9 BEST CFD Brokers For 2024: Reviewed By Dumb Little Man

By Wilbert S

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

CFD trading, or Contract for Difference trading, is a method that allows individuals to speculate on the rising or falling prices of fast-moving global financial markets. This form of trading involves the exchange of the difference in the value of a particular asset between the time the contract is opened and when it is closed. It’s vital for traders, whether novice or experienced, to understand the intricacies of CFD trading.

Selecting the best CFD brokers is a crucial step in this journey. The right broker can significantly impact your trading experience and success. It’s not just about low fees; factors such as platform reliabilityregulatory compliance, and customer support are equally important. A top-notch CFD broker provides a stable platform, adheres to strict regulatory standards, and offers robust support, enhancing the overall trading experience.

The challenge in choosing a CFD broker lies in the variety and complexity of options available. With numerous brokers in the market, each offering different features and services, it becomes a daunting task to identify the one that best suits your trading needs. Therefore, understanding and comparing these brokers based on key metrics is essential for making an informed decision.

What is a CFD Broker and How Does it Work?

CFD Broker is a financial intermediary that provides platforms for trading Contracts for Difference (CFDs). These are financial instruments that allow traders to speculate on the price movements of assets without owning them. CFDs cover a wide range of markets, including stocks, forex, commodities, and indices.

The working mechanism of a CFD broker is relatively straightforward. When a trader opens a CFD position, they are essentially agreeing to exchange the price difference of an asset from the time of opening the position to the time it is closed. This means traders can potentially profit from both rising and falling markets.

One of the key benefits of using a CFD broker is the leverage they offer. Leverage allows traders to gain a large exposure to a financial market while only tying up a relatively small amount of their capital. However, it’s crucial to remember that leverage can also magnify losses.

Choosing the right CFD broker involves considering factors like commission fees, spreads, the range of assets offered, and the broker’s regulatory compliance. These aspects can significantly impact the trading experience and the potential for profit or loss. It’s vital for traders to research and select a broker that aligns with their trading strategy and risk tolerance.

>>Also Read: What is CFD and Why You Should Trade Them

How Do We Rank the Best CFD Brokers?

Ranking the best CFD brokers involves a comprehensive evaluation process conducted by a team of experienced traders. This evaluation is based on a multitude of factors, ensuring a thorough and unbiased assessment of each broker’s offerings and performance.

Trading volume and account types are primary factors in this evaluation. Trading volume gives an insight into the broker’s market presence and liquidity, while diverse account types indicate the broker’s ability to cater to different trader needs. These aspects are crucial in determining the broker’s suitability for various trading strategies.

Trading costsleverage offers, and fee structures are also pivotal in ranking CFD brokers. Low trading costs and competitive leverage options can significantly impact a trader’s profit potential. Additionally, a clear and fair fee structure is essential for transparency and trust.

Regulation is another critical factor. A well-regulated broker ensures a higher level of security and compliance with financial standards, providing traders with peace of mind. Moreover, aspects like minimum deposits and average spreads are evaluated to gauge the broker’s accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

The team also considers experience in the industry, which can be indicative of the broker’s reliability and expertise. Alongside these metrics, the team values input from retail traders working on the panel, adding practical insights into the ranking process.

Trader reviews on the broker’s website are scrutinized for real-world user experiences, offering additional perspectives on the broker’s performance and client satisfaction. Lastly, a unique algorithm designed by the team sorts these companies based on the defined criteria, providing an overall rating for each company. This comprehensive approach ensures that the rankings are accurate, relevant, and valuable for traders seeking the best CFD brokers.

Best CFD Brokers: Overview

Broker

Best For

Min. Initial Deposit

Top Feature

Overall Rating

Overall CFD Trading

$100

Multiple Trading Platforms

Advanced Forex Traders

$100

Advanced Trading Tools

Beginnner Traders

$0

Diverse Asset Options

Copy Trading

$100

Social Copy Trading

Technical Tools

$0

Comprehensive Market Coverage

Innovative Trading Technology

$0

Thinkorswim Platform

Bitcoin Trading

$250

User-Friendly Interface

Trading Conditions

$0

Fast Order Execution

Holding / Investment

$100

MyFXBook Autotrade

9 Best CFD Brokers: Detailed Insights

#1. Best Overall CFD Broker: AvaTrade

AvaTrade excels as the best overall CFD broker, known for its robust offerings in forex and CFD trading across various platforms. Its appeal spans from beginners to seasoned traders, largely due to its comprehensive range of trading options. A key aspect of AvaTrade’s trustworthiness is its regulation by multiple top-tier financial authorities, ensuring a secure and low-risk trading environment. Additionally, it stands out for its exceptional educational content, which is particularly beneficial for novice traders, equipping them with essential trading knowledge and skills.

The process of creating an account with AvaTrade is simple and fully digital, designed for ease and efficiency. Traders have access to multiple free methods for depositing and withdrawing funds, adding to the platform’s convenience. AvaTrade further distinguishes itself with its low fees and transparent, simple fee structure, alongside a wide array of research and educational tools that are user-friendly. These attributes collectively contribute to AvaTrade’s status as the top choice for a diverse range of traders.

☞ How Does It Work?

At AvaTrade, the process begins once you create an account. Traders have the option to choose from a variety of base currency pairs such as USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, AUD, and ZAR. It’s important to note that if your bank account’s currency doesn’t match your trading currency, a small conversion fee will apply. This detail is crucial for traders to consider, especially those dealing in multiple currencies.

AvaTrade enhances the trading experience by eliminating deposit and withdrawal fees, a significant benefit for traders. The platform supports multiple deposit options, catering to a broad range of preferences. Traders have access to several trading platforms including WebTrader, MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), and AvaOptions. Additionally, AvaTrade offers auto-trading capabilities through MT4 and MT5, as well as external providers like Zullotrade and Duplitrade. These systems not only trade automatically but also alert traders when certain price points are reached in the market. 

While the broker’s commission structure is based on spreads, its competitive 30:1 leveraged trading offer presents opportunities for maximizing profits, a key advantage for traders looking to enhance their trading potential.

☞ Who Is It Best For?

AvaTrade is ideally suited for a diverse range of traders, particularly those looking for a secure and regulated trading environment. Its adherence to regulations by top-tier financial authorities makes it a reliable choice for risk-conscious traders. Moreover, the platform’s user-friendly nature, coupled with extensive educational resources, makes it an excellent option for beginners who are navigating the complexities of forex and CFD trading for the first time.

Experienced traders will also find AvaTrade appealing due to its advanced trading platforms like MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, and its innovative options like AvaOptions. These platforms cater to the needs of seasoned traders seeking sophisticated trading tools and analytical capabilities. Additionally, the availability of auto-trading features and competitive leverage options makes AvaTrade a strong candidate for traders aiming to maximize their trading strategies and profit potential.

ProsCons
Regulated and licensed on all five continents.

24/5 customer support in 14 languages.

Mobile trading capability.

Islamic accounts are compliant with Sharia Law.

Segregated accounts for secure fund storage; allow scalping and hedging.

Educational resources including training and webinars for all levels.
Inactivity fees vary based on account and currency.

AvaOptions desktop version is slow and less user-friendly.

No support for US traders due to regulatory restrictions.

#2. Best for Advanced CFD Traders: Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers, a distinguished U.S.-based trading platform, excels as the ideal choice for advanced CFD traders. Regulated by notable authorities including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the UK’s Financial Authority, and part of NYSE FINRA SIPC, it offers a high level of trust and compliance. The platform’s oversight extends to the United States Exchange and Securities Commission, Hong Kong Futures and Securities Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, ensuring a broad regulatory framework. Founded in 1993, Interactive Brokers has established itself with a focus on low costs, superior trade execution, and broad market access, making it a prime choice for seasoned traders.

Interactive Brokers provides an expansive trading scope, allowing IBKR Lite customers to trade in a variety of markets including forex, options, stocks, bonds, and funds. It offers access to up to 135 markets in a single account, catering particularly to traders who value a wide investment range and the ability to assess assets through a socially responsible investing lens. The platform offers two distinct plans: IBKR Pro and IBKR Lite, with the latter boasting zero trading fees or commissions. This feature, combined with its diverse investment options, positions Interactive Brokers as the top choice for experienced, active traders, solidifying its status as the best online broker for advanced CFD trading.

☞ How Does It Work?

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) operates on a multifaceted business model, focusing on generating revenue through interest on cash and payment for order flow. Like many online brokers, IBKR earns interest by leveraging the difference between what it earns on customer cashback and what it pays on idle cash.

IBKR benefits from payments for order flow, a common practice where brokers receive payments from market makers for directing orders to specific trade venues. This model was evident in the earnings reported on 12 December 2019, where IBKR received an average of $0.016 per share and $0.3612 per contract in the U.S. exchange.

Another key revenue stream for Interactive Brokers is its stock loan program. When stocks held in a client’s account are lent to other traders or hedge funds, the broker generates income. Remarkably, IBKR shares 50% of this income with the client whose stocks were loaned. This program is accessible via a mobile app for clients with a cash or margin account holding a minimum of $50,000. 

Furthermore, IBKR’s smart order router facilitates price improvement, averaging $0.47 per 100 shares traded. For eligible clients, portfolio margining is another feature, allowing traders to offset risks in derivative trades against their equity positions, potentially leading to lower overall margin rates. 

☞ Who Is It Best For?

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is an ideal choice for advanced and professional traders who require a sophisticated trading environment. The platform’s extensive range of tools, advanced order types, and comprehensive market access cater specifically to those with significant trading experience and a deep understanding of financial markets. This makes IBKR particularly appealing to traders who demand a high level of control and flexibility in their trading strategies.

Additionally, active traders who engage in frequent, high-volume trading will find Interactive Brokers to be a fitting platform. The broker’s competitive pricing structure, including low commissions and favorable terms on stock loans, aligns well with the needs of high-frequency traders.

ProsCons
Competitive low fees and commissions.

Feature-rich trading platform.

Efficient trade execution.

Wide variety of investment options.
Complex for beginners.

Complex tiered pricing plans.

#3. Best for Beginners: IG Markets

IG Markets, commonly known as IG, stands out as the best online trading broker for beginners. Originating in the UK, IG has garnered numerous awards, underscoring its reputation and reliability in the trading industry. The platform specializes in providing direct market access to a vast array of global financial markets, enabling users to trade a wide range of assets through Contracts for Difference (CFDs). This accessibility to global markets is a significant advantage for novice traders looking to diversify their trading portfolios.

IG’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive educational resources make it particularly suitable for new traders. Beginners can navigate the complexities of financial markets with ease, thanks to the platform’s intuitive design and helpful guidance. The broker’s focus on educational support and simplified trading tools ensures that novice traders can learn and grow their trading skills in a supportive environment. These features, combined with IG’s global market access, establish it as the top choice for those starting in the world of online trading.

☞ How Does It Work?

IG Markets streamlines the entry into forex and CFD trading with a user-friendly platform. The initial step involves setting up a trading account on the IG website, where users provide personal and financial information to meet regulatory requirements. This is followed by a two-step verification process: confirming identity with a national ID or passport and proving residency with a document like a utility bill or bank statement. Once verified, which typically takes about three business days, the account is activated for trading.

The final stage is making a deposit, with IG offering flexibility through no minimum deposit requirement and multiple payment options, including bank transfers and PayPal. Credit card deposits are instant, while bank transfers may take a couple of days. After depositing, traders can access IG’s advanced features, such as high-quality charting tools, real-time market updates, and customizable trading areas. Trading on IG is efficient – select the currency pairs, set the contract amount (as low as 0.5 contracts), and define stop-loss or take-profit limits. Traders can easily monitor and manage their open positions on the platform.

☞ Who Is It Best For?

IG Markets is particularly well-suited for beginners in forex and CFD trading. Its intuitive platform design, coupled with a straightforward account setup process, makes it an ideal choice for those new to the world of online trading. The platform’s emphasis on educational resources and simple trading tools further enhances its appeal to novice traders, providing them with the necessary support to navigate the complexities of the financial markets confidently.

Moreover, IG’s user-friendly interface and customizable trading environment are beneficial for retail traders who seek a less intimidating introduction to trading. The platform’s no minimum deposit requirement and diverse payment options offer flexibility, making it accessible to a wider audience. Additionally, the real-time market updates and advanced charting tools on IG provide valuable insights, enabling new traders to make informed decisions and develop their trading strategies effectively.

ProsCons
Regulated by top-tier authorities.

Quick trade executions.

Leveraged trading options.

Extensive training for beginners.

Advanced security features.
Higher fees than competitors.

High risk in leveraged trading.

#4. Best CFD Broker for Copy Trading: eToro

eToro, headquartered in Israel, stands out as the best CFD broker for copy trading, offering a seamless experience in trading US Stocks, CFDs, and ETFs. Designed with both beginners and passive investors in mind, eToro ensures easy navigation and user-friendliness on its platform. Available in both a web platform and a mobile app, it also features the eToro mobile wallet app, enhancing the trading experience with additional support and functionality.

The platform’s Copy Trading and CopyPortfolio tools are pivotal in giving eToro a competitive edge. These tools allow users to effortlessly find trading ideas and make informed decisions in crypto and other securities, attracting a broad spectrum of traders, including retail traders. eToro is particularly beneficial for retail traders looking to leverage the collective wisdom of the crowd in their investment decisions. Additionally, it offers an attractive avenue for experienced active traders to earn by sharing their successful strategies and insights with others, thus creating a dynamic and interactive trading community.

☞ How Does It Work?

CopyTrader, eToro’s flagship feature, revolutionizes how individuals engage in trading. It allows users to observe and replicate the trading activities of experienced investors in real-time. This feature enables users to find and follow traders they admire and, with just a few clicks, copy their investment moves. To begin copying a trader on eToro, a minimum investment of $200 is required, while the maximum investment per trader is capped at $500,000.

eToro boasts a diverse portfolio with over 3,000 tradable symbols, including stocks, ETFs, forex, CFDs, and cryptocurrencies. However, availability varies by region; for instance, in the United States, only cryptocurrency trading is accessible. Forex trading, a popular choice among beginners and young traders, involves predicting currency movements using various tools and indicators. eToro offers 47 Forex pairs for trading. Additionally, the platform provides the option to trade CFD assets, a venture known for its high risk but potentially high rewards. Notably, over 68% of eToro traders lose money in CFD trading, highlighting the platform’s specialization in high-stakes trades alongside other offerings like stocks and cryptocurrency.

☞ Who Is It Best For?

eToro is ideally suited for beginner traders and those interested in passive investment strategies. Its CopyTrader™ feature is particularly beneficial for newcomers who wish to learn from and replicate the strategies of seasoned traders. This aspect of social trading makes eToro an excellent platform for individuals who are new to trading and want to gain experience and confidence by following the leads of successful traders.

On the other hand, eToro is also a great match for experienced traders looking to monetize their trading strategies. These traders can earn rewards by sharing their investment strategies and having others copy their trades. This dual appeal of eToro, catering both to those seeking guidance and those providing it, makes it a unique and valuable platform for a wide range of investors, from novice to seasoned market participants.

ProsCons
User-friendly platform.

Social Trading for strategy copying.

Demo account with $100,000 for practice.

30 cryptocurrency options.
Ambiguous trading fees.

Limited access for USA residents.

Inefficient customer service.

#5. Best Technical Tools: CMC Markets

CMC Markets (CMC), established in 1989, is a prominent UK-based forex trader and publicly traded company listed as CMCX on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Known for adapting to the evolving online trading environment, CMC has built a reputation for excellence in the forex trading community. However, like many forex brokers, it does not cater to traders from the United States. CMC distinguishes itself with its Next Generation platform, a web-based service packed with features, along with the widely used MT4 (downloadable) platform and a comprehensive mobile application. This combination offers a robust, user-friendly trading experience.

CMC Markets excels in providing a broad range of products across various asset classes, including CFDs and swing trades. Its offerings extend to forex, commodities, indices, individual stocks, and a significant government bond market. Notably, CMC also offers 14 cryptocurrency options (12 cryptocurrencies and 2 indices), providing traders with a wealth of trading opportunities. Additionally, the broker features dynamic competitive spreads, which adjust according to trade sizes, and ensure that clients’ accounts are protected from falling into a negative balance, adding an extra layer of security for traders.

☞ How Does It Work?

CMC Markets is particularly well-suited for traders who prioritize speed and efficiency in their trading activities. The CMC Markets Invest account offers direct access to the share market, appealing to those who value competitive online brokerage and swift order processing. With features like order execution in less than a second and unlimited free conditional orders, it caters to traders who require a fast-paced and responsive trading environment. This makes CMC Markets an ideal choice for active traders and those engaged in day trading or short-term investment strategies.

The platform is also a strong fit for traders seeking a trustworthy and experienced broker. Its long-standing presence in the industry and reputation as a top-ranked CFD broker in customer care make it a reliable choice for those cautious about the integrity of their financial partners. The option to start with a demo account allows traders to assess the platform’s compatibility with their trading style and needs before committing to real funds. This feature, combined with CMC Markets’ comprehensive service offerings, makes it an excellent option for both new and experienced traders who are meticulous about choosing a broker that aligns with their individual trading objectives and preferences.

☞ Who Is It Best For?

CMC Markets is ideally suited for experienced traders who seek a platform with advanced technical tools. Its Next Generation platform, known for its rich features and comprehensive analytical capabilities, caters well to traders who require sophisticated tools for market analysis and decision-making. This makes CMC Markets a top choice for traders who are well-versed in navigating complex market environments and can leverage the platform’s advanced functionalities to their advantage.

Additionally, CMC Markets is a great option for diversified investors looking to explore a wide range of asset classes, including CFDs, swing trades, government bonds, and cryptocurrencies. The platform’s extensive product offerings and dynamic competitive spreads are particularly appealing to investors who seek variety and flexibility in their trading strategies. The provision of a demo account also makes it an attractive choice for those who want to test the platform’s features and ensure compatibility with their trading style before committing to real funds.

ProsCons
Focus on education and customer support.

Top-tier research tools.

Protection for client accounts.

Extensive trading options.
Excludes U.S. clients.

Disparity between Next Generation and MT4 platforms.

#6. Best Trading Platform Technology: TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade stands out for its technology-driven trading platform, catering to both new and seasoned investors. Known as one of the leading online brokers in the United States, it offers a variety of platforms suitable for all skill levels. The broker’s appeal spans from passive to active traders, thanks to its user-friendly web platform and mobile app. These platforms provide access to fundamental trading operations, including stock and ETF trades, mutual funds, and options trading, supplemented with live news, third-party research, and customizable watchlists.

The standout feature of TD Ameritrade is its thinkorswim platform, renowned for serving the needs of more active and advanced traders. This platform is especially beneficial for day traders and those involved in casual trading, offering extensive screening capabilities, advanced charting tools, and deep analytical insights. In addition to these technological advantages, TD Ameritrade also excels in providing comprehensive educational resources. These materials encompass a wide range of topics, including technical analysis, income investing, options trades, and trading strategies, making it an all-encompassing hub for both learning and trading.

☞ How Does It Work?

At TD Ameritrade, the focus on customer experience shapes its platforms to be intuitive and user-centric. Utilizing innovative technology, TD Ameritrade tailors the trading experience to meet individual client needs, making its platforms – the web platform, thinkorswim, and smartphone apps – highly customizable. This personalized approach ensures that users can align the platform’s features with their specific interests and trading styles.

One standout feature on the TD Ameritrade site is the dock tool, a fully customizable dashboard that appears persistently on the right side of the screen, adapting to different screen sizes. Users have the flexibility to choose from 13 different modules to monitor, tailoring their dashboard to their trading preferences. 

Accessing TD Ameritrade through any of its four platforms – the website, mobile apps, thinkorswim, and the thinkorswim mobile app – is straightforward and user-friendly. The platforms are designed for easy navigation, with the mobile apps displaying positions and account details on a simple one-page interface for quick market and account checks. Additionally, the web platform’s news section and the basic app’s dashboard provide quick access to market news and updates on individual positions, making it easy for users to stay informed.

☞ Who Is It Best For?

TD Ameritrade is an excellent choice for both novice and experienced investors. Newcomers to trading will appreciate the intuitive design of TD Ameritrade’s platforms, which make navigating the complexities of the stock market more manageable. The platform’s comprehensive educational resources further aid beginners in understanding various investment strategies and market dynamics. Its user-friendly interface, combined with extensive learning materials, makes it a welcoming environment for those just starting their investment journey.

Conversely, advanced and active traders will find the thinkorswim platform particularly beneficial. This platform offers sophisticated tools and features, like advanced charting and detailed analytical insights, ideal for experienced traders who require in-depth market analysis. The high level of customization available on TD Ameritrade’s platforms also appeals to seasoned investors, who can tailor their trading experience to their specific needs and strategies. This versatility makes TD Ameritrade a top choice for a wide range of investors, from beginners to professionals.

ProsCons
Commission-free trading (stocks, ETFs, options).

Free research access.

High-quality trading platforms.

No minimum account requirement.

Outstanding customer service.

Diverse investment choices.
No fractional shares.

Higher account and fund fees compared to others.