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To help you find the best online brokers in 2021, we went ahead and did the research for you. First, we selected 94 quality online brokers, then checked and compared basically every aspect of their offering: fees, available markets and products, trading platforms, deposit and withdrawal options and much much more. To be selected best online broker, service providers had to prove their excellence in multiple areas. We dug deep, so you won't have to.

5 brokers made it to the top in the United States. We highly recommend all 5 to you. And now, without further ado...

The top 5 picks for best international online broker of 2021 for citizens in the United States:

  1. Interactive Brokers is the best international online broker in 2021. Low trading fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
  2. TD Ameritrade takes second place. Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading). Superb desktop trading platform. Great customer support.
  3. E*TRADE rounds out the top three. Low trading fees (free stock and ETF trading). User-friendly mobile trading platform. Great research tools.
  4. Fidelity, numero quattro. Commission-free US stocks and ETFs. Great trading platforms and research. US and international stocks.
  5. Charles Schwab just made it to the list at in fifth place. Free stock and ETF trading. Outstanding research. Great customer service.
Best international online brokers of 2021 for citizens in the United States
Broker Info Score Best in
#1 Interactive Brokers International broker providing all asset classes 4.9 Best online broker
#2 TD Ameritrade US-based stockbroker 4.8
#3 E*TRADE US stockbroker 4.8 Best broker for bonds
#4 Fidelity US stockbroker 4.7 Best broker for ESG
#5 Charles Schwab US discount broker 4.8

What makes a good online broker? Surely, they need to provide great service in all areas. First of all, they need to offer fair fees and have a good safety score. Opening an account and depositing money should also be user-friendly processes. They need to provide access to a wide range of products and have a great platform.

These features are easy to list, but hard to figure out. We test brokers based on more than ~300 criteria with real accounts and real money. We know what's up. You can find all the ranking criteria in our methodology.

Not sure which broker to choose? For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. If you enter the name of your country it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with our in-depth comparison table.

And now, let's see the best international online brokers in 2021 for citizens in the United States one by one, starting with the winner, Interactive Brokers.

Interactive Brokers Logo

#1 Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
Interactive Brokers

4.9

Interactive Brokers review summary

 

Interactive Brokers, one of the biggest US-based discount brokers, was founded in 1978. 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).

Given that the broker has licenses from multiple top-tier regulators, Interactive Brokers is considered safe. The fact that it has a long track record and publicly disclosed financials while being listed on a stock exchange all point to IB being a safe service provider.

Our overall Interactive Brokers rating

Compare this broker to the best Interactive Brokers alternative here.

Recommended for traders looking for broad market access 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 Understaffed customer service

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Fees
4.5

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees and the best margin rates in the industry. For US clients, stock and ETF trading is free if they choose the Lite plan.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees None
Free stock and ETF trading for US clients
Low margin rates
Interactive Brokers fees
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock $1.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $4.2 - - $12.6 -
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $7.1 - - -
AUDUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $6.3 - - -
GBPUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $5.0 - - -
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 - - - -
Europe 50 index CFD fee $3.1 - - - -

The above calculation includes all spreads, commissions and financing rates (if applicable) for opening a position, holding it for a week, and closing it.

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#1 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
Interactive Brokers minimum deposit and time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Deposit and withdrawal
3.0

Interactive Brokers offers several account base currencies and one free withdrawal per month. The main drawback is that you can only use bank transfer.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
Several account base currencies
First withdrawal free each month
Interactive Brokers withdrawal fees and options
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Markets and products
5.0

At Interactive Brokers, you have access to an extremely wide range of markets and all product types are available.
Interactive Brokers markets and products
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No No No
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes No No No No
Crypto Yes Yes Yes No Yes

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#1 Interactive Brokers
Web trading platform
4.0

Interactive Brokers' web platform is simple and easy to use, even for beginners, however there are some minor but annoying glitches.
Pros Cons
User-friendly User experience could be better
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States - Interactive Brokers trading platform
Interactive Brokers trading platforms
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.0 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 3.5 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars - 3.8 stars 4.0 stars

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#1 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 both for advanced traders and for everyday investors who want to have access to many stock markets.

On the plus side, IB offers very low fees, a vast range of markets and products, and diverse research tools

There are some drawbacks, though. We weren't satisfied with the quaity of the customer service and the account opening process is complicated. Unlike the web and mobile platforms, 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 is 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 4.5 stars
Recommended for Traders looking for broad market access and a professional trading environment

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TD Ameritrade Logo

#2 Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
TD Ameritrade

4.8

This TD Ameritrade Review concludes that it is recommended for investors and experienced traders looking for solid research and a well-equipped desktop trading platform, the Thinkorswim platform.

It is one of the biggest US-based stockbrokers, founded in 1975. As an online broker, 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).

It is considered to be a safe broker as 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

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#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 futures.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High fund fees
Low non-trading fees
Free stocks and ETFs
TD Ameritrade fees
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock $1.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $4.2 - - $12.6 -
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $7.1 - - -
AUDUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $6.3 - - -
GBPUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $5.0 - - -
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 - - - -
Europe 50 index CFD fee $3.1 - - - -

The above calculation includes all spreads, commissions and financing rates (if applicable) for opening a position, holding it for a week, and closing it.

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Account opening
3.6

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

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Deposit and withdrawal
2.2

The account funding is user-friendly 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 fees and options
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Markets and products
4.0

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
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No No No
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes No No No No
Crypto Yes Yes Yes No Yes

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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 international online brokers for citizens in the United States - TD Ameritrade trading platform
TD Ameritrade trading platforms
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.0 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 3.5 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars - 3.8 stars 4.0 stars

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#2 TD Ameritrade
Verdict

It is one of the biggest US online brokers. It charges no commission on stock and ETFs.

Research and education are outstanding, the Thinkorswim desktop platform is one of the best on the market. Customer service is great.

The drawbacks are that 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 markets.

We definitely recommend giving it a try, especially as their education tools include a demo as well.

TD Ameritrade
Summary TD Ameritrade is a US stockbroker regulated by top-tier authorities 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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E*TRADE Logo

#3 Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
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 live chat

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#3 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
Free stock and ETF trading High fees for non-free mutual funds
Some mutual funds and bonds are free
Low non-trading fees
E*TRADE fees
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock $1.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $4.2 - - $12.6 -
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $7.1 - - -
AUDUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $6.3 - - -
GBPUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $5.0 - - -
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 - - - -
Europe 50 index CFD fee $3.1 - - - -

The above calculation includes all spreads, commissions and financing rates (if applicable) for opening a position, holding it for a week, and closing it.

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#3 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 account verification
No minimum deposit
User-friendly
E*TRADE minimum deposit and time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day

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#3 E*TRADE
Deposit and withdrawal
2.2

E*TRADE charges no deposit fees, and transferring money is easy. On the negative side, you can only use bank transfer, and there is a high fee 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 fees and options
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#3 E*TRADE
Markets and products
3.1

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
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No No No
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes No No No No
Crypto Yes Yes Yes No Yes

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#3 E*TRADE
Web trading platform
4.5

E*TRADE has a great, user-friendly web trading platform, offering a clear fee report. On the negative side, it cannot be customized.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States - E*TRADE trading platform
E*TRADE trading platforms
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.0 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 3.5 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars - 3.8 stars 4.0 stars

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#3 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 of 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, live chat 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 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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Fidelity Logo

#4 Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
Fidelity

4.7

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
Commission-free US stocks and ETFs High mutual fund fees and margin rates
Great trading platforms and research Slower account verification
US and international stocks Slow live chat

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#4 Fidelity
Fees
4.1

Fidelity has low trading and non-trading fees, including commission-free stock trading. On the negative side, margin rates and fees for some mutual funds can be high.
Pros Cons
Free stock and ETF trading High fees for non-free mutual funds
Low bond fees High margin fees
No inactivity fee
Fidelity fees
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock $1.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $4.2 - - $12.6 -
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $7.1 - - -
AUDUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $6.3 - - -
GBPUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $5.0 - - -
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 - - - -
Europe 50 index CFD fee $3.1 - - - -

The above calculation includes all spreads, commissions and financing rates (if applicable) for opening a position, holding it for a week, and closing it.

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#4 Fidelity
Account opening
3.6

Opening an account at Fidelity is easy and there is no minimum deposit. You can also choose from many account types. However, account verification is a bit slow.
Pros Cons
No minimum deposit Slower account verification
User-friendly Not fully digital in some cases
Many account types
Fidelity minimum deposit and time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day

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#4 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.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Credit/Debit card not available
No deposit fee
Several account base currencies
Fidelity withdrawal fees and options
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#4 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
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No No No
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes No No No No
Crypto Yes Yes Yes No Yes

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#4 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 international online brokers for citizens in the United States - Fidelity trading platform
Fidelity trading platforms
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.0 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 3.5 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars - 3.8 stars 4.0 stars

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#4 Fidelity
Verdict

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

Fidelity offers commission-free US stocks and ETFs. The trading platforms and research are outstanding, with many tools including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. 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. Some mutual funds have high fees, and the margin rates are high as well. The account verification process and live chat support are both a bit slow. 

As it has great research tools, 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 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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Charles Schwab Logo

#5 Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
Charles Schwab

4.8

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) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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

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#5 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 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 fees
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
US stock $1.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock $4.2 - - $12.6 -
EURUSD benchmark fee $10.7 $7.1 - - -
AUDUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $6.3 - - -
GBPUSD benchmark fee $8.6 $5.0 - - -
S&P 500 index CFD fee $2.8 - - - -
Europe 50 index CFD fee $3.1 - - - -

The above calculation includes all spreads, commissions and financing rates (if applicable) for opening a position, holding it for a week, and closing it.

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#5 Charles Schwab
Account opening
4.4

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
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day

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#5 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 fees and options
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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#5 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
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stocks Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETFs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No No No
Funds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bonds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes No Yes
CFDs Yes No No No No
Crypto Yes Yes Yes No Yes

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#5 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 international online brokers for citizens in the United States - Charles Schwab trading platform
Charles Schwab trading platforms
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.0 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 3.5 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.5 stars - 3.8 stars 4.0 stars

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#5 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 have 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 trading and non-trading fees are generally low, research tools are great and the account opening is seamless, feel free to try Charles Schwab.

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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Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
What makes a good online broker

Now that you know the top 5, you are probably curious how we came up with this list. Let's go through a few points quickly. What is an online broker? Why do we think these brokers are safe? What are the most important factors when selecting the best online brokers?

What is an online broker?

Thirty years ago, if you wanted to buy a stock, you had to pick up the phone and call your broker, who executed the transaction in return for a commission. Brokers were like characters in the movie 'Wolf of Wall Street'. They were constantly monitoring stock prices while holding the phone and shouting. The Internet changed all that. Nowadays, if you want to invest in Apple shares, you open an online account, deposit money, and set up an order on the brokers' online platform. These platforms are the online brokers. Online brokers help you buy and sell securities like stocks and ETFs. After creating your order, the online broker executes it immediately. It all takes place online.

Are these brokers safe?

We consider each broker on our list safe. You can be sure none of them is a scam. All the brokers featured on BrokerChooser are regulated by at least one authority.

However, brokerage companies can still go bust. Remember the collapse of Lehman Brothers? In such cases, it is important to know what happens with your securities and cash. Your funds are usually held in segregated accounts, so even if your broker goes bankrupt, your funds are safe.

If all goes wrong, 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 online brokers?

At BrokerChooser, we test online brokers based on more than ~300 criteria, with real accounts and real money. We don\'t want to overwhelm you, so we will list the five most important criteria.

5 most important criteria for the best online brokers in 2021
1. Fees The trading fees of a typical US equity trade can be 50 times higher at one online broker compared to another. It's definitely worth checking these fees.
2. Account opening Some online brokers require a minimum deposint to start investing while others don't ask for a fix first-time deposit. Check these reuirements at the best online brokers.
3. Deposit and withdrawal At some online brokers, funding and withdrawing funds can take 5 times longer and be much more expensive than at others.
5. Trading platform A user-friendly and well-equipped trading platform can significantly increase your trading comfort.
4. Markets and products You want to invest in Amazon or trade Bitcoin? They might not be available. Check the product lineup before opening an account.

Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
Bottom line

These were the details, now let's zoom out. Here are the best international online brokers of 2021 for citizens in the United States:

Best international online brokers for citizens in the United States
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade E*TRADE Fidelity Charles Schwab
Overall score 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.7 4.8
Best in Best online broker Best broker for bonds Best broker for ESG
Fees score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.4 stars 4.1 stars 4.4 stars
Account opening score 3.4 stars 3.6 stars 4.4 stars 3.6 stars 4.4 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3.0 stars 2.2 stars 2.2 stars 3.8 stars 2.2 stars
Markets and products score 5.0 stars 4.0 stars 3.1 stars 3.9 stars 3.3 stars
Web platform score 4.0 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 3.5 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

Interactive Brokers is our winner, the best international online broker in the United States for 2021. Low trading fees. Wide range of products. Many great research tools.
All of these brokers are considered safe and a great choice. Pick the winner, or any of the runners-up, and take the next step in your investment journey. Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Still unsure? For a tailored recommendation, check out our broker finder tool. If you enter the name of your country it will show only the relevant brokers. Want more details? Compare brokers with the help of our in-depth comparison table.

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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