Using data from the StockBrokers.com 2017 Broker Rankings
, we can compare Firstrade vs Interactive Brokers to determine which broker is better for you. Our database includes thousands of data points on everything from research to trading tools. Let's take a closer look at Firstrade and Interactive Brokers.
First we will break down the commission charges of both brokers for placing stock and options trades. Firstrade charges more than Interactive Brokers for placing regular stock trades ($4.95 and $0.00 (the broker charges a per share rate instead), respectively). For options trading, Firstrade has a base fee of $4.95, and Interactive Brokers a base fee of $0.00. At a difference of $0.05 per contract, Firstrade's per contract rate of $0.65 is less than Interactive Brokers which charges $0.70. Note that flat rate trading is not available everywhere though, so it is important to read the complete commission notes for each broker to know the full breakdown (go to any stock broker review
page, then scroll down to the "Commission Notes" section).
Trading fees aside, having access to trade what you want is also an important consideration. Interactive Brokers provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Firstrade gives clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Firstrade offers its clients access to 12191 different mutual funds while Interactive Brokers has 8026 available funds, a difference of 4,165.00. And, commission free ETFs deserve a mention, with Interactive Brokers having the upper hand thanks to its 33 available ETFs compared to Firstrade's offering of 12.
Finally, by looking at the most popular features and offerings of each broker, we can really see the differences between the two. Interactive Brokers makes virtual trading available to clients, while Firstrade does not. For mobile trading, Firstrade gives clients access to an iPhone App and Android App while Interactive Brokers has an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many clients, and multiple brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Firstrade while Interactive Brokers offers none of these. All things considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and trading via smartphone, Interactive Brokers posted awards for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2014, 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.