Oanda is an extremely safe broker that offers forex and crypto trading in the US as well as CFD trading in Europe and beyond. Their trading platforms, tools and resources are amongst the best in the business, giving forex traders of any level of experience a great opportunity to succeed.
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Oanda review summary
I’ve been trading forex with Oanda for the past six months. Please read on below for a detailed breakdown of my experience, but here’s a quick summary of my conclusions:
- Scored a 9/10 in my evaluation of 10 critical categories
- My pick for the best mobile trading platform in the industry
- Fully regulated in the US, UK, Japan and beyond, making them one of the most secure forex brokers in the world
- Great customer service, with no-hassle sign-ups and withdrawals
- Highly customizable trading platforms that make it easier to execute your chosen trading strategy
- Integrated educational resources and easy-to-use trading platforms that make Oanda a great choice for beginners
- Proven commitment to developing new technologies and trading tools for their clients since launching one of the first web-based trading platforms in 2001
- Bonus of up to $5,000 for new US clients who meet minimum deposit and trade volume requirements
- Offers “only” 68 currency pairs, a few less than forex.com and a other forex brokers
- Web-based platform that doesn’t live up to their industry-leading mobile platform in terms of ease of use
- Competitive pricing, but occasionally a pip or two more expensive than their cheapest competitors
All things considered…
After trading with Oanda and rating them according to the criteria below, I give them an enthusiastic 9/10. Oanda is a very safe forex broker choice. Their incredible mobile trading platform makes them the perfect choice for traders who want to trade on the go, and their educational resources and trading tools are a tremendous asset for any new traders. A current sign-up bonus makes this an ideal time to start trading with a world-class forex broker.
My Oanda review
When testing and rating forex brokers, I use the following 10 criteria. I weighed each factor evenly to come up with my overall ranking, but depending on your trading style or preferences, some of these factors may be more important to you than others.
Trading platforms (9/10)
Oanda was and is a true innovator when it comes to trading platforms. They launched one of the first web-based trading platforms more than 20 years ago, and their mobile trading app, also known as fxTrade, is already approaching its 10th birthday. With such a headstart on their competition, it’s not surprising that Oanda has nearly perfected their proprietary trading platforms.
I’m going to spill a lot of ink on my experiences with the trading platforms because as a trader you will live and die on them. All your market interactions, from education to research to actual trading, will take place through the platform. How satisfied you are with your trading platform will go a long way in determining how satisfied you are with your forex broker.
Mobile trading app
Oanda’s mobile app, fxTrade, is a brilliantly conceived trading app. The amount of information and functionality tucked into every little pixel is incredible. It is also highly customizable, so you can more or less design your own app to suit your trading style.
From the homescreen, I can see my 11 favorite currency pairs constantly updated with clearly visible spreads, so I know exactly what my trading costs will be. Click once on any pair, and you can instantly go through to the trade screen to make a transaction, or turn your phone on its side so a full screen chart appears.
I’ve found Oanda’s mobile charting to be the simplest and easiest of any broker I’ve tried. Click the pen in the bottom right of the chart, and you have 10 charting options, 17 indicators, 16 overlays, and 11 drawing options instantly at your disposal. Once you add an overlay, you even have 20 different color options. Your charts can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be in order to execute your chosen trade strategy. The possibilities are endless.
You can actually make your transactions directly from the chart, although I prefer to use the trade screen, which is equally simple and functional. The trade screen allows you to enter stop losses or take profits, or set up a trailing stop or lower bound. A few quick taps and you’ve made your trade.
The Oanda app also allows you to set up your own newsfeed, keep ahead of the latest news releases with an interactive economic calendar, and easily add, transfer, or withdraw funds. If you plan on doing a lot of trading from your phone, Oanda’s app will give you all the tools you need to make informed decisions.
Web trading platform
Others disagree, but to me Oanda’s web-based trading platform doesn’t quite live up to their mobile platform. FxTrade sets a really high standard, so that’s part of the problem, but for me the web platform is a little too busy, and not quite as easy to navigate.
Those who love the Oanda web platform would say that it seems busy because it is busy. It has a staggering array of charting options and analytical tools, far more than the mobile version. Traders who rely on technical analysis will find absolutely everything they need. I’ve also never experienced any server issues or lags, and the trade execution seems insanely fast.
So what’s my complaint? It just feels a little cluttered to me when compared to the slick mobile app. That’s not a big deal, and it’s a highly subjective judgment, but I think of my trading platform as a sort of second home. You’re going to be spending your whole trading day there, so you need to be comfortable.
Desktop trading platform
With Oanda, I actually prefer the desktop platform to the web-based trading platform. It is extremely quick and easy to download, and you can connect to your account and begin trading within moments.
I had to make a few minor adjustments to font size and I changed some other personal preferences, but then I was staring at my own personal trading terminal. Yes, the features are mostly the same as that of the web-based platform, but for me personally the trading experience just felt smoother in the desktop version. The trade execution was just as fast and I have yet to experience any significant glitches.
The desktop platform isn’t completely self-contained, which is expected but a bit annoying. If you want to use the MarketPulse or Economic Analysis or Technical Analysis functions, you’ll be bounced out of the platform and over to your web browser. However, the Advanced Charting and News tabs keep you within the app.
If you are a loyal MT4 user who just can’t quit the platform despite the recent spat with Apple, you’ll also be pleased. Truthfully, I don’t use MT4, so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with it, but from what I experienced, Oanda worked well with the MT4 platform and you can easily utilize Oanda’s technical tools through a plug-in. From what I’ve heard, all EA’s (Expert Advisors) and other automated trading systems supported by MT4 work well through Oanda.
Trading fees (8/10)
Oanda is among the most transparent forex brokers when it comes to their trading costs. Other brokers tend to be a little more vague about what they charge, so I really appreciate Oanda for being up front.
As I mentioned previously, in my experience Oanda was always extremely competitive when it comes to spreads. Yes, there were times when another broker would have saved me a pip or two, but there were other times when Oanda was a tad cheaper.
Oanda publishes their average daily spreads here, so if there is one currency pair you trade more than others, you can see exactly what you’ll be charged. I typically only trade the major currency pairs, and the average EUR/USD spread hovers around 1.7, although it’s quite a bit lower if you don’t trade in the two hours after the close of US trading when spreads are typically wider.
Oanda doesn’t usually charge commissions, but they offer two pricing options for traders in the US and some other regions. With their spread-only pricing account, there are no commissions. With their core pricing + commission account, however, you are charged the “core” spread, which is much lower, plus a commission.
Oanda charges a $10-per-month inactivity fee if your account is unused for more than 12 months. The charges will continue until you resume trading or close your account, or the account balances out to $0. If you do decide to resume trading after you’ve been charged inactivity fees, you can receive a rebate for up to 3 months of fees.
Like all forex brokers, Oanda charges or issues swap fees if you keep a trade open overnight. “Overnight” means any position that is still open past 5:00 p.m. EST. Depending on what currency pairs you’re trading and whether you are long or short, you either have to pay interest or you’ll receive interest for every night your position is open. These rates are constantly changing and are based on the interest rates in the relevant countries. Some traders, known as swap traders, base their trading strategy on trying to take advantage of interest rate discrepancies.
Oanda uses the same swap rates as every other forex broker, adjusted by their administration fee, which is 1% (annualized) for most forex pairs, but goes up to 4% for any pair involving the Turkish lira.
What Oanda does or doesn’t charge for withdrawals depends on your funding source and where you live. In the US, if you funded your account with a debit card, you get one free withdrawal per month. Any additional withdrawals in that month will incur a $20 fee. If you used a wire transfer for funding, there’s a $20 fee for the first withdrawal per month, which goes up to $35 for additional withdrawals. In countries where traders can use PayPal or credit cards, withdrawals are free when sent back to the Paypal account. Crypto withdrawals are also fee free.
Trade execution (9/10)
For this category, I considered both how quickly Oanda executes trades and how easy they make trade execution for their traders. As far as trade speed, Oanda is in the same class as all the best forex brokers. Oanda calculates that, on average, trades are made within 0.012 seconds, although I noticed that they haven’t updated that figure since 2019. I personally have been impressed with their speed and have never experienced any significant slippage.
From the trader’s perspective, executing trades is remarkably fast and easy, regardless of which trading platform you’re using. I’ve included screenshots of their trade screens from their fxTrade mobile app, the web platform, and the desktop platform.
As you can see, Oanda makes it very easy to pull the trigger when you’re ready. When you type in the number of units you want to trade, the trade-value, margin-required, and margin-available fields are all automatically updated. It is easy to see exactly how much you’re risking, and stop losses and take profits are extremely simple to add.
Regulation and reputation (10/10)
Oanda is subject to the strictest regulatory bodies in the world. In the US they answer to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA). In the UK they are overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and in Canada by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization (IIROC). They are also regulated in Japan by the Financial Services Agency (FSA), in Singapore and most of the rest of Asia by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and in Australia by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), amongst others.
All those acronyms mean that you can rest assured—your money is safe with Oanda.
Safety and security (10/10)
What does all that regulation mean for you, the trader? To you cynics, it might mean higher trading costs because complying with so many different regulatory bodies is expensive. That’s true, but I’d argue the peace of mind of knowing your capital is safe is worth a stray pip or two.
Oanda’s compliance with so many regulatory agencies means, among other things, that they have to protect traders’ assets, segregate your deposits from their own capital, and always have a certain amount of cash on hand.
You probably read about the crypto broker, FTX. They were unregulated, did not maintain sufficient cash balances, and clearly didn’t separate client money from their own money. Their spectacular demise was the result. This will never, ever happen to Oanda, and even if it somehow did, your regulatory agency could help you get your funds back.
Tradable assets (8/10)
Although they still add the occasional currency pair, at my latest count Oanda offered trading in 68 pairs (listed below under Leverage). I’ve never wanted to trade a pair that Oanda didn’t offer, but if you like trading deep exotics, forex.com and other brokers offer 10–12 more pairs.
Although Oanda is principally known for forex and CFD trading, they recently added crypto to their offerings in the US. In areas where they do offer CFDs, you can trade CFDs covering indices, commodities, bonds, and metals in addition to forex.
The leverage offered by Oanda varies by region, often due to different regulations in different countries. If you are located outside of the US, you may be afforded more leverage, and in most other countries you can trade CFDs, a highly leveraged financial instrument.
In the US, your leverage depends on what currency pair you are trading. Here’s a current chart of each Oanda currency pair, with available leverage:
|EUR/DKK 10:1||USD/HKD 10:1||CAD/HKD 10:1||USD/ZAR 14:1||NZD/HKD 10:1|
|AUD/SGD 20:1||EUR/SEK 33:1||CAD/SGD 20:1||EUR/GBP 33:1||EUR/NZD 33:1|
|USD/CAD 50:1||USD/SGD 20:1||EUR/CZK 20:1||AUD/CAD 33:1||GBP/USD 33:1|
|CHF/HKD 10:1||GBP/NZD 33:1||GBP/AUD 33:1||NZD/JPY 50:1||USD/MXN 10:1|
|AUD/USD 33:1||CHF/ZAR 14:1||USD/PLN 20:1||USD/CNH 20:1||USD/CHF 25:1|
|TRY/JPY 4:1||EUR/CHF 25:1||GBP/PLN 33:1||GBP/JPY 33:1||EUR/HKD 10:1|
|USD/JPY 50:1||EUR/SGD 20:1||CAD/JPY 50:1||USD/TRY 4:1||EUR/HUF 20:1|
|EUR/TRY 4:1||USD/DKK 50:1||GBP/HKD 10:1||USD/HUF 20:1||NZD/SGD 20:1|
|USD/NOK 14:1||AUD/CHF 25:1||AUD/JPY 50:1||NZD/CHF 25:1||GBP/CAD 33:1|
|EUR/PLN 20:1||AUD/NZD 33:1||GBP/ZAR 14:1||NZD/USD 33:1||EUR/CAD 50:1|
|USD/THB 20:1||AUD/HKD 10:1||USD/CZK 20:1||NZD/CAD 33:1||SGD/CHF 20:1|
|GBP/CHF 33:1||EUR/USD 50:1||ZAR/JPY 14:1||EUR/NOK 14:1||SGD/JPY 20:1|
|HKD/JPY 10:1||CHF/JPY 50:1||EUR/AUD 33:1||EUR/ZAR 14:1||USD/SEK 33:1|
|USD/HKD 10:1||CAD/CHF 25:1||EUR/JPY 50:1||GBP/SGD 33:1|
As you can see, for most pairs, leverage is 20:1 or higher, all the way up to 50:1 for some of the major currency pairs. Exotic pairs offer significantly less leverage, for example the US dollar/Turkish lira, which offers just 4:1.
Trading resources and education (10/10)
As you probably gathered from my trading platform review, I love the resources Oanda makes available, and how well they package them all, particularly within the mobile app. Even if you don’t make a lot of trades with Oanda, you can learn a tremendous amount simply by exploring their trading tools and watching the tutorials.
Oanda uses TradingView to provide their impressive charting capabilities, which includes 11 chart types and almost 70 technical indicators, plus comparison and drawing tools. You can also add Oanda’s own Technical Analysis tool to your platforms, which allows you to set up pattern alerts, provides volatility analysis, and identifies trading opportunities. If that’s somehow not enough, Oanda has also partnered with MotiveWave to give you even more charting options.
You can also stay abreast of overall market conditions by adding an economic calendar to your platforms, or by taking advantage of Oanda’s partnership with Dow Jones FX Select. Oanda also offers MarketPulse, a news site that offers constantly updated forex videos and articles.
There’s also no shortage of educational resources, which are available even if you don’t ultimately use Oanda. Oanda takes you from the very basics through advanced charting, all with easily digestible 3–5 minute videos and accompanying text. And, of course, there’s the most important learning tool of all: the demo account.
Sign-up and withdrawal process (8/10)
Thanks to anti-money laundering laws, forex brokers have to make sure they verify the identity of every trader. With the proper documents, deposits and withdrawals are usually handled through their automated system and completed in mere moments. If anything goes amiss, however, it can take forever to get things back on track.
Oanda actually handles these issues better than most, but there is still room for improvement. I personally have never had any problems, but you don’t have to google too hard to find some traders who have. My general rule of thumb with Oanda (and any other forex broker) is that if you have a seamless account-opening experience, withdrawals will be the same. If you do have a problem opening an account, probably best to find another broker.
Also, be sure that whatever you use to open your account—bank account, debit card, or whatever—is still open when you want to make a withdrawal. If you try to fund your Oanda account with a debit card, when you make a withdrawal they will send the money to the same account. If that account is closed, it can cause a lot of unnecessary complications.
Customer service (8/10)
A forex broker’s customer service department might seem like an afterthought, but if you do run into an issue with identity verification and it’s holding up a withdrawal, it’s the customer service department that makes sure you get your money.
I have used the chat service on the website, and was able to quickly get beyond the answer bot to chatting with a real person. I’ve never had an issue that wasn’t resolved quickly, but maybe that’s a function of the simple issues that I tend to have problems with.
I’m not a huge fan of their email response, as they tend to call you back in order to answer your question. I guess that’s a more personal touch, but if I wanted to talk rather than email, I would have called myself.
Overall rating (9/10)
Overall, Oanda scored an impressive 9 out of 10, thanks in part to perfect scores in Regulation and Reputation, Safety, and Resources. I also love their trading platforms and their trade execution ranks them among the fastest forex brokers in the world. If they added a few more currency pairs, improved their customer service a bit, and streamlined the sign-up and withdrawal processes, they’d be close to the perfect forex broker.
If you’re shopping for a forex broker, you won’t find many better. With their current sign-up bonus for US traders, they are definitely worth a shot.
Who can use Oanda?
Through Oanda Corporation and its subsidiaries, Oanda is available to traders worldwide, including those in the US, Australia, Europe, UK, Japan, Africa, and most of Asia.
What account types does Oanda offer?
Oanda offers two types of accounts for its US traders. There’s a standard account and an Advanced Trader loyalty account. The differences start with the minimum balance. Standard accounts have no minimum, but you’ll need $10,000 to open an advanced account, and you also have to meet a minimum trading volume.
The main advantages of an Advanced Trader account are cash rebates and commission markdowns, but you also get a dedicated relationship manager and unlimited free wire transfers, and you can jump the line if you need to deal with customer service.
What deposit methods can I use?
There is some variation on how you can fund and open a trading account depending on your country of residence. In the US, Oanda accepts deposits via debit card, Instant ACH, which makes a portion of your ACH deposit available immediately before the rest clears, or wire transfer, which takes one to three days.
Oanda also accepts deposits via Paypal, Skrill, and Neteller as well as credit cards and some e-wallets, depending on where you are located. Keep in mind that withdrawals go out via the same account, so don’t close the bank account, Paypal account, or whatever you used to fund your Oanda account.
Where is Oanda based?
Oanda Corporation is based in New York, but owns subsidiaries worldwide, including Oanda Asia Pacific PTE, Oanda Australia PTY, and Oanda Europe Limited.
What does Oanda mean?
The name Oanda stands for Olsen and Associates. The company was founded in 1996 by Dr. Richard Olsen, an economist, and his associates, most notably Dr. Michael Stumm, a professor of computer engineering.
What is Oanda’s contact info?
Oanda is most easily reached through the chat function, known as Oanda Assistant, on their website. It is available in six languages, and can be found at the bottom of the Help Portal page. You can also email them at email@example.com. Phone representatives are available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week at the following numbers:
North America: 1-877-626-3239
Europe: +44-20-7101-1600 or +44-20-3151-2050
Asia Pacific: +65-6579-8289
Australia: +61-2-8046-6258 or 1300-0-62632
How long do Oanda withdrawals take?
The processing of your withdrawal payments depends on the method you used to fund your account since any withdrawals will be sent to the same source. Withdrawals by bank transfer typically take one to two business days, Paypal withdrawals happen within one day, debit/credit card withdrawals one to three business days, and withdrawals to other international accounts can take up to five business days.
What is the minimum deposit for Oanda?
Oanda has no minimum deposit, unless you want to sign up for an Advanced Trader account. To receive all the benefits of an Advanced Trader Account, including reduced trading costs, you have to deposit $10,000 or more.
Is Oanda safe?
Oanda is extremely safe. They’ve been in business for more than 20 years, and are regulated in the US, the UK, Japan, SIngapore, Australia, and elsewhere. To remain in compliance with their regulators, Oanda must maintain certain cash balances and keep client accounts separate from their own capital.
Is Oanda good for beginners?
Yes, Oanda is a great broker for new forex traders. They offer outstanding educational resources, trading platforms that are highly functional yet easy to navigate, and an extremely simple trade screen. From their tutorials that provide an excellent intro to forex markets to the actual process of making your first trade, Oanda is a great guide. They are also currently offering a great sign-up bonus for first-time traders.
Why trade with Oanda?
Oanda offers an incredible array of trading tools and resources all neatly packaged in their groundbreaking trading platforms. Their trading execution is great, fees are minimal, and they’re amongst the safest brokers in the world. Their current offer of a significant sign-up bonus for new US traders makes them all the more appealing.
Risks of forex trading
As I note in every forex article I write, forex trading poses significant financial risk. The majority of forex traders lose money, and if you are trading on margin, you could lose more than your initial deposit. Do not start trading forex unless you have spent significant time learning the market, have selected and mastered a trading strategy, learned to manage risk and have practiced trading with a demo account.
Conclusion: Should I trade with Oanda?
Yes. If you want to trade with one of the safest brokers in the world that also offers the best trading platforms, provides excellent trading tools and resources, and has impressive sign-up bonuses for new traders, you should definitely trade with Oanda.