Best Forex Brokers in South Africa 2020

We tested 30+ brokers & then selected the 10 best Forex brokers for South Africans that are regulated with FSCA, FCA or CySEC.

By Rahul Sharma (Editorial Staff) — 
Best Forex Brokers in South Africa of 2020

There are over 50+ Forex Brokers that accept South African traders. Most of these brokers claim to offer more or less the same features & trading environment.

So how do you decide which broker is best for you?

At, we did the full research for you so that you don’t have to.

First we narrowed down the list & selected only the regulated & credible brokers that work in the South African market.

Then we signed up with each broker & analysed multiple factors including: minimum deposit, trading fees (average spread, commissions & even fees on deposits/withdrawals), maximum leverage, convenience of trading platform (mobile & desktop), ease of withdrawals, technical support. We even put in consideration the actual user reviews and ratings of real traders.

Now without further waiting…

10 Best South African Forex Brokers

Here’s our complete list of 10 best performing forex brokers in South Africa. We have compared their regulation, fees (spread & non-trading fees), time taken during deposits & withdrawals, trading execution time & support offered (last 4 months):

1. Hotforex – Best Forex Broker (FSCA Regulated, Low Fees, Zero deposit/withdrawal charges)

Hotforex South Africa

Overall Rating 9.1/10

Visit Hotforex
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): On average 0.3 pips with Zero Account. Around 1.2 pips with Premium account.
  • Minimum deposit: $5 (~R76)
  • Regulation: FSCA (South Africa), FCA (UK) & CySEC
  • Bonus: 100% Super Charged Bonus (Over $250 deposit required) 
Ranked #1 Forex Broker in South Africa

Hotforex is our recommend choice for low cost forex broker in South Africa. We consider them to be safe as they are regulated in South Africa with FSCA (FSP No 46632) since 2016 & with FCA in UK (HF Markets (UK) Limited with Reference number: 801701) since 2019. They offer one of the lowest trading fees among the regulated brokers that we have compared & listed so far.

Hotforex, or HF Markets a 100% STP forex broker in South Africa. They were founded in 2010 & have been regulated by FSCA as HF MARKETS SA (PTY) LTD since 2016.

In terms of trading fees, Hotforex has the lowest spread with their Zero account & there is no fees on deposits/withdrawals. Their average EUR/USD spread is around 1.2 (it may vary according to market conditions) with Premium account, and it is normally around 0.3 pips with Zero account. Hotforex is solid for low fees!

Hotforex offers ZAR accounts for South African traders, this is optional & you can choose USD or EUR base currency account as well. They offer 12 trading platforms Including the latest MT5, and the MetaTrader for Android, iPhone and desktop. Their trading instruments on offer are very wide: forex, cryptos, shares, bond & commodities.

They also have an attractive 100% deposit bonus for new customers in South Africa and have great loyalty programs for existing clients.

The funding & withdrawal options at Hotforex are also very good, with zero fees, but they don’t offer local SA bank options for deposit & withdrawals. In terms of support, they have a quick Live chat support, but on the negative side they don’t have a local phone number in South Africa for support.

Hotforex Pros

  • Regulated with South Africa’s FSCA (FSP No: 46632) & FCA in UK.
  • Hotforex offers ZAR trading accounts.
  • Very low spread with Zero Account i.e on average 0.3 pips (plus commissions) for EUR/USD. The spread with Premium & Micro account is also very competitive.
  • Zero fees on deposit & withdrawals.
  • 100% Deposit Bonus for new accounts
  • ZAR trading accounts are available
  • Very helpful Live Chat Support.

Hotforex Cons

  • No local banks for deposit or withdrawals. But wire transfer is available, and this method can take 2-7 days to be credited.
  • They don’t have a local phone number for support in South Africa. But you can call their international number 24/5 or request a free callback via their live chat.

read our Hotforex review to see detailed comparison of spread, platforms and features.

2. Tickmill – Low Spread NDD Forex Broker

Tickmill Logo

Overall Rating 8.9/10

Visit Tickmill
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): 1.6 pips per trade with Classic Account. From 0.1 pips + $4 per Standard Lot with Pro account.
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • Regulations: FSCA, FCA & CySEC
  • Bonus: No bonus available
Ranked #2 Forex Broker in South Africa

Tickmill is a No Dealing Desk (NDD) broker that is regulated by FSCA (FSP no. 49464), FCA & CySEC. Since they are regulated by multiple Top Tier Regulators, including in South Africa so we consider them to be safe.

Tickmill was established in 2014, and we consider them to be a safe broker as they are regulated with multiple top-tier regulators i.e. FSCA, FCA (UK) & CySEC (Cyprus).

In terms of fees, Tickmill has an average spread with their Classic Account, starting from 1.6 pips for EUR/USD. Their spread with Pro account is very low from 0.1 pips (Typical spread) for EURUSD + $2 commission per Standard Lot both sides ($4/Standard lot for both sides). Also, Tickmill doesn’t charge any fees on deposits or withdrawals.

Their platform options are limited though, as they only offer MT4 & Webtrader platforms (their platforms have support for multi devices). They don’t offer the latest MT5. Their forex trading currency pair offering is wide with 62 pairs, but their other trading instruments are limited with just 23 other CFDs on indices, metals & bonds. They don’t offer trading on Cryptocurrencies.

Tickmill doesn’t have any local phone number in South Africa in currently, however their chat support & email support is available from Monday to Friday from 7AM – 10PM (GMT).

Tickmill Pros

  • Tickmill is a regulated broker i.e. with Tier 1 regulator FCA. And also with FSCA, so considered safe.
  • Very Low commission & spread with Pro account. And fair spread with Classic account.
  • No fees on deposit & withdrawal.
  • 62 major & minor currency pairs available for trading.

Tickmill Cons

  • Limited trading instruments other than forex, like unavailability of cryptocurrency trading.
  • No local phone support, and their Live chat support has few minutes of hold time before the agent connects
  • No ZAR Trading accounts.

read our in-depth Tickmill review

3. XM Trading – Fast Execution & low spread

XM Trading  Broker

Overall Rating 8.9/10

Visit XM broker
  • Spread (EUR/USD Benchmark): On average 0.8 Pips with Ultra Low Account
  • Minimum deposit: $5
  • Regulation: CySEC (Cyprus), ASIC (Australia) & IFSC
  • Bonus: 50% Welcome bonus up to $500 and 20% bonus for up to $5,000.
Ranked #3 Forex Broker in South Africa

XM Trading is another good forex broker for South African traders. They are not regulated with FSCA, but they have international regulations with ASIC (Australia), CySEC (Cyprus) & IFSC. We like their fast order execution, low spread with Ultra Low Account and zero fees on deposits/withdrawals. We highly recommend XM to new traders.

XM Group is a part of Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd that was founded in 2009. They are now one of the leading forex broker in terms of daily trading volume. Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd is regulated by CySEC & ASIC (Trading Point of Financial Instruments Pty Ltd since 2015), so we consider them to be safe.

They offer the one of the fastest trade execution out of all the forex brokers that we have reviewed, with almost zero re-quotes & zero rejection. Their fees with their Ultra Low Account is one of the lowest of all the brokers that we have compared. And they even have negative balance protection.

XM has both web & mobile trading, available on MT4 & MT5 platforms. Plus, they have wide range of trading instruments including currencies, Cryptos & CFDs. Their trading environment is quite good.

Their support is also really fast in handling issues, especially their live chat which also available 24 hours during the week. Another plus, is that they don’t charge any fees on deposits & withdrawals.

XM Pros

  • XM is regulated with FCA (UK), CySEC & ASIC.
  • Very low average EUR/USD spread of 0.8 pips with Ultra Low Account.
  • Quick order execution & zero Re-quotes.
  • XM offers 11 base currency options including ZAR base currency accounts.
  • Negative Balance protection
  • Zero fees on deposits & withdrawals.
  • Fast & knowledgeable live chat support.

XM Cons

  • XM is not regulated with FSCA. When we checked, they have an application under “applied” status since 29/08/2016 with FSP number: 47346.
  • XM does not have a South African phone number for support.
also read our detailed XM broker review

4. Avatrade – Fixed spread forex broker

Avatrade South Africa

Overall Rating 8.8/10

Visit Avatrade
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): Around 0.9 pips per trade
  • Minimum deposit: $100
  • Regulation: FSCA & ASIC
  • Bonus: 20% Deposit Bonus for first time deposits (Minimum $1000 Required)
Ranked #4 Forex Broker in South Africa

Avatrade is a European broker that is also regulated with FSCA in South Africa. We recommend them to traders looking to trade forex & CFDs at fixed spread, with a locally regulated broker.

Avatrade is an European forex broker that was founded in 2006. They are regulated with FSCA since 2015 under the company name ‘Ava Capital Markets Pty Ltd’.

In terms of fees, Avatrade’s trading fees with their account are lower, than other brokers that we have compared. They offer fixed spread accounts, with EUR/USD spread being 0.9 pips (on average) with Retail account. But their & non-trading charges are high, as they charge an inactivity fees (for non-trading for 3 months) of $50, and an Administration fee of $100 for 12 months of inactivity in an account.

Avatrade offer MT4, MT5 platforms for web & mobile, along with their proprietary app. Like all the other brokers, they offer Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Stocks & bond trading.

Their deposit and withdrawal options include credit cards, wire transfer, and wallets. They also accept local bank transfer deposits. On the plus side, they don’t charge any fees on deposits & withdrawals.

Avatrade’s customer support is not the best, as their phone & chat support is not available 24/5. It is only available during the company’s business hours. But they do have a local phone number.

Avatrade Pros

  • Avatrade is regulated with FSCA (FSP Number: 45984).
  • Zero deposit fees & quick withdrawals.
  • Local South African phone number for support (only during company’s business hours).
  • Accept local ZAR bank transfers for deposits in South Africa. But the amount is converted to account’s base currency like USD since they don’t offer ZAR accounts.
  • Low Fixed spread for Majors. Eg: 0.9 pips spread for EUR/USD.

Avatrade Cons

  • No ZAR trading accounts.
  • High Non-trading charges, including Inactivity fees of $50, if the account is not used for 3 consecutive months.
  • Live Chat & phone Support is not available for 24 hours even during weekdays.

read our in-depth Avatrade review

5. Exness – Low spread & instant withdrawal options

Exness South Africa

Overall Rating 8.5/10

Visit Exness
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): 1.1 pips on average with Mini Account
  • Minimum deposit: $1
  • Regulation: FCA (UK) & CySEC
  • Bonus: No bonus offer currently
Ranked #5 Forex Broker in South Africa

Exness is our 5th ranked forex broker for South Africans. They are FCA regulated so we find them to be very safe, but on the downside they are not regulated with FSCA. We like them because they have really low spread, good support & instant withdrawal methods.

Exness was founded in 2008 & they are now one of the largest broker globally in terms of daily trading volume. They are highly regulated with FCA, CySEC so we consider trading with them to be safe for South African traders.

Their spread is extremely competitive, on average it is 1.1 pips for EUR/USD even with their Mini account, and it is as low as 0 pips with their ECN account. We found them to be one of the lowest spread broker.

Exness offers the latest MT5 platform also, which we consider to be a pro. Moreover, they have really good account offerings including standard accounts & even ECN accounts.

Their funding & withdrawal methods are very convenient for South African traders. They even have local bank transfer option, and some instant withdrawal methods. They is one of its kind.

We really like their customer support. Exness’s chat is available 24 hours for 5 days in a week, and they are really knowledgeable, friendly & quick in answering all questions. But they don’t have a local phone number in South Africa.

Exness Pros

  • Exness is FCA (UK) regulated broker, so trading with them is considered to be safe.
  • They have very competitive spread even with their Mini accounts (on average 1.2 pips for EUR/USD). It is almost zero pips with ECN accounts.
  • No fees on deposit or withdrawals. Plus they have local bank transfer, and even instant withdrawal methods.
  • Exness offers the latest MT5 platform with their Mini & Classic accounts.
  • Their support is really good & available 24 hours for 5 days in a trading week.

Exness Cons

  • Exness is not regulated with FSCA, and this may be a bad thing for you if you are looking for only South African FSCA regulated brokers.
  • Limited trading instruments i.e. only Forex, cryptos & metals. Other brokers also offer indices & stocks
  • Exness does not have any bonus offers for South African traders.

read our in-depth Exness review

6. FXTM – FSCA regulated broker with Instant execution

FXTM South Africa

Overall Rating 8.5/10

Visit FXTM
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): 0.4 pips on average with ECN MT5 Account. 2.4 pips with Standard account.
  • Minimum deposit: $10
  • Regulation: FSCA. FCA & CySEC
  • Bonus: There is no bonus available at FXTM currently.
Ranked #6 Forex Broker in South Africa

FXTM is our #5 forex broker in South Africa as per our comparison. They are regulated with FSCA, FCA & CySEC, so we consider them to be safe. Plus, they offer instant order execution with Standard accounts & fair support. But their fees is high with their Standard accounts.

FXTM was founded in 2011 & it got regulated with South Africa’s FSCA in 2016. We consider them to be safe since they are regulated with multiple top-tier regulators globally.

They offer competitive spread for majors including EUR/USD (0.4 pips + commissions per lot) with their ECN MT5 account. But the spread is quite high with their Standard accounts (2.4 pips with Micro account & 2.0 pips with Standard account). In terms of their trading fees, we recommend them for ECN accounts only.

They have wide range of trading instruments, 57 major, minor & exotic currency pairs, Cyrptocurrencies, CFDs, as well as stocks. The trading platforms offered by FXTM are MetaTrader 4 & 5, with mobile trading app compatible with Android and iOS.

They have very convenient funding methods with zero fees on deposits. But they offer some fees on withdrawals, but the withdrawals are quick.

Their customer support is very active, with quick & knowledgeable live chat available 24*5. Besides this, they provide free education to new traders in the form of webinars, articles & seminars.


  • Regulated with FSCA & FCA.
  • Low spread with ECN MT5 Account. The average EUR/USD spread is 0.4 pips.
  • Zero deposit fees & quick withdrawals.
  • Wide range of trading instruments available.
  • Live Chat Support is responsive & available 24/5.


  • FXTM charges EUR30 fees on Withdrawals via wire transfer, upto $3 fees on credit card withdrawals.
  • Very high spread with Standard accounts. The lowest average spread for EUR/USD is around 2 pips.

read our in-depth FXTM review

7. FXCM – Good Overall FSCA Regulated broker

FXCM South Africa

Overall Rating 8.0/10

Visit FXCM
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): Average 1.2 pips per trade
  • Minimum deposit: $50 (ZAR 850 approx.)
  • Regulation(s): FSCA, FCA & ASIC
Ranked #7 Forex Broker in South Africa

FXCM is a UK based broker that is also regulated with FSCA in South Africa as FXCM South Africa (PTY) LTD with FSP number 46534. They are one of the oldest regulated broker, so we recommend them.

FXCM was founded in 1999. We consider them to be safe as they are regulated with FSCA in South Africa since 2016, with FCA in UK, and with ASIC in Australia.

In terms of fees, FXCM only charges variable spread for every trade. Their typical EUR/USD spread is 1.3 (as per FXCM’s spread data for August 2020), which is highly competitive when compared with other South African regulated brokers. But, they charge $50 inactivity fees, if you don’t operate the account for 1 year.

FXCM offers MetaTrader 4 (MT4), Ninjatrader, ZuluTrade, and their own propitiatory Trading station platforms. Their Metatrader platform has support for desktop, web & mobile. But they don’t offer the MT5 version yet. Their trading instruments are limited to forex, commodities & cryptocurrencies.

They offer wide deposit and withdrawal options: credit/debit cards, bank wire transfer, and wallets (Skrill & Neteller). They don’t charge any fees on deposits, but they charge $40 fees on withdrawals via International bank wire. Credit card withdrawals are free with no fees.

FXCM has local phone support & office in South Africa. But we found their Live chat support to be slow in answering questions.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex trading instruments that come with a very high risk of losing money quickly due to leverage. 75.38% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Before trading with real money, you should make sure that you understand how CFDs work, its risks and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.


  • FXCM is regulated with FSCA (FSP Number: 46534).
  • Tight spread of 1.3 pips for EUR/USD (as per FXCM’s August 2020 spread data)
  • $20 Welcome deposit bonus available for South Africans
  • Local phone number & office in South Africa.


  • MT5 trading platform is not available at FXCM.
  • Limited trading instruments.
  • $50 Inactivity fees, if you don’t operate the account for 1 year.
  • Live Chat support is not very good.

read our in-depth FXCM review to see detailed comparison for their fees, regulations & more.

8. FxPro – FSCA Regulated broker

FxPro Logo

Overall Rating 8.0/10

Visit FxPro
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): On average 1.5 pips with MT5 account.
  • Minimum deposit: $500
  • Regulation: FSCA & FCA(UK)
  • Bonus: No bonus
Ranked #8 Forex Broker in South Africa

FxPro is a UK based forex broker that is also regulated with FSCA in South Africa since 2015. They are a safe broker as they are regulated with top regulatory authorities locally & globally.

Fxpro was founded in 2006, and they are a regulated forex broker. This makes them a safe broker for traders & they also offer Rand accounts with ZAR base currency.

They have competitive spread of 1.5 pips for EUR/USD with their Metatrader accounts, and as 0.4 pips (plus $4.5 commission per standard lot) with their cTrader account.

Their accounts have many features including negative balance protection, ZAR base currency, choice between instant order execution or market execution based on account types, and lots more.

Another good thing is that FxPro doesn’t charge any fees on funding or on withdrawals. Plus, their chat support is very good as well. But they don’t have any local phone number in South Africa.

FxPro Pros

  • FxPro is a safe broker for South Africans as they are regulated with FSCA & also with FCA(UK).
  • Their spread is quite low with cTrader account, and it is also competitive with MT accounts.
  • Funding & withdrawals are free without any extra charges.
  • The Live chat support at FxPro is very friendly & quick. Plus they have bot chat for quick answers to most frequent questions.

FxPro Cons

  • The minimum deposit required is $500.
  • No South African phone number, but you can call them on their international number or request a callback.

read our in-depth FxPro review

9. Plus500 – Good Crypto CFD platform

Plus500 Logo

Overall Rating 8.0/10

Visit Plus500
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): 0.6 pips on average.
  • Minimum deposit: R1500
  • Regulation: ASIC, CySEC, FSA
  • Leverage: Upto 1:300 (depends on the trading instrument)
Ranked #9 Forex Broker in South Africa

Plus500 is a popular Forex & CFD broker, that is also listed on London Stock Exchange. They are regulated with top-tier regulators including FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia) & CySEC.

Plus500 was found in 2008, and we consider them to be safe for South African traders as they are regulated with 2 top-tier regulators & are also publicly listed.

Plus500 have very competitive spread, as low as 0.6 pips for EUR/USD on their platform. Also, their minimum deposit is not too high at R1500, and they don’t charge any fees on deposits or withdrawals.

They offer their proprietary platform on web & mobile. Their platform is easy to use, and very user friendly. But the downside is that it is not available on desktop.

We have found their support to be good in comparison to other brokers, and they are available via live chat, email & whatsapp number. But their education section is quite limited though.

Plus500 Pros

  • Plus500AU Pty Ltd has financial services license through FSCA. They are regulated with ASIC, CySEC and FSA
  • Their spread is competitive for forex majors & crypto CFDs.
  • 15 Crypto CFDs are available on their platform.
  • Minimum deposit is R1500, and zero deposits & withdrawals charges.
  • Their platform is available on mobile & web.
  • Good Risk management tools including negative balance protection & guaranteed stop loss.

Plus500 Cons

  • They offer their own proprietary platform that is not available on desktop. Also, they don’t offer Metatrader or CTrader, so if you prefer trading on Metatrader, then you should consider another broker.
  • Their education section is limited.

read our in-depth Plus500 review

10. IC Markets – Best ECN Forex Broker

IC Markets Logo

Overall Rating 8.0/10

Visit IC Markets
  • Spread (EUR/USD benchmark): From 0.1 pips with Raw Spread Account.
  • Minimum deposit: $200
  • Regulation: ASIC, CySEC
  • Leverage: Upto 1:500 (lower for some other CFDs)
Ranked #10 Forex Broker in South Africa

IC Markets is one of the largest forex broker in terms of daily trading volume. They are well known & are regulated with top-tier regulators including ASIC (Australia) & CySEC.

IC Markets has been operating since 2007, and we consider them safe for traders in SA since they are a reputed broker & are also regulated with multiple regulators.

IC Markets offer Raw Spread trading accounts & Standard account. With Raw spread accounts, the spread is as low as 0.1 pips (plus $5-6 commission per Standard Lot) for most CFD instruments. With Standard account too, the spread is competitive, around 1.2 pips on average for EUR/USD are per our benchmark.

They have low minimum deposit requirements of $200. They are a Metatrader broker, but offer cTrader platform all. Their platform is available on all devices.

Our experience with their support was also good. We found them to be knowledgeable & helpful in answering our questions.

IC Markets Pros

  • IC Markets is regulated with ASIC & CySEC. So considered safe for SA traders.
  • The spread is quite low compared to other brokers.
  • Wide range of CFD trading instruments other than forex.
  • Zero deposit or withdrawal fees.
  • Metatrader 4 & 5 platforms available for all devices.

IC Markets Cons

  • They are not regulated with FSCA.
  • They don’t offer ZAR trading accounts.
  • No negative balance protection.

Read our in-depth IC Markets review

How we selected the best Forex Brokers in South Africa

1. Safety First: Regulatory Compliance is must

Regulation matters because it ensures the safety of your funds & protects you in case of any bad practice like fraud or manipulation by the broker.

Any good broker will be compliant with major Regulators & will not have complaints (in the past) against them.

If the broker is regulated & registered with any or most of these Regulatory authorities (without any complaint against them) then we consider them to be safe for trading.

For this, you should search for your broker’s name or their regulation number, on search on Regulator’s (FSCA, FCA or ASIC) websites, as most of them have public search available. Below example is the image of what FSCA’s FAIS Financial Service provider search interface looks like.

Check the forex broker's Regulation with FSCA

Also, if you are searching for approved brokers on FSCA, only checking the “Approved” status is not enough. Make sure to verify if the broker is approved for offering derivative instruments. You need to ensure that the broker is approved for offering derivatives trading. For example, below is how the “Approved Products” category would look like for a broker regulated for offering Forex & CFD trading.

Verify the broker's approved products on FSCA search

So next time before choosing any broker, properly do your research if the broker is regulated or not. If it’s regulated, then it’s also best to search the name of the broker on the websites of the Regulatory authorities: (FSCA’s website) & (FCA’s website) to see if there is any complaints against the broker that you are about to choose.

If the broker that you are about to trade with is not regulated or has a valid complaint against it, then its best to stay away from that broker. Also as another rule, never choose a broker that is not regulated with atleast 1 top regulator i.e. FSCA, FCA. CySEC or ASIC.

2. Forex Broker’s Fees

Forex brokers charge fees through their spreads, commissions on trades (in some cases) & rollover (for overnight open positions). Some brokers also charge extra fees during deposits & withdrawals, but don’t actually show it as their fees.

Tracking the fees charged by a broker & then comparing it with other brokers is not easy, but we are here to help you with this.

Here’s a breakdown of the 4 types of fees forex brokers charge:

  1. Spread: This is the difference between the ask & the bid price. Its the most common fees charged by forex brokers. The lower the spread of a broker, the better it is for you.

    Before signing up with any broker, you should look for the broker’s contract specification page as it normally has information on their spread. Like below is the screenshot from the XM’s forex spread overview page.

  2. XM broker Spread table
  3. Commissions (for ECN Account): Most ECN brokers will give you market spread (which are often very low), but will instead charge you commissions (for both opening & closing the position) based on your trading amount & volume. If you are a high volume trader, then the fees structure with ECN accounts will be more transparent & have lower trading costs for you.
  4. Rollover Fees: Forex brokers charge small fees if you want to keep a position open overnight. This fees is called the Rollover fees or Swap rates. This fees depend on your broker & the currency pair that you are trading.
  5. Deposit/Withdrawal fees: Many brokers also charge payment gateway fees & processing fees on deposits/withdrawals. For example: Etoro charges $25 processing fees for every withdrawal, but XM Forex on the other hand has zero fees on deposits/withdrawals(depending on your amount).

To save your time, we have already calculated & compared the fees of all the brokers for you in our comparison.

In the table below, we have compared the typical spread (in pips) of our 4 top rated forex brokers for their standard accounts:

Currency Pair Hotforex (Premium Account) XM Trading (Ultra Low Account) Exness FXTM (Standard account)
EUR/USD 1.2 0.8 1.1 2
USD/JPY 1.7 0.8 1.2 2.1
GBP/USD 1.8 1.1 0.5-1.2 1.8-2.1
USD/ZAR 85 90 46 46.7

Note: All 4 brokers offer variable spread so the actual spread may be higher than the value listed in the above comparison table. The actual live spread will fluctuate based on the market conditions.

Based on our comparison of the standard accounts offered by different brokers, typically XM broker & Exness had the lowest spread for most currency pairs. Also overall, Hotforex had very competitive spread for most FX instruments with Premium account. All 4 brokers listed in above comparison table have variable spread, so it may be lower or higher than their typical spread based on the actual Live market conditions.

For ECN brokers, Hotforex is very competitive with their spread. In general, Hotforex has much lower spread (plus $7 commission per 1 lot) with Zero account. FXTM also has really tight spread & low commissions with their MT5 ECN account. Tickmill too has Pro Account which is an ECN type account with Raw Spread & only $4 commossion per 100,000 units (Standard Lot).

3. Trade Execution Speed Matters

Another factor to consider is if the broker offers quick order execution speed. Fast execution eliminates slippage & re-quotes.

If you are an intraday trader that opens/closes many positions daily, then it should be even more important for you to opt for a broker with the best trade execution speed. 

But, there is no method to test the execution speed other than actually placing trades on the broker’s live platform. Some brokers will offer good execution on demo, but won’t offer the same speed during live trading. So if you are about to choose a broker then, you should actually their live platform trading conditions with minimum funding & low position size.

During our trading execution tests, 2 brokers XM Forex & FXTM had the best market execution (as both offer instant execution in most cases).

Most of the good brokers have a terms or trading conditions page on their website regarding their execution policy. You should check the broker’s execution policy, and look for terms like no re-quotes, real-time execution etc. 

4. Ease & Fees on Deposits and Withdrawals

Adding funds & making withdrawals with a broker should be fast & easy. You would agree, right?

Most brokers transparently show their funding/withdrawal time & methods on their websites. You should always check that first & compare which methods suit you.

Like this page on Tickmill’s website where they transparently show their deposit & withdrawal commissions for various methods.

Forex Brokers deposit & withdrawal fees example

You should also carefully look into the withdrawal fees, because some brokers offer zero fees on deposits but charge high fees during withdrawals.

Some brokers like Exness even offer local bank transfer deposit & withdrawal options in South Africa. If you prefer local bank deposits, then we recommend Exness. But if you prefer card & other wallet methods, then XM & Hotforex are very good as well.

Overall, we find XM & Exness to offer the fastest deposit & withdrawals and both charge zero fees on funding & even on withdrawals. FXTM is also quick in processing payments, but they lack in the fees as they charge “Fees/Commission” with most of the withdrawal methods that are suitable for South Africans.

5. Account Base Currency: ZAR or USD?

Your account base currency is the currency in which your trading deposits, profits are converted. Eg: If you choose ZAR as your base currency then all your account deposits, profits in your account with the broker with be held in ZAR (South African Rand).

The most popular base currency options are USD & EUR, but as per our research ZAR trading accounts are very popular among traders in South Africa.

As per our research, there are a few forex brokers that offer ZAR account in South Africa i.e. with Rand (ZAR) as a base currency option for your trading account. These include popular brokers Hotforex, XM Broker & Plus500.

Brokers will generally display their account base currency options on their Account Types page. Like this page on XM’s website which shows ZAR account currency option:

Forex Brokers account base currency

This is a really important consideration for South African traders, if you are looking to make local deposits and withdrawals in Rand. There are following advantages for have a ZAR forex account:

  1. Save Exchange Rate Losses: During deposits or withdrawals, your brokers or your bank can charge your high exchange rates or transfer fees for conversions to USD or EUR (whichever is your base & deposit currency).
  2. Fast local deposits & Withdrawals: Many brokers that offer ZAR accounts normally also accept deposits & offer withdrawals via local bank accounts in South Africa. If you are choose Rand as your account currency then the local transfers with generally be much faster than wire in another currency account.
  3. Trade ZAR pairs: If you generally trade forex pairs with ZAR quote currency i.e. USDZAR, EURZAR, GBPZAR etc. then it is beneficial to hold ZAR trading account. This is because if you trade ZAR pairs, then once you close the trade, your profits/losses will be in Rand.

    But if your account currency is let’s say USD, then the broker will convert that profit into USD & may charge fees for that conversion.

6. How good is their Trading App & platforms?

Almost every broker has multi device platforms including webtrader, desktop application & mobile app; although there are a few exceptions like Plus500 which does not have any desktop version.

  1. DeskTop & Webtrader: A lot of the forex & CFD brokers offer standard Metatrader platform, that is available on all devices. There won’t be a lot of variation on the MT4 or MT5 interface, but the actual execution of orders & broker’s experience could be vastly different. Even though demo account may not be best test, it is still a good idea to test the platform on demo first to get used to it for you open a Live account.

    Moreover, there are some brokers that have their own proprietary web based platforms like Plus500 & Etoro.

  2. Mobile Trading App: If you are a trader that prefers to use your mobile device for trading then broker’s app should be one of the main considerations for you.

    You should ask these questions these for starters: Is it available for Android, iOS? What instruments are available in the app & are your desired currency pairs there? Is it fast to use?

    According to us, a good mobile trading app would be quick to place & close trades, get price alerts, news feed. We have compared the best forex trading apps for South African traders based on 9 factors.

It is best to choose a broker that offers support for all devices. Plus, remember to check the trading app’s negative reviews before you download it.

7. Is the broker’s Customer Support good?

The forex broker’s customer support is a really important factor in our comparison. We tracked the support of every broker that we have listed here.

We especially liked XM’s support as they are quite responsive & knowledgeable.

Forex Brokers Customer Support

A good broker would offer 24 hours support during the week via Live Chat, local phone number & Email. But not all brokers offer 24/7 support. For ex: Avatrade offers customer support during their business hours only, so there may be high waiting time with them for support related issues.

Overall, we found XM, Hotforex & FXTM had the best support. All these 3 brokers had quick chat support that is available 24/5 & are very quick in answering most queries.

Summary: best forex brokers in South Africa

Forex Broker Regulations Spread (EUR/USD) Leverage Account minimum Forex Trading Platform(s) Start Trading
Hotforex FSCA (South Africa), FCA, CySEC As low as 0.3 pips with Zero Account up to 1:1000 $5 (~R76) MT4 & MT5 for web, mobile devices, get started
Tickmill FCA, FSCA, CySEC Floating spread, from 1.6 pips with Classic account. And spread from 0.1 pips (plus $4 commission per 100,000 units) with Pro account. 1:500 $100 MT4 get started
XM Trading FCA (UK), ASIC (Australia), CySEC 0.8 pips with XM’s Ultra Low Account 1:888 $5 (~R76) MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 for web & mobile get started
Exness FCA, CySEC On Average 1.1 pips even with Mini Account up to 1:2000 $1 MT4 & MT5 for web, mobile devices, get started
FXTM FSCA, FCA, Cysec 0.4 pips(plus $0.4 fees per 10,000 units) with ECN. And on average 2.2 pips with Standard accounts 1:1000 $10 MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, Webtrader, iOS, Android apps get started
Avatrade FSCA, Bank of Ireland, ASIC (Australia) Fixed 1.3 pips 1:1000 $100 MetaTrader 4 for web & mobile get started
FXCM FSCA, FCA, ASIC N/A 1:400 $50 MT4, Ninjatrader & Zulutrader. get started
FxPro FSCA, FCA Floating, on average 1.5 pips with MT accounts. And 0.4 pips (plus $0.45 fees per 10,000 units traded) with cTrader account. 1:500 $500 MT4, MT5, cTrader. get started
Plus500 FCA, ASIC Floating spread, from 0.6 pips. 1:300 R1500 Proprietary app & webtrader. get started

Frequently asked questions

Which is the best forex broker for beginners?

As a beginner in Forex Trading, you must look for brokers that offer demo account, are regulated, and also offer good education material. We have done research on 30+ brokers operating in SA, here are our top picks:

  1. Best overall broker for beginners: Hotforex Premium Account
  2. Best low spread broker: XM Trading Ultra Low Account
  3. Best NDD or ECN/STP broker: Tickmill Pro account

How should you choose a forex broker?

Ultimately this depends on your trading requirements, like the currency pair that you want to trade, your deposit methods, leverage requirements, if you require a raw spread ECN account broker etc. However, there are some general guidelines that you should check before depositing your money with any broker.

Always choose a broker that is regulated with top tier regulators like FCSA, FCA or ASIC. Another thing that matters is the spread, the lower the better.

Also, check if your desired broker offers a platform of your choice. Most traders prefer MT4 & MT5, so you should see if your broker offers these 2 platforms. Plus, some other consideration are customizable leverage between (1:10 to 1:50), various trading platforms options on mobile & web, 24/5 responsive Support and easy deposit & withdrawals. If your broker offers ZAR account, then it is a positive thing.

How can you check if your broker is regulated or not?

For a start, you must only choose a broker that is regulated with a top tier regulator. Not every regulation is the same, as many brokers claimed to be regulated by regulating with some Offshore regulators to avoid compliance. So you should check with your broker, if they are regulated with respected regulations like: FCA, FSCA, CySEC or ASIC.

We have also created this list of FSCA regulated forex brokers for South African traders.

You can find the regulation information on a broker’s website. Almost all brokers add this information at the bottom section on their websites or their about pages.

Further, all regulators like FCA, FSCA also have a public search on their website to check broker’s regulation & license number. Moreover, all the brokers that we have reviewed on our website are regulated with top regulators. Also, we have given links to their registration number in our reviews.

Which forex brokers are regulated with FSCA?

There are around 1000+ FSCA regulated entities dealing in FX & other derivative instruments. To make your search simple, we have checked & found that Hotforex, ForexTime, Tickmill and Avatrade performed best in our ranking parameters & user reviews.

If you want one broker with low spread & FSCA regulation, then Hotforex is our recommendation with spread of almost 1.2 pips for EUR/USD in their premium account.

Hotforex is the #1 SA Broker