Best Deep Discount Brokerage Firms

Best Deep Discount Brokers

Many regular individual investors and even some active traders are still unaware that there are highly rated deep discount brokers that charge $3 per trade to buy or sell stocks or ETFs in a flat rate pricing plan, and as low as $1 per trade in a pay-per-share pricing plan. Stock trading commissions came down a lot since the time Charles Schwab introduced discount stock trading at $30 per trade. Competition among brokerage houses is now stronger than ever, with new companies constantly pressuring established players with aggressive pricing. There is a clear long-term trend of lower trading commissions and fees that continues in 2019.

The online trading and investing industry is so large and popular now that there are different niches created within it that companies start to fill. One of these niches is deep discount trading. It's created by the need of very active traders to have the lowest possible commissions for online trading. Some firms in that niche charge as little as $1.00 per trade. But, as usual, there is a catch. The deep discount brokers often charge lots more fees than most other brokerages. The most common of these are fees for using trading platforms (could be hundred or more dollars per month) and account inactivity fees.

Deep discount brokers also tend to offer pay-per-share commission structure. With it, customer pays for each share in a trade. The more shares a client buys with pay-per-share structure - the higher the cost. There is always a minimum charge per trade of at least $1.00. This pricing structure is different than paying flat rate commission regardless of the number of shares which is offered at most other brokerage houses.

Let's take a look at the top deep discount brokerage firms in 2019:

Interactive Brokers (IB)

Interactive Brokers rating

Interactive Brokers is a deep discount online trading company that offers pay-per-share commission structure: customers pay $0.005 for each share with $1.00 minimum for SMART routed orders. This means that any order of up to 200 shares will cost you just $1.00. 500 shares will cost just $2.50. 1,000 shares - $5.00. And 2,000 shares costs much less attractive $10.00 per trade.

Options at Interactive Brokers are priced at $0.70 or less per contract plus exchange fees. Mutual funds cost is $14.95 per transaction.

Before you get too excited, you have to keep in mind additional costs: Interactive Brokers charges $10 monthly inactivity fee ($20 monthly if account balance is less than $2,000) and $10 monthly for market data if your trading commissions are less than $10 per month. This means that investors who rarely trade could pay up to $360 a year in inactivity fees.

Minimum to open most accounts at Interactive Brokers is $10,000. IRA accounts are being charged $30 annual IRA fee.

Learn more at Interactive Brokers Review.

Interactive Brokers Promotion Code

Company doesn't offer promotions.

Open IB Account


Tradestation rating

TradeStation offers some of the lowest rates among deep discount brokers: it charges just $0.01 per share for the first 500 shares, $0.006 per share thereafter, with $1.00 minimum per trade. With that rate all stock or ETF trades of up to 100 shares will cost you just $1.00. Options pricing could be as low as $4.99 plus $0.20 per contract for very active traders. Mutual funds are priced at $14.95 per transaction.

This year TradeStation was rated Best Broker for Frequent Traders and Best Broker for International Traders by Barron's magazine. We rated the firm Best Broker for Futures Traders and Best Broker for Day Traders in 2019.

Learn more at TradeStation Review.

TradeStation Promotion Offer

Get $5 per trade stock and ETF commissions.

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Firstrade rating

Firstrade is a top deep discount brokerage firm charging flat-rate $0 for stock and ETF trades regardless of the number of shares in the order. Options are priced at $0 too.

Mutual funds are priced at just $0 per transaction.

Firstrade is one of the top choices for active traders and day traders looking for flat rate commission account to make larger trades that will be too expensive with per-share plan. The firm offers free real-time quotes. Unlike Interactive Brokers, there are no fees for inactivity, to cancel or modify orders, and IRA accounts. However, don't expect a stand alone trading platform and other advanced trading tools with this broker.

Read full Firstrade Review.

Firstrade Promotion Offer

$0 commissions + up to $200 in transfer fee rebates.

Open Firstrade Account