Robinhood review

Trade stocks, options, ETFs and crypto. Plus earn interest on your idle cash.

Robinhood is an intuitive trading app that stands out for its simplicity and affordability, and it’s one of the best at connecting investors to markets with ease. But its research tools and account options leave much to be desired.

  • Consider Robinhood if you’re a new or casual investor looking for a beginner-friendly platform.
  • Look elsewhere if you’re an active trader or professional investor who wants more investment options and more sophisticated tools.

Details

Signup bonusGet a free stock when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
Annual Fee$0
Option trade fee$0
Asset typesStocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
Account typesBrokerage
Account transfer fee$100
Minimum deposit$0

Overview

Fees

★★★★★ 5/5

It offers commission-free trades and account fees are generally lower than the competition.
Available securities

★★★★★ 4/5

It has four securities to offer, including cryptocurrency.
Customer support

★★★★★ 5/5

Support is available by live chat, phone and email, with quick response times.
Mobile app

★★★★★ 4/5

Robinhood scores high on the Apple App store but slightly lower on Google Play.
Research and tools

★★★★★ 3/5

You can pay a premium for more robust reporting, but free resources are limited.
Reliability

★★★★★ 2/5

Multiple service outages have been reported for this platform.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Free trading. No commission on stocks, options, ETFs and crypto. No options contract fees, and no crypto markup fees.
  • Instant deposits. Trade immediately with instant access up to the first $1,000 of each deposit.
  • Fractional share and crypto trading. Make fractional share purchases of stocks, ETFs and crypto with as little as $1.
  • Complete control over your crypto. Buy, sell and transfer your crypto into and out of your account. This option isn’t available with every broker.
  • 24/7 support. Speak or chat at any time with a Robinhood customer service rep.
  • Earn interest. Earn between 1.5% and 3% interest on idle cash in your account.

Cons

  • No retirement accounts. Robinhood doesn’t yet offer retirement accounts, though it has said it plans to roll them out before the end of 2022.
  • Limited technical analysis and research tools. Robinhood‘s free research tools are very limited compared to brokers of the same class. Only Robinhood Gold customers can access professional research from Morningstar and Level II market data.

What we think of Robinhood

Robinhood is one of the most accessible and beginner-friendly trading platforms on the market. Period. And it boils down to this:
  • It’s easy to sign up
  • It’s easy to use
  • It’s commission-free
Robinhood pioneered the commission-free trade movement and continues to boast one of the best-priced apps on the market. Its intuitive interface makes it a natural fit for beginners. And with instant deposits and fractional share trading starting at $1, users have quick and broad access to the market.

Plus, the platform offers interest on any uninvested cash in your account. If you aren’t sure where to invest or are keeping cash on hand for the next big opportunity, that cash will earn between 1.5% and 3% (depending on if you have Robinhood Gold or not).

For beginners, Robinhood‘s mostly got it down. But it still has plenty of room for improvement.

Namely, Robinhood offers no retirement accounts, and its research and charting tools are very limited. Robinhood has said it’s working to build out these features, but some new brokers are coming to market with these features already included.

Robinhood‘s a practical option for beginner and intermediate investors who value simplicity and a user-focused experience, but advanced traders won’t be satisfied with the platform’s lack of sophisticated tools.

Robinhood‘s costs and fees are mostly lower than the competition

Even with commission-free trading now commonplace, Robinhood is still one of the most competitively-priced brokers out there.

Aside from charging fewer miscellaneous fees, it eliminates option contract fees and crypto fees entirely. Most brokers that charge no commission on options still charge a per-contract fee, often $0.65 per contract. And most brokers and exchanges that offer crypto trading apply a markup to each buy and sell order, often 1% of the transaction price.

At 6.5%, Robinhood‘s margin base rate also comes in lower than most other brokers. To compare, Charles Schwab charges a base rate of 8.75% and TD Ameritrade charges a base rate of 10.5%.

Among the many common fees most brokers charge, here’s where Robinhood stands:

Minimum deposit$0
Annual fee$0
Stock, ETF, option and crypto trade fees$0
Margin base rate6.5%
Inactivity fee$0
Wire transfer (domestic and international)$0
Returned check, ACH or stop wire transfer fees$0
Mandatory reorganization fee (fee for reverse stock splits)$0
Robinhood Gold$5 monthly
Outgoing account transfer fee$100

One fee that Robinhood charges that comes in higher than the competition is its outgoing account transfer fee. You’ll see this fee on Robinhood‘s fee schedule as the automated customer account transfer service (ACATS). This is the fee Robinhood charges if you want to transfer your account to a different broker. Most brokers charge $75, though we’ve seen this fee go as high as $125. Robinhood charges $100.

Robinhood Gold

While Robinhood is free to use, it also offers access to an upgraded version of its platform for a $5 monthly fee. Robinhood Gold features include:

  • 3% interest on uninvested cash in your account (1.5% without Gold)
  • Instant deposits up to $50,000
  • Morningstar research
  • Level II market data from Nasdaq
  • Access to margin investing at 5.75% (9.75% without Gold)
Robinhood offers a 30-day trial period of Robinhood Gold at no cost.

Robinhood is best for beginners

Though it’s starting to branch out with new features for its more advanced customers, it’s designed with the beginner in mind.

  • First-time investors have no account minimums or commissions to worry about and can invest on a platform that prioritizes usability.
  • Small-quantity investors can gain unfettered access to the market, using fractional trading to purchase shares for as little as $1.
  • Cryptocurrency investors can buy, sell and transfer crypto 24/7 and with no fees.

What investments does Robinhood offer?

Robinhood offers the following investment products:
  • Stocks. Choose from thousands of stocks, including over 650 American depository receipts (ADRs) that trade on exchanges and the over-the-counter (OTC) market.
  • ETFs. Choose from over 2,000 ETFs.
  • Options. Trade options of US exchange-listed stocks and ETFs with no per-contract fees.
  • Cryptocurrency. Buy and sell 16 different cryptocurrencies 24/7 and without fees, including Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.

What is Robinhood IPO Access?

Robinhood IPO Access lets you buy shares of companies at the IPO price as the stock becomes available to the general public. Here’s how it works:
  • Confirm your interest in an IPO and request shares once the underwriter sets the initial price range.
  • Robinhood uses a random allocation process to choose which customers are allotted shares.
  • Shares are limited, and you may get the full number of shares you requested, a partial amount or none at all.
  • On the IPO date, Robinhood will let you know how many shares you can buy.

4 steps to open a Robinhood account

  1. Select the “Go to site” button below and enter your name, email and password.
  2. Enter your phone number and address to verify your identity.
  3. Provide personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth and citizenship. Then, answer a few questions about investing and provide details about your employment.
  4. Review Robinhood‘s agreements and choose whether to fund your account now or later.

At this point, Robinhood may require you to submit a selfie and a photo of your license to verify your identity. You can skip this and go to your account landing page, but you’ll need to submit this information for Robinhood to approve your account.

Go to site

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Robinhood account, you’ll need:

  • A valid US residential address
  • To be 18 or older
  • A valid state-issued ID
  • A valid Social Security number

Required information

You’ll be asked to provide the following information during sign up:

  • First and last name
  • Address, phone number and email
  • Social Security number
  • Valid government photo ID
  • Employment information
  • Financial institution account information

How does Robinhood‘s free stock program work?

When you sign up and link your bank account, you’ll earn a cash value of between $5 and $200 that you can use to buy fractional shares of any of the 18 available companies in the program. You’ll also qualify for an additional cash reward with each referral of a new eligible customer.

What’s the likelihood of getting $200? Here’s what to know:

  • Approximately 98% of customers will receive between $5 and $10.
  • Approximately 1% of customers will receive between $10 and $20.
  • Approximately 1% of participants will receive between $20 and $200.

Robinhood‘s research tools are limited

Robinhood‘s charting and free research tools are subpar, especially compared to the sophisticated financial tools from some newcomer brokers. Here’s what you’ll find:
  • Key statistics like market cap, P/E ratio and average volume, but no balance sheet, income statement or cash flow statement.
  • Buy, hold and sell analyst ratings, but no price targets.
  • Recent earnings results and estimates.
  • A news feed.
  • A chart with some advanced features.
Robinhood‘s latest update to its charts came on August 17, 2022, when it rolled out a scrubbing feature that lets customers compare their securities at specific points in time. It also added a couple more indicators.

The following indicators are available:

  • Moving averages
  • Relative strength index (RSI)
  • Moving average convergence divergence (MACD)
  • Exponential moving average (EMA)
  • Bollinger Bands (BOLL)
  • Volume-weighted average price (VWAP)

Upgrading to Robinhood Gold for $5 per month gets you access to Morningstar research and Level 2 data, though day traders might still find it lackluster. You can add the Level 2 data including a depth chart and order book in the advanced chart of any given stock. We did notice that Morningstar research wasn’t available for every stock, though.

What is the Robinhood Cash Card?

The Robinhood Cash Card is an FDIC-insured spending account and the newest iteration of Robinhood‘s previous cash management account. It features:

  • A cash-back earning debit card
  • The ability to round up purchases and invest the extra money into stocks or crypto
  • Bonuses of between 10%–100% on weekly round-ups
  • A network of 90,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Check sending abilities
  • Early paychecks
  • No monthly fees, overdraft fees or minimum balance requirements
  • 24/7 phone support

Is Robinhood legit?

Yes, Robinhood is a legitimate broker. Here’s some background on the company and how your assets are protected:

  • It’s registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
  • Through these memberships, customers are protected up to $500,000 — including up to $250,000 in cash balances — in the event of Robinhood‘s insolvency.
  • It has supplemental insurance through Lloyds of London to provide up to an additional $100 million in total in the event that SIPC limits are exhausted.
  • Crypto purchased on Robinhood is stored in a mix of cold storage and hot storage.
  • While crypto is not covered by either FDIC or SIPC insurance, Robinhood carries a crime insurance policy through Lloyds of London that protects crypto held by Robinhood against losses from theft and cybersecurity breaches.
  • Robinhood Crypto is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a money services business.
  • The company itself was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.

How does Robinhood make money?

Robinhood makes money in the following ways:
Transaction-based revenue
Robinhood‘s most significant revenue stream is from routing customers’ stock, options and crypto orders to market makers for execution, a practice known as payment for order flow (PFOF). It’s a practice where market makers pay brokers — usually only fractions of a penny per share — to execute its customer’s trade orders. PFOF has been around for decades, is a fairly common practice and Robinhood isn’t the only broker to use it.

Robinhood‘s reviews are mostly positive

Robinhood has gathered an enormous number of customer reviews across the two major mobile app stores, way more than most brokers and most of which are five stars. The platform has over 4.5 million customer reviews in total.

A common praise among satisfied customers is the platform’s usability and accessibility, particularly its fractional shares and low fees. Many say the platform provided them a means to start investing, where fees and expensive share prices no longer stand as a barrier to the market.

Looking at the recent negative reviews, many focus on bugs within the app or a specific missing feature a customer would like to see. Others provide no context at all to their low rating.

Google Play3.9/5 stars based on ‎over 460,000 reviews
Apple App Store4.2/5 stars based on over 4 million reviews

Current as of August, 2022

Contact Robinhood support by chat, phone or email

Connect with Robinhood support in three ways:

  • Live chat. Chat with a live support agent within minutes, available 24/7.
  • Phone. Request a call from a support agent within 30 minutes, available 24/7.
  • Email. Complete an online support ticket for an email response from the customer service team.

Compare with other stock trading platforms

1 - 8 of 8
Name Product Asset types Stock trade fee Minimum deposit Signup bonus
SoFi Invest
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
$10 - $100
when you open an account and place a first crypto trade of $50 - $5,000+
A free way to invest in most equities.
eToro
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$10
8%-12% of your deposit
when you sign up and deposit at least $50. T&Cs apply.
Trade stocks in the app or online with $0 commissions. Not available in NY, NV, MN, TN, and HI.
Public
Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Receive a free stock slice worth between $3–$300
when you sign up for an account and deposit at least $20.
Commission-free trading in stocks and ETFs with a social networking twist.
Tastyworks
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
$200 in US stocks
when you open and fund an account with min. $2,000 for 3+ mos.
Trade stocks, options, ETFs and futures on mobile or desktop with this advanced platform.
JPMorgan Self-Directed Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
$0
$0
$125 - $625
when you open and fund an account with $25,000 - $250,000+
INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Robinhood
Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency
$0
$0
Get a free stock
when you successfully sign up and link your bank account.
Make unlimited commission-free trades, plus earn 3% interest on uninvested cash in your account with Robinhood Gold.
Ally Invest Self-Directed Trading
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs
$0
$0
$100
when you deposit or transfer $10,000–$24,900
500+ commission-free ETFs, some of the industry's lowest fees plus a cash bonus up to $3,000.
Tradier
Stocks, Options, ETFs
$0
$0
N/A
Customize your trade platform or build your own Deep tools, charts and screens Analyzers to help you study before you trade
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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.

Frequently asked questions

Bottom line

  • Robinhood is best for beginner or intermediate investors who prefer an intuitive trading platform and low fees.
  • You have complete control over the crypto you buy on Robinhood.
  • Robinhood is lagging behind the competition in that it doesn’t offer retirement accounts and has limited research and financial tools.

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How we rate trading platforms

★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.

For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

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