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Best Day Trading Platforms for 2023

October 11, 2023

The best online brokers 2023 review, our 13th annual, took three months to complete and produced over 40,000 words of research. Here's how we tested. Our editorial content is independent and unbiased; here's how we make money.

A day trade is when you buy shares of a stock, then sell the same shares before the market closes. Because day traders place far more trades than the average investor, keeping costs low is almost as important as acting in the right direction and at the right time.

Day traders demand specialized tools that provide them the information they want and the ability to act on it quickly. Having placed thousands and thousands of trades, we know firsthand that it’s crucial to choose a reliable day trading platform stocked with the trading tools you need, and every trader has their own unique demands. That’s why we go into such detail in our broker reviews.

We tested and scored 17 online brokers during our 2023 Annual Stockbroker Review. To find the best day trading platform, we focused on both web and desktop platforms and assessed each platform across dozens of features along with their design and user appeal. Naturally, we also evaluated trading costs, including commissions and order execution. We like brokers that balance easy-to-use tools with reasonable (or, even better, low) costs.

What is day trading?

Day trading is a strategy in which a trader buys and sells stocks throughout the trading day. The goal is to end each trading session with a net profit after costs. Day traders primarily trade during the opening 60 minutes (9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Eastern) and closing 30 minutes (3:30 - 4 p.m. Eastern) of each market session, which is when price volatility is highest.

Regulators require day traders to maintain higher levels of equity in their accounts than other investors. Once you trade (buying and selling the same security) four or more times within five business days, brokers are required to designate you a “pattern day trader.”

Pattern day traders need a minimum of $25,000 in equity before they can day trade, and can’t trade more than their “day trading buying power,” which is four times the maintenance margin as of the prior close. Firms can also impose stricter requirements.

Best Day Trading Platforms 2023

Here's a breakdown of the best online brokers for day trading.

Interactive Brokers
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Best for professionals

Minimum Deposit$0.00
Stock Trades$0.00
Options (Per Contract)$0.65

The Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS) trading platform offers the largest selection of order types alongside the lowest margin rates in the industry (by a landslide). Popular among institutions, including hedge funds, TWS is not beginner-friendly. Read full review

  • Astounding array of highly customizable tools
  • Allows trading in foreign markets
  • Apps are convenient for individual investors
  • Restrictive about trading permissions
  • Main platforms might feel cold
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New clients, special margin rates.

TD Ameritrade
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Excellent platform, strong trader content

Minimum Deposit$0.00
Stock Trades$0.00
Options (Per Contract)$0.65

TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim mobile app is our No. 1 trader app for 2023 and mirrors the robust functionality of its desktop counterpart. Highlights include industry-leading charting, plotting economic (FRED) data, charting social sentiment, and the standout Earnings Analysis tool. Read full review

  • Has a platform for any type of investor
  • Wealth of research
  • Excellent and thorough educational content
  • Other brokers have friendlier design and writing
  • No fractional shares or crypto
4/5 Stars 4.0 Overall

Powerful options trading platform

Minimum Deposit$0.00
Stock Trades$0.00
Options (Per Contract)$0.50 info

Tastytrade, our No. 1 desktop trading platform for 2023, is a slam dunk for options and futures traders. The platform is designed for efficient navigation and working well on one screen, and stands out for its bold design. Read full review

  • Excellent layout
  • Clear expertise with active trading
  • Great stock options pricing
  • Maverick approach makes initial learning curve a bit steep
  • Few choices for long-term investing
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Open and fund & earn up to $5,000*

4/5 Stars 4.0 Overall

Best crypto trading platform

Minimum Deposit$0.00
Stock Trades$0.00
Options (Per Contract)$0.60

Though we felt TradeStation’s flagship desktop platform could stand a refresh for 2023, it remains feature-rich and handily supports active traders. TradeStation, a longtime leader in trader technology, stood out in our testing for its dynamic web and mobile platforms. Read full review

  • Web trading platform is well thought-out
  • TradeStation Crypto is powerful and intuitive
  • User experience can be frustrating
  • No third-party fundamental research
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Trade Stocks, Options, Futures, & Crypto.

5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best order execution

Minimum Deposit$0.00
Stock Trades$0.00
Options (Per Contract)$0.65

Of the 17 brokers we tested for 2023, hands down, Fidelity offers the best order execution quality. Fidelity is the only broker to offer $0 trades and not accept payment for order flow (PFOF), resulting in price improvement above and beyond what other brokers can offer. Read full review

  • Excellent research and mobile app
  • Top-notch education
  • Decades of reliable client service
  • No dedicated mobile app for active trading
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Trade at Fidelity. 1

Interactive Brokers - Best for professionals

If you trade large positions, many different instruments and demand cutting edge tools, Interactive Brokers’ Trader Workstation is really your best choice. Though IBKR is also one of the lowest-cost brokers we cover when all costs are considered, we also found it to be one of the most restrictive about which products we were allowed to trade and the most complex platforms to navigate.

IBKR Trader Workstation (TWS) gallery

IBKR mobile app gallery

TD Ameritrade - Excellent platform, strong trader content

TD Ameritrade is our top choice for most casual traders. Its thinkorswim-branded platforms (mobile, desktop and browser) are powerful and intermediate traders will find the learning curve manageable. Beginners will appreciate the mountains of videos, webinars and articles.

TD Ameritrade was bought by Charles Schwab in 2020. All TDA clients will eventually become Schwab clients, but we expect Schwab will retain the important bits of thinkorswim.

TD Ameritrade thinkorswim desktop gallery

TD Ameritrade thinkorswim mobile app gallery

Tastytrade - Powerful options platform

Tastytrade (formerly known as tastyworks) might be the best broker you haven’t heard of. Founded by industry veterans, tastytrade is our favorite for trading options. It has powerful charting, crisp graphics, vibrant live and recorded commentary and positively savory tools and pricing for options trading. Some traders might long for more stock research and fundamental data, but they’ll have one of the most responsive platforms in the business.

Tastytrade desktop gallery

Tastytrade mobile app gallery

TradeStation - Best for crypto

TradeStation is a pioneer in desktop trading platforms, and its current iteration is no slouch and is still an excellent choice for automated trading and backtesting. The most noteworthy innovation is its web-based crypto platform, which is not only the best, but it’s the best by a mile among the brokers we tested. Many brokers tack on crypto trading as an afterthought, but TradeStation Crypto gives you depth of market and a much more visually appealing interface.

TradeStation gallery

TradeStation mobile app gallery

Fidelity - Best for order execution

Do you want to know how brokers pay for all these amazing tools without charging you commissions? One income stream many brokers rely upon is “payment for order flow,” which is a payment that exchanges and other venues pay brokers to execute trades. Payment for order flow can lead to slightly worse trade executions for clients. Fidelity does not direct trades to capture those payments. Instead, it solely focuses on best execution. If you’re a rapid-fire trader, savings from better executions can add up. Fidelity also took Best Overall in our 2023 Annual Stockbroker Review.

Fidelity desktop gallery

Fidelity mobile gallery

Webull - Honorable mention: Great for beginners

We’re going to step away from a pretty rigorous ranking process for a moment so we can call out a broker that might not be hitting our top five but still deserves serious consideration. Webull is one of our faves for beginners and it’s mighty convenient for day-to-day use. The desktop app opens quickly and the graphics and text are crisp and attractive. Bonus: it’s also generally one of the lower-priced brokers.

Webull web platform gallery

Webull mobile gallery

Other brokers tested

In addition to our top trading platforms for day trading in 2023, we reviewed 11 others: Ally Invest, Charles Schwab, eToro, E*TRADE, Firstrade, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, Merrill Edge, SoFi Invest, Tradier, Robinhood, andVanguard. To dive deeper, read our reviews.

Day trading platforms comparison

Popular day trading platform tools include ladder trading, Level 2 quotes, trading hotkeys, direct market routing, stock alerts, streaming time and sales, customizable watch lists, and backtesting, among many others.

It’s important to have the right tools, but the overall “feel” of a broker’s platform is just as critical. Day traders live and die according to their workflows. We spent hours on platforms creating custom watchlists, marking up charts, and executing trades. Some platforms were a joy to use while others felt like a chore.

Below you can find a trading platform comparison table of common tools and features. For a full comparison of 150+ features, use our comparison tool.

Feature Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers TD Ameritrade logoTD Ameritrade tastytrade logotastytrade TradeStation logoTradeStation Fidelity logoFidelity
Streaming Time & Sales info Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Streaming TV info Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Direct Market Routing - Stocks info Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Ladder Trading info Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Trade Hot Keys info Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Level 2 Quotes - Stocks info Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting info Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Trade Ideas - Backtesting Adv info Yes Yes No Yes No
Short Locator info Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Order Liquidity Rebates info Yes No No Yes No
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Feature Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers TD Ameritrade logoTD Ameritrade tastytrade logotastytrade TradeStation logoTradeStation Fidelity logoFidelity
Minimum Deposit $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Stock Trades $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
ETF Trade Fee $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Mutual Fund Trade Fee $14.95 Varies N/A info $14.95 $49.95
Options (Base Fee) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65 $0.65 $0.50 info $0.60 $0.65
Futures (Per Contract) $0.85 $2.25 $1.25 $1.50 (Not offered)
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $30 $25 $0 $25 $32.95
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What is the best platform for day trading?

Interactive Brokers is the best day trading platform in our analysis, thanks to its comprehensive tools, access to global markets and highly customizable user experience. There’s little that Trader Workstation, Interactive Brokers’ formidable desktop platform, can’t do. Nonprofessionals who might appreciate an easier-to-navigate platform will find TD Ameritrade an excellent choice. Options-focused traders should try out tastytrade for its detailed, highly visible analytics and overall responsiveness. Crypto traders will be wowed by TradeStation’s web-based crypto platform.

What broker do most day traders use?

Where to day trade will depend on your style. Some traders only trade stocks and ETFs, others trade stocks and options, and some of the most fearless and well-capitalized might trade futures. In our 2023 Stockbroker Review, we found the five best platforms for day trading were Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade, tastytrade, TradeStation, and Fidelity.

Which platform is best for day trading options?

Most brokers charge commissions and/or per-contract fees on options trades. If you day trade options, those commissions can pile up quickly. Firstrade, Robinhood and Webull don’t charge for trading and exercising options. We found Webull’s desktop platform to be very friendly to beginners. Knowledgeable larger position traders should try tastytrade, a broker that caters to options traders. Though tastytrade is not free, the platform is far more sophisticated than those of the free brokers.

What trading app is the best for day trading?

Every day trader has unique needs. That’s why we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of many brokers. For example, TD Ameritrade allows you to choose between basic apps and special ones tailor-made for active traders on the go. Tastytrade's mobile app is a dream for trading stocks you already know, but its research is limited when compared side-by-side with other high-quality brokers.

Can you day trade on multiple platforms?

Yes. It is not uncommon for day traders to have multiple brokerage accounts and use several trading platforms simultaneously. Common reasons why traders use multiple platforms include having a backup in case of an outage, running dedicated trading strategies, or accessing specific trading tools and research not available elsewhere.

What are the risks of day trading?

Because day trading involves actively buying and selling stocks throughout the day using margin (borrowed capital), it is inherently risky. Like poker, losing streaks can lead traders to take undisciplined risks, magnifying losses. Some day trading software — for example, a trading journal — can help identify your strengths and weaknesses, provided you’re diligent in entering your trades. For more on that strategy, see the guide to best trading journals on our sister site,

Is day trading still profitable?

Yes, day trading is still profitable, but the real question should be “for whom?” There’s a winner and loser in every trade. Our office’s crystal ball is cloudy these days, but we think the easy days of buying meme stocks and watching them go to the moon are past us. Day trading will still be profitable for many people, but knowledge and experience will be more important than they were just a couple of years ago.

Why do you need $25K to day trade?

You don’t need $25K to day trade once or twice, but you will be classified as a “pattern day trader” once you make four round-trip trades within five business days in a margin account (there’s no issue trading your face off in a cash account) and the amount is more than 6% of the account value. Once you are classified as a PDT, your account will be restricted until you have at least $25,000 in equity.

Can you start day trading with $500?

Yes, but we think it would be smarter to keep saving your money and practice with paper trading instead. Trading can be volatile, and your $500 is unlikely to survive a normal string of losses. That might lead you to unfairly conclude you’re a bad trader or the market is too choppy to make money, even if the market is acting normally.

You’re also likely to have your broker put on the brakes anyway. If you don’t have at least a $25,000 balance and margin approval, you can only place four round-trip trades over a period of five business days before your account becomes restricted.

Is it possible to make $100 a day from day trading?

It’s tempting to joke that, yes, if you invest $3 million, it’s possible to make $100 a day from trading. The reality is that the less capital you have to invest, the more risk you’ll need to take to make that $100. Also, returns from day trading tend to come in streaks. There’ll be strings of winners followed by strings of losses. You’ll make better decisions if you aren’t under any financial pressure to profit every day.

Is day trading illegal?

In the U.S., day trading is legal. To day trade, once you’re classified as a "pattern day trader," you must have at least a $25,000 minimum account equity to day trade. On the positive side, you gain access to 4:1 intraday margin and 2:1 margin overnight.

Is day trading worth it?

In today's market, hedge funds running sophisticated algorithms make it very difficult to day trade profitably. Most day traders are also severely undercapitalized and get suckered into paying for expensive chat room memberships, educational courses, and newsletter subscriptions on social media. Here's a breakdown of what our founder, Blain Reinkensmeyer, learned from day trading.

query_stats Trading vs. investing

While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are some important differences to know that can help you clarify your overall investment goals. See the article Trading vs. Investing: What You Should Know on our sister site,

What is the fastest trading platform?

The fastest trading platform will be found among TradeStation, tastytrade, TD Ameritrade thinkorswim, Interactive Brokers' Trader Workstation (TWS), and Webull because they are desktop-based. With a desktop trading platform, the base code runs locally on your computer, maximizing speed. That said, web-based trading platforms built with modern code can match desktop platforms in overall speed. Software aside, like esports, the most common bottleneck for any trading platform is the internet connection.

2023 Overall Ranking

Here are the Overall rankings for the 17 online brokers whose offerings we analyze and test, sorted by Overall ranking.


2023 annual review badge

For the 13th Annual Review published in January 2023, a total of 3,332 data points were collected over three months and used to score 17 top brokers. This makes home to the largest independent database on the web covering the online broker industry.

In order to assess the overall day trading experience, we spend countless hours testing and trading a wide range of Apple, Windows, and Android devices and/or current operating systems.

Our research team rigorously tests the most important features sought by day traders, such as trading costs — including order execution quality — and factors such as ladder trading, stock alerts, streaming time and sales and customizable watch lists, among others. In total, we evaluate more than 200 variables for each broker. All research, writing and data collection at is done by humans, for humans. Read our generative AI policy here.

As part of our annual review process, all brokers were given the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones and complete an in-depth data profile, which we hand-checked for accuracy. Brokers also were offered the opportunity to provide executive time 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.

Read Next

Explore our other online trading guides:

About the Editorial Team

Sam Levine, CFA, CMT
Sam Levine, CFA, CMT

Sam Levine has over 30 years of experience in the investing field as a portfolio manager, financial consultant, investment strategist and writer. He also taught investing as an adjunct professor of finance at Wayne State University. Sam holds the Chartered Financial Analyst and the Chartered Market Technician designations and is pursuing a master's in personal financial planning at the College for Financial Planning. Previously, he was a contributing editor at BetterInvesting Magazine and a contributor to The Penny Hoarder and other media outlets.

Blain Reinkensmeyer
Blain Reinkensmeyer

Blain Reinkensmeyer has 20 years of trading experience with over 2,500 trades placed during that time. He heads research for all U.S.-based brokerages on and is respected by executives as the leading expert covering the online broker industry. Blain’s insights have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets.

Carolyn Kimball
Carolyn Kimball

Carolyn Kimball is managing editor for Reink Media and the lead editor for the Annual Review. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money.

Steven Hatzakis
Steven Hatzakis

Steven Hatzakis is the Global Director of Research for Steven previously served as an Editor for Finance Magnates, where he authored over 1,000 published articles about the online finance industry. Steven is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher and advises blockchain companies at the board level. Over the past 20 years, Steven has held numerous positions within the international forex markets, from writing to consulting to serving as a registered commodity futures representative.

Disclosure: *The $5,000 bonus offer is available with a $1,000,000 to $4,999,999 deposit. Visit for full details, terms, conditions, and restrictions. Offer expires 03/31/2024. tastytrade, Inc. is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA, NFA, and SIPC.

1 Fidelity Sell orders are subject to an activity assessment fee from $0.01 to $0.03 per $1,000 of principal. Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all investors. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk. Before trading options, please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Supporting documentation for any claims, if applicable, will be furnished upon request.

E*TRADE: *Other fees apply.

*Webull Disclaimer View Disclaimer.

Securities trading offered by eToro USA Securities, Inc. (“the BD”), member of FINRA and SIPC. Cryptocurrency offered by eToro USA LLC (“the MSB”) (NMLS: 1769299) and is not FDIC or SIPC insured. Investing involves risk, and content is provided for educational purposes only, does not imply a recommendation, and is not a guarantee of future performance. is not an affiliate and may be compensated if you access certain products or services offered by the MSB and/or the BD.