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Articles / Best Futures Brokers in Canada (2023)

Best Futures Brokers in Canada (2023)

Toni Nasr, CFA, FRM| Updated: May 10, 2023

Futures trading is an increasingly popular investment option among Canadians who are looking to invest and speculate on the future prices of commodities, currencies, and other financial instruments. Following the rise of online trading platforms, it has become much easier to access the futures market and start trading. However, with so many options available, it can be tough to choose the right broker.

That’s where we come in. We’ve conducted thorough research and compiled our findings into this article to help you make an informed decision when selecting a futures broker in Canada. We’ll compare the best futures brokers’ fees, features, and trading platforms, providing you with the essential information you need to choose the one that best suits your specific requirements.

Whether you’re an experienced trader or just starting out, you’ll find everything you need to know right here. So, read on to discover the top futures brokers in Canada.

What Makes a Good Broker for Futures Trading in Canada?

When choosing a futures broker, it’s important to consider several factors that can impact a trader’s success. These include:

  • Low trading fees: To enhance your profitability in futures trading, choosing a broker with competitive trading fees is crucial. You’ll want to look for a broker that offers low spreads, minimal or no commissions. In addition, consider choosing a broker with low account minimums if you want to start with a small amount.
  • Reliable platform: The trading platform is your primary tool, and it should have all the necessary features for effective trading. The platform should be user-friendly, fast, and reliable. It’s also helpful if the platform includes market news and real-time data feeds, which can give you valuable insights into the market. Additionally, risk management tools such as stop-loss orders and trailing stops can help protect your trades and minimize your risk.
  • Excellent customer support: A futures broker’s customer support is essential, particularly for new traders. Fast response times and helpful support staff should be available via phone, email, or live chat to ensure that you can get the help you need when you need it.
  • Regulatory compliance: To ensure the safety of your funds, it’s important to choose a futures broker that is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). This helps mitigate the risk of fraud, scams, and other unethical practices in the industry. However, if you’re considering an international broker, make sure they are regulated by a reputable global regulatory body such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  and the National Futures Association (NFA) in the United States, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia,  or any other reputable global regulatory bodies.

The Best Futures Brokers in Canada

Interactive Brokers | Best Overall

Interactive Brokers is a well-known global futures broker that provides access to a wide range of futures trading instruments, including equity index futures, commodity futures, currency futures, interest rate futures, stock futures and more. They offer low trading fees and a trading platform, the Trader Workstation (TWS), that is user-friendly yet has advanced features, making it a great choice for both professional futures traders and beginners.

Saxo Markets | Best for a wide-ranging futures offering

Saxo Bank offers a diverse range of trading instruments, providing traders access to over 300 futures from 28 global exchanges, including equity indices, energy, metals, agriculture, rates, and Forex. It offers competitive trading fees, a user-friendly platform that can be accessed on both desktop and mobile devices, and advanced research and analysis tools.

NinjaTrader | Best for active traders

NinjaTrader is a futures broker that provides access to multiple futures markets such as CME Group, Eurex futures, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), and Coinbase Derivatives. It offers an advanced trading platform with a free simulator for testing trading strategies where you can trade a variety of futures instruments, including indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

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

Best Futures Brokers in Canada compared

Broker IBKR Saxo Markets NinjaTrader
Minimum deposit $0 $2,000 $0
Availability of CAD account Yes Yes No
Deposit method Bank transfer Bank transfer, credit/debit cards Bank transfer 
Commissions Starting at $0.10

(Depending on exchange and account type)

Starting at $1.25

(Depending on exchange and account type)

Starting at $0.35 per side

(3 pricing plans available)

Withdrawal fees 1 free withdrawal per month $0 $50 for international bank transfer

Futures available for trading by the best futures brokers in Canada

Futures IBKR Saxo Markets NinjaTrader
Equity Index Futures
Bond Futures
Foreign Currency Futures
Energy Futures
Metals Futures
Agricultural Futures
Volatility Futures
Cryptocurrency Futures
Livestock Futures

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of our top picks for the best futures brokers in Canada and what sets them apart from the rest.

#1 Interactive Brokers

interactive brokers logo
Visit Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers at a glance

CommissionFrom $0.10 (Depending on exchange and account type)
Minimum Deposit$0
Withdrawal fees1 free withdrawal per month

Interactive Brokers is an outstanding futures broker that offers traders access to a comprehensive range of futures trading products globally with access to over 30 market centers. It was founded in 1978 and is regulated by many top-tier regulators, including the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), making it a good choice for Canadian traders. Additionally, it is listed on the NASDAQ exchange (Ticker: IBKR). 

Interactive Brokers offers a professional trading platform with multiple features, including a range of order types and algorithms that help traders execute various trading strategies. The platform TWS (desktop version) is one of the best trading platforms with advanced features and a high degree of customisation. 

Moreover, the platform offers powerful trading tools like ComboTrader, which helps traders create proprietary combination order strategies or choose from multiple templates with predefined programs to execute futures trades. In addition, they offer a well-designed web interface, IBKR GlobalTrader, and a mobile app. While all the platforms are designed to provide professional tools and resources to traders, they are also user-friendly for beginners. 

IBKR offers competitive pricing starting at $0.1 per contract, among the lowest on the market. Although the pricing structure is a bit complex, it is important to note that IBKR has no added spreads, ticket charges, platform fees, or account minimums, making it a great option for traders looking to minimize their costs. However, the fee you pay will depend on your monthly traded volume.

Here is a table summarizing the pricing of futures contracts on IBKR:

Market Contract Commission per Contract in USD
Canada S&P/TSX 60 Futures CAD 0.30 to CAD 1.25
Australia Mini SPI Futures AUD 0.20 to AUD 0.75
United States E-micro Futures USD 0.10 to USD 0.25
Germany Mini DAX Futures EUR 0.28 to EUR 0.50
Bitcoin Bitcoin Futures USD 5.00
Commodities Commodities Futures USD 0.25 to USD 1.05
Stocks Stocks Futures USD 0.25 to USD 0.85 (depending on exchange)
E-Micro FX E-Micro FX Futures USD 0.05 to USD 0.15

Note that the commission rates may vary depending on the exchange and the specific contract being traded.

Another essential tool Interactive Brokers offers is the SpreadTrader, a single-screen command center that helps traders manage their futures positions seamlessly. The platform’s Index Arbitrage Meter is another useful tool that traders can use to analyze index arbitrage strategies. The tool measures the spread between futures contracts and their respective spot prices, making it easier for traders to identify opportunities and execute trades.

Interactive Brokers offers multiple account base currencies, including CAD, USD, AUD, EUR, and GBP. However, the only available funding method is through a bank transfer. Additionally, you are only eligible for one free withdrawal per month, which can be a downside for some traders.

#2 Saxo Markets

Best Futures Brokers in Canada (2023) 1
Visit Saxo Markets

Saxo Markets at a glance

CommissionStaring $1.25 (Depending on exchange and account type)
Minimum Deposit$2,000 for a classic account
Withdrawal fees$0

With over 30 years of experience, Saxo Markets is a top futures broker offering traders access to over 300 futures contracts from 28 global exchanges, covering equity indices, energy, metals, agriculture, rates, and Forex. It has successfully served over 876,000 customers globally and processes over 1 million transactions daily. The company is fully licensed and regulated in 15 jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, demonstrating a commitment to the strictest regulatory standards.

Saxo Markets offers competitive pricing on futures trading, with commissions varying based on the contract and the tier of pricing, which is dependent on your trading volume. They offer three tiers of pricing; Classic, Platinum, and VIP, with lower commissions available to traders as they trade more. Below is a small table showing the commissions for USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, and AUD futures contracts for each tier of pricing:

Contract / Currency Commission Classic Commission Platinum Commission VIP
US USD 3.00  USD 1.80 USD 0.85
CAD CAD 6.00 CAD 3.00 CAD 1.00
EUR EUR 6.00  EUR 3.00  EUR 1.00 
GBP GBP 5.00  GBP 2.50  GBP 1.00 
AUD AUD 10.00  AUD 5.00  AUD 1.00 

These commissions are for each contract and each trade (buy or sell) through SaxoTrader and exclude exchange fees.

Saxo Markets offers advanced tools for trading futures contracts. With the Futures Spread Trading feature, you can place orders to buy and sell multiple contracts at the same time. The Depth Trader feature lets you see all the buy and sell orders waiting to be executed, so you can manage your trades more effectively. You can also monitor real-time futures prices and trade directly from the exchange with the Time and Sales feature. Saxo Markets provides 24-hour support and educational resources for all types of traders. VIP traders can receive priority support and exclusive invitations to events.

On the downside, if you are a resident of Yukon, Ontario and Newfoundland & Labrador you cannot open an account in Saxo Markets due to local legislation.

#3 NinjaTrader

Best Futures Brokers in Canada (2023) 2
Visit NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader at a glance

Commission$0.35 per side (3 pricing plans available)
Minimum Deposit$0 deposits
Withdrawal fees$50 for international bank transfer
RegulatorsCFTC and NFA

NinjaTrader was established in 2003, providing specialized software and brokerage services designed specifically for futures and options trading. The platform gives you access to some of the most popular futures markets, such as CME Group, Eurex futures, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), and Coinbase Derivatives. Their trading platform is used by over 800,000 users making it among the top futures brokers.

NinjaTrader’s trading platform caters to the needs of both professional and beginner futures traders, with advanced technical indicators available on desktop, web, and mobile versions. If you’re new to trading, you can start with a free 2-week trial that includes live-streaming market data and utilize a demo account to practice your skills. Once you’re ready to trade with real money, NinjaTrader offers a free and unlimited trading simulator to further sharpen your skills before jumping into the market.

There is no minimum deposit requirement, and they charge low fees by offering three pricing plans to choose from based on your trading needs. Here are the three plans:

Plan Micro futures contracts commission Standard futures contracts commission Monthly fee One-time payment
Free $0.35 $1.29  $0 $0
Monthly $0.25  $0.99 $99 $0
Lifetime $0.09 $0.59  $0 $1,499

In addition to trading fees, you may also be charged for market data depending on which exchange you’re interested in. For example, if you’re looking to access CME Market Data (including CME, CBOT, NYMEX & COMEX), you can opt for a monthly bundle of all four exchanges at $12 or pay $4 per exchange per month. These fees are subject to change based on the exchange and whether you’re a professional or non-professional user.

On the downside, NinjaTrader’s withdrawal and inactivity fees are high. For international bank transfers, you will pay a $50 fee, and if you have an existing account and don’t make any trades during a given month, you will be charged a $25 fee which might not be convenient if you are not an active futures trader.

The bottom line

In conclusion, the world of futures trading offers a wide range of investment opportunities for traders in Canada. The key to making the most of these opportunities is selecting the right futures broker for your trading needs. This article has outlined some of the top futures brokers in Canada based on important factors like trading platforms, regulatory compliance, and commission rates. Here’s a brief overview of our findings:

Best Futures Brokers in Canada

#1 Interactive Brokers Best Overall
#2 Saxo Markets Best for a wide-ranging futures offering
#3 NinjaTrader Best for active traders

Still unsure which broker is right for you? Don’t worry; our “Help Me Choose” tool can offer a personalized recommendation based on your preferences. Additionally, to help you compare various futures brokers in Canada, our comparison table outlines their key features side by side. For even more information about each broker’s products and services, our reviews have got you covered.

Other FAQs

What are futures contracts, and how do they work?

Futures contracts are agreements to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price and date. They allow traders to speculate on the future price of an asset or hedge against price fluctuations.

Can I trade futures in Canada?

Yes, trading futures is legal in Canada, and there are several regulated futures brokers that operate in the country. You can also choose among internationally regulated brokers.

Does Questrade offer futures trading?

Unfortunately, Questrade does not offer futures trading at this time. You can read this article to get a list of alternatives.

Does QTRADE offer futures trading?

Unfortunately, QTRADE does not offer futures trading at this time. You can read this article to get a list of alternatives.

What factors should I consider when choosing a futures broker in Canada?

When choosing a futures broker in Canada, factors to consider include fees, trading platforms, product offerings, customer support, regulatory compliance, and educational resources. We encourage you to read this article as we have included all these factors.

What are the fees associated with trading futures, and how do they vary between brokers?

Fees associated with trading futures may include commissions, spreads, and margin requirements and can vary between brokers. Some brokers may offer discounted rates if you trade more.

What types of futures products are available for trading with futures brokers?

Futures products available for trading may include indices, currencies, commodities, interest rates, and cryptocurrencies. Some brokers may also offer options on futures.

What is the minimum account balance required to trade futures?

Minimum account balances required to trade futures can vary depending on the broker. In our list, we included some brokers that do not have a minimum account balance.

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.