Finding the best broker may be challenging as there are specific requirements to fulfill. Here are the top 10 online brokers for non-US residents to trade in the US market.
For any trader in the world, the US forex market is the go-to destination to get huge investing opportunities. After all, modern forex trading was first introduced in the early 1970s US when President Nixon decided to allow US dollars to float freely in the market. In parallel to this phenomenon, technological advancement began to improve and brought changes to the market.
As the internet started to spread around the world in the 1990s, online trading platforms began to appear, making it possible for individuals to trade in the forex market for the first time. Since then, the market grew significantly, as new types of brokers and trading platforms began to emerge and thus, extended forex trading capabilities to attract new traders.
Knowing the US financial market's success, many non-US residents have started to wonder if they can trade in these markets too. In this case, the answer is yes.
International traders can participate in the US market as currently there are no regulations that restrict foreign traders from trading in the US. Now the next thing you have to do is finding a broker to facilitate the buying and selling of your assets.
Online brokers would be the best choice because it is convenient as you can make orders and changes no matter where you are. All transactions are done over the internet and they can offer faster execution, which is incredibly useful in volatile markets. Above all else, online trading needs fewer costs compared to trading through a traditional broker.
Now choosing the right broker can be tricky in one way or another. You can end up with a big loss if the broker can't keep their promise or not completely honest with you. Apart from that, it can also be slightly more complicated for a non-US resident to open an account because each broker has different requirements. Therefore, some factors need to be considered before you register in a broker:
- Products they offer. The best option would be the ones that offer various assets to trade, including stocks, forex, mutual funds, futures, etc.
- Security of the broker. Make sure to check if the broker's trading platform URL has a valid SSL, so it will start with "https" instead of "http". Also, see what investor protection law you are under.
- Trading cost. Always consider the cost and check if there's any additional fee that you should pay in advance.
Though it may be challenging, finding the right broker is vital. So in this article, we will provide you with 10 recommendations of top online brokers for non-US residents. Keep reading to find out more.
1. Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is arguably the best option of online broker for non-US residents to trade in the American market. To begin with, the broker offers a wide variety of security classes including stocks, options, futures, bonds, currency pairs, etc. Such wide options combined with relatively low fees have attracted millions of retail traders from all around the world. The company currently operates in 31 countries, 22 currencies, and 125 markets. It is considered very suitable for intermediate traders and well-experienced traders. The broker also offers educational materials for non-active investors.
Interactive Brokers is a direct market access broker that provides execution, clearance, settlement, and prime brokerage for customers. Since it was found 41 years ago by Thomas Peterffy, the company has grown internally to become one of the premier securities firms with over $7 billion in equity capital.
First acknowledged as a popular broker for advanced traders, Interactive Brokers launched a second tier of service called IBKR Lite for more casual investors in 2019.
The IBKR Lite provides services on over 125 market destinations worldwide and gives direct access (online) trade execution and clearing services, both to institutional and professional traders for a wide variety of traded products including stocks, options, futures, forex, fixed income, and funds worldwide. Interactive Brokers Group and its affiliates execute over 859,000 trades per day.
Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, Interactive Brokers has over 1,400 employees in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Hungary, Russia, Japan, India, China, and Estonia companies. IBKR is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and is registered in the New York Stoch Exchange (NYSE).
Interactive Brokers offers a wide range of product-centered tools like the OptionTrader and Probability Lab for simplified single and complex multi-leg option trading; FXTrader for forex trading, Mutual Fund/ETF Replicator for helping traders find a lower cost on ETF alternatives, also fixed-income screeners for corporate and agency bonds. Overall, trading with Interactive Brokers would be provided with the most useful and updated tools to maximize trading and investing goals.
As a popular and regulated broker in the US, Interactive Brokers has won some awards. Recently, they were awarded by the Barrons as the 2019 Best Online Broker, which is categorized as the best broker for mobile, international, and frequent traders. Besides, they also won an award as Top Performing Broker by the Preqin Service Providers, and Best Overall Broker by Investopedia (Best for Low Costs, Best for International Trading, Best for Options Trading, Best for Day Trading, and Best for Penny Stocks). The awards are not only achieved during 2019. Since 2005, Interactive Brokers has won lots of awards regarding its best services for clients.
To optimize clients' trading speed and efficiency, Interactive Brokers provides some powerful suites of trading platforms. Below is the list:
- Client Portal
A one-stop destination to check quotes and place trades, see account balances, Profit and Loss, as well as key performance metrics, funding, and reporting.
- Desktop TWS
A flagship platform designed for active traders and investors who trade multiple products and require power and flexibility. Opening an account in Interactive Brokers and using this platform allows traders to utilize the most advanced algorithms and trading tools, as well as a library of tools and asset-based trading layouts for optimum customization.
- IBKR TWS for Mobile
The IBKR TWS for Mobile is made for traders who want to easily trade and monitor their IBKR account on-the-go from either iOS or Android device (tablet or smartphone).
IBoT is a robot for finding information and placing orders using clients' own words. IBot is available on TWS for Desktop, IBKR Mobile, and Client Portal.
- IBKR WebTrader
IBKR WebTrader is made for traders and investors who prefer a simplified interface.
- IBKR APIs or IBKR Pro
This trading platform is provided especially for traders and investors who want to write their trading software or automated trading programs; third-party software users.
Overall, Interactive Brokers has always been a great choice for those who want to find out a credible and regulated broker for trading. Offering lots of trading platforms, Interactive Brokers has committed to provide their best services for both novices and professionals, since it is suited to every clients' needs.
It is convenient for international traders to fund their accounts given the several types of base currencies provided and then convert them at market rates if they want to purchase assets in other markets. In other words, no matter which market you are going to or from, you'll be able to make an order without having to have separate accounts or arranging conversion.
As for safety, Interactive Brokers has licenses from across the continents. In the US alone, the company is regulated by the US SEC, NYSE, CFTC, NFA, and COMEX. While outside the US, Interactive Brokers has obtained licenses from ASIC (Australia), SFC (Hong Kong), IIROC (Canada), FCA (UK), and many more.
Many see Interactive Brokers as a popular and reliable broker for international traders. But even so, the fees offered are still affordable to many traders. The minimum account deposit is $0, while the maximum cost is around $0.005 per share for the Pro platform, 1% of trade value, and $0 for IBKR Lite.
2. TradeStation Global
TradeStation Global is a TradeStation International Ltd brand, which is based in the UK and under the regulation of the top-tier regulatory body, FCA. More specifically, TradeStation Global is the combined product offered by Interactive Brokers and TradeStation. That being said, some of the features including account opening, deposit/withdrawal options, and available products are the same as what Interactive Brokers has. Also, you can use both companies' own desktop platforms for your online trading. However, TradeStation Global offers its own educational resources, fees, and customer support.
In fact, one of the best features offered by TradeStation Global is regarding the fees. To open an account, there is no minimum deposit required if you want to use the broker's web-based Client Portal. However, in order to trade on the broker's own desktop platform, a deposit of at least $1,000 is required. For the trading fees itself, TradeStation offers low fees, especially for stocks and ETFs. Also, there's no inactivity fee and the first withdrawal each month is free.
3. CMC Markets
CMC Markets is a well-known UK forex broker that was established in 1989. Over the years, the broker has gained much attention and got listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the ticker symbol CMCX. The broker is recommended for all types of traders because it offers a wide variety of products and an accessible, top-feature trading platform called Next Generation. This platform accompanied by a downloadable MT4 platform and an easy-to-navigate mobile app sums up the complete platform package for the customers.
The broker offers a broad spectrum of asset classes. Not only the commonly popular ones like forex, commodities, indices, and individual shares, CMC Markets also offers government bond listing and 14 cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, the broker charges spread based on the trade sizes and protect the clients' accounts with negative balance protection. But there are also other fees such as overnight financing costs and inactivity fees. Other essential features are excellent customer support, research facilities, and various educational materials.
Unlike the brokers mentioned above, Swissquote is also an investment bank that was founded in 1996. The company is divided into two parts: a Swiss unit for trading stocks, futures, funds, and options, and a company operating in the UK for forex and CFDs. More than 330,000 clients across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have trusted Swissquote as now the broker has become one the most highly reputed brokers in the world.
DFSA (Dubai), 4
Trading by telephone
As a leading Swiss banking group, Swissquote is considered one of the most well-known online financial and trading services providers. The company is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since May 2000, but their story originated back in the 1990s, where Marc Bürki and Paolo Buzzi set up a business in financial software.
Swissquote's main vision is to enable private investors to access real-time prices free of charge. They follow a mission of "democratizing banking" by upholding the values of transparency, integrity, and unbiased information for the benefit of clients, in turn allowing them to make independent decisions.
Today, Swissquote is a global financial services provider with official branches in several major areas in the world like the European area, Middle Eastern, and Asian financial centers. From 2017 to 2018, it claims as the first online bank to offer crypto trading and participation in Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
Trading in SwissQuote guarantees a regulated environment, as the broker is licensed in some of the most well-known jurisdictions in the financial industry, including the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) from the UK.
The broker also has local regulations for other branches in other jurisdictions such as the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), and the Securities & Futures Commission (SFC) from Hong Kong to enable non-EU traders to register under its account with regulated services.
SwissQuote is notable for its wide variety of trading instruments, such as 8,500+ stocks and more than 800 ETFs. Forex pairs, cryptocurrencies, government bonds, and a range of commodity CFDs are also provided to clients.
The company presents a special deposit protection scheme that amounts to CHF100,000 in the event of bankruptcy proceedings. Traders from other countries are offered many choices of base currencies like EUR, USD, JPY, GBP, CHF, CAD, AUD, TRY, PLN, SEK, NOK, SGD, XGD, HUF, and CZK.
Opening an account in SwissQuote for forex trading is available in 3 different choices:
- Spreads: from 1.7 pips
- Commission: none
- Minimum deposit: $1,000
- Minimum trade: 0.01 lot
- Leverage: 1:100
- Spreads: from 1.4 pips
- Commission: none
- Minimum deposit: $10,000
- Minimum trade: 0.1 lot
- Leverage: 1:100
- Spreads: from 1.1 pips
- Commission: none
- Minimum deposit: $50,000
- Minimum trade: 1 lot
- Leverage: 1:100
Dubbed as the most popular account, Swissquote put Premium account as the recommended choice for forex traders, as it balances a competitive spread and affordable minimum deposit according to their standard.
For the trading platform, traders can choose between MetaTrader or Sawissquote's proprietary product called Advanced Trader. To provide traders with the best experience in trading, the company also puts complementary analytical tools such as Autochartist and Trading Central signals.
For MetaTrader fans with a desire to trade in an advanced trading environment, Swissquote offers the MetaTrader Master Edition.
As the company is more suitable to experienced traders with a medium deposit capability, they do not have a complete educational package to offer to new traders. However, they arrange free webinars for everyone who would like to continually upgrade their trading knowledge. This program is managed by professional figures in the financial industry and is available in 4 languages: English, German, French, and Arabic.
All in all, Swissquote is an ideal broker for traders with enough experience to trade with more than $1,000 as their starting deposit. Its long-standing history and qualified background as a member of a Swiss banking group provide high credibility and a guaranteed trading environment that not many can offer.
However, it is also important to note that Swissquote does not offer various deposit and withdrawal methods, as they mainly focus on bank transfer and credit card payments that they revolutionized in 2018 by launching a multi-currency credit card.
Swissquote is considered safe because it has a banking license and is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, and has a long track record. Although it takes $0 for a minimum account deposit, the broker generally charges relatively high fees, especially in stocks and ETFs fees. There is no inactivity fee, but you will be charged for withdrawals.
5. Saxo Bank
Established in 1992, Saxo Bank originally obtained a banking license but did not offer common banking products. Instead, the company identified itself as a "leading Fintech specialist focused on multi-asset trading and investment and delivering Banking-as-a-Service to wholesale clients".
Interest rate on funds
Saxobank was founded in 1992 in Denmark, which began as a brokerage business. At present, they have penetrated the online banking and forex trading business internationally. The company is known as one of the best in the industry.
Their innovative platforms have been used by Microsoft's global institutions, Barclays Stockbrokers Ltd, and TD Waterhouse. The platforms include SaxoTraderGO, an award-winning trading platforms and is offered as Saxobank's flagship. Two other platforms are SaxoTraderPRO and SaxoInvestors. Each platform has advantages and functions.
SaxoTraderPRO is suitable for use by advanced traders and institutional clients, which trade faster via quick-close all features and view exchange order books and execution reports in real-time. On the other hand, Saxo TraderGO is a platform for retail traders. This type of platform offers easy portfolio management from a single account. For example, traders can get live and historic reports of net holdings.
As for Saxo Investors which is a user-friendly case-product platform tailored to retail investors, there are several advantages including browsing curated themes and pre-made screenings. Also, clients can choose between diversified investment portfolios. It is a responsive platform accessible from any device.
The Saxobank website accommodates the needs of international clients, with dozens of languages available on the Saxobank website. Besides English, there are also Japanese, Mandarin, French, Italian, Indonesian, and many more.
When clients choose Saxo, clients are choosing to trade with a fully regulated industry leader, who adheres to strict regulatory requirements in 15 financial centers around the world, including the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Denmark.
Another advantage is traders have so many choices of instruments that can be traded on Saxo, covering 40,000 instruments across 184 forex pairs, 9,000 CFDs, 19,000 shares, 200 Stock options, 2,500 ETFs, Futures, Gold, Silver, and many more.
Since the company also serves as a bank, the speed of execution at Saxo can be guaranteed. However, some traders may feel that Saxobank is not suitable for individual trading, as the minimum capital is too large and the spreads and commissions are considered burdensome for so many clients. The spread which is charged by Saxobank for each pair is quite large, so it is not suitable for scalpers. Meanwhile, the commission that must be paid by traders to this broker starts from USD1.
Furthermore, Saxobank often stops trading for a few seconds before the release of important news and only activates it again after the news is released. This makes news traders do not have the best opportunity to act on Saxobank.
Actually, The deposit value can be adjusted according to the level of account chosen by the clients. There are three levels in Saxo Accounts, including Classic (minimum funding is 500 Pounds), Platinum (minimum funding is 50,000 Pounds), and VIP (minimum funding is 1,000,000 Pounds). Clients can use leverage 1:200 and a minimum lot of 0.05.
Traders are spoiled with various kinds of facilities provided by Saxobank . Each aaccount level has its own facilities offering that can be adjusted to the needs of traders. The higher the level, the more complete the facilities provided.
For example, traders who have VIP accounts will get personal relationship managers, and direct access to trading experts 24 hours. These facilities are not found when traders choose Classic and Platinum accounts.
For Corporate Clients, Saxobank provides 40,000 instruments, with 1: 1 support from expert account managers and the security that comes from their 25+ year experience.
If clients meet professional criteria, they can join Professional Accounts at Saxobank. The criteria in question include having a financial portfolio that exceeds around 500,000 Euros, having placed at least 20 relevant trades in significant sizes over the last four quarters, and having worked in the financial sector for at least one year.
Moreover, Saxobank provides more than 100 institutional specialists operating from offices in key financial centers, including Denmark, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Dubai. The client can choose the location closest to their area. With this kind of support, Saxobank is optimistic for delivering the right solution for the business of clients.
From the explanation above, it can be concluded that Saxo is more suitable for deep-pocket forex traders who are interested in forex trading as an investment portfolio. The broker's business focus is also more towards institutional clients rather than retail clients.
The broker offers a lot of trading essentials, advanced user interfaces, and excellent research facilities. There are thousands of instruments to choose from various types of assets like stocks, CFDs, currency pairs, and others.
However, the broker may be best used by expert traders and not suitable for beginners because of the relatively high minimum deposits, limited support options, and high trading costs.
6. Zacks Trade
Zack Trade is a US-based broker suitable for active traders looking for a human broker and trade in the foreign stock exchange. The company is a division of LBMZ Securities, which was established in 1978 and is regulated by top-tier US regulators SEC and FINRA. LBMZ Securities' services are mainly provided by Interactive Brokers, so as a result, you may find many features in Zack Trade that are similar to those of Interactive Brokers. Even so, Zacks Trade has its own fee policies, product selection, educational tools, and customer support.
As for now, the broker operates in 218 countries and allows over 90 international exchanges. Zacks Trade essentially offers three main trading platforms and access to 20 free research reports. There is no minimum deposit to open a trading account, but the broker recommends depositing at least $2,500 to start with. The trading fee itself is also quite low, only $0.01 per share and no inactivity or withdrawal fees.
Firstrade is a well-known broker that was founded in 1985 under the name of First Flushing Securities. The broker offers commission-free trades for several assets including stocks, options, mutual funds, and ETFs. Firstrade is recommended for both beginners and professionals as it offers multiple trading platforms, access to free research, and provide bi-weekly educational seminars.
The broker is also highly suitable for international traders as it accepts clients from 60 countries and does not require any social security number or tax ID number to register. Their services are easy to access as it has an Android and iOS mobile application with a dashboard and interesting research features.
8. TD Ameritrade
TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest US-based online brokers for day trading. Founded in 1975, the broker is considered safe as it operates under the regulation of top-tier authorities such as SEC, FINRA, and CFTC. By providing excellent educational materials and a wide variety of asset classes such as stock, ETFs, forex, fund, bond, options, crypto, and futures, TD Ameritrade is well-known to be suitable for beginners.
The broker also emphasizes customer support by reaching out to people through various social media including Twitter and Facebook. TD Ameritrade provides various selections of trading platforms for further customer satisfaction, including its basic web platform, mobile apps, and thinkorswim, which offers all the data and tools needed to find market opportunities.
9. Charles Schwab International
As one of the best global brokers for ETFs and ETF screeners, Charles Schwab International offers many different tools and services aimed to attract all types of investors. The broker was founded in 1971 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Regarding its safety, the company is regulated by SEC, FINRA, and FCA (UK).
The broker offers many trading platforms to choose from, such as mobile web platforms, native mobile apps, and a desktop platform. Also, it has a great research facility as it covers lots of tools including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. However, the broker limits the assets only to the ones available in the US and Canadian exchanges. The fees are also exceptionally high. To open an account, non-US residents will need to deposit at least $2,500.
Lastly, there is Lightspeed, which is an online broker founded in 2000. It is considered suitable for frequent traders because the minimum deposit is quite high: $10,000 for the web-based platform and $25,000 for software. But even so, the trading cost is very low.
Apart from that, Lightspeed doesn't provide many educational materials for beginners, so the features are mainly for the benefit of advanced traders. Nevertheless, the broker is still worth checking out as it offers fast order execution and great customer service.
The Bottom Line
From the 10 recommendations above, we can see that each broker operates in its own way and offers various different things. Though some of them don't limit their specialty to a certain type of traders and are open to anyone, each of them has pros and cons. So, it is crucial to learn about their features and requirements before you decide to register.
One thing that connects these brokers is the fact that they are great options for international traders or non-US residents. They provide a platform that allows non-US traders to trade in the vast currency markets and grab the available opportunities. The comparison below may help you find the most suitable broker from some of the choices above:
|Feature||Interactive Brokers||Swissquote||Saxo Bank|
rated by 1531 users
rated by 150 users
rated by 2011 users
|Office(s)||Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Hungary, United Kingdom and United States||Hong Kong, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom||China, Greece, India, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom|
|Regulation|| ASIC 453554 |
Central Bank of Ireland, 23.12.2020
FCA (UK), 208159
Hungarian National Bank, H-EN-III-623/2020
Monetary Authority of Singapore, CMS100917
SEC (US), 8-47257
|DFSA (Dubai), 4 |
FCA (UK) 562170
SFC (Hong Kong), 3
|ASIC, 109605610 |
Banque de France, 483632501
FCA (UK), FC026688
FSA (Denmark), 1149
SFC (Hong Kong), 1395901
|Minimum Position||0.25 lot||0.1 lot||0.05 lot|
|Payment||BPAY, Check and Wire transfer||Credit/debit cards and Wire transfer||Credit/debit cards and Wire transfer|
|Official Website||Visit Interactive Brokers||Visit Swissquote||Visit Saxo Bank|
|Forex Demo Account|
|US traders are welcome|
|Requires sending documents via postal mail|
|Overnight interest rates (swaps)|
|Trading by telephone|
|Interest rate on funds|
Trading Platforms and Complements
|Trading via API|
|One-Cancels-Other (OCO) orders|
|Gold & silver|
|Website Languages||Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish||Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish||Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish|
|General Review||Read Interactive Brokers Review||Read Swissquote Review||Read Saxo Bank Review|
|User Reviews|| |
Mona HuangAug 14 2020
I have worst CS moment here. They are a bit unprofessional. Every time I called, they are always rude and rushing me. No patient, always asking me to figure out from their website.
De La CruzAug 10 2020
While the platform is good. When you have a problem you can't get to speak to anyone. I have tried numerous times and you wait on hold for a long time more than 20 mins in any case and I have just abandoned the call without getting any resolution.
Jadih RuthSep 7 2020
Live chat support - terrible. The guy there doesn't know much, plus their policy on not helping people over the chat is also terrible. They can't help you with almost anything over the chat. Typical response you get is- send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be able to help you. Even when you are asking about very basic stuff, like informations about their products. And when you send email, you will wait 3-4 days for response.
BasalamahSep 6 2020
They (or their payment vendors) charge high fees, like 2% just for deposit. Only free option is bank wire transfer. You also pay for withdrawals $20 for each withdrawal. So you lost money (and time) with this broker before you even made your first trade. Spreads - Terrible. Double the standard spreads of other popular brokers on all instruments at all times.
ThomasSep 17 2020
Customer service simply does not exist. Forget them. They have a great affiliate marketing to convince people to join but that is all.
TerajuanaSep 16 2020
started the online application process but midway through i checked this site for their reviews and seen how bad they are. I stopped the process but my details were saved on their system. They have tried to call me 3 times every day for the last 2 weeks and no signs of them stopping. Why do they need to do this and it is a major red flag. avoid
|Open Real Account||Open Interactive Brokers Real Account||Open Swissquote Real Account||Open Saxo Bank Real Account|
For more broker comparisons, visit this page.
When it comes to forex trading in the US versus non-US, many think about the safety and security that the US regulators can provide, especially if it's compared to offshore regulation. To make it clearer, we have discussed it thoroughly in Comparing US and Offshore Brokers.