Best Online Brokerages in Singapore 2019

With so many brokerage firms to choose from, finding the best online broker can be a daunting process. To help you narrow your search, we have prepared a comparison of the top trading platforms in Singapore based on a range of factors, like commission fees, international market access and exchange rates.

Table of Contents

Saxo Markets: Best Online Broker in Singapore

Consider this if you want trading platform great market access and minimal fees

In our opinion, Saxo Markets is the best online brokerage in Singapore because it combines low cost, great market access and easy user interface into one platform. First, Saxo charges just 0.08% commission on trades, with a minimum cost of S$10 for Singapore stocks ($4 for US stocks), roughly half the cost of what most of its competitors charge.

Saxo Markets also offers a clear advantage due to its wide reaching foreign market access. The platform offers online trading in 36 global markets, and also offers market leading commission rates for the major international markets such as the U.S., Hong Kong and Japan. Saxo also charges even lower commissions for investors with funding of at least S$50,000 (S$50,000 for platinum and S$1,000,000 for VIP accounts). Additionally, Saxo's FX spreads are consistently among the lowest available, beating competitors by a huge margin. Finally, our analysts found Saxo Markets's trading platform to have the most intuitive user interface.

Read our full review


Market
ClassicVIPIndustry Average
Singapore0.08%0.08%0.22%
US0.06%0.04%0.27%
Japan0.15%0.10%0.32%
HK0.15%0.10%0.21%
EU0.10%0.05-0.08%0.31%

Instrument
Saxo ClassicSaxo VIPIndustry Average
US 301.41.42.1
Japan 225778.3
HK 50556.5

Currency
ClassicVIPIndustry Average
EUR USD0.60.40.7
USD JPY0.60.40.7
GBP USD0.70.40.9
AUD USD0.50.30.7
EUR JPY0.70.41.2
* figures based on min. advertised spreads

City Index: Best Online Brokerage for Trading CFDs

Consider this if you are an experienced trader of CFDs

City Index is a great option for expert traders who seek a trading platform for buying and selling CFDs exclusively. CFDs are basically instruments for margin trading, meaning you are borrowing to invest more money than you have on hand. As such, it can dramatically increase both your gains and losses. Because of this nature, CFD trading is generally most advisable for seasoned experts.

When it comes to trading CFDs, City Index stands out as one of the lowest cost options. While Saxo Markets' platform is still the cheapest for some options, City Index's CFD offering provides a more diverse CFD market access and its commission fees and CFD spreads are both competitive with Saxo's. City Index also offers a robust and competitive trading platform for forex trading. However, Saxo is still a better fit for investors who seek access to a diverse set of asset classes (e.g. equities, ETFs, bonds, etc.) with market leading commission.

Read our full review

City IndexSaxo Markets (Classic Pricing)
CFD Commission for Stocks & ETFs:
Singapore0.08%0.08%
U.S.$0.015/share0.06%
Japan0.05%0.15%
Hong Kong0.15%0.25%
Index CFD Spread:
US SP 5000.40.4
US Tech 10011
Singapore0.40.3
Hong Kong 50105
Japan 22587
China A501012
Australia 20011
Germany 3011
City IndexSaxo Markets (Classic Pricing)
CFD Commission for Stocks & ETFs:
Singapore0.08%0.08%
U.S.$0.015/share0.06%
Japan0.05%0.15%
Hong Kong0.15%0.25%
Index CFD Spread:
US SP 5000.40.4
US Tech 10011
Singapore0.40.3
Hong Kong 50105
Japan 22587
China A501012
Australia 20011
Germany 3011

Interactive Brokers: Best Online Trading Platform for International Markets

Consider this if you plan to invest more than S$100,000 exclusively in international markets outside of Singapore

In terms of trading securities in non-Singapore markets exclusively, Interactive Brokers's commission levels are hard to beat. This is attractive to investors that may feel limited by the number of stocks on the Straits Times Index and feel inclined to consider other options. As you can see in the table below, Interactive Brokers has the lowest commission costs for any region outside of Singapore. Still, Saxo is the best option for those who want access to every market including Singapore.

However, Interactive Brokers can only be used by Singaporeans to buy stocks outside the country because the trading platform is not licensed to fully operate in Singapore. This also comes with other risks like the fact that the Singapore government will not guarantee your money in case of the brokerage's default, since it's not licensed. With that said, IB is an international firm with a very solid reputation so this risk appears to be low. Lastly, Interactive Brokers charges a monthly minimum fee of S$10 for accounts between S$2,000 and S$100,000. Though this cost can be offset with trading commissions, it can still be a meaningful cost if you are trading only a few thousand dollars in total.

Read our full review

Interactive BrokersSaxo Markets
U.S. Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)$0.0035 ($0.35)0.04% - 0.06% ($4)
Hong Kong Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)0.08% (HKD 12)0.15% (HKD 90)
Japan Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)0.050% (JPY 80)0.15% (JPY 1500)
Interactive BrokersSaxo Markets
U.S. Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)$0.0035 ($0.35)0.04% - 0.06% ($4)
Hong Kong Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)0.08% (HKD 12)0.15% (HKD 90)
Japan Stocks Commission Fee (Min. Fee)0.050% (JPY 80)0.15% (JPY 1500)

TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim): Trading Platform with Flat Commission for US Stocks & ETFs

TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade

Consider this if you only want to trade US stocks and ETFs

For wealthy investors who only plan to trade US stocks & ETFs, TD Ameritrade might be a good alternative to Saxo. Although it charges a higher minimum commission, (USD $10.65) commission on your trades compared to Saxo's 0.06% on US stocks (USD $4 minimum). TD Ameritrade's is actually a flat fee regardless of the market or size of your trade. Therefore, if you are in large amounts (greater than about S$25,000) at a time, your fee can easily be lower with TD Ameritrade. However, if you are looking to invest in a variety of securities like futures, options, bonds and FX, we think Saxo is still a better option for you especially if you plan to trade frequently.

TD AmeritradeSaxo
Stock Trading CommissionUSD 10.65 per trade0.06% for US (USD 4 min.)
For Trade of S$5,000S$14.46S$5.43
For Trade of S$30,000S$14.46S$18
TD AmeritradeSaxo Markets
Stock Trading CommissionUSD 10.65 per trade0.06% for US (USD 4 min.)
For Trade of S$5,000S$14.46S$5.43
For Trade of S$30,000S$14.46S$18

Summary Table of Online Brokerages Commissions

Below is a summary table of all the trading platforms in Singapore. Please read our review of the best online brokers above for a more detailed analysis and to see which one best suits your needs.

NameMin Fee<S$50kS$50k-S$100k>$100kUSJapanHK# Intl. Markets
Saxo MarketsS$100.08%0.08%0.08%0.06%, min S$40.15%, min JPY1,5000.15%, min HKD9036
City Index (CFD only)S$100.08%$0.15/share0.05%0.15%26+
IG (CFD only)S$150.10%$0.2/share0.20%0.25%30+
Interactive BrokersS$2.50.08%0.08%0.08%$0.0035/share min $0.350.05%, min JPY800.08%, min HKD1224
TD Ameritrade (thinkorswim)S$14-S$15(USD10.65) for US stocks, USD10.65 + $0.81 per contract for options
Standard CharteredN/A0.20%0.20%0.20%0.25%, min $100.25%, min JPY1,0000.25%, min HKD10010
U TradeS$250.275%0.25%0.20%0.3%, min $20N/A0.25%, min HKD1004
POEMSS$250.28%0.22%0.18%$20 (flat)0.18%, min JPY1,5000.18%, min HKD10021
iOCBCS$250.275%0.22%0.18%0.3%, min $200.75%, min JPY3,0000.25%, min HKD15026
KGIFraserS$250.275%0.220%0.180%0.3%, min $200.5%, min JPY1,5000.25%, min HKD10015
i*TradeS$250.275%0.22%0.18%0.3%, min $20N/A0.25%, min HKD506
Citibank BrokerageS$280.25%0.20%0.18%0.3%, min $200.05% JPY 800.3%, min HKD1203
DBS VickersS$250.28%0.22%0.18%0.3%, min $250.35%, min JPY3,0000.18%, min HKD1007
RHB SecuritiesS$250.275%0.22%0.18%0.3%, min $20N/A0.25%, min HKD1004
Maybank Kim EngS$250.275%0.22%0.18%0.3%, min $200.5%, min JPY3,0000.25%, min HKD1009
Lim & Tan SecuritiesS$250.28%0.22%0.18%N/A0.8% min S$700.18% HKD10012
AverageS$200.22%0.20%0.17%

Other Things to Consider

There are many other factors to consider. For one, it might be useful to actually check out the user interface of each broker’s offering to see if you can understand and operate them easily. Some of the brokers like Saxo and POEMS have quite user-friendly platforms, while others have websites that look quite outdated. Furthermore, for sophisticated traders who care about live-data API connection and margin financing, it might be crucial to understand the different product offerings in the market to make sure that they get the best deal on everything they care about. Not every broker will provide this information upfront; but usually, companies that have the best rates tend to make the most disclosure. Additionally, some brokerages have teams of analysts that provide research reports for companies and markets, which could be valuable to some investors depending on their investment style and aptitude. Finally, if are interested in investing directly in local startups or SMEs or would prefer to allow the experts to build your portfolio, it is worth considering crowdfunding platforms or robo advisors.

Duckju Kang

Duckju is the CEO of ValueChampion. He covers the financial services industry, consumer finance products, budgeting, and investing. He previously worked in the financial services industry, including at such hedge funds such as Tiger Asia and Cadian Capital.

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