Is OANDA a fair Forex Broker?

OANDA - continually building on a solid reputation among traders

Since its inception in 1996, OANDA has built a solid reputation. Today, the firm is recognised as one of the world’s most respected and trusted forex and CFD financial trading brokers. 

OANDA’s spreads are attractive, the platforms and data access are at the cutting edge of the industry, and you can now trade four cryptocurrencies.

Open a live account in 3 easy steps

It is easy to open an account in 3 simple steps: complete the application form, fund and trade. You can open a live account with a bank transfer (local or international), credit/debit card, Skrill or Neteller, and trade in up to four currencies: USD, EUR, HKD and SGD. 

The accounts OANDA offers include Standard, Core, and Swap-Free. A Premium account is coming, as is negative balance protection. Customers can also set up a paper or sim demo account before committing to trading live. Document verification is not required when opening an account for deposits below US$9,000.

Deposits and withdrawals

OANDA does not charge a fee for deposits and withdrawals, and both procedures are free, except for bank transfers, an option that incurs a US$25 transaction fee. 

All major funding options are accepted, including bank transfers, electronic wallets, debit cards, and credit cards.

Excellent range of forex pairs plus Bitcoin

OANDA offers a wide range of CFD and forex products. All the major forex pairs and a comprehensive range of minors are available to trade. 

The CFDs include indices, commodities, and specific metals. Clients can also trade four of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. 

There are no stocks and ETF CFDs, and options trading is unavailable.

Fees, leverage and competitive spreads

OANDA doesn’t charge account funding options, and there are no deposit or withdrawal fees. OANDA charges inactivity fees if a trading account remains inactive for 12 months.

OANDA offers up to 200:1 leverage on specific forex pairs. The firm applies tiered margin requirements on open trade positions; the higher the value of an open trade position, the higher the margin needed to keep trading positions open.

OANDA offers competitive spreads

  • FX spreads from 1.0 (spread only)
  • FX core spreads from 0.2 (+ commission at $40 per million notional) 
  • Gold from 25 cents

 Security and regulations     

The BVI Financial Services Commission (BVIFSC) regulates OANDA in the British Virgin Islands. Traders do not receive negative balance protection; only European users get such protection through their respective regulatory authorities. 

Server reliability

The company has concentrated on excellent connectivity by reducing latency. The servers are located in London and New York, allowing clients to run their algorithmic trading strategies across various trading platforms continually. 

Trading platforms     

OANDA offers the MetaTrader 4 web and MetaTrader 5 web, downloadable platforms, the fxTrade App, and apps for mobiles and tablets for the Virgin Islands accounts.

MT5 order types 

MT5 offers two additional order types over MT4. The ‘Buy Stop Limit’ and ‘Sell Stop Limit’ allows users to turn orders into market orders once the level gets hit. 

OANDA offers a variety of trading order types:

  • Market order
  • Limit order
  • Take-profit order
  • Stop-loss order
  • Trailing stop order
  • OCO (one-cancels-the-other) with MT4 Premium

Order execution is 100% automated, with no dealer intervention. 

Charts, alerts, and premium tools

MT4 and MT5 come complete with powerful analytical and charting tools. OANDA integrates market research and charting tools to enhance your trading experience. 

Some of the essential features offered by OANDA for charting and analytical purposes include:

  • 30 technical indicators
  • 24 analytical objects: lines, channels, geometric shapes, as well as Gann, Fibonacci, and Elliott tools
  • Reports in all languages supported by the platform 
  • Twenty-one timeframes: M1, M5, M15, M30, H1, H4, D1, W1, MN, M2, M3, M4, M6, M10, M12, M20, H2, H3, H6, H8, and H12.
  • Popular features such as Renko charts, OCO, keyboard trading, Expert Advisor, MLQ4 and MLQ5 language indicators
  • Built-in depth of market on MT5
  • MT4 and MT5 technical analysis powered by AutoChartist

Through MT4 and MT5 Premium, clients can access web content inside the trading platform. Within the MT4 client terminal, direct access to Dow Jones market news and OANDA’s forex blog content is available. Sentiment gauges combined with two economic calendars exist to ensure clients always remain informed. 

Through MT5, clients can access the native depth of market data, providing visibility of market liquidity indicating where orders are likely to be executed.

Learning and support

OANDA offers an abundance of educational material, industry news, blogs, and trading guides, and the Market Pulse standalone site covers comprehensive industry news, in-depth analysis, and events. The firm also provides valuable customer training through seminars, webinars and other live events.

OANDA offers 24 hours dedicated customer support and communication from Sunday 4 pm EST to Friday 6 pm EST, through: 

  • Live Chat with an advisor 
  • Direct call support
  • Email

OANDA has set a high bar for customer response times; waiting times for calls are approximately 16 seconds and between 10 to 15 seconds for a chat with a sales and support associate. 

Things we like

OANDA is one of the original, ground-breaking industry pioneers. The firm has been in the retail financial trading business for over two decades. It ticks most of the boxes for traders looking to trade forex and CFD instruments.

When putting the firm to rigorous analysis, the tick box features we liked were:

  • Trusted brand with a positive reputation
  • FxTrade App 
  • Ease of account opening - no documents for deposits below US$9,000
  • Tier-1 banking relationships 
  • Best-in-class MT4 and MT5 bridges
  • Excellent market research tools
  • An extensive range of customer education and industry news sources
  • Competitive spreads, margins, and trading costs
  • No direct withdrawal or deposit fees

Additions to the OANDA proposition we’d welcome 

OANDA has few peers and is undoubtedly one of the globe’s leading forex and CFD brokers. However, knowing OANDA is never complacent, a few additional features would improve the OANDA offering for both existing and prospective clients.

  • A stock exchange listing via an IPO would rank it equal with other heavyweights.
  • There is no banking license as yet, an addition that could improve the stature presence and deliver more investor confidence in the OANDA brand.
  • The ability to trade individual stocks, stock CFDs, ETFs or Futures would be welcome.
  • A more comprehensive range of customer portfolio analytical tools would be advantageous.
  • OANDA could provide social trading that some competitors offer.
  • Increasing to 24/7 live support during market hours from the current hours of Sunday at 4 pm EST to Friday at 6 pm EST.

Developments that we’re eagerly anticipating

Single stock CFDs would be a welcome addition to the massive range of instruments available to trade on many trading platforms. In conversation with OANDA, we believe this could be a possibility soon. 

Broker quality