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Best Forex Brokers 2021

Steven Hatzakis

The ForexBrokers.com annual forex broker review (five years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 50,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. How we test.

Are you looking to speculate that the Euro (EUR) currency will go up in value against the US Dollar (USD)? If so, you will want to trade (or spread bet) the EUR/USD currency pair. The forex market is the largest and most liquid market in the world, representing every global currency with trading conducted 24 hours a day, five days a week.

To trade forex, you need an online broker. Trading with a trusted forex broker is crucial for success in international currency markets. As a currency trader or investor, you may have specific needs related to which platform, tool, or research requirements you have. Understanding your investment style can help determine which fx broker will be best for you.

Each year, our team here at ForexBrokers.com spends five months testing the biggest names in foreign exchange and assembles a guide to the best forex brokers for forex and CFDs trading. Here are our findings for 2021.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.


Best Forex Brokers for 2021

  • IG - Best overall, most trusted
  • Saxo Bank - Best for research
  • CMC Markets - Best web platform, most currency pairs
  • Interactive Brokers - Great for professionals and institutions
  • TD Ameritrade FX - Excellent trading platform, US only
  • City Index - Great all-round offering
  • XTB - Best customer service, great platform
  • FOREX.com - Great all-round offering
  • eToro - Best copy trading platform
IG logo

Best overall - Visit Site

Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders the ultimate package of excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, competitive pricing, and an extensive list of tradeable products. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2021. Read full review

Saxo Bank logo

Best for research

For traders that can afford the USD 10,000 minimum deposit (GBP 500 for the UK), Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing, excellent trading platforms, brilliant research, reliable customer service, and over 40,000 instruments to trade. Read full review

CMC Markets logo

Best web trading platform, most currency pairs

CMC Markets is a globally trusted broker that delivers a terrific offering for traders thanks to excellent pricing, nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments, and the Next Generation trading platform, which comes packed with quality research, innovative trading tools, and powerful charting. Read full review

Interactive Brokers logo

Great for professionals and institutions

Professional forex and CFD traders seeking a global multi-asset broker will find Interactive Brokers offers a sophisticated, institutional grade trading platform, and competitive fees. Read full review

TD Ameritrade logo

Excellent trading platform, US only - Visit Site

With nearly 80 currency pairs to trade alongside a plethora of trading tools and research, TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform provides US-based forex traders a winning experience. Read full review

City Index logo

Great all-round offering

Backed by GAIN Capital, City Index is a trusted brand that traders choose for its advanced trading platforms, excellent mobile app, diverse market research, education, and extensive range of markets. Read full review

XTB logo

Best customer service, great platform

As a trusted multi-asset broker, XTB offers traders outstanding customer service and an excellent trading experience overall thanks to the xStation 5 trading platform. Read full review

Forex.com logo

Great all-round offering - Visit Site

While not a discount broker, FOREX.com is a trusted brand that delivers an excellent trading experience for forex and CFDs traders across the globe. Read full review

eToro logo

Best copy trading platform

eToro is a winner for its easy-to-use copy-trading platform where traders can copy the trades of investors across over 2300 instruments, including exchange-traded securities, forex, CFDs, and popular cryptocurrencies. Read full review


2021 Overall Ranking

Here's the Overall rankings for the 27 online brokers who participated in our 2021 Broker Review, sorted by Overall ranking.

BrokersCommissions & FeesOffering of InvestmentsResearchPlatforms & ToolsMobile TradingEducationOverall RankingTrust ScoreVisit Site
IG99Visit Site
Saxo Bank99
CMC Markets99
Interactive Brokers94
TD Ameritrade98Visit Site
City Index93
XTB92
FOREX.com93Visit Site
eToro93
Swissquote99
FXCM93
AvaTrade93
XM Group84
FP Markets81
Plus50098
Pepperstone92
IC Markets85
Tickmill81
OANDA89
FxPro89
Vantage FX 79
Moneta Markets79
HYCM 84
Eightcap69
VT Markets79
BlackBull Markets70
OctaFX59


2021 Category Winners

For the ForexBrokers.com 2021 Annual Review, all online broker participants were assessed on 108 variables across seven Primary categories. 2,916 data points were collected in total. Here's how we tested.

Alongside Primary categories, ForexBrokers.com ranks brokers by the most popular Investor categories. Finally, each year ForexBrokers.com honors the brokerages who go above and beyond in the areas that matter most to investors.


Other Forex Brokers

In addition to our top nine online brokers for 2021, there were 18 other brokerages we reviewed: Swissquote, FXCM, AvaTrade, XM Group, FP Markets, Plus500, Pepperstone, IC Markets, Tickmill, OANDA, FxPro, Vantage FX, Moneta Markets, HYCM, Eightcap, VT Markets, BlackBull Markets, and Octa FX. Here's our high-level takeaways for each broker. To dive deeper, read our reviews.

10. Swissquote, "Traders willing to pay a premium to have their brokerage account held with a Swiss bank choose Swissquote for its competitive, multi-asset offering. That said, Swissquote's UK-based offering provides better pricing despite offering a smaller range of markets." Read full review

11. FXCM, "While the range of tradeable markets is narrow and pricing is just average, traders that appreciate robust trading tools alongside quality market research will find FXCM to be a winner." Read full review

12. AvaTrade, "AvaTrade is a trusted global brand best known for offering traders an extensive selection of trading platform options. Our testing found AvaTrade to be great for copy trading, competitive for mobile, mostly in line with the industry average for pricing and research, and a winner for investor education." Read full review

13. XM Group, "While XM Group struggles to stack up against industry leaders, in terms of its platform offering, range of markets, and pricing, XM Group provides an outstanding offering of quality educational content and market research." Read full review

14. FP Markets, "While FP Markets trails industry leaders in research and education, spreads on MetaTrader are highly competitive, helping FP Markets shine as a low-cost broker for forex and CFDs trading." Read full review

15. Plus500, "Plus500 is a trusted global brand that offers online traders an easy-to-use trading platform and a thorough selection of CFD instruments. However, Plus500 trails industry leaders in market research and advanced trading tools desired by active traders." Read full review

16. Pepperstone, "While Pepperstone offers a small set of tradeable products, it provides one of the largest selections of third-party platforms, including multiple social copy trading options." Read full review

17. IC Markets, "IC Markets caters exceptionally-well to algorithmic traders through its commission-based accounts. That said, the range of markets, and research materials offered by IC Markets are not as impressive." Read full review

18. Tickmill, "Tickmill is a plain vanilla MT4 broker offering a minimal selection of tradeable securities. That said, Tickmill offers very competitive commission-based pricing for professionals through its VIP and PRO accounts." Read full review

19. OANDA, "As a trusted global brand, OANDA provides forex and CFD traders a limited offering of FX pairs and CFDs but stands out for its reputation and quality market research." Read full review

20. FxPro, "FxPro competes among the top MetaTrader brokers, offering the full suite of MT4 and MT5 platforms with multiple accounts and execution methods. The primary drawback to an otherwise balanced offering is pricing that is higher than the industry average." Read full review

21. Vantage FX, "While offering forex and CFD traders the MetaTrader platform suite, multiple social trading platforms, and a proprietary mobile app, Vantage FX trails industry leaders in key areas, including mobile apps, research, and education." Read full review

22. Moneta Markets "As a new standalone brand within Vantage Group, Moneta Markets struggles to compete with the industry average in the primary categories that are most important to forex and CFD traders." Read full review

23. HYCM (Henyep Markets), "While its storied history is impressive, when it comes to forex and CFDs trading in Europe and its surrounding countries, HYCM fails to impress." Read full review

24. Eightcap, "With a small range of markets and no standout features across its research, education, platforms, and account offerings, Eightcap struggles to compete with the best forex brokers." Read full review

25. VT Markets, "VT Markets benefits from being part of the Vantage Group of companies, yet struggles to compete with the best forex brokers due to a limited offering of research, platforms, and tools, as well as a limited range of available markets to trade." Read full review

26. BlackBull Markets, "With just MetaTrader 4 available alongside a handful of social copy trading platforms, BlackBull Markets offers a limited product range and struggles to compete with industry-leading forex brokers." Read full review

27. Octa FX, "OctaFX offers traders a mostly vanilla MetaTrader and cTrader trading platforms experience. Beyond its European license in Cyprus, OctaFX lacks regulation in major jurisdictions, which puts it at a severe disadvantage compared to other trusted forex brokers." Read full review



Winner: IG

IG logo
Overall - Visit Site

Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders the ultimate package of excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, competitive pricing, and an extensive list of tradeable products. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2021.

  • Trust: Founded in 1974, IG is publicly traded (LON: IGG) and regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading. All jurisdictions considered, IG ranks as the most trusted forex and CFDs broker in our 2021 Review.
  • Commissions: IG uses its size to provide traders competitive pricing across the board, regardless of the product you trade, and shines for its active trader pricing available through its Forex Direct accounts.
  • Forex trading platforms: While IG also offers MetaTrader and premium MT4 add-ons from FX Blue, only 76 tradeable instruments are available. No question, IG's flagship platform is the better choice between the two.

Runner-Up: Saxo Bank

Saxo Bank logo
Overall

For traders that can afford the USD 10,000 minimum deposit (GBP 500 for the UK), Saxo Bank offers competitive pricing, excellent trading platforms, brilliant research, reliable customer service, and over 40,000 instruments to trade.

  • Trust: Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank operates multiple regulated banks and is licensed in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
  • Commissions: Saxo Bank provides traders excellent all-around pricing. For active traders and those with large account balance traders, Saxo Bank offers the lowest pricing in the industry.
  • Forex trading platforms: The entire Saxo Trader client experience is absolutely brilliant. Alongside access to trading 40,000 instruments, Saxo Bank's flagship platform, SaxoTraderGo, is terrific, including everything traders require to navigate the market.

Also Great: CMC Markets

CMC Markets logo
Overall

CMC Markets is a globally trusted broker that delivers a terrific offering for traders thanks to excellent pricing, nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments, and the Next Generation trading platform, which comes packed with quality research, innovative trading tools, and powerful charting.

  • Trust: Founded in 1989, CMC Markets is publicly traded and regulated in four tier-1 jurisdictions alongside two tier-2 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs.
  • Commissions: CMC Markets is a leader for low cost trading, offering trading costs for forex that are measurably lower than the industry average.
  • Forex trading platforms: The CMC Markets Next Generation platform comes with a massive selection of nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments. It delivers a terrific user experience, advanced tools, comprehensive market research, and an excellent mobile app.

Best Forex Trading Platforms

  • Saxo Bank - Best VIP client experience
  • CMC Markets - Best web platform and platform technology
  • IG - Most trusted, great for beginners
  • TD Ameritrade FX - Best desktop platform (US only)
  • FXCM - Well-rounded platform offering

Which forex broker charges the lowest fees?

When it comes to pricing, Tickmill offers the most competitive all-in cost to trade. Tickmill offers three accounts, and no question, Tickmill is best for active and VIP traders, who have access to pricing that competes among the lowest brokers in the industry. Using typical spread data listed by Tickmill for its Pro account offering of 0.13 pips for the EUR/USD, the all-in cost equates to 0.53 pips when factoring in the RT commission equivalent of 0.4 pips.

Methodology: To assess brokers, we take into consideration how much beginners, average traders, and even more seasoned traders would pay, looking at average spreads for standard forex contracts (100,000 units) as well as mini accounts (10,000 units) and micro accounts (1,000 units), where applicable. We then calculate the all-in cost by including any round-turn commission that is added to prevailing spreads.


Which forex broker has the best platform?

The CMC Market's Next Generation platform comes with a massive selection of nearly 10,000 tradeable instruments. It delivers a terrific user experience, advanced tools, comprehensive market research, and an excellent mobile app. Hands down, the CMC Markets Next Generation trading platform is a market leader that will impress even the pickiest of traders.

CMC Markets Next Generation Platform light theme.
CMC Markets Next Generation Platform light theme


Which forex broker offers the most CFDs?

IG offers the most tradeable CFDs in the industry, 19,537. CFDs, or "contracts for difference," enable traders to speculate whether the price of a stock, forex pair, market index, or commodity will go up or down without taking ownership of the underlying asset.


Which forex broker offers the most currency pairs?

Alongside offering over 9,000 CFDs, Saxo Bank offers the most tradeable currency pairs, 170 in total. The one caveat to Saxo Bank is the broker's high minimum deposit requirement for non UK residents.


Which forex broker has the best customer service?

After placing 300 phone calls to assess customer service from locations across the UK, XTB offered the best phone service. Connection times were consistently less than one minute and across 13 total calls, XTB received an average Net Promoter Score of 9.0 out of 10.

Methodology: To assess customer service, ForexBrokers.com partnered with customer experience research group Customerwise to conduct phone tests from locations throughout the UK. For the 2021 Review, 300 customer service tests were conducted over eight weeks. Ten unique templates were used with three questions being asked, on average, per call.


Which forex broker is best for professionals?

CMC Markets offers active traders liquidity rebates starting at $5 per million when you surpass at least $25 million in notional trading volumes per month, to as much as $10 per million for those that trade over $300 million monthly. This program in the UK is available only to Professional Clients. Using the average spread data of 0.74 pips on the EUR/USD for August 2020, the all-in cost on the highest tier would be 0.64 pips and is comparable to similar programs offered by IG (0.59 pips) and Saxo Bank (0.6 pips).

Professional client status: In today's highly regulated forex world, traders who want to maximize their margin leverage must apply and obtain ESMA's professional client status with their broker. Traders designated as Professionals in the EU do not receive negative balance protection and other consumer safety mechanisms such as eligibility for compensation schemes in the event of their broker’s insolvency.

Methodology: We broke down each forex broker's active trading program to assess brokers for professional trading, comparing available rebates, tiers, and all-in costs. Alongside pricing, each broker's trading platform was tested for available advanced trading tools frequently used by professionals.


How do I choose a forex broker?

Here are three of the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing an online broker for forex trading. First, make sure your broker is properly regulated. The safety of your deposit is always the top priority. Next, compare the trading platforms, tools, and investment research provided by each broker. Finally, read forex broker reviews to compare pricing and product offerings (e.g., number of forex pairs and CFDs available to trade).


How do I know if my forex broker is regulated?

It is crucial to use a well-known, properly regulated broker to avoid forex scams. To check if your forex broker is regulated, first identify the register number from the disclosure text at the bottom of the broker's homepage. Next, look up the firm on the regulator's website to validate the register number. If the broker is not regulated in your country, do more research. To help traders, we track, rate, and rank forex brokers across over 20 international regulators.


What's the difference between a dealing-desk and an agency broker?

If a forex broker is operating as a dealer, also known as dealing-desk, they will be on the other side of their client's trades. If a forex broker is not on the other side of their client's trades, they will be acting as an agent (agency broker) by routing the trade on to another dealer.

There are also hybrid-desks, which may operate as a dealing-desk and agency. Lastly, matched-principals are dealers who immediately hedge their trades to remove any potential conflict of interest.


How do I calculate forex trading costs?

For forex and CFDs trading, the all-in cost to complete (open or close) each trade consists of the spread, plus any round-turn commissions. There may also be overnight financing charges, known as carrying costs, which can be either a net debit (loss) or a net credit (refund). To keep trading costs low, focus on trading the major forex pairs such as the EUR/USD, which offer the most liquidity, and thus the tightest spreads (lowest costs).


Read Next


Methodology

For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers. Each broker was graded on 108 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.

While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.

All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.


Forex Risk Disclaimer

"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more.

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Steven Hatzakis

About the author: Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for ForexBrokers.com. Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.


Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involve a high degree of risk. All providers have a percentage of retail investor accounts that lose money when trading CFDs with their company. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money and whether you understand how CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies work. All data was obtained from a published website as of 12/14/2020 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The ForexBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page.

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