You are into financial spread betting due to the various advantages it provides over conventional stock trading. It is therefore in your interest to ensure that you look at all possible opportunities to reduce costs so that every transaction you make gives you the best return possible. Considering that the number of trades is generally more frequent in this type of trading, even small savings can mean a lot over time.
You must therefore choose a company which allows you tight spread. Wider spreads would erode your profits. Realizing that they are losing customers, some margined trading companies have cut down on their spread and the hope is that customers would get such news from other companies on other instruments as well.
It is worth nothing here that a small spread does not necessarily mean a trade that is cheaper. You have to consider slippage, the chances of a re-quote and other complaints. Similarly, the margin amount that you have to pay with different spread betting companies would be different and you could negotiate for something that is convenient to you. Some companies increase the margins depending on the market volatility and that is not something you can always keep up to. Hence compare financial spread betting companies based on their policy on margins.
Yet another factor is that of stop losses. The stop loss functionality would ensure that you do not lose more money due to a trade going wrong. However not all spread betting companies offer this facility for free and do charge a fee. This could be in the form of a percentage or a flat sum. Some companies offer this facility only for major markets. Policies on this do differ and that is one more reason why you should get it clarified before signing on with a company.
Though spread betting has been seen as an absolute gambling instrument, it need not be so. It is just another form of trading and people who hold positions over a period of a few days cannot be considered mere speculators as they often tend to hedge their positions adequately. It is mainly the intra-day scalpers who can be put in the bracket of speculators and even a one or two point movement on a stock can be beneficial for them.
Last but not the least, even after comparing the various offers of companies, you must sign the agreement only after checking for any fine print.