ETRADE Competitors

Etrade vs competition: fees, rates, and rankings. Who are direct Etrade competitors? List of top largest Etrade rival alternative companies.

Etrade vs Competitors: Fees and Services

Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
TD Ameritrade $6.95 $49.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Ally Invest $4.95 $9.95 $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Charles Schwab $4.95 $76 ($0 to sell) $4.95 + $0.65 per contract $0 $0
Etrade $6.95 $19.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating
TD Ameritrade
Ally Invest
Charles Schwab

Etrade vs Competition: Intro

E*Trade has some entertaining advertisements on television. But just how does it compare to some of its rivals, such as Ally Invest, Schwab, and TD Ameritrade, in terms of actual brokerage services? This article is going to find out.

Trading Technology

The E*Trade website is nicely laid out and easy to navigate. Since there is no trading ticket within the browser, trades are placed with simple order pages. The firm does offer an advanced desktop platform, although it comes with frequent trader requirements.

Both Schwab and Ally Invest recently updated their websites. The changes make both websites easier to navigate. The brokers also have quote bars at the bottom of the browsing window to make security research quick and easy. However, trades can't be placed directly with the Schwab gadget. Clicking on 'Trade' takes the user to an order page. Schwab also offers desktop platforms with account requirements.

TD Ameritrade has the best website of the four. It's easy to browse. SnapTicket is a user-friendly trading system that appears at the bottom of the browsing window. It can produce a small chart and trade stocks, options, and ETF's. The broker provides two trading platforms. Trade Architect is web-based and simpler to use, while thinkorswim is a desktop program that is more advanced. Surprisingly, both are free to use for all customers. Thinkorswim also has PaperMoney, a practice platform.

Mobile Platforms

E*Trade clients can buy and sell on Android, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Kindle Fire HD, and Amazon Fire phone. Users can look over charts, place trades, deposit a check, and watch educational videos. Live streaming of CNBC is available to active traders.

TD Ameritrade has three different apps that have slightly different functions. They can be used on iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Windows 10, and Android. CNBC streams for free for all customers. One of the three apps is a thinkorswim platform, which has very advanced charting.

Ally Invest clients can use the regular Ally Financial mobile app, which now has investment section. It can be used to make trades for stocks, mutual funds and options. Market news is also available. Charts can show price histories of stocks along with comparisons and technical studies.

Investors at Schwab can trade securities on Apple (including Apple Watch), Android, Kindle Fire, and mobile web. There is live streaming of CNBC at no cost, along with bill pay and mobile check deposit.

Commissions and Account Requirements

Both TD Ameritrade and E*Trade charge $6.95 for stock and ETF trades. Options at TD Ameritrade and E*Trade cost an additional 75¢ for each contract. At Schwab and Ally Invest, stock and ETF transactions cost $4.95, while the brokers charge 65¢ for options. Ally's rate drops to $3.95 for clients making 30 or more trades in 90 days or with $100K account balance.

None of the four brokerage firms charge any fees to open or maintain a trading account. There are no low-balance or inactivity fees at any of the firms. Schwab does require a $1,000 minimum deposit to open a non-retirement account. E*Trade customers must deposit at least $500, while TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest have no requirement.

ETF's and Mutual Funds

Investors can find commission-free ETF's at E*Trade, Schwab, and TD Ameritrade. E*Trade has 188, Schwab has more than 200, while TD Ameritrade offers 296. Unfortunately, Ally Invest doesn't have any.

On the mutual fund side, E*Trade offers more than 8,000 products, with nearly 1,300 that are no load and no transaction fee. TD Ameritrade offers almost 12,000 mutual funds, including over 2,000 that carry no load and no transaction fee. At Schwab, investors have access to more than 5,000 mutual funds. More than 3,500 are OneSource products, which are no-load, no-transaction-fee funds. Ally Invest has slightly more than 10,000 mutual funds.

Customer Service

All four brokers have 24/7 customer service over the phone. Schwab and E*Trade also have on-line chat. TD Ameritrade has a robo-chat service where questions are answered by a software program. All four brokers can be reached through internal e-mail.

Charles Schwab, E*Trade and TD Ameritrade have networks of branch locations. E*Trade has 30 branches, TD Ameritrade has over 600 offices, and Schwab has 325.

Our Recommendations

Beginner Investors: we recommend TD Ameritrade and Ally Invest.

IRA accounts: all four brokers.

Stocks/ETFs Traders: Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade.

Options Traders: Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade.

Long Term, Inactive Investors: all four brokers.

Mutual Funds Investors: Charles Schwab, Ally Invest and TD Ameritrade.

Small accounts: Ally Invest.

New Account Promotions

TD Ameritrade: Trade free for 60 days + get up to $600.

Ally Invest: Up to $3,500 cash bonus + commission free trades for new accounts.

Etrade: At E*TRADE, get $6.95 trades + 65₵ per options contract.

Charles Schwab: Make $100,000 deposit and get 500 commission-free online equity and options trades.

Detailed Brokerage Reviews

TD Ameritrade (click here),

Ally Invest (click here),

Etrade (click here),

Charles Schwab (click here).

Etrade Competitors reviewed by Rating: 4.5