Summary

Recommended for forex traders who value a user-friendly platform and great research tools

Oanda is an American forex broker founded in 1996. It is still a private company, thus not listed on any stock exchange.

Oanda is regulated by top-tier authorities, such as the US Commodity Trading Futures Commission, the National Futures Association (CFTC) and the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73.5% 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.

The services offered by the broker's different entities differ slightly. In this review, we mainly focus on the UK one.

Best mobile trading platform Best broker for API trading

We selected Oanda as Best mobile trading platform and Best broker for API trading for 2020, based on an in-depth analysis of 57 online brokers that included testing their live accounts. Check out the complete list of winners.

Overall Rating
4.4
Fees
2.9
Account opening
4.4
Deposit and withdrawal
4.2
Trading platform
4.7
Markets and products
1.6
Research
5.0
Customer service
4.5
Education
5.0

Oanda pros and cons

Oanda has low trading fees. It offers great and easy-to-use trading platforms and its research tools are powerful, with numerous technical indicators and a great API offer.

On the downside, Oanda has a limited product portfolio, as you can trade only forex and CFDs. It is not listed on any stock exchange and doesn't have a banking background, two typical factors we check for safety qualification. The withdrawal fees can also be high.

Pros Cons
Low trading fees Only FX and CFD available
Great trading platforms No stock exchange listing and banking background
Outstanding research tools Withdrawal fee can be high
Oanda main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation USA, UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Japan
💰 Trading fees class Average
💰 Inactivity fee charged Yes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $0
💰 Minimum deposit $0
🕖 Time to open an account 1-3 days
💳 Deposit with bank card Available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 9
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Forex, CFD

Author of this review

Gergely Korpos

Author of this review

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

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

Oanda review
Fees

2.9
To know more about trading and non-trading fees, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda charges low forex fees. Non-trading fees, such as the inactivity fee and withdrawal fees, are average.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High withdrawal fee for bank transfers
Low forex fees
First credit/debit card withdrawal per month is free
Oanda fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
EURUSD High The fees are built into the spread, 0.6 pips is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
GBPUSD Average The fees are built into the spread, 1.1 pips is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
S&P 500 CFD Average The fees are built into the spread, 0.3 points is the average spread cost during peak trading hours.
Inactivity fee Low £10 per month after one year of inactivity

How we ranked fees

We ranked Oanda's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of Oanda for each asset class. For example, in the case of forex and stock index trading, spreads, commissions and financing rates are the most important fees.

We also compared Oanda's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Pepperstone and FXCM. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of Oanda alternatives.

To have a clear overview of Oanda, let's start with trading fees.

Oanda trading fees

Oanda's trading fees are low.

We know it's hard to compare trading fees for forex brokers. So we compared brokers by calculating all the fees of a typical trade for selected products.

We picked popular instruments within each asset class usually offered by forex brokers:

  • Forex: EURUSD, GBPUSD, AUDUSD, EURCHF and EURGBP
  • Stock index CFDs: SPX and EUSTX50

A typical trade means buying the instrument, holding it for one week and then selling it. For volume, we chose a $20,000 position for forex and a $2,000 position for stock index CFDs. We assumed the following leverages:

  • 30:1 for forex
  • 20:1 for stock index CFDs

The resulting catch-all fees include spreads, commissions and financing costs for all brokers. Let's see the verdict for Oanda's fees.

Forex fees

Oanda charges low forex fees.

Oanda forex fees on a $20,000 30:1 long position held for one week
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
EURUSD benchmark fee $8.2 $12.6 $13.7
GBPUSD benchmark fee $6.6 $11.3 $6.4
AUDUSD benchmark fee $9.5 $13.8 $8.9
EURCHF benchmark fee $6.2 $5.5 $3.4
EURGBP benchmark fee $9.3 $14.8 $17.0

CFD fees

Oanda has average stock index CFD fees.

Oanda CFD fees on a $2,000 long position held for one week
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
S&P 500 index CFD fee $1.2 $1.2 $1.5
Europe 50 index CFD fee $1.3 $1.6 $1.6

Non-trading fees

Oanda has average non-trading fees.

There is no account and deposit fee. Oanda charges a reasonable monthly $13 (£10) inactivity fee if you don't trade on your account for one year.

Oanda non-trading fees
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Account fee No No No
Inactivity fee Yes No Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

The first debit/credit card withdrawal is free in each calendar month, but there is a charge for every other withdrawal. The withdrawal fee is rather high for bank transfers and PayPal (GBP, EUR, USD only) is costly. See our table on withdrawal fees here.

Oanda review
Account opening

4.4
To experience the account opening process, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda's account opening is straightforward, with no required minimum balance.
Pros Cons
Fully digital None
No minimum deposit

Can you open an account?

What is the minimum deposit at Oanda?

There is no minimum deposit at Oanda.

Account types

There is only one type of trading account at Oanda (in addition to a demo and a corporate account). However, you can open up to 19 sub-accounts. These are great if you want to have different base currencies under one account. E.g. you can have a USD account with EUR and GBP subaccounts.

Oanda also provides API possibility for exchanges - it might come in handy if you'd like to develop your own platform.

How to open your account

From start to finish, you can calculate with less than 10 minutes. Account approval, though, can take multiple days, as we were asked to send some of our verification documents in email; but it's still quick if you respond to their emails in time.

It takes four steps to complete the Oanda account opening:

  1. Contact details: set your username and password.
  2. Personal information: submit basic personal information, like your employment status or income estimate.
  3. Appropriateness test: fill out a competence test with questions like "What are margins?"
  4. Verify your identity: upload a copy of your ID/passport to verify your identity, and a bank statement / utility bill to verify your residency.
Oanda review - Account opening

Visit broker

Oanda review
Deposit and withdrawal

4.2
To find out more about the deposit and withdrawal process, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda charges no deposit and account fees. The inactivity fee is also reasonable. You can also withdraw your money free of charge with a debit or credit card, but bank transfers and PayPal withdrawals are quite costly.
Pros Cons
Credit/Debit card available High withdrawal fee for bank transfers and PayPal
Free withdrawal
No deposit fee

Account base currencies

  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Number of base currencies 9 9 4
Oanda account base currencies
EUR USD GBP
AUD CAD CHF
HKD JPY SGD

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Digital banks offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

Deposit fees and options

Oanda charges no deposit fees.

Oanda deposit options
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

Deposit options vary depending on your residency and your account currency. We listed the main options below.

Deposit options in the regions
Option Europe United States Canada Asia-Pacific Australia
Bank transfer          
Credit card          
Debit card          
PayPal          

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name. A bank transfer can take several business days, while payment with a credit/debit card is instant. For more information, visit Oanda's website.

Oanda review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

Oanda withdrawal fees and options

Oanda charges no fees for debit card withdrawals and the first credit card transfer each month is free as well.  

Oanda withdrawal fees and options
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets Yes Yes Yes

Withdrawal options and fees vary depending on your residency. The main withdrawal options are the same as those for deposits.

Oanda withdrawal fees for a USD account
  First withdrawal in a month Subsequent withdrawals in a month
Debit card Free Free
Credit card Free $15
Bank transfer $25 $35
Paypal Free Free

You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How long does it take to withdraw money from Oanda? On Oanda's website, you will see various time estimates for different methods. In our tests, it took one business day using a debit card.

Compare to other brokers

Oanda review
Web trading platform

4.5
To try the web trading platform yourself, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda's web trading platform is user-friendly and safe with good customizability. On the downside, you can't set price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No price alerts
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
Oanda platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 4.5 stars Yes
Mobile 5.0 stars Yes
Desktop 4.5 stars Yes

At Oanda you can choose from two trading platforms: Oanda's own platform or MetaTrader 4. In this review, we tested Oanda's platform.

The web trading platform is available in several languages: 

Chinese English French German Italian
Japanese Portuguese Russian Spanish Japanese

Look and feel

Oanda's own trading platform is user-friendly and well-designed. It is also customizable, allowing you to change the tabs' position and size.

Oanda review - Web trading platform

Login and security

Oanda provides a two-step login, which is safer than using only a username and password. For two-step login to work, you'll have to install the Google Authenticator app, which is a compromise that's easy to live with for the sake of security.

Search functions

The platform's search function is good, in that you can easily find the assets you are looking for. Assuming you found the search function in the first place - its location is not very intuitive: the search menu is under the ‘Rates’ tab.

Placing orders

You can use the following order types:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Take profit
  • Stop loss
  • Trailing stop

Only Good till Date (GTD) order time limit is available. To get a better understanding of these terms, read this overview of order types.

Oanda review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set price alerts and notifications on the web trading platform, although this function would be useful and it is available at several other brokers.

Portfolio and fee reports

Oanda has clear portfolio and fee reports. You can find the summary of your spread costs, commissions and profit under the ‘Activity’ tab.

Oanda review
Mobile trading platform

5.0
To try the mobile trading platform yourself, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda's mobile platform is similar to the web trading platform in functionality, and as a plus, you can also set alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No Touch/Face ID login
Two-step (safer) login
Good search function

Oanda's mobile trading platform is available on both iOS and Android. We tested it on Android in English. The platform is available in the following languages:

Arabic Chinese German
English Japanese Russian

Look and feel

The Oanda mobile trading platform is user-friendly. The chart tab is great, you can customize it well. This is not something you commonly find at other brokers.

Oanda review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

Oanda provides a two-step login, which is definitely safe, but you can't use biometric authentication (i.e. fingerprint or face recognition on your phone), which would make the process even more convenient.

Alerts and notifications

In a positive development compared to the web trading platform, it's possible to set alerts and notifications on the Oanda mobile platform.

Oanda review
Desktop trading platform

4.5
To try the desktop trading platform yourself, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda's desktop platform mimics the web platform in terms of functionality, but it has no price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No price alerts
Clear fee report
Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
Oanda review - Desktop trading platform

Oanda review
Markets and products

1.6
To dig even deeper in markets and products, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
At Oanda you can trade only forex and CFDs. It offers fewer forex pairs but more CFDs than its closest competitors.

Disclaimer: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73.5% 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 a wide selection of CFD products (including stock index, bond and commodity CFDs), and it offers a reasonable amount of currency pairs, too. The product lineup lacks ETF, individual stock and futures CFDs.

Oanda product selection
  Oanda Pepperstone FXCM
Currency pairs (#) 71 61 40
Stock index CFDs (#) 16 14 16
Stock CFDs (#) - 64 48
ETF CFDs (#) - - -
Commodity CFDs (#) 31 16 10
Bond CFDs (#) 6 - 1
Futures CFDs (#) - - -
Cryptos (#) 3 5 7

We really liked the fact that you can set the leverage manually. At some other brokers, including Pepperstone and FXCM, this feature is not supported. To set the leverage, go to the 'Deposit and Withdrawal' tab.

Changing the leverage is a very useful feature when you want to lower the risk of your trade. For example, instead of trading with 5:1 leverage, only trade with 2:1 leverage in the case of commodity CFDs. Be careful with forex and CFD trading, as the preset leverage levels may be high.

Oanda review
Research

5.0
To check the available research tools and assets, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda has a wide range of research tools, including news, technical analysis and an API. However, these features are poorly organized on their site.
Pros Cons
Good interactive chart No trading ideas
Data on asset fundamentals Research tools are poorly organized
Quality news flow
Great API

Oanda has a lot of research tools, but they are scattered across seven different pages. For the sake of clarity, here they are in one place:

  • MarketPulse: analyses written by Oanda's own research team. It also includes an economic calendar.
  • News: MarketPulse articles plus a feed by Dow Jones Newswires, a prominent third-party information provider
  • Economic Analysis: analyses of important economic events. However, there is an overlap with MarketPulse as many of these articles can be found there as well.
  • Oanda Labs: tools developed by Oanda's engineers. These tools are usually based on technical analysis, e.g. candlestick pattern analysis. 
  • Technical Analysis: many technical analysis tools powered by Autochartist
  • Algo Lab: a powerful tool for API trading
  • Trading Performance: a behavioral science based risk management tool

Research tools are available in multiple languages.

Fundamental data

Oanda provides fundamental data through its built-in application 'Economic Analysis'.

Charting

Oanda has great charting tools. The charts are very responsive, easy to edit, and you can use more than 70 technical indicators.

Oanda review - Research - Charting

News feed

News is available on the ‘News’, ‘Market Pulse’, and ‘Economic Analysis’ pages. You can reach these pages from the trading platforms.

Oanda review - Research - News feed

We think ‘MarketPulse‘ is your best bet if you want to be in the know. It offers well-written news and analysis with visual elements like charts or videos. You can also find a great economic calendar here. These elements are totally missing from the ‘News‘ page, while the ‘Economic analysis‘ page is not up to date.

Oanda review - Research - Market pulse

Other research tools

There are so many other research tools that even a separate review wouldn't do them justice. Therefore, we picked only the hottest ones.

Oanda has great API options. You can make/use your own APIs in a great and very user-friendly environment. Algo Lab allows you to code and deploy your own automated trading strategies right from your web browser. Programming languages supported by Algo Lab are C#, Python and F#.

Oanda review - Research - Algo lab

Compare research pros and cons

Oanda review
Customer service

4.5
To find customer service contact information details, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
You can reach Oanda's customer service through several channels, but availability could be improved.
Pros Cons
Phone support No 24/7 support
Live chat
Fast response time

It is a big plus that you can contact Oanda in several ways:

  • live chat (with an Oanda rep)
  • chatbot (virtual assistant)
  • phone
  • email

Oanda's customer service is available 24 hours a day, but live chat and phone support is available only between Sunday and Friday. Although not 24/7, this is still good availability, but there are a few aspects that could be improved:

  • On live chat, we got relevant answers and the response time was short (instant or in 1-2 minutes).  Nevertheless, they wrap up the live chat quite quickly if you don't respond right away. A good feature though is that you can export message texts.
  • The chatbot is a really innovative solution in theory, but it cannot answer even basic questions, like what the average spreads are on EURUSD.
  • On the phone, relevance could be improved. We didn't get a fully satisfactory answer to our question (we wanted to get a good overview of fees). Response time is quite good, around 2-3 minutes.
  • Email support gave relevant answers and their response was fast (replied in 1 to 3 hours).

Oanda review
Education

5.0
To check the available education material and assets, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda offers live and pre-recorded webinars ranging from the basics to expert trading, but this wide selection of educational materials is not structured well.
Pros Cons
Demo account Materials are not well-organized
Trading platform tutorial
Educational videos

It is great that you can use a range of 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, we felt they should be better organized; for example, a playlist for trading platform basics would be nice.

There are high-quality webinars available to everyone, covering basic trading topics like risk management. Premium webinars are only accessible to Oanda customers. Educational materials are also available for reading, covering many of the same topics. On the negative side, educational tools could be more structured. Similarly to research tools, we felt lost when we tried to locate the educational tools that are scattered all over the platform.

Oanda review - Research - education

Oanda review
Safety

To find out more about safety and regulation, visit Oanda

or
Compare to its best reviewed alternative: Pepperstone
Oanda is regulated by top-tier authorities, but it doesn't have a banking license and is not listed on a stock exchange.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority Does not hold a banking license
Negative balance protection Not listed on stock exchange
Financial information is publicly available

Is Oanda regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by several financial authorities, including top-tier regulators like the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can find a list of regulators overseeing Oanda's respective legal entities here

Oanda was fined in August 2020 by its US regulator, the CTFC. Oanda was required to pay $500,000 for violating capital, reporting and supervision rules.

Is Oanda safe?

To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

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

Oanda regulation and investor protection
Client country Investor protection amount Regulator Legal entity
Europe £85,000 (FSCS) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) OANDA Europe Limited 
USA No protection Commodity Trading Futures Commission and National Futures Association OANDA Corporation
Canada CAD 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

Oanda provides negative balance protection for forex spot and CFD trading, but only for retail clients from the European Union. Professional and non-EU clients are not covered by any negative balance protection.

Background

Oanda is based in the USA and was founded in 1996. The longer track record a broker has, the more proof that it has successfully weathered previous financial crises.

The broker publishes its annual financial statements and is regulated by a top-tier regulator. All of these are great markers of Oanda's safety.

Find your safe broker

Oanda review
Bottom line

Oanda is a great forex broker: its trading fees are low and it has user-friendly trading platforms that you will quickly learn to use confidently. It also provides powerful research tools, especially trading APIs.

On the other hand, Oanda has a limited product portfolio, with only forex and CFD products available. It doesn't have a banking background and is not listed on any stock exchange, two typical factors that enhance transparancy and regulatory scrutiny. Withdrawal fees can also be high.

Feel free to try Oanda: it is regulated by top-tier regulators, there is no minimum deposit, and the inactivity fee only kicks in after one year.

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