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TD Ameritrade Alternatives

May 2019
Our top picks for TD Ameritrade alternatives
Interactive Brokers
Charles Schwab

The best alternatives to TD Ameritrade are

  1. Interactive Brokers - US discount broker
  2. Charles Schwab - US discount broker
  3. Tradestation - US stockbroker

Let's see in a bit more detail how the TD Ameritrade alternatives compare to TD Ameritrade and each other:

TD Ameritrade alternatives comparison
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab Tradestation
Overall score 4.5 4.8 4.6 4.4
Fees score 3 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Account opening score 3 stars 3 stars 5 stars 4 stars
Deposit and withdrawal score 2 stars 2 stars 2 stars 2 stars
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Markets and products score 3 stars 5 stars 3 stars 2 stars
Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker Visit broker

Why are these brokers considered good alternatives to TD Ameritrade? There are many areas based on which TD Ameritrade can be compared with others. When we say a given online broker is a good alternative to TD Ameritrade we mean these brokers are comparable in the following areas:

  • The products they offer, meaning you can buy mostly the same things, i.e. stocks, CFDs, options, etc.
  • The type of clients they target, i.e. beginners, experienced investors, or day traders.

TD Ameritrade alternatives recommendations

Brokers are different in a number of ways, which means each of them may be suitable for different people. Here's how they compare overall:

  • TD Ameritrade is recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and well-equipped desktop trading platform
  • Interactive Brokers is recommended for traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment
  • Charles Schwab is recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service
  • Tradestation is recommended for traders wanting great research tools and preferring the us markets

Important factors of finding TD Ameritrade alternatives

So far Brokerchooser has reviewed 56 online brokers in detail, which gives this comparison a solid starting point.

Not only that, but all of these brokers are reviewed using the exact same broker review methodology, which makes everything easily comparable. For each broker, we

  • open a live account
  • check over 100 criteria, with weighting based on readers' preferences
  • refresh data regularly

Whether TD Ameritrade or one of its alternatives is the best choice for you is on the following five broker characteristics that most interest people:

Fees. There are different types of fees that your online brokerage may charge, and both the number and the size of these fees may vary significantly from broker to broker. Both of these aspects can impact your returns and your overall experience. The amounts TD Ameritrade charges you are considered average. When picking an alternative, you could prioritize brokers that are cheaper than TD Ameritrade.

Deposit/withdrawal. The number of ways that you can deposit or withdraw money to or from your account matters a lot. For example, while you cannot make a deposit with your credit card at TD Ameritrade, some alternatives might allow you to do that.

Web trading platform. While online brokers are usually available on various platforms like mobile apps, tablet apps or desktop software, most people use them through their web platform in a browser. User-friendly trading platforms that offer many different resources can significantly increase your trading comfort.

Markets and products. A lot of people have specific products they would like to invest in. Knowing whether stocks, forex, mutual funds, and other products are available at the given TD Ameritrade alternative is a must.


Now let's dive into the details of how TD Ameritrade and its alternatives perform in the most important areas!

TD Ameritrade alternatives
TD Ameritrade

4.5 5 stars

TD Ameritrade logo

TD Ameritrade was founded in 1971 and it is one of the big US discount brokers. It is regulated by top tier regulators, like US SEC.

TD Ameritrade is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on stock exchange, has a banking background, discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research and well-equipped desktop trading platform

Pros
  • Solid research and education
  • Superb desktop trading platform
  • Great customer support
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer
  • Only US markets covered

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Fees 3 stars

TD Ameritrade has high trading and low non-trading fees. It charges no commission for some ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds.
Pros
  • No withdrawal fee
  • No inactivity fee
Cons
  • High trading fees
  • High financing rate
TD Ameritrade alternatives trading fees
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab Tradestation
Apple benchmark fee $14.1 $2.2 $10.1 $2.2
Vodafone benchmark fee - $17.9 - -
EURUSD benchmark fee $44.3 $23.0 - -

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 3 stars

Opening an account is easy, but not fully digital. For US-clients there is no minimum deposit.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Many account types
  • No minimum account balance for US clients
Cons
  • Not fully digital
TD Ameritrade alternatives minimum deposit and account open times
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab Tradestation
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $0 $500
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days 1 day 1-3 days

Learn more about TD Ameritrade minimum deposit here.

More Visit broker

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

TD Ameritrade deposit and withdrawal can be improved. You can use only bank transfer, there is only USD as a base currency, and a high fee is charged for wire transfer withdrawals. As a plus, there is no deposit fee and transferring money is easy and user-friendly.
Pros
  • Free withdrawal
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Only one account base currency
TD Ameritrade and alternatives withdrawal options and fees
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab Tradestation
Bank Transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No No No
Electronic wallets No No No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0 $35

More Visit broker

Web trading platform 4 stars

TD Ameritrade offers a good web-based trading platform with a clean design. On the flip side, there is no two-step login and the platform is not customizable.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Good search function
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited customizability (for workspace)
TD Ameritrade - Web trading platform
TD Ameritrade and alternatives trading platform scores
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab Tradestation
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 5 stars
Desktop platform score 5 stars 3 stars 4 stars 3 stars

Learn more about TD Ameritrade's web trading platform in the detailed TD Ameritrade review.

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Markets and products 3 stars

At TD Ameritrade, you can trade with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures and forex. However, the offered products cover only the US market.
TD Ameritrade and alternatives markets and products
TD Ameritrade Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab Tradestation
Stock Yes Yes Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes No No
Fund Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes Yes No
Options Yes Yes Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes Yes Yes
CFD No Yes No No
Crypto No Yes No No

More Visit broker

Verdict

TD Ameritrade is one of the biggest discount US brokers regulated by top-tier regulators.

Research and education are outstanding and covers a lot of tools. The thinkorswim desktop trading platform is one of the best on the marketThe customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

It has some drawbacks though. It charges high fees. It doesn't provide credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers. The product portfolio covers only US markets. 

As the research tools are great, the account opening is seamless, and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try it.

TD Ameritrade
Summary TD Ameritrade is a US stockbroker, regulated by top-tier regulators, the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on NASDAQ and has banking background (TD Group).
Fees score 3 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research and well-equipped desktop trading platform

More Visit broker

TD Ameritrade alternatives
Interactive Brokers

4.8 5 stars

Best online broker

Interactive Brokers logo

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and it is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. It is regulated by several regulators globally, including top-tier authorities like FCA and SEC. Interactive Brokers Group is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Interactive Brokers is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment

Pros
  • Broad product portfolio
  • Low fees
  • Great and diverse research tools
Cons
  • Funding and withdrawal only through bank transfer
  • Complicated account opening process
  • Not user-friendly and complicated desktop trading platform

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Fees 4 stars

Interactive Brokers has low trading fees and high non-trading fees. The fees are transparent.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • Transparent fee structure
Cons
  • Inactivity fee
TD Ameritrade vs. Interactive Brokers: Trading fees
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade
Apple benchmark fee $2.2 $14.1
Vodafone benchmark fee $17.9 -
EURUSD benchmark fee $23.0 $44.3

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 3 stars

The account opening process is fully digital, but slow and complicated.
Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit for most accounts
Cons
  • Slow account opening
  • Not user-friendly
  • Confusing messages throughout the process
TD Ameritrade vs. Interactive Brokers: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days

If you are interested more in Interactive Brokers minimum deposit, this overview will help you.

More Visit broker

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Interactive Brokers offers a lot of base currencies and one withdrawal per month is free. On the negative side, only bank transfer is available.
Pros
  • Several account base currencies
  • No charge for the first withdrawal each month
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Slow funding and withdrawal - over 3 days
TD Ameritrade vs. Interactive Brokers: Withdrawal options
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade
Bank Transfer Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0

More Visit broker

Web trading platform 4 stars

The Interactive Brokers web platform is simple and easy to use, even for beginners. On the negative side, it is a bit complicated to customize.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Two-step (safer) login
Cons
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Web trading platform of Interactive Brokers, a TD Ameritrade alternative
TD Ameritrade vs. Interactive Brokers: Trading platform scores
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score 3 stars 5 stars

Learn more about Interactive Brokers's web trading platform in the detailed Interactive Brokers review.

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Markets and products 5 stars

Interactive Brokers allows you access to a very wide range of markets and you can trade with all product types. IB's product range is the widest available.
TD Ameritrade vs. Interactive Brokers: Markets and products
Interactive Brokers TD Ameritrade
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex Yes Yes
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes
CFD Yes No
Crypto Yes No

More Visit broker

Verdict

IB is one of the biggest discount US brokers regulated by top-tier regulators. If you like low-cost trading and easily navigate on a really complicated platform, Interactive Brokers is for you. We mainly recommend IB for traders.

It has low trading fees, a wide range of product portfolio, and diverse research tools. 

On the flip side, only bank transfer is available for deposit and withdrawal. The account opening and the desktop platform are not user-friendly and complicated.

Interactive Brokers is definitely recommended if you want low fees, a lot of products and you are experienced to cope with a complicated platform.

Interactive Brokers
Summary Interactive Brokers is a US discount broker. IB is listed on stock exchange and regulated by several authorities, like the top-tier FCA and SEC.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment

More Visit broker

TD Ameritrade alternatives
Charles Schwab

4.6 5 stars

Best research

Charles Schwab logo

Charles Schwab was founded in 1971 and it is one of the biggest US-based discount brokers. It is regulated by top-tier regulators, like the US SEC or the UK FCA.

Charles Schwab is considered safe because it has a long track record, is listed on a stock exchange, has a banking background, and is regulated by top-tier regulators.

Recommended for investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service

Pros
  • Outstanding research
  • Low fees
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • No credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfer
  • Only US markets covered
  • Not well-structured education

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Fees 4 stars

Charles Schwab has low trading and non-trading fees. It even charges no commission for some ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds. On the negative side, the fees for mutual funds and the financing rates are high.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • No inactivity fee
  • Some ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds are free
Cons
  • High financing rate
  • High fees for mutual funds
TD Ameritrade vs. Charles Schwab: Trading fees
Charles Schwab TD Ameritrade
Apple benchmark fee $10.1 $14.1
Vodafone benchmark fee - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $44.3

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 5 stars

Opening an account at Charles Schwab is easy, fast and fully digital. For US-clients there is no minimum deposit. However, if you open an account outside the US, there is a $25,000 minimum.
Pros
  • Fast account opening
  • Fully digital account opening
  • No minimum deposit
Cons
  • For non-US clients $25,000 minimum
TD Ameritrade vs. Charles Schwab: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Charles Schwab TD Ameritrade
Minimum deposit $0 $0
Time to open account 1 day 1-3 days

If you are interested more in Charles Schwab minimum deposit, this overview will help you.

More Visit broker

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

Charles Schwab deposit and withdrawal can be improved. You can use only bank transfer, there is only USD as a base currency, and a high fee is charged for wire withdrawals. As a plus, there is no deposit fee and transferring money is easy and user-friendly.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Only one account base currency
  • High fee for wire withdrawals
TD Ameritrade vs. Charles Schwab: Withdrawal options
Charles Schwab TD Ameritrade
Bank Transfer Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $0 $0

More Visit broker

Web trading platform 4 stars

Charles Schab's web platform is simple and easy to use. Even beginners can easily navigate it. On the negative side, it lacks two-step login and customizability.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Clear fee report
  • Price alerts
Cons
  • No two-step (safer) login
  • Limited customizability (for charts, workspace)
Web trading platform of Charles Schwab, a TD Ameritrade alternative
TD Ameritrade vs. Charles Schwab: Trading platform scores
Charles Schwab TD Ameritrade
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score 4 stars 5 stars

Learn more about Charles Schwab's web trading platform in the detailed Charles Schwab review.

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Markets and products 3 stars

At Charles Schwab, you can trade with a lot of asset classes, from stocks to futures. However, the offered products cover only the US market.
TD Ameritrade vs. Charles Schwab: Markets and products
Charles Schwab TD Ameritrade
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No Yes
Fund Yes Yes
Bond Yes Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes
CFD No No
Crypto No No

More Visit broker

Verdict

Charles Schwab is one of the biggest discount US brokers regulated by top-tier regulators.

Its research is outstanding and covers many tools, including trading ideas and detailed fundamental data. It charges low trading and non-trading fees.  The customer service is great, you will get relevant answers within a short time.

It has some drawbacks though. It doesn't provide credit/debit cards and electronic wallets for money transfers. The product portfolio covers only US markets. Lastly, the educational tools are not well-structured. 

As the research tools are great, the account opening is seamless, and no inactivity fee is charged, feel free to try it.

Charles Schwab
Summary Charles Schwab is a US discount broker, regulated by top-tier regulators, the SEC and FINRA. The company is listed on NYSE and holds a banking license.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service

More Visit broker

TD Ameritrade alternatives
Tradestation

4.4 4 stars

Tradestation logo

TradeStation is a US broker with a long history dating back to 1982. Its parent company, the Monex Group is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.

TradeStation is considered safe as it is regulated by a top-tier regulator, the US FINRA. Clients are eligible for the SIPC investor protection scheme which offers up to $500,000 (cash up to $250,000) per account.

Recommended for traders wanting great research tools and preferring the us markets

Pros
  • Great mobile trading platform
  • Wide range of reserach tools
  • High-quality educational tools
Cons
  • Not user-friendly deposit and withdrawal
  • No forex
  • Bad customer service

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Fees 4 stars

TradeStation has low trading fees and there are multiple fee structures to choose from. Non-trading fees, like inactivity fees are high.
Pros
  • Low trading fees
  • More fee structures you can choose from
Cons
  • High non-trading fees
TD Ameritrade vs. Tradestation: Trading fees
Tradestation TD Ameritrade
Apple benchmark fee $2.2 $14.1
Vodafone benchmark fee - -
EURUSD benchmark fee - $44.3

Includes spreads, commissions and financing rate for opening a position, holding for a week, and closing.
Position sizes: $2k for stocks and $20k for FX

More Visit broker

Account opening 4 stars

TradeStation account opening is fully digital and user-friendly. On the other hand, it takes more days until your account is approved.
Pros
  • Fully digital account opening
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Slow account opening
TD Ameritrade vs. Tradestation: Minimum deposit, time to open an account
Tradestation TD Ameritrade
Minimum deposit $500 $0
Time to open account 1-3 days 1-3 days

If you are interested more in Tradestation minimum deposit, this overview will help you.

More Visit broker

Deposit and withdrawal 2 stars

TradeStation deposit and withdrawal can be improved. As a plus, the deposit is free. However, you can use only bank transfer and there is a high, $35 withdrawal fee.
Pros
  • No deposit fee
Cons
  • Credit/Debit card not available
  • Not user-friendly
  • High withdrawal fee (for non-US clients $35 /tansaction)
TD Ameritrade vs. Tradestation: Withdrawal options
Tradestation TD Ameritrade
Bank Transfer Yes Yes
Credit/Debit card No No
Electronic wallets No No
Withdrawal fee $35 $0

More Visit broker

Web trading platform 4 stars

TradeStation has a good web trading platform. It is user-friendly with and looks nice. It also offers a great order management. On the flip side, it lacks the alerts and the clear fee reports.
Pros
  • User-friendly
  • Good customizability (for charts, workspace)
  • Good variety of order types
Cons
  • No clear fee report available
  • No price alerts
Web trading platform of Tradestation, a TD Ameritrade alternative
TD Ameritrade vs. Tradestation: Trading platform scores
Tradestation TD Ameritrade
Web platform score 4 stars 4 stars
Mobile platform score 5 stars 4 stars
Desktop platform score 3 stars 5 stars

Learn more about Tradestation's web trading platform in the detailed Tradestation review.

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Markets and products 2 stars

TradeStation gives you access to a wide variety of US products. However, its non-US offer is not competitive. The forex, CFDs and cryptos are missing.
TD Ameritrade vs. Tradestation: Markets and products
Tradestation TD Ameritrade
Stock Yes Yes
ETF Yes Yes
Forex No Yes
Fund Yes Yes
Bond No Yes
Options Yes Yes
Futures Yes Yes
CFD No No
Crypto No No

More Visit broker

Verdict

TradeStation is a great US broker.

The mobile platform is very user-friendly with many functions. It also offers great research tools, including a wide range of analytical tools. Lastly, education is well-structured and high-quality. 

On the other hand, the deposit and withdrawal are not user-friendly and you can use only bank transfer. It lacks many asset classes, e.g. forex or CFDs. The customer service can be improved as the response time at email and chat support are very slow.

Feel free to try TradeStation if you prefer Recommended for buy and hold investors with any experience level.

Tradestation
Summary TradeStation is a US stockbroker regulated by FINRA, the top-tier US regulator.
Fees score 4 stars
Recommended for Traders wanting great research tools and preferring the US markets

More Visit broker

TD Ameritrade alternatives
Bottom line

Based on our analysis, there are several good alternatives to TD Ameritrade. They all offer similar products and target similar customers. Here's a recap of the results in a table.

TD Ameritrade alternatives
Broker Info Recommended for
TD Ameritrade US-based stockbroker Investors and traders looking for solid research and well-equipped desktop trading platform
Interactive Brokers US discount broker Traders who prefer low fees and a professional trading environment
Charles Schwab US discount broker Investors and traders looking for solid research, low fees, and great customer service
Tradestation US stockbroker Traders wanting great research tools and preferring the US markets

Still unsure? Use our broker finder and find the best broker for you or learn more about investing your money.

AUTHOR

Dan Sallai
Dan Sallai
CMO
My goal is to help people find our resourceful content when they need the most. I combine my 10+ years online marketing experience with the team's finance knowledge to reach that every day. On the side I'm paying bowling, tennis and enjoy spending great time with my children.
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