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Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers 2021

Is Charles Schwab better than Interactive Brokers? After testing 11 of the best online brokers over three months, Charles Schwab (95.87%) is better than Interactive Brokers (95.07%). With more than $6 trillion in client assets, Charles Schwab understands how to consistently deliver value to its customers. Highlights include $0 trades, excellent stock research, a diverse selection of trading tools, and an industry-leading offering of financial planning services.


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Overall Rating

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Overall 5 5
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 5 5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Mobile Trading 4 4.5
Research 5 5
Education 4.5 4
Ease of Use 5 4
Charles Schwab Review Interactive Brokers Review
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Trading Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 $14.95
Options (Base Fee) $0.00 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65 $0.65
Futures (Per Contract) $1.50 $0.85
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00 $30.00

Margin Rates

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Under $24,999.99 8.33% 1.59%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 7.83% 1.59%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 6.88% 1.59%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 6.83% 1.29%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 6.58% 1.19%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 5.08% 1.14%
Above $1,000,000.00 4.70% 0.75%

Account Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $50.00 $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) $25.00 $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) $50.00 $0.00
Returned ACH Fee $25.00 N/A
Returned Wire Fee $25.00 N/A
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $100.00 N/A
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A N/A
Paper Statement Fee $0.00 N/A
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00 N/A
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00 $10.00
International Wire Fee $25.00 $10.00

Investment Options

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
Fractional Shares
Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 8
Futures Trading
Yes Yes
Forex Trading
No No
Crypto Trading No No
Mutual Funds (No Load)
7223 8734
Mutual Funds (Total)
9860 11080
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
Yes Yes
AI Assistant Bot
Yes Yes

Order Types

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
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

Customer Service

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Phone Support (Prospect Customers)
Yes Yes
Phone Support (Current Customers)
Yes Yes
Email Support
Yes Yes
Live Chat (Prospect Customers)
No No
Live Chat (Current Customers)
Yes Yes
24/7 Support
Yes No

Trading Platforms

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No Yes
Trade Journal
Yes Yes
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
Watch Lists - Total Fields
130 494

Charting Features

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
41 121
Charting - Drawing Tools
15 9
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Technical Analysis
Yes No
Charting - Study Customizations
7 6
Charting - Custom Studies
No No

Day Trading

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

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
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
No Yes
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

Mobile App Features

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
No Yes
Charting - After Hours
No Yes
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
Yes No
Stream Live TV
Yes Yes
Barcode Lookup
No No

Research Overview

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Research - Stocks
Yes Yes
Research - ETFs
Yes Yes
Research - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Yes Yes
Research - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Screener - Stocks
Yes Yes
Screener - ETFs
Yes Yes
Screener - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Screener - Options
Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes Yes

Stock Research

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Stock Research - Reports
8 3
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
No Yes

ETF Research

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
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
Yes Yes
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Reports
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes

Options Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
44 37
Option Chains - Greeks
5 4
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

Beginners

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Education (Stocks)
Yes Yes
Education (ETFs)
Yes Yes
Education (Options)
Yes Yes
Education (Mutual Funds)
Yes No
Education (Fixed Income)
Yes Yes
Education (Retirement)
Yes No
Paper Trading
No Yes
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
100 20
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
Yes No
Progress Tracking
No Yes
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No Yes

Banking

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Retail Locations
360 0
Member FDIC
Yes Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes No
Credit Cards
Yes No
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
Yes No
No Fee Banking
Yes Yes

Overall

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Overall 5 5
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
Offering of Investments 5 5
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Mobile Trading 4 4.5
Research 5 5
Education 4.5 4
Ease of Use 5 4
Charles Schwab Review Interactive Brokers Review
Winner check_circle

Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our 2021 annual broker review, we spent hundreds of hours assessing 11 brokerages to find the best online broker. Let's compare Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers.

Is Charles Schwab or Interactive Brokers better for beginners?
Charles Schwab is better for beginner investors than Interactive Brokers. Charles Schwab offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Fixed Income) and Education (Retirement).

What about Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers pricing?
Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $0 per trade. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. Option contracts at both of the brokerages are the same at $0.65 each. For a complete commissions summary, see our best discount brokers guide.

Does Charles Schwab or Interactive Brokers offer a wider range of investment options?
Interactive Brokers offers a more diverse selection of investment options than Charles Schwab. Interactive Brokers offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, OTCBB / Pink Sheets, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Futures Trading and International Trading. Looking at Mutual Funds, Interactive Brokers boasts an offering of 11080 mutual funds compared to Charles Schwab's 9860 available funds.

Which trading platform is better: Charles Schwab or Interactive Brokers?
To compare the trading platforms of both Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers, we tested each broker's trading tools, research capabilities, and mobile apps. For trading tools, Interactive Brokers offers a better experience. With research, Charles Schwab offers superior market research. Finally, we found Interactive Brokers to provide better mobile trading apps.

Does either broker offer banking?
Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Interactive Brokers while Charles Schwab offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall winner: Charles Schwab

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All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 01/19/2021 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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