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- 1. Compare the best spread betting platforms in 2023
- 2. Best spread betting platforms overall for 2023
- 3. Compare the best spread betting brokers
- 4. Top 8 spread betting brokers, reviewed
- 5. Best spread betting brokers for your needs
- 6. How to choose a spread betting broker
- 7. Quick answers to key questions
- 8. Where can I learn more about spread betting?
- 9. Methodology
- 10. FAQs
Compare the best spread betting platforms in 2023
The panel conducted a series of tests on every investment platform that offers spread betting to see how it stood up to the competition. Those tests included things like signing up and placing a bet, and comparing the welcome bonuses on offer.
After testing each platform, our panel produced a final ranking of their favourites. Their ratings played into our final table which you can find below.
Best spread betting platforms overall for 2023
Compare the best spread betting brokers
This ranking shows our experts’ favourite spread betting platforms. Sign up by following any of the links in the table, or keep reading to learn more about the different platforms and the service they offer.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Top 8 spread betting brokers, reviewed
1. eToro. Best for beginners, copy-trading & demo-account
Pros & Cons
We love eToro because it’s a great trading platform for beginners, with an interface that’s easy to use via app or desktop. A safe and trustworthy broker used by millions of traders worldwide, eToro boasts a zero-to-low fee structure that won’t gobble up your money in charges.
There are more than 5,000 crypto, stock, etf, forex, and commodity assets available to trade on eToro. You can dive straight in to trade or dip your toe in gently with one of the best demo accounts in the business. We like to switch to virtual mode and use its unique CopyTrader feature to get trade ideas, test out strategies, and learn from the pros.
The fees: All stock and ETF trading is commission fee. All crypto trades are charged a 1% fee. Currency spreads are 1 pip, for commodities it’s 2 pips. Stock CFDs have a 0.15% spread. All deposits are free, withdrawals cost $5. There’s an inactivity fee of $10 per month that kicks in if you don’t log in to your account for 12 months.
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
2. Public. Best for sharing beginner trading ideas
Pros & Cons
We love Public because it’s a social platform where you can share trading tips and get ideas from other people. Public offers 9,000+ financial instruments, including cryptocurrencies and stocks from around the world.
Alongside a community of other investors all sharing their ideas, Public offers real time news and information so that you can see the full picture before you invest. And the assets don’t just include your run-of-the-mill assets; you can make alternative investments in things like handbags and comic books as well.
The fees: There are no fees for investing in stocks during regular trading hours in the US – 9.30am-4pm EST. There is a $2.99 fee for trades outside of regular hours. Alternative investments, including cryptocurrency, are charged a 2.5% fee per transaction.
Best spread betting brokers for your needs
What is the best stock market spread betting broker?
City Index is the best broker for stock market betting. With nearly 5,000 markets available and the ability to spread bet the newest IPO stocks, it’s by far the best place to bet on stock markets around the world.
Where can I spread bet forex?
Pepperstone is our panel’s top pick for forex. It offers a large range of major, minor, and exotic currency pairs with tight spreads so you can get the best value for money.
Read more: the best forex spread betting brokers
What is the best commodity spread betting platform?
AFTX provides the best service for commodity betting. It can be difficult to find brokers that offer commodities, but AFTX allows betting on both hard and soft commodities so you have a variety of options to choose from.
Read more: the best commodity spread betting brokers
What is the best crypto spread betting broker?
It’s difficult to find a broker that offers spread betting on crypto, because laws in the UK and Ireland mean that it’s only available to professional clients. The best option is to trade with a broker like eToro instead, which is a similar process to spread betting.
Read more: the best cryptocurrency spread betting brokers
How to choose a spread betting broker
These features were unanimously chosen by our experts as features a beginner should look for in order to get the best and safest experience.
1. Check spread betting is legal where you live
Spread betting is only legal in parts of Europe, most notably the UK and Ireland. It is not permitted in most of the rest of the world, so you can’t spread bet as a United States resident, for example.
This is obviously a hugely important consideration when choosing a broker. If spread betting is illegal where you live, then you need to find another way to trade. A good option is to trade CFDs instead. There are a lot of similarities between spread betting and CFDs, so it’s a good alternative.
2. Look for a broker with low spreads
If you are able to spread bet where you live, then low spreads are the next most important thing to look for. The spread refers to the difference between the ‘bid’ and ‘ask’ price for an asset. If a broker offers a bid (buy) price of $51 and an ask (sell) price of $50, then the difference – $1 – is the spread.
Spreads are effectively the trading fees for spread betting. The difference between the two prices is the broker’s fee. A broker where the spread is $1 is better value than one where the spread is $5. But be aware that you might not have much choice in the matter if there are only a handful of brokers that let you spread bet certain assets, like cryptocurrency or commodities.
3. Find the assets you want to bet on
As there are strict limits on where spread betting is allowed, you need to spend more time researching which brokers offer betting on which assets. As a general rule, it’s easier to find platforms that offer spread betting on the stock market and forex compared to commodities.
Cryptocurrency is a different matter altogether, where the limits on spread betting are extremely strict, even in the United Kingdom. You may have to prove you are a professional client to be able to bet.
4. Learn how a point is measured
Spread betting price changes are measured in points and a point may mean different things depending on which asset you are betting on. For instance, in forex betting a price change is usually measured in pips – 0.0001 of movement. While in the stock market and gold betting a point normally refers to a price change of $0.1.
When you place a bet, payouts are based on the number of points of movement in the price. If you place a $5 bet on the price of gold, and the price increases by $0.5, you would earn $25. A $5 bet multiplied by 5 points of movement (0.1 x 0.5). It’s crucial to understand this so you know what needs to happen to be successful.
5. Use a demo account to practice
The best way to get to grips with spread betting is by signing up to a broker and using a demo account to try it out before you start betting real money. Most brokers offer demo accounts, where you are assigned a set amount of virtual money to bet with.
Demo accounts not only teach you the basics about how a market works, but they also give you the chance to test out certain strategies. You could try betting on a few different assets to see which one suits you best, for example, before risking any of your own money.
Quick answers to key questions
Can you make money from spread betting?
Yes, although it isn’t easy and there is a high risk of losing money if you’re inexperienced.. You need to be disciplined in terms of how you manage the size of your bets and when to cut your losses on a losing bet. Use stop-loss limits – automatic orders to close positions at a loss – to reduce the risk from volatile markets catching you out.
The volatility and danger of losing money is why our experts recommend starting with a demo account. You will get a better appreciation for the risks and rewards on offer, and how individual markets move, by testing it out rather than going in blind.
Is spread betting tax-free?
Yes, it’s the biggest reason to choose spread betting over CFDs in the first place. In the UK, spread betting is exempt from a Capital Gains Tax, which means any profits you make are tax-free.
The reason for this is that spread betting is classed as a form of gambling (the clue is in the name). Gambling is tax-free, whereas profits from investments like buying stocks or real estate investment are liable to taxes. Spread betting is banned in the US for the same reason: it’s considered gambling, and betting laws are far more strict in the United States.
Should I spread bet or trade CFDs?
Your location might make your decision for you: if you live outside the UK and Ireland, you won’t be able to spread bet and so you should trade CFDs instead. If you live in the United Kingdom, then there are some other factors to consider.
The most important thing is what you want to bet on. If the answer is crypto, then you need to use a broker like eToro and trade it. Otherwise, you have options, and spread betting may well be the best choice given its tax-free status. Particularly if you plan on betting a lot.
Can I use leverage in spread betting?
Yes, the ability to use leverage is one of the things that makes it more popular than simply buying and holding assets, like shares or cryptocurrency. You can normally access leverage up to 1:30 in the UK, which is the maximum allowed under EU law.
How long are spread bets open for?
It varies but they can be open more or less indefinitely. Generally you can make spread bets that last until the end of the quarter, or you can make daily spread bets that keep rolling over indefinitely but are liable to overnight fees for each day you keep them open past 10pm.
Overnight fees are an important consideration because they can make spread betting much more expensive. They are charged because you use leverage and are thus borrowing the money to keep the bet open. The overnight fees are effectively an interest payment, but like all short-term loans they can be expensive: a few pounds a night even for a small bet.
Where can I learn more about spread betting?
A good place to start is to read more about the specific asset you want to bet on, whether that’s stocks, forex, commodities, or cryptocurrencies. Then sign up to a broker with a demo account to learn the ropes before you put any of your money at risk.
Helping people make better financial decisions is at the heart of our mission at Invezz.
We periodically test more than 63 spread betting brokers to provide our users with clear, accessible guidance on the investing options available. All testing is carried out by our panel of spread betting experts, analysts, and active traders who sign up to each broker, conduct research, and score each service.
Our tests are designed to find spread betting services that offer a beginner-friendly, secure trading experience at a fair price. To supplement our practical testing and experience, we research each service to gather any further relevant information. We read online customer reviews, app reviews on the Play Store and App Store, and conduct user surveys to get feedback from real people about what works, and what doesn’t.
Each spread betting broker is awarded a final score based on [130+] data points across 8 ranking categories: cost, reliability, user experience, deposit & withdrawals, investing options, range of products/markets, research & analysis tools, and the availability of educational & learning resources.
We work closely with individual brokers to ensure all factual information displayed here is accurate. All data is then fact-checked by an independent reviewer. You can learn more about our expert panel and how we test, rate, and review platforms in our review process.
A City of London investment banker named Stuart Wheeler turned spread betting into an established investment concept. He started a firm called IG Index in 1974 that offered the service on gold. Further assets were soon pursued by spread bettors, with cryptocurrency gaining in popularity as Bitcoin started to take off about a decade ago.
Not exactly, but there are many similarities between them. Spread betting can be used as part of a day trading strategy: you can make daily funded bets (DFB) which are spread bets that are designed to only remain open for a single day.
However, spread betting is tax-free, whereas standard day trading using CFDs is not. Spread betting is available in the UK and Ireland but not elsewhere, whereas day trading with CFDs is much more widely available.
No, unless you are based in Ireland. Spread betting is near enough exclusive to the UK and is not available in countries like the US or Australia.
If you guess right, you’ll make a lot more money than if you only placed a standard bet with your own money. However, the disadvantage is that there is a high risk of losing money if you use leverage and get it wrong.
A standard stop-loss order will limit the size of your loss. With a standard stop-loss order, your trade will close at the best available price once the stop value has been reached. Just be aware that a volatile market can result in the position being closed at a worse price than your set stop price.
Arbitrage is the process of buying low and selling high on a financial instrument at the same time. The best way to find an arbitrage opportunity is by looking for two companies that are taking two different stances on the same asset. Arbitrage enables a trader to make a guaranteed profit, whichever way the market moves.
More of the best investing rankings
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