Pepperstone is a reputable online Forex and CFD provider, which currently offers some of the best Forex trading conditions for both novice and advanced traders worldwide. The broker also caters to high volume traders with its Active Trader program.
In the current broker review, we will pay attention to the key aspects of Pepperstone, which you may consider before deciding whether to trade with this online brokerage.
Key Pros and Cons
Let us first provide a quick snapshot of Pepperstone’s advantages and disadvantages.
- Institutional grade liquidity and razor sharp pricing
- Fast, ECN-based order execution with no dealing desk intervention
- No fees on deposits and withdrawals and no inactivity fee
- Good selection of account types, including Razor accounts
- Good selection of trading platforms and advanced trading tools
- Negative Balance Protection for clients worldwide
- Award-winning customer support service
- Limited diversity of tradable asset classes
- No US, Canadian and Japanese clients
The Incorporation of Pepperstone
Established in 2010 and headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, Pepperstone has the mission to “create a world of tech-enabled trading where ambitious traders could embrace the challenge and opportunity of global markets.” What the broker offers its clientele includes superior technology, low-cost spreads and a genuine commitment to aiding them master trading the financial markets.
100,000+ Clients Worldwide
With more than 100,000 retail clients worldwide and an average of $9.2 billion of processed trades per day, Pepperstone is among the largest Forex and CFD brokers on a global scale.
Pepperstone Group is comprised of the following corporate entities with their respective regulated offices:
- Pepperstone Group Limited, regulated by the ASIC; office address: Level 16, Tower One, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3008, Australia;
- Pepperstone Markets Limited, regulated by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas; office address: Sea Sky Lane, B201 Sandyport, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas;
- Pepperstone EU Limited, regulated by the CySEC; office address: 363, 28th October Avenue 3107, Limassol, Cyprus;
- Pepperstone Limited, regulated by the FCA; office address: 70 Gracechurch St, London EC3V 0XL, United Kingdom;
- Pepperstone Financial Services (DIFC) Limited, regulated by the DFSA; office address: Al Fattan Currency House, Tower 2, Level 15 – Office 1502A, DIFC Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
- Pepperstone GmbH, regulated by BaFin; office address: Neubrückstrasse 1, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany;
- Pepperstone Markets Kenya Limited, regulated by the CMA; office address: The Oval Ring Road, Westlands, P.O Box 2905-00606, Nairobi, Kenya.
We should note that the Australian online brokerage does not accept clients from particular countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.
Why Trade with Pepperstone?
Now, let us provide a quick list of the key features that we like about Pepperstone.
|Aspect||What we like|
|Regulation||Respected and highly secure broker, regulated by the ASIC, the FCA and BaFin|
|Pricing||Razor-thin spreads and competitive commissions|
|Execution||Excellent ECN model-based order execution with no dealing desk intervention, no requotes and minimized risk of slippage. Ultra-fast execution speeds and low latency ensured|
|Risk Management||Negative balance protection for retail clients in all regulation jurisdictions|
|Platforms||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader. Additional package of institutional quality trading tools available.|
|Customer Support||Award-winning, 24/5 support service via several channels|
Pepperstone is a multi-regulated Forex and CFD broker. In Australia, its home market, it is authorized as a financial services provider and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which is a top-tier industry regulator. What this means is the brokerage can be expected to conduct its business operations in a highly transparent and ethical manner.
Pepperstone also has licenses from two more Tier 1 regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to service the UK market and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany.
In the EU, the brokerage is authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which is a Tier 2 regulator, or less stringent.
And, Pepperstone’s operations in other parts of the world are handled by Pepperstone Markets Limited, an entity that is licensed and regulated by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, which is far from strict.
A breakdown of the various regulation regimes is presented below.
|Australia||Pepperstone Group Limited||Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)||AFSL No.414530|
|UK||Pepperstone Limited||Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)||Registration Number 684312|
|EU||Pepperstone EU Limited||Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)||License Number 388/20|
|Germany||Pepperstone GmbH||Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin)||Registration Number 151148|
|UAE||Pepperstone Financial Services (DIFC) Limited||Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA)||License Number F004356|
|Kenya||Pepperstone Markets Kenya Limited||Capital Markets Authority (CMA)||CMA License No.128|
|Internationally||Pepperstone Markets Limited||Securities Commission of The Bahamas (SCB)||SIA-F217|
We can say that the broker’s regulation is solid, but not that rigorous compared to peers such as IG Markets, for example, which is regulated by six top-tier industry regulators, including CFTC.
The lack of CFTC regulation means that Pepperstone cannot offer online trading services to residents of the United States. The Forex broker also does not accept clients from Belgium.
But still, it is important to note that its FCA regulation means UK-based retail clients will be able to receive compensation of up to GBP 85,000 from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in case Pepperstone’s UK arm fails to meet its financial obligations.
And, its CySEC regulation means that EU retail clients will be compensated by the Cyprus Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) for an amount of up to EUR 20,000 in an event of broker failure.
KYC Procedure for Account Creation and Depositing
Opening a live trading account with Pepperstone turned out to be fast and trouble-free procedure. It took us about 15 minutes to complete the process, while our trading account was verified in 24 hours.
The entire (fully digital) procedure consists of the following steps:
- Creating a login – you are required to enter a valid email, select an account type and a password as well as to specify country of residence to begin the process;
- Inputting personal details – first and last name, date of birth, city of residence, street name and number, postcode, personal number and mobile phone number;
- Configuring the trading account – choosing a trading platform, an account type (Standard, Razor or Managed), a base account currency and a platform password;
- Taking a suitability test – Pepperstone will ask you to provide information about your employment and sources of income, trading experience, expected monthly volume of transactions (in terms of trading lots), expected annual account turnover, etc. Once you have been approved based on the answers you provided, you will move on to the next step of the process. Note that if many of the answers you provide do not match the broker’s internal requirements, your application will be rejected;
- Providing proof of ID (Passport, or National ID card, or Driver’s License) and proof of residency (utility bill, or bank account statement), which Pepperstone will have to verify.
Once you have filled the profile form and uploaded your identifying documentation, you will have to wait until the broker verifies your account. This procedure takes one business day. Once the review is complete, you can fund your account by using one of the flexible options available and start trading.
Similar to major peers such as IC Markets and FP Markets, Pepperstone has designed a range of account types in an attempt to cater to trading needs and financial objectives of a wider scope of traders (with various trading styles and of different skill level). The two main account types you can open with Pepperstone include:
- On MetaTrader 4, the commission charged will be $7.53 per round turn for 1 Standard Lot on a USD-denominated Razor Account; EUR 5.23 per round turn on a EUR-denominated Razor Account;
- On MetaTrader 5, the commission charged will be $7.00 per round turn for 1 Standard Lot on a USD-denominated Razor Account; EUR 5.23 per round turn on a EUR-denominated Razor Account;
- On the cTrader platform, the commission charged equals 0.0035% of the base currency traded. If you are trading 1 Standard Lot in GBP/USD, the commission charged will be GBP 3.50 to open the position and GBP 3.50 to close the position.
More active traders will find this account type as quite appealing, because it will allow them to reduce trading costs.
Active Trader Program
With Pepperstone, both retail and professional clients can become premium clients, which receive additional benefits such as advanced market insights, priority client support, complimentary VPS hosting service and discounted commissions. To qualify as a premium client, traders are required to satisfy the following thresholds for two consecutive quarters:
- In Forex – $15 million notional volume per month;
- In Commodities – $15 million notional volume per month;
- In CFDs – $15 million notional volume per month.
High-volume traders will be able to earn commission discounts, if they join Pepperstone’s Active Trader program. The discount will depend on the number of Standard Lots traded per month. In other words, the more clients trade, the higher the commission discount. All Forex discounts will be refunded on a daily basis and directly into clients’ trading account the day after a position has been closed. We should note that volume-based discounts are valid only for Foreign Exchange trades.
The discounts for high-volume traders are presented in the table below.
|Tier||FX volume in Lots||Discount per FX Lot||Typical monthly discount|
|4||501||More information about these discounts clients will be able to receive by contacting their premium client manager or Pepperstone’s team at firstname.lastname@example.org||More information about these discounts clients will be able to receive by contacting their premium client manager or Pepperstone’s team at email@example.com|
Multi Account Manager – MAM/PAMM
Qualified and experienced fund managers who have a relevant license or relevant industry experience may find Pepperstone’s Multi Account Manager (MAM) and Percentage Allocation Management Module (PAMM) program as appealing. Fund managers are required to have:
- a relevant regulatory license;
- at least 3 years of trading experience.
The broker’s MAM software allows for an easy management of hundreds of sub-accounts from one centralized place with virtually no delay in allocation. More precisely, fund managers can take advantage of the following benefits:
- Customizable performance, management and commission fees;
- Industry standard allocation methods (Lot, Percentage, Proportional);
- All unique order types are accepted (Trailing Stop, Close By and Close All);
- Minimum trade volume of 0.01 Lots per client;
- Algorithmic trading is allowed.
Islamic Account (Swap-Free)
Pepperstone also offers a swap-free account type suitable for clients of Muslim faith, as there will be no interest fees credited or debited. Trades in all available instruments will be associated with no swap or interest being earned or paid in line with Sharia law.
The average spread offered on major currency pairs such as EUR/USD ranges between 1.0 and 1.2 pips. This account type can be opened in four different base currencies, including USD, EUR, GBP and AUD. Similar to the Standard Account, scalping, hedging and algorithmic trading are allowed on the Islamic Account as well.
We should note that if you hold an active trade for 10 days, the broker will charge you an admin fee per 1 Standard Lot. This charge will depend on the trading instrument used:
- For Cryptocurrencies, except Bitcoin, and Commodities such as Orange Juice, Sugar, Cocoa and Coffee, the admin charge will be $1.00 per 1 Lot;
- For Forex pairs and Precious Metals, the charge will be $50.00 per 1 Lot;
- For Crude Oil, the charge will be $19.25;
- For Brent Oil, Bitcoin and Stock Indices such as GER30, IT40, JPN225 and CN50, the charge will be $10.00;
- For Indices such as DJIA 30, the charge will be $30.00;
- For Cotton, US Dollar Index and Stock Indices such as AUS200, HK50, UK100, US500, NAS100, EUSTX50, FRA40, SPA35 and US2000, the admin charge will be $5.00.
The broker offers the Swap-Free Account option to clients based in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Bahrain, Brunei, Brunei Darussalam, Algeria, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Mauritania, Maldives, Malaysia, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Qatar, Sierra Leona, Chad, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Kosovo.
With Pepperstone, you can also open a free Demo Account, which has a 30-day trial period and comes equipped with $50,000 in virtual funds. MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 Demo Accounts will automatically expire after 30 days, unless you have funded your live trading account with the broker and have asked the support team to set those demos to non-expiry. Meanwhile, a cTrader Demo Account will not expire, if you log into it at least once every 30 days.
Since it mimics real-time trading conditions, the Demo Account is very appropriate for testing a range of trading strategies in a risk-free environment, while you can also get acquainted with platform features and tools.
Trading fees and other costs
As a trader, you will always consider whether a particular brokerage has low fees and competitive bid-ask spreads. As with any other CFD and Forex broker, with Pepperstone you will need to be aware of two types of costs:
- Trading costs – spreads, commissions and overnight financing rates;
- Non-trading costs – account management fees, deposit and withdrawal fees, non-activity fees.
Let us provide a breakdown of those two categories and see how Pepperstone has positioned itself on this front.
|Costs/fees||What is this?||with Pepperstone|
|Spreads||The cost incorporated into the price of what you trade. A wider bid-ask spread means higher costs.|
|Commission||A flat fee paid per position often used as an alternative to charging via the spread.|
|Financing charges||The cost of holding a position active overnight.||The broker will not charge an extra fee on top of standard swap rates.|
|Deposit fees||Fees charged by the broker to fund your account.||None|
(see more in Deposit Methods below)
|Withdrawal fees||Fees charged by the broker to withdraw money from your account.||None|
(see Withdrawal Methods below)
|Inactivity fees||Fees charged on dormant trading accounts.||None|
Similar to other major peers, there are two different pricing models on Pepperstone’s main account types:
- Standard Account – all-inclusive spread only;
- Razor Account – ultra-thin spreads (starting from 0.0 pips) + a small commission (USD 7.53 per round turn, per Standard Lot for USD-based MetaTrader 4 account; EUR 5.23 per round turn, per Standard Lot for EUR-based MT4 account). For MetaTrader 5 Razor Accounts, USD 7.00 per round turn, per Standard Lot for USD-based account; EUR 5.23 per round turn, per Standard Lot for EUR-based account.
Let us take a look at the average spreads offered on both account types:
|Instrument||Standard Account||Razor Account|
|EUR/USD||0.69 pips||0.09 pips|
|GBP/USD||0.88 pips||0.28 pips|
|USD/JPY||0.74 pips||0.14 pips|
There is a mark-up (of 0.6 pips) to the average spread on Pepperstone’s Standard Account to cover the costs of trading.
Now, let us compare the trading costs for the two account types. Let us have a 1 Lot trade on EUR/USD (where 1 pip movement equals $10). Let us assume that the trade is opened and closed at the same price. By using the average spreads, the trading costs for the two accounts will be:
- Spread – 0.69 pips
- TOTAL COST – 0.69 x $10 = $6.90.
- Spread – 0.09 pips
- Spread cost – 0.09 x $10 = $0.90
- Commission – $7.53 per round turn
- TOTAL COST – $0.90 + $7.53 = $8.43.
Finally, let us compare Pepperstone Standard Account average spreads with those offered by other major brokerages on the three most actively traded Forex pairs.
|Instrument||Pepperstone||IC Markets||Fusion Markets||IG Markets|
It is evident that Pepperstone competes extremely well with IC Markets, another leading global Forex brokerage, in terms of average spreads offered on the Standard Account, while both brokers outpace some of their major industry peers.
Pepperstone will charge a commission of $7.53 for 1 Lot, per round turn (open and close of trade) on its MetaTrader 4 Razor Account.
- for a 1 Standard Lot trade (100,000 units) you will pay a $7.53 commission to open and close the position;
- for a 1 Micro Lot trade (1,000 units) you will pay a $0.08 commission to open and close the position.
A $7.53 commission for a 1 Lot trade is similar compared to what other brokers such as IC Markets will charge. However, an equivalent trade on a zero spread account with brokers such as Fusion Markets will incur a $4.50 commission per round turn, which is, at present, among the most competitive offers within the industry.
If you hold a currency position overnight, you will incur an overnight financing charge, also known as a swap rate. This charge is determined by the overnight interest rate differential between the two currencies included in the particular pair and whether you are holding a long position or a short position.
For Forex pairs and Spot Metals, Pepperstone’s swap rate is calculated by using the following formula:
Daily swap charge / credit = (One point / exchange rate) x (Trade size [or notional amount] x tom next rate).
The tom next rates are sourced from a Top tier global investment bank and are updated regularly to reflect the dynamic tom next market.
In order to view the swap rates on Pepperstone’s MetaTrader platforms, you can:
- First, select ‘View’
- Second, right-click on ‘Market Watch’ and then select ‘Symbols’
- Third, select the currency pair you wish to check and then select ‘Properties’ (‘Specification’ on the MT5 platform).
In order to view the swap rates on Pepperstone’s cTrader platform, you can:
- First, go to the ‘Finder’ tab
- Second, type the symbol name in the search bar
- Third, click the information icon next to the symbol to view its settings.
Pepperstone will not charge any deposit fees, which has already become a fairly standard practice among major brokerages – for more details see Deposit Methods
Pepperstone will also not charge any withdrawal fees on all payment options available. The broker, however, will not be responsible for any fees that may be charged by international banks for wire transfers – for more details see Withdrawal Methods
Pepperstone will not charge an inactivity fee, in case there has been a period of no trading activity on your account. With many of the large brokerages, you will usually incur such a charge. Therefore, we give Pepperstone the top mark on this aspect.
Overall on Fees
Pepperstone offers very thin spreads, reasonable commissions and there are no additional fees on top of overnight financing charges. Also, you will incur no non-trading costs, which we consider as another huge advantage.
Yet, as was the case with IC Markets, we do not give Pepperstone the top mark overall on fees, since its commissions are a bit higher compared to those of other industry competitors such as Fusion Markets, for example.
Desktop Trading Platforms
Currently, Pepperstone does not offer any proprietary desktop trading platforms. On the other hand, its range of third-party platforms includes MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader.
With Pepperstone, the most popular Forex trading platform is available for both Windows PCs and Mac. What you will find in this software includes live price quotes, real-time charting, good analytical tools for better informed decisions, 85 pre-installed technical indicators for a better market insight, flexible chart setups, the one-click trading option, decent expert advisor development and backtesting capabilities as well as support in 38 different languages.
But what is even more, Pepperstone’s MT4 platform will also grant you access to:
- 28 additional Smart Trader Tools – 12 expert advisors such as Alarm Manager, Correlation Matrix, Sentiment Trader, Trade Simulator as well as 16 extra indicators, including Candle Countdown, Donchian, Keltner, Gravity, Renko, Magnifier and so on. This package of extra tools will certainly be found useful by traders who seek institutional quality tools on top of what is available on MT4 by default;
- The Autochartist high-quality market scanner that provides statistically significant market movements;
- Good VPS hosting service (Check out the Trade Execution section for more details).
Other benefits you can enjoy with Pepperstone’s MetaTrader 4 platform include:
- Reliable, ultra-fast order execution (which we will discuss in more detail later in the current review);
- Razor sharp pricing across the broker’s entire Forex and CFD product list;
- Ability to trade micro lots for a better risk management;
- No restrictions on trade orders – Stop Loss and Take Profit orders can be placed at the closest pip distance possible from the current market price. This feature is not available with some of the other major online brokers;
- Good options to fund your account and to withdraw funds (which we will discuss in more detail later);
- MT4 Web Trader that can be accessed through all popular web browsers.
MT4’s successor, MetaTrader 5, ensures faster processing times, more order types, more timeframes, more technical indicators and drawing objects and grants access to a more comprehensive environment for expert advisor development and backtesting with the use of MQL5 coding language. MT5 is also easier to use, which may suit new traders.
In addition, the trading platform allows you to access more asset classes compared to MetaTrader 4, including Stock CFDs.
Let us also not forget to note that the MetaTrader 5 software provides access to Level II Pricing. This means the trading software will disclose the entire range of available prices for each currency directly from Pepperstone’s liquidity providers.
With its intuitive and user-friendly interface which you can customize with different presets and detachable charts, this trading software allows you to control slippage and order fills with advanced features. The platform also offers expanded symbol display, advanced order types and optimizes processing of expert advisors and technical indicators.
cTrader allows you to backtest your trading strategy on real-time data and conduct trading performance analysis, which are functionalities not available with MetaTrader 4, for example.
Additionally, cTrader allows you to customize watchlists, email and push notifications and provides access to cloud-hosted watchlists, workspaces and price alerts.
Other key advantages of Pepperstone’s cTrader platform include:
- Access to full Depth of Market – for every single Forex pair, you will be able to see the available volumes for each price level, at any time;
- Access to cTrader Automate – automated trading software used along with the cTrader platform. You can develop algorithmic trading systems and customized technical indicators with the use of the source code editor and C# programming language. You will also have access to FIX API.
Copy trading with Pepperstone
There are three third-party copy trading services available with Pepperstone:
- AutoTrade by Myfxbook – you can replicate the trades of any trading system selected directly into your MT4 account with the broker;
- DupliTrade – it is a popular trading strategy marketplace. The service allows you to access signals that come from top strategy providers and trade automatically based on them. Pepperstone requires a minimum deposit of AUD 5,000 for DupliTrade;
- MetaTrader Signals – a tool which allows you to access thousands of trading strategies and signals in real time without leaving the MetaTrader 4 platform.
Mobile Trading Platforms
With Pepperstone, you can also access all three trading platforms on a range of mobile devices through a mobile trading app.
We found that all MT4, MT5 and cTrader mobile apps translate very well from the desktop versions of the trading platforms.
Pepperstone’s MetaTrader mobile app for Android devices is very user-friendly and grants access to real-time Forex and CFD quotes, all trade orders (including pending orders), real-time interactive charts with zoom and scroll and the most popular technical indicators. The app requires Android 5.0 or later.
Similar features can be seen on the broker’s MetaTrader mobile app for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch). The app requires iOS 9.0 or later.
Meanwhile, the cTrader mobile app for Android devices will give you access to sophisticated technical analysis tools (4 chart types, 5 chart view options, 8 drawing objects, 65 technical indicators), QuickTrade Mode that allows for one-click trading, links to various news sources, Market Sentiment Indicator as well as the ability to set price alerts and use push and email notifications. The app requires Android 4.4 or higher.
These functionalities and features are also available on the cTrader mobile app for iOS devices. The app offers an improved full-screen chart panel. You can quickly access major chart features and options with a short tap and advanced customizing and a more detailed view with a long tap. The trading app requires iOS 11.0 or later.
Still, we should note that, similar to peers such as IC Markets, Pepperstone currently does not offer a proprietary mobile trading app.
Although Pepperstone’s focus has been mostly on Forex trading, over the years, the company has managed to expand its CFD product list and, currently, you will find over 1,000 financial instruments available for trade. Still, that number tends to be not that impressive, especially if compared to major peers such as IG or IC Markets. Also, we found that Pepperstone has a bit limited diversity of asset classes – 6, as it does not offer CFDs on Bonds, Futures, Options or Interest Rates.
|Asset Class||Pepperstone||IC Markets||Fusion Markets|
Let us now take a closer look at the product list.
Forex – Currently, Pepperstone offers 62 major, minor and exotic currency pairs to trade, which is a bit above the average number of products offered by major peers. The broker also offers 3 Currency Index CFDs (US Dollar Index, Euro Index and Japanese Yen Index).
But what truly impresses here are Pepperstone’s competitive trading conditions – razor sharp pricing due to its diverse liquidity mix and advanced ECN execution technology. You can trade major Forex pairs with spreads of as low as 0.0 pips on Pepperstone’s Razor Account, while the average spreads also tend to be very tight – 0.09 pips on EUR/USD (which competes well with peers such as IC Markets and FP Markets).
The maximum Forex leverage that professional traders can access is 1:500, while max leverage for retail clients is limited to 1:200. However, in some jurisdictions such as Australia, the EU and the UK there will be leverage caps for retail traders – 1:30 on major Forex pairs and 1:20 on minor and exotic currency pairs. At the same time, the maximum leverage you can access on Currency Index CFDs is 1:100. Overall, we can say that Forex trading with a leading broker such as Pepperstone is quite advantageous for traders employing different styles – from scalping to swing trading.
Stock Index CFDs
Globally, stocks are renowned for being a mid-term investment that provides traders with a vast range of trading options. Economic events, such as earnings reports, new products, and changes in competitors’ stock prices, can affect the prices of stocks to a large extent.
At eToro, you can trade over 2000 stocks from across 17 exchanges, and you may choose to trade real stocks or CFDs. You trade real stocks by opening a non-leveraged position. When you open a non-leveraged position on a stock, the stock is purchased and held in your name. You can also trade fractional shares, where you can buy as little as a is $50 worth of a stock whose share price is $1,000. However, you can only go long on the stock and never short.
Trading stock CFDs allows you to trade in either direction: go long or go short. You can also make use of leverage to magnify your position size to increase your profit potential.
Stock CFDs – Pepperstone now grants you access to CFDs on over 900 large-cap US, UK, German and Australian Stocks across the NYSE, NASDAQ, LSE, ASX and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on the MetaTrader 5 platform. The maximum leverage allowed for retail clients is 1:20, but in certain jurisdictions such as the EU there will be stricter leverage limits. Pepperstone also offers CFDs on over 100 ETFs, which track the performance of sectors such as mining, energy, technology, retail and so on. That selection is roughly in line with what most major competitors currently offer.
Pepperstone will charge you a small commission per trade, as follows:
- 0.07% for Australian Shares CFDs (minimum AUD 5.00);
- $0.02 per share for US Stock CFDs;
- 0.10% for UK Shares CFDs (minimum GBP 10.00);
- 0.10% for German Shares CFDs (minimum EUR 10.00).
Commodity CFDs – There are currently 25 CFD contracts available to trade, which include 4 Spot Energies (WTI Crude Oil, Brent Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Gasoline), 5 Spot Metals (Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Copper) and 16 Soft Commodities such as Corn, Soybeans, Sugar, Lumber, Cocoa or Coffee. The max leverage allowed for retail clients is:
- 1:200 on Spot Metals
- 1:100 on Spot Energies
- 1:50 on Soft Commodities.
Note that in other Pepperstone regulation jurisdictions (UK, EU, Australia) there are strict leverage caps in place for retail investor accounts. Overall, we consider Pepperstone’s Metals and Energies CFD list as OK, but, similar to peers such as IC Markets, its Soft Commodity list tends to be a bit limited.
Cryptocurrency CFDs – You can access 9 different digital currencies, traded in pairs against the US Dollar in the form of CFDs. There are also 3 Crypto Indices available – Crypto 10, Crypto 20 and Crypto 30. The maximum leverage allowed for retail clients is 1:10, but in certain jurisdictions such as the EU, the UK and Australia it will be capped to 1:2. You will find popular Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple along with some altcoins such as Polkadot and Chainlink.
On the other hand, what you cannot trade at Pepperstone are Futures CFDs, Options CFDs, Interest Rate CFDs and other more complex instruments (designed for professional traders in particular).
With Pepperstone, you will be able to take advantage of reliable ECN execution of your trade orders with no dealing desk intervention. An ECN model of operation boosts not only client trust, but also allows for exceptionally fast execution speeds. According to Pepperstone, the majority of client orders in Australia are filled in less than 30 ms, while most client orders in the UK are filled in less than 60 ms. The broker ensures:
- a 99.88% fill rate on Forex trade orders;
- a 99.90% fill rate on Index CFD trade orders;
- a 99.97% fill rate on Commodity CFD trade orders.
Similar to major competitor IC Markets, Pepperstone sources its pricing from a deep pool of Tier 1 liquidity providers and those prices are then passed onto its clients without any dealing desk intervention. This diverse liquidity mix allows the online brokerage to offer razor-thin spreads across its Forex and CFD product list.
Ultra-fast order execution with minimized risk of slippage coupled with razor sharp pricing constitute the perfect conditions for scalpers, high frequency traders and clients who use automated trading strategies.
Pepperstone utilizes a market execution model. This means all your trades and pending orders will be filled at the price streamed on the broker’s trading platform at the moment you place an order. It also means you will experience no requotes.
Let us also not forget to mention that the online broker offers high-quality Virtual Private Server (VPS) service, which enables you to run Expert Advisors 24/7 with the fastest possible connectivity to its trading servers. When you join Pepperstone, you will receive a 20% discount on a VPS subscription (Basic+ Package) with the FXVM provider and a 25% discount on any VPS plan offered by New York City Servers.
Key benefits of using a VPS hosting service with Pepperstone include:
- 1ms latency to the broker’s trade servers;
- 100% uptime guarantee (during market hours);
- Installation of third-party applications (MT4 platform, Expert Advisors and Signals);
- SSD drive use that allows for much faster data retrieval and execution than standard HDDs.
Pepperstone requires a minimum deposit of $200 for all live account types and it will not charge any fees on deposits. Still, you should be aware that there may be charges on international bank transfers, which may be beyond Pepperstone’s control.
The Australian brokerage accepts deposits made in 10 different base account currencies, including Australian Dollar, United States Dollar, Euro, Canadian Dollar, British Pound, New Zealand Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc. This variety of base currencies reduces potential costs related to foreign exchange conversion.
With Pepperstone, there is also a diversity of account funding methods, including:
|Credit and Debit Cards by Visa or MasterCard||deposits are processed instantly|
|Bpay||processing may take up to 48 hours|
|Bank Transfer||processing time between 2 and 5 business days|
Currently, there are no deposit bonuses available with this brokerage.
Pepperstone will usually process all withdrawal requests, received after 21:00 GMT, on the following day. If you submit your withdrawal form before 07:00 AEST, it will be processed on the same day.
All withdrawals will be matched to the account funding method used, as is the case with other Pepperstone peers.
The online broker will not charge any additional fees on withdrawals, which is a plus. The only exceptions are international telegraphic transfers, which will incur a processing fee of AUD 20 (or currency equivalent). Pepperstone also has a minimum withdrawal amount requirement for international bank wire transfers – AUD 80 (or currency equivalent).
Withdrawals made via bank transfer may take between 3 and 5 business days to clear, but if there are unforeseen circumstances withdrawal times could be longer.
Withdrawals made via Debit or Credit Cards may take up to 5 business days to clear, while if you withdraw via PayPal, Skrill, Neteller or UnionPay, the funds will usually reach your bank account within 1 business day.
Customer Support Contacts
Pepperstone offers award-winning customer support service 24 hours a day, 5 days in a week. You have the freedom to contact the broker’s support team through several channels:
|Live Chat||24/5||Less than 30 seconds|
|Telephone contact||24/5||Within several minutes|
|Email contact||24/5||Within several hours|
|FAQs||24/7||On the website|
- Live Chat – You may find this option as the fastest way to contact a representative from the brokerage. The live chat box is located on the bottom right side on Pepperstone’s website. We were left with a very positive impression after we contacted the broker via live chat, which took us less than 30 seconds. We were treated in a truly professional, respectful manner and received precise, relevant answers to all of our queries. We asked about Pepperstone’s liquidity providers and Active Trader program.
- Telephone contact – The broker’s support team can be contacted over the phone only during local business hours, depending on the office location:
- The Bahamas – by dialing +1 786 628 1209
- Australia – by dialing +1300 033 375 (toll-free)
- Cyprus – by dialing +357 25 030573
- Dubai – by dialing +971 (0) 4 573 4100
- Germany – by dialing +49 (0)211 81999940 (toll-free)
- UK – by dialing 0800 046 5473 (toll-free)
- Kenya – by dialing +254 20389 3547/8/9.
We contacted the broker’s UK office during local business hours and received a response in up to 3 minutes. Once again, we experienced the broker’s outstanding corporate culture, as we were treated in a very polite manner and obtained all the information we were looking for.
- Email contact – You can send specific inquiries to the following email addresses:
- FAQs – There is also a formidable list of Frequently Asked Questions, which could help you find a resolution you may seek. Pepperstone’s Help Centre includes FAQs regarding deposits and withdrawals, account management and account opening, basic trading terms, trading platforms and tools as well as trading conditions (spreads, commissions, swaps, margin and leverage).
We received relevant and timely (in about 2 hours) emailed answers to our queries, after contacting the support team during UK business hours.
Another contact option includes filling the “Send us a message” form on Pepperstone’s website where you can input some of your details and the support team will either send you an email or contact you over the phone within 24 hours.
We should also mention some of Pepperstone’s awards relating to its customer support service:
- Best Client Relationship Manager Service – Professional Trader Awards, 2019
- Best Forex Trading Support in Europe – Global Forex Awards, 2019
- Best Forex Trading Support – UK Forex Awards, 2018
- #1 for Customer Service – Investment Trends, 2016 and 2017.
The only reason we do not give Pepperstone the top mark here is because the broker has no support service over the weekend, unlike peers such as IC Markets.
Research and Educational Materials
Our review has found that Pepperstone provides a diversified educational database, which includes quality written content, video tutorials as well as live events (webinars) from both in-house and third-party sources. Here is what you will find:
- Comprehensive education content in written form structured in categories such as beginners, intermediate and advanced traders. The articles cover a range of topics regarding different aspects of Forex trading (Technical Analysis and technical indicators, Fundamental Analysis, Risk Management, Trading terms etc.) as well as some specifics of trading Cryptocurrencies and Shares CFDs;
- A 10-chapter MetaTrader 4 guide (in the form of video tutorials) presented by market expert Boris Schlossberg. Beginners and intermediate traders alike may find it quite useful;
- Free webinars conducted on a regular basis, where you can access live analysis from Pepperstone experts and acquire new skills in real-time.
On the other hand, Pepperstone has, at least for the time being, not included any educational E-books.
When it comes to research, the brokerage offers trading ideas and daily market analysis, but does not provide access to fundamental data on Stocks. You will find:
- trading ideas (based on technical analysis) via the Autochartist pattern recognition tool. It can be accessed from the Secure Client Area, or downloaded and attached to the MetaTrader software;
- a daily newsletter, “The Daily Fix”, by Pepperstone expert Chris Weston;
- market commentary in several languages on Pepperstone’s YouTube channel;
- an Economic Calendar featuring the most important reports and events that could affect global markets.
You can also access a news feed through the MetaTrader software, but however, it tends to be quite basic.
Security and Money Guarantees
At bestbrokers.com we believe that your funds are safe with a reputable global Forex provider such as Pepperstone. Key findings include:
- Over a decade of business history and growth
- Top-tier ASIC and FCA regulation
- FSCS and ICF compensation for UK and EU clients
- Negative balance protection for clients of all regulation jurisdictions
- Award-winning brokerage
High-trust, top-tier regulation by authorities such as the ASIC and the FCA provides assurance that the company is fully transparent and ethical in its business dealings. Tier 1 regulation also mandates that all client funds are kept fully segregated from the broker’s own corporate accounts in client trust accounts at top-rated banks. This way, the risk of fraudulent behavior by the brokerage is kept at minimum.
At the same time, EU-based retail clients are covered by the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF) in Cyprus, while UK-based retail clients can take advantage of even better protection for their money from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in an event of broker insolvency, as we discussed earlier in the review.
Another advantage we found includes a valuable risk management tool such as negative balance protection, offered to retail clientele around the world. In other words, client losses cannot exceed their initial deposit and they will not have to repay any negative balance to the broker. If a negative balance occurs, as a result of a sharp market move coupled with high leverage, Pepperstone will absorb that loss and will automatically restore the clients’ account balance back to zero. Negative balance protection is a risk management tool that ensures a peace of mind for traders, especially for beginners.
And finally, we should note that Pepperstone has received over 25 prestigious awards from Investment Trends, Deloitte, InvestinGoal.com, International Business Magazine among others. Some of the awards include Best Forex ECN Broker, Best Forex Trading Conditions, Top Broker for Customer Service, #1 Value for Money and so on.
Our team of experts at BestBrokers.com believes that Pepperstone may be the best choice for both retail and professional traders who look for some of the most competitive Forex trading conditions within the industry, because of its:
- Institutional grade liquidity and competitive razor sharp pricing;
- Award-winning ECN-based execution of trade orders with no dealing desk intervention, no requotes and minimized risk of slippage, which best suits scalpers, high frequency traders and those who employ expert advisors;
- No non-trading costs and a variety of account funding methods;
- MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader platforms that offer additional trading tools and other trading benefits;
- Good education database;
- Award-winning 24/5 customer support service;
- Range of account types to cater to clients with different financial objectives and trading styles.