Using data from our latest annual broker review which tested more than a dozen different online brokers
over six months, we can compare Merrill Edge vs OptionsHouse 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 charges $6.95 per stock trade which is $2.00 more than OptionsHouse which charges customers $4.95 per trade. For options trading, Merrill Edge has a base fee of $6.95, and OptionsHouse a base fee of $4.95. OptionsHouse's per contract rate of $0.50 is less than Merrill Edge which charges $0.75. 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. OptionsHouse offers clients Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Merrill Edge offers Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Merrill Edge trails OptionsHouse by 8,587 total mutual funds, with OptionsHouse offering 12275 and Merrill Edge offering 3688. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, with OptionsHouse having the upper hand thanks to its 5 available commission free ETFs compared to Merrill Edge's offering of 0.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. OptionsHouse has virtual trading, Merrill Edge doesn't. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge and OptionsHouse 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, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans are offered by Merrill Edge while OptionsHouse offers none of these. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, OptionsHouse posted awards Best in Class - Mobile Trading in 2018, while Merrill Edge found itself with none of these.
Overall, Merrill Edge boasts 4.50 stars versus OptionsHouse's 4.00 stars.