Charles Schwab vs. E*TRADE: 2022 Comparison

Charles Schwab and and E*TRADE are both good for advanced and beginner investors, but fractional shares and website ease-of-use differ. NerdWallet compares the two brokers.
Mar 11, 2022

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There's a lot to like about E*TRADE and Charles Schwab. Both brokers cater to beginner investors and advanced traders alike. Both offer extensive investment selections, commission-free trades of stocks and exchange-traded funds and access to extensive research. Schwab has an above-average mobile app, but it provides a smaller selection of fractional shares than some other brokers. E*TRADE's two mobile apps are impressive, but the broker's website can be a bit difficult to navigate. Read more information about the two brokers to decide which one might be right for you.

Charles Schwab is best for:

  • Beginner investors.

  • Advanced traders.

  • Investors seeking no-minimum index funds.

  • Investors who rely on premium research.

Charles Schwab at a glance

Account minimum

$0.

Stock trading costs

$0.

Options trades

No base commission; $0.65 per contract.

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)

No annual or inactivity fee; $25 for full or partial transfer out of assets, $15 if this is done online.

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

Over 4,200 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

Tradable securities

  • Stocks.

  • Bonds.

  • Fractional shares

  • CDs

  • Mutual funds.

  • ETFs.

  • Options.

  • Futures.

Crypto availability

No access to cryptocurrencies, but clients can trade crypto-based, products, such as Bitcoin futures.

Trading platform

Three platforms offered with no trade minimums or fees: StreetSmart Edge (desktop platform), Schwab.com and StreetSmart Central.

Mobile app

Two mobile apps with above-average capabilities: Schwab Mobile and StreetSmart Mobile.

Research and data

Research from 14 providers including Moody's, Morningstar, Recognia, Credit Suisse and Thompson Reuters, plus more in-house generated commentary and tools.

Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)

Phone, email, chat 24/7, and in-person support available at branches Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some branches have Saturday hours.

E*TRADE
NerdWallet rating 

on E*TRADE's website

E*TRADE is best for:

  • Frequent traders.

  • Beginner investors.

  • Research and data.

  • Retirement planning assistance.

E*TRADE at a glance

Account minimum

$0

Stock trading costs

$0

Options trades

No base commission; $0.65 per contract (volume discount available)

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)

No annual or inactivity fee. $75 full transfer out fee; $25 partial

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

Over 4,300

Tradable securities

• Stocks • Bonds • Mutual funds • ETFs • Options • Futures

Crypto availability

Investors have access to crypto-related products, but not cryptocurrencies themselves.

Trading platform

Two platforms available for free to all customers: • E-Trade Web • Power E-Trade

Mobile app

Two apps: • E*TRADE mobile • Power E*TRADE Available on iOS and Android.

Research and data

Free and extensive, with over nine providers available at no cost.

Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)

Phone, email and chat support 24/7; 30 local branches

Want to compare more brokerages? Here's our full list of the best brokers for stock trading.

Methodology

How do we review brokers?

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers by assets under management, along with emerging industry players. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across more than 20 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.

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