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Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers Review

Brandon Reinkensmeyer

Published by Brandon Reinkensmeyer


Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Review which tested 16 different online brokers over six months, we can compare Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers to determine which broker is best. Let's dive in.

First, we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Charles Schwab charges more than Interactive Brokers for placing regular stock trades ($4.95 and $0 (the broker charges a per share rate instead), respectively). Looking at trading options, Interactive Brokers's base fee is $0 while Charles Schwab's is $4.95. Charles Schwab's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Interactive Brokers which charges $0.70. Instead of flat rate fees, several brokers charge a per-share fee instead. For a complete review of trading charges, read our full online broker reviews.

Next, investors want to make sure they can trade the investment vehicle they want. Both Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers support Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Charles Schwab trails Interactive Brokers by 2,861 total mutual funds, with Interactive Brokers offering 8026 and Charles Schwab offering 5165. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Interactive Brokers falling behind Charles Schwab, offering 33 commission free ETFs compared to Charles Schwab's 229.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Interactive Brokers makes virtual trading available to clients, while Charles Schwab does not. For mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers offer clients access to an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Charles Schwab while customers at Interactive Brokers can have none of these. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, Interactive Brokers posted awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2017, while Charles Schwab found itself with Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Research.

Overall, Charles Schwab takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Interactive Brokers's 4.00 stars.
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Overall
Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Ease of Use
Education
Order Execution
Banking
Minimum Deposit
Stock Trade Fee (flat)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
IRA Annual Fee
IRA Closure Fee
Stock Trading
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Options Trading
Complex Options Max Legs
Futures Trading
Forex Trading
Commission Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
Bonds (US Treasury)
Bonds (Corporate)
Bonds (Municipal)
# of Easy to Borrow Stocks
Advisor Services
International Trading
Order Type - Market
Order Type - Limit
Order Type - Stop
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Order Type - Contingent
Order Type - MultiContingent
Order Type - OCO
Order Type - OTO
Order Type - OTOCO
Order Type - Algo
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Web Platform
Virtual Trading
Watch Lists - Total Fields
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Charting - Historical Trades
Charting - Save Profiles
Charting - Study Customizations
Charting - Custom Studies
Option Chains - Total Columns
Option Chains - Greeks Viewable
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Option Positions - Rolling
Heat Mapping
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Streaming Time & Sales
Streaming TV
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Direct Market Routing - Options
Ladder Trading
Trade Hot Keys
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Client Liquidity Rebates
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Mutual Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Equity Research - Earnings
Equity Research - SEC Filings
Equity Research - Insiders
Equity Research - Social
Equity Research - Reports
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings
ETF Research - Reports
ETF Research - Ratings
Mutual Fund Research - Reports
iPhone App
iPad App
Android App
Android Tablet App
Apple Watch App
Trading - Stocks
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Trading - Option Rolling
Touch ID
Watch List Syncing
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Charting - After Hours
Charting - Study Customizations
Customizable Homescreen
Heatmapping
Stream Live TV
Barcode Lookup
Retail Locations
Member FDIC
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Under $24,999.99
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Has Education - Stocks
Has Education - ETFs
Has Education - Options
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Has Education - Fixed Income
Has Education - Retirement
Videos
Client Webinars
Client Webinars (Archived)
Live Seminars
Progress Tracking
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Client Magazine
Charles Schwab
Advertisement Advertisement
Special Offer Earn 500 commission-free trades for two years at Schwab. Open an account
Charles Schwab Review
 
4.5
3.5
4.5
4.5
5
4
4
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
 
$1,000.00
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$76.00
$25.00
$0.00
$50.00
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
4
Yes
No
229
5165
5165
Yes
Yes
Yes
5975
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
94
No
Yes
15
40
No
Yes
6
No
34
5
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
8
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
 
300
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
8.50%
8.00%
7.00%
6.88%
6.75%
6.25%
6.75%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Interactive Brokers
Special Offer Trade on over 100 market centers in 24 countries Learn More
Interactive Brokers Review
 
4
4.5
4.5
4.5
3
3.5
4
2.5
3
5
0.5
 
$10,000.00
N/A
$0.00
$0.70
$14.95
$30.00
$30.00
$0.00
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
8
Yes
No
33
5823
8026
Yes
Yes
Yes
4500
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
338
Yes
Yes
9
124
Yes
Yes
6
No
37
4
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
0
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
 
0
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
 
1.91%
1.91%
1.91%
1.61%
1.61%
1.41%
1.61%
 
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 2/20/2017 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com 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.

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