It is no secret that currency is one of the fundamental inventions in history. Being able to quickly and accurately exchange goods and services facilitated the growth of civilization.
While expensive and slow in the past, nowadays this is all done digitally. Yet there are steps to consider before deciding to trade currencies. Read on to learn about the best brokers in the industry and how to select one based on your preferences, trading costs, your trading strategy, customer service levels and access to foreign exchange markets.
Forex Broker Comparison
Benzinga's top forex experts put together a forex broker comparison list to help you get a deeper insight into popular broker options. Here are the top options for accessing these unique financial markets, trading major or minor pairs and hedging against risk.
1. Best for All Traders: FOREX.com
- securely through Forex.com's websiteBest For:Forex Trading in and Outside the U.S.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
FOREX.com markets itself as the #1 platform for forex trading in the U.S. The site, however, goes beyond currencies. You can trade in gold, silver, futures and futures options as part of diversifying your investments.
The platform includes educational tools that will teach you how to make money along with market analysis for seasoned traders. You can choose from several platforms like MetaTrader 4, Web, Mobile, EAs, VPS hosting, API trading and NinjaTrader.
You can even choose from different account types depending on your volume and the commissions you prefer to pay. Standard, Commission and STP Pro suit different types of investors. Reach out to the site for more information or try a demo to learn how it works.
A robust FAQ section, support center and standard business hours help you remain in contact with the site. You can also email the company or complete the online form for further assistance.
Start with a risk-free demo account so you can see the difference when you trade on a site that has everything you need, helps you diversify your investments and enhances your net worth.
- Diversified trading options beyond forex
- Educational tools and market analysis
- Variety of account types
- May overwhelm complete beginners
- Limited customer support hours
- User interface could be more intuitive
2. Best for Beginners: AvaTrade
AvaTrade is an established forex broker that has been in business since 2006. The company is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and holds financial licenses from multiple tier-1 jurisdictions, including Australia, Japan, and South Africa. AvaTrade offers a comprehensive suite of trading services to meet the needs of all types of traders, including individual traders, institutions, and professional traders.
AvaTrade offers a wide range of trading instruments, including more than 250 Forex and CFD pairs, such as currency pairs, commodities, indices, stocks, cryptocurrencies, and ETFs. The broker also provides access to a variety of trading platforms and tools that allow traders to customize their trading experience. These include the proprietary AvaTradeGO mobile app that provides traders with real-time market data and news, as well as the popular MetaTrader4 platform.
- Controlled by regulatory agencies of multiple countries
- Multiple trading platforms offered
- Support is available in 14 languages and trading platforms in 20 languages
- Demo account available
- Extensive trading assets
- Does not accept clients from the U.S.
- Transferring funds to the account may take up to five days; withdrawals could take up to 10 days
3. Best for Advanced Forex Traders: Interactive Brokers
A publicly listed company Interactive Brokers Group (NASDAQ: IBKR) is one of the most regulated brokerage platforms. It offers a wide selection of 125 market centers across 31 countries.
Interactive Brokers uses a proprietary Trader Workstation (TWS) platform and an IBKR mobile app. While powerful, these tools are better suited for seasoned professionals. Although alternatives are not available, it is possible to use an application programming interface (API) to connect it with a third-party platform like MetaTrader.
Those who look for education and research will be satisfied. The platform offers both in-house and third-party specialized research. The education library is vast although not oriented toward forex.
The offer is exceptional with 105 forex pairs through spot rates of contract for differences (CFDs). For traders in the U.S. who hold USD as the base currency, this is set to 23 most popular pairs — enough for a majority of retail traders.
Since Interactive Brokers works with some of the largest exchange dealers in the world, spreads are tight. Commissions depend on volume. They start at $4 per round lot but drop for high-volume traders.
- Powerful proprietary TWS platform
- Large selection of forex pairs
- Tight spreads due to large exchange dealers
- Complex platform for beginners
- Forex not the focus of educational content
- Volume-dependent commissions
4. Best for Easy-to-Use Forex Platform: Trade Nation
Trade Nation, like the other brokers on this list, allows you to access the forex and CFD markets. You can get into over 1000 markets, use demo accounts to practice, utilize copy trading as needed and begin to grow this part of your portfolio all in one place.
Yes, it’s unavailable for U.S. traders, but TradeNation offers the best option for beginners and intermediate traders who want to grow their portfolios and expertise. There are many people who want to experiment with CFDs (which can be very risky) or learn the forex markets, and they can get all that accomplished in one place.
- Anyone who wants to use this platform can practice without any risk
- While you can only access CFDs and forex, you can quickly diversify your portfolio
- More advanced traders might prefer a platform that offers a more professional setting
5. Best For Trading Multiple Markets: eToro
- securely through eToro Forex's websiteBest For:Demo Accounts
CFD trading is not available to U.S. users. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
eToro, a leading social trading platform, is fully regulated and listed on a private market platform for late-stage ventures, adding a degree of reliability to its operations. It provides access to a broad range of trading assets across numerous countries, opening up a world of investment opportunities for its users.
eToro's proprietary platform is robust and user-friendly. It stands out with its innovative features such as CopyTrading, where beginners can mimic the trades of seasoned investors. For those wanting to use other platforms, eToro also provides an open API that can be integrated with other popular trading platforms like MetaTrader.
For those keen on advancing their trading knowledge, eToro does not disappoint. It offers a vast library of educational resources, and its research content, though not specific to forex, is expansive and valuable.
In the realm of forex trading, eToro stands out with an impressive selection of currency pairs, offering competitive and transparent pricing primarily based on tight spreads, thanks to partnerships with reliable liquidity providers. This spread-only model eliminates commission costs, ensuring a more cost-effective trading environment for users. With dozens of forex pairs to choose from, traders can easily find the pair that aligns with their investment strategy, all while benefiting from eToro's commitment to transparency and lack of hidden charges.
- Broad asset range for diversification
- Innovative features like CopyTrading
- Commission-free, tight-spread pricing model
- Not ideal for non-social traders
- Slower customer service
6. Best for Retail Investors: Nadex
North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) is a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) -regulated derivatives exchange for retail investors. The platform is the leader in binary options — simple derivatives that speculate whether the asset’s price will rise or fall within the fixed time.
The platform offers forex as well. With 10 pairs, the instrument selection is modest but adequate for investors who trade the most popular currencies. There are no commissions, but variable spreads go as low as 0.02 for the most liquid pairs like EUR/USD. The minimum deposit is set at $250.
Research is limited to current market news and commentary. The education library is extensive, focusing on explaining available derivatives in great detail.
Nadex is a good option for derivatives-oriented traders who occasionally trade forex.
- CFTC-regulated platform
- Extensive educational library
- Accessible minimum deposit
- Modest forex offering
- Limited research content
- Main focus on derivatives, not forex
How to Choose the Best Forex Broker for You
Several key factors come into play when selecting a broker and trading on the currency markets. While regulation remains the baseline, the rest will depend on your personal preferences, trading ideas, trading conditions and leveraged products that are available.
As the first line of defense against fraud, you should always look for a regulated broker. There are different agencies around the world, but the most famous ones are the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and CFTC in the U.S., Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K. and Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).
The two main types of fees in forex are spreads and commissions. A spread is the disparity between the buyers and sellers. It varies but is negligible for liquid currency pairs like EUR/USD. The commission is the fee that a broker charges for processing the trade. It varies on the size of the trade.
You will be looking for tight spreads and low commissions to cut the cost of trading that might eat into your profits — sometimes as high as 25%.
More is better, and a decent broker should offer at least 15 to 20 most popular currency pairs. Some will offer well over 60, including other assets like indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies.
If you plan to use a broker for a long time, you should pay attention to trade processing. Many traders don’t know that their trades are not always executed on the market. Sometimes the broker takes on the other side of the trade, creating the market. These market-making brokers make money when you lose. Although they can be completely legit, it is better to stick with the brokers who don’t have a conflict of interest. These brokers use straight-through-processing (STP) or Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs).
While leverage is a double-edged sword, it is an excellent tool to have at hand. You might want to keep the small part of your portfolio as a deposit while trading significant positions. Leverage makes a positive difference. While leverage of 1:10 is often enough, at least 1:50 is nice to have.
Low Account Minimums
Although not as important, low account minimums will help to test some platform features on the live market. While many brokers offer demo accounts, these are better suited for software testing and orientation. Proper quality evaluation will always be in the actual market conditions — especially when it comes to spreads and commissions.
Social Trading Platforms
When you can use social trading, you can make a forex trade along with an expert — making it easier for you to see success or learn how to manage your portfolio. Your brokerage accounts are spending your money, but you’re dipping into foreign currencies on the back of someone who also wants to make money and has a track record of success.
Forex is an Evergreen Asset Class
As long as there are different nations and cultures on the planet, you'll see a diversity of currencies. The United Nations currently recognizes 180 currencies across the world, each with a story behind it.
In this dynamic environment, you can find opportunities to speculate. In opposition to other assets (like stocks), it can be easier to avoid sticking with a bad position, and liquidity will be exceptional.
Choosing the best broker will depend on your location and needs — spreads, commissions, number of instruments available to trade and so on. Finding a good broker is like making a new friend because you are forming a relationship that will benefit both parties in the long run.
Benzinga’s Top Forex Trading Platforms
Now that you have a look into this forex broker comparison, you're ready to take your pick. A good broker is a reliable partner for any trader. Check out the comparison of Benzinga’s selected brokers in the table below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which forex broker is best?
There is no single answer to this question. First of all, it will depend on your location. Countries have different regulatory agencies and few if any legit brokers operate everywhere.
While regulation is essential, your trading style is the second variable in the mix. Tight spreads and low commissions will be of utmost importance to short-term traders (scalpers). Meanwhile, swing traders might look for high availability of instruments to trade.
The best broker will be one that provides the safest and the cheapest service for your trading style in your region.
What brokers do professional forex traders use?
Most professional traders use the same brokers as amateur traders. Although there are many brokers worldwide, all nonmarket maker brokers pass the trades to a handful of big liquidity providers — big banks like Goldman Sachs, UBS or Deutsche Bank.
Yet, when it comes to professionals, there are few exceptions. Favorable tax regulations around the world give incentives to use a spread betting broker (in the U.K.) or to open a limited liability company (LLC) in a tax oasis (e.g., Dubai) and trade through it.
How much money should I use to fund a forex account?
The amount of money to fund a forex trading account depends on individual factors such as financial situation, risk tolerance and trading goals. It is recommended to start with an amount that you are comfortable losing because of the high risk involved. Research how to properly use the trading tools. Minimum deposit requirements from your chosen forex broker should also be considered. Before trading forex it would be most prudent to consult a financial advisor or conduct thorough research before deciding on the appropriate funding amount.
Get a Forex Pro on Your Side
FOREX.com, registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), lets you trade a wide range of forex markets with low pricing and fast, quality execution on every trade.
You can also tap into:
- EUR/USD as low as 0.2 with fixed $5 commissions per 100,000
- Powerful, purpose-built currency trading platforms
- Monthly cash rebates of up to $9 per million dollars traded with FOREX.com’s Active Trader Program
Learn more about FOREX.com’s low pricing and how you can get started trading with FOREX.com.