Both CMC Markets and Oanda are market makers who offer their own trading platforms and MetaTrader 4. CMC offers 9500 CFD products and 348 forex currency pairs starting from 0.3 pips for EUR/USD. Oanda offers 2 account types, fewer CFDs but 70 forex pairs with low spreads from 0.1 pips.
Both brokers offer a diverse range of currency pairs, customers of Oanda can trade 70 different fx pairs, while CMC Markets have access to a staggering 348 foreign exchange markets.
Oanda advertises spreads as low as 0.1 pips for EUR/USD and CMC Markets advertise spreads from 0.3 pips for the same currency pair. The table below shows the average spreads for each broker, you will notice these spreads are higher than the minimum spreads which only occur in exceptional circumstances.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
CMC Markets and Oanda are considered market makers and not ECN-style brokers. Customers of both online brokers face low trading costs with spreads inclusive of commission fees. Spreads for the EUR/USD fx pair average 1.2 pips when trading forex with CMC Markets, while Oanda average spread is 1.1 pips for the currency pair.
Traders will gain access to narrower spreads on most major currency pairs when trading with CMC Markets compared to Oanda. Additionally, CMC Markets clients have 348 fx pairs to choose from, whereas Oanda’s offers 70. With tighter spreads and more forex pairs, CMC Markets is the clear winner.
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Oanda offers a Standard or Premium retail investor account. Both account types provide access to the same products, yet premium account holders receive personalised customer support and access to priority service. Additionally, if premium account holders traded a certain volume, they can access tighter spreads. On the other hand, forex traders using CMC Markets can choose from a CFD or Corporate account, with spreads, market access and trading tools the same across both account types.
Both online brokers provide perks to high-volume traders through reward programs. At CMC Markets, traders can earn monthly rebates. To quality for rebates, a minimum trading volume is required per month, which differs between asset classes. The broker offers three rebate tiers, depending on trading volume and rebate amount.
At Oanda, high-volume traders gain benefits through the broker’s Advanced Trader Reward Program. With three different premium account tiers, customers gain access to tighter spreads as their trading volume increases. For instance, if a trading accounts monthly trading volume surpasses $500 million, the trader will gain access to spreads that are 0.3 pips less than a Standard account.
Both CMC Markets and Oanda offer basic account types, with no ECN-like option available. Other than both brokers rewarding high volume traders, customers are limited to a classic account structure. As CMC and Oanda both lack options when it comes to trading account types, they tie in this round.
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CMC Markets and Oanda are well-established online brokers overseen by multiple financial authorities around the globe. Oanda founded in 1995, while CMC Markets was established in 1989 and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Subsidiaries of the online broker’s follow the regulation of the jurisdiction they are operating from, therefore investor protection varies between countries.
Both Oanda and CMC Markets have the following regulators:
Oanda is also overseen by the following regulators
CMC Markets is also overseen by the following regulators
As regulation varies between regulators, traders registered with different subsidiaries of the brokers will receive a different level of protection. For example, traders with European-based regulators such as FCA, CySEC, BaFin will receive negative balance protection. Other regulators do not receive these benefits unless the broker chooses to offer it as a feature.
While the FCA enforces some of the most stringent regulation, authorities such as ASIC, MAS and the FMA require basic investor protection such as segregated client accounts, where customer funds must not be used as operational capital.
Both CMC Markets and Oanda are regulated by multiple top-tier financial authorities and considered safe, trusted online brokers. Yet CMC Markets is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and therefore offers increased transparency and security.
Oanda and CMC Markets have similar platform offerings. Both online brokers offer a choice of MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and proprietary trading platforms, with neither broker offering MetaTrader 5 (MT5) or cTrader. Unfortunately, both brokers do not offer any social trading features, with no third party providers available such as Myfxbook or ZuluTrade available.
CMC Markets proprietary software, Next Generation, is available in a Standard or Advanced format, with both versions offering advanced trading and charting tools. Next Generation is available as a desktop platform, web-based platform, as well as iPhone, iPad and Android trading apps. Features available on the desktop version of Next Generation include:
Oanda’s proprietary platform, Oanda Trade is a fully customisable interface available as a desktop, web or mobile trading platform. Technical analysis tools available on Oanda Trade include:
Although the intuitive design makes it excellent for those new to trading, advanced traders may prefer MT4 due to the lack of Expert Advisors and advanced technical tools offered on Oanda Trade.
Many traders prefer MetaTrader 4 over online broker’s proprietary trading platforms as they offer Expert Advisor functionality. MT4 is the gold standard of forex trading platforms, with Expert Advisors allowing for sophisticated algorithmic strategies to be implemented when trading with both CMC Markets or Oanda. Expert Advisors can be created using MQL4 (MetaQuotes Language 4) or downloaded from online libraries. Advantages of using MT4 include:
Oanda also offers a proprietary plug-in for MT4 to enhance technical analysis. The additional features include access to intraday market scanning, pattern recognitions tools, client sentiment data and automated alerts.
MetaTrader 4 is available as a desktop platform, webtrader platform as well as iOS and Android mobile apps with both CMC Markets and Oanda.
When comparing the trading platforms offered by both brokers, CMC Markets and Oanda tie as they offer a similar selection of proprietary platforms and MetaTrader 4. At CompareForexBrokers, we recommend using MT4 due to its Expert Advisor and technical analysis tools.
With over 9,500+ financial instruments, CMC Markets offers one of the best CFD product ranges available to retail investor accounts. While Oanda, on the other hand, offers a limited catalogue of CFDs, with only 33 additional CFDs on top of their 70 forex pairs.
When trading CFDs with CMC Markets, customers can easily develop diversified portfolios that include a variety of asset classes. To access the full product range, a user is required to trade via the broker’s proprietary platform, Next Generation. CMC Markets customers using MetaTrader 4 are restricted to trading Forex, Commodities and Indices, with Crypto, Share and Treasury markets not accessible via MT4.
CMC Markets offers its clients one of the widest product ranges available. With over 9,500 financial instruments to choose from, it is impossible for Oanda to beat CMC Markets in this round.
Oanda customers wanting to trade Crypto CFDs are limited in choice. The online broker offers only offers Bitcoin CFDs with 2:1 leverage.
At CMC Markets, clients have 8 different Cryptocurrencies to choose from being Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, EOS and Monero.
As well as individual Crypto instruments, clients can trade CMC Markets Cryptocurrency Indices that eliminates a traders’ need to develop trading strategies with multiple Crypto CFDs. The broker offers three index structures:
For those wanting to integrate Crypto CFDs into their trading strategies, CMC Markets is the clear winner due to the diversity in products.
Like with other asset classes, CMC Markets offers a greater range of Cryptocurrencies than Oanda. As well as the ability to trade 8 different individual Cryptos, customers can integrate Crypto Indices into their trading strategies.
One thing that is important to note is that clients with OANDA Europe Limited and CMC Markets UK plc cannot offer cryptocurrency trading. This is because these subsidiaries are regulated by the FCA, which forbid cryptocurrency trading.
If you are trading from mainland Europe, then cryptocurrency trading is an option for CMC Markets clients are they have a European subsidiary known as CMC Markets Germany GmbH which is regulated by BaFin, Germany’s financial regulator currently permits crypto trading.
When trading CFDs with Oanda or CMC Markets, risk management tools vary depending on the trading platform being used. Both online brokers offer a similar range of order types to minimize trading strategies’ risk.
As well as the above order types, CMC Markets offers Good till Cancelled and Good till Time order time limits, while an Only Good till Date is available at Oanda.
When using CMC Markets platform Next Generation, clients can incorporate Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders (GSLOs) to reduce the high risk of CFD trading. Traders pay a premium to place a GSLO, yet if the order is not executed, the fee is refunded.
CFD trading is a high-risk investment activity due to volatile markets and the high leverage available. Maximum leverage limits vary with the asset class and the brokers’ location. For instance, foreign exchange leverage is capped at 30:1 in the United Kingdom, while Australian forex traders’ can leverage positions up to 500:1. Traders are encouraged to account for leverage levels in risk management strategies, as leverage magnifies gains as well as losses, increasing the risk of forex trading.
CMC Markets and Oanda both offer a range of different order types to assist with risk management, yet as CMC Markets offers Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders for a premium, they win this round.
Traders can use live chat, phone and email to contact an Oanda representative, with phone and live chat available 24 hours a day Sunday to Friday. Oanda’s customer service is known to be slow, with up to 7-day delays with email responses. Although their customer support could be improved, Oanda’s educational material is a useful resource for traders. The broker offers webinars, platform tutorials and other educational videos, covering topics ranging from trading strategies to account management.
Unlike Oanda, CMC Markets provides award-winning customer support, with quick responses via live chat, phone or email. While customer service representatives are only contactable 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday, enquiries are usually responded to within one working day. Similarly to Oanda, CMC Markets offers a great selection of educational resources including webinars, tutorials and articles covering CFD trading and strategies.
When opening an account with Oanda, clients can choose from 9 different base currencies: EUR, AUD, USD, GBP, CAD, CHF, JPY, SGD and HKD. Oanda requires no initial minimum deposit to start trading, with most funding methods fee-free. When depositing funds with Oanda, no initial minimum deposit is required. Deposit methods include debit and credit card, PayPal, internet banking, wire transfer, SWIFT wire and bank transfer, although certain methods are restricted in some countries. Withdrawals are free of charge if funds are withdrawn through PayPal, or if it is the client’s first debit card withdrawal for the month. Further withdrawals made within that month cost $15, while funds withdrawn via bank transfer incur a $20 fee.
CMC Markets, on the other hand, offers 10 base currencies (NZD, EUR, CAD, GBP, USD, SGD, AUD, NOK, PLN and SEK) and no fees for deposits and withdrawals (except instant and international bank transfers which incur a £15 fee). Deposit and withdrawal methods vary between broker locations, with options including wire transfer, credit and debit cards and e-wallet methods such as POLi and PayPal.
Oanda charges a $10 monthly inactivity fee if a trader does not place an order for 2 years, while CMC Markets charges £10 after 1 year of inactivity.
Both brokers provide a range of deposit and withdrawal methods. Although most funding methods are free of charge, fees are applicable in some circumstances (i.e. more than one withdrawal a month with Oanda, or for instant transactions with CMC). Therefore, the online brokers tie in regards to funding methods.
When comparing CMC Markets and Oanda, certain features are similar such as customer service, account types, trading platforms, regulation and funding methods. Yet, when the online broker’s forex spreads and CFD product ranges are compared, CMC Markets is the clear winner. With over 9,500 CFDs to choose from, commission-free spreads averaging 0.7 pips, and a range of risk management tools available, CMC Markets customers are provided excellent market access and trading conditions.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.