IC Markets Forex Broker Review – IC Markets Spreads

By Tom Stewart on 21 April 2021
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Any devoted forex trader with a few years of trading under their belt has undoubtedly heard of IC Markets, and has most likely even traded with them at one point. IC Markets are regulated by Cysec, ASIC &  the FSA. Due to their multiple regulations we are satisfied IC Markets is a safe forex broker. IC Markets are notorious for their great trading conditions and extreme low spreads. Founded 2007, over the years IC Markets has developed into the go to place for forex traders.

Is IC Markets Reputation As The Top Forex Broker Deserved In 2021?

In a word – yes. Not only do we believe that IC Markets is worthy of the throne, TradeProofer has the data to back it up. 

Why is TradeProofer the strongest retail forex trader community in 2021? As the old saying goes, there’s power in numbers, and the numbers behind TradeProofer don’t lie. Since 2014 we’ve been the voice of authority in the forex markets, assisting proprietary trading desks, forex brokers, and retail forex traders alike to make the forex industry as transparent, competitive & fair as possible. TradeProofer monitors over 100 Million Ticks every day that the forex markets are open, ensuring that our forex trading community is backed by accurate & reliable data. Forex traders can know that when TradeProofer checks your trade for slippage that our proprietary system has scanned over 10,000 Ticks to make an assessment of that single trade!

Getting Started With IC Markets

IC Markets makes it very easy to get started with. It seems that no matter what preferences a trader has IC Markets has something to keep them happy. Want Mt4? cTrader? Want to fund through PayPal? No problem! IC Markets offers a great variety of options to make sure no matter what your preferences are, you can get set up with them. The sign up process to IC Markets is nearly instantaneous, with the Client Qualification Questionnaire only taking a few minutes and IC Markets approved my account application within 2 hours. 

IC Markets offer 4 different types of trading accounts. The most popular is their MetaTrader ‘Raw’ account, with $3.5 commissions per lot, available on MT4 & MT5. Their “cTrader Raw Spread” account, has a $3 per 100k commission and is exclusively on the cTrader platform. They also offer a standard account on Met Trader platforms, with spreads upwards on 1.0 pips, and an islamic account with no swaps. I went with the cTrader Raw account. IC Markets also offers a ‘demo’ or paper trading account, meaning that you can practice your trading in a live environment without risking any money.

Deposits & Withdrawing from IC Markets

Once my account was approved I was all ready to get funded and start trading. IC Markets had over 15 different methods to fund my account with. The different options to fund with included:

  1. Credit Cards
  2. Paypal 
  3. Neteller
  4. Skrill
  5. Unionpay
  6. Wire transfer
  7. Bpay
  8. Fasapay
  9. Broker to Broker
  10. POLi
  11. Thai Internet Banking
  12. Rapidpay
  13. Klarna
  14. Vietnamese Internet Banking
  15. Neteller VIP

IC Markets also accepts payments in a number of different currencies; they truly are a global brokerage. The currencies they accept are AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD, SGD, JPY, USD, RMB, HKD, CHF, & NZD. For Australian clients all funds are held in segregated accounts with either Westpac, CBA or NAB, AA Rated Australian banks. IC Markets doesn’t charge any fees for transfers or payments. Easy funding? Check. Funds safe with your broker? Check. The only catch? A $200 minimum deposit. Withdrawing from IC Markets was very easy, and was processed and payed back to my bank account within 3 days. Usually withdrawing a larger sum of money from a brokerage can be time consuming however IC Markets had a very fast process. 

Once my trading account was funded it was easy to get set to trade. What if I didn’t want to start trading straight away? IC Markets has no account inactivity feeds. Of the offered trading platforms (MT4, MT5, cTrader) my preferred choice was cTrader. 

IC Markets Leverage

On all of these accounts IC Markets leverage traders up to 30:1 in Australia. This is a very recent change from 500:1 leverage, as ASIC regulations dictate that Australian retail forex traders can only have a maximum 30:1 leverage. Leverage is the ability to trade with more equity than you have, to maximise your profits & losses. It is so integral to retail forex trading as the differences between currency exchange rates are typically small, requiring large position sizes to create worthwhile profits.

IC Markets Range Of Tradable Products

IC Markets offers access to a medium size range of tradable products. The most obvious is Forex CFD’s, however IC Markets is also popular as they offer access to commodity, indices, bonds, crypto currencies, stocks and futures markets. All up, IC Markets offers over 60 currency pairs, 25 indices, over 20 commodities, 730+ stocks, over 10 bonds, 10 cryptos, and 4 futures. IC Markets leverage and other trading conditions varies between the different products, with the lowest being 2:1 on crypto products. In all reality, most successful retail traders only trade a handful of products. 

IC Markets Trader Support Tools

Like any good brokerage, IC Markets has a number of tools to support their clients profitability in the markets. This includes Trading Central Analysis, Autochartist analysis a number of MT4 plugins, a blog with their own in house analysis, webinars and more… the list goes on! IC Markets has all the typical resources to support their clients endeavours in the forex markets. One thing that IC Markets could add to their tools portfolio is trade performance analysis – cTrader users will be able to get information about their trading account performance in the terminal however IC Markets does not keep track of any of this information for the client.

IC Markets Spreads

Straight away I noticed how competitive IC Markets’ spreads are – throughout the trading day IC Markets often has 0.0 spreads across the major forex pairs. This isn’t just opinion – check out TradePoofer’s spread data! Below you can see IC Markets typical EURUSD spread in a trading day. The chart shows IC Markets Raw account average EURUSD spread & FP Markets Raw account average EURUSD spread throughout the trading day, based on data from 01.01.2021 to 01.04.2021. 



Try clicking and zooming in on the chart for a close up! The hover over shows the spread value in pips. 

Our data has found that during global trade sessions (00:00-21:00 GMT) IC Markets typically has the lowest EURUSD spread, in a group of 50 forex brokers, from 01.01.2021 to 01.04.2021.

Another popular symbol to trade is gold. Lets see how IC Markets XAUUSD spread compares against the industry leaders for XAUUSD during the same time period.



Pretty great spreads from IC Markets!

Why Is The Forex Spread Important? 

The spread is the difference between the ask (price the trader buys at) and the bid (price the trader sells at). The spread exists for a number of reasons. The first reason is that the forex broker needs to make a profit, and the second is that they need time to execute the traders order into the market. The spread acts as a buffer for if price starts to change before they are able to execute the order. 

Wide spreads can end up costing a lot of money. 1 pip of the EURUSD is roughly equivalent to $10 USD on one standard contract. Some brokers have spreads as wide as 2 pips on the EURUSD! With IC Markets the EURUSD typically has a spread of 0.0 pips during trading sessions. Check out IC Markets’ against IG Markets’ raw spread averages for last month on major forex symbols.



IC Markets Trade Execution

A defining aspect of any good forex broker is having high quality trade execution. This means that the broker executes your trade quickly and at the price you were quoted, or very close to it. Faster trading systems typically are more difficult to execute at a good price, but some forex brokers can be better at executing trades than others. 

In 2020 TradeProofer found that IC Markets gave community members the best trade execution of over 50 different forex brokers. IC Markets gave our community members good trade execution on around 97% of trades, compared to the average across all our members trades, which showed that on average 67% of trades had good trade execution.There are a number of reasons that a trade could be executed at a worse price than quoted (this is called slippage), such as high impact news or market volatility. Outside of these reasons, a good broker fills you at the best possible price as even a few pips difference in the price can make it difficult for you to profit on a trade. If you want to make sure that you’re getting the best trade execution be sure to run TradeProofer’s free MT4 software that monitors for slippage!

IC Markets Support 

One essential aspect you should want from your forex broker is exceptional customer service. To a trader, this is a very valuable asset, especially if it is offered round the clock. An even better quality is if this 24-hour service is managed by a real-life technician. A forex broker may be more than competent when it comes to executing trades, but their ability to deal with clients’ accounts or technical issues is just as valuable. If you are having technical issues, or problems withdrawing from your forex broker account then having live support 24/5 is invaluable! IC Markets has industry leading support, offering 24/5 live chat and support. IC Markets support is very knowledgeable and in my testing all different agents quizzed had very detailed and coherent responses, helping me with my questions. 

Does IC Markets Offer A Sign Up / Deposit Bonus?

No. IC Markets doesn’t offer a signup or deposit bonus. Typically brokers that provide these sorts of incentives are targeted at beginner traders. IC Markets target market is more experienced traders, as their website says they are one of the “top choices for automated traders”. IC Markets processes over 29 Billion USD in trades daily, giving them a depth of market unrivalled by other forex brokers. These trading conditions are suited to every level of trader.

IC Markets Overall Opinion

IC Markets is a state of the art forex brokerage. With unrivalled market liquidity, fantastic spreads, low commissions, great support and a range of tradable products across multiple platforms, IC Markets is an industry leader. IC Markets multi-regulated status also makes them both safe and trustworthy.

If you’d like to learn more about what to look for in a forex broker read our article here!

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