IG vs ActivTrades: full comparison of costs, trading tools, & more

IG boasts an impressive track record of over 45 years in the industry, positioning itself as a pioneer in online trading. The figures themselves underscore its prominence: with a user base exceeding 240,000 spread across more than 16 countries globally, IG empowers traders to engage with over 17,000 financial markets.

On the other hand, ActivTrades, with a commendable 20-year history, stands as one of Europe’s most prosperous intermediaries. It garners notable recognition for prioritising trader security and protection, offering comprehensive training, and delivering exceptional customer service.

Within this article, we will conduct a thorough comparison of IG vs ActivTrades, assessing factors such as commissions, product offerings, platforms, and user opinions, as well as their respective advantages and disadvantages.

IG vs ActivTrades: which one to choose?

🌎 RegulationUK, EU, Switzerland, USA, Singapore,
Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand
Italy, UK, Luxembourg, Portugal, Bahamas, Brazil
💰 Minimum depositNo minimum for bank transfers
£250 minimum for PayPal and credit/debit cards
📈 Trading assetsSpread betting, CFDs, real sharesSpread betting and CFDs
🕹️ Demo accountYesYes

Established in 1974 in England, IG was the brainchild of Stuart Wheeler and commenced its journey with a modest team of three employees. Initially named IG Index, the abbreviation ‘IG’ represented Investor Gold. Presently headquartered at Cannon Bridge House in London, the company has garnered a reputation for trailblazing innovations in the realm of online trading.

Notable among these innovations are the pioneering introduction of the first online spread betting platform in 1998 and the groundbreaking Apple Watch trading app in 2015. Nowadays, IG boasts a global presence, with offices dispersed across multiple continents.

On the other hand, ActivTrades, the brokerage firm, saw its inception in Switzerland back in 2001, founded by Alex Pusco, before subsequently relocating to the financial hub of the City of London in 2005. With two decades of experience under its belt, it has rightfully earned its place as a pioneer in the sphere of international online trading.

From its founding in 2001 until 2021, ActivTrades has steadily expanded its reach across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, establishing new branches in key locations like Milan, Sofia, and the Bahamas. While its initial focus was primarily on forex trading, the company’s offering has evolved over time, now encompassing an impressive array of CFDs and spread betting products spanning forex, indices, stocks, commodities, and ETFs, among others.

IG vs ActivTrades: trading assets

📈 Trading AssetsSpread betting, CFDs, real sharesSpread betting and CFDs

IG is a CFD and spread betting broker, allowing the trading of various underlying assets, including:

  • Stocks (over 17,000 global titles to choose from)
  • Indices (over 80 tradable indices)
  • Forex (major, minor, and exotic pairs)
  • Commodities
  • ETFs (over 5,400 ETFs available)
  • Futures (via spread betting or CFDs)
  • Bonds (bond futures and bond ETFs)
  • Interest rates and volatility funds

ActivTrades offers traders a wide range of tools to trade CFDs and spread betting products, including:

  • Over 50 forex pairs
  • Over 20 indices and bonds
  • More than 15 commodities
  • Over 1,000 stocks
  • ETFs from a wide range of sectors, from energy to financials, health, industry, real estate and even technology.

IG vs ActivTrades: cost structure

💰 Cost structureAverageLow
💵 Inactivity Fee£12/month (After 2 years)£10/month (After 1 year)
💵 Withdrawal Fee£0£0


Regarding the commissions and costs charged by IG, the structure is quite complex and differs based on which account type you opt for and which assets you want to trade.

For example, the share-dealing account (no derivatives) comes with £0 fee for US stocks and £3 for UK stocks. For spread-betting and CFDs, a variable spread must be covered. For example, for forex, the minimum spread is 0.6 pips.

For a full breakdown of costs, have a look at our in-depth IG review.


It’s noteworthy to mention that ActivTrades charges 0% commissions, so it is one of the best commission-free brokers right now.

Except for CFDs on stocks, ActivTrades does not charge commissions on transactions and transaction costs are only included in the bid-ask spread.

Similar to IG, the spreads charged are variable. For instance, the minimum spread for forex is 0.5 pips for the EUR/USD pair, while the minimum spread for commodities starts at 0.03, while stocks do not come with a spread (so, you can trade stocks without any extra fees). Have a look at our ActivTrades review for an in-depth insight into this broker.

IG vs Activtrades: trading platforms

IG platforms

One of the main features of IG is the ability to trade on multiple platforms. The broker, in fact, uses four proprietary platforms in addition to compatible platforms where you can connect IG accounts.

The four proprietary platforms are:

  • The IG Trading web platform
  • The L2 Dealer for more experienced customers
  • The IG Trading app

There are also external platforms that can connect to the account, these are:

  • MetaTrader4
  • ProRealTime

IG Trading web platform

The IG Trading web platform is a platform that does not require downloading. In fact, to access it, it is enough to log in directly from the broker’s website at the end of the account registration.

It is a professional and easy-to-use platform. Users can customise layouts and themes, as well as activate price alerts and indicators. You can also create a Favourites list in the Watchlist section to select the products you want to monitor.

There is also a news section with all the Reuters news with personalised content.

Next, there is an economic calendar, which sends the user to the IG page that contains all the most important economic events. IG also offers a section dedicated to charts that allows you to do technical analysis.

IG mobile application

Compatible with Android and iOS, the IG Trading app is the ideal solution for those who prefer to trade anywhere from a smartphone rather than from a computer.

The IG Trading app is available for smartphones and tablets and provides all the basic functions of the web platform.

The application is easy to use and particularly intuitive. Use the app to enter orders, set alerts, and view charts wherever you are.

ActivTrades platforms

ActivTrades also provides a proprietary platform, but also access to the world’s most popular third-party platforms:

  • ActivTrader
  • MT4
  • MT5

ActivTrader is a web platform appreciated for its practicality and intuitiveness, while MT4 and MT5 are desktop platforms designed for more advanced traders who want to use sophisticated tools for analysis and automated trading.

All platforms can be accessed via both mobile and computer.

ActivTrader platform

ActivTrader is a platform owned by the UK-based broker. It is highly customisable, boasts multiple tools and advanced features, and even charting capabilities. Notably, available in desktop, mobile and tablet versions, the platform can display up to 16 chart types.

There is also a Watchlist on the left side of the platform that allows you to monitor selected financial instruments.

The platform is easy to use and intuitive, offering a myriad of tools to trade the markets, making it ideal for both experienced traders and beginners. For example, trailing stop-loss orders help protect profits, while market sentiment allows you to identify new trends forming in the trading community.


The MetaTrader 4 platform, also known simply as MT4, is a global platform and is considered one of the most reliable and popular.

MT4 is intuitive, convenient and comprehensive, offering cutting-edge technology and high-security trading. The third-party tools provided include:

  • SmartOrder 2: increases execution speed and improves position management; it allows multiple functions to be used simultaneously.
  • SmartLines: automatically executes orders on the chart based on predefined trend lines.
  • Smart Calculator: quickly identifies the risk and potential return of a position.
  • SmartTemplate: decision support for identifying the best trading opportunities.

The platform is available for desktops, mobile devices and tablets. For more information about this platform, check out MetaTrader 4 review.


Finally, the MetaTrader5 platform, or MT5 for short, is available for desktop, web and mobile devices, and in addition to all the other products available on MetaTrader 4, you can also access over 500 CFDs on stocks and ETFs.

Check out our MT5 review for a full breakdown of its tools and features.

IG vs ActivTrades: withdrawal and deposit

After registering an account, you can make your first IG deposit to verify your identity. For this reason, it must be done by bank transfer. Subsequent deposits can instead be made by bank transfer, credit card, or PayPal.

The deposit for cards and PayPal is £250. There is no minimum amount for bank transfers.

With ActivTrades, you can deposit funds quickly and free of charge. The accepted payment methods are the following:

  • Bank transfer
  • Credit/debit cards Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro
  • Online wallets such as Paypal

Excluding bank deposits which take 24 to 48 working hours, all other payment methods provide funds within a few minutes of the transaction.

IG vs ActivTrades: security of funds

The funds and assets of IG are held in separate bank accounts, with the customer as the beneficiary, thus being different from IG’s own funds.

In addition, in accordance with the applicable regulations on the protection of customer funds, IG only uses its own funds for hedging operations and does not use customer funds to cover against counterparties or other intermediaries.

Therefore, if IG is liquidated, customer’s funds are protected as per FCA regulations.

ActivTrades is also authorised and regulated by the FCA and covered by the FSCS, adhering to all current regulations.

Why is IG convenient?

The advantages of opening a live account with IG include:

  • It is an online trading platform and does not require a download.
  • Trade online anytime and anywhere with free apps for mobile and tablet devices.
  • Full access to over 17,000 financial markets.
  • Fund your account via credit or debit card or bank transfer.

Why is ActivTrades convenient?

If you want to trade derivatives like CFDs and spread betting, ActivTrades could be the right choice because of several reasons, such as:

  • A comfortable and intuitive platform for professionals and beginners.
  • Fast and available customer service.
  • Regulated by FCA and covered by FSCS.
  • Competitive spreads and no commissions.

Differences between IG and ActivTrades

Of course, there are several differences between the two brokers. Here, we summarise the most important ones:

  • The deposit methods are slightly different
  • IG is less intuitive, so it is suitable for more experienced traders.
  • ActivTrades has 0% commissions and potentially lower spreads (depending on your trading needs).

ActivTrades vs IG: Trustpilot

The two brokers enjoy high ratings on Trustpilot. IG has a significantly higher number of reviews and its customers, mainly traders, appreciate the variety of platforms that can be used for trading. For ActivTrades, the main positive comments are the reputation of the company, but also the ActivTrader platform.

ActivTrades’ Trustpilot review is as follows:

IG’s Trustpilot review is as follows:

ActivTrades Vs IG: summary

IG is a broker that uses platforms and tools suitable for beginners and more experienced users. Also, the wide range of trading products is notable. The cost structure is average for the industry, but it is not one of the best commission-free brokers.

On the other hand, ActivTrades has a highly competitive cost structure and a wide array of assets available via CFDs and spread betting. However, none of these brokers allows crypto trading if you reside in the UK; in this case, check out our best crypto brokers.

If you are a novice, none of these brokers may be suitable for you. You may want to check our best brokers for beginners to explore more options.

In conclusion, deciding the best broker ultimately comes down to your consideration. If you are an active trader, it is better to choose a broker according to your trading strategy, type of assets, and risk appetite.

For the trading platform, MetaTrader 4 is the standard choice for every forex trader. But if you want to have a different experience with a more advanced platform, have a look at the best forex brokers and the best trading platforms.

👍 Advantages of ActivTrades👍 Advantages of IG
Comfortable and intuitive platforms for both professionals and beginners.Reliable and secure with over 45 years of experience.
No commissionsEasy-to-use proprietary platforms plus third-party platforms.
Multiple assets to choose fromOffers a share-dealing account
👎 Disadvantages of ActivTrades👎 Disadvantages of IG
Few types of accounts.Higher costs.
It is not possible to trade cryptocurrencies.Not very beginner-friendly..
No real assets (only derivatives) 

Compare IG with other brokers

FAQ: ActivTrades vs IG

Is ActivTrades safe?

ActivTrades is regulated by the CSSF (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier) of Luxembourg, FCA of the United Kingdom, CMVM in Portugal, CVM in Brazil and SCB of the Bahamas.

Is IG safe?

IG is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), BaFin in Germany and CONSOB in Italy. It has been in business since 1974.

What happens if ActivTrades or IG fail?

ActivTrades and IG are regulated, which means that, as part of their regulatory obligations, ActivTrades and IG must offer a certain level of financial protection to their clients. ActivTrades and IG are legally required to keep client funds separate from ActivTrades and IG funds.
Therefore, if ActivTrades or IG fail, they still will not have access to your money, and they are both registered with the FSCS.

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