WHO IS THE BEST FOREX BROKER? YOUR VOTE COUNTS
Choosing the best Forex broker is a subjective decision. Every trader will focus on different issues – although there are certain aspects, such as fees and conditions, upon which most traders place great importance. Nevertheless, preferences are individual. The evaluation of the top Forex brokers that you will see on this page has not been determined by us, but is decided solely according to readers’ votes and ratings. These ratings help other readers to gain a comprehensive and authentic picture of the respective companies.
At AskTraders.com we have many years of experience in online trading. We have regularly reviewed various providers, and we are not dependent on or associated with any Forex broker, so our test results are impartial and trustworthy. Since we know what we need to look out for in comparisons and reviews, we want to give you some help on this page, with some guidance about what to look out for in your assessment.
To this end we‘ve developed a 10 point checklist, with explanations to show you what we would take into account when assessing a Forex broker. This will help you to make a comprehensive evaluation of the provider. Please consider this checklist a list of suggestions. If other elements are important to you, feel free to include those points in your assessment.
We want to help you find the top Forex broker out there, for your specific needs. So we’ve highlighted what we believe to be the most important factors in any broker comparison and have rated the points that our readers tell us matter most to them when searching for an online broker.
Before you commit to a new Forex broker, our tip would always be to assess exactly what you need right now, and what you think you might need as you progress. By doing so, you can pick a broker that can meet your current needs and grow with you. One trader’s top Forex broker is another trader’s nightmare, depending on what they want from a broker, what level of experience they have and how ambitious they are in advancing their trading career.
Categories & Criteria for Your Forex Broker Test
1. TRADE OFFER
As far as the trade offer is concerned, we pay particular attention to the range of underlying assets available to the trader, with the focus on the trade offer in Forex. We explicitly mention this because many brokers offer not only Forex trading, but also general contract for difference (CFD) trading. As a general rule, we can state that the bigger the trade offer, the better for the trader. To be considered the best Forex provider, the range of foreign currency pairs on offer should be extensive.
Of course, it‘s advantageous if, in addition to Forex, other underlying assets are included in the broker’s offering. But the focus, from our point of view, is clearly on currency trading.
Naturally, we assess not only the number of currency pairs, but also to the quality of the trade offer. As an example, if a broker lists Cambodian Riel against Serbian Dinar (KHR/RSD), but not Swiss Franc against Yen (CHF/JPY), that would make little sense, because the latter Forex pair is much more important for active trading than the former.
You might check this in the trade offer:
- Number of currency pairs
- Quality of the Forex offer
- Miscellaneous trade offer of underlying assets
2. CONDITIONS, COSTS & FEES
If you're already experienced in Forex trading, you‘ll probably find the conditions and fees very important. Since foreign exchange trading is, after all, about making profits, we pay particular attention to the type and amount of spreads (the difference between bid and ask price). Many brokers offer account models with fixed or floating spreads. In addition to the spreads, other fees are included in our result, such as custody fees, commissions (order fees), fees for deposits and withdrawals, possible service fees, inactivity fees etc.
However, in our assessment we weigh the fees dependent on importance. This means that the level of spreads has a much higher impact on our result than, for example, an inactivity fee, simply because spreads are incurred by every trader and on every order. Therefore, the trading result is significantly influenced by the level of spreads. An inactivity fee, on the other hand, does not affect every customer.
As a frequent trader, you may even benefit from a rebate model in which traders receive discounts on spreads or commissions above a certain trading volume. If that is something of concern to you, then make sure to include your experience in your Forex broker test.
Top 3 Forex Broker Comparison
3. Account types for different groups of investors
If you are brand new to Forex trading with a low starting budget, the best Forex broker for you may be one with a great demo account and a low minimum deposit. If you want to learn trading tips and techniques, you’ll want to go for a broker with high quality free education and training. If you are ready to move away from major Forex pairs and start trading minor and exotic pairs, then, of course, the number and range of pairs offered by each broker will be a key consideration for you.
Since – as already mentioned – each trader has different preferences, most brokers offer several account models, often three or four types. Indeed, it would be advantageous if a provider could be well suited for both beginners and experienced traders. Ultimately, you will decide the best Forex broker for yourself and your needs.
Beginner accounts are usually market maker models, meaning that the broker provides the prices directly. Advanced and professional traders, on the other hand, often prefer ECN or STP accounts, where the orders are forwarded to a liquidity pool ideally consisting of several liquidity providers. Liquidity providers are banks, institutional traders, large companies, etc. Entry-level offers are generally characterised by low minimum deposits and small trading sizes. Experienced traders also appreciate the availability of trading software such as MetaTrader 4.
The fees in the form of spreads and commissions are often dependent on the account model. As already explained, there are fixed and variable spreads. Fixed spreads are mostly used in market maker accounts, while variable spreads are used for ETN accounts. In our assessment, we make sure that the broker offers suitable accounts for different types of traders. It is important that there are offers for both beginners and experienced traders. VIP customers (traders with very high equity and/or trading volume) should, in our opinion, also receive special offers.
4. TRADING PLATFORM & MOBILE TRADING
In this category we examine the available trading platforms. Most brokers offer both a web-based option, with the trading platform running directly in the browser, as well as a mobile brokerage app. Some companies also offer software for download. This is certainly an interesting feature, but not necessarily vital in our opinion. After all, there are good trading platforms available for download and installation such as MetaTrader 4. If there is a connection to MT4, as described in section 3, there is no need for the broker to provide separate software.
Almost every Forex broker now offers a proprietary app for Android and iOS. Mobile trading is no longer optional, but standard. In addition, the broker’s website is usually responsive in design, which means that the layout adapts to a smartphone or other mobile device. To obtain an excellent test result, a broker should therefore offer a mobile app and provide a responsive website as well.
If you have experience with a provider’s Forex app, you may also evaluate its quality and usability as this might play a role in your assessment. Occasionally, not all features are available on the mobile app.
5. EASE OF USE OF THE WEBSITE
Ease of use when it comes to software, trading platforms, and mobile apps may also be a top priority when picking a broker. You might also be looking for top quality customer support, perhaps in a specific language. Most UK and US Forex broker sites are in English, but many provide language options and even multi-lingual customer support. We suggest you make a list of everything that’s vital to your trading experience and compare it to what each broker is offering.
In our Forex broker test, this factor is significant. Issues such as regulation, fees, or trade offer may be even more important, but you should not underestimate the usability of the website. For us it is important that customers can find their way around quickly and that all important information is easily accessible. A top provider should ensure that a search function comes as standard, along with an extensive FAQ area. We'll go into more detail on this in the customer support section.
Just about any business can go online with a website and trading platform for a few thousand euros, but we‘ve come across brokers who are clearly not really interested in their customers, with websites that are really not very user-friendly. Therefore, the website is a means to determine to what extent a good customer relationship is important to the company. User-friendliness not only means easy retrieval of information, but also includes clear, easy-to-understand language.
In this category we also check if the website is easily available even during turbulent stock market phases. Companies that try to cut corners in the wrong places may find their platform is unavailable during such times. Maybe you’ve already had experiences of this. Ultimately, a trader needs reliable access to their trading account, with minimal downtime.
6. Customer support
Testing customer service is important to us. The employees of a company are the figurehead of the broker, representing the provider. If the employees are well trained and respond to the customer’s requests professionally, this demonstrates that the broker is interested in the success and satisfaction of their clients. Good customer support is characterised by excellent availability.
We are interested in the range of channels through which the support staff can be reached, and also the times during which they are available. Forex trading is usually possible 24/5, which means that questions can pop up 24/5 as well. Among the contact options a broker offers, you should find email, live chat, and phone support. Live chat in particular has become more important in recent years. An extensive FAQ area is also a vital aspect of excellent customer support. After all, most customers will first look for answers to their queries on the provider’s website.
Have you already had some experience with your Forex broker’s customer support? If so, what was the response you received from support staff? Were you satisfied with the speed of response, the friendliness and also the competence of the support? Of course, we accept that occasionally (especially with trickier questions) the support staff may have to check with the respective department first and get back to you.
7. METHODS OF PAYMENT
An essential part of our Forex comparisons is the testing of Forex deposits and withdrawals. Here, too, there has been a change in the last few years. In the past, there were only a few payment methods available, such as bank transfers, but now customers value diversity as well as speed when paying in and withdrawing funds. In our opinion, a broker should offer a range of payment options. These should include bank transfers, credit cards and e-wallet providers such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller. It’s even better if less popular payment methods such as Sofortüberweisung, Giropay and Paysafecard are available, too. Deposits by credit card, Sofortüberweisung or PayPal have the advantage that the money is instantly available on the trading account. This is especially important if a trader wants to take advantage of a trading opportunity, but does not have the necessary capital in their trading account. Therefore, a vendor should have at least one of these payment methods available.
In addition to the number of payment methods, the fees play an essential role as well. High fees must be recouped through better trading performance. Since there are now brokers who charge no fees, or minimal fees for deposits and withdrawals, this should also be the standard with a top broker.
You might want to consider these points:
- Amount of minimum deposit
- Amount of minimum payout
- Number and choice of payment methods
- Speed of transactions
- Costs and fees for deposits and withdrawals
8. ADDITIONAL OFFERS
In our experience, outstanding brokers also offer comprehensive additional services. This may include a promotion or bonus, but, more importantly, support in trading. A free Forex demo account should be included, so beginners in particular can slowly find their bearings in the world of Forex trading. With a demo account you get access to the trading platform under real trading conditions. You will be provided with a virtual balance that you can use to open positions and practice trading with no risk of losing real money.
On the one hand, clients get to know the platform and the offer of the broker. On the other hand, users get an introduction to Forex trading. Even advanced traders like to use demo accounts sometimes, to try out new trading strategies or find their way around a new platform.
We also examine what is on offer in the field of education and training. Free ebooks, webinars, seminars, video courses, information materials etc. are all ways to provide customers with important Forex knowledge. We test not only the quantity, but also the quality of the training content. Other assistance includes market reports, news articles and an economic calendar with all relevant dates. Good providers explain the importance of the dates and demonstrate their impact on certain currency pairs.
9. Regulation & Deposit Insurance
If you are looking for peace of mind and reliability from your Forex broker, UK companies regulated by the FCA, or international brokers regulated by the relevant bodies in their jurisdiction, are going to appeal to you. Want to trade mainly in cryptocurrency? Then regulation is probably the last thing on your mind. Digital currencies are largely unregulated (although financial authorities are trying to change that) and many crypto traders thrive on the fact that they are trading in cutting-edge currencies outside the control of the traditional financial industry.
Studying the regulation and deposit insurance of a provider closely is very important to us. However, regulation alone is generally not enough. We also look at where the providers are based. For example, regulation by the German BaFin is quite different from the regulation by a South Sea nation.
We particularly value the fact that a broker is regulated by a North American, Japanese or an EU authority. Of course, that does not imply that companies based outside these countries are automatically dubious. But the likelihood that investors would accuse a broker regulated by an EU agency of Forex fraud is much lower.
Of course, it is impossible to tell whether a Forex broker is reputable with absolute certainty, but there are quite a few things to look out for to avoid Forex fraud when trading.
In addition to regulation, we look closely at the scope and coverage of deposit insurance. Brokers based in the United Kingdom, for example, offer deposit insurance coverage of £50,000. There are even some listed companies, which is a good indicator of integrity, as these companies need to comply with yet further safety regulations.
Other aspects we value:
- Separate accounts: client funds are managed separately from corporate assets
- SSL encryption of the website
- MiFID requirements (EU directives for financial institutions)
- Secure payment processing
- Adherence to compliance guidelines
10. OPINIONS FROM THE TRADE PRESS & AWARDS
A broker who wants to be established as the best Forex provider should, in our opinion, also have positive coverage in the trade press.
Forex brokers are rarely mentioned in the major mainstream media, so we pay attention to coverage in the specialist media that deals predominantly with these topics. The bigger and better known the company, the more diverse the coverage will be. There may be the occasional negative headline, but in general, the media should report positively about the broker.
In addition to media coverage, we look out for Forex awards. What matters most to us is the quality of the award, who gave the award and why. Awards are given for reasons including excellent trading quality, customer service and low fees. The more well-known the awarding body is, the more valuable we consider the award.
A good rating by a well-known customer protection agency would be rated higher, for example, than a rating by a completely unknown website. In our opinion, a brand-new broker on the market cannot be a top provider. We believe a broker has to be around for a while in order to earn a certain reputation, proving they keep their promises.
Who‘s your Forex Test Winner? Vote now!
We have outlined the strict criteria we use in our broker comparisons, so as to give you an idea of how extensive and detailed an evaluation can be. When selecting your Forex broker, you are welcome to take these aspects into consideration.
It is important to re-emphasise that the reviews you find on this page come solely from our readers. Our opinion has no bearing on the rankings. We do not select the Forex test winner – you do. In this guide, we simply wish to provide you with an overview of the criteria you might incorporate into your own assessment.
Since we are an independent website, we are not committed to any particular company, but carry out our comparisons and tests objectively. We create our own experiences with the providers, including opening an account, contacting the support with questions, and making trades. We have our own extensive relevant experience in trading, and you are of course welcome to rely on our assessments and expertise.
Ultimately, you have to be satisfied with your provider, and we want to help find the best Forex broker for you. Therefore, you‘ll find only authentic reviews of real users here. Vote on who should be the test winner and help other readers to get an extensive picture of the providers that are available. The broker with the most votes will receive the readers‘ award at the end of the year!
Don’t forget, you can access our top Forex broker suggestions by clicking the ‘Go To Broker’ buttons on our site, and you can check that they offer everything you need before you sign up. You can even sign up for demo accounts with those brokers that offer them, and give them a thorough test run.
Ultimately, choosing the right Forex broker can have a big impact on your trading success. Take some time to browse our Forex broker comparison below and check out the sites that interest you.
Need more information on online trading? Take a look at our detailed, searchable trading guide to find out everything you need to know.