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, 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. Looking at trading options, Interactive Brokers's base fee is $0 while Merrill Edge's is $6.95. 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 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. When it comes to mutual funds, Interactive Brokers offers its clients access to 10051 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3688 available funds, a difference of 6,363. 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 offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Both Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge offer clients access to an iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Furthermore, some investors like to bank online, and multiple brokerages provide these services to clients. Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are available to clients of Merrill Edge while Interactive Brokers offers customers Debit Cards. On the whole, when it comes to tools, research, and mobile trading, Interactive Brokers finished with awards Best in Class - Mobile Trading, while Merrill Edge came up with none of these.
Overall, both Interactive Brokers and Merrill Edge hold a 4.50 star rating.