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6 Best Online Brokers for Bonds of June 2024

The best brokers for bonds offer a range of different types of bond products – including individual bonds and ETFs — as well as low trading fees and high cash sweep rates.

Alieza Durana
By Alieza Durana 
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

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.

Bonds are often an important part of a balanced investment portfolio. They can be used as a source of fixed income, or as a way to potentially pad the losses of other portfolio assets, like stocks. Brokers range in the types of bonds they offer, from simple products like bond ETFs to extensive offerings of government, corporate and international bonds and bond funds.

The following brokers score highest among all brokers we review for the types of bonds on offer, the fees charged for trading bonds, the level of customer support they provide and their interest rate on uninvested cash.

Note: The below trade fees refer to the broker's commission for U.S. Treasurys — all of the brokers on this list allow you to purchase those with no commission or trade fee except for Interactive Brokers, which charges a small percentage of face value. Other types of bonds at these brokers may carry a different fee; we've described those fees in detail in the product cards below the table. Often, brokers require a minimum commission of $10 and limit commissions to $250 per trade.

Our deep, independent analysis of investment firms cuts through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account.

  • Over 60 investment account providers reviewed and rated by our expert Nerds.

  • More than 50 years of combined experience writing about finance and investing.

  • Hands-on testing of the account funding process, provider websites and investment platforms.

  • Dozens of objective ratings rubrics and strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity.

To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating brokers and for evaluating robo-advisors.

Bonds are often an important part of a balanced investment portfolio. They can be used as a source of fixed income, or as a way to potentially pad the losses of other portfolio assets, like stocks. Brokers range in the types of bonds they offer, from simple products like bond ETFs to extensive offerings of government, corporate and international bonds and bond funds.

The following brokers score highest among all brokers we review for the types of bonds on offer, the fees charged for trading bonds, the level of customer support they provide and their interest rate on uninvested cash.

Note: The below trade fees refer to the broker's commission for U.S. Treasurys — all of the brokers on this list allow you to purchase those with no commission or trade fee except for Interactive Brokers, which charges a small percentage of face value. Other types of bonds at these brokers may carry a different fee; we've described those fees in detail in the product cards below the table. Often, brokers require a minimum commission of $10 and limit commissions to $250 per trade.

Our deep, independent analysis of investment firms cuts through the details to find and evaluate the information investors want when choosing an investing account.

  • Over 60 investment account providers reviewed and rated by our expert Nerds.

  • More than 50 years of combined experience writing about finance and investing.

  • Hands-on testing of the account funding process, provider websites and investment platforms.

  • Dozens of objective ratings rubrics and strict guidelines to maintain editorial integrity.

To see our full methodology and learn more about our process, read our criteria for evaluating brokers and for evaluating robo-advisors.

Best Online Brokers for Bonds

NerdWallet rating 

4.9

/5
Charles Schwab
Learn more

on Charles Schwab's website

Fees

$0

per online equity trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • No commission for U.S. Treasurys.

  • Commission-free bond ETFs.

  • Over 155,000 individual bonds.

  • Free access to fixed-income specialists to help clients choose products.

Cons

  • $1 per online bond trade for secondary issues of non-Treasurys.

  • $10 minimum trade fee; $250 maximum.

Why We Like It

Charles Schwab has earned its strong reputation: The broker offers high-quality customer service, four free trading platforms, a wide selection of no-transaction-fee mutual funds and $0 commissions for stocks, ETFs and options.

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Learn more

on J.P. Morgan's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

Get up to $700

when you open and fund a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing account with qualifying new money.

Pros

  • No commission for U.S. Treasurys.

  • Commission-free bond ETFs.

Cons

  • $10 per trade + $1 per bond over 10 bonds for non-Treasurys. $250 maximum trade fee.

Why We Like It

J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets, tools and research. INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
Vanguard
Learn more

on Vanguard's website

Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • No commission for U.S. Treasurys.

  • Commission-free bond ETFs.

Cons

  • $1 per $1,000 face amount on non-Treasurys. $250 maximum trade fee.

Why We Like It

Vanguard is the king of low-cost investing, making it ideal for buy-and-hold and retirement investors. It offers a top-notch selection of proprietary, low-cost mutual funds, including many ESG options. Despite its $0 trade commission, active traders will find the broker falls short due to the lack of a strong trading platform.

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Interactive Brokers IBKR
Learn more

on Interactive Brokers' website

Fees

0.002%

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • Access to sovereign bonds.

  • One of the widest bond selections of any broker NerdWallet reviews.

  • Minimum commission is only $5.

Cons

  • Commission of 0.002% of face value for Treasurys up to $1M (0.001% over $1M).

  • No maximum commission.

Why We Like It

Interactive Brokers has one of the most extensive bond offerings in the business, giving investors access to Treasury bonds, corporates, municipal bonds and even foreign sovereign bonds, as well as bond funds.

Best Online Broker for Bond Investors 2024

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Fidelity
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • No commission for U.S. Treasurys.

  • Over 100,000 individual bonds.

  • Commission-free bond ETFs.

Cons

  • $1 per online bond trade for non-Treasurys.

Why We Like It

Fidelity offers $0 trading commissions, a selection of more than 3,300 no-transaction-fee mutual funds and top-notch research tools and trading platform. Its zero-fee index funds and strong customer service reputation are just icing on the cake.

NerdWallet rating 

4.2

/5
Merrill Edge® Self-Directed
Fees

$0

per trade

Account minimum

$0

Promotion

None

no promotion available at this time

Pros

  • No commission for U.S. Treasurys.

  • Commission-free bond ETFs.

Cons

  • $1 per online bond trade for non-Treasurys.

  • $10 minimum trade fee for non-Treasurys; $250 maximum.

Why We Like It

Merrill Edge's extensive research and educational offerings, its Idea Builder investment-finder tool, and its seamless integration with other Bank of America accounts make it a solid choice for beginner investors.

Last updated on June 19, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokerage firms 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.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Online Brokers for Bonds of June 2024