Best Discount Stock Brokers Online

Blain Reinkensmeyer

Published by Blain Reinkensmeyer

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Which discount stock broker does recommend for you? Every investor has different trading styles and investment preferences that can be used to help rate top brokers to find a great match. Several of the current best discount online brokers include:

TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade - Rated #1 Overall Broker in our 2017 Broker Review, TD Ameritrade offers the largest variety of trade tools through its desktop platform thinkorswim and web based trading platform Trade Architect. Best of class investment research and options trading are also available for clients.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Trade free for 90 days + get up to $600 cash.

Merrill Edge

Merrill Edge - With flat fee stock trades at $6.95, Merrill Edge offers lower commission rates than most of its full service competitors. Clients can also get free trades with the Bank of America Preferred Awards program. Awarded #1 for Banking Services and 4 stars overall for 2017.

Current Offer: Invest in a new account and get up to $600.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab - Clients have access to an industry best 182 commission free ETFs, almost twice the next highest competitor's offering. Awarded #1 Retirement Services in 2017 with a 4.5 star overall rating. Known for in-depth research access and solid customer support.

Current Offer: Earn 500 commission-free online trades for 2 years with Schwab. Know more.


OptionsHouse - OptionsHouse was ranked #1 Broker for Options Trading 2017 and offers $4.95 flat fee trades with a single commission plan for trading options. Their new single rate plan is $0.50 per contract with a $4.95 base contract fee.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Trade Commission-Free For A Full 90 Days!


TradeKing - TradeKing offers $4.95 stock trades, was rated 4 Stars Customer Service 2017, and is home to over 500,000 traders sharing ideas and research via the TradeKing Trader Network.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Get up to $2,000 in commission credit.

Capital One Investing

Capital One Investing - Awarded #1 Portfolio Builder in 2016, Capital One Investing (ShareBuilder) is known for their automatic investment plans. Discounted commissions of $3.95 for automatic trades, along with Best in Class for Customer Service and New Investors, make them a great option.

Current Offer: Get up to a $600 bonus when you fund your new account.


Scottrade - Scottrade offers $7 flat fee trades and was awarded Best Overall Client Experience 2012-2017. For investors seeking a personalized experience, Scottrade gives clients direct access to professionals at over 500 local branch offices. Quality research and an easy to use website round out Scottrade's offering.

Update: Scottrade was acquired by TD Ameritrade in October, 2016!

To read full broker reviews of the above brokers, you can do so by visiting their respective review pages here on Merrill Edge Review, Charles Schwab Review, Capital One Investing Review, Scottrade Review.

Broker Comparison Tool

Compare online brokers with the stock brokers comparison chart! Included are easy to read star ratings, pricing and fees information, and even a features overview section to see what every broker has to offer.

StockBrokers comparison tool


Choosing a Discount Online Broker

There are different areas you will want to consider when choosing an online broker. The most common include the cost of placing trades, how easy the broker is to use, flexibility and depth of the trade platforms and tools, and the overall quality of investment research. Customer service, mobile trading, banking, international trading, and support for other trade types (options, futures, forex, bonds) are others.

Once you have narrowed down the factors that are most important to you, then you can begin looking for specific stock brokers that fit your needs. If an easy to use platform and deep discount cheap trades are most important to you, then OptionsHouse will make for a great fit. Want top notch customer service with discounted trades? If so, TradeKing is your best bet. If all you want is access to powerful platforms, tools, and research then TD Ameritrade will wow you. The list goes on and on. For a full review of all the brokers and categories head on over to our 2017 online broker review.

At one time most of the brokerages that offered IRA accounts charged an annual fee of $50 or more to deal with the regulatory hassles of holding your IRA assets. Today, many brokers offer IRA accounts with no setup fees and no annual maintenance fees. However, it is important to check first as brokers can charge $35 annual IRA fees and even a fee for closing an IRA in the future.

For international investors seeking to trade the U.S. Stock Markets, most major online stock brokers like Firstrade and TradeStation welcome foreign accounts. The highest regarded all around broker for trading international though is Interactive Brokers.

Need Help Deciding Which Broker?

Explore our Top 5 Best Brokers review categories: