Richard Montana | November 17, 2022
The OANDA Group has multiple subsidiaries who are licensed to offer products to clients around the globe. The OANDA subsidiary with whom a client contracts depends on their country of residence. Each subsidiary provides different products via different platforms, so clients will experience OANDA differently depending on their country of residence. For the purpose of this Oanda review, we will be focused on Oanda USA. They only provide forex trading and do not offer CFDs to USA traders.
OANDA is an established online broker offering a generous range of forex trading instruments for you to trade on powerful yet user-friendly trading platforms. They have tight spreads from 0.0 pips, low commission fees and rapid execution speeds. I found there to be a fantastic selection of premium tools to assist with market analysis and finding trading signals, including the excellent Autochartist and TradingView.
For beginners there are some very helpful educational resources and a dedicated support team to help you along the way. It only takes a few minutes to sign up with no minimum deposit required. You can also trade on a free demo account to build your confidence and get a feel for what the broker has to offer before making any investment. I think that OANDA can be a great choice of broker for anyone looking to trade in a well-regulated environment with industry leading trading conditions.
Pros & Cons
- Powerful, versatile and easy to use trading platforms
- Wide range of forex currency pairs to trade
- Some of the best trading conditions in the industry
- Tight spreads, low fees and fast trade execution speeds
- Various account types for different trading strategies
- Convenient deposit and withdrawal methods
- Fantastic selection of advanced trading tools for professional market analysis
- Top quality technical analysis and signals (powered by AutoChartist)
- Upgrade MetaTrader with some advanced premium tools
- Generous selection of free trading guides to help educate beginners
- No minimum deposit required to get started
- Free demo trading accounts to practice with
- API for approved institutional clients
- Excellent 24/5 support
- Forex trading only
- No managed accounts
- Inactivity fees
- No e-wallet payments
OANDA was founded in 1996 by two professionals with a vision to change how the world interacts with different currencies. The company was incorporated in the USA but today, it has offices throughout the globe in Canada, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. They were actually one of the first brokers that I came across when I started trading online many years ago. The fact that they are still going strong today is a testament to the top-class brokerage services that they continue to provide to traders worldwide.
OANDA asserts that it is the sole execution venue for all its clients’ orders. The broker also affirms that it does not operate an order book where clients’ orders could provide or take liquidity. All orders are executed at best available rates and optimum speeds. This method of execution makes the broker a ‘market maker’.
The broker has a team of expert analysts who present insightful news, market analysis and commentaries. This can be great for inspiring trade ideas and helping with making informed decisions. They have been recognised with over 50 industry awards over the years, in different areas including trading platform features, mobile apps, customer service, risk management, trader education and more. This shows that they have all angles covered and I would personally consider them to be amongst the best brokers for trading online.
OANDA are regulated in multiple jurisdictions which gives me great confidence that they are a broker who can be trusted. In the United States, OANDA Corporation is a member of the National Futures Association (NFA). The broker is also registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a registered Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer (RFED). CFDs are not available to residents in the United States.
OANDA have a great selection of platform for you to choose from. There are platforms for all of your devices which makes it convenient to access your account and follow the markets as and when you need to. You can choose between the fully customisable OANDA Trade web-based and desktop platforms or apps for mobiles and tablets. You can also speculate on the global markets using the popular MetaTrader platforms. They support the excellent TradingView which brings endless charting possibilities and a social aspect to your online trading activity. They also have some powerful API solutions for those of you who are institutional traders that demand the very best in connectivity to the markets at all times. Both the OANDA trading platform and the MetaTrader platforms support mobile trading via iOS and Android apps. These mobile apps can be downloaded and installed from the respective app stores. They integrate seamlessly with the desktop applications and maintain similar features and functionality.
This is Oanda’s proprietary “next generation” platform that has won multiple awards. It has a great set of tools for conducting market analysis, advanced charting and trade management. The platform offers a flexible and convenient trading environment for traders of all skill levels. It is available in 3 versions; web, desktop and mobile. The web version runs directly in the browser and thus, works on every operating system in most modern web browsers. The desktop version is installable on Windows and offers a fully customisable user interface. The mobile version is designed for Android/iOS devices and is useful for those who need to access their account and trade whilst on the go. I am a big fan of the app as I like to take the markets with me in my pocket and check my account whenever I feel like it. I think this is a very user-friendly platform that has enough features and functionalities for most traders. You can analyse the markets, place and manage positions, all with relative ease.
The following are some of the key features of the OANDA Trade platform:
- Sophisticated technical analysis tools with over 10 chart layouts.
- Over 50 drawing tools and technical indicators for conducting chart analysis.
- News aggregator with search function.
- Access to algorithmic trading with Algo Labs
- Risk management features including stop loss.
- Trade performance analytics tool.
- Customisable layouts and interface.
- Powerful charting courtesy of Trading View.
- Market news and analysis, economic calendar available on the platform.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) Platform
This platform is perhaps the most popular when it comes to forex trading and has become a standard among many brokers and millions of traders worldwide. The MT4 platform is intuitive, versatile, fully customisable and packed with a vast array of essential tools useful to traders. OANDA presents MT4 as a downloadable desktop application and as mobile trading apps. I have used MT4 for many years and find it perfect for analysing the markets using various indicators and running automated trading systems. It is packed with more tools than most traders will ever need. Not to mention that its capabilities can be extended even further with an almost unlimited amount of free and paid add-ons available for you to use. You can customise the platform to be as simplistic or complicated as you need it to be.
Here are some of the key features of the MT4 platform:
- Real-time price quotes in the market watch window.
- Multiple chart types (candlestick, bar, line) that can be displayed over 9 timeframes.
- 30 inbuilt technical indicators and over 20 drawing tools.
- Automated trading using Expert Advisors (EAs).
- Strategy tester for historically testing EAs.
- MQL editor for programming custom indicators, EAs and scripts.
- Trade directly from the charts.
- One-click trading.
- Order management tools as well as risk control tools like stop loss and take profit.
- Alert notifications via the platform, email and SMS.
- Online community and marketplace for additional tools.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5) Platform
In addition to the MT4 platform, OANDA also provide its successor, the MT5 platform. Whilst this platform maintains the key features and functionalities of the MT4 platform, it also has some more advanced capabilities. You will be able to enjoy features such as built in depth of market, an integrated economic calendar, one-click trading, advanced trading tools and improved charting capabilities. Just like MT4, the MT5 platform is available for web, desktop and mobile on live and demo accounts. MT5 is a faster and more efficient platform that will improve the trading experience. You can automate trading strategies, buy and sell currency pairs with only one click and access greater market analysis tools. You can also create expert advisors in MQL5 to automate their trading strategies.
It is a pity that we cannot use MT4 tools on MT5 as they use different variations of the MQL programming language. This is one of the main reasons I have stuck with MT4 because I am well versed in MQL4 and have already built loads of tools for it. I would say MT4 will be sufficient if you are primarily looking to trade forex. On the other hand, MT5 might be preferable if you plan on branching out into other asset classes. Regardless, I don’t think you can go wrong with either variation of the MetaTrader platforms. Another great thing is that they are available through most brokers, OANDA being one of the best out there.
OANDA provide you with a super responsive app that boasts best-in-class technology when it comes to speed and reliability. This modern and intuitive app has been tested to the most rigorous standard. I like how the fxTrade app is fully customisable and performs equally well on both iOS and Android platforms. Everything is streamlined to ensure you can get an optimal trading experience. The app works seamlessly with MetaTrader 5 so that you can access all your accounts by means of a one-key login without having to log in or out again. You can browse the numerous instruments available and look for high-probability set-ups. It’s easy to set risk and profit parameters on your order ticket, and you can watch the chart even as you place your trade.
Here are a few features of the apps:
- Real-time price quotes.
- Support for technical analysis via charts, indicators and drawing tools.
- Simple and user-friendly interface that can be customised to the user’s selections.
- Monitor live trades, charts and news on the go.
- Used to open, modify or close trade positions.
- Trade performance analysis and history.
- Get price alerts via push notifications.
I think it is great how you can trade directly on TradingView’s industry-leading charts using your OANDA live or demo account from the platform of your choice. Their partnership with the brilliant TradingView provides you with the best of both platforms. By using your OANDA account on TradingView’s platform, you combine TradingView’s community features, powerful charts and analytical tools with OANDA’s transparent pricing, fully-automated risk management systems and market data. If you prefer to execute trades from the OANDA platforms, you can also access the top quality advanced charting solutions from OANDA’s web and desktop platforms via Advanced Charts, powered by TradingView.
Here are some of the key features of TradingView:
- Social community with millions of users to share ideas with
- Flexible alerts for price action, technical and fundamental analysis
- Identify and test strategies with a huge choice of signals
- Technical analysis across multiple chart types and timeframes
OANDA provides API’s for approved institutional clients. The FIX API is an API, based on the FIX protocol, and used to communicate directly with the OANDA Server through FIX messages. It is a protocol, designed for exchanging electronic messages, containing financial information – the dominant protocol, used for electronic trading.
The MultiCharts online trading software platform is available via the OANDA API and provides robust technical analysis for professional traders. Features include high-definition charting, 300+ strategies and indicators, 20+ data feeds and 10+ brokers, dynamic portfolio-level strategy backtesting and EasyLanguage support. It has an impressive 300+ strategies and indicators implemented, including the ability to import existing indicators or develop your own. You can access MultiCharts using the custom OANDA Trade plug-in.
MultiCharts prominent features include:
- Self-Adaptive strategies optimize inputs while auto-trading
- Fail-Watch predictive system warns of possible issues
- Track backtest, forward-test, and live orders in one place
- High-definition charting
- 20+ data feeds and 10+ brokers
- Dynamic portfolio-level strategy backtesting
- EasyLanguage support
- Interactive performance reporting
- Genetic optimization
- Market scanner, data replay
For those of you looking for some of the best trading conditions possible, you can benefit from the speed and raw processing power of the CQG FX platform. The OANDA API combines robust trading technology with quality execution so you can leverage CQG’s robust market data, analytics and electronic trade routing tools. It comes with standard and advanced server-side orders available (market, stop, limit, OCO, bracket, stop-limit, trailing stop and trailing limit). You can set it up to automate condition, price, time and indicator alerts in a few clicks.
CQG FX has lots of innovative features you can utilise including:
- Multiple chart types including sub-minute bar charts
- Tabbed charts
- Over one hundred pre-programmed studies
- Intraday and historical charts
- Enhanced quote displays
- Real-time market data link to Microsoft Excel
- Spreadsheet Trader
- Order Ticket with depth-of-market view
- Auto and alert trading
There are some excellent free tools available to help with your day trading activities, including the superb Autochartist software for scanning the markets to find customised signals. I actually think most of you will find the platforms to have more than enough built-in and third-party tools available but it is great to see we get access to some premium tools at no extra cost. You can access a fantastic range of powerful analysis tools to identify potential opportunities and build a stronger trading strategy.
OANDA offer an advanced charting package on its proprietary OANDA Trade platform. The charting package consists of over 65 indicators and drawing tools. You can trade directly from the charts. There are about 11 customisable charts including the Heikin-Ashin, Renko, etc. The charting package is provided by TradingView; a leading web-based charting package and social networking site. The broker has conveniently integrated TradingView’s charting package into the ‘OANDA Trade’ platform.
You can scan and analyse the intraday markets using automatic chart pattern recognition and pattern quality indicators. Technical Analysis (powered by Autochartist) is a web-based charting application accessible on the already robust OANDA Trade platform. It provides you with continuous intraday market scanning, performance statistics, market volatility analysis and more. This can literally save you from hours of chart watching and sifting through tabs to find relevant signals on your favourite instruments according to your own preferred trading style. Not all brokers provide this tool so it is another benefit of using OANDA for your day trading activities.
It is important to remember that there can be no guarantee on results using these signals and that past performance is by no means any reflection of what will happen in the future. You should always do your own due diligence. Personally, I like to confirm all potential trade setups with my own additional market analysis. This is because I want to know when and why each trade was executed. That being said, some of the key Autochartist features include:
- Continuous intraday market scanning
- Receive automated alerts for specified patterns; execute trades directly inside the interface
- Correlating signals: receive email notifications and flag trading opportunities when support/resistance levels coincide with chart pattern projections
- Spot potential trading opportunities: get automated alerts about emerging or completed charts, Fibonacci, and key level formations
- Review only the forecasts that have historically had a certain level of success probability with our favourites
- Volatility analysis
- Set instrument-specific exits based on estimated market volatility
- Performance statistics
- Get customizable daily market reports sent to your inbox
This is a handy tool for fundamental analysis that lets you keep up to date with what is happening around the global markets. You can receive updates on important economic announcements and events directly from your OANDA Trade platform whether using a real or demo account which is great. It goes further than your average economic calendar with features including global economic overview, customisable view, reference results and more. There is also an economic calendar built-in the MT5 platform that makes it easy to keep track of the latest market news.
OANDA has partnered with the highly impressive MotiveWave tool to offer a professional charting analysis software. MotiveWave’s advanced charting capabilities offer strategy backtesting, genetic and exhaustive strategy optimization, replay mode, backtesting reporting and more. When it comes to technical analysis tools, MotiveWave is a highly accomplished forex trading tool. If you want something that can not only perform in-depth analysis of currency pairs but also trade at the same time, MotiveWave is an amazingly powerful tool.
Dow Jones FX Select
Dow Jones FX Select delivers real-time global FX news, commentary and analysis directly to your trading portals and mobile applications. From the open in Australia to the close in the Americas, this is yet another quality tool that can provide you with the advantage of actionable news and insight from a premier news organization. I like how it is available in a variety of languages and publishes content 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
MetaTrader Premium Upgrade
The MetaTrader platforms are already packed with professional trading tools for conducting in-depth market analysis. However, the MetaTrader premium upgrade from OANDA offers 28 additional trading tools and indicators in one free download for live and demo accounts. From within the MetaTrader client terminal, you now have direct access to content from Dow Jones, market news sentiment, as well as two calendars to stay up to date. You can analyse your trading with the OANDA dashboard, as well as access OANDA forex blog content and download the OANDA orderbook MetaTrader plug in.
Amongst the useful tools including that can help to give your trading strategies that extra edge, you will find:
- Tick chart trader
- Stealth orders
- Session map
- Sentiment trader
- Market manager
- Correlation trader
- Alarm manager
- Excel RTD
- Correlation matrix
There is a really good spread calculator on the OANDA website which I found very helpful to see what the historical spreads have been like. You can find the spread data by selecting your asset class and instrument, then using the slider to zoom in or out of a time range. You can view an average, minimum and maximum spread calculated over 15-minute time intervals. As you zoom out, this data may be reduced to 1-hour intervals. The main reason I like this tool is you can check to see if the spreads are suitable at certain times you plan on trading. I use scalping systems so the tool can help me to identify hours when the spreads are lowest.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
A VPS can be really beneficial for anyone who needs to run their trading platforms around the clock. This may be because you don’t have that reliable an internet signal at home or want to continuously run an automated trading strategy. The VPS can give superior connection quality to the markets and reduces latency which makes it possible for you to constantly run your algorithms or trading strategies. OANDA has strategically partnered with some of the best VPS providers so that you can run automated trading strategies continuously across the range of OANDA Trade platforms, MetaTrader4 (MT4) and partner APIs.
This consists of daily commentaries and video analysis as presented by OANDA analysts. It is accessible via the trading platform. The aim is to give you an idea on how to proceed based on the analysis and price movements surrounding various assets. I found them to be insightful but would always do my own market analysis before taking any position.
Market News & Analysis
The topics covered are market commentary, chart analysis, weekly outlook, technical and fundamental analysis. This is also prepared and presented by the team of analysts at Oanda. I think it is good that everything is available under one roof so it saves you from needing to get your information from multiple different sources. That being said, it can also be considered beneficial to verify ideas from as many places as possible.
The brokers website has a ‘Learn’ Section where a comprehensive range of educational materials for traders is provided. There are several training videos covering a variety of different trading topics including fundamental analysis, technical indicators, forex trading, etc. The videos are grouped for beginners, intermediate and advanced traders. There are trading guides covering different types of trading. In addition to this, there are articles explaining basic concepts which beginners may find useful if they are just getting started with online trading. I was really impressed with the abundance of high-quality educational content that is provided free of charge. I think this would be highly beneficial to traders of all experience levels. It is always great to see a broker show that they care about clients having the tools at their disposal to make informed trading decisions.
OANDA offers a great choice of financial instruments including over 70 forex assets including the major, minor and exotic pairs. The only assets available to US clients are currency pairs. CFDs are not available for trading in the United States. I think this would be more than adequate for forex traders who are looking for top class trading conditions.
OANDA keep things nice and simple with a standard account type and advanced loyalty trader program. You can get access to core pricing and commissions along with spread-only pricing. This can help to save on trading costs in the long term. Spreads are variable according to liquidity with EUR/USD spreads starting from as low as 0.0 pips which is great. Generally, I found the broker to have very competitive trading conditions in terms of spreads and commission fees. I also think the other features OANDA has such as excellent platforms, advanced tools and regulation, make them worthwhile.
There are free demo accounts if you would like to practice trading online and see what the broker has to offer before making a financial commitment. I think this is a great way to get a feel for the OANDA platforms and plethora of superb tools they have available.
You can start trading in 3 steps: apply, fund and trade. To create a new trading account, visit the OANDA website and click on the “start trading” button which is found at the top of every webpage. The new account opening page opens. Type in your country in the textbox, if they do accept residents from your country the form loads and opens, but if not, registration cannot continue.
There are forms to complete including account information, personal information and identity verification. If everything is done correctly, the account is approved and an email containing further instructions is sent by OANDA to the new client. I found the signup process to be just as quick as other brokers that I have signed up with in the past. This is impressive when you consider all of the things they need to check before accepting clients.
The OANDA support desk is available 5 days a week via phone, email and live chat. OANDA chat is a virtual assistant that first initiates the chat. The support page on the website has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section that can give instant answers to some common questions that you may have. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the social media channels available. I have always received excellent support from them and wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to them should I need help with anything.
The following payment options are available to Oanda USA customers:
- Automatic Clearing House (ACH): This method is payment is only available for USD accounts. Maximum limit is $50,000 and it takes up to 6 days.
- Debit Cards: The cards are accepted are Mastercard and Visa card. There is a limit of $20,000 per month.
- Wire Transfer: This takes 1-3 working days to deposit money through this method. International transfers can take up to 5 business days. There are no limitations on bank transfers.
- Checks: This is only acceptable in the United States for only deposits. There are no deposit fees and it takes 4-6 days before the check clears.
Accounts can be opened in a good variety of currencies including USD, EUR, HKD, SGD,CAD, AUD, JPY, CHF, GBP. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
Compare Broker Features
|This Broker||AvaTrade||IG||IC Markets|
|Regulated||ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA||ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA||ASIC, CySEC, FSA, SCB|
|Commission||From $0||From $0||From $0|
|Instruments||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Options, Bonds, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Options, Bonds, ETFs||Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Stocks, Indices, Bonds|
|Platforms||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, AvaSocial, DupliTrade, ZuluTrade||MetaTrader 4, IG Platform, IG Progressive Web App, ProRealTime (PRT), L2 Dealer, FIX API||MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader|
|Funding||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets||Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card, E-Wallets|
Overall, I am super impressed with so many aspects of OANDA and the brilliant range of trading products and services that they provide to USA forex traders. They are a very well-established forex broker that continues to implement the latest innovative trading technologies, paving the way for others to follow. This makes sure they can keep up with the latest trends in an ever-evolving market.
I like how OANDA holds multiple regulations and thus must carefully abide by the stringent regulatory provisions. This gives me the peace of mind that the broker will operate in an honest and transparent manner at all time, putting client’s best interests first and foremost.
You can get convenient access to trade the forex market via versatile trading platforms with a myriad of innovative tools to assist you with analysing the markets and finding opportunities. There is also a comprehensive range of expert analysis, training videos and other educational resources available on the OANDA website and platform.
I found them to have a good selection of financial instruments, especially when it comes to currency pairs. There is no minimum deposit, meaning that anyone is welcome to use their trading services irrespective of trading capital or experience. The broker can accommodate individual, corporate and international traders alike. You can fund your account with a good variety of funding options to choose from. There is also the option of a free demo account if you want to test drive them before making a commitment.