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TD Ameritrade vs Charles Schwab Review

Blain Reinkensmeyer

By Blain Reinkensmeyer / May 20th, 2019

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Is Charles Schwab better than TD Ameritrade? Based on over 4,000 data points from our 2019 annual broker review, TD Ameritrade (86.98%) is better than Charles Schwab (84.06%). The extra cost of trading with TD Ameritrade is worth every cent – the brokerage delivers fantastic platforms, research, mobile apps, education, and customer service. This outstanding all-round experience makes TD Ameritrade our No. 1 overall broker in 2019.

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Overall

Trading Fees

Minimum Deposit
Stock Trade Fee (per trade)
Options Base Fee
Options Per Contract Fee
Mutual Fund Trade Fee
Broker Assisted Trades Fee
IRA Annual Fee
IRA Closure Fee
Commissions & Fees
Winner

Margin Rates

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
$500,000.00 to $999,999.99
Above $1,000,000.00
Commissions & Fees
Winner

Trading Platforms

Desktop Platform (Windows)
Desktop Platform (Mac)
Web Platform
Paper Trading
Trade Journal
Watch Lists - Total Fields
Two-Factor Authentication Login
Heat Mapping
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Charting Features

Charting - Trade Off Chart
Charting - Indicators / Studies
Charting - Drawing Tools
Charting - Historical Trades
Charting - Corporate Events
Charting - Automated Analysis
Charting - Save Profiles
Charting - Study Customizations
Charting - Custom Studies
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Day Trading

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
Short Locator
Client Liquidity Rebates
Winner

Mobile Trading

iPhone App
Android 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 / Face ID
Watch List Syncing
Stock Alerts - Basic Fields
Stock Alerts - Advanced Fields
Charting - After Hours
Charting - Drawing
Charting - Study Customizations
Customizable Homescreen
Heatmapping
Stream Live TV
Barcode Lookup
Mobile Trading
Winner

Research Overview

Research - Stocks
Research - ETFs
Research - Mutual Funds
Research - Pink Sheets / OTCBB
Research - Fixed Income
Research - Futures
Research - Forex
Screener - Stocks
Screener - ETFs
Screener - Mutual Funds
Screener - Options
Screener - Bonds
Misc - Portfolio Builder
Misc - Portfolio Allocation
Research
Winner

Stock Research

Stock Research - Reports
Stock Research - Earnings
Stock Research - Insiders
Stock Research - Metric Comp
Stock Research - SEC Filings
Stock Research - Social
Stock Research - Balance Sheet
Stock Research - Cash Flows
Stock Research - News
Stock Research - ESG
Research
Winner

Fund Research

ETFs - Strategy Overview
ETFs - Top 10 Holdings
ETFs - Sector Exposure
ETFs - Risk Analysis
ETFs - Performance Analysis
ETFs - Ratings
ETFs - Morningstar StyleMap
ETFs - Reports
Mutual Funds - Strategy Overview
Mutual Funds - Prospectus
Mutual Funds - Reports
Mutual Funds - Fees Breakdown
Mutual Funds - Top 10 Holdings
Mutual Funds - Asset Allocation
Mutual Funds - Sector Allocation
Mutual Funds - Country Allocation
Mutual Funds - StyleMap
Mutual Funds - 3rd Party Ratings
Research
Winner

Options Trading

Option Chains - Streaming
Option Chains - Total Columns
Option Chains - Greeks
Option Chains - Quick Analysis
Option Analysis - P&L Charts
Option Probability Analysis
Option Probability Analysis Adv
Option Positions - Greeks
Option Positions - Adv Analysis
Option Positions - Rolling
Option Positions - Grouping
Platforms & Tools
Winner

Investments

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
Offering of Investments
Winner

Order Types

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
Offering of Investments
Winner

Beginners

Has Education - Stocks
Has Education - ETFs
Has Education - Options
Has Education - Mutual Funds
Has Education - Fixed Income
Has Education - Retirement
Paper Trading
Videos
Webinars (Monthly Avg)
Webinars (Archived)
Live Seminars
Progress Tracking
Interactive Learning - Quizzes
Investor Magazine
Education
Winner

Banking

Retail Locations
Member FDIC
Checking Accounts
Savings Accounts
Credit Cards
Debit Cards
Mortgage Loans
No Fee Banking
Banking
Winner

Overall

Overall
Winner
Exclusive Offer Trade free for 90 days + get up to $600 Learn More
 
$0.00
$6.95
$6.95
$0.75
$49.99
$44.99
$0.00
$0.00
3.5
 
10.25%
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9.00%
8.75%
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Special Offer $4.95 online equity trades + $0.65 per options contract Open Account
 
$0.00
$4.95
$4.95
$0.65
$49.95
$25.00
$0.00
$50.00
3.5
check_circle
 
9.58%
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357
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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 TD Ameritrade. Is Charles Schwab or TD Ameritrade a better online broker?

First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. TD Ameritrade charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $2.00 more than Charles Schwab which charges customers $4.95 per trade. For options trading, TD Ameritrade has a base fee of $6.95, and Charles Schwab a base fee of $4.95. Option contracts are pricier at TD Ameritrade, costing $0.75 versus $0.65 at Charles Schwab. 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. TD Ameritrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds, Forex Trading and Futures Trading while Charles Schwab supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, TD Ameritrade boasts an offering of 12418 mutual funds compared to Charles Schwab's 5846 available funds.

Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. TD Ameritrade makes virtual trading available to clients, while Charles Schwab does not. For mobile trading, Both Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade offer clients access to an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts, Debit Cards and Credit Cards are available to clients of TD Ameritrade while Charles Schwab offers customers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.

Overall, between Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade, TD Ameritrade is the winner.

Charles Schwab Review
TD Ameritrade 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. 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.

TD Ameritrade, Inc. and StockBrokers.com are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s services and products. Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading privileges subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options. Offer valid for one new Individual, Joint or IRA TD Ameritrade account opened by 9/30/2019 and funded within 60 calendar days of account opening with $3,000 or more. To receive $100 bonus, account must be funded with $25,000-$99,999. To receive $300 bonus, account must be funded with $100,000-$249,999. To receive $600 bonus, account must be funded with $250,000 or more. Offer is not valid on tax-exempt trusts, 401k accounts, Keogh plans, Profit Sharing Plan, or Money Purchase Plan. Offer is not transferable and not valid with internal transfers, accounts managed by TD Ameritrade Investment Management, LLC, TD Ameritrade Institutional accounts, and current TD Ameritrade accounts or with other offers. Qualified commission-free Internet equity, ETF or options orders will be limited to a maximum of 250 and must execute within 90 calendar days of account funding. No credit will be given for unexecuted trades. Contract, exercise, and assignment fees still apply. Limit one offer per client. Account value of the qualifying account must remain equal to, or greater than, the value after the net deposit was made (minus any losses due to trading or market volatility or margin debit balances) for 12 months, or TD Ameritrade may charge the account for the cost of the offer at its sole discretion. TD Ameritrade reserves the right to restrict or revoke this offer at any time. This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business. Please allow 3-5 business days for any cash deposits to post to account. Taxes related to TD Ameritrade offers are your responsibility. Retail values totaling $600 or more during the calendar year will be included in your consolidated Form 1099. Please consult a legal or tax advisor for the most recent changes to the U.S. tax code and for rollover eligibility rules. (Offer Code 264) TD Ameritrade Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. © 2019 TD Ameritrade.

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