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IC Markets Review 2019

4.5 5 stars · Apr 2019
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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
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IC Markets logo

IC Markets is an Australian forex broker offering some CFDs too. It was founded in 2007.

IC Markets is considered safe because it is regulated by the top-tier Australian regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

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 understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex traders preferring easy account opening and free deposit and withdrawals.

Pros
  • Low fees
  • Easy and fast account opening
  • Free deposit and withdrawal
Cons
  • No investor protection
  • No negative balance protection
  • Only forex, CFD, and crypto trading is provided

IC Markets pros and cons

IC Markets has very low trading and non-trading fees. It has also an easy and fast account opening. The deposit and withdrawal are free and user-friendly.

With IC Markets you will not have any investor and negative balance protection. It has a limited product portfolio offering only forex, some CFDs, and crypto.

Compare to other brokers

IC Markets review
Fees 5 stars

IC Markets has low trading and non-trading fees.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Low non-trading fees
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
None
IC Markets fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low $0.02 per share
EURUSD Low cTrader ECN pricing: the commission is $3.90 per open and $3.93 per closing. There is also a 0.1 pips spread cost.
US tech fund - Not available
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

To get things rolling, let's go over some broker fee lingo. You need to keep an eye on trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

We compare IC Markets fees two IC Markets alternatives, Pepperstone and Oanda.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

IC Markets’s trading fees are low. There are different cost structures at different account types. We tested the True ECN cTrader account which applies commission and tight spreads.

It is super hard to compare trading fees for forex brokers. What we did at Brokerchooser? Instead of quoting long fee tables, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for two currency pairs.

  • EURUSD, a popular currency pair
  • EURGBP, another popular currency pair

The typical trade means that you buy for $20,000 using 30:1 leverage, and sell it after a week.

This super catch-all benchmark includes spreads and financing costs for all brokers.

Here is the verdict.

IC Markets forex trading fees
  IC Markets Pepperstone Oanda
EURUSD benchmark fee $15.7 $17.6 $19.4
EURGBP benchmark fee $12.0 $14.1 $14.7

Besides forex, you can trade with CFDs, including stock CFDs. IC Markets applies volume-based pricing for stock CFDs: $0.02 per share. This is very low compared to its competitors.

Financing rates

IC Markets financing rates are average, mostly in line with the competitors.

If you want to trade on margin and prefer to hold your positions long, financing costs can be significant.

IC Markets yearly financing rates
  IC Markets Pepperstone Oanda
EURUSD financing rate 3.8% 4.2% 4.5%
EURGBP financing rate 2.6% 3.0% 3.0%

Non-trading fees

IC Markets has low non-trading fees. There are no inactivity, account, and withdrawal fees. It is great in comparison with the competitors.

IC Markets non-trading fees
  IC Markets Pepperstone Oanda
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $20 $35

IC Markets review
Account opening 5 stars

The account opening at IC Markets is user-friendly and fully digital. It was also very fast, it took only 1 day until our account was approved.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Can you open an account?

IC Markets accepts customers from all around the world. There a few exceptions, most notables are US, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan.

Minimum deposit

The minimum deposit at IC Markets is $200. This is low, since there are brokers requiring a minimum of $2,000.

Account types

There are three account types at IC Markets which differ at fee structures and available trading platforms:

  True ECN with cTrader True ECN with MetaTrader Standard
Fees Commission and tight spread Commission and tight spread No commission, but wider spreads
Trading platform cTrader MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5
Available accounts by ownership Individual, joint, corporate Individual, joint, corporate Individual, joint, corporate
Islamic account offered* Yes Yes Yes

*Islamic accounts are also called swap-free account. At Islamic accounts, a flat commission is charged if you hold your leveraged position overnight instead of the percentage-based financing rates.

We also liked that you can have more sub-accounts with different base currencies.

How to open your account

IC Markets account opening is easy and fully digital.  The online application takes roughly 10-15 minutes and the account approval took one business day. 

The five steps of IC Markets account opening:

  1. Add some contact information, like your email address
  2. Fill out your personal information, like your date of birth and address
  3. Choose the account type and the base currency
  4. Complete a survey about your trading experience
  5. Verify your identity and residency by uploading a copy of your passport / ID, and a bank statement / utility bill. 

 

IC Markets review - Account opening

IC Markets review
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

IC Markets does great at deposit and withdrawal. There are no fees for deposit and withdrawal. You can also use a lot of options for transferring money.
Pros
  • Credit/Debit card available
  • Free withdrawal
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Account base currencies

At IC Markets, you can choose from 10 base currencies: EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, CHF, NZD, JPY, SGD, CAD, HKD.

It is in line with Pepperstone's 10 and Oanda's 9 base currencies.

Why does this matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged.

A convenient way to save on the currency conversion fees can be to open a multi-currency bank account. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. The account opening only takes a few minutes on your phone.

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Deposit fees and options

IC Markets deposit fees are free of charge.

You will find a lot of deposit options. There are some deposit options which do not support all account base currencies. E.g. Bpay accepts only AUD.

IC Markets deposit options
  IC Markets Pepperstone Oanda
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

The bank transfer can take more business days, while credit/debit cards are instant.

You can only deposit money from sources which are on your name.

IC Markets review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Withdrawal fees and options

IC Markets withdrawal is free for credit/debit cards, bank transfers to Australian bank accounts, and electronic wallets. The international bank transfer withdrawal has a quite high, AUD 20 fee.

You can use the same withdrawal options as at the deposit.

IC Markets withdrawal fees and options
  IC Markets Pepperstone Oanda
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes No
Electronic wallets Yes Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $20 $35

You can only withdraw money to accounts on your name. We tested the credit card withdrawal and it took 3 business days.

Compare to other brokers

IC Markets review
Web trading platform 4 stars

IC Markets offers only third-party trading platforms. We tested cTrader which is a great platform. It is well designed and user-friendly. On the flip side, it lacks the two-step login.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
IC Markets platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop 4 / 5 stars Yes

IC Markets does not have an in-house developed trading platform, it uses third-party platforms: cTrader, MetaTrader 4, and MetaTrader 5. You can feel a bit lost when choosing the right platform for you, so we missed a clear comparison of these.

cTrader web trading platform has an extremely wide language offer. It is available in 23 languages:

Arabic Chinese Czech English French
German Greek Hungarian Indonesian Italian
Japanese Korean Malaysian Polish Portuguese
Russian Serbian Slovakian Slovenian Spanish
Thai Turkish Vietnamese    

Look and feel

IC Markets web trading platform is user-friendly and looks nice. You will easily find the functions..

IC Markets review - Web trading platform

Login and security

The login process is a one-step login. A two-step authentication would be more secure.

Search functions

IC Markets search function works as you would expect. There is a drop-down list on the left and you can search by typing or searching among the categorized products. It gives relevant results.

IC Markets review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use four order types. You will not find very sophisticated orders like the "one cancels the other" order.

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop loss
  • Trailing stop loss

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

You can set only one order term, the good 'till date. 

IC Markets review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can set only price alerts and only in the form of a platform pop-up message. Order confirmation notification through SMS or push message would be useful.

Portfolio and fee reports

IC Markets has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can see many statistics about your trades, e.g. the largest profit or the number of winning or losing trades. Also, you can see the fees clearly you paid for the trades.

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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IC Markets review
Mobile trading platform 4 stars

cTrader's mobile platform is user-friendly and well designed. On the flip side, you can't set a two-step login.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login

Similarly to the web trading platform, we tested the cTrader mobile trading platform. It is available both on any iOS or Android devices. We tested it on Android.

The mobile trading platform has the same user-friendliness, and functionalities as the web trading platform.

IC Markets review - Mobile trading platform

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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IC Markets review
Desktop trading platform 4 stars

IC Markets offers third-party trading platforms, and we tested cTrader. It is basically the same as the web trading platform.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login

You can use the desktop trading platform of cTrader, MetaTrader 4, and MetaTrader 5. Similarly to the web and mobile trading platforms, we tested cTrader.

In design and functionalities, it is the same as the web trading platform.

IC Markets review - Desktop trading platform

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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IC Markets review
Markets and products 1 stars

At IC Markets, you can trade only forex, some CFDs, and cryptos. It lacks real stock, fund, bonds, options, and futures asset classes.

IC Markets is primarily a forex broker, but it offers also some CFDs. To learn more about CFDs please read our CFD trading tips.

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 understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

IC Markets offers more currency pairs than Oanda, but less than Pepperstone. Its CFD and crypto offering is better compared to its peers.

  IC Markets Pepperstone Oanda
Currency pairs (#) 60 80 55
Stock index CFDs (#) 16 14 16
Stock CFDs (#) 120 - -
Commodity CFDs (#) 23 14 32
Bond CFDs (#) 9 - 6
Cryptos (#) 10 5 -

*Stock CFDs are available only at MetaTrader 5 platform

The maximum levels of leverages are much higher for all the asset classes than in the EU since IC Markets is regulated in Australia.

We really liked that you can change the default leverage level of the products. This is a great feature provided only by a few brokers in the industry.

IC Markets maximum leverage
  Maximum Minimum
Forex 500:1 1:1
Stock index CFDs 200:1 1:1
Stock CFDs 20:1 1:1
Commodity CFDs, except soft commodities 500:1 1:1
Soft commodity (wheat, corn, coffee, etc.) CFDs 100:1 1:1
Bond CFDs 200:1 1:1
Cryptos 5:1 1:1

IC Markets review
Research 4 stars

IC Markets has great research tools. You will find quality charts, news, and recommendations, but there is no fundamental data.
Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good quality news flow
  • Analyst recommendations
Cons
  • No fundamental data available

IC Markets research tools are easy-to-use. They are available only in English.

Recommendations

IC Markets provides trading recommendations which are based on technical analysis. You can find them at the "Trading Central" section. You will find recommendations for stock, forex, bond, commodity, and stock indices. It is great.

IC Markets review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

Fundamental data are also missing.

Charting

IC Markets does a great job in charting. The charts are very responsive, easily editable and you can use more than ~50 technical indicators. You can also save them.

You can also use pattern recognition tools at the "Featured ideas" and at Autochartist, a third-party service provider.

IC Markets review - Research - Charting

News feed

IC Markets offers informative and well-structured news, but only on its website. Would be great to have these on the trading platforms as well.

Other research tools you will enjoy

If you prefer API trading, IC Markets offers the cAlgo which uses the C# language.

Compare research pros and cons

IC Markets review
Customer service 4 stars

IC Markets has great telephone and email support. On the flip side, live chat can be improved.
Pros
  • Relevant answers
  • Fast email and telephone support
  • 24/7 availability
Cons
  • Slow and irrelevant live chat

You can contact IC Markets via:

  • telephone
  • email
  • live chat

IC Markets has great telephone support. They answered within a minute and we got relevant answers.

The email support works very well. We sent four emails and got answers within a day for all of them. These answers were helpful and relevant. We also liked that they ask feedback for the support.

The live chat can be improved. It is slow as we waited an average of 10+ minutes. The answers we received were not relevant. E.g. we had to ask several questions until we got to know how the financing rates work.

We also appreciated the 24/7 availability.

IC Markets review - Customer Service

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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IC Markets review
Education 5 stars

IC Markets does a great job in education. It offers many educational tools in a great quality. You can use a demo account, watch trading platform videos, or read educational articles.
Pros
  • Demo account
  • Trading platform tutorial
  • Good production quality
Cons
None

At IC Markets you can learn in the following ways:

  • Demo account
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
  • Quality educational texts

The education contents can be found on the website, below the education section and the IC Markets blog. They are well structured and cover useful topics, like technical analysis or risk management.

The general educational videos have great quality. They can be only found on IC Markets Vimeo channel, and but not directly from the website or trading platform.

IC Markets review - Education

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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IC Markets review
Safety

IC Markets is regulated by the top-tier Australian regulator, ASIC. On the flip side, it does not provide investor protection and negative balance protection.
Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • In operation for a long time
Cons
  • No investor protection
  • No negative balance protection
  • Does not hold a banking license

IC Markets is an Australia-based broker established in 2007. Is IC Markets safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes south and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

IC Markets provides its services through its Australian legal entity. This is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This matters since ASIC does not require the Australian brokers to provide any monetary investor protection

IC Markets does not provide negative balance protection either.

Background

IC Markets was established in 2007. The longer the track record of a broker, the more proof we have it had already managed previous financial crises.

Being regulated by top-tier regulator and being in operation for a long time are all great signs for IC Markets's safety.

Filter the brokers by investor protection

IC Markets review
Bottom line

IC Markets is a great forex and CFD broker. 

Its fees are very low and the account opening is fast and easy. The deposit and withdrawal are free and user-friendly.

On the other hand, IC Markets offers only forex, CFD and crypto trading. It does not provide any investor and negative balance protection.

Feel free to try IC markets as you will have an account within a day and there is no inactivity fee. 

IC Markets main features and highlights

🗺️ Country of regulation Australia
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged No
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $200
🕖 Time to open an account 1 day
💳 Deposit with credit card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 10
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Forex, CFD, Crypto

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74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

IC Markets logo

IC Markets is an Australian forex broker offering some CFDs too. It was founded in 2007.

IC Markets is considered safe because it is regulated by the top-tier Australian regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

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 understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex traders preferring easy account opening and free deposit and withdrawals.

Compare to other brokers

Overall 5 stars

Pros
  • Low fees
  • Easy and fast account opening
  • Free deposit and withdrawal
Cons
  • No investor protection
  • No negative balance protection
  • Only forex, CFD, and crypto trading is provided

Fees 5 stars

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Low non-trading fees
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
None

Account opening 5 stars

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card available
  • Free withdrawal
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Web trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login

Mobile trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Looks appealing
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login

Desktop trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login

Markets and products 1 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Forex
  • CFD
  • Crypto

Research 4 stars

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good quality news flow
  • Analyst recommendations
Cons
  • No fundamental data available

Customer service 4 stars

Pros
  • Relevant answers
  • Fast email and telephone support
  • 24/7 availability
Cons
  • Slow and irrelevant live chat

Education 5 stars

Pros
  • Demo account
  • Trading platform tutorial
  • Good production quality
Cons
None

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • In operation for a long time
Cons
  • No investor protection
  • No negative balance protection
  • Does not hold a banking license

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

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

METHODOLOGY

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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