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10 best Forex trading platforms to enter the game

In this article you will find a selection of quality Forex trading platforms. This is a follow up to our “financial tools” series you might also want to take a look: CFD trading platforms, Stock trading apps, Investment apps. Our approach is not to promote, rather to underline key features and benefits, as well as downsides, to assist you in deciding.   

14 million people are online traders, according to Brokernotes, and it is believed that about 10M delve in Forex trading. The biggest chunk of those are citizens of European (UK, Germany, France) and Northern American countries (USA, Canada). Choosing the best Forex broker, a.k.a. platform, service (web/mobile), requires time and research, so we’d like to kick things off as initial stage – by highlighting 10 popular services.     

A company with global outreach and HQ in NY, USA delivers its Forex trading platform (web/desktop/mobile), as well as popular MetaTrader 4. Real-time data comes from 25 central banks’ exchange rates worldwide.

There’s no account minimum obligation, and you can start off with a demo account with virtual funds and no time limit. Depending on region, peculiar rules may apply for account funding, fees, margin rates and processing time. To get help, use chat with a virtual assistant in 4 languages or a real person, if need be. 

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$0 55 ~5% $5 per lot 65 24/5

One of the finest benefits of Oanda is that it does not require fixed trade sizes, called lots. As we know, most Fx trading platforms, e.g. MT4, allow trading currency pairs in standard lots (100,000 units), mini lots (10,000 units), or the smallest possible – micro lots (1,000 units).

With Oanda we can place bids for any amount, even just 1 unit, which would be equal to 1 dollar or 1 Euro, etc. According to Oanda core pricing sheet, a typical commission for USD base accounts is $5 per lot. There’s also Oanda fxTrade mobile app, that offers access to even more currency pairs (over 90) and the ability to set default trade parameters, alerts, etc.   

  • Pros:
  • Open an account with as little as $1
  • Trades even below a micro lot possible
  • Powerful API for algo-trading
  • Cons:
  • Might be too complex for beginners
  • Accounts have no negative-balance or slippage protection

With brokerage experience since 2002, XTB is one of the world’s largest Forex trading platforms. With offices in UK, Poland, Germany, Spain, France and more, they are under regulation of the toughest authorities. XTB offers its xStation trading platform for stationary and mobile devices. Support for the popular MetraTrader 4 platform is also available.

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$0 49 3% $4 per lot n/a 24/5

The most important advantage of XTB are regular free online webinars and various Forex trading courses, and in multiple languages too. According to the pricing sheet, a typical commission for USD base accounts is $4 per lot. xStation provides over a thousand analytical  tools, client support 24/7, cashback system and other advantages.

  • Pros:
  • No minimum to open an account
  • The best Fx guides and tutorials
  • Micro lot trades are possible
  • Cons:
  • $100 and less withdrawals will be charged $30 commission
  • No API for MT4

3
of 10

IG Group, founded in 1974, launched an online trading application in 2012. It is a gateway to over 16,000 financial markets, it has 178,000 active customers who perform about 350,000 transactions per day.

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$250 96 0.5% $10 per $1M traded 100 24/5

As one of the leading Forex trading platforms, IG provides a large number of currency pairs. Fees are pretty competitive, margins of 0.5%, 0.6 average spreads. There’s the ability to trade via a web platform or mobile apps, as well as access to ProRealTime, MT4, L2 (with the Direct Market Access). IG also provides tutorials, world news via the Forex tag, social trading.

  • Pros:
  • Quality trading platforms
  • Helpful and reliable customer service
  • Competitive Fx margin requirements
  • Cons:
  • Inactivity fee
  • No support for MT5
  • Social trading incomplete

Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., founded in 1977, with huge capital and numerous industry awards, has also become one of Forex trading platforms via its FXTrader. It has a straightforward interface, where one can set the layout as a single cell, or up to a 4×4 currency grid,  change colors, etc. 

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$0 22 ~2% 0.2% 33 24/5

Also known as IBKR, for Forex traders it offers nice usability, comprehensive trading, order management, watchlists, portfolio tools. In regards to commissions, find out more at IBKR Fx pricing structure. Overall, this Fx platform will probably suit professional traders.

  • Pros:
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • Powerful trading software
  • Excellent for market and portfolio analysis
  • Cons:
  • Inactivity fee
  • Trader Workstation (TWS) can be difficult for new users
  • Not many currency pairs

Brought by an Australian broker with 73,000 trading accounts, Pepperstone has already become one of the largest Forex platforms since 2010. It offers pricing from multiple sources, low spreads, over 60 currency pairs, as well as fee-free funding for a lot of deposit options.

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
£200 61 5% $7 per lot 50 24/5

During liquid times, spreads can go as low as 0 pips on EUR/USD. Fee amount depends on which trading platform you work with – MT4, MT5 or cTrader, a Pepperstone product. For MetaTrader 5 the commission for 1 lot ($ 100,000) is $3,5 (check the full pricing policy).

  • Pros:
  • All popular platforms available
  • Affiliate program
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Cons:
  • Withdrawal fee $20
  • No ability to change leverage

6
of 10

London Capital Group (LCG) is a pioneer in the online trading industry. It offers access to MetaTrader 4 and their own LCGTrader  platforms, along with cAlgo for automated trading and cMirror for social trading (copy trading).

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$10 61 5% $10 per lot 70 24/5

Premium services are available to traders with 25,000 GBP deposit, as well as lower commissions depending on trade volumes. In LCGTrader there’s also an option to add a guaranteed stop-loss order for extra pips. For example, in Classic account type, average spreads on EUR/USD are 1.45 pips, while ECN accounts ($10K deposit) get it at 0.65 pips.

  • Pros:
  • Algo and social trading
  • Competitive spreads
  • Guaranteed stops
  • Cons:
  • Commission is twice higher on MT4 than on LCGTrader

7
of 10

Plus500 this a highly rated trading software and one of the top Forex trading platforms since 2008. It provides all the necessary channels: mobile apps (iOS / Android), web-based platform and a browser extension. The maximum leverage is 1:300, which means that with as little as $100 one can manage assets worth $30,000. Plus500 has protection against negative balance, i.e. if a currency pair falls to a certain level, user transaction will be automatically closed, and money saved.

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$100 70 3% $0 N/A 24/5
  • Pros:
  • Adequate withdrawal and transaction fees
  • Guaranteed stop order
  • Cons:
  • Inactivity fee
  • No algo-trading, no API

Dukascopy Bank in Geneva, Switzerland offers JForex for Fx trading, in addition to main banking services. Extensive documentation, clear policies and competitive spreads inspire confidence. JForex 3 is a desktop platform with hundreds of indicators, enhanced graphics, historical testing, real-time news and built-in customer support. However, there is no option to create watchlists.

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$1000 64 10% $1 per $1M traded 250 24/5

Trading commissions on Dukascopy depend on set fees and daily/monthly/quarterly performance on SWFX – a Swiss Forex marketplace. Dukascopy charges an extra $20 fee for withdrawals, which is one of the highest among European brokers. 

  • Pros:
  • JForex proprietary Fx platform
  • Proper analytical materials
  • Cons:
  • Large initial deposit
  • High commissions for low-deposit traders

CMC Markets is a UK-based financial operator since 1989, offering online trading across global markets. In terms of Forex trading platforms, it brings a service called Next Generation, underscoring several unique tools, many features and low fees. Depending on region, trader capabilities will differ in leverage, commissions and other factors, find out more details on CMC Markets page.

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$200 330 3.3% spread +1% 115 24/5
  • Pros:
  • Powerful trading platform
  • Over 300 currency pairs
  • Good customer support service
  • Cons:
  • No API
  • Fee after 2-year inactivity
  • MT4 instruments limited

FXCM, or Forex Capital Markets, is a UK retail broker for trading on the foreign exchange market. A bit controversial, however, due to being banned in the United States in 2017 for defrauding customers (more on Wikipedia). Yet FXCM grants access to 4 Forex trading platforms: Trading Station, MetaTrader4, Ninjatrader, and Zulutrader. Trading Station is their own proprietary service. 

Desktop  Web Mobile Minimum deposit Currency pairs  FX margin FX commission Indicators  Trading hours Demo account
$50 56 3% spreads-only N/A 24/5

Trading Station is customizable, it consists of widgets and you can select their size/position. We also noticed that desktop version sometimes lags, while web platform performs better and faster. For a base account the maximum leverage for major pairs is 30:1, and the minimum spread is 1.3 for EUR/USD pair. Active traders can obtain lower rates and spreads.

  • Pros:
  • Powerful web-based platform
  • Low fees and financing rates
  • Good technical research tools
  • Cons:
  • Poor mobile and desktop UX

FAQ

Q: What is a Forex trading platform?

A: Forex trading platform, is a computer software program which broadcasts live market prices, and users can trade (through a financial intermediary or between themselves). Such platforms may provide additional trading tools, such as charting packages, news feeds and account management functions.

Q: How do Forex trading platforms work?

A: Some platforms work in a web browser, while others act as a desktop app to install on PC, or as mobile apps. Currency trading platforms are essentially a software interface that acts as an access to the Forex markets, where one could trade currency pairs. Metatrader 4, or MT4 in short, is a standard and the most popular Fx platform. Currency pairs is the core feature, and second to it are fees/commissions (every platform charges differently).

Q: Can I trade Forex without a platform/broker?

A: Forex is basically currency exchange. To convert Dollars to Euros you may also visiting a physical bank.

Q: Which Fx trading platform is best for beginners and why?

A: The most popular platforms are MetaTrader and cTrade, but there are more for sure. The choice in most cases is decided by spreads and commission fees.

Q: How to read Forex charts?

A: You could set your overall chart to show a 24-hour period, with each marker representing one hour. You’ll see the opening price at the beginning of an hour and the closing price at the end, as well as the highs and lows in between.

Q: How much can you make on Forex?

A: It depends on the amount invested, strategy and risk management skills. Skilled traders can raise 10-15% per month, but most people lose their investment.

Q: How to set stop-loss?

A: Instead of choosing a market order, choose a stop loss order. Enter the price at which you would like to place a stop loss order.

Q: How much money do you need to start with Forex?

A: For beginners in trading, we recommend using demo accounts without real money. When you are ready to invest, minimum deposits could be as little as $100, depending on Fx platform of choice.

Q: What’s the difference between Forex and CFD?

A: CFD trading involves diverse set of markets, such as indices, energy, and metals; whereas Forex offers pure currency trading.

Q: Which platform has the best Forex demo account?

A: This can only be established on individual preferences and trying several options on your own.

Q: How much does it cost to trade Forex?

A: You pay for each transaction in the form of margin and other additional fees.

Q: What are trading platform commissions/fees?

A: All platforms have different rates and conditions, please see the information above in the article.

Q: What is the minimum deposit for Forex?

A: Depending on a broker, the amount varies from 0 to $10,000.

Q: Do you need a bank account for Forex?

A: Only if you want to withdraw funds to a bank account.

Q: How to withdraw money out of Forex?

A: Each platform has different options. The most common are credit card, wire transfer, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Western Union, Bitcoin.

Q: What’s the best Forex tutorial?

A: A proper and real Forex trading tutorial should come from a consistently profitable trader. Backtesting is a common method to explore  post-factum how well a strategy would have performed.