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Best IRA Accounts for 2023

Blain Reinkensmeyer

Written by Blain Reinkensmeyer, Dayana Yochim
Edited by Carolyn Kimball
Fact-checked by Steven Hatzakis

November 22, 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.

An IRA, or individual retirement account, is an investment account with tax benefits. Since most brokerage firms offer traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs (the two main types), choosing the best IRA comes down to fees, investing features, and customer support.

For our 2023 Annual Review, we reviewed and rated 17 of the top online brokers. To find the best IRAs, we first focused on the fees and available retirement account options. Then we tested each broker’s market research tools, retirement education offerings, customer service quality, multi-account management capabilities, and mobile apps. We also tested how easy it was to perform everyday tasks such as placing trades and transferring funds. Here are the results of our research.

Best IRA Accounts 2023

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

  • Fidelity
    - Best overall broker, including IRAs
  • TD Ameritrade - Best for actively trading IRA accounts
  • Charles Schwab
    - Best financial planning education
    - Balanced offering with easy-to-use trading tools
  • Merrill Edge - Best for high net worth individual investors
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best overall broker, including 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
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Trade at Fidelity. 1

TD Ameritrade
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best for actively trading IRA accounts

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

TD Ameritrade offers no-fee traditional, Roth and rollover IRAs and charges $0 for stock and ETF trades. We also found it to offer the largest selection of investment education, which every investor needs while saving and planning for retirement. 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
Charles Schwab
5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Best financial planning education

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

  • Vast menu of investment offerings
  • Excellent research and content for long-term investing
  • Cryptocurrency isn’t offered
  • Mutual fund fees are complex
  • Content has a less friendly approach than some competitors
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$0 Online Trade Commissions

5/5 Stars 5.0 Overall

Balanced offering with easy-to-use trading tools

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 for high net worth individual investors

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

Other brokers tested

In addition to our top five brokers for IRA accounts in 2023, we reviewed 12 others: Ally Invest, eToro, Firstrade, Interactive Brokers, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, SoFi Invest , tastytrade, TradeStation, Tradier, Robinhood, Vanguard and Webull. To dive deeper, read our reviews.

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,

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 TD Ameritrade logoTD Ameritrade Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab E*TRADE logoE*TRADE Merrill Edge logoMerrill Edge
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 $49.95 Varies Varies $0.00 $19.95
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 $2.25 $1.50 (Not offered)
Broker Assisted Trade Fee $32.95 $25 $25 $25 $29.95
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IRA comparison: account fees

Feature Fidelity logoFidelity TD Ameritrade logoTD Ameritrade Charles Schwab logoCharles Schwab E*TRADE logoE*TRADE Merrill Edge logoMerrill Edge
IRA Annual Fee $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
IRA Closure Fee $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $49.95
Account Transfer Out (Partial) info $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Account Transfer Out (Full) info $0.00 $75.00 $50.00 $75.00 $49.95
Visit Site Visit Site
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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.

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 up-front 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 $6,500 per year for the 2023 tax year if you’re under the age of 50, and $7,500 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 $6,500 a year to a Roth IRA ($7,500 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 $66000 per year (whichever is lower) for the 2023 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 2023 tax year, employees can contribute up to $22,500 to a Roth or regular 401(k), or $30,000 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.

What is the best type of IRA to open?

The best type of IRA to open is the one that provides the biggest tax break when it’s most valuable to you. The choice comes down to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. A traditional IRA makes sense for high earners who can benefit from the upfront deduction on today’s income. A Roth is a natural choice if you expect your income to be higher down the road when the account’s tax-free withdrawals lets you avoid income taxes (the ability to save in a Roth IRA also depends on your current income level). One other consideration: If you think you’ll need access to the money before age 59½, a Roth IRA is a better choice because the IRS allows you to withdraw contributions (not earnings) without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

Not sure what your future tax situation holds? Split the difference! If you’re eligible to contribute to both a deductible traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, the IRS allows you to fund both in the same year as long as your total combined contributions do not exceed the annual limit of $6,500 (or $7,500, if you’re age 50 or older). See Comparing Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA on our sister site,, for more guidance.

Where is the best place to open a traditional IRA?

Our top picks for brokers to use for a traditional IRA are:

  • Fidelity: Solid all-around IRA offering
  • TD Ameritrade: Ideal for those who actively trade in their IRA
  • Charles Schwab: Provides robust financial planning education
  • E*TRADE: Easy-to-use trading tools
  • Merrill Edge: Best for high net worth investors

These brokerages earned the highest scores when we tested their retirement account offerings in the areas of fees, retirement education offerings, customer service quality, market research tools, multi-account management capabilities, ease of placing trades and transferring funds, and mobile app quality.

What securities can I trade with an IRA account?

You can trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, basic options, and even bitcoin in an IRA account.

Can I use margin in an IRA account?

No. You cannot trade with margin in an IRA account. To access margin and trade with leverage, you have to use a traditional, taxable brokerage account. Margin trading is restricted in IRA accounts because it is considered too risky.

Do I have to pay fees each year to maintain an IRA account?

You shouldn’t have to. Most U.S. brokers charge no annual IRA maintenance fees. If you run into one that does, we recommend you look elsewhere. Some brokers will, however, charge an IRA closure fee when you close the account (or even a transfer fee to move your money). But even that is rare among the biggest, most well-known brokerages. (Our online brokerage comparison tool will help you compare account fees and more.)

Can you lose money in an IRA?

Absolutely. IRA accounts are like any other brokerage account: You’re investing your money in securities like stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, all of which carry some degree of risk.

The idea is you take on that risk for the opportunity to earn a higher reward (a bigger return on your investment) over the long term. That said, if you invest in lower-risk securities like bonds or money market funds, then the risk of losing all your money will be far lower. But so, too, will any potential payoff.

Can I have a 401(k) and an IRA at the same time?

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

What is the best way to save for retirement?

A good retirement savings strategy is to first contribute enough to your 401(k) to max out any company match. Next, direct your savings into an IRA account where you have a broader investment selection and more control over account fees. Finally, after you’ve capped your IRA for the year, return to your 401(k) with any remaining savings.

Who has the best rollover IRA?

Based on our analysis, the best online brokers for 401(k) rollovers are Charles Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Merrill Edge, and E*TRADE. All of these brokers — the best overall IRA companies in our roundup — offer excellent rollover IRA accounts. Plus, they make the process easy to transfer your funds from a former employer’s 401(k) plan or an IRA at a different brokerage. What are the best IRA accounts?

Our testing found that the best IRA accounts come from Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, E*TRADE and Merrill Edge. All of these large online stockbrokers offer IRA accounts (traditional, Roth, SEP, spousal, and so on), and most offer the choice of self-directed or managed accounts. Not only that, but fees are low, the websites are easy to use, and all five brokers provide thorough retirement education. 2023 Overall Ranking

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

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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.

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 more than 200 variables.

In order to assess the overall trading experience, we test across a wide range of devices and operating systems.

Testing was done on devices for both Apple and Android operating systems. For Apple: iPhone XS with the most current iOS. For Android: Samsung Galaxy S9+, 6.2" 4K Super AMOLED (2960x1440) 64-bit Octa-Core Snapdragon 835 Processor 2.7GHz, 6GB RAM 6.2" with the most current operating system.

As part of our annual review process, all brokers had 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. All research, writing and data collection at is done by humans, for humans. Read our generative AI policy here.

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.


Individual Retirement Arrangements

About the Editorial Team

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.

Dayana Yochim
Dayana Yochim

Dayana Yochim is a Senior Writer/Editor at Reink Media Group who has written about personal finance and investing for more than 20 years. Her work has appeared in outlets including, NerdWallet and the Motley Fool, and has been syndicated nationally. Dayana has also been a guest expert on "Today" and Good Morning America.

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.

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