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Interactive Brokers fees explained

Feb 2019
Compare to best alternative broker

Overview of Interactive Brokers fees and charges

Interactive Brokers logo

It's safe to say that Interactive Brokers's fees are low in general. They either don't charge a brokerage fee for things other brokers do charge for, or they only charge a small amount. This means that you can use Interactive Brokers even in case you trade frequently like multiple times a week or daily.

Here's a high level overview of Interactive Brokers's fees

Interactive Brokers Fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee Low $0.005 per share, min $1, max 0.5% of trade value
EURUSD fee High 0.2 bps * trade value; min $2 per trade
US tech fund fee High lesser: $14.95 per transaction; 3% of trade value
Inactivity fee High $10 per month if you don't generate minimum $10 commission

Interactive Brokers fees
Interactive Brokers fees explained

Online brokerages in general charge much lower brokerage fees than traditional brokerages do - this is largely due to the fact that online brokerages' businesses can be much better scaled: From a purely technical standpoint it doesn't make that much of a difference for them if they have 100 or 5000 clients.

This is not to say however that they don't have any fees at all. They make money by charging you at various events for various rates. Usually you need to keep an eye on these 3 types of fees:

  • Trading fees - these are brokerage fees that you pay when you actually do a trade, i.e. buying an Apple stock or an ETF. What you pay is either a commission, a spread or financing rate. Some brokers apply all of these.
    • A commission is either based on the traded volume or it is fixed.
    • A spread is the difference between the buy price and the sell price
    • Financing rate or overnight rate is charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than one day.
  • Non-trading fees. These occur related to some operations you make in your account, i.e. depositing money to your account, withdrawing money from it or not trading for an extended amount of time.

We compare Interactive Brokers fees with its closest competitors, Saxo Bank and Degiro.

Interactive Brokers fees
Interactive Brokers trading fees

Interactive Brokers's trading fees are low which makes it suitable for you even if you trade often (i.e. multiple times a week).

Let's break down the trading fees into the different asset classes available at Interactive Brokers.

Trading fees

Interactive Brokers's trading fees are low.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Interactive Brokers has low stock trading fees.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
USA $1.0 $9.9 $0.6
UK $8.7 $7.2 $2.4
Germany $4.6 $11.4 $5.7

Forex fees

Interactive Brokers's forex fees are average.

Forex fees of a $20,000 30:1 position open, 1-week-hold, and close
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
EURUSD benchmark fee $23.0 $58.4 -
EURGBP benchmark fee $17.0 $27.2 -

Fund fees

Interactive Brokers fund fees are low.

A $2,000 fund buy fees
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
USA tech fund buy $15.0 - $10.6
Europe stock fund buy $4.6 - $10.6

Bond fees

Interactive Brokers has low bond fees.

Bond fees of a $10,000 trade
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
USA $5.0 $91.2 -
Europe $10.0 $91.2 $11.5

Options fees

Interactive Brokers's options fees are low.

Stock index options fees of 10 contracts
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
USA $7.0 $60.0 $6.5
UK $24.7 $72.5 -
Germany $19.4 $68.4 $10.3

Futures fees

Interactive Brokers's futures fees are low.

Stock index futures fee of 10 contracts
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
USA $8.5 $60.0 $6.5
UK $24.7 $72.5 $30.2
Germany $22.8 $68.4 $10.3

CFD fees

Interactive Brokers has low CFD trading fees.

CFD fees, commission of a $2,000 trade
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
USA $1.0 $10.0 $0.7
UK $4.4 $11.6 $5.7
Germany $3.4 $11.4 $5.7

Crypto fees

Financing rates

Interactive Brokers financing rates are average.

If you want to trade on margin and prefer to hold your positions long, financing costs can be significant.

Interactive Brokers yearly financing rates
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
Apple financing rate 5.8% 7.1% 4.3%
Vodafone financing rate 3.9% 5.3% 2.5%
EURUSD financing rate 4.9% 15.5% -
EURGBP financing rate 3.3% 6.7% -

Interactive Brokers fees
Interactive Brokers non-trading fees

When it comes to looking at all the non-trading fees Interactive Brokers is an expensive broker. This means that they tend to charge you a lot for non-trading related activities on your trading account, like withdrawal fee.

Non-trading fees include various brokerage fees and charges at Interactive Brokers that you pay not related to buying and selling assets. Among some others, typical non trading fees are withdrawal fee, deposit fee, inactivity fee and account fee.

A high level overview of how Interactive Brokers stacks up in non-trading fees
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0
Deposit fee 0 0 0
Inactivity fee Yes Yes No
Account fee No No No

Interactive Brokers fees
Interactive Brokers deposit fee

Deposit fees are applied when you send money to your trading account from your bank account. Usually brokers don't charge money for that and Interactive Brokers is not different: you will see the exact same amount on your brokerage account that you sent by any of the deposit methods Interactive Brokers offers.

Interactive Brokers deposit methods
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No Yes No
Electronic wallets No No Yes
Deposit fee 0 0 0

Interactive Brokers fees
Interactive Brokers withdrawal fee

Unlike the majority of the online brokers we have reviewed Interactive Brokers does not charge a withdrawal fee. This means that you'll see the same amount of money on your bank account that you transferred from your brokerage account.

Interactive Brokers withdrawal fees and options compared
Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
Bank transfer Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No Yes No
Electronic wallets No No Yes
Withdrawal fee with bank transfer $0 $0 $0

Interactive Brokers fees
Interactive Brokers inactivity fee

Interactive Brokers does apply an inactivity fee and it is $10 per month if you don't generate minimum $10 commission. This means that you need to be strategic about your trading activity to avoid getting charged after a longer time of no trade. The fact that Interactive Brokers charges an inactivity fee makes it less ideal for you if you are a buy and hold investor.

Interactive Brokers has high inactivity fee.

Interactive Brokers Saxo Bank Degiro
Inactivity fee Yes Yes No
Inactivity fee $10 per month if you don't generate minimum $10 commission $25 per quarter if you don't trade in the previous quarter No inactivity fee

Read more about Interactive Brokers inactivity fee on their own site.

AUTHOR

Gergely Korpos
Gergely Korpos
Co-founder, CPO
Gergely's aim is to bring more clarity into personal investing. He has 10 years of experience in financial markets with GE Money, KPMG and MOL. He concluded thousands of trades as a commodity trader and financial portfolio manager
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