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Charles Schwab vs Interactive Brokers 2020

Is Charles Schwab better than Interactive Brokers? After testing 15 of the best online brokers over five months, Charles Schwab (93.11%) is better than Interactive Brokers (90.58%). Founded in 1973, Charles Schwab is a full-service brokerage with over $3 trillion in total client assets. As a low-cost leader offering $0 stock trades, Charles Schwab provides investors excellent stock research, quality trade tools, and professional planning for the future.

Special Offer $0 online stock, ETF, and options commissions at Schwab. Open Account
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Overall Rating

Trading Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00 N/A
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.01
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65 $0.65
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 $14.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00 $30.00
Commissions & Fees 4.5 5
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Under $24,999.99 9.33% 3.08%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 8.83% 3.08%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 7.88% 3.08%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.83% 2.58%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.58% 3.18%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 6.08% 2.75%
Above $1,000,000.00 5.75% 2.08%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 5
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $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
Commissions & Fees 4.5 5

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
Commission-Free ETFs all 96
Mutual Funds (No Load)
7291 8655
Mutual Funds (Total)
9978 18210
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Interest Sharing
No Yes
Advisor Services
Yes No
International Trading
Yes Yes
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

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
Offering of Investments 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

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
Watch Lists - Total Fields
125 494
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
AI Assistant Bot
No Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
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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
Charting - Study Customizations
7 6
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Winner check_circle

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
Mobile Trading 4 4.5
Winner check_circle

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 No
Screener - Options
Yes Yes
Screener - Bonds
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Yes Yes
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Yes Yes
Research 5 4
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Stock Research

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Stock Research - Reports
8 2
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
Research 5 4
Winner check_circle

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 No
ETFs - Reports
Yes Yes
Research 5 4
Winner check_circle

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 No
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Yes Yes
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Yes Yes
Research 5 4
Winner check_circle

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
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

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)
50 20
Webinars (Archived)
Yes Yes
Live Seminars
Yes No
Progress Tracking
No Yes
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No Yes
Investor Magazine
Yes Yes
Education 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Charles Schwab Interactive Brokers
Retail Locations
357 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
Banking 4.5 2
Winner check_circle

Overall

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 and Interactive Brokers both cost $0 per trade. With options, the base fee is $0 for both Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers. Option contracts cost $0.65 each at both brokerages. 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. Both Charles Schwab and Interactive Brokers support Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Interactive Brokers offers its clients access to 18210 different mutual funds while Charles Schwab has 9978 available funds, a difference of 8,232.

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 makes virtual trading available to clients, 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. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are available to clients of Interactive Brokers while Charles Schwab offers customers 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 01/20/2020 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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