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 Merrill Edge 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. Merrill Edge charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $6.95 more than Charles Schwab which charges customers $0 per trade. For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Charles Schwab a base fee of $0. Charles Schwab's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. 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. Merrill Edge offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Charles Schwab offers its clients access to 5846 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3709 available funds, a difference of 2,137.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Charles Schwab nor Merrill Edge offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge 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. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are found at Charles Schwab alongside Merrill Edge.
Overall, between Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge, Charles Schwab is the winner.
Charles Schwab Review
Merrill Edge Review