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There are many forex account types in the trading industry. These are the main ones:

  • Demo accounts
  • Standard accounts
  • ECN, STP and RAW accounts
  • Fixed spread accounts
  • Micro and Nano accounts
  • Cent accounts
  • Islamic accounts
  • Copy trading accounts
  • Professional accounts
  • Managed accounts
  • Corporate accounts

Each of these account types has different features, costs, pros and cons, and in this article we are going to describe them one by one while also providing the best alternatives for each type of account.

Table of Content

Forex Demo accounts: best for beginners

Demo accounts are free, trial accounts that can be quickly opened with an email and password.

They are used to test the forex brokers’ services and trading platform, but without risk since all trades that take place in a demo account are virtual.

These trial accounts are generally offered on all types of broker accounts, so trading conditions can change depending on the trader’s choice.

Try the etoro demo account
(77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money)

  • Pros: this account type allow you to start trading forex and try the broker for free
  • Cons: requotes and latency cannot be simulated accurately

Standard account: versatile forex trading account

Standard trading accounts are basic accounts that allow you to use all the different services offered by forex brokerages.

This is a very common forex account type, and it’s offered by almost every broker in the industry.

The average minimum deposit for this account type is $100, and spreads are often charged with a mark-up of around 1 pip.

Generally, brokers with this type of account act primarily as forex market makers.

Try the XM Ultra Low Standard account
77,37% of retail CFD accounts lose money

  • Pros: the standard account lets you know if the broker is right for you. You can upgrade at any time to more advanced accounts
  • Cons: The standard account has no particular features that make it unique

ECN, STP and Raw forex accounts: best for algo traders

ECN, STP, or Raw spread accounts give you direct access to the forex market, without the broker acting as a counterparty with orders.

The initial deposit required on these accounts is slightly higher than the average ($150).

However, they offer markup-free spreads (or raw spreads in jargon) as low as 0.1 pip, and order execution speed as low as 0.04 seconds.

The broker on these accounts does not make money from the spread, but from the trading volumes generated by users. These accounts charge fixed commissions of about $6 per $100000 traded.

This type of account is recommended for high-frequency traders or those who make use of EAs and trading algorithms.

Try the IC Markets Raw Spread accounts
(74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money)

  • Pros: extremely fast order execution with very low commissions
  • Cons: not very suitable for those who are just getting into the world of forex

Fixed spread forex account: best for news traders

Fixed spread accounts load a mark-up on the spread that never changes.

When the spread is variable, it means that trading costs can increase based on market conditions.

With fixed spread, the trader can rest assured that the spread is the same no matter what the market conditions are.

Brokers who offer fixed spread accounts are market makers, and to keep them fixed they are forced to apply large mark-ups: if with a standard forex trading account the mark-up is as low as 1 pip, with fixed spread accounts it can be as high as 3 pips depending on the broker.

This type of trading account is suitable for all traders who trade on market news, as news notoriously causes spreads to increase due to market movements.

Try the AvaTrade fixed spreads
(79% of retail CFD accounts lose money)

  • Pros: spreads remain fixed under all market conditions
  • Cons: the mark-up applied to spreads is very high

Forex Micro and Nano account: best for testing EAs

The micro and nano accounts are forex trading accounts that allow you to open trading forex positions as small as 0.0001 lot (i.e., as low as $10 even without using leverage).

The money amount required to get started is very low (generally less than $5).

The spread applies a mark-up and generally ranges between 1 and 2 pips.

This type of account is very useful for those who want to test EAs and Automated forex Trading Robots on a real account, but without risking losing too much money.

Try the Roboforex lot sizing
(74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money)

  • Pros: these are very cheap forex trading accounts to open and maintain
  • Cons: the fees are high

Forex Cent account: best for novice forex traders

Cent accounts work like nano and micro accounts, but they show the account balance in cents.

In other words, if you have $10 in the Cent account, it will show ¢1000.

The initial deposit is generally less than $5.

They allow you to open positions in nano lots.

Spreads apply a mark-up, and are about 1 pip on average.

This type of account can be useful for all those traders who want an intermediate account between demo and more advanced accounts.

Try the FBS cent account
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

  • Pros: very low starting deposit, accessible forex trading conditions and costs
  • Cons: not suitable for more advanced traders

Islamic forex account: best for muslim traders

Islamic accounts are accounts dedicated to traders of the Islamic faith who want to comply with the dictates of Sharia law.

Islamic accounts do not have rollover fees, which are interest and therefore prohibited in Shariah.

Islamic accounts may charge additional fees in lieu of rollover commission.

The minimum investment to get started, as well as the spreads, vary depending on the type of account selected by the trader.

In other words, a broker’s ECN account can be transformed into an Islamic ECN type with the same trading features.

Try the XM Islamic account
77,37% of retail CFD accounts lose money

  • Pros: Islamic accounts do not charge swap fees
  • Cons: may charge additional fees

Copy Trading account: best for passive traders

With a copy trading account you can copy the performance of more experienced traders.

Copying occurs automatically, due to the fact that the trading platform is able to buy and sell in real time the assets that the trader you are copying trades.

Generally, copy trading accounts do not charge additional fees compared to other accounts.

Copy trading accounts can be useful for all those people who do not want to trade themselves, but still want to keep control of their money allocation.

Try the eToro copy trading service
(77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money)

  • Pros: middle ground between managed accounts and classic forex trading accounts
  • Cons: there are no particular drawbacks

Professional forex account: best for professional fx traders

Professional forex accounts are available in areas and countries where less experienced traders are protected by local regulations.

In Europe, Australia, and the United Kingdom, less experienced traders have leverage up to 1:30, but if they classify themselves as professionals, leverage increases to as much as 1:400.

Professional traders in these countries also have access to high-risk assets such as certain types of options, and can receive benefits such as rebates.

At the same time, some protections dedicated to the less experienced such as NBP may be lifted.

Check Pepperstone's offering for pro traders
(75.9% of retail CFD accounts lose money)

  • Pros: the account features exclusive services
  • Cons: professional traders may receive fewer protections on their balance

Managed forex accounts account: best for fx account managers

A managed forex account is a type of service similar to copy trading, but where the money is entrusted to a single trader, and the user has no control over it other than in deposits and withdrawals.

Managed accounts are held by an account manager who manages other traders’ money, and uses it to open and close forex positions.

Depending on the type of managed account (MAM, PAMM, LAMM, or RAMM), users will receive as much compensation as is their percentage of money entrusted to the account manager relative to the total.

The deposit required to open the account and spreads vary depending on the forex trading account selected by the account manager and users.

Check FP Markets' managed account offering
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

  • Pros: managed accounts are managed by professional forex traders
  • Cons: Investors have little say in the forex trading strategies used by the account manager

Corporate forex account: best for businesses

Corporate accounts are accounts dedicated to companies, small businesses, joint groups and other personas that need to invest and trade with their business money.

Companies can open corporate accounts for a variety of reasons, but the main ones are to reinvest the company’s money, to protect against inflation, or to protect against foreign exchange risk if the business has a multi-currency bank account.

With a corporate account, the broker will very often give you access to exclusive services such as direct contact with the analyst team.

Check IB corporate account requirements
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money

  • Pros: exclusive services guaranteed
  • Cons: no cons

Overall comparison of the forex trading account types

The table contains a forex market average of the minimum deposit and trading costs of different trading forex accounts.

For further context, commissions here are calculated for each standard lot traded (i.e. $100’000).

For instance, if an ECN forex trading account charges commissions of $7 per lot with avg spreads of 0.1 pips, this is how we have calculated the fee:

  • Spreads: 0,1 pips → $1
  • Commission: $7 per lot → $7
  • Total: Spreads + Commissions → $8
Forex trading account types Avg deposit required Fees per standard lot traded on EUR/USD Notes
Demo $ 0 Virtual fees Everything is virtual
Standard $ 100 $ 9,77
ECN, STP, Raw spread $ 150 $ 6,91
Fixed spread $ 60 $ 14,04
Micro, nano $ 3 $ 12
Cent $ 4 $ 10
Copy Trading $ 200 $ 9
Islamic No clear fee structure No clear fee structure No swap fees
Professional $ 200 $ 7
Managed forex accounts No clear fee structure No clear fee structure
Corporate $ 50.000 No clear fee structure

filippo ucchino

About The Author

Filippo Ucchino
Co-Founder - CEO - Broker Expert
Filippo is the co-founder and CEO of He has 15 years of experience in the financial sector and forex in particular. He started his career as a forex trader in 2005 and then became interested in the whole fintech and crypto sector.
Over this time, he has developed an almost scientific approach to the analysis of brokers, their services, and offerings. In addition, he is an expert in Compliance and Security Policies for consumers protection in this sector.
With InvestinGoal, Filippo’s goal is to bring as much clarity as possible to help users navigate the world of online trading, forex, and cryptocurrencies.

Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. Cryptocurrencies can widely fluctuate in prices and are not appropriate for all investors. Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk. The present page is intended for teaching purposes only. It shall not be intended as operational advice for investments, nor as an invitation to public savings raising. Any real or simulated result shall represent no warranty as to possible future performances. The speculative activity in forex market, as well as in other markets, implies considerable economic risks; anyone who carries out speculative activity does it on its own responsibility.
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