Interactive Brokers vs TD Ameritrade who is better in 2022?

Written by
András I.
Fact checked by
Adam N.
Updated
Apr 2024

On the whole, the services of Interactive Brokers (IBKR) are similar in quality to TD Ameritrade's, but Interactive Brokers still has a slightly higher overall score. Here's a summary of how IBKR and TD Ameritrade compare in some important categories:

  Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade
Overall score 4.9 stars 4.8 stars
Recommended for Traders looking for broad market access and a professional trading environment Investors and traders looking for solid research and a well-equipped desktop trading platform
Fees score 4.6 stars 4.2 stars
Account opening score 3.2 stars 3.7 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 3.0 stars 1.9 stars
Markets and products score 5.0 stars 3.8 stars

IBKR vs TD Ameritrade Compared

Fees and funding

Fees

The two brokers' fees are mostly similar, as both have generally low trading and non-trading fees, including free stock and ETF trading for US customers. Still, Interactive Brokers comes out on top because TD Ameritrade has higher fund and futures fees, and high financing rates for margin trading.

Deposit and withdrawal

Deposit and withdrawal options are similar at these two brokers, as both accept bank transfers but you cannot deposit or withdraw money using credit/debit cards or electronic wallets such as PayPal. What makes Interactive Brokers a better option is that you can choose from 23 different account base currencies, while TD Ameritrade only offers USD accounts.

Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade Deposit and withdrawal

Platforms and products

Account opening

Account opening is fully online and takes around 1-3 days at both brokers. Further good news is that neither requires a minimum deposit. Despite the similarities, we found that TD Ameritrade's account opening process is slightly smoother, and fewer documents are required for registration, making it the winner on this front.
Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade account open

Trading platforms

Trading platforms are generally good at both brokers; they both offer web, mobile and desktop platforms. TD Ameritrade's excellent mobile trading app tips the scale in its favor, as it has a more user-friendly interface than that of Interactive Brokers.

Markets and products

In terms of markets and products, almost all asset types are available at Interactive Brokers, across dozens of international markets. By contrast, you can't trade fractional shares at TD Ameritrade; and as it mainly focuses on the US market (both in terms of customers and asset coverage), CFDs are also unavailable. So Interactive Brokers gets our nod here.

Research, education and support

Research and education

Education and research options at the two brokers are fairly similar as well. Both offer a demo account and a wide range of great educational materials. The only thing that makes TD Ameritrade better in this category is that it has slightly better research tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. Its tools also have a more user-friendly interface than those of IBKR.
Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade education

Customer service

When it comes to customer service, you can contact both brokers via phone, email and live chat. However, Interactive Brokers falls a bit behind TD Ameritrade in the quality of customer support, as there can be long waiting times especially on the phone, and unlike at TD Ameritrade, there's no 24/7 support. All in all, prompt replies and 24/7 availability make TD Ameritrade stronger in this category.

FAQ

Is TD Ameritrade better than IBKR?

Overall, IBKR and TD Ameritrade are of similar quality, but each has its own strengths. Interactive Brokers impresses with its superior market and product coverage, better deposit options, and lower fees for some asset types (though both offer free stock and ETF trading in the US). By contrast, TD Ameritrade offers easier account opening, a wider range of research tools, a user-friendlier mobile trading app, and better customer service including 24/7 availability.

Is TD Ameritrade good for beginners?

Yes, based on BrokerChooser's scoring methodology, TD Ameritrade is recommended for beginners. If you'd like to read more about why TD Ameritrade is a good choice for beginners, check out our article on the topic here.

Is Interactive Brokers cheaper than TD Ameritrade?

A comparison of TD Ameritrade's and Interactive Brokers's fees shows that the two are quite similar, as both have generally low trading and non-trading fees. However, TD Ameritrade has higher fund and futures fees. If you'd like to compare their fees in more detail, check out our articles on TD Ameritrade fees and Interactive Brokers fees.

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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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András Iván
Author of this article
András is a former broker analyst for BrokerChooser. He has years of experience in investing and trading equities, options and bonds. He believes that active trading and a more passive investing approach both have merits and everyone can find a strategy that fits their needs. He's eager to help identify the characteristics of specific brokers, so each client can find the best match.
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