Comparing brokers side by side is no easy task. For our annual broker review, we assess over a dozen brokers on hundreds of different variables to find the best online broker
. Yielding a database of over 5,000 data points, let's compare Firstrade vs Interactive Brokers.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Firstrade, with its regular stock trades costing $2.95, is more expensive than Interactive Brokers's rate of $0 (the broker charges a per share rate instead) per trade. For options trading, Firstrade has a base fee of $2.95, and Interactive Brokers a base fee of $0. Each option contract then costs $0.70 at Interactive Brokers and $0.50 at Firstrade. It's important to note that not all brokers charge a flat fee per trade. Thus, it is important to read the full commission notes for each broker, which we include with each online broker review
Next to commission rates, being able to trade what you want is important. Interactive Brokers offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Firstrade offers Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. Looking at mutual funds, Firstrade boasts an offering of 12603 mutual funds compared to Interactive Brokers's 10051 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be valuable for customers, Interactive Brokers offers 45 commission free ETFs versus Firstrade's total of 12.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Interactive Brokers has virtual trading, Firstrade doesn't. Taking a look at mobile trading, Firstrade and Interactive Brokers both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Not to be left out, online banking is also a nice benefit for many investors, and some brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Firstrade while Interactive Brokers offers Debit Cards. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Interactive Brokers posted awards Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2018, while Firstrade found itself with none of these.
Overall, Interactive Brokers takes the upper hand with 4.00 stars over Firstrade's 3.50 stars.