Compare CFD Brokers and Trading Platforms

Comparing CFD brokers is one of the most fundamental and basic decisions any trader has to take. You could bear in mind CFD brokers are different in the range of services they offers, and in the way they structure these services for clients, but, fortunately, the nature of competition means that some providers are definitely better than others. What's more, with the recent explosion in the sheer number of CFD brokers appearing on the scene, it has never been more important to compare and contrast the various options on several key criteria.
Our comparison table covers ONLY reputable and regulated CFD brokers.

Broker
Key Spreads
Key Spreads and Commissions and Margin Requirements
FTSE100 DailySpread: 1Margin: 0.23%
Dow Jones DailySpread: 1Margin: 0.19%
UK Shares DailySpread: 0.08%Margin: 2.20%
EU Shares DailySpread: 0.09%Margin: 2.20%
US Shares DailySpread: 0.09%Margin: 2.50%
Trading Platform
  • ETX Trader
  • ETX TraderPro
  • Mobile and Tablet
  • ETX TraderPro
  • MetaTrader 4
Noteable Benefits

Over 5,000 markets and 4 trading platforms (including MT4) to choose from with low variable spreads on FX pairs.

Incentives

No offers available at this time

Broker
Key Spreads
Key Spreads and Commissions and Margin Requirements
FTSE100 DailySpread: 0.8Margin: 0.75%
Dow Jones DailySpread: 1Margin: 0.75%
UK Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
EU Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
US Shares DailySpread: 2 centsMargin: 5%
Trading Platform
  • Core Trader
  • Core MT4
  • Mobile and Tablet
Noteable Benefits

Trade at home or on the move and you'll always have highly competitive tight spreads.

Incentives

Up to £2,500 sign-up bonus, 50% of the spread traded in your first month (bonus can be withdrawn).

Broker
Key Spreads
Key Spreads and Commissions and Margin Requirements
FTSE100 DailySpread: 1Margin: 30
Dow Jones DailySpread: 1Margin: 50
UK Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 3%
EU Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
US Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
Trading Platform
  • Web-based platform
  • Mobile and Tablet
Noteable Benefits

InterTrader offer tight fixed spreads on FX pairs, wide range of markets and up to £10,000 bonus for new customers.

Incentives

£10,000 bonus for new customers, they will top up your first deposit by 10%, up to a maximum of £10,000 (offer ends 31 December 2014). Plus monthly rebate of up to 10% of your trading costs.

Broker
Key Spreads
Key Spreads and Commissions and Margin Requirements
FTSE100 DailySpread: 0.5Margin: 1%
Dow Jones DailySpread: 1Margin: 1%
UK Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
EU Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
US Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
Trading Platform
  • DF WebTrader
  • Mobile and Tablet
  • Desktop DF Trader
Noteable Benefits

Trade 1,100+ CFD and forexx markets on their new trading platform.

Incentives

No offers available at this time.

Broker
Key Spreads
Key Spreads and Commissions and Margin Requirements
FTSE100 DailySpread: 1Margin: 60
Dow Jones DailySpread: 1Margin: 120
UK Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 5%
EU Shares DailySpread: 0.15%Margin: 10%
US Shares DailySpread: 0.15%Margin: 10%
Trading Platform
  • Web-based platform
  • Mobile and Tablet
Noteable Benefits

CityIndex offer market news, research and real time quotes to all CFD traders. Commission rate starting at £5 per trade for a limited time for new account holders.

Incentives

No offers available at this time

Broker
Key Spreads
Key Spreads and Commissions and Margin Requirements
FTSE100 DailySpread: 1Margin: 1%
Dow Jones DailySpread: 2Margin: 1%
UK Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 10%
EU Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 10%
US Shares DailySpread: 0.10%Margin: 10%
Trading Platform
  • Sirix Web Trading Platform
  • Mobile and Tablet
  • Social Trading
  • MetaTrader 4
  • MetaTrader 5
Noteable Benefits

Iron FX offer 24/7 customer service, fast execution, extensive research and analysis and access to up to 15 trading platforms.

Incentives

IronFX Global is rewarding new and existing clients with a generous 60% on any deposits up to a maximum of $3,000 (or the equivalent amount in other currencies) per client, offer ends 31 August 2014.

Why Compare CFD Brokers

Spend any length of time searching for information on which broker to choose for CFD trading and you'll encounter the assertion that broker choice is an important success criterion for any trader. At first, this might sound bemusing why, after all, should the CFD provider have any bearing on the success or otherwise of the investment actions of the trader? Isn't it just the case that brokers are incidental, rather than instrumental, in the success of any individual trader?

While there is much to be said for personal accountability in CFD trading success, the reality is that brokers can make a huge difference to your trading fortunes, although often in subtle ways. By choosing a good broker from the outset, you can set yourself up with the best chance of personal, long-term success with CFDs.

As an example, assume one broker charges a 1% of transaction size whereas a competitor charges 2%. While the more expensive competitor might have a better service in other aspects, this small incremental different in commission can quickly amass to a significant cost when compared to the cheaper option. Even more alarming, the cost is one that is often covered up by successful trading positions, yet it remains a fee on your trading activity, and effectively serves as a handicap on your trading positions. Given the difficulty in finding the right CFD position at the best of times, more expensive brokers are seldom worth the extra cost for new traders.

Keeping Trading Costs Low

The first, and perhaps the most tangible way in which a company can affect your CFD trading fortunes is through the cost of transacting - both in terms of the broker commission and the financing costs for your leveraged portions. Every dollar extra you pay in costs to the CFD broker is a dollar harder your positions have to work to earn a profit, and over the years, with thousands of transactions, even the slightest of difference in trading cost can work out to be significant. A good provider for most traders will be one with low trading commissions and costs, although that isn't always transparent from the outset.

Make sure you look beyond the headline commission rates and read the terms and conditions before signing up with a broker down the line. There is sufficient friction involved in the process of switching brokers that it makes sense to know everything there is to know about your broker's charging structure before committing your details (along with a credit check) to them.

CFD Broker Tools and Resources

Another key role your broker can play in your trading success is in the form of the tools and resources it provides to traders. These tend to be offered as a differentiating factor between different CFD providers who are essentially competing for the same market share, but the difference in quality and value between these tools and resources often differs greatly. By choosing a broker with the fullest possible range of resources and analysis tools, you can give yourself the best chance of being equipped to handle the toughest of trading environments. If knowledge is the key to a successful mindset, the tools to apply that knowledge is key to a successful application of trading principles, and in this regard brokers can add significant value to traders' success.

Trading Platform and Service

Beyond the core concerns of cost, there are also a number of 'softer' bases for comparison, although they remain equally important. The degree to which different brokers try to meet the needs of their clients varies, with some much more responsive than others. This ranges from the quality and usability of the trading platform through to the information and resources that are open to traders through the broker's website.

The most competitive and hardworking CFD brokers consistently compete to offer traders the best possible service when it comes to the trading experience, and so using this as a basis for comparison between brokers should allow you to target your energies on those that will be of most assistance to your trading activities. By looking towards those that are most trader-friendly, and most orientated towards providing their clients with the best resources and tools to do the job, you should hopefully be able to make your trading more efficient and intuitive than with certain other brokerage platforms.

Range of Markets

Another key practical reason to compare different brokers before settling on one is the range of markets they offer. Because contracts for difference are traded between the client and the broker, it is up to the broker as to which CFD markets they open up to their clients. In practical terms, some brokers only lightly scratch the surface of CFDs, while other, specialist CFD brokers offer a wide range of markets for traders to engage with. While it may be the case that you only intend on trading a certain narrow field of markets, it is nevertheless worthwhile to ensure you consider brokers with the widest possible selection to allow you to diversify your trading interests as you become more accomplished.

CFD Broker Comparison

Finally, and arguably the most important role of the Contracts For Difference broker is to facilitate efficient trading through an intuitive, easy to use interface. If you're having to spend time fishing in awkward places for order or market data, chances are you're with the wrong platform - time delays can cost you money and lead to inefficiencies in your trading process. Brokers that have well-designed platforms that focus on making it easier for the trader to access the market can have a profound impact on your ability to trade successfully, and rest assured that while not every broker understands the importance of a trader-friendly platform, most invest significantly in improving these trading conditions in a bid to breed wider spread success amongst their clients.

The impact of a good CFD broker on your trading fortunes should not be underestimated, and for the time and effort it takes to source a good, reliable and trader-focused broker, it's a worthwhile investment. By putting in the legwork first time round and making sure you settle on the best possible CFD broker for your trading objectives, you can help minimise hassle at a later stage, while maximising your trading returns today.