The best CFD trading platforms and CFD brokers let you trade CFDs (contracts for difference) on the financial markets with leverage so you can speculate on prices going up as well as down.  We have ranked, compared and reviewed some of the best CFD brokers in the UK to help you choose the most appropriate account for your trading strategy.

Best CFD Brokers

Our picks for the best CFD brokers are based on over 7,000 votes in our annual awards, our own experiences testing the accounts as well as an in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternatives.

  1. City Index – best CFD broker for trading signals and post-trade analysis
  2. IG – excellent liquidity and wide CFD market access
  3. CMC Markets – very usefull CFD sentiment indicators
  4. Pepperstone – good package of MT4/MT5 CFD indicators
  5. Saxo Markets – robust trading platform for institutions
  6. Interactive Brokers – excellent DMA CFD access for professional traders
  7. Spreadex – smaller CFD broker with excellent personal service

CFD Broker Reviews

Our methodology for reviewing CFD trading platforms: When we review CFD trading platforms we open real accounts deposit funds and test the platform with live trades. In our CFD broker reviews, we interview the provider CEOs and talk to traders so we can highlight the pros and cons of each account, what markets you can trade in, how much it costs, and how they compare to the competition. We also explain what makes them different and tell you who they are most appropriate for so you can choose the best account for your trading.

City Index CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Trading signals
✔️ Post-trade analysis
✔️ Wide range of markets
✔️ UK based

Cons

❌ No DMA
❌ No investment options
❌ No futures & options

City Index CFD Trading Account Review

City Index offers CFD trading on over 12,000 markets including 23 equity indices, 7,000 international shares, ETFs,  19 commodities, 183 forex pairs, government bonds and interest rates giving it one of the largest market ranges of all the major CFD brokers.

Charges and commissions are included in the spread for CFD trading and are very competitive including 0.5 pips for EURUSD, 1 point spreads on the FTSE (UK100 CFDs), 0.8% on UK shares and 1.8 cents per share on USD stocks (2 cents per share being industry standard).

Whilst I was testing City Index’s CFD trading platform for this review there were a few things that make them stand out. Firstly they offer proprietory trading signals on CFDs through SMART Signals. These signals have been developed in-house and enable trades to quickly see upcoming trading opportunities. Signals are ranked based on how successful the type of signal has been in the past for specific assets and you can see the assets signal historic P&L performance based on the pre-determined stop and limit levels.

Performance Analytics is another tool that can help traders improve their CFD profitability. Performance Analytics looks at your CFD trading history and shows you where you do well and when you do not. The idea is to make you a better trader by encouraging you to stick to a trading plan and gives you guidance on when your plan is working and what markets, times and conditions suit your trading style the most.

As well as offering a CFD trading platform and mobile app City Index has always catered to, and still does, to high-value traders over the phone. It is one thing that makes them different from the majority of trading platforms in that you can actually talk to an experienced dealer who knows your account as well as deal electronically.

For new traders, there is a huge amount of educational and informational content from “how-to” videos and articles to more lighthearted CFD, and focussed programming like the Traders Academy.

Overall, City Index offers one of the best CFD trading platforms, on a wide range of markets with low costs and is suitable for large traders who want personal service and new traders how need assistance looking for trading ideas.

74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Interactive Brokers CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Institutional trading tools
✔️ Wide range of order types
✔️ Excellent research and analysis
✔️ Investment account options
✔️ Very low cost trading platform

Cons

❌ Desktop version too advanced for beginners
❌ Customer service slow
❌ US based

Interactive Brokers CFD Trading Account Review

I’ve traded through IBKR a fair bit and there is no doubt that Interactive Brokers CFD offering is one of the best around. IBKR offers CFD trading on around 5,200 markets including 100 forex pairs, 20 commodities, 13 indices, and thousands of international stocks.

Whilst Interactive Brokers does not offer the most CFD markets, they do offer one of the best ways to trade them. With IBKR CFDs you can trade with direct market access (DMA) on the exchange so you can place your orders directly on the order book at better prices than the bid/offer. The commission is charged post-trade so you get clean prices with no mark-up and IBKRs commission rates (added post trade) are the best around. Commission on UK stocks is 0.02% and 0.003% on US stocks. 

In reality, CFD brokers with the most markets are those that offer access to small or illiquid stocks which are probably not suitable for CFD trading anyway. But, IBKR offers access to the majority of stocks and markets most traders could need.

You can also trade CFDs with the most types of order execution with IBKR, for instance, VWAP, pairs trading, time and price sensitive order entry.  These tools are most suited to professional and very high volume traders, or hedge funds that are working very large orders and don’t want to scare the market. Most retail CFD traders will have no need for them, but it is representative of IBKRs overall service in that it provides an exceptional institutional-grade CFD platform to retail clients.

Overall, Interactive Brokers is one of the best CFD brokers, most appropriate for experienced and sophisticated CFD traders. But it also has lighter versions of it’s platforms for newer traders that may want to stick with one platform as they become more experienced.

60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

CMC Markets CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Excellent sentiment tools
✔️ Wide range of markets
✔️ Tights spreads and low costs

Cons

❌ No investment account
❌ Limited shares on offer
❌ No DMA equities trading

CMC Markets CFD Trading Account Review

CMC Markets offers more than 10,000 different markets though some of these are only available to professional customers.

One of the main features I found when trading through their platforms that make sCMC Markets stand out is how they present their CFD client sentiment indicators. Most brokers provide sentiment indicators based on what their clients are trading, but CMC enables CFD traders to break down what long and short positions their clients have by time frame and profitability. So you can filter in more profitable traders or longer-term positions.

CMC charges a bid-offer spread on CFDs on indices, commodities, FX and interest rates etc but charges a commission on CFDs over individual stocks and ETFs. Commissions start at 0.10% of the notional value of the trade for UK and European stocks, and at 2 cents per share for CFDs over US equities. Spreads vary by product and contract but are competitively priced relative to peers such as IG and Saxo.

There are some excellent other features as well like thematic indices, share baskets, a wide range of order types, and the ability to enter, work and move orders direct from the charts.  

Overall, CMC Markets is an excellent CFD trading platform with good market coverage and very competitive pricing. It’s most suited to short-term CFD traders speculating on the major markets.

66% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider

Pepperstone CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Tight spreads
✔️ Fast execution
✔️ Good MT4/MT5 trader tools

Cons

❌ Limited shares on offer
❌ No investment accounts
❌ Major markets only

Pepperstone CFD Trading Account Review

Pepperstone offers CFD traders two platforms cTrader and MT4 (or 5) which are suited to two different types of traders. cTrader for a more traditional look and click trader and MT4 for automated trading strategies.

However, I found when testing that Pepperstone’s main proposition is pricing through, either through MT4 or cTrader CFD traders do get some of the most competitive spreads through Pepperstone.

MT4 is a very good trading platform for automated trading strategies and Pepperstone has a suite of exclusive indicators and trading tools for their CFD traders.

cTrader, is more of a traditional trading platform for trading from charts and sentiment indicators. 

Pepperstone has a relatively limited range of CFD markets on offer with 178 in total including 62, fx pairs, 32 commodities, 28 indices and a hand full of UK, US and international shares. The list of shares is growing though and Pepeprstone say that if you want to trade CFDs on a stock that is not listed on it’s platform they will add it on request if there is enough volume and liquidity.
 
Overall, Pepperstone offers one of the best MT4 CFD trading packages and is suitable for those wanting to trade the major markets on tight spreads.

79.3% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider

Saxo Markets CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Professional-grade trading platform
✔️ Integrated research and analysis
✔️ Excellent market range
✔️ Investment account options

Cons

❌ Maybe too advanced for beginners
❌ No investment accounts
❌ Major markets only

70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Saxo Markets CFD Trading Account Review

Saxo Markets won the “best CFD broker” in our 2022 Awards as it offers the widest range of account types, market access and tradable assets.

When I tested the CFD platform with Saxo Markets, I could trade CFDs on over 12,000 instruments, including 84 forex pairs, 25 commodities, 21 indices and thousands of UK and international shares.

What makes Saxo Markets different though is how you can trade them. You can trade CFDs with direct market access (DMA) through the main trading platform or app. This means you can place OTC CFD orders directly on the exchange order book, getting better fills and better prices. You can also trade options as a CFD.

Saxo Markets is more of a professional CFD trading platform, so bes suited to CFD traders who are graduating from a simple trading platform to something with more order types and support for higher-volume and sophisticated traders. The CFD trading platform is backed up with excellent support from personal dealers and experienced back-office staff, who cater for individual traders, professionals, and institutions like hedge funds and banks.

There is a huge amount of research data and analysis available on the trading platform that can help traders seek out trading opportunities and some very good post-trade analytics that will show you where you trade profitable and which markets you lose in, and therefore can potentially avoid.

Overall, Same Markets is the best CFD trading platform suitable for traders with experience who need access to a wide range of markets and order types.

70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

IG CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Biggest market range
✔️ High levels of liquidity
✔️ DMA accounts
✔️ Investment accounts

Cons

❌ Customer service can be slow
❌ No futures and options
❌ Almost too big

IG CFD Trading Account Review

IG Index (as they were then called) was one of the originators of retail CFD trading and offers access to the widest range of markets with the best liquidity. I’ve used them for over 20 years and regularly test the platform. In fact, CFD liquidity on major instruments is often better with IG than the underlying exchanges does to IG’s symmetrical hedging policy and order flow.

CFD costs are included in the spread for retail traders, but you also have the option of trading with direct market access (DMA) on level-2 prices. This enables CFD traders to place orders within the bid/offer spread and get better prices. The commission is then charged post-trade. DMA CFD trading is often must more cost-effective for high volume larger traders as fills are quicker and at better prices.

You can trade over 17,000 CFD markets with IG including 51 forex pairs, 38 commodities, 34 indices and over 10,000 stocks. You can also trade CFDs on IPO through their grey market. The CFD trading platform is constantly evolving due to customer feedback and IG has a wide range of news, sentiment and analysis that is based on the analytics from the platform on what traders are trading. So for example, if there is a lot of order flow round a particular stock or market, research is created to help traders better understand market moves.

The main thing though that makes IG stand out is it’s size and coverage. As a public company valued at over £3.5bn April 2022) they cater for new, experienced, professional as well as institutional CFD traders.

Overall, IG offers one of the best CFD trading platforms around and provides excellent educational guides and market access for every sort of trader.

Your capital is at risk. 73% of retail CFD accounts lose money

Markets.com CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Blends and sector trading
✔️ Hegde fund sentiment analysis
✔️ TipRanks Integrated

Cons

❌ No investment accounts
❌ Analysis limited to US stocks
❌ HQ not in the UK

Markets.com CFD Trading Account Review

Markets.com offer their traders the ability to speculate on over 8,000 CFD markets including 20 forex pairs, 10 commodities, 10 indices, and the major UK and US stocks.

What I found when reviewing them that makes Markets.com different is that it provides a lot of information to help CFD traders call the market better. For example, when going long or short a US stock via CFDs the platform will show you broker recommendations (so you can see multiple price targets), hedge fund consensus (so you can see if hedge funds are buying or selling it), blogger opinion and of course technical analysis signals.

Markets.com also has some very innovative CFD markets which they call blends. These bunch together a selection of stocks within a sector like space travel or electric cars, so if you trade CFDs on a sector that is not covered by an ETF, a blend gives a good way to diversify your exposure over sever weighted stocks rather than having to trade them individually.

Overall, Markets.com is a good choice for CFD traders, wanting a simple platform with lots of research that can help them come up with trading ideas around the most heavily traded stocks, indices and forex pairs.

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Spreadex CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Excellent reputation and service
✔️ Sports trading also available
✔️ Smaller personal brokerage

Cons

❌ No investment accounts
❌ Some may be put off by sports
❌ Limited order types

69% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider

Spreadex CFD Trading Account Review

Spreadex is a smaller CFD broker that offers trading on a relatively large amount of markets, 10,000 including lots of smaller UK shares. I’ve used them for about 10 years and know some of the staff well.

Spreadex has been providing trading since 1999, but only recently introduced CFD trading in 2017. The trading platform, whilst quite basic, does represent what Spreadex is good at, which is the major markets and customer service. Being a smaller CFD broker they have a bank of experienced dealers who can work orders for you and provide support for the CFD app and platform.

Recently Spreadex has become much more competently priced, offering UKX CFD trading with 1 pips spreads, 0.6 pips on EURUSD and 0.2% on UK shares. There is no minimum deposit and no inactivity fee. 

Overall Spreadex is a good CFD broker for traders that want to trade on major and minor shares and put more of a focus on customer service than technology.

69% of retail investors lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider

XTB CFD Trading

Pros

✔️ Ability to create your own baskets
✔️ Good webinars and education
✔️ Zero commission trading

Cons

❌ No investment accounts
❌ Can seem complicated
❌ HQ is not in the UK

XTB CFD Trading Account Review

XTB’s CFD trading platform offers access to a relatively small amount of markets, 2,100 including 57 forex pairs, 22 commodities and 25 indices as well as UK, US and international stocks. However, when I tested XTBs CFD brokerage I found what sets them apart is some of the platform features.

There are also some nice close-off features, so you can close all your CFD positions in one go, or if you want to cut your losses, just close the losers, or if you want to lock in profits you can just close your winning trades.

There is a lot of educational content on how to trade from various independent “experts” such as Tom Hougaard, Lee Stanford. As well as different courses on how to understand specific aspects of trading like technical analysis and trading psychology.

You also have a comprehensive suit of CFD trader tools like constantly updating market analysis including stock screeners, heatmaps and ETF scanners to help you pick out new trades. There is also an integrated news feed and economic calendar so you can check for upcoming events or news flor that may affect your open positions.

Overall XTB, is a well-established CFD trading platform with some nice added value that is suitable for most traders.

77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

Compare CFD Brokers

Use our CFD broker comparison to compare each provider by account types, what you can trade in, and fees. We only include providers that are authorised and regulated by the FCA where your funds are protected under the FSCS and where customers have voted for them in our awards survey.

Trading PlatformTrading PlatformActive ClientsMinimum DepositFoundedInactivity FeePublic CompanyClient Loss %
City Index

126,0001001983£12 per month✔️70%
IBKRInteractive Brokers review1,400,000019770✔️60%
CMC Markets

308,64401989£10 per month✔️66%
Pepperstonepepperstone review110,00002010079.3%
Saxo Marketssaxo capital makets review525,00001992£25 per quarter70%
Markets.com

11,0001002008£10 per month77%
Spreadex

Spreadex Financials

4,00001999069%
IG

313,000£2501974£12 per month✔️73%
FXTMFXTM
n/a$502011$5 per month77%
XTBXTB review
447,00002002€10 per month✔️77%

Side-By-Side Comparison

Use our side-by-side CFD broker account comparison to compare the best CFD broker by pricing, market access, account types and services.