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We tested 160+ Forex brokers to determine which offered the best no deposit bonus for South African traders. While most brokers don’t offer bonuses to clients, we have found the best welcome promotions for new traders.

Below the list are reviews of each broker where we explain why each of them made it on this list.  These are the best Forex Brokers with the best bonuses in South Africa in 2021.

Overview

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Broker
Overall Rating
Official Site
Bonuses
Min. Deposit
Max. Leverage (Forex)
FSCA (SA) Regulation
Beginner Friendly
Platforms
Compare
XM
4.25 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
$30 No Deposit Bonus
USD 5
500:1
Excellent
FXTM
4.33 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
30% Deposit Donus
USD 10
2000:1
Excellent
IronFX
3.74 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
20% Deposit Bonus. Minimum Deposit $100.
USD 50
500:1
Standard
FBS
4.23 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
$70-140 Level Up Bonus. No Deposit Required.
USD 1
3000:1
Excellent
AvaTrade
4.48 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
20% Welome Bonus on Deposits over $200.
ZAR 1500
400:1
Excellent
Avatrade Social
AvaOptions
easyMarkets
3.98 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
Receive 50% or up to a $2000 tradable bonus based on your first deposit
USD 25
400:1
Standard
HotForex
4.49 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
50% Welcome Bonus. $50 Minimum Depisit.
ZAR 70
1000:1
Excellent
Markets.com
4.49 /5
Read Review
Visit Broker >
Your capital is at risk
20% First Deposit Bonus
ZAR 2500
300:1
Excellent

What is a Forex No Deposit Bonus?

Brokers around the world offer bonuses to entice customers into trading with them. A no-deposit bonus shares some characteristics with other bonuses, like a deposit bonus. However, the main difference is that a minimum deposit is not required to qualify for the no-deposit bonus, whereas a deposit bonus offers a percentage or a fixed amount when you make a deposit with a forex broker.

But is it worthwhile taking these bonuses up or are there drawbacks? TradeForexSA has conducted research to help you answer that question.

What types of bonuses do brokers offer?

Brokers offer a variety of bonuses to attract new customers. They include:

Welcome bonus: As the name implies, this is offered to newly-registered customers on the website. Amounts vary (from US$5 upwards) and it is relatively easy to research the best offers simply by searching on Google. The main types of welcome bonuses are:

  • Deposit-matching bonus: This bonus can be used to trade and is given by forex brokers when a trader makes a new deposit into a forex account. Typical offers include “Deposit US$500 and we’ll give you US$100” or “We’ll match 100% of your deposit up to US$1000”.
  • Sign-on bonus: As the name implies, this is a bonus you receive as soon as you register with a broker, such as US$30 whether you make a deposit or not. This no-deposit bonus is paid into the trading account as trading credit.

Trading or volume bonus: This bonus is related to the quantity of trades a trader carries out. To qualify, you will need to have traded the minimum monthly volume within a calendar month and you will then get a rebate on your trades. It involves trading large amounts of money, so is not applicable to beginners. For example, if you trade US$300 million in a calendar month, you could receive a rebate of US$10 per million dollars traded, which means your monthly rebate would be US$3000.

Cashback: This involves returning a portion of paid commissions to the trader’s account. Some brokers charge a flat fee – usually between US$5 and US$10 – on each trade. A broker may offer to pay back, for example, US$3 of the US$10 commission they charge on a trade as a bonus to the trader’s account.

Referral bonus: Some brokers pay a cash bonus into your account when you refer a friend to their platform.

How to apply for a no-deposit bonus

Most brokers offer a bonus to traders once they meet two requirements: registering and then opening a trading account. In the case of a no-deposit bonus, the money will automatically be allocated to your account and you will be able to start trading. A deposit bonus requires you first to deposit money into your account.

The difference between a forex deposit bonus and a no-deposit bonus

As their name implies, deposit bonuses offer a reward if you pay money into an account. For example, some brokers promise to give you a 100% bonus on the funds you deposit into an account, while others offer a set amount, offering for example a US$300 bonus if you open an account with a US$100 bonus.

No-deposit bonuses appear even more attractive: many South African forex brokers give you a free first deposit that allows you to start trading without risking your own capital. They are designed to encourage new traders, with little experience, to overcome their fear of investing real money into forex trading.

How to choose the best no-deposit forex bonus

The global forex market is vast, with a large number of brokers in South Africa and offshore. You can use comparison websites to research the offers available at a given time and narrow your options down to the ones that suit you best. You should also read the reviews of traders who have used the platforms and their views on the bonuses on offer.

You should consider a number of factors before choosing to accept a no-deposit bonus. These include:

Regulation: Is the broker regulated and is it authorised to offer services in your country of residence? You need to check that the broker is legitimate and trustworthy. Check whether it has a regulatory licence and then check with the regulator if that licence really is valid.

Terms and conditions: You should read the terms and conditions of the bonus carefully. Make sure, for example, you understand the conditions related to the withdrawal of your profits. Brokers often set limits because they want to encourage traders to keep trading. The bonus funds are often frozen, either wholly or in part, until certain conditions are met. For example, the broker might pay out US$1 of the bonus for every US$10,000 traded. Such bonuses might be more suitable for regular traders who place dozens of trades a day, or who place trades of a large size, rather than for beginners.

Time limits: bonuses often come with time limits. You may, for example, have 30 days to trade the bonus funds before invalidating withdrawals.

Eligible currency pairs: Brokers might limit the use of these bonuses on certain currency pairs, again underlining the need to read the conditions carefully.

Regulation and forex bonuses

Both regulated and unregulated brokers offer no-deposit bonuses. In South Africa, brokers are regulated by the FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority). You can use an offshore broker that is not regulated by the FSCA, but that brings both advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that you won’t be subject to the same restrictions as when using a broker regulated by the FSCA. The disadvantages include the fact that if you use a broker registered in another country, it will be subject to the regulations of that country and it may not be as well supervised as a South African firm. If things go wrong and your broker is registered in a country thousands of miles from South Africa, it might be difficult to gain legal redress.

Forex bonus advantages

A no-deposit bonus is a good way for a trader to move into the market without risking their own money. This is vital, given that forex markets are highly complex and volatile, subject to seemingly random movements. Diving straight into trading your own money without any experience, or with very little experience, is a recipe for financial disaster. Using a bonus helps you to build up your knowledge in a risk-free manner. You should bear in mind that the learning process may take weeks or even months.

On a very basic level, using a bonus can help you to find out whether you can actually make money trading forex, and whether it’s something you like doing. It can also help you to determine how much time, effort and money you want to devote to trading and influence your choice of strategies, etc.

Forex bonus disadvantages

Taking a bonus can lead to withdrawal issues

Imagine you deposit US$1000 into a forex account and the broker gives you a US$200 bonus. Your total capital is now US$1200, but you won’t be able to withdraw that amount or even a portion of it until you meet the conditions in the small print of the bonus offer. Typically, they may require you to trade US$10,000 for each US$1 of the bonus. So, for that US$200 to become yours, you need to trade US$2,000,000 worth of currency.

Forex bonus terms vary, but they generally require a trader to trade a very large sum of money – read the fine print to understand exactly how much.

They are worth far less than the headline figure suggests

You may have to trade US$10,000, even up to US$100,000, for each US$1 of the bonus. Yet if the currency you are trading moves by just one pip, or one-hundredth of 1%, while you’re holding a mini lot (US$10,000 worth of currency), that equates to a US$1 increase or decrease in your account equity, depending on whether the trade moves in your direction or not.

That shows you just how small the bonus actually is, and it should make you question whether taking a bonus is worthwhile, given the withdrawal issues involved. In addition, trying to trade your way to freedom, i.e. being able to withdraw all your money should you wish to do so, could lead you to trade more often than is prudent and undertake poor-quality trades.

One-off, small sum

These bonuses are only given once, involve a small amount of money and are likely to have very little impact on a trader’s overall earnings.

Common terms and conditions of forex bonuses

  • Forex bonuses are usually available only to new clients.
  • They are usually subject to time limits. They might, for example, only be made available if the account is validated within 30 days of the registration date.
  • The no-deposit bonus is automatically cancelled in the event that a client withdraws money during or after the no-deposit bonus period.
  • No-deposit bonuses apply per client, so if a client holds multiple accounts, they are only eligible to receive the no-deposit bonus once, in the first account that was registered during the promotional period.
  • There might be a limit on the number of no-deposit bonuses that can be granted to family members/per household.
  • There are usually conditions relating to withdrawals. For example, you might have to complete a certain number of trades within a set time period and generate a specified amount of profit. You may also have to trade US$10,000, or even up to US$100,000, for each US$1 of the bonus.
  • You may be restricted in terms of the currency pairs you can trade using the bonus.

Steps to collect my bonus

You will first have to open an account with a broker. The procedure varies from one broker to another but generally involves filling in an online form and providing some form of ID, such as a passport, driver’s licence, etc., and a utility bill. You may also have to respond to an email or text message to verify your details. You should be able to open an account online, but if this is not possible you may have to send proof of identity in the post.

FAQs

What is a forex platform?

A forex broker provides traders with a platform that gives them access to the FX market and provides tools for executing buy and sell orders. The most popular trading platforms are MT4, MT5 and cTrader. As well as enabling trading, platforms host educational information and news feeds and offer forex charting packages, which could help you analyse the likely direction of a given currency pair.

How do I learn how to trade the forex markets?

A wide range of educational information is available on forex platforms and on the internet more generally. There are videos ranging from those that introduce you to the basics of forex trading to those aimed at experienced professional traders.

One of the best ways to learn is to open a demo account. These are trading accounts that let you trade on live markets with pretend money. You can use them to practise trading all manner of financial instruments, including forex. Any trades you make will behave exactly as they would if you were using real money in a real trading account. This type of trading is also known as “paper trading” since no real money is involved. Demo accounts are a great way to learn how a trading platform works without the fear of losing money as you get to grips with the basics of trading as a beginner.

No-deposit bonuses also allow you to learn how to trade forex without the fear of losing your own money.

TradeForex hosts a vast array of educational material for beginner traders, including a very useful introduction to forex trading in South Africa.

How do I know if my broker is safe?

Checking a broker’s regulatory status is a simple process for all the major regulators. It only takes a couple of minutes but could save you a lot of money and heartache!

The South African FSCA is well regarded but is not considered one of the best international regulators. However, many South African traders like to work with FSCA-regulated brokers as this provides local protection and requires the broker to have a local office and local bank accounts.

Checking whether a broker is regulated by the FSCA is easy. The FSCA offers a search tool for all authorised Financial Service Providers (FSPs) here: https://www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm. You simply have to enter the broker’s FSP number (displayed on its website) to confirm whether it is regulated by the FSCA.

What assets can I trade?

You should be able to trade a whole host of financial assets with a no-deposit bonus, although you should always check if the no-deposit bonus excludes any instruments before you agree to accept one. The financial instruments available include:

  • Indices
  • Forex
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Metals
  • Commodities
  • Equities
  • Exchange Traded Funds

Can I withdraw profits from the no-deposit bonus?

As mentioned earlier, this is one of the main disadvantages of bonuses. Forex bonus terms vary, but they generally require a trader to trade a very large sum of money before any withdrawal can be made. Typically, they may require you to trade US$10,000 for each US$1 of the bonus. So, for example, if you are offered a US$200 bonus, you will need to trade US$2,000,000 worth of currency before you can withdraw the money.

You should always check the terms and conditions of the no-deposit bonus and ensure you understand the rules related to withdrawals.

Do I need to verify my account to receive my bonus?

Yes. You will be required to verify your email address and the broker will check that the identity and proof of residence documents you provide are genuine and relate to you.

References

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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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