Best brokers for bonds in 2024

Written by
Gyula L.
Fact checked by
Tamás D.
Updated
3w ago
Dive into our toplist of regulated and trusted brokers that we tested with real money. Every broker is available in the United States.

Find below the strengths of the best brokers for bonds available in the United States, updated for 2024:

  1. E*TRADE is the best broker for bonds in 2024. - Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading). User-friendly mobile trading platform. Great research tools. Pays interest on uninvested cash.
  2. Charles Schwab - Free stock and ETF trading. Outstanding research. Great customer service.
  3. Interactive Brokers - Low trading fees and high interest on cash balances. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
  4. J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing - Commission-free US stocks, ETFs, funds and bonds. Fast and fully digital account opening. Well-established parent company. Pays interest on uninvested cash.
  5. Ally Invest - Low trading and non-trading fees. Easy and fully digital account opening. Great education.
  6. Firstrade - Free stock, ETF, fund and options trading. Solid research tools. Quality educational tools.
  7. Merrill Edge - Low trading fees. Easy and seamless account opening. Strong parent company.
  8. Vanguard - Stocks and ETFs are free to trade. Easy account opening. Great mobile trading platform. Interest paid on uninvested cash.
  9. Fidelity - Commission-free US stocks and ETFs. Great trading platforms and research. US and international stocks.
  10. TradeStation - Great web and mobile trading platform. High level of investor protection. High-quality research and education tools.
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Key features of the best brokers for bonds

While many online brokers and trading platforms offer an excellent service, the ones in our toplist go the extra mile.

Broker
Bond fee class
Bonds (#)
E*TRADE
Low
88,000
Charles Schwab
Low
60,000
Interactive Brokers
Low
41,274
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Low
22,000
Ally Invest
Low
221,000
Firstrade
Low
38,500
Merrill Edge
Low
8,300
Vanguard
Low
13,400
Fidelity
Low
209,000
TradeStation
Low
-
Best brokers for bonds key data compiled for March 2024

Popularity of the best broker for bonds

Interested in what others think? Here's how many people chose these brokers at BrokerChooser in the last 6 months.

Trading fees at the best brokers for bonds

How much you have to pay for a trade in spreads, commissions and other trading costs is a key broker selection criteria. Check out the fees these top brokers charge for trading US and EU government bonds.

Broker
US Treasury bond
E*TRADE
$0.0
Charles Schwab
$0.0
Interactive Brokers
$5.0
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
$0.0
Ally Invest
$10.0
Firstrade
$0.0
Merrill Edge
$0.0
Vanguard
$0.0
Fidelity
$0.0
TradeStation
$20.0
Fees at the top brokers for bonds in March 2024

An alternative to buying bonds directly is buying a bond ETF. For example, if you buy an 'Emerging markets bond ETF', you'll get exposure to a wide selection of bonds issued by countries classified as emerging markets. Check out BrokerChooser's selection of the best brokers for ETF trading.

If you are unsure how brokerage fees work, check out this article on the various fees, charges and costs.

Non-trading fees at the top brokers for bonds

Non-trading fees are charges not directly related to a given trade and typically include the account maintenance fee, deposit/withdrawal fees, and the inactivity fee.

Broker
Account fee
Inactivity fee
E*TRADE
Charles Schwab
Interactive Brokers
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Ally Invest
Firstrade
Merrill Edge
Vanguard
Fidelity
TradeStation
Non-trading fees at the top brokers for bonds in March 2024

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and a great mobile trading platform

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E*TRADE snapshot
Mobile app score 4.5 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of E*TRADE services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees and great customer service

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Charles Schwab snapshot
Mobile app score 4.2 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of Charles Schwab services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for traders looking for broad market access and a professional trading environment

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Interactive Brokers snapshot
Mobile app score 4.3 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of Interactive Brokers services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for beginners and buy-and-hold investors focusing on the US stock market

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J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing snapshot
Mobile app score 3.9 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for low fees and focusing on the US market

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Ally Invest snapshot
Mobile app score 4.0 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of Ally Invest services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for beginners and investors looking for zero-commission trading, focusing on the US market

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Firstrade snapshot
Mobile app score 4.5 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of Firstrade services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for low fees, quick account opening and simple platforms

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Merrill Edge snapshot
Mobile app score 4.8 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of Merrill Edge services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for long-term investors looking for great ETF and mutual fund selection

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Vanguard snapshot
Mobile app score 4.4 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of Vanguard services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and great trading platforms

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Fidelity snapshot
Mobile app score 5.0 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer, PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay
Read review For a detailed analysis of Fidelity services, check out our review for 2024.

Recommended for traders focusing on US markets and buy-and-hold investing

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TradeStation snapshot
Mobile app score 4.8 stars
Minimum deposit $0
Deposit methods Bank transfer
Withdrawal methods Bank transfer
Read review For a detailed analysis of TradeStation services, check out our review for 2024.

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How did BrokerChooser pick the best brokers for bonds?

How did BrokerChooser pick the best brokers for bonds?

  • We compared bond fees,
  • Checked whether the broker charges an inactivity fee,
  • Looked into the broker's bond ETF selection and related fees,
  • Examined whether the broker is regulated by a trusted regulator,
  • Opened an account and tested the platform (charting, features, usability) with real money.

Save hours of research!

Our expert team has done all the work for you, and reviewed brokers based on BrokerChooser's unique methodology.

BrokerChooser evaluates 9 key areas for all brokers including fees, safety, ease of account opening, education, and trading platforms. We check more than 600 criteria for each broker and finetune our methodology every year based on our own and our users' experiences. We have more than 100 brokers reviewed on our site and our team of analysts examines more than 60,000 data points overall.

FAQ

Can bonds be purchased through a broker?

Investors can buy bonds either through a broker or directly from the issuing entity. When buying bonds through a broker, it's essential to check that the broker is regulated by a top-tier authority (i.e. the FCA in the UK, the SEC in the US or BaFin in Germany), it charges low fees for its services and it offers investor protection.

Are bonds a good investment?

Bonds are especially favored by conservative investing strategies, as they are relatively safe. Their returns, while often lower than that of other asset classes such as stocks, are reasonably predictable. It's easy to learn how to buy bonds via online brokers, though you should be aware of potential risks such as inflation risks or the possibility of default.

Can you lose money investing in bonds?

Bonds are generally viewed as a safe investment, but they are far from entirely risk-free. Some of the most common risks associated with bonds are the default risk and inflation risk. These are primary concerns for bond investors who hold a bond until maturity. Other risk types such as downgrade risk, liquidity risk, exchange rate risk or interest-rate risk will typically affect bond traders active on the secondary market.

Want to understand bond trading in more detail?

Check out these articles written by our broker and trading experts:

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Author of this article

Gyula Lencsés, CFA
Gyula Lencsés, CFA

Gyula is a former analyst expert and Head of Content at BrokerChooser. With over a decade in finance, he led content creation at BrokerChooser and personally evaluated some of our 100+ listed brokers. He opened real-money accounts, executed transactions, and engaged with customer services, offering firsthand assessments. Prior to BrokerChooser, he managed mutual funds in wealth management, trading stocks, ETFs, bonds, commodities, forex, and derivatives. His goal: simplify the hunt for top brokers in a dynamic investment landscape.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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