Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers
over six months, we can compare Firstrade vs Interactive Brokers 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. Firstrade and Interactive Brokers have equal fees for trading stocks (equities), $0 per trade. Looking at options, the base fees charged are the same for both brokers, $0. Option contracts are pricier at Interactive Brokers, costing $0.70 versus $0 at Firstrade. 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. Interactive Brokers supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Firstrade supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Interactive Brokers trails Firstrade by 2,552 total mutual funds, with Firstrade offering 12603 and Interactive Brokers offering 10051. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with Firstrade having the upper hand thanks to its 703 available commission free ETFs compared to Interactive Brokers's offering of 45.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Interactive Brokers makes virtual trading available to clients, while Firstrade does not. For mobile trading, Firstrade along with Interactive Brokers both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Clients can have Checking Accounts and Debit Cards at Firstrade while customers at Interactive Brokers can have Debit Cards. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, Interactive Brokers was rated Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Firstrade was rated none of these.
Overall, Interactive Brokers comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Firstrade's 4.00 stars.