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Best 5 Spread Betting Brokers & Platforms 2020

Checkout our list of best 5 spread betting brokers & platforms in 2020
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Author: Adam Green
Last Updated: March 25, 2020
Business colleagues having a chat while pointing at a computer screen - Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
Business colleagues having a chat while pointing at a computer screen - Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

UK spread betting broker Are you interested in making money through spread betting but don’t know yet what spread betting broker you should go for?

Spread betting is done by traders who bet on assets that they don’t own. The bettors speculate the changes in the price market as either an appreciation or depreciation through the values given to them by their brokers. Spread betting brokers will also grant you access to a number of global markets. Through your broker, you’ll be able to spread bet on ETFs, bonds, futures, commodities, forex, equities, cryptocurrencies, options, etc.

Make sure to check out our comprehensive guide below if you want to find the best spread betting brokers in the UK, best mobile apps for UK spread betting, know how to make money through spread betting and learn the fundamental rules in spread betting.

Table of Contents

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    Note: Make sure that you know first how spread betting works and what trading strategies you should use to minimize the risk of losing your hard-earned money.

    What are the Pros and Cons of Using Spread Betting Brokers?

    Pros

    • Regulated by the FCA – Spread betting brokers in the UK are all regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) so you can be assured that they are following standard industry practices.
    • Offer educational materials – Many broker firms offer educational materials as well as technical and fundamental analyses of assets to its traders.
    • Quick access to several markets – By having a spread betting broker, you’ll gain access not only to the stock market but also to other global markets.
    • Offer trader tools – Aside from the demo trader account that you can freely use to practice your trading skills, spread betting platforms also offer you a variety of trader tools you can use to minimize the risks of engaging in spread betting.

    Cons

    • Can be expensive – Your chosen broker may charge you with high amount of fees and commissions. Withdrawal fee and account maintainance fee can also be high.

    What are the Top 5 Major Spread Betting Brokers in the UK?

    1. IG

    IG tops the list as the best broker in the UK owing to the fact that it has has proven to be an all-round broker. It is the oldest and by far the biggest broker.

    It was founded in 1974 and is now recognized as the number one CFD provider in the world. Since it has been around for decades already and is known for its excellent reputation, traders aren’t even surprised that it has an impressive product catalog coupled with very competitive fees.

    IG provides one of the best platforms for both newbies and trade gurus where they can easily access the most important information about a wide variety of markets. Moreover, it has an easy-to-navigate and well-organized website that contains all the types of services it offers as well as the fees for each.

    Its transparency when it comes to its fees is unmatched. Its traders also like the fact that it is not only regulated by the FCA but also by the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) in Australia. Through IG’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme or FSCS, all of its traders have a 500,000 GBP default broker protection.

    • Good withdrawal and deposit options
    • Exlusive educational content and tools for its users
    • Exceptional web trading platform
    • Huge CFDs fees
    • Maintains an inactivity fee

    2. City Index

    City Index is one of the best brokers in the UK and has been around since 1983. It is the brand name that the Gain Capital Group uses for its UK operations.

    It provides a wide range of products, trading tools, webinars as well as indicators. It is one of the most flexible brokers in the UK and continues to develop as time goes by. It is considered as the best when it comes to research and tools that traders need for spread betting.

    Like IG, it is also regulated by top financial authorities like the FCA, ASIC and even the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). It offers it customers easy access to around 12,000 markets across indices, shares, cryptocurrencies, commoditie, forex, etc.

    Our Rating

    • Relatively little forex and index CFDs fees
    • Wide range of research tools
    • Easy account opening process
    • Limited product portfolio
    • Not user-friendly website

    3. Spreadex

    The Investments Trends UK gave Spreadex the “Best for efficiency of taking trades” award. It is also popular because of its non-equity CFDs and commission-free spread bet trading.

    Spreadex traders get access to an advanced trading platform wherein they can see the 10-year price history of a stock. Advanced order features like the guaranteed stop feature are also being offered by Spreadex. Like other spread betting brokers, it is also regulated by the FCA and offers a wide array of tradeable assets.

    Our Rating

    • Low deposit and withdrawal fees
    • Good customer service
    • Commission-free spread bet trading
    • Limited educational materials
    • Does not offer a demo account for new users

    4. ETX Capital

    Founded in 1965, ETX Capital is a global FX abd CFD broker. Monecor LTD, which is also established in London, is its parent company. ETX Capital has been growing rapidly over the past years. It provides tight spreads on FX, equities and indices as well as AIM stocks.

    It is an ideal platform for newbies because it can provide them the fundamental guidelines they need to start spread betting. New traders can open an account and start spread betting easily because it only needs a minimum $100 deposit.

    Our Rating

    • Free deposit and withdrawal options
    • Simple and quick account opening process
    • Amazing educational tools
    • Limited to CFDs, cryptocurrencies and forex

    5. Core Spreads

    Core Spreads, which is owned and being managed by Finsa Europe Ltd., is one of the new brokers in the UK that offers the best tight spreads. It offers a very simple platform that can be used by any trader.

    It is known for its low-cost trading, strong customer service as well as solid trading platform. Moreover, it is also regulated by the FCA. Like IG, all clients of Core Spreads will be entitled of up to £50,000 protection.

    Our Rating

    • Low commission
    • Stringent regulations
    • Wide range of trading analysis tools and indicators
    • Limited educational materials
    • Limited capital base

    What are the Best Spread Betting Mobile Apps?

    spread betting apps

    You need to be connected to the market whenever you need to. This is one quality that spread betting mobile apps are trying to cater to since traders don’t want to be using only their laptops or desktops all the time. The best mobile trading apps will help you safeguard your trading positions.

    IG and CMC Markets provide some of the best mobile apps. They have great features that support spread betting, MT4 and CFDs.

    IG offers a best mobile app that provides the tightest spreads to help you grow your business as far as spread betting is concerned. Spreadex and ETX Capital also provide some of the best mobile app services with good screen execution of commands and some of the tightest spreads in the market.

    Best PayPal Spread Betting Brokers

    paypal

    Even though the use of cards and wire transfer makes it convenient for traders to deposit and withdraw their funds, many still consider PayPal as their number one payment option.

    Paypal spread betting brokers allow traders to use PayPal as their payment method. By using PayPal, they are not required to provide all their personal information and card details. The process of depositing and withdrawing funds is also quicker, more efficient and sometimes less costly when using PayPal.

    eToro is the number one PayPal spread betting broker at the moment. It is a social trading and multi-asset brokerage firm with offices in the United Kingdom, Israel and Cyprus. It is regulated by CySec, FCA and ASIC so traders have high confidence that their money will always be safe on eToro. The required minimum deposit is $200 while the maximum leverage you can make is 1:400.

    Aside from eToro, you can also check out other reputable PayPal spread betting brokers such as FxPro, Pepperstone, Plus500 and Markets.com.

    Best Forex Spread Betting Brokers

    Hand monitoring index price movements on a screen

    Forex spread betting is a subcategory of spread betting. It involves taking a bet on the price appreciation or depreciation of currency pairs.

    A forex spread betting broker will quote two prices. These are the bid price and ask price. These two prices are what traders call as the spread. Traders bet whether the currency pair price will be higher than the ask price or lower than the bid price. The transaction cost of the trade will be low if the spread is narrow.

    The best forex spread betting brokers that you can choose from include FxPro, Oanda, ActivTrades, ThinkMarkets, LCG and ATFX.

    What To Look For In A Spread Betting Broker Firm

    spread betting firms

    The following are some of the qualities to look out for when choosing a spread betting broker firm.

    • Trade offer

    The ability of a broker to permit you access to different spread betting markets is one of the vital criteria to look out for.

    The spread betting broker should have market specialties and can provide you with a wide array of tools that can help you in your trading endeavors.

    It is also important to look out for how fast the broker updates their trade offer options. The ability to offer you other instruments like forex, EFTs and CFDs is also another important quality to look out for in a broker.

    • Fees

    As far as the broker’s standards and costs may differ, it is important to note that the size of the spread matters a lot to the trader. This has a lot of weight since it is also the point at which the broker makes a profit.

    All the pips count a lot and the small differences are very significant for the trader here. In case of a 0.3% spread, the trader should make a profit of that same amount before he can be at a breaking point position. This makes the spread a very vital factor for you to consider when making a decision on the choice of broker you want to work with.

    Other important factors to consider include the withdrawal fees, minimum deposit, minimum limit and the account maintenance fees. You should look out for the brokers with favorable fees.

    • Platform Design

    You need a simple and friendly platform to use as you trade online.

    The accoun creation, verification process, deposit, trading and withdrawal process all happens on the broker’s website.

    • Customer Support System

    You are bound to get into problems and finding the quickest help possible is one of the factors to consider when selecting a broker.

    Choose a broker that has a 24/7 customer support system and offers efficient modes of communication. The communication modes can be through the phone or email or even a live chat system.

    Can You Make Money Spread Betting?

    Yes, you can make money spread betting.

    Spread betting is a platform that offers you new markets to choose from. The markets either go up or down and your only task is to predict the next move at a particular time. Predicting the correct move at a particular time is what earns you some cash.

    The fact that your losses are not covered in the previous stake makes spread betting quite different from the normal betting. Being able to bet on every price move of an asset is what makes spread betting totally different from the normal betting.

    In case you bet £1 for every point on an asset that is valued at 100 and then it drops to 0, you can lose up to £100. On the other hand, if you place the same bet and it goes up to 500 then you can win up to £400.

    Choosing the broker that you are well conversant with is one of the vital factors to consider in spread betting. You also need to look out for the liquidity, research tools, educational content and the range of markets it provides. Remember to take your time and do some due diligence before you can open an account with any broker.

    How Important Are Tight Spreads When Spread Betting?

    money-spread-bet

    Spread is just the difference between the buying price of an asset and the selling price of that asset. For example, in case the buying price of an asset was 124.6 while the selling price was 125.4, then the 0.8 difference between the prices is the spread.

    Making a profit while spread betting dictates that the underlying amount exceeds the spread amount. The asset prices have to move by at least the same spread points for you to make a profit. For instance, to make a profit using a two-point spread, the asset point needs to move by at least two points at the time you are closing your position. If this doesn’t happen, then you’ll make money.

    Tight spreads are very important during these small movements in the value and prices. They aid in making quick profits from the small movements in the values and prices of the asset.

    Regulation And Its Importance For Spread Betting Brokers

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a body that regulates and governs financial institutions in the UK as well as markets and trades.

    This body ensures that no one manipulates the trading market to their benefit at the expense of others. It is, therefore, a legal requirement for all UK brokers to be regulated by FCA. The ones that aren’t regulated operates on illegal grounds.

    The FCA is like a referee to set a fairground for trading to occur. Its precense is very important for spread betting brokers since it sees to it that there are no fraudsters and illegal activities during trading. The ground has to be fair for all the parties so the need for a powerful independent body to regulate the activities is a necessity. Regulation of spread betting brokers also guarantees the reputation of the brokers as well. This, however, doesn’t mean that you have chosen the perfect broker just because they are regulated. Find out other qualities before you select a broker you want to trade with.

    Golden Rules Of Day Trading Via Spread Betting

    rules spread betting

    Every game has got its rules and this is no different for spread betting if you want to make money. The following are some of the golden rules you need to stick with in order to make profits day trading via spread betting.

    i) Follow the trend

    This simply requires you to go with the market trend and learn when to get out.

    The key to making a profit here is to follow the flow of the market and step out at the right time. For instance, a downward chart continues to go down. You know that this will last for some time before it shifts again. At this moment, you need to sell your assets.

    Irregular charts like the zig zaggy ones are quite difficult to predict so you should wait for the chart to be regular before you make a move. The trick in making money here is staying closer to the most liquid assets like the FX pairs and the major indices.

    ii) Use stops And limits

    Spread betting requires some sort of realism and soberness. You need to take off your emotions and set a standard amount that you are willing to lose on every trade. Managing your risks comes out when you stick to your set limits and using stops to cut some losing positions.

    iii) Diversification

    A successful trader takes time to sample and analyze a wide variety of trends and a lot of charts. This aids in knowing some of the basics and the trends that exist during trading. It also gives you some set of open diverse positions to work with. You’ll be able to have positions on indices, commodities, FX and stocks.

    Once you have found some good open positions to work with, it will be easier for you to know what is happening as afar as profits and losses are concerned. In doing so, you can learn the art of closing positions since this is all that matters. You can earn a lot of profits by knowing when to close the right position at the right moment.

    How to Use Spread Betting If the Market Going Down?

    Being able to bet on a market that is going down is an important skill that every trader should have. In fact, even hedge funds are doing this process.

    This is how the process takes place.

    • Trader X anticipates a drop in the value of Amazon, prompting him to bet on the drop that will take place in a few months time.
    • Trader X knows that Trader Y has long term shares in Amazon.
    • Trader X asks Trader Y if he can borrow the Amazon shares and sell them to a different party.
    • Trader Y accepts the offer and charges a fee of 5% on the price of the shares.
    • Trader X sells the shares on the London Stock Market.
    • After a short period of time, the value of the Amazon shares drops and Trader X buys them back.
    • Trader X completes its deal by giving back the shares to reserve Y.

    Prive spread bettors don’t need to face the hassle of requesting for stocks from anyone since they can just bet on certain values for each point that the shares will depreciate in order to make money.

    Technical Analysis Versus Fundamental Analysis In Spread Betting

    Technical Analysis

    Both the technical analysis and fundamental analysis are very crucial when spread trading. This is because they are useful at different durations of the trade.

    The fundamental analysis comes in handy to give good guidance for long-term investments while the technical analysis helps in short-term trading. So then which one is better?

    There is no straight answer as to which one is better solely because they compliment each other. Another reason is that they are used for different purposes and that they are client-inclined. Some clients prefer either but they consider both before going into trade. Timing is very vital and you don’t want to go into an investment without checking the technical analysis. So as much as you may prefer fundamental analysis, you should use the technical one to seek get trade confirmation.

    The technical analysis as well as the fundamental analysis of different assets are easily accessible via your brokerage account. Your brokerage account provides you with different tools that are based on fundamental and technical analyses.

    How to Avoid Currency Risk When Liquidating

    There should be no currency risk during the liquidation of your positions when you are spread betting with foreign currency dominated securities. This is because when the USD depreciates or goes up, the profit or loss from that spread bet needs to capture the percentage profit or loss on the basic currency pair and should be paid in that percentage in USD.

    For instance, in case a trader from the US speculates a £1 move on a UK asset valued at £10 for each share and he places $0.05 per £1 and the stock market moves up to £15 during the closing time, then the profit should be 50% regardless of the exchange rate between dollars and pounds.

    How Safe Is Your Money When Using Spread Betting Brokers?

    It is very important to look out for your spread betting broker’s financial stability and capital strength. This is because trade errors are bound to happen. The broker firm should step up and solve issues quickly and efficiently so that you can maintain smooth trading.

    The safety of your money, depends on the financial soundness of your broker firm and its capital base. Going for public companies can be a good idea since it is a legal requirement for them to make their financial accounts public on a regular basis. Firms like IG and Plus500 regularly post their financial accounts.

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    Glossary of trading platform terms

    Platform Fee

    The trading platform fee refers to the amount a trader pays to use the platform and access its integrated platform features and tools. It can be a one –time fee paid for the acquisition of the trading platform, a subscription fee paid monthly or annually. Others will charge on a per-trade basis with a specific fee per trade.

    Cost per trade

    Cost per trade is also referred to as the base trade fee and refers to the fee that a broker or trading platform charges you every time you place a trade. Some brokers offer volume discounts and charge a lower cost per trade for voluminous trades.

    Margin

    Margin is the money needed in your account to maintain a trade with leverage.

    Social trading

    Social trading is a form of trading that allows for the interaction and exchange of trade ideas, signals and trade settings between the different classes of traders.

    Copy Trading

    Copy trading, also known as mirror trading is a form of online trading that lets traders copy trade settings from one another. In most cases, it is the newbies and part-time traders that copy the positions of pro traders. The copiers -in most cases - are then required to surrender a share of the profits made from copied trades – averaging 20% - with the pro traders.

    Financial instruments

    A Financial instrument ideally refers to the proof of ownership of financial commodities of monetary contracts between two parties. In the money markets, financial instruments refer to such elements as shares, stocks, bonds, Forex and crypto CFDs and other contractual obligations between different parties.

    Index

    An index is an indicator that tracks and measures the performance of a security such as a stock or bond.

    Commodities

    Commodities refer to raw materials used in the production and manufacturing of other products or agricultural products. Some of the most popular commodities traded on the exchange markets include energy and gases like oil, agricultural products like corn and coffee, and precious metals like gold and silver.

    Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

    An ETF is a fund that can be traded on an exchange. The fund is a basket containing multiple securities such as stocks, bonds or even commodities. ETFs allow you to trade the basket without having to buy each security individually.

    Contract for difference (CFD)

    CFDs are a form of contractual trading that involves speculating on the performance of a particular trade in the market. CFD’s will basically allow you to speculate on the future value of securities such as stocks, currencies and commodities without owning the underlying securities.

    Minimum investment

    The minimum investment simply refers to the lowest amount of capital injection you can deposit into a brokerage or a trading platform. Different brokers demand varied minimum investment amounts from their clients either when registering or opening trade positions.

    Daily trading limit

    A daily trading limit is the lowest and highest amount that a security is allowed to fluctuate, in one trading session, at the exchange where it’s traded. Once a limit is reached, trading for that particular security is suspended until the next trading session. Daily trading limits are imposed by exchanges to protect investors from extreme price volatilities.

    Day traders

    A day trader is a term used to describe a trader who is constantly opening trades and closing them within a day. It is a common term used to refer to forex traders who open trade and only hold onto it for a few minutes or hours before disposing and having to leave no open trades at the time the trading day closes.

    FAQs

    Do spread betting brokers offer a demo account?

    Yes. Most spread betting brokers in the UK offer demo accounts to new traders. You can use the demo account to practice and hone your trading skills before you use real money to spread bet.

    Are all UK spread betting brokers regulated by the FCA?

    All of the UK spread betting brokers mentioned above are regulated by the FCA. It’s important that you choose a spread betting broker that is regulated by the FCA so your money and trading account will always be protected.

    Is spread betting for long-term traders?

    Spread betting is more suitable for short-term traders.

    How much can you bet?

    The minimum bet size when spread betting depends on your broker. Most spread betting brokers require £1 per point.

    What types of markets can I bet on when spread betting?

    When you have a spread betting account, you can bet on a wide range of global markets. For example, City Index will give you access to around 12,000 markets across indices, shares, cryptocurrencies, commoditie, forex, etc.

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    Adam Green is an experienced writer and fintech enthusiast. He he worked with LearnBonds.com since 2019 and covers a range of areas including: personal finance, savings, bonds and taxes.