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Broker Reviews


Published by Blain Reinkensmeyer
On Monday, February 15th, 2016



Special Offer: Receive 50 free trades - Learn More

Our USAA review includes a variety of information for researching and finding a brokerage to suit your needs. We have detailed commissions & fees data, an extensive features checklist, and other important broker information available. Our team encourages all investors to compare brokers with their competitors to find out how they stack up.

Please Note: Our annual review requires the online brokers to actively participate due to the extensive amount of testing, data, and research that takes place over the course of six months. Since USAA elected not to be included in our 2015 Online Broker Review, USAA does not have star ratings or rankings.

Blain Reinkensmeyer

Blain has been involved in the markets for over 15 years, heading broker research and reviews. His personal blog,, provides education articles as well as to-the-point market recaps to over 17,000 subscribers.

Compare USAA

USAA Ratings

* - USAA did not to participate in the 2016 Online Broker Review. As a result, there are no current ratings to display.

Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Ease of Use
Order Execution

Best in Class

Best in Class - Overall
Best in Class - Commissions & Fees
Best in Class - Offering of Investments
Best in Class - Platforms & Tools
Best in Class - Research
Best in Class - Customer Service
Best in Class - Mobile Trading
Best in Class - Ease of Use
Best in Class - Investor Education
Best in Class - Order Execution
Best in Class - Banking
Best in Class - Active Trading
Best in Class - Options Trading
Best in Class - New Investors

USAA Awards

Commission Notes

USAA offers clients two different commission levels with up to 50 free trades (up to 1,000 shares each) available to new clients who perform "householding", ie group multiple accounts together. This 50 free trade bonus expires after 90 days, and the account is then reverted to either the Gold or Platinum Level listed below.

The first level offered is Gold which is the base level and what all broker account holders qualify for. The second is Platinum which clients can qualify for by either A. Executing 25 or more trades in a rolling 90-day period or B. Having $50,000 or more in their account.

Stock Trades - Under the Gold Level, regular stock trades are $8.95 with each additional share over 1,000 costing $.01 per share. Under the Platinum Level, the rate drops to $5.95 with each additional share over 1,000 costing $.005 per share. No other broker has a cost structure like USAA, making trading larger position sizes a very costly proposition.

Broker assisted trades are $50 per trade with each additional share over 1,000 costing $.005 per share.

Options Trades - For options trades, USAA's commission rates are far more in line with industry averages. Gold Level clients pay $8.95 + $0.75 per contract and Platinum Level clients pay $5.95 + $0.75 per contract.

Mutual Funds - Regular No-Load Transaction Fee Funds cost $45 per trade. Loaded Funds are available through broker-assisted trading only.

Other Investments - Interactive Brokers also offers futures trading (all types), bonds, and forex trading. For more information on these investments please visit the website.

Trade Commissions Breakdown

$8.95 Stock Trade Fee (flat)*
$0.0000 Stock Trade Fee (per share)*
$8.95 Options Base Fee*
$0.00 Options Per Contract Fee*
$0.00 Options Exercise Fee
$0.00 Options Assignment Fee
$45.00 Mutual Fund Trade Fee
$50.00 Broker Assisted Trades Fee
$0.00 Minimum Deposit

Margin Rates

7.99% Under $24,999.99
7.75% $25,000.00 to 49,999.99
6.99% $50,000.00 to $99,999.99
6.99% $100,000.00 to $249,999.99
6.50% $250,000.00 to $499,999.99
6.50% $500,000.00 to $999,999.99
5.25% Above $1,000,000.00

Miscellaneous Fees

N/A Bond Trade Fee
N/A Treasury Trade Fee
N/A CD Trade Fee
N/A IVR Trade Fee
$0.00 IRA Annual Fee
$20.00 IRA Closure Fee
N/A Forced Margin Sellout Fee
N/A Returned ACH Fee
N/A Returned Wire Fee
N/A Stock Certificate Processing Fee
N/A Stock Certificate Delivery Fee
N/A Paper Statement Fee
N/A Paper Confirmation Fee
$20.00 Domestic Wire Fee
$35.00 International Wire Fee

Offering of Investments

* - USAA did not participate in the 2016 Online Broker Review, as a result the following data may not be up to date.

Advisor Services
Yes Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Bonds (US Treasury)
Clearing Firm
0 Commission Free ETFs
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Direct Market Routing - Options
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks
Forex Trading
Futures Trading
Member FINRA
Member SIPC
Yes Mutual Funds
0 Mutual Funds (Load)
0 Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (NTF)
Mutual Funds (Total)
Mutual Funds Phone Trades
Mutual Funds Web Trades
No Fee IRAs
No Inactivity Fees
No Minimum Deposit
Options Exercising (Phone)
Options Exercising (Web)
Yes Options Trading
Options Trading (Mini)
Options Trading (Weekly)
Yes OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Stock Trading

Customer Service

Yes Phone Support
Yes Email Support
Live Chat (Current Clients)
24/7 Support

Platforms & Tools

Desktop Platform (Windows)
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Web Platform
Active Trading Platform
Auto Investing
Charting - Display Corporate Events
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Notes
Heat Mapping
Ladder Trading
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Option Chains - Streaming Real-time
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Stock Alerts Delivery - Email
Stock Alerts Delivery - Sound
Stock Alerts Delivery - Text SMS
Streaming Time & Sales
Streaming TV
Trade Hot Keys
Virtual Trading
Watchlists - Streaming Real-time Quotes


Research - ETFs
Research - Mutual Funds
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Research - Fixed Income
0 Equity Research - Research Reports
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings
ETF Research - Morningstar Style Box
ETF Research - Research Reports
Mutual Fund Research - Research Reports
Mutual Fund Research - Fees Breakdown
Mutual Fund Research - Performance Analysis
Mutual Fund Research - Top 10 Holdings
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Mutual Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds


Has Education - Stocks
Has Education - ETFs
Has Education - Options
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Has Education - Fixed Income
Has Education - Retirement
Investor Dictionary
Client Webinars
Live Seminars
Retirement Calculator
Community Forums

Mobile Trading

Yes iPhone App
Yes iPad App
Apple Watch App
Yes Android App
Android Tablet App
Mobile Site
Quotes (Real-time)
Quotes (Streaming Real-time)
Watch List Syncing
Market Movers (Top Gainers)
Stock Alerts Delivery - Push Notifications
Customizable Homescreen
Stream Live TV
Trading - Stocks
Trading - Stocks (After-Hours)
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options


Member FDIC
Yes Checking Accounts
Yes Savings Accounts
Yes Debit Cards
Yes Credit Cards
Yes Mortgage Loans
Yes Mobile Check Deposit
ATM Fee Reimbursement
No Fee Banking
0 Retail Locations

Active Trading

Receives Payment for Order Flow
Client Liquidity Rebates
Financial Information Forum (FIF) Participant

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/16/2016 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply. Square Logo