Founded in 1996, OANDA is a well-known and pioneering online forex, contract for difference (CFD) and spread-betting broker that has been serving retail currency traders since 2001. The broker has a global presence and supports customers in eight different languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Mandarin.
OANDA is incorporated in Delaware, but it has its main U.S. offices in New York and San Francisco that are regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA). The broker also has fully-regulated offices in the UK, Canada, Singapore, Japan and Australia.
The broker lets you trade using the traditional dealing spread or a raw spread plus commission fee model. It also supports spread betting and spot/CFD trading in numerous assets that include currency pairs, major indices, metals, other commodities and bonds.
If you are interested in how we review OANDA, then read further in this OANDA UK review to determine if the broker fulfils your trading needs and if it makes sense to open a trading account with OANDA today.
- No account minimum size, so you can open live accounts with just $1.
- 71 currency pairs, 16 stock index CFDs, 8 commodity CFDs, 6 bond CFDs and 23 metal CFDs.
- Traders can use either MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or OANDA's proprietary web and desktop platform.
- Normal dealing spread or raw spread plus commission fee options.
- UK traders can hedge positions with long and short positions held simultaneously.
- Offers relatively few tradeable assets other than currencies.
- Does not offer cryptocurrency trading.
- Not a wide range of languages supported.
What can you trade?
OANDA Forex Review
When it comes to forex trading, OANDA provides access to 71 currency pairs that include the majors, major crosses and minors. That is a good range, although you may not get access to as many minor crosses and exotic currency pairs as at some other brokers.
OANDA offers UK residents zero-commission trading with competitive dealing spreads, as well as a commission-based trading fee option with raw dealing spreads. Spreads will vary depending on market conditions that can affect quotes obtained from OANDA’s liquidity suppliers.
Regarding leverage, the FCA allows UK brokers to offer up to 30:1 leverage to retail forex traders in its jurisdiction, although many crosses and minors . You can trade forex at OANDA in 0.01 of a lot sizes, and the broker supports the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) platform for forex trading.
With respect to learning material, the broker has an introductory online forex trading course aimed at beginners. More advanced topics include coverage of useful trading tools, strategies and capital management.
OANDA CFD Review
OANDA offers a rather basic selection of assets you can trade CFDs on, including around 16 stock indices, 8 commodity CFDs, 6 bond CFDs and 23 metal CFDs.
In terms of its client coverage, OANDA’s CFD trading services are aimed at retail traders who prefer to use the MT4 trading platform and find it sufficient for their needs, including automated and social trading. The broker also offers its own OANDA Trade platform available in both desktop and web-based versions.
OANDA Social Trading Review
Social trading at OANDA is limited to the broker’s collaboration with the MT4 desktop trading community and software. You will first need to register your OANDA account for social (auto) trading by clicking on ‘Auto Trading’ within the MT4 platform.
Then select the Signals tab in the toolbox window positioned at the bottom of the MT4 platform’s display screen to look through various Trading Signals you might like to follow. Selecting a signal lets you start copying trades in real time of the MT4 trader who provides that signal. Some signals are free to follow, but most top traders charge a fee for the privilege of copying their trades.
OANDA Spread Betting Review
Spread betting is available to UK and Irish clients who trade through OANDA Europe Ltd. This form of trading is typically tax free when it comes to UK Capital Gains Tax and UK stamp duty on profits made spread betting.
Like Forex and CFD trading, spread betting is available on a variety of asset types. This trading method also lets you speculate on financial market movements using margin, which generally ranges up to 30:1 for UK clients.
Dealing spreads for spread betting are competitive at OANDA, and you only need to put up $1 as margin to open up a live account with OANDA to start spread betting in it.
What did our traders think after reviewing the key criteria?
As is typical among online brokers, all of OANDA’s trading clients need to pay away the dealing spread on a transaction when they enter a position. OANDA does not generally charge inactivity fees if you decide you want to give trading a break. Also, if you plan on engaging in social trading using MT4, you may also have to pay fees to any signal traders you wish to copy.
OANDA’s commissions of $50 per 1 million traded are also only charged on transactions in accounts where pricing consists of the raw dealing spread, which can be very tight depending on liquidity and market conditions. As an example, the broker’s spread only dealing spread in EUR/USD was 1.4 pips, while its core pricing was 0.4 pips to which the commission would need to be added.
Furthermore, you might be charged interest-related trading fees known as swaps or rollovers when you hold a position overnight. Swaps cost you money to carry a position if you are short the currency with the higher interest rate in a particular pair. While day traders and scalpers don’t need to concern themselves with swaps, swing traders, trend traders and other long-term traders might incur extra charges.
OANDA also charges a monthly inactivity fee of 10 units of the currency that your account is denominated in. This applies when no open trades were observed in your account for at least 12 months.
OANDA offers a basic set of two trading account types to make your account-opening decision a very simple one. In the UK, both of these account types conform to the FCA’s regulations and offer institutional-quality trade execution speeds and fully-automated execution. Leverage ranges up to 30:1 for FCA-regulated UK accounts.
Also, unlike many other brokers that require you to trade in some minimum amount, OANDA’s basic minimum amount you can trade on its OANDA Trade platform (formerly fxTrade) is one unit of the base currency in any given currency pair. This allows for great flexibility when it comes to position-sizing. You will still need to trade in lot sizes if you use MT4 though, and micro-lots are supported.
In addition to a free demo account that is funded with virtual money for practice trading and strategy testing, you can choose among the following two live account types:
- Standard Account: Requires a no minimum deposit and has a minimum spread of 1 pip with no commission. This account type lacks priority service queues.
- Premium Account: Requires a $20,000 minimum deposit and features discounted spreads or raw spread plus commission options. This account type has priority service queues, and it includes a partner platform subscription and expedited free wire transfers.
The OANDA reviews posted at most websites say that the broker does not currently offer an Islamic-type account without overnight swaps, and such an option did not appear on the Account Comparison page of the broker’s website
A unique feature of OANDA is its proprietary OANDA Trade platform that is available in both desktop and web-based versions, which tend to improve the typical OANDA review when it comes to trading software.
The broker also has native mobile OANDA fxTrade apps for Android, iOS and tablet devices with advanced charting functionality, numerous technical indicators and trading tools. A screenshot of the trade entry interface of the mobile OANDA fxTrade app for Android is shown below.
OANDA also supports the free MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform developed by MetaQuotes. The straightforward yet sophisticated MT4 platform has desktop, mobile and web-based versions and remains the market standard for retail traders.
Furthermore, OANDA does not requote orders entered into its supported platforms that were already processed at a valid market price, and the broker’s website states that its platform does not cause automated rejections.
Also, market orders are only not executed if you lack the necessary funds in your account or if they lie beyond the boundaries you select to protect against price or exchange rate fluctuations.
OANDA’s website is easy-to-use and to-the-point, so you should have little difficulty browsing around it to get the information you need. The top of the broker’s trading-focus website pages also displays a tab menu that shows how this section of its website is organised.
The website has these tab options: Products, Platforms, Tools, Learn, MarketPulse. This provides a good sense of the organisation of the broker’s website, and each tab’s associated pull-down menu provides even more detailed navigation information.
If you want to find additional important information like the broker’s payment methods, tradeable assets, trading offers, etc., then a simple Google search with the broker’s name and a short description of your desired information should help you find the link you are looking for.
The broker has not always received the best sort of OANDA review for its customer service, although support personnel are available 24/7 via email service and 24/5 via the broker’s Live Chat, phone and fax service.
In addition, the broker’s website displays a helpful FAQ with commonly-requested information. In addition to English, OANDA’s website has been translated into at least eight foreign languages to better support its global clientele.
The image below shows the broker’s Help Portal page on its UK website. This page should give you a decent idea of what help choices are available for those who deal through OANDA’s UK office.
As a global broker, OANDA allows clients make deposits and withdrawals using several popular payment methods. These include the following:
- Credit and debit card payments: Card transactions are processed immediately and without fees on the broker’s side, although your credit card provider may charge you fees. You can deposit as much as £10,000 per month using this method or up to £50,000 per month if your bank supports MasterCard Secure Code or Verified by Visa.
- Bank wire transfers: You can make a wire transfer from any financial institution without transaction limits. Banks generally charge to wire funds, and processing a funds transfer of this type can take three to five business days to show up on your account.
- E-wallet payments: OANDA supports making deposits from PayPal accounts denominated in GBP, EUR and USD. There is no deposit limit for verified accounts.
Note that withdrawals will typically need to be made to the same account the initial deposit was made from. OANDA may however require your bank account or e-wallet details if the amount you wish to withdraw to a card exceeds the amount initially deposited via that card, which can be an issue for some traders.
If you qualify as an Advanced Trader, OANDA currently offers extra benefits for experienced, high-volume traders that include: low spreads, free wire transfers, dedicated relationship managers and access to third-party platforms.
To qualify as an Advanced Trader, you need to either deposit $20,000 into your OANDA account or trade more than $10,000,000 in a single month. To get these extra perks if you meet the broker’s requirements, you will need to opt-in to the program by filling out a form linked here.
In addition, OANDA offers expert market analysis and news reports on its featured MarketPulse website that you can subscribe to and that has an economic calendar geared towards traders. The broker also makes an online trading course available for educational purposes.
OANDA also has active social media accounts you can follow. The broker’s Facebook Page presently has almost 72,000 followers, its YouTube channel has over 11,000 subscribers, and its Twitter account has over 18,800 followers.
Regulation and Deposit Protection
OANDA’s offices based in London are well-regulated by the FCA that currently needs to operate under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, although that might change in a post-Brexit environment. At present, this means that OANDA must segregate its funds from its clients’ money and restrict leverage to 30:1 among clients trading through OANDA’s UK offices.
Furthermore, OANDA and the bank that holds your margin deposit money are covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). If OANDA defaults, then eligible clients may be compensated up to £50,000, while if the bank defaults, you could be compensated up to £75,000.
With respect to data security, your personal data stored by OANDA is suitably safeguarded with industry-standard SSL encryption. OANDA’s UK office must also protect its EU customer data according to the European Data Protection Act (EDPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, so client information cannot be disclosed to third parties and must be adequately protected against data breeches.
OANDA is a reputable broker that has been around a long time, so it has attracted an impressive list of awards to date, as well as typically favourable online OANDA reviews. Most notably, the broker’s website presently highlights that it won the following industry awards to date:
- 2018: Best Retail FX Platform – FX Week
- 2017: Highest Overall Client Satisfaction – Investment Trends US FX Report
- 2017: Best Forex Trading Technology – UK Forex Awards
- 2016: Best Retail FX Platform – FX Week
- 2016: Most Preferred CFD Provider, Most Preferred Forex Provider – Share Investor Awards
- 2015: Most Preferred Forex Provider – Share Investor Awards
- 2015: Best CFD Broker – Global Banking & Finance
- 2013: Best Trade Execution Provider, Best Retail Trading Platform and Best Mobile Trading Platform – International Finance Magazine
- 2012: Best Global Forex Broker – International Business Times
- 2012: Best Forex Provider – Financial Times & Investors Chronicle, Investment Awards
- 2012: Best Forex Broker – Forex Magnates Summit
- 2009: The One to Watch – Adam Smith Awards
- 2009: Forex Awards: Best Trading Platform – World Finance
- 2008: Award for Excellence, Best Global Foreign Exchange House – Euromoney
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.