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Best Zero Spread Forex Brokers 2022

Steven Hatzakis

May 16, 2022

The ForexBrokers.com annual forex broker review (six years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 50,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. Here's how we test.

Trading costs continue to decline each year as forex brokers compete to win you as a client, and many now offer zero spread trading accounts as an extra enticement.

Be aware: Some zero spread account offerings can be marketing gimmicks to lure you in as a trader. It's therefore important to be able to read the fine print and understand what to look for when deciding which broker to choose. This guide covers the best zero spread forex brokers and explains what you need to know to choose the best option for your needs.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% 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.

What is a zero spread account?

Zero spread accounts are trading accounts offered by brokers that have no difference between the bid and ask price, or spreads that average close to zero. However, there still exists the potential for spreads to widen, and there can still be added trading costs (commissions, for example) depending on the broker and account you choose.

Trading with a zero spread account makes it easy to enter and exit a trade without the need to worry about incurring trading costs, provided there are no additional commissions or fees.

Note: Even if there is a commission instead of spread, accounting can be easier when you know there was no spread when calculating trading costs, as commissions are usually shown on a separate column in most brokerage account reports.

Lowest Spread Forex Brokers

ForexBrokers.com 2022 Review

Here are the best zero spread accounts, including brokers that offer spreads close to zero, available for 2022, based on 113 variables.

  • Tickmill - Best overall for low costs
  • FP Markets - Full MetaTrader suite, competitive pricing
  • CMC Markets - Best web trading platform, excellent education
  • IC Markets - Best overall for MetaTrader
  • HYCM - Competitive pricing on RAW account
  • Interactive Brokers - Best for professionals, excellent pricing
  • IG - Excellent education, most trusted
Tickmill
Overall

Best overall for low costs

Minimum Deposit $100.00
Trust Score 82
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 87

Of Tickmill’s three accounts (Classic, Pro, and VIP), it was the competitive commission-based pricing for professionals available through its VIP and PRO accounts that helped the broker finish 1st overall for Commissions and Fees again in our 2022 annual review. Read full review

Pros

  • Highly competitive pricing
  • Above-average research and education offerings

Cons

  • Small range of markets available for trading
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FP Markets
Overall

Full MetaTrader suite, competitive pricing

Minimum Deposit $100 AUD
Trust Score 82
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 9790

FP Markets shines as a low-cost broker for trading forex and CFDs – as long as you use the MetaTrader platform. Ultra-competitive spreads are also available by way of its commission-based Raw ECN account. Read full review

Pros

  • Very competitive spreads
  • Industry-leading pricing on MetaTrader

Cons

  • Room for improvement in education
  • Mobile trading app lacks features offered by industry leaders
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CMC Markets
Overall

Best web trading platform, consistent pricing

Minimum Deposit $0.00
Trust Score 99
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 11927

CMC Markets is a low-cost leader that features consistently low spreads for all customer segments and account types, and competitive pricing for active traders – though the availability of discounts and rebate programs will depend on your country of residence. Read full review

Pros

  • Low trading costs
  • Excellent web and mobile platforms
  • Robust research materials

Cons

  • Educational offering could be improved
  • MT4 offering limited to 62 symbols
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IC Markets
Overall

Best overall for MetaTrader

Minimum Deposit $200
Trust Score 86
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 3583

IC Markets offers competitive pricing across all account types, with low average spreads and modest minimum deposit requirements. Further discounts are also available for traders that trade over 100 standard lots per month. Read full review

Pros

  • No. 1 MetaTrader broker for 2022
  • Excellent automated copy trading strategies
  • Competitive pricing

Cons

  • Research and education are limited
  • Regulated primarily by one Tier-1 regulator (in Australia)
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HYCM
Overall

Competitive pricing on Raw account

Minimum Deposit $100
Trust Score 86
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 245

HYCM is a trusted brand that offers a straightforward MetaTrader platform experience, albeit with a narrow range of symbols. HYCM’s Raw account delivers competitive pricing, with an all-in cost of roughly 0.6 pips for the EUR/USD (after commission). Read full review

Pros

  • Longstanding history offering services across global markets

Cons

  • Expensive compared to industry leaders
  • Subpar research and education
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Interactive Brokers
Overall

Best for professionals, excellent pricing

Minimum Deposit $0
Trust Score 99
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 7400

Interactive Brokers is a highly trusted multi-asset broker with an extensive offering of tradeable global markets and competitive fees – though given the minimum commission of $2 per side, trading anything less than 100,000 units of currency becomes proportionally more expensive. Read full review

Pros

  • Robust platform for professional traders
  • Wide range of global markets
  • Thorough research offering

Cons

  • Trader Workstation platform is likely too complicated for inexperienced traders
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IG
Overall

Excellent education, most trusted

Minimum Deposit £250.00
Trust Score 99
Tradeable Symbols (Total) 19537

IG’s fantastic all-around experience has us ranking IG as the best overall broker for our 2022 annual review. While we wouldn’t consider IG a discount broker, it shines for the active trader pricing available through its Forex Direct accounts. Read full review

Pros

  • Outstanding platforms and tools
  • Over 19,000 tradeable instruments
  • Competitive pricing

Cons

  • No predefined layouts on the flagship web platform
  • Limited product range on MT4
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Trade FX on even lower spreads (75% of retail investor accounts lose money)

Is there a broker with 0 spread?

While many brokers advertise zero spreads, it can be misleading to look only at the minimum spread or the lowest spread of the day -- it's possible that the spread is worse (higher) the majority of the time.

That is why it is important to only trust the average spreads to determine the true cost of a broker claiming to offer zero-pip spreads. A zero spread implies there is no difference in pips between the bid price and ask price; they are exactly the same price when the spread is 0.

In our research, there are only a few brokers that truly average close-to-zero-pip spreads on the EUR/USD, but you still must pay a per-trade commission, thus the effective spreads average out to be higher. Any broker claiming to offer zero pips with no commissions should be considered carefully, as it could turn out to be either a scam or offer questionable execution practices. That's why it's always important to only use trusted, highly regulated brokers.

For example, Tickmill, FP Markets, and IC Markets feature spreads close to 0 for their commission-based accounts, with their effective spreads averaging anywhere from 0.42 to 0.62 on the EUR/USD pair (using monthly spread data obtained during our 2022 annual review), helping them finish best in class in this category.

How do you compare zero spread accounts?

When you compare accounts offered by the best forex brokers for zero spread trading, spreads will still vary in most cases, and you may incur other trading costs such as commissions. Therefore, it is essential to keep the subtle details in mind when reading the fine print for zero spread trading.

Forex brokers often offer multiple accounts, where certain features such as the execution method, the trading platform available, or the range of markets will vary depending on which account you select.

Whether you are trading spot forex as a CFD or as a non-deliverable rolling contract, below we cover the key differences you should know when trading forex on margin with a zero spread broker.

Should I choose a zero spread account?

An account with zero spreads can make sense if your trading strategy is spread-sensitive or if you just want to reduce your trading costs as much as possible -- but there are potential trade-offs.

Factors to keep in mind include any added commission and knowing if zero spreads are variable or fixed, especially during volatile market conditions when spreads may widen.

Consider that execution quality can suffer in a zero spread account if your trading strategy relies on specific execution qualities, such as avoiding slippage (where your order can get filled at a worse price).

  • Pros of zero spread pricing: A scalping strategy or other high-frequency trading program based solely on latency, or price delays that cause arbitrage, will likely require that you have lower costs (i.e., cost-sensitive) to be profitable.
  • Cons of zero spread pricing: Conversely, other high-frequency algorithmic trading based on technical indicators can perform better on zero spreads, even if there are execution delays or price requotes during fast markets. However, this potential slippage also means that the effective spread can be greater than zero if your order is filled at a worse price.

About zero spread forex brokers

A zero spread forex broker attempts to offer a spread of zero pips. The spread is the difference between the bid price (where you can sell) and the ask price (where you can buy), measured in pips (fractions of a currency). These seemingly small trading costs can quickly add up, because trading forex takes place from within a margin account (that is, uses leverage), especially as your trading volumes increase.

  • Sample EUR/USD spread 10 years ago: 3 pips
  • Sample EUR/USD spread today: 0.8 pips
  • Sample EUR/USD spread at a zero spread broker: 0.1 pips

In the interbank market, where prices originate from major dealers, spreads are quoted in fractions of a pip, also known as fractional-pips. A zero pip spread may range from 0 to several fractions of a pip -- or even more during volatile market conditions.

Zero spread investment offerings comparison

Using our forex brokers comparison tool, here's a summary of the spread pricing offered by the best zero spread forex brokers.

Feature Tickmill FP Markets CMC Markets
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard 0.27 (September 2021) 1.2 (September 2021) 0.73 (August 2021)
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active 0.47 (September 2021) 0.7 (September 2021) N/A
Active Trader or VIP Discounts Yes Yes Yes
Execution: Agency Broker Yes No No
Execution: Market Maker Yes Yes Yes

Note: Brokers listed in the above table ranked best in class for Commissions & Fees in the ForexBrokers.com 2022 review.

How does a zero spread forex broker earn money?

A zero-pip spread that is fixed, and doesn't vary, will likely include a commission. The broker may also be operating a dealing desk to attempt to make money when you trade, by being on the opposite side of each trade.

The way forex and CFD brokers earn money depends on their business model and available execution methods. All brokers will ultimately do one or more of the following:

  1. Add a spread markup or earn a rebate (agency broker) when you trade with them, as they route your order to a third-party market-maker in return for compensation.
  2. Charge a commission (agency broker) in lieu of any spreads when routing your order.
  3. Manage risk as a dealer (agency broker or market maker) on zero spread accounts.

Pro tip: Some zero spread brokers combine some of these execution methods into a hybrid offering. Some brokers let you choose execution type from within your account or open an account specific to a particular execution method.

Which broker has lower spreads?

In order to really know which broker has lower spreads compared to the competition, we obtained average spread data and factored in any per-trade commissions to arrive at the effective spreads, which allow you to determine your true trading costs.

Brokers with the lowest effective spreads in 2022 are as follows, based on average price data obtained by our research for the EUR/USD pair:

  • Tickmill - 0.47 (September 2021) on Pro account
  • FP Markets - on 0.7 (October 2021) Raw ECN account
  • CMC Markets - 0.73 (August 2021) on all accounts
  • IC Markets - Average 0.62 (August 2021) on cTrader account
  • HYCM - Average 0.6 pips (September 2021) on Raw account
  • Interactive Brokers - 0.6 pips (Week ending Oct. 6, 2021)
  • IG - Deeper discounts on Forex Direct account

Which forex broker has the tightest spread?

Tickmill provides the tightest spreads (averaging 0.13 pips on the EUR/USD during August) from among the 39 brokers ranked in the ForexBrokers.com 2022 Annual Broker Review, after factoring in trading costs (i.e., any commissions). FP Markets follows closely in second place, also offering a nearly zero pip spread with a small commission added per trade.

Pro tip: When measuring forex spreads, the most accurate way to determine which broker has the tightest spread is to calculate the average spread for a given period -- such as one month. In addition, it is important to factor in the trustworthiness of the broker, to ensure you are provided with the best execution to pay the spread you deserve and avoid pitfalls like asymmetrical slippage.

Which broker has the best spread?

Tickmill stands out as having the best spread, as the overall trading cost (spread + commission) is 0.47 pips, which is the lowest on average based on September 2021 data using the EUR/USD pair on its Pro account offering. Other brokers might advertise a lower spread, but end up being more expensive because they charge a higher commission or have higher average spreads.

Is a zero spread account good?

While it's nice to avoid fees, a zero spread account can still end up costing you a per-trade commission, and even worse -- spreads can potentially widen in a zero spread account even if it is commission-free.

Depending on your strategy and trading needs, a zero spread account might not be good for you if certain order types or execution methods are not available. The key is knowing what the average spreads are, and whether there are any per-trade commissions -- this allows you to calculate the effective spread.

Can I trade forex without a broker?

No, forex trading is conducted from within a brokerage account, which provides you a certain degree of leverage (margin), along with access to a trading platform and a range of currency pairs. You should always choose trusted forex brokers that hold proper regulatory licenses to avoid becoming a victim of scams.

Pro tip: For cryptocurrency users looking at forex trading with stablecoins, a decentralized exchange is also not a suitable option for forex. Spreads can be significantly wider, and there is no mechanism to ensure the best execution even if zero spreads are advertised -- which could result in extreme slippage.

Which forex broker is best for scalping?

IC Markets is an excellent forex broker for scalping. IC Markets is used by a significant number of algorithmic traders and provides both MetaTrader and cTrader platforms, where you run automated high-frequency trading programs such as scalping-based strategies and can even place orders in between the spread. And IC Markets' Raw Spread Account features zero spreads, plus commission.

Pro tip: Whether brokers claim to offer Straight Through Processing (STP) or an Electronic Communications Network (ECN), these descriptions are not as important as how your broker's business model actually operates, including its order execution policy during fast markets when spreads can widen.

What's the difference between raw spread and a standard account?

A standard account refers to the smallest trade size of 100,000 units of currency, which is also known as a standard lot size. A raw spread refers to the cost of trading reflected in the bid/ask price, where the broker is not adding any markup but instead provides the price as is (i.e., raw spread) straight from their liquidity providers.

Pro tip: In most cases, raw spread forex brokers will add a per trade commission to make money or act as market makers.

ForexBrokers.com 2022 Overall Ranking

Here are the Overall rankings for the 39 online brokers who participated in our 2022 Annual Review, sorted by Overall ranking.

More Forex Guides

Methodology

For our 2022 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 39 international forex brokers over a three-month time period resulting in over 50,000 words of published research.

Each broker was graded on 113 different variables, including our proprietary Trust Score algorithm. This innovative scoring system ranks the level of trustworthiness for each broker based on factors such as licenses, regulation and corporate structure. Read more about Trust Score here.

As part of our annual review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy.

Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors with quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.

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There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses.Learn more.


About the Author

Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.



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IG - 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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