IC Markets Broker Review - Best broker for algorithmic trading

Written by:
Written on:
14 August 2022
Last edit:
24 July 2023
Our rating:


User rating:


IC Markets Broker Review - Best broker for algorithmic trading

Written by:
Written on:
14 August 2022
Last edit:
24 July 2023
Our rating


User rating


Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.27% 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.
See how IC Markets compares to it's closest alternatives.

Main summary

IC Markets is an Australian Forex broker established in 2007. Since its creation, the company has managed to win the hearts of Forex and CFD traders globally. The broker executes around 500,000 orders daily, and out of the total trades, 60% is made by algorithms. 

IC Markets is known as a trustworthy financial partner as top-tier financial institutions highly regulate the company. They are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles (FSA Seychelles), and the Securities Commission Bahamas (SCB).

What’s more, the Forex broker offers raw spreads starting from 0 pips and market-leading trading software such as MetaTrader 4 and 5 as well as cTrader. These reasons make the broker ideal for algorithmic trading.

In today's review of IC Markets, we are going to discuss all the important aspects traders need to take into consideration when choosing a broker and we’ll guide you through the process of account opening. 

Here Are the 8 Pros and Cons

  • Regulated in four jurisdictions
  • Offers access to MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader
  • Charges no inactivity fees
  • Offers access to over 2,000 trading assets
  • Low fees
  • Fast and digital account opening/verification
  • 24/7 customer support., including live chat
  • Limited educational material compared to market leaders

IC Markets Fact sheet

Main features
Regulations Australia, Bahamas, Cyprus, Seychelles
Fees on deposits $0
Fees on withdrawal -
Inactivity fees $0
Minimum deposit $200
Minimum account activation $200
Number of available assets 2,000+
Leverage up to 1:500. For clients from UK, AU and EU maximum leverage is 30:1
Available trading markets Bonds, CFDs on Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Forex, Futures, Indices
Account currencies AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, NZD, JPY, SGD, CAD, HKD
Demo account Yes
Live account types cTrader, Raw Spread, Standard
Islamic account Yes
Negative balance protection Yes
Part of compensation fund Yes
Keeps funds on segregated bank account Yes
Forex 61
Shares 0
Cryptocurrencies 18
Indices 23
Commodities 22
Total 2,000+
Fees & spread
Forex From 0 pips. From 0.6 on Standard account
Shares N/A
Cryptocurrencies From 0 pips5.84 Avg spread on BTC/USD
Indices From 0. 0.5 Avg spread on US500
Commodities From 0
Platforms MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader
Mobile trading support Yes
Mac device support Yes
Commodities Yes
Payment systems
Payment methods Bank Transfer, Broker to Broker, Credit/Debit Card, Fasapay, Neteller, POLi, PayPal, Skrill, UnionPay
Minimum deposit Bank Transfer, Broker to Broker, Credit/Debit Card, Fasapay, Neteller, POLi, PayPal, Skrill, UnionPay
Minimum withdrawal Bank Transfer, Broker to Broker, Credit/Debit Card, Fasapay, Neteller, POLi, PayPal, Skrill, UnionPay Credit/Debit card options are free of charge and processed in 3-5 working days.
Withdrawal processing time Instant. Broker to Broker and Bank Wire take 2-5 working days. Bpay takes up to 2 working days
Time to open an account -
Show all

Safety & Security of IC Markets

When choosing a Forex broker, it’s important to prioritize security. The world of currency trading is full of scams. Inexperienced newcomers are especially susceptible to money traps.

IC Markets.JPG

There are several aspects to look at that can indicate how safe your funds can be with a certain broker. First and foremost is the list of regulatory bodies. Top-tier regulators have strict requirements that are designed to protect your interests. Some license requirements force brokers to process money withdrawal requests instantly, while others make them keep funds in segregated accounts. 

Among the regulatory bodies that have licensed IC Markets are:

  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
  • Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) 
  • Financial Services Authority (FSA)
  • Securities Commission Bahamas (SCB)

Furthermore, tight regulations prevent brokers from seducing clients by giving unrealistic expectations. Forex and CFD trading carries high risks. Well-regulated brokers are required to fully inform customers of such risks. 

Policies that IC Markets follows

IC Markets offers negative balance protection. The goal of this policy is to prevent traders from losing more money than they have in their accounts. Forex trading is a highly leveraged activity and a sudden increase in volatility can result in your balance going negative. 

Brokers have various Stop Out levels to protect their clients’ accounts from going negative. IC Markets has a 50% Stop Out level for all three account types. A 50% Stop Out level simply means that when your margin falls to the 50% level, the broker closes the open position automatically. 

In addition, IC Markets is a member of the Compensation Fund. The Compensation Fund is used as insurance that guarantees clients will get payments in accordance with their legitimate claims whenever the company fails to cover their obligations. 

Moreover, IC Markets keeps funds in segregated accounts and therefore increases the level of safety of your deposit. Some brokers mix funds deposited by their clients with the company's account, making money easily accessible for themselves.

Trading Assets Offered by IC Markets

IC Markets offers more than 2,000 tradable instruments from various asset classes. Including Forex, stocks, cryptocurrencies, indices, commodities, bonds, and futures.

Most of the portfolio consists of CFDs and this should not confuse novice traders. CFD stands for Contract For Difference and CFDs are preferred instruments by short-term speculators. CFD trading brings numerous advantages. For instance, when trading crypto CFDs, you don’t have to worry about crypto wallets or were to cash out your coins. CFDs are more liquid than actual assets, making spreads tighter and selling and buying easier. Trading CFDs gives you an opportunity to profit from both bullish and bearish markets. 

It’s important to note that long-term investors prefer trading stocks, cryptos, etc. to CFDs. CFD trading is more costly for long-term investors as generally brokers charge traders fees for keeping overnight positions. 

Forex trading on IC Markets

IC Markets offers 61 available Forex pairs to its clients. Pairs vary from majors (EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, etc.) to exotic ones (USD/TRY, USD/SEK, USD/NOK, etc.). The broker provides high liquidity, but it’s important to note that the major pairs are usually the most liquid, and therefore, spreads for majors are minimal. In case you are a novice trader, it is recommended to avoid trading exotic pairs due to low liquidity and high spreads. 

The broker offers up to 1:500 leverage for global traders and up to 1:30 leverage for Australian traders. The difference between leverage numbers is caused by ASIC’s strict regulations. High leverage can help you make bigger profits using borrowed money but it can easily increase your losses as well. 

IC Markets offers tight spreads and low commissions. Spreads for cTrader and Raw accounts start from 0 pips ($3-$3.5 commission). As for the Standard account, spreads start from 0.6 pips ($0 commission). It’s important to note that the number 0.6 is just a markup from the broker and in a live trading environment spreads can increase.

The broker utilizes a 50% Stop Out level. The trading software available includes MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. These are all well-respected and are widely used among professional traders. These platforms can give you the opportunity to automate your trading. As stated before, 60% of trades with this broker are made by algorithms.

Stock CFD trading on IC Markets

As mentioned before, stock CFDs are preferred for speculators due to their accessibility and lower short-term brokerage fees. It’s worth mentioning that some Forex brokers fail to provide market depth and advanced stock trading platforms. With IC Markets, you can only use MetaTrader 5 (MT5) to trade stock CFDs. While MT5 is a great software for trading multi-asset markers, you can find better platforms for trading stocks.

The broker gives its clients opportunities to trade over 1800 large-cap stock CFDs across the Australian Securities Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ. What’s more, you can receive dividends by purchasing certain stocks. 

Indices trading on IC Markets

Certain indices consist of a certain basket of stocks and show the collective performance of an industry. A stock index is a good measure of market performance. For instance, the US 500 or S&P 500 consists of 500 top American companies that are represented in the stock market. Whenever the US 500 is in a bull market, we have an indication of a healthy American economy. You can trade the US 500 index or use it as an indicator for stock or currency trading. 

IC Markets offers 23 indices on MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader platforms. Spreads are starting from 0.4 pips ($0 commission). Keep in mind that the leverage goes up to 1:200.

Crypto CFD trading on IC Markets

As already mentioned, crypto CFD trading can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. When trading crypto CFDs, you don’t think about difficulties related to cashing out or crypto wallets. In addition, you get better liquidity and tighter spreads. 

IC Markets offers 18 cryptocurrency CFDs. Including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Ripple, EOS, Emercoin, Dogecoin, and more. 

By using different trading platforms, you’ll get different amounts of maximum leverage. MT4 and MT5 offer up to 200:1 leverage. On cTrader, the maximum available leverage to trade crypto CFDs is 5:1. 

What’s more, traders can trade crypto CFDs during weekends as well. Just keep in mind that this option is only available on MT 4 and MT 5 platforms and the number of crypto CFDs is limited.

Commodity CFD trading on IC Markets

Commodities are raw materials such as crude oil, Brent oil, gold, wheat, sugar, corn, cotton, etc. Companies mine or grow them. There are several ways you can invest in commodities. You can directly trade them or trade the mining or production company's stocks. Commodity prices are affected by supply and demand. 

IC Markets offers over 22 tradable commodities across energy, agriculture, and metals. Spreads are starting from 0 pips and the leverage is up to 500:1. 

Commodity CFD trading is accessible using MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader platforms. 

Account Types Available for Traders on IC Markets

IC Markets offers 3 types of accounts, namely cTrader, Raw, and Standard. Each account type is designed to meet the needs of a specific trader. 

If you have clear answers to these questions, choosing will be much easier for you:

  • Are you a day trader/scalper?
  • Are you a position trader?
  • Which trading software do you prefer, cTrader or MetaTrader?

We’ll break down and analyze in detail each account type to aid you in picking the one that best suits your needs.

Pros & cons of IC Markets account types

Enables cBots and Expert AdvisorsThere is no micro account version
All 3 account types have Islamic versions 
Low fees  

IC Markets Demo Account

IC Markets offers free demo versions of each of its 3 account types. Demo trading is a great way to get familiar with using the platforms. In order to avoid unnecessary losses, novice traders should only go live after they get comfortable with using the software. 

Most brokers offer free demo accounts. One more benefit of using demo accounts is to compare broker policies, experience fees, and check asset classes. 

Demo accounts are super useful not only for beginners but for professional traders as well. Market conditions often change. Strategies and indicators that have worked before might become redundant over time. Demo trading is widely used in developing, testing and backtesting trading strategies.

IC Markets cTrader account

IC Markets cTrader account is suitable for day traders, scalpers, and high-frequency traders. The account uses the cTrader software and enables traders to use cAlgo robots to automate trading. 

When it comes to trading fees, the account type truly shines. Spreads for the cTrader account start from 0 pips. However, in the live trading environment spreads can increase due to decreased liquidity. The broker manages to provide the average spread of 0.1 pips on EUR/USD, which is an industry-leading average spread globally. The commission per lot (round-turn) for this account type is only $6. 

Tight spreads make this account type ideal for intraday and algorithmic traders that open trades more frequently than position traders do. The maximum number of positions you can trade at the same time is 2000. Keep in mind that the Stop Out level is 50%.

The minimum initial deposit required to open a live account is $200 and leverage goes up to 500:1. You can trade 61 currency pairs, indices, crypto CFDs, and commodities using cTrader. But keep in mind the cTrader trading software does not offer stock CFDs. 

IC Markets Raw Spread account

The Raw Spread account is aimed at intraday traders and algorithmic traders that use Expert Advisors (EAs). There are lots of similarities between the cTrader account and the Raw Spread account types:

  • Spreads for both start from 0 pips.
  • 61 available currency pairs.
  • Leverage of up to 500:1.
  • The minimum initial deposit is $200.

Now let’s talk about the differences. Note that the commission for this account type is $7 per lot (round-turn). The biggest reason why traders are choosing one account type over the other is trading software. The Raw Spread account offers MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5 ) only, whereas cTrader software is only available for the cTrader account. MT5 gives access to trading stock CFDs in addition to trading other asset classes. On the other hand, cTrader is more user-friendly and modern looking. 

IC Markets Standard account

The Standard account is a preferred choice for novice traders and position traders. Position traders open fewer orders than scalpers and high-frequency traders do, therefore Standard account fees are more attractive for them.

The account charges 0 commission. On the other hand, spreads start from 0.6 pips. It should be noted that 0.6 is just the broker markup and spreads can increase in low liquidity. 

The leverage offered is 500:1, the minimum initial deposit is $200, and the account type only offers MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 software. 

IC Markets Islamic Accounts

Most brokers offer Islamic accounts and IC Markets is no exception. The broker offers Islamic versions of all 3 account types. Islamic accounts are also known as swap-free accounts. Brokers charge no fees for keeping overnight positions in accordance with the Quran’s teachings, in order to make trading available for Muslims. 

Please note that Islamic accounts offer a limited number of tradable instruments. You can trade over 90 instruments using cTrader and MetaTrader platforms. What’s more, keeping an open position for longer than a day is charged with flat fees.

Getting started on IC Markets - Main steps

There are a number of things you need to do in order to get started with IC Markets. The registration process is very intuitive. The broker provides a user-friendly web page. The account opening and verification process are fully digitalized. 

It’s time to get ready, we’ll guide you through the entire process in detail. 

Step 1: Open an account

Go ahead and open IC Markets’ webpage and press open an account to get started. You will be asked to fill in your personal information. The information helps the broker to make identification easier, secure your funds and offer personalized services. 

IC Markets account oppening.JPG

Step 2: Time to choose a platform and account type

After providing the personal data, you can choose the trading software. IC Markets offers MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader. 

As already mentioned, Raw account types are preferred by traders that trade more frequently than beginners and position traders. 

Moreover, you have to select an account base currency out of the 10 offered ( AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, NZD, JPY, SGD, CAD, HKD). It’s recommended to choose a currency that you are using more frequently to save on conversion fees.

IC Markets platform.JPG

Step 3: It’s time for verification

The third step is verification. Although, you can postpone this process by clicking “Complete Later - Fund Now” in green, we recommend you to complete the verification first by uploading a government-issued photo ID and proof of residence.

IC Markets verification.JPG

Step 4: Make your deposit

As mentioned before, the minimum initial deposit required is $200. You can fund your account using various methods. The broker does not charge any deposit or withdrawal fee from its end; however, some intermediaries may charge transfer fees on withdrawal. Credit/debit card requests are processed free of charge and take 3-5 working days. In some rare cases, it might take up to 10 days.

IC Markets depositing.JPG

Step 5: Start trading

Congratulations! You can now start placing orders to buy and sell asset classes from currency pairs to indices, and crypto CFDs. Live trading can be very exciting. Just make sure you are not another trader that blows up trading accounts. 

Trading profitably is hard work. Constantly educating yourself, working on strategies, testing those strategies, and waiting for the right setups is not an easy task. 

Fees & Commissions of IC Markets

The fees charged by IC Markets are low compared to other Forex brokers. The broker does not charge any deposit, withdrawal, or inactivity fees.

In addition to low spreads (starting from 0 pips for raw account types) and low commissions, the broker has 25 institutional-grade liquidity providers. High liquidity makes spreads super tight when live trading. Resulting in an average spread of 0.1 pips for EUR/USD. 

Comparing IC Markets fees with other brokers

It’s obvious that IC Markets offers some of the best fees in the industry. In order to better understand the differences between IC Markets’ and other brokers’ pricing models, let’s compare the numbers. 

For this comparison, we’ve used IC Markets’ Standard account type.

IC Markets fees compared to Interactive Brokers fees

Type of FeeIC MarketsInteractive Brokers
EUR/USD SpreadFrom 0.6 pipsFrom 0.6
Fees on DepositsNo1%
Inactivity feeNoNo*

*Inactivity fee was eliminated by IB in 2021, it used to be $20/m

IC Markets fees compared to eToro fees

Type of FeeIC MarketseToro
EUR/USD SpreadFrom 0.6 pipsFrom 1
Fees on DepositsNo$5 on withdrawals
Inactivity feeNoYes, $10/m

IC Markets fees compared to IG fees

Type of FeeIC MarketsIG
EUR/USD SpreadFrom 0.6 pipsFrom 0.8
Fees on DepositsNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYes, $10/m

IC Markets fees compared to XM fees

Type of FeeIC MarketsXM
EUR/USD SpreadFrom 0.6 pipsFrom 0.6
Fees on DepositsNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYes, $15 after 12 months, +$5/m

IC Markets fees compared to AvaTrade fees

Type of FeeIC MarketsAvaTrade
EUR/USD SpreadFrom 0.6 pipsFrom 0.9
Fees on DepositsNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYes, $50 after 3 months, $100 administration fee after a year

IC Markets fees compared to Capital.com fees

Type of FeeIC MarketsCapital.com
EUR/USD SpreadFrom 0.6 pipsFrom 0.9
Fees on DepositsNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYes, $50 after 3 months, $100 administration fee after a year

Trading Platforms of IC Markets Reviewed

The pricing model and variety of trading platforms make IC Markets the leader in algorithmic trading. The broker offers MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader to its clients.

Both MT4 and MT5 are using Expert Advisor (EA) algorithms (EAs) for trading automation. MT4 was created in 2005 by a Russian company called MetaQuotes. Since its creation, the platform has gained popularity among Forex traders and is widely used in Forex trading. Thanks to its popularity and age, lots of EAs are accessible in the market. 

MetaTrader 5 is a newer version of MT4 and shares a lot of commonalities. What makes MT5 different is that the software enables traders to access different asset markets such as Forex, commodities, indices, crypto, and stock CFDs. Whereas MT4 is mainly designed for trading Forex.

cTrader was developed by Spotware systems in 2011. The platform is more modern looking than the MetaTrader platforms and offers level 2 market depth as well as advanced charting features. On the downside, cTrader does not offer stock CFDs. cTrader uses the cAlgo programming language to develop cBots for automation. 

Mobile Trading on IC Markets

In general, mobile trading apps should be viewed as a nice little helper for large computer screens. While it’s true that IC Markets' mobile trading app offers great features for trading, conducting any kind of analysis on a tiny screen is not recommended. 

The broker offers user-friendly mobile apps accessible on Google Play and the App Store. The app design is slick and filled with useful features. 

There are various ways traders can use the mobile app:

  • Fund the account balance or withdraw funds.
  • Open and close orders.
  • Monitor asset prices.
  • Live chat 24/7 support.
  • Check economic events using the built-in economic calendar.
  • Keep an eye on your open positions.

In addition, the mobile trading app can work as insurance in random events such as a power outage. 

IC Markets mobile trading.JPG

Education and Research Tools

Extensive educational material is extremely valuable for novice traders. Webinars, seminars, trader gatherings, and educational events help traders socialize and increase their knowledge.

IC Markets offers an economic calendar and video tutorials explaining how to use their platforms. Overall the educational material covers only the basics.

Customer Support of IC Markets

Customer support can make or break a company. IC Markets understands this simple rule and offers some of the best customer service in the industry. 

The highly professional and dedicated customer support team assists IC Markets’ clients from around the world. Customer support is accessible via online chat, email, and phone. In addition, you can leave a message and request a callback.

IC Markets offers 24/7 support, which is quite rare in the Forex industry. The live chat option is easily accessible from the company’s webpage and there’s no registration required for you to start the chat.


To sum everything up, IC Markets creates the best environment for algorithmic and high-frequency trading by providing industry-leader trading platforms and low fees. 

The fees are very low compared to competitors. The broker charges no deposit, withdrawal, or inactivity fees. What’s more, a high number of liquidity providers guarantees tight spreads. 

The company is well-regulated by financial regulatory bodies such as the ASIC, CySEC, FSA, and SCB and operates globally. 

The account opening process is stress-free and the web page is intuitive. The broker has an amazing customer support team available 24/7. 

On the downside, the educational material offered by this broker is limited.



Average based on 7 user reviews
Safety 7.43
Assets 6.86
Accounts 7.43
Fees 8.57
Desktop platforms 8.29
Mobile platforms 7.14
Education 5.71
Support 8.29
Have experience with IC Markets? Log in to leave a review
bailey.johnson reviewed 539 days ago
Live 6+ months experience, $5,000+ account size


Great: Reliable broker with great fees
Customer support is always really helpful. Trading fees are great. I had many other brokers in the past but none of them had as low fees as the ICM's ECN account.
Once I was trading JPY/USD and lost more than I should due to slippage. This was really the only negative experience with them. My stop loss order was executed after the price slipped. Other than that, hadn't had any issues.
conrad.cash reviewed 539 days ago
Demo 1-3 months experience


Great: Great if you like cTrader
cTrader is a welcome inclusion. Fees are not that high either. Pretty trustworthy broker as far as I can tell.
Educational content is lacking.
aubrey.hart reviewed 539 days ago
Live no experience, 6+ months experience, $1,000 - $5,000 account size


Good: Very good broker in almost every aspect - especially low spreads and no deposit fees
For me, the best part about IC Markets is their low spreads and no deposit fees. Other than this, I can complement their trading platforms and customer support center.
While I don't need this service, their education page seems poorly organized and without any sufficient and necessary educational materials that will be enough to teach newcomers.
turner.clay reviewed 539 days ago
Live 6+ months experience, $1,000 - $5,000 account size


Great: Nice trading fees and cTrader
I love that they have cTrader. And I love that they have an ECN account. Trading fees are so small. I have experience with other brokers too but fees on IC Markets is truly great.
I opened acc with IC Markets' Australian office. And then due to some regulations, I was forced to transfer my acc to IC Market's global, which I didn't like. I was feeling safer under Australian regulations. Other than that, there haven't been any issues.
jenson.harris reviewed 539 days ago
Live 1-3 months experience, under $1,000 account size


Average: Best to skip this one
Nothing special. Plenty of better alternatives out there.
The trading platform is not the greatest. Overall a pretty disappointing experience.
guinevere.curry reviewed 539 days ago
no experience


Great: No education = same results
For $200 and 1:500 you can get leveraged to tits and blow your trading account effectively. Didn't transfer my trading experience to live, though. Jokes aside, the broker offers really tight spreads and is suitable for all trading styles and methods.
Low 1:30 leverage for UK and EU citizens despite energy crisis. There is not much of education you can get from this broker.
zeph.simon reviewed 539 days ago
Demo Less than a month experience


Good: Good for Demo trading
I really liked their trading assets and the way these assets are presented on the trading platform
I have only tested Demo trading, but when looking at account opening and options available, it seems kinda bad.

FAQs on IC Markets

Is IC Markets a good broker?

When it comes to Forex trading, Yes. IC Markets is a great broker for intraday and algorithmic traders. The broker is well-regulated and offers tight spreads with access to over 2000 trading instruments. 

Is cTrader better than MetaTrader?

It depends on your preference. cTrader has a more modern design, and advanced charting tools, and offers level 2 market depth. 

MetaTrader 5 on the other hand offers access to more asset classes, including stock CFDs. MT4 and MT5 use Expert Advisors for algorithmic trading.

Are IC Markets fees low?

Yes. IC Markets offers some of the lowest fees in the industry. Spreads on standard accounts start from 0.6 pips ($0 commission), There are no fees on deposits and withdrawals. The broker does not charge an inactivity fee either.

Can I trade stocks using cTrader?

No. The cTrader platform doesn’t offer stocks or stock CFDs. However, you can trade stock indices. The broker offers 25 indices through the cTrader platform.