Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers
over six months, we can compare E*TRADE 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. E*TRADE and Merrill Edge charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $6.95. With options, the base fee is $6.95 for both E*TRADE and Merrill Edge. Option contracts at both of the brokerages are the same at $0.75 each. 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 E*TRADE supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, E*TRADE boasts an offering of 8998 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3688 available funds. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, E*TRADE offers 270 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 broker offers virtual trading. For mobile trading, Both E*TRADE 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 and Debit Cards are offered by E*TRADE while Merrill Edge offers Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, E*TRADE was rated Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Merrill Edge was rated none of these.
Overall, both E*TRADE and Merrill Edge hold a 4.50 star rating.