Are you a new trader, and looking for the best forex brokers in the USA to start your trading career? Or maybe you’re a seasoned trader just thinking of changing your broker? Well, you are in the right place! You will find in this article the missing information that you can’t find on generic FX broker reviews. Yes, you can read about the broker platform, or that you can trade this or that pair, etc. everywhere.
Instead, we will go the extra mile in this article. Find out how the 3 best forex brokers featured in this article and operating in the US market compare in terms of Regulation, Pricing, Popularity and verified User Rating. Below you will find a quick comparison table between the best forex brokers in the US, by minimum deposit requirements, maximum leverage allowed, spread types and verified user-reviews ratings by real customers.
|Broker||IG USA||OANDA USA||Forex.com USA|
Overall rating is an average of ratings from experts in 4 categories
5.0 / 5.0
5.0 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
4.3 / 5.0
Source: fxverify.com > ig
Overall rating is an average of ratings from experts in 4 categories
4.0 / 5.0
5.0 / 5.0
4.0 / 5.0
4.1 / 5.0
Source: fxverify.com > oanda
Overall rating is an average of ratings from experts in 4 categories
2.5 / 5.0
5.0 / 5.0
4.4 / 5.0
3.8 / 5.0
Source: fxverify.com > forex-com
|Regulated||US NFA||US NFA||US NFA|
|Minimum deposit||250 USD||0 USD||100 USD|
|Average spread (EUR/USD)||0.8||variable||variable|
|Forex trading||80+ pairs||70+ pairs||80+ pairs|
|Cryptocurrencies trading||BTC futures|
|Precious metals trading||2 pairs|
|Regulatory deposit insurance|
|Negative balance protection|
|Notes||Not available to Ohio residents||Great forex resources available||Futures contracts trading|
* User rating data supplied by FxVerify verified forex broker reviews by real customers.
But of course, this quick comparison alone isn’t enough to help you choose a broker. You will have to consider several other variables when choosing and looking for a forex broker in the US.
When selecting a broker, both new and experienced traders, generally look for several key features:
Regulation (Is the broker registered with official regulators in my country? Are my funds safe?).
Pricing (including clearly stated spreads, commissions, and fees).
Popularity (trading accounts, ease of use, trading platforms, including desktop, web-based, mobile, charting and third-party platforms).
User rating (what verified customers say about their brokers, any available trading education with currency research, and above all… trustworthiness).
First of all, let’s look at the US forex brokers regulations. There aren’t many US-regulated forex brokers to choose from. Forex brokers currently operating in the US market are all subject to the rules and code of conduct, supervised by the NFA, an official body created to safeguard the integrity of the derivatives markets and to protect investors.
Therefore, there aren’t any regulatory differentials to consider when choosing an FX broker in the US. Also, due to strict regulations, forex brokers operating in the US cannot offer trading of CFDs (Contract for Difference), so, the brokers offering trading accounts to US residents, are forex brokers exclusively.
Now, let’s look at these key features offered by 3 of the best forex brokers operating in the US.
4.7 Score breakdown Pricing: 5.0 Regulation: 5.0 Popularity: 4.5 User rating: 4.3
User rating: 4.3
Established in 1974, probably before a lot of our readers were born, the IG Group is a UK-based company, providing brokerage services to retail traders in financial derivatives such as CFDs and spread betting (Forex) and, since 2014, also stock brokerage. Regarding spread betting, IG is a market maker dealer, meaning you will be dealing with IG and not directly with the underlying market.
With a Group revenue of nearly $740 million (data from 2018), divided by the several Group subsidiaries; IG Europe GmbH, IG Bank S.A. and also IG US Holdings Inc, and a stock price of 734p (LON: IGG) surely is a company to consider as a trading partner, not only in terms of volumes and as a liquidity provider, but also for the safety of your funds.
Arrived in mid-2019 in the US, IG US LLC is a regulated forex broker, registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as an RFED (Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer) and also a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). These two government and industry regulating bodies, respectively, help to protect you by ensuring a fair user-experience when trading on IG’s platforms, and, overall, it is safe to say that IG US LLC is a reputable broker to handle your forex trading account(s).
How does the IG Group handle its client’s funds? According to the FX Global Code of Conduct Disclosure Statement, signed by the IG Group, the Group does not use retail client’s funds, or assets, for any business activities – including as margin for hedging trades with brokers. Also, as an extra “layer” of safety, the client’s money is held in segregated accounts, at regulated banks, under trustee arrangements.
Probably the feature that gets the most attention from every trader. It’s important to remember that your total costs will increase in line with your trading sizes and volumes.
What costs do you pay with IG US? - spreads, swap rates, and fees. When you open a position on a forex contract, you’ll pay: the IG spread (the difference between the bid and ask prices, which can vary depending on market conditions).
IG US minimum spread for the most traded forex pair (EUR/USD) is 0.8 pip. Of course, in periods of low volatility, or high-impact news, like any other broker, this spread can widen, resulting in an average of 1.0 pip spread, according to IG’s official website. The minimum margin requirement to hold a position is 2%.
IG US also charges an overnight funding adjustment, or rollover rate (SWAP rate) if you hold your position through 5 pm ET. This SWAP rate can be negative or positive.
For the IG US SWAP rate, or in reality, the cost or benefit of rolling an open position over from one day to the next, the costs are calculated using this formula: SWAP = nights held x (tom-next rate + annual admin fee) x number of contracts; where the annual admin fee = Spot mid-price x 0.5% p.a.
So, how much does it cost to hold an overnight position with IG US? Imagine that you’re short 1 contract (equivalent to $10 per pip movement) on spot EUR/USD, with a spread of 1.2 pips, and that you hold this position for two nights. This position would have a total cost of $4.20 (spread paid minus overnight funding received).
There are other fees, connected with an account at IG US, for example for deposits not made in US dollars. Also, if you decide to withdraw funds via wire payments, you IG will charge you a $15 admin fee, and when accounts are inactive for a long period, and/or you don’t trade for two years or more, IG will also charge your account with a $12 inactivity fee per month.
IG US is a fairly new player in the US market. They began offering their services in mid-2019, so, at the moment we’re still gathering feedback from their clients.
Still, according to recent market studies in March 2020, IG US, has increased its market share, after attracting $20.4 million in customer deposits in January 2020. This figure translates to a 3% market share by the IG US.
This volume of business is 25% higher, compared to the previous month, but also, far bigger than the $3.5 million IG US initially collected back in mid-2019, when the company re-launched its operations in the USA.
Looking at the fast growth rate, it’s quite safe to assume that the IG US will become very popular with traders, new and seasoned. On the Fxverify.com website, IG US receives a score of 4.5/5 for popularity, reflecting several trader’s choices to give this broker a try.
With IG US broker you can trade through a variety of platforms, from a browser-based desktop platform to natively-designed mobile and tablet apps, available for iOS and Android, and of course, the traditional MT4.
As IG US is still a relatively new player in the US forex market, there isn’t, yet, enough user-feedback to give this broker a complete user review. Nevertheless, looking at the data gathered from Fxverify.com, IG US scores 4.3 out of 5 for user satisfaction.
The verified customers' feedback ranges from traders that are “happy with the fast approval process”, for an account opening, or, “happy with the swap rates” but also traders “unhappy with the spread” of a particular instrument.
IG US also offers free forex education, with access to the IG Academy, where you can find several online trading courses, designed for all levels of experience, from beginner to advanced, and where you can check your knowledge by answering practical exercises and quizzes. You can also join several live trading webinars to enhance your trading skills and market knowledge.
On a final note, IG US offers trading of all majors forex pairs, also exotic pairs, through their online trading platform, tailor-made Android and iOS trading Apps and the classic MT4. If you would like to test IG US, you can open an account by following this link.
4.3 Score breakdown Pricing: 4.0 Regulation: 5.0 Popularity: 4.0 User rating: 4.1
User rating: 4.1
Headquartered in New York and established in 1995, the OANDA Corporation offers a trading service on a wide range of CFD instruments (not available to US residents), forex, commodities, bonds, and metals.
With an estimated revenue of nearly $85 million (2019 data), and total funding of $117 million, OANDA and its Group subsidiaries, OANDA Australia, OANDA Canada, OANDA India, and OANDA Asia Pacific, surely have captured, over the years, the preference of many traders, becoming one of the most recognized and respected brands in the forex world.
OANDA has been in the currency business since 1996. They claim to be a well-capitalized forex market maker, and also the authoritative source for currency and exchange data for several global companies, tax authorities, accounting firms, and financial institutions.
OANDA states that the company employs an international and professional accountant firm to audit their financial statements and that they compile and submit their financial data to regulators daily.
In the United States, the OANDA Corporation is a registered Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED) with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and also a member of the National Futures Association (NFA).
How does the OANDA Corp handle its client’s funds? Being a regulated market participant, financial regulations require OANDA to maintain certain capital reserves at specified levels. OANDA affirms to keep customer funds in accounts at top-tier banks, and that it’s their policy to only withdraw customer funds as a direct result of related customer trading activities or withdrawal requests.
Furthermore, OANDA claims that it has partnered with several leading banks (like Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, etc.) to both access and provide global forex liquidity.
They also state that to manage currency exposure and risk, they use sophisticated risk management technology to net aggregate customers' positions automatically and anonymously, and they immediately hedge outstanding aggregated positions, above predefined thresholds, with their partner banks.
Firstly we would like to point out that there’s no minimum deposit required to open a trading account with OANDA, however, to enable trading on your account you will need the minimum margin required to trade a forex pair.
What costs do you pay with OANDA? - spreads, swap rates, and fees Again, let’s take as an example the most traded pair, the EUR/USD. To trade this pair, you will need a minimum margin of 2%. OANDA claims that the starting spread for the EUR/USD pair is 1.0 pip. And by using their retail FX platform you can also access the market depth available on all forex pairs offered by the broker.
For the SWAP rates, OANDA applies financing charges, or credits, calculated as follows. Financing charge (or credit) = contracts x applicable funding rate x [trade duration (in days) / 365] x conversion rate to account currency.
So, for long positions, OANDA will debit your account with the basis rate plus a 2.5% admin fee. For short positions, your account will be credited with the basis rate, minus a 2.5% admin fee (which could result in a charge where the basis rate is less than the admin fee).
As a practical example, as of April 14, 2020, if you hold 1 long contract on EUR/USD, you will pay a $5.92 overnight swap rate and if you hold 1 lot short you will pay $0.99 overnight swap rate. Please bear in mind that this was an example, specific for this date, as OANDA calculates its swap rates daily.
Regarding other costs and fees, OANDA does not charge any deposit fees but depending on your selected deposit method (ranging from credit card to bank wire and also PayPal), you may incur charges. As for withdrawal fees, OANDA may charge you or not.
For example, you can make one free withdrawal to your credit or debit card per calendar month. If you decide to subsequently withdraw funds from your account, in the same month, you will incur a fee. If you withdraw to a debit card, there are no fees.
Withdrawal fees vary depending on your account currency. In the US, the bank wire fees are $20 for the first withdrawal processed on the calendar month and $35 for additional withdrawals processed in the same calendar month. OANDA also charges an (unknown) inactivity fee.
In the US, OANDA commands an impressive 38% market share. According to the business disclosure required by the CFTC, Regulation 5.5, as of the end of Q4-2020, OANDA, in the US, had a total number of 36.618 accounts, with 62.2% of these accounts marked as not-profitable and less than half, only 37.8%, as profitable.
On the Fxverify.com website, OANDA receives a score of 5 out of 5 for popularity, based on its market share, the capacity of retaining old customers, attract new accounts, the instruments offered and the quality and ease of use of their retail trading platform.
As a long-established player in the US forex market, there are slightly more customer reviews and feedback on their brokerage services. So, again, we look at the verified customer reviews from Fxverify.com. OANDA scores 3.8 out of 5 for user satisfaction.
We found positive reviews confirming OANDA as a “great broker” and also that the “service is great” and they are a “decent broker”, the ability of trading 0.001 lots is “perfect for practicing proper risk management on smaller accounts” and “very solid execution & spot pricing”.
On the downside, OANDA verified users also complained about the “ridiculously high financing (swap) fees” or about the “very expensive commissions” and that their “swap rate is really concerning”.
OANDA also offers the use of a complete range of trading tools, suitable for technical analysis, advanced charting and economic news. We would like to point out that a very curious tool, and perhaps the most useful of all, is the OANDA Forex Order Book.
This tool allows you to see a 24-hour summary of the open orders and positions held by OANDA's clients, short and long positions, for a certain pair. Knowing that over 70% of traders lose money with FX trading, this tool might help you understand better price action and market dynamics.
In conclusion, OANDA offers trading of all majors forex pairs, and also minor pairs, through their cutting-edge retail FX trading platform, mobile trading, available for Android and iOS systems and, of course, the classic MT4. If you would like to test OANDA platform, you can open an account by following this link.
3.9 Score breakdown Pricing: 2.5 Regulation: 5.0 Popularity: 4.4 User rating: 3.8
User rating: 3.8
FOREX.com is a subsidiary of GAIN Capital, a company headquartered in Bedminster, New Jersey. GAIN Capital has a global presence in the forex market, with its FX brand FOREX.com, also, of course, present in the US.
Based on client assets, as per the 2019 monthly Retail Forex Obligation reports published by the CFTC, FOREX.com claimed to be the number 1 broker for forex trading in the US.
Founded in 1999, GAIN Capital, had a clear mission. Provide traders with low-cost access to the forex markets. Since then, they claim to have expanded their product offering and global reach, and currently provide 140,000+ retail and institutional investors with access to the OTC and exchange-traded markets.
With a filed trading revenue of $177 million (2019 data), and with 55% of the total revenues from loyal clients, with tenure of more than 3 years, GAIN Capital is provided with a sustainable, long term revenue stream, which can translate into, according to CFTC data, in a 37% market share in the US. With a current stock price of $5.95 per share (NYSE: GCAP) definitely, we are in the presence of a heavy-weight, structured player in the US forex retail trading market.
In the United States, the FX arm of GAIN Capital, FOREX.com, is a registered FCM (Futures Commission Merchant) and RFED (Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer) with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and also a member of the National Futures Association (NFA) since 2004.
How does FOREX.com handle its client’s funds? FOREX.com claims that as part of their risk management philosophy, they maintain capital levels well over those required by the regulator to help ensure that the company is well-capitalized in times of economic uncertainty.
Besides, the broker claims to have an established global liquidity plan, providing access to significant resources from the GAIN Capital group of companies as well as an external revolving credit facility.
On FOREX.com institutional website, we can see the information regarding the client’s funds. All customer deposits at FOREX.com are kept separate from their operating funds and distributed across a global network of custodian banks and brokers. Being an NFA regulated member, FOREX.com reports daily the customer assets on deposit, obligations to customers and excess funds on deposit, supporting such customer obligations.
FOREX.com is a market maker broker, meaning that they do not connect your orders with the markets’ raw prices. Instead, the broker will mark up the price slightly, creating a larger spread, which is how they generate revenue.
What costs do you pay with FOREX.com? - spreads, swap rates, and fees With FOREX.com you can start trading any FX pair, provided you fund your account with a minimum deposit of $100.
Let’s look at the spreads. Again, we will use the EUR/USD for this comparison. FOREX.com offers 3 types of accounts, with different spreads and costs. With a Standard account, your base spread on EUR/USD will be 1.0 pip (variable), with no commissions. With a Commissions account your base spread on EUR/USD will be 0.2 pip (variable), with $5 commission per 100K traded. Finally, a Direct Market Access account (only available to high-volume traders, with a minimum trade size of 100K) will have a competitive level 2 pricing of 0.1 pip and commissions starting at $60 per million.
Now, for the SWAP rate. If you decide to keep a position open overnight (or over the weekend) FOREX.com will charge your account (or credit it) with a rollover rate. FOREX.com calculates the rollover interest fee on the difference between the two interest rates of the traded currencies.
FOREX.com determines this rate with the following formula: long positions will receive a credit or a debit by –1 x notional amount x swap points unit quote currency, while short positions will receive a debit or a credit by notional amount x swap points in the unit quote currency.
Would you like a practical example? Sure, here it goes. Say you are long 1 X €10.000 EUR/USD contract. If the swap rates were 0.817/1.28, FOREX.com will charge you $1.28 to hold the long position overnight. If you were short on the same 1X €10.000 EUR/USD contract, you would receive a $0.82 SWAP rate overnight.
Of course, these values are variable, and FOREX.com calculates them daily. As of writing this article, April 14, 2020, the SWAP rates for the EUR/USD were -$1.44 for long contracts and -$0.30 for short positions.
FOREX.com accepts deposits via credit and debit card, bank transfer and wire transfer, and also personal or business check. FOREX.com does not charge incoming wire fees. FOREX.com also charges an inactivity fee of $15 per month to accounts if there is no trading activity for 12 months.
Launched in 2001, FOREX.com offers robust trading platforms for the new trader, as well as, for the professional trader. Also, with 3 different types of accounts, and with lower spreads, surely you can find one that matches your trading style or requirements. But there’s something that can affect your trading, especially for new traders; the lack of negative balance protection.
FOREX.com does not offer a negative account balance protection, and without this safe-guard mechanism, your trading account balance can become negative. FOREX.com assures that accounts are automatically monitored, however, if you fail to have a sufficient margin on your account, positions will be automatically liquidated.
This means that traders with negative account balances will end up paying more money than what they’ve initially deposited. Especially if you have situations of “fat fingers” than can send a pair crashing in a matter of seconds, overnight! Next morning you’ll wake-up to a very nasty surprise.
This US broker is popular with active traders. FOREX.com rewards active trading with lower trading costs. Overall FOREX.com scores 4 out of 5 on the Fxverify.com website, for its popularity, based on the variety of financial instruments offered, the quality of their trading platforms and the ability to attract new customers.
So, what do FOREX.com US customers think of this broker? From the verified reviews posted on Fxverify.com, FOREX.com scores 3.3 out of 5 for user satisfaction.
Some traders were happy with the “interest (riba) free account”, or praising the broker saying that “execution is good”, happy with the “number of user friendly-simple and clear powerful platforms for forex traders-MetaTrader4, FOREXTrader PRO and GTX-Forex ECN- commodity”.
On the other hand, the negative consensus seems to focus on the broker’s withdrawal policy. Traders complained that the “withdrawal takes too long” and that it “should be credited same day as deposits” and that the whole process made “slow getting funds withdrawn”.
In conclusion, FOREX.com offers to its US customers trading of all majors forex pairs, and also minor pairs, through several FX trading platforms; web trading, desktop trading, mobile trading, MT4/5, and NinjaTrader. Probably the most interesting one is the Advanced Trading platform, built-in with professional analytics tools, integrated trading strategies, and advanced charting features.
FOREX.com also allows you to earn monthly cash rebates and interest when you trade high volumes. All accounts with this broker qualify for an Active Trader Rewards. If you would like to test FOREX.com, you can open an account by following this link.