Forex Spread vs. Commission: Which One is Better for Traders?

Forex trading is rapidly gaining popularity as a lucrative investment opportunity for people all over the world. With the ability to trade in different currencies, investors have the potential to earn massive profits. However, there are several fees associated with forex trading, one of which is the spread or commission charged by brokers. In this article, we will compare forex spread vs. commission and determine which one is better for traders.

Forex Spread

When trading forex, you will come across the term ‘spread’ quite often. The spread is the difference between the bid and ask price of a currency pair. The bid price is the price at which the broker is willing to buy a currency pair from you, and the ask price is the price at which the broker is willing to sell a currency pair to you. The spread is the commission charged by the broker for facilitating the trade. The spread is usually measured in pips.


The spread can vary depending on the currency pair, market volatility, and the broker. Brokers can offer either fixed or variable spreads. Fixed spreads remain the same regardless of market conditions, while variable spreads change as the market fluctuates. Some brokers may also offer a zero spread or a ‘raw’ spread, where they do not add any markup to the spread, but instead charge a commission.

Forex Commission

Forex commission is a fee charged by brokers for facilitating trades. The commission can be charged as a percentage of the trade value or as a fixed fee per trade. The commission is charged in addition to the spread and can vary depending on the broker.

Some brokers may offer a choice between a spread or commission-based pricing model. In a commission-based model, the spread may be lower, but the commission charged may be higher. Conversely, in a spread-based model, the commission may be lower, but the spread may be higher.

Which One is Better for Traders?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including your trading strategy, trading volume, and the broker. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of each pricing model.

Advantages of Spread-based Pricing

1. Predictable Costs: With a fixed or variable spread, traders can easily calculate their costs before entering a trade. This helps traders to manage their risk and plan their trades accordingly.

2. No Hidden Fees: Spread-based pricing is transparent, and traders know exactly what they are paying for each trade. There are no hidden fees or surprise charges.

3. Suitable for Small Trades: Spread-based pricing is better suited for small trades as the commission charged on a small trade may be higher than the spread.

Disadvantages of Spread-based Pricing

1. Higher Costs: Spread-based pricing can be more expensive than commission-based pricing, especially for larger trades. The spread can widen during times of high market volatility, leading to higher trading costs.

2. Markup: Some brokers may add a markup to the spread, making it more expensive for traders.

Advantages of Commission-based Pricing

1. Lower Costs: Commission-based pricing can be cheaper than spread-based pricing, especially for larger trades. The commission charged remains the same, regardless of the trade size.

2. Tighter Spreads: In a commission-based model, brokers may offer tighter spreads as they are not relying on the spread to earn a profit.

3. Suitable for Large Trades: Commission-based pricing is better suited for large trades as the commission charged remains the same regardless of the trade size.

Disadvantages of Commission-based Pricing

1. Hidden Costs: Commission-based pricing may have hidden costs, such as monthly fees, inactivity fees, or withdrawal fees.

2. Inconsistent Costs: The commission charged may not be consistent and may vary depending on the broker and the trading volume.


In conclusion, both forex spread and commission-based pricing models have their advantages and disadvantages. The pricing model that is best for you will depend on your trading strategy, trading volume, and the broker. If you are a small trader and prefer predictable costs, spread-based pricing may be better suited for you. On the other hand, if you are a large trader and prefer lower costs, commission-based pricing may be the better option. It is important to research and compare the fees charged by different brokers before choosing a pricing model.


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