Best Spread Betting Brokers

Richard Montana | July 27, 2022

In spread betting the trader places a bet if the market will go up or down. There is no acquiring done of any instrument or its contract for difference, rather simply betting on the market trends. The profits or losses are determined by the changes in value and not by the closing price.

Spread betting is a popular choice for active investors who would like to trade a range of different markets both short (sell) and long (buy), without actually owning the underlying asset. Spread betting can be suitable for scalping, day trading and swing trading on thousands of financial markets, including indices, shares, currencies, commodities and more.

When you open a spread bet, you’ll see two prices listed: the buy price and the sell price. Using this, you can choose whether you want to go long or short. If you think the value of your chosen market will go up, you click buy. If you think it will fall, you click sell. Then, to close a spread bet, you trade in the opposite direction to when you opened it. Therefore, if you bought at the outset, you would look sell to exit – and vice versa.

In order to start spread betting online, you will need an account with a broker and access to a spread bet platform. There isn’t a great deal of spread betting brokers out there, which is why we have compiled this handy guide to help you discover some of the more established spread betting companies.

Top 10 Spread Betting Brokers

Here you will find our best spread betting brokers, based on thousands of hours of extensive research, testing and analysis across hundreds of brokers. Upon conclusion of each of our broker reviews, we have assigned each broker with a rating.

Some of the most important factors that contribute towards a good broker for spread betting online have been considered including things such as the available markets, other financial instruments, platforms, apps, tools, execution, liquidity, fees, education, funding options, regulation, customer service and more.

Each of our chosen spread bet brokers have undergone and passed our stringent broker reviews with flying colours, based on what we consider to be amongst the most important considerations when choosing a spread betting broker. These brokers are well-established within the online trading industry, providing top trading conditions to traders and investors of all experience levels.

Having the best spread bet brokers according to our findings listed in one place, can help you save time when looking for the best spread bet broker for your own individual needs.

Broker
Rating
Regulated
Min. Deposit
Founded
Max. Leverage
1.

ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA

Min $100 Deposit

2006

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
2.

ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA

Min $250 Deposit

1974

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
3.

ASIC, BaFin, CMA, CySEC, DFSA, FCA, SCB

Min $200 Deposit

2010

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
4.

ASIC, FCA, MAS

Min $100 Deposit

1983

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
5.

FCA

Min $1 Deposit

1999

1:30

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
6.

ASIC, FCA, FSCA, SCB

Min $1 Deposit

2014

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
7.

ASIC, FCA, FMA, IIROC, MAS

Min $1 Deposit

1989

1:500

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
8.

FCA

Min $100 Deposit

1965

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
9.

ASIC, CySEC, FCA, FSCA, ISA

Min $50 Deposit

1999

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
10.

FCA, CySEC, FSCA, SCB

Min $100 Deposit

2006

1:30 - 1:500 (EU/UK 1:30)

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade is committed to providing its traders with the best trading platform and trading tools available. They offer spread betting on a wide range of financial instruments with rapid execution, powerful analytical tools, live interactive trading charts and tight spreads on the award winning MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform.

The MT4 platform is probably the world’s most popular and customizable spread betting platforms. There are hundreds of financial instruments available, live price trading charts tailored to your needs and technical and fundamental analysis tools. The MT4 platform is the most innovative and flexible trading terminal available to retail traders.

Pros
  • Spread bet with low fixed competitive spreads
  • Spread Betting in the UK on more than 200 instruments including forex, commodities and ETFs
  • Trade wherever you are using intuitive trading platforms and apps
  • Access a range of free trading tools for more efficient trading
  • Guardian angel can give you personalised feedback on your trades
  • Excellent customer service with multilingual live support
  • Fast and easy free deposits and withdrawals
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • High inactivity fees
  • CFD trading only
  • Instruments vary between platforms
  • Spread betting is for the UK only

IG

With IG, you can try and take advantage of rising or falling markets by spread betting. They offer seamless execution on a wide range of more than 18,000+ markets and around the clock phone support. They are considered to be one of the best brokers and are well regulated in multiple jurisdictions. IG actually invented financial spread betting in 1974 and I think they are a top choice for anyone in the UK who is looking to spread bet with industry leading conditions.

Pros
  • Enjoy flexible access to more than 18,000+ global markets, with reliable execution
  • Deal seamlessly, wherever you are and trade on the move with an intutive and award-winning trading app
  • Discover opportunities on forex, indices, shares, commodities and more
  • Go long or short with fast execution and the option to open positions on margin
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Could offer some more deposit and withdrawal methods
  • Minimum deposit of $250 is not the lowest
  • Limited instruments on MetaTrader 4
  • No MetaTrader 5 platforms
  • Inactivity fee after 2 years

Pepperstone

Founded in 2010, Pepperstone have continued to deliver industry leading trading conditions. You can spread bet on thousands of different instruments like indices, commodities, forex and more. They provide you with industry leading platforms that come equipped with all of the tools you need to analyse the markets and manage your positions.

It’s quick and easy to open a spread betting account with Pepperstone. You can apply in minutes with a simple application process. It is worth mentioning that spread betting accounts are only available to traders in the UK and Ireland.

Pros
  • Access to industry leading platforms MT4, MT5 and cTrader.
  • Low latency, fast execution speeds
  • Consistently competitive spreads
  • Award-winning customer support, dedicated to providing you with an exceptional trading experience
  • Discover a wide range online resources, trading guides and expert webinars
  • No dealing desk execution
  • Quick and easy account opening takes just a few minutes
  • Free demo trading accounts are available
Cons
  • Primarily CFD trading instruments offered
  • Do not have a proprietary trading platform
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Minimum deposit of $200 is not the lowest

City Index

Spread betting with City Index provides a convenient way to trade on thousands of financial markets via powerful and versatile trading platforms for all of your devices. Not only do you get access to some of the best spread betting conditions but they also provide you with an excellent selection of dynamic and innovative trading tools that can help to navigate volatile markets.

City Index offers a fantastic choice of thousands of spread bet markets, including:

  • Indices such as the UK 100, Wall St and Germany 40
  • FX such as GBP/USD, GBP/EUR and JPY/USD currency pairs
  • Shares such as Rio Tinto, Amazon and General Electric
  • Commodities such as oil, gold and cocoa
  • Other markets including bonds, interest rates and options

Performance analytics lets you discover the strengths and weaknesses of your own trading history and discover the achievable changes you can make to improve your trading. With SMART signals, you can receive trade ideas that are based on current market conditions and tested against historical data for accuracy. Forex.com is another trading broker under the same umbrella which further emphasises the size of the company.

Pros
  • Get access to 8,500+ spread betting markets from one account
  • Take control of your trading with intuitive platforms and tools
  • Research portal highlights trade ideas using fundamental and technical analysis
  • Receive all the latest market news and expert commentary direct from Reuters in-app
  • Stay in control with transparent pricing and fast execution
  • Intuitive technology is designed to suit traders of all levels
  • Tight spreads, zero commissions
  • Award winning spread betting provider
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Inactivity fees if you do not trade for a sustained period of time
  • Limited digital wallet funding options
  • Product portfolio limited to forex and CFDs

Spreadex

It couldn’t be a list of the brokers for spread betting without including Spreadex. Formed in 1999 and regulated by the FCA, Spreadex has a reputation for innovative products and excellent customer service. Financial spread betting with Spreadex offers a fast, reliable, simple and cost-effective means of trading the global markets.

The Spreadex trading platform gives investors access to trade on global shares, indices, FX, commodities and much more via spread bets, CFDs or options. You can access tight spreads, low margins, trade via charts, trailing stops, one-click dealing, market alerts and much more.

You can choose from a wide range of products with 24-hour trading and spreads from 0.6 points on our more popular markets. Trade via your choice of trading platforms including a customisable desktop platform, tablet app or mobile app. Alternatively you can trade by calling their team of friendly and knowledgeable traders.

Pros
  • Access over 10,000 global markets
  • Trade with flexible margin rates
  • Choose from financial spread betting or sports spread betting
  • You can also trade CFDs from the same account
  • Advanced charting platforms and trading tools
  • No joining fees, minimum deposit requirements or any obligation to trade
  • Award-winning customer service
Cons
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Could improve educational content
  • Lack of standalone research tools
  • Limited payment methods

Trade Nation

Trade Nation is a multi-regulated broker where clients can buy and sell various financial instruments via easy to use platforms with extremely competitive trading conditions including fixed spreads.

Pros
  • Advanced trading platforms for all of your devices
  • A great range of markets and products to trade
  • Various funding options to choose from
  • No deposit or withdrawal fees
  • No minimum deposit required to start trading
  • Tight fixed spreads with no hidden extra fees
  • 25% spread rebate if you trade enough volume
  • Educational resources to assist beginners
  • Trading signals available
  • Unique smart news to help inspire trade ideas
  • 24/5 dedicated customer support
  • Free demo accounts to practice trading
Cons
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Cryptocurrency trading currently not supported
  • Could add some more tools for market analysis
  • No Islamic trading accounts for Muslim traders
  • Does not have managed accounts
  • No FIX API market access

CMC Markets

Established in 1989, CMC Markets offers a great selection of over 10,000 trading instruments on sophisticated and versatile trading platforms. They also provide comprehensive analysis, trading tools and educational materials.

Pros
  • Powerful platforms for trading on web, desktop and mobile
  • Fantastic selection of financial instruments
  • Innovative trading tools for comprehensive market analysis
  • Helpful educational content including guides and videos
  • No minimum account opening deposit
  • Free demo practice accounts
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Not the lowest spreads you will find
  • No MetaTrader 5 platforms

OvalX

OvalX is financial services company providing financial derivatives trading such as contracts for difference and financial spread betting along with corporate brokerage services for professional clients.

Pros
  • Large choice of more than 1,000 trading instruments
  • Trade on 60+ forex pairs with spreads from 0.8 pips
  • Invest in the world’s largest indices and more
  • Explore 1000s of European and US shares CFDs See zero-commission CFDs
  • Cutting edge platforms suitable for all types of traders
  • Choose from and trade a wide range of both soft and hard commodities
  • Good variety of quick and easy payment options
  • Social trading via OvalX Connect
  • Free demo accounts available to practice trading
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Incomprehensive daily market analysis to inspire trade ideas
  • Market maker broker means they don’t have the lowest spreads
  • Only provide support during office hours
  • No Islamic account options for Muslim traders
  • Inactivity fees apply
  • No FIX API connectivity

FXCM

FXCM is an established and well-regulated online broker with an excellent range of powerful trading platforms that are loaded with tools and market insights to help you discover trades and make informed decisions.

Pros
  • Fantastic choice of industry leading trading platforms
  • Hundreds of financial instruments to trade
  • Commission free trading accounts
  • Excellent selection of exclusive trading tools
  • Professional daily market analysis and insights
  • Social trading via ZuluTrade for copying signals
  • Advanced charting provided by TradingView
  • Robust FIX API connectivity
  • Convenient account funding options
  • Islamic swap-free accounts
  • Free demo practice accounts
  • 24/5 customer support
Cons
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Limited tradable assets compared to some other brokers
  • Not the tightest spreads for scalping
  • Perhaps slightly overwhelming for beginners

FxPro

FxPro is a regulated online broker that offers hundreds of tradable assets on multiple sophisticated platforms; cTrader, MetaTrader and FxPro Edge. They also offer trading tools, third-party analysis and trader education. However, the spreads and fees are not the lowest.

Pros
  • Great choice of trading platforms for web, desktop and mobile devices
  • Good selection of forex currency pairs
  • Premium trader tools to assist in analysing the markets
  • Excellent Trading Central software for trading signals
  • VPS provided for eligible clients
  • Some educational resources for beginners
  • Convenient account funding methods
  • Free demo trading accounts to practice trading online
Cons
  • Spread betting is for the UK only
  • Minimum $100 deposit is not the lowest
  • Not the tightest spreads or lowest commission fees
  • Could improve non-FX instruments

Spread Betting Guide

What is Spread Betting?

Spread Betting is a derivatives product that allows you to trade on the price movements of thousands of financial instruments including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Indices and ETFs.

Choosing a buy or sell position on a market allows you to speculate on whether the price of the market that you have chosen will rise or fall in value, using a stake size that you wish to trade. It is similar in some ways to CFD trading.

For every point that the underlying market price moves in the direction you predict, you will earn a multiple of your stake. However, if the market moves against your chosen position, you will lose a multiple of your stake for each point the market moves in the opposite direction.

Spread betting mimics the underlying asset and reflects the security that the spread bet is mirroring. For example, if we were to buy a spread bet contract on Amazon, then the price of the spread bet will rise and fall in line with Amazon’s share price.

Why do Traders Spread Bet?

Spread betting allows traders to buy or sell a huge range of markets, across various asset classes and with leveraged positions. There are usually no commission fees as spread betting companies tend to make their profit from the spread between the buying and selling prices. There can also be some tax benefits to spread betting depending on the trader’s location. However, it must be emphasised that spread betting is illegal in some countries and considered very risky. If you don’t understand a financial product you should get independent financial advice before you invest in anything.

Spread betting is a popular product for some traders for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • Some potential tax benefits in the UK
  • Can be commission free
  • 24-hour trading
  • Speculate on falling (go short) and rising (go long) markets
  • Way to diversify a trading portfolio
  • Spread bet with leveraged positions

Whilst spread betting is popular amongst traders, it is very common for traders to actually lose money when trading spread bets. Therefore, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the significant risks involved with spread betting and learn as much as possible before you start.

How does Spread Betting Work?

As in stock trading and forex trading, there are two prices that are quoted for spread bets. There is the price at which you can buy (bid price) and the price at which you can sell (ask price). The difference between the buy and sell price is commonly known as the spread. The majority of spread-betting brokers make a profit from this spread, which often means that spread bets can be made without commissions. The costs of any given trade are usually already factored into the bid and ask prices, so you will always buy slightly higher than the market price and sell slightly below it. If the FTSE 100 is trading at 6535 and has a one-point spread, for example, it would have an offer price of 6536 and a bid price of 6545.

Investors would choose to align themselves with the bid price (buy) if they thought that the underlying market will rise. On the contrary, they would go with the ask price (sell) if they were under the impression that it will fall. Some of the key characteristics of spread betting include the ability to use leverage, the capability to go both long and short, along with the wide range of markets available and potential tax benefits.

As an example, if a trader thought the gold price was going to fall, they may decide to place a spread bet to sell the underlying market, which is gold in this instance. The outcome of the trade will depend on if the prediction is correct. If the gold price did decline, the short spread bet would be in a profit minus any broker fees. However, if the price of gold increases, they position would make a loss and still incur any fees.

Leverage is one of the key factors of spread betting, as it enables traders to gain an increased market exposure for a fraction of the underlying market cost. Whilst this does increase profit potential, it also significantly increases the risk and potential loss. It is of the upmost importance that anyone looking to spread bet with leverage has a clear understanding of how leverage works and the significant risks involved.

As an example of leverage, let’s consider a trader who wanted to open a position on Amazon shares. As an investor that would usually mean having to pay the full cost of the shares upfront. Although if you decided to spread bet with leverage of 1:5 on Amazon shares instead, you would only need to put down a deposit worth 20% of the cost.

When traders open a spread betting position, they would put down a small initial deposit known as the margin. This is a percentage of the full value of the trade and why leveraged trading is sometimes referred to as ‘trading on margin’.

You can choose your bet size which is the amount you bet per unit of movement of the underlying market. Any profit or loss is calculated as the difference between the opening price and the closing price of the market being traded, multiplied by the value of your bet.

If you were to open a £3 per point bet on the FTSE 100 and it moves 60 points in your favour, your profit would be £3 x 60 points = £180. If it moved 60 points against you, you would lose £180.

The bet duration is the length of time before the spread betting position expires. All spread bets have a fixed timescale, but these can range from a day to several months away. You are, however, free to close them at any point before their allocated expiry time, assuming the spread bet is open for trading.

How to Spread Bet Online?

If you have taken the time to read through the above, you should hopefully have an understanding of how to spread bet. Here is a summary of the key steps:

1. Decide if spread betting is for you

Spread betting online carries an element of risk and can take more time than other forms of trading online. You will need to research products, manage your spread bets, follow market news and decide how to react to it. It is important to understand the risks and dedication that comes with spread betting online.

2. Educate yourself

Before spread betting, it is imperative to learn as much as possible about it. Any mistake could prove to be costly. There is an abundance of free educational materials provided by many online brokers that can help you to improve your trading skills and knowledge.

Most spread betting brokerages will also provide a free demo trading account so that you can practice spread betting online with virtual funds in order to familiarise yourself with the trading platforms and practice your trading strategies until you feel confident enough to open a real trading account.

3. Choose a spread betting broker

In order to spread bet online, you will need a broker account and trading platform to execute your trade positions through to the markets. When choosing a broker, there are a few important things to consider such as regulation, commission fees, platforms, tools, education, funding options and customer support.

4. Research products

If you have made it this far then you may be ready to start spread betting online! The next step is to research the different markets to discover which you have an interest in trading. Perhaps there is a particular industry, product or service that is already of interest to you. Many brokers will allow you to filter markets according to various criteria in order to narrow down your search if need be.

Many traders will begin by analysing different markets, studying public information such as finances, earnings and reports from professional analysts. The best brokers should have this information conveniently displayed for you within their trading platform.

5. Have a spread betting plan

Some of the most important factors that can help determine spread betting performance can be the trading plan and discipline. It is important to have a solid trading plan personalised to your own needs that includes the money management and trading strategy that you will use. Most experts and professional traders would try to not let negative emotions such as fear, anger and greed affect their trading strategy.

6. Spread bet online

Once you know what markets you want to trade online, you can analyse them to help decide if and when you will place your spread bets. After placing a spread bet, you will need to keep track of how it performs and manage it according to your trading plan.

Choosing a Spread Betting Broker

There are various factors worth considering if you are looking for a broker to spread bet with. Following on from our best spread betting brokers, we will cover what we consider to be some of the most important aspects that you should be aware of when choosing a spread betting broker.

Regulation

We consider broker regulation to be one of the most important things to look for. When using a regulated broker, you can get more protection than you would from an unregulated broker. Regulated brokers must comply with strict rules and regulations that are implemented in order to try and help protect investors.

Instruments

Brokers can offer spread betting on a range of financial products such as Forex, Indices, Shares, Commodities, Futures, Options and more. If you are looking to trade a specific market, you would want to ensure that it is available for spread betting at the broker you are considering.

Fees

Spread bets do not always incur a commission fee as the costs can be incorporated into the spread itself. However, it is worth considering all of the broker fees involved and size of the spreads. Other fees can include funding fees, inactivity fees, platform fees and more. Make sure you have a clear understanding of all the potential fees involved. If you are looking to save as much as possible on your trading costs, you can take a look at our best discount brokers.

Platforms

In order for clients to be able to spread bet online, the broker will provide them with a spread betting platform. There are various desktop, web and mobile trading apps available, some more user-friendly than others. Each platform will have a choose of trading tools, features and functionalities. If you are already familiar with a specific trading platform, you may wish to check that the broker provides it. Alternatively, you can opt for a popular and user-friendly spread betting platform such as MetaTrader or cTrader. You will find that there are lots of MetaTrader brokers which is gives convenient market access for spread betting online. If you don’t have the time or skills to trade and want to copy trading signals, you should look for a social trading platform.

Leverage

Leverage enables you to get a much larger exposure to the market you’re trading than the amount you deposited to open the trade. Leveraged products, such as spread betting and CFDs, magnify your potential profit but also your potential loss.

For example, if you had an account balance of $100 and leverage of 1:5, you would be able to take a position size of $500 ($100 x 5 = $500).

Whilst this does mean that you can control a position size larger than you would have been able to without leverage, it also means the risk is significantly greater. It is imperative that you have a clear understanding of leverage and how it works before trading with leveraged positions.

Education

The best spread betting brokers should have a selection of educational materials that are available to help traders increase their trading knowledge and skills. This can range from trading guides, tutorial videos, webinars, eBooks, quizzes and more. If you would like to learn more about spread betting, then you may wish to check that the broker has the relevant educational resources.

Tools

Most spread betting platforms will have an array of built-in trading tools to assist with market analysis. However, if you require any additional tools, it may be worth checking that they are provided by the broker. This can include economic calendars and earning reports for fundamental analysis which can be used to keep up to date with the latest market happenings. Other trading tools may include spread bet calculators, signals, market alerts and more.

Signup

Each spread betting broker will have its own minimum deposit policy so check that you can meet this requirement. You may also need to provide some personal information in order to pass the brokers KYC and AML procedures. During the sign-up process it is very important to make sure that you read all of the brokers terms and conditions, only proceeding if you understand and agree with them.

Funding

Each broker will have different account funding options. You should check that the broker has deposit and withdrawal options that are convenient for you. Payment methods can include wire transfer, credit/debit card along with online payment methods such as Neteller, PayPal and Skrill. It is also important to check if there are any broker or third-party fees that will be charged when making deposits and withdrawals.

Support

It is always important to have good customer service that are readily available to answer your questions in a prompt and efficient manner. You can check where the broker is located and how good their responses are before opening a trading account. The majority of brokers will offer online chat, telephone and email support. You can check they have a contact method that is convenient for your needs.

Conclusion

Spread betting is a financial derivative that enables you to trade on the price movements of a wide range of markets. Unlike traditional investing, you don’t take ownership of any assets when spread betting – which means you can go short as well as long, take advantage of leverage and more.

Traders use spread betting to get a range of different benefits. Some, for example, will utilise spread bets to trade when markets are falling as well as rising. Others use them to diversify their exposure by trading FX, shares, indices and commodities 24 hours a day from a single account.

Now that you have had a brief overview of what spread betting is, you may be considering opening an online trading account to spread bet online. To do so, you can choose a spread betting broker, follow the account opening process and you will be able to start spread betting online through one of their spread bet platforms.

However, keep in mind that spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. A large percentage of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Most experts would suggest trading on a demo account with virtual funds to begin with. If you are new to trading and need as much guidance as possible, you might want to explore our best brokers for beginners.

This can be a useful way to familiarise yourself with how to spread bet and using trading platforms whilst allowing you to practice your trading strategies until you feel confident and produce consistent results. Most trading brokers provide unlimited demo accounts free of charge.

Take your time to research brokers and do your own due diligence, the above information is only for educational purposes and not advice. Please feel free to use our broker comparison tool if you need some further inspiration.

About the Author

Avatar photo

Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

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For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.