The Best Online Stock Brokers For Cheap Stock Trading (in 2017)

Nowadays, you can find dozens of online stock brokers, each claiming to be the best at what they do. But just how many of them can offer cheap trading, expert customer service, lightning fast execution and cutting edge technology? Let's take a look. Finding the best online stock broker is becoming more and more difficult every day.

It seems like a new online broker is launched every month and cheap stock trading has become the way of the stock trading world.

But with all of the new players in the game, it's the oldest and most respected online stock brokers that continue to offer the best deals.

Just 10 years ago, trading online was nearly impossible. With a few start-ups in the works, E*Trade and Firstrade offered a raw and expensive way to avoid calling your local broker and making trades on your own.

As the years have progressed, trading stocks online has become easier for the consumer AND less expensive, which is a rare combination in business.

Nowadays, you can find dozens of online stock brokers, each claiming to be the best at what they do. But just how many of them can offer cheap trading, expert customer service, lightning fast execution and cutting edge technology? Let's take a look.

The Best Online Stock Brokers

Use this table below to pinpoint the best online stock brokers:

Ally InvestAlly Invest fits right at the top of our list as it seems to do everything very well. Ally Invest has a low per-trade commission of $4.95, which does not change if you utilize a broker over the phone and options trading has the same $4.95 cost, plus a $0.65 fee per contract. If you follow SmartMoney, Barron's and other graders of online stock brokers, you'll find Ally Invest (formerly TradeKing) winning awards almost every time they are handed out. Ally Invest offers 24/7 customer support. Finally, Ally Invest is a leader in educating customers and you'll find hundreds of resources to help both amateur and professional investors. See our full review of Ally Invest.

To open up an Ally Invest account, visit their official website at www.ally.com/invest/

ScottradeScottrade currently offers fee-free IRA accounts and has fantastic customer service. In my 5 years of trading with Scottrade, I have never encountered a single delay, problem or inconvenience. Sure $7 per trade ($32 for broker assisted trades) is more expensive than the $4.95 or even $2.95 that other online stock brokers charge. While many other brokers offer similar services for cheap stock trading, I've found one that has been nothing short of fantastic. I'm not about to risk having problems for a dollar here or dollar there. In order to trade with Scottrade, you'll need a minimum balance of $2500.  They will reimburse your transfer fees up to $150 and their iPhone or Android app can be used to access your account and make trades.

To open up a Scottrade account, visit their official website at www.Scottrade.com

FidelityFidelity isn't your normal online stock broker. They have a very powerful brand behind them, produce quality, low-cost funds, and over the past several years have received major credibility as a “discount broker”. Currently, Fidelity offers stock and ETF trades for a $4.95 commission. This is down from $7.95. To trade options, you’ll pay $4.95 + $0.65 per contract. You’re required to make a minimum deposit of $2,500 to fund your brokerage account. Fidelity offers live chat and 24/7 phone support – It’s free, very fast, and simple to use (I've tried it myself). Most mobile devices are compatible with Fidelity. With hundreds of webinars to educate investors, Fidelity is a great place to begin your investing career.

To open up a Fidelity account, visit their official website at www.Fidelity.com

ETradeE*Trade is the only online stock broker I can think of that advertises on television, making them the most well known on this list. E*Trade is also one of the more expensive, as they charge $6.95 per trade and an additional $25 if you use a broker to execute the trade. E*Trade is currently offering free trades for the first 60 days of opening your account, but you will have to fund it with at least $10,000 (and of course other restrictions apply). E*Trade's technology and platform are like no other and for experienced investors, E*Trade by far is your best option. However, for the casual investor, it may be a better idea to go with one of the other brokers, to save money on fees.

To open up an E*Trade account, visit their official website at www.ETrade.com

Cap One InvestCapital One Investing (formerly Sharebuilder) is an excellent trading platform that allows users to make trades online at a price of $6.95. In addition, Capital One Investing now also offers managed portfolios. One of the premier benefits of having an account with Capital One Investing is that it can be connected with your Capital One 360 account, making transactions to and from the bank a snap. There is no minimum required to open an account and they are offering a variety of bonuses based on the amount of your initial deposit. While you need to deposit at least $200,000 to receive $600, you only need to start with $5,000 to earn $50.

To open up a Capital One Investing account, visit their official website at www.CapitalOneInvesting.com

ChoiceTradeChoiceTrade isn't your everyday online stock broker and if you visit their website, you'll know that right away. Rated four-star broker by Barron's for the last six years, ChoiceTrade offers $5 online trades with NO penny stock surcharge (very hard to find). However, the mail drawback to using ChoiceTrade is their platform. If you're looking for good technology, you will have to pay for it. Their basic online streaming platform costs $14.95 per month and their premium platform is $135 per month. ChoiceTrade does feature an in-depth investor community where you can ask thousands of fellow users your questions. Also, you can sign up for a virtual account with a $100,000 balance to try out their services.

To open up a ChoiceTrade account, visit their official website at www.ChoiceTrade.com

ThinkOrSwimthinkorswim has been around since 1999, and is now owned by TD Ameritrade. thinkorswim is known as one of the best places to trade options because of their superior technology, as well as a hub for options educational information. In 2017, they were ranked #1 for long-term investing by Barron's and #1 overall broker by StockBrokers.com. You can trade stocks for a flat fee rate for $6.95 – with no account balance requirement or limit on how often you can make trades. Broker-assisted trades will cost you $44.99. TD Ameritrade is currently offering 60 days of commission-free trading when you fund an account with at least $3,000, and higher initial deposits will earn you an additional cash bonus. They offer 24/7 customer support and they don’t charge any fees for access to the trading platform or other data. TD Ameritrade offers “Paper Money” accounts, to try out different strategies with no real money involved.

To open up a thinkorswim account, visit their official website at www.thinkorswim.com

SogoTradeSogoTrade is one of the quieter online stock brokers and unless you've already signed up an account with them, this may be the first time you've heard of them. SogoTrade is one of the leaders in cheap stock trading with a $3 rate for those who make at least 150 trades per quarter (otherwise the fee is $5). With their four unique trading platforms and an app (available for Apple or Android devices), SogoTrade continues to implement game-changing technology. All of their platforms provide customers up-to-the-second data to help them make the well-informed trades. There are no account maintenance fees and the initial required deposit is only $500. SogoTrade protects customer account funds up to $500,000.

To open up a SogoTrade account, visit their official website at www.SogoTrade.com

Not into active, online trading? Try something a little less hands-on. See our list of the best Robo Advisors.

Join 36,000 subscribers improving their financial life.

Subscribe for free. Get my book (31 Days to Improve Your Financial Life), intro series, and article digest.

Powered by ConvertKit
Last Edited: November 7, 2017 @ 8:29 pmThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka “PT”, is a CPA, financial writer, podcaster, FinCon Founder, husband, and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Listen to the new podcast, Masters of Money!

Comments

  1. FinancialKing says:

    I would suggest LOYAL3.com to add in this list.
    I think sogo trade is not the cheap because if we do not do 150+ trade in a quarter then they charge $5 instead $3 as standard.

  2. FinancialKing says:

    Lopez
    I believe Banc De Binary is not applicable for US resident. They site said that.

  3. Daniel3321 says:

    Thanks for the info!
    I signed an account with sogotrade, after days of research I finally found a good broker for international clients! 🙂  The 1st thing I noticed is the REALLY fast live support response in chat (I asked about “any additional fees for non-US residents?” – they said no), so now I opened an account, and have to print and mail them the 3 PDF files they ask to fill and sign by hand (then scan and mail), overall I have a very good feeling about the broker 🙂  I hope they will not disappoint me.

  4. Hello,

    Very impressive post!

    Banc De Binary is yet another financial organization providing cheap trading services, would be happy if you also add them in this list. It is a good choice for both the casual and experienced investors.

    I completely agree with your point that E trade is a good option for experienced investors but not for casual investors who would have to pay a lot of fees on some basic things.

    Please try to make your post more interesting and fun to read.

    Cheers!

    • misha_kachkan says:

      @Lopez well, it seems that it was only yesterday. bbinary is now a very powerful brand with loads of features and great commissions as well. “We expect to become a leader in online trading technology and financial services” – Well, I think Aaron was right about it (: A lot of great reviews sites also popped up as mushrooms after a good rain. Needless to mention bancdebinaries.com that’s doing a great job promoting the binary options broker itself – great tips, great guides and a very powerful binary trading system. keep your work up guys, you’re doing it great!

  5. Thanks for sharing, it was very useful….