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 Interactive Brokers vs Merrill Edge. Is Interactive Brokers or Merrill Edge a better online broker?
First, we will make a comparison of the stock and option trading fees for trading with both brokers. Merrill Edge charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $6.95 more than Interactive Brokers which charges customers $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. 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. Merrill Edge offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds while Interactive Brokers offers Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading. When it comes to mutual funds, Interactive Brokers boasts an offering of 10051 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3688 available funds. Commission free ETFs can also be a nice plus, with Merrill Edge falling behind Interactive Brokers, offering 0 commission free ETFs compared to Interactive Brokers's 45.
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 Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge both have a iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at Interactive Brokers can have Debit Cards. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Interactive Brokers was rated Best in Class - Platforms & Tools and Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Merrill Edge was rated Best in Class - Research.
Overall, both Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge are rated 4.00 stars.