TD Ameritrade review

Enjoy $0 online commissions for certain trades, but look out for other fees.

finder.com’s rating: 4.3 / 5.0

★★★★★

TD Ameritrade is an online brokerage service designed for beginner investors and active traders. It features user-friendly trading platforms and a variety of mutual funds, but look out for costly short-term exchange-traded fund (ETF) and broker-assisted trade fees.

  • Choose TD Ameritrade if you’re an intermediate to advanced investor.
  • Consider something else if you want direct access to international stocks.

Details

Annual Fee$0
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract,
or $25 broker-assisted
Asset typesStocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual funds, ETFs, Currencies, CDs, Futures, Forex
Account typesBrokerage, Retirement, Education, Custodial, Specialty
Mutual fund trade fee$0
Minimum deposit$0

Overview

Fees

★★★★★ 3.5/5

No commissions on stocks and fees are fair for other securities.
Available securities

★★★★★ 5/5

TD Ameritrade offers most securities except cryptocurrency.
Customer support

★★★★★ 5/5

Five ways to contact customer support.
Mobile app

★★★★★ 4.6/5

The app gets high marks in the Apple App Store but Google users report app freezes.
Research and tools

★★★★★ 5/5

A comprehensive suite of research and analytics tools are available.
Reliability

★★★★★ 3/5

One major outage has been reported.
Bonus star

1

We awarded a bonus star for access to paper trading.

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

What investments does TD Ameritrade offer?

TD Ameritrade offers access to almost every security on the market, including nonlisted OTC Bulletin Board and Pink Sheet stocks

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Futures
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Forex

Who is TD Ameritrade best for?

TD Ameritrade imposes no account minimums and boasts a robust library of educational content and market research. It may be a practical fit for:

  • Beginner investors. Numerous low-cost investment options and some of the best resources for beginners, including one of the most extensive libraries3
    and a free trading simulator.
  • Frequent traders. Commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, options and no-transaction-fee mutual funds, as well as no annual or inactivity fees.
  • Advanced traders. A powerful, professional-grade trading platform with extensive third-party research from highly reputable sources.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Commission-free trades. Pay no commission on stock, ETFs or options trades.
  • A vast selection of tradable assets.. Trade stocks, bonds, options, mutual funds, ETFs, Futures and forex. Choose from more than 3,000 ETFs and 23,000 mutual funds. Forex trading is available in over 70 currency pairs.
  • Multiple high-quality trading platforms. A classic platform for investing and an advanced platform for serious trading.
  • 24/7 support. TD Ameritrade offers 24-hour account service and support for active members, a team which has received high remarks from customers.
  • No account minimums. No minimum balance to open an account and no charge for inactivity.
  • Impressive educational resources. Interactive courses on various securities, trading strategies and portfolio management, as well virtual workshops and live and archived webcasts.

Cons

  • No cryptocurrency. TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer direct access to crypto, an asset most other brokers now offer.
  • No fractional shares. TD Ameritrade still doesn’t offer fractional share trading, even though the other big brokers, specifically Charles Schwab and Fidelity, have adopted it.
  • Some fees are higher than the competition. OTC trading is more expensive on TD Ameritrade than some other platforms, and investors holding a stock that goes through a reverse split will be hit with a $38 fee.

TD Ameritrade’s fees and costs are competitive

TD Ameritrade’s prices are competitive. It doesn’t charge commissions for online trades of most of its securities, and its contract fees for options and futures are on par with most other online brokerages, as are its transaction fee mutual funds.

That said, TD Ameritrade charges some other fees that are a bit higher than some other brokers. For instance, TD Ameritrade charges a $6.95 per trade commission for OTC stocks. Meanwhile, Fidelitycharges nothing, while Interactive Brokerscharges less than a penny per trade.

It also charges a $38 mandatory reorganization fee, which applies if a stock you own goes through a reverse stock split. Some other brokers, including Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Robinhood, don’t charge this fee.

Minimum deposit to open$0
Annual fee$0
Stock trading fee$0
Options trading fee$0.65 per contract
Futures trading fee$2.25 per contract
No-load mutual fund trading fee$49.99
Mandatory reorganization fee$38
Account transfer fee$75

5 steps to open a TD Ameritrade account

Sign up for a TD Ameritrade account online or in person. To apply online:

  1. Visit the TD Ameritrade website, and select Open New Account.
  2. Choose the type of account you want to open.
  3. Complete the application by entering your personal and financial information.
  4. Review your information, and agree to the terms and conditions.
  5. Configure your user ID and password to make an account.

At a branch

Visit a local TD Ameritrade branch to speak with a representative who can help you get started.

Eligibility

Whichever account you choose to open, you’ll need
to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Valid residential address
  • Valid government-issued ID
  • While there’s no minimum to open an account, a $2,000
    deposit is needed to be considered for margin and
    options privileges.

Required Information

  • Valid Social Security number or tax identification number
  • Foreign tax ID, passport or visa number if you are not a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Valid address
  • Employer’s name, address and phone number

      TD Ameritrade’s research tools are comprehensive

      TD Ameritrade’s free research selection is one of the best on the market, and includes:

        • Fundamental and technical data
        • Real-time market updates
        • Create watchlists
        • News, commentary and analysis
        • Access to a wide range of reputable third-party research, including leaders like TipRanks, the Center for Financial Research and Analysis (CFRA), Vickers, Thomson Reuters, Ford Equity Research and Morningstar

      Platforms

      TD Ameritrade offers two trading platforms: its classic TD Ameritrade platform and Thinkorswim, each with its own web and mobile versions.

      Classic TD Ameritrade

      The classic TD Ameritrade web and mobile platforms feature a clean design and straightforward navigation, allowing you to view your portfolio, research investments and make investments with ease.

      While it prioritizes usability, these platforms are packed with more than enough features to satisfy average investors. You’ll find:

      • Screeners
      • Watchlists
      • Price alerts
      • Market news and real-time data
      • Third-party research
      • Basic charts
      • A comprehensive education center
      • Complimentary goal planning
      Thinkorswim

      Thinkorswim is TD Ameritrade’s professional-grade trading platform, and it’s designed for advanced equity, options, ETFs, futures and forex traders.

      Traders will find powerful research and analytical tools, and can:

      • Trade stocks, futures, forex and multi-leg options
      • Practice trading using virtual money via a paper trading component
      • Create multitouch charts with hundreds of indicators
      • Build your own order execution and testing algorithms
      • Get a beta-weighted analysis of theoretical moves based on underlying stocks, indices or futures
      • Access TD Ameritrade Network’s market insights
      • Monitor your positions and how they trend over time
      • Access stock screeners and other tools

      More streamlined versions of Thinkorswim are available on the web and via mobile app, which prioritize the most critical trading tools but still offer power unlike most other platforms on the market.

      Charles Schwab to acquire TD Ameritrade

      In 2019, Charles Schwab announced its plans to acquire TD Ameritrade in a transaction valued at $26 billion. The acquisition is moving forward as planned, with shareholders and US Justice Department officials both voting in favor of the merger.

      The process is expected to take 18 to 36 months to complete. Until then, both platforms will continue to operate independently.

      Compare with other stock trading platforms

      Review your options by asset types, fees, minimum deposit or signup bonus. Select the Go to site button for more information about a particular platform.

      1 - 6 of 6
      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.
      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.
      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.
      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.
      loading

      Compare up to 4 providers

      *Signup bonus information updated weekly.

      Is TD Ameritrade legit?

      Yes, TD Ameritrade is a legitimate broker. Here are some highlights:

        • Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.
        • Member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects securities for customers up to $500,000 or $250,000 for claims for cash.
        • Provides every customer with $149.5 million protection for securities and $2 million protection for cash through supplemental coverage in the event of insolvency.

      TD Ameritrade’s reviews are mostly positive

      An overwhelming majority of reviews across the major app stores for both the TD Ameritrade and Thinkroswim mobile apps are positive.

      TD Ameritrade mobile app

      Satisfied customers praise the platform’s beginner-friendly user interface, helpful customer support and its free research and education resources.

      Others complain the app freezes and crashes too often or that they sometimes run into trouble when logging in.

      Google Play app3.6/5 stars based on over 13,600 reviews
      Apple app store4.5/5 stars based on over 110,400 reviews
      Customer reviews verified as ofAugust 2022
      Thinkorswim mobile app

      Customers praise the platform’s robust features, charts and tools, while a common complaint is its complexity at first use.

      Google Play app3.8/5 stars based on over 11,400 reviews
      Apple app store4.5/5 stars based on over 282,700 reviews
      Customer reviews verified as ofAugust 2022

      Contact TD Ameritrade customer support by phone, email, secure message and more

      Connect with TD Ameritrade customer support in five ways:

          • Live chat: Available 24/7 for active members.
          • Phone:
            • New clients:800-454-9272 available 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m ET on weekdays
            • Existing clients: 800-669-3900 available 24/7
            • Spanish: 888-376-4684 available 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT
            • Callers outside the US: 800-368-3668 available 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m ET on weekdays
            • TTY services for Deaf and hard-of-hearing customers: 888-723-8503 available 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m ET on weekdays
          • Secure message.Existing customers can send an email from within their account via secure message.
          • Social media: Send a message via Facebook Messenger or Twitter
          • In personStop by one of the 175+ local branches./li>

      Frequently asked questions

      Bottom line

        • TD Ameritrade offers a streamlined platform for investors and a professional-grade platform for serious traders.
        • It offers an extensive list of tradable assets.
        • Adding crypto trading and fractional shares would make TD Ameritrade nearly unbeatable.

        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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        Review by


        Shannon Terrell is an editor for Finder who has written over 400 personal finance guides. With a focus on investments and personal finance, she breaks down jargon-laden topics to help others make informed financial decisions. She studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto.

        Expert review

        TD Ameritrade offers a host of attractive perks for a wide range of investors.

        There’s no minimum deposit to open an account and no commissions on online trades. Plus, you get access to free educational resources and 24/7 online support.

        But you may pay costly brokerage and short-term ETF fees. And you’ll pay a small fee for options contracts.

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