Scottrade vs E*trade

ETRADE vs Scottrade

Scottrade or Etrade - which is better in 2018? Compare IRA/Roth accounts, online investing fees, stock broker mutual fund rates, and differences.


Broker Fees Stock/ETF
Mutual Fund
Annual IRA
Etrade $6.95 $19.95 $6.95 + $0.75 per contract $0 $0
Scottrade $6.95 $17 $6.95 + $0.70 per contract $0 $0

Broker Review Cost Investment Products Trading Tools Customer Service Research Overall Rating

Scottrade and Etrade are two of America's better known low-cost brokerage firms who advertise heavily and offer investors numerous financial products and services. So which is better - Etrade or Scottrade? Let's find out.

Compare Fees and Account Minimums

Scottrade’s standard charge for trading stocks and ETF’s is $6.95, and Etrade now charges the same rate. Etrade has a discount of $2 per trade for investors who place more than 29 trades per quarter. Investors who trade options will pay an extra $0.70 per contract at Scottrade, and $0.75 at Etrade ($0.50 for those making 30 or more trades).

Etrade offers 101 commission-free ETF's while Scottrade's parent company, TD Ameritrade, offers 296. Brokerage accounts at both Scottrade and Etrade carry no inactivity fees or account maintenance fees. The minimum initial deposit to open a brokerage account at Scottrade is $2,500, and at Etrade it's $500 ($0 for IRA).

This category is a tie.

Mutual Funds

Etrade offers more than 8,000 mutual funds, of which 1,300 carry no-load and no transaction fee. Mutual funds that carry a transaction fee are $19.99.

Scottrade offers more than 14,000 mutual funds, almost 3,000 of which come with no load and no transaction fee. No-load mutual funds that do carry a transaction fee are $17 on both the sell and buy ends, when traded on-line. Load funds are free to buy, but cost $17 to sell.

Scottrade clearly wins in the mutual fund arena.

Research and Education

Etrade has a variety of educational resources for its customers, consisting of on-demand videos, articles, and in-person seminars at select cities. An assortment of topics are covered, such as fixed-income, options, and IRA’s. Etrade also offers futures research, including a dedicated futures customer service phone line.

Scottrade research tools are on the above average side. There are third-party reports available. Scottrade offers investment education on a web page called Knowledge Center, where traders will find articles and videos on a variety of topics.

This category produces another tie.

Customer Service

Scottrade is famous for having numerous brick-and-mortar branches across the United States to help their customers personally. The broker currently has more than 500 branches nationwide. Scottrade's customer service is rated as one of the best in the industry. Etrade has just 30 branches. However, Etrade offers 24/7 telephone customer service, whereas Scottrade is only available 5:00 AM to midnight (CST), Monday through Friday, and 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on the weekend.

Overall, the brokers are tied in this category.

Trading Tools

Scottrade’s web site is fairly simple and not very sophisticated. A step up from the web site is Scottrader Streaming Quotes, a Java-based system launched from the web site. For active traders, there is ScottradeELITE, the broker's flagship trading platform.

Etrade's web site is more sophisticated and user friendly. The broker's Total Trade Ticket can be used to place orders for stocks, options, and ETF’s. Advanced platforms are available for frequent traders. Etrade Pro is a desktop application, and Etrade Marketrader is a browser platform.

This category goes to Etrade, primarily for their well-designed web site.

Mobile Trading

Etrade has applications for Windows phone, iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, Amazon Fire phone, and Kindle Fire HD. The iPhone app has the most features. The interface is easy to navigate. Users will find charts, a trade ticket, mobile check deposit, educational videos, and many other useful features.

Scottrade has applications for Android, iPhone, iPad, and mobile web. The interface is intuitive and user friendly. Users can read market news, place an order, search for options, and look over position and account data. Unfortunately, mobile check deposit isn’t available, nor is the ability to contact customer service.

Etrade and Scottrade are tied in this category.

Cash Management Features

Both brokers have FDIC-insured banks that offer deposit accounts with the standard insurance of $250,000. Both firms offer free checks and a debit card. In order to open a Scottrade bank account, clients must have at least $500 in a Scottrade brokerage account.

Scottrade does not allow its customers to transfer funds out of a Scottrade brokerage account to an external bank account via ACH (however, ACH originated from a bank is allowed), although Etrade does.

The two brokers are equal in this category.

Additional Features

Etrade offers futures trading and research, including the ability to trade more than 200 futures products. The futures trading platform has no fee, and there is a dedicated futures customer support team.

Scottrade does not offer any services on futures, forex or access to international markets.

Etrade gets this category.

Scottrade Is Now Part of TD Ameritrade

Scottrade was acquired by TD Ameritrade. TD Ameritrade plans to fully integrate Scottrade by the end of first quarter. For this reason it makes more sense to open an account with TD Ameritrade directly and skip possible transition inconveniences. New customers could take advantage of TD Ameritrade's promotion (see link below) that allows them to trade for free for two months and gives up to $600 bonus.

Article comparing TD Ameritrade and Etrade is under this link.


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

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

Etrade vs Scottrade - Results

As you see, neither broker has a clear edge in this online broker comparison.

Overall, both Scottrade and Etrade are excellent and will definitely be a good fit for a majority of investors. Based on lower commissions, we recommend Scottrade to most customers, especially to beginners, retirement, and long term investors as well as to active stock, ETF and options traders. Etrade is a great broker for bonds, fixed income, and buy and hold investing.

Review discount online brokerage firms comparison: Scottrade or Etrade? Differences between investment companies. Recommendation for stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds investors. Etrade versus Scottrade for beginner investors, long term, individual retirement accounts, active/day Etraders. See what stock broker service is better, cheaper, offers lower fees, cost, rated higher and easier to use. Which broker should you choose?