IG is a large brokerage that offers cryptocurrency CFDs in addition to more traditional instruments, such as forex, indices, shares, and other CFDs. Offering access to more than 15,000 markets, any IG review will praise its vast trading opportunities. IG has a global presence with 15 offices in leading financial districts around the world and 185,000 clients worldwide. The countries excluded from IG’s best forex broker services are the United States and Belgium. The English version of IG trading is registered in England and Wales with a London address.
- Offers crypto CFDs, other CFDs, indices, shares, and more
- 15 offices worldwide
- Access to over 15,000 markets
- 185,000 clients worldwide
- 1. Crypto Trading Offer: Trade 5 Major Cryptocurrency CFDs
- 2. Crypto Trading Costs: Competitive Spreads and Fees
- 3. Accounts: Live and Demo Accounts Available
- 4. Crypto Trading Platforms & Mobile Trading: Web, MT4, and Mobile
- 5. Usability of the Website: Professional and Easy to Navigate
- 6. Customer Support: Accessible from Every Page
- 7. Methods of Payment: Multiple Methods Across Platforms
- 8. Additional Offers: Multiple Features Available through Platform
- 9. Regulation & Deposit Protection: IG Takes Multiple Protective Steps
- 10. Awards: Repeated Wins in Multiple Categories
- 11. Conclusion: Is IG a Good Broker?
Trader Rating Total
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash
MT4, Broker-owned Software
1) Crypto Trading Offer: Trade 5 Major Cryptocurrency CFDs
Our IG review praises this platform for its ability to offer trading for a vast range of assets. As mentioned, traders on IG have access to more than 15,000 markets. This includes five cryptocurrency CFDs, and while that is not a huge number, the offerings do include the most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ripple. By trading CFDs, there is no need to create an exchange account or open a cryptocurrency wallet for secure storage of assets. Is IG legit in terms of other trade offerings? It certainly is with more than 7,500 companies’ shares on offer from 34 different international exchanges.
IG holds up well in a forex broker comparison with more than 60 currency pairs for IG forex trading. The company also offers more than 30 global indices with spreads as low as just one point and low margin rates. IG additionally provides traders with opportunities related to ETPs (exchange traded products), options, interest rates, bonds, IPOs (initial public offerings), commodities, and even sector CFDs covering more than 44 sectors in the UK and Australia.
- Offers five major cryptocurrency CFDs
- Trading for 60 forex pairs, 30 global indices, and 7,500 shares
- Trading for ETPs, IPOs, interest rates, bonds, options, and more
2) Crypto Trading Costs: Competitive Spreads and Fees
In a forex broker comparison, IG does an excellent job of being transparent about fees, commissions, and margins. Non-share CFDs are subject to spreads, while share CFDs are subject to commissions. The IG broker lets you go long or short on cryptocurrency CFDs and other assets. Long positions are charged 2.5 percent above the interbank rate, while short positions are charged the interbank rate minus 2.5 percent. As such, short positions might either lead to a credit or debit to the account. IG forex positions are charged funding depending on the tom-next rate, which is in pips. Spreads are competitive, with indices from just 0.4 points and forex from just 0.6 pips.
Getting live share prices via the exchanges IG works with for trading share CFDs does lead to a small monthly fee, as does access to ProRealTime Charts. In either case, you receive a refund if you meet a trading minimum. There is also a small £12 monthly fee for inactivity, but only if you have not completed a trade in at least two years. Traders should also remember the potential for charges from third parties, something expected in our IG review. You might be charged a fee for a payment with a credit or non-UK debit card and must pay £15 for any same-day transfers under £100.
- Low spreads
- Clear fees and commissions
- Certain fees refundable with activity
3) Accounts: Live and Demo Accounts Available
One of the few downsides about trading with IG is that it only offers two main types of accounts: a live one and a demo one. This is in contrast to some you will find in a broker comparison that offer varying account types for skill and experience levels. In our review of IG, however, we point out that the offerings are enough for a range of experience levels, particularly when combined with the multiple platforms and vast trading choices. It is also worth noting that DMA (Direct Market Access) trading is available, but this is not a separate account, simply a feature that traders can activate.
The process of confirming your account typically begins within hours (during business hours). You will need to respond with copies of proof of identity documents. While you do not need to deposit any funds to open an account, this is required for trading. Is IG a good broker with a nice demo account? The demo account from IG is in fact very useful, providing full functionality and giving users $10,000 of virtual funds to practice with. This is a helpful tool for those who are new to the types of trades offered by IG and those who simply want to get to know the platform before trading with real money.
- DMA trading available
- Nearly full functionality in demo account
- No deposit required to open live account
4) Crypto Trading Platforms & Mobile Trading: Web, MT4, and Mobile
Our IG broker review praises this company for its range of platforms available. It is particularly useful that an IG trading platform review does not require any downloads, as you can trade using the web browser. If traders prefer, there are also downloadable platforms for mobile devices, as well as compatibility with MetaTrader4. The desktop platform is unique in that it functions like a desktop one from competitors but is actually web based, so no downloads are required and traders get up-to-date information. This web-based desktop platform is ideal for those of all experience levels. It includes such features as full market depth, DMA access, streaming Reuters news, one-click dealing, and ProRealTime charts, plus a customizable layout. Advanced traders will welcome the more than 100 technical indicators, while beginners can simply ignore these features.
Beginners or those who prefer to trade on the go will appreciate that this best forex broker has applications for both Android and Apple, so you can trade via your smartphone or tablet. Both apps have excellent functionality, including viewing balances, checking intraday highs and lows, opening and closing positions, editing working orders, and more. Finally, the MetaTrader4 platform appeals to experienced traders with its reliable execution, low latency, free VPS, and free bespoke apps.
- Web-based desktop platform without download
- Over 100 technical indicators on platform
- Applications for Android and Apple
5) Usability of the Website: Professional and Easy to Navigate
On its website, IG takes advantage of white spaces and classic colors, such as black and white, to give off a professional appearance that is what most traders want from their broker. There is just enough color, such as the red in the company’s logo, to keep the page interesting without sacrificing the professional appearance. The website is well laid out with all the information a prospective account holder needs, including assets available for trading, platform options, account types, and support.
Our IG trading platform review also praises the navigation bar, which has headings for the most commonly traded assets, including CFDs, indices, shares, and forex. The only downside is that cryptocurrency traders and those interested in trading other assets will need to first hover over the “Other markets” tab before seeing their asset of choice. This is necessary, however, to prevent the website from becoming overcrowded.
Unlike some platforms that hide their fees in hopes that traders will forget to consider them, our forex broker comparison praises IG for including a tab on the main navigation bar titled “Charges and fees” for transparency. For added usability, the website includes a search bar at the top of the page and is available in five languages: English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
- Intuitively laid-out website
- Clear navigation bar
- Five languages available
6) Customer Support: Accessible from Every Page
To prevent queries like, “Is IG legit in terms of customer support?” the platform makes it incredibly easy to contact the support team. From most pages, you will find a specific section for contacting support on the upper right side, just below the navigation bar. Here you can find two phone numbers, one for new clients and one for existing account holders, plus a support email address. Those who want other types of support will need to scroll to the bottom of any page on the website then click on “Help and Support.”
As with most competitors, the Help and Support section includes FAQs divided into categories. To make using IG’s services easier, each page for trading a particular asset also has a dedicated FAQ section, which newer traders will find helpful. A strong point in favor of IG forex and its customer support is that the Help and Support page includes a section titled “My Queries” where you can easily track your requests. Unfortunately, there is no option for live chat support, only contact via email or phone.
- Support via email and phone
- Dedicated phone lines for new and existing clients
- FAQs on asset pages and in Help and Support
7) Methods of Payment: Multiple Methods Across Platforms
In a broker comparison, IG offers a good selection of funding options for your account. The quickest method is via a credit or debit card, as the payment will be immediate. Credit cards can be Visa or MasterCard, and debit cards can be Maestro, Solo, Visa-Delta, or Electron. These deposit methods are free, but you can also use a prepaid card for a variable cost. Deposits via bank transfers are also free but might take up to three business days. You can also make a free, instant deposit via PayPal.
Our IG review points out that account holders have similar options for withdrawal methods. Bank transfers might take as long as three business days, while withdrawals to debit or credit cards typically take three to five days. Within the UK, there is the option for a same-day payment known as Chaps, which comes with a £15 fee. International bank transfers will also require an identical fee. Before withdrawing funds, users must have all necessary identification documents on file.
- Deposits via bank transfer, credit or debit card, or PayPal
- Withdrawals via bank transfer or credit or debit card
- Must have verified documents to withdraw
8) Additional Offers: Multiple Features Available through Platform
Unlike other platforms in a forex broker comparison, IG does not offer any of the additional features via the main website; instead, they are found in the platform you select. For the highest number of features, opt for the web-based desktop platform or MT4. The information within the IG proprietary platform is incredibly useful. There are more than 100 technical indicators, customizable and flexible charts, price improvement technology, and even the ability to deal directly from the charts.
Any review of IG will also praise the independent technical analysis, which is free and includes shares, forex, and more. The “Signal Centre” includes alerts for market trends, real-time signals, concise and actionable actions, and more. Traders can also create their own watch lists. Standout features that make this a best forex broker include DMA access and ProRealTime charts. Of course, IG also includes market data, an economic calendar, and news. Although not readily accessible or even apparent from the IG website, multiple IG review articles point out the range of webinars, educational videos, and online courses. Of course, the demo account also provides a training and educational element by allowing traders to test their skills before using real money.
- Additional offers found just in platforms
- Advanced charts
- Signal Centre with technical analysis
9) Regulation & Deposit Protection: IG Takes Multiple Protective Steps
IG is the trading name for IG Markets Ltd., which is registered in both England and Wales with number 04008957. The registered address is in London, England. Is IG legit? This best forex broker is regulated and authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with the register number 195355. If insolvency occurs, clients might be eligible for compensation via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This protection covers as much as £50,000 per person. IG Group has additional regulation via other groups in different jurisdictions, including BaFin in Germany, FINMA in Switzerland, ASIC in Australia, FMA in New Zealand, DFSA in UAE, JFSA in Japan, and MAS in Singapore.
In terms of fund security, IG uses the highest standards to protect client assets. It always holds client funds in segregated client bank accounts at banks that are regulated. Client assets and money never merge with those of IG. IG sticks to the strict regulations from FCA regarding looking after assets and money. In the unlikely event of liquidity, IG has client assets and money ring-fenced for protection from creditors, a strong point in any review of IG. Additional security comes from a secure website and 256-bit SSL encryption on the apps.
- Registered in England and Wales
- Regulated and authorized by FCA
- Coverage via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
10) Awards: Repeated Wins in Multiple Categories
To supplement praise found in an IG review, IG Group has also received numerous awards over the years, including several in just the last few years. Beating out the others in a broker comparison, IG won the title of “Best CFD Provider” during the Shares Awards 2017. During the ADVFN International Financial Awards in 2017, IG won for both “Best Finance App” and “Best Multi Platform Provider.” At the Online Personal Wealth Awards 2017, it also took home the prize for “Best Trading Platform.” Between these various honors, clients can have a great deal of confidence in the platform and various trading assets.
IG Group as a whole has also been ranked the leading financial spread betting and CFD provider in the world based on revenue. There are dozens of specific awards to IG Group within the UK in just the last several years. From the Online Personal Wealth Awards in 2018, the group won “Best Overall Personal Wealth Provider,” “Best Spread Betting Provider,” “Best Trading Support,” and “Best Stocks and Shares ISA Provider.” Another notable honor was the “Best Spread Betting and CFD Education Tools 2018” from the ADVFN International Financial Awards. IG divisions in Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, and Switzerland have also earned multiple awards since 2015.
- Multiple awards for platform
- Awards for educational tools
- Top CFD and spread betting provider based on revenue
Conclusion: Is IG a Good Broker?
As part of IG Group, any review of IG will be sure to find numerous strong suits. Thanks to its ability to offer more than 15,000 markets, most will find IG broker to be a good choice that is likely to have the assets they wish to trade. While some in a broker comparison offer more crypto CFDs than IG, this particular platform has the ones that clients will most likely be interested in. The long history of IG Group paired with the company’s regulated status in numerous jurisdictions and dozens of awards help deliver confidence for potential clients. The customer support and FAQ section are not as extensive as with some competitors, which potential clients should consider before signing up with IG. Even so, we do not hesitate to encourage you to at least consider a demo account with the company to determine if the platforms meet your needs.
- Signed FX Global Code of Conduct
- Serves clients in 14 countries
- Established in 1974
- Reduced fees for first six weeks after opening account
- User-friendly with a great deal of information
- High fees, particularly for smaller trades
- No negative balance protection