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Charles Schwab Review 2024

Written by
Adam N.
Fact checked by
Updated
2d ago
Key data
Fees
Safety
Deposit and withdrawal
Account opening
Mobile app
Desktop platform
Product selection
Regulated and trusted. Tested via live trading.
7,154 people chose this broker
Available in United States

Why choose Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab, one of the largest stockbrokers in the US, may be the perfect choice for you if you’re interested in commission-free stock and ETF trading on US markets.

Apart from stocks and ETFs, Charles Schwab also offers funds, bonds, options and futures. It has solid trading platforms, the account opening is easy, and there’s no minimum deposit for US residents.

Among its drawbacks, fees for futures and some funds are high and the $25,000 minimum deposit requirement for non-US residents is a tall order for many investors.

Charles Schwab completed its acquisition of TD Ameritrade in 2020, and is currently in the process of moving all TD clients to Charles Schwab. The move is currently expected to be completed in the first half of 2024. This means few changes for existing Schwab clients, but one advantage is that they can already access TD's excellent Thinkorswim trading platform.

BrokerChooser score
4.6 4.6 /5
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Pros
  • Free stock and ETF trading
  • Outstanding research
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • High fees for some mutual funds
  • Only US/Canada markets available

Charles Schwab at a glance

🗺 Country of regulationUSA, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore
💰 US stock feeFree stock and ETF trading
💰 Inactivity fee chargedNo
💰 Withdrawal fee$0
💰 Minimum deposit$0
🕖 Time to open an account1 day
🎮 Demo account providedYes
🛍️ Products offeredStock, ETF, Fund, Bond, Options, Futures, Crypto
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Fees

Score: 3.9/5
Charles Schwab offers free trading for stocks and ETFs, as well as some mutual funds and bonds, while non-trading fees are low. On the negative side, futures and some fund fees are high.
Pros
  • Free stock/ETF trading
  • Free trading for some funds/bonds
  • Low non-trading fees
Cons
  • High fees for non-free mutual funds
  • High futures fees

We compared Charles Schwab's fees with two similar brokers we selected, E*TRADE and Fidelity. These competitors were selected based on objective factors like products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed comparison of Charles Schwab alternatives.

Commission-free stock and ETFs

It’s extremely great as Charles Schwab has commission-free US stock trading.

Broker
US stock
Charles Schwab
$0.0
E*TRADE
$0.0
Fidelity
$0.0
Charles Schwab stock and ETF commission

High margin rates

Charles Schwab USD margin rate fees are higher than the industry average. USD margin rate fees are calculated as follows: Base rate + 1.825% for loan balance below $25.000

Broker
USD margin rate
Charles Schwab
13.6%
E*TRADE
14.2%
Fidelity
13.6%
Charles Schwab annual margin rates

Low options commission

Charles Schwab US stock index options fees are about half of the industry average. US stock index options fees are calculated as follows: $0.65 per contract

Broker
US stock index options
Charles Schwab
$6.5
E*TRADE
$6.5
Fidelity
$6.5
Charles Schwab stock index options commission

Charles Schwab charges a $0.65 fee per contract.

No inactivity fee, average withdrawal fee

There are no inactivity or account fees. IRA accounts are also free and there are no minimum balance requirements for any of those accounts.

Broker
Inactivity fee
Withdrawal fee
Charles Schwab
$0
E*TRADE
$0
Fidelity
$0
Charles Schwab inactivity, withdrawal and other fees

There is no withdrawal fee if you use ACH transfer. Withdrawals to other banks by wire transfer cost $25.

Other commissions and fees

High mutual fund commission: trading mutual funds involves the following charges - Standard fee of $49.95, but up to $74.95 for buying, while selling is free; there are also around 4,000 free mutual funds.

High futures fees: US index futures fees are as follows - $2.25 per contract.

Low bond commission: US treasury bonds come with the following charges - $0 for Treasury bonds; $1 per bond for corporate bonds with $10 minimum and $250 maximum.

Broker
Mutual fund
US micro e-mini stock index futures
Charles Schwab
$25.0
$22.5
E*TRADE
$20.0
$15.0
Fidelity
$37.5
-
Misc. fees compared with other brokers

Safety

Charles Schwab is regulated by top-tier authorities like the SEC and there is high investor protection. However, if you're trading on margin, there's no negative balance protection.
Pros
  • Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
  • Banking background
Cons
  • No negative balance protection
Read more

Deposit and withdrawal

Score: 1.6/5
Funding your account is easy and user-friendly at Charles Schwab and there is no fee for making deposits and withdrawals. Unfortunately, there is no option to use bank cards or electronic wallets for depositing funds.
Pros
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • High fee for wire (bank transfer) withdrawals
Read more

Account opening

Score: 5/5
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
  • Fast
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • $25,000 minimum deposit for non-US clients
Read more

Mobile app

Score: 4.2/5
Charles Schwab offers a great mobile trading platform with order confirmation and biometric login. In functionality and design, it is very similar to the web trading platform.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Touch/Face ID login
  • Order confirmation
Cons
  • No price alerts
Read more

Desktop platform

Score: 4.3/5
Charles Schwab offers a good web-based trading platform with a clean design. On the negative side, the platform is not customizable.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Price alerts
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Read more

Product selection

Score: 3.1/5
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.
Read more
“Schwab offers its customers a variety of trading platforms, and once the TD Ameritrade takeover is completed during 2024, there will be at least two more. My favorite for most trading tasks is StreetSmart Edge, which can be run from the cloud or downloaded to your computer, though the basic web platform is quite serviceable. Customization choices that you make on one platform are stored in the cloud, and persist across platforms. For example, a watchlist you set up in StreetSmart Edge will show up in your mobile app when you’re on the run. Schwab’s research offerings are extensive and varied, and the Idea Hub is a great tool for finding options trades. You can also tune in to Schwab Live Daily, which offers 4 to 7 hours of video content every trading day. The firm’s Security Guarantee covers losses in any Schwab account due to unauthorized activity, which is a welcome benefit in an uncertain world.”

FAQ

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Author of this review

Adam Nasli

Financial Wizard | Trading • Safety • Market Analysis

I bring extensive financial expertise as one of BrokerChooser's earliest team members. Personally, I tested nearly all 100+ brokers on our site, opening real-money accounts, executing trades, assessing customer services, and providing firsthand assessment. My professional background includes roles in the banking sector and a degree from Central European University, where I teach finance. My passions lies in in-depth research of the financial industry, building trading algorithms, and managing long-term investments.

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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