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5 key Charles Schwab competitors

Charles Schwab offers some excellent research tools and low fees, but these 5 alternatives may provide better services and benefits.

Our pick to buy stocks: Sofi Invest

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  • $0 commissions on stocks
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Charles Schwab offers low fees, robust research tools and a broad investment menu. But you can’t trade cryptocurrency through Schwab. And you won’t find many high-yield savings accounts to store cash you don’t want to invest. Charles Schwab competitors provide all this and more.

Charles Schwab alternatives

Ally Invest

Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading

4.42 / 5 ★★★★★

As with Schwab, you can open an Ally Invest brokerage account with $0. You can also trade commission-free stocks and ETFs. Ally provides sophisticated research tools like streaming charts, watchlists, profit-loss graphs and probability calculators. Options traders would be satisfied with Ally's $0.50 per-contract fee, which is lower than Schwab's $0.65 per-contract fee.

In addition, Ally Bank offers a wide range of financial products. Its online savings account currently pays an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.50% compared to 0.05% earned on the Schwab Bank High-Yield Investor Savings Account.

Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0 + $0.50/contract
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Brokerage Account

4.18 / 5 ★★★★★

Like Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments is a full-service brokerage that offers commission-free stocks, ETFs and options. At Fidelity, you can also find thousands of funds that don't charge expense ratios.

Active traders can benefit from a wealth of research tools that include stock screeners with more than 100 criteria. Passive investors can take advantage of Fidelity Go, which combines a robo-advisor with an investment team's expertise. Fidelity Go charges no management fee on account balances of $10,000 or less.

Account typesBrokerage, Retirement
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs

SoFi Invest

Sofi Invest

4.35 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on SoFi Wealth Management's secure site
SoFi Invest is a Charles Schwab alternative that offers commission-free stock and ETF trades. Beginners may be interested in its automated investing account. This automated account is a robo-advisor that uses computer technology to build and manage a personalized portfolio for you.

These portfolios invest in ETFs from large investment management companies like BlackRock and Vanguard. Charles Schwab's Intelligent Portfolios are similar but invest only in Schwab funds. You may find more diversification at SoFi. For example, SoFi offers cryptocurrency while Schwab doesn't.

Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Robo-Advisor
Annual fee0%
Option trade feeN/A
Asset typesStocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

Robinhood

Robinhood

3.5 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on Robinhood's secure site
Robinhood is a broker known for low fees and an intuitive app. You can trade stocks, ETFs and options with no commissions. Plus, Robinhood doesn't charge a per-contract fee on options, which is quite rare for brokerages. Schwab charges $0.65 per contract — the industry standard.

Robinhood also offers a savings account that pays a 0.30% interest rate on uninvested cash. However, you won't find the same powerful research tools and investment menu that Schwab offers.

Account typesBrokerage
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0
Asset typesStocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers

4.1 / 5 ★★★★★

Interactive Brokers lets you invest in more than 100 markets compared to Schwab's 12 markets. Like Schwab, Interactive Brokers also provides advanced research tools, including a risk navigator and portfolio builder.

Its IBKR Lite platform, designed for beginners, charges no commissions on stock and ETF trades. But beyond this Lite platform, Interactive Brokers is known for tools that may be complex for inexperienced traders.

Account typesBrokerage, Retirement
Annual fee0%
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract, $1 minimum
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Currencies

Pros and cons of Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is one of the largest and most well-known brokers around. But it may not be the best for everyone. Here are some benefits and drawbacks to consider.

Pros

  • Several investment types to choose from
  • Powerful research tools
  • Low fees

Cons

  • No access to cryptocurrency
  • Few savings options to choose from
  • Large broker-assisted fees

Transfer your brokerage account

If you’re switching brokers, the process may vary depending on your current broker and which one you’re moving to. Charles Schwab charges $50 to transfer all funds to another broker and $25 for a partial transfer.

Charles Schwab engages in the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS). So expect to go through the following process.

  1. Get a statement from your broker that has information like your account number and current assets.
  2. Open the same type of account with your new broker. For example, an individual brokerage account should go to another individual brokerage account.
  3. Fill out a transfer initiation or ACAT form with your current broker.
  4. Your current broker validates your form or notifies you of the next steps within three business days.
  5. Your old broker completes the process and moves funds within six business days.

Note: Some brokers don’t accept the proprietary funds of others. So you may not be able to transfer mutual funds or ETFs managed by your old broker.

Compare trading platforms

Name Product Asset types Option trade fee Annual fee Signup bonus
Robinhood
Robinhood
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
0%
Free stock (chosen randomly with a value anywhere between $2.50 and $200)
Sign up using the "go to site" link
Make unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds, and options with Robinhood Financial.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
$0 + $0.65/contract
0%
N/A
INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Sofi Invest
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
N/A
0%
Get one free stock worth up to $1,000
Open an account
A free way to invest in stocks, ETFs and crypto.
Vanguard Personal Advisor
Stocks, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
N/A
$20 per year
N/A
Financial advice powered by relationships, not commissions.
TradeStation
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0 + $0.50/contract
$0 per month
$50
Deposit qualifying assets of $5,000+
A platform built for all kinds of traders and all styles of trading
Moomoo
Stocks
$0
$0 per year
Get a free stock valued up to $350
Open your Futu brokerage account via Moomoo
Trade stocks on the US, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen markets.
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Compare up to 4 providers

*Signup bonus information updated weekly.

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

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