Charles Schwab vs TradeStation Comparison
Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. We spend hundreds of hours each year testing the platforms, mobile apps, trading tools and general ease of use among online brokerages, as well as comparing commissions and fees, to find the best online broker.
Though many U.S. brokers offer basic trading features, such as an app, charting tools, stock research and educational content, the depth of those features can vary widely. Let's compare Charles Schwab vs TradeStation.
Is Charles Schwab or TradeStation better for beginners?
In stock trading, the more you know, the better you’ll do. Taking advantage of resources like articles, webinars, videos and interactive elements is a great way to shorten the learning curve. In our analysis, we examine the availability of several different types of educational materials.
For 2023, our review finds that Charles Schwab offers more comprehensive new investor education for beginning investors than TradeStation. Charles Schwab offers investors access to Videos, Education (Stocks), Education (ETFs), Education (Options), Education (Mutual Funds), Education (Bonds) and Education (Retirement), while TradeStation offers investors access to Paper Trading, Videos, Education (Stocks) and Education (Options).
What about Charles Schwab vs TradeStation pricing?
Charles Schwab and TradeStation charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $0.00. Option contracts are pricier at Charles Schwab, costing $0.65 per contract versus $0.60 per contract at TradeStation. For futures, Charles Schwab charges $2.25 per contract and TradeStation charges $1.50 per contract. For a deeper dive, see our best brokers for free stock trading guide.
Does Charles Schwab or TradeStation offer a wider range of investment options?
Looking at a full range of investment options, including order types and international trading, our research has found that Charles Schwab offers a more comprehensive offering than TradeStation. Charles Schwab ranks #2 out of 18 brokers for our Investment Options category, while TradeStation ranks #5.
Charles Schwab offers investors access to Stock Trading, Fractional Shares, Options Trading, OTC Stocks, Mutual Funds, Futures Trading and Advisor Services, while TradeStation offers investors access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, OTC Stocks, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Neither have Forex Trading Looking at Mutual Funds, TradeStation trails Charles Schwab in its offering of no transaction fee (NTF) mutual funds, with Charles Schwab offering 6085 and TradeStation offering 0.
Do Charles Schwab and TradeStation offer cryptocurrency?
In our analysis of top U.S. brokerages, we research whether each broker offers the ability to trade cash cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin and ethereum. Though crypto has risen steadily in popularity, availability still varies from broker to broker. Our review finds that neither Charles Schwab and TradeStation offer crypto trading.
Which trading platform is better: Charles Schwab or TradeStation?
To compare the day trading platforms of Charles Schwab and TradeStation, we focused on trading tools and functionality across both web and desktop-based platforms. Popular day trading platform tools include streaming real-time quotes, stock alerts, trading hotkeys, direct market routing, streaming time and sales, customizable watch lists, backtesting, and fully functional charting packages, among many others. For day trading, Charles Schwab offers a better experience.
Does Charles Schwab or TradeStation offer a better stock trading app?
After testing 25 features across the stock trading apps of Charles Schwab and TradeStation, we found Charles Schwab to be better overall. The best stock market apps are easy to use, have excellent design, and deliver a fully featured online trading experience. Charles Schwab ranks #4 out of 18 brokers, while TradeStation ranks #8.
Charles Schwab Trading App Gallery
TradeStation Trading App Gallery
Which broker is better for researching stocks?
For research, Charles Schwab offers superior market research than TradeStation. Charles Schwab ranks #N/A and TradeStation ranks #10.
Over the years, we've found that the best brokers provide rich market commentary, a variety of third-party research reports, and thorough quote screens that are not just easy to navigate, but that also include a comprehensive selection of fundamental data. Robust stock, ETFs, and mutual fund screeners are also must-haves for trade idea generation.
How do Charles Schwab and TradeStation compare in terms of minimum deposit required?
Charles Schwab requires a minimum deposit of $0.00, while TradeStation requires a minimum deposit of $0.00. From our testing, we found that SoFi is the only broker that requires a minimum deposit.
Which broker offers better margin rates for accounts under $25,000?
Charles Schwab charges 13.575% for accounts under $25,000 while TradeStation charges a margin rate of 13.5%. The industry average of the 18 brokers we track is 9%.
Does Charles Schwab offer fractional shares? Does TradeStation?
Fractional shares are not offered by either broker. Our research has found that 41% of brokers offer fractional shares investing. Fractional shares allow traders to buy a part of a whole share of stock. For example, if Amazon is trading at $1,000, you could buy half a share for $500.
Can you trade penny stocks with Charles Schwab or TradeStation?
Both Charles Schwab and TradeStation allow you to trade penny stocks. Charles Schwab charges $6.95 per trade while TradeStation charges $0.00. Penny stocks are companies whose shares trade for under $5 and are listed over the counter (OTC). For brokers that do offer penny stock trades, the average commission is $3.
Does either broker offer banking?
Online banking can be a benefit for investors, and some brokerages do provide banking services to customers. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are offered by Charles Schwab while TradeStation offers neither of these.
Which broker offers stronger customer service?
StockBrokers.com partners with customer experience research group Confero to conduct phone tests from locations across the United States to thoroughly evaluate the quality and speed of brokerage customer service. (Read more about How We Test.) Here are the results of our current testing.
Charles Schwab was rated 2nd out of 14 brokers, with an overall score of 8.9 out of 10.
TradeStation was rated 10th out of 14 brokers, with an overall score of 7.5 out of 10.
Is Charles Schwab good?
As the granddaddy of discount brokers, Charles Schwab understands how to deliver value to its customers, providing a comprehensive roster of tools, advice and actionable ideas at reasonable cost.
In the 2023 StockBrokers.com Annual Review, Charles Schwab was ranked No. 1 for Research and was among Best in Class for Commissions & Fees, Platforms & Tools, Investment Options, Ease of Use, Beginners, Customer Service, IRA Accounts, and Overall.
Is TradeStation good?
TradeStation supports casual traders through its web-based platform and active traders through its desktop platform. We like the web-based platform and mobile app, but the flagship desktop platform could use a refresh. TradeStation ranked among Best in Class in the Commissions and Fees and Investment Options categories in our 2023 Annual Review of online stockbrokers.
In the 2023 StockBrokers.com Annual Review, TradeStation ranked among Best in Class for Commission & Fees, Investment Options, Active Trading, Futures Trading, and Penny Stocks. TradeStation also won one StockBrokers.com Industry Award: No. 1 for Crypto Technology.
Charles Schwab vs TradeStation Winner
Overall winner: Charles Schwab
Popular broker reviews
Popular trading guides