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Best discount brokers in the United States in 2020

Choose the best discount broker in 2020 for citizens in the United States, 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 the hidden fees. After testing 74 brokers, 5 made it to the top. And now, without further ado...

The top 5 picks for the best discount brokers for American citizens in 2020:

  1. Fidelity is the best discount broker in the United States in 2020. Low trading and non-trading fees, high fund fees.
  2. TD Ameritrade is the second. Low trading and non-trading fees, high fund fees.
  3. Interactive Brokers rounded out the top three. Low trading fees, average non-trading fee, free stock and ETF trading for US customers. Third place.
  4. Charles Schwab in the fourth place. Low trading and non-trading fees, high fund fees.
  5. E*TRADE. Low trading and non-trading fees, high fund fees. Just made it to the list with being number five.
Best discount brokers in 2020 for American citizens
Broker Info Fees score
#1 Fidelity US stockbroker 4.1 stars
#2 TD Ameritrade US-based stockbroker 4.3 stars
#3 Interactive Brokers US discount broker 4.3 stars
#4 Charles Schwab US discount broker 4.4 stars
#5 E*TRADE US stockbroker 4.4 stars

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 also should offer access to a lot of markets and products.

Easy to list, but hard to figure it out. We are testing brokers along more than 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.

And now, let's see the best discount brokers for American citizens in 2020 one by one, starting with the winner, Fidelity.

Fidelity Logo

#1 Best discount broker
Fidelity

4.8

Fidelity is a US stockbroker founded in 1946. It is regulated by top-tier authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Fidelity is considered safe because it has a long track record and is regulated by top-tier financial authorities.

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

Pros Cons
Solid research tools Not fully digital account opening
Great web trading platform High mutual fund fees
US and international stocks High financing rates

#1 Fidelity
Fees
4.1

Fidelity has low trading and non-trading fees, including commission-free stock trading. On the negative side, financing rates and fees for some mutual funds can be high.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High fund fees
Free stock and ETF trading Higher fees for non-free mutual funds
Some mutual funds are free
Fidelity trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $1.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $10.8 - $7.2 - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $13.4 $17.9 - -
Mutual fund $37.5 $50.0 $15.0 $24.8 $20.0
US Treasury bond $0.0 $0.0 $5.0 $0.0 $0.0
US stock index options $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
Fidelity non-trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#1 Fidelity
Account opening
2.9

Opening an account at Fidelity is easy but not fully digital, as you have to mail in a photocopy of your ID to complete your application.
Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Not fully digital
User-friendly
Fidelity minimum deposit and time to open an account
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

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#1 Fidelity
Deposit and withdrawal
3.8

Fidelity offers an exceptionally wide range of base currencies. On the negative side, credit/debit cards are not accepted and there is a charge for wire withdrawals.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Credit/Debit card not available
No deposit fee $10 for outgoing wire transfers
Several account base currencies
Fidelity withdrawal fee and options
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#1 Fidelity
Markets and products
3.9

Fidelity offers a lot of different trading products, from stocks to options, including international stocks. However, forex and futures trading is not available.
Fidelity markets and products
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes No No
Crypto No No Yes No No

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#1 Fidelity
Web trading platform
4.5

Fidelity's web platform is easy to use, has many order types and provides two-step authentication. On the negative side, it is not customizable.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
Best discount brokers - Fidelity trading platform
Fidelity trading platforms
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.0 stars
Mobile platform score 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 3.5 stars 4.2 stars 4.5 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars 3.0 stars 4.0 stars -

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#1 Fidelity
Verdict

Fidelity is one of the biggest US stockbrokers and is regulated by top-tier authorities.

Fidelity's research is outstanding and covers many tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. The web trading platform is easy to use and offers advanced order types. The offered range of products includes international stock exchanges in addition to the US market, which is not common among US brokers.

Fidelity has some drawbacks, though. The account opening process is not fully digital and fees for mutual funds are quite high, as is the financing rate.

As it has great research tools and a user-friendly web trading platform, and charges no inactivity fee, feel free to try Fidelity's services.

Fidelity
Summary Fidelity is a US stockbroker. It is regulated by top-tier authorities the SEC and FINRA.
Fees score 4.1 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research and great trading platforms

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TD Ameritrade Logo

#2 Best discount broker
TD Ameritrade

4.9

TD Ameritrade was founded in 1975 and is one of the biggest US-based stockbrokers. It is regulated by top-tier authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

TD Ameritrade is considered a safe broker since it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, discloses its financials, and is overseen by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and a well-equipped desktop trading platform

Pros Cons
Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading) You can trade only on US markets
Superb desktop trading platform Accounts mostly limited to US residents
Great customer support No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer

#2 TD Ameritrade
Fees
4.3

TD Ameritrade offers free stock and ETF trading, while forex, bond and options fees are also low. On the other hand, it charges high fees for mutual funds and futures.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High fund fees
Low non-trading fees
Free stocks and ETFs
TD Ameritrade trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $1.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $10.8 - $7.2 - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $13.4 $17.9 - -
Mutual fund $37.5 $50.0 $15.0 $24.8 $20.0
US Treasury bond $0.0 $0.0 $5.0 $0.0 $0.0
US stock index options $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
TD Ameritrade non-trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Account opening
3.0

TD Ameritrade offers many different account types, and US citizens face no minimum deposit.
Pros Cons
Fully digital None
No minimum deposit
Many account types
TD Ameritrade minimum deposit and time to open an account
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Deposit and withdrawal
2.2

TD Ameritrade has user-friendly account funding with no deposit fees, but USD is the only available base currency, and wire transfers incur a high fee.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Credit/Debit card not available
No deposit fee Only one account base currency
User-friendly High withdrawal fee for wire transfers
TD Ameritrade withdrawal fee and options
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Markets and products
3.9

You can trade many asset classes, from stocks to futures and forex, while nice extras include social trading and robo-advisory. On the other hand, only the US market is covered.
TD Ameritrade markets and products
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes No No
Crypto No No Yes No No

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Web trading platform
4.3

TD Ameritrade offers a good web trading platform with a clean design. On the flip side, the platform is not customizable.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Two-step (safer) login
Good variety of order types
Best discount brokers - TD Ameritrade trading platform
TD Ameritrade trading platforms
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.0 stars
Mobile platform score 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 3.5 stars 4.2 stars 4.5 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars 3.0 stars 4.0 stars -

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Verdict

TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest US online brokers. Joining the hot trend of introducing commission-free trading at the end of 2019, TD Ameritrade now charges no commission on stock and ETF trades.

Research and education are outstanding at TD Ameritrade, offering you many useful tools. The Thinkorswim desktop trading platform is one of the best on the marketCustomer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

TD Ameritrade has some drawbacks though. It charges high financing (margin) rates and it doesn't accept credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers. Furthermore, the product portfolio covers only the US market.

As TD Ameritrade offers great education tools including a demo account, we encourage you to try it.

TD Ameritrade
Summary TD Ameritrade is a US stockbroker, regulated by top-tier authorities the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on NASDAQ and has a banking background as part of the TD Group.
Fees score 4.3 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research and a well-equipped desktop trading platform

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Interactive Brokers Logo

#3 Best discount broker
Interactive Brokers

4.9

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. The broker is regulated by several financial authorities globally, including top-tier ones like the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As it has licenses from multiple top-tier regulators, Interactive Brokers is considered safe. Having a long track record and publicly disclosed financials while being listed on a stock exchange are also great signs for its safety.

Recommended for traders looking for low fees and a professional trading environment

Pros Cons
Low trading fees Complicated account opening process
Wide range of products Complex desktop trading platform
Many great research tools High inactivity fee

Open account

#3 Interactive Brokers
Fees
4.3

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees; while for US clients, stock and ETF trading is free. On the negative side, there is a high inactivity fee for non-US clients.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees Inactivity fee
Low stock and ETF fees
Free stock and ETF trading for US clients
Low margin rates
Interactive Brokers trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $1.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $10.8 - $7.2 - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $13.4 $17.9 - -
Mutual fund $37.5 $50.0 $15.0 $24.8 $20.0
US Treasury bond $0.0 $0.0 $5.0 $0.0 $0.0
US stock index options $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
Interactive Brokers non-trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#3 Interactive Brokers
Account opening
3.4

IB's account opening process is fully digital and the required minimum deposit is low. On the negative side, the process is complicated, and account verification takes relatively long.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Not user-friendly
No minimum deposit for most account types Confusing messages throughout the process
Interactive Brokers minimum deposit and time to open an account
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

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#3 Interactive Brokers
Deposit and withdrawal
2.5

Interactive Brokers offers many account base currency options and one free withdrawal per month. The main drawbacks are that you can only use bank transfer, and the process is not user-friendly.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
Several account base currencies Not user-friendly
First withdrawal each month free
Interactive Brokers withdrawal fee and options
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#3 Interactive Brokers
Markets and products
5.0

Through Interactive Brokers you can access an extremely wide range of markets and all product types are available.
Interactive Brokers markets and products
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes No No
Crypto No No Yes No No

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#3 Interactive Brokers
Web trading platform
4.3

Interactive Brokers's web platform is simple and easy to use, even for beginners. On the negative side, it is not customizable.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
Best discount brokers - Interactive Brokers trading platform
Interactive Brokers trading platforms
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.0 stars
Mobile platform score 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 3.5 stars 4.2 stars 4.5 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars 3.0 stars 4.0 stars -

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#3 Interactive Brokers
Verdict

Interactive Brokers is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers, regulated by several top-tier regulators globally. We recommend this broker for advanced traders.

On the plus side, IB has low fees, a vast range of markets and products available with diverse research tools

There are some drawbacks though: there is a high inactivity fee and the account opening process is complicated. The desktop platform is complex and hard to get a handle on, especially for beginners.

If you have experience navigating complex platforms and enjoy transparent, low-cost trading, Interactive Brokers could be a great fit for you.

Interactive Brokers
Summary Interactive Brokers is a US discount broker. It is listed on a stock exchange and regulated by several authorities, including top-tier ones like the FCA and the SEC.
Fees score 4.3 stars
Recommended for Traders looking for low fees and a professional trading environment

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Charles Schwab Logo

#4 Best discount broker
Charles Schwab

4.9

Charles Schwab is a US discount broker that was founded in 1971 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

It is regulated by several top-tier financial authorities, such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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

Pros Cons
Free stock and ETF trading High fees for some mutual funds
Outstanding research Only US/Canada markets available
Great customer service Poorly-structured educational platform

#4 Charles Schwab
Fees
4.4

Charles Schwab offers free stock and ETF trading, some mutual funds and bonds are also free, while non-trading fees are low. On the negative side, some mutual fund fees are quite high.
Pros Cons
Free stock/ETF trading High fees for non-free mutual funds
Some mutual funds and bonds are free
Low non-trading fees
Charles Schwab trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $1.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $10.8 - $7.2 - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $13.4 $17.9 - -
Mutual fund $37.5 $50.0 $15.0 $24.8 $20.0
US Treasury bond $0.0 $0.0 $5.0 $0.0 $0.0
US stock index options $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
Charles Schwab non-trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#4 Charles Schwab
Account opening
4.5

Opening an account at Charles Schwab is easy, fast and fully digital. There is no minimum deposit for US clients, but other clients have to transfer a $25,000 minimum to start.
Pros Cons
Fast $25,000 minimum deposit for non-US clients
Fully digital
No minimum deposit
Charles Schwab minimum deposit and time to open an account
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

More

#4 Charles Schwab
Deposit and withdrawal
2.2

Funding your account is easy and user-friendly at Charles Schwab and there is no deposit fee. However, you can only use bank transfer and there is a high fee for wire withdrawals.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee High fee for wire (bank transfer) withdrawals
User-friendly
Charles Schwab withdrawal fee and options
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#4 Charles Schwab
Markets and products
3.3

At Charles Schwab, you can trade a lot of different asset classes, from stocks to futures. Unfortunately, the product portfolio covers only US and Canadian markets.
Charles Schwab markets and products
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes No No
Crypto No No Yes No No

More

#4 Charles Schwab
Web trading platform
4.3

Charles Schwab offers a good web-based trading platform with a clean design. On the negative side, the platform is not customizable.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report
Price alerts
Best discount brokers - Charles Schwab trading platform
Charles Schwab trading platforms
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.0 stars
Mobile platform score 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 3.5 stars 4.2 stars 4.5 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars 3.0 stars 4.0 stars -

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#4 Charles Schwab
Verdict

Charles Schwab is one of the biggest discount US brokers, regulated by top-tier authorities.

It was one of the first brokers, starting in late 2019, to charge no commissions for stock and ETF trades. Its research is outstanding, covering many tools, including trading ideas, Morgan Stanley analyst reports on equities and detailed fundamental data. Customer service is great, providing relevant answers within a short time.

It does has some drawbacks, though. Except for the around 4,000 mutual funds that are free to trade, mutual fund costs are high and the product portfolio covers only US and Canadian markets. Lastly, the educational platform is not well-structured.

As its trading and non-trading fees are generally low, research tools are great and the account opening is seamless, feel free to try its services.

Charles Schwab
Summary Charles Schwab is a US discount broker, regulated by top-tier US authorities the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and holds a banking license.
Fees score 4.4 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees and great customer service

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E*TRADE Logo

#5 Best discount broker
E*TRADE

4.8

E*TRADE is a US-based stockbroker founded in 1982. It is regulated by top-tier financial authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

E*TRADE 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 overseen by top-tier US regulators.

In February 2020, E*TRADE was acquired by Morgan Stanley. To find out more about the motives behind the acquisition and about the wider market context, check out this article we wrote about the deal.

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

Pros Cons
Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading) Only US markets, no forex
User-friendly mobile trading platform Only bank transfer
Great research tools Slow customer support

Open account

#5 E*TRADE
Fees
4.4

E*TRADE offers free trading of stocks, ETFs, and some bonds and mutual funds. Non-trading fees are also low. On the negative side, fees for mutual funds that aren't free are high.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees Higher fees for non-free mutual funds
Free stock and ETF trading
Some mutual funds and bonds are free
E*TRADE trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $1.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $10.8 - $7.2 - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $13.4 $17.9 - -
Mutual fund $37.5 $50.0 $15.0 $24.8 $20.0
US Treasury bond $0.0 $0.0 $5.0 $0.0 $0.0
US stock index options $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5 $6.5
E*TRADE non-trading fees
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Account fee No No No No No
Inactivity fee No No Yes No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#5 E*TRADE
Account opening
4.4

Account opening at E*TRADE (only available for US clients) is fully digital and user-friendly, but the account verification process is slow.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Slow
No minimum deposit
User-friendly
E*TRADE minimum deposit and time to open an account
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

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#5 E*TRADE
Deposit and withdrawal
2.2

E*TRADE charges no deposit fees, and transferring money is easy. On the flip side, you can only use bank transfer, and a high fee is charged for wire transfer withdrawals.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
User-friendly High fee for wire transfer withdrawal
E*TRADE withdrawal fee and options
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets Yes No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#5 E*TRADE
Markets and products
3.0

You can trade plenty of asset classes at E*TRADE from stocks to futures, but only on the US market; in addition, forex trading is not available.
E*TRADE markets and products
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes Yes No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes No No
Crypto No No Yes No No

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#5 E*TRADE
Web trading platform
4.0

E*TRADE has a great, user-friendly web trading platform, offering a clear fee report among others. On the negative side, it cannot be customized, and doesn't provide two-step login.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good search function
Best discount brokers - E*TRADE trading platform
E*TRADE trading platforms
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.0 stars
Mobile platform score 4.5 stars 4.8 stars 3.5 stars 4.2 stars 4.5 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars 3.0 stars 4.0 stars -

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#5 E*TRADE
Verdict

E*TRADE is one of the biggest US stockbrokers, and is regulated by top-tier authorities.

At the end of 2019, riding the commission-free trading trend in the US, E*TRADE introduced zero commission on stock and ETF trades. E*TRADE's research functions are high quality and channel a lot of tools, including trading ideas and strategy builders. We liked the easy handling and the customizable features of the mobile trading platform.

E*TRADE has some drawbacks though. It doesn't accept credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers, and its product portfolio covers only US markets. In addition, customer support is slow.

As trading fees are generally low, research tools are great and no inactivity fee is charged, you should feel free to try E*TRADE.

E*TRADE
Summary E*Trade is a US stockbroker, regulated by top-tier authorities the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on NASDAQ and has a banking background.
Fees score 4.4 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research and a great mobile trading platform

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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?

You can be sure none of them is a scam. They are regulated by at least one top-tier regulator.

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 more than 100 criteria, with a real account and real money. When we selected the best discount brokers, the primary selection criteria were fees.

We made the rank based on the trading fees of all asset classes, such as stock fees, and the fees not related to trading, like the withdrawal fees. We also scored positively if the broker provides a wide range of asset classes, because providing low fees in more than one asset class is not an easy job.

Best discount brokers
Bottom line

You saw the details, now let's zoom out. Here are best discount brokers in 2020 for citizens in the United States:

Best discount brokers in 2020 for American citizens
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E*TRADE
Fees score 4.1 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.4 stars 4.4 stars
Account opening score 2.9 stars 3.0 stars 3.4 stars 4.5 stars 4.4 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3.8 stars 2.2 stars 2.5 stars 2.2 stars 2.2 stars
Markets and products score 3.9 stars 3.9 stars 5.0 stars 3.3 stars 3.0 stars
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.0 stars
Open account Open account

Fidelity is our winner, the best discount broker in the United States in 2020. Low trading and non-trading fees, high fund fees.

All brokers are considered a great choice. Pick the winner, or any runner-up and 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 or learn more about investing your money.

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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