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Best IRA Accounts of May 2024

Sam Levine, CFA, CMT

Written by Sam Levine, CFA, CMT
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Steven Hatzakis
Reviewed by Blain Reinkensmeyer

March 14, 2024

To find the best broker for individual retirement accounts, I evaluated IRA fees and available account types, sampled brokers’ retirement education, looked at their retirement calculators and reviewed any lifestyle articles helpful to retirees or anyone looking forward to becoming one.

Because IRAs are simply tax-advantaged brokerage accounts, I also considered each broker’s market research tools, the customer service quality, multi-account management capabilities, and mobile apps. I also considered how easy it is to perform everyday tasks such as placing trades and transferring funds. Here are the results of my research.

Why you can trust

Since 2009, we've helped over 20 million visitors research, compare, and choose an online broker. Our writers have collectively placed thousands of trades over their careers. Here's how we test.

Best IRA Accounts 2024

Here are the top five online brokers for IRA retirement accounts, based on over 80 variables.

5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best overall for IRAs

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

From industry-leading research for stocks, funds, and bonds to excellent education and tools for retirement planning, Fidelity delivers a terrific IRA experience. Stock trades are $0 per trade, and Fidelity charges no miscellaneous fees for IRA accounts. Fidelity is a winner for everyday investors. Read full review

  • Excellent research and mobile app
  • Top-notch education
  • Decades of reliable client service
  • No dedicated mobile app for active trading
Visit Site

Trade at Fidelity. 1

Charles Schwab
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best for active IRA trading

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

Charles Schwab stands out for retirement investing thanks to excellent IRA account options, including optional automated portfolio management (robo-advice) and on-demand advice from certified financial planners. Sweetening the deal: $0 stock and ETF trades, excellent research and quality trading tools. Read full review

  • TD Ameritrade’s excellent thinkorswim trading platforms now available
  • Trading-friendly app and browser enhancements
  • Exceptional high net worth services
  • No cryptocurrency trading
  • Mutual fund fees are complex
Visit Site

Trade with thinkorswim®, now at Schwab.

5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best for IRA withdrawal options

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

E*TRADE provides a variety of trading tools and educational resources for investors saving for retirement. While its research and education resources somewhat lag behind those of its top rivals, E*TRADE's IRA account experience will satisfy many. Read full review

  • Watch lists are the best in the business
  • Smooth mobile navigation
  • High-quality high-net-worth Morgan Stanley proprietary research
  • Cryptocurrencies not currently available
  • Margin rates are high compared to other brokers
Visit Site

$0 Commissions* for ETF, stocks & more.

Merrill Edge
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Best IRA research experience

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

Merrill Edge offers $0 trades with industry-leading research tools (especially ESG research) and strong customer service. Learning about retirement investing is a pleasant experience thanks to excellent site organization and educational quality, as well as in-house curated content. Read full review

  • Portfolio Story, Dynamic Insights, and the Stock and Fund Stories are groundbreaking features
  • High-quality proprietary research
  • Some site elements slow to load
  • No crypto, futures, forex or penny stocks
Interactive Brokers
4.5/5 Stars 4.5 Overall

Best for IRA account choices

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

Interactive Brokers has seven IRA account types, the best access to foreign markets and currencies, and allows margin investing in IRAs under limited circumstances. Read full review

  • Astounding array of customizable tools
  • Allows trading in foreign markets
  • Convenient apps for individual investors
  • Restrictive trading permissions
  • Main platforms might feel cold
Visit Site

New clients, special margin rates.

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Winners Summary

Best overall for IRAs - Fidelity

Company Minimum Deposit Stock Trades Options (Per Contract) Offers Visit Site
Fidelity logoFidelity $0.00 $0.00 $0.65 Trade at Fidelity. 1 Visit Site

My wife and I use Fidelity almost every day. That’s where we keep most of our longer-term investments, including an IRA. From industry-leading research for stocks, funds, and bonds to excellent retirement education and tools, I’ve found Fidelity delivers a high quality IRA experience, beginning with guiding me to choose the right IRA account type through choosing the right investments for our needs. Stock trades are $0 per trade, and Fidelity charges no miscellaneous fees for IRA accounts, not even for transfers out. Read review.

Best for active IRA trading - Charles Schwab

Company Minimum Deposit Stock Trades Options (Per Contract) Offers Visit Site
Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab $0.00 $0.00 $0.65 Trade with thinkorswim®, now at Schwab. Visit Site

I don’t know how Chuck Schwab and my editor will feel about me saying that Schwab is a great broker for retirement-focused investors to learn how to trade their faces off, but it really is great for that. It’s also sublime for large amounts of quiet money too. There’s plenty of research to consider while you’re waiting to join your local pickleball league, and Schwab has a cornucopia of human support options, including on-demand advice from certified financial planners. Sweetening the deal: $0 stock and ETF trades, excellent research and quality trading tools. Read review.

Best for IRA withdrawal options - E*TRADE

Company Minimum Deposit Stock Trades Options (Per Contract) Offers Visit Site
E*TRADE logoE*TRADE $0.00 $0.00 $0.65 $0 Commissions* for ETF, stocks & more. Visit Site

Aside from being one of’s favorite brokers overall, E*TRADE came up with a really smart retirement product. Its Complete IRA adds cash management convenience to IRA accounts. Clients over the age of 59½ can access their IRA cash easily with checks and debit cards, making E*TRADE a no-brainer once you hit the best part in retirement planning: when you actually retire. Read review.

IRA account fees comparison

When comparing accounts from different IRA providers, important considerations include: minimum deposit requirements, IRA annual account fees, account closure fees, stock and ETF trading fees, and any other miscellaneous fees.

Here's an IRA account comparison for the best brokers for IRAs. (Use our online brokerage comparison tool to compare even more account offerings.)

IRA comparison: trading fees

Feature Fidelity logoFidelity Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab E*TRADE logoE*TRADE Merrill Edge logoMerrill Edge Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers
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 Varies info Varies $0.00 $19.95 $14.95
Options (Base Fee) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Options (Per Contract) $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65
Futures (Per Contract) (Not offered) $2.25 $1.50 (Not offered) $0.85
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $32.95 $25 $25 $29.95 $30
Visit Site Visit Site
Visit Site
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IRA comparison: account fees

Feature Fidelity logoFidelity Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab E*TRADE logoE*TRADE Merrill Edge logoMerrill Edge Interactive Brokers logoInteractive Brokers
Traditional IRAs info Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Roth IRAs info Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $49.95 $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Partial) info $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) info $0.00 $50.00 $75.00 $49.95 $0.00
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How to choose an IRA provider

Before opening your new retirement account, consider these six tips for success:

  1. Choose a broker with no IRA fees. The more you pay in fees, the less money you have to invest for your future. Watch out for maintenance fees, fees for opening the IRA, fees for closing it, fees for transferring your money elsewhere, and the like.
  2. Decide which type of IRA to open. Should you go with a traditional IRA or a Roth? The main difference is when you get your tax break. A traditional IRA provides an upfront tax break: Contributions are tax-free (meaning you may be able to deduct them from your taxes today). Taxes come due when you withdraw money from the traditional IRA in retirement. With a Roth IRA, contributions are taxed upfront and withdrawals down the road are completely tax-free. (Check out the more detailed Roth and traditional IRA explanation below.)
  3. Make sure the account can age with you. You’re going to have an IRA for years — maybe decades — up to and throughout retirement. Take the time to make sure the platform is easy for you to navigate, the service has retirement investing tools you’ll use, and that you’re satisfied with the customer service. Don’t worry if you discover your first IRA choice is not the right fit: It’s easy to move your IRA to a new broker. (Check out our full online broker reviews for more information about the providers we recommend.)
  4. Maximize investment returns by making early contributions. The younger you are when you open and begin contributing to your IRA, the longer your portfolio will grow without being taxed. Even a few extra months of having your money in the market can make a significant difference in your long-term investment returns. Each year try to make your IRA contribution as early as possible. And remember, the IRS gives you until the tax filing due date (usually April 15th) to make your contribution for the prior tax year!
  5. Expand your options with a 401(k) to IRA rollover: If you have money sitting in a former employer’s 401(k) plan, moving it into a self-directed IRA will give you much more control over your investment dollars. You’ll maintain the tax benefits of the 401(k), and expand your investment choices beyond the limited number of mutual funds offered in most employer-sponsored plans. Rollovers are easy: Simply tell the new broker what you want to do and they’ll walk you through the process.
  6. Look for new account bonuses: Competition for your retirement savings among discount brokers is fierce. As long as you’re looking for a place to put your retirement savings dollars, take advantage of the current offers and get a bonus for opening a new account.

savings All about IRAs and beyond

Our retirement savings series is designed to answer your most pressing questions about choosing and using retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s, including pros and cons. Explore the whole course on our sister site,

What is an IRA?

An individual retirement account, or IRA, is a type of tax-advantaged retirement account for U.S. taxpayers. An IRA lets you invest in stocks, bonds and other securities to save for retirement while deferring paying capital gains on your investments, allowing them to potentially compound faster, right from within an online brokerage account. The three most common retirement account types are traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs. There are also inherited IRAs and, for minors with earned income, custodial IRAs. Read more about these and other popular types of retirement accounts on our sister site,

What is a traditional IRA?

A traditional IRA is an account that provides an upfront tax break for saving money for retirement. Contributions to the account are pre-tax (meaning you may be able to deduct all or part of the amount from your current year’s taxes). Furthermore, all earnings over the course of the account's life are tax-deferred until you start withdrawing for retirement. At that point you pay income taxes on your withdrawals.

More details: With a traditional IRA, you can contribute up to $7,000 per year for the 2024 tax year if you’re under the age of 50, and $8,000 per year if 50 or older. However, any withdrawals before the age of 59½ are subject to an early distribution penalty of 10%. See for more information.

What is a Roth IRA?

Contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars. Although you get no up-front tax deduction, your withdrawals during retirement are completely tax-free. Like a traditional IRA, earnings growth over the course of the account’s life are not taxed.

More details: You’re allowed to contribute up to $7,000 a year to a Roth IRA ($8,000 if you’re over age 50). Eligibility for the Roth IRA is based on your income. Unlike Traditional IRAs, contributions to a Roth IRA (not earnings) can be withdrawn without penalty at any time and for any reason. Early withdrawal rules are different for earnings, which require a "seasoning period" (currently five years). Here's the IRS' detailed description of the rules of distributions (withdrawals).

Roth vs. traditional IRA: For a full explainer of how Roth and traditional IRAs compare, check out the article Comparing Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA on sister site

What is a SEP IRA?

A Simplified Employee Pension IRA (or SEP IRA) is a traditional IRA modified for business owners and any employees they might have. SEP IRA contribution limits are much higher than what’s allowed in traditional and Roth IRAs.

More details: Employers can contribute as much as 25% of their net income or $69,000 per year (whichever is lower) for the 2024 tax year. Like a traditional IRA, SEP IRA contributions are tax-deferred (and deductible from your taxable income now). Distributions during retirement are taxed at your then income tax rate. See the IRS website for more information.

What is a 401(k)?

A 401(k) is a type of retirement account American employers offer their workers. Like a traditional IRA, the regular 401(k) is a tax-deferred investment account. Some employers also offer a Roth version of the account — a Roth 401(k) — where contributions are post-tax and qualified withdrawals are tax-free.

More details: For the 2024 tax year, employees can contribute up to $23,000 to a Roth or regular 401(k), or $30,500 if you are age 50 or older and your plan permits catch-up contributions. Many employers match a portion of employee 401(k) contributions as an incentive to save (typically between 3% and 6% of an employee’s salary). Different variations of profit sharing can also be incorporated, although they are less common.

Do you have money in an old 401(k) plan? That money is yours to roll into an IRA with a brokerage you choose. See this IRS page for more information.

How do I open an IRA?

Opening an IRA with a broker can take as little as ten minutes, though some brokers will need a couple of business days to review and approve your account application. Follow these steps:

  • Decide which type of IRA you want to open.
  • Choose a beneficiary.
  • Choose a broker that best suits your needs.
  • Enter your contact information, Social Security number, and basic financial data.
  • You will also be asked about your investment experience and comfort with investment risk so the broker can assess investment suitability.
  • Sign and submit the application.
  • Check your IRS contribution limits.
  • Once your account is approved, deposit your contribution into the IRA.

How many IRA accounts can I have?

There are no limits to the number of IRAs you can open. But it’s a good idea to consolidate them into one account or two, if you have both Traditional and Roth IRAs. Here are three reasons why it’s a good idea to keep all your retirement money together: It makes it easier to...

  • Follow your investments and progress towards your retirement goal.
  • Maintain a diversified portfolio.
  • Settle your estate in case your money outlasts you.

What is the IRA contribution limit?

The contribution limit for IRAs in 2024 is $7,000. Taxpayers who are at least 50 years old may contribute $8,000.

  • Contributions made to a Traditional IRA are tax-deductible but subject to phaseouts if the worker or spouse is covered by an employer-sponsored plan.
  • The amount that can be contributed to a Roth IRA in 2024 is also subject to phaseouts depending on modified adjusted gross income, beginning at $146,000 for singles and heads of household and $230,000 for married couples filing jointly.

What types of assets can I buy with an IRA?

IRAs can hold stocks, bonds, mutual and exchange-traded funds, cash, certificates of deposit, cryptocurrencies, real estate, options and futures. IRA trustees (usually a broker or bank) may limit the options. Collectibles such as antique rugs, Michael Jordan’s sneakers, stamps, or art are not eligible for IRA accounts. Gold and other IRS-approved precious metals must be held by a bank or IRS approved trustee.

IRA account holders should generally avoid any investment that could generate unrelated business taxable income (UBTI), which is taxable income earned by a tax-exempt entity. One example of a tax-exempt entity is an energy limited partnership. IRAs with UBTI may lose some of their tax advantages. Most of the investments commonly found in IRAs are not subject to UBTI.

Can I contribute to a 401(k) and an IRA ?

Yes, you can contribute to a 401(k) and an IRA in the same year, as long as you stay within IRS contribution limits.

Our Research

Why you should trust us

Sam Levine, CFA, CMT, the lead writer for, has over 30 years of investing experience and actively trades stocks, ETFs, options, futures, and options on futures. He's held roles as a portfolio manager, financial consultant, investment strategist and journalist. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designations and served on the board of directors of the CMT Association.

Blain Reinkensmeyer, head of research at, has been investing and trading for over 25 years. After having placed over 2,000 trades in his late teens and early 20s, he became one of the first in digital media to review online brokerages. Blain created the original scoring rubric for and oversees all testing and rating methodologies.

For this guide:

  • Whenever possible, we used our own brokerage accounts for testing. For several brokers, we used a test account that was provided to us.
  • We evaluated IRA account fees and types of retirement accounts offered.
  • We reviewed educational content and tools focused on the needs of retirement-focused investors.
  • We considered the features, investment choices, and overall ease of use.

How we tested

For this guide to the best IRA accounts, our research team looked closely at all costs incurred by investors, including account transfer fees; and rigorously tested key features such as the broker’s market research tools, retirement-specific educational resources, quality of customer service and the ease of use of its platforms and apps. In all, we collect data on nearly 200 variables for every broker. uses a variety of computing devices to evaluate trading platforms. Our reviews were conducted using the following devices: iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, MacBook Pro M1 with 8 GB RAM running the current MacOS, and a Dell Vostro 5402 laptop i5 with 8 GB RAM running Windows 11 Pro. In testing platforms and apps, our reviewers place actual trades for a variety of instruments.

As part of our data check process, we sent a data profile link to each broker summarizing the data we had on file and the data they provided us last year, with a field for entering any data that had since changed. For the brokers that filled out these profiles, we audited the information for any discrepancies between our data and the broker’s data to ensure accuracy.

As part of our review process, all brokers had the opportunity to provide updates and key milestones in a live meeting that took place in the fall. Meetings with broker teams also took place throughout the year as new products rolled out. Insights gathered from these calls helped steer our testing efforts to ensure every feature and tool was assessed.

Trading platforms tested

We tested 17 online trading platforms for this guide:

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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.

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.

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.