Skilling Review: CFDs With No Fees? What’s The Catch?

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Risk Warning: Your Capital is at Risk.

Skilling is an online broker offering Contracts for Difference (CFDs) for stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

The company also acts as a forex broker and provides three web and two mobile platforms for traders.

This review covers Skilling’s range of trading products, account types, fees, and previews of Skilling’s in-house platform along with MetaTrader 4 and cTrader. We’ll also let you know if Skilling operates in .

Skilling Quick Summary

Skilling Logo
Overview
✒️ OverviewOnline broker offering forex and hundreds of CFDs based in Cyprus and Seychelles.
⭐ Our Overall Rating
🏆 Broker Trust Rating75/100
🏁 Founded2016
🛍️ ProductCFDs, Forex
📉 Markets Indices, Shares, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Forex (See all markets)
🗺️ Countries Served100+
💳 Minimum Deposit€100 (See all payment methods)
💰 FeesCommission charged per million in trading volume, swap charges (See all fees)
🛡️ Regulator(s)Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission (CySec), Financial Services Authority (FSA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - (See regulatory review)
📞 Customer Support

  • 24/7 Email

  • Live chat (Monday to Friday (08:00 - 22:00 CET)

  • Phone via +44 208 080 6555 or +357 22 276710 (Monday to Friday (08:00 - 17:00 CET)
🎮 Demo AccountYes. Free with no expiry.

Skilling Pros & Cons

ProsCons
✅ Five mobile and web platforms to choose from, including MT4 and cTrader❌ Unclear as to how long Skilling can operate in the UK under the FCA's Temporary Permissions Regime
✅ Hundreds of stock CFDs❌ Limited product list (CFDs only)
✅ Mobile analytics and indicators matching the web platform❌ High minimum deposits for premium accounts at $5,000.
✅ Transparent spread (pip) and leverage information online.

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Where Does Skilling Operate?

Skilling is regulated by three government bodies (see more details about Skilling’s oversight). It accepts traders from over 180 countries.

See all countries and provinces Skilling serves.

A to GG to PP to Z
AfghanistanGermanyPalau
Åland IslandsGhanaPalestine
AlbaniaGibraltarPanama
AlgeriaGreecePapua New Guinea
AndorraGreenlandParaguay
AngolaGrenadaPeru
AnguillaGuadeloupePhilippines
AntarcticaGuatemalaPitcairn Islands
Antigua and BarbudaGuernseyPoland
ArgentinaGuyanaPortugal
ArmeniaHaitiQatar
ArubaHondurasRepublic of the Congo
AustriaHong KongRomania
AzerbaijanHungaryRussia
BahamasIcelandRwanda
BahrainIndiaSaint Barthélemy
BangladeshIndonesiaSaint Kitts and Nevis
BarbadosIranSaint Lucia
BelarusIraqSaint Martin
BelgiumIrelandSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
BelizeIsle of ManSan Marino
BeninItalySaudi Arabia
BermudaJamaicaSenegal
BhutanJerseySerbia
BoliviaJordanSeychelles
Bosnia and HerzegovinaKazakhstanSierra Leone
BotswanaKenyaSingapore
BrazilKiribatiSlovakia
British Virgin IslandsKosovoSlovenia
BruneiKuwaitSolomon Islands
BulgariaKyrgyzstanSouth Africa
Burkina FasoLaosSouth Georgia
CambodiaLatviaSouth Korea
CameroonLesothoSpain
Cape VerdeLiberiaSri Lanka
Cayman IslandsLiechtensteinSuriname
ChadLithuaniaSwaziland
ChileLuxembourgSweden
ChinaMacedoniaSwitzerland
Christmas IslandMadagascarSyria
Cocos (Keeling) IslandsMalawiSão Tomé and Príncipe
ColombiaMalaysiaTaiwan
ComorosMaldivesTajikistan
Cook IslandsMaltaTanzania
Costa RicaMarshall IslandsThailand
CroatiaMauritaniaTogo
CubaMauritiusTokelau
CyprusMayotteTonga
Czech RepublicMexicoTrinidad and Tobago
DenmarkMicronesiaTurkey
DjiboutiMoldovaTurkmenistan
Dominican RepublicMonacoTurks and Caicos Islands
EcuadorMongoliaUganda
EgyptMontenegroUkraine
El SalvadorMontserratUnited Arab Emirates
Equatorial GuineaMoroccoUnited Kingdom
EstoniaMozambiqueUruguay
EthiopiaMyanmarUzbekistan
Falkland IslandsNamibiaVanuatu
Faroe IslandNepalVenezuela
FijiNetherlandsVietnam
FinlandNew CaledoniaWestern Sahara
FranceNicaraguaYemen
French PolynesiaNigeriaZambia
GabonNorwayZimbabwe
GambiaOman
GeorgiaPakistan

Restricted Countries

Residents of countries not mentioned above cannot register with Skilling, including the United States, Australia, and Japan. See which brokers are available in .

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Skilling Trading Products

There are two trading product categories on the Skilling platform: Contracts for Difference (CFDs) and forex pairs. We also include minimum spread, leverage, and margin requirements, though brokers like Skilling can change these based on market conditions.

IMPORTANT: CFDs are not available in the USA due to local regulation, and regulated brokers do not accept US citizens or US residents as clients.

Skilling.com uses dynamic leverage tiers. This means that as a client’s trading volume increases, the maximum leverage for the traded asset class decreases.

For example:

Stock CFD traders with trading volumes up to €100,000 get a maximum leverage of 10:1, which drops to 5:1 when trading volumes are between €100,000 and €300,000.

Visit Skilling’s website to see the tiers for each asset class.

CFD Trading With Skilling

Skilling’s CFDs are contracts between the broker and the trader where the trader bets on a value change over a given time frame without owning the product. This is called a derivative instrument.

Skilling offers CFDs on shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and indices.

Stock CFDs on Skilling.
This screenshot is only an illustration. Current market prices can be found on the broker website.

Stock CFDs With Skilling

Skilling offers CFD contracts on 700+ international stocks. The maximum leverage on stocks is 10:1, with a margin requirement of 10%.

Spreads on stock CFDs are variable. To see up-to-date minimum and average spreads, visit Skilling’s website.

Commodity CFD Trading With Skilling

Skilling offers six commodity CFD instruments — all of which are in the precious metals and energy sectors.

We’ve included the premium minimum spread and the maximum leverage for each commodity, but traders should refer to the Skilling website for up-to-date spread info.

 Min. SpreadMax. Leverage
Brent Crude Oil6100:1
West Texas International Oil6100:1
Gold4200:1
Silver162100:1
Platinum1.4100:1
Natural Gas0.5100:1

Index CFD Trading With Skilling

Skilling’s Index CFDs have the following maximum leverage and margin requirements:

  • Major Indices: 500:1 (Margin requirement of 0.20%)
  • Minor Indices: 100:1 (Margin requirement of 1%)

See a list of Skilling’s index CFDs.

IndicesSymbolsMin. Spread
Australia 200AUS2005
China A50CHINA509
Germany 30DE304
DOWJONES 30DJ3016
EU Stocks 50EUSTX5029
France 40FRA4013
Hong Kong 50HK508
Italy 40ITA4015
Japan 225JAP2255
NASDAQ 100NASDAQ11
Netherlands 25NED2550
Norway 25OBX251.2
Sweden 30OMX300.8
Spain 35SPA356
S&P 500SPX5004
Singapore IndexSTI305
Switzerland 20SUI2036
UK 100UK1007

The above minimum spreads are for Skilling Premium traders. For up-to-date standard spreads, visit Skilling’s website.

Skilling crypto on mobile with spreads
This screenshot is only an illustration. Current market prices can be found on the broker website.

Crypto CFDs With Skilling

All crypto CFDs on Skilling are traded against the US dollar. Traders should note that crypto CFDs speculate only on price movement — you do not own the cryptocurrency.

The maximum leverage on crypto CFDs is 5:1 with a margin requirement of 20%.

Please Note: Availability subject to regulations. Cryptocurrency CFDs are not available to UK retail traders.

Here are all cryptos offered by Skilling:

  • BTC/USD – Bitcoin
  • DASH/USD – DASH
  • EOS/USD – EOS
  • IOTA/USD – IOTA
  • NEO/USD – NEO
  • XBN/USD – Bitcoincash
  • XET/USD – Ethereum
  • XLC/USD – Litecoin
  • XMR/USD – MONERO
  • XRP/USD – Ripple

Spreads on cryptocurrencies change more frequently than other CFD assets, so see Skilling’s website for up-to-date information.

Forex Trading With Skilling

Here are all 70+ forex pairs available to trade with Skilling with the following maximum leverage and margin requirements:

  • Forex Majors: 500:1 (Margin requirement of 0.20%)
  • Forex Minors: 200:1 (Margin requirement of 0.50%)

Major pairs are made up of any combination of these currencies: US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, Pound Sterling, Canadian Dollar, or Swiss Franc.

Minor pairs: All other currency pairs offered on Skilling are categorized as minor or exotic.

See all of Skilling’s forex pairs.

A to EE to NN to Z
AUD/CADEUR/NZDNZD/USD
AUD/CHFEUR/PLNSGD/JPY
AUD/JPYEUR/RUBTRY/JPY
AUD/NOKEUR/SEKUSD/CAD
AUD/NZDEUR/SGDUSD/CHF
AUD/PLNEUR/TRYUSD/CNH
AUD/SGDEUR/USDUSD/CZK
AUD/USDEUR/ZARUSD/DKK
CAD/CHFGBP/AUDUSD/HKD
CAD/JPYGBP/CADUSD/HUF
CAD/NOKGBP/CHFUSD/ILS
CHF/JPYGBP/DKKUSD/JPY
CHF/NOKGBP/JPYUSD/MXN
CHF/PLNGBP/NOKUSD/NOK
EUR/AUDGBP/NZDUSD/PLN
EUR/CADGBP/SEKUSD/RON
EUR/CHFGBP/SGDUSD/RUB
EUR/CZKGBP/USDUSD/SEK
EUR/DKKGBP/ZARUSD/SGD
EUR/GBPNOK/DKKUSD/THB
EUR/HKDNOK/JPYUSD/TRY
EUR/HUFNOK/SEKUSD/ZAR
EUR/JPYNZD/CADZAR/JPY
EUR/MXNNZD/CHF
EUR/NOKNZD/JPY

For up-to-date minimum and average spreads, visit Skilling’s website.

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Skilling Account Types

Traders can choose from the following Skilling account types: Standard, Premium, and MT4 (MetaTrader 4). You can choose from USD, EUR, NOK, SEK, or GBP as the base currencies for your account. Skilling also offers a demo account that is free to use with no expiry date.

Standard and Premium accountholders can trade with the Skilling Trader and cTrader. You must have a Skilling MT4 account to access MT4 its platform.

All three account types offer:

  • Maximum retail leverage of 30:1
  • Maximum professional leverage of 200:1
  • Micro lot trading
  • Access to all forex pairs and commodity CFDs
  • Stop-out level of 50%
  • Scalping
  • Negative balance protection

Here’s a comparison of how each account type differs and their corresponding minimum deposit requirements:

Corporate and Institutional Accounts

Skilling offers retail accounts, as well as corporate accounts for those firms that qualify. Institutional accounts must register for one of the three account types (Standard, Premium, or MT4), and be eligible for professional status.

How To Verify Your Skilling Account

When registering, traders must provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Country of residence and residential address
  • Nationality
  • Birth Date
  • Email Address
  • Mobile number
  • Account currency (USD, EUR, NOK, SEK, or GBP)

You’ll also need to verify your ID by uploading the following documents:

  • Passport or ID card
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Social insurance number or tax identification number

Citizens of Norway and Sweden can instead choose to provide their BankID as verification.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Skilling has minimum requirements for both deposits and withdrawals:

  • Minimum Deposit: €100 (or currency equivalent)
  • Minimum Withdrawal: €50 (or currency equivalent)

Skilling doesn’t charge deposit or withdrawal fees. Deposits and withdrawals can be made via both web and mobile.

The available payment methods with the corresponding processing times are:

Payment MethodProcessing Time
Debit/credit card (Visa or MasterCard)2 to 7 working days
Wire TransferInstant to 7 working days
fasaPayWithin 1 working day
WebMoneyWithin 1 working day
PayRWithin 1 working day
PayTrustWithin 1 working day
PagsmileWithin 1 working day
Directa24Within 1 working day
NganLuongWithin 1 working day
UnionPayWithin 48 hours
SkrillWithin 1 working day
NetellerWithin 1 working day

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Skilling Commissions & Fees

Skilling calls itself a zero-commission, zero-fees broker, which applies to Standard and MT4 accounts. However, the broker does charge commissions on Premium Accounts.

Additionally, there are a number of charges to be aware of:

Swap Charges

Swap charges, also known as rollover costs, are fees that traders pay them when positions remain open at the end of a trading day. Skilling charges swap charges every weekday except Wednesday.

The end of each trading day is at 22:00 GMT, which is when swap or rollover charges for open positions are calculated from. Swap charge formulas differ for particular asset classes. Crypto swap charges are a percentage of the “price,” which Skilling doesn’t define. (Our best guess is that it refers to the trade price.)

Rollover fees can be positive or negative, depending on how the market moves in response to your open trade.

Swap Charges On Forex & Spot Metal CFDs

The fee for forex pairs is calculated based on the difference in interest rate between the two currencies’ Tomorrow Next Deposit Rates (TNDR). The markup charged by Skilling is based on whether your position is long or short.

The formula for forex swaps is:

Swap = (Pip Value * Swap Rate * Number of Nights) / 10

  • Pip Value = 10 for all Forex pairs except JPY, HUF, and THB pairs, where the pip value is 1000. RUB and CZK pairs have a pip value of 100
  • Number of nights = the total amount of nights the position is kept open.

Swap Charges On Indices

Index swap charges are calculated based on interbank rates for the particular index, plus Skilling’s markup on the position.

The formulas for index swaps are:

Swap Long = (Units * Price) * (Markup + Libor) / 365

Swap Short = (Units * Price) * (Markup – Libor) / 365

  • Units: total number of units traded
  • Price: price of the index
  • Libor: 1-month Libor rate of the quoted currency
  • Markup: 3.5% (Buy) and 3% (Sell)

Swap Charges On Shares

Similarly to indices, share CFD swap charges are calculated based on interbank rates for the underlying currency and Skilling’s markups.

The formulas for share swaps are:

Swap Long = (Units * Price) * (Markup + Libor) / 365
Swap Short = (Units * Price) * (Markup – Libor) / 365

  • Units: total number of units traded
  • Price: share price
  • Libor: 1-month Libor rate of the quoted currency
  • Markup: 4% (Buy) and 3% (Sell)

Premium Account Commission

Traders must pay a commission for Premium Accounts for every $1 million (USD) traded. If the accountholder’s base currency is in any other currency than USD, there’s also a charge for the currency conversion to USD.

The commission formula for Skilling Premium traders is:

Commission = Trade size in base currency * (USD conversion rate * $x per USD million traded) * Account currency exchange rate

This table shows the amount charged per $1 million traded on Premium accounts based on the asset category:

Instrument/CategoryCommission Per $1 Million
EUR/USD35
GBP/USD40
Rest FX50
Gold60
Silver120

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Skilling on 3 different trading platforms: Trader, cTrader, and MT4
Skilling is available on three different trading platforms.

Skilling Trading Platform Review

There are three web platforms available for Skilling traders, each with a corresponding mobile app:

  1. Skilling Trader
  2. cTrader
  3. MetaTrader 4 (MT4).

In the below platform review, we’ll cover all these platform options with their similarities and differences.

Traders should note that the Standard and Premium accountholders can trade via Skilling Trader and cTrader, but MT4 accountholders can only use the MT4 platforms on desktop and mobile.

Skilling Trader shown on both mobile and laptop.
Skilling Trader shown on both mobile and laptop.
This screenshot is only an illustration. Current market prices can be found on the broker website.

Skilling Trader

Skilling’s bespoke trading app is a fully responsive platform that’s also accessible via your mobile browser. The main dashboard presents four tabs:

  • Trading platform: Takes you to the asset browsing and analytics screen.
  • Trade assistant: A step-by-step guide to trading on Skilling Trader.
  • Skilling academy: A set of multiple lessons on trading and live markets.
  • Latest news: Basic market sentiment via industry-related online news outlets.

On the trading platform, you can browse assets with a live view of the 24-hour price change, net price change, and daily high. Assets are split into categories. You can create a favorites watchlist by clicking on the star (★) icon next to an instrument.

Skilling Trader’s charting tool will look familiar if you’ve used other brokers. There are a range of available technical indicators, both basic and advanced. You can customize the time-frame of the pricing chart down to the minute.

Making Trades

When you use the trade ticket to buy or sell an instrument, you can customize it by choosing the type of purchase (like market price or custom limit price), preferred leverage, stop limit, and take-profit limit. The trade ticket also shows you the up-to-date spread, cash requirement based on the leverage and trade amount, and the fee to open the trade.

You can manage your trades at the bottom of the screen where there are three separate tabs: orders, positions, and history. The Orders tab shows your unfulfilled orders, which usually happen when you create a limit order (market price orders are filled instantly). Positions shows your open contracts in effect, while History shows a summary of your past trading activity.

Skilling cTrader on Mobile showing forex pair, chart, and market sentiment
Skilling cTrader on mobile.
This screenshot is only an illustration. Current market prices can be found on the broker website.

Skilling cTrader

cTrader is a third-party software used by many online CFD brokers. Its basic functionalities match up to Skilling Trader, except that it doesn’t provide market sentiment and learning material.

Advanced Analytics

Traders who want advanced analytics tools, multiple charts, in-depth order management, and to focus on the market data may prefer cTrader.

With cTrader, you can have multiple charts open for different assets simultaneously. Tickers can be viewed in minute increments up to 10-minutes all the way up to monthly. The range of technical indicators is vast compared to Skilling Trader, and the trade management offers an equity chart, advanced trade statistics, transaction history, and a trading journal.

Advanced Trade Protection

You can also use the ‘Advanced Trade Protection‘ setting to create up to four tiers of take-profit limits for automatic execution, based on spread and volume. For stop-loss, you can create a standard stop-loss or a trigger when the instrument gains a set amount of pips.

Skilling with MetaTrader 4 (MT4) on Mobile showing a forex pair plus chart
Skilling with MetaTrader 4 (MT4) on mobile.
This screenshot is only an illustration. Current market prices can be found on the broker website.

Skilling With MetaTrader 4

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) has been a trader favorite since the software was released in 2005. Traders who have used MT4 before can skip this section, since it’s no different when used with Skilling.

For those new to the platform, here’s an overview:

  • MT4only allows nine time-frames for viewing price charts, as opposed to cTrader’s 20+.
  • You can create custom trade indicators by writing scripts and integrating them into MT4. You can also get additional scripts online.
  • You can automate your trades.

MT4 features 30 stock technical indicators, built-in market sentiment (unlike cTrader), and three different chart styles: bar, Japanese candlestick, and broken line.

Remember, you need to register for a Skilling MT4 account to use this platform.

Skilling Trader's order ticket on mobile.
Skilling Trader’s order ticket on mobile.
This screenshot is only an illustration. Current market prices can be found on the broker website. Please note, this is an example trade – not a recommendation.

Mobile Platforms

The Skilling mobile app is available to download from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

Traders can access all of Skilling Trader’s features on the mobile app, including:

  • Chart analytics with technical indicators and customizable time-frames
  • Trade tickets with settings like trade type, amount, leverage, stop-loss, take-profit, and projected cash requirements
  • Order, position, and trade history management
  • A portfolio summary of present balances and historical account status, including profit-loss analytics for past trading days

You can deposit and withdraw funds from the mobile account via the account menu.

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Skilling Customer Support

Skilling customer support is available via:

  • Phone on +44 208 080 6555 or +357 22 276710 (Monday to Friday, between 08:00 and 17:00 CET)
  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, between 08:00 and 22:00 CET)
  • Email on [email protected] (promised response time is within 24-hours)

You can also find dozens of articles at the Skilling Help Desk, including funding information, legal terms, general trading guides, and FAQs about live markets.

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Is Skilling Trustworthy?

Skilling Ltd falls under the European Passporting Rights to operate in the European Economic Area. It is governed by three regulatory agencies:

  • The company is registered in Cyprus under the following address: 62 Athalassas Avenue, Strovolos, CY-2012 Nicosia, Cyprus. Skilling’s Cypriot company is licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under license no. 357/18.
  • Skilling (Seychelles) Ltd is registered in the Seychelles under the following address: Suite 3, Global Village, Jivan’s Complex, Mont Fleuri, Mahe, Seychelles. This subsidiary is authorized by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) under license no. SD042.
  • Skilling Ltd operates in the UK under the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Temporary Permissions Regime under the FCA reference no. 810951.

Skilling Company Background

Skilling was founded in 2016 by Henrik Persson Ekdahl, Andre Lavold, and Mikael Riese Harstad. The company’s headquarters are in Nicosia, Cyprus.

The Cyprus entity was officially incorporated in 2017 with the CySec license approved in 2018. In 2019, Skilling launched in Sweden, Norway, the UK, Germany, and other EEA member countries later in the year. The Seychelles entity acquired its FSA license in 2020.

The present executive team consists of seven members with Michael Kamerman acting as Group CEO. Kamerman worked his way up to become FXCM’s Managing Director within 9 years of starting as a Sales Associate at the company.

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FAQs

Here are some answers to common questions about Skilling.

What is an STP broker?

A Straight Through Processing (STP) broker processes orders via liquidity providers like banks and hedge funds who provide the bid/ask spreads. STP brokers like Skilling are a third-party market maker between the liquidity provider and the trader. Like Skilling, STP brokers provide direct market access to the cheapest bid-ask spreads from their pool of liquidity providers.

What is an ECN broker?

As opposed to an STP broker, an Electronic Communications Network (ECN) broker acts as the single liquidity source and sets the bid-ask spread. Still, ECN brokers work with other liquidity providers like banks and hedge funds to fulfill market orders they’re unable to fill themselves. Some brokers have a hybrid STP-ECN model, but the ECN model is technically a hybrid itself.

Is Skilling legit?

Skilling is regulated by the Cyprus Securities & Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission in Cyprus (CySEC), and the Seychelles Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the Seychelles. The company is also licensed under the Temporary Permissions Regime of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate in the UK. See this additional review of Skilling’s license number and company info.

What is the difference between buying stocks and trading with Skilling?

Instead of real stocks, Skilling offers Contracts for Difference (CFDs), meaning that traders purchase a contract to bet on the price of an instrument without owning it. CFDs are a form of derivative trading. Skilling offers CFDs on hundreds of stocks. That said, Skilling also offers forex trading on more than 50 forex pairs. Traders who want to trade real stocks can refer to this review of real stock brokers.

Plus500 is not available in the US

Legitimate CFD brokers, like Plus500, cannot accept US clients by law

US traders welcome at these brokers:

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  • Includes Bitcoin, Ethereum & Ripple
  • Super simple setup

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  • Major US broker

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