Best High Leverage Forex Brokers

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: July 22, 2021

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best forex broker for most people is definitely FOREX.com or CedarFX.

Currency traders have a few advantages over traders of other types of securities. The market stays open 24 hours a day during the work week and the best forex broker commissions are often a fraction of what online stock brokers charge. But the biggest edge is margin requirements and leverage. You don’t need a big infusion of capital to begin a career as a forex trader, just the right tools and the right broker.

What’s Leverage and Margin in Forex Trading?

Traditional stock brokers in the United States often offer margin trading to their clients. The broker will lend money to the client for additional stock purchases and then make money in interest when the loan is repaid. Margin rates vary, but most online brokers charge clients between 5% and 9% to borrow money, depending on the amount. Why would clients want to borrow money for the stock market from their brokers?

They want to crank up the leverage on trades.

Leverage refers to how much borrowed money is involved in a trade. In most stock brokerages, investors can get 2:1 leverage, which means they need $50 in their account to trade $100 in capital. Obviously, leverage adds risk to any trade. Since you don’t just lose your capital if it goes bad, you owe your broker money.

Excessive leverage has killed many financial firms, including Lehman Brothers and Long Term Capital Management. But when it’s used properly, you can generate tremendous profits with little upfront capital.

In forex trading, leverage can often be as high as 500:1. Since currencies move incrementally compared to stocks, using leverage doesn’t carry the same risks. When trades are measured in fractions of a penny, 500:1 leverage doesn’t seem excessive. Forex brokers use margin requirements to determine how much leverage currency traders can use per trade. This is expressed as a percentage, such as USD/EUR trades that require a 2% margin.

United States Limitations

Forex trading is subject to stricter regulations in the United States than most countries in the world. Europe and Australia have no aversion to leverage as high as 500:1, but U.S. law limits forex brokers to 50:1 leverage.

Additionally, many forex brokers offer contracts for difference (CFDs) on indices, bonds, commodities and even cryptocurrencies. These products are highly speculative and banned entirely in the U.S., which means MetaTrader 5 has practically no uptake.

What to Look for in a High Leverage Forex Broker

Choosing a forex broker depends not only on your trading preferences but also the country you live in. United States forex traders won’t be able to use the highest available leverage or use popular trading programs like MetaTrader 5. When you pick a broker, here are a few things to pay attention to:

  • Margin requirements: In the United States, margin requirements are limited to 2% (50:1 leverage). Internationally, you can lever trades up to 500:1 on most major currencies. You don’t need to use high leverage on all trades, but make sure to pick a broker with limits that work for you.
  • Commissions and fees: Forex brokers make money in two ways: from commissions or from the spread. Many brokers have spread-only and commission accounts available, and commission accounts get reduced spreads. Brokers have fee charts on their websites. Make sure you understand all charges before you open an account.
  • Support for trading software: Many forex brokers have their own proprietary trading software, but also offer popular platforms like MetaTrader 4 and cTrader. If you like to trade using MetaTrader 4, make sure the broker you choose supports it!
  • Account and trade minimums: Capital required to open an account varies by the broker, as does the amount needed to complete a trade. Some brokers may have no account minimum, but all will have trade minimums.

The Best High Leverage Forex Brokers

Using the above criteria, Benzinga has identified the best high leverage forex brokers on the market today. High leverage in the United States is limited to 50:1, but for international brokers to qualify, they must offer 500:1 leverage for at least a few major pairs.

Best For
  • 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)
securely through Forex.com's website

1. Best Overall: FOREX.com

Forex traders in the United States are at a disadvantage. Leverage is limited to 50:1 and products like CFDs are completely illegal. With those caveats out of the way, American currency traders still have good options available to them and Forex.com is one of the best.

FOREX.com has over 70 forex pairs to choose from and you’ll get 2% margin (50:1 leverage) on major pairs EUR/USD, USD/CAD, and EUR/CAD. Most other major pairs rest between 3% and 5% margin. Forex.com offers three different account types: standard, commission and direct market access (DMA). The standard account is spread only, while the commission account lowers spreads but institutes a $5 commission on every 100,000 units.

FOREXX.com supports MetaTrader 4 and NinjaTrader and has its own proprietary trading system available on desktop. High-volume discounts are available and Forex.com will even refund bank fees you incur on wire transfers.

Read Benzinga's full FOREX.com Review

Best For
  • Forex investors
  • Investors interested in 0% commission or eco conscious trading
  • Investors looking for 24/7 customer service
Pros
  • Allows users to offset their carbon footprint
  • 0% commission investing
  • Offers demo account access
  • 24/7 customer service available through live chat
  • Eco Account Option (10 trees planted for each lot traded)
  • Fast deposits/withdrawls with Bitcoin
Cons
  • Limited number of educational resources for new investors
securely through CedarFX's website

2. Best for $0 Commissions: CedarFX

CedarFX bills itself as the original eco-friendly brokerage, offering both the Commission Account and the Eco Account. You can trade a range of financial tools through CedarFX, including foreign currencies.

While CedarFX matches $1 commissions on Eco Accounts, planting over 100,000 trees to offset its carbon footprint with help from Ecologi, it also offers high-leverage trading.

You can use free demo accounts to learn how your trading style works on the current market, and you have access up to 500:1 leverage for forex trading. For the sake of diversifying your portfolio, you also have access to 500:1 leverage for precious metals, 200:1 for indices and commodities, 100:1 for cryptocurrency and 20:1 for stocks.

Leveraging at a high rate with CedarFX allows you to speculate as much as you like, buy for growth, short certain currencies and grow your net worth quickly.

Best For
  • Beginners
  • Advanced traders
  • Traders looking for a well-diversified portfolio
Pros
  • Controlled by regulatory agencies of multiple countries
  • Choice offered in terms of trading platforms
  • Support available in 14 languages and trading platforms in 20 languages
  • Practice/demo account available for trying out
  • Breadth of trading assets
Cons
  • Does not accept customers from the U.S. as it isn’t regulated in the U.S.
  • Transferring funds to the account may take up to five days; withdrawals could take up to 10 days

3. Best for Non-US Residents: AvaTrade

AvaTrade carries 7 regulations across 6 continents (Europe, Australia, Japan, British Virgin Islands, UAE and South Africa). It offers wide asset availability, leading platforms and leverage up to 400:1.

AvaTrade caters to its customers, offering a 24-hour multilingual support desk for a broad range of instruments, platforms and services for every level of trader. AvaTrade’s innovative technology and cutting-edge trading features also include 1-on-1 training sessions with a dedicated account manager. Through AvaTrade, you can trade:

  • Forex
  • Stocks
  • Commodities
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Indices

AvaTrade offers desktop, tablet, mobile and web-based trading with MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, its proprietary WebTrader, AvaOptions and AvaTradeGO. Client funds are held in segregated accounts for increased security.

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
securely through IG Markets's website

4. Best Forex Execution: IG

At 500:1 leverage, IG is another broker that allows you to speculate on currencies across the globe. IG offers high leverage, which you need to increase your gains quickly, but the platform makes the process as simple and profitable for investors as possible by:

  • 80 currency pairs to choose from
  • Very tight spreads starting at 0.8 pips
  • Massive liquidity
  • Open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week

Take advantage of the platform’s simplicity and leverage options to diversify your portfolio without investing all your cash at one time.

Pepperstone
Best For
  • International traders interested in trading CFDs from foreign markets and currencies
  • Traders who are already familiar with the MetaTrader or cTrader platforms
  • Traders who are looking for leverage when trading cryptocurrencies
Pros
  • Access to over 61 forex pairs and over 60 stock CFDs
  • Leverage available for both forex and cryptocurrency trading
  • Wide range of educational tools and courses that both beginners and experts can use
  • 24/7 customer service
Cons
  • Not currently available to U.S. traders
  • No option to purchase stocks, bonds or mutual funds directly; only CFDs are available

5. Best for Non-US Residents: Pepperstone

Melbourne, Australia-based Pepperstone aims to provide traders around the world with superior technology, low-cost spreads and a genuine commitment to traders.

Pepperstone offers 500:1 leverage for forex in ASIC, 50:1 in its DFSA jurisdiction and 30:1 in its FCA jurisdiction. This means for every $1 that you have in your trading account, you can trade $500 under ASIC, $50 under DFSA and $30 under FCA in the forex market.

Access Pepperstone's platforms, available on Windows and Mac OS for desktop, iOS and Android for mobile and tablets and on its web app, WebTrader. You can also use MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 or cTrader. You can also tap into a few social trading platforms — Myfxbook, Mirror Trader and RoboX.

Get the Best High Leverage Forex Broker

Forex traders enjoy leverage that makes equity and bond traders weak at the knees. Leverage of 500:1 isn’t uncommon for most forex brokers, but U.S. clients can only get 50:1. Leverage shouldn’t be the only factor when deciding on a forex broker, however.

Consider the trading platforms and currency pairs available, the costs and fees associated with trading and the capital needed to open an account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q
What happens if I over-leverage?
A

Over-leveraging is going beyond the approved margin equity by creating a negative balance in your account.

Q
Are using high amounts of leverage good with Forex?
A

Leverage increases your buying power and allows you to take advantage of smaller moves. The downside is if the position goes against you, it creates margin calls.

Explore More: BEST ASIC-REGULATED FOREX BROKERS

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 plus spot metals 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.