StockBrokers.com is committed to the highest ethical standards and reviews services independently. Advertiser Disclosure

Charles Schwab vs Merrill Edge 2019

Is Charles Schwab better than Merrill Edge? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, Charles Schwab (84.06%) is better than Merrill Edge (77.93%).

Charles Schwab

Best for IRA accounts - Open Account
Special Offer: $0 online stock, ETF, and options commissions at Schwab.

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

Merrill Edge

Best Rewards Program - Open Account
Special Offer: Invest in a new account and get up to $600.

Merrill Edge ($2.95 per trade) was awarded #1 for Banking Services and #1 Overall Client Experience, thanks to its parent company, Bank of America (BofA). Not limited to just BofA customers, Merrill Edge's Preferred Rewards program is excellent, offering unlimited $0 stock trades among other perks such as bonus rewards on credit cards and discounted mortgage rates.Read full review.

Overall Rating

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Overall 4 4
Charles Schwab Review Merrill Edge Review

Trading Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trade Fee (per trade) $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Base Fee $0.00 $0.00
Options Per Contract Fee $0.65 $0.65
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $49.95 $19.95
Broker Assisted Trades Fee $25.00 $29.95
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Margin Rates

Feature Charles Schwab
Open Account
Merrill Edge
Open Account
Under $24,999.99 9.33% 10.13%
$25,000.00 to $49,999.99 8.83% 9.00%
$50,000.00 to $99,999.99 7.88% 9.00%
$100,000.00 to $249,999.99 7.83% 7.63%
$250,000.00 to $499,999.99 7.58% 7.63%
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99 6.08% 7.38%
Above $1,000,000.00 5.75% 6.75%
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Account Fees

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $50.00 $49.95
Returned ACH Fee $25.00 $30.00
Returned Wire Fee $25.00 N/A
Stock Certificate Processing Fee $100.00 $500.00
Stock Certificate Delivery Fee N/A N/A
Paper Statement Fee $0.00 $5.00
Paper Confirmation Fee $0.00 $3.00
Domestic Wire Fee $25.00 $24.95
International Wire Fee $25.00 $24.95
Commissions & Fees 4.5 4

Investment Options

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Stock Trading
Yes Yes
OTCBB / Pink Sheets
Yes Yes
Options Trading
Yes Yes
Complex Options Max Legs
4 2
Futures Trading
Yes No
Forex Trading
No No
Commission-Free ETFs all 0
Mutual Funds (No Load)
7291 2471
Mutual Funds (Total)
9978 3709
Bonds (US Treasury)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Corporate)
Yes Yes
Bonds (Municipal)
Yes Yes
Advisor Services
Yes Yes
International Trading
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Order Types

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
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 No
Order Type - MultiContingent
Yes No
Order Type - OCO
Yes No
Order Type - OTO
Yes No
Order Type - OTOCO
Yes No
Offering of Investments 4.5 3
Winner check_circle

Trading Platforms

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Desktop Platform (Windows)
Yes Yes
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Yes Yes
Web Platform
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Trade Journal
Yes No
Watch Lists - Total Fields
125 285
Heat Mapping
Yes Yes
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Charting Features

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Charting - Trade Off Chart
Yes Yes
Charting - Indicators / Studies
41 100
Charting - Drawing Tools
15 22
Charting - Historical Trades
No Yes
Charting - Corporate Events
Yes Yes
Charting - Automated Analysis
Yes Yes
Charting - Save Profiles
Yes Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
7 8
Charting - Custom Studies
No No
Platforms & Tools 4.5 4
Winner check_circle

Day Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Yes Yes
Streaming Time & Sales
Yes Yes
Streaming TV
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Stocks
Yes No
Direct Market Routing - Options
No No
Ladder Trading
No 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
No No
Order Liquidity Rebates
No No
Winner check_circle

Mobile Trading Apps

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
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 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 Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Watch List Syncing
Yes Yes
Stock Alerts
No Yes
Charting - After Hours
No Yes
Charting - Drawing
No Yes
Charting - Study Customizations
Yes Yes
Heatmapping
Yes Yes
Stream Live TV
Yes No
Barcode Lookup
No No
Mobile Trading 4 4.5
Winner check_circle

Research Overview

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
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
Research 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Stock Research

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
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 No
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Yes Yes
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Yes Yes
Stock Research - News
Yes Yes
Stock Research - ESG
No Yes
Research 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

ETF Research

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
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
Research 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Mutual Fund Research

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
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
Research 5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Options Trading

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Option Chains - Streaming
Yes Yes
Option Chains - Total Columns
44 69
Option Chains - Greeks
5 5
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis
Yes Yes
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Yes No
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
Winner check_circle

Beginners

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Has Education - Stocks
Yes Yes
Has Education - ETFs
Yes Yes
Has Education - Options
Yes Yes
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Yes Yes
Has Education - Fixed Income
Yes Yes
Has Education - Retirement
Yes Yes
Paper Trading
No No
Videos
Yes Yes
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
50 0
Webinars (Archived)
Yes No
Live Seminars
Yes Yes
Progress Tracking
No Yes
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
No Yes
Investor Magazine
Yes Yes
Education 4.5 4.5
Winner check_circle

Banking

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Retail Locations
357 4300
Member FDIC
Yes Yes
Checking Accounts
Yes Yes
Savings Accounts
Yes Yes
Credit Cards
Yes Yes
Debit Cards
Yes Yes
Mortgage Loans
Yes Yes
No Fee Banking
Yes No
Banking 4.5 5
Winner check_circle

Overall

Feature Charles Schwab Merrill Edge
Charles Schwab Review Merrill Edge Review
Overall 4 4
Winner check_circle

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 Merrill Edge. Is Charles Schwab or Merrill Edge a better online broker?

First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Merrill Edge charges $2.95 per stock trade which is $2.95 more than Charles Schwab which charges customers $0 per trade. Looking at trading options, Charles Schwab's base fee is $0 while Merrill Edge's is $2.95. Option contracts run $0.65 a piece 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. Merrill Edge offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Charles Schwab offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Charles Schwab offers its clients access to 5846 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3709 available funds, a difference of 2,137.

Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. 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. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Both Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge offer Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Charles Schwab and Merrill Edge, Charles Schwab is the winner.

Charles Schwab Review
Merrill Edge 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.

arrow_drop_upBack to top