Alpari Review – Discover Whether the Forex Broker Is Good for FX Trading
Alpari broker is one of the earliest FX trading service providers in the online Forex market. The company announced its presence when Forex trading had just started gaining traction among retail traders. Having launched the Alpari Forex brokerage in 1998, the Alpari FX trading company quickly expanded to several prominent global markets, and at one point in time, had properly regulated and approved brokerage divisions in both the US and the UK.
However, it should be noted that the firm faced a couple of issues during the mid-2000s and is now just a shadow of its former self. Nevertheless, in our sincere attempt to create a complete picture of the company through this Alpari review, we will endeavour to find whether the broker is still a good choice for online Forex trading.
During our Alpari review, we found several promising attributes that work in traders’ favor. For instance, the company currently caters to over two million traders from all over the globe, and the Alpari broker has paid out more than $15 million in cashback bonuses alone. The company also conducts routine third-party audits to provide a transparent picture of the firm’s financial transactions, including its order execution policies and handling of clients’ funds. Of course, some concerns have been voiced by a certain group of Alpari Forex customers, which may deter new traders from opening an account. Therefore, we have evaluated every minute aspect of Alpari Forex and CFD services in greater detail in this Alpari review.
- Low spreads from 0 pips
- Alpari cashback
- Instant execution of orders
- Quick deposits and withdrawals
Some Key Factors to Consider When Opening an Alpari Forex Trading Account
We have compiled a shortlist of the important pros and cons of the company so that you can check whether an Alpari broker account is suitable for your trading needs. We have also developed a comprehensive account comparison of the different types of trading accounts on offer and the different steps involved in the account signup process. Further sections of this Alpari review will provide a clearer picture of how these advantages and drawbacks can affect the overall trading experience and whether Alpari withdrawals are processed on time.
- Low Alpari minimum deposit requirement for the Micro account.
- Impressive collection of funding methods.
- Provides access to a varied set of popular asset classes.
- High leverage is on offer.
- MT4 and MT5 platform options.
- Excellent CopyTrade tool for both Strategy +Managers and Investors.
- No fees for deposits.
- Regulatory status is not confidence-inspiring.
- Although the broker offers a varied asset class, the total number of tradable instruments is a bit low.
- Alpari spreads are a bit high for the regular accounts.
A brief look at the broker’s service portfolio gives the impression that the company is a good choice for Forex and CFD trading for retail and institutional trading. However, the best ECN conditions are only available to traders who make a higher minimum deposit, putting it out of reach for smaller traders. Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look at the Alpari Forex account options and the specific trading conditions attached to each account category.
An Assessment of the Different Alpari FX Trading Account Choices
There are four different Alpari Forex accounts in total, each divided into two categories. The first category is the Standard Account, which is aimed at smaller traders that offer automated dealing desk conditions, while the other category comprises ECN accounts offering direct market access trading. There are two Alpari FX trading accounts in the Standard category – the Forex Micro Account and the Forex Standard Account. The Micro account is the cheapest option for trading, requiring a very low Alpari minimum deposit of $5. The maximum leverage on offer is 1:400, while the Alpari spreads for the Micro account start from 1.7 pips, which is incredibly high.
Of course, there is the convenience of trading with a very low trading capital, but the high spreads can be a deterrent for high-frequency traders. As far as the choice of trading instruments is concerned, the Micro account offers 25 currency pairs and two metals, which is also on the lower side. The minimum volume per trade starts from 0.01 lots, with a maximum volume restriction of 1 lot per ticket. There is a maximum limit of 1000 orders, but the cumulative volume cannot exceed 5 lots. As a result, the Micro trading conditions are highly restrictive and may not be the perfect choice for most traders.
The Forex Standard Account is a bit more representative of a conventional trading account, requiring an Alpari minimum deposit of $100. The leverage is increased to 1:1000, which is surprising because Micro account traders may have benefited more from higher leverage. Nevertheless, the Alpari spreads for the Standard account start from 1.2 pips, which is cheaper than the Micro account but still expensive compared to the spreads quoted by other mainstream brokers. Traders can access more instruments through the Standard account, namely, 61 currency pairs, 5 spot metals, and 14 spot CFDs. The minimum order volume is 0.01 lots, with the maximum order volume restricted to 30 lots per trade.
While there are no limits on the maximum number of orders, there is a restriction on the maximum volume for cumulative trades, set at 50 lots. All of these trading conditions point to a market maker protocol that employs an automated dealing desk. Therefore, the company’s Standard accounts do pose a conflict of interest, which can be negated by opting for the ECN account.
The ECN account category is divided into two – the regular Forex ECN Account and the Forex Pro Account. The minimum Alpari deposit for the regular ECN account is $500, which is a bit too high by modern standards. Nevertheless, the Alpari spreads start from 0.4 pips, and there is a commission of $1.5 per lot per side. Therefore, the total commission is $3 per round lot traded, which is impressive, but the spread could have been lower. The total number of trading instruments for the ECN account stands at 73, and the maximum floating leverage is pegged at 1:1000. However, if you would like to eliminate the ECN account commission, you can choose the second ECN account category, known as the Forex Pro Account.
The Pro account lets you trade with the minimum Alpari spreads starting from 0.4 pips, and no commissions are charged on any trades. However, the Alpari minimum deposit is $25,000, which is insanely high. It is quite an uncommon strategy adopted by Alpari, as other ECN brokers offer a zero-commission, zero-spread ECN account for as low as $500. The leverage is also reduced to 1:300, and the number of tradable instruments is reduced to 57. Nevertheless, the minimum order volume for the ECN account category starts at 0.01, while the maximum volume per trade is 50 lots for the regular ECN account and 250 lots for the Pro account. There are no maximum limits on the number of orders or the cumulative order volumes for both ECN accounts.
The broker offers an option to open a demo account and trade via a virtual trading environment before opening a live trading account. Additionally, all traders do have the option of an Islamic account for Sharia-compliant trading, but it is only available for MT4 users. Finally, we have to look at the broker’s CopyTrade service, a social trading account that offers a platform for both strategy managers and investors to benefit from each other. Investors can copy the trades of the successful strategy managers, while strategy managers can earn a portion of the profits they make for their investors.
The best part of the Alpari CopyTrade account is that investors only need to pay a performance fee for the profitable trades, and investors have full control over the choice of strategy managers, the amount invested, and their investments. The CopyTrade service is available for a minimum Alpari deposit of $100, making it accessible for all account categories, apart from the Micro account users.
Choosing an Account Type & Signing Up at Alpari Broker
To get a comprehensive picture of the broker’s services and product portfolio in this Alpari review, we signed up for a live trading account and deposited our funds to gauge the trading performance. We also initiated an Alpari withdrawal to see if the broker processes its clients’ withdrawals on time. However, more on this will be discussed later on in this review, as we will now try to offer you a detailed outline of the account signup process.
The entire registration process does not take more than a couple of minutes, and traders have the convenience of registering for an account either through the website or through the mobile app. Of course, the website signup process is available for both desktop and mobile web browsers, as both have similar layouts. However, traders will be required to verify their contact number at the start of the signup process, as this allows the broker to minimize any instances of bogus or scam accounts. It may be a minor inconvenience, especially to those who do not wish to share their phone number, but you will have to do so to move to the next step of the registration process. The broker will send a PIN to your phone for verification, which should be entered into the registration form.
After verifying the phone number, the next step is to provide key personal information to the broker for identification and tax purposes, which will be verified at a later stage. Of course, you will have to upload scanned copies of your identification documents and wait for the verification to be completed to initiate an Alpari withdrawal, but an Alpari deposit can be done before completing the verification process. Nevertheless, we recommend completing the verification process, as the broker takes only an average of 26 minutes to approve its clients’ accounts. You can proceed with depositing funds and opening trades as soon as your account is approved.
The Standard Alpari App for FX Trading – An Overview of Desktop Trading Platforms
The company has adopted a safe strategy by roping in both the MT4 and the MT5 terminals for its different account categories. It is understandable why the company has not bothered with a proprietary trading app for desktop users, considering the high cost of development and maintenance. We also feel that the MetaTrader terminals would be a far better choice for most traders, especially when considering the popularity and reach of both the MT4 and MT5 terminals among both retail and institutional traders.
The MetaTrader terminals are available as a desktop app, as well as a web browser-based WebTrader. The desktop platforms are compatible with the most recent Windows and MacOS, while traders also have the convenience of trading via the WebTrader through the most popular web browsers such as Chrome, FireFox, and Edge. There are a few subtle differences between the MT4 and the MT5 terminals, and the broker offers a detailed comparison of both platforms on its website. This comparison table should serve as a good reference point to help you choose between the two platforms, especially because there are multiple standard and ECN account options on offer.
Despite the availability of both the MT4 and the MT5, the MT5 platform only works with the Standard ECN account. This is indeed a disadvantage, as the Forex Pro account is only offered to MT4 users, and the same is the case for Standard and Micro account holders. Of course, the regular ECN is available for MT4 users, but the lack of access to the MT5 platform across the board is a bit concerning. There are also other concerns, such as the absence of an Islamic SWAP-free trading account for MT5 users, which can put Islamic traders at a bit of a disadvantage.
The choice of assets remains the same, but the broker could have added more instruments for its regular ECN users. Nevertheless, the MT4 and MT5 terminals allow traders to use the full suite of tools and customization options offered through the MQL forum, including support for ExpertAdvisors.
Finding Out the Alpari App Options for Mobile Users
We came across several Alpari apps on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, but none of these seemed to enable all the trading features offered by the company. We even found the company mentioning a dedicated account management and trading Alpari app for iOS and Android users, but the information appears outdated. There wasn’t even an option to download an Alpari mobile apk file, which means that the company only depends on the mobile versions of the MT4 and MT5 versions for meeting its clients’ mobile trading needs. Never follow links provided online, as it is always safer to stick with the official website and use the latest information when downloading the mobile Alpari apps.
The MT4 and MT5 trading terminals are readily available for download for both Android and iOS users. Moreover, the WebTrader versions of these terminals also support trading via a mobile web browser, offering plenty of access points for mobile users. Once again, there isn’t an Alpari mobile apk app for MT4 and MT5 platforms, as they can be downloaded straight from the Play or App Stores. Therefore, if you come across an apk installation file, exercise due diligence before downloading it to your phone. We would implore you to use only the official MT4 and MT5 apps provided by MetaQuotes, or get in touch with the broker for other options.
What Should Traders Expect as a Bonus for Opening an Alpari Forex Account?
With an international presence that is not bound by any EU rules, we are surprised that the Alpari broker does not offer any bonuses or promotions for its clients. Although the no-bonus policy is great for reducing broker-client conflicts, new and existing customers would prefer some form of free money, especially since they are taking a risk by choosing Alpari over the other mainstream regulated brokers. Of course, there is a CashBack promotion that qualifies traders for up to $5 in cashback bonus per trade, but there is a lifetime limit of $10,000 in cashback bonuses for individual clients. The cashback bonus is offered as real cash, but withdrawing the bonus is subject to the broker’s terms and conditions.
What Is Our Opinion on the Alpari Deposit and Withdrawal Policies?
There are quite a few Alpari deposit options, which is frankly more than necessary for a Forex and CFD broker. With over 25 local deposit options, the broker has certainly covered a significant portion of the international trading community, with each local deposit method suited to a specific geographic location. International payments are also supported through credit/debit cards, e-wallets, cryptocurrency, and bank wire transfer.
All Alpari deposits are devoid of any commissions, and even if the intermediary payment system deducts any fees, the broker will reimburse it when adding funds to your trading account. As per an internal audit of the company’s deposit processing times, more than 96% of the deposits were processed within 5 minutes, which is impressive. E-wallets such as Skrill and NETELLER take even less time, as our Skrill deposits were processed instantly.
|Alpari Deposit Options|
|Deposits availability||Min. Deposit||Deposit Fee|
|Deposits Availability: Between 1-5 days||Min. Deposit: $500||Deposit Fee: No commission|
BITCOIN VISA NETELLER WEBMONEY MASTERCARD
For initiating an Alpari withdrawal, you should have a verified and approved trading account. If you verified your identity at the time of signing up, you can withdraw funds at any time, but if not, you will be asked to do so before requesting an Alpari withdrawal. There is indeed a withdrawal commission for some payment methods, but some e-wallets and local currency payments are exempted from any commissions.
|Alpari Withdrawal Options|
|Transaction time||Min. Withdrawal||Withdraw Fee|
|Transaction Time: Up to 4 days||Min. Withdrawal: -||Withdrawal Fee: Determined by broker's rate|
BITCOIN VISA NETELLER WEBMONEY MASTERCARD
Nevertheless, you may be asked to pay anywhere from 0.5% to 2% of the transaction fee as a commission, with bank wires charged at 30 EUR. All withdrawals are processed within 24 hours, but there can be a delay of up to 48 hours for e-wallets and 5 working days for bank wire transfers. The withdrawal speed is not as quick as we expected, but the company did process our withdrawal on time. They do have a high customer satisfaction rate of above 93%, which indicates the broker’s positive approach to its clients’ withdrawal requests.
A Brief Evaluation of the Alpari Spreads, Forex Costs, and Other Trading Parameters
The Alpari spreads for the regular accounts are certainly high, with the Micro account charging a minimum of 1.7 pips on the EUR/USD currency pair. We found the spread to be in the region of 2 pips and sometimes even higher during our live trading sessions, which undoubtedly makes the broker an expensive proposition for high-frequency traders. Of course, the spread is reduced to 1.2 pips for Standard accounts, but the real-time spreads were around 1.5-1.7 pips on average for the EUR/USD currency pair. Other currency pairs were even more expensive to trade, and we are certainly a bit disappointed with the overall costs of the regular market maker accounts.
However, things changed for the ECN account, where the minimum Alpari spreads started from 0.4 pips. Of course, there is a commission of $1.5 per lot per side, which equated to around $3 per round lot trading. The commission was very cheap, and we were indeed satisfied with the average spread that was quoted at around 0.5 to 0.8 pip for the EUR/USD pair. We were even more impressed with the Pro account, where the broker eliminated commissions, with the spreads starting from 0.4 pips. If we had a minor criticism, it would be that the broker does not promise a zero-pip spread, which other ECN brokers usually provide. The minimum investment required was also higher for the Pro account, which at $25,000 puts it out of reach for most retail traders. Nevertheless, for ECN trading, the costs were indeed acceptable.
All currency pairs are subject to a SWAP fee, which is the cost that you pay for holding positions overnight. Of course, in cases of positive SWAP, the trader earns money for holding overnight positions. Regardless, there is an option of a SWAP-free Islamic account for Muslim traders, where the broker does not charge a SWAP fee. However, the broker will charge additional fees for long-term trades in the form of higher spreads, as it would not be financially feasible to write off these costs from the broker’s perspective. Nonetheless, the Islamic account option is only available for users of the MT4 terminal and not the MT5 terminal.
As far as other account-related costs are concerned, traders will have to factor in the Alpari withdrawal costs when withdrawing funds, which apply only to some payment methods. There are no charges or commissions for deposits since the charges incurred during deposits are absorbed by the broker, thereby ensuring that you will receive the entire amount you transferred to your trading account.
The broker also does not charge any hidden fees, but there may be account maintenance charges if the account remains inactive without any trading activity for more than 60 days at a stretch. For CopyTrade users, investors will have to pay a commission to the Strategy Manager in the form of a percentage of the profit for winning trades, while no such commissions are applicable for losing trades. Most of these costs are quite normal in the FX market and they do not spring any nasty surprises.
Is the Broker Regulated & Licensed to Operate its International Forex Brokerage?
While the company boasts a rich history and tradition in its 22 years of existence, it does come as a shock that the broker is not as heavily regulated as some of the other more prominent FX brokers in the market. In our Alpari review, we found that the company is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of the Republic of Mauritius (FSC Mauritius) and registered as a financial company in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Both of these countries are not exactly known for their strict financial regulatory policies, especially when we consider that Alpari used to be one of the leading brokers in the US and the UK.
Nevertheless, our time at the broker did not give us any reason to be concerned about the authenticity and reliability of the company, as the broker was very professional in its approach while dealing with our account verification process and withdrawal processing. Moreover, the company also claims to have a strong positive customer satisfaction level of 93.7%, which does help in boosting the trust factor.
Will the Broker Respond to its Customers’ Complaints & Queries on Time?
The broker has separate customer service channels for different departments, namely, for account opening, deposits/withdrawals, general client support, and compliance. Customers can contact the broker via live chat, email, phone, and other social media channels, where the broker is available to answer all queries and tend to complaints 24 hours a day. The support is available during trading hours from Monday to Friday, but the support team is offline during the weekends. Regardless, any emails or concerns will be addressed during the next working day. In general, the broker’s customer service and responses to customers’ issues are provided in a professional manner, which does inspire us to continue trading at Alpari broker without any major reservations.