Charles Schwab Logo
Our top alternative brokers to Charles Schwab
E*TRADE
4.9
Visit broker
Firstrade
4.4
Visit broker
Our top alternative brokers to Charles Schwab
E*TRADE
4.9
Visit broker
Firstrade
4.4
Visit broker
Charles Schwab Alternatives

The best alternatives to Charles Schwab are

  1. E*TRADE - US stockbroker
  2. Firstrade - US discount broker
  3. Merrill Edge - US discount broker
  4. Fidelity - 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 E*TRADE Firstrade Merrill Edge Fidelity
Overall score 4.8 4.9 4.4 4.8 4.9
Fees score 4.4 stars 4.4 stars 4.7 stars 4.4 stars 4.2 stars
Account opening score 4.4 stars 4.4 stars 4.4 stars 5.0 stars 3.6 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 2.2 stars 2.2 stars 2.0 stars 2.2 stars 3.8 stars
Web platform score 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars
Markets and products score 3.3 stars 3.1 stars 2.8 stars 2.3 stars 3.9 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
  • E*TRADE is recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and a great mobile trading platform
  • Firstrade is recommended for beginners and investors looking for zero-commission trading, focusing on the us market
  • Merrill Edge is recommended for investors and traders who looking for low fees, quick account opening, and simple platforms
  • Fidelity is recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and great trading platforms

Important factors of finding Charles Schwab alternatives

So far BrokerChooser has reviewed 85 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
E*TRADE

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

Visit broker

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
Charles Schwab vs. E*TRADE: Trading fees
E*TRADE Charles Schwab
Apple benchmark fee $0.3 $0.3
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

Visit broker More

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
Charles Schwab vs. E*TRADE: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
E*TRADE Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day

If you are interested more in E*TRADE minimum deposit, this overview will help you.

Visit broker More

Deposit and withdrawal
2.2

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

Visit broker More

Web trading platform
4.5

E*TRADE has a great, user-friendly web trading platform, offering a clear fee report among others. On the negative side, it cannot be customized.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
Web trading platform of E*TRADE, a Charles Schwab alternative
Charles Schwab vs. E*TRADE: Trading platform scores
E*TRADE Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score - 4.0 stars

Learn more about E*TRADE's web trading platform in the detailed E*TRADE review.

Visit broker

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.
Charles Schwab vs. E*TRADE: Markets and products
E*TRADE Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No No
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes
CFD No No
Crypto Yes Yes

Visit broker More

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.

Below you can find links to all aspects of E*TRADE in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our E*TRADE fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the E*TRADE minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your E*TRADE account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the E*TRADE account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the E*TRADE trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the E*TRADE customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is E*TRADE legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether E*TRADE is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is E*TRADE good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on E*TRADE?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on E*TRADE guide

I want to trade options, are they available at E*TRADE?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on 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

Visit broker More

Charles Schwab alternatives
Firstrade

Firstrade is a US discount stockbroker regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The company was founded in 1985 under the name of First Flushing Securities.

Firstrade is considered safe because it has a long track record and is overseen by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for beginners and investors looking for zero-commission trading, focusing on the us market

Pros Cons
Free stock, ETF, fund and options trading No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer
Solid research tools You can trade only on US markets
Quality educational tools No live chat or 24/7 availability

Visit broker

Fees
4.7

Firstrade has low fees. It offers free stock, ETF, funds, and options trading with low non-trading fees. However, margin rates are high.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High margin rates
Low non-trading fees
Free stock, ETF, fund and options trading
Charles Schwab vs. Firstrade: Trading fees
Firstrade Charles Schwab
Apple benchmark fee $0.3 $0.3
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

Visit broker More

Account opening
4.4

Account opening is fully digital and user-friendly, and is open to international customers. On the flip side, the process was slow for us, taking almost 3 business days.
Pros Cons
Fully digital Slow account verification
No minimum deposit
Low minimum deposit
Charles Schwab vs. Firstrade: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Firstrade Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day

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

Visit broker More

Deposit and withdrawal
2.0

We liked Firstrade's user-friendly deposit and withdrawal process. There is no deposit fee and transferring money is easy. At the same time, there is still room for improvement: you can use only bank transfers and a high fee is charged for wire transfer withdrawals.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
User-friendly Only one account base currency
High outgoing wire transfer fee
Charles Schwab vs. Firstrade: Withdrawal options
Firstrade Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0

Visit broker More

Web trading platform
4.3

Firstrade's web platform is simple and easy to use. Even if you are a beginner, you can find your way around with ease. On the negative side, it lacks a two-step login and the customizability of the main sections is quite limited.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Clear fee report
Good search function
Web trading platform of Firstrade, a Charles Schwab alternative
Charles Schwab vs. Firstrade: Trading platform scores
Firstrade Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.3 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 3.3 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score - 4.0 stars

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

Visit broker

Markets and products
2.8

Firstrade offers a good variety of asset classes, from stocks to options. However, the products cover only the US market and you cannot trade futures or forex.
Charles Schwab vs. Firstrade: Markets and products
Firstrade Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No No
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures No Yes
CFD No No
Crypto No Yes

Visit broker More

Verdict

Firstrade is one of the biggest discount US stockbrokers and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Firstrade offers free stock, ETF, mutual funds, and options trading. It doesn't charge inactivity and account fees, and there are lots of quality research and educational tools you can use.

There are some drawbacks, though. Firstrade doesn't accept credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer. The product portfolio covers only the US market. Customer service is only available 24/5 and you can't contact them via live chat. 

As it has low fees and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try Firstrade.

Below you can find links to all aspects of Firstrade in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our Firstrade fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the Firstrade minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your Firstrade account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the Firstrade account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the Firstrade trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the Firstrade customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is Firstrade legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether Firstrade is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is Firstrade good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on Firstrade?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Firstrade guide

I want to trade options, are they available at Firstrade?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Firstrade?

Firstrade
Summary Firstrade is a US discount broker regulated by the top-tier SEC and FINRA.
Fees score 4.7 stars
Recommended for Beginners and investors looking for zero-commission trading, focusing on the US market

Visit broker More

Charles Schwab alternatives
Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge is a US-based stockbroker founded in 2010 by Bank of America (BofA). BofA acquired Merrill Lynch during the 2008 financial crisis, and the rationale for launching Merrill Edge was to combine its online investing arm and Merrill Lynch's investment expertise. Merrill Edge offers US stocks, ETFs, options, and bonds. It is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Merrill Edge is considered safe because its parent company is a bank with a long track record and solid reputation, it discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators. 

Recommended for investors and traders who looking for low fees, quick account opening, and simple platforms

Pros Cons
Low trading fees Limited to US clients and products
Easy and seamless account opening No demo account
Strong parent company Limited options to deposit/withdraw

Visit broker

Fees
4.4

Merrill Edge has low trading and non-trading fees, including commission-free stock and ETF trades. On the other hand, financing/margin rates are quite high.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High financing rate
Low non-trading fees
Low stock and ETF fees / Free stock trading
Charles Schwab vs. Merrill Edge: Trading fees
Merrill Edge Charles Schwab
Apple benchmark fee $0.3 $0.3
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

Visit broker More

Account opening
5.0

Account opening at Merrill Edge is seamless and fully digital, it took us less than one day to have an open account. Only US clients are accepted.
Pros Cons
Fast Only US clients are accepted
Fully digital
No minimum deposit
Charles Schwab vs. Merrill Edge: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Merrill Edge Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1 day

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

Visit broker More

Deposit and withdrawal
2.2

Merrill Edge has an easy-to-use deposit and withdrawal system with a bank account connection. Unfortunately, credit/debit cards cannot be used to fund the account, and there is only USD as a base currency.
Pros Cons
Free withdrawal Credit/Debit card not available
No deposit fee Only one account base currency
User-friendly Slow withdrawal - over 3 days
Charles Schwab vs. Merrill Edge: Withdrawal options
Merrill Edge Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0

Visit broker More

Web trading platform
4.3

Merrill Edge has a user-friendly and simple trading platform, with options for secure login and for setting price alerts. However, it offers only limited customizability and the search function is not so advanced.
Pros Cons
User-friendly Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Clear fee report
Two-step (safer) login
Web trading platform of Merrill Edge, a Charles Schwab alternative
Charles Schwab vs. Merrill Edge: Trading platform scores
Merrill Edge Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.3 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 4.8 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score - 4.0 stars

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

Visit broker

Markets and products
2.3

Merrill Edge has a limited product portfolio that consists of stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds. Unfortunately, the product lineup covers only the US market. The broker offers a lower diversity of products in general compared to its competition.
Charles Schwab vs. Merrill Edge: Markets and products
Merrill Edge Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No No
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures No Yes
CFD No No
Crypto No Yes

Visit broker More

Verdict

Overall, Merrill Edge is a solid, easy to use trading platform created by Bank of America, one of the US's largest banks.

We rated Merrill Edge highly due to its low fees, easy process of account-opening, and safety. 

Some of the drawbacks include limited product offerings, research capabilities, and deposit/withdrawal options.

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

Below you can find links to all aspects of Merrill Edge in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our Merrill Edge fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the Merrill Edge minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your Merrill Edge account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the Merrill Edge account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the Merrill Edge trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the Merrill Edge customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is Merrill Edge legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether Merrill Edge is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is Merrill Edge good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on Merrill Edge?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Merrill Edge guide

I want to trade options, are they available at Merrill Edge?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Merrill Edge?

Merrill Edge
Summary Merrill Edge is a US based broker owned by Bank of America (BofA). It is regulated by the top-tier SEC and Finra and BofA is listed on the NYSE.
Fees score 4.4 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders who looking for low fees, quick account opening, and simple platforms

Visit broker More

Charles Schwab alternatives
Fidelity

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

Visit broker

Fees
4.2

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
Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity: Trading fees
Fidelity Charles Schwab
Apple benchmark fee $0.3 $0.3
Vodafone benchmark fee $24.1 -
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

Visit broker More

Account opening
3.6

Opening an account at Fidelity is easy and there is no minimum deposit. You can also choose among 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
Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Fidelity Charles Schwab
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1 day

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

Visit broker More

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
Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity: Withdrawal options
Fidelity Charles Schwab
Bank transfer Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No
Electronic wallets Yes No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0

Visit broker More

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
Web trading platform of Fidelity, a Charles Schwab alternative
Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity: Trading platform scores
Fidelity Charles Schwab
Web platform score 4.5 stars 4.3 stars
Mobile platform score 4.5 stars 4.2 stars
Desktop platform score 3.8 stars 4.0 stars

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

Visit broker

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.
Charles Schwab vs. Fidelity: Markets and products
Fidelity Charles Schwab
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No No
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures No Yes
CFD No No
Crypto No Yes

Visit broker More

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.

Below you can find links to all aspects of Fidelity in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our Fidelity fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the Fidelity minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your Fidelity account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the Fidelity account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the Fidelity trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the Fidelity customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is Fidelity legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether Fidelity is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is Fidelity good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on Fidelity?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Fidelity guide

I want to trade options, are they available at Fidelity?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on Fidelity?

Fidelity
Summary Fidelity is a US stockbroker. It is regulated by top-tier authorities SEC and FINRA.
Fees score 4.2 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research and great trading platforms

Visit broker More

Charles Schwab alternatives
Charles Schwab

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

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

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

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

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 alternatives trading fees
Charles Schwab E*TRADE Firstrade Merrill Edge Fidelity
US stock $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
UK stock - - - - $11.7

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

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 alternatives minimum deposit and account open times
Charles Schwab E*TRADE Firstrade Merrill Edge Fidelity
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

Learn more about Charles Schwab minimum deposit here.

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 and alternatives withdrawal options and fees
Charles Schwab E*TRADE Firstrade Merrill Edge Fidelity
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card No No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No Yes
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

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
Charles Schwab - Web trading platform
Charles Schwab and alternatives trading platform scores
Charles Schwab E*TRADE Firstrade Merrill Edge Fidelity
Web platform score 4.3 stars 4.5 stars 4.3 stars 4.3 stars 4.5 stars
Mobile platform score 4.2 stars 4.5 stars 3.3 stars 4.8 stars 4.5 stars
Desktop platform score 4.0 stars - - - 3.8 stars

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

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 and alternatives markets and products
Charles Schwab E*TRADE Firstrade Merrill Edge Fidelity
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No No No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes No No No
CFD No No No No No
Crypto Yes Yes No No No

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 Scwhab.

Below you can find links to all aspects of Charles Schwab in this comprehensive collection.

Lower fees, lower costs?

We detailed this in our Charles Schwab fees article.

What about the minimum deposit?

Our ultimate guide to the Charles Schwab minimum deposit is updated regularly.

How to start your Charles Schwab account?

Look no further than our evaluation of the Charles Schwab account opening.

How's their trading app?

Here's our expert view after checking the Charles Schwab trading app.

Is the quality of customer service satisfactory?

All you need to know about the Charles Schwab customer service.

Legit or scam?

Is Charles Schwab legit features all the key aspects you need to look at to see if a broker is safe and legit.

Free or premium? Or both?

A glance at actual costs and whether Charles Schwab is really free.

Is this broker good for beginners?

We checked it in Is Charles Schwab good for beginners.

Should you buy your silver bullets on Charles Schwab?

Research for silver bugs in the Silver buy on Charles Schwab guide

I want to trade options, are they available at Charles Schwab?

We explored the topic in Can you trade options on 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

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
E*TRADE US stockbroker Investors and traders looking for solid research and a great mobile trading platform
Firstrade US discount broker Beginners and investors looking for zero-commission trading, focusing on the US market
Merrill Edge US discount broker Investors and traders who looking for low fees, quick account opening, and simple platforms
Fidelity US stockbroker Investors and traders looking for solid research and great trading platforms

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

Author of this article

Ádám Nasli

Author of this article

Ádám is a motivated finance expert with over two years of experience in banking and investment, and a professional degree in this field. He's eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible.

Ádám Nasli

Broker Expert

Ádám is a motivated finance expert with over two years of experience in banking and investment, and a professional degree in this field. He's eager to help people find the best investment provider for them, and to make the investment sector as transparent as possible.

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

Share

Comments

Our top alternative brokers to Charles Schwab

E*TRADE Firstrade
×