading platform outages
  • Limited product range, mostly CFDs

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#2 eToro
Fees 4 stars

eToro's trading fees are low, while non-trading fees are high.

Pros
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • Inactivity fee
  • High financing rate
  • Withdrawal fee
  • High non-trading fees

eToro fees
Apple benchmark fee$18.1$1.6$34.9$8.9$5.6
Vodafone benchmark fee$24.6$2.6$30.7$8.7$7.8
EURUSD benchmark fee$17.1$19.1$12.3$17.6$28.6

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

eToro yearly financing rate
Apple financing rate6.0%8.9%5.8%13.9%7.9%
Vodafone financing rate3.1%8.9%4.0%12.1%6.0%
EURUSD financing rate4.1%3.7%2.9%4.5%6.6%

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#2 eToro
Markets and products 3 stars

At eToro you can trade with CFDs and forex. There are also real stocks and ETFs, and many cryptos. It also offers social trading and "CFD funds".

eToro CFD markets
Forex - number of currency pairs48 47 94 59 55
Stock index CFDs34 13 68 23 27
Number of stock CFD1,600 1,300 10,500 1,800 2,000
Number of ETF CFDs87 83 1,900 80 39
Commodity CFDs21 6 47 17 8
Number of Bond CFDs--13 --
Cryptocurrencies16 14 6 9 5

eToro real asset offering, beside CFD
StockYesYesYesNoNo
ETFYesYesYesNoNo

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#2 eToro
Account opening 5 stars

Account opening is enjoyable and super fast.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • No minimum account balance
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

eToro minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$250$200$300$570$100
Time to open account1 day1 day1-3 days1 day1 day

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#2 eToro
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

It is easy to deposit with a lot of options, including credit cards. However, there is a withdrawal fee, and only USD accounts are available.

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Free deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Only one account base currency
  • High withdrawal fee

eToro withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoYesYesYesYes
Electronic walletsNoYesNoYesYes
Withdrawal fee$0$25$0$0$0

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#2 eToro
Web trading platform 4 stars

eToro’s web trading platform is nice looking and easy-to-use. Getting your fee report is a bit of a pain.

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Looks nice
  • Social trading
Cons
  • No clear fee report available
  • Cannot be customized

Best CFD brokers - eToro trading platform

eToro trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score4 stars----
Can you set leverage manually?NoYesNoNoYes

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#2 eToro
Verdict

When looking back, eToro was a bit unreliable in 2017 because of the huge demand for cryptos. It had problems in customer support and the platform sometimes froze. In our latest test eToro improved.

On the plus side, eToro is great for social trading and also good for crypto CFDs, it is a pleasure to use, has a lot of innovative features, and the account opening is spot on. Its trading fees are low.

It has some drawbacks though. Customer service was a letdown, the platform did not work on multiple occasions. Also, it has a tight product range which includes stocks and CFDs. Non-trading fees are high.

To sum up, we recommend eToro for social trading and cheap stock trading.

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#3 Best CFD broker
IG

4.5 5 stars
Best FX broker
IG logo

IG was established in the UK in 1974 and is one of the biggest CFD providers in the world. It is regulated by several regulators globally, including top-tier authorities, like the FCA. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG is considered safe, because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and regulated by top-tier regulators.

IG is primarily a CFD broker. CFDs are usually leveraged products with high risk. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for traders aiming for a great and easy-to-use trading platform.

Pros
  • Easy to use web trading platform
  • Helpful and reliable customer service
  • Great deposit and withdrawal tools
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Limited research tools

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#3 IG
Fees 2 stars

IG's trading fees are high and non-trading fees are average. Its financing rate is one of the best.

Pros
  • Low financing rate
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Inactivity fee

IG fees
Apple benchmark fee$18.1$1.6$34.9$8.9$5.6
Vodafone benchmark fee$24.6$2.6$30.7$8.7$7.8
EURUSD benchmark fee$17.1$19.1$12.3$17.6$28.6

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

IG yearly financing rate
Apple financing rate6.0%8.9%5.8%13.9%7.9%
Vodafone financing rate3.1%8.9%4.0%12.1%6.0%
EURUSD financing rate4.1%3.7%2.9%4.5%6.6%

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#3 IG
Markets and products 3 stars

At IG, most clients can only trade with CFDs and forex. There are many-many CFDs. UK and some other clients can also trade with shares.

IG CFD markets
Forex - number of currency pairs48 47 94 59 55
Stock index CFDs34 13 68 23 27
Number of stock CFD1,600 1,300 10,500 1,800 2,000
Number of ETF CFDs87 83 1,900 80 39
Commodity CFDs21 6 47 17 8
Number of Bond CFDs--13 --
Cryptocurrencies16 14 6 9 5

IG real asset offering, beside CFD
StockYesYesYesNoNo
ETFYesYesYesNoNo

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#3 IG
Account opening 4 stars

The account opening process is fast, user-friendly, and fully digital. On the other hand, there is a £250 or equivalent minimum deposit for cards and the sales team is very pushy.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • £250 or equivalent minimum deposit for cards
  • Sales team is quite pushy, reaching out regularly to fund account

IG minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$250$200$300$570$100
Time to open account1 day1 day1-3 days1 day1 day

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#3 IG
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

You have several options to transfer money. The transfer process is user-friendly and fast.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Not transparent on available base currencies

IG withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoYesYesYesYes
Electronic walletsNoYesNoYesYes
Withdrawal fee$0$25$0$0$0

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#3 IG
Web trading platform 5 stars

IG's web platform is great. It is easy to use, has all necessary functions, and can be customized. Even first time users can get familiar with it instantly.

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Best CFD brokers - IG trading platform

IG trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score4 stars----
Can you set leverage manually?NoYesNoNoYes

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#3 IG
Verdict

IG is one of the biggest and most reliable CFD brokers. It is regulated by several financial authorities around the world. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG has the best web trading platform Brokerchooser tested. Its customer service is professional and relevant. The deposit and withdrawal conditions are also great.

The biggest drawback is the fee structure. It is quite pricey especially when you trade lower amounts. IG's product portfolio is limited to CFDs, however, in the UK and some other countries, stocks are also accessible. 

It is quite easy to test IG's first class trading platform since there is no minimum funding for bank transfer and you can easily open a demo account. 

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#4 Best CFD broker
Plus500

4.4 4 stars
Plus500 logo

Plus500 is a CFD broker, established in Israel. It is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Plus500 subsidiaries are authorized and regulated by different regulators, including top-tier regulators like the FCA from the UK.

Plus500 is considered safe because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Plus500 is a CFD and forex broker. 80.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Daytraders!: At Plus500 scalping is defined as "A trading strategy where a significant portion of the customer's positions are opened and closed by him/her within 2 minutes." If Plus500 believes you were following this strategy, your account might be blocked and closed. Therefore, if you plan to execute trades within 2 minutes, Plus500 is not your broker

Recommended for experienced traders looking for an easy-to-use platform, with great user experience.

Pros
  • Easy to use platform
  • Low spreads
  • Listed on AIM section of the London Stock Exchange
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio, only CFDs
  • High financing rates
  • Minimal research tools

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#4 Plus500
Fees 4 stars

Plus500 has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. Financing rates are very high.

Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • Inactivity fee
  • High financing rate
  • Financing rate calculation is opaque

Plus500 fees
Apple benchmark fee$18.1$1.6$34.9$8.9$5.6
Vodafone benchmark fee$24.6$2.6$30.7$8.7$7.8
EURUSD benchmark fee$17.1$19.1$12.3$17.6$28.6

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

Plus500 yearly financing rate
Apple financing rate6.0%8.9%5.8%13.9%7.9%
Vodafone financing rate3.1%8.9%4.0%12.1%6.0%
EURUSD financing rate4.1%3.7%2.9%4.5%6.6%

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#4 Plus500
Markets and products 2 stars

At Plus500 you can trade only with CFDs and forex. There are a lot CFDs, you can choose from almost 2,000.

Plus500 CFD markets
Forex - number of currency pairs48 47 94 59 55
Stock index CFDs34 13 68 23 27
Number of stock CFD1,600 1,300 10,500 1,800 2,000
Number of ETF CFDs87 83 1,900 80 39
Commodity CFDs21 6 47 17 8
Number of Bond CFDs--13 --
Cryptocurrencies16 14 6 9 5

Plus500 real asset offering, beside CFD
StockYesYesYesNoNo
ETFYesYesYesNoNo

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#4 Plus500
Account opening 5 stars

Plus500 account opening is seamless, fast and fully digital. You can open your trading account within a day.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Plus500 minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$250$200$300$570$100
Time to open account1 day1 day1-3 days1 day1 day

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#4 Plus500
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

Plus500's deposit and withdrawal are both great. You have many options, the process is easy-to-do and usually free of charge.

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Free deposit
  • User-friendly
  • Five withdrawal per month is free
Cons
None

Plus500 withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoYesYesYesYes
Electronic walletsNoYesNoYesYes
Withdrawal fee$0$25$0$0$0

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#4 Plus500
Web trading platform 4 stars

Plus500 trading platform is very easy-to-use and also looks great. On the flip side, it cannot be customized. 

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • User-friendly
  • Available in more languages
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for chart, for workspace)

Best CFD brokers - Plus500 trading platform

Plus500 trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score4 stars----
Can you set leverage manually?NoYesNoNoYes

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#4 Plus500
Verdict

Plus500 is a good broker. It is for traders aware of the risks of CFD trading.

Is plus 500 safe? It is considered safe because it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the FCA. If you are not from the UK, you will be most likely served by Plus500 Cyprus, and hence the Cypriot investor protection will apply.

Daytraders! At Plus500 scalping is defined as "A trading strategy where a significant portion of the customer's positions are opened and closed by him/her within 2 minutes." If Plus500 believes you were following this strategy, your account might be blocked and closed. So if you plan to execute trades within 2 minutes, Plus500 is not your broker.

On the bright side, Plus500 platform is easy-to-use with a great user experience. Even the first time user can navigate the app with ease. Spreads are competitive, but there are really high financing rates. Therefore, fees can be really high. For this fee level, some research tools would have been nice. 

As there is no minimum balance, no withdrawal fee above $100, withdrawal and inactivity fee only kicks in after three months, feel free to try it out.

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#5 Best CFD broker
Markets.com

4.3 4 stars
Markets.com logo

Markets.com is a global CFD and FX broker established in 2010. Markets.com is operated by Safecap Investment Limited, which is regulated by two regulators, the Cypriot Cysec and the South African FSCA. It is not regulated by FCA, the top-tier, UK regulator. Safecap is owned by Playtech, a gambling software development company.

Markets.com is considered safe, because its parent company, Playtech is listed on a stock exchange.

Markets.com is a CFD and forex broker. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% 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.

Recommended for traders wanting to venture in CFD trading.

Pros
  • Low fees
  • Account open is seamless and fast
  • Innovative research tools
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio, only CFDs
  • Not FCA regulated, Cysec and FSB only

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#5 Markets.com
Fees 4 stars

Markets.com has low trading and non-trading fees.

Pros
  • No inactivity fee
  • Low financing rate
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Low trading fees
  • Low non-trading fees
Cons
  • Not transparent fee structure
  • Financing rate calculation is opaque

Markets.com fees
Apple benchmark fee$18.1$1.6$34.9$8.9$5.6
Vodafone benchmark fee$24.6$2.6$30.7$8.7$7.8
EURUSD benchmark fee$17.1$19.1$12.3$17.6$28.6

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks, and $20k for FX

Markets.com yearly financing rate
Apple financing rate6.0%8.9%5.8%13.9%7.9%
Vodafone financing rate3.1%8.9%4.0%12.1%6.0%
EURUSD financing rate4.1%3.7%2.9%4.5%6.6%

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#5 Markets.com
Markets and products 2 stars

At Markets.com you can trade only with CFDs, forex, and cryptos.

Markets.com CFD markets
Forex - number of currency pairs48 47 94 59 55
Stock index CFDs34 13 68 23 27
Number of stock CFD1,600 1,300 10,500 1,800 2,000
Number of ETF CFDs87 83 1,900 80 39
Commodity CFDs21 6 47 17 8
Number of Bond CFDs--13 --
Cryptocurrencies16 14 6 9 5

Markets.com real asset offering, beside CFD
StockYesYesYesNoNo
ETFYesYesYesNoNo

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#5 Markets.com
Account opening 5 stars

Markets.com account opening is seamless, fast and fully digital. You can open your trading account within a day.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • $/€/£100 minimum funding

Markets.com minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$250$200$300$570$100
Time to open account1 day1 day1-3 days1 day1 day

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#5 Markets.com
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

Markets.com deposit and withdrawal are free of charge, with many options and easy-to-do.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Free deposit
Cons
  • None

Markets.com withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoYesYesYesYes
Electronic walletsNoYesNoYesYes
Withdrawal fee$0$25$0$0$0

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#5 Markets.com
Web trading platform 3 stars

Markets.com's web trading platform looks nice, easy to use, and has a great search function. It has limited order types, and the two step login is missing.

Pros
  • Good search function
  • User-friendly
  • Available in more languages
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Limited order types
  • No order confirmation available

Best CFD brokers - Markets.com trading platform

Markets.com trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score4 stars----
Can you set leverage manually?NoYesNoNoYes

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#5 Markets.com
Verdict

In our Markets.com review, we tested Markets.com thoroughly and here is the verdict. It is an ok broker, especially if you want to concentrate on CFD trading. Its spreads are not so competitive, but there is no withdrawal or inactivity fee. It has also an easy-to-use platform and great research tools.

It is not regulated by top-tier financial regulators, like the FCA or the SEC.

All in all, it is a good choice. The account opening is super easy and there is no inactivity fee, feel free to try it.

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Best CFD brokers
What makes a good CFD broker?

Trading with CFDs became really popular in the last decade. Keeping your eyes on important criteria like fees or number of CFDs helps you to find the best CFD broker for you. 

At Brokerchooser we test online brokers along ~100 criteria, with a real account and real money. Not to overwhelm you we list the five most important criteria.

The 5 most important criteria for CFD brokers are:

5 most important criteria for the best CFD brokers in 2019
1. Fee structure: The overall cost of a typical CFD trade can be 10-15 times higher at one CFD broker compared to another. Worth to check the fees.
2. Products and markets: You want to invest in Amazon CFD and Bitcoin CFD? They might not be available. Check the product coverage before opening an account.
3. Account opening: Some brokers require a minimum deposit, others don't set a minimal first-time deposit. Check out what the best CFD brokers require.
4. Deposit and withdrawal:  Transferring money to your account can be 5 times longer and more expensive at one CFD broker compared to another.
5. Web trading platform: A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort.

Best CFD brokers
CFD broker fees

Fees, fees, and fees. We bet this is on top of your mind when you want to select the best CFD broker. Let's see how we checked.

It is tough to compare CFD broker fees, but we are here to help. You need to calculate with two fee categories: trading-related fees and non-trading fees.

Trading-related fees

With regards to the trading-related fees, brokers can charge commissions, spreads and overnight fees. To make your life easier we calculated all fees for real-life scenarios. So, you can compare the fees. We took

  • US equity - Apple share CFD
  • European equity - Vodafone share CFD.
  • forex - EURUSD

We assumed opening a position, holding it for a week, and closing it. Apple and Vodafone positions are $2,000 and the EURUSD is $20,000. These real-life assumptions make CFD fees comparable.

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Best CFD brokers
CFD brokers explained

CFDs are derivatives, you can easily trade with a wide range of products, but it is leveraged, so it is risky.

CFDs are derivatives: you bet on price movements

With CFDs, you can gamble on whether asset prices will go up or down without buying the stock. Let’s say you want to profit from Microsoft's stock price going up. At an online stockbroker, you would buy the Microsoft stock. At a CFD broker, you can instead bet directly on the stock price going up. However, CFDs are much like knives: could be very useful, but if no idea how to use one, you can cut yourself. 

CFDs are an easy way to reach a lot of markets with leverage

Why on earth is this good for you? Well, there are three advantages:

  • 1, You can make bets on all kinds of products. E.g. if you wanted to trade with Turkish stocks, go ahead. This might not be possible with an online stockbroker. It is easier for a broker to provide a CFD than have access to the Turkish stock exchange.
  • 2, The second advantage is leverage. The odds of your bet will be much larger than with buying the actual stock. It also comes with greater risk, therefore we recommend you to fully understand leverage before you invest.
  • 3, Lastly, with CFDs, you can easily have a short position. That is a plus indeed.

To understand these advantages better, you can learn through CFD trading tips

Not owning the underlying asset exposes you to additional risks

If you do not own the stock (or any other underlying asset), you are running a whole different risk which you need to understand before trading CFDs.

Let’s say Bob has a Siemens stock and Janet is in a long Siemens CFD position, both with broker “Bust Broker Co.”. Bust Broker Co. goes bust. Bob’s Siemens stock is in custody with his custody service provider, sooner or later he will be able to access it. Janet was in a long position, therefore she will be compensated only up to the investor protection scheme of the country. In most cases, this is up to €20,000.

Best CFD brokers
CFD regulations and security

You’ve probably heard of European Securities and Markets Authority’s new regulation relating to CFDs and binary options. New measures clearly show how the European regulators want to secure retail investors from the gloomy side of the European retail brokerage industry.

Based on ESMA’s research, around 80 to 95% of investors are losing their deposits and in many cases not purely due to their fault. One core problem is that the dealing desk brokers are gaining profit when their clients lose. If you don't know what this model looks like, a Financemagnates article explains that very well. Another problem is the limitless and uncontrolled marketing of deposit bonuses, cheap prices and messages promising easy ways of getting rich.

The new regulation will probably help to make the ratio better off. The measures and their explanations are the following:

  • Limitation of leverage: it was not unusual that you could open a position with 400:1 leverage, but from now the possible maximum leverage will be 30:1 for major currency pairs. The limitation varies according to the underlying asset’s volatility: 
    • 30:1 for major currency pairs
    • 20:1 for non-major currency pairs, gold and major stock indices
    • 10:1 for commodities other than gold and non-major stock indices;
    • 5:1 for single stocks and any underlying not otherwise mentioned
    • 2:1 for cryptocurrencies
  • Margin close out on a per account basis: if an account's total margin falls below 50% of the initially required margin, brokers must close out or more of your positions.
  • Negative balance protection: you cannot lose more money than you invested in.
  • Restriction on marketing and incentive tools: instead of promoting CFD trading by promising of getting rich in a short period, brokers have to clearly show what percentage of their customers are losing money. 

Summing up, the stricter regulations mean that trading CFDs will become a nothing but a bedtime story for our kids? On the one hand, retail investors are protected by losing more than their deposit. On the other hand, handy investors can't multiply their profits by the use of high leverage. Altogether, we think CFD will keep its popularity as trading with that will become more transparent and safer.

Being part of a banking group or listed on an exchange should be your primary compass for the best CFD brokers

It is time to discuss how to make a well-established choice in today's changing landscape of CFD brokers. We prefer exchange-listed and/or banking licensed brokers. Why?

  • Being listed on any developed exchange means additional regulations, strict and frequent audits and also the need for constant communication between the shareholders and other stakeholders. No wonder that only a small portion of retail brokers decides to exchange money for transparency.
  • Banks are indisputably crucial building stones of any economy. Strict capital requirements, regulations and need for transparency is a must. Therefore any broker with a bank behind its back can be considered more reliable than the rest of the competition.

For more help on these points check out our online brokers' comparison table.

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Best CFD brokers
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best CFD brokers in 2019:

Best CFD brokers in 2019
Overall score4.54.44.54.44.3
Award
Best CFD broker
Best social trading
Best FX broker
Fees score4 stars4 stars2 stars4 stars4 stars
Account opening score5 stars5 stars4 stars5 stars5 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score5 stars4 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars
Markets and products score2 stars3 stars3 stars2 stars2 stars
Web platform score4 stars4 stars5 stars4 stars3 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

XTB is the best CFD broker in 2019, being strong in everything. eToro is the second, it has a low fees and a great platform. Next is IG, with a great platform, also the best forex broker. Plus500 is place four, with a nice mobile app. Markets.com has great research tools,and made it to the top five.

All are considered safe, and a great choice. Do not forget, that CFDs are really risky. If you are experienced, pick your winner, and take the next step in your trading journey. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Still unsure? Use the broker finder and find the best broker for you.

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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