Who‘s the best Forex broker? That’s how you‘ve chosen
The choice of the best Forex broker is a purely subjective decision, every trader focusses on different issues, although there are points, such as fees and conditions, to which most traders attach great importance. Nevertheless, preferences are individual. The evaluation on this page of who is Forex test winner is not our choice but solely that of our readers.
Therefore we ask you: If you have already had experience with one or more Forex providers, then please evaluate the brokers. This will help other readers to get a comprehensive and authentic picture of the company.
At AskTraders.com we look back on many years of experience in online trading. We have also reviewed the providers. We are not dependent in any way on any Forex broker. Our test results are therefore 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 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. This will help you to make a comprehensive evaluation of the provider. In any case, please consider this a suggestion. If other things are important to you, feel free to include those points in your test.
Categories & Criteria for Your Forex Broker Test
1. Trade Offer
As far as the trade offer is concerned, we examine in particular the range of underlyings available to the trader, with the focus on the trade offer in Forex. We explicitly mention this at this point, as many brokers offer not only Forex trading, which is trading in foreign exchange, but also general CFD trading. As a rule of thumb, we can state that the bigger the trade offer, the better for the trader. To be considered the best Forex provider, the supply of foreign currency pairs should be extensive.
Of course it‘s advantageous if, in addition to Forex, other underlyings are included in the broker‘s offering as CFDs. 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. At this point we would like to give an example for clarification: If a broker lists the currency pair 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 insignificant currency pairs.
You might check out this in the trade offer:
- Number of currency pairs
- Quality of the Forex offer
- Miscellaneous trade offer of underlyings
2. Conditions, Costs & Fees
If you’ve already gained some Forex experience you‘ll probably find the conditions and fees very important. Since foreign exchange trading is mostly about making profits, we pay particular attention to the type and amount of spreads (difference between bid and ask price). Many brokers offer account models with fixed or floating spreads. In addition to the level of 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.
In our assessment we do not weight the nature of the fees equally but 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 really 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 concerns 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
Since – as already mentioned – each trader has different preferences, most brokers offer several account models, on average there are between three and four types. It would be advantageous if a provider is well suited for both beginners and experienced traders. But you alone decide who‘ll be the best Forex broker.
Beginner accounts are usually market maker models, meaning that the broker provides the prices directly. Advanced and professional traders, on the other hand, prefer so-called ECN or STP accounts, where the orders are forwarded to a liquidity pool consisting of ideally several liquidity providers. Liquidity providers are banks, institutional traders, large companies, etc. Entry-level offers are generally characterized by low minimum deposits and small trading sizes. Experienced traders also appreciate connectivity to trading software such as MetaTrader 4.
The fees in the form of spreads and commissions are often dependent on the account model. As explained in section 2, 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. Important 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 in this segment.
4. Trading platform & mobile trading
In this category we examine the available trading platforms. Most brokers offer both a web-based application, 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 decisive 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 separate software on the part of the broker.
Almost every Forex broker now offers a proprietary app for Android and iOS. Mobile trading is no longer optional, but standard. In addition, the website of the provider is usually made in responsive design, which means that the layout adapts to the browser of the smartphone. To obtain an excellent test result, a broker should therefore offer a mobile app and provide a responsive website as well.
If you have gained experience with the provider’s Forex app, you may also evaluate the quality and usability of the applications. The functionality might play a role in the assessment. Occasionally, not all features are available on the mobile app.
5. Ease of use of the website
In our Forex broker test this aspect is significant. Sure, issues like 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 find their way quickly. Also, all information should be easily accessible. We think a search function is simply standard for an excellent provider, the same applies to an extensive FAQ area. In the Support section, we’ll go into more detail.
Just about any business can go online with a website and trading platform for a few thousand euros. But we‘ve often come across brokers who are not really interested in their customers, with unfriendly websites. So the website is a means to determine to what extent a good customer relationship is important to the company. By the way, user-friendliness not only means easy retrieval of information, but also correct use of language in the design.
In this category we also check if the website is easily available even during turbulent stock market phases. Companies who try to cut corners in the wrong places are often unavailable by the platform during such times. Have you already made your own experiences about this? Ultimately, a trader needs reliable access to his trading account especially during such times.
6. Customer support
Testing customer service ranks high with us. The employees of a company are the figurehead of the broker, representing the provider. If they 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 characterized by extensive availability.
This concerns the channels through which the support staff can be reached, and also the times of availability. Forex trading is usually possible 24/5. Therefore, questions can pop up 24/5 as well. Among the contact opportunities a broker should offer are email, live chat, and phone support. Live chat in particular has certainly gained in importance in recent years. An extensive FAQ area is also part of a very good customer support. After all, most customers first look up the provider’s website.
Have you already had some experience with the support of your Forex broker? If so, what was the reaction of the employees? Were you satisfied with the reaction speed, the friendliness and also the competence of the support? Of course, we’d accept that occasionally and with trickier questions the support staff has to ask the respective department first.
7. Methods of payment
An essential part of our Forex experience 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, usually the bank transfer. But customers value diversity as well as speed when paying in and out. In our opinion, a broker should therefore offer a range of payment options. These include the „standard offer“, namely the bank transfer, credit cards and e-wallet providers such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller. Even better if payment methods such as Sofortüberweisung, Giropay and Paysafecard were 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 the trader wants to take a trading opportunity, but just does not have the necessary capital in the trading account. Therefore, a vendor should have at least one of these payment methods ready.
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 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 in transaction
- Costs and fees for deposits and withdrawals
8. Additional offers
In our experience, outstanding brokers also offer comprehensive additional services. Here we imply less a bonus, although that‘s part of it, but rather support in trading. Especially a free Forex demo account should be included. Thus beginners in particular can slowly find their bearings in the Forex trade. 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, but there is no risk of losing real money, since it is only a virtual credit.
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 to try out new strategies.
Besides, we examine the offer in the field of education and training. Free ebooks, webinars, seminars, video courses, informational materials etc. are all ways to convey 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 brokers also explain how to provide an economic calendar. Providers explain the importance of the dates and demonstrate their impact on certain currency pairs.
9. Regulation & Deposit Insurance
Studying the regulation and deposit insurance of a provider closely matters a lot to us. However, just regulation is generally not enough. Rather, we 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 value the fact that brokers are regulated by a North American, the 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, we cannot call a Forex broker 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 amount of the deposit insurance. Brokers based in the United Kingdom, for example, offer a deposit insurance of GBP 50.000. There are even some listed companies, which is a good indicator of integrity, as these companies need to comply with even more safety regulations. Traders should also opt for Forex brokers without subsequent payment obligation.
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 can establish himself as the best Forex provider should, in our opinion, also have positive coverage by the trade press, but maybe you will see this differently.
Naturally, Forex brokers are rarely mentioned in the major media, and so, above all, and as already mentioned, we pay attention to coverage in the specialist media dealing predominantly with these topics. The bigger and better known the company, the more diverse the coverage and there might be an occasional negative headline. But in general, the media should report positively about the broker.
In addition to the media coverage we look out for Forex awards. What matters most to us is the quality of the award, that is, who gives the award, and why. Awards are given, for example, for excellent trading quality, customer service, low fees etc. The more renowned the one who gives the award, the more „valuable“ is 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 institute. This also makes it clear that a brand new broker on the market cannot be a top provider. We find that a broker first has to earn a certain reputation, proving he keeps what he promises.
Who‘s your Forex Test Winner? Vote now!
We have outlined the strict criteria we use in our broker comparison to give you an idea about how extensive and detailed an evaluation can be. When selecting your best Forex broker you are welcome to include these aspects. Let’s emphasize once again that the reviews you find on this page come solely from our readers. Our opinion has no bearing on the ranking.
That is, we do not select the Forex test winner, but you do. With this guide, we provide you with an overview of which criteria you might incorporate into your assessment.
Since we are an independent portal, we are not committed to a company, but carry out our comparison and testing objectively. We made our own experiences with the providers, including opening an account,contacting the support with questions and making trades. Since we have our own relevant experience in trading, you are also welcome to rely on our expertise.
You have to be satisfied with the provider. Therefore you‘ll find only authentic reviews of real users. Vote on who should be the test winner and help other readers to get an extensive picture of the provider. The broker with the most votes will receive the readers‘ award at the end of the year!