Charles Schwab vs. TD Ameritrade: 2023 Comparison

Arielle O'Shea
By Arielle O'Shea 
Updated

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences 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, Inc. does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

MORE LIKE THISInvesting

Editor’s note: Charles Schwab acquired TD Ameritrade in 2019, and is currently working to transition clients. NerdWallet is no longer updating this comparison, nor are we updating our TD Ameritrade reviews. See our full Charles Schwab review to read our current analysis of that brokerage, which has integrated many of TD Ameritrade's offerings.

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.

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; $50 for full transfer out of assets.

Interest rate on uninvested cash

0.45%.

Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds

More than 8,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds.

Tradable securities

  • Stocks.

  • Bonds.

  • Fractional shares

  • Mutual funds.

  • ETFs.

  • Options.

  • Futures.

  • Forex.

Trading platform

Four platforms offered with no trade minimums or fees.

Mobile app

Three mobile apps: Schwab Mobile, thinkorswim and StreetSmart Mobile.

Research and data

Research from providers including, Morningstar, Argus, and S&P, 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.

Advertisement
NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5

Fees 

$0

per online equity trade

Fees 

$0

per trade for online U.S. stocks and ETFs

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 

None

no promotion available at this time

Want to compare more options? View 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 judgments 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.

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.