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Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023

Interactive Brokers Logo
1st place
Interactive Brokers
XTB Logo
2nd place
XTB
Visit broker
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Alpaca Trading Logo
3rd place
Alpaca Trading

Top 5 picks for best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023:


  1. Interactive Brokers is the best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023. - Low trading fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
  2. XTB - Commission-free stocks/ETFs for some. Free and fast deposit and withdrawal. Easy and fast account opening.
  3. Alpaca Trading - Great API trading service. Free stock & ETF trading. Fantastic charting tools.
  4. Plus500 - Easy-to-use platform. Great account opening. Quick and helpful customer support.
  5. TradeStation - Great web and mobile trading platform. Low trading fees. High-quality research and education tools.

How did we select the best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023?

  • We checked whether the broker is regulated by a trusted regulator,
  • Compared fees (including spreads, withdrawal fees, commissions),
  • We checked and compared every aspect of their services,
  • Opened an account and tested the platform (charting, features, usability) with real money.
Save hours of research!
Our expert team has done all the work for you, and reviewed brokers based on BrokerChooser's unique methodology.
Now let's jump straight to the results.

Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023
International online brokers' key info

While many international online brokers catering to clients in South Africa offer an excellent service, the ones in our toplist go the extra mile. These international online trading platforms offer a broad range of markets and asset classes and are suitable for beginners and experienced traders alike.

Best online brokers in 2023
Interactive Brokers XTB Alpaca Trading Plus500 TradeStation
Overall score 4.9 stars 4.8 stars 4.7 stars 4.7 stars 4.7 stars
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $100 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day 1 day 1 day 1 day

Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023
Trading fees

In most cases the key broker selection criteria is how much you have to pay for a trade in spreads, commission and other trading costs, so we collected the most important fees for you in the table below.

Fees at the best international online brokers in January 2023
Interactive Brokers XTB Alpaca Trading Plus500 TradeStation
US stock $1.0 $0.0 $0.0 - $0.0
UK stock $3.4 $0.0 - - -
EURUSD benchmark fee $14.7 $15.2 - $18.7 -
US stock index options $6.5 - - - $6.0
Mutual fund $15.0 - - - $15.0
S&P 500 index CFD fee $3.3 $4.0 - $3.5 -

All commissions, spreads and financing rates (if applicable) for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.

Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023
Other fees at international online brokers

Non-trading fees are charges not directly related to a given trade and typically include the account maintenance fee, deposit/withdrawal fees, and the inactivity fee.

Interactive Brokers XTB Alpaca Trading Plus500 TradeStation
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No Yes No Yes Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
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Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023
Our assessment of best international online brokers for residents in South Africa in 2023

At BrokerChooser we do our best to make it easier for you to compare and select the best broker for your needs. Here is a summary of our scores in the most important aspects of these trading platforms' services.

Score summary of best international online brokers for residents in South Africa
Interactive Brokers XTB Alpaca Trading Plus500 TradeStation
Overall score 4.9 stars 4.8 stars 4.7 stars 4.7 stars 4.7 stars
Fees score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.8 stars 4.0 stars 4.1 stars
Mobile platform score 3.5 stars 4.4 stars 4.2 stars 5.0 stars 4.8 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3.0 stars 4.5 stars 1.8 stars 5.0 stars 2.2 stars
Account opening score 3.2 stars 5.0 stars 4.8 stars 5.0 stars 5.0 stars

If you are unsure how brokerage fees are charged, check out this article on the various fees, charges and costs.

Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023
Are these brokers reliable?

Absolutely. You can be sure none of them is a scam. They are all regulated by at least one top-tier regulator.

Online brokers in South Africa are overseen by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), which is responsible for overseeing the conduct of financial institutions in the country. This includes ensuring that online brokers comply with laws and regulations related to the financial industry, as well as protecting consumers from fraud and other financial crimes.

Pro tip: To avoid scam brokers, open an account with a brokerage regulated by a top-tier regulator, such as the FCA in the UK or BaFin in Germany. All the brokers in our top list are regulated by top-tier national authorities.

Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023
Is profit from trading taxable in South Africa?

Yes, you need to pay tax on any profits you made from trading during the tax year. In South Africa, profit resulting from trading is considered gross income and as such it is taxable. Under South Africa's Income Tax Act, the capital gains tax (CGT) is not a separate tax, but rather forms part of the income tax. Any capital gains you make are added to your taxable income and taxed at your marginal tax rate.

What is a capital gain? In simple terms, if you sell an asset (i.e. a stock or an ETF) for more money than what you paid for it, you have attained a capital gain. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will require you to pay taxes after your capital gains. For individual traders, the maximum CGT rate is 18%.

Individuals may exclude up to R40 000 of capital gain or capital loss from their taxable income per year.

Is there tax-free investment in South Africa? South Africa introduced Tax Free Investments to encourage household savings. You don’t have to pay income tax, dividends tax or capital gains tax on the returns from these investments. You can get tax-free savings products including cash deposits and ETFs through nearly all banks, investment companies and stockbrokers.

Need more info on taxation in South Africa? SARS has a step-by-step guide to help individuals calculate their taxable income, including any capital gains tax that may be applicable.

Interactive Brokers Logo

#1 Best international online broker in South Africa in 2022
Interactive Brokers

Recommended for traders looking for broad market access and a professional trading environment

Visit broker

Interactive Brokers snapshot
Minimum deposit $0
Fees class Low
Deposit method Bank transfer
Withdrawal method Bank transfer
Withdrawal fee $0
Time to open account 1-3 days
Inactivity fee No
Read review For a detailed analysis of Interactive Brokers services, check out our review for 2023
XTB Logo

#2 Best international online broker in South Africa in 2022
XTB

Recommended for forex and cfd traders looking for low fees and great deposit/withdrawal service

Visit broker
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money

XTB snapshot
Minimum deposit $0
Fees class Low
Deposit method Bank transfer, Credit/debit cards, Paysafe, Skrill
Withdrawal method Bank transfer
Withdrawal fee $0
Time to open account 1 day
Inactivity fee Yes
Read review For a detailed analysis of XTB services, check out our review for 2023
Alpaca Trading Logo

#3 Best international online broker in South Africa in 2022
Alpaca Trading

Recommended for traders interested in algorithmic stock trading

Visit broker

Alpaca Trading snapshot
Minimum deposit $0
Fees class Low
Deposit method Bank transfer
Withdrawal method Bank transfer
Withdrawal fee $0
Time to open account 1 day
Inactivity fee No
Read review For a detailed analysis of Alpaca Trading services, check out our review for 2023
Plus500 Logo

#4 Best international online broker in South Africa in 2022
Plus500

Recommended for experienced traders looking for an easy-to-use platform and a great user experience

Visit broker
79% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Plus500 snapshot
Minimum deposit $100
Fees class Low
Deposit method Bank transfer, Credit/debit cards, PayPal, Skrill
Withdrawal method Bank transfer, Credit/debit cards, PayPal, Skrill
Withdrawal fee $0
Time to open account 1 day
Inactivity fee Yes
Read review For a detailed analysis of Plus500 services, check out our review for 2023
TradeStation Logo

#5 Best international online broker in South Africa in 2022
TradeStation

Recommended for traders focusing on us markets and buy-and-hold investing

Visit broker

TradeStation snapshot
Minimum deposit $0
Fees class Low
Deposit method Bank transfer
Withdrawal method Bank transfer
Withdrawal fee $0
Time to open account 1 day
Inactivity fee Yes
Read review For a detailed analysis of TradeStation services, check out our review for 2023

Best international online brokers in South Africa in 2023
What makes a good online broker

Now that you know the top 5, you probably want to know how we came up with this list. Let's go through a few points quickly.

How did BrokerChooser pick the best online brokers?

At BrokerChooser, we test online brokers based on more than 500 criteria, with real accounts and real money. We don't want to overwhelm you, so we will list only the top 5 criteria.

The 5 most important criteria for best international online brokers in 2023
1. Fees Trading fees for a given stock trade can be 50 times higher at one online broker compared to another. The brokers listed here all have low fees.
2. Deposit and withdrawal At some online brokers, funding and withdrawing funds can take much longer and be much more expensive than at others.
3. Trading platform A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort.
4. Account opening Some online brokers require a minimum deposit to start investing while others don't ask for a fix first-time deposit. Check these requirements before opening an account.
5. Markets and products Want to invest in Japanese stocks or trade Bitcoin? They are not be available at each broker. We selected brokers with a wide range of products so you can trade many asset types.

Still unsure? For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. If you enter the name of your country, it will show only the brokers that are relevant to you. Want more details? Compare brokers with the help of this detailed comparison table.

Author of this article

Ádám Nasli

Author of this article

Ádám worked in banking and investment, and holds a professional degree in this field. He is a motivated finance expert, having joined BrokerChooser in 2018. He's also eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible. In his spare time, he loves learning new things, especially data science, algo trading, programming and trading.

Ádám Nasli

Analyst Head

Ádám worked in banking and investment, and holds a professional degree in this field. He is a motivated finance expert, having joined BrokerChooser in 2018. He's also eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible. In his spare time, he loves learning new things, especially data science, algo trading, programming and trading.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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