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Best International Forex Brokers

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You must find a broker that complies with U.S. laws if you live in the United States and want to trade in the forex market. You’ll have a significantly larger selection of international brokerages if you live outside the United States.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into U.S. law on July 21, 2010, to respond to the 2008 global financial crisis, and it affected all U.S. federal financial regulatory agencies and the entire U.S. financial services industry, including online forex brokers and the stock market.

Best International Forex Brokers:

Commissions
Spreads start as low as $1 But vary based on trading volume
Account Min
$250
Get started securely through FOREX.com’s website
Commissions
Spreads start as low as $1 But vary based on trading volume
Account Min
$250
1 Minute Review

FOREX.com is a one-stop-shop for forex traders. With a massive range of tradable currencies, low account minimums and an impressive trading platform, FOREX.com is an excellent choice for brokers searching for a home base for their currency trading. New traders and seasoned veterans alike will love FOREX.com’s extensive education and research center that provides free, informative forex trading courses at multiple skill levels. While FOREX.com is impressive, remember that it isn’t a standard broker. You can’t invest in the stock or bond market through your FOREX.com and you cannot open an account with tax advantages. The confusing pricing and margin structures may also be overwhelming for new forex traders.

Best For
  • Forex traders located in the United States
  • MetaTrader 4 users
  • Beginner forex traders
  • Active forex traders
Pros
  • Impressive, easy-to-navigate platform
  • Wide range of education and research tools
  • Access to over 80 currencies to buy and sell
  • Leverage available up to 50:1
Cons
  • Cannot buy and sell other securities (like stocks and bonds)
  • Confusing margin requirements that vary by currency
  • Limited customer support options
  • Cannot open an IRA or other retirement account
Commissions
$10 value per pip
Account Min
$0
Get started securely through IG Group’s website
Commissions
$10 value per pip
Account Min
$0
1 Minute Review

IG is a comprehensive forex broker that offers full access to the currency market and support for over 80 currency pairs. The broker only offers forex trading to its U.S.-based customers, the brokerage does it spectacularly well. Novice traders will love IG’s intuitive mobile and desktop platforms, while advanced traders will revel in the platform’s selection of indicators and charting tools. Though IG could work on its customer service and fees, the broker is an asset to new forex traders and those who prefer a more streamlined interface.  

Best For
  • New forex traders who are still learning the ropes
  • Traders who prefer a simple, clean interface
  • Forex traders who trade primarily on a tablet
Pros
  • Easy-to-navigate platform is easy for beginners to master
  • Mobile and tablet platforms offer full functionality of the desktop version
  • Margin rates are easy to understand and affordable
  • Access to over 80 currency pairs
Cons
  • U.S. traders can currently only trade forex
  • Customer service options are lacking
  • No 2-factor authentication on mobile
TD Ameritrade
Commissions
$0 $6.95 for OTC Stocks
Account Min
$0
Get started securely through TD Ameritrade’s website
Commissions
$0 $6.95 for OTC Stocks
Account Min
$0
1 Minute Review

This publicly listed discount broker, which is in existence for over four decades, is service-intensive, offering intuitive and powerful investment tools. Especially, with equity investing, a flat fee is charged, with the firm claiming that it charges no trade minimum, no data fees, and no platform fees. Though it is pricier than many other discount brokers, what tilts the scales in its favor is its well-rounded service offerings and the quality and value it offers its clients.

Best For
  • Novice investors
  • Retirement savers
  • Day traders
Pros
  • World-class trading platforms
  • Detailed research reports and Education Center
  • Assets ranging from stocks and ETFs to derivatives like futures and options
Cons
  • Thinkorswim can be overwhelming to inexperienced traders
  • Derivatives trading more costly than some competitors
  • Expensive margin rates
Commissions
$5 per 100,000 base currency traded
Account Min
$0
Get started securely through Oanda’s website
Commissions
$5 per 100,000 base currency traded
Account Min
$0
1 Minute Review

OANDA offers commercial and standard access to the forex market, with over 70 currency pairs to trade. OANDA’s platform is comprehensive, offering a wide range of indicators and charting tools for experts as well as a simple and intuitive layout that’s perfect for beginners. 

You won’t find retirement savings or stock trading on OANDA — the platform doesn’t offer any type of trading beyond the forex market. However, the broker does forex trading especially well — though it could stand to offer more in the way of customer service and lower fees.

Best For
  • New forex traders looking for an easy-to-use platform
  • Mobile traders who need a comprehensive on-the-go offering
  • Experienced forex traders who seek a wide selection of charting tools, indicators and currency pairs
Pros
  • Over 70 unique currency pairs to trade
  • Comprehensive and easy-to-understand platform
  • Mobile platform improves upon the desktop version
Cons
  • Only forex trading available
  • No retirement accounts available
Interactive Brokers
Commissions
$0.005 per share minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available
Account Min
$0
Get started securely through Interactive Brokers’s website
Commissions
$0.005 per share minimum $1 and maximum 0.5% of trade value; volume discount available
Account Min
$0
1 Minute Review

Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive trading platform that gives you access to a massive range of securities at affordable prices. You can buy assets from all around the world from the comfort of your home or office with access to over 135 global markets. Options, futures, forex and fund trading are also available, and most traders won’t pay a commission on any purchase or sale.  

IBKR is geared primarily toward experienced traders and investors but now with the availability of free trades with IBKR Lite, casual traders can also acclimate to IBKR’s offerings.

Best For
  • Access to foreign markets
  • Detailed mobile app that makes trading simple
  • Wide range of available account types and tradable assets
Pros
  • Comprehensive, quick desktop platform
  • Mobile app mirrors full capabilities of desktop version
  • Access to massive range of tradable assets
  • Low margin rates
  • Easy-to-use and enhanced screening options are better than ever
Cons
  • Beginner investors might prefer a broker that offers a bit more hand-holding and educational resources

What You Need to Know About Trading Forex Internationally

In January of 2015, the National Futures Association (NFA) imposed limits on the leverage allowed on forex positions and other restrictions on U.S.-based forex traders. Many international forex brokers stopped accepting clients from the U.S. Also, due to the new restrictions, international forex brokers increased in popularity relative to American brokers because they typically give traders better terms than U.S.-based forex brokers.

For example, forex brokers in the United States only allow a maximum leverage ratio of 50:1, while some international brokers offer client leverage up to 3,000:1. This high amount of leverage, while extremely profitable when you’re on the right side of the market, could be disastrous if you hold a losing position, especially if you have limited capital.

Another example is the FIFO regulation. FIFO stands for “first in, first out,” and this rule requires you to liquidate positions in the same currency pair in the order that they were established instead of choosing which opposing transaction to liquidate.

The new U.S. legislation also banned hedging a forex position by taking an opposing position in the same currency pair as one already established. Doing this means you effectively hedge the original position and can trade out of both sides individually, which is no longer allowed for U.S.-based forex traders.

Do International Forex Brokers Accept U.S. Clients?

Just because you live in the United States doesn’t mean you can’t trade forex. Many top-tier forex brokers such as FOREX.com are based in the United States and also fully comply with the relevant regulations of the NFA and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Although many international brokers decided not to accept traders from the United States after the 2015 legislation change, a number of international brokers have elected to become members of the NFA and CFTC and accept U.S. clients. Keep in mind that when a forex broker lacks oversight from a reputable financial regulatory agency, you run a considerable risk when you open an account with them. It’s possible to lose your entire deposit without even making a trade.

Also, if you’re U.S.-based and trade forex through an international broker licensed in the United States, your account will be subject to CFTC and NFA rules and restrictions. This means that regardless of the amount of leverage or other features offered by the international broker, you must adhere to the 50:1 U.S. leverage limit, the FIFO rule, the no-hedging rule and any other relevant U.S. forex account restrictions.  

What Makes the Best International Forex Brokers

Finding the best forex broker for you could take some effort and depends in part on where you’re based. For example, if you live in the U.S., your choices are somewhat limited to those relatively few brokers that accept U.S. clients. Nevertheless, if you live outside of the U.S., you have a large number of online brokers to choose from.  

International forex brokers that offer their services to U.S. clients tend to be the largest and best capitalized since the process of registering and complying with CFTC and NFA regulations requires a significant initial investment and cash reserve amount. Keep in mind that not all forex brokers are created equal, so make sure you carefully consider your needs before you open an account.

Outside of the United States, a wide choice of brokers exists, and some brokers offer leverage of as much as 3,000:1. Regardless of where you live, choose a broker regulated by a reputable government agency such as the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

If you have little or no experience in the forex market, read Benzinga’s best forex broker for beginners, which can offer a large selection of educational material, including videos, podcasts, audio and printed articles. Large international forex brokers, such as Oanda and FOREX.com, offer educational material to less-experienced clients and they also accept U.S.-based customers.

The Best International Forex Brokers

If you want to verify that an international forex broker is registered with the NFA and can accept U.S.-based clients, the NFA provides an online verification system known as the Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC). Enter the broker’s information to verify if it has been approved by the NFA and complies with all regulatory requirements.

Commissions
Spreads start as low as $1 But vary based on trading volume
Account Minimum
$250
Best For
  • Forex traders located in the United States
  • MetaTrader 4 users
  • Beginner forex traders
  • Active forex traders

1. FOREX.com

Founded in 2001, FOREX.com was one of the internet’s first online forex brokers. FOREX.com has offices in New Jersey, London, and Tokyo. It’s overseen by the NFA and CFTC in the United States, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K. and the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA) in Japan. In addition, FOREX.com is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

This top-tier forex broker offers trading in more than 80 currency pairs, cryptocurrency pairs, CFDs on indexes, metals, energy, commodities and a large selection of U.S. and U.K. stocks. Forex.com accepts clients from around the world, with the exception of Singapore, New Zealand, Iran, Yemen, Belarus and some nations on the list of the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)

FOREX.com offers the popular MetaTrader 4 and 5 trading platforms from Metaquotes. It also offers mobile and web-based platforms, as well as a proprietary Advanced Trading Platform with integrated trading strategies for more experienced traders. Leverage for major forex currency pairs is 50:1 for U.S.-based clients and 30:1 for clients based in the EU.

The broker requires a minimum deposit of $50 that can be made via credit card or bank transfer. Withdrawals occur within 48 hours of the original request and funds are returned to the originating bank or credit card account. FOREX.com offers novice traders an extensive FAQ section and video tutorials on how to use its trading platforms. Customer support is provided by designated phone numbers in the countries where the firm has a presence.

Read Benzinga’s full FOREX.com Review

2. Oanda

Commissions
$5 per 100,000 base currency traded
Account Minimum
$0
Best For
  • New forex traders looking for an easy-to-use platform
  • Mobile traders who need a comprehensive on-the-go offering
  • Experienced forex traders who seek a wide selection of charting tools, indicators and currency pairs

Based in San Francisco and New York City, Oanda was established in 2001. Oanda is one of the world’s largest forex brokers and has a significant international presence with additional offices situated in London, Singapore, Sidney, Tokyo and Toronto. The broker is overseen by the NFA and CFTC in the United States, the IIROC in Canada, the FCA in the U.K., the JFSA in Japan and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Oanda is an electronic communications network/straight-through processing (ECN/STP) broker. It offers leverage of 100:1 to clients in Australia and New Zealand, 50:1 to U.S. clients and 30:1 to clients based in the EU. The broker accepts U.S.-based clients and offers trading in more than 70 currency pairs, as well as CFDs on indices, metals, energy products, commodities and U.K., U.S. and German government bonds.

Platforms available at Oanda include the MetaTrader 4 platform, proprietary desktop and web-based platforms that integrate TradingView charts, and the Oanda API for automated trading. The award-winning broker requires a minimum deposit of $20 to open an account and its website is available in eight different languages.

Read Benzinga’s full Oanda Review 

3. ATC Brokers

Based in Glendale, California, ATC was founded in 2005 and operates offices in London and George Town in the Cayman Islands. The broker has oversight and regulation from the U.S. CFTC and NFA, the U.K.’s FCA and the Cayman Island Monetary Authority (CIMA).

ATC accepts clients from all over the world, with the exception of some countries on the OFAC list. Maximum leverage at ATC is 200:1 for most clients, 50:1 for U.S.-based clients and 30:1 for traders based in the EU.

ATC offers trading in over 40 currency pairs, plus CFDs on indices, precious metals and energy products. Clients can use the MetaTrader 4 and MT4 mobile trading platform, as well as an enhanced MT4 Pro software package developed by ATC. Because the broker offers straight-through processing (STP) of trades, a commission of $1 is charged per mini contract of 10,000 units and $10 for a standard contract of 100,000 units.

In addition to regular forex trading accounts, ATC offers a corporate account and a money management service that clients can subscribe to. Deposits can be made through U.S. ACH wire transfer for U.S. based traders, as well as via credit card and international bank wire transfers. A minimum deposit of $2,000 is required to open an account and withdrawals are charged at a rate of $20 for the first monthly withdrawal and $35 for the second withdrawal.

The broker’s customer service consists of a telephone hotline, an email address and a live chat function on its website. Also, ATC offers a “Trader’s Corner” area on its website where it publishes trading strategies and advice for new traders.

Final Thoughts

The best international forex brokers are the ones that satisfy your needs as a trader. Despite restrictive forex regulations in the United States, U.S.-based forex traders can operate in the forex market much like traders who live elsewhere, although the rather low leverage ratios and lack of hedging imposed by U.S. regulators can seem stifling for some trading strategies.

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