The Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading

Looking for the best online brokerage accounts for trading stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and other investment vehicles? Different online brokerages vary widely in terms of the fees associated with each account, so NerdWallet scoured the internet to find the best online brokers by category, whether you’re looking for a deep discount broker, commission free ETF trading, or the best customer service.

NerdWallet’s Top Picks: The Best Overall Online Brokers

competitive pricing and usability along with top tier account features and premium services

  • Provides low commissions alongside top tier research and tools
  • Commission Per Trade: $7.00
  • Account Minimum: $2,500
  • Promotion: Transfer your existing brokerage account and get reimbursed up to $100 of transfer fees
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  • The most affordable no-minimum-deposit account 
  • Commission Per Trade: $4.95
  • Account Minimum: None
  • Promotion: Get $1,000 in free trade commissions when you open an account over $5,000. TradeKing will also reimburse up to $150 in transfer fees and $100 cash referral bonus.
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Commission-Free ETF Trading

 greatest quantity and variety of commission free-ETFs

  • Offers over 80 commission-free ETFs from 3 fund families, with no annual fee
  • Commission Per Trade for Stocks: $9.99
  • Account Minimum: $500
  • Promotion: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600 when you make an initial deposit of $10,000
  • Read our full ETRADE review
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  • Offers 100+ commission free ETFs independently selected by Morningstar
  • Commission Per Trade for Stocks: $9.99
  • Account Minimum: $500
  • Promotion: Fund a new account with $2,000 to receive 60 days of free trades and up to $600
  • Read our full TD Ameritrade review
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Comprehensive Customer Service

24/7 customer service and broker assistance

  • Consistently ranked for the best customer service, USAA caters to military and veteran needs but is available to any American looking to sign up
  • Commission Per Trade: $8.95
  • Account Minimum: None
  • Promotion: Trade free up to 90 days (maximum 50 trades) when you open a new account
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  • Offers 24/7 customer service, broker assisted market orders, phone trades
  • “Best in In-Person Service” ~Barron’s
  • Commission Per Trade: $9.99
  • Account Minimum: $500
  • Promotion: Fund a new account with $2,000 to receive 60 days of free trades and up to $600
  • Read our full TD Ameritrade review
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Top Tier Research and Reports

highest quality research for the lowest price

  • Offers free basic research reports, trading software and tools, and real time data
  • Commission Per Trade: $7.00
  • Account Minimum: $2,500
  • Promotion: Transfer your existing brokerage account and get reimbursed up to $100 of transfer fees
  • Learn more about Scottrade
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  • The highest quality and broadest range of offerings combined with a user-friendly interface and extensive research
  • Commission Per Trade: $9.99
  • Account Minimum: $500
  • Promotion: Fund a new account with $2,000 to receive 60 days of free trades and up to $600
  • Read our full TD Ameritrade review
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Deep-Discount Brokers

if price is more important to you than speed

  • Research, data, and tools for half the price
  • Commission Per Trade: $4.95
  • Account Minimum: None
  • Promotion: Get $1,000 in free trade commissions when you open an account over $5,000. TradeKing will also reimburse up to $150 in transfer fees and $100 cash referral bonus.
Get started
  • Great analytics tools at a great price
  • Commission Per Trade: $4.95
  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Promotion: When you fund a new account with $5,000, receive 150 free trades (promotion code FREE150)
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Free Data Analysis Software

best data tools and stock analysis software for your money

  • Its Trade Architect and thinkorswim trading platforms are considered among the best on the Web.
  • Commission Per Trade: $9.99
  • Account Minimum: $500
  • Promotion: Fund a new account with $2,000 to receive 60 days of free trades and up to $600
Get started
  • Best free research and analysis software option with no account minimum
  • Commission Per Trade: $4.95
  • Account Minimum: None
  • Promotion: Get $1,000 in free trade commissions when you open an account over $5,000. TradeKing will also reimburse up to $150 in transfer fees and $100 cash referral bonus.
Get started


Learn More: How to Find the Right Broker For You

Don’t see what you’re looking for above?  If you need a very specific type of account, then the next step is to look carefully to see if you plan on using any of the following:

  • Real-time trades
  • Automated orders by phone
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Research reports
  • Data analysis software
  • Physical locations
  • Mobile access
  • Debit card

Using this checklist, you can compare and contrast pricing at all 74 online brokerages available to you using NerdWallet’s free brokerage comparison tool to make sure you’re really finding the best price and account for your needs.

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