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Interactive Brokers review 2024: Tailored trading and investing

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Interactive Brokers
4.7
★★★★★
Finder score
Stock trade fee
$0
Minimum deposit
$0
Paid non-client promotion. Finder does not invest money with providers on this page. If a brand is a referral partner, we're paid when you click or tap through to, open an account with or provide your contact information to the provider. Partnerships are not a recommendation for you to invest with any one company. Learn more about how we make money. Finder is not an adviser or brokerage service. Information on this page is for educational purposes only and not a recommendation to invest with any one company, trade specific stocks or fund specific investments. All editorial opinions are our own.

Our verdict

Trade a wide range of assets with Interactive Brokers, and choose a trading platform that fits your experience level.

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a versatile brokerage offering a wide array of tradable assets, including commission-free stocks and ETFs, as well as options, futures, bonds, mutual funds, cryptocurrency, forex, and precious metals. The platform features eight trading platforms and provides both taxable and tax-advantaged accounts, catering to traders and investors of varying experience levels. Additionally, Interactive Brokers includes a robo-advisor option for those interested in automated portfolio management. Renowned for its global trading capabilities, IBKR allows trading across more than 150 markets worldwide, making it a top choice for international trading. However, it’s worth noting that while IBKR allows customers to earn interest on uninvested cash, no interest is paid on the first $10,000 of cash balances.

Best for: Active traders, beginners and long-term investors.

Pros

  • Extensive range of tradable securities
  • Variety of trading platforms for different experience levels
  • Robo-advisor
  • Robust research, tools and educational resources
  • Access to foreign stocks in 150 global markets
  • Overnight trading

Cons

  • Cash sweep only available to Pro accounts
  • Need a $10,000 balance to earn interest on your cash
  • Unreliable customer support chat
  • Buggy security features that complicate logging in and trading

In this guide

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Interactive Brokers at a glance

FeatureRatingDetails
Investment options

★★★★★

  • Stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • CDs
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Futures
  • Forex
  • Precious Metals
Trading costs

★★★★★

Zero commission stock, option and ETF trades and low margin rates of 7.83% for IBKR Lite.
Account fees

★★★★★

No annual fee, no inactivity fee and no outgoing account transfer fee.
Account types and minimums

★★★★★

Offers individual and joint brokerage accounts and traditional, Roth, rollover and SEP IRAs, but no custodial brokerage accounts, 529 plans or custodial IRAs. No account minimums.
Trading platforms and technology

★★★★★

  • Mobile, browser and desktop trading platforms trading platforms.
  • Advanced charts, screeners, watchlists, price alerts, earnings estimates, company financials, free third-party research, analyst ratings, price targets, news and company statistics.
Features and amenities

★★★★★

  • Robo-advisor
  • Fractional share trading
  • Instant buying power
  • Paper trading
  • 24/5 trading
  • Live webinars, courses, tutorials, articles, videos and live-streaming news and market commentary
Customer support

★★★★★

Contact Interactive Brokers customer service by live chat, email and phone, with 24/7 phone support.
Mobile app rating and security

★★★★★

Google Play app reviews: 4.7/5 stars based on over 35,510 reviews
Apple App Store app reviews: 4.5/5 stars based on over 8,650 reviews
Cash sweep rates

★★★★★

Settled cash over $10,000 can earn interest at a rate of 3.83%.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read our methodology.

Interactive Brokers is best for active traders, beginners and long-term investors

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) stands out as a versatile platform suitable for a range of investors, from active traders to beginners and long-term investors. For active traders, the platform offers sophisticated trading tools and a wide selection of assets that include global stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds. Beginners benefit from extensive educational resources and a user-friendly interface on the IBKR GlobalTrader mobile app that eases the learning curve, while offering low-cost access to multiple markets. For long-term investors, IBKR provides individual retirement accounts (IRAs), portfolio management tools and competitive fees.

What we like about Interactive Brokers

IBKR offers a number of standout features for traders and investors, including global market access, a wide selection of trading platforms, tools and investment options and a robo-advisor.

Global market access

Trade stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, funds and more across 150 markets in 33 countries using either of IBKR’s desktop trading platforms, IBKR Desktop or IBKR Trader Workstation. What’s more, you can fund your account in 27 currencies.

Meanwhile, trade stocks, ETFs and options worldwide with the IBKR GlobalTrader app. Trade across 90+ stock markets worldwide and trade options on 30+ global market centers on a beginner-friendly trading platform.

Trading platforms for different trading styles

With its eight trading platforms for traders and investors of different styles and experience levels, IBKR is one of the most capable brokerages we review.

PlatformTrading skillsFeatures
IBKR Trader WorkstationIntermediate, Advanced
  • Easy to navigate interface
  • Trade stocks, options, futures, currencies and more on 150 global markets
  • Advanced trading and research tools
IBKR DesktopBeginner, Intermediate
  • Trade stocks, options, futures, currencies and more on 150 global markets
  • Trade stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and more
  • Advanced order types and trading tools
  • Risk management tools
IBKR MobileIntermediate, Advanced
  • Access over 150 global markets worldwide
  • Comprehensive trading, order management, chart, watchlist and portfolio tools
  • Mobile check deposit
IBKR GlobalTraderBeginner, Intermediate
  • Trade 90+ stock markets worldwide
  • Around the clock access to select US ETFs
  • Trade options on 30+ global market centers
IBKR Client PortalBeginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • View, trade and manage your account
  • Quick trading
  • Detailed quotes, advanced charts, news
IBKR APIAdvanced
  • Access global market with APIs
  • Choose from different APIs
  • Algorithmic trading
IBKR ForecastTraderIntermediate, AdvancedTrade event contracts
IBKR IMPACTBeginner, Intermediate
  • User-friendly interface
  • Invest in companies that share your values
  • Impact score

Interactive Brokers App

Wide selection of investment options

Invest in traditional assets like stocks, ETFs, bonds and mutual funds, trade options and futures and invest in alternative assets like precious metals and cryptocurrency.

Where Interactive Brokers falls short

IBKR is one of the most feature-rich brokers we review but it has a couple notable drawbacks:

  • Limited cash sweep program. Only Pro accounts get access to IBKR’s cash sweep program that offers up to $2,500,000 of FDIC insurance.
  • Limited interest on cash. No interest earned on cash under $10,000.
  • Unreliable customer support chat. Though live chat is an option, successfully connecting to a live agent is rare.

    Interactive Brokers’s IBKR Lite fees

    Type of feeFee details
    Minimum deposit to open$0
    Minimum investment$1
    Annual fee$0
    Stock trading fee$0
    Options trading fee$0
    Options contract fees$0.65
    Margin annual interest rate7.83%
    Outgoing account transfer fee$0
    Wire transfer out$10
    Inactivity fee$0

    Is Interactive Brokers legit?

    Interactive Brokers is a legitimate company and multinational brokerage firm founded in 1977. It’s authorized and regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and is a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

    In terms of platforms security, Interactive Brokers uses two-factor authorization. It’s also considered safe due to its memberships with SEC, FINRA and SIPC. Each IBKR customer is protected up to $500,000 for securities and $250,000 for cash, should the broker face insolvency.

    Customer experience

    Customer sentiment and feedback for Interactive Brokers across the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot and Reddit is generally mixed, with both positive and negative aspects highlighted by users. Overall, while Interactive Brokers is highly regarded by seasoned traders for its features and pricing, the platform’s interface and customer support often receive criticism.

    BBB

    On the BBB, it holds an A+ rating, although it’s not accredited and the customer reviews are quite low, averaging 1.6 out of five stars based on 10 reviews as of June 2024. Common complaints include high fees, particularly for inactivity and transactions, and poor customer service when managing account issues. Interactive Brokers does not charge inactivity fees, according to its website, so take that for what it’s worth.

    Trustpilot

    In contrast, Trustpilot shows a more moderate level of customer satisfaction with a 3.4 out of five rating from over 2,700 reviews, as of June 2024. While some users criticize the platform for its complexity and customer service, others praise its extensive trading tools and capabilities, suitable for experienced traders.

    Reddit

    Reddit feedback generally leans positive, especially from professional or experienced traders who value the platform’s robust tools and low trading costs, though some users also echo the sentiments about its steep learning curve and less responsive customer service.

    Compare Interactive Brokers to other platforms

    Interactive Brokers logo

    Interactive Brokers

    ★★★★★

    Finder rating 4.7 / 5

    Go to site


    Available asset types

    Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Forex, Treasury Bills


    Stock trade fee

    $0


    Minimum deposit

    $0


    Signup bonus

    N/A

    Tastytrade logo

    Tastytrade

    ★★★★★

    Finder rating 4.4 / 5

    Go to site


    Available asset types

    Stocks, Options, ETFs, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Treasury Bills


    Stock trade fee

    $0


    Minimum deposit

    $0


    Signup bonus

    Get $50-$5,000

    SoFi Invest® logo

    SoFi Invest®

    ★★★★★

    Finder rating 4.2 / 5

    Go to site


    Available asset types

    Stocks, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Alternatives


    Stock trade fee

    $0


    Minimum deposit

    $0


    Signup bonus

    Get up to $10,000 cash

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I learn to trade with Interactive Brokers?

    Yes. Interactive Brokers offers IBKR Campus where you can learn about trading, financial markets and how to use IBKR’s trading tools.

    You get access to webinars and courses, as well as access to the IBKR Quant Blog where you can learn about programming, deep learning, API, AI, blockchain and other technologies in trading.

    Where is Interactive Brokers based?

    Interactive Brokers is headquartered in Connecticut, USA.

    Is Interactive Brokers good for beginners?

    Interactive Brokers offers several beginner-friendly trading platforms, fractional share trading, $0 commission stock and ETF trading and extensive educational resources, making it a suitable option for beginners.

    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.

    Paid non-client promotion. Finder does not invest money with providers on this page. If a brand is a referral partner, we're paid when you click or tap through to, open an account with or provide your contact information to the provider. Partnerships are not a recommendation for you to invest with any one company. Learn more about how we make money.

    Finder is not an advisor or brokerage service. Information on this page is for educational purposes only and not a recommendation to invest with any one company, trade specific stocks or fund specific investments. All editorial opinions are our own.

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Matt Finder

Editor, Investments

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