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 Scottrade 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 and Scottrade charge the same amount for regular stock trades, $6.95. With options, the base fee is $6.95 for both Merrill Edge and Scottrade. Scottrade's per contract rate of $0.70 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. Both Merrill Edge and Scottrade support Stock Trading, Options Trading and Mutual Funds. As far as mutual funds go, Scottrade boasts an offering of 13599 mutual funds compared to Merrill Edge's 3688 available funds. And, commission free ETFs deserve a comparison, which is a wash in this comparison as both Merrill Edge and Scottrade offer 0 commission free ETFs.
Finally, by comparing the each broker's website and platform features, we can surface interesting differences. Scottrade offers virtual trading while Merrill Edge does not. For mobile trading, Merrill Edge and Scottrade 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. Clients can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts and Debit Cards at Scottrade while customers at Merrill Edge can have Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Mortgage Loans. All factors considered, when it comes to platform tools, research, and mobile trading, both Merrill Edge and Scottrade found themselves without awards for Best in Class - Platforms & Tools, Best in Class - Research and Best in Class - Mobile Trading.
Overall, Merrill Edge takes the upper hand with 4.50 stars over Scottrade's 4.00 stars.