E*TRADE vs. TD Ameritrade: 2021 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'SheaJun 23, 2021

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks or securities.

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; $25 partial

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

Over 4,300

Tradable securities

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

Crypto offering

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

TD Ameritrade
NerdWallet rating 

on TD Ameritrade's website

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

No base commission; $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 3,700.

Tradable securities

• Stocks. • Bonds. • Mutual funds. • ETFs. • Options. • Futures. • Forex. • Foreign ADRs. • IPOs for qualified accounts.

Crypto offering

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; technical phone support Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern. In-person at 250+ 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

Advertisement
Fidelity
SoFi Active Investing
E*TRADE
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Fees

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

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

$5 to $1,000

in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app

Promotion

Get $600 or more

when you open and fund an E*TRADE account with code: BONUS21

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.