Is IC Markets better than Pepperstone? Who offers lower spread, better trading conditions and is a safe broker to trade?

We provide answers to all questions in this IC Markets vs Pepperstone Comparison Review. For this Review we opened real accounts and deposit over US$ 6,000 in total to compare both offerings, account opening process at IC Markets and Pepperstone. Also, we will compare the fees, trading conditions, platform selection and withdrawal process.   

What is IC Markets and Pepperstone

IC Markets is an Australian Forex and CFDs broker founded in 2007, headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

Pepperstone is an Australian Forex and CFDs broker founded in 2010.

Some of the highlights of IC Markets vs Pepperstone are:

IC Markets Pepperstone
💻 Websitewww.icmarkets.comwww.pepperstone.com
🛡️Founded year20072010
🏦 HeadquarterAustraliaAustralia
🗺️ Authorized & Regulated inAustralia, Cyprus, Seychelles, BahamasAustralia, UK, Cyprus, Bahamas, UAE, Kenya
🔒 Is Broker safeYesYes
💰 EUR/USD Spread1.021.15
💳 Minimum depositUS$200AUD $200
💰 Withdrawal fee$0US$0
🖥️ Trading PlatformMeta Trader 4, Meta Trader 5, cTraderMT4, MT5, cTrader
📈 Markets offeredForex, Indices, Stocks, Commodities, CryptocurrenciesForex, Indices, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Currency index
📉 Number of Products559158
🔎 Our Detailed Review

IC Markets Review


Pepperstone Review

Licenses and Regulation

Both Brokers are safe to trade and are highly reliable, low risk trading Brokers due to regulations and are not a scam.

IC Markets is licensed by Cyprus’ CySEC, Seychelles’ FSA and the Bahamas’ SCB.

Pepperstone is regulated by the top-tier UK’s FCA and Australia’s ASIC, which have stringent rules and enforcement processes.

For this IC Markets vs Pepperstone review, we opened a standard MT5 account with IC Markets (EU) Limited, licensed by the CySEC and an account under Pepperstone Limited, the UK entity regulated by the FCA.

We recommend that you open your IC Markets account with the Australian or Cyprus entities if either is available to you, or a Pepperstone account under the UK entity since it offers the highest deposit protection compensation of up to £85,000 guaranteed by the UK’s FCA, which is the best in the industry.

  IC Markets Pepperstone
🔒 LicensesASIC,
CySEC,
SCB,
FSA
ASIC,
CySEC,
SCB,
FCA,
FSA
Top Tier License✔️✔️
Publically Traded
Compensation Scheme✔️ (depending on entity)✔️ (depending on entity)

IC Markets vs Pepperstone Fees

IC Markets and Pepperstone fees are similar and charge low fees for the main instruments. The average spreads charged on stock trades are in line with industry charges or below them.

Most of the account types offered by IC Markets have very low spreads and do not charge a commission. Only the Raw Spread Account charges a commission. In case of Pepperstone, the average spreads for the popular instruments in each market are below industry averages. However, the spreads on Bitcoin trades are way above industry averages, making the broker unfriendly to cryptocurrency traders.

  IC Markets FeesPepperstone Fees
Fees based on spread✔️✔️
Floating Spread✔️✔️
Fixed Spread
Commission based fees✔️ ✔️
Inactivity Fee0$ 0$
Deposit fee0$0$
Withdrawal fee0$0$
Active trader/ VIP Programs✔️

Spreads Charged in Our Trades

For our test trades on IC Markets vs Pepperstone accounts, we chose popular instruments in each market. We placed 3 trades for each instrument to get the average spread, and we found both negative and positive sides for each Broker spreads.

We tested IC Markets’ Standard Account on the MT5 platform, which charges a spread on all instruments. The spreads were generally low. The fees charged for trading Forex pairs, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies were much lower than industry averages.

We tested the Standard Account with Pepperstone Limited, which charges a spread on all tradable instruments. Pepperstone charges low fees for most of the instruments on offer, except for cryptocurrencies.

MarketsInstruments IC Markets Avg. spread

Pepperstone Avg. spread

Industry avg. spread
IndicesFTSE 1001.111.65
ForexEUR/USD1.01.21.16
CommoditiesGold2.21.63.53
StocksAAPL1.50.91.75
CryptocurrenciesBitcoin39.2411072.81

Account Types Compared

IC Markets offers 4 account types with slightly different features. Pepperstone offers 2 account types with separate fee structures, that is, the Razor and Standard accounts. 

IC Markets account opening is quick and seamless. The registration process took exactly 14 minutes, and our account was approved in one working day.

Account Opening with Pepperstone is quite straightforward. The registration process took a total of 20 minutes, and our account was approved on the next day, as expected.

IC Markets
Accounts
Pepperston Accounts
Standard Account✔️✔️
ECN / Commission Based Account✔️
Islamic Account✔️
PAMM Account

Markets and Products

IC Markets offers a wide variety of tradable instruments in the Forex, indices, stocks, commodities and cryptocurrencies markets. At Pepperstone, you can trade CFDs on Forex pairs, stock indices, stocks, commodities, cryptocurrencies and a currency index.

Markets IC Markets Instruments Pepperstone Instruments
Indices2314
Forex6161
Commodities129
Stocks45364
Cryptocurrency109
Currency index –1

Trading Conditions

The trading conditions both at IC Markets and Pepperstone are great. Both traders allow high-risk strategies such as hedging and scalping.

Trading Method IC Markets Pepperstone
Hedging✔️ ✔️
Scalping ✔️ ✔️
Change Leverage

Deposit and Withdrawal

Both deposit and withdrawal processes on IC Markets and Peppoerstone are quick and simple.

IC Markets’ clients can deposit funds into their trading accounts via bank transfers, debit/credit cards, and e-wallets such as Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller.

All the deposit methods offered by Pepperstone are instant and free. However, a bank transfer can take a few business days to reflect in your trading account.

IC MarketsPepperstone
💰 Deposit Fee
💰 Withdrawal fee0$ ($20 for international bank withdrawals)
💳 Minimum depositUS$200AUD $200
Bank Transfer✔️✔️
Debit/ Credit Cards✔️✔️
PayPal✔️✔️
Skrill✔️✔️

Trading Platform

Both IC Markets and Pepperstone offer the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms. In addition, they offer the cTrader platform

Algorithmic traders will find a home with IC Markets, which offers fast execution speeds and guarantees no requotes on submitted trades. The broker’s cTrader platform offers the cAlgo app that algorithmic traders can use. The cTrader Copy app allows for social copy trading.

The lack of a proprietary trading platform in Pepperstone may dissuade some traders, but the MT5 and cTrader platforms are great.

IC Markets PlatformPepperstone Platform
Web Platform✔️✔️
Desktop Platform✔️ ✔️
Mobile App✔️✔️
Alternative Platforms
MetaTrader4✔️ ✔️
Simple to use platform✔️✔️
Demo Account Trading✔️✔️
Execution Agency Model
Research✔️✔️

Education and Support

IC Markets offers a great forex trading course for beginners that covers topics such as technical analysis and trading psychology. Pepperstone offers a demo account. Moreover, the broker also offers platform tutorial videos, educational videos, and webinars to suit all types of traders. 

IC Markets’ customer service team was quite helpful and gave us direct but sometimes inaccurate answers to our questions, while Pepperstone’s customer support team was helpful and provided direct and relevant answers. 

We found that IC Markets’ education offering lacks depth, and we would like to see the broker add more content on intermediate and advanced topics. 

Pepperstone also has a YouTube channel that offers dozens of educational videos that cover different topics suitable for all levels of traders.

IC Market SupportPepperstone Support
Trading School for Beginners✔️✔️
Tutorials✔️✔️
Trading Videos✔️ ✔️
Webinars✔️✔️
Daily News and Analysis✔️✔️
Economic Calendar✔️✔️
Live Chat✔️✔️
Email Support✔️✔️
24/7 availability✔️

Conclusion on IC Markets vs Pepperstone

Comparing IC Markets vs Pepperstone side by side we found both brokers reliable and with good standing. IC Markets provides relatively low spreads and breakneck execution speeds. Pepperstone spreads on all instruments are lower than the industry average. However, it offers a small number of tradable instruments compared to other brokers.

Trading costs are relatively similar, mostly based on spread.

Overall, our experience with IC Markets was good. We recommend IC Markets to all levels of traders from beginners, intermediate and advanced traders who can all benefit from its services.

Our experience with Pepperstone was smooth from the account opening, to the deposit, trading and withdrawal processes. We recommend you to open an account with the UK, Australia or Cyprus entities if any is available to you. 

IC MarketsPepperstone
Recommended for
✔️ Beginning Traders
✔️ Trading Currency Pairs
✔️ Cryptocurrency Trading
✔️ Scalping trader
✔️ Hedging trader
✔️Beginning Traders
✔️ Experienced traders
✔️ Scalping trader
✔️ Hedging trader
✔️ EA trader
✔️ Trading CFD
Might not be fit for
❌ Trading Futures or Real Stocks
❌ Commission based trading
❌ Trading Futures or Real Stocks

Author of this review

By George Rossi

Author of this review

Soy un reconocido analista profesional de los servicios financieros especializado en análisis fundamental y técnico, investigación en macroeconomía global, trader independiente en los mercados de commodities y divisas.

Me apasiona analizar, comparar y generar información y opiniones sobre brokers de Forex.

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