Online brokers with lowest pay per share commissions on stock trading (2019)

Discount pay-per-share stock brokers: list of online brokerage companies offering the lowest pay-per-share (1 cent) trading cost.

Pay-Per-Share Brokers

To distinguish themselves from competitors, pay-per-share brokers use different minimums, different fees per share, and/or different percent-based commission schedules, so it takes some digging to find the right broker to match an investor's trading habits and budget.

Here's a survey of four leading pay-per-share brokers. We will compare and contrast commissions to illustrate the differences in trade costs that cover most investors and typical stock purchases.

Tradestation rating


TradeStation Pay-Per-Share Commissions

The pay-per-share commission at TradeStation is $0.01 per share on the first 500 shares, then $0.006 per share after that. They have $1.00 minimum commission.

TradeStation Pros and Cons

Advantages: The low cost of $1.00 for a 100-share trade. In addition, options pricing is very low at $1.00 per contract with no ticket charge. TradeStation has a highly rated trading platform, offers a wide selection of investment products, and excellent tools and resources for the active investor.

Disadvantages: Sophisticated trading platform has a steep learning curve.

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Interactive Brokers rating

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers Pay-Per-Share Commissions

A pioneer in low-cost, pay-per-share trading, Interactive Brokers starts with a $1.00 minimum per trade, and their base rate is $0.005 per share. They cap the commission at 0.5% of the trade value, which is usually only a factor when trading large blocks of penny stocks.

Interactive Brokers Pros and Cons

Advantages: Excellent rates for active traders of smaller size orders. Options trades have similarly competitive rates for those who like to trade options as well as stocks. Margin rates are the lowest in the business, which is a plus for those who use margin for leverage. Interactive Brokers also offers a wide variety of products for trading and gives traders access to more than 100 different markets.

Disadvantages: Not suitable for infrequent traders since a $10/month fee is charged if a trader generates less than $10 in commissions. Large blocks of shares incur high commissions unless the shares are penny stocks. An additional $10/month is charged for a market data feed if the $10 commission threshold isn't met. The minimum account balance is high at $10,000. IRA custodian fees are $7.50/quarter, which is high. The trading platform is complicated, and margin calls are strict and fast. Mutual fund trading is discouraged by the $3,000 initial fund order minimum, and the fact that only no-load and short-term redemption fee funds are offered.

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Open account and get $200 for a friend you refer.

ZacksTrade rating

Zackstrade logo

Broker Pay-Per-Share Commissions

Zackstrade has a good per-share commission of 1 cent. Its minimum commission is $3.00 ($1.00 for the first year if promo link is used).

Zackstrade Pros and Cons

Advantages: Suitable for traders who trade relatively small share lots. Zackstrade doesn't charge maintenance or inactivity fees, so they're a good choice for less active traders. Their trading tools are top-notch and customer service is rated high. The broker has great margin rates.

Disadvantages: Trades of more than 7,000 shares can get pricey. Trading platform was built for professional traders and is not easy to learn for beginners.

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Trade stocks, options & ETFs for as low as $1 for a full year.

Placetrade rating


PlaceTrade Pay-Per-Share Commissions

PlaceTrade's $1.50 minimum commission is reasonable, but their $0.01/share rate is the highest in the group. This means costs will be less competitive for trading large blocks of shares.

PlaceTrade Pros and Cons

Advantages: Good rates for smaller size trades. Margin rates are lower than most. Options commissions are competitive. The trading platform is licensed from Interactive Brokers, one of the best platforms available to individual investors. PlaceTrade also offers investment advice, access to global markets, and an automatic investment program unique among online brokers.

Disadvantages: A monthly minimum of $10 in commissions must be generated to avoid a $10/month fee as well as a $10/month fee for the market data feed, the same restrictions as those found with Interactive Brokers. They also use IB's Trader Workstation trading platform, which is designed for professional traders and hard to learn. Minimum account balances are on the high side - $5,000 for traders older than age 26 (a strange limitation) and $3,000 for traders between the ages of 21-25 as well as for IRA accounts.

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Firstrade rating


Broker Commissions

Firstrade does not charge per-share commissions. In fact, Firstrade does not charge any commissions. That's right - you can trade with this broker completely for free. There is no catch.

Firstrade Pros and Cons

Advantages: $0 commissions on almost all products.

Disadvantages: no advanced trading platform.

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Firstrade Review »


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

Pay Per Share Brokers Conclusion

Pay-per-share brokers are not for everyone, but they can save very active investors quite a lot in brokerage commissions. Nevertheless, once an investor selects a pay-per-share broker, he should compare costs per trade with the most competitive flat-rate commission brokers to make sure the pay-per-share broker will be cheaper in the long run.