Best discount brokers in 2019

Dec 2018
Top 2 discount brokers
DEGIRO Interactive Brokers
Best discount brokers in 2019

Choose the best discount broker in 2019, we did the research for you. Fees, fees, and fees. We do not like them and surely you do not either. Checking carefully, we uncovered all hidden fees. After testing 20 brokers, only four made it to the top. And now, without further ado...

The top 4 picks for the best discount brokers in 2019

  1. Degiro is the best discount broker. It has amazing trading fees for stocks and options, and one free ETF trade per month.
  2. Interactive Brokers is the second, because of it charges inactivity fee if you don't trade. It is still the best online broker overall.
  3. TradeStation Global is practically Interactive Brokers with TradeStation's platform. Low fees, place three.
  4. Robinhood is number four. Zero commission for US stocks, true. But very high European stock fees and a high financing rate placed it to the fourth place.

Best discount brokers in 2019
Broker Info Fees
#1 Dutch discount broker 5 stars
#2 US discount broker 4 stars
#3 UK-based global broker 4 stars
#4 US zero-fee discount broker 4 stars

All four brokers are considered safe. They are regulated by top-tier regulators from the Netherlands, and the US, respectively. In the case of Interactive Brokers, it is also a listed company.

What makes a good discount broker? Certainly, damn low fees. This holds for commissions, financing rates, and a lot of people forget, non-trading fees like inactivity or withdrawal fees. Besides low fees, it must also be easy to open an account and deposit. They should offer access to a lot of markets and need to have a great platform.

Easy to list, but hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers along ~100 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up.

Not sure which broker? For a tailored recommendation, check out the broker finder tool. You can enter your country and it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with this detailed comparison table.

Boring, but important stuff: Degiro and IB offer CFD products. They are complex and very risky, thus not suitable for everyone. You can easily lose all of your invested money. If you don't have clue what a CFD is, start with these CFD trading tips

And now, let's see the best discount brokers in 2019 one by one. Starting with the winner, Degiro.

 

#1 Best discount broker
DEGIRO

4.6 5 stars
Best discount broker
DEGIRO logo

DEGIRO is a trending Dutch online discount broker. It is privately owned and was established in 2013 by former employees of another brokerage company.

DEGIRO is considered safe as it is regulated by top-tier financial regulators, the Dutch AFM and DNB. It is registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Amsterdam under number 34342820.

Recommended for price-sensitive buy and hold investors and traders looking for cheap execution.

Pros
  • One of the lowest fees in the market
  • Broad access to international markets
  • Easy to use web and mobile platform
Cons
  • Limited research and no education
  • Missing forex trading
  • No credit/debit card deposit and withdrawal

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#1 DEGIRO
Fees 5 stars

DEGIRO has low trading and non-trading fees. In most asset classes, it is the best in the market. There is one free ETF trading per a month, a great offer for buy and hold investors.

Pros
  • Low fees
  • No withdrawal fee
  • One free ETF trade per month
Cons
  • Yearly service fee for mutual funds
  • Higher trading fees for Asian and smaller European stock exchanges

DEGIRO fees
Apple benchmark fee$1.4$2.2$3.2$0.0
Vodafone benchmark fee$11.3$18.0$3.3$100.0
EURUSD benchmark fee-$23.0$23.0-

DEGIRO fees for stock trading
USA$0.004 per share + €0.5$0.005 per share, min $1, max 0.5% of trade value$0.007 per share, min $1.5Free
Germany0.058% + €4, max €600.1%, min €4, max €990.12%, min €1.8$50 per trade
UK 0.058% + €4, max €60£6 up to £50,000 Trade Value; £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value > £50,000; max £29 for > £50,000 Trade Value0.12%, min £1.5$50 per trade

DEGIRO non-trading fees
Account feeNoNoNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYesYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#1 DEGIRO
Account opening 5 stars

DEGIRO has an easy account opening process and there is no minimum deposit. But the account open takes more days.

Pros
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum account balance
  • User-friendly
Cons
None

DEGIRO minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$0$0$5,000$0
Time to open account1 day1-3 days1-3 days1 day

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#1 DEGIRO
Deposit and withdrawal 3 stars

DEGIRO deposit and withdrawal are free of charge via bank transfer and SOFORT. On the other hand, you cannot deposit with credit or debit card.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • Free withdrawal
  • Free deposit
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available

DEGIRO withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoNoNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#1 DEGIRO
Markets and products 3 stars

At DEGIRO you can reach many markets and trade with a lot of different products except forex.

DEGIRO markets and products
StockYesYesYesYes
ETFYesYesYesYes
ForexNoYesYesNo
FundYesYesYesNo
BondYesYesYesNo
OptionsYesYesYesYes
FuturesYesYesYesNo
CFDYesYesYesNo
CryptoYesYes-Yes

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#1 DEGIRO
Web trading platform 4 stars

DEGIRO’s web platform is simple and easy to use. Even beginners can easily get around and buy stocks. On the flip side, it can't be well-customized.

Pros
  • Two-step (safe) login
  • User-friendly
  • Looks nice
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for chart, for workspace)
  • No price alerts available

Best discount brokers - DEGIRO trading platform

DEGIRO trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars2 stars2 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars
Desktop platform score-3 stars3 stars-

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#1 DEGIRO
Verdict

DEGIRO is a good choice if you want a simple platform and don’t want to spend a fortune on fees.

It is far cheaper than its big European competitors and only Interactive Brokers can compete with DEGIRO fees. DEGIRO also has great access to international markets and trading products.

However, cheapness comes with some shortfalls. Education and research tools are missing or basic, there is no forex trading and limited deposit and withdrawal options.

All in all, it is a great online broker. As there is no minimum deposit and no inactivity fee, feel free to try it out.

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#2 Best discount broker
Interactive Brokers

4.7 5 stars
Best online broker
Interactive Brokers logo

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and it is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. It is regulated by several regulators globally, including top-tier authorities like FCA and SEC. Interactive Brokers Group is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Interactive Brokers is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for advanced traders preferring low fees and can cope with a complicated trading platform.

Pros
  • Broad product portfolio
  • Low fees
  • Great and diverse research tools
Cons
  • Limited and not user-friendly web trading platform
  • Funding and withdrawal only through bank transfer
  • Complicated account opening process

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#2 Interactive Brokers
Fees 4 stars

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees and high non-trading fees. The fees are transparent.

Pros
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Low trading fees
Cons
  • Inactivity fee

Interactive Brokers fees
Apple benchmark fee$1.4$2.2$3.2$0.0
Vodafone benchmark fee$11.3$18.0$3.3$100.0
EURUSD benchmark fee-$23.0$23.0-

Interactive Brokers fees for stock trading
USA$0.004 per share + €0.5$0.005 per share, min $1, max 0.5% of trade value$0.007 per share, min $1.5Free
Germany0.058% + €4, max €600.1%, min €4, max €990.12%, min €1.8$50 per trade
UK 0.058% + €4, max €60£6 up to £50,000 Trade Value; £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value > £50,000; max £29 for > £50,000 Trade Value0.12%, min £1.5$50 per trade

Interactive Brokers non-trading fees
Account feeNoNoNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYesYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#2 Interactive Brokers
Account opening 3 stars

The account opening process is fully digital, but slow, and complicated.

Pros
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum deposit for most accounts
Cons
  • Slow account opening
  • Not user-friendly
  • Confusing messages throughout the process

Interactive Brokers minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$0$0$5,000$0
Time to open account1 day1-3 days1-3 days1 day

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#2 Interactive Brokers
Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Interactive Brokers offers a lot of base currencies and one withdrawal per month is free. On the flip side, only bank transfer is available.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • No charge for the first withdrawal every month
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available
  • Lengthy funding and withdrawal - over 3 days

Interactive Brokers withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoNoNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#2 Interactive Brokers
Markets and products 5 stars

At Interactive Brokers you can reach the most markets and trade with all product types. IB has the widest offering.

Interactive Brokers markets and products
StockYesYesYesYes
ETFYesYesYesYes
ForexNoYesYesNo
FundYesYesYesNo
BondYesYesYesNo
OptionsYesYesYesYes
FuturesYesYesYesNo
CFDYesYesYesNo
CryptoYesYes-Yes

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#2 Interactive Brokers
Web trading platform 2 stars

Interactive Brokers' web trading platform is good for execution, it has very advanced order management. However, it is not user-friendly and standard functions are missing or underdeveloped.

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Clear fee report
Cons
  • Bad search function
  • Not user-friendly
  • Difficult to set the alerts

Best discount brokers - Interactive Brokers trading platform

Interactive Brokers trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars2 stars2 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars
Desktop platform score-3 stars3 stars-

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#2 Interactive Brokers
Verdict

IB is one of the biggest discount US brokers regulated by top-tier regulators. If you like low-cost trading and easily navigate on a really complicated platform, Interactive Brokers is for you. We mainly recommend IB for traders.

It has low trading fees, a wide range of product portfolio, and diverse research tools. 

On the flip side, the trading platforms are complicated and inconvenient to use. Only bank transfer is available for deposit and withdrawal, and the account opening is complicated.

Interactive Brokers is definitely recommended if you want low fees, a lot of products and you are experienced to cope with a complicated platform.

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#3 Best discount broker
TradeStation Global

4.5 5 stars
TradeStation Global logo

TradeStation is a US broker, and it offers TradeStation Global for non-US clients through its UK subsidiary.

TradeStation Global is practically Interactive Brokers's service, not TradeStation's. You can reach IB's markets almost at IB's fees. You can trade on both IB's and TradeStation's desktop platform. The customer service is by TradeStation. This is like you buy a British Airways flight ticket and then the plane is operated by Delta.

Both Interactive Brokers and TradeStation are very reputable brokers. Both have stock exchange listed parents and are regulated by top-tier regulators.

TradeStation Global is considered safe because it is regulated by the top-tier FCA, the UK regulator.

Recommended for traders looking for low fees and a lot of products.

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Wide range of products
  • Fast and relevant customer service
Cons
  • Not user-friendly deposit and withdrawal
  • Complicated account opening
  • Under-developed web trading platform

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#3 TradeStation Global
Fees 4 stars

TradeStation Global has low trading fees and high non-trading fees. Its financing rates are very competitive as well. On the other hand, there are withdrawal and inactivity fees.

Pros
  • Low financing rate
Cons
  • Withdrawal fee
  • $10 inactivity fee

TradeStation Global fees
Apple benchmark fee$1.4$2.2$3.2$0.0
Vodafone benchmark fee$11.3$18.0$3.3$100.0
EURUSD benchmark fee-$23.0$23.0-

TradeStation Global fees for stock trading
USA$0.004 per share + €0.5$0.005 per share, min $1, max 0.5% of trade value$0.007 per share, min $1.5Free
Germany0.058% + €4, max €600.1%, min €4, max €990.12%, min €1.8$50 per trade
UK 0.058% + €4, max €60£6 up to £50,000 Trade Value; £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value > £50,000; max £29 for > £50,000 Trade Value0.12%, min £1.5$50 per trade

TradeStation Global non-trading fees
Account feeNoNoNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYesYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#3 TradeStation Global
Account opening 2 stars

TradeStation Global account open is the same as Interactive Brokers. It is fully digital but slow and complicated. There is also $5,000 minimum required.

Pros
  • Account opening fully digital
  • Dedicated account manager
Cons
  • Not user-friendly
  • Slow account opening, 1-2 days
  • Minimum account balance is $5,000

TradeStation Global minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$0$0$5,000$0
Time to open account1 day1-3 days1-3 days1 day

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#3 TradeStation Global
Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

TradeStation Global deposit and withdrawal is the same as Interactive Brokers. There are many base currencies, and one free withdrawal per month. On the flip side, only bank transfer.

Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • No charge for the first withdrawal every month.
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available
  • Lengthy funding and withdrawal - over 3 days

TradeStation Global withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoNoNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#3 TradeStation Global
Markets and products 5 stars

TradeStation Global has a great product offer. You can reach many markets and trade with all product types.

TradeStation Global markets and products
StockYesYesYesYes
ETFYesYesYesYes
ForexNoYesYesNo
FundYesYesYesNo
BondYesYesYesNo
OptionsYesYesYesYes
FuturesYesYesYesNo
CFDYesYesYesNo
CryptoYesYes-Yes

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#3 TradeStation Global
Web trading platform 2 stars

For trading online, you can use only Interactive Brokers' web trading platform. It is good for execution and has very advanced order management. It is not user-friendly and standard functions are missing or underdeveloped.

Pros
  • Good variety of order types
  • Clear fee report
Cons
  • Bad search function
  • Not user-friendly
  • Difficult to set the alerts

Best discount brokers - TradeStation Global trading platform

TradeStation Global trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars2 stars2 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars
Desktop platform score-3 stars3 stars-

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#3 TradeStation Global
Verdict

TradeStation Global has low trading fees and financing rate, a lot of products on a lot of markets, and a great customer support. The TradeStation Global desktop platform has great tools, like a charting tool with a lot of indicators, a highly customizable watchlist (Radar Screen), and visualized order placing (Matrix).

On the other hand, the deposit and withdrawal are not user-friendly and you can use only bank transfer. The account opening is complicated and there is a $5,000 minimum account balance. Lastly, the web trading platform is under-developed and not user-friendly. 

Feel free to try TradeStation if you prefer low fees and a lot of products. 

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#4 Best discount broker
Robinhood

4.1 4 stars
Best for beginners
Robinhood logo

Robinhood is a US zero-fee or discount broker established in 2013. If you don't know what discount broker means, read this overview about the best discount brokers in 2018.

Robinhood is considered safe because it is supervised by FINRA, the US regulator and provides a maximum of $500,000 investor protection including a $250,000 limit for cash.

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

Pros
  • Commission-free US stock trading
  • Great mobile and web trading platforms
  • Fast and fully digital account opening
Cons
  • Available only for US and Australian clients
  • Weak customer support
  • Limited product portfolio

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#4 Robinhood
Fees 4 stars

US stock trading is free at Robinhood. There are no inactivity fee and withdrawal fees. On the flip side, Robinhood has really high commission for non-US stocks.

Pros
  • No inactivity fee
  • No withdrawal fee
  • Commission-free US stock trading
Cons
  • High financing rate
  • High trading fees of non-US stocks

Robinhood fees
Apple benchmark fee$1.4$2.2$3.2$0.0
Vodafone benchmark fee$11.3$18.0$3.3$100.0
EURUSD benchmark fee-$23.0$23.0-

Robinhood fees for stock trading
USA$0.004 per share + €0.5$0.005 per share, min $1, max 0.5% of trade value$0.007 per share, min $1.5Free
Germany0.058% + €4, max €600.1%, min €4, max €990.12%, min €1.8$50 per trade
UK 0.058% + €4, max €60£6 up to £50,000 Trade Value; £6 + 0.05% of incremental trade value > £50,000; max £29 for > £50,000 Trade Value0.12%, min £1.5$50 per trade

Robinhood non-trading fees
Account feeNoNoNoNo
Inactivity feeNoYesYesNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#4 Robinhood
Account opening 5 stars

Robinhood account opening is seamless and fully digital. Your account will be opened within a day. On the flip side, the account opening is only available for US and Australian clients.

Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Account opening fully digital
  • No minimum account balance
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • It is only availalbe for the US and the Australian clients

Robinhood minimum deposit and time to open an account
Minimum deposit$0$0$5,000$0
Time to open account1 day1-3 days1-3 days1 day

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#4 Robinhood
Deposit and withdrawal 3 stars

Robinhood deposit and withdrawal are very easy and user-friendly. On the flip side, you can only use bank transfer.

Pros
  • Free deposit
  • User-friendly
  • Instant deposit up to $1,000 per week
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available
  • Lengthy deposit if you don't use the instant deposit

Robinhood withdrawal fee and options
Bank TransferYesYesYesYes
Credit/Debit cardNoNoNoNo
Electronic walletsNoNoNoNo
Withdrawal fee$0$0$0$0

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#4 Robinhood
Markets and products 1 stars

Robinhood's product portfolio is limited. It offers only stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptos. Furthermore, these assets are mainly limited to the US markets.

Robinhood markets and products
StockYesYesYesYes
ETFYesYesYesYes
ForexNoYesYesNo
FundYesYesYesNo
BondYesYesYesNo
OptionsYesYesYesYes
FuturesYesYesYesNo
CFDYesYesYesNo
CryptoYesYes-Yes

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#4 Robinhood
Web trading platform 5 stars

Robinhood provides a well-designed and user-friendly web trading platform.

Pros
  • Clear fee report
  • User-friendly
  • Looks nice
Cons
  • Customizability is missing

Best discount brokers - Robinhood trading platform

Robinhood trading platforms
Web platform score4 stars2 stars2 stars5 stars
Mobile platform score4 stars4 stars4 stars5 stars
Desktop platform score-3 stars3 stars-

More Visit broker

#4 Robinhood
Verdict

Robinhood fees are great. US stocks trading is commission-free, and there is no withdrawal or inactivity fee. Robinhood has awesome, user-friendly mobile and web trading platforms. The account opening is easy, fully digital, and fast.

Robinhood has some drawbacks though. It is available only for US and Australian clients. The customer support is poor, you can only reach them via e-mail and it takes time to get an answer. Most products you can trade with are just from the US market. 

If you want to trade with US stocks for free and prefer an easy-to-use platform, Robinhood is the best choice. 

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Best discount brokers
What makes a good discount broker?

Now you know the top three discount brokers. You are probably curious about how we came up with this list. Let's go over three points: 

  1. What is a discount broker?
  2. Why do we think these brokers are safe?
  3. What are the most important factors when selecting the best discount brokers?

What is a discount broker?

A discount broker is a brokerage company that executes your buy and sell orders at a low trading fee. Discount brokers' fees can be lower since they don't provide extra services like research, personal investment advice, tax planning or robo-advisory as the full-service brokers.

Discount brokers were appearing with the internet and the online broker services. Brokerage companies started to provide their service online and fully automatized. This was the rise of online trading platforms. An online trading platform is basically a website, where you can insert your own orders and you get only a customer support, no investment advice. 

The distance between the full-service brokers and discount brokers has been narrowing in the last years. Discount brokers started to provide extra services as well, like research, while full-service brokers started to lower their fees. The full brokerage and wealth management industry is under fee pressure thanks to the more and more cost-effective online broker companies.

Nowadays, the new discount brokers are the free-trade brokers. These provide commission-free trading and charge an extra fee for ancillary services, like after hour trading. The biggest free-trade online broker in the US is Robinhood. In the UK, Freetrade launched its trading app in 2018. Stay tuned, we will come out with the Freetrade broker reviews soon.

Are these brokers safe?

Yes, all three are considered safe. You can be sure none of them is a scam. They are regulated by top-tier regulators. Interactive Brokers is also listed on an exchange.

However, also brokerage companies can go down. Remember Lehman Brothers? In these cases, it is important to know what happens with your securities and cash. These are usually held in segregated accounts, so even in case of a broker bankruptcy, you are safe.

If everything goes very bad and for example, the broker steals your assets, then you have a last resort, the compensation fund of the country where the broker is regulated. 

How did Brokerchooser pick the best discount brokers?

At Brokerchooser we test online brokers along ~100 criteria, with a real account and real money. Not to overwhelm you we list the most important criteria.

The primary selection criteria were fees. We concentrated on stock trading fees and also checked the financing rate, in case you want to trade with a leverage. No inactivity fee was a plus. 

The 5 most important criteria for discount brokers are:

5 most important criteria for the best discount brokers in 2019
1. Fees: Discount brokers' main advantage is the low cost. However, even discount brokers have significant fee differences. Worth to check the fees.
2. Deposit and withdrawal:  Transferring money to your account can be 5 times longer and more expensive at one discount broker compared to another.
3. Account opening: Some online brokers require at least $10,000 to invest, others don't set a minimal first-time deposit. Check out what the best discount brokers require.
4. Products and markets: You want to invest in Amazon and Bitcoin? They might not be available. Check the product coverage before opening an account.
5. Trading platform: A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort.

Best discount brokers
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best discount brokers in 2019:

Best discount brokers in 2019
Award
Best discount broker
Best online broker
Best for beginners
Fees score5 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars
Account opening score5 stars3 stars2 stars5 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score3 stars2 stars2 stars3 stars
Markets and products score3 stars5 stars5 stars1 stars
Web platform score4 stars2 stars2 stars5 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

Degiro is our winner, the best discount broker in 2019. Next is Interactive Brokers, also with superb fees. IB is also the best online broker overall. TradeStation Global is almost like Interactive Brokers, but you can use TradeStations platform. Robinhood is placed number four. It is only for US and Australian customers. Has zero commission for US stocks and options, but costs a lot for European stocks.

All three are considered safe, and a great choice. Pick the winner, or any runner-up and take save a lot of money on fees. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

Still unsure? Use the broker finder and find the best broker for you.

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
Follow Brokerchooser on Twitter

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