E*TRADE vs. TD Ameritrade: 2023 Comparison

TD Ameritrade and E*TRADE both offer free trades, strong trading platforms and a wide investment selection. Here's how they stack up.
Arielle O'Shea
By Arielle O'Shea 
Updated

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E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade often top the pile of online brokers, making it tough for investors to decide between the two. You won't pay activity or annual fees at either broker. Both offer commission-free trades of stocks, options and exchange-traded funds and have no opening account minimums.

The differences are in the details, and the decision likely comes down to the type of investor you are. If you're stuck going back and forth between E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade, look over our head-to-head comparison.

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.

Interest rate on uninvested cash

0.01%

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

More than 4,000

Tradable securities

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

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 several external 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; 64 local and 2 national branches

TD Ameritrade
NerdWallet rating 

TD Ameritrade is best for:

  • Beginner investors.

  • Advanced traders.

  • Investor education/advice.

  • Fund investors.

TD Ameritrade at a glance

Account minimum

$0

Stock trading costs

$0

Options trades

$0.65 per contract.

Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)

No annual or inactivity fee. $75 full transfer; $0 partial transfer.

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

More than 1,600.

Tradable securities

  • Stocks.

  • Bonds.

  • Options.

  • Mutual funds.

  • ETFs.

  • Futures.

  • Forex.

  • Foreign ADRs.

  • IPOs for qualified accounts.

Crypto availability

No direct access to cryptocurrencies, but crypto coin trusts are available over-the-counter, and qualified clients can trade Bitcoin futures from CME.

Trading platform

Two platforms: TD Ameritrade web and thinkorswim (desktop).

Mobile app

TD Ameritrade mobile app, TDA thinkorswim app.

Research and data

Research, analysis, commentary and news available from 15 providers, including Argus, CFRA, Reuters, Vickers and Morningstar.

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

Phone, email and live chat support 24/7. In person at local branches. Support also available via text, Facebook Messenger, Twitter direct message, Apple Business Chat and Amazon Alexa.

» Want more options? Compare the best online brokers for stock trading

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NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.7

/5

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

$0

per trade

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Promotion 

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion 

None

no promotion available at this time

Promotion 

Get up to 70 free fractional shares (valued up to $3,000)

when you open and fund an account with Webull.

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).

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

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