|No commissions on stocks and fees are fair for other securities.|
|The only thing a Thinkorswim brokerage account can’t trade is cryptocurrency.|
|Support can quickly be reached in three ways.|
|The app gets high marks in the Apple App Store but Google users report app freezes.|
|Research and tools|
|A comprehensive suite of research and analytics tools are available.|
|One major outage has been reported.|
|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.
TD Ameritrade requires no minimum investment and provides education and market research. It may be best for:
- New investors. Rookie investors can access tools and free educational resources. There’s also no annual fee or inactivity fee and no minimum to get going on taxable brokerage accounts.
- Frequent traders. Expect $0 commission on stocks, ETFs or options, regardless of the account balance or the number of shares.
- Advanced traders. Users have access to real-time market research, advice to make informed decisions and products like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures, forex, foreign ADRs and IPOs.
In addition to its versatile platforms and educational resources, TD Ameritrade these perks:
- Commission-free trades. There’s no commission on stock, ETFs or options trades. You’ll pay $0.65 per options contract.
- No minimum balance. There’s no minimum balance to open an account and no charge for inactivity.
- Broad selection. Choose from more than 2,300 ETFs and 12,000 mutual funds. Forex trading is available in 75 currency pairs.
- Access to trading platforms. With TD Ameritrade, you get free access to its three trading platforms — Mobile Trading, thinkorswim and its Web Platform.
TD Ameritrade offers a variety of investing platforms targeted at different types of investors from beginners to the advanced. Here are your choices.
TD Ameritrade web platform: This is TD Ameritrade’s all-inclusive web-based trading platform. It provides investors with what they need to screen and trade investments, build diversified portfolios, monitor their investments and access educational resources. Here are some features.
- Screen stocks, bonds and funds
- Make trades
- Create watchlists
- Access the latest market news and get real-time updates
- Access third-party research from Morningstar, Thomson Reuters, TipRanks and more
- Use tools like portfolio planner and retirement planner
TD Ameritrade Mobile App: TD Ameritrade’s web-based tools and features extend to its mobile platform. Both currently have ratings of 3 out of 5 and 4.5 out of 5 on the Google Play and Apple App stores, respectively. Here’s some of what you can do.
- Trade stocks, ETFs, and options
- Get real-time quotes
- Access charts with indicators
- Set-up price alerts and watchlists
- Access market news, research and reports
Thinkorswim: This is a separate platform designed for experienced investors who want access to powerful research and analytical tools. You can access Thinkorswim online, on your desktop and via a mobile app. Here’s some of its highlights.
- Trade multi-leg options, stocks, futures, forex
- Practice trading virtual money via its paper money component
- Create multi-touch charts with hundreds of indicators
- Build your own order execution and testing algorithms
- Get 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
- Live text and screen sharing with specialists
- Access stock screeners and other tools
Keep an eye out for a few potential pitfalls:
- Short-term trading fees. Hold commission-free ETFs for at least 30 days or pay a $13.90 fee. Its short-term redemption fee on most mutual funds traded within 90 days is $49.99.
- Broker-assisted trades. You may pay more on broker-assisted trades compared to some competitors.
Compare your investing options before deciding if this is the best fit for you.
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.
*Signup bonus information updated weekly.
TD Ameritrade reviews and complaints
TD Ameritrade is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but holds an B rating and an average of 1 out of 5 stars from 13 customer reviews as of October 2020.
Trustpilot gives TD Ameritrade 2 stars out of 5 based on 76 reviews. Of the 64% who rated the company “bad,” several appear to be scammers who are advertising services to help customers recover invested funds. Other users complain that they couldn’t connect with a human and had to solve issues with automation. Others found the app or website challenging to navigate.
Positive reviews touted the variety of products, free educational resources and affordability.
- Go to the TD Ameritrade website and click Open New Account.
- Choose the type of account you want to open. If you’re not sure, click Find an account.
- Choose between opening an individual account or joint account.
- Enter whether you’re a current TD Ameritrade customer or newcomer and fill in the necessary fields, including personal and financial information and the number of trades you plan to make.
- Review your information and confirm your agreement with the terms and conditions.
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Link your account. Link your brokerage account with your bank account so you can start trading.
- Access resources. If you’re a new trader, take advantage of its resources to learn how to trade wisely.
- Personalize your portfolio. Customize your dashboard and manage your portfolio.
- Chat with an adviser. If you’re new to trading, speak with a new client consultant to ensure you understand how your activity will affect your taxes.
- Live chat: Available 24/7 for active members.
- New clients: 800-454-9272
- Existing clients: 800-669-3900
- Spanish: 888-376-4684
- Callers outside the US: 800-368-3668
- TTY services for the hearing impaired: 888-723-8503
- Social media: Send a message via Facebook Messenger or Twitter
- Text: 898832
- Stop by a local branch
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.