The Best CFD Trading Platforms Australia [Forex ECN Brokers]

Our In-Depth Review Covers Australian Forex CFD Brokers, They Are The Best In The World. Low Spreads, Low Commissions & The Best Platforms

REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Vantage FX - Best For Experienced Traders, True ECN & The Best Software Platform - MT4,5, ZuluTrade, Ctrader, MyFXBook, Based In Australia
IC Markets - Best For Scalpers & Arbitrage With Super Fast Equinix VPS Servers & Automated Trading Support Based In Australia
The Best Forex & CFD Brokers & Platforms In Australia
The Best Forex & CFD Brokers & Platforms In Australia

Australia is blessed with two of the most forward thinking and best Forex & CFD brokerages on the planet.  This review covers only two brokers because they offer world-class direct market access via ECN and the tightest spreads and cheapest commissions anywhere.  They also happen to provide the most complete platforms, including MetaTrader 4 & 5, MT WebTrader, ZuluTrade, MyFXBook and even cTrader.

Read on to find out more about these most trusted and advanced brokers.

The Best Australian Forex & CFD Brokers

  • Vantage FX – Best For Experienced Traders, True ECN & The Best Software Platform – MT4,5, ZuluTrade, Ctrader, MyFXBook, Based In Australia
  • IC Markets – Best For Scalpers & Arbitrage With Super Fast Equinix VPS Servers & Automated Trading Support Based In Australia

If you are interested in Forex & CFD brokers that service Australian clients but are not based in Australia, see our Top 6 Most Trusted Forex Brokers Review.  If you want your broker based in Australi and subject to the excellent ASIC regulations, read on.

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Vantage FX – Best For Experienced Traders, True ECN & The Best Software Platform – MT4,5, ZuluTrade, Ctrader, MyFXBook, Based In Australia

Vantage FX CFD Broker Review

Vantage FX has been around since 2009 which makes it one of the more established CFD Forex Brokers in the industry.  Based in Australia Vantage FX are focused on enabling their clients open and transparent access to the markets while using the best platforms around, MT4 & MT5. Straight Through Processing (STP) and Electronic Communications Network (ECN) accounts also mean direct market access and lightning quick execution.

Vantage FX Review SummaryPro’sCon’s
TrustPilot Score ★★★★ Retail & Pro Accounts + ECN & STP✘ No ETF or Bond Trading
FPA Rating ★★★★ Choice of Spread or Commission✘ Only 100 Share CFD’s
Open An Account★ MT4, MT5 & ZuluTrade Platforms Available
★ Cryptocurrency Trading
50% Deposit Bonus Rebate Offer★ High Leverage Possible

Broker Ratings & Reputation

Vantage FX CFD Forex Broker Review
Vantage FX CFD Forex Broker Review

Trusting the broker you are using is critical.  You need to be sure that the broker is reputable, efficiently run and well regulated.  To be able to assess the quality of a broker we have chosen to use two sources of ratings, because some brokers may be unfairly discriminated against on one rating website, and have great reviews on another website.  We have chosen what we believe to be the best to sources for impartial customer ratings.  Firstly we use Trustpilot, it is a well established independent website where customers can rate brokers.  Secondly, we use ForexPeaceArmy (FPA) which is a very well run community-driven rating site focused on fairness.  One of the issues with review sites is that sometimes unhappy customers form the majority of reviews as they are an outlet for complaints, the happy customers feel no need to review the service as they are content.

Vantage FX scores extremely well on the FPA rating website, with 3.2 stars, which is one of the highest ratings for CFD Brokers.  The Trustpilot ratings are too few to matter and quite spammy, but even so, it rates as 3 stars.  Vantage FX is a highly reputable broker with very happy customers and operating under one of the most stringent regulatory authorities in the world, the Australian Security and Investments Commission.

Types Of Accounts Available At Vantage FX

Vantage FX Account TypesStandard STPRAW ECNPRO ECN
Platform  MetaTrader 4
MetaTrader 5
WebTrader
Mobile Apps
Execution Type STPECNECN
Forex Pairs404040
Indices131313
Commodities202020
Minimum Balance$200$500$20,000
Minimum Trade Size0.01 lot0.01 lot0.01 lot
Leverage  Up to500:1500:1500:1
Spreads from1.4 pips0.0 pips0.0 pips
Commission$0$3.00 per lot per side$2.00 per lot per side
Table 1: Service & Leverage Per Account – Vantage FX

As you can see Vantage FX are competitive across the board, the only decision you will need to make is the type of account you want.  The Standard STP account is a Straight Through Processing (STP) account which enables direct market access to the big liquidity providers like hedge funds and investment banks, this is great for the trader because the broker is not taking the opposite side of your trade therefore not trading against you.  Because it is an STP account you will pay a tight spread to fund the transaction with the liquidity providers.

The RAW ECN and PRO ECN accounts use the Electronic Communications Network via MetaTrader.  The ECN is a global hub where all the major liquidity providers connect to and compete to fill your order by offering the best prices.  For the privilege of offering you the best price, they will be paid via $3.00 per lot on the Raw ECN accounts and $2.00 per lot on the PRO account.

If you are a novice or intermediate trader go for the Standard STP account.  If you are experienced go for RAW ECN and if you will be a frequent trader with a minimum account balance of $20,000 you can opt for the PRO ECN account.

Whichever account you choose you know you will not be competing against your broker, but connecting directly to the markets and getting good prices for your trades

Forex Trading

Vantage FX offers a good selection of 40 foreign exchange (Forex or Fx) pairs for trading.  All the common pairs such as EUR/USD and EUR/GBP are covered, plus more exotic pairs such as NZD/JPN (New Zealand/Japan).  Leverage is available up to 500:1 but of course, the leverage available to you depends, as with all brokers, on your account balance and experience.

Cryptocurrency Trading

Trading Crypto is hot right now, and Vantage FX currently offer 6 Cryptocurrency pairs. You can trade Bitcoin, Bitcash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple vs the U.S. Dollar at between 2:1 and 5:1 leverage.

Share & Indices Trading

With a portfolio of only 100 shares CFD’s, Vantage FX is a little light in this department, with other brokers offering up to 3000 shares.  The 100 shares you can trade are mostly U.S. Blue Chip companies.  So if taking advantage of stock trading opportunities is your thing you might want to look at Plus500.

In terms of indices,  you will have access to the major European, American and Asian benchmarks including the DAX, Nasdaq, Dow, CAC, FTSE, ASX, Hang Seng, and the China A50, 15 in total at up to 200:1 leverage.  Vantage FX does not offer Options trading via CFD’s.

Commodities

For those interested in commodities, there are 20 to choose from, which gives you enough to trade if your focus is on commodity futures. The usual commodities like Oil, Coffee, Corn, Wheat, Copper, Sugar, and Gas are available.

Brokers Trading Platform

Vantage FX aims to keep it simple and straight forward when it comes to choice of tools, they give you everything.  You have the choice of Vantage FX WebTrader or MetaTrader 4 / 5, cTrader for ECN Currency Trading, ZuluTrader for Copy Trading and MyFXBook.

Of course, whichever desktop software you choose, you will still be able to trade from your tablet and smartphone. The MetaTrader 4 App has a 4-star rating on the Play store and in the Apple store 4.5-stars, which means you will get a great mobile trading experience. Ultimately you know you will be getting a solid and seamless experience however and wherever you choose to trade.

Vantage FX Web Trader For MT4 & MT5

You can use the Vantage FX Web Trader platform which is easy to use yet very powerful, this will give most retail investors what they need with a minimal investment in training and no installation required.  Simple “one click to trade” enables you to execute the trade quickly.  You have all order types available, so there is no pairing back of functionality with the online tool.  Naturally, you get streaming real-time quotes, but the best thing is that the orders are processed using Straight Through Processing (STP) which means the order goes straight to the top tier liquidity providers to optimize order (Bid/Spread) pricing and execution.

Vantage FX MetaTrader 4 & MetaTrader 5

Vantage FX MetaTrader 5 Platform
Vantage FX MetaTrader 5 Platform

If you want to operate an ECN account with direct market access you can utilize the best, MetaTrader 4 or 5. MetaTrader will open up a world of automated trading and real-time streaming of news and events, it may take some time to work on your learning curve but it will be well worth it.  The ECN is worth its weight in gold because you trade directly in a pool with other traders without the middle man or Market Maker, this is how you get spreads close to 0.0, but instead, there is a transaction fee commission on the trade due to the costs of operating the ECN.  The ECN is not operated by Vantage FX, but they do have a Fiber link into the ECN for faster trade execution.

There are no upfront costs associated with using the platforms available.

Vantage FX – MarketTrader Video

MarketTrader – The Flexible Forex (FX) Trading Platform

Watch The Video Overview

 

Powerful Signals & Social Trading

Vantage FX provides email and video trading signals and analysis through Trading Central, focussing on specific high probability setups.  Vantage FX also pride themselves on enabling cutting edge tools for their clients and to complete the offering they have ZuluTrade and MyFXBook AutoTrade.

Company Background & Regulators

Vantage FX was established in 2009 and it has developed a loyal following through its fair market access and customer service. The holding company is Vantage Global Prime Pty Ltd a privately held company supervised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), one of the more stringent regulators out there.

Account Funding & Investor Protection

Account Funding

Opening a demo account is free, but to start trading you will need a minimum balance of $200 for a Standard STP account all the way up to $20,000 for a PRO ECN account.  Minimum balances seem to be important to some people, but from my perspective, if you cannot afford $200, you probably should not be attempting to trade CFD’s.

Investor Protection

Vantage FX do not offer negative balance protection or guaranteed stops.  This could be because of the nature of the service they offer.  You cannot expect Vantage FX to offer guaranteed stops when they are offering a Straight Through Processing (STP) service.  This means they are not acting at the market maker, which would allow them to offer negative balance protection and guaranteed stops, they are routing your trades through to a much more liquid market where it is not so protected.  This has benefits to the trader because you are getting the absolute best bid and ask price spread, but the downside is that for complete beginners there is little protection.

Finally, as per regulatory requirements, Vantage FX operates segregated accounts, meaning that your cash account is segregated from the accessible funds available to Vantage FX, simply meaning, they cannot use your funds to trade their own account.  Also, there is insolvency compensation of up to 20,000 EUR in accordance with CySec regulations.

Customer Support & Satisfaction

Vantage FX Special Bonus 50% Rebate
Vantage FX Special Bonus 50% Rebate

Customer support is available on a 24/5 basis offering six regional phone numbers in Australia, UK, China, Canada and an international line.  They also have online chat and email support, much more you cannot ask for.  You can also see from their 5,000 twitter followers, there are few complaints about the service.

Review Summary Vantage FX

Vantage FX is a highly rated and reputable CFD Forex broker who really cares about offering their clients the best market conditions to trade in.  A great set of trading platforms including MT4, MT5, WebTrade, and Zulu trade combined with a choice of STP and ECN routing, mean Vantage FX is one of the best companies operating today.  A good reputation is important in this industry and they have it, a respectable Australian regulated company offering a great platform and a suite of signals, alerts and market updates to help their clients be profitable.

Open An Account With Vantage FX

Read The In-Depth Vantage FX Review

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IC Markets – Best For Scalpers & Arbitrage With Super Fast Equinix VPS Servers & Automated Trading Support Based In Australia

IC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison

IC Markets entered the Brokerage industry in 2007 which makes it one of the more established CFD Forex Brokers in the industry.  Based in Australia IC Markets are focused on enabling their clients open and transparent access to the markets while using the best platforms around, MT4 & MT5. All accounts are Electronic Communications Network (ECN) which means direct market access and lightning quick execution to over 50 liquidity providers. Arbitrage, scalping & high-frequency trading (HFT) is allowed.

IC Markets Review SummaryPro’sCon’s
TrustPilot Score ★★★★ (Great)★ All Accounts ECN✘ No ETF or Bond Trading
FPA Rating ★★★ (Good)★ Choice of Spread or Commission✘ Only 100 Share CFD’s
★ MT4, MT5, CTrader & MAM PAMM Platforms
Open An Account★ Cryptocurrency Trading
★ High Leverage Possible

Broker Ratings & ReputationIC Markets CFD Forex Broker Review

IC Markets scores extremely well on the FPA rating website, with 3.2 stars, which is one of the highest ratings for CFD Brokers.  The Trustpilot ratings are excellent with 610 ratings and 92% of its clients ratings it either good or excellent.  This gives it an overall score of 4 Stars (Great).  IC Markets is a highly reputable broker with very happy customers and operating under one of the most stringent regulatory authorities in the world, the Australian Security and Investments Commission.

IC Markets: Foreign Exchange (fx), Crypto Currency Services

The Foreign Exchange market is the biggest most liquid market on earth with an estimated $5.3 Trillion traded per day, which is about 30 times the size of the stock markets $28 Billion. We also include Crypto Trading comparisons, which essentially mean “does the broker allow you to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Etherium which are based on the blockchain technology”.  Also at what levels of leverage.  Please see our note on CFD Risks

IC Markets won outright in our 2018 Review & Comparison of Forex Brokers, they offer 60 currency pairs and $3.5 per lot, with superior leverage of 1 to 500.  They also offer 5 cryptocurrencies (and growing) with a leverage of 1 to 20.

IC Markets: CFD Brokers Stocks, ETFs & Options Trading Services

IC Markets again lead the top, although having fewer shares on offer the commissions are excellent. They offer lightning-fast execution on 22 Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) Stocks, 49 New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Stocks and 49 NASDAQ Stocks.  They also off 200 to 1 Indices leverage on 15 Indices and daily financing, producing a package that is extremely cost effective.

IC Markets: Commodities, Bonds & Treasuries Trading Services

IC Markets also offers the full suite of commodities and bonds, with 17 commodities offered at 1:100 leverage and 9 different Bond & Treasury Vehicles at again 1:100 leverage.  IC Markets Commodities include:

  • Spot Energy Contracts – Crude Oil, Brent, and Natural Gas
  • Metals – Gold, Silver & Platinum
  • Soft Commodities – Sugar, Coffee, Corn, Wheat, Soybean, Cotton, Orange Juice & Cocoa

IC Markets: Trading Platform Software Comparison

IC Markets offer a huge selection of tools, MetaTrader 4 & 5 and cTrader and ZuluTrade, but what separates them from the crowd is their focus on institutional pricing and tools.

You can locate your IC Markets Virtual Private Server (VPS) directly in the NY4 & LD5 IBX Equinix Data Centers in New York and London, meaning you get the lowest latency for your transactions.  If you are a high volume professional algorithmic trader, utilizing scalping and robots then this is the solution you need.

IC Markets also enabled a True ECN setup, which means you can even get access to institutional pricing for Foreign Exchange from 0.0 pips. As IC Markets explains on it’s website:

IC Markets, a forex ECN broker utilizes the True ECN pricing for all of it’s account types, this means that you the forex trader are offered direct access to our interbank prices feeds from over 50 different bank and dark pool liquidity providers. Trading in a True ECN marketplace allows traders to benefit from the best possible prices available from Tier-1 banks and dark pool liquidity providers.

IC Markets Web Trader For MT4 & MT5

You can use the IC Markets Web Trader platform which is easy to use yet very powerful, this will give most retail investors what they need with a minimal investment in training and no installation required.  Simple “one click to trade” enables you to execute the trade quickly.  You have all order types available, so there is no pairing back of functionality with the online tool.  Naturally, you get streaming real-time quotes, but the best thing is that the orders are processed using Straight Through Processing (STP) which means the order goes straight to the top tier liquidity providers to optimize order (Bid/Spread) pricing and execution.

IC Markets MetaTrader 4 & MetaTrader 5

 

If you want to operate an ECN account with direct market access you can utilize the best, MetaTrader 4 or 5. MetaTrader will open up a world of automated trading and real-time streaming of news and events, it may take some time to work on your learning curve but it will be well worth it.  The ECN is worth its weight in gold because you trade directly in a pool with other traders without the middle man or Market Maker, this is how you get spreads close to 0.0, but instead, there is a transaction fee commission on the trade due to the costs of operating the ECN.  The ECN is not operated by IC Markets, but they do have Equinix network into the ECN for faster trade execution.

There are no upfront costs associated with using the platforms available.

IC Markets VPS Servers

If you want you MetaTrader algorithms to run 24/7 on a machine hosted in the super highspeed Equinix datacenters then IC Markets are a great choice of broker for you.  Take a look at the info sheet on Virtual Private Servers (VPS) for trading.

ZuluTrade Integration

IC Markets has an integration with ZuluTrade, a very popular social oriented copy trading service.  This is a nice touch as it enables the profits (or losses) from any trader you follow in ZuluTrade to flow through to your MT4 dashboard.

Company Background & Regulators

IC Markets do not sponsor fancy football teams and they do not offer sports cars as prizes, what they do offer is world class execution and an established track record.

They do not divulge the number of clients they have, because they do not need to.  Our visitors vote with their actions and IC markets for traders is the most popular choice.  What we can say is that in 3 years IC Markets trading volume has grown from $50 Billion in 2015 to over $339 billion in 2018, solid growth.

IC Markets: Investor Protection & Regulation

Account Funding

Opening a demo account is free, but to start trading you will need a minimum balance of $200 for an ECN account.  Minimum balances seem to be important to some people, but from my perspective, if you cannot afford $200, you probably should not be attempting to trade CFD’s.

Investor Protection

IC Markets are one of the few Forex Brokers, completely residing in Australia, they are open, transparent about their business model and banking services.  They have full indemnity insurance with the worlds leading insurer, Lloyds of London, and only use top tier Australian banks to host the segregated funds.

IC Markets do not offer negative balance protection or guaranteed stops.  This could be because of the nature of the service they offer.  You cannot expect IC Markets to offer guaranteed stops when they are offering a full true ECN service.  This means they are not acting at the market maker, which would allow them to offer negative balance protection and guaranteed stops, they are routing your trades through to a much more liquid market where it is not so protected.  This has benefits to the trader because you are getting the absolute best bid and ask price spread, but the downside is that for complete beginners there is little protection.

Finally, as per regulatory requirements, IC Markets operates segregated accounts, meaning that your cash account is segregated from the accessible funds available to IC Markets, simply meaning, they cannot use your funds to trade their own account.

IC Markets Review Summary

IC Markets is a highly rated and reputable CFD Forex broker who really cares about offering their clients the best market conditions to trade in.  A great set of trading platforms including MT4, MT5, WebTrade, and Zulu trade combined with ECN routing, mean they are one of the best companies operating today.  A good reputation is important in this industry and they have it, a respectable Australian regulated company offering a great platform and a suite of signals, alerts and market updates to help their clients be profitable.

Open an IC Markets Demo Account for Free

Read The Full IC Markets Review

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CFD Risk Notice ESMA & FCA Risk Warning - "CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74% and 89% of retail investor accounts may lose money when trading CFDs with any provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Capital at risk"

We thoroughly background check the brokers we recommend and only list reputable trustworthy companies.  Read our tips to perform your own background checks, and test a broker after you sign up. You can perform your own check easilly. LiberatedStockTrader.com accepts no responsibility for your experience with any broker.

The Best Australian Forex CFD Brokers: Comparison Table Vantage FX vs. IC Markets

BrokerVantage FX CFD Broker ReviewIC Markets CFD Broker Review & Comparison
Customer Ratings
ForexPeaceArmy Rating★★★★★★
Trustpilot Stars Rating★★★★★★★
Trustpilot (% Average Rating & Above)-95%
Dealing Type STP
Dealing Type ECN
No Dealing Desk / Market Execution
Market Maker
Scalping & HFT Allowed
Instruments & Leverage
Forex Pairs 4060
Forex Leverage1:5001:500
Forex CommissionsSpread / Commission$7 per lot
Crypto Trading #610
Crypto Leverage1:21:5
Shares #100101
Shares Leverage1:201:20
Shares Commission$60.01% of Trade
Indices #1515
Indices Leverage1:2001:200
Indices CommissionSpread / CommissionDaily Financing
ETF #
ETF Leverage
Commodities, Bonds, Treasuries
Commodities / Futures2017
Commodities Leverage1:1001:100
Bonds / Treasuries #9
Bonds Leverage1:100
Automated Trading
Funding & Company Size
Minimum Balance200 EUR$200
Established20092007
Investor Protection
Negative Balance Protection
Guaranteed Stops
Volatility Protection
Segregated Accounts
Investor Protection $
Regulated ByASIC AustraliaASIC Australia
Parent CompanyVantage Global Prime Pty Ltd (Privately Held)International Capital Markets Pty Ltd
Primary Business LocationAustraliaAustralia
Trading Platfrom
Software
Metatrader 4
MetaTrader 5
MT WebTrader
ZuluTrade
MyFXBook
Ctrader
Mam / PAMM
Mobile Software
Customer Services
Customer Support24/5 Phone, Chat, EmailLive Chat & Phone Support
Research / SignalsTrading Signals
Market Analysis
Social Trading
Islamic Account
EducationForex AcademyYes
Twitter Followers4,5003,500
The Best Australian Forex CFD Brokers: Vantage FX vs. IC Markets

 

Frequently Asked Questions About CFD Brokers

How do I find a trustworthy CFD Broker?

There are thousands of brokers offering Contracts for Difference Brokerage Services.  CFD’s differ from buying or selling regular stocks or foreign exchange because you do not actually own the underlying stock or currency.  Instead, you own a contract for that instrument which should closely represent the underlying asset’s value. We recommend you check ratings on Trustpilot, it is a well established independent website where customers can rate brokers.  Secondly, you can use ForexPeaceArmy (FPA) which is a very well run community-driven rating site focused on fairness.  Both Vantage FX and IC Markets score very well on these ratings websites.

Why are CFD’s not available in the USA?

CFD’s are not allowed in the U.S.A., Canada, and India, due to the fact they do not represent trading or exchange of the actual asset. They are forbidden under the Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.  CFD trading is huge in Europe and Asia, where it is completely legal and regulated.

Why do people complain about not being able to get their funds back from CFD Brokers?

One of the issues with review sites is that sometimes unhappy customers form the majority of reviews as the websites are an outlet for complaints, the happy customers feel no need to review the service as they are content.

Due to money laundering legislation and anti-terrorism laws, all financial institutions are not allowed to return money to a bank account that did not send the money in the first place.  This means you cannot fund your account from bank A and expect your funds to be returned to bank B.  Many traders do not realize this, and when the brokers need to investigate the potentially fraudulent request, the delays make the customers angry, this is typically not the fault of the reputable broker. That is not to say all brokers are reputable.

What kinds of Fraud Activities are in the CFD Industry?

Many brokers act as market makers for their clients, meaning they provide the liquidity upon which you trade.  An unscrupulous broker might manipulate the market prices to benefit themselves.  Tactics like not executing trades, or executing trades at different prices to the ones on the quote screen for example.  This is why reputation is everything in this industry.

 

 

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