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Forex demo accounts are free practice accounts for new traders. Think of them like flight simulators for new pilots. Like a flight simulator, you can make all kinds of mistakes without any consequences – except for maybe a bruised ego and the realisation that you have a lot to learn. Demo accounts are always free, but some are better than others. Most traders with a demo account will go on to open a live account with the same broker. 

To test these demo accounts, we set up the trading software, read the educational material, traded away all of the virtual money we were given, and used the customer service teams to help get us started. While trading with these brokers, we rate the quality of their financial regulation, trading platform choice and read the fine print to get a grasp of the trading conditions should a novice trader want to open a live trading account. These are the best demo trading accounts in South Africa for 2021, according to our testing and our research.

English

The best Forex demo accounts in SA

Last updated on 15 Jun 2021
Updated 15 Jun 2021
by Editorial Director Jeffrey Cammackby Jeffrey Cammack
Jeffrey Cammack
All Brokers Regulated
All Brokers Regulated
by Trusted Authoritiesby Trusted Authorities
Trusted
1
AvaTrade
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.484.48
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/5
Education Score
5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.
2
FXTM
Min. Deposit
USD 10
4.334.33
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/7
Education Score
5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage Flexible. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.
3
IronFX
Min. Deposit
USD 50
3.743.74
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/7
Education Score
3.5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.2 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. Only MT4 platform supported. IronFX is regulated by CySEC, FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA - FSP:45276.
4
HotForex
Min. Deposit
ZAR 70
4.494.49
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/5
Education Score
5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.
5
XM
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.254.25
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/5
Education Score
5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.
6
CM Trading
Min. Deposit
USD 250
3.243.24
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/5
Education Score
3.5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.5 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & Sirix platforms supported. CM Trading is regulated by the FSCA.
7
XTB
Min. Deposit
USD 5
4.144.14
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/5
Education Score
5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.50 pips on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. xStation5 platform supported. XTB Group is regulated by CySEC, FCA, the DFSA, the FSCA, and the IFSC
8
BDSwiss
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.324.32
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/5
Education Score
5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. BDSwiss is regulated by CySEC, BaFin, the FSC, and the FSA-Seychelles.
9
Eightcap
Min. Deposit
USD 100
4.074.07
Demo Account
Beginner Course
Webinars
Support Hours
24/5
Education Score
2.5/5
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.00 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Eightcap Markets is regulated by ASIC & the VFSC.

How to compare demo accounts

A demo account trading account is a risk-free setup for beginners and experienced traders equally. While beginner traders will use this account type to test trading platforms and learn how trading works, experienced traders will use a demo account for testing new strategies without the risk of losing capital. To compare demo accounts, consider the following:

Free Education: Any legitimate demo account will be free. A reliable broker will never charge for opening a demo account and will often provide free learning material to get you started. Structured trading courses complemented by top-quality market analysis by in-house analytics teams are a great addition to any demo account.

Trading platform: The first thing a beginner trader will learn is how to manage the trading platform. Learning Forex strategy is complex enough, so before trading any real money, invest the time in finding a trading platform you are comfortable operating. 

Customer service: Demo accounts are mainly used by beginners, and beginners often need customer service support. While customer service hours vary between brokers, the evening and weekend opening hours will affect when you can get the support you need and fit your learning into a busy schedule.


These are the best demo accounts for 2021

  • AvaTrade - Best Mobile Demo Account
  • FXTM - Best ECN Demo Account
  • IronFX - Best Regulated Demo Account
  • HotForex - Best MT4 Demo Account
  • XM - Best MT5 Demo Account
  • CM Trading - Best Demo Account by an SA Broker
  • XTB - Best Demo Account Platform
  • BDSwiss - Best Market Research
  • Eightcap - Best ASIC-regulated Demo Account

AvaTrade – Best Mobile Demo Account

The free demo account is available on AvaTrade’s webtrader platform, MT4, MT5 and its mobile app, AvaTradeGO. Clients can trade over 1250 instruments, including Forex, cryptocurrency, stocks, commodities, and indices. Voted the best Forex Trading App 2020, AvaTradeGO offers a sophisticated dashboard, complete with a set of intuitive management tools, clear zoomable charts, and many more helpful features.

AvaTrade offers a library of educational material, tools and analysis to assist clients in finding the best trading opportunities. The demo account includes a 100,000 USD balance that expires after 21 days. If you are not ready to open a live account after this time, contact the customer service team and extend it. Customer support is available 24/5.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Dealing desk
  • Limited market analysis
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.90 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 400:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. AvaTrade Group regulated by ASIC, FSCA, B.V.I FSC & FSA.

FXTM – Best ECN Demo Account

The free demo account at FXTM allows clients to trade 60 Forex pairs on their choice of the MT4 or MT5 platforms. The FXTM Demo Account never expires and is available as an option on all account types, including FXTM’s market execution Advantage and Advantage Plus Accounts. FXTM is also regulated by the FSCA in South Africa.

For new traders, FXTM has a great deal of high-quality educational material. The comprehensive education section includes articles, videos, and webinars. There is an additional set of videos covering analysis topics and more detail on chart reading techniques. Market analysis is updated daily and offers many actionable trading ideas.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Excellent education
  • Well regulated
  • Low minimum deposit
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage Flexible. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Leverage offered can vary depending on country of residence, and your trading knowledge and experience. FXTM is regulated by CySEC, FCA, FSCA, and the FSC.

IronFX – Best Regulated Demo Account

IronFX is a well-regulated Forex market maker with MT4 support and award-winning education and research material for traders. Traders can choose between two demo accounts – the Standard Floating Spread Account or the STP/ECN Absolute Zero Account. Both demo accounts come preloaded with 100,000 USD, and demo traders can choose from variable leverage up to 1:1000.

IronFX’s education section features educational videos covering trading strategy, market analysis, social trading, crypto trading, and trading psychology for beginner traders. Market analysis is updated daily, and major news organisations frequently call on the IronFX research team to offer insight.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.2 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. Only MT4 platform supported. IronFX is regulated by CySEC, FCA, ASIC, and the FSCA - FSP:45276.

HotForex – Best MT4 Demo Account

HotForex is a well-regulated STP broker with awards for its client protection and product line. The HotForex demo account is unlimited and comes with 100,000 USD preloaded on both MT4 and MT5. But the MT4 Demo Account experience is the standout here; with complete access to expert advisors and over 50 built-in indicators, this is the better MT4 demo experience for new traders.

Award-winning customer service and their client-focused approach to doing business means that beginner traders at HotForex can rely on premium support. High-quality structured courses and market analysis will benefit beginners and intermediate traders.

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Tight spreads
  • Well regulated
  • Good range of accounts
Cons
  • Limited base currencies
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 1000:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. HF Markets Group regulated by the FSCA, FCA, FSC, CySEC and the DFSA.

XM – Best MT5 Demo Account

Awarded the Global Forex Broker of the Year 2020 in the Global Forex Awards, XM is a serious market maker broker. The demo account at XM is funded with a 100,000 USD virtual balance and available on both the MT4 and MT5 platforms. XM’s MT5 Demo Account is aimed at traders who want to trade more than just Forex. With over 1000 instruments available, traders will have access to stock CFDs, stock indices CFDs, CFDs on precious metals and CFDs on energies. The MT5 demo account also features a market depth indicator, hedging, and full EA functionality. XM’s demo account is not time-limited.

For beginner traders, XM Group’s educational content is based on instruction in a video format. The core educational offerings are three Education Rooms, aimed at traders of differing skill levels – primary, intermediate and advanced. The Primary Education Room is open to the public, but access to the others requires registration.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Excellent education
  • Wide range of assets
  • Fast and free withdrawals
Cons
  • Dealing desk
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.60 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. XM Group regulated by CySEC, ASIC, and the IFSC.

CM Trading – Best Demo Account by an SA Broker

CM Trading’s demo account is available on both MT4 and Sirix Webtrader, allowing users to copy other traders’ strategies. The demo account comes pre-loaded with a balance of anywhere between 5,000 – 50,000 USD, which is up to the trader.

The CM Trading live account offers spreads starting at 1.5 pips on the EUR/USD. It is a reasonable choice for new traders who want educational material and access to the CopyKat copy-trading system. Maximum leverage is 200:1, and both MetaTrader 4 and Sirix Webtrader platforms are available.

Pros
  • Good for beginners
  • Great customer support
  • Copy trading accounts
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
  • Local regulation only
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.5 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 200:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & Sirix platforms supported. CM Trading is regulated by the FSCA.

XTB – Best Demo Account Platform

The XTB demo account has 100,000 USD virtual funds and remains open for four weeks – after which traders are expected to move to a live trading environment. For beginners, XTB has some of the best Forex education available. Its Trading Academy is structured into topics and experience levels; it is clear and concise and structured like a course. Market analysis is less detailed but will assist new traders looking for trading opportunities.

The main draw at XTB is the award-winning xStation 5 trading platform. Intuitive, powerful, and fast, xStation 5 shows XTB sentiment data in the platform and offers powerful charting tools, one-click trading, and real-time performance statistics so traders can identify areas for improvement.

Pros
  • Well regulated
  • Tight spreads
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Good for beginners
Cons
  • Limited platform choice
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.50 pips on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. xStation5 platform supported. XTB Group is regulated by CySEC, FCA, the DFSA, the FSCA, and the IFSC

BDSwiss – Best Market Research Provider

The free demo account at BDSwiss comes with 10,000 USD virtual credit and has no time limit. It is available on MT4, MT5, the BDSwiss WebTrader and the recently updated mobile app. Adding another demo account or changing the demo account balance can be done by contacting the BDSwiss support team. Winner of our award for the Best Market Research Provider of 2020, beginner trader’s will benefit from the accuracy of its market forecasting. BDSwiss is also known for its comprehensive trading education, tight spreads and free deposits and withdrawals.

Live trading accounts at BDSwiss are suitable for both beginners and more experienced traders, including a Raw Account with spreads down to 0 pips. All accounts benefit from fast execution speeds, with 97.5% of all trades executed in less than 0.2 seconds. 

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • Good for beginners
  • Wide range of assets
Cons
  • Expensive withdrawals
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 1.50 pips on trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. BDSwiss is regulated by CySEC, BaFin, the FSC, and the FSA-Seychelles.

Eightcap – Best ASIC-regulated Demo Account

Eightcap is an ASIC-regulated, no-intervention market maker with MT4 and MT5 support and variable spreads. In addition to Forex, Eightcap’s demo account offers trading on a selection of indices, commodities, and US and Australian shares. Share trading is available on the demo account, though exclusively on the MT5 platform, and includes 250 of the largest US and Australian stocks. Alongside big US tech companies like Tesla, Apple, and Google the shares of Australian majors like BHP Group and Commonwealth Bank are also available.

The Eightcap demo account will expire after 30 days but can be easily converted to an unlimited demo account by contacting customer support. Both account types are available as demos – one commission-free Standard Account and a Raw Account with very tight spreads and a commission of 3.5 USD per lot. EAs, scalping, and hedging are also allowed on both accounts.

 

Pros
  • Great platform choice
  • Excellent education
Cons
  • Limited demo account
  • No swap-free account option
  • Extreme leverage
AlertAccepts South African Clients. Average spread EUR/USD 0.00 pips with 7 USD commission round turn on the trading account with lowest minimum deposit. Max leverage 500:1. Islamic account available. MT4 & MT5 platforms supported. Eightcap Markets is regulated by ASIC & the VFSC.

What is a Forex Trading Demo Account?

While a live Forex account is funded by the trader, a demo account is a free virtual Forex trading account designed for beginners. This virtual money can only be used in the demo account and cannot be converted into real money. Because demo accounts work in the same way as real accounts, traders with demo accounts will face real market conditions.

Demo accounts are all about learning how Forex trading works. Demo accounts are a good way for a new trader get hands-on experience before opening a live account and practice what they have learned. Demo accounts are also used by experienced traders to test new strategies, new trading robots and new trading platforms.

Why Use a Forex Demo Account?

Use a Forex demo account so that you will not lose any money while you are learning. Forex is a high-risk venture and 70-90% of traders will lose money, and beginner traders rarely profit by jumping straight into a real account. Being profitable depends on how well you know the Forex market and your ability to use your trading platform correctly. It also depends on the performance of your Forex trading strategy.

Note that demo accounts are simulations of live accounts. For the true trading experience, you should open a demo account with the same minimum trade size as you would use in your live account. This way the demo trading environment will better mirror a live account, so the trader will learn how to trade, gain platform experience and perfect a strategy that will also work on a live environment. 

Trader thinking

A Guide To Demo Accounts

Demo accounts at different brokers can change considerably. Just because the money in the accounts is not real, does not mean that the rest of the broker experience will be the same. When reviewing brokers by demo accounts look for these things.

Unlimited Demo Account

Traders should choose a Forex demo account that never expires. Some brokers will only offer demo accounts for three for four weeks, but most brokers will extend the demo account if asked.

Demo accounts that are unlimited are better because allow you to practice at your own pace, with no need for renewal. This way you are not under pressure to complete your education within a set time. With a demo account that never expires, you can also continue your trading education once you have a live account.

Here are the FSCA regulated brokers with unlimited demo accounts. They are ordered by overall score, showing the broker with the highest overall score at the top. 

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Unlimited Demo
FSP #
All Regulators
Beginner Course
Experienced Course
Beginner Videos
Advanced Videos
Webinars
No. of FX Pairs
Compare
4.49 /5
Read Review
46632
51
4.49 /5
Read Review
43906
67
4.48 /5
Read Review
49464
60+
4.30 /5
Read Review
49846
32
4.24 /5
Read Review
45052
70+
4.18 /5
Read Review
49835
40
4.03 /5
Read Review
50885
37
3.74 /5
Read Review
45276
85
3.69 /5
Read Review
49288
40

Demo Account Trading Platforms

When choosing a demo account, a trader should consider which trading platform to use. MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is supported by many Forex brokers and is a reliable platform with a lot of community support. Because it is so widely supported there are many online tutorials and guides for beginners. MetaTrader 5 (MT5) is similar to MT4 but has extended features and a more modern interface. cTrader is another popular platform, though is less widely available.

Some brokers will offer more than one choice of platform. Choosing a broker with a wide platform choice would allow for the trader to try different trading platforms on the demo account. Here are the FSCA regulated brokers with a wide platform choice. They are ordered by overall score, showing the broker with the highest overall score at the top. 

Scroll for more detailsPreviousNext
Broker
Overall Rating
Min. Deposit
All Platforms
FSP #
All Regulators
Unlimited Demo
Android App
iOS App
Support Hours
Compare
4.49 /5
Read Review
ZAR 70
46632
24/5
4.49 /5
Read Review
ZAR 2500
43906
24/5
4.48 /5
Read Review
USD 100
Avatrade Social
45984
24/5
4.48 /5
Read Review
USD 100
49464
24/5
4.33 /5
Read Review
USD 10
46614
24/7
4.30 /5
Read Review
ZAR 1000
Cloud Trade
49846
24/5
4.24 /5
Read Review
USD 100
FxProEdge
45052
24/5
4.18 /5
Read Review
USD 5
ThinkTrader
49835
24/6
4.13 /5
Read Review
USD 50
NinjaTrader
46534
24/5
4.12 /5
Read Review
USD 1
51024
24/7
4.03 /5
Read Review
USD 1
50885
24/7

Mobile Trading on Demo Accounts

If you plan to be doing a lot of mobile trading, it makes sense to open a demo Forex account on a mobile app as well. Make sure that the trading app works well on your mobile phone.

Mobile trading apps have evolved a lot over the years since the first ones became available a decade ago. To a large extent, the functionalities of Forex demo accounts available on desktop platform terminals are now captured by mobile apps.

Customer Support for Demo Accounts

All brokers will have customer service open on weekdays, but the better brokers extend their customer service into the evenings and weekends. We include the customer service hours in our reviews and some of the tables on this page. Contact methods can vary from poor customer service ticketing systems (eToro) to direct email address and local toll-free phone numbers. Live chat and other messenger services are also available with some brokers, but responsiveness can vary depending on the time of day.

How do you open a Forex Trading Demo Account?

Opening a demo account only takes a few minutes. To get started:

  1. Visit a Forex broker where you would like to open an account.
  2. Complete your personal information.
  3. Verify your phone number or email address.
  4. Follow the instructions on your screen and in your email.

Here is a video tutorial showing how to open a demo account on FXTM, but the process is a similar with other brokers.

Forex Risk Disclaimer

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors as it carries a high degree of risk to your capital: 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. 

Forex and CFD transactions involve high risk due to the following factors: Over-leveraging, unpredictable market volatility, slippage arising from a lack of liquidity, inadequate trading knowledge or experience, and a lack of regulatory protection for clients.

Traders should not deposit any money that is not disposable. Regardless of how much research you have done, or how confident you are in your trade, there is always a substantial risk of loss. (Learn more from the FCA or from ASIC)

Our Methodology

Our State of the Market Report and Broker Directory are the result of extensive research on over 100 Forex brokers. The explicit goal of these resources is to help traders find the best Forex brokers – and steer them away from the worst ones – with the benefit of accurate and up-to-date information.

With over 150 data points on each broker and over 3000 hours of research and review writing, we believe we have succeeded in our goal. 

In a world where trading conditions and customer support can vary based on where you live, our broker reviews focus on the local trader and give you information about these brokers from your perspective.

All research has been conducted by our in-house team of researchers and writers, gathering information from various company representatives, websites and by sifting through the fine print. Learn more about how we rank brokers and our advertiser disclosure.

References

FCA proposes stricter rules for contract for difference products – Press Release – Published: 06/12/2016 – https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-proposes-stricter-rules-contract-difference-products

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Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

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