Contracts for differences (CFDs) allow traders to speculate on the future price movements of almost any asset class. When you trade in CFDs, you don’t own the underlying asset. Instead, the contract covers only the price change between the start and end of the contract.
CFD trading is a risky business, so it is essential that you choose from the best CFD broker options to act as your market intermediary. The broker will provide you with the services and trading instruments you need to succeed in your CFD trading venture. Choose a broker that offers the best trading platform at the least cost, with a range of products and educational resources to help you along the way.
Benzinga answers some of your questions in this article and discusses some of the best CFD trading platforms for forex.
14 Best CFD Forex Brokers
CFD trading is risky, so give yourself the best chance of success and partner with the best CFD broker.
- Best for Experienced CFD Traders: Plus500
- Best for Advanced Features: Capital.com
- Best for Long Term Traders: Vantage Markets
- Best for Canadian and Asian Traders: IFC Markets
- Best for Comprehensive Trading Options: Interactive Brokers
- Best for Ease-of-Use: FOREX.com
- Best for Forex Execution: IG Markets
- Best for Advanced Traders: MultiBank
- Best for Traders Who Rely on Technical Analysis: FXGT.com
- Best for Traders New to CFD Investing: TradeEU
- Best for Customized Fee Structures: HYCM
- Best for Low Trading Fees: TMGM
- Best for Superior Trading Conditions: BlackBull Markets
- Best for Traders Looking for a Managed Forex Account: FXTM
1. Best for Experienced CFD Traders: Plus500
Plus500 (86% of retail CFD accounts lose money) is a specialist CFD broker and offers CFD trading for stocks, forex, commodities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, indices and cryptocurrencies. It provides a portfolio of over 2,000 instruments.
Plus500 has a proprietary web trading platform called WebTrader as well as iPhone/iPad, Android and Windows apps.
The firm does not charge a commission but makes money from spreads. It charges an overnight funding fee and a $10 inactivity fee. Plus500 will charge a currency conversion fee of up to 0.7% for all trades on instruments you hold in a currency that is different from your account's currency. The fee can be also applied to the trader's account: Guaranteed Stop Order.
Pluss500 offers leverage of up to 1:30 for retail accounts and up to 1:300 for professional accounts. Negative balance protection is available for account types following EU requirements.
Plus500 is authorized and regulated by the following regulatory agencies:
- Plus500CY Ltd is authorized & regulated by CySEC (#250/14)
- Plus500UK Ltd is authorized & regulated by the FCA (#509909)
- Plus500S Pte Ltd, licensed by the MAS (#CMSI00648-1) and IE Singapore (#PLUS/CBL/2018)
- PlusS0OSEY Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (Licence No. SD039)
- Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), licensed by ASIC in Australia ASL #417727
- FMA in New Zealand FSP #486026, Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa PSP #47546.
You do not own or have any rights to the underlying assets. Consider if you fall within our Target Market Distribution. Please refer to the Disclosure documents available on their website.
Plus500 allows funding through wire transfer, Visa/Mastercard, Skrill and PayPal. The platform also supports a demo account. Withdrawals and deposits can be managed from the Funds Management tab on the platform where you input details regarding the mode of withdrawal or deposit.
The firm offers customer support in 32 languages. It has a webpage dedicated to answers for some FAQs with an online form for entering questions that are not answered by the FAQ section. The firm also has a 24/7 online support team.
- Low spreads, no commissions
- Authorized to operate by six regulatory bodies
- 24/7 customer support in 32 languages
- Intuitive, responsive trading app
- Only for derivative trading
- Sparse educational resources
2. Best for Advanced Features: Capital.com
- Disclaimer: 84% of retail CFD accounts lose money.Best For:Market-Leading Spreads
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 84% 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.
When you use Capital.com, you can trade CFDs on the NASDAQ 100, gold, oil and about 6,500 other assets or markets. With Capital.com, you get:
- Tight spreads
- No commissions
- Fast order execution
- High privacy and security standards
- Educational tools
- Current news items
As you investigate investing in CFDs, you can do more than throw your money into the markets and wait for a result. You can make informed decisions and grow your portfolio naturally.
The firm is regulated by:
- U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
- National Bank of the Republic of Belarus
With an easy-to-use interface and intuitive, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform, you benefit from Capital.com learning about your trading habits and informing you of best practices that can help you grow your portfolio.
- Patented AI-powered bias detection
- Licensed in five jurisdictions
- Zero commissions and tight spreads
- Mobile app and web-based platforms with an intuitive interface
- Excellent educational and research tools
- No fractional shares
- No leverage on stocks
3. Best for Long Term Traders: Vantage Markets
Vantage Markets is an online broker that offers 3 account types and allows users to trade on 9 different markets, specializing in forex and CFD trading. To gain access to the platform, you must first qualify for registration. Once registered, you will have access to:
- Spreads that start at 0 pips
- Free educational tools
- Multiple assets with which you can build your portfolio
- Islamic accounts
- Functionality for scalpers, swing traders and long-term investors
- Low fee
- Leverage up to 1:500
- 24/7 customer support
The platform offers a variety of trading instruments, including the option for non-US users to invest in CFDs (contracts for difference), which can help diversify your finances. Additionally, Islamic investors have the option to open accounts that are in accordance with their principles, allowing them to manage their finances responsibly and ethically.
- Leverage options can help investors bolster their portfolios
- An Islamic account helps investors of the faith remain Halal with their money
- Scalpers, swing traders and long term investors can use this platform to access better functionality
- While the platform keeps fees and spreads low, it is not available to users in all countries, especially the U.S.
4. Best for Canadian and Asia Traders: IFC Markets
IFC Markets brings you a unique take on CFD trading. With IFC Markets, you can invest in:
- Continuous index CFDs
- Stock CFDs
- Cryptocurrency CFDs
- Continuous CFDs on commodities
- CFDs on commodity futures
- CFDs on ETFs
- CFDs on crypto futures
With IFC Markets, you benefit from the 15 years of experience the platform brings to the table. Clients from over 80 countries can establish an account, trade on several platforms and diversify their investments as much as possible.
Crypto CFDs are available for Bitcoin and Ethereum, with more coming soon. You can also avail yourself of 1:8 leverage, low minimums and low spreads.
Best-suited for intraday, mid-day and small-volume traders, you can use MetaTrader ⅘ or NetTradeX to trade or try the GeWorko Portfolio Quoting Method to build synthetic assets.
- Proprietary GeWorko Portfolio Quoting Method
- MetaTrader 4 and 5 and NetTradeX
- Ongoing technical and fundamental analysis from experts
- Extensive educational resources
- Customer service excellence
- Unavailable in the U.S., Japan and Russia
- Regulated by two minor agencies
5. Best for Comprehensive Trading Options: Interactive Brokers
Clients can add quotes to the exchange book in the same way they would trading stocks because Interactive Brokers (IBKR) immediately matches all CFD orders with a hedge order so that a non-marketable CFD order creates a matching non-marketable order for the underlying share on the exchange. Additional benefits include:
- Transparent, low commissions and financing rates
- Margin efficiency
- Efficient CFD reference pricing
- Trade CFDs alongside the underlying shares
Commissions start at 0.05% on all share CFDs, with lower rates available for active traders. Overnight financing charges start at benchmark +/-1.5%, with lower spreads available for larger balances.
- Access to 135 global markets
- Tradable assets include securities, forex, futures contracts, options and mutual funds
- Comprehensive and responsive platform
- A range of educational resources
- Advanced analysis and research tools
- Potentially daunting trading platform for new investors
6. Best for Ease-of-Use: FOREX.com
- securely through Forex.com's websiteBest For:Forex Trading
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% 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.
The highly regulated firm FOREX.com offers 220 CFDs across major asset classes through its FOREX.com brand. That information, plus a quick test drive of FOREX.com’s platforms is all you need to confirm that you’re in good hands. Exceptional platform speed and performance drive the FOREX.com experience, and you’ll get CFD trading on stocks, commodities and indexes.
No matter what you trade, you’ll gain access to FOREX.com’s Advanced Trading Platform, the MetaTrader 4 platform and a web-based platform and mobile trading option. All accessibility options ensure that you won’t miss a thing.
To fund your account, the minimum initial deposit required is at least $50 of your selected base currency. However, FOREX.com recommends you deposit at least $2,500 to allow for more flexibility and better risk management when trading your account.
Forex markets are open 24 hours a day, Sunday to Friday. FOREX.com makes itself available 24/5 during open market hours. Note that FOREX.com offers CFDs only in FCA and Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA)-regulated regions.
- Comprehensive currency trading platform with more than 80 currencies
- Excellent range of educational resources and research tools
- Regulated in four tier-1 jurisdictions
- MT4 trading platform
- Stocks and bonds not available to trade
7. Best for Forex Execution: IG Markets
- securely through IG Markets's websiteBest For:Forex Execution
Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. You could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
IG Markets is more than a leading forex broker that allows you to delve into trading pairs preferred by investors worldwide. The broker is based in the UK, part of the IG Group and allows you to invest in CFDs, if you so choose. US clients can invest in forex, but CFDs are reserved for approved accounts throughout the rest of the world.
When you use IG Markets to invest in Contracts for Difference, you will pay less, gain access to high leverage and 24/5 customer care. Spreads are competitive, and the dashboard is quite easy to manage.
Investors can more easily manage risk, invest in more than 17,000 markets, set up customized price alerts and teach themselves about CFDs through the site. Therefore, novices and experts alike can use this platform to buy into the CFD market, tie in forex investments and grow their portfolios at their own pace.
- Investing in CFDs can be a good way to diversify if you know the forex, commodities and additional markets very well
- A larger parent company gives financial backing and surety that investors require
- A lack of weekend customer care could be problematic for traders who have little time during the week to attend to their accounts
8. Best for Advanced Traders: MultiBank
MultiBank Group was founded in California, USA in 2005 and is now based in Dubai, UAE. With a current capital of over US$ 322 million, it has grown to become one of the largest and most regulated financial derivatives companies globally. MultiBank Group offers prime liquidity, advanced technology and customer service in online financial products, such as Forex, Metals, Shares, Indices, Commodities and Crypto financial derivatives.
MultiBank Group has a daily trading volume of US$ 12.1 billion and serves over 1,000,000 clients in 90 countries. Their mission is to deliver excellent products and services to clients, for which they continue to invest in the most up-to-date technology. MultiBank Group has maintained an unblemished regulatory record with all its regulators, due to its status as a highly regulated financial derivatives group. The Group comprises numerous financial institutions that are subject to the regulations of 11 financial regulators from 5 continents, including ASIC, AUSTRAC, BaFin, CIMA, FMA, FSC, HKCE, MAS, SCA, TFG and VFSC.
- 24/7 multilingual customer service assistance
- Access to over 20,000 trading instruments such as forex, metals, commodities, shares, indices and cryptocurrencies
- Negative balance protection
- Over 11 Financial Regulators
- Swap-free trading accounts
- The lowest spreads
- Inactivity fees
- Poor research and educational tools
9. Best for Traders Who Rely on Technical Analysis: FXGT.com
FXGT.com offers access to CFDs based on a number of assets, including stocks, forex, equity indices, energies, cryptos and much mire. Because there are so many options, you may want to branch out and go with synthetic crypt pairings, precious metals, NFTs, DeFi token or even the GTi12 index.
Choose the type of account that works best for you, access leverage up to 1:1000, get bonuses when they come, invest in micro lots, take advantage of raw spreads and zero swaps. The platform is fully regulated, available on MT4 and MT5 and offers negative balance protection.
Even though it’s not available in the U.S. or UK, there’s a lot to be excited about when utilizing FXGT.com to build your portfolio.
- You can trade in a range of CFDs so that you can diversify more easily
- The platform makes it easy to build CFDs based on a range of pairings, including synthetic pairings
- Traders need to be aware of the risks involved with CFDs and remember that they cannot access this platform for every country, limiting the number of investors who can sign up
10. Best for Traders New to CFD Investing: TradeEU
TradeEU is a Cyprus-based CFD Broker that was founded in 2021, providing users with access to over 250 assets through its user-friendly platform.
At an initial deposit of 250 euros, you can try your trading strategies and learn the available tools while in a virtual account (demo). If you agree to the corresponding risk warnings and are ready to invest, select one of the three accounts. Your money is secure, with access to advanced charts and MetaTrader5 tools for investing.
- Free virtual trading in a demo account
- Three account types to suit your value investing strategy
- Free of commission with tight spreads
- No transaction fees
- 24/5 customer support
- Inactivity fees
- No access to TradeEU for investors in the U.S., Canada, Israel, Iran, Japan and other non-EU countries
11. Best for Customized Fee Structures: HYCM
Founded in 1977, HYCM, a division of the Henyep Group, is authorized by two tier-1 regulators. A minimum deposit of $100 will get you access to trade in indices, commodities, cryptocurrency and 69 currency pairs.
HYCM offers users three account structures, each with different fee structures, so you can tailor your package to make the most of your trade frequency and risk profile. It offers Islamic-compliant trading options.
HYCM supports MetaTrader 4 and 5 trading software. It also has its own in-house trading platform. As an HYCM trader, you’ll enjoy access to a vast library of educational resources as well as technical and fundamental analysis tools.
- Three account levels with varying fee structures
- 69 currency pairs
- Customer support in 12 languages and across various social media apps
- Excellent educational resources
- MetaTrader 4 and 5 and the HYCM trader app
- Inactivity fees
- Only allows for forex and CFD trading
12. Best for Low Trading Fees: TMGM
The Australian trading company TMGM is regulated by three tier-1 regulators. It also provides users with 2.5 million AUD in single insurance coverage.
Users can make low-cost trades in forex, stock and stock index CFDs using the MetaTrader 4 platform. However, if you’re considering trading in ETFs or stocks, TMGM may not serve all your needs.
TMGM offers you a choice of two accounts so you can arrange your payment structure according to your trading frequency plus an Islamic account. You don’t need a deposit to set up an account and withdrawals are free. You will pay a $30 inactivity fee if, for more than six months, your account balance is less than $500.
- Low trading fees
- Quick and easy fully digital account opening
- Free deposits and withdrawals
- Supports the MetaTrader 4 platform
- 24/7 customer support
- Limited product portfolio – no stocks or ETFs
13. Best for Superior Trading Conditions: BlackBull Markets
BlackBull Markets is an online forex and CFD broker that has been operating since 2014. As a relatively newer player in the industry, they have quickly made a name for themselves by offering competitive trading conditions and innovative products. But the question on everyone's mind is, "Is BlackBull Markets a good CFD forex broker?"
One of the standout features of BlackBull Markets is their commitment to transparency and regulation. They are regulated by the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR), a well-respected regulatory authority based in New Zealand. Additionally, they are a member of the Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) service, which adds an extra layer of protection for their clients. This level of regulatory oversight is reassuring for traders, as it ensures that the broker is operating within a certain set of standards and guidelines.
When it comes to trading conditions, BlackBull Markets offers low spreads and competitive pricing, making them a popular choice for experienced traders. They also offer high leverage, up to 1:500, giving traders the opportunity to make larger trades with a smaller investment. They have a wide range of forex and CFD products available for trading, making them a versatile option for traders who want to diversify their portfolios. Overall, BlackBull Markets is a reputable and reliable forex and CFD broker with attractive trading conditions and a solid track record.
- $0 Minimum deposit required
- Low spreads
- Competitive pricing
- Lack of educational resources
14. Best for Traders Who Want a Managed Forex Account: FXTM
Launched in 2011, FXTM offers CFDs on shares, indexes and commodities. The company is regulated by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize and has offices in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Korea and Thailand.
FXTM’s platform includes the web trading platform WebTrader, as well as MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 web platforms. The platform provides tools such as an economic calendar, market analysis videos, quarterly market outlook and educational videos.
Chat support is available through Live Chat, Viber, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. A call-back option is also available. Customer support departments can be contacted 24/5 from Monday through Friday.
The Micro Account has a minimum deposit of $50 and the electronic communications network (ECN) Advantage account and ECN Advantage Plus account require a minimum deposit of $500.
- Wide range of trading instruments
- Copy trading function
- Percentage allocation management module (PAMM) and managed accounts available
- Supports MetaTrader 4 and 5
- ECN for free direct access to other market players
- Excellent educational resources, including seminars and webinars
- No options or futures trading
What’s Contract for Differences Trading?
A CFD is a contract executed between two parties, a buyer and a seller, which means that the seller pays the buyer the difference between the current value of an asset and its value when the contract is due. No physical exchange of assets (which could be a physical share, currency pairs or commodity) takes place between the buyer and the seller, and neither party can claim physical ownership of the asset. CFD trading is illegal in the U.S., although European brokers allow CFD trading in U.S. assets.
Make Decisions and Trade
To trade CFDs, first decide on which underlying asset you want to trade. CFD instruments could be shares, treasuries, forex pairs, commodities and stock indices such as the U.K. 100, which aggregates the price movements of all the stocks listed on the FTSE 100.
Then, open a position and then enter details such as whether you want to buy or sell the CFD, the amount intended for investment, leverage and other considerations.
Leverage is available for a margin account. Leverage refers to a loan extended by a broker, and the securities and cash in your trading account serve as collateral. It allows you to enter into a larger deal than what your account funding permits.
You and the CFD broker then enter into a contractual agreement that covers details such as the opening price for the position and the fees involved.
If the position closes in a profit, the broker is liable to pay the trader. If it closes in a loss, the brokerage charges the trader the difference. Assume you wish to go long on a CFD based on the shares of XYZ company, currently priced at $400, on the premise that the shares are undervalued and will likely go up. You would log into your brokerage account and place an order for, say 100 XYZ CFD.
If the value of the shares rises by $10, in line with your expectations, you gain $1,000 (100 x $10). On the other hand, if the value falls by $10, you owe your broker $1,000. Because of the leverage allowed, a trader needs to pay only $4,000 if the margin requirement is 10%. In the first case when you made the right bet. Your profit percent will be $1,000/$4,000 *100 = 25%.
In the second case, your loss percent will be $1,000/$4,000*100, which will be 25%. Meanwhile, if you had chosen to invest in the shares trading in a stock market, your loss percentage would have been 1,000/40,000*100, or 2.5%.
What to Look for in a CFD Broker
As you zero in on the right CFD broker, it’s important to consider a slew of factors, including regulation, costs, tradable asset classes and the trading platforms available.
Regulation ensures the safety of your funds from internal company fraud or bankruptcy. Make sure the broker you’re considering is regulated by the regulatory agency of that particular location. For example, in the U.K., the FCA is the regulatory agency and in Australia, it is the ASIC.
Cost of Trading
CFD trading involves costs such as spread, holding costs and commission and possibly more, depending on the broker you choose.
- The spread is the difference between the buy and sell prices in the order book. The narrower the spread, the less the price needs to move in your favor before you start to make a profit, or if the price moves against you, a loss.
- At the end of each trading day, positions open in your account may be subject to a charge called a holding cost, and you’ll also pay a separate commission charge when you trade CFDs.
Also, how complicated is it to deposit and withdraw funds? The more funding options your broker offers, the better.
Broad Tradable Asset Classes and Markets
Broad tradable asset classes and markets give you wider choice availability. Some underlying assets you can trade include stocks, indexes, commodities, currencies, cryptocurrencies and ETFs.
Look for a CFD trading platform that offers intuitive trading software and CFD software, fast execution, high-quality trading tools, a positive trading experience and an order management system. You may lose out on profits if the user interface is poor and navigation difficult. The platform should be secure and give you the flexibility to place different types of orders.
Find the Best CFD Broker and Start Trading
First traded in the 1990s, CFDs are a derivatives product that is supported by a vast market of brokers. If you’re looking for the best CFD broker, find one with the services to fit your strategy. Understand the costs to maximize your profits. Make sure the trading platform is easy to navigate and contains the educational resources and analysis tools you need. Once you find a suitable platform, you can start trading forex quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which forex broker offers the most CFDs?
Many forex brokers offer a vast range of CFDs, and most keep adding to their portfolios. Capital.com, for example, has thousands of CFD options you can choose from.
Which forex broker is best for professionals?
The best forex brokers for professionals offer reduced spreads for professional retail traders. It is also crucial that the forex broker that you choose, as a professional, offers advanced charting and analysis tools.
Who offers CFD trading in Australia?
Most of the global CFD brokers offer CFD trading in Australia. Several of them are Australia-based.
Get a Forex Pro on Your Side
FOREX.com, registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), lets you trade a wide range of forex markets plus spot metals with low pricing and fast, quality execution on every trade.
You can also tap into:
- EUR/USD as low as 0.2 with fixed $5 commissions per 100,000
- Powerful, purpose-built currency trading platforms
- Monthly cash rebates of up to $9 per million dollars traded with FOREX.com’s Active Trader Program
Learn more about FOREX.com’s low pricing and how you can get started trading with FOREX.com.