CFDs are a leveraged product and can result in losses that exceed deposits. Trading CFDs may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure you fully understand the risks and take care to manage your exposure.

CFD trading

Flexible and accessible, CFD trading is an alternative way to go long or short on a huge variety of financial markets.

Why trade CFDs with IG?

It takes less than five minutes to fill out the online form, and all you need is a minimum deposit of $300.

  • Join the world's No.1 CFD provider1 for superior service and support

  • Competitive rates: FX from 0.6 points, indices from 0.4 points, shares from 0.1% commission

  • Never miss an opportunity, wherever you are, with our mobile trading app

  • Opportunities in over 15,000 markets: indices, forex, shares, commodities and more

  • Limit your risk with a choice of stops, limits and alerts

  • Access our free research tools to become a better-informed trader

Discover more advantages of using CFDs, and see some working CFD examples.

What are CFDs?

A contract for difference, or CFD, is a derivative product which enables you to speculate/trade on the difference in price of a financial market between when the contract opens and when it closes. The profit or loss you make depends on the extent to which your forecast is correct.

  • Importantly, CFDs are a leveraged product. This means you only have to put down a small deposit for a much larger market exposure
  • Leverage comes with significant benefits and risks: your investment capital can go further, but you can also lose more than your initial deposit

While this means the product is very flexible, it also requires a high level of risk management. It's important to remember you're trading contracts with IG, not physically trading in the underlying market, so don’t actually own any assets.

Find out more about CFD trading

How do you trade CFDs?

To trade CFDs, you’ll first need to set up a CFD trading account. Once approved, you can then fund your account and start trading using an online trading platform. This is where you’ll see all the available markets, as well as view the prices for each contract.

We set prices based on the underlying market. For most markets, you are given a 'buy' and 'sell' price either side of the underlying market price. For equities, you will be charged commission. You can take a position on a market going up (known as 'buying' or 'going long') or going down (known as 'selling' or 'going short').

Learn more about how to trade CFDs

Who trades CFDs?

CFDs are suitable for a wide range of traders:
  • Shares traders looking to diversify their portfolio by trading on indices, commodities, forex and more
  • Professional forex traders looking to gain exposure to deep liquidity with direct market access (DMA). To trade with Forex DMA, you’ll need to qualify for an IG professional account
  • Indices traders looking to take a position on entire sectors, from banking to mining
  • Plus commodities and ETP traders looking to access the markets without committing a lot of capital up front

What are the advantages of CFD trading?

  • Flexible: Speculate on market price movements without buying or selling the underlying market, eliminating the need for brokers, forex providers and futures exchanges
  • Go short and long: Trade markets you think are about to fall in value, not just those you expect to rise. This makes CFDs particularly useful for hedging existing positions in your portfolio
  • Make your capital go further: CFDs are a leveraged product, meaning you only need to put up a fraction of the value of the market – its margin – to gain exposure to the full value of your trade
  • Out-of-hours markets: Close positions overnight with 24-hour trading on a number of markets, or trade over the weekend with weekend trading
  • Accessible: Whether you’re an experienced trader or relatively new to the markets, you can set up a free online trading account and get started

Find out more about the benefits of CFDs

Our charges

It's completely free to open an account with IG. Once you've funded your account and started trading, our main charge on each trade is the spread or a small commission for shares trades. Find out more about the spread.

You choose your price per contract, and put down a margin payment. This allows you full exposure to a market with only a fraction of the total capital you'd normally need, though remember with leverage comes increased risk.

Learn more about our charges and fees

Number of individual markets Minimum spread

Margin rates for professional accounts






















CFD risk management

Like all forms of trading, CFDs carry risk. You’ll lose money if a market moves against you, and, if you fail to adequately manage your risk, these losses could increase suddenly and significantly. Keep in mind that CFDs are leveraged products, meaning you could lose more than the initial deposit you put down to open your position.

This is why it’s essential you do your research before you go into any trade, and that you have an effective risk-management strategy in place. IG offers a range of tools and features to help you manage your risk, as well as educational resources to refine your understanding of the potential pitfalls.

Learn more about risk management with IG


Shares Awards
Best CFD provider
2016, 2017

ADVFN Awards 
Best finance app 
2016, 2017, 2018

Online Personal Wealth Awards 
Best Overall Personal Wealth Provider 
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Open an account now

It's free to open an account, and there's no obligation to fund or trade.


How much does it cost to trade CFDs?

With IG, you’ll need to fund your account by a minimum of $300 to get started.

The costs of CFDs themselves depend on the market you choose, changing according to, among other factors, the liquidity of the market in question. You generally only pay a commission charge for share CFDs, and a spread (the difference between the buy and sell prices) for all other markets. Plus, every market comes with its own minimum number of contracts you will need to buy or sell to open your position.

There is also a small charge to fund positions overnight and for guaranteed stops (if triggered), and there may be additional fees for specialist tools.

See our full charges and fees

What platforms can I use to trade CFDs?

Whether you’re at home or on the move, just starting out in the markets or ready for the next step, we offer a number of platforms to help you trade CFDs:
  • Web platform: Our browser-based platform that comes as standard with an IG account
  • MetaTrader 4: An advanced trading platform built for automated trading
  • L2 dealer: A downloadable DMA platform, for direct access to shares and forex markets. (To trade with Forex DMA, you’ll need to qualify for an IG professional account)
  • Trading apps: Our free apps, natively designed across all major mobile and tablet devices

How can I switch from my current CFD provider to IG?

You can sign up for an account with us, and start trading as soon as you’ve funded your account.

Our mobile trading apps, state-of-the-art technology and free educational tools make the process of switching your account to us an effortless experience. And as the UK's No.1 CFD provider1, we offer opportunities across 15,000 markets, including forex from 0.6 points, indices from 0.4 points and shares from 0.10% commission.

Is it risky?

Yes, CFDs do carry risk - if the market moves against you, you lose money. And because CFDs are leveraged products, you could lose more than your deposit.

IG offers a full range of tools to help you manage your risk.

See risk management tools

You might be interested in

1 Based on number of primary relationships with CFD traders (Investment Trends UK Leveraged Trading Report released August 2018).

Example CFD Share Trade

Buying Barclays

Our price 289.56/290

Buy at 290

Trade size 2000 shares
Margin required


Number of shares x price x margin rate (10%)

What happens next? The market rises steadily to 295.05
Underlying market



Sell at 294.85

Gross profit

294.85 – 290 = 4.85p

Gross profit = 4.85p x 2000 shares = £97

What if...

If the underlying market fell to 282.25 instead, and assuming same costs:

-7.75p x 2000 shares

Gross loss = £155

Help and support

Get answers about your account or our services.

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Our office is open 5 days a week, Sunday to Thursday from 8am to 7pm (Dubai time). Support line is available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, except for Saturday from 1am to 11am (Dubai time).

CFDs are a leveraged product and can result in losses that exceed deposits. Trading CFDs may not be suitable for everyone, so please ensure you fully understand the risks and take care to manage your exposure.