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Why US Traders Should Compare Forex Brokers?

Traders in the USA should aim to minimise participating in forex scams (regulation), adopt the most advanced trading platform while minimising the brokerage while trading. With these three objectives in mind, I have outlined below the core elements to look for when choosing a broker.

1. Regulation Compliance

The US is one of the most regulated in the world when it comes to currency trading. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA) are the main regulators overseeing American derivatives and futures markets. These two bodies develop and enforce rules to protect investors and ensure market integrity, from reporting timelines to margin limits to market capitalisation requirements.

Due to the strict rules set out by American regulators, only the largest and best-capitalized can afford to enter. As of January 2024, only ten top forex brokers worldwide hold a license from the NFA.

Choosing a US-regulated forex broker minimises the risk of exposure to forex scams and fraud. Unregulated brokers regularly target this lucrative region, and trading with a licensed, regulated broker offers valuable protections for discretionary traders.

2. Spreads

The spread in forex trading represents the difference between a forex pair’s bid (buy) and ask (sell) price and typically represents the broker’s profit. Wide spreads can eat into your trading earnings, so reviewing published spread data is important to understand your potential with a given broker.

3. Forex Trading Platforms

Most forex traders opt for the globally popular platform MetaTrader 4 (MT4). The world’s most widely used trading platform, many top brokers offer MT4 with combinations of integrations and trading tools. It also has the largest Expert Advisor (EA) marketplace and community, simplifying sharing bots and other automation programs.

The platform is mobile friendly with a web-based mobile platform and trading apps, including:

  • iPhone App
  • iPad App
  • Android App

Other trading platform options include MetaTrader 5, which focuses on financial markets beyond currency, and TradingView, which has an excellent user interface and technical analysis tools and charting. Algorithmic traders will appreciate cTrader’s powerful bots.

Many brokers also offer their own proprietary trading platforms. IG Group, for example, has developed an award-winning platform with advanced functionalities.


Is forex trading legal in the US?

Yes, forex trading is legal for US citizens and US residents; when trading Forex, you will be trading using spot products, not CFD products.  You must use a broker registered and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and be listed as a National Futures Association (NFA) member. Using an appropriately regulated broker ensures the brokers follow the strict requirements set by the CFTC and NFA which will help protect you as a trader.

Is forex trading taxed in the US?

Yes, forex trading is taxed in the US. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) treats online trading as a business activity, so you must record and report your profits to the IRS. Whether you pay capital gains tax, stamp duty reserve tax or income tax will depend on how frequently you trade and the volume of transactions.

Who is the CFTC?

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the federal agency responsible for overseeing the derivatives markets in the US. Its primary responsibilities include ensuring market transparency, investigating potential misconduct by exchanges, brokers and clearinghouses, and enforcing rules.

Who is the NFA?

The National Futures Association (NFA) is a regulatory organisation authorised by the CFTC to oversee the activities of specific financial services companies, such as futures commission merchants (FCMs), commodity pool operators (CPOs), commodity trading advisors (CTAs), and introducing brokers (IBs) that are members of the NFA.

Can you trust Forex brokers in the US?

Yes, you can trust forex brokers in the US. The CFTC and the NFA impose some of the strictest controls on derivatives trading of any regulator worldwide. The requirements for an NFA license are so intense only the largest and most well-capitalized brokers can afford them.

What are the forex trading hours in the US?

You can trade forex 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the US. However, the most popular hours for trading fall between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST. Volume peaks between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM, making these the best times for high liquidity.

Can I trade with MetaTrader 4 in the US?

Yes, you can trade forex on the MetaTrader 4 trading platform in the US. Many of our top choice brokers offer this option, including OANDA. You should be aware, however, that you can only trade via MT4’s mobile app if you use an Android phone.

How do I choose a forex broker?

To choose a CFTC-regulated forex broker that aligns with your needs, consider the following factors:

  • Trading style. Particular styles call for specific trading tools.
  • Trading budget. Look for tight spreads and low commissions if you’re on a limited budget.
  • Educational materials. New traders may need more resources to get the most out of trading.

If you are a beginner, you should be looking for a forex broker that offers good customer support as well as a good demo account with which you can experiment on the foreign exchange market and with other markets, such as cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin) and indices. As a retail trader, you should look for a user-friendly platform that offers mobile trading to maximise your trading experience.

How do I know if my forex broker is regulated?

You can check the status of your preferred US forex broker via the online registry on the NFA website.

Which forex broker has the best trading platform?

The forex broker with the best trading platform will depend on your specific trading style and experience level. If you need access to centralised exchanges, you’ll want MetaTrader 5. If you need advanced charting, you’ll want a broker with TradingView.

Which forex broker offers the most currency pairs? offers the most currency pairs to trade with of any US broker: more than 80. Beyond the high-volume major pairs, this broker allows you to explore minors and exotics.


best forex brokers

Best Forex Broker

A unique aspect of U.S. trading is that neither the National Futures Association (NFA) nor the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) permits CFD trading. While this may seem limiting, you can still trade the forex market through spot trading. Both CFD and spot trading are leveraged products and use similar trading platforms, although CFDs offer a wider range of financial instruments.

As mentioned above, the strict regulations the NFA and CFTC impose do limit your choice of brokers but there are still plenty of great providers. These brokers include TD Ameritrade, eToro and Interactive Brokers. You can check out our review of regulated forex brokers for the top forex brokers in the United States.

View our best US forex broker section.

trading platforms

Trading Platforms

Choosing the right forex trading platform is essential to have a great user experience. Factors such as an intuitive interface, reliability and useful trading tools are key. While MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex trading platform in the market, there are plenty of other great platforms. These include proprietary platforms that a broker has developed in-house (E.g. or other third-party platforms like cTrader or MetaTrader 5, MT4’s upgrade.

After you’ve chosen the right trading platform for you, it’s vitally important to choose an appropriate forex broker. This is because of additional features like account types, charting tools for technical analysis and social trading and copy trading tools that the broker offers. You can also try a prop trading fx firm for virtual trading.

For this, you can check out our best trading platforms in US which include brokers such as IG, Interactive Brokers and Oanda.

low spread brokers

Lowest Spread Forex Brokers

In the volatile world of foreign exchange, choosing a forex broker with the lowest spreads is paramount. This is because spot trading major currency pairs like EUR/USD or GBP/USD can get costly. As such, choosing a good forex broker with low spreads will, in turn, lower your overall trading costs.

The reason for this is that spreads are variable (unless fixed) and can widen in volatile market conditions, causing trading costs to add up. In addition, there are commissions to think about and market marker accounts that are commission-free but typically offer wider spreads. For Forex traders, this is a lot to consider.

We have looked at all of these factors for you in our low-spread forex brokers in US review.

automated trading software

Automated Trading Platforms

With the rise of algorithmic and bot trading, there are many great automated forex trading solutions out there. You can choose Expert Advisers using MetaTrader 4 (or MT5) or platforms specifically designed for automated trading. The best brokers offer solutions that cater to both audiences.

Generally suited for more experienced traders, trading robots amplify the effects of manual trading, increasing profit potential and the amount you can trade. There are also brokers such as eToro, that offer social and copy trading solutions to mirror successful trading strategies. All of the best automations can pick out trading opportunities that a human couldn’t, by analysing a huge amount of data at a faster speed.

Our best-automated trading platforms US list has all the best brokers that offer these automated trading solutions.

U.S.A. Methodology for Broker Reviews

Navigating the volatility and risk inherent in financial markets is hard enough as it is. is here to make it easy for you. The CFB team has writers with years of experience with a keen sense of detail. Key features we analyse when considering the best brokers include:

  1. Trading Accounts
  2. Trading Costs (including spreads in pips, commissions and non-trading fees such as inactivity fees)
  3. Trading Platforms (proprietary and third-party)
  4. Social and Copy Trading tools
  5. Trading Products
  6. Minimum Deposit and Funding Methods (e.g., Debit and PayPal in US dollars)
  7. Regulations

Then there are additional considerations such as risk management tools and execution types. Risk management tools include order types such as guaranteed stop losses that prevent a trader from losing too much on a trade due to slippage. Or even Negative Balance Protection, which protects a trader’s account from going into negative territory. Trading execution types are whether a broker offers no dealing desk (NDD), STP or ECN trading or whether they are a market maker. This will affect the spreads a broker can offer due to access to liquidity pools and the speed of execution.

These pages are all U.S.-focused, so we have only chosen brokers regulated by the NFA and CFTC. However, some of these brokers are multi-regulated, meaning they offer services to traders in different countries. Common subsidiaries that brokers we have reviewed are regulated by may include ASIC in Australia, CySEC in Cyprus and FCA in the UK.

As a U.S. trader, it is strongly advised that you use a broker regulated by the NFA and CFTC. However, there are many popular brokers that are not. Some such brokers that aren’t regulated by the NFA and CFTC include Pepperstone, IC Markets, Saxo Bank and XTB.

In every Forex broker review for traders based in the U.S., we are honest in our information, with the pros and cons of each broker. One thing we don’t do, however, is give trading advice so please note that all information is general in nature.

Understanding The Risks of Forex Trading

Forex and CFD trading is inherently a high-risk venture. This is particularly true when trading on margin, and especially using leverage. The more leverage you expose yourself to, the more you can lose. For inexperienced traders, it’s doubly important to manage your exposure so you don’t risk losing more than you can afford.

The maximum leverage on offer for U.S. forex brokers is up to 50:1. While this provides more flexibility when trading, it also opens up your downside risk should a trade go against you. As such, when opening an account, it’s vital to look carefully at the leverage on offer and also use the online broker resources to better educate yourself.

Additionally, with the increasing popularity of CFD and forex trading, it’s essential to only trade with a trusted and reputable broker in the U.S. This is to avoid scams from unethical companies that may pose as legitimate advisors offering their services to profit illegally. So before you sign up with a potential broker, make sure it is regulated by the NFA and CFTC in the U.S.

Disclaimer: Leveraged instruments are risky. Do your own research before trading on margin or with leverage. Trading with leverage is at your own risk.

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