Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Charles Schwab vs E*TRADE.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. E*TRADE, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Charles Schwab's rate of $4.95 per trade. Looking at trading options, Charles Schwab's base fee is $4.95 while E*TRADE's is $6.95. Option contracts are pricier at E*TRADE, costing $0.75 versus $0.65 at Charles Schwab. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Both Charles Schwab and E*TRADE support Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Charles Schwab trails E*TRADE by 3,489 total mutual funds, with E*TRADE offering 8998 and Charles Schwab offering 5509. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, with Charles Schwab having the upper hand thanks to its 244 available commission free ETFs compared to E*TRADE's offering of 225.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Charles Schwab nor E*TRADE offers virtual trading. Taking a look at mobile trading, Charles Schwab and E*TRADE both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Clients can have Checking Accounts and Debit Cards at E*TRADE while customers at Charles Schwab can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Charles Schwab finished with awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research, while E*TRADE came up with Best in Class - Research.
Overall, both Charles Schwab and E*TRADE hold a 4.50 star rating.