While the stock market has been immensely popular in the States for more than a century, forex isn’t too far behind nowadays. The United States is one of the leading forex hubs globally since the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency. Unlike clients from other countries, US traders face a unique challenge as very few brokers can serve them in their region.
The reasons for this exclusion are down to the exorbitant cost for brokers to obtain a license from the NFA (National Futures Association), registration with the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), and adhering to some of the strict policies.
Fortunately, a few recognized forex brokers have been successfully operating in the States. This article has narrowed down the selection of the best forex brokers for US clients to five, many of which have been around for well over two decades. We have chosen each of these based on specific criteria and also outlined the main factors clients should observe with US forex brokers.
Top 5 Forex Brokers Accepting US Clients
Best Overall: IG
Currency Pairs: 104
EURUSD Spread: 0.8 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:50
Established in 1974 under the name Investors Gold Index or IG Index, IG is one of the oldest forex brokers in the world. As expected, they now provide all popular financial instruments under the sun, namely equities, crypto, commodities, indices, futures, regular and exotic options.
To further exemplify the longevity of IG, they have been a listed brand on the London Stock Exchange since 2000 and also form part of the prestigious FTSE 250. In addition to being regulated by the NFA, IG has licenses from nine other countries, making the group even more trusted and reputable in the industry.
Products-wise, IG is unquestionably supreme in forex services, offering an all-in-one package of industry-leading platforms, cost-effective pricing, thorough education through their DailyFX website, and accessible payment options. They tick virtually all boxes, making them the best overall.
- Holds regulatory licenses from several regions
- Extensive range of forex markets
- Different trading platforms available
- Simple account structure
- Broad education through DailyFX
- Limited depositing options
- Restricted from providing their services in many countries
Best US ECN Forex Broker: Forex.com
Currency Pairs: 55
EURUSD Spread: 0.6 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:400
Forex.com is yet another time-honored and trusted broker. It originates from the States in 2001 and claims to be #1 in the country. The entity is now a subsidiary of the NASDAQ-listed financial services conglomerate StoneX Group Inc.
In line with the stringent regulatory environment for forex in the States, clients can rest assured in the trust, capitalization, technology, efficiency, and customer service from the broker.
As an ECN (electronic communications network) broker, Forex.com provides direct access to the interbank market, allowing for consistently reasonable spreads and reliably fast execution. Together with availing 82 currency pairs, clients can also trade indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, and equities with the same provider.
- Holds multiple regulatory licenses
- Has been in operation since 2001
- Provides several accounts
- Vast selection of forex markets
- Provides dedicated educational material
- Complex margin requirements for some currency pairs
- Charges inactivity fee
Best US-Based Forex Broker: TD Ameritrade
Currency Pairs: 73
EURUSD Spread: 1.2 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:4
TD Ameritrade is another long-standing American derivatives brokerage as it was formed in 1975. The brand has been at the forefront of trading technology from the past to the present.
It started from the days of the push-button telephone in the late 80s to acquiring a firm that was one of the first to offer an electronic trading platform. Ameritrade has been the subject of numerous acquisitions in its long, eventful history, deals that have made them stronger and built up its reputation.
It has been a subsidiary of the NYSE-listed financial services institution Charles Schwab since 2020. All these attributes easily make TD Ameritrade a trusted brand, particularly for the American market.
For users looking for a different trading experience, they will marvel at thinkorswim, Ameritrade’s proprietary and well-known software.
- Regulated in four countries
- Zero commissions on most services
- Wide range of forex instruments
- Dedicated educational mediums
- Doesn’t offer MT4 or MT5 trading platform
- No minimum deposit, but the broker recommends $2000 for margin purposes
- Restrictions on some european countries’ clients
Best Low Spread US Forex Broker: Interactive Brokers
Currency Pairs: 23
EURUSD Spread: 0.2 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:50
Interactive Brokers began in 1978 during the days of open outcry in trading pits. As expected from such a long-standing brokerage, Interactive Brokers has adopted every technological shift ever since to become a globally competitive leader in forex, metals, ETFs, bonds, stocks, futures, funds, and options.
Along with regulatory licenses from several regions, the company boasts 24 offices in 14 different countries. US clients can expect tight spreads from Interactive Brokers because of their access to inexhaustible liquidity provided by 17 of the most prominent providers in the global interbank market.
By connecting with this many dealers, the broker can consistently provide the most cost-effective quotes for their traders, allowing them to process several billion trades daily. It is no wonder Interactive is the recommended choice for low spread US forex brokers.
- Listed on the NASDAQ
- Multi-regulatory status
- Has existed since 1977
- Provides a few account options
- $0 minimum deposit on most of their accounts
- Only has 23 currency pairs
- Unusually high monthly inactivity fee
Best For Binary Forex Trading: Nadex
Currency Pairs: 11
EURUSD Spread: 0.2 pips
Leverage: Up to 1:500
Founded in 2004, Nadex (North American Derivatives Exchange) is a US-based securities exchange specializing in the binary options trading of forex, indices, and commodities for retail clients.
They are one of the very first American financial brands to offer options, and they are one of the largest in this realm. Binary options are a unique method of speculating in forex different from ordinary trading where traders bet on two-fold short-term outcomes of where price will be before a defined expiry date.
Although they are slightly pricier to trade than regular forex, users like binary options due to their simple fixed risk high reward nature. Fortunately, one of the reasons Nadex is a recommended brand in the American market is because of its simplified, transparent cost structure where traders only incur a small fee for execution and settlement.
Along with most of their payment methods being zero-commission, educational resources, and a simple-to-use trading platform, Nadex is a trusted choice for binary options forex traders in the States.
- Owned by the IG Group
- Fee-free deposits
- $250 minimum deposit
- Good educational content available
- Levies inactivity fee
- Only offers 11 forex pairs for binary options
- Limited funding options
What is important when choosing a US forex broker?
Below are the main factors clients should consider when choosing a US forex broker:
As with choosing a broker from any region, regulation is often the first reference point. With forex being a keenly-speculated financial market, security and transparency are of the utmost importance to prevent scams and other fraudulent behavior.
Clients deposit their hard-earned money through their broker. Hence, they deserve the peace of mind of knowing the broker is well-capitalized and handles their funds responsibly. Furthermore, regulation ensures the broker adheres to providing users with fair trading conditions and withdrawal procedures.
The topic of regulation is somewhat unique in the United States compared to other regions. Many globally recognized brokers surprisingly do not offer their services to American clients, despite an existing population of some 330 million.
This lack is primarily due to the expensive cost of CFTC registration and NFA regulation. So, inherently, achieving regulation is particularly difficult. However, the policies for financial services companies in America are also stringent, which benefits clients since it limits potential offshore and scam brokers.
Prospective traders can easily verify a broker’s regulation license numbers with the CFTC and the NFA.
Unfortunately, due to US regulations, forex brokers are not permitted to offer negative balance protection like those from the rest of the world.
It, therefore, becomes more imperative for traders to understand the margin requirements of their prospective broker in line with their trading capital. apply caution not to over-leverage to the point of their balance going to zero. The maximum leverage brokers can give to US clients is 1:50, applying caution not to over-leverage to the point of their balance going to zero.
Luckily, the landscape for costs with brokers globally is quite competitive, with only slight differences existing. However, a trader will firstly want to know whether their broker offers fixed and variable spreads and how that may affect their execution and strategy.
Brokers offering fixed spreads apply a commission, which a prospective client should compare with other firms. Lastly, just a quick comparison of the charges (if any) for funding and withdrawing will help users plan the costs for the payment options.
Generally, most brokers will have a selection of the 28 combinations for the major and minor pairs. Some traders go beyond this range by observing exotic markets which aren’t as accessible as the popular instruments.
In most scenarios, the more, the merrier because some users may add more derivatives to their portfolio in the future and prefer not to be limited by selection. This attribute doesn’t apply only to forex. Many participants may switch to another derivative like stocks or indices or trade these alongside currencies.
More and more websites are moving towards live chat functions, and brokers are no exception. This method is usually quicker than email and telephone, and queries are generally answered on the spot.
The latter channels are still, of course, imperative for human interaction, but live chat and even instant messaging are faster and cost-effective.
For US traders, the process of selecting the best broker might feel cumbersome because of the limited selection and some of the regulatory policies. This article should make this process a lot less time-consuming and more straightforward.
We’ve only outlined brokers with the most experience already serving American clients who are heavily regulated and reputable. For users needing more guidance in picking one broker they might consider, this article will hopefully provide light on the factors worth considering.