Best Online Stock Trading Brokers

Most online brokers offer easy web-based and mobile app trading. Look for brokers that provide access to the type of stocks you want to trade with a low commission and fee rate.

Written by
Rebekah A. Brown
Last Update on Jul 31, 2023

Investing in the stock market has become increasingly accessible in the digital era, opening up exciting opportunities for online stock trading. If you’re eager to embark on this journey, you’re in luck! This comprehensive guide presents the best online stock trading brokers, carefully selected for their cutting-edge technology platforms, competitive fees, robust research tools, and exceptional customer support. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a beginner, get ready to unlock your investment potential and find the ideal online trading platform to align with your goals and aspirations.

NameBest ForFees and CommissionsTrading PlatformsResearch Tools Customer Support Welcome Incentive
AmeritradeNew Investors 
$0 Commissions
No platform fees; $0.65 per contract fee for options trades 
Web, desktop, and mobile options Free research tools 24/7 phone, email, chat, and social media support N/A
Fidelity Easy trading with access to fractional shares $0 commission 
$0.65 per contract on options
$1/bond or CD
Web, desktop, and mobile options Free research tools Chat, email, and phone support during business hours$100 when opening two qualifying Fidelity accounts and depositing at least $50
Charles SchwabCustomer Service $0 commissions, $0.65/options trade, fees for trades via phone system or human broker Web, desktop, and mobile options Integrated, customizable research tools 24/7 award-winning support; complimentary 1-hour consultation Schwab Starter Kit: $101 in fractional shares when you fund $50 in the first 30 days 
Tasty Trade Access to cryptocurrency $0 commission on all closings; $1/contract on stock & EFT options; $2.50 options futures; $1.50  options on  micro futures; $0 stocks and EFTs; $1.25 on futures; $0.85 on micro futures; $0.25 on smalls futures, $0.50 on smalls futures options; 1% on crypto, capped at $10/transactionWeb, desktop, and mobile options Follow features and video feeds to keep up with professional traders; not as many in-platform research/education tools Web-based email and chat customer support N/A
Interactive Brokers Advanced Investors $0 trading commissions; Asset management fees between 0.08-0.75% on your investments Web, desktop, and mobile options Integrated with the web system; more plans available with advanced subscriptionsPhone, email, and chat customer service options available during business hours. N/A


★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Fees & Commissions
$0 Commissions; No platform fees; $0.65 per contract fee for options trades
Trading Platforms
Web, desktop, and mobile options
Research Tools
Integrated research tools
Customer Support
24/7 phone, email, chat, and social media support
Show More Details

Our pick for new investors is AmeriTrade. It comes with no commissions, platform fees, or trade minimums, making it a good choice for beginners who want to start out small. A $0.65 per contract fee applies to options trades.

Keep in mind that while online trades don’t carry a fee, trades initiated via the interactive phone system cost $5/trade and broker assisted trades cost $25.

Additional Details

This company offers a wide suite of research tools that aggregate independent data and allow you to customize the reports you view based on your financial goals or to zoom in to one particular category.

There are several platform options with AmeriTrade, including a mobile app available on both Apple and Android. There is also a web-based option (probably the most convenient) and a desktop version for dedicated traders.

AmeriTrade curates a robust library of educational materials and the guided journey will be especially useful for new investors. Its immersive curriculum features short, easy to follow lessons that cover the basics.

AmeriTrade doesn’t currently offer fractional share trading or direct access to cryptocurrency.


Charles Schwab

★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Fees & Commissions
$0 commissions, $0.65/options trade, fees for trades via phone system or human broker
Trading Platforms
Online trading, mobile app, and professional desktop interface available
Research Tools
Integrated, customizable research tools
Customer Support
24/7 award-winning support; complimentary 1-hour consultation
Show More Details

Another attractive option for beginners and seasoned traders alike, Charles Schwab offers $0 commissions on online-traded stock and no minimum deposit.

Options trades are charged the $0.65 transaction fee and trades placed through the automated phone system cost $5, and $25 if placed through a human broker.

Additional Details

This brokerage account offers an online dashboard, mobile app, or professional desktop interface.

Charles Schwab also offers access to international stocks, including ADRs, foreign ordinaries, and Canadian stocks.

Charles Schwab is well-known for its customer service, which is provided 24/7 and from licensed, U.S. -based trading pros. New accounts receive a complimentary 1-hour consultation.

The integrated research tools are intuitive enough for beginners but customizable enough for experienced traders.

Charles Schwab also offers fractional shares trading through its “Schwab Slices” program. Fractional shares start at $5, are commission-free, and you can trade up to 30 at a time.

There isn’t a great guided education option on the regular brokerage account, compared to some other brokers. The Charles Schwab Starter Kit, however, offers some educational resources along with $101 complimentary Schwab Stock Slices when you fund your account with at least $50 within the first 30 days.



★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Fees & Commissions
$0 commission; $0.65 per contract on options; $1/bond or CD
Trading Platforms
Web, desktop, and mobile options
Research Tools
Free research tools
Customer Support
Chat, email, and phone support during business hours
Show More Details

Another good choice for beginning investors, Fidelity offers $0 commissions and clear fees chart that helps newcomers understand the complex fee schedule of trading.

Good for smaller investors, Fidelity offers access to fractional shares and no minimum investment amount.

Additional Details

Fidelity currently offers an incentive for new brokerage accounts – open a brokerage account AND another Fidelity account (checking, IRA, etc), deposit at least $50, and receive $100.

Most investors will prefer the online trading platform, which also carries fewer fees and integrated research and monitoring tools. A mobile app is also available. Active Trader Pro is a desktop application available to more experienced traders for an additional cost.

A big perk of Fidelity is the free access to research and monitoring tools. Accounts under $25,000 have free access to an AI wealth advisor, while larger-balance accounts can access a team of financial advisors for a small fee.

While customer service is available during business hours, Fidelity does not offer 24/7 assistance.



★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Fees & Commissions
$0 commission on all closings; $1/contract on stock & EFT options; $2.50 options futures; $1.50 options on micro futures; $0 stocks and EFTs; $1.25 on futures; $0.85 on micro futures; $0.25 on smalls futures, $0.50 on smalls futures options; 1% on crypto, capped at $10/transaction
Trading Platforms
Web-based, desktop, and mobile platforms
Research Tools
Follow features and video feeds to keep up with professional traders; not as many in-platform research/education tools
Customer Support
Web-based email and chat customer support
Show More Details

TastyTrade is a cult favorite thanks to its easy access to crypto and straightforward commission and fees schedule.

Additional Details

Although TastyTrade still charges commission, the fee schedule is easy to understand via its published fee chart.

It features $0 closing fees and a maximum of $10 per leg on stock and EFT options.

Cryptocurrency commissions are limited to $10 and the purchase and sale commission is 1% on each transaction.

TastyTrade offers web-based, desktop, and mobile app trading platforms. Its interface is a perennial favorite with traders for its one-click settings adjustment features that let you quickly project out future profits and make fast trades. It may be more suited to experienced traders than beginners.

The built-in research tools are minimal for TastyTrade, more suited to experienced traders who already have their own knowledge sources. They do let you create custom watchlists to monitor specific investments. A social media-style “follow feed” and trade-floor video streaming lets you keep an eye on experienced traders.

TastyTrade does not provide access to fractional shares, which may be off-putting for some. Additionally, it isn’t as easy to access live, human customer service as it is with some other brokerages we reviewed.

There were no special incentives for opening a new account at this time.


Interactive Brokers

★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Fees & Commissions
$0 trading commissions; Asset management fees between 0.08-0.75% on your investments
Trading Platforms
Web-based, mobile, and desktop trading platforms
Research Tools
Integrated with the web system; more plans available with advanced subscriptions
Customer Support
Phone, email, and chat customer service options available during business hours.
Show More Details

Interactive Brokers offers $0 in trading commissions and management fees calculated as a percentage of your investments. The fee calculator integrated into the client dashboard is a nice feature that makes it easier to calculate total cost to trades.

Additional Details

This brokerage firm offers a series of curated investments organized around “themes,” like low-risk or high-return. Clients can tailor these profiles to reflect their preferences.

Interactive Brokers does require a $100 deposit into your new brokerage account to get started. There are no inactivity fees

It offers three different trading platforms; a web-based client portal, the mobile app IBKR mobile, and desktop Trader Workstation (TWS) for very active traders (with an account upgrade).

The platform offers a number of integrated research and market monitoring tools, and there’s even a special program for students. More options are available with upgraded plans.

Interactive Brokers offers an impressive range of trading options, including international assets, cryptocurrency, and mutual funds.

One downside of Interactive Brokers is the confusing tier system. It can be challenging to determine which options are available to you based on your membership level.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is $500 enough to start trading?

Absolutely. Many brokerage firms (like Ameritrade) don’t require an account minimum, so you just need enough money in the account to cover a few shares of a particular stock to get started, plus any relevant fees.
Some brokerage accounts offer incentives depending on the size of your initial investment.

What steps should you take when choosing a broker?

1. Identify your level of experience with trading. If you are a beginner, look for a broker with lots of guided options and integrated educational tools. Experienced traders will appreciate customizable trading platforms and market monitoring tools.
2. Decide what level of support you want. Some brokers let you take the wheel, while others offer 24/7 customer service or low fees for broker-led trades. 
3. Try out different trading platforms. Most online brokers offer web-based and mobile platforms.
4. Advanced desktop command centers are usually available for an increased fee.
5. Finally, decide what types of investments you want access to. Not all brokers offer access to cryptocurrency or fractional shares, for example.

Rebekah is a freelance writer and researcher who has been writing about personal finance, small businesses, and higher education since 2012. With a background in academic research and public relations, she enjoys making complex topics clear for busy readers.