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Best discount brokers in the United States in 2020

Fidelity
4.9
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TD Ameritrade
4.8
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Interactive Brokers
4.9
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Fidelity
4.9
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TD Ameritrade
4.8
Visit broker
Interactive Brokers
4.9
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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 57 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 4.0
#2 TD Ameritrade US-based stockbroker 4.0
#3 Interactive Brokers US discount broker 4.0
#4 Charles Schwab US discount broker 4.0
#5 E-Trade US stockbroker 4.0

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

4.9

Fidelity  US stockbroker, founded in 1946. It is regulated by top-tier regulators 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 regulators.

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 Financing rates are high

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#1 Fidelity
Fees
4.0

Fidelity has low trading fees and low non-trading fees. There are no commissions for stock trading which is great. On the negative side, fees for some mutual funds and financing rates can be high.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High financing rate
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 - $13.0 $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 $7.0 $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
3.0

Opening an account at Fidelity is easy and fast, but not fully digital. The application had to be mailed with the relevant ID's photocopy.
Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Not fully digital
Low minimum deposit
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 $500
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day >3 days

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#1 Fidelity
Deposit and withdrawal
4.0

Fidelity offers an exceptionally wide range of base currencies. Credit/debit cards are not accepted and the wire withdrawals are charged.
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
4.0

Fidelity offers a lot of asset classes, from stocks to options. There are international stocks too, not just US stocks. Forex and futures are missing.
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
5.0

Fidelity's web platform is easy to use, has a lot of order types, and provides a two-step authentication. On the negative side, the web trading platform 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 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Mobile platform score 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 5.0
Desktop platform score 4.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 -

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#1 Fidelity
Verdict

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

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 product offer covers international stock exchanges besides the US market, not common among the US brokers.

Fidelity has some drawbacks though. The account is not fully digital, fees for mutual funds are quite high, also financing rate.

As the research tools are great, the web trading platform is user-friendly, and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try Fidelity.

Fidelity
Summary Fidelity is a US stockbroker. It is regulated by top-tier authorities the SEC and FINRA.
Fees score 4.0
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

4.8

TD Ameritrade was founded in 1978 and it is one of the biggest US-based stockbrokers. It is regulated by top-tier regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 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 regulated 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 in the US markets
Superb desktop trading platform Slow and not fully digital account opening
Great customer support No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Fees
4.0

TD Ameritrade provides free stock and ETF trading. The forex, bond, and options fees are low as well. On the other hand, they charge high fees for mutual funds.
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 - $13.0 $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 $7.0 $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

As a new client, you can change from many different account types at TD Ameritrade and as US citizen you will face no minimum deposit. Unfortunately, the process is not fully digital.
Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Not fully digital
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 $500
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day >3 days

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Deposit and withdrawal
2.0

TD Ameritrade has user-friendly account funding and charges no deposit fees, but are several drawbacks as well. You can use only 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 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
4.0

At TD Ameritrade you can trade with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures and forex. We also liked the additional features like social trading and the robo-advisory service. On the other hand, the offered products cover only the U.S. market.
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
4.0

TD Ameritrade offers a good web-based trading platform with a clean design. On the flip side, there is no two-step login and the platform is not customizable.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
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 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Mobile platform score 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 5.0
Desktop platform score 4.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 -

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Verdict

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

Research and education are outstanding and covers a lot of tools. The Thinkorswim desktop trading platform is one of the best on the marketThe customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

It has some drawbacks though. It charges high financing (margin) rates and it doesn't provide credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers. Furthermore, the product portfolio covers products only from U.S. markets. 

As there are great education tools including a demo account, feel free 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 4.0
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, the broker is considered safe. Also, 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
Wide range of products Extremely complex desktop trading platform
Many great research tools Complicated account opening process
Regulated by several authorities Funding and withdrawal only via bank transfer

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#3 Interactive Brokers
Fees
4.0

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees and 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
Low financing rate
Free stock and ETF trading for US clients
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 - $13.0 $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 $7.0 $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
3.0

IB's account opening process is fully digital and the required minimum deposit is low. On the negative side, the online registration is complicated and account verification takes around 2 business days.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Not user-friendly
No minimum deposit for most accounts 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 $500
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day >3 days

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#3 Interactive Brokers
Deposit and withdrawal
3.0

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, with every product type 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
4.0

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 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Mobile platform score 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 5.0
Desktop platform score 4.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 -

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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 a vast range of markets and products available, with diverse research tools and low costs

There are some drawbacks though: you can only fund your account via wire transfer and the account opening process is complicated. The desktop platform is complex and hard-to-understand, especially for beginners.

If you have experience navigating complex platforms and you like 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 4.0
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

4.8

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

It is regulated by several top-tier financial authorities, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the 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 Product selection covers only the US market
Great customer service Not well-structured educational platform

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#4 Charles Schwab
Fees
4.0

Charles Schwab offers free stock and ETF trading, while some mutual funds and bonds are also free. Non-trading fees are also low. On the negative side, the fees for some mutual funds are quite high.
Pros Cons
Low non-trading fees High fees for non-free mutual funds
Free stock and ETF trading
Some mutual funds and bonds are free
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 - $13.0 $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 $7.0 $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
5.0

Opening an account at Charles Schwab is easy, fast and fully digital. For US-clients there is no minimum deposit. If you open an account outside the US, there is a $25,000 minimum deposit.
Pros Cons
Fast For non-US clients $25,000 minimum deposit
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 $500
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day >3 days

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#4 Charles Schwab
Deposit and withdrawal
2.0

Transferring money is easy and user-friendly at Charles Schwab and there is no deposit fee. 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 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
3.0

At Charles Schwab, you can trade with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures. Unfortunately, the product portfolio covers only US exchanges.
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

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#4 Charles Schwab
Web trading platform
4.0

Charles Schwab offers a good web-based trading platform with a clean design. On the flip side, there is no two-step (safer) login and the platform is not customizable.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Price alerts
Order confirmation
Best discount brokers - Charles Schwab trading platform
Charles Schwab trading platforms
Fidelity TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab E-Trade
Web platform score 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Mobile platform score 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 5.0
Desktop platform score 4.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 -

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#4 Charles Schwab
Verdict

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

Reflecting the wave of introducing commission-free trading at the end of 2019, Charles Schwab charges no commission for stock and ETF tradesIts research is outstanding and covers many tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. The customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

It has some drawbacks though. It charges high fees for some mutual funds and the product portfolio covers only US markets. Lastly, the educational platform is not well-structured. 

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

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 4.0
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 regulators 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 regulated by top-tier, US regulators.

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 covered
User-friendly mobile trading platform Slow account verification
Great research tools No forex

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#5 E-Trade
Fees
4.0

E-Trade offers free stock, ETF trading. Some mutual funds and bonds are also free. The non-trading fees are low. On the negative side, the fees for non-free mutual funds 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 - $13.0 $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 $7.0 $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
4.0

The account opening is fully digital and user-friendly for US clients. On the flip side, the account verification process was slow.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Slow
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 $500
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day >3 days

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#5 E-Trade
Deposit and withdrawal
2.0

E-Trade charges no deposit fees and transferring money is user-friendly. 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 $25 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

At E-Trade, you can trade with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures. On the other hand, there is US market only and you can't trade with forex.
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 web-based user-friendly trading platform with a clear fee report. On the negative side, there is no two-step login and cannot be customized.
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 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Mobile platform score 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 5.0
Desktop platform score 4.0 5.0 3.0 4.0 -

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#5 E-Trade
Verdict

E-Trade is one of the biggest US stockbrokers regulated by top-tier regulators. 

At the end of 2019, riding the commission-free trading trend in the USA 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 as well. We liked the easy handling and the personalizable features of the mobile trading platform

It has some drawbacks though. E-Trade doesn't provide credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers and the product portfolio covers only US markets. In addition, the account verification process is slow. 

As the trading fees are generally low, the research tools are great and no inactivity fee is charged, 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 4.0
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 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Account opening score 3.0 3.0 3.0 5.0 4.0
Deposit and withdrawal score 4.0 2.0 3.0 2.0 2.0
Markets and products score 4.0 4.0 5.0 3.0 3.0
Web platform score 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

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.

Tibor Bedő

Tibor Bedő

Co-founder, CEO

Author of this article

Tibor believes having a good stockbroker is everybody's privilege. He worked extensively in the financial industry, including at Morgan Stanley and at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He advised leading European banks on strategy, finance and risk management.

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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