Best Futures Brokers

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Written By
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Michael MacKenzie
Michael is a writer and editor with over a decade in journalism and publishing. His niche lies in editing and fact-checking content in the financial services sector, with a focus on online brokers and trading platforms. Michael previously reported on politics and economics in the Middle East and edits books for established publishers.
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Edited By
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James Barra
James is an investment writer with a background in financial services. He has worked as a management consultant, where he delivered large-scale operational transformational programmes at some of Europe's biggest banks. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a series of investing websites.

Futures contracts are an agreement to buy or sell an underlying asset or the cash equivalent at an agreed price on a future date. Futures can be traded on a range of markets, from commodities to stocks and bonds.

Our experts have evaluated dozens of futures brokers to compile a list of the best platforms. To find the top futures brokerages, we considered several metrics:

  • The fee per futures contract
  • The types of futures contracts
  • The platforms and tools
  • The broker’s safety rating

List of 5 Best Brokers For Futures Trading 2024

These are the top futures brokers based on our findings:

  1. NinjaTrader: Best Overall Broker For Futures Trading
  2. IG: Best For Index Futures
  3. IC MarketsBest MetaTrader Broker
  4. XM: Best For Beginners
  5. Trade NationBest For Fixed Spreads

Comparison of Top 5 Futures Brokers

Top 5 Brokers For Futures Trading Comparison
NinjaTrader IG IC Markets XM TradeNation
Fees $0.09 Per Contract Variable Spread Variable Spread Variable Spread Fixed / Variable Spread
Underlying Assets Indices, Commodities, Cryptos Indices, Commodities, Bonds Indices, Commodities Indices, Commodities Indices, Commodities, Bonds
Minimum Deposit $0 $0 $200 $5 $0
Platforms Own MT4, ProRealTime MT4, MT5 MT4, MT5 Own, MT4
Regulated Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

NinjaTrader - Best Overall Broker For Futures Trading

NinjaTrader is a top-rated futures broker headquartered in the US and regulated by the NFA and CFTC. Its award-winning futures software is used by more than 800,000 traders. 

Why We Chose It

We recommend NinjaTrader because it offers an excellent all-round package for futures traders:

  • You can trade over 100 futures contracts on indices including the Nasdaq, Dow Jones and S&P 500, energies including oil and gold, plus cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin.
  • You can also trade micro futures, which are 1/10th of a standard contract and nano futures, which are 1/100th of a standard contract.
  • There are three pricing plans with discounts as you move through the tiers. The Lifetime plan offers a very low commission of $0.09 per Micro contract and $0.59 per Standard contract.
  • Traders get $50 margins for Micro contracts and $500 margins for leading futures markets.
  • Futures traders can access extensive market data plus historical tick, minute and daily data.
  • NinjaTrader operates a 24-hour emergency support desk.

IG - Best For Index Futures

IG is a respected broker listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the FCA, ASIC, NFA, and CFTC, amongst others. More than 300,000 traders have opened an account with the futures brokerage.

Why We Chose It

We recommend IG for futures investing because of several factors:

  • You can trade 15 futures contracts on indices including the FTSE, Dax, Nasdaq and S&P 500, commodities including oil, natural gas and gold, plus bonds including the Bund and Long-term BTP.
  • You can speculate on rising and falling prices with futures CFDs and futures spread bets (UK only).
  • IG charges a variable spread on futures with no commissions or overnight fees.
  • Deep liquidity ensures reliable execution, including near contract expiries.
  • The web platform and mobile app are user-friendly with powerful charting.
  • You can trade futures indices 24/7.

IC Markets - Best MetaTrader Broker

IC Markets is a trusted futures broker headquartered in Australia and regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA. More than 180,000 traders have signed up with the online brokerage.

Why We Chose It

We recommend IC Markets for futures traders due to several elements:

  • You can trade 20+ futures contracts on indices including the ICE Dollar and CBOE VIX, plus commodities including oil, cocoa, cotton and wheat.
  • You can trade futures CFDs with high leverage up to 1:200.
  • IC Markets charges competitive spreads on futures with no commissions or financing fees.
  • Futures are available on the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms.
  • You can trade futures 24/5.


XM is a popular global broker regulated by the ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, and FSC. More than 10 million traders have signed up with the multi-award-winning futures broker.

Why We Chose It

XM is good for futures investing for several reasons:

  • You can trade 20+ futures contracts on indices including the Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Euronext, plus commodities including coffee, cocoa and wheat.
  • XM charges a floating spread with no commission or overnight fee.
  • You can bet on rising and falling prices with futures CFDs.
  • You can trade futures CFDs with leverage up to 1:10.
  • Futures are available on the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms.
  • XM offers best-in-class education for new traders.

Trade Nation

Trade Nation, formerly Core Spreads, is a reliable futures broker regulated by the FCA, ASIC, FSCA, SCB and FSA. Tens of thousands of investors have signed up with the broker since it launched in 2014.

Why We Chose It

We recommend Trade Nation for futures investors due to several factors:

  • You can trade 30+ futures contracts on indices including the Nasdaq, Dow Jones and FTSE, commodities including oil, plus bonds including the Bund and UK Long Gilt.
  • You can trade futures on the TN Trader and MetaTrader 4 platforms.
  • Trade Nation charges fixed spreads on futures through the TN Trader platform and variable spreads on the MetaTrader 4 platform.
  • You can trade futures CFDs with leverage up to 1:20.

What To Look For In A Futures Broker

We considered several key factors when choosing the best futures brokers:

Underlying Assets

We think a wide range of underlying markets brings more opportunities and allows for effective risk management. In our experience, leading firms offer futures on indices such as the Dow Jones and S&P, commodities like oil, gold and wheat, and bonds such as the German Bund.

We also consider the investing vehicles available, from micro and nano futures which are a fraction of the size of standard futures contracts, to the availability of futures CFDs, which offer long and short opportunities, high leverage, and can be traded around the clock.

  • NinjaTrader stands out for its 100+ futures spanning multiple asset classes, including Bitcoin.


Fees are a critical consideration for us – the cost of trading directly impacts your bottom line and ability to turn a profit. For us, transparent pricing is a sign of a reputable futures broker, so we prioritize firms that provide clear and competitive fee structures.

Futures brokers tend to charge a commission per contract. Alternatively, some firms charge a variable spread. We examine average commissions, considering any volume-based discounts.

Besides commissions and spreads, brokers may charge non-trading fees such as market data fees, platform fees, deposit/withdrawal charges, and inactivity fees. Since these fees can have an impact on traders’ profit margins, we also take them into account.

  • IG offers competitive spreads on its futures indices, starting from 3.0 during our tests.

Platforms & Tools

The speed and capability of platforms are crucial for executing futures strategies effectively, so we assess each firm’s supported software to ensure they are quick, reliable and userfriendly.

For us, the best platforms allow you to plan futures trades as well as react quickly to ongoing market movements, so we consider the availability of advanced charting tools, technical indicators, and order execution capabilities.

With a wealth of proprietary and third-party platforms available from brokers, we put together a roundup of some of our favorites:

  • IC Markets offers futures contracts on the reliable MT4 and MT5 software.
Trading futures on NinjaTrader platform

Regulation & Trust

Trust is paramount when choosing a futures broker, and is one of our top considerations during the review process. We only recommend firms that live up to high standards of security and safety.

Since the clearest sign of trustworthiness is regulation by a reputable financial organization, we usually give priority to futures brokers that are overseen by tier-one bodies like the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) or the  UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

To verify if a broker is regulated by a trustworthy body, we:

  1. Search the broker’s website for advertised regulatory credentials
  2. Cross-reference this data with the official regulator’s database
  3. Look for a valid license number issued by the authority
  4. Verify the broker’s incorporation and registration details
  5. Check for past regulatory violations or customer complaints
  • TradeNation is regulated by multiple trusted financial bodies, including the FCA, ASIC, FSCA, SCB and FSA.


Our team spends thousands of hours each year reviewing brokers and writing about the financial markets, and we drew on this expertise when compiling our list of the best futures brokers.

We score firms across more than 100 data points, placing the most importance on regulatory compliance, the types of futures contracts available, fee structures, margin requirements, and access to market-leading tools.

Beyond the quantitative assessments, our team test futures brokers to incorporate the overall investing experience into their comprehensive reviews and ratings.


What Is A Futures Broker?

A futures broker is an intermediary that helps traders buy and sell futures contracts. They provide access to futures markets, execute trades, and offer various services to assist traders in managing their futures positions.

Which Is The Best Futures Broker?

The best futures broker in 2024 is NinjaTrader. It offers futures on more than 100 underlying assets, from stocks and commodities to cryptocurrencies. Fees are also low with commissions starting from $0.09 per contract.

Runners up in our rankings of the best futures platforms are IG, XM, IC Markets and Trade Nation.

What Is The Best Futures Trading Platform?

The best futures platform depends on your individual trading style and preferences. However, some factors to consider include the tools available, execution speed, and user interface.

Popular platforms that offer a good balance of these features are MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and NinjaTrader.

What Do I Need To Trade Futures?

To start trading futures, you will need an account with a futures broker, sufficient capital to meet margin requirements, a strategy and a thorough understanding of futures markets. Your strategy should include the underlying assets you want to speculate on, potential entry and exit points, as well as risk management parameters.

Is A Margin Account Needed To Trade Futures?

Yes, futures are generally traded in a margin account. You will need to deposit enough money into your account to meet margin requirements which can vary depending on the futures contract you are using, but can be as low as 3% of the contract.

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