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Interactive Brokers vs Merrill Edge

Interactive Brokers is a good discount broker for experienced, high volume traders. . How does it compare to Merrill Edge? Read our comparison chart below.

Interactive Brokers offers trades starting at just 0.5 cents per share. It also offers a tiered pricing plan that awards high volume traders with even lower rates. There is a $10,000 opening account minimum ($3,000 for clients 25 and younger). There is a monthly activity fee unless required commission minimums are met.

While Merrill Edge (a subsidiary of Bank of America) offers stock trades at $2.95 standard fee per trade and options trading at $0 + $0.65 per contract. BofA customers can get 30 free trades a month if balance requirements are met. There is no account minimum, no maintenance fee, and no inactivity fee.

Compare Interactive Brokers with Merrill Edge, side-by-side. Read on for an in-depth look, including ratings, reviews, pros and cons.

 

Interactive Brokers

Merrill Edge

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Benefits and Features

Stock TradingFixed pricing: $0.005 per share (min $1 per order, max 1.0% of trade value). Tiered pricing: Starts at $0.0035 per share for less than 300,000 shares (min $0.35 per order, max 1% of trade value)
$6.95 per trade
Options Trading$.15-$.70 per contract ($1 minimum per order)
$6.95 + $0.75 per contract
Minimum Deposit$10,000 for individual accounts; $5,000 for IRAs; $3,000 for clients 25 and under
$0
Mutual Fund Trading$0 for no-transaction-fee funds. For transaction-fee funds, 3% trade value OR $14.95, per transaction, whichever is less, for transaction-fee funds$0 for no load, no-transaction-fee funds ($39.95 short-term redemption fee if the fund is held less than 90 days) $19.95 for no load, transaction-fee funds
Commission Free ETFs
48
None
Broker Assisted Trades
$30
$29.95
Customer ServiceUnited States: Monday-Friday 8am - 10pm ET; Sunday 1pm - 7pm ET (24/7 Weekday service available in other countries)
24/7
Inactivity Fee$10/month for accounts under $100,000; $20/month for accounts under $2,000; $3/month for clients 25 and younger
None
Maintenance FeeWaived if account value is at least $100,000 OR if monthly commission requirements are met. If not met, the activity fee is the difference. For accounts less than $100,000: the commission requirement is $10/month. For accounts less than $2,000: the commission requirement is $20/month. For clients 25 and younger: the commission requirement is $3/month.
$0
Banking
No
Through Bank of America
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
Desktop App
Yes
Yes
Forex TradingAvailable for qualified customers
No
Futures Trading
Yes
No
Locations
No
More than 2,100 Bank of America locations
Online Community
Yes
No
Seminars
Yes
Yes
Virtual Trading
Yes
No
 

CreditDonkey® Reviews

Stock Trading
Options Trading
Mutual Fund Trading
Online Platform
Banking
Mobile App
Commissions and Fees
Ease of Use
Research
Pros & ConsPros:
  • Large number of investments, including options, futures, and forex
  • Customize trading platform
  • Tools and opportunities for research
Cons:
  • $10,000 minimum to open an account.
  • Platform can be too much for a beginner to understand
  • Inactivity fees if you don't meet the trade commission requirements.
Pros:
  • No account minimums
  • Current Bank of America customers experience seamless account integration
  • Robust research opportunities
Cons:
  • Platform is not friendly for frequent traders who execute quick trades
  • No commission-free ETFs available
  • Market research reports can be hard for beginners to understand
Bottom LineGood discount broker for experienced, high volume traders... Read full reviewAffordable online broker with robust research options for small to mid-size investors... Read full review

Interactive Brokers: Pricing information from published websites as of 09/15/2019.

Merrill Edge: Pricing information from published websites as of 11/11/2019.

Which is Better: Interactive Brokers or Merrill Edge?

Still need help deciding which investing is better? Read the in-depth reviews below. You may also be interested in comparing Interactive Brokers or Ally Invest.

In short: Interactive Brokers' options trading, mutual fund trading, and online platform are notable. In particular, the options trading and online platform are outstanding. Merrill Edge's banking, ease of use, and research are noteworthy. In particular, the banking and research are impressive.


Articles on Interactive Brokers


Articles on Merrill Edge


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