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3 Best NFA-Regulated Forex Brokers for 2024

Looking for the top broker regulated by NFA? Based on our hands-on analysis, we’ve identified 3 best options tailored to various trading needs. Practical tips from our experts are included.

By:
Dan Blystone
Reviewed By:
Ola Alder
Updated: Feb 4, 2024

List of Top NFA-Regulated Forex Brokers

  • Plus500 US – Best Overall
    Cutting-edge WebTrader platform. Wide range of forex futures. Standard, Mini, and Micro contracts. Competitive commissions. 24/7 support. $100 minimum deposit.
  • IG US – Best Low Spreads
    Spreads from 0.8 pips in EUR/USD. Fast order execution. Feature-rich proprietary platform. Premium services, including rebates. Industry-leading research.
  • OANDA US – Best Trading Platform
    Unique tools and research materials. Robust range of trading platforms. Flexible account types. Variable contract sizes, as low as 1 unit. $0 minimum deposit.

NFA’s Role in US Forex Trading

Forex trading in the US is jointly regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), requiring brokers to adhere to their standards to operate in the US market.

The NFA, established by the CFTC in 1981, enforces strict rules to protect traders from manipulation and fraud. It actively monitors market activities, manages broker registrations, and ensures compliance. Brokers found violating NFA’s regulations face disciplinary actions. Furthermore, the NFA’s decisions, including rule changes and enforcement measures, need the CFTC’s approval, underlining their joint efforts to uphold market integrity and safeguard traders.

How Did FX Empire Select the Best NFA-Regulated Forex Brokers?

We carefully considered the needs of forex traders in the United States and focused on the qualities that benefit this group the most.

  • We confirmed that each broker accepts US clients and is an NFA member.
  • We assessed their overall level of financial strength and transparency.
  • We looked for forex brokers offering a diverse range of instruments, including major, minor, and exotic currency pairs.
  • We tested fees and trading costs, including spreads, commissions, swap fees, inactivity fees, and withdrawal fees, and selected the most competitive brokers.
  • We reviewed available platforms and looked for key features, including robust charting, diverse order types, 1-click trading, watchlists, alerts, and an intuitive interface.
  • We looked for insightful research and educational content to enhance traders’ understanding of the financial markets, develop effective trading strategies, and make informed decisions.
  • We checked for premium accounts including benefits like cash rebates and a dedicated account manager.

Our team of experts has identified each broker’s strengths and weaknesses using FX Empire’s comprehensive methodology.

Now let’s go through the selected brokers.

Best Overall

Trading with leverage comes with a high risk and may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Min Deposit
    $100
  • Tradable Instruments
    52
  • Fees
    Low

Established in 2008, Plus500 has grown to serve over 50 countries with 400,000 active clients. Recently, Plus500 has extended its reach to the United States, introducing futures trading through its advanced proprietary web platform and mobile app. In the US, clients can trade futures contracts in forex, indices, commodities, bonds, and cryptocurrencies.

Main Features:

  • Regulated by the NFA and CFTC
  • 13 forex futures contracts
  • Average spread in Euro FX 0.75 pips
  • Standard contract commission $0.89
  • $300 intraday margin requirement for Euro FX
  • Plus500 WebTrader platform, iPhone/iPad, Android, and Windows apps
  • Minimum deposit $100
  • Dedicated support team for US customers via live chat and email
  • Deposit bonus of up to $200

Plus500 has significantly invested in its WebTrader platform, prioritizing user-friendliness. This platform boasts a suite of sought-after features, such as customizable watchlists, in-chart trading, and integrated live chat support. The seamless transition between demo and live trading modes stands out, along with the convenience of simultaneously placing an initial order, profit target, and stop loss. This user-centric approach simplifies futures trading, making the process straightforward and intuitive on the WebTrader platform.

To freely day trade stocks in the US requires an account balance of at least $25,000, but this is not the case with futures. Plus500 US lowers the barrier of entry to active trading with a $100 minimum deposit, competitive commissions, and low intraday margin requirements for a diverse range of futures contracts.

Pros
  • Innovative WebTrader platform
  • Feature-rich mobile app
  • Competitive commissions
  • Standard, Mini, and Micro contracts
Cons
  • No phone support

Best Low Spreads

74% of retail CFD accounts lose money
  • Min Deposit
    $250
  • Tradable Instruments
    82
  • Fees
    Low

Established in 1974, IG is the most seasoned broker I've reviewed for FX Empire. This heavyweight in the forex industry, headquartered in London, now serves over 300,000 clients globally with offices spanning five continents. A constituent of the FTSE 250, IG Group is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: IGG). In 2019, IG US was launched, granting American traders access to the international forex market, complete with leverage and competitive spreads.

Main Features:

  • Regulated by the NFA and CFTC
  • 82 currency pairs
  • Average EUR/USD spread 0.8 Pips
  • IG Web Platform, IG Mobile App, MetaTrader 4, ProRealTime
  • Minimum deposit $250
  • Dedicated support team for US customers via phone and email
  • Volume-based cash rebates
  • Not available for residents of Ohio

My hands-on tests showed that IG US offers highly competitive trading-related fees. Spreads in major pairs are among the tightest in the industry; for example, I experienced average spreads of just 0.8 pips in USD/JPY and 1 pip in GBP/USD. My assessment also indicated that swap fees are better than average. High-volume traders designated as Premium clients can earn substantial cash rebates, further lowering costs.

IG US offers an award-winning proprietary platform which I rate as among the best in the industry. Moreover, it offers a comprehensive selection of forex instruments, including majors, minors, Australasian, Scandinavian, exotic, and emerging market currencies.

IG platform is highly customizable, allowing you to tile charts, watchlists, and news to stay on top of multiple markets and data points at a glance. Features like 1-click trading and trading from the chart enabled me to be nimble in volatile markets and enter orders fast. In my experience, trader sentiment gives you powerful insight into the psychology of a market, so I found this built-in tool especially helpful.

Live account holders can also access MetaTrader 4 and ProRealTime platforms, which offer advanced capabilities like automated trading.

Pros
  • Tight spreads
  • High trust rating
  • Industry-leading research
  • Premium services
Cons
  • No chat support

Best Trading Platform

OANDA corporation is a member of NFA and is subject to NFA's regulatory oversight and examinations. However, you should be aware that NFA does not have regulatory oversight authority over underlying or spot virtual currency products or transactions or virtual currency exchanges, custodians, or markets.
  • Min Deposit
    $0
  • Tradable Instruments
    77
  • Fees
    Medium

Established in 1996, OANDA is a globally recognized broker with numerous awards. I verified that the New York-headquartered OANDA operates under the authorization of several leading regulatory bodies. Its US clients have access to a wide array of currency pairs and a curated list of the most widely traded cryptocurrencies.

Main Features:

  • Regulated by the NFA and CFTC
  • 69 currency pairs and 8 cryptocurrencies
  • Average EUR/USD spread 1.4 pips
  • OANDA Web platform and Mobile App, MetaTrader 4, TradingView
  • $0 minimum deposit
  • Dedicated support team for US customers via phone, live chat, and email
  • Volume-based cash rebates via Elite Trader account

Having spent over two years reviewing the platforms of leading forex brokers, I rate the OANDA Web platform as far better than average. I appreciated its flexible order types, robust charting, and the real-time news feed from Dow Jones. My experience trading forex taught me that sentiment data is an especially valuable indicator, so I was impressed to see the Position Ratios tool providing insights into the trading activity of OANDA’s large client base.

The Order Book is another unique tool that shows data on the traders' open positions and orders using OANDA for a given instrument. This can give traders a clue about the level of liquidity in the market at different price levels and where there may be strong support and resistance. The Heatmap tool shows the major market movers, which I found useful for finding volatile currencies that may present interesting trading opportunities.

OANDA US also checks all the boxes when it comes to research materials. Its decades of experience in the forex market are reflected in the high-quality analysis of MarketPulse writers. Third-party research tools from MultiCharts and MotiveWave, enabling strategy backtesting and optimization, cater primarily to advanced traders. Meanwhile, trading ideas from Autochartist are easy for beginners to grasp. Reliable customer support rounds out a robust overall offering from OANDA US.

Pros
  • Order Book, Heatmap, and Position Ratios tools
  • Tight spreads
  • Reliable customer support
  • Industry-leading research
Cons
  • Inactivity fee

How to Choose an NFA-Regulated Forex Broker?

When looking for a US forex broker, you should pay special attention to the following points.

What are the advantages of forex trading in the US?

Trading forex in the US has several advantages:

  • Financial Stability and Capitalization: US forex brokers are required to be financially stable and well-capitalized – CFTC rules mandate a minimum of $20M in regulatory capital. In contrast, offshore brokers may start with as little as $50K.
  • Leverage Options: Maximum available leverage in the US is 1:50 – this is higher compared to 1:30 in the UK, Europe, and Australia.
  • Rebates Program: Some leading US brokers offer rebate programs that allow clients to receive cash payments for meeting trading volume thresholds.

Check out our guide on Best forex broker in the US.

Which requirements should NFA-regulated brokers meet?

US forex brokers must register as retail foreign exchange dealers (RFEDs) with the NFA.

The NFA protects retail forex traders in the United States by managing the broker registration process, making sure brokers follow compliance rules, and watching over the market.

NFA compliance rules state that forex brokers cannot cheat, defraud, or deceive, willfully make a false report, or enter a false record in any forex transaction. The rules also dictate that brokers cannot disseminate false or misleading information or engage in manipulative acts regarding the price of a forex transaction.

For example, if a US forex broker makes false statements in promotional materials they can be heavily fined by the NFA. A common instance of where brokers have been fined is when they used language like ‘commission free’ without a disclosure stating how the firm is compensated. Other typical violations include brokers stating that funds are segregated or protected in the event of bankruptcy when they are not, or by falsely implying that customers are dealing directly in the interbank forex market when in fact the broker is the sole counterparty.

NFA member brokers must be registered with the CFTC. CFTC rules for forex brokers (retail foreign exchange dealers or RFEDs) include the following:

  • RFEDs must have capital of at least $20 million.
  • RFEDs must provide risk disclosure statements to retail forex customers comparable to those currently required for on-exchange futures trading.
  • RFEDs must hold liquid assets equal to or over the total amount of the firm’s obligation to retail forex customers in bank accounts or broker accounts.

Learn about Best CFTC-regulated forex brokers.

How to verify if a forex broker is regulated by NFA?

To verify if a forex broker is regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA), you can follow these steps:

  • Check the Broker’s Website: Regulated brokers usually display their regulatory status, including their NFA registration number, on their website, typically in the footer.
  • Search the NFA BASIC Portal: The NFA maintains a database of all registered firms and individuals. You can visit their website and use the BASIC tool to find whether a broker is an NFA member and its compliance history.

Read more about Best regulated forex brokers.

What fees to consider when choosing a forex broker?

It’s important to understand and compare the fee structures of different brokers before deciding which one to use. When choosing a forex broker, there are main types of fees that a trader should consider:

  • Spreads: The spread is the difference between the buying and selling price of a financial instrument. It’s the main way forex brokers make their money. Lower spreads generally mean lower trading costs. The spreads offered are highly important in terms of your ability to succeed as a trader, so it’s worth comparing what is available across several brokers. For example, in our assessment, spreads of less than 1 pip in EUR/USD are competitive.
  • Commissions: Some brokers charge a commission on trades in addition to spreads. This is often a fixed fee per trade, or it can be a percentage of the total trade volume.
  • Overnight or Swap Fees: If you hold a forex position open overnight, you might have to pay a fee, known as an overnight or swap fee. It’s a fee that you pay or receive depending on the interest rate difference between the two currencies involved in the pair and whether you are long or short.
  • Inactivity Fees: Some brokers charge inactivity fees if you don’t make a certain number of trades within a specified timeframe.
  • Withdrawal Fees: Some brokers may charge you for withdrawing money from your account. Check the fee structure and withdrawal methods before choosing a broker.

Not all brokers charge fees in the same way. Some charge a commission per trade, while others earn through the spread. Some may also include hidden charges like inactivity fees or withdrawal fees. It’s crucial to understand these fee structures to make an informed comparison.

Read more about Best lowest spread forex brokers.

How to choose a forex trading platform?

An intuitive, easy-to-navigate platform will allow you to launch into the trading world with minimal hitches. The most user-friendly platforms are typically browser-based platforms created by the broker. Look for easy-to-implement features such as watchlists, trading from the chart, search, news, and a customizable interface. The MetaTrader platform has advanced features like backtesting, automated trading, and a wide range of order types, but it presents a steep learning curve for beginners.

There are a variety of trading platforms available to forex traders. Here are a few that you may want to consider for gaining great trading results.

MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are among the most popular and widely used forex and CFD trading platforms, both of which are offered by many U.S. forex brokers. These platforms provide a wide range of features and tools, including advanced charting tools, automated trading through expert advisors, custom indicators, one-click trading, and portfolio management.

Check out our dedicated guides on Best MT4 forex brokers and Best MT5 forex brokers.

TradingView is a rapidly growing and widely popular charting and trading platform with over 50 million users worldwide, including in the US. It enables users to track nearly all markets and describes itself as a ‘supercharged super-charting platform and social network for traders and investors.’

Read more about Best TradingView forex brokers.

What is the minimum deposit?

The minimum deposit required by a forex broker varies widely and depends on the individual broker’s policies. Typically, the minimum deposits at forex brokers are relatively low. For example, among the brokers listed in this article, minimum initial deposits range from $0 in the case of OANDA US to $250 in the case of IG US.

What account types are available?

A broad range of account types helps a broker cater to different trader profiles.

Here are some of the most common account types offered by forex brokers in the US:

  • Standard Accounts: These are the most common types of accounts that forex brokers offer. In the US they provide access to the global forex market and may also include other markets like spot commodities and cryptocurrencies. The minimum deposit requirement for standard accounts can vary greatly between brokers.
  • Premium Accounts: These accounts are designed for high-volume or professional traders. They offer cash rebates based on the volume you trade and may have other perks like a dedicated account manager.
  • Demo Accounts: Almost all forex brokers offer demo accounts where traders can practice their strategies with virtual money before risking real money. This is a great way to get to know the broker’s platform and test your trading skills.

Read more about Best forex demo accounts.

How does leverage work?

The availability of leverage is a significant advantage in forex trading. In the United States, the amount of available leverage in forex trading is set by the National Futures Association (NFA).

The NFA maintains a tight collaboration with the CFTC across all its operations. Key NFA activities, including rule amendments, enforcement actions, and registration procedures, require review and approval from the CFTC.

Leverage allows traders to amplify their positions using borrowed funds, extending their trading potential beyond their account balance. For spot forex trading, US traders have access to a maximum leverage of 1:50. This means that with a $1,000 account balance, traders can control positions worth up to $50,000. However, in the case of forex futures, a higher leverage of over 1:400 is available.

Beware of using excessive leverage, even if it is tempting. It’s an enthralling feeling to control a large position in the market. But when markets are moving fast, and you are holding a highly leveraged position, there is a very high risk of losing money. Accounts can get wiped out in seconds.

Learn more about Best high leverage forex brokers.

What is margin in forex trading?

Margin in forex trading is essentially collateral or a security deposit required by your broker to enable you to open and maintain trading positions in the foreign exchange market. It allows traders to control larger positions with a relatively smaller amount of capital. Leverage represents the ratio between the total position size and the margin required. For instance, using 1:100 leverage, you can control a trading position 100 times greater than your actual margin, turning $100 into a $10,000 position.

It’s vital to use margin judiciously and exercise caution. Overleveraging can lead to substantial losses. Risk management is crucial, and traders should set stop-loss orders to limit potential losses. Regularly monitor your account balance, margin usage, and equity (account balance plus or minus unrealized profits or losses). Also, understand your broker’s margin requirements and policies to use margin effectively while minimizing risks.

What to avoid when choosing a forex broker in the US?

  • Unregulated Brokers: Always ensure the broker is regulated by the NFA and CFTC. Trading with unregulated brokers carries significant risks and often lacks the protection mechanisms that regulated entities provide.
  • Not Testing with a Demo Account: Start with a demo account to familiarize yourself with the broker’s platform and assess its usability and performance.
  • Ignoring Spreads and Trading Costs: Avoid brokers with very wide spreads, as this can make profitable trading more challenging. Look for brokers offering competitive spreads and transparent trading costs, including any applicable commissions.
  • Disregarding Withdrawal and Deposit Policies: Be wary of brokers with restrictive or unclear policies on fund withdrawals and deposits, as these can impact your liquidity and financial planning.
  • Ignoring Leverage Limits and Risks: Understand the leverage offered and its associated risks. Excessive leverage can amplify losses as well as gains.
  • Not Checking for Additional Fees: Some brokers may have hidden fees or charges for account inactivity, maintenance, or certain types of transactions, which can affect your trading profitability.

How to avoid forex scams?

High-Return Guarantees. A common scam in the forex industry involves vendors offering a trading strategy that guarantees an outlandishly high return in little time. These may involve automated trading using bots or a signal service where trades are shared via chat or social media. Nobody can guarantee returns with certainty, and it is more likely that such strategies will lose money. When assessing strategy or signal providers, you should look for a live track record audited by a third party and be conscious that past performance does not guarantee future results.

Lack of Protection. Traders should also be cautious about opening an account with an unregulated offshore broker. Such brokers may offer a straightforward account opening process, bonuses, and high levels of leverage, but client funds are typically not protected. Meanwhile, brokers regulated by top-tier authorities must undergo regular audits and are held accountable for misconduct.

Our Methodology

In selecting the best NFA-regulated forex brokers we used the results of our advanced proprietary methodology. All of the brokers listed were among the leaders in our tests.

FXEmpire has been reviewing brokers since 2010 and has pioneered the in-depth evaluation of forex brokers. Our process has taken years to refine and involved hundreds of reviews. We’ve gone to a granular level – with over 250 data points in our analysis of each broker – so you can feel confident in selecting the right platform.

To provide the most comprehensive view, we break down the brokers according to nine different categories:

  • Trust
  • Fees
  • Platforms and tools
  • Tradable instruments
  • Customer service
  • Deposit and withdrawal
  • Account types
  • Research
  • Education

In our broker reviews, we explain complex areas like regulatory status, so you can easily understand your funds’ safety and the benefits guaranteed.

Data is gathered through live testing, research, detailed questionnaires, and in-person broker demonstrations. An account is opened with each broker, focusing primarily on the services of one entity and testing using the most standard account type and platform. We conduct live tests of spreads and measure overnight swap fees and account-related costs.

Our side-by-side analysis reveals whether a broker is competitive in relation to the industry as a whole. Trading platforms take time to master, but we have already done the legwork for you and our evaluations highlight their important features and usability.

FX Empire abides by strict guidelines for editorial integrity. Scoring is based on objective criteria and mostly measurable data, so our reviews cannot be swayed by individual preferences or biases. The review process is independent and follows a strict protocol. In addition, all facts are carefully checked and rechecked, as reviews are continually updated. Read more about our review process here.

For this guide, we confirmed that brokers are members of NFA and accept clients from the US. We evaluated the spreads and swap fees of these brokers, favoring those that kept these costs low. We also assessed their trading platforms for a rich set of features and user-friendliness.

Meet our Writers

The team of forex and CFD analysts and editors at FXEmpire is comprised of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists. Our experts are published on leading financial websites such as Investopedia and Forbes. In addition, they all have extensive trading experience.

Get to Know Our Authors

Dan BlystoneBroker Analyst

Dan Blystone began his career in the trading industry in 1998 on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later Dan gained insight into the forex industry during his time as a Series 3 licenced futures and forex broker. He also traded at a couple of different prop trading firms in Chicago. Dan is well-equipped to recommend the best forex brokers due to his extensive experience and understanding of the brokerage industry.

Jitan SolankiBroker Analyst

Jitan Solanki is a professional trader, market analyst, and educator. He day trades major currency and index markets and focuses on swing trading US equities and commodities. A qualified Market Technician, Jitan also works with trader education and brokerage companies on various projects. These include market analysis, live trading events, and broker reviews. As an experienced trader and educator, Jitan brings all his qualities in action when reviewing and recommending brokers.

Plamen StoyanovBroker Analyst

Having been a retail trader since 2013, Plamen has gained an in-depth understanding of the challenges that novice traders face today. His expertise is swing trading and day trading with a heavy emphasis on psychological and fundamental analysis. Plamen’s favourite trading instruments include FX majors and gold. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics and International Relations. Plamen's broad experience has equipped him with the expertise to recommend the best forex brokers.

Vladimir ZernovBroker Analyst

In more than 15 years of trading in the financial markets, Vladimir dealt with a wide range of brokers and financial instruments. His career as a day-trader at a proprietary trading firm goes back to 2007. Later, Vladimir turned to longer time frames and became an independent trader and analyst managing his own portfolio. Using his experience, he helps traders find the best broker in his reviews.

FAQ

Yes, forex trading is legal in the United States.
No, CFD trading is illegal in the US.
In the US, the retail forex market falls under the umbrella of the derivatives market and is regulated by the NFA and CFTC.
The National Futures Association (NFA) manages broker registration requirements, enforces compliance rules, and oversees the market to protect retail forex traders in the US.
Yes, NFA-member brokers must also be registered with the CFTC.
NFA compliance rules demand that brokers do not cheat, defraud, or deceive, willfully make a false report, or enter a false record in any forex transaction. The rules also state that brokers cannot disseminate false or misleading information or engage in manipulative acts regarding the price of a forex transaction.
NFA-member brokers can offer a maximum leverage of 1:50.
Yes. In the US, forex trading is considered a business activity and it is necessary to pay taxes on your profits.
You can access the spot forex market. Some brokers also offer spot commodities and cryptocurrencies.
NFA-regulated brokers do not allow hedging, a strategy that involves simultaneously holding long and short positions in the same currency pair.
No, neither of these is required by the CFTC and NFA.
CFTC rules demand that US forex brokers have at least $20M in capital.

About the Author

Dan BlystoneBroker Analyst

Dan Blystone began his career in the trading industry in 1998 on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later Dan gained insight into the forex industry during his time as a Series 3 licenced futures and forex broker. He also traded at a couple of different prop trading firms in Chicago. Dan is well-equipped to recommend the best forex brokers due to his extensive experience and understanding of the brokerage industry.

Why you can trust FX Empire

At FXEmpire, we strive to provide unbiased, thorough and accurate broker reviews by industry experts to help our users make smarter financial decisions.

Why you can trust FX Empire

FXEmpire was founded in 2011, making us one of the first forex broker review sites. You can trust FXEmpire because of our thorough and unbiased review process. With over a decade of experience, we have a team of industry experts who conduct rigorous tests to ensure our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Our reviews are designed to bring clarity and confidence to the process of choosing a broker, and are based on objective criteria and measurable data. Our editorial team is composed of trading industry professionals and seasoned financial journalists, who ensure that our reviews are accurate and unbiased. Additionally, our review system is based on 9 core categories and over 250 distinct variables, which ensures that all aspects of a broker are considered before giving a final rating. So, you can trust FXEmpire to provide you with honest and informative reviews that will help you make an informed decision on which broker will best enable you to reach your financial goals.