Online Brokerage Firms Charging Account Inactivity or Maintenance Fees
Does your discount stock broker charge inactivity fees? List of annual and monthly account inactivity and maintenance fees for TD Ameritrade, Scottrade, Etrade, Fidelity Investments, MB Trading, Just2trade, Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Tradeking, Optionshouse, Wellstrade/Wells Fargo, Optionsxpress, Interactive Brokers, Merrill Lynch/Edge, Firstrade, Capital One Investing, TradeMonster, TradeStation and Sogotrade.
Account Inactivity Fees Charged by Brokerage Firms
|Capital One Investing||No||No|
|Choicetrade||$15 quarterly fee if customer makes less than five trades in a calendar quarter||$50 annual IRA fee, $25 IRA setup fee|
|Fidelity||No||Simple IRA: $350 per plan collected annually from the employer; or $25 per participant collected annually from participants' accounts. HSA: $48, waived in some instances. $12 annual Low Balance Fee for each noncore Fidelity mutual fund if balance is under $2,000.|
|Interactive Brokers||$30 per month minimum commission requirement to avoid $10 monthly fee (rises to $20 monthly if account balance is less than $2,000)||$7.50 quarterly fee for IRA accounts ($30 per year)|
|Just2trade||No||$35 annual fee for IRA accounts (if below $25,000 in assets)|
|Lightspeed Trading||Minimum monthly commission for accounts under $5,000 is $25||$30 annual IRA fee|
|MB Trading||No||$30 annual fee for IRAs|
|Sogotrade||No||$35 annual IRA fee|
|TradeKing||$50 annual inactivity fee if BOTH apply to an account(s):
- Combined account value of the household account(s) is less than $2,500
- No commission-charged trades have been executed in the account(s) during the last 12 months
|TradeStation||$99.95 fee if not traded at least 5,000 shares in previous month||$35 annual IRA fee|
|Vanguard||No||$20 annual maintenance fee for regular accounts with balance less than $50,000. Annual IRA fees: $25 for SIMPLE IRA, $15 for 403(b)(7), $20 for Individual 401(k)/Roth 401(k) plans, $20 for 529 plan|
|Wellstrade||No||$25 Minimum Balance Fee, if account is less than $5,000; $30 monthly service fee if PMA Package has less than $50,000 in all accounts|
Brokerage Maintenance Fees
In 2015 a majority of discount online brokers did not charge account maintenance fees for regular brokerage, non-IRA accounts. However, IRA accounts (Traditional, ROTH, Simple IRA,
SEP IRA, 401(K) and others) are a different story:
as you see from the table above many companies impose maintenance fees (also called annual or custodial fees). These charges could really add up over the years - you are not only
loosing the amount of fees but also all the interest that might have accumulated on them over the years.
The worst companies in regard of maintenance and inactivity fees are Interactive Brokers and Lightspeed Trading. They cater mostly to very active traders (day-traders) for
whom these fees just don't matter. On the other hand, the majority of long-term, buy-and-hold investors do care about the fees. As you see, the firms that fiercely compete
over this large group of customers, such as TD Ameritrade, Etrade, Scottrade, Chrles Schwab, USAA Brokerage and others, do not charge account fees.
Does Your Broker Charge Inactivity Fees?
Some online brokers charge account inactivity fees: the fee is imposed when a customer does not make a specified amount of trades during a
month (Interactive Brokers), a quarter (LightSpeed Trading) or a year (TradeKing).
There are also companies that impose special fees that could destroy a small account investor - Low Balance Fees. These fees could be charged if
client has account balance lower than required by a brokerage house (Interactive Brokers), or it could be charged if the amount invested in a mutual
fund is too small (Fidelity Investments, Vanguard). Most companies do not charge Low Balance Fees fees.
Many companies in this article offer incentives for new client accounts. Some of these promotions work only for non-IRA accounts, others - for both IRA and non-IRA accounts.
Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.
Get $200 and trade for just $4.95.
Optionshouse: Trade Free For 60 Days when you Open a New OptionsHouse Account.
USAA: Get 50 Commission-Free Trades for Opening a USAA Brokerage Account.
Scottrade: Get up to $2000 when you open new account or add funds to existing account.
Get up to $150 when you start trading at Motif Investing.
Firstrade: Open an account to get 100 free trades.
Capital One ShareBuilder: None
Charles Schwab: None
Merrill Lynch/Edge: None
Interactive Brokers: None
Fidelity Investments: None
Updated on 7/31/2015.