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Overall

OANDA caters well to traders of all experience levels, offering access to forex trading and CFDs on major indices and commodities via its regulated international businesses. OANDA combines powerful charting and comprehensive research tools across multiple trading platforms.

By Steven Hatzakis / April 3rd, 2018 / Updated: May 25th, 2018

help 90
Trust Score
Dislikes
  • Research tools on desktop platform redirect to web
  • Limited range of instruments
  • Long hold times to reach customer support reps

Review Sections:

Trust Score

Trading with a forex broker that traders can trust is crucial to success. Forex fraud and scams are, unfortunately, common in the industry.

Here at ForexBrokers.com, we maintain the largest independent regulatory database available on the web. Using 28 different variables, we have created a proprietary 1-100 score (higher the better) of overall trustworthiness, which we call, Trust Score. Is OANDA safe? Here’s our trust summary.

OANDA
Trust Score90
Year Founded1996
Publicly-Traded Company (Listed) No
Regulated in Major Hub Yes
Regulated in Emerging Hub No
Authorised in the European Union Yes
CFTC Registered (USA) Yes
FCA Regulated (UK) Yes
IIROC Authorised (Canada) Yes
FINMA Authorised (Switzerland) No
ASIC Authorised (Australia) Yes
SFC Authorised (Hong Kong) No
MAS Authorised (Singapore) Yes
FSA Authorised (Japan) Yes
FMA Authorised (New Zealand) No
CySEC Authorised (Cyprus) No

Offering of Investments

The following table summarizes the different investment products available to clients of OANDA.

OANDA
Minimum Initial Deposit$0.00
Currency Pairs (Total Forex pairs)71
CFDs - Total Offered52
Exchange Traded Securities: US No
Exchange Traded Securities: International No
Cryptocurrency traded as actual No
Cryptocurrency traded as CFD No

Founded in 1996, OANDA has evolved to become a global leader in retail foreign exchange markets, offering forex and CFD trading to self-directed investors, and corporate FX services, currency management solutions, and data on exchange rates for global enterprises.

The OANDA brand operates across eight global financial centers, serving clients in over 196 countries through its entities licensed in six major regulatory jurisdictions, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Singapore.

OANDA caters to Forex and CFD traders through its proprietary fxTrade platform, which is available as a desktop, web, and mobile app, and across several operating systems. OANDA also offers the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform.

Commissions & Fees

OANDA’s bid/ask spreads, which are the fees clients pay to trade, are most comparable to FOREX.com and FxPro, while the minimum spread available (or lowest advertised rate) may be slightly higher than other firms that list a sub-pip spread (i.e., less than 1.0 pip).

For example, the EUR/USD spread at OANDA was between 1.2 and 1.3 pips when we looked at a 30-day period. OANDA’s spreads are comparable to some of its competitors, including FxPro and FOREX.com, as well as firms such as FXCM when factoring in the total cost of a trade (spread + commission) for agency brokers.

Compared to OANDA’s 1.2 pip spread, FXCM’s commission-based pricing offers spreads on the EUR/USD as low as 0.68 pips when factoring in the spread + commission for its Active Trader offering for clients that deposit $25,000, and 1.2 pips (0.5 pip spread + 0.8 pip commission) for standard account holders.

OANDA live spreads snapshot variable not average spreads

A key distinction is OANDA combines its risk-management expertise to offer execution as a market-maker, where its ability to deal at a price does not rely entirely on third parties the way an agency broker model does, like FOREX.com and FXDD, for example. Therefore, comparing the spread alone is not sufficient, as the execution model and other characteristics can impact the effective cost of trades over time (in some cases). That said, OANDA provides full transparency with its spreads, showing a trailing history of its average spread across all available forex pairs.

OANDA
Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard$1.20
All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active$1.00
Active Trader or Premium/VIP Yes

Customer Service

For our 2018 Forex Review, 129 customer service phone tests were conducted over three months. The data collected is institutional grade. On average, three questions were asked for each test. To score each test, the tests were divided into three separate groups and scores were given for the time taken to connect with each support representative and the ability of each representative to professionally (and thoroughly) answer each question. A Net Promoter Score was also given for the overall experience.

Results:

  • Average Connection Time: >5 minutes
  • Average Net Promoter Score: 6.5 / 10
  • Average Professionalism Score: 7.9 / 10
  • Overall Score: 6.3 / 10
  • Ranking: 37th (43 brokers)

Research

OANDA offers a broad range of research for forex traders, including from within its trading platforms, with news headlines on OANDA’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform streaming from Reuters, Market Pulse, MarketWatch, Mainichi, CNBC, and other providers.

Research content includes technical analysis, various macroeconomic news, as well as research from UBS, an economic calendar forecast from 4CAST, and access to AutoChartist for traders to find and research trading opportunities.

OANDA’s MarketPulse site has content dedicated to news, research, and analysis, and is supported by the firm’s research team. OANDA’s mobile app, fxTrade, streams news from the Dow Jones as well as the company’s blog.

On the fxTrade desktop platform certain research modules trigger an external browser to open the content in a web page. OANDA can improve this by keeping the research centralized in the platform so traders are not distracted from their desktop-based trading. This is an area we would like to see fixed to improve the fxTrade desktop experience.

OANDA ranks closely with FXCM, FOREX.com, FxPro, and other multi-asset brokers, finishing 11th out of 43 brokers for Research in our 2018 Review.

OANDA
Daily Market Commentary Yes
Forex News (Top-Tier Sources) Yes
AutoChartist Yes
Trading Central (Recognia) No
Delkos Research No
Acuity Trading No
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs Yes
Client Webinars Yes
Client Webinars (Archived) Yes
Videos - Beginner Trading Videos Yes
Economic Calendar Yes
Calendar Includes Forecasts No
Economic News Sentiment No
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Yes

Platforms & Tools

OANDA offers several platforms for beginners and advanced traders, starting with access to its fxTrade platform, which is available through the web, mobile devices, as well as desktop versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Aside from OANDA’s proprietary fxTrade platform, the company also offers the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation, which lets you use algorithmic trading systems known as Expert Advisors (EAs).For this review, I focused OANDA’s fxTrade platform.

OANDA combines a number of services into its online account management portal that make it easy to transfer money between accounts and access your statements. The portal also lets you launch the web-based version of the fxTrade platform by clicking “Advanced Charting” from within the portal dashboard.

After launching the fxTrade advanced charting module, the interface gives traders the opportunity to buy or sell from within the default chart window.

OANDA fxTrade web platform

From within the Advanced Charting section, clients can switch between linked accounts on the left side panel, and place trades using the floating buy/sell panel within the chart. Economic analysis and news from MarketPulse are shown as tabs on the tools row near the top left side of the platform layout.

There is also a tab to launch the Application Programming interface (API) from across the top row of the platform, which redirects to the API section where multiple API types are available via a token access.

OANDA’s Advanced Charting module within fxTrade looks simple but it is indeed quite powerful, having the ability to overlay multiple currency pairs within a single chart for comparison. It also has a comprehensive suite of at least 145 drawing tools and 57 indicators. which is well above the industry standard.

OANDA fxTrade chart window

The charts are powered by TradingView, a third-party charting developer, and are integrated within the fxTrade advanced charting module for both web and desktop.

New in 2017, a major recent enhancement to the advanced charting module was the addition of the portfolio section, where open and pending orders can be viewed on the charts directly.

Moving on to the desktop version of the fxTrade platform from OANDA, we ran both versions of the platform, one for the MAC operating system, and the other on Windows 8 and Windows 10. Overall, we found the platform experience to be consistent across operating systems.

OANDA fxTrade desktop app macOS

One of the most attractive features within the desktop version of the platform is the advanced charting, which is nearly identical to the web-based version (see comments above).

Overall, the desktop version of the fxTrade platform feels like an extension of the web-based advanced charting version of fxTrade, adding a few additional features, while keeping the look and feel consistent.

Overall, the desktop version of the fxTrade platform feels like an extension of the web-based advanced charting version of fxTrade, adding a few additional features, while keeping the look and feel consistent. The fxTrade web app resembles the mobile app layout with a default black background.

Additional platforms are available from third-party developers within OANDA’s Marketplace, including the Seer Trading Platform, which can be used for developing, back-testing and forward-testing automated trading systems. OANDA also supports trading connectivity to the ProTrader platform, also known as ProTrader Multi-Connect (PTMC), developed by PFSOFT. Lastly, OANDA’s Algo Labs page uses Quant Connect to let users build their own apps in various supported languages including Python and C#.

OANDA quantconnect algo labs api sdk

It is common for brokers with open API access, such as FXCM and OANDA, to support a larger number of platforms, as the platform developers are able to freely establish connectivity, compared to brokers who only selectively connect to trading platforms through partnerships or other synergies.

Bottomline, OANDA does well in Platform & Tools category thanks to powerful charting, several platforms supported on various operating systems and devices, along with a broad range of research content. OANDA ranks mostly in line with close competitors, including FOREX.com, FXCM, and FxPro, and finished 10th out of 43 brokers in this category.

OANDA
Virtual Trading (Demo) Yes
Desktop Platform (Windows) Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac) Yes
Web Platform Yes
Social Trading / Copy-Trading Yes
Proprietary Yes
MetaTrader4 (MT4) Yes
MetaTrader5 (MT5) No
cTrader No
Currenex No
ZuluTrade No
MirrorTrader No
Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)31
Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)51
Watchlists - Total Fields7
Order Type - Trailing Stop Yes

Mobile Trading

OANDA’s fxTrade mobile app, supported in both iOS and Android flavors, has a consistent feel with its web and desktop counterparts. The app cleanly integrates its research offering and charting is robust.

One neat feature that stood out during testing this year was the seamless transition to the trade ticket window within the charts. Users can easily enter their orders from the chart then adjust their stop-loss and limit order levels using simple drag & drop.

OANDA fxTrade mobile app android trade ticket chart

Charting fxTrade mobile feels similar to the web and desktop platform, providing identical tools and nearly 30 technical indicators.

Charting fxTrade mobile feels similar to the web and desktop platform, providing identical tools and nearly 30 technical indicators.

OANDA fxTrade mobile app android reseach economic calendar

Through the ‘More’ tab, users can access further settings such as Price Alert, Economic Calendar, Technical Analysis, Contact Us, and Settings tabs.

Even funding via the mobile app is easy, and during my testing, funds were credited to the live account almost immediately after the transaction was successfully completed.

Positives aside, one feature I’d like to see added to the mobile app is the addition of global watch list syncing, so instruments that are added in the web and/or desktop version of the platform automatically appear in the mobile app.

Overall, there is a lot to like with OANDA’s mobile trading offering.

OANDA
Android App Yes
Apple iOS App Yes
Charting - Draw Trend Lines Yes
Charting - Can Turn Horizontally Yes
Charting - Technical Studies/Indicators30
Watch List Syncing No
Trading - Forex Yes
Trading - CFDs Yes
Alerts - Basic Fields Yes

Other Notes

In 2016, OANDA implemented an inactivity fee, but this will only kick in for clients who do not place any trades for at least two years, providing clients ample time to avoid it.

The smallest contract size for trading forex that most brokers offer is 1000 units or 1 micro lot, whereas, OANDA brings this minimum trade size down by three orders of magnitude to 1 unit or 0.001 micro lot.

This ultra-tiny contract size can also be helpful for users who want to test various trading systems while keeping the value of a pip much lower than what would be typical with a micro contract, by trading any number of unit increments on each trade.

For example, instead of a 100,000-unit trade (which is normally a standard lot) of EUR/USD, a trader may opt to specify 123,854 units (or any other non-standardized amount), depending on their trading strategy. This can be particularly useful for money managers who need to allocate odd amounts in order for the trade size to correspond to a specific allocation percentage for investors.

Final Thoughts

OANDA’s edge is its strong regulatory track record, with licenses in the strictest major financial centers, and the company’s robust proprietary trading technology, which is trusted by large corporate clients and well-known brands.

With powerful charting tools, numerous research and news channels, 71 currency pairs, and 52 CFDs, all at competitive prices, OANDA is suitable for casual investors to sophisticated traders who prefer to connect via API or who use automated trading systems on MT4.

With nearly no minimum trade size and a minimum deposit of at least $20 to start a live account, OANDA ranks near the top in all key categories.

Methodology

For our 2018 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 43 international forex brokers. Each FX broker was graded on 140 variables. Learn more.

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.


Steven Hatzakis

Reviewed by Steven Hatzakis 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. Over the past 19 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

OANDA Competitors

Select one or more of these brokers to compare against OANDA.


Ratings Overall

Summary

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Education

Best in Class

2018
13 of 43

Overall
2017
17 of 20

Overall

Commissions & Fees

Commission Notes

When you deposit more than £100,000 with OANDA, spreads are discounted anywhere from 0.2 – 0.4 pips, which reduce the spread to 0.80 – 1.0 pip, from the 1.2 pip spread on the EUR/USD we observed using sample data.

For traders depositing less than the $10,000 Saxo Bank requires, or the $25,000 needed for an Active Trader account at FXCM or FOREX.com, or IG offers Forex Direct for £1,000, while OANDA is a more realistic choice for beginners with smaller initial deposits. FxPro, CMC Markets, and Plus500 are the next closest options for traders depositing less than £1,000 to open an account.

Rather than publishing a specific number that reflects the average spread over a fixed period such as one day or one month, OANDA releases a trailing average of its average spread across nearly all timeframes, as part of its push for greater transparency with pricing.

OANDA average spreads historical

Although this is the most transparent way to publish figures in real time (not necessarily better or worse), it makes it harder to compare historical spreads to other brokers who calculate only the average or typical spreads for a specific period, versus the trailing average used by OANDA.


Trading CFDs, FX, and cryptocurrencies involves a high degree of risk. All data was obtained from a published web site as of 4/03/2018 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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