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When looking for a broker that enables you to trade from the comforts of home – you will invariably be looking at what assets are available. Whilst this is a very important metric, it’s also vital that you check out those all-important fees.
For any inexperienced newbies reading, the spread is an indirect fee on trades that shouldn’t be overlooked!
In this Best Low Spreads Brokers of 2023 Guide, we save you some online legwork and review the cream of the crop. We also talk about what a spread actually is and why it matters.
Additionally, we also reveal key metrics to consider when electing to find the best low spread broker. This includes regulation and safety, leverage, and trading tools.
Table of Content
AvaTrade - Established Broker With Commission-Free Trades
- Minimum deposit of just 250 USD to get lifetime access to all the VIP channels
- Pay 0% on all CFD instruments
- Thousands of CFD assets to trade
- Leverage facilities available
- Instantly deposit funds with a debit/credit card
Best Low Spread Brokers 2023 – Our Top 5 Picks
When you are contemplating who to trust with your hard-earned money, it’s imperative you trade via a regulated broker. Furthermore, your decision should be an educated one – meaning, do some research.
The best low spread brokers will be fully regulated by one or more financial authorities. You should also be looking for low fees, heaps of assets, trading tools/features, and good customer service.
Considering all of these metrics, please find our top 5 low spread brokers below.
1. AvaTrade – Best Low Spread Broker With Heaps of Techincal Analysis Tools
AvaTrade makes our number 4 spot in our list of the best low spread brokers of 2023. Don't be fooled though, this online broker is very well respected by both traders and financial authorities alike. The platform has been awarded licenses from multiple regulatory bodies. These are located in the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Japan, and even Abu Dhabi.
In terms of spreads, AvaTrade is very competitive - starting at 0.9 pips on forex, 0.29 pips on commodities such as silver, and 0.13 pips on Apple stocks, for example. This broker offers its own in-house trading platform built by the AvaTrade team. This features a number of risk management tools as well as portfolio simulations, economic indicators, trading charts, and more.
Furthermore, if you are a fan of MT4/5, you will be happy to hear that AvaTrade is fully compatible with both third-party platforms. As we touched on, this provides access to heaps of technical analysis tools. Not only that, but if you are a fan of the social trading features - AvaTrade works harmoniously with 'DupliTrade' and'Zulutrade'. Both enable you to trade in an automated manner via a pro investor's portfolio.
When it comes to what markets you can access at this top-rated low spread broker, there are heaps of CFDs. This includes stocks, forex, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and indices. Like the other providers on our list of the best low spread brokers, AvaTrade is commission-free.
If you like to access your account when you are away from your computer, you can download the 'AvaTradeGo' mobile app. The minimum deposit at this broker is $100, and you can fund your account using a debit/credit card or bank wire transfer.
- Reasonable minimum deposit of $100
- Regulated in multiple countries
- Heaps of commission free assets to trade
- Inactivity fees considered high
2. VantageFX –Ultra-Low Spreads
VantageFX VFSC under Section 4 of the Financial Dealers Licensing Act that offers heaps of financial instruments. All in the form of CFDs - this covers shares, indices, and commodities.
Open and trade on a Vantage RAW ECN account to get some of the lowest spreads in the business. Trade on institutional-grade liquidity that is obtained directly from some of the top institutions in the world without any markup being added at our end. No longer the exclusive province of hedge funds, everyone now has access to this liquidity and tight spreads for as little as $0.
Some of the lowest spreads in the market may be found if you decide to open and trade on a Vantage RAW ECN account. Trade using institutional-grade liquidity that is sourced directly from some of the top institutions in the world with zero markup added. This level of liquidity and availability of thin spreads down to zero are no longer the exclusive purview of hedge funds.
- The Lowest Trading Costs
- Minimum deposit $50
- Leverage up to 500:1
Low Spreads Explained – What to Consider When Choosing a Low Spread Broker
There are heaps of metrics to consider when looking for the best low spread brokers. For instance, there is no use finding a platform charging virtually nothing in terms of spreads – to then find out that this only applies at specific times of the day.
Furthermore, you will find that some brokers offer tight spreads, but charge the earth when it comes to commission. Finding that perfect balance is therefore crucial when it comes to trading and maximizing your gains.
What is the Spread and how Does it Affect me?
Let’s get the ball rolling by looking at what the spread actually is and why it matters. In laymen’s terms, the spread is an indirect fee charged by your broker. This fee is quite simply the difference between the buy (bid) price and the sell (ask) price of the asset you are trading.
Much like any fee, the spread matters as it will affect your profit margins.
- The ‘buy’ price refers to the price the market is willing to pay for the asset in question
- The ‘sell’ price refers to the price the market is willing to sell the asset in question
Due to the nature of supply and demand, there will always be a disparity between the buy and sell price. This means the brokerage can turn a profit, irrelevant to which way the assets moves.
To further clarify:
- Let’s hypothesize that your chosen broker charges a spread of 1 pip on your USD/JPY forex position
- This indicates to you that you are beginning your currency trade 1 pip in the red
Still confused? As you can see, the difference between the buy price and the sell price in our example above is ‘1 pip’. This means that the price you bought the pair for is 1 pip less than what you would be able to sell it for. As such, you will need to make 1 pip to break-even on this trade, and so anything above 1 pip is actual profit.
Ultimately, the tighter the spread, the better it is for your take-home profits!
How to Calculate the Spread?
In the section above, we used a forex pair as our trading example and pips to illustrate the spread. This is standard amongst the best low spread forex brokers. If you are trading assets such as commodities, stocks, cryptocurrencies, and such – the spread is usually illustrated in the form of a percentage.
To clarify further, let’s once again look at an example of a forex pair, with the spread shown in pips:
- Let’s say the buy price of GBP/USD is 1.3702, and the sell price is 1.3704
- This illustrates a spread of 2 pips
As we mentioned, most other assets come with a spread illustrated as a percentage. Take a look at an example below to clear the mist:
- Let’s imagine you are trading Tesla stocks at eToro
- The buy price of Tesla is $883.47 and the sell price is $882.35
- Upon calculating the buy/sell price we can see that the spread is a very competitive 0.12%
Fixed or Variable Spread?
By this point in our guide on the best low spread brokers, you should have a firm grasp on how to work out the spread for yourself and crucially – why this matters.
With that fresh in your mind, it’s also vital that you know whether the platform charges a ‘fixed’ or ‘variable’ spread.
Starting with a fixed spread, and as the name suggests, this spread remains the same – regardless of the conditions of the market. Crucially, just because the spread is fixed, it doesn’t mean the buy/sell price won’t shift as usual.
Instead, if the broker opts for charging clients a ‘fixed spread’ of say 2 pips on copper – this gap will remain the same, no matter how much the price rises or falls.
- The advantage of a fixed spread is that you will always be able to work out what your fees will be when going into a trade.
- The disadvantage of a fixed spread is that variable spreads are often more competitive
As you no doubt guessed, a variable spread will vary – and very much reflects the wider sentiment of the market.
Let’s say you place an order with a silver broker charging a variable spread:
- If you place your order at a time when the market is experiencing high trading volumes, you will be offered the tightest spread that the platform can offer you
- If, on the other hand, you instead decide to trade silver out of hours when the market is considerably less liquid (such as weekends) – the spread would be much wider
It’s worth noting that in the case of digital currencies, the above isn’t really relevant. This is because the cryptocurrency markets are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Are you Viewing the ‘Minimum’ Spread Offered by the Broker?
One thing to look out for on your search for the best low spread brokers is the phrase ‘minimum spread’. The reason is that it’s easy as a newbie to get swept away with promises of tight spreads, without taking into account that this is perhaps not guaranteed or fixed.
Crucially, you need to establish whether the spread on offer is just the ‘minimum’, and not necessarily what you will get all of the time. Whilst a minimum spread is perfectly fine, it’s important to go into the relationship with your broker with your eyes open.
When it comes to forex, for instance, you will likely only get the minimum spread offered by the broker when the US and UK markets are open simultaneously. This makes sense given that this will be the most liquid time of the day!
To give you a better idea of the best time of the day to get the most competitive spreads, see the below:
- 12:00 – 16:00 London, UK time
- 07:00 – 11:00 New York, US time
- 13:00 – 17:00 Berlin, Germany time
As such, you may be researching a provider and notice an advertisement for 2 pips on Silver or 0.6 pips on EUR/NZD. However, whilst this might encourage you to sign up – it’s important to make sure that you check all terms and conditions of the platform first.
Best Low Spread Brokers – Types of Platforms
Thus far, we have divulged the ins and outs of spreads, and how they might affect your profit margin. The best low spread brokers will provide access to a multitude of assets, and tight spreads to boot.
Take a look below at some of the most commonly seen low spread broker types.
Best Low Spread Brokers for Stocks
Stocks have been bought and sold for hundreds of years, albeit, most trading is done online these days. As such, there are hundreds of platforms jostling for the top spot when it comes to the best low spread broker for stocks. Variety is key when choosing a good broker.
Whilst you might only want to invest in Tesla right now, there may come a time when you are looking to diversify to avoid overexposure to just one equity. Our number one best low spread broker eToro offers access to heaps of markets from around the world. This includes over 2,400 different stocks, from 17 marketplaces.
You might be looking to invest in stocks, with the result being that you own shares in the company outright. Many long-term traders and investors take this approach. This also means that if the company pays dividends you will be entitled to regular payments – as and when they are distributed.
A top tip when opting for this type of investment is to re-invest any dividend payments you receive. This might see you buy more shares or another investment entirely. The good news is that at low spread broker eToro, you can buy stocks from $50 per trade. So, if you can’t afford over $800 on one Tesla share, for instance, you can still invest!
Best Low Spread Brokers for Forex
Forex is easily the most traded asset globally. However, in case you’ve missed what it’s all about – the foreign exchange entails trading one currency such as US dollars, to another such as Swiss Francs. This would be shown as USD/CHF at your chosen low spread forex broker.
When you are engaged in forex trading, you are aiming to correctly predict which direction the exchange rate is going to go. This could be minutes, hours, or weeks down the line – even years in some cases. The obvious goal, as with the trading of any asset, is to sell it for more than you bought it for – consequently making a profit.
The best low spread brokers will be able to offer a variety of currency pairs. This includes ‘minors’, ‘majors’, and ‘exotics’.
For those unaware:
- Major pairs always contain one strong currency and the USD. Example: GBP/USD (British pounds/US dollars)
- Minor pairs always contain 2 strong currencies, but never USD. Example: EUR/AUD (Euro/Australian dollars)
- Exotics pairs always contain one emerging currency and a strong currency. Example: USD/TRY (US dollars/Turkish lira)
‘Major’ and ‘minor’ FX pairs will invariably come with tighter spreads when compared to less liquid ‘exotic’ pairs. If you have a particular pair in mind, always check that the platform can provide you with access to that market.
Social trading platform eToro offers over 50 currency pairs to choose from – all of which can be traded with 0% commission and competitive spreads.
Best Low Spread Brokers for Commodities
If it’s commodities you are looking to trade, all of our best low spread brokers offer a good variety. It goes without saying that each and every broker in our top 5 list offer tight spreads – but this is especially the case at eToro.
Here, you can trade more than 45 different commodity markets, across hard metals, energies, and agricultural products. In terms of metals, you will have access to gold, silver, platinum, copper, and more.
When it comes to agricultural commodities, this includes cotton, sugar, wheat, and cocoa. If you like the idea of accessing the energies sector at eToro, you can trade commodities such as oil and natural gas as CFDs, or invest via ETFs. The most traded commodities globally are gold and oil – both of which eToro offers competitive spreads on whilst charging zero commission.
Best Low Spread Brokers for CFDs
By trading commodities via CFDs, you are able to make a profit from the price fluctuations of an asset – without owning it. This is great when you consider that if trading something like Brent Crude oil, you would have to not only think about delivery – but also storing heavy tanks. On the contrary, CFDs simply monitor and reflect the real-life value of the asset in question.
- Let’s say you are trading an oil CFD and the WTI benchmark values the asset at $56.08
- Your oil CFD will also be priced at $56.08
- If the benchmark price increased or decreased by say 2%, so would your oil CFD.
When trading commodities via the best low spread brokers, you should note that if you are a resident of the US, CFDs are prohibited as per SEC and CFTC law.
Best Low Spread Brokers for Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are traded now more than ever. In recent years, this speculative asset has skyrocketed. The market as a whole is now valued at almost a trillion US dollars. The best low spread brokers enable clients to choose from heaps of different digital coins.
At eToro, for example, you have 16 coins to choose from. Not only that, but you can trade crypto-crypto pairs such as BTC/EOS (Bitcoin/EOS), as well as crypto-fiat pairs such as BTC/JPY (Bitcoin/Japanese yen).
No matter which crypto pair you choose to trade – you can do so on a completely commission-free basis, and with super-tight spreads at eToro.
How to Find the Best Low Spread Brokers in 2023?
If you have stuck with us thus far, you will be fully clued up as to why choosing the best low spread brokers matters. There are so many online brokers out there, meaning it can be hard to know which one is going to be right for you.
If you are still unsure about which low spread broker is best for your own trading objectives – take a look at some important factors to consider.
Regulation and Safety
All of the best low spread brokers that we discussed on this page are fully regulated, as we consider this to be paramount when reviewing trading platforms. When it comes to the online trading space, there are heaps of disingenuous providers – falsely promising the moon on a stick.
There are also plenty of good and decent brokers. With that said, one of the only ways to know if a platform is legitimate is to check whether or not it holds a brokerage license. The best low spread brokers will be regulated by one or more respected bodies and financial organizations.
Some of the most reputable regulatory bodies that license the best low spread brokers include:
- FCA – Financial Conduct Authority (United Kingdom)
- ASIC – Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- CySEC – Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
- CFTC – Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (United States)
- and more
Such regulation is a safety net for you against shady companies. Not only that, but regulated brokers have to adhere to strict rules to keep their license year on year. This includes segregating your funds and keeping them in a tier-1 bank. Licensed brokers also have to maintain a level of customer care set out by the authorities, including KYC.
When researching the best low spread brokers yourself, you should also think about the minimum stake.
Put simply, let’s say you are a newbie, and you plan on sticking to a modest trading budget. In this scenario, a platform stipulating a $300 minimum stake is going to drain your budget in no time.
eToro, for example, allows you to trade from just $25 upwards, which is great for first-timers.
If this sounds like you, you might also think about choosing a broker with a variable commission rather than a fixed fee. More on that shortly.
Whilst this sounds obvious, you are no doubt looking for the best low spread brokers because you intend to trade online. In which case you need to consider not only which markets the broker can give you access to – but also the variety of assets available.
See below the most commonly seen and desirable assets available at low spread brokers:
- Futures and Options
- Stock CFDs
- ETFs and Mutual Funds
Some platforms concentrate on just one or two asset types. Whereas others like eToro offer just about everything under the sun.
Ownership or CFDs
We touched on CFDs a few times throughout this best low spread brokers guide. However, to clarify, CFDs allow you to speculate on whether the asset will rise or fall in value – without you needing to own it.
This is accomplished by placing a sell order at the trading platform if you think the asset will lose value, or visa-versa with a buy order. If you prefer the idea of owning the asset in question, you will want to avoid low spread CFD brokers and the overnight financing fees they invite.
To reiterate, CFDs will not be offered to US clients as they are strictly prohibited. As for UK clients, you can access CFDs for any asset – but not cryptocurrencies.
Most people who trade CFDs apply leverage. For those not in the know, leverage is something offered by low spread brokers to enable you to trade with more than you physically have in your account.
- Leverage is most commonly shown as a ratio at the best low spread brokers, such as 1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20, and such.
- If you are offered leverage of 1:2, this means that if you stake $1,000, the broker lets you open a position worth $2,000.
- If you stake $1,000 with leverage of 1:10 – you can trade with $10,000 – and so forth.
However, regulators in most of Europe, Australia (as of April 21), and the UK have limits in place regarding how much leverage you can obtain as a retail client.
This stands at:
- 1:30 for major FX pairs
- 1:20 for non-major FX pairs, gold, and major indices
- 1:10 for commodities (not including gold)
- 1:5 for CFD stocks
- 1:2 for cryptocurrencies (excluding UK traders)
Importantly, tread with caution when using leverage at your chosen low spread broker. The very same leverage can magnify your losses if the trade doesn’t go the way you hoped it would
The best low spread brokers allow you to trade directly on the platform, rather than installing software. However, for those interested, many are compatible with third-party providers such as cTrader and MT4/5. Which, as we mentioned, are packed with handy trading tools and technical indicators.
If you would like to boost your own trading experience by linking your account with MT4 or MT5, we suggest checking out low spread brokers like EuropeFX, AvaTrade, and EightCap.
Best Low Spread Brokers – Other Online Brokerage Fees
As we have said, the very best low spread brokers will make finding you a tradable asset and placing orders super easy. However, you should also have your eyes open to fees other than just the spread.
See below for some more potential fees to look out for on your mission to find the best low spread brokers.
We mentioned earlier that if you plan on trading modest amounts, or are new to the trading game – you are better sticking with brokers who charge a variable fee. However, if you are looking to buy traditional assets like shares, ETFs, or mutual funds – this tends to go hand in hand with a ‘fixed fee’.
See below an example of a fixed dealing fee at a low spread broker:
- You are investing in Facebook shares and must pay a fixed commission of $14 on each trade
- The fee will be $14, whether you invest $1million or $50
- Consequently, when you sell your shares, you must again pay $14
If you had bought Facebook shares at our best low spread broker eToro – you would have saved $28 – as the broker is commission-free.
We said that if you are trading with small stakes we recommend a variable fee platform. The reason is, had you only staked $50 in the above investment, and you paid $14 in fees alone – this works out at a huge commission.
All will become clear when you see a practical example of a variable fee:
- You are trading copper and the broker charges a 0.5% variable commission
- You have a feeling copper will rise in value, so create a $100 buy order
- You must pay 0.5% commission, which on a $100 stake, equates to 50 cents
- Upon closing your copper position, it is now worth $140
- You need to pay 0.5% again – which is a commission of just 70 cents
As you can see, smaller stakes are better suited to variable commissions. That said, had you signed up with one of our best low spread brokers offering commission-free trading – you would have saved on this trade too!
Deposits and Withdrawals
Before you can enter the trading world, you need to deposit some money into your broker account. The best low spread brokers offer a plethora of payment methods such as credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers.
eToro is compatible with heaps of different payment types. Furthermore, the broker uses automated ID tech, so signing up usually takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. As well as checking the accepted deposit methods a platform will accept, you should check any fees and timescales involved.
Tools for Beginners
When reviewing the best low spread brokers of 2023, we touched on the fact that some of the platforms offered a range of trading tools. This can be invaluable for beginners.
With that in mind, when looking for the best low spread brokers for your taste – consider the following extras.
Whilst there is no shortage of educational content on the internet, we think it’s handy to have it all in one place. Whether this is on the broker’s actual website, or via third-party trading platforms such as MT4/5.
eToro for instance, whilst a little light on technical analysis tools – does offer some great educational content. This includes daily market analysis, podcasts, video tutorials, webinars, and various educational guides.
It’s also worth checking out the platform’s free demo account. This is popular for both newbies and seasoned traders. You will be given $100,000 in ‘paper funds’ to learn the markets and practice new strategies.
Low spread broker eToro also offers the infamous ‘Copy Trader’ feature, as we mentioned in our comprehensive review. Simply invest from $200, choose a pro-investor, and mirror whatever they buy and sell.
This is a great way to trade in a completely passive way, and is suitable for accomplished traders lacking time, and also newbies who have yet to learn the complexities of technical analysis.
We mentioned that you are able to mirror your chosen pro-investor. This means if they invest 2% of their portfolio in Netflix, 2% of your investment will also be allocated to Netflix. If the pro trader cashes out on an Ethereum purchase, this will be reflected in your portfolio – and so forth.
The eToro team also offer CopyPortfolios, which is again 100% automated. And as always at eToro – this is commission-fee. The difference is that CopyPortfolios are run by a team of pros who work in-house at eToro.
Although it might sound obvious, when thinking about finding the best low spread brokers – customer service should also be taken into account. We find the best low spread brokers will provide a few different contact methods.
Having said that, the most convenient customer service option is undoubtedly ‘Live Chat’, followed by phone, contact form, and email. The majority of low spread brokers offer customer service 24/5 in line with the marketplaces.
How to Get Started With The Best Low Spread Brokers Today
Now that you’ve had your eyes opened to the best low spread brokers in the market right now – you are no doubt ready to get started. With that in mind, we have listed the 4 steps necessary to open an account with our top-rated low spread broker – Capital.com
Step 1: Open an Account
The first step is to open an account. Head over to the Capital.com
platform and click ‘Join Now’ on the main screen. In the signup box, enter the relevant information such as name, address, email, etc.
Next, as per KYC rules, you need to upload a copy of your photo ID such as your passport. As part of money laundering preventative measures, you will also be required to upload a copy of a recent utility bill or bank account statement.
You can skip past the KYC process. However, at some point you will have to complete your registration before you can a) withdraw, or b) deposit more than $2,250.
Step 2: Make a Deposit
It’s easy to make a deposit at Capital.com, as all you have to do is decide between the available payment methods and enter the monetary value.
- Credit card
- Debit card
- and more, depending on your location.
Step 3: Search for an Asset
Now that you have a newly funded account at Capital.com, you can look for your chosen asset. As we have touched on a few times, the platform is super newbie-friendly.
If you are still undecided about what interests you in terms of assets – click ‘Trade Markets’. You will see this on the left-hand side of your account screen. Next, you can filter down by asset classes such as commodities, and currencies.
If you already know what you want to trade or invest in, just type it into the search box and hit ‘Trade’ when it appears as a suggestion.
Step 4: Place Order
After hitting ‘Trade’, you will see that an order box appears. As we said, you will need to choose between a buy order and a sell order.
To refresh your memory:
- If you think the asset you wish to trade is going to increase in value – place a buy order, by clicking ‘BUY’ at the top of the box
- If you think the asset you wish to trade is going to decrease in value – place a sell order, by clicking ‘SELL’ at the top of the box
Don’t forget to also enter your desired stake, market/limit order, and stop-loss/take-profit orders. Check over all of the particulars and then click ‘Open Trade’.
Capital.com will execute your order accordingly – commission-free!
Best Low Spread Brokers – The Verdict
In this best low spread brokers review and guide, we have stressed the importance of not only choosing a platform with tight spreads but also one holding a regulatory license.
There are hundreds of providers out there – some great, and some dismal. So the best thing to do is consider all of the key metrics covered in this guide to help you to make an educated decision. To recap, the best low spread brokers are regulated, charge low or no commissions, and provide a user-friendly platform.
If the platform can also offer you trading tools, this is, of course, beneficial. However, if it’s technical indicators or educational content you are after – you can access this from third-party platforms such as MT4. Alternatively, you can perform an internet search for online courses, or try out a free demo account.
At our top-rated low spread broker Capital.com, you can trade heaps of asset classes with super tight-spreads and you will no commissions at all!
AvaTrade - Established Broker With Commission-Free Trades
- Minimum deposit of just 250 USD to get lifetime access to all the VIP channels
- Pay 0% on all CFD instruments
- Thousands of CFD assets to trade
- Leverage facilities available
- Instantly deposit funds with a debit/credit card
What is the best low spread broker for stocks?
Our in-depth review found that the best low spread broker for stocks is eToro. This regulated platform provides access to 17 marketplaces and over 2,400 shares. Furthermore, you can buy and sell stocks on a commission-free basis.
Is it safe to use a low spread broker?
Yes, many are safe. Although to guarantee this, we highly recommend sticking with a broker that is regulated by one (or more) reputable body - such as the FCA, ASIC, CySEC, or NBRB
What is the minimum investment at a low spread broker?
The minimum investment will invariably depend on the asset in question and the low spread broker you are using. eToro clients can trade from $25 in a safe environment.
What is the best low spread broker 2023?
After countless hours of research, our best low spread broker of 2023 turned out to be social trading platform eToro. The provider serves over 17 million clients, is licensed by 3 regulatory bodies, has tight spreads, heaps of assets, a free demo account - and is commission-free!
Do the best low spread brokers offer cryptocurrency CFDs?
This depends on your location. For instance, in the US, CFDs are banned across the board. In the UK, you can access CFDs on most assets. However, cryptocurrency CFDs are now prohibited. Elsewhere in the world, you can access crypto CFDs, but the leverage you can apply will be capped.