Investors seeking convenience can combine banking and brokerage to trade stocks and manage a checking account all under one roof. With features such as FDIC insurance, universal login, and mobile bill pay, the full-service brokerage industry has done a terrific job adding banking services to their offerings.
To determine which online broker is the best for banking, we dove in head first and explored all the potential services: checking accounts, savings accounts, debit cards, credit cards, and mortgages. We then looked at specialty offerings such as mobile check deposit, debit card ATM fee reimbursement, and no-fee banking. Lastly, the total number of branch offices was factored in, as access to local branch offices is just as important as managing an account online.
Best Brokers for Banking
Here's a breakdown of the best online brokers that offer banking services.
- Merrill Edge - Bank of America
- Chase You Invest Trade - Chase Bank
- Ally Invest - Ally Bank
- Charles Schwab - Schwab Bank
- Fidelity - Fidelity
Bank of America - Open Account
Current Offer: Invest in a new account and get up to $600.
Merrill Edge is part of Bank of America. When it comes to banking and brokerage, Merrill Edge takes the crown thanks to seamless universal account management and the Preferred Rewards program. Full online banking services are offered through Bank of America, which includes $250,000 in FDIC-insured account protection. Read full review
From basic checking and savings accounts to home mortgages and credit cards, Chase Bank is a household name brand in the United States. JP Morgan Chase holds assets of well over $2 trillion and operates in more than 100 countries. Compared to Bank of America Merrill Edge, Chase goes toe to toe. Both banks offer FDIC-insured banking through 5,000+ branch offices across the United States. Read full review
Among the bank and brokerage combinations, Ally shines and competes with the best in the industry. All your bank and brokerage Ally accounts are managed under one login. Transferring money between accounts is also a breeze. Additionally, Ally Bank is a registered member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures bank deposits up to $250,000. Read full review
Schwab Bank - Open Account
Current Offer: $0 online stock, ETF, and options commissions at Schwab.
Among the bank and brokerage combinations in our annual review, Charles Schwab offers a full suite of services and competes with the best in the industry. With 357 service locations, Charles Schwab is a registered member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures bank deposits up to $250,000. Read full review
Fidelity - Open Account
Trade Commission-Free: No commissions to trade online U.S. stocks, ETFs, and options.1
When it comes to banking services, Fidelity truly embraces no-fee banking, offering 197 retail service centers and delivering a reliable experience. The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature credit card offers 2% cashback on all purchases, with rewards deposited directly into any of your Fidelity accounts. Read full review
Can I buy stocks through my bank?
Banks do not offer the ability to buy and sell shares in your checking or savings account. However, most banks offer online trading through their brokerage arm, which means simply opening a second account to trade stocks. For example, Bank of America offers online trading through its discount broker, Merrill Edge. Similarly, JP Morgan Chase offers online trading through Chase You Invest Trade.
Should I invest through my bank?
The primary advantage of maintaining an online brokerage account alongside your traditional bank account is convenience. With all your accounts under one roof, you can easily transfer money in real-time and take advantage of features like universal login. Some banks, such as Merrill Edge (Bank of America), also offer customer rewards for maintaining multiple accounts.
What is the difference between a brokerage account and a cash management account?
Cash management is a feature provided in addition to a traditional brokerage account. Cash management enables you to use a debit card to spend non-invested cash in your brokerage account. Your debit card can be used for all everyday purchases such as groceries, dining, entertainment, and leisure.
What banks offer brokerage accounts?
The largest banks in the United States all offer online brokerage accounts. For example, Bank of America offers online trading through Merrill Edge, JP Morgan Chase offers online trading through Chase You Invest Trade, and Ally offers online investments through Ally Invest.
Banking Features Comparison
|Chase You Invest Trade||Ally Invest||
|No Fee Banking||No||No||Yes||Yes|
Broker Banking Features List
On a feature by feature basis, our top five finishers this year offer a combination of the following features to their banking customers.
|Member FDIC||Member of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) - fdic.gov.|
|Checking Accounts||Offers formal checking accounts and checking services. To qualify, checking services must be marketed on the website as a client service. Basic checking through the clearing firm does not count.|
|Savings Accounts||Offers savings accounts.|
|Debit Cards||Offers debit cards as part of a formal banking service.|
|Credit Cards||Offers credit cards.|
|Mortgage Loans||Offers mortgage loans.|
|Mobile Check Deposit||Check deposits can be made through the mobile app.|
|Online Bill Pay||Ability for clients to add and pay bills using the website.|
|Mobile Bill Pay||Ability for clients to add and pay bills using the mobile app.|
|ATM Fee Reimbursement||Are debit card ATM fees reimbursed?|
|No Fee Banking||Offers no fee banking. Requirements: no minimum balance required, no monthly maintenance fees, no debit card fees, no annual fees.|
|Retail Locations||Total retail locations. Company HQ or similar corporate offices do not count. Must be a formally branded, publicly accessible branch office marketed on the public website.|
Explore our other online trading guides:
- Best Online Brokers for 2020
- Best Online Brokers for Beginners 2020
- Best Brokers for Day Trading 2020
- Best Brokers for Penny Stocks 2020
- Compare Online Brokers
For the StockBrokers.com tenth annual best online brokers review published in January 2020, a total of 3,540 data points were collected over six months and used to score brokers. This makes StockBrokers.com home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.
Participation is required to be included. Each broker completed an in-depth data profile and provided executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting. Our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than .001% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Still aren't sure which online broker to choose? Email us a question! Whether you are a beginner investor learning the ropes or a professional trader, we are here to help. Email us your online broker specific question and we will respond within one business day.