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Charles Schwab vs Merrill Edge Review

Brandon Reinkensmeyer

Published by Brandon Reinkensmeyer


Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

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, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Charles Schwab's rate of $4.95 per trade. For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Charles Schwab a base fee of $4.95. 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 supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Merrill Edge trails Charles Schwab by 1,821 total mutual funds, with Charles Schwab offering 5509 and Merrill Edge offering 3688. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, Charles Schwab offers 244 commission free ETFs versus Merrill Edge's total of 0.

Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Neither Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge offer virtual trading. For mobile trading, Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge 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, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are found at Charles Schwab alongside Merrill Edge. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, unfortunately, neither Charles Schwab nor Merrill Edge received awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.

Overall, both Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge hold a 4.50 star rating.
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Overall
Commissions & Fees
Offering of Investments
Platforms & Tools
Research
Customer Service
Mobile Trading
Ease of Use
Education
Order Execution
Banking
Minimum Deposit
Stock Trade Fee (flat)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
IRA Annual Fee
IRA Closure Fee
Stock Trading
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Options Trading
Complex Options Max Legs
Futures Trading
Forex Trading
Commission Free ETFs
Mutual Funds (No Load)
Mutual Funds (Total)
Bonds (US Treasury)
Bonds (Corporate)
Bonds (Municipal)
Advisor Services
International Trading
Order Type - Market
Order Type - Limit
Order Type - Stop
Order Type - Trailing Stop
Order Type - Contingent
Order Type - MultiContingent
Order Type - OCO
Order Type - OTO
Order Type - OTOCO
Order Type - Algo
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Web Platform
Virtual Trading
Watch Lists - Total Fields
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Charting - Historical Trades
Charting - Save Profiles
Charting - Study Customizations
Charting - Custom Studies
Option Chains - Total Columns
Option Chains - Greeks Viewable
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Option Positions - Rolling
Heat Mapping
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Streaming Time & Sales
Streaming TV
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Direct Market Routing - Options
Ladder Trading
Trade Hot Keys
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks
Level 2 Quotes - Options
Trade Ideas - Backtesting
Client Liquidity Rebates
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Mutual Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Equity Research - Earnings
Equity Research - SEC Filings
Equity Research - Insiders
Equity Research - Social
Equity Research - Reports
ETF Research - Top 10 Holdings
ETF Research - Reports
ETF Research - Ratings
Mutual Fund Research - Reports
iPhone App
iPad App
Android App
Android Tablet App
Apple Watch App
Trading - Stocks
Trading - After-Hours
Trading - Conditional Orders
Trading - Mutual Funds
Trading - Simple Options
Trading - Complex Options
Trading - Option Rolling
Touch ID
Watch List Syncing
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Charting - After Hours
Charting - Study Customizations
Customizable Homescreen
Heatmapping
Stream Live TV
Barcode Lookup
Retail Locations
Member FDIC
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Under $24,999.99
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Has Education - Stocks
Has Education - ETFs
Has Education - Options
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Has Education - Fixed Income
Has Education - Retirement
Videos
Client Webinars (Monthly Avg)
Client Webinars (Archived)
Live Seminars
Progress Tracking
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Client Magazine
Charles Schwab
Special Offer Earn 500 commission-free online trades at Schwab. Open an account
Charles Schwab Review
 
4.5
4
4.5
4.5
5
4.5
4
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
 
$1,000.00
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$76.00
$25.00
$0.00
$50.00
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
4
Yes
No
244
5509
5509
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
108
Yes
Yes
15
41
No
Yes
6
No
34
5
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
8
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
 
335
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
8.58%
8.08%
7.13%
7.08%
6.83%
6.25%
6.58%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
50
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Merrill Edge
Special Offer Invest in a new account and get up to $600 - Learn More
Merrill Edge Review
 
4.5
4
3
4
4.5
4.5
4
4.5
4.5
3.5
5
 
$0.00
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$19.95
$29.95
$0.00
$49.95
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
2
No
No
0
1350
3688
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
216
Yes
Yes
22
73
No
Yes
5
No
62
5
Yes
No
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
3
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
 
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
 
4480
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
 
8.25%
8.50%
8.50%
7.13%
7.13%
6.25%
6.88%
 
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
0
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes

All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/20/18 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. The StockBrokers.com staff is constantly working with its online broker representatives to obtain the latest pricing data. If you believe any data listed above is inaccurate, please contact us using the link at the bottom of this page. 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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