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Where can I find cheap stock brokerage in Singapore?
Compare your options to find the lowest cost brokers in the market.
With online stock brokers, it’s now quicker, easier and cheaper than ever before for Singaporeans to buy and sell shares. But that doesn’t mean it’s free.
You’ll still need to pay a brokerage fee whenever you place a trade to buy or sell shares, so it’s worth your while to shop around for the online share trading platform that offers the lowest brokerage fees.
But which online share trading platforms offer the cheapest brokerage? Read on to find out.
What's in this guide?
- Search and compare stock brokers
- What are brokerage fees?
- How much will I need to pay for stock brokerage?
- Which broker has the cheapest brokerage?
- Trading apps with zero brokerage fees in Singapore
- Brokerage fee structures compared
- How much will I pay for international brokerage fees?
- Special offers
- Are there any other fees when trading shares?
- How do I compare cheap stock brokers?
- Want to learn more about share trading?
Search and compare stock brokers
What are brokerage fees?
A brokerage fee (also called commission) is what your stockbroker charges for executing a buy or sell transaction. In other words, every time you buy or sell shares through your online share trading account, you’ll need to pay a specific amount to the broker for the privilege of using its services. This fee is based on the size or value of the trade, and could be a flat fee or an amount calculated as a percentage of the transaction value.
Brokerage fees are one of the largest expenses associated with online share trading and can have a big impact on the affordability of your investments. If you’re a frequent trader and you’re paying a brokerage fee of $25 every time you buy or sell a parcel of shares, this can quickly add up to a substantial amount and eat away at your trading profits.
That’s why it’s essential for anyone thinking of getting started in the share market to compare brokerage fees charged by online share trading platforms and shop around for the cheapest option.
How much will I need to pay for stock brokerage?
Brokerage fees charged by different providers are far from identical, so it’s important to compare fees. For online share trading platforms, brokerage can range from $0 to $25 per trade. With full-service brokers such as Morgans or Morgan Stanley, expect starting fees at around $80 per trade (usually charged as a percentage of the amount being traded).
Some providers have simple fee structures while others come with rather complex arrangements. Most of the time, the fee is based on the size or value of the trade, how often you trade and which country the stocks are listed in.
Different brokerage fees often also apply to phone trades and other unique trading options, so it’s worth reading the fine print to find out how much extra it’ll cost every time you make a trade.
Trading apps with zero brokerage fees in Singapore
Some share trading platforms charge zero brokerage fees to trade US or global stocks. These apps include:
Although you don’t need to pay a commission, this doesn’t mean they’re free. Instead they charge a small foreign exchange fee to convert Singapore dollars to the required global currency, e.g. USD. So far, there are no apps offering zero brokerage for Singapore Exchange (SGX) stocks.
Brokerage fee structures compared
The table below features a guide to the brokerage fees charged by some of Singapore’s most well-known online share trading providers when buying and selling shares on the SGX. Compare those fees to find out which provider offers the cheapest stock brokerage.
|Broker||Minimum commission fee||Trade value|
$50,000 – $100,000
|LIM & TAN Securities|
|Maybank Kim Eng|
|Phillip Securities (POEMS)|
|UOB Kay Hian|
|Saxo Capital Markets|
|City Index (CFD only)|
|IG Share Trading (CFD only)|
|CMC Markets (CFD only)|
*Fees and rates indicated are accurate as of 5 February 2021.
How much will I pay for international brokerage fees?
The brokerage fees for shares listed overseas can be more or less than what you’d pay for SGX-listed stocks depending on the country of choice and the platform you’re using. For US-listed shares you can expect to pay anywhere between $0 – $60 dollars per trade. This can be higher again for countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
On top of the brokerage fee, you’ll typically need to pay a currency exchange fee (sometimes called FX fee) to convert your Singapore dollars into the foreign currencies. This is usually calculated into the exchange rate and is referred to as the ‘spread’ – it’s the difference between the base exchange rate and the rate you’re actually being offered. The higher the spread, the higher your fee.
Below are the fees for US and UK shares offered by some of the most well-known global stock providers:
|Provider||US-listed shares||UK-listed shares||Conversion fee|
|IG Share Trading|
|Saxo Capital Markets Share Trading|
*Rates based on Saxo Market Classic account tier.
**Rates based on Interactive Brokers’ tiered pricing structure.
Note: Rates indicated in this table are accurate as of 5 February 2021.
From time to time, some online share trading providers will offer special deals to help you save on brokerage fees or possibly avoid them altogether. For example, DBS Vickers is currently offering 20% commission rebate for all online trades without any cap (valid till 31 March 2021).
Other providers also offer brokerage fee rebates for frequent traders. For example, if an account holder makes more than a specified number of trades per month, such as 30, all the brokerage fees payable for those trades may be refunded to their trading account at the end of the month.
Such offers can help you improve your bottom line when trading shares online, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any brokerage deals and discounts.
Are there any other fees when trading shares?
While brokerage fees are the major cost you need to consider when comparing share trading platforms, you should also be aware that other fees may apply. For example, you may need to pay a monthly fee to become a premium member of a share trading platform. This could allow you to access live market data, the latest market news and analysis or stock research and recommendations.
Other common fees include:
- Inactivity fee. Some brokers charge a monthly or annual fee if you don’t hit a certain number of trades each month.
- Currency conversion fee. This fee is charged to convert SGD to another currency in order to trade global stocks.
- Custody fee. This annual fee is charged when you trade US stocks and paid to the custodian broker for holding your stocks.
Make sure t0 read the terms and conditions of an online stock broking platform to find out what those ongoing fees are and how they will affect you.
How do I compare cheap stock brokers?
As well as brokerage fees, there are several other features you should compare when choosing an online share trading platform, including:
- Additional fees. Find out if there are any ongoing fees you’ll need to pay to maintain your account, such as a monthly management fee or a fee to allow you to access dynamic market data. Also, remember to check if special options such as stop loss orders or phone trades attract extra fees.
- Market information.In the fast-paced world of share trading, accessing up-to-date market data could be critical to the success of your trades. Check if you’ll be able to access static, live, dynamic or real-time data, and whether this attracts any extra fees.
- Market access.Compare the number of global markets each platform allows you to access to buy and sell shares. In addition to the SGX, many providers also allow you to trade on stock exchanges in New York, London, Tokyo and many other countries around the world.
- Scope of productsFind out what are the asset classes available — forex, CFDs, gold, bonds and more.
- Order options. Compare the options each provider offers for placing buy and sell orders. Can you place limit and market orders? Are stop loss orders available to help you minimise investment losses?
- Trading platform.Is the platform only available online or can you also place trades on-the-go with a handheld device? Also, consider whether the trading system is a web-based platform or whether it requires you to download any software.
- Ease of use. Get a hand-on experience with the share trading platform you’re considering to check if its user-friendliness. Most providers offer free demo accounts to help you sample their services.
- Resources.Check if the provider offers any educational or research resources that’ll help boost your investment knowledge.
- Customer support. Make sure you can easily contact the share trading platform provider if you ever have a question about your account or a problem with a trade. Look for phone, email and live chat support.
Want to learn more about share trading?
Check out our comprehensive guide to share trading here.
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