City Index review: CFD & FX online brokerage with wide market access

PHOTO: Unsplash

With 4,500 CFDs and 84 FX pairs, City Index should meet the needs of most CFD and FX traders.

Founded in 1983 as the trading brand of the NYSE-listed GAIN Capital, City Index is a leading global CFD and FX broker.

It is authorised by several financial authorities around the world, including the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Given its long history of 38 years, global presence backed by its listed parent company, and financial oversight by some of the top financial regulatory bodies in the world, City Index is considered a safe and trustworthy trading platform for traders and investors.

However, City Index deals only in CFDs and forex (FX), instruments which are highly volatile. As such, investors and those unfamiliar with CFDs and FX should approach with caution.

Overview of City Index

PHOTO: City Index

What you can invest in: CFDs and FX

Minimum balance required: Minimum initial deposit of $150, thereafter, minimum of $250 per card transaction

Deposit fees: 2 per cent on credit or debit card transactions, free for bank transfers, FAST and PayNow

Withdrawal fees: No fees for withdrawals

Withdrawal limits: Minimum withdrawal is $150 or total account balance, whichever is lower. Maximum withdrawal is $20,000 per transaction. For online withdrawal with credit cards, maximum $20,000 per 24 hours.

Commission: No commission charges on CFDs and FX trades. Commission charged only on equity CFDs, varies according to market

Inactivity fee: $15 per month after 24 months of continued account non-activity

Licence: Authorised by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Here are the pros and cons of investing using City Index.

Pros Cons
Over 4,500 CFDs on offer, including equity and cryptocurrency Only CFDs and FX, not for risk-averse and inexperienced traders
Low fees and competitive spreads 2per cent deposit fee for credit and debit cards
Low min. deposit to start account Inactivity fee of $15/mth after 24 months of non-activity
No deposit fees for bank transfers, FAST and PayNow Commission charge of 0.08per cent (or a $10 min.) applicable for Singapore equity CFDs
No commission for CFDs and FX trades, no withdrawal fees  
Advanced trading tools, sleek mobile app  
Quality, useful content hub for market research and investment education  

Why should you trade with City Index?

1. Large selection of CFDs and FXCity Index has one of the widest range of trades available, with 4,500 CFDs, 17 global indices and 84 FX pairs. With such a comprehensive selection, CFD and FX traders are likely to find everything they need on this one platform, which saves the hassle of maintaining trading accounts across multiple platforms.

2. Low fees, competitive spreadsAs a customer, you won’t encounter many fees when using City Index. For example, you won’t be charged withdrawal fees, while deposit fees only apply for card transactions.

There are also no commission fees charged for CFDs and FX trades, with the exception of equity CFDs, based on prevailing market rates.

City Index also offers competitive spreads that are clearly indicated on order tickets, allowing you to have a clear gauge of your profit potential before committing.

3. Low minimum to start accountCity Index is very friendly to newcomers, in that it has a low minimum deposit of just $150 to start a trading account.

However, subsequent deposits via credit cards will require a minimum of $250.

While the initial minimum deposit may be low, you may not be able to achieve the trades you want with just $150. City Index recommends the following deposit amounts if you intend to start trading straightaway.

FX and Indices $2,000
Equities $2,500
Metals, Commodities and other Markets $2,500

4. Good selection of trading tools and sleek mobile appCity Index customers have a good selection of advanced trading tools at their fingertips.

Desktop and web-based traders can choose between Web Trader and Advanced Trader Pro. While both offer a comprehensive suite of powerful trading tools, the latter is designed for more experienced users.

The popular MetaTrader 4, is also available, but not recommended due to its limited trades.

Meanwhile, mobile traders will find the City Index mobile app to be sleekly designed and highly user friendly, on par with market leaders such as IG and CMC Markets. Charts on the mobile app are powered by Trading View and includes over 80 indicators, as well as several useful modules featuring views, insights and ideas.

5. High-quality research and education materialsCity Index is known for its high-quality research and education materials that can benefit traders looking to stay updated on market movements while increasing their skills and knowledge.

The content is offered in text-based and video formats, and covers a wide range of topics such as market news, analyses and insights, trading strategies and ideas, and how to use popular trading tools and charts.

The rich and extensive learning library is a boon for traders of all skill levels.

For whom is City Index best for?

If you’re a trader looking to invest in CFDs, and want exposure to a wide range of markets including cryptocurrency, along with little upfront fees and competitive commissions, look no further than City Index.

The advanced and powerful trading tools and mobile app will serve your trading needs well, while the rich education content and in-depth news insights can help you keep up with marketing trends and movements.

While trading CFDs is a high-risk activity, dedicated traders will find plenty to plumb as a City Index user.

What charges or fees should you look out for?

When trading with City Index, be sure to look out for the following fees:

  • Deposit fee of 2 per cent when depositing funds into your trading account using credit or debit card. (Tip: You can avoid this fee by depositing using PayNow, bank transfer or FAST instead).
  • Commission fee when trading equity CFDs, according to market rates. For Singapore CFDs, the commission fee is 0.08 per cent, or $10 minimum.
  • Inactivity fee of $15 per month after 24 months of continued non-activity. If you’re incurring this fee, you may want to re-evaluate whether City Index is the right platform for you.

Besides the above explicit fees, you should also note that City Index charges a spread for all FX and CFDs trades (except equity). While these spreads are generally considered to be competitive, you should still take note of their impact on your returns.

What are the promotions available for City Index?

Lunar New Year promoGet $288 or $888 cash bonus and 12-month Wall Street Journal subscription (worth $480) when you sign up for a City Index account and fulfil the following:

  • $288 bonus – Min deposit of $1,000 and 6 qualifying trades
  • $888 bonus – Min deposit of $5,000 and 12 qualifying trades 
  • All qualifying trades must be made by Feb 28, 2021
  • Promotion valid till Feb 28, 2021

Accredited Investors promoGet $150 cash upon approval of Accredited Investor status with City Index.

How do you open and fund your City Index account?

Opening an account with City Index

To open a CFD account

  1. Fill up and submit the application form here
  2. Choose ‘Apply with MyInfo’ if applicable for faster processing
  3. Complete the mandatory Customer Knowledge Assessment included in the application form and submit

To open an FX account

  1. Fill up and submit the application form here 
  2. Choose ‘Apply with MyInfo’ if applicable for faster processing
  3. Complete the mandatory Customer Knowledge Assessment included in the application form and submit

Those applying without MyInfo will be contacted by City Index for further instructions after the application has been submitted.

Funding your City Index account

You may fund your account via any of the following methods:

Funding method Crediting lead time Fees
Credit and debit card Immediate 2 per cent transaction fee levied by card processor
Internet Banking, FAST and PayNow Almost instant to within next business day None
Bill payment Next business day None
Cheque Up to 3 business days None
Wire transfer Up to 3 business days Bank may apply charges

City Index vs Tiger Brokers vs IBKR vs TD Ameritrade

Broker City Index Tiger Brokers Interactive Brokers (IBKR) TD Ameritrade
Commission fee 0.08 per cent or $10 minimum for Singapore CFDs SGX stocks: 0.08 per cent, min. $2.88 per order is currently waived US stocks: USD$0.01 (S$0.013), min. USD$1.99 per trade SGX stocks: 0.08 per cent of trade value, min. $2.50 per order US stocks: USD$0.005 per share, min. USD$1 per order $0 (for US exchange-listed stocks, ETFs and option trades)
Min. deposit $150 N/A N/A N/A
Maintenance fee N/A N/A Up to USD$10 per month (less commission paid that month) N/A
Promotion Get $288 or $888 cash bonus and 12-month Wall Street Journal subscription (worth $480) with new sign upGet $150 cash upon approval of Accredited Investor status 5 commission-free trades, stock vouchers and free market data for US stocks. N/A Zero commission for US exchange-listed stocks, ETFs and option trades only

City Index has relatively little upfront fees, but do bear in mind that CFDs and FX trading have spreads applied on them instead.

However, the platform still remains relatively low cost, and combined with its large trading pool, high-quality education and news, and advanced trading tools, offers investors good value.

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