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, with its regular stock trades costing $6.95, is more expensive than OptionsHouse's rate of $4.95 per trade. Looking at trading options, OptionsHouse's base fee is $4.95 while Merrill Edge's is $6.95. Each option contract then costs $0.75 at Merrill Edge and $0.50 at OptionsHouse. 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 supports Stock Trading, Options Trading, Mutual Funds and Futures Trading while Merrill Edge supports Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, OptionsHouse offers its clients access to 12275 different mutual funds while Merrill Edge has 3688 available funds, a difference of 8,587. 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 makes virtual trading available to clients, while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge along with OptionsHouse both support the iPhone App, iPad App and Android App. Online banking is also used by many customers, and multiple full-service brokerages provide these services. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans at Merrill Edge while customers at OptionsHouse can have 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 Best in Class - Research.
Overall, both Merrill Edge and OptionsHouse hold a 4.00 star rating.