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Charles Schwab Alternatives

May 2019
Our top picks for Tradestation alternatives
Interactive Brokers
tastyworks

The best alternatives to Charles Schwab are

  1. Interactive Brokers - US discount broker
  2. Chase You Invest - US-based discount broker
  3. Tradestation - US stockbroker

Let's see in a bit more detail how the Charles Schwab alternatives compare to Charles Schwab and each other:

Charles Schwab alternatives comparison
Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers Chase You Invest Tradestation
Overall score 4.6 4.8 4.5 4.4
Fees score 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars 4 stars
Account opening score 5 stars 3 stars 5 stars 4 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 2 stars 2 stars 2 stars 2 stars
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars 4 stars
Markets and products score 3 stars 5 stars 2 stars 2 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

Why are these brokers considered good alternatives to Charles Schwab? There are many areas based on which Charles Schwab can be compared with others. When we say a given online broker is a good alternative to Charles Schwab we mean these brokers are comparable in the following areas:

  • The products they offer, meaning you can buy mostly the same things, i.e. stocks, CFDs, options, etc.
  • The type of clients they target, i.e. beginners, experienced investors, or day traders.

Charles Schwab alternatives recommendations

Brokers are different in a number of ways, which means each of them may be suitable for different people. Here's how they compare overall:

  • Charles Schwab is recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service
  • Interactive Brokers is recommended for traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment
  • Chase You Invest is recommended for beginners and buy and hold investors focusing on the us stock market
  • Tradestation is recommended for traders wanting great research tools and preferring the us markets

Important factors of finding Charles Schwab alternatives

So far Brokerchooser has reviewed 41 online brokers in detail, which gives this comparison a solid starting point.

Not only that, but all of these brokers are reviewed using the exact same broker review methodology, which makes everything easily comparable. For each broker, we

  • open a live account
  • check over 100 criteria, with weighting based on readers' preferences
  • refresh data regularly

Whether Charles Schwab or one of its alternatives is the best choice for you is on the following five broker characteristics that most interest people:

Fees. There are different types of fees that your online brokerage may charge, and both the number and the size of these fees may vary significantly from broker to broker. Both of these aspects can impact your returns and your overall experience. Charles Schwab is one of the cheaper brokers, so if this is an important consideration for you, make sure you pick a similarly low-cost Charles Schwab alternative.

Account opening. To open an account some brokers require at least €50,000 to be invested, while others don't set a minimum first-time deposit. The time it takes to open your account can be very different as well. At Charles Schwab this is not a problem as you can have it ready on the same day you registered.

Deposit/withdrawal. The number of ways that you can deposit or withdraw money to or from your account matters a lot. For example, while you cannot make a deposit with your credit card at Charles Schwab, some alternatives might allow you to do that.

Web trading platform. While online brokers are usually available on various platforms like mobile apps, tablet apps or desktop software, most people use them through their web platform in a browser. User-friendly trading platforms that offer many different resources can significantly increase your trading comfort.

Markets and products. A lot of people have specific products they would like to invest in. Knowing whether stocks, forex, mutual funds, and other products are available at the given Charles Schwab alternative is a must.


Now let's dive into the details of how Charles Schwab and its alternatives perform in the most important areas!

Charles Schwab alternatives
Charles Schwab

4.6 5 stars

Best research

Charles Schwab logo

Charles Schwab was founded in 1971 and it is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. It is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the US SEC or the UK FCA.

Charles Schwab is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

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

Pros
  • Outstanding research
  • Low fees
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer
  • Only US markets covered
  • Not well-structured education

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Fees 4 stars

Charles Schwab has low trading and non-trading fees. It even charges no commission for some ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds. On the negative side, the fees for mutual funds and the financing rates are high.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Some ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds are free
Cons
  • High financing rate
  • High fees for mutual funds
Charles Schwab alternatives trading fees
Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers Chase You Invest Tradestation
Apple benchmark fee $10.1 $2.2 $6.1 $2.2
Vodafone benchmark fee - $17.9 - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $23.0 - -

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 5 stars

Opening an account at Charles Schwab is easy, fast and fully digital. For US-clients there is no minimum deposit. However, if you open an account outside the US, there is a $25,000 minimum.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • For non-US clients $25,000 minimum
Charles Schwab alternatives minimum deposit and account open times
Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers Chase You Invest Tradestation
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $500
Time to open account 1 day 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

Learn more about Charles Schwab minimum deposit here.

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Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Charles Schwab deposit and withdrawal can be improved. You can use only bank transfer, there is only USD as a base currency, and a high fee is charged for wire withdrawals. As a plus, there is no deposit fee and transferring money is easy and user-friendly.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available
  • Only one account base currency
  • High fee for wire withdrawals
Charles Schwab and alternatives withdrawal options and fees
Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers Chase You Invest Tradestation
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $35

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Web trading platform 4 stars

Charles Schab's web platform is simple and easy to use. Even beginners can easily navigate it. On the negative side, it lacks two-step login and customizability.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Price alerts
Cons
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Charles Schwab - Web trading platform
Charles Schwab and alternatives trading platform scores
Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers Chase You Invest Tradestation
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars 3 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Desktop platform score 4 stars 3 stars - 3 stars

Learn more about Charles Schwab's web trading platform in the detailed Charles Schwab review.

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Markets and products 3 stars

At Charles Schwab, you can trade with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures. However, the offered products cover only the US market.
Charles Schwab and alternatives markets and products
Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers Chase You Invest Tradestation
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No Yes No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes No
Options Yes Yes No Yes
Futures Yes Yes No Yes
CFD No Yes No No
Crypto No Yes No No

More Visit broker

Verdict

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

Its research is outstanding and covers many tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. It charges low trading and non-trading fees.  The customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

It has some drawbacks though. It doesn't provide credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers. The product portfolio covers only US markets. Lastly, the educational tools are not well-structured. 

As the research tools are great, the account opening is seamless, and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try it.

Charles Schwab
Summary Charles Schwab is a US discount broker, regulated by top-tier regulators, the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on NYSE and holds a banking license.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service

More Visit broker

Charles Schwab alternatives
Interactive Brokers

4.8 5 stars

Best online broker

Interactive Brokers logo

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

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

Recommended for traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment

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

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Fees 4 stars

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees and high non-trading fees. The fees are transparent.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • Inactivity fee
Charles Schwab vs. Interactive Brokers: Trading fees
Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Apple benchmark fee $2.2 $10.1
Vodafone benchmark fee $17.9 -
EURUSD benchmark fee $23.0 -

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 3 stars

The account opening process is fully digital, but slow and complicated.
Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit for most accounts
Cons
  • Slow account opening
  • Not user-friendly
  • Confusing messages throughout the process
Charles Schwab vs. Interactive Brokers: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day

If you are interested more in Interactive Brokers minimum deposit, this overview will help you.

More Visit broker

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Interactive Brokers offers a lot of base currencies and one withdrawal per month is free. On the negative side, only bank transfer is available.
Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • No charge for the first withdrawal each month
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available
  • Slow funding and withdrawal - over 3 days
Charles Schwab vs. Interactive Brokers: Withdrawal options
Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Bank Transfer Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0

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Web trading platform 4 stars

The Interactive Brokers web platform is simple and easy to use, even for beginners. On the negative side, it is a bit complicated to customize.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Two-step (safe) login
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Web trading platform of Interactive Brokers, a Charles Schwab alternative
Charles Schwab vs. Interactive Brokers: Trading platform scores
Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score 3 stars 4 stars

Learn more about Interactive Brokers's web trading platform in the detailed Interactive Brokers review.

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Markets and products 5 stars

Interactive Brokers allows you access to a very wide range of markets and you can trade with all product types. IB's product range is the widest available.
Charles Schwab vs. Interactive Brokers: Markets and products
Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex Yes No
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes
CFD Yes No
Crypto Yes No

More Visit broker

Verdict

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

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

On the flip side, only bank transfer is available for deposit and withdrawal. The account opening and the desktop platform are not user-friendly and complicated.

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

Interactive Brokers
Summary Interactive Brokers is a US discount broker. IB is listed on stock exchange and regulated by several authorities, like the top-tier FCA and SEC.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment

More Visit broker

Charles Schwab alternatives
Chase You Invest

4.5 5 stars

Chase You Invest logo

Chase You Invest is a discount brokerage service released in 2018 by J.P. Morgan. The parent company, J.P. Morgan is a US investment bank and is also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Chase You Invest is considered safe because the parent company, J.P. Morgan has a long track record, is listed on stock exchange, has a banking background, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

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

Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Fast and fully digital account opening
  • Strong parent company
Cons
  • Available only for US clients
  • Limited product portfolio
  • Basic research tools

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Fees 5 stars

Chase You Invest has low trading fees and low non-trading fees. It offers 100 commission-free trades for US-based stock and ETF trades in the first year after the account opening. You can also trade with mutual funds for free.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Low non-trading fees
  • No withdrawal fee
Cons
None
Charles Schwab vs. Chase You Invest: Trading fees
Chase You Invest Charles Schwab
Apple benchmark fee $6.1 $10.1
Vodafone benchmark fee - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - -

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 5 stars

Account opening at Chase You Invest is seamless and fully digital. Your account will be opened within a day. On the flip side, the account opening is available only for US clients.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum account balance
Cons
  • It is available only for US clients
Charles Schwab vs. Chase You Invest: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Chase You Invest Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1 day

If you are interested more in Chase You Invest minimum deposit, this overview will help you.

More Visit broker

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Chase You Invest deposit and withdrawal can be improved. You can use only bank transfer and there is a high fee for wire withdrawals if you are a non-Chase client. As a plus, there is no deposit fee and transferring money is easy and user-friendly.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available
  • Only one account base currency
  • High fee for wire withdrawal for non-Chase clients
Charles Schwab vs. Chase You Invest: Withdrawal options
Chase You Invest Charles Schwab
Bank Transfer Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0

More Visit broker

Web trading platform 3 stars

Chase You Invest has a mediocre web trading platform. It is very easy-to-use and has a great search function. However, it misses important features, like two-step authentication, clear fee report and price alerts.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Looks nice
Cons
  • No clear fee report available
  • No two-step (safe) login
  • No price alerts
Web trading platform of Chase You Invest, a Charles Schwab alternative
Charles Schwab vs. Chase You Invest: Trading platform scores
Chase You Invest Charles Schwab
Web platform score 3 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score - 4 stars

Learn more about Chase You Invest's web trading platform in the detailed Chase You Invest review.

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Markets and products 2 stars

Chase You Invest has limited product portfolio. It offers stock, ETF, fund, and bond. It lacks forex, options, futures, or CFD. Furthermore, the offered products cover only the US market.
Charles Schwab vs. Chase You Invest: Markets and products
Chase You Invest Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No No
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options No Yes
Futures No Yes
CFD No No
Crypto No No

More Visit broker

Verdict

Chase You Invest fees are great. You can trade with mutual funds for free and new clients have 100 commission-free trades for US-based stock and ETF in the first year. The account opening is easy, fully digital, and fast. J.P. Morgan is Chase You Invest's strong parent company. It has a banking background and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chase You Invest has some drawbacks though. It is available only for US clients. The product portfolio is limited, covering only US markets and the stock, ETF, bond, and fund asset classes. Lastly, the research tools are basic. 

As the account opening is seamless, and Chase You Invest offers commission-free mutual funds and 100 commission-free stock and ETF trades, feel free to try it.

Chase You Invest
Summary Chase You Invest is a brokerage solution offered by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (a J.P. Morgan affiliate), regulated by US top-tier regulators SEC and FINRA. J.P. Morgan is a NYSE listed company with banking background.
Fees score 5 stars
Recommended for Beginners and buy and hold investors focusing on the US stock market

More Visit broker

Charles Schwab alternatives
Tradestation

4.4 4 stars

Tradestation logo

TradeStation is a US broker with a long history dating back to 1982. Its parent company, the Monex Group is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.

TradeStation is considered safe as it is regulated by a top-tier regulator, the US FINRA. Clients are eligible for the SIPC investor protection scheme which offers up to $500,000 (cash up to $250,000) per account.

Recommended for traders wanting great research tools and preferring the us markets

Pros
  • Great mobile trading platform
  • Wide range of reserach tools
  • High-quality educational tools
Cons
  • Not user-friendly deposit and withdrawal
  • No forex
  • Bad customer service

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Fees 4 stars

TradeStation has low trading fees and there are multiple fee structures to choose from. Non-trading fees, like inactivity fees are high.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • More fee structures you can choose from
Cons
  • High non-trading fees
Charles Schwab vs. Tradestation: Trading fees
Tradestation Charles Schwab
Apple benchmark fee $2.2 $10.1
Vodafone benchmark fee - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - -

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 4 stars

TradeStation account opening is fully digital and user-friendly. On the other hand, it takes more days until your account is approved.
Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Slow account opening
Charles Schwab vs. Tradestation: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Tradestation Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $500 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day

If you are interested more in Tradestation minimum deposit, this overview will help you.

More Visit broker

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

TradeStation deposit and withdrawal can be improved. As a plus, the deposit is free. However, you can use only bank transfer and there is a high, $35 withdrawal fee.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card deposit and withdrawal not available
  • Not user-friendly
  • High withdrawal fee (for non-US clients $35 /tansaction)
Charles Schwab vs. Tradestation: Withdrawal options
Tradestation Charles Schwab
Bank Transfer Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $35 $0

More Visit broker

Web trading platform 4 stars

TradeStation has a good web trading platform. It is user-friendly with and looks nice. It also offers a great order management. On the flip side, it lacks the alerts and the clear fee reports.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No clear fee report available
  • No price alerts
Web trading platform of Tradestation, a Charles Schwab alternative
Charles Schwab vs. Tradestation: Trading platform scores
Tradestation Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 5 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score 3 stars 4 stars

Learn more about Tradestation's web trading platform in the detailed Tradestation review.

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Markets and products 2 stars

TradeStation gives you access to a wide variety of US products. However, its non-US offer is not competitive. The forex, CFDs and cryptos are missing.
Charles Schwab vs. Tradestation: Markets and products
Tradestation Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No No
Fund Yes Yes
Bond No Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes
CFD No No
Crypto No No

More Visit broker

Verdict

TradeStation is a great US broker.

The mobile platform is very user-friendly with many functions. It also offers great research tools, including a wide range of analytical tools. Lastly, education is well-structured and high-quality. 

On the other hand, the deposit and withdrawal are not user-friendly and you can use only bank transfer. It lacks many asset classes, e.g. forex or CFDs. The customer service can be improved as the response time at email and chat support are very slow.

Feel free to try TradeStation if you prefer Recommended for buy and hold investors with any experience level.

Tradestation
Summary TradeStation is a US stockbroker regulated by FINRA, the top-tier US regulator.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Traders wanting great research tools and preferring the US markets

More Visit broker

Charles Schwab alternatives
Bottom line

Based on our analysis, there are several good alternatives to Charles Schwab. They all offer similar products and target similar customers. Here's a recap of the results in a table.

Charles Schwab alternatives
Broker Info Recommended for
Charles Schwab US discount broker Investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service
Interactive Brokers US discount broker Traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment
Chase You Invest US-based discount broker Beginners and buy and hold investors focusing on the US stock market
Tradestation US stockbroker Traders wanting great research tools and preferring the US markets

Still unsure? Use our broker finder and find the best broker for you or learn more about investing your money.

AUTHOR

Dan Sallai
Dan Sallai
CMO
My goal is to help people find our resourceful content when they need the most. I combine my 10+ years online marketing experience with the team's finance knowledge to reach that every day. On the side I'm paying bowling, tennis and enjoy spending great time with my children.
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