Who is the best spread betting broker? That’s how you voted
Selecting the best spread betting broker is a very individual decision. Some investors might prefer a broker offering a comparatively great selection of markets, while others would like additional trading offers like CFDs, ETFs and Forex. Here you will find only our readers‘ rating. And that is why your opinion counts. If you have gained experience with one or more spread betting brokers, please vote and let us know who in your opinion is the best spread betting provider. This will help other users to get a realistic image of the broker.
AskTraders.com is an independent consumer portal, meaning that we are not dependent on any broker or committed to anything. This is why our reviews are objective and reliable. We always test the individual providers ourselves very attentively. Since we have a background of many years of experience in online trading, we know what to look for. In the process we have developed a checklist consisting of 10 categories. To facilitate your rating we would now like to explain these categories in more detail. We’ll show you what we check and which issues we include in our reviews.
Please take this as a suggestion for your own spread betting broker test. Maybe for you there are other aspects that matter – in which case you should include these points in your rating.
Categories & Criteria for your spread betting broker test
1. Trade offer
When it comes to evaluating the trade offer we rate the range of different spread betting markets a broker allows his customers to access. Since spread betting brokers give you access not only to classical financial instruments but to a wide range of other bets, the possibilities are vast. Therefore a spread betting broker will usually try to cover a certain segment of the options.
This is the reason we rate the trade offer only in comparison with other spread betting providers, but not in total numbers. Another criterion is which other options the broker provides for traders who‘d wish to trade also in CFDs and ETFs or Forex, and how how quickly a spread betting broker includes new options in his trade offer.
Our rating also takes into account factors like the cost and minimum deposits.
- Core markets available compared to other brokers
- Other trading options to allow expansion of trading
- Minimum deposits and costs
Many spread betting brokers offer other underlying assets, such as indices, equities, commodities and currencies, because they are also operating as CFDs and Forex brokers.
2. Conditions, Costs & Fees
Our spread betting broker experience shows clearly that the providers‘ conditions may differ very much. The size of the spread, which is the difference between buying and selling price, matters very much to the trader and varies to a large degree because this is where the broker makes his profit.
Therefore in our test we point out the smallest differences – as every pip matters here.
For example, if there is a spread of 0.5 percent, then an investor must first make a profit of 0.5 percent before reaching break-even. The volatility or fluctuation range in spread betting is much higher than with conventional underlyings. Nevertheless, the spread is an important cost factor to consider when deciding for a broker.
And we include all other fees beyond the spreads in our test result, among them possible commissions, minimum deposits, trade minimum limits and deposit margins as well as fees for deposits and withdrawals and any account maintenance fees. The evaluation of fees, takes place according to importance and not with equal values, since some fees have more impact on a trader‘s profits, like the spreads, while others are less significant, for example inactivity fees.
Top 3 Spread Betting Broker Comparison
3. Account models for different requirements
As we have stated already, your choice of broker is rather individual in any case. Traders have very different demands and requirements, and thus some spread betting brokers offer a variety of account models. According to our experience this is especially important when there is an account type with fixed spreads – all the more relevant if traders wish to trade other financial instruments as well. Some providers in the spread betting area act as market makers providing the prices themselves and cann offer spreads that are fixed. But there are also ECN or STP as known from Forex trading that pass the order to a virtual network or a liquidity pool. Depending on the trader‘s experience and preferences this is an important factor.
VIP clients may receive preferential treatment and services within a special account type. But what constitutes a VIP is defined individually by each broker. To become the best spread betting provider it is not all that necessary to offer a VIP account. VIP customers may get better conditions, special support service and other goodies other traders don‘t receive.
- Check for different account types with spread betting brokers
- Spread betting brokers acting as market makers may provide fixed spreads
- ECN and STP accounts are other available options
- VIP customers occasionally receive preferential treatment
4. Trading platform and mobile trading
Another category in the spread betting broker test is the rating of the trading platform. Here we find a lot of variety depending on the trade offer. Since many spread betting brokers offer other financial instruments and act as CFD and Forex brokers, they also provide a wide selection of trading platforms as customary in these sectors.
Beginners usually make their first step on the web-based trading platform that is easily called up in the trader‘s browser without downloading and installing special software. The trader just logs in and has access to his broker account wherever he wants. Many spread betting brokers provide separate software for download and embed third party programs like the MetaTrader 4. When it comes to choosing the spread betting broker test winner, you should give this criterion some thought. In any case we do not think it is necessary to develop a proprietary trading platform if the selection on offer satisfies the customers‘ requirements.
Beyond the type and number of trading platforms we also check the capacity and functionality of the trading platform scrutinizing if the platform is suitable both for beginners and more advanced traders. Therefore from our point of view additional features and functions such as chart analysis and other tools should really be available. As for mobile trading, we look out for a broker app for Android and iOS or other alternatives provided by the broker. A dynamic website with a mobile web view for smartphones or iPhones – if well designed – is perfectly satisfactory.
5. Ease of use of the website
The user-friendliness not just of the website but also of the trading platform is another factor included in our test result. Ease of use does not stop at the layout and design. We go one step further to see if all relevant information is easily accessible. Is the broker‘s website intuitive? Is access to the registration and trading area easy and uncomplicated? These and other questions are on our checklist. When a broker anticipates the requirements of the clients this shows that a good customer relationship matters.
Our focus is also on the registration and verification. There may be certain legal requirements that just have to be met and therefore, opening an account can seem somewhat tedious from the customer’s point of view, at least occasionally. But these legal issues should not be held against the broker.
Of likewise importance is the accessibility of the broker‘s website, especially in times of turbulent action on the stock market. An always accessible website is proof that the broker really cares for the success of his clients.
You might want to take into account these issues in terms of usability:
- Easy retrieval of information
- Uncomplicated registration and verification process
- Applications like the search function should work well
- Correct linguistic design of the homepage
Incidentally, if we find flaws during our tests we usually inform the customer service – an approach that allows us to test the support of the company at the same time.
6. Customer support
Anyone who wants to become the best spread betting broker should provide outstanding support. We always state that from the standard of the customer service one can draw conclusions about the quality of the spread betting broker in general. After all, the support staff are the direct link to the clients. A broker who really cares about a good customer relationship will have well trained employees at hand. We test the communication channels that are available for support. Ideally there should be a free telephone hotline, e-mail and live chat. Especially live chat has become more important for users in recent years. Another important thing is a comprehensive, well-structured FAQ area that can answer the most important questions in advance.
Have you already gained some experience with customer service? If so, have you been satisfied with the staff in terms of speed, friendliness and competence? Feel free to include these questions in your evaluation.
What matters to us regarding customer service:
- Courtesy and politeness
- Response rate to inquiries
- Competence of employees
- Times of availability
At this point it should be mentioned that it is perfectly in order if an employee has to check with higher support in case of complex issues.
7. Payment methods
This category is essential in our overall assessment, not only regarding deposits but also how the provider handles payouts, because occasionally traders hint at spread betting broker fraud if they feel that payouts are intentionally delayed.
Among the things we test in this category is whether the spread betting broker pays out at all, how fast and under which conditions. We also evaluate the fees for deposits and withdrawals and the number of payment methods made available.
Most spread betting brokers allow clients the choice of a wide range of payment methods. A broker who wants to be considered an excellent provider just has to have a reasonable selection. Usually spread betting brokers allow payments by bank transfer, which has the advantage that there is no amount limit, but payments require at least one working day until they are credited.
But good spread betting providers offer other payment methods where the capital is credited instantly to the broker including credit cards, with Visa and Mastercard widely accepted, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller and on occasion also Paysafecard, Sofortüberweisung or Giropay, though only a few brokers have the latter available.
You might care to check for this:
- Amount of minimum deposit
- Amount of minimum payout
- Selection of payment methods
- Speed of transactions
- Possible fees for deposits and withdrawals
8. Additional offers
Our spread betting comparison goes beyond the standard. A good spread betting provider should possibly offer a bonus or rewards like a voucher on deposits. Nobody would decline such an offer, but a bonus is really only a nice-to-have feature. The crucial feature of the additional offers is that they should help making traders more successful in spread betting. To achieve this, the broker has to support the customer on his way.
This includes for example a free spread betting demo account where users can make their first trades, using virtual capital but under real trading conditions, and thus without the risk of losing real money. Without real profits, too, this goes without saying. Such a demo account will not make you a professional trader, but at least give you a feel for the high risk spread betting.
Beyond the demo account, extensive education and training content is appreciated. According to our spread betting broker experience beginners can learn spread betting using videos, webinars or e-books. While you will not become a professional trader instantly with the help of a webinar or e-book, it will help you onwards in your trading when you apply what you’ve learned. Here we pay special attention to the content quality.
9. Regulation and deposit insurance
Something that matters very much in our broker comparison is the question of how safe your money is with the broker. And so we check the regulation and deposit insurance in minute detail. Of course we cannot call a spread betting broker reputable with absolute conviction but regulation and insurance are major clues.
To avoid spread betting broker fraud as far as possible when trading, a reliable, trustworthy regulation is of utmost importance. The regulatory authorities of the EU, USA, Canada, Australia or Japan should be mentioned first as trustworthy supervisory bodies.
Spread betting brokers licensed in this country usually offer a high standard. Beside the regulation we look into the deposit insurance. The nature and extent of insurance is closely linked to the regulation, and thus UK registered spread betting providers have to offer deposit insurance of up to GBP 50.000 per trader. Since there are even some listed companies among them, this is yet another sign of the broker‘s professional soundness. These companies have to meet more legal requirements complying with MiFID or other guidelines.
Last but not least we turn to security in IT matters, because the digital transformation in finance also means an increase in hacker attacks. More and more brokers invest considerably in their IT security to protect the clients‘ money.
10. Opinions of the Trade Press & Awards
We do not think that a brand new provider who has just entered into the market can become a test winner. We are sure that any broker has to prove himself for some time. Excellent conditions and services are all fine, but we want to make sure the provider will keep up his standards and maintain the quality of services for some time. Initial promises come cheap – but you may have a different opinion.
To allow for other opinions we take the trade press into account in our rating. Newly established providers just don’t have objective and well-founded media coverage yet. Press releases coming directly from the broker we ignore – obviously.
Of course the media are not always objective. With major brokers there is the chance that there are negative headlines from time to time, but the coverage should be largely positive to be convincing.
To receive trustworthy awards a spread betting broker will have to be on the market for a while. Usually awards are given for outstanding support, excellent conditions or very good trading conditions. Beyond counting the awards, we check take one step further to see who awarded them. Renowned institutes are much more convincing than unknown “donors”. From our point of view quality matters much more than the quantity of the awards.
Who is your personal spread betting broker test winner?
Now you‘ve had an overview of the criteria we use in our test reports after evaluating a provider. Our standards may be high, based on our experience. When selecting your preferred provider as the spread betting broker test winner, feel free to consider these points in your reviews.
As stated already, the rating of who is best spread betting broker is based on the judgment of our readers alone. For this ranking our opinion is not taken into account. We’ll just provide some guidelines to facilitate your decision.
Since we can look back on years of experience in online trading, we know what to check in our tests. You can be sure that our test reports and reviews are objective and authentic. AskTraders.com does not depend on any spread betting broker in any way. During our tests we open accounts with the providers, test the broker‘s trading platform, contact the customer service, make trades and look at the terms and conditions. You are welcome to use our expertise if you wish.
If you already have had some experience with a provider, please cast your vote now. At the year‘s end we will look at who received the most votes – this broker will then receive the annual Readers‘ Award