Try Online CFD Trading with a FREE Demo Account

There are lots of CFD brokers and platforms out there for you to choose from. I try to list the best ones right here. All of the below companies offer free demo access to their platforms.

Table of contents:

We are compensated for referring clients to some of the listed trading providers.

AVATrade screenshot

AVATrade offers trading of cryptocurrencies, ETFs, commodities, and stocks as CFDs. You can also trade forex here.

There are 11 different cryptos to trade here, including the most popular ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum. They offer up to 2x leverage on Bitcoin, 10x on commodities, and 5x on stocks.

AVATrade Reviews

4.7 / 5.0 ~5,700 TrustPilot reviews
4.6 / 5.0 ~5,500 Google Play reviews
4.5 / 5.0 ~420 App Store reviews

Free demo

Look for the "demo account" button below the big "register now" button.

You need to provide your name, email, and phone number to register for a AVATrade demo account.

I think you might even have to provide your ID and more on the next steps. Definitely not as easy to access this demo as the demos offered by most of the other CFD brokers I've tried.

Risk warning: 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Visit AVATrade
IC Markets screenshot

IC Markets is a very popular trading site with over 1,750 tradable instruments and up to 500x leverage.

This includes forex CFDs for over 60 currency pairs, over 20 indices CFDs with up to 200x leverage, over 20 commodity CFDs with up to 500x leverage, over 1,600 CFDs for shares, over 10 bond CFDs, crypto CFDs with up to 5x leverage, and CFDs for futures with up to 200x leverage.

IC Markets Reviews

4.8 / 5.0 ~15,400 TrustPilot reviews
4.5 / 5.0 ~3,200 Google Play reviews
4.6 / 5.0 ~10 App Store reviews

Review info

The review data from Google Play and the App Store are for the IC Markets cTrader App. There are also other IC Markets apps available.

Crypto trading

IC Markets enables its clients to trade crypto CFDs 7 days a week. There are at least 12 different cryptos here, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, EOS, Emercoin, NameCoin, PeerCoin, Polkadot, Stellar, and Chainlink.

CFDs for Australian shares

There are CFDs for shares listed on the Australian Securities Exchange at IC Markets, I just don't know how many. There is a market data fee of $22 AUD/mo for ASX trading. The minimum commission fee is $7 AUD per trade.

Free demo

Look for the 'Try a Free Demo' button on the homepage of IC Markets.

You need to provide your name, email, country of residence, and phone number to register for a demo account.

Once you log into your client dashboard, you can open a new demo account as per your needs. Look for this link under the 'Accounts' menu. Choose between cTrader, MetaTrader 4, or MetaTrader 5 for your demo. You can also choose your leverage and initial deposit.

Risk warning: Trading Derivatives carries a high level of risk to your capital and you should only trade with money you can afford to lose. Trading Derivatives may not be suitable for all investors, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved and seek independent advice if necessary.

Visit IC Markets
CMC Markets screenshot

CMC Markets offers a trading platform with access to 10,000 financial instruments you can trade with up to 30x leverage.

This includes over 300 currency pairs, popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, over 9,000 shares (including 1,000 ETFs), a selection of commodities, and more.

CMC Markets Reviews

4.2 / 5.0 ~1,200 TrustPilot reviews
3.2 / 5.0 ~2,100 Google Play reviews
4 / 5.0 ~110 App Store reviews

Free demo

You need to click the "start trading" button and provide and verify your email address to join CMC Markets. Once you do, you'll have access to demo CFD trading on their platform.

After verifying your email you'll be prompted to enter lots of details to register a regular account, but you can just skip that and you'll get access to demo trading instead.

Risk warning: 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider.

Visit CMC Markets
IG screenshot

IG claims to be the world's leading CFD provider. They very well might be. I can at least let you know that they are one of the most popular ones according to website traffic statistics by Alexa.

With IG you can trade over 17,000 markets. This includes forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, shares, and commodities.

As I write this, they offer trading of 6 different cryptos: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, and NEO.

IG Reviews

3.7 / 5.0 ~4,600 TrustPilot reviews
4.3 / 5.0 ~12,200 Google Play reviews
4.6 / 5.0 ~20,900 App Store reviews

Free demo

You need to enter your name, phone number, email, country of residence, and enter a username and password to register for a free demo trading account with IG. Once you enter those details you'll have instant access to the CFD trading platform.

Risk warning: 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.

Visit IG
Plus500 screenshot

With the Plus500 trading platform, you can trade over 2,000 CFD instruments on stocks, indices, currencies, commodities, and crypto. They've got CFDs for all of the most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, and Cardano.

Plus500 Reviews

2.3 / 5.0 ~1,200 TrustPilot reviews
3.9 / 5.0 ~95,600 Google Play reviews
3.6 / 5.0 ~40 App Store reviews

The leverage in each category of CFD instruments on the Plus500 platform is as it follows:

  • Crypto: up to 1:2
  • Indices: up to 1:20
  • Forex: up to 1:30
  • Commodities: up to 1:20
  • Shares: up to 1:5
  • Options: up to 1:5
  • ETFs: up to 1:5

Free demo

Look for the "try free demo" button on the homepage of Plus500.

You can register for your free demo account easily with your Google, Facebook, or Apple account. Or just provide your email address and a password. You'll get in instantly.

When you enter the demo you'll be guided through the most basic functions of how to trade on this platform.

Risk warning: 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Plus500AU Pty Ltd (ACN 153301681), licensed by: ASIC in Australia, AFSL #417727, FMA in New Zealand, FSP #486026; Authorised Financial Services Provider in South Africa, FSP #47546. You do not own or have any rights to the underlying assets. Please refer to the Disclosure documents available on the website.

Visit Plus500
Saxo Bank screenshot

Saxo Bank offers CFD trading for over 9,000 instruments. You can trade stocks, indices, forex, commodities, options, and bonds.

You can also trade cryptocurrency with Saxo Bank. They offer two different products. One is called Crypto FX which allows traders to take advantage of short-term volatility. And then there is an unleveraged instrument called Crypto ETPs for long-term investing.

Saxo Bank Reviews

2 / 5.0 ~1,400 TrustPilot reviews
4.2 / 5.0 ~3,100 Google Play reviews
4.3 / 5.0 ~3,700 App Store reviews

Free demo

Look for the "preview platform" button beside the "open account" button. This lets you get a look at the platform.

If you want to place trades, you can register for a free 20-day demo trading account. This requires you to enter your name, email, country of residence, phone number, and a password. Once you do, you'll get instant access.

A demo account grants access to both SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO. You can use GO in the browser or you can download the PRO version for PC or Mac.

Risk warning: 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Visit Saxo Bank

What is a CFD?

CFDs are financial instruments that can be used for short-term trading. It is not suitable for long-term investing. There are fees for holding on to a position with CFDs over time. For instance overnight. Make sure you learn how it all works before trading substantial funds. CFDs often come with high leverage enabling bigger results from smaller investments. Both to the downside and to the upside.

CFD trading advantages

There are advantages to CFD trading compared with buying stocks and other financial instruments directly. You can, for instance, trade with leverage and you can also often trade a wide range of all sorts of underlying instruments with the same CFD broker. This includes shares, cryptocurrencies, and commodities in most cases. You can also go short just as easily as you can go long with CFDs which can be a big advantage.

CFD trading risks

As you can see from the risk warning all CFD brokers are required to put on their websites, there are risks involved with online trading, and maybe CFD trading in particular. The main reason for this might be that there is built in a lot of leverage into CFDs. This can be a benefit if you know what you are doing. However, it can be terrifying to see a position move against you really heavily just because of a small drop in price on the underlying asset. CFDs also are subject to other rules as set by the brokers.