Interactive Brokers vs Merrill Edge Review
The StockBrokers.com annual review (9 years running) takes six months to complete and produces over 30,000 words of research each year. Here's how we test.
Is Interactive Brokers better than Merrill Edge? After scoring brokers on over 4,000 data points for our 2019 review, Interactive Brokers (80.99%) is better than Merrill Edge (77.93%). While Interactive Brokers is not suitable for casual investors, it leads the industry in international trading and low-cost commissions desired by professional traders.
To start this comparison, first, we will take a look at the online broker commission rates for placing regular stock and options trades. Merrill Edge, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than Interactive Brokers's rate of $0 (the broker charges a per share rate instead) per trade. For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and Interactive Brokers a base fee of $0. Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0.70 at Interactive Brokers. 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. Merrill Edge provides its clients with Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Interactive Brokers provides clients access to Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. Looking at mutual funds, Interactive Brokers boasts an offering of 11000 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3709 available funds.
Trading access aside, by comparing popular features and functionality, we can break down relevant differences between both brokers. Interactive Brokers makes virtual trading available to clients, while Merrill Edge does not. Taking a look at mobile trading, Interactive Brokers along with Merrill Edge both support the 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts and Debit Cards at Interactive Brokers while customers at Merrill Edge can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans.
Overall, between Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge, Interactive Brokers is the winner.
Interactive Brokers Review
Merrill Edge Review
All pricing data was obtained from a published web site as of 02/18/2019 and is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. For stock trade rates, advertised pricing is for a standard order size of 500 shares of stock priced at $30 per share. For options orders, an options regulatory fee per contract may apply.