IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

OANDA Review - Features, Trading Fees, Pros and Cons

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Written By
G. Dautovic
Updated
October 31, 2022
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OANDA Corporation is regulated by the CFTC/NFA. OANDA is a member Firm of the NFA (Member ID: 0325821). CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.

When it comes to choosing a forex broker, there are plenty of options available. And while all forex brokers have their own strengths and weaknesses, one broker that often stands out is OANDA.

Today, we’re going to take a look at this popular broker and see what makes it tick - both the good and the bad. Our OANDA review will also compare it to some of its top competitors. This way, we’ll give you a better idea as to whether or not it’s the right broker for you. Let’s get started!

Account minimum:
$0

No account maintenance fee

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Fortunly Rating

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Account minimum:
$0
Account maintenance fee:
$0
Trading fees:
$50 commission/Mil
BBB rating:
F (not accredited)
Mobile apps:
iOS, Android
pros thumb up Strengths
  • No minimum deposit and withdrawal
  • Highly customizable apps
  • Demo account available
  • Great for beginner and expert traders
  • Fast and easy to use platform
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • No 24/7 support
  • Lacks banking background

Overview

OANDA is a forex broker and a trading platform that has been around since 1997. In that time, it managed to establish itself as one of the most popular brokers in the industry, with over 1,000 institutional clients and 110,000 retail clients from 196 countries.

One of the things that sets OANDA corporation apart is its focus on technology. This is evident in its web-based trading platform, which is one of the most user-friendly and intuitive platforms around. The broker is also known for its competitive spreads and extensive research and educational resources.

Is OANDA Regulated?

Naturally, one of the first questions that comes to mind when encountering new forex brokers is whether they’re regulated. OANDA is a fully regulated platform by both the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Whether you’re interested in forex, or even commodities like crude oil, rest assured that you’ll be trading safely through OANDA.

How Does OANDA Work?

OANDA is a market maker, which means it doesn’t rely on another broker to provide liquidity. Instead, it provides its own quotes and prices based on the current market conditions.

This is different from an ECN broker, which matches orders from its clients with those of other clients or with liquidity providers. Market makers, on the other hand, don’t need to rely on another party to provide liquidity.

One of the advantages of this is that OANDA offers very tight spreads. In fact, the average OANDA spread on the EUR/USD is just one pip, which is lower than what most other brokers charge.

Another advantage is that OANDA doesn’t have a dealing desk, which means there’s no conflict of interest as the broker doesn’t make money from losing trades.

On the flip side, there are disadvantages to this model. In particular, it can prove quite volatile. As the prices are based on the orders OANDA receives rather than on the actual market conditions, inexperienced accounts lose money if they don’t know what they’re doing.

This can sometimes lead to slippage, which is when you receive a different price than the one you were expecting. This is more likely to happen during times of high volatility, such as when there’s a major news release.

OANDA Products and Services

Our OANDA review continues with a closer look at the various products and services this trading platform offers. OANDA’s forex trading is leveraged by impressive technology. This is evident in its web-based trading platform, which is one of the most user-friendly and intuitive platforms around despite being incredibly advanced.

The company is also known for its competitive spreads, extensive research, and educational resources. Here are some of the key products and services that OANDA offers:

The OANDA Desktop Trading Platform

Available as a standalone tool, OANDA’s trading platform for the Windows desktop is an award-winning app that comes with many additional features. Not only does it use candlestick charts for data visualization, but it also includes various market analysis tools and an economic calendar.

It’s also very customizable. There are 10+ chart types to choose from and, furthermore, initiate trades directly from, as well as over 50 drawing tools. You can create trading profiles within the app, rearrange the layout, and adapt the viewport to your preferences and trading skills. 

Another reason this app is ahead of competing trading platforms is its analytics. You always have an overview of your previous trades and, through that, can chart your way through the forex world. This is great for beginner forex traders, but also for folks that trade in high volumes and want to keep up and improve.

OANDA Mobile App

For forex traders on the go, OANDA offers a native fxTrade mobile app. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices, and it comes with all the features of the web platform.

Similarly to the desktop and web platforms, the official mobile app is highly customizable. You can set up the layout, as well as the chart sizes, levels for pending orders and bounds for trading. Additionally, you can turn on automated notifications for whenever your orders are about to expire or the app finds a good price.

Installing the app on a tablet gives a full screen overview of single charts and multi-chart views. Of course, depositing and withdrawing on mobile is fully supported.

MetaTrader 4

Those looking to make use of the MetaTrader application’s deep analytics but want the ease of OANDA foreign exchange will be happy to hear of integration possibilities. An advanced forex trading tool, MT4 deepens the analysis and charting options with OCO orders, mini charts, and a whole terminal for full forex market insights.

The platform supports expert advisors (EAs) and allows for various automations. It connects to your OANDA account and lets you build algorithms for easier trading. You can analyze forex markets and test strategies without a bank transfer. Experienced traders can leverage this technology to trade directly from charts and set up alerts when certain patterns occur in the market.

OANDA Fees and Commissions

Signing up, creating an account, and using OANDA is absolutely free. The platform charges no maintenance fees, nor does it require regular payments. Unlike many similar platforms, OANDA only takes a commission out of successful trades at a rate of $50 per million. Alternatively, you can pay your spread instead. The website provides all the information on how the prices are calculated.

As for the minimum deposit, OANDA currently doesn’t have one set, so even beginner traders can start trading forex without splashing too much money. What’s commendable is that there aren’t any fees when withdrawing money, other than your standard payment processor’s fees.

If you’re unsure whether you’ll like the OANDA trading platform, you can sign up for a demo account. This way, you can test out all the features and get familiar with the UI and charting tools before you sign up. After all, the platform can be complex, and instead of wasting time learning the ropes, you can learn everything beforehand and just dive into forex the moment you have your trading account set up.

OANDA Customer Service and Support

OANDA offers comprehensive customer support. Within the help portal, you’ll find guides for various features, as well as a list of the most frequently asked questions. If you need to contact the support team, you can do so via email, live chat, or even phone. The phone line is great for US-based clients as it is toll-free and possibly the fastest way to resolve issues you may have with trading tools.

How Does OANDA Compare to Its Competitors?

Before we conclude our OANDA forex review, let’s see how this platform stacks against its competitors. There are many platforms nowadays that offer forex trading, but we’ll be focusing on two that are often compared to OANDA - FOREX.com and XM Group.

OANDA vs. FOREX

The Forex.com platform is only slightly younger than OANDA. Founded in 1999, Forex.com is frequently mentioned as one of the best places for professional traders.

It currently ranks slightly above OANDA thanks to its larger offering of currency pairs and CFDs. Unlike OANDA, Forex.com is a publicly traded company that doesn’t offer deep market research tools.

OANDA vs. XM Group

A lot of OANDA reviews often compare it to XM Group, a platform launched in 2009. Its biggest strength is a massive number of tradable symbols - over a thousand of them - but at the same time, it lacks in the currency pairing department.

XM Group also offers integration with MetaTrader 4, but it doesn’t offer any in-house apps, relying instead on the MetaTrader 4 platform completely. XM Group also ranks slightly lower than OANDA on the Trust Score scale - 90 vs. 92.

Final Thoughts

Our review of OANDA found there’s a lot to like about this platform. Its impressive flexibility, unmatched customization, trading functionality, and the variety of market analysis tools are just some of the reasons to create an account. After all, you can try the demo account and see for yourself why many forex enthusiasts recommend OANDA.

FAQ

How reliable is OANDA?

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OANDA isn’t a publicly traded company and, according to Trust Score, it’s a low-risk platform. It’s also regulated by both the NFA and the CFTC.

Is OANDA or FOREX.com better?

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Both platforms are very good and offer similar tools and features. OANDA takes the cake when it comes to analytics, while Forex.com has a bigger trading offering, so it’s mostly down to your personal preference.

How much do you need to trade on OANDA?

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You can start trading and using mobile trading apps with basically any amount. OANDA doesn’t have a minimum deposit for beginner traders, so it’s open to more people than other similar platforms.

Does OANDA have a minimum deposit?

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As we’ve mentioned in our OANDA review, there isn’t a minimum amount of money you need to deposit to start trading on this platform. Of course, you still need to deposit some cash into your account to initiate any forex trades.