The 30-Second Review

The sheer size of the forex, or foreign exchange, market dominates all others — even the stock market. Every payment that crosses currencies contributes to its fluctuations and its momentum. And without a centralized marketplace, forex activity buzzes practically without cease, with traders waking up and doing business everywhere, in every time zone. To get a piece of the action, you need a forex brokerage with best-in-class trading technology and stellar support. We gathered a list of 65 forex trading brokers and narrowed it down to the best 5 by analyzing research features, customizability options, and trading platforms.

Best Overall

Thinkorswim is the best option for U.S. traders looking to trade forex and multiple other products. Its robust and powerful platform puts every imaginable forex trading tool at your fingertips, but the level of advanced features may not be ideal for beginners.

Others to consider
Editor's Note:
  • January 19, 2018 - Increased regulation coupled with higher capital requirements have forced several forex brokers to leave the playing field, making it in some ways easier to find the very best. We’ve revisited our top picks, eliminating old contenders and evaluating the stand-out strengths of the remaining firms.

The Best Forex Trading

Our Picks for the Best Forex Trading

Best Overall

thinkorswimA full-service brokerage for savvy investors - trade forex alongside other investment products all from the same account.

Part of TD Ameritrade, that vast online brokerage, thinkorswim enables you to trade forex, stocks, futures, and options all from one account. Save time and keep abreast of your diverse portfolio without the hassle of switching between windows and platforms. Even better, these combined tools are available through just about any device. You can even customize alerts for on-the-go trading. One trading perk we’re not seeing: automated trading. That feature is only available if you subscribe to their newsletters, which are focused on options trading.

Thinkorswim sits among the top forex brokers in terms of tradable currency pairs, allowing experienced traders or international traders to get a part of currency fluctuations in more obscure economies. While thinkorswim provides a ton of virtual and in-person support (unique amongst online firms), the complexity of its trading platform may be overkill for beginners. Same goes for the lofty $3,500 minimum deposit. Check out Ally Trading if you’re a forex novice.

Costs and Fees

  • Forex Trade: $1.00 + $0.10 per 1,000 lot
  • Forex Trade Cost Type: Flat and pips
  • Futures Trade: $2.25/contract
  • Minimum Deposit: $2,000
  • Options Trade: $9.99 + $0.75/contract
  • Stock Trade: $9.99

Trading Details

  • Clearing Method: Dealing Desk
  • Maximum Leverage (International): 50:01:00
  • Maximum Leverage (U.S.): 50:01:00

Others To Consider

Ally InvestSmart tools for sophisticated trades, without classing out investors new to forex.

Ally Invest makes it easy to get started trading forex even if you’re operating on a budget, providing low minimums and tight spreads. You can start trading with just $500 in your account. The smart and streamlined trading interface also makes it quick and easy to watch trends and make trades.

One of the best parts about Ally’s trading platform: the intuitiveness of its layout and functions. New investors should be able to get familiar with the lay of the land fairly quickly by navigating out from the trading panel. The panel also includes shortcuts: buy and sell with one click. As your preferences develop, you can customize the look and location to suit your trading style.

While Ally’s price points are ideal for new traders, the educational resources are somewhat lacking. The site can walk you through the basics, but you’ll need to look elsewhere for courses, videos, and tutorials. You’re also not able to access other investment products within the same account. Unlike thinkorswim, you’ll have to open up and individually access other accounts if you’re interested in trading stocks, options, or futures in addition to forex.

Recently, Ally has gobbled up a couple of other key brokerages offering forex: Tradeking and MB Trading. Not a big point of consideration when you’re just looking at company offerings, but it’s a notable factor when looking at financial solidity across the board.

Costs and Fees

  • Forex Trade: $13
  • Forex Trade Cost Type: Pips
  • Futures Trade: N/A
  • Minimum Deposit: $500
  • Options Trade: N/A
  • Stock Trade: N/A

Trading Details

  • Clearing Method: Straight Through Processing
  • Maximum Leverage (International): 50:01:00
  • Maximum Leverage (U.S.): 50:01:00

ATC BrokersSuper customizable and super transparent, a forex brokerage for the serious trader.

High-end trading tools and perks that will be attractive to adroit traders, like a non-dealing desk environment. ATC’s Straight Through Processing (STP) order system posts your order directly to counterparties, taking away the possibility of your broker holding a conflict of interest and trading against you. The advanced platform also allows you to customize and quickly execute orders, moving between analysis to trading without navigating windows.

ATC provides backtest trading software to run simulations and testrun strategy, but goes light on other beginner-friendly features. For instance, its high minimum deposit ($5,000) and weak educational resources. Once again, look to Ally Invest for a more democratic entrance to forex.

Costs and Fees

  • Forex Trade: $0.80
  • Forex Trade Cost Type: Commission
  • Futures Trade: Contact Company
  • Minimum Deposit: $5,000
  • Options Trade: N/A
  • Stock Trade: N/A

Trading Details

  • Clearing Method: Straight Through Processing
  • Maximum Leverage (International): 200:01:00
  • Maximum Leverage (U.S.): 50:01:00

Forex.comA trading platform exclusively for forex. Excellent for the seasoned and specific investor.

Editor’s Note: On February 6th, 2017, FXCM reached a settlement related to the charges brought forth by the National Futures Association (“NFA”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) to withdraw from the US market. A non-binding letter of intent has been signed with GAIN Capital Holdings (owner of the retail brand Forex.com) to transfer all accounts at no expense to the customer. No date has been set for the transition yet.

Powerful tools and robust research make Forex.com a good choice for the seasoned forex trader. Every portion of the platform and app is customizable, plus provides stellar access to the Electronic Communications Network (ECN). The most attractive aspect of ECN pricing: no middlemen. Lower trading costs and increased transparency are the results.

Forex.com is a great option for the dedicated forex trader, but if you’re interested in dabbling in other investment products you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Costs and Fees

  • Forex Trade: $13
  • Forex Trade Cost Type: Pips
  • Futures Trade: N/A
  • Minimum Deposit: $500
  • Options Trade: N/A
  • Stock Trade: N/A

Trading Details

  • Clearing Method: ECN
  • Maximum Leverage (International): 50:01:00
  • Maximum Leverage (U.S.): 50:01:00

OANDANot as transparent as some, but chock-full of helpful tools to test, strategize, and perform trades.

OANDA serves the forex trading needs of the inexperienced and the experts alike, with a range of user-friendly and robust platforms, desktop and web-based. Both options translate to mobile apps so you’re never far from your investments. Another major bonus: access to historical exchange rate data. Backtest strategies before you trade in one of the largest currency databases across the globe. You can also subscribe to the data feed for even deeper analysis.

One downside to OANDA — it’s a market maker. Setting the bid and the ask price means its protocol stands in opposition to the open pricing and non-interest conflict of an ECN. However, these pricing mechanisms are almost wholly automated, meaning concerns of partiality are largely unfounded.

Like Forex.com, OANDA doesn’t provide any products to American investors besides forex. If being able to diversify your interests while staying within the same brokerage is important to you, check out thinkorswim or Ally Invest.

Costs and Fees

  • Forex Trade: $12
  • Forex Trade Cost Type: Pips
  • Futures Trade: N/A
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Options Trade: N/A
  • Stock Trade: N/A

Trading Details

  • Clearing Method: Market Maker
  • Maximum Leverage (International): 50:01:00
  • Maximum Leverage (U.S.): 50:01:00

The Best Forex Trading: Summed Up

Forex Trading
The Best...
thinkorswim
Best Overall
Ally Invest
Other to Consider
ATC Brokers
Other to Consider
Forex.com
Other to Consider
OANDA
Other to Consider