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.
Top Takeaways for 2021
After spending five months testing 30 of the best forex brokers for our 4th Annual Review, here are our top findings on OANDA:
- Founded in 1996, OANDA is regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading.
- OANDA's offering of research tools, news, and market analysis is excellent. With pricing, we found OANDA offers slightly better than average rates but still trails discount leaders CMC Markets and IG by a wide margin.
- OANDA's trading platform suite, fxTrade, is good, but not great, and, overall, it trails platform leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank. That said, OANDA provides excellent options for algorithmic trading.
|Offering of Investments|
|Commissions & Fees|
|Platforms & Tools|
Is OANDA Safe?
OANDA is considered low-risk, with an overall Trust Score of 89 out of 99. OANDA is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. OANDA is authorised by six tier-1 regulators (high trust), zero tier-2 regulators (average trust), and zero tier-3 regulators (low trust). OANDA is authorised by the following tier-1 regulators: Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Learn more about Trust Score.
|Publicly Traded (Listed)||No|
Offering of Investments
Depending on the OANDA entity where you establish an account, the range of markets may vary slightly. CFDs are not available in the US, whereas, in Australia, OANDA offers Bitcoin as a CFD. The following table summarizes the different investment products available to OANDA clients.
Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency trading is available through CFDs, but not available through trading the underlying asset (e.g. buying Bitcoin). Note: Crypto CFDs are not available from any broker's UK entity, nor to UK residents.
|Forex Pairs (Total)||70|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
Commissions and Fees
When it comes to pricing, overall, OANDA is just slightly better than the industry standard.
Spreads: 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 cost 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 average non-core pricing at OANDA was 1.2 pips on the EUR/USD pair during Q1 2019.
Micro lots: In most cases, the smallest contract size for trading forex is one micro lot. However, unique to OANDA, the broker brings this minimum trade size down by three orders of magnitude to 1 unit or 0.001 micro lot.
Transparency: OANDA continually publishes a trailing average of its average spread across nearly all timeframes, as part of its push for greater transparency with pricing. However, because it does not publish a specific number that reflects the average spread over a fixed period, such as one day or one month, it is difficult to make a more precise comparison.
|Minimum Initial Deposit||$0.00|
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard||1.4 (August 2020)|
|All-in Cost EUR/USD - Active||1.4 (August 2020))|
|Active Trader or VIP Discounts||Yes|
Platforms and Tools
OANDA’s trading platform suite, fxTrade, is suitable for charting and news but lacks in other areas. Despite an overall diverse offering of platforms, OANDA is good, but not great.
fxTrade platform: OANDA’s flagship fxTrade platform is available for web, desktop, and mobile. Powered by TradingView, charting offers over 80 indicators and additional features, such as the ability to overlay multiple currency pairs within a single chart for comparison. I also appreciated the fact that both the web-based and desktop versions of fxTrade were identical to each other, making swapping between both painless.
Algorithmic trading: Additional platforms are available from third-party developers within OANDA’s Marketplace, including the Seer Trading Platform, which supports algorithmic trading system development, including back-testing and forward-testing automated trading systems. OANDA also supports trading connectivity to multiple charting platforms such as NinjaTrader, MultiCharts, and MotiveWave. Lastly, OANDA’s Algo Labs page uses Quant Connect to let users build their apps in various supported languages, including Python and C#.
Account management: OANDA combines several services into its online account management portal that makes it easy to transfer money between accounts and access your statements. Account features include performance analysis from the analytics provider Chasing Returns.
MetaTrader: For traders who prefer MT4, OANDA also offers the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform.
|Virtual Trading (Demo)||Yes|
|Desktop Platform (Windows)||Yes|
|Social Trading / Copy-Trading||Yes|
|MetaTrader 4 (MT4)||Yes|
|MetaTrader 5 (MT5)||Yes|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies (Total)||51|
|Charting - Drawing Tools (Total)||31|
|Charting - Trade From Chart||Yes|
|Watchlists - Total Fields||7|
|Order Type - Trailing Stop||Yes|
Despite most research opening in a new browser window (annoying), OANDA provides forex and CFD traders everything they need, and more, to successfully navigate the markets.
Market news: OANDA offers a broad range of research for forex traders. For example, news headlines on OANDA’s MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform stream from Reuters, MarketPulse, MarketWatch, Mainichi, and CNBC, among other providers.
Premium content: Research content includes technical analysis, various macroeconomic news, research from UBS, an economic calendar forecast from 4CAST, and access to AutoChartist. The broker also offers Dow Jones Select for a monthly fee.
MarketPulse: OANDA’s MarketPulse site has content dedicated to news, research, and analysis, and the firm’s research team powers much of the content. OANDA’s mobile app, fxTrade, streams news from Dow Jones as well as the company’s blog.
|Daily Market Commentary||Yes|
|Forex News (Top-Tier Sources)||Yes|
|Trading Central (Recognia)||No|
|Social Sentiment - Currency Pairs||Yes|
OANDA provides a good balance of educational materials in both written and video formats, along with webinars conducted by its staff. Expanding its range of written content and videos will help elevate OANDA's educational offering compared to education leaders such as IG and Saxo Bank.
Articles and video: OANDA offers ten chapters through its online course, which covers technical and fundamental analysis education. Each chapter comes with several lessons and an accompanying video, using common indicators as the learning topic. While content is not organized by experience level, the "getting started" section has basics for beginners, covering themes typically found in a platform tutorial.
|Has Education - Forex||Yes|
|Has Education - CFDs||No|
|Client Webinars (Archived)||Yes|
|Videos - Beginner Trading Videos||Yes|
|Videos - Advanced Trading Videos||Yes|
|Investor Dictionary (Glossary)||Yes|
|Tutorials/Guide (PDF or Interactive)||Yes|
OANDA's fxTrade mobile app is easy to use, provides quality market research, and includes excellent charting features (33 technical indicators). That said, like its desktop and web-based counterparts, it lacks in other areas important to everyday forex and CFD traders.
Order entry: One neat feature that stood out was the seamless transition to the trade ticket window within the charts. Users can quickly enter their orders from the chart then adjust their stop-loss and limit order levels using simple drag & drop.
Deposits: Funding via the mobile app is simple, and during my testing, funds credited to the live account almost immediately showed up after the transaction was completed.
Syncing: Positives aside, one feature I’d like to see added is the addition of global watch list syncing. With syncing, instruments that are added in the web or desktop version of the platform automatically appear in the mobile app. Similarly, mobile chart indicators do not sync with the desktop or web version of fxTrade.
|Apple iOS App||Yes|
|Alerts - Basic Fields||Yes|
|Watch List Syncing||No|
|Charting - Indicators / Studies||30|
|Charting - Draw Trendlines||Yes|
|Charting - Trendlines Moveable||Yes|
|Charting - Multiple Time Frames||Yes|
|Charting - Drawings Autosave||Yes|
OANDA’s edge is its strong regulatory track record, with licenses in the strictest major financial centers, alongside robust market research. Cons include a small list of tradable products and pricing that trails discount leaders.
All in all, OANDA is best suited for casual investors alongside sophisticated traders who prefer to connect via API, or who use automated trading systems on MT4. In 2021, OANDA was again Best in Class in the Ease of Use category, thanks to its straightforward web and mobile trading platforms.
Founded in 1996, OANDA 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.
In May 2018, CVC Capital Partners (CVC) Asia Fund IV, a private equity and investment advisory firm that manages $70 billion, announced the acquisition of all the outstanding equity of OANDA, subject to regulatory approval.
2021 Review Methodology
For our 2021 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 27 international forex brokers over a three month time period. 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.
About the author: 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. 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.