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Is Lightyear free?

Your expert
Adam N.
Fact checked by
Updated
Mar 2024
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Is Lightyear free as of March 2024?

Lightyear does charge a commission for real stock trading on US markets, so in this sense it is not a free-to-trade broker. However, it might still be a reasonable choice for some of you, as there are many other aspects other than commissions that are important when you choose a broker. If you wish to stick with Lightyear though, then you will find the fees they charge below. Alternatively, you could check our article detailing the best zero commission brokers and how their apps scored in our test.

We should note that the payment-for-order-flow model, which is used by some zero-commission brokers to generate income (rather than relying on commissions), could potentially create a conflict of interest between you and your broker. This could result in trade execution (like routing your orders to specific market makers) that might be unfavorable for you under certain market conditions, especially when using market orders (as opposed to limit orders, which seem to be less affected).

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Overview of Lightyear fees and charges

It's safe to say that Lightyear's fees are low in general. They either don't charge a brokerage fee for things that other brokers do, or they only charge a small amount.

Here's a high-level overview of Lightyear's fees

Lightyear Fees snapshot
Assets Fee level Fee terms
US stock fee Low 0.1%, max $1 per trade
EURUSD fee - FX not available
US mutual fund fees - Only money market funds are available: 0.30% under €1 million, 0.20% between €1 million and €25 million and 0.09% for amounts above €25 million
Inactivity fee Low No inactivity fee

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Lightyear fees explained

Online brokerages in general charge much lower brokerage fees than traditional brokerages do - this is largely because 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 5,000 clients.

This is not to say, however, that they don't charge any fees at all. They make money by charging you various rates for various actions or events. Usually you need to keep an eye on the following three types of fees:

  • Trading fees - these are brokerage fees that you pay when you actually carry out a trade, like buying an Apple share or an ETF. What you pay is either a commission, a spread or a financing rate. Some brokers apply all of these.
    • A commission is either fixed or based on the traded volume.
    • A spread is the difference between the buy price and the sell price.
    • A financing rate or overnight rate is charged when you hold your leveraged positions for more than one day.
  • Non-trading fees. These are usually related to some operations you carry out in your account, such as depositing money, withdrawing money, or not trading for an extended period.

We compare Lightyear fees with its closest competitors, Trading 212 and Revolut.

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Lightyear trading fees

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

Let's break down trading fees according to the different asset classes available at Lightyear.

Trading fees

Lightyear's trading fees are low.

Stock fees and ETF fees

Lightyear has low stock trading fees.

Stock fees of a $2,000 trade
US stock
$1.0
$0.0
$5.4
UK stock
$1.3
$0.0
-
German stock
$1.1
$0.0
-

Data updated on March 13, 2024

Fund fees

Lightyear fund fees are .

Fees of a $2,000 fund purchase
Mutual fund
-
-
-
EU mutual fund
- - -

Data updated on March 13, 2024

Currency conversion fee

Lightyear will charge a Currency Conversion Fee for all trades on instruments denominated in a currency different to the currency of your account. The fee is charged as the following: 0.35% currency conversion fee.

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Lightyear non-trading fees

When it comes to non-trading fees, Lightyear is a rather cheap broker.

Non-trading fees include various brokerage fees and charges at Lightyear that are not related to buying or selling assets. This can be a withdrawal fee, deposit fee, inactivity fee or account fee.

A high-level overview of how Lightyear stacks up in terms of non-trading fees
Withdrawal fee
$0
$0
$0
Deposit fee
$0
$0
$0
Inactivity fee
No
No
No
Account fee
No
No
No

Data updated on March 13, 2024

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Lightyear deposit fee

Usually, brokers don't charge anything for deposits, and Lightyear is no different.

Lightyear deposit methods
Bank transfer
Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card
Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets
Yes Yes Yes
Deposit fee
$0
$0
$0

Data updated on March 13, 2024

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Lightyear withdrawal fee

Lightyear generally doesn't charge a withdrawal fee.

Lightyear withdrawal fees and options compared
Bank transfer
Yes Yes Yes
Credit/debit card
Yes Yes Yes
Electronic wallets
Yes Yes Yes
Withdrawal fee for bank transfer
$0
$0
$0

Data updated on March 13, 2024

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Lightyear inactivity fee

Lightyear does not apply an inactivity fee, which is great because your account won't be charged even if you do not trade for an extended period (like several months or years).

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Author of this article

Adam Nasli

Financial Wizard | 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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