CFD trading platforms typically allow you to trade thousands of financial instruments – with no requirement for you to own the underlying asset. Instead, you will be looking to predict whether the price of the asset – whether that’s stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies, or forex – will rise or fall.
In this guide, we review the best CFD trading platforms to consider in 2021. We take into account key metrics that will make or break a CFD trading platform – such as available markets, commissions, platforms, payments, and regulation.
In This Guide
Below you will find a list of the best CFD trading platforms available in the market right now. Scroll down to read of review of each top-rated CFD provider!
There are hundreds of CFD trading platforms that allow you to buy and sell financial instruments at the click of a button.
In order to find one that meets your needs, you need to look at what markets the CFD platform offers, how much it charges in fees and commissions, and other metrics surrounding regulation, payments, and trading tools.
To help clear the mist, below you will find a selection of the best CFD trading platforms in 2021 and beyond. Wether you’re looking for CFD stock trading platforms or CFD forex trading platforms, we’ve got you covered.
eToro – which is now home to over 17 million investors, is a Jack of All Trades in the online trading space. This is because the provider not only offers traditional shares and ETFs but heaps of CFD markets, too.
This includes everything from stocks and cryptocurrencies to forex and commodities. Irrespective of which CFD trading instrument you decide to access, eToro does not charge any commissions at all.
In fact, there are no ongoing maintenance fees and spreads are typically very tight, too. major forex pairs come with spreads of just 0.008% upwards, while gold stands at around 0.05%. As is the case with all of the best CFD trading platforms in the online arena, eToro gives you access to leverage. The amount of leverage you can get will, however, depending on your location.
In most cases, this is capped at 1:30 on major currency pairs, 1:20 on minors/exotics and gold, and less on other asset classes. All CFD trading markets at eToro also give you the option of going long and short. This allows you to profit from both rising and falling markets.
eToro is also a great CFD trading platform to consider if you are a newbie. The trading platform itself was built from the ground up – with the view of attracting non-professional traders. The minimum stake size starts at just $25 too – which is great for traders on a budget.
We also like the Copy Trading feature at eToro, which allows you to ‘copy’ an experienced CFD trader. In doing so, each and every buy/sell position that the trader places will be mirrored in your own eToro portfolio. This comes with no additional charge, albeit, you do need to meet a minimum investment of $200 per trader.
In terms of getting started, opening an account, uploading ID, and making a deposit usually take less than 10 minutes. You can choose from several popular payment types – including debit/credit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets such as Paypal and Skrill. Finally, eToro is regulated by the FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), and CySEC (Cyprus).
To learn more about this trading platform, check out our eToro review.
75% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site
Libertex is an online platform that specializes exclusively in CFD trading markets. It offers a wide variety of asset classes to choose from - including a fully-fledged stock trading facility. Here, you'll find major stocks listed in the US - including the likes of Apple, Tesla, Facebook, and Amazon.
Outside of the stock trading facility, Libertex also allows you to buy and sell forex pairs, commodities like gold and oil, and even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Regardless of which CFD asset class takes your fancy - Libertex is a 100% spread-free broker.
This means that there is no gap between the bid and ask price of the financial instrument in question. Instead, Libertex charges a small commission on each trade that you place. Although the exact commission will vary from asset to asset, this is typically very competitive at this top-rated CFD trading platform.
For example, forex pairs like USD/CAD and NZD/USD can be traded at a commission of just 0.011% and 0.012% per slide, respectively. Prices are even more competitive in the commodity department, as you can trade Brent Crude Oil CFDs at 0% commission.
When it comes to the trading platform on offer, Libertex allows you to trade via MetaTrader 4 (MT4). You can also trade on the main Libertex website, as the provider offers its own native trading platform. This is also available via a mobile app - which is compatible with both iOS and Android.
Much like eToro, Libertex allows you to go long and short on all CFD markets and leverage is available too. You can easily open an account with this top CFD trading platform by meeting a small initial deposit of $100. After that, Libertex allows you to top up your account at a minimum of just $10 per transaction.
The provider supports debit and credit cards, as well as e-wallets. Finally, Libertex is regulated by EU-based CySEC and it has been active in the online trading space since the late 1990s. As such, it has a great reputation that now spans more than two decades.
Visit Libertex Now
83% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
Skilling is a user-friendly online trading platform that offers more than 800+ CFD instruments. This includes dozens of major, minor, and exotic forex pairs - as well as cryptocurrencies.
You can also trade a plethora of US-listed stocks, indices, and commodities like gold, silver, oil, and natural gas. All in all, if there is a popular financial market that takes your fancy, it's likely supported by Skilling.
This top-rated CFD trading platform was only launched in 2019 - so it has chosen to offer industry-leading fees and commissions as a means to attract new customers. Not only does not include a 100% commission-free offering on all of its markets, but spreads are super-tight.
In fact, Skilling offers spreads from just 0.1 pips - which is great for those of you that like to day trade or scalp. As a relatively young CFD trading platform, Skilling is also renowned for offering top-notch customer support. This includes a fast and friendly live chat feature that can be accessed via the main Skilling website.
Stand out features, we like the fact that Skilling is compatible with several third-party trading platforms. This includes both MT4 and cTrader - meaning that you can easily deploy automated CFD trading robots and forex EAs. Alternatively, if you don't have much experience with these popular third-party platforms, you can elect to trade via Skilling Trader.
This is a newbie-friendly web trading platform that was designed by Skilling itself. If you like the sound of Skilling but are concerned with safety - this CFD platform is regulated by CySEC and the FSA. Additionally, it is also authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Finally, Skilling requires a minimum deposit of $100 and you fund your account with a debit/credit card, bank wire, or e-wallet.
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75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Plus500 is a global CFD trading platform that is licensed, authorized, and/or regulated by heaps of jurisdictions. This includes the UK, Cyprus, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa, and more.
One of the main attractions of choosing Plus500 as your go-to CFD trading platform is that it offers a hugely diverse asset library. For example, not only can you trade all major and minor forex pairs, but heaps of exotic currencies, too.
If commodities are more your thing, Plus500 offers hard metals, energies, and agricultural CFD markets. This includes everything from wheat, live cattle, and gasoline, to gold, silver, and oil. In the CFD stock trading department, Plus500 offers thousands of markets.
This includes stocks listed in the US, South Africa, Australia, the UK, and multiple European exchanges. You will also find markets that cover ETFs, cryptocurrencies (availability subject to regulation), and indices. On top of offering a huge library of CFD instruments, Plus500 is popular because it does not charge any trading commissions.
Spreads on major assets are usually very competitive, too. Although Plus500 is not compatible with third-party trading platforms like MT4 or cTrader, its proprietary platform offers all of the tools and features that you need. This includes multiple order types, leverage, buy/sell positions, and real-time charting tools that can be fully customized.
In terms of the fundamentals, Plus500 requires a minimum deposit of $100. It supports debit and credit cards, bank transfers, and Paypal. There are no fees to deposit or withdraw funds, although Plus500 reserves the right to charge you if you exceed the monthly limit of withdrawals or requests payment for less than the minimum withdrawal amount.
72% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
IG is a trusted and regulated broker firm that was first launched in 1974. It holds is authorized to offer CFD trading accounts to over 100+ countries, which has resulted in more than 239,000 clients actively using the platform to trade. In total, IG offers more than 17,000 markets - which is huge.
However, it is the CFD forex trading department that stands out for us - with the platform supporting more than 80 currency pairs. In particular, IG is great if you want to access less liquid currency markets like the Mexican peso or South African rand.
Fees and really competitive too at this top-rated CFD trading platform. For example, forex can be traded commission-free, with spreads starting at just 0.6 pips on major pairs. Even minor pairs are competitive, with the likes of EUR/JPY coming in at an average spread of just 1.5 pips. According to IG itself, the average spread on the aforementioned pair is 2.27 pips.
IG also offers leverage on its CFD forex trading markets - with the ability to trade major pairs with a margin of just 0.5%. This means that a $100 stake could potentially give you access to over $20,000 in trading capital. We should note that IG is more than just a forex broker.
On the contrary, the platform also offers CFD markets on stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, bonds, interest rates, commodities, indices, and more. Once again, these markets not only cover major exchanges - but the emerging economies too. In terms of supported platforms, IG offers its own native web trading facility that can be accessed online or via the mobile app.
IG is also compatible with MT4. If you want to get started with IG today, you can open an account in minutes. You will, however, need to meet a minimum deposit of $250 before you can start trading. With that said, IG also offers a demo account feature that does not require a deposit. Supported payment methods include debit/credit cards and bank transfers.
Your capital is at risk.
Under normal circumstances, if you don't have any experience or knowledge of CFD trading, you are best advised to stick with a demo account facility until you get comfortable with how things work.
With that said, if you're keen to trade with real money - Trading 212 allows you to get started with a minimum deposit of just $1. This is an inconsequential amount to trade - making it perfect for those of you that want to learn the ropes of CFD instruments bit-by-bit.
Trading 212 is able to support such small stakes because it offers fractional assets. For example, let's say you decide to trade Apple stocks -which are currently priced at $142 per share. If you were to trade $1, you would be trading 0.70% of a single Apple stock. On top of stocks, Trading 212 also offers CFDs on forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and more.
You will not need to pay any commission if the asset in question is priced in the same currency as your Trading 212 account. For example, if you were to deposit in US dollars and traded gold, no commissions would come into play as hard metals are priced in USD.
If, however, you decide to trade assets that are priced in a different currency from your Trading 212 account, a small FX fee of 0.5% will kick in. We should also note that Trading 212 also gives you access to traditional stocks and ETFs. This means that you can invest in the asset and collect your share of dividend payments.
This is also commission-free at Trading 212 - even on assets priced in a different currency. In terms of safety, Trading 212 has been offering brokerage services since 2004 - The provider is regulated and its mobile trading app has excellent reviews. For example, the app is rated 4.2/5 on Google Play and 4.7/5 on the Apple Store.
Trading 212 fees
Although we have discussed the best CFD trading platforms available in the online arena right now, there are hundreds of other providers active in the space. As such, you might come across a platform that you like the look of that we haven't discussed today.
If this is the case, we would suggest that you perform lots of research before you open a CFD trading account. In doing so, you can be 100% sure that the provider is right for you.
The most important metrics that need to be considered when searching for the best CFD trading platforms are as follows:
The CFD trading industry is heavily regulated in most countries around the world. This is because CFDs are complex instruments that allow you to trade with more money than you have in your account via leverage. As such, in certain nations - such as the US, CFD trading is outlawed in its entirety.
Crucially, when searching for the best CFD trading platform for your needs, you must ensure that the provider has the legal remit to operate. This is a fairly straight forward process, as there are a number of tier-one regulators that dominate this space.
Therefore, if your chosen CFD platform is licensed by at least one of the aforementioned bodies - like each of our selected providers are, you can be sure that it is heavily regulated. For example, eToro is licensed by the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC - meaning that you have regulatory oversight on three fronts.
These regulators ensure that your funds are kept in separate bank accounts from the CFD platform and that it does not offer you more leverage than your country of residence permits.
The beauty of CFD platforms is that they often give you access to thousands of financial markets. After all, CFDs are only tasked with tracking the price movements of the asset in real-time - meaning there is no requirement or need for you to own the instrument.
With that said, there is often a vast disparity in what assets you will have access to at your chosen CFD trading platform. For example, eToro covers everything from stocks, ETFs, indices, cryptocurrencies, forex, and commodities.
This covers the bulk of the global trading sphere - so if a market exists, you'll likely find it at eToro. At the other end of the spectrum, we did come across a lot of CFD brokers that offer a very small number of markets.
As such, make sure you check what assets your can trade before opening an account with a CFD trading platform.
An additional benefit from trading CFDs - as opposed to buying and selling traditional assets, is that you will often benefit from low fees. Once again, this is because the broker is not required to purchase the asset on your behalf.
However, CFD trading fees can vary quite considerably depending on which platform you choose, so we've broken down the main charges to look out for below.
Make no mistake about it - the best CFD brokers in the online space allow you to trade commission-free. Of course - platforms still need to make money, but they often do this via the spread.
Nevertheless, some trading platforms will charge a commission - which is usually in the form of a percentage. For example, if the CFD trading platform charges 0.2% and you stake $500, your commission will amount to $1.
Although there are heaps of providers offering a commission-free service, the best CFD trading platform will always charge a spread. The only exception to this is Libertex, albeit, the provider makes up for this by charging a small commission.
The spread is an indirect fee that you need to take into account and is reflected by the gap between the bid and ask price of the asset.
When we went through the research process ourselves, we found that eToro offers the perfect combination between zero commissions and tight spreads.
For example, forex and gold can be traded from an average spread of 0.008% and 0.05%, respectively. We should note that not all CFD trading platforms clearly advertise what spreads they change.
As such, you might need to perform some calculations of your own. You can do this easily by calculating the percentage difference between the bid (buy) and ask (sell) price of the financial instrument in question.
Although CFD trading instruments come with the benefit from low commissions and spreads, there is a chink in the armor - overnight financing. For those unaware, this is a fee charged by CFD trading platforms for each day that you keep the position open. The platform might implement this charge at a certain time of the day - such as 10 pm.
The best CFD trading platforms will clearly display what you will pay in overnight financing fees before you place your trade. eToro, for example, displays the daily fee in dollars and cents.
Ultimately, overnight financing means that CFD trading is best suited for day or swing traders. As such, if you wish to trade assets for several months or years, you are best advised to opt for traditional investment vehicles like stocks or ETFs.
There are several other fees that you might come across when researching the best CFD trading platforms.
The best thing you can do to find a low-cost online CFD trading platform is to check the fee table on the provider's website before signing up.
The best CFD platforms will offer an assortment of tools and features that can enhance the trading experience, while others offer a skin and bones service.
Some of the most notable tools to look out for are as follows:
The best online CFD trading platforms offer leverage on all supported marketplaces. As we briefly covered earlier, leverage allows you to boost your account balance and thus - enables you to trade CFDs with more than you have available. In essence, this allows you to amplify your profits on successful positions.
Once again, the amount of leverage that you will have at your disposal will depend on several factors, such as:
Take note, leverage not only has the capacity to boose your profits - it will do the same for your losses. As such, tread with caution and make sure you understand the risks.
The best online CFD trading platforms ensure that you have multiple order types to choose from.
If your chosen online CFD trading platform doesn't offer your preferred order types, an alternative root is to trade via MT4/5 or cTrader. This is, however, on the proviso that the provider in question is compatible with the aforementioned third-party platforms.
The 'Copy Trading' phenomenon has grown to exponential heights in recent years. As we briefly explained earlier, this allows you to copy a successful trader like-for-like. In doing so, this allows you to actively day trade CFDs without needing to have any experience. In other words, this is a 100% passive way of accessing the global financial markets.
There are several ways in which you can utilize the Copy Trader feature, such as buying and installing a robot into MT4. However, the most user-friendly, transparent, and safe way of doing this is to use eToro. This is because the regulated CFD trading platform gives you access to thousands of verified traders.
Everything at eToro is transparent, meaning that you can view the following statistics of your chosen Copy Trader:
Not only is the Copy Trading tool at eToro simple to use, but there are no additional fees to take into account. Plus, you can still add assets to your portfolio as and when you see fit - so you retain full control over your account.
Irrespective of which CFD trading market you are interested in, financial instruments change in value on a second-by-second basis. As such, it's important to keep abreast of what is happening at all times.
The best way of staying ahead of the curve is to choose an online CFD trading platform that offers alerts and notifications. In its most basic form, the platform might allow you to set up a price alert on CFD assets you are interested in trading.
The best online CFD trading platforms take things one step further by allowing you to set up volatility alerts. For example, if Facebook stocks move up or down by more than 5% in a single day of trading, an alert will be sent out by the provider.
The best CFD trading platforms recognize that not all account holders are seasoned pros. On the contrary, many traders are entering the CFD space for the very first time.
As such, we find that the best CFD trading platforms offer an abundance of educational resources. This might include guides on how to buy and sell specific assets, an explanation of key order types, and even weekly webinars that are hosted by an in-house trader.
We also find that the best CFD trading platforms provide research and analysis tools. At the forefront of this is the ability to perform in-depth technical analysis from within the platform. Alternatively, if MT4/5 is supported, this is also sufficient.
Your chosen asset class can also be influenced by real-world news events - such as an adjustment of interest rates, an interruption of supply, or wider geopolitical uncertainty. As such, the best CFD trading platforms also provide you with financial news.
CFD trading platforms can be an intimidating battleground for those with little to no experience of how the financial markets work. This is why the end-to-end user experience offered by the platform is a crucial metric to consider. You normally get a feel for whether or not the provider is suitable for newbies when you first head over to the platform's website.
However, in order to get a true understanding of whether or not the CFD trading platform is user-friendly, you need to test it out yourself. The best way to do this is to choose a platform that offers CFD trading demo accounts. All of the providers that we discussed earlier on this page offer this - with no requirement to make a deposit.
Ultimately, this allows you to try the platform out before making a financial commitment. In addition to the trading experience itself, the best CFD platforms should make the process of depositing and withdrawing funds a simple one.
All of the best CFD trading platforms that we have discussed today offer a fully-fledged mobile app. Although you might not be interested in trading via a mobile app, having access to one is crucial nonetheless. After all, you might be away from your main desktop computer and want to enter a new position.
Or, you might be out of the house and find out that one of your positions is tanking and thus - wish to close it immediately. Not only do the best CFD trading apps offer a great user experience that is fully optimized for your operating system, but they give you access to all of the same account features as found on the main desktop platform.
This should include the ability to o deposit/withdraw funds, check the value of your portfolio, enter and exit positions, perform research, and more.
When using traditional, old-school stock trading platforms, there is every chance that you will only be able to fund your account via a bank wire.
This means that you'll likely need to wait 2-3 days for the funds to arrive - sometimes more. As such, the best CFD trading platforms allow you to make an instant deposit with a debit/credit card.
This is something offered by all of the providers listed on this page. eToro takes things one step further by also supported e-wallet deposits and withdrawals.
This includes Paypal, Neteller, and Skrill. Don't forget to check whether any fees are payable on your chosen payment method. Specifically, some CFD trading platforms will charge you an additional fee when using a credit card. IG, for example, charges 0.5% and 1% on MasterCard and Visa credit cards, respectively.
The best CFD trading platforms are there for you when you need assistance. This is best facilitated by a live chat feature that can be accessed on the provider's website without needing to log in. Although telephone support is sometimes offered, this can be cumbersome if the provider is located overseas.
We came across a plethora of CFD trading platforms that only offer email assistance - meaning you won't be able to speak with an agent in real-time. In terms of support hours, some platforms operate 24/7, while others opt for 24/5 - in-line with the financial markets.
If you are completely new to the world of CFD trading, we are now going to walk you through the process of getting started. This includes opening an account, making a deposit, and placing your first order.
The guidelines below will show you how to trade CFDs at commission-free platform eToro.
As we noted earlier, the CFD trading scene is heavily regulated. As such, eToro requires you to go through a quick registration and verification process before you can start trading.
To get the ball rolling, head over to eToro and click on 'Join Now'.
The CFD trading platform will then collect some information from you, which includes:
You will also need to create a username and a strong password.
Once you have opened an account on eToro, the provider will then ask you to submit some ID documents.
eToro uses automated FinTech products to verify documents, so you should get the green light in less than a couple of minutes.
You will now need to make a deposit so that you can start trading CFDs with real money.
On eToro, you can choose from the following payment methods:
eToro makes it easy to find your chosen CFD trading markets. In fact, if you already know which financial instrument you are interested in - simply search for it.
As per the example below, we are looking to trade gold CFDs - so we enter 'gold' into the search box and click on the 'Trade' button.
Alternatively, by clicking on the 'Trade Markets' button on the left-hand side of the dashboard, you will be presented with all of the assets available on eToro. You can break this down by the respective asset class - for example, commodities or indices.
The final stage of the process is to place an order. In essence, this tells eToro what trade you are looking to place on your chosen CFD market.
The fields that you will be asked to fill out are as follows:
Finally, click on the 'Open Trade' button to place your commission-free CFD trade on eToro!
The CFD trading platform space is now an overly saturated battleground. With so many providers at your disposal, knowing which platform to sign up with can be a time-consuming and daunting process. This is why we have outlined the best CFD trading platforms in the online arena in 2021.
With that said, we found that eToro is by far the best CFD trading platform of all the providers we reviewed. This is because the platform is commission-free, offers tight spreads, and hosts thousands of tradable markets. Plus, eToro is heavily regulated, is simple to use, and even offers CFD Copy Trading services at no extra cost.
CFDs are contracts-for-differences. They are created by regulated online brokers and will track the real-time price of an asset. This allows you to speculate on whether the asset will rise or fall in value without needing to take ownership.
There are many fees that you need to take into account when searching for the best low-cost CFD trading platform. This includes commissions, spreads, and overnight financing. We found that eToro excels in all three departments - as it is commission-free, offers tight spreads, and charges reasonable overnight financing fees.
After reviewing dozens of providers, we found that eToro is the best CFD trading platform of 2021. Crucially, you can trade thousands of CFDs at this heavily regulated platform without paying any commission.
Most CFD trading platforms offer accounts that are dedicated to professional traders. For example, a lot of experienced traders will open a professional account with commission-free platform eToro - as this gives them access to much higher leverage limits.
No, the US is one of few countries around the world that does not allow its citizens to trade CFDs. As such, if you come across a CFD platform that claims to offer accounts to US residents, it is likely doing so illegally.
CFD trading platforms that offer a commission-free service will make money from the spread. This secures a consistent means of revenue, as the platform will make money irrespective of which way the markets go
CFDs can track the value of virtually any asset class. As such, the best CFD trading platforms allow you to trade stocks, indices, bonds, interest rates, ETFs, forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and more!
Kane Pepi is a British researcher and writer that specializes in finance, financial crime, and blockchain technology. Now based in Malta, Kane writes for a number of platforms in the online domain. In particular, Kane is skilled at explaining complex financial subjects in a user-friendly manner. Kane has also written for websites such as MoneyCheck, InsideBitcoins, Blockonomi, Learnbonds, Buysharesand the Malta Association of Compliance Officers.
Best UK Stock, Forex, CFD, Crypto, Social or Day Trading Platform that meets your needs.