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Summary

Recommended for stock and options traders looking for low trading fees and focusing on the US market

ChoiceTrade is a US-based stockbroker founded in 2000. It is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is also a member of SIPC. SIPC membership means that clients are eligible for the SIPC investor protection scheme which offers up to $500,000 (cash up to $250,000) per account.

ChoiceTrade is considered safe because it has a long track record, it is regulated by top-tier regulators, and it discloses annual financial statements. 

Overall Rating
4.1
Fees
4.0
Account opening
5.0
Deposit and withdrawal
1.0
Trading platform
3.0
Markets and products
2.0
Research
3.0
Customer service
4.0
Education
3.0

ChoiceTrade pros and cons

ChoiceTrade offers a commission-free stock and ETF trading. The mobile trading platform is user-friendly. The account opening is fully digital and fast. This is rare among US brokers.

ChoiceTrade charges a high withdrawal fee, $60 for non-Us citizens and $35 for US citizens. There is also a high inactivity fee, $35 per quarter. The withdrawal is not user-friendly at all since you need to contact support to initiate it, and you can use only bank transfer. You can only trade with stocks, ETFs, and options.

Pros Cons
Commission-free stock and ETF trading High non-trading fees
Fast and easy account opening Not user-friendly withdrawal
User-friendly mobile trading platform Limited product portfolio
ChoiceTrade main features and highlights
🗺️ Country of regulation USA
💰 Trading fees class Low
💰 Inactivity fee charged Yes
💰 Withdrawal fee amount $5
💰 Minimum deposit $100
🕖 Time to open an account 1-3 days
💳 Deposit with credit card Not available
👛 Depositing with electronic wallet Not available
💱 Number of base currencies supported 1
🎮 Demo account provided Yes
🛍️ Products offered Stock, ETF, Options
Gergely Korpos

Gergely Korpos

Co-founder, CPO

Author of this review

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

ChoiceTrade review
Fees

4.0
ChoiceTrade has low trading fees and you can trade stocks and ETFs with no commission. On the flip side, the non-trading fees are high.
Pros Cons
Low trading fees High non-trading fees
Low stock and ETF fees Withdrawal fee
Commission-free stock trading Inactivity fee
ChoiceTrade fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock Low Stocks above $1 have no commission, while unlisted or stocks below $1 have $7 per trade commission.
EURUSD - Not available
Mutual fund - Not available
Inactivity fee High $35 per quarter if less than 5 trades in the previous quarter

How we ranked fees

We ranked ChoiceTrade's fee levels as low, average or high based on how they compare to those of all reviewed brokers.

To get things rolling, let's go over some lingo related to broker fees. What you need to keep an eye on are trading fees, and non-trading fees.

In the sections below, you will find the most relevant fees of ChoiceTrade for each asset class. For example, in the case of stock investing, commissions are the most important fees.

We also compared ChoiceTrade's fees with those of two similar brokers we selected, Tradestation and Interactive Brokers. This selection is based on objective factors such as products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed rundown of ChoiceTrade alternatives.

To have a clear overview of ChoiceTrade, let's start with the trading fees.

ChoiceTrade trading fees

ChoiceTrade trading fees are low. The fee structure is transparent and easy to understand. 

Stock fees and ETF fees

ChoiceTrade has low stock and ETF commission. If you trade with NYSE, Nasdaq or Amex listed stocks and ETFs, the commission is zero, except for penny stocks. If you trade with not listed stocks and ETFs, the commission is $7 per trade.

ChoiceTrade stock and ETF commission of a $2,000 trade
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
US stock $0.0 $1.0 $1.0

If you prefer stock trading on margin or short sale, you should check ChoiceTrade financing rates.

A financing rate, or margin rate, is charged when you trade on margin or short a stock. This basically means that you borrow money or stocks from your broker to trade. For this borrowed money/stock you have to pay an interest. This is the financing rate. It can be a significant proportion of your trading costs.

ChoiceTrade financing rates are high.

ChoiceTrade annual financing rates for stocks, futures and options
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
USD margin rate 8.0% 9.5% 3.4%

The financing rate is calculated as the FED funds rate plus 6%. To make ChoiceTrade's financing rate comparable with other brokers' financing rates, we used the FED overnight rate as of 21 September 2019. 

The financing rates above are also applied for the options trading.

Options fees

ChoiceTrade options fees are low. The commission for options is $0 per trade plus $0.40 per contract with a maximum cap of $50 per month. That means if you transact over 125 contracts in a month, your commission effectively drops to zero for the month on all contracts over 125. 

ChoiceTrade stock index options commission of 10 contracts
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
US stock index options $4.0 $10.0 $7.0

Non-trading fees

ChoiceTrade has high non-trading fees. It charges a high inactivity fee and withdrawal fee. There is also a one-time fee for setting up international or corporate accounts.

The inactivity fee is $35 per quarter if less than 5 trades happen in the previous quarter. There is a monthly $5 fee for non-US account maintenance.

Withdrawal fees are high as well:

  • Domestic outgoing wire fee is $35
  • International outgoing wire fee is $60
  • Domestic ACH fee is $5 (limit applies: 3/month)
ChoiceTrade non-trading fees
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
Account fee Yes No No
Inactivity fee Yes Yes Yes
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $5 $35 $0

ChoiceTrade review
Account opening

5.0
Opening an account at ChoiceTrade is easy, fast and fully digital for both US and international clients.
Pros Cons
Fully digital None
Low minimum deposit
User-friendly

Can you open an account?

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What is the minimum deposit at ChoiceTrade?

The required minimum deposit is low,  $100. I

Account types

ChoiceTrade has 5 types of accounts:

ChoiceTrade account types
Account type Short description
Individual Account Account is owned and used by a single individual.
Joint Account Account is owned and used by two or more individuals.
Custodial Account Account for minor clients. This is only available for US clients.
IRA Account Individual retirement account which is only available for US clients.
Specialty/Corporate Account Account is owned and used by a legal entity.

Specialty accounts can be opened only offline. It is not convenient and should be online similar to other account types.

How to open your account

The account opening is user-friendly, fully digital, and fast. It took 2 days for us. This seamless and quick account opening is not usual for US brokers.

At first, you have to go through a short registration process which takes roughly 20 minutes. During this registration, you have to provide some personal information and there are trading experience questions.

At the end of this process, you have to verify your identity and residency by uploading a scan of the following documents:

  • ID / passport / driver's license for identity check
  • Bank statement or utility bill for proof of residency

ChoiceTrade review - Account opening

ChoiceTrade review
Deposit and withdrawal

1.0
ChoiceTrade deposit is ok, but withdrawal is very inconvenient. The credit/debit cards are not accepted, there is a high withdrawal fee and the withdrawal process is not user-friendly.
Pros Cons
No deposit fee Credit/Debit card not available
Withdrawal is way overcomplicated

Account base currencies

At ChoiceTrade you can open your trading account only in one base currency, USD. There are several US-based competitors, who offer multiple base currencies.

Base currencies at ChoiceTrade vs similar brokers
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
Number of base currencies 1 9 21

Why does this matter? For two reasons. If you fund your trading account in the same currency as your bank account or you trade assets in the same currency as your trading account base currency, you don't have to pay a conversion fee.

A convenient way to save on currency conversion fees is by opening a multi-currency bank account at a digital bank. Revolut or Transferwise both offer bank accounts in several currencies with great currency exchange rates as well as free or cheap international bank transfers. Opening an account only takes a few minutes on your phone.

Compare digital banks

 

Deposit fees and options

ChoiceTrade charges no deposit fees. You can use only bank transfers for deposit. If you are from the US, you can also use check deposit and ACAT (account transfer).

ChoiceTrade deposit options
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No

You can only deposit money from accounts that are in your name.

ChoiceTrade review - Deposit and withdrawal - Deposit

ChoiceTrade withdrawal fees and options

ChoiceTrade charges a $5 withdrawal fee for domestic ACH, $60 for non-US and $35 for US bank transfer. Beyond high fees you will face a very inconvenient process when you withdraw your moneyas it is not fully digital and you have to contact customer support to initiate it.

If you are outside the US, you can use only bank transfer. For US clients, the check and ACAT withdrawal methods are also available.

ChoiceTrade withdrawal fees and options
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No
Electronic wallets No No No
Withdrawal fee $5 $35 $0

How long does it take to withdraw money from ChoiceTrade?

We tested the bank transfer, it took 3 days. You can only withdraw money to accounts in your name.

How do you withdraw money from ChoiceTrade? 

Withdrawal is complicated compared to other brokers. You can withdraw money from ChoiceTrade only with manual help from ChoiceTrade support, and there is no clear description of the process available on their website.

Steps of ChoiceTrade withdrawal process:

  1. Download the withdrawal form from ChoiceTrade website (available at the 'Support \ Forms \ Deposit/Withdrawal' section.
  2. Fill out the form, sign, scan and send it to [email protected] (or send the hard copy via fax, overnight delivery or regular mail).
  3. Wait for the feedback from the support, that they initiated the transfer and deducted the withdrawal fee.

Compare to other brokers

ChoiceTrade review
Web trading platform

2.0
ChoiceTrade web trading platform offers a clear fee report and a great variety of order types. On the other hand, the design is outdated, there is no two-step login, and the search functions are poor.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report No two-step (safer) login
Good variety of order types Poor search function
Order confirmation Design is very outdated
ChoiceTrade platforms to choose from
Trading platform Score Available
Web 2 / 5 stars Yes
Mobile 4 / 5 stars Yes
Desktop 3 / 5 stars Yes

ChoiceTrade offers four trading platforms:

ChoiceTrade trading platforms
  ChoiceTrade web platform ChoiceTrade Elite Trader Direct Pro Trader QuoteStream Trader
Monthly price Free $29.95* $135 $14.95 for the standard version
Web trading Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile trading Yes Yes Yes Only at the pro version
Desktop trading No Yes Yes Yes
Own  / third-party Own Provided by third-party Provided by third-party Provided by third-party

*It's waived if you hold  $30,000 or more on your account.

We tested the ChoiceTrade web trading platform because it is ChoiceTrade's own trading platform and free to use. ChoiceTrade web platform is available in English.

Look and feel

The ChoiceTrade platform is not user-friendly. The platform loads slowly and the menu at the top is hard to use. Furthermore, the platform is not customizable at all.

When you log in, you can choose if you want to open the redesigned platform. The main difference is the design of the menu on the left and the header. Other elements have the same, outdated design.

ChoiceTrade review - Web trading platform

Login and security

ChoiceTrade provides only a one-step login. A two-step login would be more secure.

Search functions

The search function is poor. You can only search by typing the asset's ticker and not the asset's name. E.g. if you type Apple instead of AAPL, no results will appear. It would be also great if a relevant search list would appear when you search for an asset.

ChoiceTrade review - Web trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use a lot of order types, including some sophisticated ones:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Stop Limit
  • Trailing Stop
  • Market/Limit on Close
  • Market/Limit on Open

If you are not familiar with the basic order types, read this overview.

There is also a wide range of order time limits you can use:

  • Good 'til canceled (GTC)
  • Good 'til end of the day (GTD)
  • Immediate or Cancel (IOC)
  • Fill or Kill (FOK)
  • Day+Ext
  • All or Nothing (AON)

ChoiceTrade review - Web trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You cannot set price alerts and notifications.

Portfolio and fee reports

ChoiceTrade has clear portfolio and fee reports. It is great that you can choose from a wide range of reports, like your account balance, commissions you paid, margin requirements, etc.

You can find these reports if you go to 'Manage Account' / 'E-Docs' / 'Reports'. When you go to 'E-Docs', you have to log in separately, but with different credentials than those for the web trading platform.

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ChoiceTrade review
Mobile trading platform

4.0
The ChoiceTrade mobile trading platform is great, much better than the web trading platform. It is user-friendly, has great search functions, and offers a lot of order types. On the negative side, it lacks the two-step login and you cannot set price alerts.
Pros Cons
User-friendly No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No price alerts
Good variety of order types No Touch/Face ID login

From the available mobile platforms, we tested the ChoiceTrade mobile trading platform, because it is ChoiceTrade's native mobile trading platform and it's free to use. It's available in English.

Look and feel

ChoiceTrade mobile trading platform is user-friendly and has a great and up-to-date design. It is a complete opposite of the web trading platform.

ChoiceTrade review - Mobile trading platform

Login and security

Similarly to the ChoiceTrade web trading platform, only one-step login is provided.

You can't log in using biometric authentication. Having this feature would be more convenient.

Search functions

Contrary to the web trading platform, the search functions are good.  You can search by typing both the asset's name and ticker. We also liked that a relevant list appears when you search.

ChoiceTrade review - Mobile trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order time limits as on the web trading platform.

ChoiceTrade review - Mobile trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

As on the ChoiceTrader web trading platform, you cannot set alerts and notifications on the mobile platform.

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ChoiceTrade review
Desktop trading platform

3.0
The ChoiceTrade Elite Trader desktop trading platform is OK. It looks nice, has a clear fee report and offers a wide range of order types. However, it lacks the customizability, two-step login, and you can't set price alerts.
Pros Cons
Clear fee report Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Good variety of order types No two-step (safer) login
Good search function No price alerts

From the available desktop platforms, we tested ChoiceTrade Elite Trader desktop trading platform because

  • ChoiceTrader doesn't provide a custom desktop trading platform,
  • ChoiceTrade Elite Trader is the newest desktop trading platform in the arsenal,
  • and ChoiceTrade Elite Trader is available for a reasonable monthly fee ($29.95), which is waived if you hold $30,000 or more on your account. 

Look and feel

The ChoiceTrade desktop trading platform is OK. It has a good design, but is not customizable at all. We also found some bugs on the platform, e.g. when we used the search function, UI control elements jumped back and forth.

ChoiceTrade review - Desktop trading platform

Login and security

Similarly to the mobile and web trading platforms, there is only a one-step login.

Search functions

The search function works well. You can search for the assets both by typing their names or tickers. It is also great that a relevant result list appears when you search for an asset.

ChoiceTrade review - Desktop trading platform - Search

Placing orders

You can use the same order types and order time limits as on the web trading platform.

ChoiceTrade review - Desktop trading platform - Order panel

Alerts and notifications

You can't set alerts and notifications on the ChoiceTrade Elite desktop trading platform.

Portfolio and fee reports

ChoiceTrade Elite provides clear portfolio and fee reports, that you can reach on the 'Portfolio' tab.

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ChoiceTrade review
Markets and products

2.0
At ChoiceTrade you can trade only with stocks, ETFs, and options available on US exchanges.
ChoiceTrade asset classes
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
Stock Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes
Forex No No Yes
Fund No Yes Yes
Bond No Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes Yes
Futures No Yes Yes
CFD No No Yes
Crypto No No Yes

ChoiceTrade offers only stocks, ETFs, and options.

ChoiceTrade gives you access to US markets only, no foreign exchanges are available. You can trade on these exchanges: NYSE, NYSE American (AMEX), NASDAQ. ChoiceTrade's stock, ETF and option offer is not transparent though, no info is available about the number of assets you can trade on these markets.   

ChoiceTrade review
Research

3.0
ChoiceTrade's research tools are OK. You can use recommendations and analyze fundamental data. On the negative side, the charting tools are poor and the research tools are not user-friendly.
Pros Cons
Trading ideas Limited interactive charting
Data on asset fundamentals Not user-friendly
Quality news flow

We tested the research tools on the ChoiceTrade web trading platform. You can use this for free. The research tools are available in English.

Trading ideas

ChoiceTrade provides trading ideas. The trading ideas are based on analysts' recommendations. Some background info about the analysts would be great, e.g. which company they work at. You can find the trading ideas if you go to the 'Research' tab and then click on the 'Analyst' tab.

Besides the analyst recommendations, you can find trading ideas at the Robo-Analyst tab. The Robo-Analyst gives recommendations based on automated algorithms. It's not a free service, you can subscribe to the 'End Of Day Only' package for $20 and to the 'Intraday + Daily Picks' package for $60.

ChoiceTrade review - Research - Recommendations

Fundamental data

ChoiceTrade offers fundamental data. It covers data like financial statements, EPS, insiders' share trading, etc. Similarly to the trading ideas, the fundamental data can be found at the 'Research' tab.

ChoiceTrade review - Research - Fundamental data

Charting

The charting tools are poor. You can only add technical indicators and compare the chart with other assets' charts, but can't add trendlines and other useful charting editor tools. The number of available technical indicators lags behind the competitors.

Technical indicators at ChoiceTrade vs similar brokers
  ChoiceTrade Tradestation Interactive Brokers
Technical indicators 20 170 119

If you prefer an advanced charting, you should use the ChoiceTrade Elite. The charts are easily editable and customizable with a lot of technical indicators. On the negative side, the ChoiceTrade Elite has a monthly fee.

ChoiceTrade review - Research - Charting

News feed

The news feed section has great quality, it is easy to find and read. It is provided by third-party news providers, like SeekingAlpha. You can find the news under the 'Research' tab. 

Other research tools you will enjoy

The Screener is a tool where you can filter stocks. There are a lot of filters you can use. For example, you can filter for the stock exchange, technical indicators, valuation, etc. When we used this tool, we found bugs, eg. when we tried to choose a filter, the tab jumped to the center of the screen.

Compare research pros and cons

ChoiceTrade review
Customer service

4.0
ChoiceTrade's customer service is easy to reach and answers were relevant via email and phone. On the other hand, live chat is not available and support is not available on weekends.
Pros Cons
Phone support No live chat
Fast response time No 24/7 support
Relevant answers

You can contact ChoiceTrade in English via:

  • telephone
  • email

ChoiceTrade phone support was fast and we got relevant answers. Same goes for email support, we got answers within a day, and the information they provided was relevant.

ChoiceTrade customer service is available from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, but we didn't find information about the time zone. We suppose that it is GMT-4 because the main office is in this time zone.

ChoiceTrade review - Customer Service

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ChoiceTrade review
Education

3.0
The ChoiceTrade education tools are mediocre. The amount and quality of education material on the Elite platform is good, but the interface of the Help & Learning Center is hard to navigate, content is not up-to-date and the production quality is poor.
Pros Cons
Demo account Hard to navigate
Trading platform tutorial Poor production quality
Not updated for a long time

At ChoiceTrade you can learn in the following ways:

  • Demo account
  • Platform tutorial videos
  • Quality educational articles

The majority of the education material is about the trading platforms, rather than investment or trading in general. These educational materials are different in quality and length depending on the trading platform you use:

  • On the ChoiceTrade web platform, most of the learning material is in text format. There are also a few videos, but they seem outdated, some videos were published in 2012.
  • On the ChoiceTrade Elite Trader platform, texts are easier to consume due to better structure and more images. There are significantly more and better videos as well. We didn't like that the contents are squeezed into a small area on the screen instead of using the full screen.

Both the ChoiceTrade web platform and ChoiceTrade Elite Trader have an interface that is hard to navigate.

ChoiceTrade review - Education

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ChoiceTrade review
Safety

ChoiceTrade is regulated by SEC and FINRA, top-tier US regulators. You are also protected by a high investor protection amount, $500,000 which includes $250,000 for cash. On the flip side, negative balance protection is not provided.
Pros Cons
Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority No negative balance protection
High level of investor protection Does not hold a banking license
Financial information is publicly available Not listed on stock exchange

Is ChoiceTrade regulated?

Yes, it is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), it's also a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). ChoiceTrade is based in the USA and was founded in 2000.

Is ChoiceTrade safe?

To be certain, we highly advise that you check two facts:

  • how you are protected if something goes wrong
  • what the background of the broker is

How you are protected

With ChoiceTrade investor protection for all customers are covered by the SIPC. The SIPC investor protection protects against the loss of cash and securities in case the broker goes bust. The limit of SIPC protection is $500,000, which includes a $250,000 limit for cash. A non-U.S. citizen with ChoiceTrade is treated by the SIPC the same as a US resident in case something goes wrong. The provided amount is substantially higher than most European investor protection schemes provide. 

Not all investments are protected by SIPC. In general, SIPC covers notes, stocks, bonds, mutual fund and other investment company shares, and other registered securities. It does not cover instruments such as unregistered investment contracts, unregistered limited partnerships, fixed annuity contracts, currency, and interests in gold, silver, or other commodity futures contracts or commodity options.

On the flip side, ChoiceTrade does not provide negative balance protection. If the balance on your account goes into negative, you will be protected.

Background

ChoiceTrade was established in 2000 which is considered as a long track record. The longer track record a broker has, the more likely it survived financial hard times. It also discloses annual financial statements that make ChoiceTrade even more transparent. These statements can be found at the 'Investor Relations' section.

Being regulated by top-tier regulators, being in operation for a long time, and disclosing financial statements are all great signs for ChoiceTrade's safety.

Find your safe broker

ChoiceTrade review
Bottom line

ChoiceTrade offers commission-free stock trading. The account opening is easy, fully digital, and takes 1-2 daysIt also offers a great and user-friendly mobile trading platform.

On the negative side, ChoiceTrade charges a high inactivity fee and withdrawal fee for bank transfers. The withdrawal is not user-friendly and you can use only bank transfer. The product offer is limited, you can trade only with stocks, ETF, and options.

As ChoiceTrade account opening is seamless and you can trade stocks and ETFs with zero commission, feel free to try it.

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