Alpari vs Oanda
In this Forex broker comparison, we’ll be taking a look at Alpari, a Mauritius-based Forex broker, and Oanda, a broker that operates both in the United States and across the globe. Both brokerages accumulated over twenty years of market experience and have become household names in the Forex industry, but are on decidedly different paths. Alpari is home to over 2,000,000 clients and has earned a sound reputation for PAMM accounts. Oanda has grown more quietly, and remains more popular among North American traders.
This comparison will focus on the following four aspects plus an ultimate verdict:
|Feature||Alpari (visit site)||Oanda (visit site)|
|FSC||CFTC, NFA, IIROC, FCA, MAS, ASIC, FSA|
Type of Broker:
|Market Maker||Market Maker|
U.S. Clients Allowed:
|£100 or a currency equivalent||No minimum deposit|
Commissions / Spreads:
Features and Platforms
Alpari provides traders with the MT4/MT5 trading platforms only. The brokerage claims to offer ECN trading, but regrettably, this broker fails to specify which ECN bridge it provides to connect MT4/MT5 accounts to the Electronic Communication Network (ECN), which makes us skeptical about the ECN offering overall. Also unfortunately, the supported trading platforms come as a basic version only, as Alpari doesn’t offer any required third-party plugins. This leaves traders without critical features and requires further investment to upgrade the trading environment.
PAMM accounts remain at the core of Alpari with over 56,000 PAMM accounts and 550,000 traders. Social trading is additionally supported through the Alpari CopyTrade platform. New traders can take advantage of webinars and written content that provides traders with a solid understanding of the Forex markets. Complementing a great trading environment is the free research provided by Alpari and a loyalty cashback program, which reduces trading costs for active traders.
Oanda has developed its own proprietary trading platform but also provides traders access to the popular MetaTrader 4 platform.Traders with existing trading solutions built on the MT4 infrastructure will get the same trading conditions via the Oanda MT4 plugin. Advanced charts are included in the proprietary trading platform through a partnership with TradingView. The Oanda MT4 Open Order feature shows market sentiment based on this broker’s order book. Developers are supported via a series of Oanda APIs, allowing for the development of customized trading solutions.
This broker hosts webinars and created a basic introduction to trading. Educational content consists of written articles and videos, and new traders will find an acceptable selection of material. The MarketPulse section offers traders research, trading ideas, and news. Oanda does list a failure rate of 73.5%, which ranks in the middle of the spectrum of brokers required to disclose this information.
|Type of Platform:||MT4, MT5||MT4, proprietary platform|
Guaranteed Stop Loss:
Interest on Margin:
Alpari lists over 250 assets available for trade, with a definite focus on the Forex market. The commodity selection remains a weak point, as only four assets are accessible. Only ten equity CFDs provided, that merely serves as a justification to list this asset class, eleven index CFDs offer traders basic diversification. Four cryptocurrencies are also available. Oanda offers a great selection of currency pairs and complements this with a solid selection of commodity CFDs. Index CFDs remain limited, but this broker offers bond CFDs as another means of diversification. The broad asset selection at both brokers is acceptable for pure Forex traders.
Typical Spreads and Fees
Spreads in the Alpari Micro account start at 1.7 pips for the EUR/USD, but are reduced to 1.2 pips in the Standard account. The Pro MT4 account grants traders access to spreads as low as 0.4 pips but require a minimum deposit of $25,000 or a currency equivalent. The most competitive trading environment is provided in the ECN account, where traders can operate with a minimum deposit of just $500 for a starting spread of 0.4 pips and with a commission of only $3 per lot. This marks one of the most trader-friendly cost structures in today’s brokerage industry.
Spreads at Oanda are significantly higher, the lowest spread we found during this Alpari and Oanda comparison was 0.9 pips. There are no commissions charged, but the mark-up on spreads substitutes for it. This broker offers a Premium account for a deposit of $20,000, but critical trading conditions are the same as in the Standard account.
Swap rates on overnight leveraged positions apply at both brokerages, but Alpari does offer a swap-free Islamic account which is not currently available at Oanda. Corporate actions impact equity and index CFDs and are passed on to traders at Alpari and Oanda. An inactivity fee of $10 per month is charged by Oanda if an account showed no activity for three months. Third-party charges on deposits and withdrawals apply, Oanda grants one free withdrawal to a credit/debit card per month. Traders will find the overall trading costs at Alpari far superior over Oanda, and this has a direct impact on the profitability of portfolios.
The most competitive trading environment at Alpari is located in the ECN account, with spreads as low as 0.4 pips and a commission of $3 per lot. This broker mentions the minimum spread at 0.1 pips in a different section of its website.
Trading costs are Oanda are much higher than those at Alpari, and in combination with less leverage, it creates an uncompetitive trading environment.
Security and Trust
Alpari’s owner, Exinity LTD, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Mauritius as a full-service investment dealer excluding underwriting services. Adding a layer of protection is this broker’s participation in The Financial Commission’s compensation fund, offering coverage up to €20,000 per case, and on par with EU protection. The Financial Commission, operating out of Hong Kong, is the world’s first external dispute resolution (EDR) mechanism. It provides brokers the freedom required to offer a competitive advantage, and traders the protection equal of that provided by respected regulators. Alpari has remained in full compliance with its regulator but hosts a past dotted with bankruptcies and market exits.
Oanda’s main regulator is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), but this brokerage is additionally regulated by FCA in the UK, the IIROC in Canada, the MAS in Singapore, the ASIC in Australia, and the FSA in Japan. The regulatory record is spotless, and each entity provides a different protective scheme. Traders can fully trust both brokers and manage their portfolios in a secure trading environment.
Alpari opted for a combination of a light regulatory jurisdiction with additional protection through The Financial Commission’s compensation fund. The result is an outstanding, cost-effective regulatory solution.
Oanda opted for regulation with market-leading regulators, but the outcome is on par with that of Alpari.
Alpari vs Oanda Verdict
Alpari has created an outstanding trading environment over the past two decades, and though the company has made some missteps along the way, it has certainly learned from them. The result is an ever-improving brokerage, focused on retail account management via PAMM accounts, and supporting social trading through Alpari CopyTrade. Automated traders will find thin spreads in its ECN account, together with maximum leverage of 1:1000 and market-leading low commissions charges a perfect combination for above-average portfolio growth.
Oanda enjoys a market-leading position in North America but at the cost of an uncompetitive trading environment in the rest of the world. This broker executes its business model properly and is undoubtably a solid choice for North American traders. That being said, global traders will likely find the offerings at Alpari more enticing.
Alpari provides a much better overall service as compared to Oanda, from its pricing environment and asset selection to a more dedicated approach to retail asset management and a wider array of social and automated trading systems. For non-US traders, Alpari wins this broker comparison hands down.
Does Alpari or Oanda offer lower pricing?
Alpari offers high-frequency traders lower pricing with minimum spreads of 0.4 pips for a commission of just $3 per round lot. It represents one of the most competitive offers available in today’s marketplace. Low-frequency traders will find a superior choice at Oanda, where the minimum mark-up is 0.6 pips, free of commissions, versus 1.2 pips at Alpari. The Oanda spreads represent one of the best commission-free structures.
Is Alpari or Oanda safer for Forex and CFDs trading?
While Oanda has oversight from more regulators, both brokers remain safe choices for Forex and CFDs trading. Alpari and Oanda segregate client deposits, offer negative balance protection, and select jurisdictions provide an investor compensation fund. Both brokers have a spotless regulatory record, placing them on the same trustworthy and reliable platform. Alpari maintains a more efficient combination of regulation and protection, granting traders a more competitive trading environment following a series of business missteps.
Which trading platform is better: Alpari or Oanda?
Alpari provides traders with the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms, but only the basic version. Oanda offers MT4 and its proprietary webtrader but also provides an upgrade consisting of 28 trading tools, placing it well-ahead of Alpari. Social trading is not available at Oanda, but Alpari developed its proprietary Alpari CopyTrade. Overall, Oanda maintains a notable edge.
What are the minimum deposits for these brokers?
The Alpari minimum deposit for the Standard account is $100 or a currency equivalent, but the Micro version is available for $5. The ECN option requires $500, and MT4 Pro commands $25,000. Oanda has no minimum deposit requirement.