Difference Between CFDs and Spread Betting

Spread betting and CFDs share a number of common features and have some key differences too.

With Spread Co you can trade markets with spread bets or Contracts for Differences (CFDs). Whichever one you choose, you can trade on equities, indices, currencies and commodities. And with both you’ll be trading on margin, which can allow you up to 200 times leverage. Before you begin trading you should get to know the differences and similarities between these two methods.

CFD vs Spread Betting



Key similarities

  • Ownership – you don’t physically own the assets you’re trading
  • Stamp duty* – there’s no stamp duty payable on CFDs or spread betting
  • Margin trading – you only need to stake a proportion of the value of the trade
  • Choice – with both products you can trade in a wide range of assets including company shares, indices, currencies and commodities
  • Go long or short – you can trade on the assumption that values will rise or fall
  • No commission – except when you trade equities, when commission is included in the spread

Key differences

   Spread Betting CFDs
Tax on gains* No Capital Gains Tax on any profits. Capital Gains Tax liability on profits.
Offset losses* You can't offset any losses against gains made elsewhere. Any losses can be offset against other gains for Capital Gains Tax.

At a glance

   Spread Betting CFDs
Range of markets Indices, Equities, Commodities, FX, ETFs, ADRs Indices, Equities, Commodities, FX, ETFs, ADRs
Commission No additional commission will be charged to your account, everything is in the spread. No additional commission will be charged to your account, everything is in the spread.
Minimum trade £1 per point

Indices: 1 CFD
Equities: Varies - from 1 CFD
Commodities: Varies -  from 10 CFDs
FX: 10,000 CFDs

Platforms Mobile, tablet, web Mobile, tablet, web
Risk management Stop loss, guaranteed stop loss, limit order Stop loss, guaranteed stop loss, limit order
Demo account Yes Yes
Stamp duty No No
24 hour dealing Yes Yes
Capital Gains Tax on profits No Yes


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© 2018 Spread Co Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Spread Co Limited is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales with its registered office at 22 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QE. Company No. 05614477. Spread Co Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Register No. 446677.

Spread betting and CFD trading are leveraged products and can result in losses that exceed your deposits. Ensure you understand the risks.

Losses can exceed deposits. Click here to learn more.