Depending on your strategy, you may need to seek raw spread forex brokers or raw spread account in order to experience the best trading environment.

Trading fees are some of the more crucial consideration when choosing forex brokers. Market makers and STP brokers may charge marked up spread with fewer commission fees, while ECN brokers implement lower spread plus a certain amount of commission. Depending on your strategy, you may also need to specifically seek raw spread forex brokers in order to experience the best trading environment.

Some traders think that ECN brokers are the way to go because they provide lower spreads than other types of brokers. But actually, not all ECN brokers offer "pure" spread rates. It is not that they will mark up market spread, but they may be working with tier-2 aggregators or any other liquidity providers that stand on the farther end of the chain and offer less competitive rates. Comparatively, raw spread forex brokers seek to provide the best quotes by establishing relations with the deepest liquidity pools.

See also: Forex Broker Cheats: What are They and How to Anticipate Them

There's also an element of marketing when certain brokers choose to label themselves as "ECN brokers". Usually, the ads are accompanied with exaggerated claims such as "spread as low as zero" or "spread starting from 0.1" and so on. Traders then regret signing up with them, because actual spreads are far higher. You should compare the spread from each broker to see which one is the best for you.

Pair Exness IC Markets FXTM ThinkMarkets
EUR/USD 0.0 0.1 0.1 1.8
GBP/USD 0.0 0.1 0.2 3.0
USD/JPY 0.0 0.0 0.3 2.0

It is important to note that we should check "average spreads" rather than "lowest spread". The average spread is the true spread measurement across brokers, while the lowest spread is merely icing on the cake. This is also the key to how experienced scalpers choose their brokers.

Raw Spread Forex Brokers

Now, the question is, how do we check average rates from dozens of ECN brokers? How much time do we need to research it? Well, fortunately for you, we are here to provide the result of the latest average spread comparison among leading forex brokers. The data does not only research raw spread forex brokers but also common STP/ECN brokers and market makers.

 

1. IC Markets

Spread
Variable
Regulation
ASIC, ACN 123 289 109
Min Deposit
$200
Established
2007

Interest rate on funds
Free education
PAMM accounts
MAM accounts
Segregated accounts
Managed accounts
Payment
Bitcoin
BPAY
Credit/debit cards
FasaPay
Neteller
PayPal
Skrill
UnionPay
Wire transfer

IC Markets is an online forex broker operating under the company of International Capital Markets Pty Ltd. Traders under the Australian jurisdiction are provided with the trading service of IC Markets AU that is headquartered in Australia and licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

On the other hand, non-Australian traders who open an account in this broker are registered under IC Markets SEY that is based in Seychelles, and regulated under the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (SFSA). The dual operation is a result of the relatively new rules from ASIC that prohibit their regulated broker to offer trading services outside Australia.

Classified as an ECN broker, IC Markets provide clients with MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader as platform trading options. This broker also follows market trends to include Cryptocurrencies as one of its products, enriching its already wide selection of trading assets that include Currencies, Indices, Metals, Energies, Softs, Stocks, as well as Bonds.

The minimum deposit in IC Markets is in the middle range compared to other ASIC-regulated brokers, as it reaches $200 for every client. Market analysis materials are also prepared regularly for trading insights on IC Markets's official website, proving their competence to serve their traders with important contents created by market experts that work specifically for them.

For payment methods, IC Markets allows funding and withdrawal via wire transfer, credit card, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, FasaPay, UnionPay, as well as Bitcoin via BitPay. The more interesting aspect from this broker is its multi-base currencies that include USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, SGD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, and CAD.

As the trading technology in IC Markets is highly equipped with co-located servers and extremely low latency (especially on cTrader), the broker is widely known for its capability in hosting traders with the special needs for high-frequency trading as well as scalping.

To sum up, IC Markets is a fitting destination for active traders looking for a well-regulated broker. IC Markets is also flexible in terms of base currency and payment methods, signaling their commitment to welcome traders beyond their home country. As of late 2019, IC Markets provided their website in 18 international languages including English, Korean, Indonesian, French, Spanish, Italian, Malay, German, and Chinese.

IC Markets promotes raw spread account with fast order execution in an institutional-grade trading environment. The average spread for EUR/USD pair is 0.10. Spread for other major pairs averages at 0.20, while cross pairs EUR/GBP and AUD/JPY spreads are around 0.40. Even exotics such as USD/SGD has a 0.30 spread.

With these rates, the Australian-licensed company is the best raw spread forex broker for day traders, scalpers, and expert advisors. But these rates come with a price. Unlike the forex demo account that is provided for free, IC Markets raw spread account requires a minimum of $200 initial deposit and charges a commission around $3.50 per lot payable per side (may vary for non-USD accounts).

>>> See IC Markets Review

 

2. Pepperstone

Spread
Variable
Regulation
ASIC, 414530
Min Deposit
$200
Established
2010

Free education
Trading by telephone
PAMM accounts
MAM accounts
Segregated accounts
Affiliate program
Islamic accounts available
Payment
Credit/debit cards
PayPal
UnionPay
Wire transfer

FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) is a brand name of a retail broker for trading on the financial market, especially the foreign exchange market. The broker was founded in 1999 and was originally headquartered in the United States. After a series of lawsuits from customers and case settlements by the US regulator (CFTC), FXCM moved from the US and became a UK-based broker, authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 217689).

During 20 years of experience in the forex industry, there are about 2 million traders choosing Alpari as the broker to trade with. Alpari has a head office on the 5th Floor, 355 NEX Tower, Rue du Savoir, Cybercity, Ebene 72201, Mauritius. The company is regulated in St.Vincent and the Grenadines (the licensed number is 20389 IBC 2012), IFSC Belize (the licensed number is IFSC/60/301/TS/18).

This broker uses MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, both of which offer great flexibility, charting tools, and an easy-to-use interface. For higher volumes, the company also provides the Alpari International Direct platform which offers enhanced features for advanced investors.

The company offers an array of live trading accounts to choose from. Each one offers different opportunities and allows traders to trade in different ways. All of their accounts use USD, EUR, GBP, and NGN as the options for base currency. But, NGN accounts are only available to clients in Nigeria.

Each kind of account has a different spread. At Standard Account provides spreads from 1.2, the spread of Micro Accounts is from 1.7, and ECN Account and Pro Account have spread from 0.4. A trader can open an account in Alpari and opt to trade currencies (FX majors, FX minors, FX exotics, and FX RUB), spot metals, spot commodities, stock trading, spot indices, and crypto-currencies.

A trader can find out what the minimum spreads, pip value, swaps, and trading session times are for each instrument before start trading. If the trader is still not sure where to begin, they can found the answer in a guide provided by Alpari on their official website.

Their guide to trading is designed to break down the terminologies and answer the most frequently asked questions by traders. A trader will be trading more quickly and with more confidence in no time.

Besides, Alpari offers PAMM (Percent Allocation Management Module) which allows a trader to choose their desirable Account Manager. This allows traders to have a chance in gaining more profit without advanced knowledge of forex trading. These managers usually have a wealth of experience in the markets, with tried-and-tested strategic trading decisions.

This program also gives opportunities for well-seasoned traders to become Strategy Managers. As Strategy Managers, they can use their trading experience and earn more from profitable trades. They have privileged access to Alpari's advanced programs and all the tools they need to cultivate a massive following of investors. The investors then will help Strategy Managers to earn more through commission fees up to 40%.

Their website also provides various Forex Trading Strategies. Because to increase the chance to profit, it's important to know as much about the markets and the trading strategies behind them as possible. Alpari believes that strategies provide traders with a roadmap for trading, reducing panicked decision-making that can occur in the heat of the moment. In other words, trading in Alpari allows traders to learn about any kind of forex trading strategy.

For educational purposes, the company provides Trading Webinars, one of the variants of technology that allows users to hold seminars, talk shows, and discussions online, without having to communicate face to face.

Alpari creates a very convenient funding and withdrawal experience for each trader. A trader can transfer with any kind of methods, such as e-payment (example: FasaPay, Local Transfer, TC Payment, etc), credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro), E-Wallet (Neteller, Skrill, VLOAD, TC Pay Wallet, WebMoney, Perfectmoney, Bitcoin), and bank transfer. If there's been no trading activity on the trader account for at least 6 months, an inactivity fee of 5 EUR/USD/GBP will be applied.

All Back office transfers are processed during standard business hours, 03:00-19:00 GMT+2 (GMT+3 during DST), Monday-Friday. If traders still feel confused, they can contact Alpari's team by any method, such as Live Chat, Telegram, or email.

Fellow Australian broker, Pepperstone, stands on the second rung of the ladder. Pepperstone implements a 0.16 average spread for EUR/USD and 0.27 for AUD/USD. The Melbourne-based broker even exceeds IC Markets for average spreads on USD/JPY (it was just 0.16 vs 0.20!). Average spreads for popular cross pairs are still below 1 pip, although spreads for exotics are higher.

Pepperstone charges varying commission fee depending on what is your trading account currency. USD-based and AUD-based accounts will be charged $3.50 per side ($7 per round turn), while EUR-based accounts are only charged EUR2.61 per side (EUR5.23 per round turn).

>>> See Pepperstone Review

 

3. IG

Website
www.ig.com
Spread
Variable
Regulation
CFTC/NFA, 0509630
Min Deposit
$1
Established
1974

Free education
US traders are welcome
Payment
Credit/debit cards
Wire transfer

IG Markets is an online trading provider with decades of experience in the financial market. Founded in 1974, the world-leading company has gathered more than 178,000 clients worldwide with over 16,000 markets reached as of 2019. IG Markets is authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). It is also important to note that being established in 1974 makes IG Markets one of the forefront online CFD brokers. Their service has expanded to 15 countries across five continents.

Aside from famous for its reliable experience, IG Markets is also known for its truly broad range of trading instruments. In fact, the broker has long been regarded as one of the most accomplished companies in offering the most trading assets to clients. The wide choice of instruments includes forex pairs, 26 indices, over 12,000 shares, hard and soft commodities, cryptocurrencies, as well as other markets such as bonds, rates, and options.

Forex trading in IG Markets is provided in two ways: CFD and DMA (Direct). Here are the conditions for each type of trading:

Forex CFD

  • Minimum spread: 0.6 pips
  • Commission: None
  • Platforms: Web, mobile apps, MT4, ProRealTime, L2 Dealer, terminals and APIs
  • Trading size: Contracts
  • Demo account: Yes

Forex DMA

  • Minimum spread: No details
  • Commission: from $10 per $1 million traded
  • Platforms: Web, mobiles apps, L2 Dealer, terminals, and APIs
  • Trading size: Lots
  • Demo account: No

Both ways of trading are available for all clients. However, DMA does not enable trading in MetaTrader 4. Clients are also not allowed to trade in a demo account for virtual trading. It is essentially a type of trading reserved for experienced traders with high necessity for the best pricing in the market, as DMA offers market depth from a range of exchanges (including full market depth from the LSE).

Trading platforms in IG Markets are accessible via web, mobile app, and desktop. They are offered with 2 main varieties: Core Platforms and Specialist Platforms. The core platform is meant for all types of trading with the add-ons of DMA, ProRealTime access, and Forex Direct. Meanwhile, Specialist Platforms consist of L2 Dealer, ProRealTime, and MetaTrader 4.

The first two platforms charge fees that include minimum $2000 balance and monthly fees for shares data and level 2 prices (for L2 Dealer), as well as platform fees amounting to $40 per month and monthly fee for shares data (for ProRealTime).

IG Markets does not require a minimum balance to open an account. It also provides a swap-free account that frees clients for any interest, rollover, or swap charges on overnight positions. Yet, All costs and charges are built into the spread. This account suits well with long-term traders who need to keep their positions open for days or even weeks.

For beginners, IG Markets builds an IG Academy that gives interactive education and online trading courses. This way, clients can get a grip on the financial markets with the essentials of trading provided in infographics, video explainers, and end-of-course quizzes. Even better, the IG Academy is already integrated into its mobile app so clients can always learn about financial markets in much more efficient ways.

In conclusion, IG Markets is a client-friendly broker with more than 40 years of experience to back up its credibility. Their efforts and commitments to provide the best varieties of trading platforms are proven in the unique Core and Specialist Platforms.

Traders with little experience can apply to Forex CFD account in either Core Platforms or MetaTrader 4, while professionals can achieve the best experience in the financial market with IG Market's DMA trading and L2 Dealer or ProRealTime platforms.

Currently, IG is the largest retail forex broker in the world. Their market shares flew off the roof following several notable acquisitions in North America, including DailyFX. As it is, IG probably provides one of the largest liquidity pool access for retail traders. The company operates under the "market maker" banner but refers to market data from tier-1 liquidity providers such as Bank of America, Barclays, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and UBS.

The average spread on EUR/USD is just 0.86. Spreads for AUD/USD and other major pairs are higher than 1.00, while spreads for cross pairs range around 1.80-2.50. Interestingly, IG didn't promote such low rates on a specific raw spread account. Any trader who signs up with their standard account can enjoy these rates. But these come with expensive commission fees as much as $6 per lot payable per side.

>>> See IG Broker Review

 

4. Admiral Markets

Founded in 2001, Admiral Markets provides low-cost trading through Metatrader4 and Metatrader5. The average spread for EUR/USD is 0.10, but it shoots up for other pairs. AUD/USD has a 0.50 spread, while crosses such as AUD/JPY has a 1.10 spread.

Particularly notable, Admiral Markets has comparatively lower commission fees at $3.00 per side ($6.00 per round turn) for USD-based account. Owners of GBP and EUR-based accounts may even enjoy cheaper fees at GBP2.00 and EUR2.00 each.

>>> See Admiral Markets Review

 

5. FXTM

Spread
Variable and Fixed
Regulation
CySEC, 185/12
Min Deposit
$10
Established
2011

Bonus offers
Trading contests
Free education
Personal manager
Trading by telephone
Segregated accounts
Affiliate program
Islamic accounts available
Payment
Bitcoin
Credit/debit cards
DIXIPAY
FasaPay
Google Pay
Neteller
Perfect Money
QIWI
Skrill
UnionPay
WebMoney
Wire transfer
YooMoney

FXCM (Forex Capital Markets) is a brand name of a retail broker for trading on the financial market, especially the foreign exchange market. The broker was founded in 1999 and was originally headquartered in the United States. After a series of lawsuits from customers and case settlements by the US regulator (CFTC), FXCM moved from the US and became a UK-based broker, authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 217689).

During 20 years of experience in the forex industry, there are about 2 million traders choosing Alpari as the broker to trade with. Alpari has a head office on the 5th Floor, 355 NEX Tower, Rue du Savoir, Cybercity, Ebene 72201, Mauritius. The company is regulated in St.Vincent and the Grenadines (the licensed number is 20389 IBC 2012), IFSC Belize (the licensed number is IFSC/60/301/TS/18).

This broker uses MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, both of which offer great flexibility, charting tools, and an easy-to-use interface. For higher volumes, the company also provides the Alpari International Direct platform which offers enhanced features for advanced investors.

The company offers an array of live trading accounts to choose from. Each one offers different opportunities and allows traders to trade in different ways. All of their accounts use USD, EUR, GBP, and NGN as the options for base currency. But, NGN accounts are only available to clients in Nigeria.

Each kind of account has a different spread. At Standard Account provides spreads from 1.2, the spread of Micro Accounts is from 1.7, and ECN Account and Pro Account have spread from 0.4. A trader can open an account in Alpari and opt to trade currencies (FX majors, FX minors, FX exotics, and FX RUB), spot metals, spot commodities, stock trading, spot indices, and crypto-currencies.

A trader can find out what the minimum spreads, pip value, swaps, and trading session times are for each instrument before start trading. If the trader is still not sure where to begin, they can found the answer in a guide provided by Alpari on their official website.

Their guide to trading is designed to break down the terminologies and answer the most frequently asked questions by traders. A trader will be trading more quickly and with more confidence in no time.

Besides, Alpari offers PAMM (Percent Allocation Management Module) which allows a trader to choose their desirable Account Manager. This allows traders to have a chance in gaining more profit without advanced knowledge of forex trading. These managers usually have a wealth of experience in the markets, with tried-and-tested strategic trading decisions.

This program also gives opportunities for well-seasoned traders to become Strategy Managers. As Strategy Managers, they can use their trading experience and earn more from profitable trades. They have privileged access to Alpari's advanced programs and all the tools they need to cultivate a massive following of investors. The investors then will help Strategy Managers to earn more through commission fees up to 40%.

Their website also provides various Forex Trading Strategies. Because to increase the chance to profit, it's important to know as much about the markets and the trading strategies behind them as possible. Alpari believes that strategies provide traders with a roadmap for trading, reducing panicked decision-making that can occur in the heat of the moment. In other words, trading in Alpari allows traders to learn about any kind of forex trading strategy.

For educational purposes, the company provides Trading Webinars, one of the variants of technology that allows users to hold seminars, talk shows, and discussions online, without having to communicate face to face.

Alpari creates a very convenient funding and withdrawal experience for each trader. A trader can transfer with any kind of methods, such as e-payment (example: FasaPay, Local Transfer, TC Payment, etc), credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro), E-Wallet (Neteller, Skrill, VLOAD, TC Pay Wallet, WebMoney, Perfectmoney, Bitcoin), and bank transfer. If there's been no trading activity on the trader account for at least 6 months, an inactivity fee of 5 EUR/USD/GBP will be applied.

All Back office transfers are processed during standard business hours, 03:00-19:00 GMT+2 (GMT+3 during DST), Monday-Friday. If traders still feel confused, they can contact Alpari's team by any method, such as Live Chat, Telegram, or email.

If you are looking for a low spread forex broker that offers high leverage as well, then FXTM is your best bet. The average spread on EUR/USD is just 0.40, while AUD/USD is 0.70. Cross pairs spread usually are a little above 1.00. It was just exotic pairs' average spread that is quite expensive, as much as 3.00 for USD/SGD.

The Cyprus-based broker has fixed commission fees at $4.00 per side ($8.00 per round turn) for all accounts. This is quite cheap if you seek higher leverage. FXTM's maximum leverage is between 1:25 and 1:1000 for cent account, and up to 1:200 for standard accounts.

>>> See FXTM Broker Review

 

So, which one will you choose? Here is the side by side comparison between three of the five brokers above:

Feature Go to IC Markets Go to IG

Rating

General Rating 4.23/5
4.35/5
Trustpilot 4.9/5

rated by 22604 users
4.1/5

rated by 5405 users

General Information

Office(s) Australia, Hong Kong and Viet Nam Australia, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States
Regulation ASIC ACN 123 289 109
CySEC, 362/18
Securities Commission of The Bahamas, SIA-F214
The Financial Commission, 25.11.2021
CFTC/NFA, 0509630
FCA (UK) 195355
Established 2007 1974
Minimum Deposit $200 $1
Maximum Leverage 1:500 1:50
Spread Variable Variable
Commissions $3.50 $3
Minimum Position 0.01 lot 0.01 lot
Payment Bitcoin, BPAY, Credit/debit cards, FasaPay, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, UnionPay and Wire transfer Credit/debit cards and Wire transfer
Official Website Visit IC Markets Visit IG

Account Variations

Segregated Account
Islamic Account
PAMM Account
Managed Account
LAMM Account
MAM Account
Forex Demo Account

Trading Requirements

Hedging
US traders are welcome
Requires sending documents via postal mail
Overnight interest rates (swaps)
Trading by telephone

Trading Features

Trading contests
Automated trading
Interest rate on funds
Bonus offers
Free education
Personal manager
Affiliate program

Trading Platforms and Complements

Mobile trading
Browser-based platform
Trading via API
One-click trading
Trailing stop
Pending orders
One-Cancels-Other (OCO) orders

Instruments Traded

Forex
CFD
Indexes
Spread betting
Gold & silver
Cryptocurrencies
Stocks
Binary options
Oil
Metals
Energies
Futures
ETF
Soft commodities
Options
Agriculture
Soft Commodities
Spread Betting
Bonds

Customer Support

Website Languages Chinese, English, Japanese, Russian Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Email Support
Call Support
Chat Support

Reviews

Traders Reviews

Wilford Faust

Jun 24 2022

Can I trade cryptocurrency in the IC Markets using the same leverage as any other assets there? For example, I know that IC Markets offers 1:500 leverage for most of their instruments (ex: forex pairs). So, I wonder if I can get the same amount for cryptocurrency trading as well? Or will there be a different amount of leverage I can get? 

Issac Sturgill

Jun 24 2022

Does the ZuluTrade trading platform still available in IC Markets automatic trading features? I had my eyes on it for a while but at the time I wasn't sure to check it out. As you can see, automatic trading can have a bad reputation among some traders. But, lately, there are a lot of my friends starting to use it. Then I remember that IC Markets offered these features, so I was thinking to try it.

More Reviews

Silente

Aug 22 2020

Dreadful customer support. The app is brilliant but suffers with glitches. I tried to buy a fund and it kept give me error result.

Rizky Hussein

Aug 20 2020

IG apps sometimes unresponsive which result me cost more money. They need to broad their data research and news in relation to trades feeds.

More Reviews

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The choice is yours. Just make sure to check up on their terms and conditions before you sign up for any accounts. If you want to try comparing the other two brokers not mentioned on the comparison table, feel free to make use of the forex broker comparison tool.