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TD Ameritrade Apex Account Review

TD Ameritrade APEX Account is Discontinued

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TD Ameritrade Apex Account Overview

While regular TD Ameritrade customers get first-rate trading tools and customer service, Apex clients receive even more. Traders who qualify for an Apex account have access to the best that the firm can offer. Let's take a look at these advantages and see how they compare to some of the premium services of other brokers.

TD Ameritrade Apex Requirements

Qualifying for Apex status is straightforward. TD Ameritrade requires 5 or more trades per month over a rolling three-month period. That's a total of 15 trades per quarter. Investors who don't trade this often can alternatively maintain an account balance of at least $100,000.

TD Ameritrade Apex Account Benefits

Achieving one of these account minimums brings several benefits. Apex clients always get free checkbook reorders and free copies of checks. Regular accounts pay $15 for check copies. Apex customers also get stop payments on checks at no charge. Regular customers must pay $25 for this service, by comparison. Mandatory reorganizations on stock held costs regular customers $38, whereas Apex customers pay nothing. Voluntary tender offers also are normally charged $38, while Apex clients are charged $0.

Many brokerage firms are moving towards electronic statements nowadays. Customers who want paper statements are being forced to pay extra for them. For example, Merrill Edge customers must pay $5 for each paper statement. Regular TD Ameritrade customers pay $2 if the have less than $10,000 in account assets. Apex traders receive paper statements for free regardless of account value. This policy could come in handy for Apex clients who qualify for the status by number of trades instead of account balance.

Ordering a replacement paper statement by mail costs regular clients $5, whereas Apex customers receive the service for free. The same policy applies to hard copy trade confirmations.

A really generous benefit of Apex status is free outbound full account transfers. Brokers usually charge a pretty steep fee for this service. Regular TD Ameritrade accounts pay $75, for example. Outgoing wires, both foreign and domestic, are also free for Apex accounts. Non-Apex accounts are charged $25.

Professional traders can receive some substantial discounts on monthly subscription fees by qualifying for Apex status. In a regular TD Ameritrade account, professionals are charged $99 per month for streaming news, but they can get the service for free in an Apex account. NASDAQ Level I quotes normally cost $22, although Apex customers get them at no cost. Real-time OPRA quotes are usually $29.50, but accounts with Apex status get them free of charge. Likewise, Real-time AMEX quotes cost nothing for Apex clients, while non-Apex accounts must pay $23 per month for the data. Research materials are also available to Apex accounts at a discount. MarketEdge Daily and Daily Plus are both 25% off non-Apex rates.

Besides all the discounts, TD Ameritrade also gives phone calls and e-mails from Apex clients top priority. There is an Apex Client Services group of representatives who work exclusively with Apex customers.

TD Ameritrade also is willing to give an account Apex status on a trial basis. This offer may only last for three months, as an account's status is reviewed quarterly. Nevertheless, it would be a good opportunity to try out the service. Calling up the broker and asking for a trial wouldn't be a bad idea if you want to give Apex a test run.

What Apex Doesn't Offer

Despite the advantages Apex brings, there are many valuable features at TD Ameritrade that regular customers already receive. The broker's advanced technology, for example, is free for all clients. Apex status, for instance, is not necessary to receive the broker's very advanced thinkorswim platform. The firm's mobile apps and Apple Watch platform are also free for all traders. The cost of trading remains the same for Apex clients. TD Ameritrade's standard $0 commission for stock and ETF trades doesn't change, nor does the broker's 75¢ option fee.

TD Ameritrade Apex Account Review

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Comparison to Vanguard

Traders at Vanguard who have at least $500,000 on deposit in Vanguard funds qualify for Voyager Select┬ástatus. These accounts receive $2 stock and ETF trades year-round. These accounts also receive discounts on CD's, agency bonds, and government and corporate debt. However, Vanguard comes nowhere near to the level of trading technology that TD Ameritrade provides. Read TD Ameritrade vs Vanguard review »

TD Ameritrade Apex Review Summary

Apex status carries certain benefits, but a lot of what TD Ameritrade offers is available to small accounts, too. Regrettably, Apex accounts don't get discounts on trades; while frequent traders at other brokers can qualify for reduced commissions. However, if you can show TD Ameritrade that you trade a lot on your account, you can call them up and re-negotiate your commissions to a much lower level.