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To help you to find the best online broker for bonds in 2021, we went ahead and did the research for you. First, we selected 91 quality online brokers, then we narrowed the list by checking their trading and non-trading fees, focusing in this case on bond fees and inactivity fees. We also examined how safe they are, and also considered their overall quality. We dug deep, so you won't have to.

5 made it to the top for Europeans. We highly recommend all 5 to you. And now, without further ado...

Our top 5 picks for the best online brokers for bond investors for Europeans:

  1. flatex is the winner in 2021.
  2. Firstrade takes second place.
  3. Comdirect rounds out the top three.
  4. LYNX, numero quattro.
  5. Swissquote just made the list at number five.
Best online brokers for bonds in 2021
Broker Info Bond fee class # of available bonds
#1 flatex Germany-based stockbroker Low 30,000
#2 Firstrade US discount broker Low 38,500
#3 Comdirect German investment bank Low 62,000
#4 LYNX Netherlands-based stockbroker Low 60,000
#5 Swissquote Swiss investment bank High 53,400

All 5 brokers are considered safe, as they are regulated by at least one top-tier financial authority.

What makes a good online broker for bond investing? First, they need to offer fair fees for buying and selling bonds. Second, they should also offer access to a lot of bond markets. It's also important that the inactivity fee shouldn't be high, and it's worth considering a broker's overall score as well.

These features may sound obvious and easy to list, but they're hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers based on more than 300 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up.

We should also mention that 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 lots of bonds issued by various governments that are considered emerging markets.

To learn more about ETFs, be sure to check our article How to buy ETFs online.

For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with the help of this detailed comparison table.

If you want to learn more about bonds, make sure to check our article What is a bond?

And now, let's see the best bond brokers for Europeans one by one, starting with the winner, flatex.

flatex Logo

#1 Best online broker
flatex

4.3

flatex is a Germany-based stockbroker, regulated by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). It was originally established as PRE.IPO AG in 1999 and received its banking and brokerage license in 2005, when the company was renamed flatex.

flatex is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, discloses its financials and is regulated by a top-tier authority.

In 2019, flatex AG acquired 100% of DEGIRO. Currently they operate as separate entities, with flatex strengthening DEGIRO's regulatory backbone.

Being a German broker, all of flatex's trading services are available only in German.

Pros Cons
Low stock, ETF, fund and bond fees High forex fees and margin rates
Strong company background Complicated account opening for non-German residents
Great educational tools Only bank transfer available for deposits and withdrawals

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#1 flatex
Fees

flatex has low fees when it comes to buying and selling bonds.
flatex bond fees
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bond fee class Low Low Low Low High
US Treasury bond $7.1 $0.0 $34.5 $10.0 $75.0
EU government bond $7.1 - $30.9 $16.8 $60.0
Inactivity fee No No No Yes No

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#1 flatex
Markets and products

At flatex, you have access to around 30000 bonds, which is higher than the industry average. Note that brokers using Interactive Broker’s platform have the same selection of bonds available.
flatex bond selection
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bonds (#) 30,000 38,500 62,000 60,000 53,400
flatex products other than bonds
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No Yes Yes
Crypto No No Yes Yes Yes

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#1 flatex
Verdict

flatex is great for those who are looking for long-term investments and have a good command of German.

Investing in stocks, funds, and ETFs is cheaper at flatex than at its German competitors. Also, it has extra savings and mutual fund plans for long-term investors. Because it is listed on the stock exchange, flatex's financials are clear and transparent. It also offers high-quality educational materials to help you understand trading with the broker's services.

On the negative side, forex fees and margin rates are high. The account opening for non-German citizens is complicated and you can only use bank transfer for deposits and withdrawals. We also missed the option to switch to English during account opening and on the web and mobile trading platforms. Despite this, most of the time customer service could help us out in English.

As there is no required minimum deposit or inactivity fee, feel free to go ahead and try flatex.

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Firstrade Logo

#2 Best online broker
Firstrade

4.3

Firstrade is a US discount stockbroker regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The company was founded in 1985 under the name of First Flushing Securities.

Firstrade is considered safe because it has a long track record and is overseen by top-tier regulators.

Pros Cons
Free stock, ETF, fund and options trading No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer
Solid research tools You can trade only on US markets
Quality educational tools No live chat or 24/7 availability

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#2 Firstrade
Fees

Firstrade has low fees when it comes to buying and selling bonds.
Firstrade bond fees
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bond fee class Low Low Low Low High
US Treasury bond $7.1 $0.0 $34.5 $10.0 $75.0
EU government bond $7.1 - $30.9 $16.8 $60.0
Inactivity fee No No No Yes No

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#2 Firstrade
Markets and products

At Firstrade, you have access to around 38500 bonds, which is higher than the industry average. Note that brokers using Interactive Broker’s platform have the same selection of bonds available.
Firstrade bond selection
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bonds (#) 30,000 38,500 62,000 60,000 53,400
Firstrade products other than bonds
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No Yes Yes
Crypto No No Yes Yes Yes

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#2 Firstrade
Verdict

Firstrade is one of the biggest discount US stockbrokers and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Firstrade offers free stock, ETF, mutual funds, and options trading. It doesn't charge inactivity and account fees, and there are lots of quality research and educational tools you can use.

There are some drawbacks, though. Firstrade doesn't accept credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer. The product portfolio covers only the US market. Customer service is only available 24/5 and you can't contact them via live chat. 

As it has low fees and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try Firstrade.

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Comdirect Logo

#3 Best online broker
Comdirect

4.3

Comdirect is a German investment bank established in 1994 and owned by Commerzbank, a major German bank. It is regulated by Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Comdirect is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background and is regulated by the top-tier BaFin.

Being a German bank, all of Comdirect's services are available only in German.

Pros Cons
Extensive range of products and exchanges High fees
Great mobile platform Complicated account opening for non-German/Austrian residents
Rock-solid background Slow phone support and no live chat

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#3 Comdirect
Fees

Comdirect has low fees when it comes to buying and selling bonds.
Comdirect bond fees
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bond fee class Low Low Low Low High
US Treasury bond $7.1 $0.0 $34.5 $10.0 $75.0
EU government bond $7.1 - $30.9 $16.8 $60.0
Inactivity fee No No No Yes No

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#3 Comdirect
Markets and products

At Comdirect, you have access to around 62000 bonds, which is higher than the industry average. Note that brokers using Interactive Broker’s platform have the same selection of bonds available.
Comdirect bond selection
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bonds (#) 30,000 38,500 62,000 60,000 53,400
Comdirect products other than bonds
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No Yes Yes
Crypto No No Yes Yes Yes

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#3 Comdirect
Verdict

Comdirect is a German online broker established in 1994. Its parent company is Commerzbank, one of the biggest banks in Germany.

It is recommended for traders with a good knowledge of German.

Comdirect provides access to both European and overseas exchanges with a wide range of products. Its mobile platform is great and the broker is considered safe because it has a banking background, is listed on a stock exchange and is regulated by a top-tier authority.

On the other hand, fees are high, especially stock trading fees. Anyone can open an account, although for residents outside of Germany and Austria, the process is complicated and could take several weeks. There is no functioning live chat and phone support is a bit slow.

If you are looking for a customizable web and desktop platform for trading on German markets, feel free to try Comdirect.

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LYNX Logo

#4 Best online broker
LYNX

4.2

LYNX is a Netherlands-based stockbroker founded in 2006.

LYNX is an introducing broker of Interactive Brokers (IB). In practice, this means that your deposited funds will be held by IB but fees are charged by LYNX. You can also use IB's trading platforms. 

LYNX is considered safe because both LYNX and Interactive Brokers are regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

Pros Cons
Wide range of markets and products Deposit and withdrawal options limited
Low stock and ETF trading fees €3,000 minimum deposit
Great mobile platform Overly complex desktop platform

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#4 LYNX
Fees

LYNX has low fees when it comes to buying and selling bonds.
LYNX bond fees
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bond fee class Low Low Low Low High
US Treasury bond $7.1 $0.0 $34.5 $10.0 $75.0
EU government bond $7.1 - $30.9 $16.8 $60.0
Inactivity fee No No No Yes No

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#4 LYNX
Markets and products

At LYNX, you have access to around 60000 bonds, which is higher than the industry average. Note that brokers using Interactive Broker’s platform have the same selection of bonds available.
LYNX bond selection
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bonds (#) 30,000 38,500 62,000 60,000 53,400
LYNX products other than bonds
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No Yes Yes
Crypto No No Yes Yes Yes

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#4 LYNX
Verdict

LYNX has low stock and ETF trading fees, a great mobile trading platform, and offers a wide range of markets and products

On the other hand, deposit and withdrawal options are limited to bank transfers. There is also a steep €3,000 minimum deposit and the desktop platform is too complex for most users.

Feel free to try LYNX if you are a European client seeking low stock and ETF trading fees and a good mobile trading platform.

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Swissquote Logo

#5 Best online broker
Swissquote

4.7

Swissquote is a Swiss investment bank established in 1996. It has two main trading arms: a Swiss unit for trading stocks, funds, options and futures, and a company in the UK for CFDs and forex.

Formally, Swissquote Bank Ltd is based in Switzerland and is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the country's financial regulator.

The other entity, Swissquote Ltd, is Luxembourg and offers CFDs and forex trading. It is regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), Luxembourg's regulator. The purpose of this entity is to grant access to the European markets after Brexit. The UK entity remained only for UK clients

Swissquote is considered safe because Swissquote Bank Ltd has a banking license, it is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, discloses detailed financials regularly and has a long track record.

Here, we focus mainly on the Swiss entity, sometimes referred to as "Swissquote (CH)". Throughout our content, we will refer to the Luxembourg-based entity as "Swissquote Europe (LUX)".

Pros Cons
Access to many markets and products High trading fees
No inactivity fee Confusing trading platform selection
Rock-solid background Some research tools are not free

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#5 Swissquote
Fees

Swissquote has high fees when it comes to buying and selling bonds.
Swissquote bond fees
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bond fee class Low Low Low Low High
US Treasury bond $7.1 $0.0 $34.5 $10.0 $75.0
EU government bond $7.1 - $30.9 $16.8 $60.0
Inactivity fee No No No Yes No

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#5 Swissquote
Markets and products

At Swissquote, you have access to around 53400 bonds, which is higher than the industry average. Note that brokers using Interactive Broker’s platform have the same selection of bonds available.
Swissquote bond selection
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bonds (#) 30,000 38,500 62,000 60,000 53,400
Swissquote products other than bonds
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No No Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No No Yes Yes
Crypto No No Yes Yes Yes

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#5 Swissquote
Verdict

Swissquote is an investment bank with a rock-solid background:

  • It is Swiss,
  • it is listed on an exchange
  • and it is a bank

It has two main entities, one in the UK and one in Switzerland. If you open an account at the London-based entity you can trade forex and CFDs, while the Swiss entity gives you access to assets ranging from stocks to options.

Swissquote offers a broad range of products across many markets. There are many stocks, mutual funds, and a lot of different other types of products, from bonds to cryptos.

However, nothing is free: Swissquote's trading fees are relatively high

All in all, Swissquote is a great stockbroker. As you can trade many products and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to give it a try.

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Best online brokers for bonds for Europeans
How did we pick the best brokers for bonds?

We tested brokers based on more than 300 criteria. Below, we will show you the 4 most important criteria we took into account.

4 important criteria for the best brokers for bonds for Europeans
Bond fees The commission for buying and selling bonds is typically a low percentage (0.10-0.30%), though it is worth watching out for minimum fees, which often tend to be high, in some cases as high as $80-$100.
Number of available bonds Most brokers will offer US Treasuries for trading, but what if you want to buy a corporate bond of a specific company? Some brokers simply don't have them. Check the product coverage before opening an account.
Inactivity fee Bonds are very often favored by buy-and-hold investors. You buy some bonds, collect regular coupon payments, and often kind of forget about them. But what if your broker starts charging high inactivity fees just because you haven't traded in a while?
Overall score A better overall score usually implies strong safety, as well as good-quality trading platforms, payment options and customer service, so this is also something to consider.

Are these brokers safe?

Bonds are typically seen as a less risky investment, so you certainly don’t want to add extra risk by using a less reputable broker. These brokers are all considered safe. You can be sure none of them is a scam. They are regulated by at least one top-tier regulator. Some of them are also listed on an exchange, and some have a banking background.

Best online brokers for bonds for Europeans
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best online brokers for bonds in 2021:

Best online brokers for bonds for Europeans for 2021
flatex Firstrade Comdirect LYNX Swissquote
Bond fee class Low Low Low Low High
Bonds (#) 30,000 38,500 62,000 60,000 53,400
Inactivity fee No No No Yes No
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

flatex is our winner, the best online broker for bonds for Europeans. Low stock, ETF, fund and bond fees. Strong company background. Great educational tools.
All of these brokers are considered safe, and a great choice. Pick the winner or any runner-up, and take the next step in your investment journey. Let us know what you think in the comment section.
Still unsure? For a tailored recommendiation, use our broker finder to find the best online broker for you; or learn more about investing in bonds.

Author of this article

Gergely Korpos

Author of this article

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Gergely is the co-founder and CPO of Brokerchooser. His aim is to make personal investing crystal clear for everybody. Gergely has 10 years of experience in the financial markets. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and equity portfolio manager.

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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