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 Firstrade vs Interactive Brokers. Is Firstrade or Interactive Brokers a better online broker?
First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Firstrade charges $2.95 per stock trade which is $2.95 more than Interactive Brokers which charges customers $0 (the broker charges a per share rate instead) per trade. With options, the base fees charged are $2.95 (Firstrade) and $0 (Interactive Brokers). Option contracts are pricier at Interactive Brokers, costing $0.70 versus $0.50 at Firstrade. 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. Interactive Brokers provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Firstrade provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. When it comes to mutual funds, Firstrade boasts an offering of 12603 mutual funds compared to Interactive Brokers's 10051 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, with Interactive Brokers falling behind Firstrade, offering 45 commission free ETFs compared to Firstrade's 703.
Last but not least, by breaking down important features, tools, etc that each broker offers, we can really help to separate the two. Interactive Brokers makes virtual trading available to clients, while Firstrade does not. For mobile trading, Both Firstrade and Interactive Brokers 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 and Debit Cards are available to clients of Firstrade while Interactive Brokers offers customers Debit Cards. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Interactive Brokers finished with awards Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Firstrade came up with none of these.
Overall, Interactive Brokers comes out on top with 4.50 stars over Firstrade's 4.00 stars.