I've been with OANDA since 2009. I did a ton of research before deciding to go with them. I would choose them again today. Once you're approved, depositing and withdrawing money is easy. So long as you only do the transactions with checks!
• Their fxTrade java platform is extremely good. The best I've tested, and I've tested most. They also offer MT4, but if you're going to trade manually, MT4 isn't as good as fxTrade.
• They are honest. Last week I had 2 really close calls (exits scored at 100 here on MyFXBook). I wouldn’t have been surprised if OANDA had denied me my exit orders. Simply increasing their spreads just a hair would have blocked me from hitting them. But they didn't do that. They let me out at exactly the point of a major reversal. Both of those would have really hurt if I missed them.
• As other people say, the slippage is real. To get around this, I avoid market executions, and do only limit orders. Even if it forces me to set a limit order that will be triggered in 1 second.
• They have ridiculously high spreads during periods of low liquidity (when I probably shouldn’t be trading anyway). But if you pay attention, you can use the spread information to anticipate 'black swan' market events. Unusually high spreads during peak trading times, when there is no big news pending = danger. Or opportunity, depending on how you trade.
• Their mobile platform is pretty stripped down. At the current rate of updates, it won't be truly usable for about 2 years. Right now, it's only good for checking on trades and making minor adjustments to existing trades. Having said that, it's better than all the other mobile platforms I've tested.
Other Interesting Notes:
• Years ago, I used to read chatter that OANDA will close your account if you become too profitable. In anticipation of this, I've been evaluating ECN's. Unfortunately, their fxTrade platform is so good, I can't find another broker with a platform I like enough to make the switch. Even if switching means netting a little more money from better spreads + commissions.
• But now I think something else is happening at OANDA. From my experience, it appears once you reach a consistent level of performance, they 'flag' you. Before you're 'flagged', I believe you're trading in what is essentially a bucket shop, so executions are really good. No slippage. After you're 'flagged', executions become slower. By about 3/10ths of a second. With slippage equally for and against me. This makes me think they've started processing my trades directly to the market — acting more like an ECN vs a bucket shop — so they can protect themselves from losing money on me.
• I actually view this as a good thing. Because if it's true, it removes their incentive to close my account for being too profitable. If the 3/10th second delay is to allow for filling my orders in the market — I can live with that. I would love to know if my hypothesis is really true. I guess I'll only find out if/when they eventually kick me out.