Navigating the best MT4 forex brokers is like a maze because of the seemingly endless options available. There are so many questions to consider:
- How safe is the broker?
- How long have they been in the market?
- What markets do they offer to clients?
- What are their trading costs?
What is important to note is the standard of brokers, despite them being plentiful, is relatively the same across the board. There are only some slight variances here and there that separate them.
For example, certain MT4 brokers are good for US-based citizens, while others are more beginner-friendly, and some excel with low spreads.
Although MT4 presents numerous drawbacks where there are more technically superior platforms, it’s still an accessible and simple-to-use platform with an overwhelming majority of brokerages providing it to clients.
The software is only part of the whole puzzle since traders also need to research a broker’s regulation further. This article will cover some of the best MT4 brokers chosen and rated according to predefined criteria.
Best MT4 Forex Broker Overall: FXTM
Currency Pairs: 21
EURUSD Spread: 0 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:2000
There are many brokers at a trader’s disposal, but some may have a few notable push factors or may not tick a particular box. Anyone is only interested in the best brand overall in Metatrader 4 brokers; FXTM is the answer.
Like any broker, security is usually the first consideration. CySEC (Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission), the FSC (Financial Services Commission – Mauritius), and the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority – UK) are FXTM’s regulators.
With a broad client base of over 2 million clients in over 150 countries worldwide, they have been successful in catering to different needs and personalities through the offering of various accounts like the standard, ECN, zero spread, cent, copy trading, and so on. Also, because of their exceedingly far global reach, there are seemingly countless ways to fund and get paid with FXTM.
- Multi-regulatory status.
- Wide range of currencies.
- Wide range of funding and payment options.
- Wide range of accounts like zero spread, cent, copy trading, etc.
- Competitive spreads and overall low fees.
- Some of their withdrawal methods incur fees.
- The unusually high minimum deposit for the zero spread account.
- An inactivity fee is applicable.
Best MT4 Broker with Low Spreads: IC Markets
Currency Pairs: 65
EURUSD Spread: 0.1 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:500
IC (International Capital) Markets is one of the most well-known and revered Australian-based MT4 brokers, started back in 2007. It’s a financial institution that’s truly all about capital markets since they offer several CFD instruments, including 65 forex products.
One of the things IC Markets prides itself on is their low, or ‘raw’ spreads available on the zero or raw spread account with a reasonable deposit of $200. Aside from any trader that is a little more conscious of their trading costs, this account is particularly beneficial for scalpers, high-volume traders, and those trading with robots.
Traders can experience millisecond-fast execution with reduced slippage, no re-quotes, and a decent commission of $3.50 per lot. This solution is perfect for those looking for trading with predictable low charges and institutional-grade pricing.
- Wide range of deposit options, with 0% commission.
- Zero spread account.
- Several base currencies in an account, namely USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, SGD, NZD, JPY, CHF, HKD, and CAD.
- Extensive selection of forex pairs.
- No negative balance protection.
Best MT4 Broker for Beginners: AvaTrade
Currency Pairs: 55
EURUSD Spread: 0.9 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:400
AvaTrade is an old name in the game. It was established in 2006 and has lived up to its slogan of ‘trading with confidence,’ boasting a wide array of instruments, namely forex, commodities, options, ETFs, stocks, bonds, and crypto.
For beginners, they will rest assured trading with supreme confidence because of Ava’s multi-regulatory status and global footprint with offices spanning five continents. The broker currently has a 4.8 Trustpilot rating at the time of writing.
In line with being among the best MT4 brokers for beginners, AvaTrader offers an immersive educational platform called Sharp Trader, covering basic to advanced technical and analysis concepts.
For additional help, they can readily assure themselves of relying on the multi-lingual online and offline support available.
- Offices in 10 different countries and multi-regulatory status.
- An extensive selection of markets available.
- Multiple funding options.
- Inactivity fee.
- Minimum deposit of $100.
Best MT4 Broker for Pro Traders: Pepperstone
Currency Pairs: 60+
EURUSD Spread: 0 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:30
Pepperstone is a well-known, multi-instrument, multi-regulated brokerage from Australia USwith more than ten years in the business. Within this period, they’ve expanded their global footprint to have offices in London, Dubai, Nairobi, Germany, and Cyprus.
Traders have a few accounts to speculate with, all starting from a reasonable $200 minimum deposit. Professional traders can benefit from an extensive choice of instruments, competitive pricing, and industry-leading analysis to keep in touch with the global markets.
Like IC Markets, this brand also offers a zero spread offering similar benefits of lower trading costs and fast order placing.
The payment options available with Pepperstone include VISA, Mastercard, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, etc, all of which incur no fee from the broker.
- Regulated by many top-tier forex regulators such as ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission), the FCA, etc.
- Supports a wide range of fee-free funding methods.
- Offers an extensive selection of accounts like demo, standard, zero spread, etc.
- Competitive fees overall.
- A minimum deposit of A$200 may be too high for many.
- Bank withdrawal fees for users outside of the EU and Australia may be higher than normal.
Best MT4 Broker for US Traders: IG
Currency Pairs: 104
EURUSD Spread: 0.8 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:50
It’s a well-known fact only a handful of MT4 forex brokers accept US clients as it’s one of the most problematic nations for brokerages to receive regulation. Fortunately, one of the few exceptions here is IG (an abbreviation deriving their old name from Investors Gold Index).
IG is one of the oldest existing brokers in the financial markets, being established in 1974. It is a part of the FTSE 250 and a publicly-traded company on the London Stock Exchange with multi-regulatory status, including the States via the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission).
IG has an unquestionable and esteemed reputation in the forex industry, where they cover all the needs of the modern forex trader. Overall, they tick boxes in many areas leaving very little to chance due to their impressive range of services they offer.
- US-friendly broker with licenses from multiple regulators.
- Simplified and transparent fee structure overall with competitive spreads.
- Simplified account structure and a good selection of trading platforms catering to all trading levels.
- Large selection of forex instruments.
- Somewhat limited are the options for depositing funds, though enough to be compatible for clients in any region.
- The broker is not offering services in many countries.
- The account opening process is a little longer than it should be.
Best MT4 ECN Broker: FP Markets
Currency Pairs: 60+
EURUSD Spread: 0.1 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:30
FP Markets (First Prudential) is yet another of the popular Australian-based Metatrader 4 brokers with many years of experience in the industry. When considering any forex brand, longevity often prevails for several reasons.
Aside from its top-tier regulation from ASIC, arguably the second consideration is the execution employed by a broker. It’s a known belief that we have ECN and dealing desk brokers.
Although the latter isn’t necessarily bad, ECN is still more preferred in the general trading community. There is usually no conflict of interest; clients receive consistently lightning-quick execution and tight spreads with barely any re-quotes because of the deep liquidity the broker connects itself to.
Traders can enjoy this experience in their standard or zero spread accounts with a reasonable minimum deposit of $A100. Even with such a small balance, profit opportunities aren’t so limited because of the 1:500 maximum leverage and the extensive selection of tradable forex pairs.
- ASIC regulations compliance.
- ECN brokerage.
- Zero spread being offered.
- Flexible leverage.
- Plentiful depositing and withdrawal options.
- $25 withdrawal fee for bank wire transfers outside of Australia.
- No negative balance protection available for the customers.
What is the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform?
It usually doesn’t take long for any beginning trader to hear the mention of the term MT4. MetaTrader4 is a trading software developed by Cyprus-based software corporation MetaQuotes.
It saw the light of day back in July 2005. The developers already had several MetaTrader platforms under their belt since the millennium turn but struck gold with the fourth version. Most analysts attribute this because of its user-friendliness, third-party scripts, and fluid programming language.
By 2010 when the corporation released MetaTrader 5, MT4 was already one of the popular trading software packages globally. This status has grown somewhat exponentially, far beyond even its successor, with nine in ten brokers providing the platform to their clients.
Despite there being other trading software tools, MT4 is widely used by forex brokers primarily.
Why you should trade with MT4: Features
The first reason that comes to mind when considering MT4 is that it’s the most popular trading platform. Over 90% of forex brokers offer it, with some only providing it without any alternatives.
Though MT4, like any product, is not without its flaws, accessibility is the primary motivation for anyone to use it. MT4 is like a car that’s not too old but not too high-tech either. It strikes the right balance between simplicity and sophistication; it’s not too simple, but not too sophisticated either.
The first thing to observe about any trading platform is its user-friendliness. MT4 is well-renowned in this aspect as it doesn’t take very long to be good with navigating the software in areas like setting orders, adding indicators, using drawing tools, and other bells and whistles.
These features are highly customizable from color design, background, charts, indicators, profiles, etc., where each trader’s set-up can look uniquely aesthetic. Good trading software should have compatibility with a wide range of operating systems for traders to experience these attributes.
Again, MT4 is one of the highly compatible trading programs in the industry. It’s usable on several operating systems for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktop users, and then Android and iOS for the mobile versions.
Not only is MT4 compatible with these operating systems, but even the computer specs do not need to be high-tech because of being a 32-bit single flow platform. MT4 only requires a computer with at least 512MB RAM.
Lastly, another big reason for MT4 popularity is its programming functions for creating trading robots through the MQL4 language.
How to choose the best MT4 broker
As we’ve established a vast majority use this platform, we then need to consider logical and thorough selection criteria for the best Metatrader 4 brokers. Everyone will have their order of importance, but the majority will agree regulation is arguably the first point of reference.
One must verify a broker’s license status, that it’s active and is from the top-ranked regulators in the industry like CySEC, ASIC, FCA, CFTC, and other trusted regulatory bodies from recognized forex hubs in Europe, North America, and Australia.
These regulators are more trustworthy than those from offshore regions like the Bahamas, Mauritius, Bermuda, Belize, Mauritius, and the Cayman Islands.
The importance of regulation is ensuring safeguarding practices in handling clients’ money (insurance, segregated accounts, processing withdrawals, etc.), that a broker consistently acts in good faith, and performs according to periodically-reviewed auditory standards as a financial institution.
Negative balance protection
This feature is critical, especially because of leverage. Although ‘black swan’ events are rare in forex, if one isn’t cautious, there is always a chance, albeit unlikely, of blowing an account.
Negative balance protection prevents any scenario where a trader would owe a broker due to a negative balance. In choosing any MT4 broker, traders should only risk disposable income.
As mentioned previously, we class brokers as ECN or dealing desk. Although no model is intrinsically better than another because many brokers alternate between both, it’s something to consider as it sets the tone for any of the services they would provide.
For example, ECN Metatrader 4 brokers generally use variable spreads, unlike dealing desk parties that typically offer fixed spreads. Depending on a trader’s preferences, some may prefer the former while others may lean towards the latter.
Spreads and fees overall
This results from the previous point. Spreads are the main consistent fee for any trader. Fortunately, very little difference exists nowadays between brokers where most offer competitively low spreads.
However, it’s still worth comparing a few if there is a brand offering slightly higher than usual. Other costs worth noting are commissions, funding and withdrawal fees, swaps, and inactivity fees.
The best MetaTrader 4 brokers, in most cases, may charge a commission (depending on the account), have no funding and withdrawal costs, reasonable swaps, and no inactivity fees. To make the best decision, it’s always imperative to compare against a few options.
Wide range of markets
It’s beneficial for a broker to have at least 50 different forex pairs, majors and minors, and a balanced mixture of the most popular exotics.
Wide range of deposit options
When funding, one naturally desires Metatrader 4 brokers allowing different methods aside from VISA/Mastercard and bank wire transfers.
Various support channels
A live chat function is a must nowadays. Other helpful support mechanisms include highly responsive phone lines, emails, and even social media platforms.
Our methodology in selecting the best Metatrader brokers is simple. The first point of reference is always regulation, a crucial attribute when dealing with any financial institution. Regulation brings security, professionalism, and global recognition to traders.
After confirming this, we will rigorously appraise each broker through a few months of using their services, noting how consistent their spreads are, what markets are available, how adequate the customer support is, the quickness of opening an account, and the ease of depositing & withdrawing.
During this time, we will note what we may believe to be striking drawbacks for the ordinary trader. Finally, everything is condensed into a comprehensive and detailed guide.
The guide above has included highly recognizable brands in the forex brokerage industry. Another part of the methodology is assessing some of the needs most traders have regarding spreads, trade execution, location, options most suited to beginners & professionals.