The global foreign exchange (forex) market is the largest and most actively traded financial market in the world. Both beginners and experienced traders seeking out a solid forex broker would be wise to investigate the trading experience, the breadth and depth of product offerings (currencies, contract for differences (CFDs), indexes, commodities, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, etc.), fees (including spreads and commissions), trading platform(s) (web-based, downloadable software, mobile, charting, and third-party platforms), customer support, trading education and research, and trustworthiness.

We research and reviewed dozens of forex brokers to help you decide which broker is right for your needs.

Warning

The global foreign exchange market (forex) is volatile. It's important to use caution when entering the forex market and make sure you have a solid understanding of the currencies, derivatives, commodities, cryptocurrencies, spreads, and other offerings in which you wish to trade.

Best Forex Brokers

Best Overall, Best for Range of Offerings CMC Markets
Best Forex Broker for Beginners London Capital Group (LCG)
Best Forex Broker for Advanced Traders Saxo Capital Markets
Best Forex Broker for Low Costs XTB Online Trading
Best Forex Broker for U.S. Traders IG
Best Forex Broker for Trading Experiences Pepperstone

CMC Markets: Best Overall and Best for Range of Offerings

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: Spread cost; Additional charge for guaranteed stops; Commissions; Overnight financing costs; Inactivity fees
  • Best for: Overall Forex Broker and Range of Offerings
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Why We Chose It

CMC Markets (CMC), founded in 1989, is a well-established, publicly traded, and highly regarded U.K. forex broker that has successfully adapted to the ever-changing online brokerage landscape. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the ticker symbol CMCX. Like many forex brokers, CMC does not accept U.S. traders.

CMC Markets is for all types of traders, from the novice retail trader looking to dip their toes into the online trading of forex, CFDs, and spread betting, to the experienced veteran seeking exposure to a broad array of products. The firm's fees are competitive within the industry.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Extensive range of offerings

  • Regulated by FCA (U.K.)

  • Emphasis on education and customer service

  • Industry-leading research amenities

  • Offers protection for client accounts

Cons
  • Does not accept U.S. clients

  • Differences between Next Generation and MT4

  • High CFD spreads for certain indices

  • No back-testing or automated trading capabilities

London Capital Group (LCG): Best for Beginners

  • Account Minimum: $0 (Standard); $10,000 (ECN)
  • Fees: Spread cost; Additional charge for guaranteed stops; Premium added to either side of the bid/ask price for shares; Overnight financing costs; Inactivity fees
  • Best for: Beginners
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Why We Chose It

London Capital Group (LCG), founded in 1996, has continued to keep pace in the highly competitive online brokerage space. The company rebranded in 2016 with the launch of LCG Trader. This coupled with the ubiquitous MT4 (downloadable) platform and a functional mobile application, comprises LCG's online consumer offerings. LCG provides access to a broad selection of CFDs and spread betting instruments across several different asset classes. Like most others on this list, LCG does not accept U.S. traders.

As one of the major U.K.-based forex brokers, LCG offers a wide range of asset classes and a seamless trading experience. The firm's fees are competitive within the industry and it ranks high on our list for customer service. With these positive attributes along with its apparent focus on functional simplicity, LCG is well-suited to beginning traders. Although you don't have to be a beginner to benefit from its offerings, LCG is hard to beat if you are just starting out.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Emphasis on customer service

  • Regulated by FCA (U.K.)

  • Offers protection for client accounts

  • Account and trading incentives available

Cons
  • Website maintenance substandard

  • Does not accept U.S. clients

  • Differences between LCG trader and MT4

  • No back-testing or automated trading capabilities

Saxo Capital Markets: Best for Advanced Traders

  • Account Minimum: £500 (Classic - UK)
  • Fees: Competitive FX spread costs; Host of additional costs
  • Best for: Advanced Traders
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Why We Chose It

Denmark's Saxo Bank Group (Saxo Bank), founded in 1992, classifies itself as "a leading Fintech specialist focused on multi-asset trading and investment and delivering ‘Banking-as-a-Service’ to wholesale clients." The company launched as one of the first online trading platforms in 1998. Saxo Bank has operated in the United Kingdom since 2006 through its subsidiary Saxo Capital Markets U.K. Ltd (SCML) and, like many forex brokers, it doesn't accept U.S. traders.

Saxo Capital Markets is for the advanced trader. It offers a broad variety of brokerage services geared towards sophisticated active traders, investors, professionals, and institutions. Smaller account holders may be disappointed by higher account minimums, a variety of fees, and fewer customer support options. Tiered accounts offer lower trading costs and added benefits as equity grows, but the majority of retail traders will have a tough time reaching the higher customer tiers.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Extensive range of offerings

  • Regulated by FCA (U.K.)

  • Industry's best research

  • Superior user interface

  • Offers protection for client accounts

Cons
  • Lack of emphasis on customer service

  • Confusing instrument fee structures

  • Does not accept U.S. clients

  • No MT4

XTB Online Trading: Best for Low Costs

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: Spread cost; Commissions; Overnight financing costs; Inactivity fees
  • Best for: Low Costs
Read full review

Why We Chose It

Founded in 2002 as Poland's first leveraged foreign exchange brokerage house, X-Trade morphed into X-Trade Brokers in 2004 to comply with new Polish regulations. It was rebranded as XTB Online Trading (XTB) in 2009 and went public, listing on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2016 under the ticker symbol XTB. The firm does not accept U.S. traders.

XTB is a solid choice for traders who want to minimize their costs, whether it be the inherent cost of placing a trade (bid/ask spread) or not having to be burdened with extraneous costs, such as wire fees. XTB offers maximum leverage of up to 500:1 for non-U.K. accounts while U.K. accounts get up to 30:1 leverage. The firm places an emphasis on customer support and offers relevant educational tools and research amenities that would be well-suited to a novice trader.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Low FX spreads

  • Regulated by FCA (U.K.)

  • Offers protection for client accounts

  • Emphasis on customer service

Cons
  • Does not accept U.S. clients

  • Non-FX spread costs are high

  • No guaranteed stop loss

  • No automated trading capabilities

IG: Best for U.S. Traders

  • Account Minimum: $250
  • Fees: Spread cost; Overnight financing costs; Inactivity fees
  • Best for: U.S. Traders
Read full review

Why We Chose It

IG Group (IG), founded in 1974 by Stuart Wheeler as the world’s first spread betting firm, is part of IG Group Holdings plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) conglomerate. Unlike most brokers on this list, IG does accept U.S. forex traders, which has been the case since early 2019 when the company re-entered the U.S. market.

Globally, IG is for anyone wanting to trade CFDs. In the U.S., it's for clients who want to trade the foreign exchange markets. It's as simple as that. To deliver on this successfully, IG has adopted the time-honored adage, "go big or go home" because it can. Low spread costs, an emphasis on customer service and education, actionable research, and functional user interfaces make this broker well-suited to compete in the online forex broker market.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Extensive range of offerings

  • Accepts U.S. clients

  • Regulated by FCA (U.K.) and CFTC, NFA (U.S.)

  • Emphasis on education and research

  • Offers protection for U.K./E.U. client accounts

Cons
  • No account protection for U.S. clients

  • No guaranteed stop losses for U.S. clients

  • No copy trading or back-testing integration on IG platform

  • High share-CFD fees

Pepperstone: Best for Trading Experience

  • Account Minimum: 200 units of the base currency
  • Fees: Spread costs; Overnight financing costs
  • Best for: Trading Experience
Read full review

Why We Chose It

Since opening its doors in 2010, Australia-based Pepperstone Group has emerged as a top-tier player in the online brokerage landscape, building a highly competitive and full-featured trading portal that focuses on forex, shares, indices, metals, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

Pepperstone offers uncomplicated access to the markets, which allows clients to focus on the complicated task of successfully trading the markets. Pepperstone is ideally suited to traders who want a manageable range of low-cost offerings, multiple choices of user interfaces and account types, and efficient customer support.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Low FX spreads

  • Regulated by FCA (U.K.)

  • Offers protection for U.K. client accounts

  • Range of platform offerings

Cons
  • Website maintenance substandard

  • Does not accept U.S. clients

  • Limited account protection for non-U.K./E.U. clients

  • No guaranteed stop loss

Choosing the right forex broker is important. Investors should seek out a broker that offers reasonable fees, a user-friendly interface, exceptional customer service, and a breadth of offerings. CMC Market is our top pick, but your needs may be better-suited by another forex broker on our list.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Forex Trading?

Forex (or FX) trading entails trading currencies, contract for differences (CFDs), indexes, commodities, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and more on the global foreign exchange market, the largest and most liquid asset market in the world.

In the forex markets, currencies trade against each other as exchange rate pairs. The EUR/USD would be a currency pair for trading the euro against the U.S. dollar, for example.

The forex markets exist as spot markets, as well as derivatives markets, offering forwards, futures, options, and currency swaps.

Investors trade in the forex markets as a hedge against international currency and interest rate risk, as a means to speculate on geopolitical events, and to diversify their portfolios, among other reasons.

Is Forex Good for Beginning Investors?

Forex trading can be complicated, but it's certainly possible for beginning investors to diversify their portfolios by trading currencies and other forex assets. It would be wise to exercise caution and take the time to educate yourself on the assets in which you wish to trade. There's a wealth of education and research resources available through a number of forex trading platforms, so take the time to avail yourself of this information.

How Do I Start Trading Forex?

First and foremost, do your research. Beginning investors should avail themselves of the wealth of research and educational resources available through trading platforms and sites like Investopedia.

Next, compare forex brokers, choose one that suits your trading needs, and open an account.

Then you'll want to build out your strategy for trading in the forex markets.

Finally, open, monitor, and close your first position. And you've successfully become a forex trader.

How Much Money Do I Need to Begin Forex Trading?

You can start with as little as $100 in most cases, but it's important to note that forex trades are made in standard lots of 100,000 units of currency. This may require you to invest more than $100.

What Types of Assets Can I Trade?

The range of products offered by forex brokers varies, and you'll want to choose a broker that provides a wider range of tradeable offerings, including currency pairs, indexes, commodities, shares, and cryptocurrencies, among others.

How We Chose the Best Brokers for Forex Trading

We research and reviewed more than a dozen forex brokers based on the breadth of products offered; fees, including spreads and commissions; the ease-of-use of the platform; training and educational resources; customer support; regulatory safeguards; trustworthiness; and more. All of these factors were weighted based on their importance to users.

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Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing traders and investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of several months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the trading experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on their platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting thousands of data points that we weighed into our star scoring system.

In addition, every broker we surveyed was asked to fill out a comprehensive survey about all aspects of their platform that we used in our testing.

Our team of industry experts conducted our reviews and developed this best-in-industry methodology for ranking online platforms for users at all levels. Click here to read our full methodology.