How did I first hear about Vantage FX?
I attended a Forex event early last year where I met a member of their sales team in spontaneous conversation so wanted to see what they were all about. Other than that, I had not heard any substantial comments on them as a broker.
What was my first impression of them as a broker?
I learnt from the individual I met at the event, that Vantage are very well established (operating since 2009) so I had very high expectations right away. Knowing roughly what they offer, I was impressed with the fact they offer 15 trading platforms which immediately made me appreciate how innovative and forward thinking they must be to want to cater for such a large client base and satisfy a variety of trader preferences.
How easy is it to navigate the broker website?
The website itself is a little ‘busy’ but once your eyes have adjusted after being bombarded with about 5 different moving screen slides, you can see that the layout is relatively simple and easy to get around. One thing about the website is that once you scroll down from the home page, there is a lot of free information to tie you in and keep you interested, and at the bottom of the page, should the aim be achieved, you can fill out a very quick and easy little form in order to sign up right away.
Do they offer a good variety of tradable assets?
Vantage FX proudly state on the homepage that they offer in total, 120 currency pairs, Indices, Commodities and Share CFDs. Although they do offer a fair variety, I was disappointed to learn they do not offer CFDs on cryptocurrencies. Being one of the best-established brokers in the industry, I would have expected them to uphold modem client expectations when it comes to tradable assets to offer.
Do they offer different account types and what are the benefits?
Vantage FX offer three of accounts to choose from: Standard STP account, Raw ECN account, or the Pro ECN account. Supposedly, the Standard account is ideal for beginner traders, the Raw is suitable for experienced traders, and the Pro account is appropriate for ‘professional’ traders. As you can see below, the Standard and the Raw account have pretty much the same trading conditions, aside from the fact that the minimum balance must be $200 on the Standard account, while the Raw must be deposited with a minimum of $500. Also, the Standard account does not carry commission charges per trade, while the Raw account charges $3 per trade per lot, per side, so in total $6 round turn. The catch? If you pay commission, you have 0 spreads, whereas if you do not pay commission (standard STP account) then you are subject to trading with spreads starting at 1.4 pips. In conclusion, it makes no difference to the broker which of these two accounts you choose if you are to be a long standing client as they will make money form you either way.
Of course, the Raw ECN account has a ‘popular’ banner at the top and is placed centrally on your screen, making it more eye-catching to potential clients. This account is not far off the Standard STP account, but it does require a larger deposit requirement. So, in summary, the ‘most popular’ account can be perceived as more lucrative as short term, yes, you are required to deposit a higher amount and long term you are subject to $3 trade commission charges per lot (per side) but the ‘spreads from 0.0 pips’ looks more appealing than ‘spreads from 1.4 pips’, so I feel clients are more likely to be swayed to opt for the advised ‘popular’ account.
If you are a more experienced trader, and perhaps consider yourself a ‘professional trader’, then the Pro ECN account could be suitable for you. This account requires a minimum deposit amount of $20,000, you are charged low commissions of $2 per lot, per side so $4 round turn, and you are at a luxury of trading currencies with spreads starting from 0.0 pips.
All accounts have access to MT4, MT5, Web Trader and the mobile apps (Android and Apple)
How competitive are their spreads?
Firstly, if you want to check out the live spreads on the website, be prepared for a totally non-aesthetically pleasing layout (Please refer to below image). Here, you can see the most popular pairs, but for the full list you must open a demo account. However, I was advised that the demo and live spreads do not reflect perfectly (as per live chat agent). I thought this was a very poor move on their part, because although it is not unheard of to use different servers for the demo and live account, it feels very much like a hook to make the demo account spreads look more attractive, to then reel in clients easily to open a live account.
Also note that the Raw account has tighter spreads than the Standard account when it comes to Forex pairs, but for all other instruments, the spreads are the same on both accounts (floating).
What is the maximum leverage they offer?
According to their website, Vantage FX offer a maximum of 1:500. However, I wanted to check this was across the board for all instruments so I asked their live chat support team. I was left waiting for over ten minutes, still without receiving a response. I then tried to locate the FAQ Page, which does not contain any relevant information for most traders; there is only an FAQ page in light of ‘migration’. Eventually, after several attempts to gain an answer or even a response, I was advised that the maximum leverage one is allowed is as follows:
1:500 for Forex
1:500 for Indices
1:20 for Share CFDs
I think the leverage offered here is more than amicable and definitely not to be complained about as this allows the opportunity for maximum profits to be made on winning positions, should you be a competent trader.
What is the commission charge?
When I spoke to a live chat agent to ask this, I was informed that for the ECN accounts (Raw and Pro), you are charged $6 per lot per trade (round turn). For the Standard account, no trade commissions are charged. However, the account comparison table states that the Pro ECN account trade commission commissions is $2 per lot, per trade (per side) so a total of $4 round turn. Of course, although this account has the lower trade commission charges, the spreads are wider.
After clarifying with the agent, I can confirm the account comparison table is correct. It is here in instances like this, that I feel it would be beneficial to have an FAQ page for clients, or even potential clients to be able to refer to, for simple queries that do not need to waste time.
What do I need to open a verified account?
As with most brokers, you must be fully verified and approved by the Compliance team by providing a document as proof of photographic ID (drivers licence or passport, for example) and a document proof of address, dated within three months (utility bill or bank statement, for example)
How long does it take to open a live account?
Again, a specific, and concise FAQ page would be handy for short enquiries such as this. However, since Vantage FX do not have one available, I had to speak with a live chat agent once more. I was informed that this process would take typically between 1 and 2 business days. In the case of registering with this broker, ensure you do so during the week, and not towards the end, as the compliance department do not operate during the weekends.
Do they have a minimum/maximum deposit requirement?
As per the account comparison table, you can see that the Standard account has a minimum deposit requirement of $200, the raw account has a minimum deposit of $500 and if you consider yourself a professional trader, you have the option of the Pro account, whereby the minimum deposit amount required is $20,000.
Are desktop/mobile/ web trader versions all available?
Yes, Vantage FX have been very forward thinking by making all platforms compatible with their services. In addition, they offer MT5 which is great for those who prefer that to the standard MT4. I think there is a lot to be said for a broker that can offer both MT4 and MT5 as these options both appeal to the vast majority of traders, rather than offering their own tailored platform where prices can be heavily manipulated according to the broker’s preferences.
Which countries are restricted from trading with Vantage FX?
There is no specific list available to state the countries accepted to trade with this broker, however, as per the information given by a representative on live chat: when you register, you will be able to select your country. Should your country not be visible then be advised your will not be able to trade with Vantage FX.
Do they offer any deposit bonus schemes?
Only one out of the three accounts offered can give deposit bonuses. The 50% deposit bonus is only available to MT4 STP accounts (‘Standard’ account). Note that this is a one-time offer only when you make your first deposit, and is NOT a revolving product. You must make an initial deposit of $500 or more in order to claim up to 50% ($250) which will then be credited to your account within 24 business hours. The terms and conditions are set out on the website and should be read and understood thoroughly before agreeing to this bonus scheme.
What deposit and withdrawal methods are available?
First thing to note is that with Vantage FX, you are able to open accounts and deposit funds in the following base currencies: AUD – Dollars, USD – United States Dollar, EUR – Euro, GBP – British Pound Sterling, NZD – New Zealand Dollar, SGD – Singapore Dollar, JPY – Japanese Yen, CAD – Canadian Dollar. With these currencies, you may use the follow methods: International EFT, credit/debit Card, China Union Pay, broker-to-broker transfer and Thailand Instant Bank Wire transfer.
The Withdrawal methods are the same as the deposit methods and it must be noted that you can only withdraw the initial deposit amount via the same method you used to deposit. Any profits made on top of that, must be withdrawn via wire transfer only.
I was disappointed to see they do not offer bitcoin or any cryptocurrencies as a method of deposit or withdrawal as I know that is a very popular method currently among traders for the simple fact it is efficient, and typically very fast/instant.
Do they sell additional products/ services/ Managed accounts?
I was disappointed to learn that Vantage FX offer their OWN signals, as well as allowing the use of third-party signals and EAs via MT4/MT5. In order to be eligible for their signals you must have a minimum of $1000 in your account and complete a form. I was a little put off by this broker after hearing this as it just another way for the broker to make money by encouraging large deposit sums from the clients and demanding such account balances in order to be able to benefit from signals which are not wholly necessary (for all traders) to contribute to success, and it is commonly argued that they are not beneficial long term.
One thing that I do really like about Vantage FX is that they are one of few brokers that offer snippets of Forex Educational material. This is very handy for the newer traders, and even for the more experienced ones to brush up on knowledge to assist them in their trading development. All videos and educational information is free of charge also.
If assistance is required, how can you get in touch?
Unfortunately, Vantage FX do not offer customer support on a 24/7 basis, which is always disappointing to hear. However, you may contact them via Live chat, email, or telephone 24 hours a day Monday through till Friday.
What is the quality of customer service?
On the whole, the customer support team do meet my expectations, however there was more than one occasion whereby I was left waiting for over 10 mins, or on occasions, even 30 minutes on occasions, just to receive a simple response on live chat. However, overall, the competence of the representatives I spoke to was more than satisfactory and I was provided with all the information I asked for, but admittedly, it was not the best customer support I have come across from a broker.
One thing that bothers me is that although there is a section ‘Clients’ on the webpage, there is not a specific FAQ page for a quick reference guide for clients to efficiently pinpoint small enquiries. I feel this would have been of huge benefit to me while conducting research in all corners of this broker’s service.
Do they offer an affiliate program?
Yes, vantage FX offer 3 affiliate programs: CPA, Introducing Broker and the Hybrid affiliate program. A fair amount of detail is set out on the website itself in regards to each avenue, but then you must fill out a form to be ‘’vetted’’ before being accepted into the scheme.
I feel that by offering 3 programs whereby existing clients have the opportunity to make an extra income via this broker, via a mutual benefit, is very lucrative. It is great that a variety of options are available, so that a variety of affiliates can get involved and have an equal opportunity to earn commission via the method in which excel in most.
What is my overall opinion of Vantage FX?
From beginning to end of my experience with Vantage FX, I found myself struggling to find simple answers to small queries. This was a result of not having a specific, informative FAQ page for a quick reference guide, and also, at times, I had some issues with actually gaining a response form live chat as a result of it being very busy and having to ait around for up to half an hour. It also was frustrating not being able to contact this broker on a 24/7 basis since they do not operate all day every day of the week.
In terms of trading conditions, Vantage FX do offer amicable spreads and leverage across the board, and the trade commissions are not too dear. However, the choosing between account types, I feel were made to be rather over-complicated and the benefits of each did not stand out so much.
I do like the fact that that this broker offers educational material, and also the affiliate programs are very attractive, should you be interested to approach that avenue.
Overall, I would feel comfortable to recommend this broker to anyone who has sufficient trading knowledge as well as experience in order to make profits from the trading conditions offered. I feel this broker is a fair broker overall, but does not necessarily offer the ‘full package’’ that would retain me personally as a client. For example, I feel they could offer Bitcoin deposits/withdrawals, and also cryptocurrency CFDs to trade. I also feel their client support in terms of FAQ page could do with a little maintenance and attention to detail which would lower the live chat workload, thus eliminating the issue of having to wait in que for up to 30 minutes in order to gain a response.