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IC Markets is a popular ECN broker with a diverse financial instruments portfolio, whereas AvaTrade is a highly regulated Forex broker with ultra-tight spreads and low trading costs. Both brokers are reliable and secure holding licenses and authorization from several leading regulatory bodies within different jurisdictions. The brokers offer highly advanced platforms with numerous trading tools accessible for their clients. They also incorporate complex mechanisms that guard the funds of the traders, as well as their personal data.
These two brokers operate in more than 100 countries worldwide and deliver their services to millions of international Forex traders. However, these brokers have certain geographic restrictions due to the regulatory framework in some regions. For example, IC Markets does not serve clients from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, Yemen, and more. AvaTrade also has geographic restrictions. It does not provide services to the residents of the United States, Iran, New Zealand, and Turkey.
With AvaTrade, you can choose to trade with the following trading assets: currency pairs, stocks, commodities, indices, FX options, ETFs, bonds, and cryptocurrencies. The trading instruments portfolio of IC Markets includes Forex, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and shares. IC Markets leverage on these products can go maximum up to 1:500, whereas AvaTrade leverage is limited up to 1:400. Below AvaTrade vs IC Markets broker comparison review will compare the fees, platforms, regulations, and promotions of these two brokers.
|Min. Deposit||100 USD||200 USD|
|Regulations||ASIC, CySEC, FSA, FFAJ, FSCA, ISA, FRSA, CBI, B.V.I FSA||ASIC, CySEC, SCB|
|Trading Platforms||MT4, MT5, ZuluTrade, DupliTrade, AvaTrade GO, AvaSocial||MT4, MT5, cTrader|
First, let’s have a look at AvaTrade and IC Markets minimum deposit requirements. Usually, the brokers will provide different starting capital requirements for different account types. However, that is not the case with IC Markets or AvaTrade. These brokers have a fixed deposit requirement across all account types. With IC Markets, you need to deposit at least 200 US dollars to start trading. On the other hand, AvaTrade allows its clients to start trading with just 100 US dollars. The account types available with IC Markets are cTrader, Raw Spread, and Standard account types. With AvaTrade, however, there is only a single trading account – a standard account. But, traders have an option to upgrade to a Professional trading account after they satisfy certain trading volume and trader profile requirements.
Commissions vary according to the trading account types. With AvaTrade, however, since there is only a single Standard account available there are no commission rates. Therefore, AvaTrade clients always trade commission-free. With IC Markets, on the other hand, two account types out of three come with the commission fees:
1 lot is a 100,000 base currency with IC Markets. The reason why the broker charges commissions on the two above accounts is simple. cTrader comes with the spreads starting at 0.0 pips on various trading assets, as well as the Raw Spread account. The commission-free Standard account offers spreads from 0.6 pips. AvaTrade’s Standard account, however, comes with the spreads of 0.9 pips on average on the most popular currency pair EUR/USD.
One of the things that IC Markets and AvaTrade have in common is the choice of the trading platforms. It is not a surprise though since they have gone for the best choice – MetaTrader software. MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are the absolute favorite platforms of Forex traders worldwide. It is simply because of their popularity and universality since both platforms allow traders to accomplish the most complex strategies. MetaTrader 4 was specifically built for trading Forex currency pairs. Therefore, all of the functions and indicators provided by the software assist the traders to optimize their experience. MetaTrader 5 on the other hand is a multi-asset trading platform that focuses on user-friendliness and complex analysis features.
However, the one thing that traders do not do with MetaTraders is automated trading. Instead, they use different platforms like cTrader. Both IC Markets and AvaTrade take into account the various strategies that traders might want to employ through automated trading. That is why they provide automated trading solutions. IC Markets offers cTrader, whereas AvaTrade offers AvaTrade GO, AvaSocial, and a copy trader. All of these platforms are available in several versions. Traders can choose between desktop traders, WebTraders, or mobile trading apps that are compatible with all IOS and Android devices.
Security of the trading funds and traders’ data is the top priority for all legit Forex brokers across the globe. Especially with the numerous scams and fraudulent behavior existing on the market, traders take extra caution against choosing their brokers. The best guard against these threats is the regulation. Fortunately, both AvaTrade and IC Markets are strictly regulated brokers with licenses from top-tier authorities globally. IC Markets holds authorization and license from three notable market regulators: the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) with the registration number 335692, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) with the license number 362/18 and the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) with the license number SIA-F214.
AvaTrade is with no doubt the best multi-regulated broker holding more than 10 different licenses from the best market regulators worldwide. The list of the market regulators that authorize AvaTrade includes:
Bonuses and promotional campaigns, in general, are what attract newcomers in the Forex industry. However, it has to be noted that some of the market regulators prohibit their licensed brokers to offer any bonus schemes or promotional campaigns. Unfortunately, that happens to be the case with IC Markets and AvaTrade. Due to their regulators’ nature, these two brokers cannot provide the bonuses. However, AvaTrade still managed to compensate for this fact by offering a generous referral program.
The referral program of AvaTrade is called the “Refer a Friend” campaign. The broker will award the cash prizes for each referral registering on the platform of the broker, depositing, and completing the minimum trading volume requirements. The minimum amount that a friend has to deposit with the broker is 500 USD, which will bring you a 50 USD referral bonus. The bonus amount increases together with the deposit amount of the referral. For deposits between 500 and 1000 USD, the bonus increases up to 100 USD. For the amounts between 5000 and 10,000 USD, you will get 150 USD, whereas up to 20,000 USD deposits will generate a 200 USD bonus. Finally, any deposits from your referrals exceeding 20,000 USD will get you a 250 USD bonus.
|Pros||- lower deposit||- two account types|
|- multi-regulated||- more flexible leverage|
|- referral program||- tight spreads|
|Cons||- Standard account only||- higher min. deposit|
|- average spreads||- no bonuses|
|- restricted leverage||- geographic restrictions|
If you already figured out what kind of a trader’s profile you fit into then you should decide according to your trading style and strategy which broker suits you better. For instance, if you are an ETF trader obviously you would choose AvaTrade since IC Markets does not offer ETFs within its trading portfolio. If you are a kind of a trader that seeks high leverage brokers then you should go for IC Markets instead of AvaTrade broker since the 1:500 leverage limit is much more convenient. Furthermore, you could make a choice according to the regulators’ locations of these two brokers. For instance, if AvaTrade is regulated by your region’s local authority then it is better to trade with AvaTrade instead of IC Markets.
All in all, we give a slight preference to AvaTrade due to several reasons. First of all, we prefer this broker because of the numerous regulations and authorizations that it holds. Secondly, AvaTrade supports many trading platforms on its website ranging from original MT4 and MT5 to mobile apps, copy traders, and social trading apps, such as AvaSocial and AvaTrade GO. Finally, we like the fact that the broker still offers promotional campaigns such as the referral program. Despite the fact that there are no bonuses available, the broker still gives its clients a chance to generate extra earnings on the broker’s platform.
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