The ForexBrokers.com annual forex broker review (four 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 2020.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 69-78% 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
Here's a breakdown of some of the best forex brokers in the world.
- IG - Best Overall
- Saxo Bank - Best VIP client experience
- CMC Markets - Best web platform, most currency pairs
- Dukascopy - Well-rounded offering
- TD Ameritrade FX - Excellent trading platform, US only
- City Index - Excellent all around offering
- FOREX.com - Great platforms and pricing
- XTB - Best customer service, great platform
- FXCM - Well-rounded offering
Best Overall - Visit Site
Regulated and trusted across the globe, IG offers traders an extensive list of tradeable products, excellent trading and research tools, industry-leading education, and competitive rates. This fantastic all-round experience makes IG the best overall broker in 2020. (76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.) Read full review
Best VIP client experience
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
Best web platform, most currency pairs
Through its offices regulated in major global financial centers, CMC Markets offers traders a wide range of financial products with excellent pricing and its Next Generation trading platform, which is packed with innovative trading tools and charting. Read full review
Thanks to its JForex platform suite, Dukascopy provides forex traders industry-leading trading tools and market research, which includes our favorite mobile app for 2020. Drawbacks include terrible customer service and a narrow offering of tradeable markets. Read full review
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
Excellent all around offering
Beyond its extensive range of products, multi-asset traders confidently choose City Index for competitive spreads, great platform options, premium research tools, and reliable customer service, all under the backing of GAIN Capital, which is one of the largest retail brokers globally. Read full review
Great platforms and pricing - Visit Site
FOREX.com delivers an excellent trading experience for forex and CFD traders across the globe. With competitive pricing, full-feature trading platforms, comprehensive market research, and a robust mobile app, FOREX.com caters to traders of all experience levels. (69% of retail CFD accounts lose money.) Read full review
Best customer service, great platform
As a trusted multi-asset broker regulated in several major financial centers, XTB provides a well-rounded, competitive offering. Highlights include outstanding customer service and the xStation 5 trading platform, which delivers a great experience. Read full review
While its range of tradeable markets is narrow and pricing is just average for everyday trading, FXCM caters to multiple trader types. High-volume traders, algorithmic traders, and, overall, traders that appreciate robust trading tools alongside quality market research will find FXCM to be a good fit. Read full review
Best Forex Brokers for Low Costs
Forex trading costs are not easy to break down. Reasons why trading costs can be impacted: bid/ask spreads can vary across venues (because forex is decentralized), forex spreads may be either fixed or variable (floating). Also, variable spreads may widen or narrow (vary) at different rates across brokers.
Furthermore, execution policies vary across firms in terms of how orders are processed (slippage/rejections), even when all else is equal. Brokers may be acting as market makers (dealers) to execute your trades or acting as agents for execution (relying on other dealers to do so for them). Forex spreads may include a round-turn commission. Also, not all brokers publish their average spread data, and for those who do – not all brokers record their average spread over the same time-frames, making it difficult to make an accurate comparison.
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.
While the all-in cost to trade can be critical for many traders, it is essential to look at the whole picture in terms of how a broker’s overall offering could best suit your needs. What are the average spreads for the account types offered? How will differences in margin requirements or execution type available affect my forex trading volumes and related trading costs? These are just two questions that can help traders compare key differences between offerings.
Best Forex Trading Platforms
Forex trading platforms are the modern gateway to investing in international currency markets. Regardless of your trading style or preferred multi-asset instrument, the platform technology you use affects nearly every aspect of your trading experience. From accessing research to analyzing news events, performing technical analysis on charts, and efficiently placing trades, using a proper forex trading platform makes a difference.
Over the past decade, forex trading platform technology has continued to evolve steadily across devices, with a shift from desktop to web, and then to mobile. From among the 30 forex brokers we tested this year, it was clear that the best forex platforms continued to innovate. All in all, the best forex trading platforms provide customers a robust, feature-rich, seamless experience across all devices.
Selecting the best forex platform for you will depend on a myriad of factors. First, do you prefer a web-based environment or desktop download? Next, consider how important tools such as charting or automated trading are to you. Available order types and other unique tools and advanced features are also items to keep in mind. Narrow down your top picks, then try each platform out through a demo account to finalize your choice.
Best International Offering
Foreign exchange markets are open 24 hours a day, five days a week. Having the ability to react quickly to geopolitical and economic news events through one universal platform, in real-time, is vital. Why? Financial markets, including forex and more recently even cryptocurrencies, are highly interconnected.
In the early 2000s, brokers used to concentrate on offering just one asset class, for example, forex, to their customers. Today, trading platforms are no longer just for trading forex or CFDs; instead, multi-asset offerings are now industry standards among all the most significant online brokers. That said, the range of products and markets you can trade still varies considerably across firms.
Best Forex Research
To trade profitably, thorough research content and tools to find and analyze investment opportunities is crucial. Beyond news headlines and an economic calendar, leading forex brokers combine third-party content with in-house research, including fundamental news and technical analysis.
Within the trading platform, research tools are directly integrated. Research tools include daily or weekly market recaps and analysis, live trading rooms, integrated pattern-recognition tools for news events and charts, screeners, heat maps, and sentiment indicators.
When choosing a forex broker for its FX research, remember that quality is just as important as quantity. The best forex brokers provide a great blend of in-house market analysis as well as tier-1 quality third-party research.
Best Forex Trading Apps
While nearly all forex brokers have offered mobile apps for years, the difference in quality between a great app and a mediocre app is vast.
To determine the best forex brokers for mobile trading in 2020, we focused on identifying mobile experiences that were bug-free, cleanly designed, and provided a wide range of features. Additionally, we looked for brokers who have been able to create a seamless experience between their mobile apps and their desktop and web-based platforms.
Best Customer Service
When using a forex broker, a single customer service experience is not enough to assess the all-round quality and scope of service. Instead, multiple interactions with a broker’s customer support staff should be conducted to determine an overall rating of customer service.
Here at ForexBrokers.com, we follow the rigorous testing approach used by our sister site, StockBrokers.com, the most respected in the industry when it comes to trusted US stockbroker reviews.
For the 22 international forex brokers included in our customer service assessment, we conducted institutional-grade phone testing with the help of UK-based customer experience research group Customerwise. Over the course of six weeks, 330 phone tests were conducted across the UK (Note: brokers who do not offer any UK-based phone support were excluded from testing).
In the final ranking for best customer service, XTB ended up first followed by ETX Capital, FXCM, Pepperstone, and LCG in fifth. View the full rankings.
Best for Day Trading (Professional Client Status)
When it comes to active trading or day trading, not all forex brokers’ offerings are created equal. The trading requirements and resulting commission/spread discounts a forex trader is entitled to can vary considerably across forex brokers. Also, 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. Therefore, choosing a well-capitalized and trustworthy firm is especially crucial for professional forex day traders. Here are our top picks for 2020.
If you’re considering an active trader program or professional trader status in the EU, take attention to the details of what each broker offers. How much do you plan to trade over each calendar month, on average? How will the available margin rates at each broker affect your trade sizes and overall volumes? How sensitive is your trading strategy to spread/commission rates? Finally, other factors that can play a crucial role in your overall experience are the execution method, order types, trading platforms, and other such preferences.
2020 Overall Ranking
Here's the Overall rankings for the 30 online brokers who participated in our 2020 Broker Review, sorted by Overall ranking.
2020 Category Winners
For the ForexBrokers.com 2020 Online Broker Review, all online broker participants were assessed on over 100 variables across seven Core categories. 3,180 data points were collected in total. Here are the 2020 Core category winners. Here's how we tested.
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.
How important is research and education?
Trading forex is risky and not easy. Even seasoned forex traders allocate time to learning new lessons and concepts. The disparity between currency brokers that provide thorough, high-quality education and those who do not is vast. Research tools for scanning, analyzing, and conducting technical and fundamental analysis will vary from broker to broker. Bottom line: compare your forex broker to make sure you are using the best overall platform.
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For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers. Each broker was graded on 105 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.