Is XM better than IC Markets? This depends on your trading requirements. For example, XM offers a comprehensive education section and a very low minimum deposit, making it an attractive choice for new and less experienced traders. IC Markets, however, offers trading in cryptocurrencies, which XM does not. IC Markets also offers high leverage, depending on your country of residence, which can be an advantage for the more experienced and less risk-averse trader.
We have compared XM vs IC Markets side by side. Read on to find out which of these brokers is most suitable for you.
Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74.89% 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.
Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital, and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved and seek independent advice if necessary.
This is not as straightforward a question as you might imagine, as different brokers have different ways of calculating their trading costs, and this will also vary depending on your account type and the instruments you trade.
XM has a choice of account types, including a commission-free account and an account with very low spreads and a commission per trade. IC Markets is fairly similar in that the Standard account comes with traditional pricing, which is relatively low. However, there is also the opportunity to open an account that offers raw spreads plus a small commission. Neither trading model is necessarily ‘better’ than the other. It is simply a matter of which one you prefer. This is probably related to which model you are used to, which you find the easiest to understand, and which allows you to most accurately calculate your trading costs.
For XM clients who hold the XM Zero account, spreads on major currency pairs can sometimes be as low as 0.0 pips, but you will pay a small commission on each trade. Other accounts at XM use the spreads alone to take the broker’s cut, and do not charge a commission. IC Markets also offers spreads from 0.0 pips, and claims that 0.1 pip is the average on EUR/USD trades. Both brokers offer tight spreads, though this does vary a lot depending on the instruments you want to trade.
At XM, you will be offered leverage of a maximum of 30:1, which is as high as is permitted by CySEC and other European regulators. IC Markets is also restricted to 30:1 in the relevant jurisdictions, but the difference here is that IC Markets offers offshore trading via its international locations in the Seychelles and the Bahamas. This means that international clients may be able to access leverage of up to 1:500 with IC Markets.
You will find it quick and easy to open an account with either IC Markets or XM. Once you have chosen the account type you want, your initial registration will take just a few minutes at either brokerage. At XM, you can set up a Standard, Micro, Zero or Ultra Low account. At IC Markets, you will have the option of a Standard account, a Raw Spread account or an ECN account, which involves a small per-trade commission. Be aware that at IC Markets, you will also have to decide before opening your new account whether you are going to use MetaTrader or cTrader.
Both IC Markets and XM offer a risk-free demo account for new customers. This means that traders can get a feel for the broker, and the trading platform, before investing any real money.
Both brokers offer MT4 and MT5 trading, and IC Markets also offers cTrader. It is likely that you are going to want to stick with the platform that you are familiar with – so if you already use and like cTrader, then that is a point in favour of IC Markets. Both brokers offer traders the ability to copy trade, and as MetaTrader enthusiasts will know, there are lots of options for customisation if you choose the MT4 platform, which is available with either of these brokers.
XM is a highly accessible platform, allowing traders to open an account with a deposit of just $5. IC Markets has a considerably higher minimum deposit of $200, though this is still quite reasonable. This means that XM is potentially a better choice for new traders who want to start very small.
XM offers its clients more than 55 currency pairs and more than 1,000 instruments in total, across a wide range of asset classes, including forex, CFDs, stocks, commodities and indices, but it does not offer cryptocurrencies. IC Markets has fewer instruments on offer – around 250 – including forex and CFDs for stocks, indices, commodities, bonds and futures. IC Markets, however, also has cryptocurrencies on offer, unlike many multi-asset brokers. Some crypto traders may be attracted to IC Markets for this reason, though many crypto traders are, of course, happy to hold a separate account at a crypto exchange specifically for trading digital currencies.
Both IC Markets and XM are well-regarded brokers with a range of attractive features, and both are overseen by reliable regulators. For those interested in crypto trading, or offshore trading, IC Markets might well be the best choice. XM may appeal to beginner traders, given its education offerings and low deposit requirement. Although IC Markets offers fewer instruments for multi-asset traders, this will only be relevant for traders wishing to trade a wide range of instruments, and only, of course, if their desired instruments are not offered. As always, you will need to carefully consider the specific features and offerings that are relevant to you and your trading objectives.