Investing > Oanda vs Forex.com

Oanda vs. Forex.com

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There is no doubt Forex.com is an industry powerhouse. 180 global markets. Regulation in all the right places. Tight spreads. Cutting-edge trading technology.

Founded in 2001 and currently wholly owned by Gain Capital Holdings, a NYSE-traded corporation, Forex.com has a host of loyal fans worldwide.

But then there is Oanda.

These are two bright lights in the greater forex marketplace, and ultimately you have a lot to gain by choosing either platform for your forex trading needs.

Fees
Average spread EUR/USD standard

1.4

1

All-in cost EUR/USD - active

1.4

0.7

Minimum initial deposit

$0

$50

General
Total currency pairs

71

91

Demo account?
Social / copy trading?
Rating
Fees

Average spread EUR/USD standard

1.4

1

All-in cost EUR/USD - active

1.4

0.7

Minimum initial deposit

$0

$50

General

Total currency pairs

71

91

Demo account?

Social / copy trading?

What’s not to love?

Even after the brokerage giant’s longtime CEO summarily stepped down in early 2019, citing only “personal reasons,” he did stay on with Oanda in a non-executive capacity.

And after all, Oanda has been in “the biz” since pretty much since the start.

Founded in 1995, launched in 1996 and on the cover of Time magazine by 1997, Oanda’s position as one of private equity company CVC Holdings’s flashiest acquisitions has the company sitting stable and solid in the notoriously unpredictable forex marketplace.

But is there one that is better for you personally than the other? That is what you are here to find out and exactly what we aim to help you decide!

General Comparison and Overview

So who are these two forex giants, Oanda and Forex.com?

In this section, we give you a down and dirty brief overview of each company – putting a face with a name, so to speak.

What is Oanda?

Oanda offers a stellar trading platform and a regularly updated mobile app, allowing experienced traders to create complex strategies and get the latest insights. The firm offers transparent pricing, is regulated by an impressive number of government bodies, and top class research tools and insights. Combine this with Oanda’s product offerings, including spread-betting in Ireland and the UK, and you get a great option for experienced traders.

Fast Facts

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Regulation: FCA (UK) and CySEC (Cyprus)
  • Demo Account: Yes
  • Asset Coverage: Forex, commodities, indexes, and certain CFDs only
  • Best for: Experienced traders
  • Inactivity fee charged: Yes, after 2 years
  • Country of regulation: USA, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Japan

Ratings

  • Commissions & Fees: 9/10
  • Investment Selection: 9/10
  • Account Options & Features: 8/10
  • Usability: 8.5/10
  • Educational Resources: 8/10
  • Customer Service: 7/10
  • Overall: 8/10
Visit Oanda on Oanda’s website

Investor Warning: CFDs are complex financial products and come with a high risk of losing money. 76.8% of retail client accounts lose money trading CFDs with this provider.You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Oanda was one of the first brokerages in the forex trading industry. It was also the very first to provide free real-time exchange rate information online.

This was a big, big deal. It changed how every competitor did business.

In 2005, Oanda made another big move. It released a document called The Forex Trader’s Bill of Rights.

The Forex Trader’s Bill of Rights did then and still does set the standard for how brokerages should operate when it comes to pricing and protocols. In short, the Bill of Rights tells forex traders what they have a right to expect and deserve when it comes to their trading platform partner.

Oanda was acquired by CVC Capital Partners in 2018. Less than a year later, Oanda was awarded the top dog slot in the Investopedia’s “Best Online Brokers” forex category.

As of 2020, Oanda’s future continues to look very bright.

What is Forex.com?

Forex.com offers transparent pricing that varies depending on your account. The broker caters mostly to active and high-volume traders, and offers a couple of advanced platforms to suit different activity levels. Traders will have the option to choose between several account types, and over 80 currency pairs, in addition to gold and silver.

Fast Facts

  • Account Minimum: $50 of your selected base currency
  • Demo Account: Yes
  • Best for: Really active traders
  • Asset coverage: CFDs and Forex
  • Regulation: Fully regulated

Ratings

  • Commissions & Fees: 7.5/10
  • Investment Selection: 7/10
  • Account Options & Features: 8/10
  • Usability: 7/10
  • Educational Resources: 6.5/10
  • Customer Service: 6/10
  • Overall: 7.5/10
Visit Forex.com on Forex.com website

Investor Warning: Please note that foreign exchange and other leveraged trading involves significant risk of loss. 72% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading with this provider. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved, seeking independent advice if necessary.

Since Forex.com was founded in 2001, the company has made continual strides to stay on top of its game and at the top of the notoriously fickle forex industry.

Part of the reason may be that, while Forex.com may be named for its riskiest asset class, traders can access a wide range of securities beyond simply forex pairs.

Forex.com joined the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the United States powerhouse regulatory duo, in 2004.

Since that time, Forex.com has been cited twice for regulatory infractions.

The first citation, which happened in 2010, resulted in the fine of a measly $459,000 – the equivalent of soda machine change in the trillion dollar-a-day forex industry. The charge? Basically, it amounted to fraud. Abusive margin, slippage and liquidation practices. The charge was settled out of court, with NFA mediating.

In 2019, Gain Capital Group, Forex.com’s parent company, was cited. This time, the charge resulted in a $50,000 fine – so low as to be nearly free. The charge was related to a malfunction in the forex giant’s electronic trading platform.

While it is never a small deal to be cited by any regulatory oversight entity, the truth remains that the United States marketplace is the most restrictive in the world. So to be cited in the U.S. is to be held to a very high bar indeed.

To that point, of the estimated 1,200+ forex brokerages in existence, only seven are still authorized to accept United States forex traders.

Take a wild guess which two brokerages are still on this increasingly short and exclusive list.

If you guessed “Forex.com” and “Oanda,” you are on to something. Keep reading.

Oanda vs Forex.com: A Market Maker to Market Maker Comparison

The first thing you need to know about Oanda vs Forex.com is that they are both market makers.

This single fact makes it a lot easier to stack the two side by side for an apples to apples comparison.

Market Maker
Both OANDA and Forex.com belong to the market maker category of forex brokerages.

A market maker is one of two main categories of forex brokerages. The other is a STP (straight through processing) brokerage.

A market maker is typically a large financial institution such as a bank, a hedge fund or – you guessed it – a brokerage.

The term “market maker” literally translates to mean an entity that buys and sells securities and holds them so that other entities (such as you, the forex trader) can invest into the same.

This means a market maker brokerage will always be taking the opposite position to yours in a forex trade.

What is strangest for many who are new to the forex trading marketplace is that your loss is the market maker’s gain and vice versa. So at first it can seem like it is kind of hard to trust that a market maker will be a straight-up partner to trade against.

So what makes for a trustworthy market maker? In a word: it is regulation.

However, even finding the most trustworthy market maker forex platform isn’t going to make up for the extremely high-risk nature of trading forex itself.

For this reason, it is important to also select a forex platform that offers educational tools, top notch customer support, an intuitive online trading platform, clear and transparent fees and fair pricing.

The remainder of this comparison article will take a look at how Oanda vs Forex.com stacks up in each of these areas.

Trading Functionality and Forex Spreads

Not surprisingly, given that both Oanda and Forex.com are market makers, they follow each other pretty closely in terms of forex spreads. Whatever small differences exist from one pair to the next tend to even out when averaged together among the leading currency pairs.

The exception is for high-volume, high dollar active traders on Forex.com. Here, the spreads narrow by half against what Oanda offers.

In terms of funding your initial account, Oanda requires no minimum while Forex.com requires a minimum of $50 to get started with a live trading account. Both platforms offer a free demo account.

Both platforms allow account funding via bank wire and credit or debit card, but only Forex.com offers PayPal.

And Forex.com offers more overall trading choices in terms of asset classes and variety for each.

Winner: Forex.com
Forex.com undeniably offers traders more choices as well as a greater range of choices within each available asset class.

Forex.com Asset Classes

  • Spot trading
  • Social trading91 currency pairs
  • 4500 CFDs
  • 220+ equities
  • 15+ indices
  • Cryptocurrency CFD trades
  • Commodities

Oanda Asset Classes

  • Spot trading
  • Social trading
  • 71 currency pairs
  • 53 CFDs
  • Bonds
  • Cryptocurrency CFD trades
  • Commodities

Fees, Pricing and Commissions

Both Oanda and Forex.com offer active trader or VIP incentives, which means you can earn cash back based on your trading volume.

Forex.com Fees and Pricing

Forex.com offers both commission and non-commission (spread only) accounts.

For accounts with a balance of less than $10,000 that have been inactive for 12 consecutive months, there is a monthly inactivity fee of $15.

Oanda Fees and Pricing

Oanda also offers both commission and non-commission (spread only) accounts.

Oanda Pricing
Traders who want commission-free trading can find some great offers on the OANDA online platform.

Oanda charges a monthly inactivity fee of 10 units of the account holder’s currency after 12 months of inactivity.

Draw.

Platforms Available

When you are trading in the global forex marketplace, your online interface is everything. Who cares if all the rest is present in spades if, when you actually go to trade, you can’t navigate the interface with ease?

When it comes to the online and desktop trading experience, Forex.com maintains a comfortable lead.

In fact, one of the most consistent complaints about Oanda’s otherwise pretty much stellar trading experience is their online and desktop platforms. Reviewers say they lack tools and research options and the intuitive design isn’t, well, intuitive.

In all fairness, however, Oanda does provide its API for traders who want to customize their platform to an advanced degree. If you take this option, it might very well even out the competition between platforms.

Moving along to mobile apps, it is here where Oanda takes a surprising lead. Mobile apps thus far haven’t been a strong selling point for most forex brokers. But Oanda’s iOS/Apple app hits it out of the park.

Both of Forex.com’s mobile apps, like most in the industry, leave a lot to be desired. This means Forex.com might be a better choice if you plan to do your trading online (via web) or desktop rather than on the go with a mobile app.

Oanda Platforms Available

Oanda speaks in glowing terms about its own platform offerings. But then again, what brokerage wouldn’t when they are trying to attract new customers?

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is prominently in existence as well as Oanda’s own proprietary version of the same, Oanda Trade Web.

You also have the option to use the platform on your desktop or laptop computer.

Oanda Mobile Apps

Oanda has two apps: one for iOS/Apple and one for Android mobile devices.

The iOS app is surprisingly well-received and users seem to love it. Praise flows freely in recent user reviews and overall the app delivers a whopping 4.6 out of five stars rating.

Which makes it all the more glaringly obvious that Oanda’s Android app lags far behind. Earning just 3.7 out of five stars, recent ratings are full of news about app crashes, missing functionality and erratic performance overall.

Forex.com Platforms Available

Like most major forex platforms today, Forex.com provides three ways to access their trading interface: online (web), desktop and mobile (smart phone or tablet).

Their online/web and desktop trading interfaces are well-received overall, earning above-average scores for functionality, intuitive design, charting and analysis features, speed and a wide variety of market indicators.

Forex.com Advanced Trading Platform
The Forex.com desktop platform comes with intuitive design and excellent trading tools.

Forex.com offers their own proprietary interface called Advanced Trading Platform, which is built from the by-now industry standard MetaTrader 4 (MT4). Traders also have the option of integration with a variety of third-party trading software platforms including Ninja Trader, Trading View and Tradable.

They are also now offering Meta Trader 5 (MT5), which most platforms (including Oanda) do not yet offer.

Forex.com Mobile Apps

Forex.com does not score big points in the app department. Apparently it is incredibly challenging to design a small screen app-based forex trading experience that meets users’ expectations.

Having said that, it is clear that neither Forex.com’s iOS/Apple or Android apps fit the bill. The platform has a lot of work ahead of it in this area.

Winner: Forex.com (web, desktop platform) and Oanda (mobile apps)

Regulation, Oversight and Operation by Jurisdiction

Oanda narrowly edges out Forex.com in this category, even though Forex.com has two more regulatory entities governing it than does Oanda.

But Oanda is still the winner here, because, let’s face it, Forex.com has been cited by the National Futures Association twice and Oanda hasn’t.

Staying citation-free in such a litigious, high-risk marketplace has gotta count for something.

But otherwise, it says a lot that both forex brokerages are even still permitted to accept United States traders. Most brokerages lost that right a long time ago.

Oanda Regulation, Oversight and Operation

Oanda maintains a presence in each of these markets worldwide:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • UK/Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Australia
  • Japan

Oanda has regulatory oversight through these major national entities:

  1. United States: NFA (National Futures Association) and CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission)
  2. United Kingdom: FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
  3. Australia: ASIC (Australia Securities and Investment Commission)
  4. Canada: IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada)
  5. Japan: J-FSA (Japanese Financial Services Authority)
  6. Asia Pacific/Singapore: MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore)

Forex.com Regulation, Oversight and Operation

Forex.com maintains a presence in each of these areas:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Cayman Islands
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore

Forex.com is under the regulatory oversight of these global entities:

  1. United States NFA (National Futures Association) and CFTC (Commodities Futures Trading Commission)
  2. Canada: IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada)
  3. United Kingdom: FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)
  4. Cayman Islands: CIMA (Cayman Islands Monetary Authority)
  5. Australia: ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission)
  6. Japan: FSA (Financial Services Agency)
  7. Hong Kong: SFC (Securities and Futures Commission)
  8. Singapore: MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore)

Winner: Oanda

Educational Tools

In the risky arena of forex trading, even the best-researched plans can quickly be laid to waste by a simple technical glitch.

But learning how to put stop-loss and other protections in place can go a long way to guard against these.

And if you want to learn how to protect yourself while trading the riskiest security class on Earth, what you need is education.

Newbie traders might absolutely be forgiven for not realizing just how risky forex trading can be, even amidst what sometimes feels like a deluge of printed warning messages.

And no one – not even a forex brokerage with the best of intentions – can stop a trader who insists on recklessly trading forex without any research ground beneath their feet.

But they can at least try. Oanda tends to get stronger in their educational tools as the trader gets more advanced.

This is partly because their tools are not intuitively organized online and it can take some hunting to find and collect the ones you need. And it is partly because more advanced traders don’t need as many tools and tend to already have favorites they return to time and again.

Forex.com, on the other hand, does a better job of guiding traders through the stages from beginning to advanced, even if we are just evaluating on the basis of organization alone.

Oanda Educational Tools

MarketPulse for news and analysis

Volatility and pattern-matching analytical tools

Free webinars and videos

  • AutoChartist
  • Social sentiment
  • Economic calendar with forecasting
  • Glossary of terms

Forex.com Educational Tools

  • Market and forex news from various sources
  • Free webinars and videos
  • AutoChartist
  • Trading Central
  • Delkos Research
  • Social sentiment
  • Economic calendar with forecasting
  • Glossary of terms

Winner: Forex.com

Customer Service and Support

Customer service isn’t dead, at least not when it comes to trading forex. Customers like to be supported even in non-competitive industries (and forex isn’t one of these).

But prompt and professional customer service can be especially invaluable when you are operating in a marketplace where customers can and will sue you for literally anything and everything.

Can’t figure out how to withdraw from your bank account? Sue somebody! Didn’t realize forex trading is risky? Lawsuit time!

Sure, some of these lawsuits are absolutely legitimate. But let’s face it, an angry or at least underserved trader is also absolutely more likely to sue.

In summary: customer service matters.

And when it comes to this important area, neither Forex.com nor Oanda really scores top marks. But since Oanda has had longer to work out the bugs and clearly hasn’t, the top dog position has to go to Forex.com in this category.

Oanda Customer Service and Support

This is what Oanda offers their customers:

  • Live chat via virtual assistant auto-bot. Have a complicated question? Don’t ask the auto-bot. The chat is available 24 hours a day five days a week.
  • Live phone support is available from Sunday at 1pm ET to Friday at 6pm ET. This does offer some nice comfy extended hours.
  • Frequently asked questions portal.

Oanda’s customer service and support offerings are clearly in line with the industry as a whole.

Oanda Help Portal
Superb customer service is one of the main things that make OANDA stand above some of its competitors.

Unfortunately, multiple reviews cite slow response, inadequate response and a lower level of professionalism for Oanda’s customer service overall.

Forex.com Customer Service and Support

This is what Forex.com offers their customers:

  • Live chat via chatbot with online email back up form that goes to a live customer representative – no posted hours are available.
  • International phone support (toll-free in the U.S. only) is available from Sunday at 10am ET to Friday at 5pm ET.
  • Frequently asked questions portal.

Forex.com earns consistently lukewarm reviews. The consensus seems to be “not bad, but not great.”

Phone is regarded as the most reliable way to get help as long as you don’t mind waiting on hold for several minutes.

The chatbot is only useful in email mode if you have more complicated questions, and in this case be prepared to wait hours if not days (or ever) for a response.

Winner: Forex.com

Final Thoughts

Forex.com and Oanda are on a very short list of available forex trading platforms that still accept United States traders. So if you are American and want to trade forex, these are two of the best options you have, period.

For traders outside the United States, choosing between Oanda vs Forex.com really will be a matter of deciding which platform best suits your personal preferences.

Neither comes out of this comparison with any major black eyes. Both offer comparable spreads, fees, customer support and tools. If you are new to forex, you may find you prefer Forex.com. For experienced traders, Oanda often seems to suit.

Ultimately, both are market leaders as market makers in forex trading and both are built to last, which means you are likely to find yourself in basically good hands with either company.

All reviews, research, news and assessments of any kind on The Tokenist are compiled using a strict editorial review process by our editorial team. Neither our writers nor our editors receive direct compensation of any kind to publish information on TheTokenist.io. Our company, Tokenist Media LLC, is community supported and may receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through links on our website. Click here for a full list of our partners and an in-depth explanation on how we get paid.

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