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Interactive Brokers vs Charles Schwab 2019

Is Interactive Brokers better than Charles Schwab? After scoring brokers in nine separate categories for our 2019 review, Charles Schwab (84.06%) is better than Interactive Brokers (80.99%).

Charles Schwab

Best for IRA accounts

For investors seeking access to $0 stock and ETF trades alongside excellent research tools for performing market analysis, Charles Schwab will not disappoint. Charles Schwab is also our number one pick for IRA accounts and broader retirement investing. Read full review

Interactive Brokers

Best For Professionals - Open Account
Exclusive Offer: New clients that open an account today receive a special margin rate

While Interactive Brokers does offer a $0 trading account type (IBKR Lite), the broker is best known for its professional traders accounts (IBKR Pro), where Interactive Brokers offers per-share pricing ($.005 per share with a $1 minimum per trade), and charges up to $20 per month between two minimum activity fees. Traders who can meet its $100,000 minimum deposit for margin trading are rewarded with an industry-leading commissions schedule, margin rates, and full support for international trading.Read full review.

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 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.01 $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
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 4.5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Interactive Brokers
Open Account
Charles Schwab
Open Account
Under $24,999.99 3.08% 9.33%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 3.08% 8.83%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 3.08% 7.88%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 2.58% 7.83%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 3.18% 7.58%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 2.75% 6.08%
Above $1,000,000.00 2.08% 5.75%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4.5
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 4.5

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 96 all
Mutual Funds (No Load)
8534 7291
Mutual Funds (Total)
1243 9978
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
494 125
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 7
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
Order 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
Yes No
Charting - After Hours
Yes No
Charting - Drawing
No No
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
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
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
2 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 44
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
Yes Yes
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
No Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes 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
Yes Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
No Yes
Credit Cards
No Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
No Yes
No Fee Banking
Yes 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

Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen 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 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. 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. Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers provide clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Interactive Brokers offers its clients access to 11000 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 5846 available funds, a difference of 5,154.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. 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. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. 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, 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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