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Firstrade Review 2024

Written by
Adam N.
Fact checked by
Updated
5d ago
Key data
Fees
Safety
Deposit and withdrawal
Account opening
Mobile app
Web trading platform
Product selection
Regulated and trusted. Tested via live trading.
5,284 people chose this broker
Available in United States

Why choose Firstrade

Firstrade is a US discount broker regulated by the top-tier SEC and FINRA.

It offers free stock, ETF, mutual fund, and options trading. Non-trading fees are low. Research is high-quality with a lot of tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. The broker also has great educational tools, including videos and webinars. It is a good choice for beginner investors.

On the negative side, no bank cards or electronic wallets are available for money transfer. The product portfolio covers only the US market. Customer service is slow, support is available only 24/5 and there is no live chat.

BrokerChooser gave Firstrade a 4.4/5 rating based on analyzing 600+ criteria and testing via opening a live account.

  • Free stock, ETF, fund and options trading
  • Solid research tools
  • Quality educational tools
Overall score
4.4/5
Minimum deposit
$0
Stock fee
Low
Options fee
Low
Inactivity fee
no
Account opening
1-3 days

Not sure if this is the right broker for you? See the best ones.

See how the best brokers in the United States compare to Firstrade

US stock fee
Estimated commission of a $2,000 trade, assuming a $50 stock price

Fees

Score: 4.2/5
Firstrade has low fees. It offers free stock, ETF, funds, and options trading with low non-trading fees. However, margin rates are high.
  • Low trading fees
  • Low non-trading fees
  • Free stock, ETF, fund and options trading

We compared Firstrade's fees with two similar brokers we selected, TradeStation and Interactive Brokers. These competitors were selected based on objective factors like products offered, client profile, fee structure, etc. See a more detailed comparison of Firstrade alternatives.

Commission-free stock and ETFs

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

Broker
US stock
Firstrade
$0.0
TradeStation
$5.0
Interactive Brokers
$1.0
Firstrade stock and ETF commission

High margin rates

Firstrade USD margin rate fees are higher than the industry average. USD margin rate fees are calculated as follows: Base rate + tiered markup. Markup is 0-25k: +1.75%.

Broker
USD margin rate
Firstrade
13.8%
TradeStation
13.5%
Interactive Brokers
6.8%
Firstrade annual margin rates

Low options commission

It’s extremely great as Firstrade has commission-free US stock index options trading.

Broker
US stock index options
Firstrade
$0.0
TradeStation
$11.0
Interactive Brokers
$6.5
Firstrade stock index options commission

No inactivity fee, no withdrawal fee

There is no account fee or inactivity fee. There is no withdrawal fee if you use ACH transfer. However, withdrawals using domestic or international wire transfers cost $25. We tested ACH, so we paid no withdrawal fee.

Broker
Inactivity fee
Withdrawal fee
Firstrade
$0
TradeStation
$35
Interactive Brokers
$0
Firstrade inactivity, withdrawal and other fees

Other commissions and fees

Low mutual fund commission: trading mutual funds involves the following charges - $0 per trade.

High spot crypto fees: at Firstrade, crypto trading costs 1% of trade value.

Low bond commission: US treasury bonds come with the following charges - Net Yield Basis for treasury, corporate, municipal, agencies, secondary CDs and zero bonds and $30 min for primary CD. Net Yield Basis means Firstrade acts as principal whereby the bonds will be subject to a markup or markdown..

Broker
Mutual fund
US micro e-mini stock index futures
Firstrade
$0.0
-
TradeStation
$15.0
$5.0
Interactive Brokers
$15.0
$2.5
Misc. fees compared with other brokers

Safety

Firstrade is regulated by top-tier financial authorities, such as the SEC and FINRA. Clients enjoy a high investor protection amount of $500,000, which includes $250,000 for cash. On the other hand, negative balance protection is not provided.
  • Majority of clients belong to a top-tier financial authority
  • High level of investor protection
Read more

Deposit and withdrawal

Score: 1.6/5
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.
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Read more

Account opening

Score: 4.4/5
Account opening is fully digital and user-friendly, and is open to some international customers as well. On the negative side, the process was slow for us, taking almost 3 business days.
  • Fully digital
  • No minimum deposit
  • Low minimum deposit
Read more

Mobile app

Score: 4.5/5
Firstrade's mobile platform is user-friendly with a great search function. On the other hand, two-step login is not available and you can't trade mutual funds or bonds.
  • User-friendly
  • Good search function
  • Good variety of order types
Read more

Web trading platform

Score: 4.5/5
Firstrade's web platform has a straightforward design, making it easy to use even for beginners. On the negative side, it lacks a two-step login and the customizability of the main sections is quite limited.
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
Read more

Product selection

Score: 3/5
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.
Read more
“I recommend Firstrade for beginners and investors looking for zero-commission trading, focusing on the US market.”

FAQ

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Author of this review

Adam Nasli

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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