Day Trading Brokers and Platforms 2021

Day trading brokers enable investors to profit from an asset’s daily price fluctuations, such as forex, stocks or cryptocurrencies. But while all day trading brokers provide the means to execute trades, the services provided and fees charged can vary, making it difficult to find the most suitable platform for your needs. In this tutorial, we walk through the most important elements to consider when searching for the best day trading brokers.

Day Trading Brokers

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$200 ($50 in US)
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
None
Forex.com boast a global reputation. Regulated in the UK, US and Canada they offer a huge range of markets, not just forex, and offer very tight spreads and a cutting edge platform.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
NFA, CFTC, FCA, FSA, IIROC and CIMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
None
NinjaTrader offer Traders Futures and Forex trading. Use Auto-trade algorithmic strategies and configure your own trading platform, and trade at the lowest costs.
Cryptocurrency
No
Regulator
NFA, CFTC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
Varies by asset
Bonus
None
The leading US trading Exchange. Nadex offer genuine exchange trading to US clients on Binary Options. Fully regulated by the CFTC.
Cryptocurrency
No
Regulator
CFTC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
None
M1 Finance offers customizable and automated trading services for US investors.
Cryptocurrency
No
Regulator
FINRA, SEC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
$4,000 switching bonus
Bit Mex Offer the largest market liquidity of any Crypto exchange. Ultra low trading costs and minimum deposit requirements. Join in 30 seconds.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
0.0001 XBT
Min. Trade
0.0001 XBT
Bonus
None
Coinbase is the easiest place to buy, sell, and manage your cryptocurrency portfolio.
This post contains affiliate links, and this website will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking the links.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
CBoI
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
0 $/€/£
Min. Trade
0.0001 XBT
Bonus
None
Quotex offers a proprietary web platform that offers digital options and copy trading.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
IFMRRC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
Tiered deposit bonuses up to $105
Binance is one of the leading online crypto exchanges offering Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
$10
Bonus
None
EagleFX is a popular trading broker offering forex, stocks, cryptos & commodities.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
Unregulated
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$10
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
LQDFX offers online trading with multiple STP accounts and MT4 analysis tools.
Cryptocurrency
No
Regulator
None
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$20
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
100% deposit bonus up to $20,000
Kraken is a top crypto trading exchange offering the largest altcoins by market cap.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
FCA, FinCEN, FINTRAC, AUSTRAC, FSA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
0.0001 XBT
Min. Trade
0.0002 XBT
Bonus
None
Webull offers a leading online stock trading app with low fees and generous bonuses.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
SEC & FINRA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
Two free stocks joining bonus
Gemini is a leading crypto trading exchange with low fees and a long list of altcoins.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
0.00001 BTC
Bonus
None
Paxful is a crypto trading exchange and digital wallet offering low fees and easy sign-up.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
None
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
From 0.005 BTC
Min. Trade
10 USD
Bonus
None
Zulutrade provide multiple automation and copy trading options across forex, indices, stocks, cryptocurrency and commodities markets
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
HCMC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$1 to $300 (Broker choice dependent)
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
None
ZacksTrade: Built For The Active Trader. Stock & ETF Trades from $3, 75¢ Option Contracts and 5.63% Margin Rate (Lower on occasion)
Cryptocurrency
No
Regulator
SEC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$2500
Min. Trade
From $3
Bonus
None
Coinmama aim to make entering the crypto market as easy as possible, offering BTC,ETH,LTC,ADA,BCH and XTZ
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
€/£/$100
Min. Trade
€/£/$100
Bonus
None
IB Boast a huge market share of global trading. With a minimum deposit of $10,000 however, they remain an option for larger traders only.
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
SEC, FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$10000
Min. Trade
$100
Bonus
None
One of the largest discount brokers in the US, with a fixed trading commission and access to a large array of trading products and securities
Cryptocurrency
No
Regulator
SEC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$0
Min. Trade
None
Bonus
60 days free trades when depositing $3k
Just2Trade offer hitech trading on stocks and options with some of the lowest prices in the industry
Cryptocurrency
Yes
Regulator
FINRA, SIPC, NFA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£2500
Min. Trade
1 contract
Bonus
None
Show All Brokers ⇩

What Is Day Trading?

Day trading is the process of buying and selling a financial instrument within a single financial trading day, with the aim of profiting from the asset’s short-term volatility. This process is carried out anywhere between once and hundreds of times per day, with the most frequent type of intraday trading known as scalping.

How Day Trading Brokers Work

Brokers act as a middleman between traders and markets, by connecting them to securities exchanges that individual traders may not have access to. They then facilitate the execution of trades on behalf of the trader in exchange for a fee. This can be done across a range of instruments, including forex, stocks, commodities and cryptos.

Top rated day trading platforms

Day trading brokers can also provide leverage on instruments, enabling users to invest more with less capital. This is a common strategy for day traders, who are looking to profit from smaller price fluctuations. Full-service brokers offer additional services such as investment advice and portfolio management, while execution-only brokers (also known as discount brokers) are only responsible for carrying out the trade, usually at a lower cost.

How Day Trading Brokers Make Money

Brokers profit from the execution of each trade, which can be through the spread or by charging a commission. A spread is the difference between the buy and sell price, whereas commission fees are usually charged as a flat rate per transaction. Finding a platform with low fees is therefore particularly important when day trading, as carrying out a high volume of trades can result in fees that rapidly eradicate profits.

What To Look For In A Day Trading Broker

The services offered and fees charged vary, with the best day trading brokers for direct access often depending on your strategy. Here we discuss the topics to review when selecting a day trading broker.

Markets

While some day trading brokers offer a wide variety of instruments, others may specialise in certain assets. The best brokers for day trading stocks may be different to those for day trading crypto or forex. For example, Pepperstone and Plus 500 are good day trading brokers that cover a variety of instruments, while eToro specialises in digital currencies, with its crypto platform, exchange and wallet services. Interactive Brokers also offer futures accounts for day trading (subject to meeting the margin requirements), but only accepts customers from the US, UK and Canada.

best day trading platform europe
eToro Crypto Trading

Platforms

A platform is the software provided by the day trading broker to carry out technical analysis and execute trades. This could either be the day trading firm’s proprietary platform, or an industry recognised solution such as MetaTrader 4 or cTrader. Most top rated platforms today offer terminals compatible with Mac and Windows.

Day trading cfd broker
MetaTrader

The platform should include all the chart and indicator types needed to carry out any technical analysis as a minimum. In addition, consider if more detailed features such as access to Level II quotes (the order book) and historical intraday price data is required. Overall, the platform user interface should be intuitive and responsive.

While many day trading brokers offer the popular MetaTrader platform, customers of Interactive have the opportunity to trade on their proprietary Trader Workstation (TWS) platform, which has excellent reviews due to its high customisability.

Professional day trading platforms
Interactive Brokers TWS Platform

Order Execution Speed

Speed of order execution is particularly important when day trading. Quick execution enables an intraday trader to buy or sell closer to the entry price, preventing slippage during times of high volatility. Order execution speeds can often be found in online brokerage comparison reviews, removing the need to test platform speeds yourself. TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers are examples of day trading brokers with setups that provide rapid execution of trades.

Automated Trading

Automated trading tools are another element to consider when selecting a day trading platform. Automated investing uses algorithmic robots to automatically find entry and exit points, then execute the trade if required.

These ‘bots’ are created by writing algorithms that define a set of rules, which could be written in tool-specific languages (such as the MQL language used on MetaTrader platforms), or open-source programming languages such as Python.

Some traders choose to develop their own trading robots, while others download free or paid-for versions from code libraries. Investors looking to take advantage of automated trading should research the range of compatible robots available with a selected day trading platform, or investigate the skills required to develop a bespoke bot.

Day trading CFD broker
Automated Trading in MQL5

Mobile Apps

Many day trading brokers now offer their services via mobile app, which is a convenient way to manage trades on the go. The application may be specific to the platform, in which case checking the brokerage app reviews on the App Store and Google Play is recommended. For traders using the MT4 or MT5 platforms, MetaTrader offers their own highly-rated app, which comes with a respectable selection of chart and indicator types.

day trading brokers near me
MetaTrader app

Fees

Platform fees are applied in the format of spreads or commission, although additional day trading brokerage firms account fees may be charged too. In particular, look out for account inactivity fees, overnight fees, deposit and withdrawal fees.

The spreads and commissions charged are often influenced by whether the platform is a Dealing Desk or a No Dealing Desk (NDD) day trading broker. With an NDD broker, the platform has access to multiple providers to get more competitive trading prices. ECN or STP methods can then be used to execute this. A dealing desk broker is also known as a market maker and will take all customer trades, regardless of whether they are trading in the market or not. However, because they are taking on more risk, dealing desk brokers often have higher spreads meaning it costs more to trade with them.

Interactive Brokers LLC offers an STP account with competitive commission fees and rates which makes them especially suited to day traders, although they come with a huge initial deposit requirement of $10,000. Alternative cheap day trading brokers include Pepperstone which offers tight spreads through its ECN Razor account, or Robinhood which has a free trading account and is one of the best choices for beginners in the USA. HDFC Securities offers low brokerage charges for customers looking to day trade in India.

Regulation

Choosing a regulated day trading broker is highly recommended when carrying out any type of investing, though not all regulators offer the same level of protection. The most reputable regulators include the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). For the best day trading brokers across Europe, look for those with oversight from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

Regulators have the authority to impose sanctions on a day trading broker if they do not follow defined standards, thereby protecting the investor from bad practices. In some cases, the client’s funds are also protected, for example in the event the day trading broker goes into liquidation. Investors using FCA regulated day trading brokers in the UK have up to £85,000 of their funds protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Although regulators can apply controls to broker practices, agencies in some countries may apply additional restrictions and rules to day traders. In the US, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) does not allow Pattern Day Trading (PDT) with less than 25k USD Net Liquidation Value (includes cash, stocks, options and futures). This is enforced by first limiting a trader’s buying power and then closing the account. Because of this, there are no regulated day trading brokers without the PDT margin rule available, including Interactive Brokers. The best way to avoid the PDT rule without using offshore unregulated brokers is to carry out futures and options day trading.

Demo Account

Demo accounts enable day traders to practice strategies and become familiar with the trading environment, before depositing real money. Practising with virtual funds can prove particularly useful when day trading, which is more pressured due to the shorter timescales. Many day trading platforms now offer access to free demo accounts, without needing to commit to a live account first.

Customer Support

Many of the top 10 day trading brokers and platforms offer high-quality customer support. This can be via email, telephone, live chat or submission forms. Check when the customer support lines are open, as this might not align with the trading hours for all markets.

Additional Tools

Many day trading brokers now offer resources that go above and beyond the basic investing services, such as online educational programmes for beginners. Look out for blogs, step-by-step guides and YouTube videos. NinjaTrader is an example of a broker that provides training in the form of daily webinars and help videos.

Day trading brokers near me
NinjaTrader Youtube Training

Security

Security is paramount when depositing funds with a day trading broker. As a minimum, check that brokerage accounts offer two-factor authentication and encrypted login, as well as segregated bank accounts. Regulators will often define security practices that need to be carried out by a day trading broker, which is another reason for choosing a regulated platform.

Live Accounts

Account requirements vary between day trading brokers, depending on the services offered. Additionally, many brokers offer a selection of account types, targeted at different types of day traders. For example, some accounts may provide higher leverage and tighter spreads, in return for a higher minimum deposit requirement.

FXTM is a leading day trading brokerage that offers a range of three online accounts to cater for different types of investing strategies.

Supported Countries

Many day trading platforms impose restrictions on where their customers are located, so checking the ‘supported countries’ section of the broker’s website is key. Offshore brokers will allow day trading customers to open accounts outside of their country’s jurisdiction, though these brokers are unregulated and therefore not recommended.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Day trading brokers set their own deposit and withdrawal restrictions for each account type. This includes minimum deposit and withdrawal requirements, speed of payments, plus transaction options and associated fees (e.g. credit card and e-wallet).

CMC Markets is one of the best stock brokers that allows day trading and offers an account with no minimum deposit requirements. They are also regulated in Australia, the UK, Germany and Canada. For customers looking to day trade with smaller accounts in India and South Africa, XM is one of the best day trading brokers with low minimum deposit requirements.

Final Word On Day Trading Brokers

Day trading platforms are a key enabler for carrying out short-term investing. Despite this, the options can appear complicated, with many brokers offering different platform types, fees and account requirements. By reviewing this checklist, you can be confident you’ve considered the most important factors to find the best day trading brokers.

 

FAQ

How Do I Start Day Trading?

Finding a broker is the best way to start day trading as they provide access to securities exchanges. They also provide a platform that can be used to carry out technical analysis and execute trades.

What To Look For In A Day Trading Broker?

When selecting a day trading broker, the most important things to consider are regulation, market offerings, platform features, account requirements, fees and customer support.

What Are The Best Day Trading Brokers?

Pepperstone, Plus 500 and eToro are some of the highest-rated, regulated day trading friendly brokers that also offer a huge variety of assets.

Which Day Trading Brokers Have Low Minimum Deposit Requirements?

CMC Markets offers an account with no minimum deposit requirement and is regulated in Australia, the UK, Germany and Canada. For forex day traders looking for a low minimum deposit account that supports clients in India and South Africa, try XM.