US stock trading platforms let you buy and sell US companies via CFDs or financial spread betting so you can potentially profit when they go up or down and trade on leverage to maximize your risk capital. We have ranked, compared, and reviewed some of the best FCA-regulated CFD trading platforms for US stocks to help you choose the most appropriate stock broker for your investment objectives.
Our picks of the best brokers for trading US stocks
In our comparison of US stock trading platforms, you can see how much a broker charges when you go long or short US stocks as well as how much they charge for holding positions overnight. You can also compare how many US stocks are available on their platform as well as if they offer access to US stocks through CFDs, spread betting, have direct market access and also offer longer-term investing accounts.
We have chosen what we think are the best US stock trading platforms based on:
- over 7,000 votes in our annual awards
- our own experiences testing the US stock trading platforms with real money
- an in-depth comparison of the features that make them stand out compared to alternatives.
- interviews with the US stock trading platform CEOs and senior management
How to choose the best US stock trading platform:
If you are trading US stocks from the UK the main things you need to consider when choosing a trading platform are:
- Market range – do they offer access to lots of US stocks or just the most heavily traded?
- Foreign exchange fees – every time you buy a US stock you have to convert GBP to USD and again when you sell.
- Overnight financing – how much will your broker charge you for holding US stock positions overnight?
- Account types – can you buy physical US stocks or do you want to trade them as a CFD or spread bet?
- Dealing charges – how does it cost every time you trade a US stock and in what way does the broker charge you?
Advantages of trading US stocks
- Going long and short – you can speculate on whether a US stock will go up or down via a CFD, so you can potentially profit in bear markets as well as bull markets.
- Margin – trading us stocks on margin means that you can put down a small deposit for a trade meaning you can multiply your profits if you call the market right. However, if you call the market wrong it will increase your losses.
- Short-term speculation – if you want to make short term bets on US stocks CFDs can be a more efficient way of doing it as the cost for buying and holding physical US shares in the UK can be quite expensive. With US stock CFDs, you are speculating on the opening and closing price of a trade and reducing admin and costs.
Disadvantages of trading US stocks
- Higher volatility – large US stocks are notorious for their high volatility, especially in the tech sector
- Time zone – US stocks trade in the US time zone, so there will be periods when the stocks are being traded heavily outside of UK normal trading hours
- Leverage – trading US stocks on margin enables you to buy and sell more shares than you have funds on account. This can maximize your profits on winning trades, but it also multiplies your losses on losing trades.
US Stock Trading FAQs:
eToro is one of the best trading platforms for trading US Stocks as are easy to use, have access to the most heavily traded stocks like Tesla and Meta which are commission free. All accounts are based in USD so you reduce the amount of foreign exchange conversions you make. Also, they have quite a large community of social traders so you can see what other traders are buying and selling.
Interactive Brokers is the best platform for professional and sophisticated US stock traders. They are US based and have access to the widest amount of US stocks to trade as a CFD or physically. IBKR also have some of the most advanced algorithmic order entry tools for working large orders over a set time period.
City Index offers one of the best spread betting accounts for trading US stocks. In addition to a wide market range, they also have trading signals, news and analysis, plus post trade analytics so you can see which stocks you are best and worst at trading. You can even drill down in to what time of day you trade profitably.
Saxo Markets has the best US CFD trading platform as you can deal OTC or on exchange. Commission are also low, and the SaxoTraderGo is used by institutions, hedge funds as well as private clients.
No, FCA-regulated brokers will not allow US citizens to open an account. Regulation in America is very different to the UK and as such if you want to trade CFDs on US shares you need a CFD broker. CFD trading in the USA is illegal.
Out-of-hours trading on US Stocks is when a broker allows their clients to trade in US shares when the underlying stock market is closed. However, most main market US stocks can be traded outside of normal US stock market hours. But the bid/offer spread will vary depending on liquidity and what is offered in the secondary markets.
There are three major costs to trading US stocks on CFDs:
- Commission/Spreads – this is the charged per deal and is either commission as a percentage or cents per share. It is either charged post-trade or included in the spread you are quoted when you trade.
- Overnight financing – this is the charge a US CFD trading platform levies for holding a position overnight. As CFDs are a margin product, the broker is essentially lending you money to trade and charges interest according.
- Currency conversion – when you trade CFDs on US stocks the trade is settled in USD. So if you have deposited GBP into your account you will be subject to margin and profit and loss currency conversions.
Overall, Interactive Brokers has the cheapest commission for US stock trading.
This article contains affiliate links which may earn us some form of income if you go on to open an account. However, if you would rather visit the US stock trading via a non-affiliate link, you can view their stock trading pages directly here: