Best forex brokers in 2019

Dec 2018
Top 2 forex brokers
IG XTB
Best forex brokers in 2019

Choose the best forex broker in 2019, we did the research for you. First, we selected only quality forex brokers. Then we checked fees, currency pairs charting tools, platforms, practically everything. We went deep. So, you do not have to.

And now, without further ado…

The top 5 picks for the best forex brokers in 2019

  1. IG is the Best Forex broker. Low fees, great platform, low fees.
  2. XTB is second. A lot of currency pairs and the best CFD broker.
  3. FXCM is made it to the podium. It has great charting tools.
  4. Pepperstone has low fees, and the best customer service.
  5. Oanda is number five. The best API.

Best forex brokers in 2019
Broker Info Best in
#1 Global CFD and FX broker
Best FX broker
#2 Global CFD and FX broker
Best CFD broker
#3 UK-based forex broker
#4 Australian forex broker
Best customer support
#5 American FX broker
Best API

All five brokers are considered safe. They are regulated by top-tier regulators from the UK, US, or Australia.

What makes a good forex broker? We think fair fees. They should offer a lot of currency pairs, and need to have a great platform. It must be easy to open an account and deposit. Easy to list, but hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers along ~100 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up.

If you are a beginner, be careful with forex trading. You can easily lose all of your money within a couple of seconds. The best way to start is to open a demo account and start learning. All five brokers have a demo account. A demo account is where you can try out trading with paper money, without risking your own savings. Improve your FX knowledge at forex trading 101.

Not sure which broker? For a tailored recommendation, check out the broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with this detailed comparison table.

Boring, but important stuff: All five broker's portfolio contains CFD products. They are complex and very risky, thus not suitable for everyone. You can easily lose all of your invested money. If you don't have clue what a CFD is, start with these CFD trading tips

And now, let's see the best forex brokers in 2019 one by one. Starting with the winner, IG.

#1 Best forex broker
IG

4.5 5 stars
Best FX broker
IG logo

IG was established in the UK in 1974 and is one of the biggest CFD providers in the world. It is regulated by several regulators globally, including top-tier authorities, like the FCA. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG is considered safe, because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and regulated by top-tier regulators.

IG is primarily a CFD broker. CFDs are usually leveraged products with high risk. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for traders aiming for a great and easy-to-use trading platform.

Pros
  • Easy to use web trading platform
  • Helpful and reliable customer service
  • Great deposit and withdrawal tools
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Limited research tools

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#1 IG
Fees 2 stars

IG's trading fees are high and non-trading fees are average. Its financing rate is one of the best.

Pros
  • Low financing rate
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • Inactivity fee

IG fees
EURUSD benchmark fee$12.3$17.1$13.8$17.6$19.4
EURGBP benchmark fee$13.6$9.0$16.4$14.1$14.7

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position size is $20k, leverage is 1:10

IG yearly financing rate
EURUSD financing rate2.9%4.1%3.1%4.2%4.5%
EURGBP financing rate2.9%1.7%3.1%3.0%3.0%

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#1 IG
Markets and products 3 stars

At IG, most clients can only trade with CFDs and forex. There are many-many CFDs. UK and some other clients can also trade with shares.

IG currency pairs
Forex - number of currency pairs94 48 41 80 55

IG products, beside forex
StockYesYesNoNoNo
ETFYesYesNoNoNo
FundNoNoNoNoNo
BondNoNoNoNoNo
OptionsNoNoNoNoNo
FuturesNoNoNoNoNo
Number of stock CFD10,500 1,600 ---

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#1 IG
Web trading platform 5 stars

IG's web platform is great. It is easy to use, has all necessary functions, and can be customized. Even first time users can get familiar with it instantly.

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

Best forex brokers - IG trading platform

IG trading platforms
Web platform score5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score5 stars4 stars2 stars4 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score-4 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars

IG charting

IG's charting tool is great. You can add several technical indicators, make your own drawings and trend lines and set alerts based on technical indicators. You can also save the charts.

Best forex brokers - IG charting

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#1 IG
Account opening 4 stars

The account opening process is fast, user-friendly, and fully digital. On the other hand, there is a £250 or equivalent minimum deposit for cards and the sales team is very pushy.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • £250 or equivalent minimum deposit for cards
  • Sales team is quite pushy, reaching out regularly to fund account

IG minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$300$250$0$0$0
Time to open account1-3 days1 day1-3 days1-3 days1-3 days

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#1 IG
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

You have several options to transfer money. The transfer process is user-friendly and fast.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Not transparent on available base currencies

IG base currencies
Number of base currencies4 4 7 10 9

Why does base currencies matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged.

IG withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardYesNoYesYesNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$20$35

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#1 IG
Verdict

IG is one of the biggest and most reliable CFD brokers. It is regulated by several financial authorities around the world. IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

IG has the best web trading platform Brokerchooser tested. Its customer service is professional and relevant. The deposit and withdrawal conditions are also great.

The biggest drawback is the fee structure. It is quite pricey especially when you trade lower amounts. IG's product portfolio is limited to CFDs, however, in the UK and some other countries, stocks are also accessible. 

It is quite easy to test IG's first class trading platform since there is no minimum funding for bank transfer and you can easily open a demo account. 

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#2 Best forex broker
XTB

4.5 5 stars
Best CFD broker
XTB logo

XTB is primarily a forex and CFD broker and in some countries, you can also trade with real stocks. XTB is a global broker, it has more than ten offices worldwide. In Europe, it serves clients by a UK or a Polish entity. We tested the UK entity, but will provide info on all entities.

XTB is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. A listed company is more transparent. It discloses its financials regularly. XTB is authorized and regulated by different regulators, including top-tier regulator, the FCA.

XTB is considered safe because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and is regulated by a top-tier regulator.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. In the UK, 79%, while in the rest of Europe 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex and CFD traders looking for quick deposit and withdrawal, and advanced research tools.

Pros
  • Fast deposit and withdrawal
  • Fast and user-friendly account opening
  • Good research tools
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio, mostly CFD and FX
  • Sales team can be pushy
  • Missing 24/7 customer support

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#2 XTB
Fees 4 stars

XTB has average trading fees and low non-trading fees.

Pros
  • Low fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Low financing rate
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
None

XTB fees
EURUSD benchmark fee$12.3$17.1$13.8$17.6$19.4
EURGBP benchmark fee$13.6$9.0$16.4$14.1$14.7

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position size is $20k, leverage is 1:10

XTB yearly financing rate
EURUSD financing rate2.9%4.1%3.1%4.2%4.5%
EURGBP financing rate2.9%1.7%3.1%3.0%3.0%

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#2 XTB
Markets and products 2 stars

UK, Hungarians and non-Europeans can trade only with CFDs and forex. All other Europeans can also trade with real shares and ETFs.

XTB currency pairs
Forex - number of currency pairs94 48 41 80 55

XTB products, beside forex
StockYesYesNoNoNo
ETFYesYesNoNoNo
FundNoNoNoNoNo
BondNoNoNoNoNo
OptionsNoNoNoNoNo
FuturesNoNoNoNoNo
Number of stock CFD10,500 1,600 ---

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#2 XTB
Web trading platform 4 stars

XTB's xStation 5 platform is user-friendly, can be customized, and a have good search function. On the flip side, we missed the two-step login, the leverage setting option, and the more sophisticated order types.

Pros
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Limited order types

Best forex brokers - XTB trading platform

XTB trading platforms
Web platform score5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score5 stars4 stars2 stars4 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score-4 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars

XTB charting

The charting tool is good. You can add ~25 indicators which is mid-range, compared to other brokers. You cannot save the chart, but it is easy to share.

Best forex brokers - XTB charting

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#2 XTB
Account opening 5 stars

XTB account opening is hassle-free and straightforward. Your account is ready for trading on the same day. However, the sales team is very pushy.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Sales team pushy

XTB minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$300$250$0$0$0
Time to open account1-3 days1 day1-3 days1-3 days1-3 days

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#2 XTB
Deposit and withdrawal 5 stars

XTB's deposit and withdrawal are cost-friendly, fast, and can be done in several forms. Fees for electronic wallet deposits are quite high.

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Speedy funding and withdrawal -within 3 days
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • High fees for electronic wallets deposit

XTB base currencies
Number of base currencies4 4 7 10 9

Why does base currencies matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged.

XTB withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardYesNoYesYesNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$20$35

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#2 XTB
Verdict

XTB is a good broker. It is regulated by more than 10 authorities globally, including the top-tier FCA and it is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. 

On the plus side, deposit and withdrawal are fast. We liked the seamless and hassle-free account opening. The research tools are easy-to-use.

XTB has some drawbacks though. Its product range is mainly limited to FX and CFDs, but there are real stocks too in some countries. When opening the account the sales team can be pushy. We also missed the 24/7 customer support.

We recommend XTB for clients preferring forex and CFD trading and aim for a fast account opening, cheap money withdrawal, and great research tools. Feel free to test it even via the demo account.

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#3 Best forex broker
FXCM

4.3 4 stars
FXCM logo

FXCM or Forex Capital Market is a London-based forex broker offering some CFDs too. FXCM was established in 1999 and has two main shareholders: Jefferies Financial Group and Global Brokerage. Both parent companies are listed on stock exchanges.

FXCM is considered safe as it is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC.

FXCM is a forex and CFD broker. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79.79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex traders looking for great technical research tools.

Pros
  • Low trading fees and financing rates
  • Good technical research tools
  • Fast and straightforward account opening
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Bad mobile platform
  • Bad desktop trading platform

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#3 FXCM
Fees 4 stars

FXCM offers low trading fees and average non-trading fees.

Pros
  • Low financing rate
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • Inactivity fee

FXCM fees
EURUSD benchmark fee$12.3$17.1$13.8$17.6$19.4
EURGBP benchmark fee$13.6$9.0$16.4$14.1$14.7

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position size is $20k, leverage is 1:10

FXCM yearly financing rate
EURUSD financing rate2.9%4.1%3.1%4.2%4.5%
EURGBP financing rate2.9%1.7%3.1%3.0%3.0%

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#3 FXCM
Markets and products 1 stars

At FXCM you will have access only to some forex, some CFDs, and Bitcoin.

FXCM currency pairs
Forex - number of currency pairs94 48 41 80 55

FXCM products, beside forex
StockYesYesNoNoNo
ETFYesYesNoNoNo
FundNoNoNoNoNo
BondNoNoNoNoNo
OptionsNoNoNoNoNo
FuturesNoNoNoNoNo
Number of stock CFD10,500 1,600 ---

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#3 FXCM
Web trading platform 3 stars

FXCM's trading platform is extremely customizable. It also has a lot of order types. On the flip side, there is no two-step login and setting alerts is a pain.

Pros
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • Clear fee report
  • Available in more languages
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Setting alerts is not a piece of cake

Best forex brokers - FXCM trading platform

FXCM trading platforms
Web platform score5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score5 stars4 stars2 stars4 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score-4 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars

FXCM charting

FXCM does a great job in charting. The charts are easily editable and there are more than 50 technical indicators.
There is also a Market Scanner feature. It shows whether you should buy or sell based on technical indicators, like RSI or MACD. However, only for a few products you can use it.
You can add more technical tools. Some of them are available for free, but for the majority, you have to pa

Best forex brokers - FXCM charting

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#3 FXCM
Account opening 4 stars

The account opening process at FXCM is hassle-free and straightforward. Furthermore, there is no minimum balance requirement.

Pros
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum account balance
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Account opening takes more days

FXCM minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$300$250$0$0$0
Time to open account1-3 days1 day1-3 days1-3 days1-3 days

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#3 FXCM
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

There is more options both for deposit and withdrawal. Also, the deposit is free of charge. On the flip side, the withdrawal can be long.

Pros
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal available
  • Free deposit
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Lengthy funding and withdrawal - over 3 days
  • Withdrawal fee at bank transfer can be high

FXCM base currencies
Number of base currencies4 4 7 10 9

Why does base currencies matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged.

FXCM withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardYesNoYesYesNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$20$35

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#3 FXCM
Verdict

FXCM has low trading fees and financing rates. Their technical research tools are high quality and well organized. It also offers a fast and straightforward account opening.

However, FXCM has a only offers forex, some CFDs, and cryptos. Their mobile and desktop trading platforms need an update. They are outdated and not user-friendly.

Feel free to try FXCM. There is no minimum deposit, and inactivity fee only kicks in after a year.

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#4 Best forex broker
Pepperstone

4.4 4 stars
Best customer support
Pepperstone logo

Pepperstone is an Australian forex broker offering some CFDs too. It was established in 2010 and in 2015 it opened offices in London to better serve their European clients.

Pepperstone is considered safe as it is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC.

Pepperstone is a forex and CFD broker. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 78% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex traders wanting to trade with a lot of FX pairs.

Pros
  • Great customer service
  • User-friendly and fast account opening
  • Easy-to-use and nice looking platforms
Cons
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Limited research
  • Limited education

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#4 Pepperstone
Fees 4 stars

Pepperstone has low trading fees and average non-trading fees. It has no inactivity fee. On the flip side, the withdrawal fee is high.

Pros
  • No inactivity fee
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • Withdrawal fee

Pepperstone fees
EURUSD benchmark fee$12.3$17.1$13.8$17.6$19.4
EURGBP benchmark fee$13.6$9.0$16.4$14.1$14.7

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position size is $20k, leverage is 1:10

Pepperstone yearly financing rate
EURUSD financing rate2.9%4.1%3.1%4.2%4.5%
EURGBP financing rate2.9%1.7%3.1%3.0%3.0%

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#4 Pepperstone
Markets and products 1 stars

At Oanda, you can trade only forex, some CFDs, and cryptos.

Pepperstone currency pairs
Forex - number of currency pairs94 48 41 80 55

Pepperstone products, beside forex
StockYesYesNoNoNo
ETFYesYesNoNoNo
FundNoNoNoNoNo
BondNoNoNoNoNo
OptionsNoNoNoNoNo
FuturesNoNoNoNoNo
Number of stock CFD10,500 1,600 ---

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#4 Pepperstone
Web trading platform 4 stars

Pepperstone offers only third-party trading platforms. We tested cTrader which is a great platform. It is well designed and user-friendly. On the flip side, it lacks the two-step login.

Pros
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login

Best forex brokers - Pepperstone trading platform

Pepperstone trading platforms
Web platform score5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score5 stars4 stars2 stars4 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score-4 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars

Pepperstone charting

Pepperstone does a great job in charting. The charts are very responsive, easily editable and you can use more than ~50 technical indicators. You can also save them.
You can also use a pattern recognition tool powered by Autochartist, a third-party.

Best forex brokers - Pepperstone charting

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#4 Pepperstone
Account opening 4 stars

Pepperstone account opening is great. It is fully digital and user-friendly. On the flip side, it can take more days.

Pros
  • Account opening fully digital
  • User-friendly
  • Many account types
  • No minimum deposit for Standard Account
Cons
  • It can take 4-5 business days

Pepperstone minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$300$250$0$0$0
Time to open account1-3 days1 day1-3 days1-3 days1-3 days

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#4 Pepperstone
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

Pepperstone offers a lot of deposit options and it is user-friendly. The withdrawal fees are high.

Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Free bank and electronic wallets deposit
  • Free credit and debit cards withdrawal
Cons
  • High withdrawal fee

Pepperstone base currencies
Number of base currencies4 4 7 10 9

Why does base currencies matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged.

Pepperstone withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardYesNoYesYesNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$20$35

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#4 Pepperstone
Verdict

Pepperstone is a good FX and CFD broker. 

The customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time. Account opening is a breeze with no minimum deposits. The website is well designed, clear and easy to navigate.

Pepperstone only offers FX and some CFDs. The research and education can be improved, there are not a lot of tools and options.

Feel free to try Pepperstone. There is no inactivity fee and minimum deposit for standard accounts. 

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#5 Best forex broker
Oanda

4.2 4 stars
Best API
Oanda logo

Oanda is an American FX broker established in 1996. It is considered safe as it is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the UK FCA and the Australian ASIC.

Oanda is a forex and CFD broker. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Recommended for forex traders preferring a user-friendly platform and great research tools.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use web trading platform
  • Nice and digital account opening
  • Powerful research tools
Cons
  • Only FX, and some CFDs
  • Bad customer service
  • Pricey withdrawal

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#5 Oanda
Fees 3 stars

Oanda offers low trading fees and high non-trading fees. The withdrawal fee can be really high.

Pros
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • High financing rate
  • Withdrawal fee
  • Financing rate calculation is opaque

Oanda fees
EURUSD benchmark fee$12.3$17.1$13.8$17.6$19.4
EURGBP benchmark fee$13.6$9.0$16.4$14.1$14.7

All spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position size is $20k, leverage is 1:10

Oanda yearly financing rate
EURUSD financing rate2.9%4.1%3.1%4.2%4.5%
EURGBP financing rate2.9%1.7%3.1%3.0%3.0%

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#5 Oanda
Markets and products 1 stars

At Oanda, you can trade only forex and some CFDs.

Oanda currency pairs
Forex - number of currency pairs94 48 41 80 55

Oanda products, beside forex
StockYesYesNoNoNo
ETFYesYesNoNoNo
FundNoNoNoNoNo
BondNoNoNoNoNo
OptionsNoNoNoNoNo
FuturesNoNoNoNoNo
Number of stock CFD10,500 1,600 ---

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#5 Oanda
Web trading platform 5 stars

Oanda trading platform is great. It is very user-friendly with great customizability and search function. On the other hand, you cannot set price alerts.

Pros
  • Good search function
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • No price alerts available

Best forex brokers - Oanda trading platform

Oanda trading platforms
Web platform score5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score5 stars4 stars2 stars4 stars4 stars
Desktop platform score-4 stars3 stars4 stars3 stars

Oanda charting

Oanda does a great job in charting. The charts are very responsive, easily editable and you can use more than 70 technical indicators. You can also save them.
You can also use many other tools for better chart analysis. E.g. there is a pattern recognition tool and there are also educational materials. They can be found at the "Technical analysis" section.

Best forex brokers - Oanda charting

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#5 Oanda
Account opening 4 stars

Oanda account opening is hassle-free and straightforward. There is no minimum balance. On the other hand, the sales team is pushy.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • Sales team pushy
  • It can take 3 business days

Oanda minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$300$250$0$0$0
Time to open account1-3 days1 day1-3 days1-3 days1-3 days

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#5 Oanda
Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

You can use many options for both deposit and withdrawal and the first withdrawal is free for cards. However, the withdrawal can take long and the withdrawal fee can be high.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • User-friendly
  • First withdrawal is free for credit/debit cards and electronic wallets
Cons
  • Lengthy funding and withdrawal - over 3 days
  • High withdrawal fee

Oanda base currencies
Number of base currencies4 4 7 10 9

Why does base currencies matter? Because if you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account, currency conversion fees won't be charged.

Oanda withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardYesNoYesYesNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$20$35

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#5 Oanda
Verdict

Oanda is a good FX broker.

It has a great web trading platform, you will feel comfortable in a very short time. It provides a user-friendly and fully digital account opening. Its research tools are powerful, especially its API.

On the other hand, Oanda has a limited product portfolio, only FX and CFDs. The customer support is slow and usually provides irrelevant answers. The money withdrawal can be high.

Feel free to try Oanda. There is no minimum deposit, and inactivity fee only kicks in after two years. 

 

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Best forex brokers
What makes a good forex broker?

Trading with forex became really popular in the last decade. Keeping your eyes on important criteria like fees help you find the best forex broker for you. 

We tested brokers according to more than 100 criteria. In this article, we will uncover the 5 most important criteria to take into account.

The 5 most important criteria for forex brokers are:

5 important criteria for the best forex brokers in 2019
1. Fee structure: The overall cost of a typical forex trade can be 10-15 times higher at one forex broker compared to another. Worth to check the fees.
2. Markets and products: You want to invest in NZD/USD and EUR/TRY currency pairs? They might not be available. Check the product coverage before opening an account.
5. Web trading platform: A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort. The charting tool is your best friend when trading FX.
4. Account opening: Some brokers require minimum deposit, some dont. Check out what the best forex brokers require.
5. Deposit and withdrawal:  Transferring money to your account can be 5 times longer and more expensive at one forex broker compared to another.

Best forex brokers
Forex broker fees

Fees, fees, and fees. We bet this is on top of your mind when you want to select the best forex broker. It can be complicated. Let's see how we did it. 

It is not easy to compare forex broker fees, but we are here to help. Forex brokers can charge commissions, spreads, and financing fees.

For commissions, there are two versions forex brokers use:

  1. All trading fees are included in the spread except the financing rate. Imagine that the broker gives you a wider spread than it gets from the market.  
  2. You get the market spread, but you pay a commission based on the traded amount.

The latter is more transparent, however, this doesn't mean the first method cannot be cheaper.

When you trade forex on leverage and hold your position overnight, a fee will be charged. This fee is called rollover or financing fee. The financing rate depends on the currency pair and the broker.

To make your life easy, we will calculated everything for you. We calculated what is your overall fee if you take a $20,000 position, hold it for a week then close it. We will use a 1:10 leverage.

You see this for the EURUSD and EURGBP.

 

Best forex brokers
Forex trading 101

Forex trading looks simple, but involves serious risks. Understand the basics and ask yourself. Is this for me?

Understanding the forex market

Forex, FX, foreign exchange or currency market. You have probably already heard one of these expressions. They all mean the same: a market where you can exchange currencies or bet on the price movement of currency pairs.

The forex market has several outlets, from the currency exchange store on the street until the currency trading desk of big banks.

For a non-professional individual, as you probably are, the easiest and safest way to trade forex is by opening an account at a reliable online broker.

The vast majority of the currency transactions are conducted on OTC (over-the-counter) markets. An OTC market is a non-regulated market. On a non-regulated market, you have to assess for yourself how safe your counterparty is. For example, when you travel abroad to an exotic country and you need to exchange some money, you usually go to a bank office instead of changing money on the street. This is how you minimize your counterparty risk. You have to do the same risk minimization when you select your online broker for trading forex. You better go with a reliable one.

Forex trading is very tempting for the following reasons:

  • everybody has an opinion on where the currencies are going,

  • forex market for the first sight it is relatively easy to understand compared to other markets, like the stock market,

  • by using leverage, a trader can easily trade with 100 times more than he/she has on the trading account,

  • the market is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week,

  • it is the most liquid market in the world, meaning it has tons of transactions every second and you do not need to worry about not finding a partner to trade with.

Although it looks easy, trading with forex can be risky if you don't know what you are doing. By using high leverage inappropriately, you can easily lose all of your money within a couple of seconds. So you better start off slow,  learn and open a demo account first. If you want to study more, check out our blog post about the best trading apps for learning.

Forex market trading hours

The forex market is open from 11:00 PM Sunday until 11:00 PM Friday, London time.

The highest trading activity within each day is when London and New York are open.

Best forex brokers - market trading hours

It is good to know that there is a difference between currency conversion and forex trading.

The end result of a conversion is basically changing one currency to another. Imagine you receive your salary in euro, but you spend it in GBP. In this case, you exchange the euros to pounds. At the beginning of the transaction you had euro and at the end, you will have pounds.

When you trade with currency pairs there is no physical conversion happening. Imagine you have an online broker account in US dollars and you want to bet on the price movements of the EURUSD. In this case, you effectively never convert your dollars to euro. If your bet was correct, the profit of your trade will be booked into your account in US dollars. If you were wrong, the loss will be deducted from your account in dollars as well.

Breaking down the forex trading jargon

When you trade forex, you bet on the price change of a currency pair, for example, the EURUSD.

EURUSD bid price EURUSD ask price
1.1700 1.1705

First of all, you need to understand the bid and the ask price. Let's take the EURUSD again as an example. The bid is the price at which you can sell the EURUSD, or in other words to go short in it. If the price goes lower, you will generate profit. The 'ask' price is the opposite. If you want to bet on the price increase, you can open a trade on the 'ask' price. The mid-price is usually halfway between the two, but it is just a theoretical price, it is not used for trading.

The actual bid and ask prices together are called the quote.

A long position is when you bet on the price increase, while a short position is when you profit from the price decrease.

The spread is the difference between ask and bid price. In the example above the spread is 0.0005 that is calculated as 1.1705-1.1700.

The pip is the smallest amount of a currency pair. One pip is equal to 0.0001 for most of the currency pairs. In case of our example, the spread is 5 pips, or 5 times 0.0001, equalling 0.0005. For some currency pairs like the USDJPY, one pip is 0.01.

The leverage enables you to take bigger positions than the amount of money on your account. Imagine this as a multiplier of your profit or your loss. This can be as high as 300. Imagine you have one thousand dollars on your account and your applied leverage is 100. If you open a long position by using all your $1,000, this means you open a trade for $100,000, $1,000*100. If the price decreases 1%, you will lose $1.000 (1%*$100,000), all of your money on your account. And the price of a currency pair can very easily decrease by 1%. In case of EURUSD, this would mean a price decrease from 1.1705 to 1.1588.

A lot is the standard number of units of a forex contract. It is usually 100,000 of the base currency. The base currency is the first currency in a currency pair. For EURUSD, the base currency is the EUR and one lot is €100,000. A mini lot is 10.000, a micro 1,000 and a nano 100 unit of the base currency.

You can meet three types of contract in forex trading, spot, forward and futures. The spot forex contract is traded by most of the people and you are also trading a spot contract when you use an online broker. A spot contract by definition is settled after two days of the trade. The settlement means the counterparties who traded are converting their currencies between each other at the price of the trade made two days earlier. Imagine the settlement as a currency conversion made at an exchange office on the street. The only difference is that this happens two days after the price was agreed on.

However, the settlement doesn't happen in most of the cases, because spot contracts are rolled over before the settlement. This is always the case when you trade forex with your online brokers. The rollover happens because when you are betting on the direction of a currency pair, you do not want to effectively exchange money. You just want to bet on the price movement. The rollover ensures that the conversion will not happen.

When your position is rolled over, your online broker in the background is basically closing your current spot position and opens a new one. This is not visible for you but has a fee, the rollover fee or financing fee. The rollover fee is calculated from the interest rate difference between the two currencies you are trading. It can also happen that you receive a fee from the broker if the interest rates you trade are in your favor. 

A forward forex contract is a contract made on the OTC market. The specifics of the contract, like the term, the price and the settlement are defined by the counterparties case by case. For example, imagine a company which needs $100,000 in 30 days for paying its employees, but it will receive its revenue in euro. Since it wants to specify the exact exchange rate it can get in 30 days, it will seal a forward contract with a big bank at a fixed price, let's say 1.1710. After 30 days they will exchange the currencies and the company will receive €85,397 ($100,000/1,1710). Here the settlement actually happens.

A futures forex contract is traded on a regulated market, for example, a commodity exchange, like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). When you trade futures, your counterparty is the exchange and the specifics of the contract are predefined by the exchange. When your counterparty is a regulated exchange, you don't need to check your counterparty risk, this is one of the safest modes of trading. However, the exchange requires high initial money for trading, so this is not suitable for you with little money to invest. For example, if you want to trade one EURUSD futures contract on the CME, you need to have more than $2.000 on your account.

 

What drives the forex market price?

As told before, in the forex market, everybody has an opinion, because it seems simple to have one. However, currency markets are among the most unpredictable ones in the world.

Everything from monetary policies, government spendings, politics to wars can influence the price change of the currency pairs. The prices have so many influential factors it is hard to make an estimate on them.

Although, economic calendars can be on your help, so at least to know those scheduled events that can influence the forex market.

Best forex brokers
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best forex brokers in 2019:

Best forex brokers in 2019
Award
Best FX broker
Best CFD broker
Best technical tools
Best customer support
Best API
Fees score2 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars3 stars
Account opening score4 stars5 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score5 stars5 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars
Markets and products score3 stars2 stars1 stars1 stars1 stars
Web platform score5 stars4 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

IG is our winner, the best forex broker in 2019. Next is XTB, the best CFD broker, but only second in forex. FXCM is placed three, it has great charting tool. Pepperstone has many currency pairs, the platform is good, and it has the best customer service. Oanda has the best API, does well overall too.

All are considered safe, and a great choice. Watch out, FX can be risky. If you know enough and good to go, pick your winner and take the next step in your trading journey. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Still unsure? Use the broker finder and find the best broker for you.

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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