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Best CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024)

Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM| Updated May 16th, 2024

Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading has become increasingly popular among investors due to its flexibility, allowing traders to speculate on the price movements of various assets without owning them. However, with the variety of CFD brokers available in South Africa, finding the best one that suits your needs can be challenging.

To help you make an informed decision, we have researched and compared the top CFD trading platforms in South Africa based on important criteria such as spreads, range of markets, regulation, and trading platform features. 

It’s worth remembering that CFD trading is unlike other types of trading, as you don’t own a portion of the asset you’re trading. The profits and losses will fluctuate based on price movements, and it’s important to manage your risk carefully.

What Makes a Good Broker for CFD Trading in South Africa?

When evaluating the top CFD trading platforms in South Africa, it can be helpful to consider certain key factors. To make this process easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of important factors to keep in mind:

  • Reliable trading platform: A good CFD broker should offer a trading platform that is easy to use, stable, and fast. The platform should also have useful features such as charting tools, market news, and real-time data feeds to help you make informed trading decisions.
  • Competitive pricing: CFD trading fees can vary widely between brokers, so it’s important to choose a broker that offers competitive pricing. This includes low spreads, minimal or no commissions, and low overnight financing charges.
  • Wide range of markets: The best CFD brokers in South Africa should offer a diverse range of markets to trade, including stocks, indices, commodities, Forex, and cryptocurrencies. This allows you to create a well-diversified trading portfolio and take advantage of different market conditions.
  • Excellent customer service: A good CFD broker should provide excellent customer service, with fast response times and helpful support staff available via phone, email, or live chat. This is especially important if you’re new to trading or encounter technical difficulties.
  • Regulated by top-tier authorities: To protect your funds and ensure a safe trading environment, it’s important to choose a CFD broker that is regulated by reputable authorities.

Here are our top picks for the best CFD trading platforms in South Africa.

The Best CFD Brokers in South Africa

IG | Best for a wide range of CFD offering

IG is a well-known CFD IG is a popular CFD and Forex broker that offers a wide range of trading instruments, including over 18,000 markets. Additionally, they are known for their high-quality research and educational resources.

Plus500 | Ideal for low Forex fees and free withdrawals

Plus500 is another CFD broker that provides access to over 2,800 tradable CFDs, including Forex, Shares, Commodities, Indices, ETFs & Options. Their platform features competitive spreads and no commissions.
Disclaimer: 80% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

XTB | Best for high leverage and great customer service

XTB is a reputable online broker that stands out for its outstanding customer support services. They offer CFD trading on several asset classes, and spreads are relatively low, starting at 0.1 pips. Their trading platforms, xStation 5 and xStation Mobile are well-designed and user-friendly.

Pepperstone | Best for social trading and copy trading features

Pepperstone is a popular Forex broker that offers some of the tightest spreads in the market, along with free deposits and withdrawals. They give you access to popular trading platforms like TradingView, MetaTrader4 (MT4), MetaTrader5 (MT5), and cTrader.

Let’s take a closer look at the key characteristics before delving thoroughly into each broker’s services.

Best CFD Brokers in South Africa for 2024 compared

Broker IG Plus500 XTB Pepperstone
Nº of CFDs 17,000+ 2,800+ 2,200+ 800+
CFD asset classes available Shares, Indices, Forex,Commodities, and  Cryptocurrencies Shares, Indices, Commodities, Forex, ETFs, Options, Cryptocurrencies Shares, Indices, Commodities, Forex, Cryptocurrencies Shares, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Currency index CFDs
Maximum leverage Up to 1:200 1:30 (for retail)
1:300 (for professional)
Up to 1:500 Up to 1:400
Minimum deposit $0 $100 $0 $ 0
Deposit method Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, PayPal Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, PayPal, Skrill,  and other electronic wallets Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, PayPal, Skrill,  and other electronic wallets Bank transfer, credit/debit cards, PayPal and electronic wallets
Withdrawal fees $0 $0 $0 for amounts greater than $50 $0

You can check below the spreads of those brokers on the most used currency pairs.

Spread comparison of the best CFD brokers in South Africa

CFD IG Plus500 XTB Pepperstone
EUR/USD 0.6 pips 0.8 pips 1.3 pips 1 pip
GBP/USD 0.9 pips 1.3 pips 1.3 pips 1 pip
USD/ZAR 90 pips 85 pips 129 pips 51.2 pips
GBP/ZAR 200 pips 219.3 pips 152 pips Not available
South Africa 40 CFD R39 Not available Not available R24.3
US 500 CFD $0.6 $0.7 $0.3 $0.6
Bitcoin CFD $84.0 $81.81 $66.1 $30.0
Tesla (TSLA) $0.12 $1.22 $0.52 $0.03
Amazon (AMZN) $0.21 $0.80 $0.34 $0.02
Gold (XAU/USD) $0.3 $0.39 $0.32 $0.18
Silver (XAG/USD) $0.03 $0.02 $0.034 $0.019

Spreads are in pips (equal to 0.0001)

The spread in trading is the difference between the ask and bid prices on a particular instrument. Spreads are not fixed. They vary depending on the financial instrument traded, liquidity, and market events. Brokers can increase or widen the bid-ask spread, which would result in an investor paying more when buying and getting less when selling. Accordingly, it is a key factor in selecting the best CFD brokers.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of our top picks for the best CFD trading platforms in South Africa and what sets them apart from the rest.

1# IG

Best CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 1
Visit IGBest CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 2

75% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

IG at a glance

Number of CFD available for trading17,000+
CFD leverageup to 200x
Minimum Deposit$0, or R4,000 (or the equivalent) if funding an international account
FeesDepends on asset class
RegulatorsFDCA, ASIC, FCA, NFA, MAS, FINMA, FMA

IG Group, a London-based broker founded in 1974 and listed on the London Stock Exchange, is the first broker on our list of top CFD brokers in South Africa. IG offers access to an extensive range of trading instruments, with over 17,000 CFDs spanning various asset classes and spreads starting at 0.6 pips. It is perfect for both beginners and professional traders. For instance, their free educational resources through its IG Academy help traders improve their understanding of financial markets and trading skills. Furthermore, IG’s news and analysis section provides professional insights to keep traders updated on market-moving events.

IG charges a spread or commission on trades, depending on the asset class. For example, spreads on major CFD currency pairs start at 0.6 pips, while on major indices, spreads start at 0.8 points and 0.1 points on commodities. As for share CFDs, commission fees start from 2 cents per share with a minimum $15 charge for US-listed shares.

IG spreads on major CFDs

CFD Spread
EUR/USD 0.6 pips
GBP/USD 0.9 pips
USD/ZAR 90 pips
GBP/ZAR 200 pips
South Africa 40 CFD R39
US 500 CFD $0.6
Bitcoin CFD $84
Tesla (TSLA) $0.12
Amazon (AMZN) $0.21
Gold (XAU/USD) $0.3
Silver (XAG/USD) $0.03

1 pip equal to 0.0001

In addition to spread and commission fees, there may be other potential charges and factors that could influence how much your trading costs. These fees are only applicable when they apply to your trades, such as overnight financing charges or fees for guaranteed stops. IG has a very transparent fee structure, and you can check all the details and examples on its website, allowing you to calculate the cost of your trades accurately.

When trading with IG, you can choose from a variety of trading platforms. The IG trading platform is available on iOS and Android devices. It also offers a progressive web app, allowing traders to access their accounts from any device with internet access. For more advanced traders, IG offers ProRealTime and MetaTrader4, two platforms known for their advanced charting capabilities and customization options. For those looking to trade with Direct Market Access (DMA), IG offers L2 Dealer, a platform designed for professional traders that provide direct access to exchange order books and market depth.

IG trading features

Trading platforms IG web trading platform, IG mobile trading app, IG progressive web app (PWA), ProRealTime (PRT), MetaTrader 4 (MT4), L2 Dealer.
Limit orders Yes
Stop loss & take profit orders Yes
Negative Balance Protection No
Guaranteed stop loss Yes

Opening an account with IG is free of charge. However, you should note that there is a monthly account charge of R150 if you haven’t used your account for two years or more. It’s important to keep this in mind to avoid any unexpected charges. The required minimum deposit depends on your funding method. For example, there is no minimum for a bank transfer, but there is a R4,000 minimum if you are funding an international account.

2# Plus500

Best CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 3
Visit Plus500Best CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 2

80% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Plus500 at a glance

Number of CFD available for trading2,800+
CFD Leverageup to 30x (for retail), and 300x (for professional)
Minimum Deposit$100
Fees$0, but spreads starting 0.8 pip apply
RegulatorsFSCA, ASIC, CySEC, FMA, MAS, SFSA, FCA

Established in 2008, Plus500 is another broker included in our list of the best CFD brokers in South Africa. It has developed its own user-friendly web trading platform and a mobile app that provides access to over 2,800 CFDs. It’s a great choice for those who want to keep their costs low, as it offers tight spreads and free deposits and withdrawals. Its services are mostly compensated through the “market spread,” which means that you won’t have to pay any commissions for your trades (overnight fees still apply).

Plus500 spreads on major CFDs

CFD Spread
EUR/USD  0.8 pips
GBP/USD  1.3 pips
USD/ZAR 85 pips
GBP/ZAR 219.3 pips
US 500 CFD $0.7
Bitcoin $81.81
Tesla (TSLA) $1.22
Amazon (AMZN) $0.80
Gold (XAU/USD) $0.39
Silver (XAG/USD) $0.02

1 pip equal to 0.0001

Plus500 offers a wide range of indicators and drawing tools that assist you in analyzing trends and market movements. You can open an account online, and you can fund it by bank transfer, credit or debit cards, PayPal, or Skrill, and the minimum deposit is $100.

Plus500 trading features

Trading platforms Plus500 Web Trader platform, Plus500 Mobile application.
Limit orders Yes
Stop loss & take profit orders Yes
Negative Balance Protection Yes
Guaranteed stop loss Yes

On the downside, Plus500 provides very few educational materials and research reports compared to other brokers. Additionally, if you don’t access your account for three consecutive months, a $10 (or equivalent, depending on your currency) monthly fee will be charged. This is a shorter timeframe than some other brokers, who typically impose this fee after one year of inactivity. 

You can read our Plus500 review for further details.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This information is NOT relevant to EU residents who are to be serviced by EU subsidiaries of the Plus500 Group, such as Plus500CY Ltd, authorized by CySEC (Reg. 250/14). Different regulatory requirements apply in Europe, such as leverage limitations and bonus restrictions.

3# XTB

Best CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 5
Visit XTBBest CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 2

76-85% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

XTB at a glance

Number of CFD available for trading2,200+
CFD leverageUp to 500x
Minimum Deposit$0
Fees$0 for standard accounts, but spreads starting at 0.9 pips apply
RegulatorsCySEC, FCA, KNF, CNVM, and IFSC

XTB is a global CFD broker established in 2002 with more than 500,000 clients. Compared to other brokers, it is widely known for having an outstanding customer service team. In addition, XTB offers high leverage of up to 1:500 available on selected instruments. Their CFD offerings include Forex, indices, commodities, shares, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies, and they offer competitive pricing, with spreads starting as low as 0.1 pips for professional accounts.

XTB spreads on major CFDs

CFD Spread
EUR/USD 1.3 pips
GBP/USD 1.3 pips
USD/ZAR 129 pips
GBP/ZAR 152 pips
South Africa 40 CFD Not available
US 500 CFD $0.3
Bitcoin CFD $66.1
Tesla (TSLA) $0.52
Amazon (AMZN) $0.34
Gold (XAU/USD) $0.32
Silver (XAG/USD) $0.034

1 pip equal to 0.0001

The spread depends on the type of account that you choose and the market that you trade on.

XTB offers beginner and experienced traders a dynamic trading experience with its two trading platforms, xStation5 (desktop-based) and xStation (mobile), which have advanced charting tools and indicators. You can fund your account via bank wire transfer, credit or debit card, or Skrill, and there is no minimum amount to open an account.

XTB trading features

Trading platforms XTB Web Trade Platform, xStation 5 desktop trading platform, xStation Mobile application.
Limit orders Yes
Stop loss & take profit orders Yes
Negative Balance Protection No
Guaranteed stop loss No

On the downside, XTB charges a $30 fee for withdrawals of less than $50. Still, they do not impose a fee on withdrawals over that amount. Additionally, they charge a $10 monthly fee after 12 months of inactivity.

Read our XTB review for further insights.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 76-85 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

4# Pepperstone

Best CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 7
Visit PepperstoneBest CFD Trading Platforms in South Africa (2024) 2

74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Pepperstone at a glance

Number of CFD available for trading800+
CFD LeverageUp to 400x
Minimum Deposit$0
FeesDepends on asset class
RegulatorsASIC, SCB, CMA, CySEC, FCA, BaFin, and DFSA

Pepperstone was established in 2010 and currently serves more than 300,000 traders across the globe. It is an ideal CFD broker for South Africans looking for copy trading features while enjoying free deposits and withdrawals. Additionally, Pepperstone provides access to trade CFDs across various asset classes, including shares, indices, commodities, ETFs, and currency indexes. Traders can take advantage of high leverage with a maximum of 1:400, but it’s important to keep in mind that higher leverage can also increase risk.

Pepperstone spreads on major CFDs

CFD Spread
EUR/USD 1 pip
GBP/USD 1 pip
USD/ZAR 51.2 pips
South Africa 40 CFD R24.3
US 500 CFD $0.6
Bitcoin CFD $30.0
Tesla (TSLA) $0.03
Amazon (AMZN) $0.02
Gold (XAU/USD) $0.18
Silver (XAG/USD) $0.019

Pepperstone provides three trading platforms that suit all traders: MetaTrader4 (MT4), MetaTrader5 (MT5), and cTrader. Each platform is free and available on the web portal, mobile, and desktop. They have two account types: Standard account, suitable for new traders, and Razor account, ideal for scalpers and algorithmic traders.

Pepperstone trading features

Trading platforms MetaTrader4 (MT4), MetaTrader5 (MT5) and cTrader
Limit orders Yes
Stop loss & take profit orders Yes
Negative Balance Protection Yes
Guaranteed stop loss No

One potential limitation of their services is that the range of CFDs is relatively smaller compared to other CFD brokers.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89 % of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

The bottom line

It can be a challenge to find the best CFD broker in South Africa due to the variety of parameters that need to be considered. Comparing different trading conditions can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Our analysts have done the work for you and have presented their findings and analysis of the “Best CFD Brokers in South Africa,” which is summarized below:

Best CFD Brokers in South Africa
#1 IG  Best for a wide range of CFD offering
#2 Plus500 Ideal for low Forex fees and free deposits and withdrawals
#3 XTB  Best for high leverage and great customer service
#4 Pepperstone Best for social trading and copy trading features

If you’re feeling unsure about which CFD broker is the right fit for you, don’t worry! Our “Help Me Choose” tool can give you a personalized recommendation based on your preferences. Additionally, our comparison table breaks down the key features of various CFD brokers in South Africa, making it easier to compare them side by side. Finally, our reviews provide even more details about each broker’s products and services.

We hope this article has been helpful in your search for the best CFD broker in South Africa and that it saves you some time in your research. Keep in mind that it’s always best to do your research and determine which online broker is best for you. Also, consider using a demo account to test the platform and features before committing to a live account.

Other FAQs

What is a CFD broker?

A CFD broker is a financial services provider that offers Contracts-for-Difference (CFDs) trading services to clients. CFDs allow traders to speculate on the price movements of various underlying assets without actually owning them.

What should I look for in a CFD broker?

Some important factors to consider when choosing a CFD broker include regulatory compliance, trading fees, trading platform, customer support, and available trading instruments.

Are there any fees associated with CFD trading?

Yes, CFD brokers typically charge fees such as spreads, commissions, and overnight financing charges.

What is the minimum amount required to start CFD trading in South Africa?

The minimum amount required to start CFD trading in South Africa varies depending on the broker. Some brokers offer accounts with no minimum deposit, while others require a certain minimum balance to start trading. Choosing a broker that suits your trading needs and budget is important.

Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM
Fintech Analyst

Toni is a Fintech Analyst with over 8 years of experience in the financial industry where he worked as a financial control analyst at a regional bank and later conducted independent investment research analysis.

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