Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers over six months, we can compare Interactive Brokers vs Merrill Edge 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. 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. Option contracts are pricier at Merrill Edge, costing $0.75 versus $0.70 at Interactive Brokers. 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. Merrill Edge offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Interactive Brokers offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. As far as mutual funds go, Interactive Brokers offers its clients access to 11000 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3709 available funds, a difference of 7,291.
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 Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Checking Accounts and Debit Cards are offered by Interactive Brokers while Merrill Edge offers 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