Summary

Recommended for forex and CFD traders looking for low forex fees and great research tools

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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index was founded in 1983 and it is a global CFD and FX broker. City Index is the brand name of GAIN Capital, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is regulated by top-tier financial authorities, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). 

City Index is considered safe because it has a long track record, is regulated by top-tier financial authorities, and its parent company is listed on a stock exchange.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% 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.

Overall Rating
4.6
Fees
4.1
Account opening
5.0
Deposit and withdrawal
4.0
Trading platform
4.0
Markets and products
2.1
Research
4.3
Customer service
4.0
Education
5.0

City Index pros and cons

City Index charges low fees when you trade forex or stock index CFDs. The non-trading fees, like withdrawal fees, are also low. The account opening is fast and smooth and when you start trading, you can use high-quality and diverse research tools.

City Index provides only forex and CFDs. The fees for stock CFDs are high and the desktop trading platform is not user-friendly.

Pros Cons
Low fees for forex and index CFDs Limited product portfolio
Fast and smooth account opening High stock CFD fees
Diverse research tools Not user-friendly desktop platform
City Index main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation UK, Australia, Singapore
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged Yes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with credit/debit card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 9
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Forex, CFD, Crypto
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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Gergely Korpos

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Author of this review

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

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

City Index review
Fees

4.1
City Index has low fees for forex and stock index CFDs. On the other hand, stock CFD fees are high and there is an inactivity fee.
Pros Cons
Low forex fees Inactivity fee
No withdrawal fee High stock CFD fee
Low stock index CFD fees
City Index fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
S&P 500 CFD Low The fees are built into spread, 0.6 is the average spread cost.
Europe 50 CFD Low The fees are built into spread, 1.5 is the average spread cost.
EURUSD Low The fees are built into spread, 1 pips is the average spread cost.
Inactivity fee Low £12 per month after one year of inactivity

How we ranked fees

We ranked City Index's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of City Index for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading, spreads, commissions and financing rates are the most important fees.

We also compared City Index's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, IG and Plus500. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of City Index alternatives.

To have a clear overview of City Index, let's start with the trading fees.

City Index trading fees

City Index trading fees are low.

We know it's hard to compare trading fees for CFD brokers. So how did we approach the problem of making their fees clear and comparable? We compare brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We have chosen popular instruments within each asset class:

  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50
  • Stock CFDs: Apple and Vodafone
  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP

A typical trade means buying a leveraged position, holding it for one week and then selling. For the volume, we chose a $2,000 position for the stock index and stock CFDs and $20,000 for the forex transactions. The leverage we used is:

  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs
  • 5:1 for stock CFDs
  • 30:1 for forex

These catch-all benchmark fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers.

CFD fees

City Index has low stock index CFD fees, but high stock CFD fees.

It is similar or sometimes lower than IG's fees, but higher than the fees charged by Plus500.

City Index CFD fees for a $2,000 long position held for one week
  City Index IG Plus500
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.1 $2.1 $2.1
Europe 50 index CFD fee $1.6 $1.6 $1.3
Apple CFD fee $21.9 $31.9 $8.9
Vodafone CFD fee $25.7 $25.7 $7.6

Stock index CFD fees are built into spreads, while stock CFD fees are charged via commission.

City Index stock CFD fee
Market Commission Minimum fee
US stocks $0.018 per share $10
UK stocks 0.08% of the trade value £10
EU shares 0.08% of the trade value €10

Forex fees

City Index's forex fees are low, below those of its closest competitors.

City Index forex benchmark fees of a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
  City Index IG Plus500
EURUSD benchmark fee $12.8 $16.9 $17.9
GBPUSD benchmark fee $9.4 $15.1 $14.0
AUDUSD benchmark fee $10.1 $14.1 $12.6
EURCHF benchmark fee $5.6 $6.9 $9.0
EURGBP benchmark fee $11.8 $11.1 $14.6

Forex fees are built into spreads.

Non-trading fees

City Index has low non-trading fees. It does not apply withdrawal fees and account fees.

On the flip side, there is a £12 monthly fee after one year of inactivity.

City Index non-trading fees
  City Index IG Plus500
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

City Index review
Account opening

5.0
City Index account opening is fully digital and there is no minimum deposit. It took us one day to have an approved open account.
Pros Cons
Fast None
Fully digital
No minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index accepts customers from all around the world. There are a few notable exceptions such as the citizens of the US and Canada.

Minimum deposit

City Index has no minimum deposit if you fund via bank transfer and PayPal.If you choose debit/credit card top-up, the required minimum deposit is $100. It's also a very low amount as there are brokers, which require a minimum of $2,000 or more.

Account types

City Index provides three account types, which differ in the required account balance, the maximum level of leverage, and additional services. 

  Trader Premium Trader Professional*
Minimum account balance £0 £10,000 £0
Leverage Up to 30:1 Up to 30:1 Up to 400:1
Additional services - Relationship manager Relationship manager

*If you want to choose this account, you have to satisfy criteria, such as holding a min. €500,000 portfolio or working experience in the financial sector.

Based on ownership, you can open an individual or corporate account. If you are from the UK, you can trade with SIPP account as well.

How to open your account

The account opening is fully digital and takes only 1 day until your account is approved.

Three steps of City Index account open:

  1. Give your personal and financial information.
  2. Give your trading experience and fill out a test on your knowledge.
  3. Verify your ID and residency. You can upload a national ID, passport, or driver's license for verifying your ID. Utility bills and bank statements are accepted for residency verification.
City Index review - Account opening

City Index review
Deposit and withdrawal

4.0
City Index provides multiple options for deposit and withdrawal and they are free of charge. However, the withdrawal with some credit cards is not possible.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available Problem with credit card withdrawal
Free withdrawal
No deposit fee

Account base currencies

At City Index, you can choose from 9 base currencies. The available base currencies are: EUR, GBP, USD, CHF, HUF, AUD, CHF, JPY, PLN. This selection is roughly the same as Plus500's, while more than IG's.

Base currencies at City Index vs similar brokers
  City Index IG Plus500
Number of base currencies 9 6 10

You can't change the account base currency at the account opening and the default is GBP. If you would like to change that, you have to reach out to the City Index support team.

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

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Deposit fees and options

City Index charges no deposit fees. Besides bank transfer, you can use credit/debit cards and PayPal.

City Index deposit options
  City Index IG Plus500
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant. You can only deposit money from accounts, which are in your name.

City Index review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

City Index withdrawal fees and options

City Index charges no withdrawal fees. Methods for withdrawal are the same as for deposits.

City Index withdrawal fees and options
  City Index IG Plus500
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from City Index? The withdrawals usually take 3-5 business days.

When we tested withdrawal, it took more weeks because we had a problem with credit card withdrawal. The reason for the problem is that City Index can't send money to some MasterCard and Visa credit cards. Instead of credit cards, we had to withdraw via bank transfer, but for doing so, customer service had to add and approve our bank account. It would be great to know in advance which card is good for withdrawal and which is not.

How do you withdraw money from City Index?

1) Log into your City Index account
2) Goto Funding
3) Choose Withdraw
4) Add withdrawal amount
5) Initiate withdrawal

Compare to other brokers

City Index review
Web trading platform

4.3
City Index's web trading platform is user-friendly and extremely customizable. It has also a lot of order types. On the flip side, there is no two-step login.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good variety of order types
City Index platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4.3 stars Yes
Mobile 4.3 stars Yes
Desktop 3.0 stars Yes

You can choose from three web trading platforms:

  • Web Trader - City Index's HTML-based trading platform
  • Advantage Web - City Index's older web trading platform
  • MetaTrader 4 - third-party trading platform, specialized in forex trading.

We tested the Web Trader as it seems the best trading platform in terms of functionality and design. The platform is available only in English.

Look and feel

City Index's web trading platform is user-friendly and looks nice.

It is extremely customizable, even if you compare it with the competitor brokers' platformYou can easily add, remove, change the size or change the position of the tabs.

City Index review - Web trading platform

Login and security

City Index provides a one-step login. A two-step login would be safer.

Search functions

We really liked the search functions of the web trading platform. You can search by typing the preferred product and there is also a product list with categories, like forex or popular markets.

City Index review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use many order types, including some sophisticated ones.

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop trailing
  • One-cancel-other (OCO)

There is also a guaranteed stop-loss order, which close out your position no matter how volatile the market. 

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

There are also many order terms you can use.

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til end of the day (GTD)
  • Good 'til time (GTT)
City Index review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set alerts or notifications either if you want to know that an asset reaches a price target or when your order gets fulfilled. On the web platform, this feature appears either as an icon update or a browser notification. On the mobile, you will be informed via a push notification.

Portfolio and fee reports

City Index has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can find them on the "Reports" and download the reports in Excel, PDF, XML, and CSV.

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City Index review
Mobile trading platform

4.3
City Index's mobile trading platform has a modern design and is easy to use. On the flip side, the two-step and biometric authentication are not provided.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No Touch/Face ID login
Good variety of order types

You can use City Index's own and MetaTrader 4 mobile trading platforms. Both platforms are available on iOS and Android. In this review, we tested City Index's own mobile trading platform.

Look and feel

The City Index .com mobile trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed. 

We liked the 'Take a tour' option on the menu. Another great feature is the embedded Economic calendar that has advanced filter options and can be customized on a high level.

On the negative side, the loading time of features was sometimes quite slow. 

City Index review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

City Index provides only a one-step login.

You can't log in using biometric authentication. Providing this feature would be more convenient.

Search functions

The search functions are good. You can search by typing the assets' name or through the product categories. 

City Index review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the following order types:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop trailing
  • OCO

However, we didn't find any order time limits we could use.

City Index review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can easily set alerts and notifications on the City Index mobile platform.

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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Desktop trading platform

3.0
City Index's desktop platform has the same functionalities but lags behind in user-friendliness compared to its web trading platform.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report Not user-friendly
Good customizability (for charts, workspace) No two-step (safer) login
Good variety of order types Poor design

There are two desktop platforms, the Advanced Trading Platform and MetaTrader 4. Similarly to the web trading platform, we tested the Advanced Trading Platform as this is City Index's own platform, while MetaTrader 4 is a third-party platform.

City Index's desktop trading platform has the same functionality as the web trading platform. For example, you can use the same order types or price alerts

On the flip side, the desktop trading platform is less user-friendly and the design feels outdated. It was hard to navigate on the platform and felt too crowded with functions.

City Index review - Desktop trading platform

 

 

 

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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Markets and products

2.1
At City Index, you can only trade with CFDs, forex, and cryptos. Unfortunately, real stocks, bonds and ETFs are not available.

City Index is a CFD and forex broker. To learn more on CFDs read our CFD trading tips.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% 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.

City Index has great forex and average CFD product selections. Comparing Plus 500, this product line-up is more advanced, while IG is taking over in terms of number of products available.

City Index product selection
  City Index IG Plus500
Currency pairs (#) 84 95 70
Stock index CFDs (#) 23 68 33
Stock CFDs (#) 4,500 10,500 1,800
ETF CFDs (#) 57 1,900 92
Commodity CFDs (#) 31 47 22
Bond CFDs (#) 12 13 -
Cryptos (#) 8 8 14

You can't change leverage levels. This is a drawback.

Changing the leverage is a very useful feature when you want to lower the risk of your trade. For example, instead of trading with 5:1 leverage, only trade with 2:1 leverage in case of stock CFDs. Be careful with forex and CFD trading, as the preset leverage levels are high.

City Index review
Research

4.3
City Index has great and diverse research tools. You can take advantage of good charting tools, trading ideas, and quality news. On the other hand, it lacks fundamental data.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart No fundamental data available
Trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals

You can find City Index's research tool on the trading platforms or website, under 'Market News'.

Trading ideas

City Index provides trading ideas, which are based on technical tools. You can find them on the platform if you click on 'Trading Central'. 

City Index review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

City Index doesn't provide fundamental data.

Charting

We really liked the great charting tools. You can use 80 technical indicators. It is a great selection.

There are also chart analyzes provided by Autochartist, a third-party technical analysis firm. 

City Index review - Research - Charting

News feed

The news feed is high-quality. There are news feeds provided by Reuters, but you can also find analysis written by City Index's research team.

With the help of the economic calendar, you can see the forthcoming events. When you select an event, you can read a short summary about it and check its historical data. For example, you can check what the EU employment data means and how it has changed.

City Index review - Research - Economic calendar

Compare research pros and cons

City Index review
Customer service

4.0
City Index customer service is great. You can reach them in many ways and you will get fast and relevant answers via phone and chat. On the flip side, the email response time is really slow.
Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat Email response time is slow
Great telephone support

You can contact City Index via:

  • telephone
  • live chat
  • email

The phone support works well. The agent was connected instantly and we got relevant answers.

If you prefer using live chat, first, you have to open the 'Chat'. It opens a chatbot, which can answer some basic questions, like "How I can deposit?". It's a bit tricky if you want to talk to a real person. You have to write the 'agent' word and the chatbot gives the option to talk to a sales or a support agent.

We received relevant but slow answers via email. It happened that we received answers only after 5 or even 6 days.

City Index's customer service is not 24/7, but available between Sunday EST 5 pm and Friday EST 5 pm.

City Index review - Customer Service

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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Education

5.0
City Index does a great job in education. It offers from a demo account to educational videos a lot of ways to train yourself.
Pros Cons
Demo account None
Trading platform tutorial
Educational videos

At City Index you have many options to improve your trading skills:

  • Demo account
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • General educational videos
  • Webinars
  • Quality educational articles

We liked the useful and high-quality platform tutorial videos. 

City Index review - Education

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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

City Index review
Safety

City Index is regulated by top-tier regulators, such as the UK FCA. Its parent company, GAIN Capital is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority None
Listed on stock exchange
Negative balance protection

Is City Index regulated?

Yes, City Index is regulated by top tier regulators, like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Is City Index safe?

To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

City Index operates a bunch of subsidiaries and depending on your residence, one of these subsidiaries will serve you. The investor protection amount you get depends on the subsidiary's country you are signing up with.

For example, if you come from the UK, you will sign up with GAIN Capital UK Ltd and get an £85,000 investor protection. GAIN Capital UK Ltd is regulated by the FCA, the UK regulator.

City Index investor protection
Client country Investor protection amount Regulator Legal entity

Europe

Middle-East

£85,000 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) GAIN Capital UK Ltd
Australia No protection Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) GAIN Capital Australia Pty Ltd
Singapore No protection Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) GAIN Capital Singapore Pte

City Index provides negative balance protection for clients under GAIN Capital UK for forex spot and CFD trading, but only for retail clients from the European Union. Professional and non-EU clients are not covered with any negative balance protection.

Background

City Index is the retail brand of GAIN Capital, a US-based investment company.  This is important as a strong parent company lowers the chance that the company will go bust.

The fact that GAIN Capital is listed on the New York Stock Exchange is a big plus for safety as City Index releases financial statements regularly and transparently.

City Index was established in 1983 and then Gain Captial acquired it in 2014. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof we have that it has successfully survived previous financial crises.

Having the parent company listed on a stock exchange, providing financial statements, and regulated by a top-tier regulator are all great signs for City Index's safety.

Find your safe broker

City Index review
Bottom line

City Index is a great CFD and forex broker regulated by top-tier financial authorities, such as the UK FCA.

On the bright side, it has low forex and stock index CFD fees, a smooth account opening process, and high-quality research tools.

It has some drawbacks though. The product portfolio is limited, the stock CFD fees are quite high, and the desktop platform is not easy-to-use.

As there is no minimum balance, no withdrawal fee and inactivity fee only kicks in after one year, feel free to try City Index out.

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71% of retail CFD accounts lose money

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