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Interactive Brokers vs Charles Schwab 2019

The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.

Is Charles Schwab better than Interactive Brokers? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, Charles Schwab (84.06%) is better than Interactive Brokers (80.99%). Founded in 1973, Charles Schwab is a full-service brokerage with over $3 trillion in total client assets. As a low-cost leader offering $4.95 stock trades, Charles Schwab provides investors excellent stock research, quality trade tools, and professional planning for the future.

Exclusive Offer New clients that open an account today receive a special margin rate Open Account
Special Offer $4.95 online equity trades + $0.65 per options contract Open Account
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Overall Rating

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Overall 4 4
Interactive Brokers Review Charles Schwab Review

Trading Fees

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) N/A $4.95
ETF Trade Fee $0.01 $4.95
Options Base Fee $0.00 $4.95
Options Per Contract Fee $0.70 $0.65
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $14.95 $49.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $30.00 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 3.5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Interactive Brokers
Open Account
Charles Schwab
Open Account
Under $24,999.99 3.68% 9.58%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 3.68% 9.08%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 3.68% 8.13%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 3.18% 8.08%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 3.18% 7.83%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 3.18% 6.58%
Above $1,000,000.00 2.68% 6.25%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 3.5
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $50.00
Returned ACH Fee N/A $25.00
Returned Wire Fee N/A $25.00
Stock Certificate Processing Fee N/A $100.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A N/A
Paper Statement Fee N/A $0.00
Paper Confirmation Fee N/A $0.00
Domestic Wire Fee $10.00 $25.00
International Wire Fee $10.00 $25.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 3.5

Investment Options

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
8 4
Futures Trading
Yes Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs 48 503
Mutual Funds (No Load)
7558 5846
Mutual Funds (Total)
11000 5846
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
No Yes
International Trading
Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Order Type - Market
Yes Yes
Order Type - Limit
Yes Yes
Order Type - Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Yes Yes
Order Type - Contingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes Yes
Order Type - OCO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTO
Yes Yes
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Trade Journal
Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields
453 108
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Yes Yes
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
121 41
Charting - Drawing Tools
9 15
Charting - Historical Trades
Yes No
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
No Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
6 6
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No Yes
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
Yes Yes
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes Yes
Direct Market Routing - Options
Yes No
Ladder Trading
Yes No
Trade Hot Keys
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Yes Yes
Short Locator
Yes No
Client Liquidity Rebates
Yes No
Winner check_circle

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
iPhone App
Yes Yes
Android App
Yes Yes
Apple Watch App
Yes Yes
Trading - Stocks
Yes Yes
Trading - After-Hours
Yes Yes
Trading - Conditional Orders
Yes No
Trading - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Trading - Simple Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Complex Options
Yes Yes
Trading - Option Rolling
No No
Touch / Face ID
Yes Yes
Winner check_circle

Mobile App Features

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes No
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
No No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Customizable Homescreen
No No
Heatmapping
No Yes
Stream Live TV
Yes Yes
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Research - Futures
Yes Yes
Research - Forex
Yes No
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Screener - Options
Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes Yes
Research 3.5 5
Winner check_circle

Stock Research

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Stock Research - Reports
1 8
Stock Research - Earnings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Insiders
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Yes Yes
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Social
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
Yes No
Research 3.5 5
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
ETFs - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Sector Exposure
Yes Yes
ETFs - Risk Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Performance Analysis
Yes Yes
ETFs - Ratings
Yes Yes
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
No Yes
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes
Research 3.5 5
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
No Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
No Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
No Yes
Research 3.5 5
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
37 41
Option Chains - Greeks
4 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Greeks
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Rolling
Yes Yes
Option Positions - Grouping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
No Yes
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
No Yes
Has Education - Retirement
No Yes
Paper Trading
Yes No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
20 50
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
No Yes
Progress Tracking
Yes No
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Yes No
Investor Magazine
Yes Yes
Education 3 4.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Retail Locations
0 357
Member FDIC
No Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
No Yes
Credit Cards
No Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
No Yes
No Fee Banking
No Yes
Banking 2 4.5
Winner check_circle

Overall

Feature Interactive Brokers Charles Schwab
Interactive Brokers Review Charles Schwab Review
Overall 4 4
Winner check_circle
The StockBrokers.com annual broker review assesses more than a dozen different brokers over six months, surfacing the best online stock brokers. This review compares Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers. Is Charles Schwab or Interactive Brokers a better online broker?

First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Charles Schwab charges $4.95 per stock trade which is $4.95 more than Interactive Brokers which charges customers $0 (the broker charges a per share rate instead) per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $4.95 (Charles Schwab) and $0 (Interactive Brokers). Charles Schwab's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Interactive Brokers which charges $0.70. Note that some brokers charge a per-share fee instead of a flat-fee commission. For a full breakdown of commissions, read our online broker reviews.

For our next comparison of these two brokers, being able to trade the way you want is a must. Charles Schwab alongside Interactive Brokers offer clients Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Interactive Brokers offers its clients access to 11000 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 5846 available funds, a difference of 5,154.

Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Interactive Brokers offers virtual trading while Charles Schwab does not. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Clients can have Checking Accounts and Debit Cards at Interactive Brokers while customers at Charles Schwab can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers, Charles Schwab is the winner.

Charles Schwab Review
Interactive Brokers Review


All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. 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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