Oanda Review 2019

Best API
· 4.2 4 stars · Dec 2018
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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.

Best API

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

As a plus

Oanda offers a great and easy-to-use web trading platform. It has a user-friendly and fully digital account opening with no minimum account balance. It has also powerful research tools, e.g. it has a great API offer.

On the flip side

Oanda has a limited product portfolio as it offers only forex CFDs. The customer support has a lot to improve as it is slow and provides irrelevant. The money withdrawal can be pricey.

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Oanda review
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 - a snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee - -
EURUSD fee Average 1.3 pips spread cost
US tech fund fee - -
Inactivity fee Low €10 per month after 2 years of inactivity

To get things rolling, let's go over some broker fee lingo. You need to keep an eye on trading fees, financing rates, and non-trading fees.

We compare Oanda fees with its peers, Pepperstone and FXCM.

Let's start with the trading fees.

Trading fees

Oanda trading fees are low.

It is super hard to compare trading fees for forex brokers. What we did at Brokerchooser? Instead of quoting long fee tables, we compare brokers by calculating all fees of a typical trade for two currency pairs.  

  • EURUSD, a popular currency pair
  • EURGBP, another popular currency pair

The typical trade means that you buy for $20,000 using 30:1 leverage, and sell it after a week.

This super catch-all benchmark includes spreads, commissions, and financing costs for all brokers.

Making this calculation, it is clear that Oanda offers low trading fees, almost the same as Pepperstone. 

Forex trading fees
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
EURUSD benchmark fee $19.4 $17.6 $13.8
EURGBP benchmark fee $14.7 $14.1 $16.4

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Financing rates

Oanda financing rates are high. It is super hard to understand the Oanda's financing rate calculation. It is a nice touch that there are tools to help, like a financing rates calculator. But, using these tools is also complicated, especially if you don't have much experience.

Financing rates
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
EURUSD financing rate 4.5% 4.2% 3.1%
EURGBP financing rate 3.0% 3.0% 3.1%

Non-trading fees

Oanda non-trading fees are high as well. There is an inactivity fee but only after 2 years. 

Non-trading fees
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes No Yes
Withdrawal fee $35 $20 $0

The withdrawal fee depends on your account currency, the method and the number of withdrawals. You can check the conditions at Oanda's website.

Oanda review
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

Can you open an account?

Oanda accepts customers from most countries, including the US. There a few exceptions, most notables are India, New Zealand, Turkey, and South Korea.

Minimum deposit

There is no minimum deposit at Oanda.

Account types

There is one account type. You can more open sub-accounts, up to 19. The sub-account is great to have different base currencies at one account. E.g. you have a USD account and have an EUR and GBP subaccounts.

How to open your account

Oanda review - Account opening

From start to finish you can calculate with less than 10 minutes. To be approved, it can take multiple days. 

Four steps of Oanda account open:

  1. Contact details: username and password
  2. Personal information: basic personal information, like your employment status or your income estimation
  3. Appropriateness test: you have to fill out a test with questions like what are margins
  4. Verify your identity: a copy of your ID/passport for verifying your identity, and a bank statement/utility bill for verifying your residency.

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Oanda review
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

Account base currencies

There are 9 available base currencies at Oanda: EUR, GBP, CHF, USD, CAD, AUD, JPY, HKD, SGD. This is a great offer which is also specific to Oanda's competitor brokers.  E.g. Pepperstone offers10 base currencies, while FXCM offers 7.

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

Deposit fees and options

Oanda deposit is free of charge, but the options vary based on your residency and your account currency. E.g. electronic wallets are not available for US clients and PayPal in Europe is only available for GBP, USD, and EUR accounts.

Oanda deposit options
  Europe United States Canada Asia-Pacific Australia
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit card Yes No No No Yes
Debit card Yes Yes No No Yes
PayPal Yes No Yes Yes No
China UnionPay No No No Yes Yes
BPay No No No Yes Yes
Checks No Yes No Yes No
ACH No Yes No No No

As at Oanda's competitors, you will have many options to deposit:

Deposit options
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

The bank transfer can take from 1 to 5 business days. If you use the credit/debit cards or the electronic wallets, the money is credited to your account immediately.

You can only deposit money from sources which are on your name.

 

Withdrawal fees and options

Oanda withdrawal fees are competitive for credit/debit cards, but can be quite high for bank transfers. 

The first withdrawal per month is free for credit/debit and electronic cards. Oanda charges all further withdrawals and for all bank withdrawals. The fee depends on your account currency, but it is around $20.

Withdrawal fees and options
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No Yes Yes
Electronic wallets No Yes No
Withdrawal fee $35 $20 $0

At Oanda's website you will see an estimated time for withdrawals. For example, it is 1-6 business days for Europeans using credit/debit cards. We tested it and it took 3 business days.

You can only withdraw money to sources on your name.

Compare to other brokers

Oanda review
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

Oanda Platforms to Choose From
Trading platform Score Available
Web 5 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop 3 / 5 stars Yes

Oanda offers its own platform and MetaTrader 4. In this review, we tested Oanda's platform.

You can choose from many languages: Arabic, Chinese, Japan, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish.

Look and feel

Oanda's own trading platform is really user-friendly and well-designed. 

The trading platform is also very customizable. You can change the tabs' position and size.

 

Oanda review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Oanda offers two-step safe login to the web trading platform. You have to use Google Authenticator for setting this feature.

Search function

Oanda search function is good. It gives you relevant results. On the other hand, it is not intuitive to find it. It is located in the graph area. A drop-down search menu can be also found in the rates tab.

Placing orders

You can use the four order types. But, you will not find very sophisticated ones, like a "one cancels the other".

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop trailing

If you are not familiar with the order types, read this overview. The platform lacks the order terms, like a good 'till cancel.

Oanda review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set alerts and notifications at Oanda trading platform. It would be very useful.

Portfolio and fee reports

There are clear portfolio and fee reports. You can see per transaction what was the spread cost, the financing fee, and the commissions. You can see also the profit and loss of each transaction.

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Oanda review
Mobile trading platform 4 stars

Oanda mobile platform is really similar to the web trading platform. As a plus, you can set alerts. The platform's look could be improved.

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Price alerts available
Cons
  • Does not look nice

Oanda mobile trading platform is available both on iOS and Android. We tested it on Android.

Oanda's mobile platform is similar to the web platform, there are some points we highlight. You can set alerts, and the chart tab is great. You can customize it well. This is not common at other brokers, you can easily change its size.

Oanda review - Mobile trading platform

 

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Oanda review
Desktop trading platform 3 stars

Oanda has a desktop platform. It has similar functions but it is a less user-friendly and has a worse search function than the web trading platform.

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Bad search function
  • Not user-friendly

Oanda desktop platform is similar to the web trading platform in login, order types, setting alerts, and portfolio reports. However, the search function and the user-friendliness are not as good as on the Oanda web platform.

Search is hard to find, and it has a lag to recognize typing. You have to go to a separate tab, called "User Preferences". Here, you can set your product list.  We also experienced that typing had a lag to appear on the screen. Was annoying.

Oanda review - Desktop trading platform

​​

 

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Oanda review
Markets and products 1 stars

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

Oanda is a forex broker with some CFDs. To learn more on CFDs read our CFD trading tips.

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.

Oanda has only a mid-range forex and a wide CFD offer. There are stock index CFDs, bond CFDs, and commodity CFDs.

Products and markets
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Forex - number of currency pairs 55 80 41
Stock index CFDs 16 14 12
Commodity CFDs 32 14 7
Number of Bond CFDs 6 - -

We really liked that you can set the leverage manually. At other brokers, including FXCM and Pepperstone, you can't do this. It is not intuitive where you can do it. At the deposit and withdrawal tab, and not at the trading platform.  

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Oanda review
Research 4 stars

Oanda has a lot of research tools. From news and analysis to API, you will find many-many tools.

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good set of analytical tools
  • Great API offer
Cons
  • No analyst recommendations for stocks, bonds, etc.
  • No fundamental data available
  • Research tool are not at one place

There are a lot of research tools, but they are all scattered on five different pages. Here they are in one place:

  • MarketPulse: analyses written by Oanda's own research team. It also includes an economic calendar.
  • News: this includes the feed of MarketPulse and Dow Jones Newswires, a prominent third-party.
  • Economic analysis: you will find analyses of the important economic events. However, there is an overlap with MarketPulse as many contents here can be found there as well.
  • Oanda Labs: there are tools developed by Oanda's engineers. These tools usually based on technical analysis, e.g. candlestick pattern analysis. 
  • Technical analysis: many technical analysis tools powered by Autochartist.
  • Algo Lab: it is a powerful tool for API trading. 

The research tools are available multiple languages, same as trading platform.

Recommendations

Oanda provides a lot of analyses, but there are no recommendations.

Fundamental data

There is no fundamental data at Oanda, mostly because it concentrates on FX.

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.

Oanda review - Research - Charting

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.

News feed

You will find news at "MarketPulse", "News", and "Economic analysis" sections.

Oanda review - Research - News feed

We think the "MarketPulse" is the best to use. There are well-written news and analysis with visual elements, like charts and videos. You can also find a great economic calendar.

These elements are totally missing at News. Furthermore, the Economic analysis" is not up-to-date as the analyses in the headline are more than one year.

Oanda review - Research - Market pulse

Other research tools you will like

There are so many other research tools even a separate review would not be able to cover them. So we only picked up the hottest ones.

Oanda has the best API offer we at Brokerchooser have ever seen. You can make/use your own APIs at a great and very user-friendly environment. C#, Python, and F# are the supported programming languages. It also offers REST API.

Oanda review - Research - Algo lab

There is also a currency heat map. It is a great visual chart showing FX pair changes in percentages. 

Last but not least, you can use the "Forex Order Book" tool. This is a 24-hour summary of open orders and positions held by OANDA's clients.

Compare research pros and cons

Oanda review
Customer service 3 stars

Oanda customer service has a lot to improve. They have very slow response times and give irrelevant answers. As a plus, you can use live chat and they cannot be reached only on Saturday.

Pros
  • Live chat available
  • Available from Sunday to Friday
Cons
  • Slow support
  • Irrelevant answers

It is great that you can contact Oanda in many ways.

  • live chat
  • chatbot
  • telephone
  • email

We also liked that Oanda customer service is available 24 hours a day from Sunday to Friday. On the other hand, we were not satisfied with the quality.

On the live chat, we got relevant answers, but the response time can be long. We waited more times around 15 minutes until an agent was connected. Furthermore, they finish live chat very quickly if you don't answer right away.

The chatbot is a really innovative solution, but it cannot answer even the basic questions, like what the average spreads are at EURUSD.

On the phone, both the relevancy and the response time can be improved. Once we waited around 8 minutes and then we didn't get a full overview of the fees.

Email support provided relevant answers, but with a very slow response time. We got answers between 3 to 7 days.

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Oanda review
Education 4 stars

Oanda offers live and pre-recorded webinars ranging from the basics to expert trading.

Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
  • Demo account
Cons
  • Videos can be better organized

It is great that you can use the many tools for education:

  • Demo account
  • Educational videos
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • Webinars
  • Texts

We enjoyed the quality of the videos, they were well produced. On the other hand, they should be better organized, for example, a playlist for trading platform basics would be nice to see. 

There are high-quality webinars available to everyone. They cover basics trading topics, like risk management. The premium webinars are only for Oanda customers.

Also, you can read about educational materials, i.e. using indicators or how you have to manage the risks.

On the flip side, the educational tools can be more structured. Similarly to the research tools, we felt lost as the educational tools can be reached from more than 5 places.

Oanda review - Research - education

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Oanda review
Safety

Oanda is regulated by top-tier regulators, including the UK FCA and the US CFTC. On the flip side, it doesn't disclose its financial information.

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High amount of account protection
  • Negative balance protection available
Cons
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Limited disclosed financial information

Oanda is a US broker established in 1996 serving clients from all over the globe. Is Oanda safe? To be certain, it is best to check two things: how you are protected if something goes south and what the background of the broker is.

How you are protected

Oanda has six legal entities. This is important for you because the investor protection amount and the regulator differ from entity to entity.

Oanda legal entities
Client country Investor protection amount Regulator Legal entity
Europe £50,000 (FSCS) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) OANDA Europe Limited 
USA No protection Commodity Trading Futures Commission and National Futures Association OANDA Corporation
Canada $1,000,000 (CIPF) Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) OANDA (Canada) Corporation ULC
Australia No protection Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) OANDA Australia Pty Ltd
Asia except Japan No protection Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) OANDA Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Japan No protection Financial Services Agency (FAS) OANDA Japan Inc

Negative balance protection is provided. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will be protected.

Background

Oanda is a privately held company and is mainly owned by two venture capitalist firms: Index Ventures and New Enterprise Associates. 

Oanda is a privately held forex and CFD broker with a long history that originates back to 1996. Ownership is transparent, the computer scientist and economist co-founders are Michael Stumm and Richard Olsen.

Oanda has great trade execution and customer risk management. During the post SNB (Swiss National Bank) crisis Oanda showed a good example of protecting investor funds. They closed positions automatically, and also forgone negative balances and did not re-quote trades for clients who occurred losses.

Being regulated by the US SEC, and also by the FCA are great signs for Oanda's safety.

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Oanda review
Bottom line

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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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.

Best API

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

Compare to other brokers

Overall 4 stars

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

Fees 3 stars

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

Account opening 4 stars

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

Deposit and withdrawal 4 stars

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

Web trading platform 5 stars

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

Mobile trading platform 4 stars

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Price alerts available
Cons
  • Does not look nice

Desktop trading platform 3 stars

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • Good customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Bad search function
  • Not user-friendly

Markets and products 1 stars

The available asset classes to trade:

  • Forex
  • CFD

Research 4 stars

Pros
  • Good interactive chart
  • Good set of analytical tools
  • Great API offer
Cons
  • No analyst recommendations for stocks, bonds, etc.
  • No fundamental data available
  • Research tool are not at one place

Customer service 3 stars

Pros
  • Live chat available
  • Available from Sunday to Friday
Cons
  • Slow support
  • Irrelevant answers

Education 4 stars

Pros
  • Trading platform tutorial videos
  • Educational videos
  • Demo account
Cons
  • Videos can be better organized

Safety

Pros
  • Regulated by top tier financial authority
  • High amount of account protection
  • Negative balance protection available
Cons
  • Not listed on stock exchange
  • Limited disclosed financial information

AUTHOR OF THIS REVIEW

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

METHODOLOGY

Everything you find on Brokerchooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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